Well, this is awesome: As Saturday Night Live celebrates its 40th season, NBC is bringing back classic SNL episodes to primetime network TV. So prior to this Saturday’s season premiere — hosted by Chris Pratt with musical guest Ariana Grande — an episode from the show’s first season will air at 10/9c.
The first installment of SNL Vintage is an episode that almost sounds too good to be true: Richard Pryor hosting on Dec. 13, 1975, with Gil Scott-Heron as the musical guest.
Scott-Heron, who passed away in 2011 at 62, was one of the most influential and innovative performers of the ’70s and ’80s. His blend of jazz, soul and spoken word was pivotal for the development of rap — he’s been sampled by Kanye West, Common, Black Star and countless others.
Given this SNL episode is from 1975, that means you can catch footage of Scott-Heron in his prime — right after the release of his game-changing Winter in America and The First Minute of a New Day albums — on network TV this weekend.
And since SNL is notoriously stingy regarding the release of vintage musical performances on the Internet, this is an opportunity you don’t want to pass up.