Watching Dan Akyroyd's "SNL" Screen Test -- And Then Watching Will Ferrell's -- Shows How Much The Show Has Changed

Dan Aykroyd‘s original “Saturday Night Live” screen test shows how crazy and versatile the eclectic comic was — he does seven different characters.

It also shows that when it comes to the storied audition process for one of TV’s longest-running programs, much has changed over the last three decades.

We’re using Will Ferrell’s famed stage tryout, which happened in 1995, as a point of comparison here.

Aykroyd’s audition is just over 6 minutes — Ferrell’s is 1:15.

Aykroyd is hunched over a desk in front of a green screen — Ferrell has the space of a stage and a couple of props.

Aykroyd rambles and riffs, while Ferrell is prepared and focused.

And during Aykroyd’s, there’s uninhibited laughter from off-screen — a practice that had become famously uncommon by the time Ferrell came around.

Fans of the modern “SNL” often give the show’s early years a bad rap — they say it’s bland, not as experimental as today’s show.

But watching Aykroyd in the raw shows that the old guard of talent was anything but vanilla.

Both videos below.

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