Lorne Michaels (left) and Hart Pomerantz act in a May 1971 episode of Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour. (CBC Still Photo Collection)
You think of Lorne Michaels and you think of Saturday Night Live. But Michaels got his start on CBC.
The producer, writer and comedian was born in Toronto (born Lorne Lipowitz) and graduated from the University of Toronto in 1966 before beginning his career as a broadcaster on CBC Radio. While on radio, he developed sketch comedy The Russ Thompson Show with his friend Hart Pomerantz.
Michaels moved to Los Angeles in 1968 to work as a writer for Laugh-In and the Beautiful Phyllis Diller Show. But returned to Canada and CBC-TV to star in the Hart and Lorne Terrific Hour, which aired in the early-70s. During that time, he married Rosie Shuster, the daughter of Frank Shuster of the Wayne & Shuster comedy duo. But the two later divorced in 1980.
Michaels created Saturday Night Live in 1975, then as NBC's Saturday Night. The show was performed live in front of a studio audience and quickly established a reputation as being cutting-edge and unpredictable.
Though he started as the producer of the show, he was also a writer and later worked as its executive producer. He even occasionally appeared onscreen with deadpan humour.
He also produced Canadian series, The Kids in The Hall. Other credits to his name include Wayne World's, Three Amigos!, Coneheads, Tommy Boy, A Night at the Roxbury, Mean Girls, Late Night with Conan O'Brien and 30 Rock.
In 2002, Michaels was made a member of the Order of Canada for lifetime achievement. In 2006, he received the Governor General's Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.