NBC confirmed this week that Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt will kick off Saturday Night Live’s 40th season as the series’ host. Rumors have been swirling about other potential hosts for the upcoming season, including a report that Bill Murray could make his return to Studio 8H for the first time in 15 years. Murray joined the SNL cast in 1977, lasting three seasons, and he’s a member of the show’s Five-Timers Club (having hosted a handful of episodes). Until the rumor is proven true or false, we’ll be wringing our hands in anticipation of a Murray/SNL reunion. Here are ten of Murray’s greatest moments on the series to tide us all over until then.
Before Murray performed his karaoke scene in Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, he was Nick the Lounge Singer crooning for SNL’s audience. Nick’s schmaltzy style and hilarious surnames (they changed to fit every sketch) were a highlight of the character. David Letterman bandleader Paul Shaffer usually accompanied him on piano. The best Nick the Lounge Singer performance is his rendition of the Star Wars theme song, which you can watch over here. It’s pretty special.
Murray replaced Chevy Chase on SNL, but the transition wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. The two comedians had a pretty nasty scuffle after the men spewed insults at each other. Chase and Murray appeared in a musical opener when Chase returned to host the show, in order to make nice and clear any rumors about their fistfight. The truth didn’t really come to light until years later.
Murray had a romantic relationship with SNL co-star Gilda Radner during their tenure. They played goofy nerds (who poked fun at each other and traded noogies) in this sketch with Jane Curtin and Dan Aykroyd—who flashed his furry behind on national television.
Before SNL wore out its welcome with their game show sketches, Murray took on the role of Richard Dawson—the handsy, kissy-faced host of the ‘70s favorite Family Feud. Always adept at playing the schmoozey, sleazy type, Murray slips some major tongue to Coneheaded co-star Laraine Newman.
Oddly enough, one of Murray’s most endearing moments is when he admitted that he, well, kind of sucked. He replaced fan favorite Chevy Chase on the show, which is ironic considering Chase’s reputation as a major a-hole today. This confession to the audience was meant to be an icebreaker. The uncomfortable moments of brutal honesty about his real life coupled with his one-liners reveals Murray was always the king of the deadpan.
Every plane, train, and automobile has one: the know-it-all. Murray played a pesky frequent flyer who can’t resist interrupting people’s conversations to offer a few tips on flying the friendly skies.
If you’ve been dying to see Bill Murray in a Superman costume and an apron, this is your chance. His Clark Kent is a great early version of the Murray sad sap character.
Murray reprised his role as Honker the homeless man during the Chris Farley era of SNL. He speaks out of the side of his mouth, but leaves enough room to shave some Mickey D’s into his maw.
The hilarious “Cheeseburger” sketch belonged to co-star John Belushi, but Murray’s clueless line cook gets in a few laughs.
Can Murray predict the Oscars more often, please?