SNL: S01E24... HOST: KRIS KRISTOFFERSON... DATE: JULY 31, 1976

or...

The Cold Close

Just looking at the line-up of this episode I went into this viewing with very low expectation which I find weird with this being the season finally of the inaugural season. Not only does it show that Kris Kristofferson was going to be the host and music guest as well but it mentioned yet another performer slotted to sing two songs.

I don't know it if was just a sign of the time but there was zero fanfare to send off this new show. As a matter of fact, even Kris Kristofferson's first joke is about how he's not a good fit for the show and as much as I'd like to disagree, this episode really did feel like an afterthought which is why this review might feel the same.

With that, I have nothing else to say but... and now, I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts with Kris Kristofferson mid-song as he sings Help Me Make it Through the Night. At first, it seems like it's just going to be another musical episode but then we see Chevy lying in bed like a sleazy Cinemax late night start. The song is the soundtrack to the sketch that ends with Chevy falling out of bed.
  2. Kris Kristofferson then stammers his way through the quick opening introduction as he quickly throws to a sketch.
  3. Lorraine Newman then plays a ditsy SNL groupie who ended up hooking up with a producer when she came to see the show. She tells a tale about how this led to her becoming part of the writing staff and jokes about how she was pretty much sexually harassed by the entire staff but it was a different time and everyone laughed but the character didn't seem to feel like a victim and didn't seem to mind this treatment so my issue with the sketch is probably just watching it was modern eyes.
  4. Next, was the Samurai General Practitioner who gives Kristofferson a physical while he is sick and on the road. This sketch felt long and slapped together which says a lot considering it is a Samurai sketch.
  5. Rita Cook then comes out to perform Hoola Hoop.
  6. This was followed by a fake ad for Garrett Morris as Jesse Owens selling Commemorative Medallions paying tribute to the fallen white athletes from the past. 
  7. Once again Chevy plays Ford who is clumsy and dumb but funny to watch despite being so singularly layered.
  8. Next was a cop sketch where Chase and Aykroyd seemed to be more interested in what's for dinner over the stresses of the job, being that they shoot their suspects first and never ask questions later.
  9. The news was once again mainly focused on the 1976 presidential campaign as well as the summer Olympics that just took place. 
  10. The news commercial break returned which I wasn't all that happy to see but this ad was pretty funny because it's pretty much an ad about how all you have to do to become famous amongst the Country crowd is to talk real dumb as he pitches a product called Country Talk to teach these dumb ways of speech.
  11. The news returned to more of your standard stories and Chevy Chase gave a pretty arrogant good night that I might not have noticed if I didn't already know he wasn't coming back for season two. He pretty much ended abruptly with a subtle screw you to the fans that wrote in to complain about the news.
  12. Kris Kristofferson then explains the brief history of his song Bobby McGee. Gilda then comes out as Bobby and she aged to be rather ordinary and unexciting. We even meet her new husband played by Belushi who adds to the awkwardness of reuniting with people when you've had an interesting past.
  13. Jane Curtin then goes on a blind date with her Gynecologist and is at first bothered by the fact that he's seen all her business then becomes annoyed when claims he couldn't point out her privates in a line. 
  14. Rita Coolidge returns with Kris Kristofferson and the two sing Eddie the Eunuch.
  15. Garrett Morris, playing a preacher, introduces Aykroyd as Jimmy Carter building up all the things that Carter has done to help with race relations. Carter then thanks the crowd and reassures them that he will not return the favor of a vote with any type of political payback which is obviously the entire reason behind the event. The sketch then turns surreal and Morris wakes in his bed telling his wife that he had a dream. She's actually proud of him, not knowing it was actually a nightmare that he had experienced.
  16. Garrett Morris then introduces the sketch Waiting for Pardo, which was a very funny parody of Waiting for Godot.
  17. Kris Kristofferson returns to the stage as the musical guest to sing I've Got a Life of My Own.
  18. The show then finishes with the host and cast saying their good nights.

As I said, I was a little surprised that the final crescendo of this first season ended so bland. Here are the sketches I had to stretch to find funny enough to site as the best of the batch. First, I was genuinely a fan of the Waiting for Pardo sketch because Guffman got me excited about Godot and now I'm a fan of any reference to the film. Next, the trigger happy cops was kind of funny. Finally, there was actually some charm that I was fond of in the sketch with Jane Curtin getting set up with her Gynecologist and learning to get over the awkwardness of the idea.

Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.