Saturday Night Live turns 40 this year and is celebrating tonight with a huge, star-studded prime-time special. Though people love to dismiss the show as being less funny than it once was, SNL continues to produce the same hilarious, bizarre and delightful sketches and shorts that it originally became known for. (If you haven't seen "Bird Bible" drop everything and watch it now.) It's endured as a launching pad for some of the world's funniest people, including Gilda Radner, John Belushi, Steve Martin, Jane Curtin, Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Maya Rudolph, Kristen Wiig, Will Ferrell and more. To ignore SNL is a mistake. In celebration of the show's 40th, Taschen has released a new book including over 2,000 behind-the-scenes photos from the show's launch to the present. Saturday Night Live: The Book is in stores now. Preview some of the photos included in it below.
Dan Aykroyd, Michael O’Donoghue, and John Belushi backstage. 1975. Photo by F.T. Eyre.
Gilda Radner as Roseanne Roseannadanna and Jane Curtain on "Weekend Update." 1979. Photo by Edie Baskin.
Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner in a sketch for Shimmer Non-Dairy Floor Wax. 1976. Photo by Edie Baskin.
Edie Murphy in "James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub Party." 1983. Photo by Mark Mullen.
Patrick Swayze and Chris Farley in the Chippendales sketch that would be come a breakout moment for Farley, 1990. Photo by Edie Baskin.
Will Ferrell, in makeup as George W. Bush, reviews his monologue cue cards. 2012. Photo by Dana Edelson.
Steven Spielberg, Bill Hader, and Andy Samberg shooting “Laser Cats 7” in Lorne Michaels’s office. 2012. Photo by Dana Edelson.
Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler review "Weekend Update" cue cards during a commercial break. 2007. Photo by Mary Ellen Matthews.
Bill Hader runs off with Seth Meyers to gett married on his final show. 2013. Photo by Dana Edelson.
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