How Bill Murray Saved 'Saturday Night Live'

February 12, 2015 11:39 PM

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It's hard to imagine now, but in 1977, Bill Murray was struggling to fill Chevy Chase's shoes, so much so that he delivered an on-air plea for support from the "Saturday Night Live" audience. His rebound not only marked the beginning of a ready-for-primetime career, but also helped set a template that turned the NBC franchise into one of TV's most renewable resources.

Murray, then in his mid-20s, joined "SNL" after Chase -- thanks to his prat falls and "Weekend Update" segment, the program's first breakout star -- had left to pursue a movie career.

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