This Saturday, April 24th, marks the 45th anniversary of the Saturday Night Liveepisode in which Lorne Michaels, the show's producer, offered The Beatles $3000 to reunite and perform on the show.
Unbeknownst to Michaels, among the millions watching that night in 1976 were John Lennon and Paul McCartney, just 22 blocks north in Lennon's New York City apartment.
The next day, Sunday, April 25th, Paul stopped by again to see John, but this time he wasn't welcomed.
In a 1980 interview, John recalled telling Paul, "It's not 1956, and turning up at the door isn't the same anymore." Sadly, they never saw each other again.
Seven months later, on November 20th, 1976,George Harrison appeared on SNL, and during the show's open, he tried to collect the $3000 from Michaels. He said, “I’ve come all this way. It’s $3000. That was the deal!”
Michaels replied, "You see, I thought that you would understand, you know, that it was $3000 for four people, that it would just be $750 for each of you. I mean, as far as I’m concerned, you could have the full $3000. But the network...”
After Harrison said NBC was "chintzy," Michaels offered and Harrison accepted $250 to say the show's opening catchphrase, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”
The joke was resurrected in the '90s when Paul went on the show and you see Michaels telling him, “I just assumed George would have given you the money."