LORNE MICHAELS: No one thought we'd have a summer holiday, because nobody at the network thought they could rerun these shows. I said, "No, we're going to put on reruns." And when we put on the Richard Pryor show, it rated higher than it had originally. And I won the case. Some of us spent the summer together. We went to Joshua Tree in California. I'd been there many times before. It was a spiritual place for me, and so I was showing them this place that had a lot of meaning for me. We stayed at the Joshua Tree Inn, a motel with a pool in the center. John and Danny were in the room next to mine. One night we had a barbecue. Chevy, who came with his girlfriend, cooked. I remember it was a very beautiful night, and we were all sort of grateful for each other and just beginning to soak up whatever that first season was. This was late June or early July, and we were just beginning to understand what being on a hit show was like, the full throttle of that.
We drank a lot and stayed up really late. Then at about five o'clock in the morning, the sun was way too bright and woke me up. There was some sort of noise outside, so I staggered to the door. When I opened it, I saw Danny standing in the archway just a few feet away, and he's in the same shape I'm in, and we look out and there's John, on the diving board, doing these cannonballs. He goes straight up, hits the board, comes down, and then flips over into the pool. This was just for our benefit, Danny's and mine, because there was nobody else awake or watching it. And we were like completely wrecked, the two of us, and just barely conscious, and Danny looked at me and he said, "Albanian oak."
Excerpted from Live From New York by Thomas W. Shales and James Andrew Miller Copyright © 2002 Little, Brown & Company.