There's an actual reason why Farrah Fawcett never hosted Saturday Night Live in the Seventies
She was invited to host at the height of her fame. Here's why it didn't happen.
Saturday Night Live premiered in 1975, and its first season saw hosts from TV and movies alike, including Desi Arnaz, Lily Tomlin and Rob Reiner. The next year, Charlie's Angels premiered, and the stardom of Farrah Fawcett could not be stopped. You'd think at some point, Farrah would've gotten that hosting gig, but in the history of SNL, the Angel never appeared.
That doesn't mean she wasn't invited, though. In an interview with Archive of American Television, SNL producer Dick Ebersol confirmed they really tried to get Farrah on SNL's stage in the Seventies, but there was a little communication breakdown that sadly stopped this pop culture goodness from ever coming to fruition.
Ebersol said he was invited to a meeting in 1979 with Fawcett, her agent and Fawcett's then-boyfriend actor Ryan O'Neal. According to Ebersol, he was hugely excited about the opportunity for the show, "I remember once in California being asked if I would sit down with Farrah at the height of all her popularity, which was pretty amazing. Certainly at its heights, there were very few that rivaled it in television." He came to the meeting, prepared to set up the hosting gig, but instead, it turned out that O'Neal didn't have a very good idea of how SNL worked, and he had a request Ebersol just couldn't agree to:
"She didn’t do very much talking, a really nice woman," Ebersol said, "and Ryan [O'Neal] kept pressing if she was gonna do the show, they would have to see all the scripts for all the sketches about nine or 10 days before the show."
At this point, Ebersol tried to explain in the interview why a show like SNL just doesn't have sketches written that far in advance: "I think taking into recognition that it was clear that they didn’t know, I didn’t jump up and down or anything, just said, ‘That’s absolutely not possible. You’ll be very lucky if the sketches exist in good order in the middle of the week of the actual show. And Farrah’s monologue may not exist until 11 o’clock on Friday night or God forbid, 9 o’clock on Saturday morning.'"
Ebersol's explanation didn't help matters in the end, though, and we all know what that means: We never got to see Farrah and Gilda try to outshine each other. Instead, we had to settle for Chris Kattan's ridiculous Farrah Fawcett impression.