Saturday Night Live Sports Featuring Eddie Atari (1981)

There are many names that rank as legends in the Golden Age of arcade and video games. Ralph H. Baer, Nolan Bushnell, Allan Alcorn, Walter Day, Billy Mitchell, and Todd Rogers to name just a very few. But there is one name that seems to have been all but forgotten these days, a young man who was once a champion and received national attention on the likes of Saturday Night Sports…
Joe Piscopo - Saturday Night Live
…I’m of course talking about the once legendary Eddie Atari. The man who pioneered the “Italian Maneuver” and some of you might recall when back in 1976 during an Asteroids exhibition he hit his hyperspace button and disappeared for two complete years.
Asteroids
Yes, it turns out we just thought that Atari released Asteroids back in 1979. Being such a rising star it is absolutely hard to believe that anyone could have forgotten the name of Eddie Atari…as well as the tragedy that Saturday Night Sports reporter Matthew Laurence and head anchor Joe Piscopo witnessed on that evening back in 1981 during this live interview.

All my silliness aside, Eddie Murphy is on fire and this skit is worthy of your attention not just to help bring a smile to your face but as a nice reminder at how big arcade games were at the time to enter into such popular television shows like Saturday Night Live!

VicSage

Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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