A Retro TV Moment

Last night during SNL’s Christmas special, they ran a skit from their inaugural  season. The skit—that originally aired on December 20, 1975—features the original cast including well known SNL alumni such as: Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, and Gilda Radner, who were joined by guest host Candice Bergen.

However, what really caught my eye was the bass saxophone player who counted in the band, and even had a dance solo part way through this classic SNL version of Winter Wonderland.

I’ve not been able to figure out who the bass sax player is. Anyone recognize him?

Who knows, perhaps if you own a vintage, silver plated American bass, you own this saxophone now. After all it has been 35 years+ 2 days since this video was shot. There’s a good chance that this player has given up playing bass now, and sold the sax.

…this is just my blog. My “real” website is www.bassic-sax.info. If you’re looking for sax info, you should check it out too.There’s lots there!

© 2010, Helen. All rights reserved.


Helen Kahlke is a professional horn player and sax teacher who lives in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She plays soprano, alto, C melody, tenor, baritone, and bass saxophones.


  1. interesting but I don’t think the guy is actually playing it. I think he is lip sinking a part that has already been recorded. if you look at the end of the video the last note is being held you can hear the bass sax and he has the horn out of his mouth and is high fiving somebody to his right. I could be wrong but that is what I see and hear. My first thought was that they edited several takes together but this is SNL supposedly was broadcast live one take right wrong or twisted. 😉

    • I’m not sure he’s playing it either. Since he’s not miked, it would be hard for the sound to carry. In any event, any time you see a bass sax on TV it is worthy of mention. More bass. All the time.

      I don’t know who was playing bass sax in SNL’s band in the early seasons, but we do know that they used it on occasion. Perhaps the most famous skit was the King Tut skit with Steve Martin. I’ll have to see if I can find it on YouTube or on SNL’s website itself. Now that was a classic.

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