Cover to Marvel Team-Up #74 (October 1978), cover art by Dave Cockrum and Marie Severin
The setting: glorious Studio 8H at NBC's Rockefeller Center, 11:30 PM on a Saturday night. And for once in his life Peter Parker's scored a decent place to take Mary Jane Watson out on a date. This certainly beats the time he took her to the hot dog stand on Fifth Avenue across from Avengers Mansion in the hopes they could spot the Beast! Oh yeah, Peter's getting' lucky tonight.
(Click picture to killer bee-size)
Hey, look, it's Staler and Waldorf from The Muppet Show! Yeah, you'd be cranky if you had Jim Henson and Richard Hunt's hands up your bottom.
Tonight, joining the pantheon of big-name SNL hosts of the 1970s like Ron Nessen, Fran Tarkenton, Jack Burns, O. J. Simpson, Michael Sarrazin, and Miskel Spillman is "Smilin'" Stan Lee, who does not dare take off his sapphire-quartz sunglasses for fear of blasting his audience through the wall and into Studio 8-G, where Phil Donahue is hugging studio members. The cast members are on stage as well, which usually didn't happen during a SNL host's monologue, but, what the heck, there they are; there're all there. Except for one former member as Stan's show takes place in the third season of SNL. In other words: He's Chevy Chase and he's not...there.
Soon enough the regular cast is gathered backstage in "Mr." Belushi's dressing room. Clockwise from John Belushi, seated: Jane Curtin, Garret Morris, Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Gilda Radner, and Laraine Newman. Not pictured: large amounts of cocaine on John's dressing table.
Meanwhile, on stage, Stan is doing the with-it, cutting-edge, creative experimental comedy routine that made Lenny Bruce retire in awe and respect. One of the studio pages, young David Letterman, reflects that he's not bad "no Steve Martin"...but who among us are, except for Steve Martin, whom Spidey has never teamed up with. (Get right on that, Joey Q.) The page is abruptly manhandled (and I think we all know how painful that can be) by one of a large group of criminal thugs that have taken over the control booth (holding Lorne Michaels hostage).
Panels from Amazing Spider-Man #82 (March 1970), plot and layouts by John Romita, Sr.; script by Stan Lee; pencils and inks by Jim Mooney; letters by Sam Rosen
What If? #19 (February 1980), script by Peter Gillis, pencils by Pat Broderick, inks by Mike Esposito, colors by Roger Slifer, letters by Tom Orzechowski
Avengers #239 (January 1984), script by Roger Stern, pencils by Al Milgrom, inks by Joe Sinnott, colors by Christie Scheele, letters by Jim Novak
Panels from Skrull Kill Krew v.2 #5 (December 2009), script by Adam Felber, pencils and inks by Mark A. Robinson, more inks by Mike Ransom Getty, colors by Andres Jose Mossa, letters by Joe Caramagna