Herbert Schlosser, a veteran American TV executive who helped devise the hugely popular variety show Saturday Night Live has passed away at the age of 95.
Schlosser started working at NBC Television Network in 1960 and went on to become President and CEO of the company, helping to bring many iconic shows to the network.
He paid a key role in creating Saturday Night Live – reportedly writing a memo proposing the show in 1975, suggesting a weekly variety show with a different host every week.
Meanwhile, his tenure at the network also included negotiating for legendary late-night host Johnny Carson to host The Tonight Show in 1962 – the start of Carson’s 30-year stint at NBC.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, a statement from NBC read: “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Herb Schlosser.
“His ingenuity, creativity and integrity as president and CEO of NBC during the ’70s made an indelible mark on the network and its legacy, including bringing Johnny Carson to The Tonight Show and helping to shape what ultimately became Saturday Night Live.”
Meanwhile, the long-time producer of Saturday Night Live Lorne Michaels also paid tribute to Schlosser, telling The New York Times: “We wouldn’t have been on the air without him. Live was his idea, not mine. He just believed in the show. He protected it.”
In addition to his work at NBC, Carson’s career in the entertainment business also saw him serve as vice-executive president of RCA and chairman of the Museum of the Moving Image – while he also co-founded the A&E television network.
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