SNL: S01E01... HOST: GEORGE CARLIN... DATE: OCTOBER 11, 1975

SNL: S01E01... HOST: GEORGE CARLIN... DATE: OCTOBER 11, 1975

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Michael O'Donoghue tries to teach John Belushi's foreigner character English, only to teach him hilarious nonsense and die of a heart attack at the end.

  2. George Carlin comparing baseball and football in his classic routine. (Clip #2, Clip #3, Clip #4)

  3. This was followed by a fake commercial for New Dad, where Chevy Chase plays one of those 70s lecherous characters that could easily replace a husband and father because a woman just needs a man and it doesn't really matter who.

  4. Billy Preston sings Nothing From Nothing.

  5. A sketch that worried me at first because it was a court case where Chevy Chase was trying to get Jane Curtin to repeat what someone who was trying to sexually assault her. She wouldn't say it, so she wrote it down. It seemed like it was heading down another sexist road, but then Gilda Radner saves the day with a hilarious reaction that accounts for one of my laugh-out-loud moments.

  6. The classic bit where Andy Kaufman sings Mighty Mouse.

  7. Some more Carlin stand-up where he has an interesting bit about airport security and how he could hijack a plane by holding a piece of sheet paper to the stewardess's throat.

  8. Janis Ian sings 17 and does a pretty good job.

  9. John Belushi makes me laugh just looking at him in a sketch about shark attacks.

  10. A fake commercial for a product called Jamitall, a dumb play on words to make a gay joke, but not like a homophobic one, just a bad one. If anything they played their gay characters so straight (no pun intended) that they were just a couple, they didn't play off of one stereotype, but the funny thing is, you can tell they are trying to be shocking which I'm sure it was at the time.

  11. News, which was fun but I was hoping that it would be more topical and less surface level jokes about how Ford is dumb.

  12. The news then broke into a dumb fake commercial for an arthritis pill called Triopenin. I guess I just don't like the dumb play on words from those days.

  13. Back to the news for a real quick bit that was kind of funny.

  14. Then the Muppets were on, these weren't the Muppets we all know and love, but they did have familiar voices. I wanted to like this sketch more than I did but it was more interesting than funny in a way that I wasn't really in the mood for.

  15. This was followed by more Carlin doing more of his classics.

  16. Carlin then introduced a short film by Albert Brooks, this had some interesting political commentary that we are still dealing with to this day. It was cool to see that there was this segment for interesting short films way back then.

  17. It was fun to see the Bees at Bee Hospital, but it was a little on the dull side with not much of a pay-off.

  18. Yet another fake commercial this time it was an ad hiring operators to answer calls for commercials like the one being spoofed. I liked the Meta aspect of this sketch but this point I was a little over the fake ads.

  19. Comedian Valri Bromfield performed. I never knew she was a comedian and a pretty good one at that. Other than Belushi and Radner she was the third person from this episode to get me to laugh out loud.

  20. This was followed by the classic, "Show us your guns America" sketch which is the type of "still the same" satire I was looking for as part of this experiment.

  21. More Carlin.

  22. Billy Preston sings Fancy Lady.

  23. It was around this time that I started to check to see how much time was left because it started to feel like things were winding down and the "toward the end" sketch for a simulated assault and robbery service left me hoping it was the last.

  24. It wasn't the last. Nope, there was one more fake commercial for a three blade razor that didn't seem like a parody at all since their big joke was about how there were three blades. 

  25. Finally, the show wrapped up with Janis Ian singing another song, but I didn't catch the name.

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SNL: S01E02... HOST: PAUL SIMON... DATE: OCTOBER 18, 1975

SNL: S01E02... HOST: PAUL SIMON... DATE: OCTOBER 18, 1975

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Paul Simon sings Still Crazy After All These Years.

  2. The Jessy Dixon Singers join Paul to sing Love Me Like a Rock.

  3. Jerry Rubin shows up for a quick fake commercial for Graffiti wallpaper with hippy peace propaganda fighting for causes that we are still fighting for today even though the hippies are now the generation in control.

  4. Paul Simon sings a cover of a Randy Newman song, then introduces Randy Newman to sing Sail Away.

  5. The Bees show up just to get kicked out for the fans not liking the bees the week before. 20 minutes in and this is the first appearance of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players.

  6. News, which was again not so topical, just Chevy Chase making fun of Ford for being clumsy. Again, I'm disappointed because I really was hoping to see more cutting satire about the events of the time, but I also understand the SNL news was still finding its voice.

  7. Finally something funny!!! The comedy came from a sketch about Paul Simon being challenged to a game of 1 on 1 basketball by NBA player Connie Hawk. It was interesting to see Al Michaels so early in the show but what was really funny was just how small Paul Simon is and how that didn’t stop him from playing so well and intense as he rushed around the court with someone who was twice his size. Simon's 70s look also got a chuckle or two out of me. Mainly I was happy just to be seeing a sketch.

  8. The comedy didn't last long as they slipped into a Simon and Garfunkel Slide Show to them singing Mrs. Robinson which goes on for a few minutes then turns into a tiny reunion where they sing The Boxer, Scarborough Fair, My Little Town and finally winds down with Garfunkel singing a solo of I Only Have Eyes For You.

  9. There was a follow-up to the weird Muppet sketch from the first week. I didn't realize there was an ongoing collaboration between the two shows.

  10. This was followed by a short film by Albert Brooks, which was probably something someone would do with a cell phone these days. I like Albert Brooks, his SNL shorts are fun, quirky and age pretty well.

  11. Then we go back to the music with Phoebe Snow singing No Regret followed by a duet with Paul Simon where they sing Gone at Last.

  12. SNL from that time sure loved their fake products, this sketch was a fake ad for a pacemaker battery called Try-Hard, which the play on words was pretty much the only thing to the sketch.

  13. Back to music as Paul Simon sings So Far Away From Home.

  14. Finally, Paul Simon was rewarded with a trophy by Bill Bradley for his 1 on 1 win in the earlier sketch.

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SNL: S01E03... HOST: ROB REINER... DATE: OCTOBER 25, 1975

SNL: S01E03... HOST: ROB REINER... DATE: OCTOBER 25, 1975

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Chevy Chase is wheeled out in a wheelchair and left alone. Goes to light his cigarette only to drop his lighter. He stands as if it were nothing and retrieves the lighter and returns to the wheelchair. After thinking about it for a second, he realizes he just walked so he throws the lighter only to fall this time when he tries to walk. Sorry for over-explaining, but this sketch did get a chuckle out of me, so I felt it deserved more than Chevy Chase wheelchair lighter sketch.

  2. Rob Reiner then takes the stage as some lounge singer character and eventually sings a version of Blowing in the Wind, which then leads into a real intro where Reiner pulls off his wig and give another quick monolog.

  3. There was then a sketch for the National Pancreas Association, which led to the realization that this is the actual birthplace of my "Ow my pancreas" reference that I often us and thought it came from The Gary Shandling Show.

  4. This transitioned into a sketch that started on the premise that the show was pranking Rob Reiner and hiding the fact that his wife, Penny Marshall, was there. She then comes out and then they never reference the prank at all and just go into a sketch about a faux pas runway show. One of the runway models was wearing a squirrel mask which actually would be fashionable these days. 

  5. There was followed by a fake commercial for an Acupuncture Voodoo Doctor that would perform acupuncture on voodoo dolls to cure your ailments. The video starts with characters performing leisure time activities as the voodoo acupuncture was being done. I was tripping out because before they explained I thought this was some kind of virtual reality reference that was way ahead of its time.  

  6. Andy Kaufman came out and sang Pop Goes the Weasel. Where I was a little bummed that his performance of Mighty Mouse did strike a nostalgic chord because of how overplayed it's been, this bit hit the spot.

  7. There was a funny concept of a sketch called Dangerous but Inept, which was a fake interview show with guest Squeaky Fromme. 

  8.  They had a fake commercial for a taste test that compared $0.89 “expensive” can of tuna to a $0.40 can of cat food where the woman chose the cat food and was disgusted by the reveal.

  9. Then The Lockers dance troop came out, and they all danced like Rerun for about five minutes.

  10. The news was pretty good this time. Though they started with a Ford is dumb joke, they also fit in a couple story where they satired actual events and didn't JUST make fun of individuals. Chevy Chase had one joke about Reagan about how he was campaigning against abortion and marijuana. That's what I wanted to see, just how much things are still the same only more extreme over time.

  11. There was a fake commercial for a moving company that literally moved people that I'm surprised didn't have a dumb name. Actually, I'm sure it did, but it wasn't punny enough to stand out to me.

  12. The news then came back on for my favorite sketch of the night, which is the sketch where Garrett Morris plays the interpreter for the hearing impaired and just yells whatever Chevy Chase say at the top of his lungs.

  13. I'm pretty sure this is going to be my favorite musical performance for quite a while, as John Belushi impersonates Joe Cocker to sing With a Little Help from My Friends. Which really stood out to me as a child because I saw Belushi first, then Joe Cocker and was blown away by how spot on Belushi was as well as how weird Joe Cocker was to me.

  14. The Muppet segment now has a name. It's called Dregs and Vestiges, and it's beginning to grow on me. Maybe the fact that this week's installment was about "crater-heads" which were definitely in reference to "potheads."

  15. This was followed by a dumb fake PSA about droolers, where Chevy Chase was just spitting. Though stupid, I get it for the time.

  16. There was then a square dance song where the caller had the dancers attack one another, which I'm pretty sure Schlong covers at one point in their Punk Side Story album.

  17. The next sketch was a Nun talent night at the church. There seemed to be too many Catholic specific jokes that I just didn't get.

  18. What Gilda Ate? also didn't make that much sense to me but I think that was the point, either way, I didn't mind it.

  19. I like the Albert Brooks shorts. Each one kind of start like a YouTube video where Albert Brooks is doing a Vlog that then leads into a narcissistic exploration of a topic. I really like this type of humor and if I were at all comfortable in front of the camera would love to attempt to create content like this.

  20. The show then ended on a sketch with Rob Reiner and Penny Marshall's dinner being interrupted by the bees. I've always liked the SNL bees, but as a kid, I never got the joke that the whole point of them showing up is that nobody liked them the very first week. This makes me like the bees even more because I even pointed out that I didn't like the bees in episode one before I realized their being disliked was part of their charm. 

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SNL: S01E04... HOST: CANDICE BERGEN... DATE: NOVEMBER 8, 1975

SNL: S01E04... HOST: CANDICE BERGEN... DATE: NOVEMBER 8, 1975

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Chevy Chase comes out as clumsy Ford and does his first Ford fall. I'm not old enough to remember Ford, and since all Chevy, as Ford ever did was fall down without any effort to actually look like him, I don't think I actually linked Ford to the falling character as a kid. I thought it was just Chevy being Chevy falling for no reason, but I do remember finding it funny.

  2. Candice Bergen comes out for her monolog and is eventually interrupted by the Belushi Bee. I love the evolution of the Bees!!!

  3. The first fake commercial of the night for the Ambassador Training Institute, which was one of those TV scam-sounding schools like a model college. In this sketch, you can pay to learn to be an ambassador to the country of your choosing in a way that reminded me a lot of Clinton appointing people to influential positions due to their contributions to the Clinton Foundation.

  4. This sketch was about a CIA agent in charge of storing the data (in filing cabinets) from wiretaps being done by the CIA. Garrett Morris comes in claiming he has a right to see his file. The agent complains that he has so much information he can't find anything even though Garrett goes as far as to admit that he blew up a building. To that, the agent says, "You know how many people have done that?" Then Garrett gives up after seeing how inept the system is and as soon as he is out of the room, the agent orders that Garrett is being tapped.

  5. We then got our first sighting of the Land Shark!!! My favorite sketch as a kid.

  6. Esther Phillips then sings What a Difference a Day Makes. I've never heard her before, and boy is her voice wild. I have to admit, I might have laughed the hardest during this episode because of the way she sings.

  7. Chevy Chase plays Hamlet with his lines written on the skull in his hand. He then dropped the skull and struggles to piece together his lines. Candice Bergen then interrupts, and the two broke into a full-blown commercial for Polaroid, no jokes, just a legit advertisement out of the blue. 

  8. Once again, they use some gay stereotypes in a non-homophobic way in a fake ad for a long-distance phone service for men who talk to their moms. They just had two guys as a couple which I'm sure was shocking enough to see on TV back then but watching it now, they just seem like a gay couple and not a joke, but again, it doesn't feel offensive to me.

  9. Then the news started, and as I mentioned in the main content above, they finally began to focus on specific current events and were just making fun of the president for his personality.

  10. The news was then interrupted by the same dumb fake Triopenin arthritis medicine ad from episode one. Sure they did have on-demand viewing back then but four episodes into the very first year seems like a horrible time to through in recycled content.

  11. The new returns to Chevy Chase making faces behind Jane Curtin as she delivers a serious news story. The segment ends with the Garret Morris as the interpreter for the hearing impaired, again too soon for recycling as it was the same exact bit from episode 3.

  12.  There was a parody commercial for Channel perfume that must have been a direct parody of one airing on TV at the time, but it was pretty easy to get the joke without knowing the reference.

  13. Andy Kaufman comes out and tells a story as his foreign character. It was a weird story about a cannonball that led into impressions and ended on a bit with a bongo. It's fun to see Andy in action again.

  14. Candice Bergen and Gilda Radner talk about looks and dating. It was very reminiscent of Chris Farley's sketch where he talks to Paul McCartney with Gilda playing up her feeling ugly the way Chris played up him being dumb. Of course, this Gilda sketch is the original, I'm just more familiar with the Farley routine because I wasn't born quite yet at the time of this original airing.  

  15. The two girls then introduced another Albert Brooks short!!! I love these and have always loved the SNL shorts. This one was a bunch of brief parody TV shows. There was one for a hospital show, one for a sitcom about a guy trying to build a three-way relationship between him, his wife and his girlfriend, a blaxploitation show about a black vet who was a vet in 'Nam, a cabaret parody, and several other quick highlights of crazy shows to come. As with most of the SNL shorts, this one got a little awkward but in an entertaining way.

  16. It seems in these old sketches if they are faking a commercial, they are faking a talk show and this time it was an interview between Candice Bergen and a couple kiwi trappers.

  17. Michael 0'Donoghue finally starred in a sketch where he calls and harasses a booking agent for Trans American Airlines the entire time she remains pleasant which left me feeling sad for the situation and not at all entertained. I don't remember Michael at all, but if he actually wrote this sketch, I can see why.

  18. The awkwardness of the last sketch was swept away by this week's Muppet segment. This segment is another thing that's growing on me. I didn't really like the first two, but again, I get it because everyone involved was still in the process of developing what this show actually is. This Muppet segment was about one group of monsters either eating or wear the animals that are their primary source of food. They got down to where there are only two left in existence, and the dumb eating beasts sacrifice one of the two remaining food animals to their god to get answers only to realize they actually need two for reproduction. 

  19. Again with the interview sketches as we see Candice Bergen interview a king of "some little country" where she totally disrespects the king by not knowing anything about his country and ends up making him look like the bad guy after flaunting her American arrogance. 

  20. If you've ever read me mention the time on this site, you will see that I always say something like 3:30 in the AM. I got that from a Tim Meadows series of sketches called Perspectives that always started at 4:43 in the AM and was a black show that aired just to fulfill a broadcasting diversity requirement. Well, there was a sketch called Black Perspective with Garrett Morris that was apparently the jump off point for this future sketch.

  21. The final sketch was two people playing pong talking about their lives. It was another weird situation where 20 years were working through issues that are still going on to this day even though it's 40 years later and they are now in charge.

  22. The show ended with Esther Phillips singing I can stand a little rain.

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SNL: S01E05... HOST: ROBERT KLEIN... DATE: NOVEMBER 15, 1975

SNL: S01E05... HOST: ROBERT KLEIN... DATE: NOVEMBER 15, 1975

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Chevy Chase hosts a beauty pageant where Loraine Newman plays a bit of a ditsy feminist that turns down the crown with half backed feminist reasons as well as a few legitimate points. It ends with Chevy Chase falling which cleared up my confusion from yesterday when I thought Chevy only fell as Ford.

  2. Robert Klein steps onto the stage when I instantly realize that I was thinking of Kevin Klein when I first saw the name as being next on the list. I do know of Robert Klein, it was just a quick confusion that I thought I'd mention.

  3. They then cut to Robert Klein having lunch as the captain of the Titanic while ABBA performs on the poop deck.

  4. There was another Pong sketch where two students were discussing a test while playing and one student realizes that he got every answer to his history test wrong.

  5. This leads to a sketch about a fashion style photographer working a crime scene snapping pictures of the dead as if he were talking to models. I thought that was going to be the whole concept of the sketch until the photographer kind of fell into the background as the suspect comedically admits to every aspect of the crime. This sketch was set in Central America, so I think it was a statement on their corruption or ineptness because even after the suspect makes his confession, they say there is not enough evidence to convict.

  6. YES!!! Another Bee sketch. This time it was Garrett Morris taking us through time as he shares stories of bees throughout history.

  7. Loudon Wainwright III the third plays a song about the bicentennial that was so cheesy and lame that I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be a comedy. I swear he's been a guest on one of the comedy podcast that I listen to but I couldn't find him in my search, I did discover that Wikipedia said he was the next Dylan of his time which led me to believe this was real deal badness. 

  8. There was then a real quick sketch where Chevy Chase was playing Gregg Allman which I just didn't care about because though I know of Gregg Allman, I don't know all that much about him other than his music and he married Cher.

  9. Next, we cut to a behind the scenes bit about the shooting of Sam Peckenpaugh's first Rom-Com movie. It was very slap-sticky in a way that I would have laughed at as a kid but found boring and abusive, and the Peckenpaugh character only attacked the female lead. I don't know enough about Peckenpaugh's directing style to really get the reference but still don't think it would be funny to me now even if I did.

  10. The news starts with Chevy's first, "I'm Chevy Chase, and you're not." This one was back to being service level jokes and personal attacks of political figures minus any real events from the time.

  11. The news went into a fake commercial with was a follow up to the Jamitall commercial from episode one that was nothing but a gay joke about taking these pills to prepare for sex. This time it was a straight couple, and the Jamitall seemed to have more of a roofies effect on the wife. There was a burst of laughter from the audience from both men and women without a single gasp, so I guess this type of thing wasn't all that creepy at the time.

  12. Back to the news for Chevy Chase making faces behind Dan Akroyd as Akroyd read a serious Editorial Reply. This is followed by the Garrett Morris hearing impairment bit that is becoming the staple closing combo.

  13. This was followed by a long sketch about two exterminators in camo. One exterminator learns about the roaches that they are there to kill and has developed empathy for them and couldn't kill them anymore, like not wanting to kill an enemy in war after learning that they are actually living beings. There was a funny sketch within the sketch with a fake documentary about cockroaches, but the payoff wasn't all that grand.

  14. Gilda Radner came out as a fireman and had a quick and cute little bit explaining what it means to be a fireman.

  15. The Muppet segment then started and inspired the acupuncture intro that I have written up above.

  16. There was then more stand-up from Robert Klein, and I found him to be pretty funny in both routines.

  17. My favorite sketch of the night was for a fake ad where they were selling a pricing gun as a way to save money at the store. This is another one that I fully remember as a kid because I totally thought it would work.

  18. Loudon Wainwright III came out, again and again, I couldn't tell if this was supposed to be a comedy, but he was far too serious to be in on the joke.

  19. This was followed by a fact interview show where Gilda Radner was interviewed as the author of "Tiny Books" a line of kids' books where each story is over padded with adjectives, but this was also the way Gilda's character would talk.

  20. Again with the recycled sketches? This time they reused the same exact commercial about bribing your way to becoming an ambassador.

  21. Robert Klein sings a comedic song called "I can't stop my legs."

  22. Finally, ABBA performed on the Titanic once again. This was interesting because there was a note on the screen that they were lip-syncing and that it wasn't their fault. Could you imagine either a band or a television show admitting to something like this nowadays? 

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SNL: S01E06... HOST: LILY TOMLIN... DATE: NOVEMBER 22, 1975

SNL: S01E06... HOST: LILY TOMLIN... DATE: NOVEMBER 22, 1975

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show started with the Ford is clumsy and dumb sketch that triggered the ramblings above.

  2. Lily Tomlin then came out and did a monolog where she read from her notebook. She mentioned the ozone layer which was weird to me, being that, I didn't think they started talking about the ozone issues until the mid to late 80s which is almost what I was talking about in yesterday's rant. Her mention also left me wondering why you never hear anyone mention the ozone anymore. She then finished off her monolog with a little cheer.

  3. Belushi Beethoven!!! Playing Tie a Yellow Ribbon on the piano. This made me very happy as this was another favorite sketch of mine as a child. I don't know if it's the character unknowingly waiting for everyone to leave the room to shine makes me love this so much or if it's the fact that the character seems to stumble into perfection. Either way, I love it still.

  4. Howard Shore and His All Nurse Band play a song for Lily Tomlin to sing to and I spot Paul Shaffer's first appearance on the show. 

  5. Oh my god, this is the third time out of six episodes that they've played the same exact fake commercial for arthritis pills called Triopenin, which wasn't even funny the first time.

  6. LAND SHARK!!! It was interesting at the end of this sketch because Belushi jokes that he "turned down working on Cuckoo's Nest for this" which is one of my favorite movies, making it interesting to hear a contemporary actor praise the film in that way at the time it came out. 

  7. Garrett Morris and Jane Curtin play a biracial couple at a hotel, and the bellhop can barely handle the situation. It is nice to see progress in sketches like this where the mere act of this couple making out was shocking at the time but now seems so tame that the sketch barely makes sense.

  8. Lily Tomlin plays a five-year-old named Edith Ann in an adorable sketch about this kid trying to ice skate while her dog watches.

  9. Belushi Beethoven returns and plays My Girl when no one else is around.  

  10. Gilda Radner announces a two-week break.

  11. This is followed by the news which I found topical again with jokes about actual events from the week and not just generic jabs at people.

  12. The news was interrupted by a fake commercial for Spud Beer which is a potato beer for electroshock therapy patients that are too crazy to care about taste.

  13. The news returned to quickly end on the Garrett Morris speech impairment bit which is growing old again but in a way that if they keep it up, it will make it over the hump to become funny once again.

  14. Lily Tomlin plays a sorority girl who is writing a letter to Patty Hearst which turns into a song with advice for the kidnap victim.

  15. The Muppets return to reveal that Scred has a crush on Lily Tomlin and the two sang I've Got You Babe. I think I also developed a crush on the young Lily Tomlin during this sketch even though I've always been a fan.

  16. Lily Tomlin then introduces the replay of Albert Brook's short film from the first episode.

  17. The Belushi Beethoven sketch concludes with Beethoven getting caught singing Baby It's All Right by Ray Charles. 

  18. This was followed by an interesting and powerful sketch with Lily Tomlin as a construction trainer training women construction workers how to harass men. Dan Aykroyd is the man acting as the model, and the girls harassed him nonstop. Aykroyd's character starts to take it personally even though it's supposed to be a simulation. At the end of the sketch all the girls leave but Gilda Radner who stays back to check in on Aykroyd who is on the verge of tears. She puts her arm around him and reminds him, "Don't worry, this is just school." That final line really hit me even though I've never cat called and have never been catcalled.

  19. This jumped into a commercial for speed.

  20. Lily Tomlin then plays a teenager in a poodle skirt at a high school dance.

  21. Then the show wraps up with Howard Shore and His All Nurse Band playing music for Lily Tomlin and the Bees to sing along to.

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SNL: S01E07... HOST: RICHARD PRYOR... DATE: DECEMBER 13, 1975

SNL: S01E07... HOST: RICHARD PRYOR... DATE: DECEMBER 13, 1975

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show started like normal with a sketch where Chevy Chase falls down only Garrett Morris interrupts the sketch and informs Chevy that he wants to do the fall because Richard Pryor is the host so it would be more fitting. Morris gives it a shot but does it half-assed, and Chevy shows him how it's done with a massive fall.

  2. Richard Pryor does the opening monolog, and the intro above breaks down what I think about that, okay not great, but it's me not him.

  3. Samurai Hotel!!! I love the Samurai and totally forgot/didn't know that it started with both Belushi and Pryor.

  4. Gil Scott-Heron sings Johannesburg (I've been a fan of Gil since discovering Whitey on the Moon in high school.)

  5. They then brought back this Looks at Book sketch, this time Jane Curtin interviewed Pryor's character about his book white like me, which was pretty much the script to Eddie Murphy's sketch in the future where he dresses up like a white guy for a day and learns that it's great.

  6. Once again they give us the New Dad fake add that I wasn't all that impressed with when they aired it earlier in the season.

  7. This went into a quick transition sketch where Pryor is part of a police line-up where he's obviously been roughed up by the police, and it's him and three white guys for the suspect to choose between. 

  8. This led into the Chevy Chase, Richard Pryor word association sketch where the two try and out racism one another.

  9. Back to the reoccurring Pong sketch that I'm growing to be a fan of where it's just a Pong screen playing the game as two guys discuss their day, this time it was about one of the character's horrible defeat at a hockey game. Things always go horribly for this guy.

  10. There was then a sketch with a family dinner where Aykroyd was the dad griping about how "the Blacks" were taking over everything now that "they've" moved into the neighborhood and one of "them" is now his boss. Throughout the bit, his family members have reason to leave, and when they came back, they found that they've been replaced by a black person which the dad doesn't notice even though it's happening right under his nose. 

  11. And now, it's time for the news. This week was back to being more topical and cutting using specific events from the day which led me to wonder if the writers switch out who is in charge because it seems to go back and forth between being cutting and being just one note.

  12. The news was interrupted by the fake Spuds beer commercial I already told you about just a couple days ago. I didn't realize just how much they recycled their bits.

  13. I was pleased to see Gilda Radner as Emily Litella, one of my favorite characters that she does, that miss reads one word in the article she is rebutting which makes her rant and rave about a misread topic. This one wasn't the best, but I am thrilled that this means I will be seeing more from her very soon. The news ended with the hearing impairment joke which goes in and out of being funny to me.

  14. Back to the police line-up, this time it's Pryor, a fridge, a duck and a nun.

  15. This quick sketch was followed by another quick sketch where Pryor is a Special Ops Agent that accidentally takes his suicide pill when getting the tools for his next mission.

  16. There was then a Muppets sketch that was funny with a bit of a “drinking is bad” theme to it without being preachy at all.

  17. Back to the police line-up, this time it is Pryor and three white cops for the suspect to choose from.

  18. I instantly knew what this sketch was the moment I saw the set. This was the first time so far that I got chills from being excited about what I was about to see. Then the Richard Pryor Exorcist sketch started, and I was a happy fan.

  19. Pryor then came out and introduced the Albert Brooks short which had Albert sick in bed while sticking to his commitment to create content all alone with a camera with remote control zoom. There was a lot of griping about filmmaking which I found fun having worked in the field in the past but didn't really have much as far of a storyline, but that seems to be an ongoing theme.

  20. There was a weird conspiracy sketch where it looked like Richard Pryor was about to do another routine only to be interrupted by a fan yelling about the JFK assassination, the fan then gets shot, and the sketch is done.

  21. I was expecting it to then go into the Pryor routine but no, instead Pryor's wife at the time, Shelley comes out and does a poem about carousel horses and racism which wasn't all that funny, but it was pretty interesting.

  22. Then we got the second routine I was expecting but not really looking forward to (sorry fellow stand-up fans.)

  23. Finally, Gil Scott-Heron finished off the show with A Lovely Day. 

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SNL: S01E08... HOST: CANDICE BERGEN... DATE: DECEMBER 20, 1975

SNL: S01E08... HOST: CANDICE BERGEN... DATE: DECEMBER 20, 1975

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show started with the President Ford Falling sketch that triggered the intro above.

  2. Then we go to Candice Bergen opening the show. She doesn't say much and just introduces Martha Reeves who sings Higher and Higher.

  3. This leads to the first airing of the Mel's Char Palace commercial where their selling point is you butcher your own meal. 

  4. Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin then play a couple waiting up for their son to come home. Aykroyd gets a call from Chevy Chase who is playing the son and has been arrested for a terrible murder. Since Jane Curtin can't hear the conversation, she keeps assuming that he is just in trouble for such youth shenanigans and is thankful in the end when Aykroyd only assures her that he wasn't busted for weed.  

  5. Candice Bergen then calls to the audience to send in their home video tapes to potentially end up on the show. I'm excited to see what comes from this but this genuine call to action was pretty funny as Don Pardo reassures the viewers that they will lose their rights to their videos without any compensation. It was funny how blunt and honest he was about the rules which I'm sure didn't stop anyone from submitting content.

  6. There was then a sample of a home video where Jane Curtin was ice skate with the Bees at Rockefeller Center which was pretty fun.e

  7. This was followed by another real ad for Polaroid which was sort of funny but a genuine ad.

  8. The Stylistics then came out and sang You Make Me Feel Brand New.

  9. Then they did the pricing gun ad once again :(

  10. This was followed by a sketch Chevy Chase plays a closeted Chrismas Elf (closeted that he was an elf not a gay elf in the closet) and gets caught by his sister who is shocked and in denial. The sketch goes on until the parents show up when it is revealed that the father is a closeted elf as well.

  11.  Next, we have the news, which is getting more consistent and more cutting. They had a story where they credited a politician for saying, "What's wrong with another Vietnam? We should keep doing it until we get it right."

  12. The news was then interrupted for a commercial for a tarnish remover called Tarnoff. Again they love their play on words. 

  13. When they came back from the news, it was time for Gilda Radner's character Emily Litella's segment where she was outraged that company's wanted to fire the handicapped for the holidays only to find out they wanted to hire the handicapped. I love this character, and I also love that they continued to beat the hearing impaired joke into the ground.

  14. This was followed by a cute/silent sketch about Belushi and Radner at a laundromat sharing a machine because all the other ones were full. They then recreate an entire relationship based on the order in which they added their clothing.

  15. The Pong sketch then returned as Al Franken's voice played the Pinball Wizard who didn't move his Pong Paddle at all being deaf, dumb and blind.

  16. The Muppets returned with a sketch about a holiday party. No one showed up because everyone else was partying with the Bees. Candice Bergen eventually shows up to sing Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

  17. This sketch cut into the second commercial for Mel's Char Palace that was too similar to the first one to even tell the difference.

  18. Howard Shore and His All Angel Band played Winter Wonderland for Garrett Morris to sing to.

  19. This was followed by a quick spot for the Don Pardo Digital Gift Store which was just random things with a digital clock on it, which is a joke my friends and I thought we made up many years later.

  20. Next was a second installment of the high fashion crime scene photographer. It's kind of a soap opera sketch that I don't really enjoy all that much.

  21. Martha Reeves then returns to sing Silver Bells.

  22. Gilda Radner then gives advice on how to not eat so much during the holidays to then go on and list the mass amount of food that she ate on Thanksgiving.

  23. There was then a weird cooking show called The Fritzie Kringle Show which kind of reminded me of something that would show up on adult swim if it was now.

  24. This led to another ad for Mel's Char Palace which again was too close to the other two ads to even tell the difference, but this time the repetitiveness felt more like a satire on how repetitive commercials are while watching a show. 

  25. Candice Bergen then introduces some old lady that had serious stuff to say about age discrimination during the holidays which was a fine enough message but pretty dull and felt out of place.

  26. The show ended on a two-minute short film which just showed people arriving at the airport to their excited family. I really liked this short because I wrote a scene in an old script pre-9/11 where the main character took his date to the airport to the same type of reunions that used to take place when you didn't need a ticket to get to the gates. In the script, they sat at a restaurant by the gates and watch for the passenger that got the most significant reaction when stepping off the plane. I miss having and witnessing that sort of fanfare when getting off a plane.

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SNL: S01E09... HOST: ELLIOT GOULD... DATE: JANUARY 10, 1976

SNL: S01E09... HOST: ELLIOT GOULD... DATE: JANUARY 10, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown: 

  1. The show started with the Dead String Quartet with four dead violinists in a row in absolute silence. Once again, I thought they might be moving away from the Chevy Chase fall but then as soon as the first violinist started to slump toward the side, I could see the domino style setup that was going on and got excited to see this play out and am back to being fully on board with this idea.

  2. Elliot Gould then opened the show with Paul Shaffer playing the piano while Gould sings an old-timey song. 

  3. This is followed by a repeat of the fake ad for the Tri-Hard pacemaker battery, only this time I remember the original Die-Hard battery commercial that it was referencing making me realize there was more to their parodies than just a play on words.

  4. We return from the real commercials to a sketch about an interior demolitionist sketch where the cast got to destroy the set. Though the joke at the end was kind of funny, I was pretty entertained by the real deal destruction that was going on.

  5. Next, there was a sketch for the Godfather in group therapy which wasn't all that interesting to me since I don't have a history with the movie in reference and I could care less about the mob genre in general.

  6. Once again, I was stuck with a smile the moment I saw the set to the New Shimmer floor wax/dessert topping sketch that I loved as a child.

  7. This was followed by a short film that kind of blew my mind for the time. Someone took ten or so different piano players all singing the song Misty in different styles and cut them together to create one song like something you would see on YouTube today.

  8. Gould then comes out to announce Ann Murray only to be interrupted by Gilda who is hinting that the two are fooling around.

  9. Anne Murray then sings Long Distance Call.

  10. The news segment then started, and it feels like they've found their legs. I didn't really think about it, but with it being 1975 they are just entering the 1976 presidential election cycle.

  11. I'm glad that they no longer interrupt the news with a commercial as it's always a just a repeat commercial from a couple weeks ago. This one was the gay couple promoting a product called Jamitol. 

  12. It was funny this week when they came from commercial though because Chevy was with the guy who is his guy partner in the commercial and the two were fighting as if they were in a real relationship. The news moved away from the hearing impaired joke with a lame replacement of Chevy Chase pretending to reread the main story in a foreign language only to make offensive foreign talking sounds.

  13. This was followed by the Bee clip that inspired the intro above review.

  14. Which was then followed by the Albert Brooks short also mention up above.

  15. Gould comes out to introduce the Muppets only to add to the rumors that he and Gilda are hooking up.

  16. The Muppet sketch was interesting as the sidekick Muppet was using The Joy of Sex while having an affair with the main Muppet's wife. It was sad and strange and ended with the God Muppet introducing masturbation to the guilt-stricken sidekick.

  17.  Next, we go to a sketch called Birthrights where two doctors talk about their different delivery technique. The first is traditional, easing the baby into the world. The second doctor using a method he calls Pearl Harbor where he yanks the baby out of the womb to what could equate to a New Year's party. 

  18. Anne Murray then sings song number two which was, Boogie With You.

  19. And the show ended on a Franken and Davis sketch which led me to feel that these two would have made the best podcast ever if only it were an outlet at the time.

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SNL: S01E10... HOST: BUCK HENRY... DATE: JANUARY 17, 1976

SNL: S01E10... HOST: BUCK HENRY... DATE: JANUARY 17, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts with a phone ringing then Chevy Chase runs down the stairs to answer it only to crash through everything. He answers the phone just in time to hear a gunshot as he announces "You have reached the suicide hotline." That kind of left me feeling a little low right out the gate.

  2. I was happy to see Buck Henry, though. As I pointed out in the intro above, he was one of my favorite hosts as a kid even though I didn't know who he actually was until my mid to late 20s.

  3. This went into the Samurai Delicatessen. Buck Henry's connection to this sketch was definitely one of the reasons why he stood out in my mind.

  4. Then there was a fake talk show called Presidential Fourplay where a woman claimed to have had an affair with JFK. She seemed somewhat believable until her claim that she was still seeing him to this day (which was definitely after the assassination, even in the sketch.)

  5. This was followed by a long sketch about how Gerald Ford is clumsy and dumb. As I pointed out the other day, I don't know enough about Ford to connect to the content. Since they make zero attempts to make Chase look like Ford, the overall character feels generic to me. The style of the stupidity is fun to me which is why I'm so hung up on why I hate this portrayal.

  6. Bill Wither's sings Ain't No Sunshine.

  7. Loraine Newman then plays an illiterate speed reading instructor, which as someone who has always struggled to read aloud due to my dyslexia didn't find it all that funny but I was a fan of the hearing impaired jokes so I can't really complain.

  8. This was a quick sketch that was followed by the news. I really should be noting the stories told since part of my interest in this challenge is to see the comedic take on the news from the day.

  9. The news commercial this week was for a roll-on room deodorizer in an attempt to cut back on aerosol sprays. 

  10. The news returns with Buck Henry reading and Editorial Reply as Chevy makes faces behind his back, then finished on the top story being repeated for the dead.

  11. The news was followed by the Citizen Kane II sketch that I mention in the intro above. The idea was that Kane said more than just Rosebud before dying. The new last word was Henri (pronounce with an accent), and we're showed that it might be in reference to one of the newspaper writers that Kane had working for him at the time. During the flashback to Kane's dealing with Henri, we also see lunch being delivered which I thought absolutely nothing of until they reveal there was a third set of last words which were "with mustard," making his final lines to the world, "Rosebud, Henri, with mustard," which actually referenced, "Roast Beef, on rye, with mustard." I laughed so hard at this reveal because I was getting a little bored by the rest of the sketch and it just hit that sweet spot for me.

  12. This led to the Muppet sketch which is now called The Land of Gorch, and in this week's segment, the two of the Muppets are still cheating on the main guy. The little sidekick buys a sex toy and bangs his boss's wife with it. The two Muppets then went to town on one another with the toy, and it blew my mind, there was actual Muppet sex on SNL.

  13. They then repeated the fake commercial for the razor with THREE blades.

  14. Tony Basil sang Wham.

  15. Then Dan Aykroyd came home from work only to have to put his daughter down for the night and tells Gilda Radner a bedtime story about working at the garage. Gilda forces him to fit fairies and princesses into the story and at the end reveals that she picked up on a lot of what her dad was saying about cars.

  16. There was then a quick sketch were Chevy Chase rolls a joint, then ties of his arm and tries to shoot the joint into his veins, it ends with a dumb note about they don't call it dope for nothing.

  17. Next, there was a short film where Buck Henry tried to find the funniest person in Irvington, New York. I really liked this short because I think it was real. One person would say someone was the funniest then Buck Henry would track that person down only they would humbly deny they were the funniest and then direct Henry to the person they find to be the funniest in order for him to track that person down instead. This goes on and on until one lady accepts the honor and openly admits that she's the funniest person in town.

  18. Howard Shore and His Band of All Bees then plays while the Belushi Bee sings King Bee. 

  19. Which was followed by Michael O'Donoghue does an impersonation of Mike Douglas getting stabbed in the eye with sharp needles. I swear that I've heard his screaming in a song somewhere and the concept of the sketch reminded me of the starting sketch of the album Iceberg by Ice T.

  20. Finally, the show ended with a sketch about the American Constipation Society which was pretty much just a bunch of adults saying funny phrases for constipation.

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SNL: S01E11... HOST: PETER COOK & DUDLEY MOORE... DATE: JANUARY 24, 1976

SNL: S01E11... HOST: PETER COOK & DUDLEY MOORE... DATE: JANUARY 24, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show started with Garrett Morris finding a bomb under the stairs. He then tells the onlookers to get to safety while they wait for the bomb squad to arrive. This got my brain going when I saw Chevy Chase heading down the stairs thinking that this fall was going to be epic with there being a bomb involved. I was bummed to find that the opening pratfall I've grown to love again wasn't going to happen this round, but the sketch ended on an epic fail when a pie that was meant for Chevy's face ended up on the ground followed by a brief moment of entertaining confusion. 

  2. Then Peter Cook and Dudley Moore came out to open the show. Though I've heard the name Peter Cook before I couldn't place his portfolio no matter how hard I tried. They even referenced the differences between our countries comedic tastes as they went into a very British bit about a guy, Dudley Moore, missing an arm and a leg, who is auditioning for the role of Tarzan and can't understand why the director (Cook) did not seem to agree.

  3. We then went straight into another audition sketch where inmates were auditioning to be in a prison version of the play Gigi. Every convict that comes in has a violent outburst to get them turned down for the role. I wasn't a fan of Chevy Chase's creepy attack of Gilda Radner, but I still love Garrett Morris singing I'm Going to Get Me a Shotgun and Kill All the Whities I See.

  4. Neil Sedaka then came out to sing Breaking Up is Hard To Do.

  5. This was followed by a fake commercial for Don Pardo's Holiday in an Elevator travel special where every floor is a different country that you pay per minute to see.

  6. I'm still liking how the news is developing. I just wish there were more significant events from that time that might feel more significant to be able to grasp more than jokes about some of the more mundane moments in time.

  7. The news's commercial was a repeat for the moving company that literally move the people that are relocating.

  8. The news came back to Emily Litella which got me excited because I'm a huge fan of the character. The only problem was that I didn't get the joke. She was ranting about saving Soviet jewelry when the actual word was Jewry which is a term I've never heard before which made it harder to play along. The news then ended on the top story being repeated for those who were in the shower during the original reading.

  9. Once again there was a sketch that was very British with Moore interviewing about his duties as a restaurant owner, that was very wordy and lost my attention as I stared at the screen, tuning back in for some funny lines of dialog, but I don't think there was all that much meat to the scene.

  10. This was followed by a short film where we were given a tour of a novelty shop led by the old store owner who did sound enthusiastic but not all that entertaining in a way that the jeux de position made for a funny film.

  11. Cook and Moore then sang I've Got You Babe in ridiculous outfits acting as Sonny and Cher.

  12. Gilda Radner and the Muppet Scred then enter the frame in a way that I thought they were setting up a song of their own. Scred was dressed as a Bee and wanted to join the human cast and hilariously mocked Chevy's delivery of the news. Though they didn't sing they did introduce the next song.

  13. Neil Sedaka then sang Lonely Night.

  14. There was then a fake interview show called Backstage Banter where Belushi was playing an actress who was impersonating a man.

  15. This was followed by a fake commercial for nothing, just Chevy Chase and some woman walking around town on a day date. The commercial even says it's for nothing.

  16. A real quick sketch followed where doctors had to agree that the patient was dead before removing his heart for transplantation. All the doctors agree, but the patient raises his hand when the call goes out for those that disagree that he's dead.

  17. The last full sketch was of Cook and Moore playing sheepherders from biblical times that was once again very British which led me to note, "Too clever for comedy" which incited the thoughts above.

  18. Finally, the show ended with a correction of the opening sketch and Chevy got splattered with pie.

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SNL: S01E12... HOST: DICK CAVETT... DATE: JANUARY 31, 1976

SNL: S01E12... HOST: DICK CAVETT... DATE: JANUARY 31, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts in the green room with Chevy Chase talking to Garrett Morris about not doing the fall tonight due to a back problem from the fall last week (even though last week was the first episode to start without said fall.) Anyways, it's then revealed that Garrett Morris uses voodoo to get revenge and force the fall.

  2. Dick Cavett then opens the show with a pretty decent monolog.

  3. Chevy Chase then plays Jane Curtin's new duck hunting man, who accidentally kills everyone with his mishandling of the firearm in a sketch that I know I would have loved as a kid because of silly these accidents were, but now I can't help but see the political statement that blew right over my childish head.

  4. Dick Cavett then plays himself in a commercial and announces that he's opening a school for automotive refinishing and upholstery. 

  5. Jimmy Cliff then came out to sing The Harder They Come.

  6. Belushi plays a corrupt tax accountant in a commercial for H&L Brock.

  7. This was followed by the news where Chevy Chase had a line about rather having a president that would put soap in their coffee over one that would use red dye #2. I'm not sure who he was referencing with the shampoo, but I have a feeling the latter half of the joke was referencing Trump.

  8. Of course, the news's commercial was a repeat, this time for the fake commercial taste testing tuna vs. cat food.

  9. Emily Litella ranted about Eagle Right when the story was about Equal Rights, and the news ended on the top story being repeated for I Love Lucy fans.

  10. Dick Cavett then pitches another school this time for Hydroplane Operation.

  11. This was followed by a parody of Our Town, which I'm aware of, by title alone but apparently, it's nothing more than explaining a small town as this remake was Dick Cavett explain New York in small town terms.

  12. Jimmy Cliff returns to sing Many Rivers to Cross.

  13. This was followed by a funny but quick sketch where they bring out Dick Cavett's doppelganger who looks absolutely nothing like him. 

  14. Next was a short film that has a tailor suggesting a new suite for a plastic surgeon while that same plastic surgeon recommends a new face for the tailor.

  15. Jane Curtin then came out as Betty Ford and did an interpretive dance as she answered advice column style questions in a sketch called Dance to the Nation.

  16. Belushi returns as the corrupt tax accountant with more examples up just how corrupt he will be.

  17. Typically, Jane Curtin host Looks at Books, but this time it was Chevy Chase interviewing Dick Cavett who was playing a Middle America pimp who gets offended when it is suggested that sex is involved. This sketch really made me laugh when Cavett improvised the line about the audience when he said, "...but these people have been so nice, not to laugh at my situation." It was so spot on because the crowd was silent throughout most of the episode which is what made me feel the need to reiterate that okay actually is okay to me, which triggered the intro above.

  18. Jimmy Cliff returns one more time to sing Wahjaka Man.

  19. Belushi returns again with more corruption from H&L Brook.

  20. This was followed by the airing of the first home video that Candice Bergen called for in the Christmas episode. This was a stop action short with apples in a strip club where the strippers were peeled to an old stripper song.

  21. Finally, the show ended on Allen Petersen dressed as a construction worker singing I've Got to Be Me as he strips to reveal he's wearing women's lingerie. 

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SNL: S01E13... HOST: PETER BOYLE... DATE: FEBRUARY 14, 1976

SNL: S01E13... HOST: PETER BOYLE... DATE: FEBRUARY 14, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This was the Valentines episode which started with a sketch about the Valentine’s Day Massacre where a couple is out to dinner and asks the maître d' if there was someone that could move their car because of the rain. Chevy Chase plays a valet who runs out to move the car just as the sounds of shooting from the massacre takes place as the restaurant patron seem unphased until Chase falls down the stairs.

  2. Peter Boyle then comes out to open the show with a song that he dedicates to his Valentine who is sitting in the audience and starts making out with the stranger next to her in the middle of Boyle's rendition of My Funny Valentine. I this point I was a little annoyed by how often comedy from that time was about how untrustworthy women were around men. I didn't even have the creepy child molester bit to rub me the wrong way by this time.

  3. Dan Aykroyd then plays a stereotypical Latino guy in a fake a for a lowrider style car.

  4. This was followed by Samurai Divorce Court where there wasn't only a Belushi Samurai but a Jane Curtin Samurai as well which is good to see her in sketches other than the ones where she is a host of a talk show.

  5. This is when Boyle makes the child molester reference that triggered the intro above as he introduced the Shapiro Sisters who I just read are the director's children which made the whole situation even worse. They dance and lip sync to This Will Be (An Everlasting Love.)

  6. Dan Aykroyd and Lorraine Newman then played two hippy burnouts whose neighbor brings over a misdelivered package that is obviously drugs. This had a funny bit where they worked the lines from MacArthur's Park into their conversation which is a song that cracks me up.

  7. Boyle then introduces Al Jarreau who sings 

  8. This was followed by the news where there as a quick story about Bush Sr., as the CIA director, using an earthquake as a weapon to attack Cuba. This leads me to wonder if he was referencing a legitimate conspiracy theory from the time or if he was just being silly since I've definitely seen modern YouTube videos that claim this technology is being worked on to this day.

  9. The news's commercial was a repeat (of course) of the price tag gun sketch that feels like is on at least 50% of the episodes I've seen so far.

  10. The news returns with Emily Litella ranting about canker research only to apologize when she's corrected in that the story was about cancer research. The news ended without the repeat of the top story of the night which really felt disappointed now that I've grown to except that I like the repetitiveness because of the building expectation as to how they will pull it off this week.

  11. This was followed by the All Pro Wrestling sketch where the Bees had a tag team match against the WASPS as in the rich white type. I was excited because I liked wrestling as a kid and couldn't remember this bit. It ended up being okay, but I loved that it ended by with a cow dropping from the ceiling which I think I recall become a staple to the series as a way to end bad bits. I really hope this is the case.

  12. Jane Curtain then hosts Remembrances of History where she interviews a historical person that wanted to remain anonymous and wears a monkey mask only it's obviously Nixon because of his voice and mannerisms.

  13. This was followed by a short film where there was an all-black class doing the pledge of allegiance which ended on an adult saying the final lines. He must have been someone to make the imagery of this bit even more significant, but it still made a statement that I could see even though I can't really explain it all that well.

  14. Belushi and Boyle then compete as Dueling Brandos.

  15. This was followed by yet another, my wife is cheating on me, sketch where Boyle comes home early to find a nervous wife and men hidden all over the house. She's obviously cheating with these people but claims they are new products like "Janitor In The Fridge," Doorman In The Closest, Mailman And The Maid, Milkmen In The Bedroom... She had funny stories about how they work as a product and end up running off into the room with all of them leaving her husband alone to then cheat with the neighbor's wife. I'm not a big fan of cheating humor as most of the time it's a male author working through his insecurities by passing the blame for his own jealous actions.

  16. Next was a short home video that was just a still video of a home. The audience caught on right away, but I almost missed the joke it was so lame.

  17. Garrett Morris then gives Gilda Radner a Valentines card as Gilda blatantly explains why she intentionally didn't give him a card this year due to him claiming to want to be friends to then always turn it into something more. Of course, he aggressively hits on her seconds after they seem to land on common ground.

  18. They then introduced Al Jarreau who sings Pretty as a Picture.

  19. This is followed by a repeat of the short film filled with people reuniting at the airport when anyone could meet you at the gate when you arrived which led to emotional homecomings that you just don't see anymore.

  20. Finally, the show ended with a quick joke about Patty Hurst as Boyle's other special person in the audience.

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SNL: S01E14... HOST: DESI ARNAZ... DATE: FEBRUARY 21, 1976

SNL: S01E14... HOST: DESI ARNAZ... DATE: FEBRUARY 21, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts with President Ford in a therapy session, and I'll give you three choices as to what was involved A) Ford is clumsy and stupid B) Chevy Chase falls down C) all of the above.

  2. Desi Arnaz opened the show with a very sweet monolog about his excitement to return to live television. I was kind of surprised to find that Desi Arnaz triggered fond memories of watching him on I Love Lucy when I was a kid.

  3. Garrett Morris then played the boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, who was in prison for murder and points out that even though Bob Dylan wrote a song about him, no one knows who he is in prison and has to use his American Express as an ID.

  4. Chevy Chase and Jane Curtin play a couple in bed with the lights out talking about his sexual dysfunctions only to reveal the lights were out because it was supposed to be a surprise party and the guest witnessed the entire ordeal.

  5. Loraine Newman then played Luciana Vermicelli talking about her occult secrets on how she stays so young. I have no idea who Luciana Vermicelli is, and the occult references were common enough that I wasn't all that entertained.

  6. This was followed by a segment called Literary Recital where Desi Arnaz reads the poem The Jabberwocky which his exaggerated Cuban accent made the sketch hilarious with how he pronounces the "J."

  7. Chevy Chase then played Very White and sang a Berry White-esque song.

  8. This was followed by another funny sketch where Desi shared the fake failed pilots that led up to the development of I Love Lucy. These miss-tries included: I Saw Lucy, I Loathe Lucy, I Love Louie (featuring Louie Armstrong,) I Love Asparagus, and finally I Love Desi (where there were two Desis.)

  9. Next was the news which is getting better and better each episode as it becomes more of a parody news segment over just being jokes about news on a fake news set.

  10. The news's commercial was a repeat of the ad for speed.

  11. The news then returned with more news and no guest which was a first, as, up until now someone has always visited the news after the fake commercial. Though I noticed the difference, I'd say I'm okay with it.

  12. Desi Arnaz Jr then came out to share a few kind words about his father as he introduced a parody of the show The Untouchables that seemed to go on way too long, especially since I don't care for mob references and don't think I've ever seen The Untouchables TV show.

  13. Gilda Radner then played Lucy in a sketch that more of an intro to Desi singing Cuban Pete instead of being an accurate parody of the show.

  14. Gary Wise then came out and introduced his latest short which was just some gay guy talking about his cats like an ahead of its time YouTube clip.

  15. Desi then played a Cuban Acupuncturist that uses cigars instead of needles.

  16. Chevy is then out on a date with Loraine Newman who says they need to work on their communication if they want this relationship to last, leading Chase to blabber gibberish having literal issues with speaking clearly.

  17. Jane Curtain then tells the tale of the first American Bisexual woman in a sketch called Bisexual Moment.

  18. Finally, Gilda Radner plugs Desi's new book and introduces him so he can play out the show with Babalu. 

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SNL: S01E15... HOST: JILL CLAYBURGH... DATE: FEBRUARY 28, 1976

SNL: S01E15... HOST: JILL CLAYBURGH... DATE: FEBRUARY 28, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show started with Chevy Chase fighting with Lorne Michaels about how he's sick of how he's being treated by the show, the lines between fact and fiction felt a little blurry, especially knowing the history of the show.

  2. Jill Clayburgh then opened the show on the night before my birth as discussed in the intro above. She did a bit with Don Pardo where he was using his game show announcer voice to describe their night on the town, the night before the show. She pointed out that he announced Jeopardy and I was a bit shocked that I wasn't shocked by how old Jeopardy actually is.

  3. Jane Curtin then introduced Moments in Herstory which seemed to be about women making bad choices throughout time. In this segment, it was Freud's daughter to tell her dad her dirty dreams that triggered the creation of psychoanalysis.

  4. This was followed by a sketch called Gill Carson Guidance Counselor, which must have been in reference to something the host worked on because it was a parody of a story where a white woman transfers to a rough school to then change the lives of every minority they interact with. This sketch went on way too long and felt dramatic enough to be the real deal with barely any parody at all.

  5. Leon Redbone then performed Ain't Misbehavin' which led me to forget how interesting and original his style is, even to this day.

  6. Garrett Morris then breaks down the issues with race relations and offers to accept donations from those suffering from white guilt.

  7. This was followed by another Great Moment in Herstory which was about the Mother of Modern Dance who must have died from decapitation as the sketch was about her opting for a long scarf to wear on her ride in her new man's convertible. 

  8. This was followed by the news which is continuing to grow some legs, but there were still too many stories like how it was Popeye's birthday with no connection to a real-life event.

  9. The news's commercial was a repeat of the first H&L Brock commercial from a couple weeks ago.

  10. The news returned to Emily Litella was ranting about the Deaf Penalty and finished off on a couple of standard stories. 

  11. The Singing Idlers then came out and sang a song about the Coast Guard as a list of people dumber than dolphins scrolled across the screen. 

  12. After the Coast Guard song, Jill Clayburgh joined the group and sang Sea Cruise by Frankie Ford.

  13. Next was a fake commercial for car treats with people talking about their car as if it actually ate the snacks and the benefits that could be felt.

  14. The host then announced that there would be no Muppets this week, even though they've been gone for over a month, but they then use the set to do a Muppet Show with just hands.

  15. This was followed by a short film which was pretty much the same thing as the pre-YouTube cat video from the week before only this week it was a dog owner obsessing over his pet.

  16. Andy Kaufman then came out and performed Old MacDonald with the help of a couple volunteers from the crowd.

  17. Next, we had Chevy and Jill Clayburgh out on a date where she pesters him about what is on her mind. He's nice and says it's her who's on his mind, but she wants more and more details as to why. When he asks her what she's thinking about, she just says warthogs and moves on.

  18. Leon Redbone then returned to sing Big Time Woman and again, I'm very intrigued by his overall style.

  19.  This was followed by another Great Moment in History where Gandhi's daughter opted to be evil continually wanting to own guns, which was an interesting history lesson to me after looking her up when the episode was over.

  20. OH NO... IT'S MR. BILL in his introduction to the cast of SNL/

  21. Finally, the show ended on a lesbian marriage where there must have been some historical references to the two brides because it got quite the reaction when their names were revealed.

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SNL: S01E16... HOST: ANTHONY PERKINS... DATE: MARCH 13, 1976

SNL: S01E16... HOST: ANTHONY PERKINS... DATE: MARCH 13, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Chevy Chase reads fan mail criticizing the show for dragging out the sketch with unnecessary padding, only to pad the sketch as he goes by searching for words and drawing out each sentence. 

  2. Anthony Perkins opens the show, excited to be himself and not Norman Bate, to then act in ways that are even creepier than the psychotic killer, like eating a fly and pulling a band-aid off slowly to feel every hair.

  3. The was followed by a segment called A President's View on Marijuana where idiot Ford tries to roll a joint to only fail really hard.

  4. There was then a psychotherapy session that I was fully prepared for emphasis to be on psycho but it turned out Perkin's would sing Hello Dolly every time Jane Curtin tried to explain her situation. She couldn't focus on her problem because she was too focused on trying not to sing along. I kind of think this therapy might actually work.

  5. Gilda Radner then plays a housewife talking to a friend on the phone explaining how she hired a housekeeper from the back of The Village Voice. It turns out the ad was using cleaning codes for S&M activities, and the housekeeper is actually a dominatrix which takes a while for Gilda to do the math to clearly see.

  6. Next was a fake commercial for the Norman Bates School of Hotel Management.

  7. The Muppets then join Anthony Perkins on the stage and complain about how they are being treated by the show. Again it feels like a blend of fact and fiction as I believe this collaboration breaks up after season one.

  8. Perkins and the Muppets introduce Betty Carter who sings Music Maestro, Please.

  9. Once again we see that idiot Ford can't roll a joint.

  10. Which is then followed by the news which just keeps getting better and better as they give more details about the stories being satired over the assumption that the common knowledge level would make it easy for the audience at the time to understand at that time.

  11. The news commercial was the first new one I've seen in a while. It was kind of funny as it parodied medical ads that map out the inner workings of the sinus system on some bald guy's face.

  12. The news returns with Belushi as a meteorologist that explains how March will come in like a lion and out like a lamb, only to get enraged by the list of similar analogies. There was also a really quick segment with Emily Litella where she confused the treatment of natural resources with natural racehorses.

  13. This was followed by a lame sketch where Perkins apparently starts affairs with strangers by merely asking because woman apparently can't say no, but I did like the end when Scred interrupted the sketch asking to host the news or at least replace Emily Litella as he confused people eating muffins with people eating Muppets.

  14. Ford still can't roll that joint.

  15. Next was another short film that was YouTube like as it was filled with more interviews of people talking about their pets.

  16. A student is then given a B on her test, only it's the Belushi Bee and not the grade.

  17. Anthony Perkins then stepped out onto the stage and introduced a string of parodies of his cheapo follow-ups to Psycho, including Terror Lunch, Dressed to Kill, and Driven to School.

  18. Next was the home video of the week. This time it was a stop motion film about peanuts plotting revenge on the guy who ate their family.

  19. Betty Carter returned to sing Swing Brother Swing, and I Can't Help It.

  20. Dan Aykroyd then played a cop who hosts a dance show where he constantly breaks up the fun. The towns call Butt County which also led to a lot of laughs.

  21. Finally, Perkins returns with the Muppets to say their goodnights.

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SNL: S01E17... HOST: RON NESSEN... DATE: APRIL 17, 1976

SNL: S01E17... HOST: RON NESSEN... DATE: APRIL 17, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts with a repeat of The Dead String Quartet sketch from a couple weeks earlier, not sure if they just replayed the original or if this was a remake, as everything was the same except the end which was a pre-recorded introduction from Ford saying, "Live from New York it's Saturday Night.

  2. Ron Nessen then opened the show. I never heard of this man before, and when I found out, he was the White House Press Secretary from the time I instantly knew why.

  3. This was followed by the Bass-O-Matic sketch the triggered the introductory thoughts that are written above.

  4. Chevy as Ford meets with Nessen to discuss whether or not he should do the show. This was another Ford is dumb sketch without much meat to hang onto after the passage of time.

  5. Next was an ad that was making fun of Smucker's campaign that points out how crazy their company name is. The rest of the sketch was filled with competing jelly companies that fought to come up with the craziest name until they get to the point where they can't mention it on TV.

  6. The Patti Smith Group then sang Gloria.

  7. This was followed by the first reoccurring segment called Press Secretaries through time. In this installment, Nesses announces the death of Catherine the Great adding some historical jokes that I had to piece together due to my memories of the true story being so vague.

  8. There was then a lie detector sketch where Gilda Radner's voice acted some politician’s daughter, asking questions to her fiancé. This person was Nixon's nephew about what he knew of Watergate. All we see is the lie detector machine that scribbles like crazy every time he lies.

  9.  Belushi then played a stoner army recruiter explaining how expectations have changed now that it's an all-volunteer army.

  10. This was followed by the news. Thought there were no highlights in the first half it's still fun to watch to get a hint of what was going on at the time and how comedy attempts to shape views of the day.

  11. The news’s commercial spot was a repeat of the Abbey Hoffman line of graffiti wallpaper.

  12. The news returned to Emily Litella ranting about the upcoming Presidential Erection.

  13.  Next was a fun mini-documentary interviewing sanitation worker/garbage men on the strange things that they've found.

  14. Gilda Radner then starred in a fake commercial for carbonated douche.

  15. Dan Aykroyd then introduced us to his Tom Snyder impersonation an interview with the Press Secretary in a way that was almost too real to be considered a sketch.

  16. Next was another home movie entry, this time it was a bunch of men in the bathroom who all start to sing the moment they step up to the urinal to pee.

  17. The was followed by the second installment of Press Secretary Through Time this time he was explaining the situation with Oedipus.

  18. Chevy and Jane are then in bed together and get interrupted by the Supreme Court who wanted to bust them for performing illegal sex acts and then end up watching them to make sure they are not breaking any laws.

  19. Next, we are back to the Press Secretary Through Time who explains that Jefferson was accused of having slaves, but these were the children Jefferson had with slave so where there for family and not slaves making everything just fine.

  20. Billy Crystal then came out and did his old jazzman.

  21. This was followed by a sketch that I hope they repeat called Misconception where disprove the, "Too many cooks, spoil the broth" cliché when a whole bunch of cooks makes a perfect batch of broth.

  22. The Patti Smith Group returns to perform My Generation.

  23. The host and cast then come out to close out the show by saying good night.

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SNL: S01E18... HOST: RAQUEL WELCH... DATE: APRIL 24, 1976

SNL: S01E18... HOST: RAQUEL WELCH... DATE: APRIL 24, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Chevy Chase opens the show as the host of an award show reading the nominations for the presidential candidates' most influential decision of the election cycle. These decisions are ironic jabs and pretty funny. Chevy goes to read the winner only to find a not to get to the fall. Chevy then claims that he's done with the fall routine only to fall on his way out.

  2. Raquel Welch opens the show with a quick attempt at a joke to then quickly transitions to sing Don't You Remember You Told Me You Love Me Baby and is eventually joined by Belushi Cocker.

  3. Gilda Radner and Garrett Morris's apartment is filled with lethargic rats then the Pied Piper enters to promote Purino's Rat Chow.

  4. The Council of Standards and Measures announces that not only will America be going metric but that are converting to a 10 letter alphabet called the decabet.

  5. The Muppets show up again and complain about not being let onto the show anymore in what feels like a set up that their days are numbered. Raquel Welch joins in on the conversation only to get groped by the Muppets with what looked like a lot of extra grabbing from the Muppeteers. The sketch ends with Chevy Chase telling her to take her top off.

  6. Phoebe Snow sings All Over.

  7. Chevy Chase and Jane Curtin announce the famous Ski Shooting sketch where they added the sound of guns being fired to skiers falling only to blame Claudine Longet, whoever that is.

  8. This leads into another real commercial for Polaroid.

  9. Which is then followed by a sketch about Howard Hughs and his attempt to design a bra which ends up having motorized propellers.

  10. This was followed by the news which had a report about communist accusations being thrown around on the campaign trail.

  11. The news commercial was Raquel Welch dressed as sexy Gore Vidal sharing a moment from history in Bisexual Moment.

  12. The news returned to the Belushi meteorologist angry about music that gives weather a bad name which leads into an explosive rant about The Wizard of OZ and why Toto was the only one that didn't get a gift.

  13. John Sebastian sings Welcome Back complete with a false start and an appearance by Belushi Cocker.

  14. Loren Michaels then offers The Beatles $3,000 to reunite on the show.

  15. Next, was a great sketch where the Bees did a parody of Cuckoo's Nest (which is one of my favorite movies of all time) called One Flew Over the Hornet's Nest.

  16. Gilda Radner then points out that she has all the same parts as Raquel Welch only Raquel's are better arranged.

  17. This was followed by a short film with Raquel Welch gyrating around the screen.

  18. Phoebe Snow then returns to sing Two Fisted Love.

  19. And I found it weird and a little rude that this was directly followed by Raquel Welch singing It Ain't Necessarily So.

  20. The Muppets then returned in a sketch that really seemed like their goodbye as they all realize they're just Muppets and climb into a chest to be stowed away now that they've given up.

  21. The show ends with Chevy once again asking Raquel to take off her shirt which she does to reveal the worst green screen effect that I've ever seen.

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SNL: S01E19... HOST: MADELINE KAHN... DATE: MAY 8, 1976

SNL: S01E19... HOST: MADELINE KAHN... DATE: MAY 8, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Chevy Chase opens the show as Reagan playing jazz piano to show that he is hip yet keeps referring to Garrett Morris, who is playing the sax, as "Boy," completely unaware of how offensive he is being.

  2. Madeline Kahn then opens the show with an entertaining monolog about Mother's Day. 

  3. This was followed by Belushi in a fake ad for Wilderness Comedian where he performs jokes for small woodland creatures.

  4. Gilda Radner as Barbara Walters interviews Madeline Kahn as Marlene Dietrich and the two have a speech impediment off that had me laughing out loud.

  5. This was followed by a slumber party sketch with kids tip-toeing around talking about sex in a slow but silly scene.

  6. Garrett Morris plays a representative of Namibia who is calling for all the unused fondue pots in America that were given as gifts after it stopped becoming a trend.

  7. The Muppets then try to talk Chevy into helping them get back on the show and offer to bring the Beatles in return.

  8. Howard Shore and His Band of All Monsters play I feel pretty for Madeline Kahn dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein to sing along.

  9. The news was filled with a few jokes about Reagan which is kind of interesting knowing that he loses the current election being covered but wins four years later after most of the original cast was gone.

  10. The news's commercial was a weird parody of the old Bounty paper towel commercials only they were promoting how absorbent Rosie's Hosieries actually are.

  11. The news returns with Emily Litella ranting about Violins on TV.

  12. Madeline Kahn then introduced Carly Simon noting that she hasn't been on TV in a long time then broke the news that it was a pre-recorded performance of Half a Chance and You're So Vain.

  13. Next, was a weird but interesting sketch where Madeline played Nixon's wife writing in her diary about the final day in the White House. There were a bunch of flashbacks that seemed like they each would have worked well on their own but all together felt way too long.

  14. This week's short film was a video that intercut music praising New York with clips of angry New York fans at sporting events as they freak out over whatever is happening on the field.

  15. Belushi stars as a Private Investigator with Madeline Kahn as a client and their conversation evolved into the song I Will Follow Him, as Belushi explains his detecting style.

  16. Gilda and Madeline then do two quick but cute impersonations, Kahn doing a baby eating ice cream for the first time and Gilda does a parakeet that is learning to speak.

  17. Madeline Kahn then sings what I'm guessing is a religious hymn.

  18. Then the show finished with her saying goodnight to the crowd and the audience at home.

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SNL: S01E20... HOST: DYAN CANNON... DATE: MAY 15, 1976

SNL: S01E20... HOST: DYAN CANNON... DATE: MAY 15, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts post-Chevy fall as if the show accidentally started early, meaning the segment didn't go out live, leading the director to make Chevy redo the fall even though all the other actors had already left the stage. The director kept emphasizing that the fall is all that mattered.

  2. Dyan Cannon then started the show with a clumsy monolog that transitioned into a song about how she doesn't drink or smoke and is a bit of a prude. She then finished the intro by announcing that her fantasy is to have a man on a white horse came to take her away some day.

  3. The was followed by a fake commercial with a taste test between Sugar-Free Sing and a mug filled with phlegm. 

  4. Dyan Cannon then played a nurse directing a hearing test where the patients couldn't hear anything but the test because of how good the headphones. Robbers then rush the building and have a shootout with the police while the patients continue to raise whichever hand the corresponded with the direction of the tone. This goes until everyone in the room gets shot by the police.

  5. Chevy Chase is on the couch making out with Dyan Cannon. Her husband walks in leading Chevy to play dead as Dyan attempt to cover up her affair.

  6. This was followed by Vacationland Adventure where Jane Curtin interviews Belushi about vacationing in Bulgaria in the winter when everything is frozen over.

  7. Dan Aykroyd tries to impress Dyan by walking up a little horse meaning his voice and not the animal-like Dyan asked for in the intro.

  8. Leon and Mary Russel then perform I Want to Satisfy You which I wasn't really feeling.

  9. Buck Henry then makes a quick appearance to announce his hosting duties next week only to have the girls make fun of him right in front of his face.

  10. This was followed by the news that still going strong and interesting to see them covering the election after living through this year's cluster fuck of an election.

  11. The news commercial was Jane Curtin trying to sell Florida Orange Juice in Beirut only to be killed by terrorists.

  12. The news returns as does the top story being repeated for the hearing impaired.

  13. Next, Chevy Chase played a minister performing funeral services and get stricken with a case of hiccups to then try different techniques while trying to continue his services.

  14. Garrett Morris then shows up with White Whore in order to win over Dyan Cannon to then be corrected that she said White Horse.

  15. The short film was interesting as they cut back and forth between a newlywed couple honeymooning at Niagara Falls and footage of two detectives talking about the ways in which their married clients don't trust one another.

  16. Dyan Cannon then plays Cindy Cleavage in a fake ad for a company that sells celebrity bathwater to creeps.

  17. Chevy then stars in a fake ad as a Marine instructor who gets abused by his commander every time he makes the slightest of mistakes. The ad ends with the line, "The US Marines die for their country, even in times of peace.

  18. Leon and Mary Russel then perform Daylight and are saved by the Belushi Cocker character who comes out to sing along.

  19. Gilda and Belushi play the parents of Dyan Cannon nervously waiting for her first date. The Hells Angels then arrive as Dyan Cannon sings Johnny Angel as the bikers destroy and rob the house.

  20. Belushi plays a store owner that pushes Cresk toothpaste for Gilda Radner's son even after being informed that he is dead, so his teeth won't rot in the grave. She ends up so shell-shocked by the situation that she buys the toothpaste and leave the store in a sad daze.

  21. Belushi then rides up on a white guy named Horace in order to win over Dyan Cannon and once again she clears up the mistake.

  22. This was followed by the Home Movie of the Week which was a guy who gets his hands stuck in a hubcap that he is trying to steal and gets tangled up in the wheel as the owner of the car gets in and drives off without even noticing the crook. 

  23. Finally, Dyan says her goodnights to the crowd and viewing audience as Chevy finally arrives on a real white horse to close out the show.

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