Classic SNL Review: February 11, 1984: Robin Williams / Adam Ant (S09E12)

***** - Classic
****  - Great
***   - Good/Average
**    - Meh
*     - Awful


  • From Sarajevo, Joe Piscopo declares bobsledding to be the only real sport at the Winter Olympics and interviews the American team (Jim Belushi, Eddie Murphy, Robin Williams).
  • Another really short opening; there wasn't much to it aside from the video footage of a bobsled with Belushi, Murphy and Williams' voices and screams of "Mama" dubbed in, though Williams does give his character a voice, and it is good to see Murphy live on the show after a two-month absence.
  • This is actually more notable for the editing done to the repeat version: in the live show, Eddie Murphy's hand is on his crotch the whole time he's on camera. That apparently was a little too much for the network, so the repeat version has a stand of trees crudely green-screened over the bottom of the picture.

** 1/2


  • Robin Williams does standup about the Olympics and fatherhood.
  • A solid if uneventful monologue driven by Williams' lightning-fast timing; the stuff about his new baby (eldest child Zak) is a little bittersweet in the wake of Williams' 2014 suicide.



  • A hockey player (Joe Piscopo) brings out his best in a brawl with the player (Robin Williams) who stole his wife.
  • A parody of a real series of Budweiser Light commercials, but the main joke holds up without requiring knowledge of the real ad campaign. My particular favorite moment was the shot of a bloodied, toothless Piscopo and Williams enjoying a beer together on the sidelines.
  • This was directed by Henry Holtzman of N. Lee Lacy and Associates, which gives this an extra polish. SNL must have been especially proud of this one, since it repeats two weeks later and turns up in the repeat versions of the Barry Bostwick and Five Hosts shows.



  • Clarence Walker (Eddie Murphy) claims that he was the 5th and most dominant Beatle.
  • Another favorite, and a good late-period Murphy/Piscopo outing. I've always loved the doctored photos with Murphy alongside the Beatles (including a supposed 1961 shot featuring him with the rest of "The Clarences", all with Afros) and the audio proof he presents ("I Want To Hold Your Hand" with some saxophone added and Murphy singing "man" after each line; "Love Me Do" with Murphy doing a seductive spoken-word bit over the chorus); the closing reveal (he only wants $7200 in damages) was good.
  • Who did the voice of John Lennon in the backmasked recording?

**** 1/2


  • Evangelical veterinarian Dr. Farrell Oakland (Robin Williams) faith-heals sick and misbehaving pets.
  • A bit of a thin premise, but Williams made this more entertaining than it had any right to be, and his improvisational abilities came in handy whenever an animal didn't cooperate (he adlibs "The dog is mute, is he not?" when it does't bark) or when he stumbles on a line ("I'm struck with tongue!").



  • Mahatma Gandhi (Tim Kazurinsky) battles the highway patrol while driving a big rig.
  • Mostly groaners ("Sacred Cowboy"), although Kazurinsky's (who's basically doing Havnagootiim Vishnuuerheer) quiet, polite "Yee-haw" made me laugh.



  • William F. Buckley (Robin Williams) discusses the flammability of black entertainers with Dr. Philip Holder (Eddie Murphy).
  • Somewhat topical (this came shortly after Michael Jackson's Pepsi commercial accident, which is referenced here), this was absurd enough to be funny, with Murphy playing it straight and Williams getting a few good lines as Buckley. Strong ending too (smoke billowing out of Murphy's suit, proving his point).


FILM: BABIES IN MAKEUP (repeat from 01/23/82)


  • Tim's (Brad Hall) bad day is aggravated further by roommate Rene (Robin Williams).
  • This was originally intended for the Chevy Chase show from September 1982; Williams' background in mime makes him a natural for this and elevates this somewhat, but this was still pretty weak. The audience was pretty dead for this as well.
  • I don't recognize the extras on the left; if anyone can identify them that would be appreciated. 

 * 1/2


  • In the playpen, Cody (Robin Williams) breaks in the new guy (Tim Kazurinsky) and plots an escape.
  • Williams and Eddie Murphy dominate this one, though it is nice to see Kazurinsky and Robin Duke get some significant roles here. Murphy, playing the lower-key role here, actually has the funniest moments (particularly teething on the "gun" made out of zwieback). Nice set too.
  • Kazurinsky's "What'd I do? What'd I do?" reminds me of his character in "Mafia Name Giver" from the John Madden show.  
  • There's an edit in the repeat version to remove Williams accidentally calling Eddie Murphy by the wrong character name (he calls him "Cody" before correcting himself with "Otis! Otis!")



  • Robin Williams introduces Adam Ant while doing a Lawrence Welk impression; Williams also introduces the song by title, which was surprisingly common in 83-84.
  • Ant is kinetic and the title track from his Strip LP is a very catchy song, but I found the performance left something to be desired, sounding quite thin and tinny despite the presence of dual drummers and a horn section.


  • Best jokes: Yuri Andropov's successor.
  • Robin Williams is this week's guest anchor; Williams fits the newsdesk a little better than Rickles did, but he's mainly there to set up the remote and commentary and only has a handful of news items to read.
  • Brad Hall appears on Saturday Night News for the first time since losing the anchor chair in a videotaped remote (directed by Claude Kerven), where he interviews Jesse Donnelly (Jim Belushi), the man who personifies the NYC crime statistic of a man mugged every 11 seconds. Despite the thinness of the premise, this was pretty well executed, and I laughed at the little girl mugging him at the end.
  • The subject of Andropov's death bring Tim Kazurinsky back to do his last Salute to Journalism: he is utterly flabbergasted and a little disappointed about the New York Post not giving the news its usual sensationalistic treatment, and shows what some of those headlines would have looked like (my favorite: "LENIN GETS ROOMMATE"). This was a strong one to go out on.



  • The Ugly Sisters Step (Mary Gross and Robin Duke) discuss their music and hideous looks.
  • I supposed there's something to be said about willingness to ugly yourself up in the name of comedy, but this was just dull and full of too-obvious jokes (Ernest Borgnine look-alike contest, their looks keep breaking cameras), with the only interesting part being Duke acknowledging that she lost her accent when delivering a line. The timing "camera breaking" effect at the end of the interview also seemed off.
  • The backdrop on the album cover Nina Blackwood (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) holds up at the end is the same one used for the musical guest and special guest pictures in the opening montage.
  • A brief clip of Adam Ant's "Desperate But Not Serious" plays at the beginning of the sketch.

* 1/2


  • Biff (Robin Williams) and Happy's (Jim Belushi) contrasting personalities and connected bodies make picking up women difficult.
  • Belushi and Williams have good chemistry in this, and I thought the reveals (of the twins being conjoined and where exactly they were connected) were well done. 
  • Once again, Williams does a quick ad-lib in response to Belushi screwing up his line ("I made the swim team in high school -- I didn't make the swim team..." "You can't even make up your mind, can you?")
  • Jim Belushi's last line in the original broadcast ("You won't go blind this time") was edited out of the West Coast and repeat broadcasts; the West Coast airing loops in Belushi's "Wanna pick up a Playboy?" over the line, while the repeat cuts the line entirely (as well as Williams' hand gesture).

*** 1/2


  • Ant is lively (with lots of crotch-thrusts) and does a little bit of choreography with the horn players, but something seems off about the performance.
  • This is the second week in a row with the musical guest doing one current song and one older song; in Ant's case, this is the lead single from his 1982 debut solo album Friend or Foe.


  • Paula Poundstone does stand-up about rain, driving, and criminals.
  • Despite Poundstone's tendency to giggle at some of her own jokes, I enjoyed this; there were quite a few good understated lines. I particularly liked her admission of misanthropy being the thing that got her over being afraid of hurting people while driving ("And finally I decided, I don't care, I don't even like people that much. If a couple people have to die because I have to get to a Jack-in-the-Box, I'm sorry.")



  • Patty Gordon (Mary Gross) finds out-of-sync guests (Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tim Kazurinsky) make a talk show difficult.
  • A strong end to the show, with an interesting concept anchored by Gross's confused and eventually annoyed character ("This is not good TV!"). The fake booger hanging from Kazurinsky's nose after he sneezes gets a big reaction.
  • Written by Andy Breckman; Kazurinsky is the third cast member to play Dale Butterworth.

*** 1/2


  • With an extra minute to kill, Robin Williams teases that he's about to show "something you can't see on TV" before saying goodnight to his son in the baby voice from "New Bad Babies".
  • Don Pardo announces next week's show in a silly voice.
  • Descente America gets a credit for the bobsled suits in the cold opening.


A fairly solid episode, helped greatly by the contributions of Robin Williams and Eddie Murphy. Williams was a fairly busy and involved host, carrying a number of the sketches with his skills and performances. While not quite the triumph of the Don Rickles show, this feels like a more typical episode for the season, though a bit more consistently strong throughout compared to earlier in the season. Rickles' show suggested SNL finally found a way to mitigate Murphy's absence; tonight seemed to prove how much his presence boosted the studio energy. 


  • Rock & Roll and then some...
  • Firing Line
  • Buddweiser Light
  • Siamese Twins
  • Patty's Place


  • MTV News
  • Mime Roommate
  • Gandhi and the Bandit


  • Robin Williams/Eddie Murphy



  • Jim Belushi: 3 appearances [Winter Olympics, Saturday Night News, Siamese Twins]
  • Robin Duke: 3 appearances [Wild Kingdom of Heaven, New Bad Babies, MTV News]
  • Mary Gross: 5 appearances [Wild Kingdom of Heaven, Mime Roommate, MTV News, Siamese Twins, Patty's Place]; 1 voice-over [New Bad Babies]
  • Brad Hall: 2 appearances [Mime Roommate, Saturday Night News]
  • Tim Kazurinsky: 4 appearances [Gandhi and the Bandit, New Bad Babies, Saturday Night News, Patty's Place]
  • Gary Kroeger: 2 appearances [Mime Roommate, Siamese Twins]; 1 voice-over [Gandhi and the Bandit]
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus: 5 appearances [Wild Kingdom of Heaven, Gandhi and the Bandit, MTV News, Siamese Twins, Patty's Place]; 1 voice-over [Mime Roommate]
  • Eddie Murphy: 4 appearances [Winter Olympics, Rock & Roll and then some, Firing Line, New Bad Babies]
  • Joe Piscopo: 3 appearances [Winter Olympics, Buddweiser Light, Rock & Roll and then some]; 1 voice-over [Gandhi and the Bandit]

crew and extras

  • Nate Herman: 1 appearance [Siamese Twins]
  • Andrew Kurtzman: 1 appearance [Siamese Twins]


  • Robin Williams: 9 appearances [Winter Olympics, Monologue, Buddweiser Light, Wild Kingdom of Heaven, Firing Line, Mime Roommate, New Bad Babies, Saturday Night News, Siamese Twins]
  • Adam Ant: 2 appearances ["Strip", "Goody Two Shoes"]
  • Paula Poundstone: 1 appearance [Guest Performance]


  • April 21, 1984
  • July 26, 1986

Known alterations:

  • Winter Olympics, New Bad Babies and Siamese Twins edited

Additional screen captures from this episode are available here.