In 1977, Saturday Night Live’s second season on NBC was Bill Murray’s first and he started a three year stint of creating some memorable characters.
One of the favourite recurring characters of Saturday Night Live’s late ’70s era with Murray was Nick the Lounge Singer.
Accompanied by Paul Shaffer on piano, Nick the Lounge Singer sang popular songs of the day, drawing out the lyrics and talking to the audience and telling jokes, sometimes making audience members feel very uncomfortable with his fixation.
Dressed in glitzy jackets and channeling Las Vegas lounge style, Nick would change his name according to season ie. Nick Summers or location, like when he performed in prison ie. Nick Slammer.
Singing his heart out, Nick would perform anywhere from airports to dive bars, and would add in commentary about the current day pop culture and politics.
His most famous performance was the theme to Star Wars, which became a signature performance as he created lyrics for the famous John Williams composition.
Guest stars who appeared with Nick include Linda Ronstadt, Richard Dreyfuss, Maureen Stapleton, Bill Russell, Cicely Tyson and Elliot Gould.
And the character was so beloved, that after Murray left Saturday Night Live, he returned several times to do Nick, including for the 25th and 40th anniversary shows.