Classic SNL Review: May 24, 1986: Anjelica Huston & Billy Martin / George Clinton & The Parliament Funkadelic (S11E18)

Classic SNL Review: May 24, 1986: Anjelica Huston & Billy Martin / George Clinton & The Parliament Funkadelic (S11E18)

Sketches include “Hands Across America”, “The People’s Second Choice Awards”, “Moments of Doubt”, “Glamorous Drinking”, “Actors on Film”, “Mafia Greeting Cards”, “Lesbian Pick-Ups”, “Bocce Ball My Way”, “Backstage”, “Book Minute”, “Movie Theatre”, “My Friend” and “Fire”, George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic perform two medleys. Damon Wayans also appears.

Read More

Classic SNL Review: May 10, 1986: Catherine Oxenberg & Paul Simon / Ladysmith Black Mambazo (S11E16)

Classic SNL Review: May 10, 1986: Catherine Oxenberg & Paul Simon / Ladysmith Black Mambazo (S11E16)

Sketches include “Geraldo Rivera Opens The Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier”, “Guys Behind Bars”, “The Late Show with Joan Rivers”, “The Limits of the Imagination”, “Dirk Landers”, “Beverly Hills Liar”, “Brim Decaffeinated”, and “A Mother’s Day Message”. Paul Simon performs “You Can Call Me Al”, “Homeless” with Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and “Graceland”. Penn & Teller also appear.

Read More

Classic SNL Review: February 15, 1986: Jerry Hall / Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble (S11E10)

Classic SNL Review: February 15, 1986: Jerry Hall / Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble (S11E10)

Sketches include “Bar”, “The Limits of the Imagination”, “Models Against The Wilderness”, “Master Thespian”, “Line of Death”, “The Pat Stevens Show” and “Sore Toe”. Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble perform “Say What!” and “Change It”. Sam Kinison also appears.

Read More

Classic SNL Review: January 18, 1986: Harry Dean Stanton / The Replacements (S11E07)

Classic SNL Review: January 18, 1986: Harry Dean Stanton / The Replacements (S11E07)

Sketches include: “Press Conference”, “Gulf Coast Furniture Warehouse” “Cleveland Vice”, “Death of a Gunfighter”, “Hospital”, “That Black Girl”, “Big Ball Of Sports”, “No Offense” and “Jack’s Discount Emporium”. The Replacements perform “Bastards Of Young” and “Kiss Me On The Bus”. Sam Kinison also appears.

Read More

Classic SNL Review: December 7, 1985: John Lithgow / Mr. Mister (S11E04)

Classic SNL Review: December 7, 1985: John Lithgow / Mr. Mister (S11E04)

Sketches include “Halley’s Comet”, “Posterior Arthropod”, “Master Thespian”, “Double R Rolls”, “Ad Council”, “Cliches”, “Vegas Nancy”, “U.S.S. Cameron”, and “The Limits of the Imagination”. Mr. Mister performs “Broken Wings” and “Kyrie”. Sam Kinison also appears.

Read More

Classic SNL Review: April 6, 1985: Christopher Reeve / Santana (S10E16)

Classic SNL Review: April 6, 1985: Christopher Reeve / Santana (S10E16)

Sketches include “A.D. 13: Part V: A New Beginning”, “Superman Auditions”, “Jackie Rogers Jr’s $100,000 Jackpot Wad”, “Escaping the Germans”, “Palisades Nursing Home” and “Talk Back”. Santana performs “Say It Again” and “Right Now”. Steven Wright also performs.

Read More

Brief thoughts on #SNL40

Other people are probably going to write more extensively about tonight's SNL 40th Anniversary special, so I'll leave it to them, but I'll say my piece about a few things:

Most of the show was entertaining; the clip montages were well-chosen and edited, and it was good to see the lesser-celebrated Doumanian and Ebersol years get more "deep cuts" covered in the highlight reels, as opposed to the same Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo clips they normally rely on.  

The music performances weren't bad; nothing on par with Prince doing "Electric Chair" at the 15th anniversary or the Eurythmics and Al Green medleys at the 25th. Miley Cyrus doing "50 Ways To Leave Your Lover" was surprisingly good, though.  

Jane Curtin doing Weekend Update with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler was a highlight, and she killed it with her Fox News joke. She was always the secret weapon of the original years, or at least the one hidden in plain sight.  

The biggest misstep of the night was the Californians sketch, which didn't seem to play too well in studio. Despite the participation of Laraine Newman and cameos from Bradley Cooper, Kerry Washington, Taylor Swift and Betty White, the sketch dragged.  David Spade posted a close-up of the script on Instagram earlier, which revealed this was the handiwork of James Anderson and Kent Sublette; for all I know they may be wonderful people, but this was all too typical of their other work on the show*.  The same could be said for Garth and Kat, which ground the pacing of the "salute to musical sketches" segment to a halt.

The "In Memoriam" montage was well-done, but I noticed a few glaring omissions:

  • Joe Bodolai (writer, 1981-82)
  • Nelson Lyon (writer, 1981-82)
  • Mark O'Donnell (writer, 1981-82)
  • Terry Southern (writer, 1981-82)
  • Alan P. Rubin (band, 1975-83)
  • Drake Sather (writer, 1994-95)
  • Mauricio Smith (band, 1975-79)

They may have kept to a "more than one season" rule for writers, but I found it odd they didn't count the other band members who have passed.  I believe there were also a few other crew and staff members that had been memorialized beforehand but not here.  That said, it was nice to see some others get their due.  I was most concerned that Charles Rocket, Danitra Vance, Michael O'Donoghue and Tom Davis would get short shrift, and was pleased to see they were counted.  The same goes for Don Pardo, Dave Wilson and Audrey Peart Dickman (from many accounts, she was the engine that kept the show running, production-wise). 

Other than those issues, the special served its purpose: it reminded the audience why this show (and it's history) is special, and it was good to see a lot of familiar faces again.  I hope everyone there had a good time (even Anderson and Sublette).

*A partial list of other Anderlette sketches this season: "Forgotten Television Gems", "Women In The Workplace", "Campfire Song", "Nest-presso", "Amy Adams Monologue", "Singing Sisters", "Soap Opera Reunion", "The Journey", "Casablanca".

Classic SNL Review: January 22, 1983: Lily Tomlin / "Purvis Hawkins" (S08E10)

Classic SNL Review: January 22, 1983: Lily Tomlin / "Purvis Hawkins" (S08E10)

Sketches include "Lily and Eddie", "Judith Goes Shopping", "Ernestine's House Call", "Speaking As A Woman", "Natural Resources", "Edith Ann and Friends", "Pudge & Solomon", "Tess In The Balcony", "Fantasy", "The Irish Radio Hour" and "Coffees Of The World".  Purvis Hawkins (Lily Tomlin in drag) performs "We Care".  Andy Kaufman, Barry Mitchell, Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas also appear.

Read More

Classic SNL Review: October 23, 1982: Howard Hesseman / Men At Work (S08E04)

Classic SNL Review: October 23, 1982: Howard Hesseman / Men At Work (S08E04)

Sketches include "Hallway", "Girls of SNL", "DeLorean Home", "Good Morning America", "The Confession", "Caribbean Vacation", "Naked Wake", "Uncle Teddy's Little Theatre" and "The Amazing Ronco Answer Book".Men At Work perform "Who Can It Be Now?" and "Down Under".Bill Irwin also appears.

Read More

Classic SNL Review: October 2, 1982: Louis Gossett Jr. / George Thorogood & The Destroyers (S08E02)

Classic SNL Review: October 2, 1982: Louis Gossett Jr. / George Thorogood & The Destroyers (S08E02)

Sketches include "NBC Promo", "Marine Comedy", "Hitchhiker", "Mister Robinson's Neighborhood", "Sex Therapy", "Mr. & Mrs. T Bloody Mary Mix", "Man On The Street", "Singing In The Stall", "Don's Back", "Donahue", "Trashing Jerry", "Father And Son", and "The Interesting Four". George Thorogood & The Destroyers perform "Bad To The Bone" and "Back To Wentzville". Mr. T also appears.

Read More

SNL Up Close: 1982-83

Dick Ebersol brought Saturday Night Live back from the brink of cancellation.His first full season of SNL had its share of volatility, particularly with Michael O'Donoghue's mid-season firing, but the show stablized by the end of the season.For the next season, 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 the shows this year, and hosts once again got monologue segments following the opening montage. 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.

Read More

Classic SNL Review: January 24, 1981: Robert Hays / Joe "King" Carrasco & The Crown, 14 Karat Soul (S06E08)

Classic SNL Review: January 24, 1981: Robert Hays / Joe "King" Carrasco & The Crown, 14 Karat Soul (S06E08)

Sketches include "America Not Held Hostage Anymore", "Dazola", "Love American Style", "Saturday Night Live Sports Central", "Reaganco", "Save-A-Network Telethon", "Pre-Superbowl Pre-Game Preview", "The Foreign Film", "Funeral", "Disco Meltdown", "The Rocket Report", "The Pacesetter", "Ravi Sings", "Cut 'N Curl", "Promotion", "Dream Date", "Ordinary Elephant People", and "National Enquirer".Joe "King" Carrasco & The Crown perform "Don't Bug Me, Baby".14 Karat Soul performs "I Wish That We Were Married" and "This Time It's For Real".

Read More