Saturday Night Live

SNLSaturday Night Live!Velvet Jones
Wanting to increase SNLs ratings and profitability, then-NBC West Coast president Don Ohlmeyer and other executives began to actively interfere in the show, recommending that new stars such as Chris Farley and Adam Sandler be fired because Ohlmeyer did not "get" them, and critiquing the costly nature of performing the show live. The show faced increasing criticism from the press and cast, in part encouraged by the NBC executives hoping to weaken Michaels's position. Michaels received a lucrative offer to develop a Saturday night project for CBS during this time, but remained loyal to SNL.

Weekend Update

Les nouvelles SNLJane, you ignorant slutNewsBreak
Another common topic of Macdonald's jokes was O.J. Simpson after his arrest and trial for murder; one example was "A down-and-out O.J. Simpson... has decided to go back to doing what he does best: killing people." SNL writer Jim Downey recalled that "we did, like three solid years of, like, 60 shows of O.J. jokes in a row". Macdonald made his final appearance as Weekend Update anchor in December 1997, after NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer—a longtime friend of Simpson, who had previously told Michaels to not let his friendship affect the show—demanded his dismissal from the segment, despite Michaels's protest that making the change in the middle of the season would be difficult for the show.

Jim Downey (comedian)

Jim DowneyJames Downey
When Norm Macdonald began as Weekend Update anchor in the mid-1990s, Downey wrote exclusively for that segment of the show. Downey and Macdonald subsequently became a team, working away from the rest of the cast and crew. They were both fired from the show in 1998 at the request of NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer. Downey believes that it was a result of various jokes on Weekend Update calling O.J. Simpson a murderer; Ohlmeyer was a good friend of Simpson's. Downey returned to the show in 2000. He continued to write for the show until 2013, pausing only in 2005 to work on a novel.

Dirty Work (1998 film)

Dirty WorkDirty Work'' (1998 film)
During production, Norm MacDonald was embroiled in a feud with Don Ohlmeyer, then an executive with NBC. Ohlmeyer, a friend of O. J. Simpson, took offense at MacDonald's frequent and pointed jokes against Simpson on Weekend Update and had MacDonald fired from the position. Ohlmeyer went further and refused to sell advertising space or air commercials for Dirty Work. NBC eventually relented (Ohlmeyer was forced into retirement not long afterward) a week after the film premiered. Dirty Work was Chris Farley's last-released film appearance, filmed before his fatal drug overdose in December 1997. MGM released the film on DVD, in August 1999, and for digital rental/purchase.

O. J. Simpson murder case

O.J. Simpson trialO.J. Simpson murder caseO.J. Simpson murder trial
Boris Kodjoe stars as O. J. Simpson. Fuhrman tapes. Chewbacca defense. O. J. Simpson robbery case. Trial of Yolanda Saldívar – the "Hispanic O.J. Simpson trial". National Football League player conduct policy. National Football League controversies. Famous American Trials: The O. J. Simpson Trial. 5 year retrospective. O. J. Simpson verdict ten years later (PBS Frontline streaming video). The trial transcripts, CNN. OJ Simpson Criminal Trial Uncut Start-to-Finish (1995) CONUS Archive.


National Broadcasting CompanyNBC-TVNBC Television
The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial radio and television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles (at 10 Universal City Plaza), Chicago (at the NBC Tower) and Philadelphia (at the Comcast Technology Center). The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting.

American Broadcasting Company

The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) is an American commercial broadcast radio and television networks that is a subsidiary of the Disney Media Networks division of The Walt Disney Company. The network is headquartered in Burbank, California, on Riverside Drive, directly across the street from Walt Disney Studios and adjacent to the Roy E. Disney Animation Building. The network's secondary offices, and headquarters of its news division, is in New York City, New York, at their broadcast center at 77 West 66th Street in the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Saturday Night Live (season 23)

231997–98 seasonseason 23
During the season, a controversy arose in which Weekend Update anchor Norm Macdonald was removed from the Update segment after angering NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer with his O. J. Simpson jokes. The weekly inclusion of O.J. jokes upset Ohlmeyer, who was good friends with Simpson. Ohlmeyer arranged to have Macdonald fired from the segment, but not from the show. Macdonald's final episode as Update anchor was on December 13, 1997. Quinn was then promoted to the job and anchored the segment in the next live episode, which aired January 10, 1998. Even though Macdonald still performed in sketches, he was not happy and eventually quit the show; his final appearance was on March 14, 1998.

History of Saturday Night Live (1995–2000)

recast and re-branded
While the cast was, for the most part, unchanged from the previous season, Norm Macdonald's surprise firing was the source of much speculation and scrutiny from the media. Macdonald frequently targeted O. J. Simpson and his murder trial on "Weekend Update", a recurring joke that then-NBC executive Don Ohlmeyer apparently disliked. This is rumoured to be the cause of Macdonald's firing, although Ohlmeyer denied the allegations. He was replaced on Weekend Update by castmate Colin Quinn starting January 10, 1998. denotes "Weekend Update" anchor The 1998–99 season introduced new cast members Jimmy Fallon, Chris Parnell and Horatio Sanz.

Dennis Miller

The Dennis Miller ShowDennis Miller Show
The show's staff boasted a mix of past and future performers, writers, and producers of note including Mark Brazill (That '70s Show), Eddie Feldmann, David Kohan and Max Mutchnick (creators of Will & Grace), Norm Macdonald, Bob Odenkirk (Mr. Show), John Riggi, Kevin Rooney, Herb Sargent (Saturday Night Live), Drake Sather, and Dave Thomas (Second City TV). Miller thought there would be room for his show as its main competitors for the time slot would be The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Arsenio Hall Show and he felt they all attracted different audiences.

Ron Goldman

Ronald GoldmanRonald Lyle Goldman
Goldman was portrayed by Paul Witten in the TV movie The O. J. Simpson Story. He was portrayed by Russ Russo in Reenactment of the Century. He will be portrayed by Oliver Walker in Joshua Newton’s upcoming film Nicole & O.J.. * Real Crime Profile podcast by Jim Clemente, Laura Richards and Lisa Zambetti. Episode 11 is dedicated to Ron Goldman: who he was and his victim profile. Murder of Michael Nigg, unsolved killing (in 1995) of Goldman's friend and fellow Mezzaluna waiter. O. J. Simpson robbery case. Real Crime Profile podcast by Jim Clemente, Laura Richards and Lisa Zambetti. Episode 11 is dedicated to Ron Goldman: who he was and his victim profile.

David Letterman

LettermanDavid M. Lettermaneponymous host
During the initial weeks of his recovery, reruns of the Late Show were shown and introduced by friends of Letterman including Norm MacDonald, Drew Barrymore, Ray Romano, Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Megan Mullally, Bill Murray, Regis Philbin, Charles Grodin, Nathan Lane, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, Jerry Seinfeld, Martin Short, Steven Seagal, Hillary Clinton, Danny DeVito, Steve Martin, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Nicole Brown Simpson

Nicole BrownNicole SimpsonNicole
Brown was portrayed by Jessica Tuck in the television movie The O. J. Simpson Story. She was portrayed by Sandra Olson in Reenactment of the Century. She will be portrayed by Charlotte Kirk in Joshua Newton's upcoming film Nicole & O.J. and by Mena Suvari in The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson. * List of unsolved murders. O. J. Simpson robbery case. Court TV's complete coverage of the O. J. Simpson murder case.


ABCABC Sportssports
Monday Night Football – Don Meredith, John Madden, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, Boomer Esiason, O.J. Simpson, Howard Cosell, Fred Williamson, Alex Karras, Fran Tarkenton, Joe Namath, Dennis Miller, Dan Fouts. Major League Baseball on ABC – Reggie Jackson, Tim McCarver, Jim Palmer, Howard Cosell. PGA Tour on ABC – Nick Faldo, Paul Azinger, Ian Baker-Finch, Peter Alliss, Curtis Strange, Jack Nicklaus. Olympics on ABC – Donna de Varona, O.J. Simpson, Mark Spitz, Digger Phelps. Pro Bowlers Tour – Billy Welu, Nelson Burton, Jr. ESPN Major League Soccer – Alexi Lalas, Kyle Martino, John Harkes, Eric Wynalda, Ty Keough, Julie Foudy.


O. J. Simpson would be a sideline reporter for several announcing crews during the 1993 season, including Super Bowl XXVIII alongside Todd Christensen. Simpson would be gone following the season due to the fall-out from his murder case. While with NFL on NBC, Drew Goodman was slated to join Todd Christensen as the #4 announcing team in 1994, then in the next two years, he was slated to join the #7 team, to be paired in 1995 with Tunch Ilkin then with Bob Golic in 1996. However, Jim Lampley moved from the studio host to play-by-play in 1994, with Greg Gumbel taking over as the studio host, so Goodman was not placed into the lineup after all.

Monday Night Football

ESPNABCMonday night
ESPN Monday Night Football (abbreviated as MNF and also known as ESPN Monday Night Football on ABC for rare live special broadcast) is a live television broadcast of weekly National Football League (NFL) games on ESPN in the United States. From to, it aired on sister broadcast network ABC. Monday Night Football was, along with Hallmark Hall of Fame and the Walt Disney anthology television series, one of the longest-running prime time programs ever on commercial network television, and one of the highest-rated, particularly among male viewers. MNF is preceded on air by Monday Night Countdown.

Super Bowl

Super Bowl championSuper BowlsAFL-NFL World Championship Game
The Super Bowl is the annual championship game of the National Football League (NFL) typically played annually between the champion of the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The game is the culmination of a regular season that begins in the late summer of the previous year.

Late Night with Conan O'Brien

Late NightLate Night with Conan O’BrienConan O'Brien Show
Late Night with Conan O'Brien is an American late-night talk show hosted by Conan O'Brien that aired 2,725 episodes on NBC between 1993 and 2009. The show featured varied comedic material, celebrity interviews, and musical and comedy performances. Late Night aired weeknights at 12:37 am Eastern/11:37 pm Central and 12:37 am Mountain in the United States. From 1993 until 2000, Andy Richter served as O'Brien's sidekick; following his departure, O'Brien was the show's sole featured performer. The show's house musical act was The Max Weinberg 7, led by E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg.

Late Show with David Letterman

The Late Show with David LettermanThe Late ShowLate Show
Late Show with David Letterman is an American late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman on CBS, the first iteration of the Late Show franchise. The show debuted on August 30, 1993, and was produced by Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, and CBS Television Studios. The show's music director and leader of the house band, the CBS Orchestra, was Paul Shaffer. The head writer was Matt Roberts and the announcer was originally Bill Wendell, then Alan Kalter. Of the major U.S. late-night programs, Late Show ranked second in cumulative average viewers over time and third in number of episodes over time. In most U.S. markets the show aired from 11:35 p.m. to 12:35 a.m.

National Football League

NFLleagueAmerican Professional Football Association
The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league consisting of 32 teams, divided equally between the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). The NFL is one of the four major professional sports leagues in North America and the highest professional level of American football in the world. The NFL's 17-week regular season runs from early September to late December, with each team playing 16 games and having one bye week.


LAState of LouisianaLouisiana, USA
Louisiana is a state in the Deep South region of the South Central United States. It is the 31st most extensive and the 25th most populous of the 50 United States. Louisiana is bordered by the state of Texas to the west, Arkansas to the north, Mississippi to the east, and the Gulf of Mexico to the south. A large part of its eastern boundary is demarcated by the Mississippi River. Louisiana is the only U.S. state with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are equivalent to counties. The state's capital is Baton Rouge, and its largest city is New Orleans.

Fox Broadcasting Company

The Fox Broadcasting Company (often shortened to Fox and stylized in all caps as FOX) is an American free-to-air television network that is a flagship property of the Fox Corporation. The network is headquartered at 1211 Avenue of the Americas in New York City, with additional offices at the Fox Broadcasting Center (also in New York) and at the Fox Television Center in Los Angeles.

Tim Meadows

Meadows often spoofed famous personalities including O. J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Tiger Woods, Oprah Winfrey and Erykah Badu on SNL, and one time remarked that he had no character that was identified to him, such as Wayne and Garth being identified to Mike Myers and Dana Carvey. Eventually he did get an original character with Leon Phelps, "The Ladies' Man", a perpetually horny talk show host who falsely believed himself to be the living definition of what women search for in a man. The character was adapted into a 2000 film, The Ladies Man, which followed the character's attempts to find love and a suitable outlet for his beloved radio program.

David Hasselhoff

David HassellhoffDavid HasselhofDavid Hasslehoff
However, on the night of the concert, O. J. Simpson was involved in a police chase in southern California. Viewership of the concert was significantly lower than expected due to the live coverage of the chase, and the event was ultimately a $1.5 million loss. In May 2006, Hasselhoff returned to the spotlight after he was mentioned in an interview of Dirk Nowitzki, an NBA star playing for the Dallas Mavericks and a native of Germany. Nowitzki was asked what he does to concentrate when shooting foul shots. Dirk replied that he sings "Looking for Freedom" to himself. He meant this as a joke but it was thought to be a serious answer.


The SuperstarsOlympic Superstarsseries of the same name
The participants in the inaugural "World Superstars Championship" were to be the competitors from across the various national and continental versions of the show with the best records in the previous years, and as such the US was to be represented by its previous national champions Bob Seagren, O. J. Simpson, and three time reigning current champion Kyle Rote, Jr. The rest of the participants were to be drawn from the top six finishers from the 1976 European Superstars final, the top six from the US version in 1977, and the winner of the 1976 Canadian Superstars event.