SNL Up Close: 1982-83

Dick Ebersol brought Saturday Night Live back from the brink of cancellation during the 1981-1982 season.  His first full season of SNL had its share of volatility, particularly with Michael O'Donoghue's mid-season firing, but by the end of the season the show had been stabilized.  For the following year, Ebersol and producer Bob Tischler retreated a bit from the calculated risks the show took in 1981-82: Don Pardo was back in the announcer's booth, the "live from New York" phrase opened some (but not all) of this season's shows, and hosts once again did monologue segments following the opening montage.

Once again, the cast was anchored by Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo, now heading into their third season with the show, while third-year writers Barry Blaustein and David Sheffield were promoted to script supervisors for the new season.  Most of the ensemble from last year was kept on, save for Christine Ebersole, Tony Rosato and Brian Doyle-Murray.  The writing staff had a bit more turnover: Rosie Shuster, Nelson Lyon, Terry Southern, Joe Bodolai and Mark O'Donnell did not return for 1982-83, while O'Donoghue, Marilyn Suzanne Miller and Pam Norris had already left before season's end. (Norris would rejoin the show in February 1983).

To fill some of the void, Ebersol brought aboard the entire cast of The Practical Theatre Co.'s 1982 revue "The Golden 50th Anniversary Jubilee": Brad Hall, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Gary Kroeger were added to the cast, while Paul Barrosse was hired as a writer.  (For more information about the PTC at SNL, check out this part of Paul Barrosse's History of The Practical Theatre Co.).  The other vacancies in the writing staff were filled by Ellen L. Fogle (later of Square One TV and Married With Children), Tracy Torme (later to create Sliders), and Andrew Kurtzman.   Murphy, Piscopo, and Robin Duke all received writer's credits this season, joining fellow castmember Tim Kazurinsky as dual writer-performers.

Like with 1980-81, and 1981-82, I will be doing sketch-by-sketch reviews of the episodes this season.  If anyone has information to contribute about the episodes, such as who wrote what, writer cameos, etc., I welcome it and will acknowledge my source in the sketch review.

The episodes: