Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead

Every time I read the stream of Yahoo News headlines, I think of this, proving once again that life imitates comedy.

The death of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco during the first season of Saturday Night Live in 1975 served as the source of one of the first catch phrases from SNL to enter the general lexicon.

Franco lingered near death for weeks before dying. On slow news days, United States network television news casters sometimes noted that Franco was still alive, or not yet dead. The imminent death of Franco was a headline story on the NBC news for a number of weeks prior to his death on November 20.

After Franco’s death, Chevy Chase, reader of the news on Saturday Night Live’s comedic news segment Weekend Update, announced the dictator’s death…From that point on, Chase made it clear that SNL would get the last laugh at Franco’s expense. ‘This breaking news just in’, Chase would announce– ‘Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead!’ The top story of the news segment for several weeks running was that Generalisimo Francisco Franco was still dead. Chase would repeat the story at the end of the news segment.


About Steve