EDIE BASKIN, Photographer: For the title sequence, I just went around and photographed New York at night. Actually, the first titles had no pictures of the cast, only pictures of New York. Lorne had loved some pictures I'd done of Las Vegas and some of my other work, which was very different for that time.
LORNE MICHAELS: The major focus of the night, weirdly enough, was over a directive we got that Carlin had to wear a suit on the show. He wanted to wear a T-shirt. The directive came from Dave Tebet; he was head of talent and very supportive of the show, but he was also trying to anticipate. The fear was that if George was in a T-shirt and it looked like the wrong kind of show, we would lose affiliates, and we weren't anywhere near 100 percent as it was. And the compromise was a suit with a T-shirt instead of a tie. That was a much greater distraction than can possibly be understood right now.
CRAIG KELLEM: Tebet was the Don Corleone of network executives. And at that time I didn't look all that good - people dressed pretty sloppily there - and I went up and Tebet was reading the riot act about the prerequisites for Carlin's performance. And they included, "He's going to have to get his hair cut and have it look neat." And he went through this whole diatribe about what Carlin was not going to do, and it was uncomfortably close to the way I looked in the office. He went through the list - suit, tie, hair - and then he looks down at my bare ankles and says, "Socks!"
DICK EBERSOL: If you go back and look at the first show on the air, the two people by far who had the most to do on the show were Chevy and Jane. There were only four or five sketches. The rest of it was four songs, six monologues - three by Carlin, one by Andy Kaufman, his Mighty Mouse bit, and one by what's-her-face, a comedienne who ended up in the show instead of Billy Crystal - Valri Bromfeld, from Canada.
ROSIE SHUSTER: We were buzzed. I don't think we had any clue what kind of phenomenon was going to happen. Carlin later confessed that he was pretty loaded. Andy Kaufman was on that show. There were a lot of featured guests - there wasn't a lot of comedy on that show. But there was the live buzz you just got from that studio audience and it was pretty upbeat. I think everybody knew there had to be a lot more comedy sketches and that the cast had to be used more.
CRAIG KELLEM: I was involved with booking Carlin for the first show. I've often wondered about it. Carlin was my first client as an agent. He has had a wonderful career and is still, in my opinion, a comedy icon. But it's interesting that he has never been invited back to Saturday Night Live. I remember that from the first show, you always knew when Lorne wasn't that thrilled about having a particular host, and Carlin was obviously somebody he just wasn't high on.
STEVE MARTIN, Host: I do remember when I first saw the show. I was living in Aspen, and it came on and I thought, "They've done it!" They did the zeitgeist, they did what was out there, what we all had in our heads, this kind of new comedy. And I thought, "Well, someone's done it on television now." I didn't know Lorne at the time. I didn't know anyone.