‘SNL 1975’ Casts MUNA’s Naomi McPherson as Janis Ian

Apr 14, 2024

The Big Picture

Naomi McPherson, of MUNA, will make their acting debut as Janis Ian in
SNL 1975,
directed by Jason Reitman.
McPherson joins a star-studded cast portraying luminaries from SNL’s early days.

SNL 1975
, currently in production, promises behind-the-scenes story of the show’s iconic first broadcast.

Musician Naomi McPherson, whose group MUNA recently opened for Taylor Swift on her Eras Tour, is making their acting debut in Jason Reitman’s SNL 1975. McPheron will play folk singer-songwriter Janis Ian, who was a musical guest on the first-ever episode of the long-running sketch comedy show. The Hollywood Reporter has the news that McPherson will be featured in the film, which chronicles the hectic opening night of the series in real time.

Ian was one of two musical guests on the first Saturday Night Live episode, alongside Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Billy Preston. Preston will be played by Jon Batiste in the film; Batiste will also compose the film’s score. McPherson joins a star-studded cast who will portray the various luminaries of SNL’s early days, including Gabriel LaBelle as Lorne Michaels, Cooper Hoffman as Dick Ebersol, Ella Hunt as Gilda Radner, Rachel Sennott as Rosie Shuster, and Kim Matula as Jane Curtin. McPherson is MUNA’s rhythm guitarist; the band released their self-titled third album in 2022. In addition to their appearance on the much-hyped Eras Tour, they have also opened for Harry Styles, The 1975, and Kacey Musgraves.

Who is Janis Ian?

Born in 1951 in New Jersey, Ian (born Janis Eddy Fink) recorded her first hit single, “Society’s Child”, at age 14; the song concerned an interracial relationship, and was highly controversial upon its release. Her biggest hit came from her 1975 studio album Between the Lines: “At Seventeen”, a deeply personal ballad about social exclusion. Ian performed “At Seventeen” on SNL’s premiere episode, as well as her followup single “In the Winter”. She came out as lesbian with her 1993 album Breaking the Silence, and continued to consistently tour and release new music, although she never achieved the heights of “At Seventeen”, which peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts and sold over one million copies. Ian retired from performing in 2022, after releasing her final studio album, The Light at the End of the Line. She is also the namesake of Lizzy Caplan’s character from Mean Girls.

SNL 1975 was written by Reitman (whose father, Ivan Reitman, worked with many of SNL’s original cast over the years) and Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire director Gil Kenan. Reitman, Kenan, Jason Blumenfeld, and Peter Rice will produce the film, while Erica Mills and JoAnn Perritano executive produce.

SNL 1975 is currently in production; no release date has yet been set. Stay tuned to Collider for future updates.

SNL 1975 On October 11, 1975, a troupe of young comedians changed TV forever. Follow the behind-the-scenes story in the moments leading up to SNL’s first broadcast.Director Jason Reitman Writers Gil Kenan , Jason Reitman

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