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Before it atrophied into, as Buck Henry once said, “a franchise which leads to making bad movies,” Saturday Night Live was an oasis in the evil banality that was ’70s television. Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller’s Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live—which tells the behind-the-scenes story of SNL through the voices of its cast members, writers, and guests—brings us up to the present day, but the tales of the halcyon early years remain the most fascinating: John Belushi going through Jane Curtin’s purse, Laraine Newman snorting heroin, head writer Michael O’Donoghue deciding to destroy the show like a “Viking Death Ship” before getting axed for a sketch— “Silverman in the Bunker”—that compared NBC President Fred Silverman to Adolf Hitler. And then we have Al Franken’s fond memories of those weekly all-Tuesday-night writing marathons: “I only did cocaine to stay awake to make sure nobody else did too much cocaine. That was the only reason I ever did it. Heh-heh.” Shales and Miller are here at 12:30 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1735 N. Lynn St., Rosslyn. Free. (703) 812-2103. (Michael Little)