Early SNL Was As 'Cokey' As We Thought
In case a nose-flicking Steve Martin in "Coneheads Family Feud" and the high-energy disco debauchery that was "Two Wild and Crazy Guys" weren't enough to convince you of cocaine's importance to 70's Saturday Night Live, you're in luck. Last night, Murphy Brown star Candice Bergen appeared on Andy Cohen's Watch What Happens Live to confirm what pretty much anyone who has ever seen a pre-Joe Piscopo SNL sketch already knows -- the show's first few years were a coke-fueled mess.
"What was the vibe like backstage that first year of SNL? Was it, was it carefree? was it Cokey? What was it?" The Bravo host asked his guest on Tuesday night's "SN-Tell" segment.
"It started being sort of marijuana-based," Bergen explained. "And they realized in a second that the show was almost impossible to produce, and to do it stoned on grass made it just a lost cause Because you'd be backstage -- you have literally split-second costume and wig changes and makeup changes .. " she said, trailing off.
Considering it's hard enough to leave the couch while stoned, running a sketch comedy show while blazed seems like one hell of a challenge. The solution? The (almost) official substance of choice throughout the 70s, good ol' cocaine.
"So that's when the coke came in?" Cohen asked. "That's when the coke came in, yeah," she replied. Nice.
Well, folks, in case you were searching for the secret of the early SNL cast's seemingly boundless energy, now you know. Although come on, it was 70's NYC, I'd be more surprised if the answer didn't come in a little vial.
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