From Saturday Night Live, April 1978:
I believe… next week’s Time cover… will be about the recent communication from outer space.
Well, what — you mean a foreign planet will actually send a message next week?
No! A foreign planet actually SENT us a message last week. Next week, the government will reveal the message to the public.
You see, it all started on August 20th, 1977, when NASA put up a recording of the sounds of Earth on Voyager I. A two-hour long tape included, uh, natural sounds of animals, … a passage from the Koran in Arabic, messages from President Carter, United Nations Secretary Kurt Waldheim, music — everything from classical to Chuck Berry.
Uh — and you’re saying that the, uh — another civilization has found the tape?
Yes. They’ve sent us a message that actually proves it. It may be just four simple words, but it is the FIRST positive proof that other intelligent beings inhabit the universe.
Uh — what are the four words?
The four words that came to us from outer space — the FOUR words that will appear on the cover of Time Magazine next week — are:
Chuck Berry, 1926 – 2017
Hail, hail, rock and roll
Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky the news
Maybe some day your name will be in lights, saying “Johnny B. Goode Tonight”