Christopher Bird imagines an alternate reality where the Beatles stage an impromptu concert on SNL in 1976 and continue to make beautiful music. How might the face of music, television, and politics have changed if the Beatles had stuck around?
Bird's "Scenes From An Alternate Universe Where The Beatles Accepted Lorne Michaels' Generous Offer" starts with the Fab Four accepting Lorne Micahels' joking offer to appear on Saturday Night Live. The performance reinvigorates the band and they start work on another album. For the next few decades, the Beatles collaborate with Michael Jackson (who ends up with a very different legacy), have faux press fights with the Rolling Stones, and protest the War in Iraq. Personally, I'm glad they managed to save The Muppet Show:
December 14, 1980. Having "had a sit back" (Ringo) after Eventually's staggering success and taken time to concentrate on their own projects and personal lives, the Beatles make their first televised appearance as a group since the SNL reunion, appearing on The Muppet Show. (Lennon leaves New York for the first time in six months to do the gig, eventually spending the entire month of December in England.) The episode is the highest rated episode of The Muppet Show in the show's history and the most watched television program of the entire year, beating even the news coverage of the 1980 American presidential election. The undisputed highlight of the episode is the "battle of the bands" between the Beatles and the Electric Mayhem (although Starr says his duet with Fozzie the Bear remains his personal favorite moment). Jim Henson would later say that the Beatles episode "rejuvenated" his joy in working on the show, which by that point he had begun to feel was growing stale: the show continues for another seven seasons.
Read it all the way to the end to see how Ringo pulled the whole thing off.
Scenes From An Alternate Universe Where The Beatles Accepted Lorne Michaels' Generous Offer [Mightgodking — Thanks to Derek Pegritz]