Saturday Live (UK TV series)
Saturday Live was a British television comedy and music show broadcast by Channel 4 from 1985 to 1987, and in 1988 as Friday Night Live. Influenced by the American show Saturday Night Live (in particular its use of guest hosts), it was produced by Paul Jackson.
The series made stars of Ben Elton, Harry Enfield, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, and featured appearances (in some cases first television appearances) by Patrick Marber, Morwenna Banks, Chris Barrie, Emo Philips, Craig Ferguson, Craig Charles and many others. The show featured comic duo Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall in their act The Dangerous Brothers.
All episodes were transmitted live, although some material was pre-recorded. Recordings of shows were edited into compilation repeats, retitled Saturday Almost Live.
The show was succeeded by Friday Night Live, a shorter and slightly more tightly-formatted show with Elton as the permanent host, which ran for a single series in 1988. The show's titles consisted of reforming clay animations, highly comparable to early MTV idents.
A compilation double DVD set, Saturday Live: The Best of Series One, was released in June 2007, containing almost two and a half hours of material. This consisted of the Saturday Almost Live compilations with the music performances removed. Saturday Live: The Best Of Series 2 was released on 4 February 2008 and followed the same pattern, as did the Friday Night Live release. In 2009, a fourth release, a 3-disc set collecting the complete sketches of Fry & Laurie and Harry Enfield and the best Ben Elton monologues, was released.
On 1 December 2007, the series was revived by ITV for a one-off show titled Saturday Live Again, presented by Marcus Brigstocke. Many comedians were present in the show, including Jimmy Carr, Lee Mack, Mitchell and Webb, and Jocelyn Jee Esien. The original show's regular host Ben Elton also performed. There were musical performances by Bon Jovi and Hard-Fi.
- BFI.org.uk - transmission information for Saturday Live and Friday Night Live
- BBC Comedy Guide - Saturday Live and Friday Night Live