The first season of Saturday Night Live, the weekly late-night 90-minute American sketch comedy/variety show on NBC, aired during the 1975–1976 television season. Saturday Night Live premiered on October 11, 1975 and consisted of a total of 24 episodes, the last of which aired on July 31, 1976.
In 1974, NBC Tonight Show host Johnny Carson requested that the weekend broadcasts of "Best of Carson" come to an end, so that Carson could take two weeknights off and NBC would thus air those repeats on those nights rather than feed them to affiliates for broadcast on either Saturdays or Sundays. Given Carson's undisputed status as the dean of late-night television, NBC heard his request as an ultimatum, fearing he might use the issue as grounds to defect to either ABC or CBS. To fill the gap, the network drew up some ideas and brought in Dick Ebersol – a protégé of legendary ABC Sports president Roone Arledge – to develop a 90-minute late-night variety show. Ebersol's first order of business was hiring a young Canadian producer named Lorne Michaels to be the show-runner.
Candice Bergen hosts with musical guest Esther Phillips ("What A Difference A Day Makes" and "I Can Stand A Little Rain").
Robert Klein is joined by musical guests ABBA and Loudan Wainwright III.
Lily Tomlin reads from her notebook and does a cheer for New York while hosting the sixth show of the season.
Richard Pryor talks about women who leave men, winos and acid while hosting this seven-second delayed episode. Richard is joined by musical guest Gil Scott-Heron.
Candice Bergen hosts this Christmas episode with musical guests Martha Reeves and The Stylistics.
Elliott Gould hosts with musical guest Anne Murray.
Buck Henry hosts with musical guests Bill Withers and Toni Basil.
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore host with musical guest Neil Sedaka.
Dick Cavett is joined by musical guest Jimmy Cliff.
Peter Boyle hosts with musical guest Al Jarreau.
Desi Arnaz appears as host and musical guest with special guest, Desi Arnaz, Jr.
Jill Clayburgh hosts with musical guest Leon Redbone.
Anthony Perkins is joined by musical guest Betty Carter.
U.S. Press Secretary Ron Nessen hosts with musical guest The Patti Smith Group.
Raquel Welch hosts with musical guests Phoebe Snow and John Sebastian.
Madeline Kahn is joined by special musical guest Carly Simon ("You're So Vain" and "Half A Chance").
Dyan Cannon hosts with musical guest Leon and Mary Russell ("I Want To Satisfy You" and "Daylight").
Buck Henry returns to host with musical guest Gordon Lightfoot ("Summertime Dream" and "Spanish Moss").
Elliott Gould returns to host as does musical guest Leon Redbone.
Louise Lasser hosts with musical guests The Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Kris Kristofferson appears as host and musical guest ("I've Got A Life Of My Own") with special guest Rita Coolidge ("Hoola Hoop" and "Eddie The Eunuch").