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The Museum of Television & Radio's Annual Gala in New York to Honor Bob Wright and Saturday Night Live

Tuesday, January 3, 2006

New York, NY—The Museum of Television & Radio today announced the honorees for its 2006 annual Gala in New York—Bob Wright, for his contributions as a business leader in the entertainment industry, and the cast and creative team of Saturday Night Live, for the show's prominent role in television history. The Museum's annual galas in New York and Los Angeles are major fundraising initiatives that benefit the Museum's ongoing efforts to continue to collect and preserve television and radio programs and advertisements and make them available to the public. The gala will be held on February 2, 2006, at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

"The Museum is pleased to recognize both Bob Wright, as one of the entertainment industry's most successful and accomplished figures, and the team behind Saturday Night Live, one of television's most loved and enduring shows," commented Museum Chairman Frank A. Bennack, Jr.

Wright has enjoyed one of the longest and most successful tenures of any media company chief executive.  He joined the National Broadcasting Company as president and chief executive officer on September 1, 1986, became chairman and chief executive officer on June 4, 2001, and was named chairman and chief executive officer of NBC Universal in May 2004. During his tenure at NBC, Wright has extended the broadcaster into cable and satellite, international, and new-media markets, and overseen the acquisition of Telemundo and Bravo, as well as the growth of CNBC and MSNBC. Prior to his association with NBC and now NBC Universal, Wright served as president of General Electric Financial Services and, before that, as president of Cox Cable Communications. Wright has been the recipient of numerous honors, including the 2005 Humanitarian Award from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Columbia Business School's Distinguished Leadership in Business Award, the Golden Mike Award from the Broadcasters' Foundation, the Steven J. Ross Humanitarian of the Year Award from the UJA-Federation of New York, and the Gold Medal Award from the International Radio & Television Society Foundation. Along with his wife, Suzanne, Wright cofounded Autism Speaks, an initiative dedicated to raising public awareness and research funds to find the answers to autism.

Saturday Night Live has entertained millions of viewers each week since its premiere on October 11, 1975.  Executive produced by Lorne Michaels, the show has launched the careers of many of the brightest comedy performers of the past thirty years, including Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Dana Carvey, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Nora Dunn, Jimmy Fallon, Chris Farley, Will Ferrell, Al Franken, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Phil Hartman, Chris Kattan, Jon Lovitz, Dennis Miller, Garrett Morris, Eddie Murphy, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Kevin Nealon, Laraine Newman, Cheri Oteri, Joe Piscopo, Gilda Radner, Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Molly Shannon, David Spade, and Julia Sweeney, and featured an impressive lineup of guest hosts and musical acts throughout its run.  Called "the most pervasive influence on the art of comedy in contemporary culture" by the New York TimesSNL has won eighteen Emmy Awards and been nominated for more than eighty. The show has also been honored with the George Foster Peabody Award and been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame by the National Association of Broadcasters.

In conjunction with the Gala, from February 3 to April 30, 2006, the Museum will screen From Albert Brooks to the TV Funhouse: Selected Short Films from Saturday Night Live, a ninety-minute compilation produced by the Museum including classic shorts from Brooks, Gary Weis, Tom Schiller, Christopher Guest, Andy Warhol, Adam McKay, Robert Smigel, and others. It will screen in New York Tuesdays to Sundays at 1:00 p.m., and in Los Angeles Wednesdays to Sundays at 1:00 p.m.

Past Museum of Television & Radio gala honorees include Alan Alda, Julie Andrews, Steven Bochco, Kevin S. Bright, David Brinkley, Tom Brokaw, Carol Burnett, James Burrows, Sid Caesar, Marcy Carsey, Peter Chernin, David Crane, Ted Danson, the cast and writers of Everybody Loves Raymond, Kelsey Grammer, Merv Griffin, Marta Kauffman, David E. Kelley, Mary Tyler Moore, Jack Paar, Dan Rather, Jerry Seinfeld, GarryShandling, Martin Sheen, John Wells, Tom Werner, and Dick Wolf. 

Individual tickets for The Museum of Television & Radio's Annual Gala honoring Bob Wright and Saturday Night Live are available for $1,000 per person, and tables are offered at the $15,000, $20,000, and $25,000 levels.  Advertising space in the tribute journal is also available for purchase. Please contact the Museum's Special Events office at (212) 621-6753 for details

The Museum of Television & Radio, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, is a nonprofit organization founded by William S. Paley to collect and preserve television and radio programs and advertisements and to make them available to the public. Since opening in 1976, the Museum has organized exhibitions, screening and listening series, seminars, and education classes to showcase its collection of over 100,000 television and radio programs and advertisements. Programs in the Museum's permanent collection are selected for their artistic, cultural, and historic significance.

The Museum of Television & Radio in New York, located at 25 West 52 Street in Manhattan, is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6:00 p.m. and until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays. The Museum of Television & Radio in California, located at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. Both Museums are closed on New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Suggested contribution: Members free; $10.00 for adults; $8.00 for senior citizens and students; and $5.00 for children under fourteen. Admission is free in Los Angeles. The public areas in both Museums are accessible to wheelchairs, and assisted listening devices are available. Programs are subject to change. You may call the Museum in New York at (212) 621-6800, or in Los Angeles at (310) 786-1000. Visit the Museum's website at