Classic SNL Review: March 15, 1986: Griffin Dunne / Rosanne Cash (S11E12)

Classic SNL Review: March 15, 1986: Griffin Dunne / Rosanne Cash (S11E12)

Sketches include: “Rumors”, “Double R Marcos”, “Mr. Monopoly”, “You Bet Your Finger”, “Bad Seed”, “Buon Giorno Ireland Buon Giorno”, “Two Jones Cable Installers”, “You Can Pick Your Friends, You Can Pick Your Nose, But Your Can’t Pick Your Friend’s Nose”, “Business Beat”, and “Tea and Sympathy”. Rosanne Cash performs “Hold On” and “I Don’t Know Why You Don’t Want Me”. Penn & Teller also appear.

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Classic SNL Review: February 22, 1986: Jay Leno / The Neville Brothers (S11E11)

Classic SNL Review: February 22, 1986: Jay Leno / The Neville Brothers (S11E11)

Sketches include “Studio Tour”, “Target Earth”, “Dinner With Mike”, “Star Search”, “Evil Twin”, “Stand-Ups”, “Man Beat” and “The Further Adventures of Biff and Salena”. The Neville Brothers perform “The Big Chief” and “The Midnight Key”.

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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.

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Classic SNL Review: February 8, 1986: Ron Reagan / The Nelsons (S11E09)

Classic SNL Review: February 8, 1986: Ron Reagan / The Nelsons (S11E09)

Sketches include “Risky Business”, “The Pat Stevens Show”, “Dalkon Shield Trout Lure”, “Back To The Future”, “The Limits Of The Imagination”, “Shakespeare In The Slums”, and “David’s Date”. The Nelsons perform “Walk Away” and “Do You Know What I Mean”. Penn & Teller also appear.

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Sketch comedy liner notes

Sketch comedy liner notes

One thing I love about reissues of old albums is when they have information regarding the recording sessions for the individual tracks. This is more a thing that happens with jazz albums, where many were cobbled together from different sessions and lineups, but I’ve also seen rock reissues that provide background information about the sessions, as well as details about single releases, chart positions, and so forth.

I would love something similar to exist for TV shows that are made of short segments, particularly sketch comedy shows like SCTVKids in the Hall, and SNL.

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Classic SNL Review: January 25, 1986: Dudley Moore / Al Green (S11E08)

Classic SNL Review: January 25, 1986: Dudley Moore / Al Green (S11E08)

Sketches include “Monastery”, “Miss Pregnant Teenage America”, “The Pat Stevens Show”, “The Limits Of The Imagination”, “Name That Tune”, “Master Thespian”, and “Concerto”. Al Green performs “Going Away” and “True Love”.

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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.

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Classic SNL Review: December 14, 1985: Tom Hanks / Sade (S11E05)

Classic SNL Review: December 14, 1985: Tom Hanks / Sade (S11E05)

Sketches include “Entertainment Tonight”, “Trojans II”, “Liars at Home”, “The Pat Stevens Show”, “Fantasy”, “Stand-Ups”, “Holiday Moms”, and “Fisherman”. Sade performs “Is It A Crime” and “The Sweetest Taboo”. Steven Wright also appears.

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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.

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Classic SNL Review: November 23, 1985: Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) / Queen Ida (S11E03)

Classic SNL Review: November 23, 1985: Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) / Queen Ida (S11E03)

Sketches include “Tightrope”, “Say No”, “Locker Room”, “Pee-Wee’s Thanksgiving Special”, “The Pat Stevens Show”, “Die Foreigner Die!”, “Big House”, “Dinosaur Town”, “Love Letter”, “Pregnancy Tips”, and “Money Magnetism Seminar”. Queen Ida and the Bon Temps Zydeco Band perform “La Louisiane” and “Frisco Zydeco”.

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Classic SNL Review: November 16, 1985: Chevy Chase / Sheila E. (S11E02)

Classic SNL Review: November 16, 1985: Chevy Chase / Sheila E. (S11E02)

Sketches include “Firefighters”, “Wacky Glue”, “The Pat Stevens Show”, “Ford & Reagan”, “Trojans (I)”, “Those Unlucky Andersons”, “Jose Cuervo’s Party School Bowl”, “The Jose Cuervo Institute”, “The Life of Vlad the Impaler”, “The Blue, The Gray, And The Yellow”, “Drums Drums Drums”, “Pathological Liars Anonymous”, and “Craig Sundberg: Idiot Savant”. Sheila E. performs “Hollyrock” and “A Love Bizarre”.

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Classic SNL Review: November 9, 1985: Madonna / Simple Minds (S11E01)

Classic SNL Review: November 9, 1985: Madonna / Simple Minds (S11E01)

Sketches include: “Drug Testing”, “Where You’re Going”, “National Inquirer Theatre”, “Pinklisting”, “Critic”, “The Jones Brothers”, “El Spectaculare De Marika”, “Royal Visit”, “The Limits of the Imagination” and “Coloring Book”. Simple Minds perform “Alive and Kicking”. Penn & Teller also appear.

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SNL Up Close: 1985-86

SNL Up Close: 1985-86

In four seasons, executive producer Dick Ebersol had brought Saturday Night Live back from the cancellation, had the hottest comedian in America in the cast, and oversaw its transition from a live incubator of new comic talent to an increasingly prerecorded showcase for established comedians. By 1985, though, Ebersol found himself tired of the show’s grueling schedule, and, after toying with staying with a mostly-prerecorded version of the show that wouldn’t premiere until the next January, decided to step away. Brandon Tartikoff, president of NBC Entertainment, had to consider his options, and fast.

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1980-85 wrapup: Last words on the "lost years"

1980-85 wrapup: Last words on the "lost years"

I started this review project back in the summer of 2010; at the time, SNL message board regular Stooge was posting reviews of the early 90s shows with screen captures of sketches and occasional tidbits about which scenes were altered in repeats with dress rehearsal footage. I figured I may as well do my own set of reviews for a more obscure part of the show’s history.

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SNL 1984-85: Final thoughts

SNL 1984-85: Final thoughts

Dick Ebersol’s “Steinbrenner season” gambit, where he loaded the SNL cast with established comedy writer-performers, paid off for the most part. Compared to the preceding seasons, the show was more consistently funny, and even the weakest show of the year wasn’t truly bad. The professionalism that the ringers brought to the show and increased use of prerecorded material gave this year an increased slickness; in a way, this may have given the show a bit more of a blandness than in previous seasons, but only insofar that the risk of failure wasn’t as big a factor as it had been before. Indeed, there were a number of enduring classics that came out of this season, and even though the big stars dominated every week, the returning cast and writers contributed some of their best work.

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A list of SNL Deep Cuts: Part 6: 2000-2005

A list of SNL Deep Cuts: Part 6: 2000-2005

Each week, I will be posting a list of 25 sketches from each 5 year block of the show's history (five sketches per season), a description of the sketch, and what about it that's worth checking out.

Click on the links to read my earlier posts in this series: Part one: 1975-80Part two: 1980-85Part three: 1985-90, Part four: 1990-95, Part five: 1995-2000.

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Classic SNL (sorta-)Review: May 4, 1985: The Best of Saturday Night Live

Classic SNL (sorta-)Review: May 4, 1985: The Best of Saturday Night Live

A compilation of highlights from the 1984-85 season, including “I Am Also The World”, “Rescue Mission”, “Black History Minute”, “Jackie Rogers Jr.’s $100,000 Jackpot Wad”, “60 Minutes”, “Saturday Night News: Eddie Murphy on dolls”, “Wheel of Fortune Interview”, “Superman Auditions”, “Fernando’s Hideaway”, “The Question is Moot!”, “Do You Know What I Hate? (II)” and “Houses of Shame.

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Classic SNL Review: April 13, 1985: Howard Cosell / Greg Kihn (S10E17)

Classic SNL Review: April 13, 1985: Howard Cosell / Greg Kihn (S10E17)

Sketches include “Do You Know What I Hate? (VI)”, “Hospital”, “Inside Out”, “Run, Throw & Catch Like A Girl Olympics”, “Bar Mitzvah”, “Sports Beat”, “Fernando’s Hideaway”, “Red Guys Rap” and “Good Sex with Dr. Ruth Westheimer”. Greg Kihn performs “Boys Won’t (Leave The Girls Alone)” and “Lucky”.

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