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Cheri Oteri

At 40, 'Saturday Night Live' is still in its prime

At 40, 'Saturday Night Live' is still in its prime

"Saturday Night Live" is 40 years old this year.

Forty years before its debut — Oct. 11, 1975, during the Ford administration — Jack Benny was in his third year on radio; the Marx Brothers were starring in "A Night at the Opera," their first movie without Zeppo; Bob Hope and Bing Crosby were still five years away from their first "Road" picture; and there was no TV at all.

Forty years on, the world has changed, and changed again. The cast that launched "SNL" — the initials now suffice — are now in their 60s and 70s, and some are no longer of this Earth.

But "Saturday Night Live" itself has proved remarkably durable and...