About George and Paul Simon’s Performance on Saturday Night Live
Seven months after Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels offered the Beatles $3,000 to reunite on his show, George Harrison tried to take him up on it. The Nov. 20, 1976 episode featured Harrison as the musical guest, and he also showed off his comedic chops in a sketch where he confronted Michaels about getting paid.
In the cold open, Harrison confronted Michaels about the money, only to be denied. “I’ve come all this way,” Harrison deadpanned. “It’s $3,000. That was the deal!”
“You see, I thought that you would understand, you know, that it was $3,000 for four people, that it would just be $750 for each of you,” Michaels said. “I mean, as far as I’m concerned, I mean, you could have the full $3,000. But the network…”
After Harrison called NBC “chintzy,” Michaels then offered $250 to the “quiet one” for saying the show’s catchphrase and Harrison was happy to oblige, declaring, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”
The host that week was another pretty famous musician, Paul Simon, who opened the show by singing “Still Crazy After All These Years” while wearing a turkey costume. For the show, Harrison and Simon planned some acoustic performances, which they would deliver as a duo. While covers of “Rock Island Line” and “Bye Bye Love” were rehearsed but went unaired, unique versions of “Here Comes the Sun” and “Homeward Bound” did make the broadcast. They’ve since become enshrined as two of SNL’s best musical moments, with Paul and George collaborating on gorgeous versions of 60’s classics and even singing verses of the other’s composition.