Here's an excerpt of a statement Lorne Michaels made:
It's both a very cool and a very sad thing that "Saturday Night Live" this week will re-air its first episode ever because it was hosted by George Carlin.
The sad part, of course, is that Carlin died June 22 of heart failure. NBC is bringing out the 1975 show that started it all (at 11:30 p.m. Saturday) as both a tribute and a bid for ratings.
You have to believe that Carlin, student of irony that he was, would have appreciated the move, for all its reasons. He was also the perfect guy to join the "SNL" bunch 33 years ago when he, NBC and the Not Ready For Prime Time Players took a leap of faith to try something then startlingly new for TV.
"He was gracious, fearless and, most important of all, funny," "SNL" creator, Lorne Michaels, said in a press statement.