SNL: S01E21... HOST: BUCK HENRY... DATE: MAY 22, 1976

SNL: S01E21... HOST: BUCK HENRY... DATE: MAY 22, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Chevy Chase opens the show with a cast on his leg claiming he can't do the fall this week due to an accident while getting an award. He acts extra arrogant as he announces Loraine Newman would be doing the fall in his place while continuing to act arrogant. She steps out and pushes him over, so he ends up doing the fall.

  2. Buck Henry opens the.... nope... there is no Buck Henry, so Loren Michaels calls Belushi out to open the show while he looks for Buck. This is maybe the second time we venture behind the scenes as Loren learns that Buck stepped out to get a pack of smokes. Loren heads to security to find the guard won't let Buck pass because he is expecting a star to host the show. 

  3. They go to restart the show despite the director not wanting to and then rushing Buck Henry when they do.

  4. Chevy Chase then plays a cheesy lounge singer that changes colors like a mood ring passed on the tempo of the song.

  5. The classic Samurai Tailor.

  6. Talk Back with Frank Nolan, was a sketch where Buck Henry plays a host of a call-in show where he has ten phones to answers only no one calls, and he has to list off each phone number each time he tries to get callers.

  7. Dell Stator's 99cent Toad Ranch, the 99 cent restaurant with 99 cent frog steaks.

  8. Gordon Lightfoot sings Summertime Dream.

  9. This was followed by another real live commercial for Polaroid.

  10. Next, was the news which is so interesting to watch having distance and knowing how things turn out.

  11. The news's commercial was a repeat of the Roll-On Room Deodorizer ad.

  12. The news returned, and I'm not sure if it was just that I was very high but Chevy's eyes looked extremely red.

  13. Next was my favorite sketch to date, which sent me on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. In this sketch, they are casting a movie and have all the background actors for a crowd scene audition at once implying that they always audition as the same exact group. The audition process cracked me up because everyone had to react to everything as a group and it reminded me of awkward auditions that I witnessed when I worked in film. I then started to note smiley faces to mark this as my favorite sketch only to have it transition to an over the top out of the blue offensive scene where the group tries to lynch Garrett Morris. Once again I have mixed feelings about funny when factoring in time, leaning toward being okay with it because it was a different time.

  14. Loren then sweetens his attempt to get the Beatles to reunite on the show by boosting his offer from $3,000 to $3,200.

  15. This was followed by Gilda Radner as Barbara Walters having another crazy voice off between her and a German Director.

  16. This week's short film was Buck Henry in a hardware store interviewing people about toilet seats.

  17. Looks at Books is a fake interview show where Jane Curtin interviews a sex therapist who tip-toes around actually talking about sex.

  18. Gordon Lightfoot then sings Spanish Moss. There was then a fake bit where Lightfoot and Henry were bickering over an encore only to have the Samurai step in.

  19. Garrett Morris then came out and sang an operatic song. It was actually awe-inspiring while also being amusing as well since halfway through the song they run a message explaining that it is not PBS and that this was the last song they expected to hear when Garrett said he wanted to sing.

  20. Michael O'Donoghue and assistants impersonate Tony Orlando and Dawn getting stabbed in the eyes with long steel needles.

  21. Finally, Buck Henry says his goodnights. 

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SNL: S01E22... HOST: ELLIOTT GOULD... DATE: MAY 29, 1976

SNL: S01E22... HOST: ELLIOTT GOULD... DATE: MAY 29, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1.  The show started in a wax museum with Chevy Chase, flashing and sexually harassing the mannequins until the Gilda Radner mannequin fights back and smacks him off the stage.

  2. Elliott Gould opens the show by singing Anything Goes as mention above.

  3. This was followed by a repeat of the fake commercial to learn the career of answering phones for career training hotlines.

  4. Next, was a sketch about a poker game between Dan Aykroyd who was playing a wealthy southerner and Chevy Chase who played a European with a crazy language with Gould as his interpreter and the two take advantage of Aykroyd's southern charm and rob him blind.

  5. This was followed by a PSA from the National Uvula Association. 

  6. Leon Redbone sings Shine on Harvest Moon... I swear I thought this guy was Father Guido Sarducci for quite a while.

  7. This was followed by a Star Trek parody that went on for a really long time where The Enterprise was being trailed by an old car with a Network Executive that boards the ship and cancels the show.

  8. Gilda Radner then reads a letter from the Muppets.

  9. This was followed by the news where I saw a flash of real boobs and am surprised this is the first time that I heard about this.

  10. The commercial for the news was a parody ad for a vibrator/salad maker food for him satisfaction for her... not all that funny though modern eyes.

  11. News returns to Jane Curtin giving an editorial reply as Chevy makes faces behind her back.

  12. Garrett Morris plays a dictator in Ghana who then has a run in with Shirley Temple who helps sort of work through the issues with a song.

  13. The short film of the week followed an old man who ran a dictation/dance/show tunes singing school for kids.

  14. This was followed by the Bees doing a Honeymooners parody that was sort of funny.

  15. Leon Redbone then returned to sing Walking Stick.

  16. Next was another rerun of a commercial for the moving company the literally moves people.

  17. Harlan Collins and Joyce Everson sing Heaven Only Knows.

  18. Gould says Goodnight.

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SNL: S01E23... HOST: LOUISE LASSER... DATE: JULY 24, 1976

SNL: S01E23... HOST: LOUISE LASSER... DATE: JULY 24, 1976

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts with a battle of egos between Chevy and Belushi, they both got back from the first break and have now experienced fame. Apparently, there was stuff said between Belushi and Chase as the scene was set that they were making a truce until Belushi sucker punches Chase creating the fall to open the show.

  2. Louise Lasser opens the show. I've never heard of her, but the way the audience is reacting she must had done something pretty big pretty recently. It goes on for quite a while. It's hard to tell if she’s really nervous, playing an edgy character, or is high on meth. The way she rambles leads me to believe it's all three of the above but the way she runs off stage and the camera follows is a good sign that it's acting this time. This is still technically the opening as she is now locked in her dressing room and everyone is trying to talk her into coming out. She's finally lured out by the Land Shark, but I'm disappointed when he doesn't eat her.

  3. This was followed by a PSA by General Idi "VD" Amin who does a spot about the seriousness of syphilis.  

  4. Next was a parody of a Swedish film where it is just a couple sitting at the table looking into one another's eyes as they trick death into going out for pizza when there is no pizza in Sweden, at least according to the movie.

  5. Louise Lasser then plays Squeaky Fromme as her and Jane Curtin sell coffee pots made from their own hair.

  6. Louise Lasser and a Golden Retrieve have tea, and Lasser apologizes for lying about throwing the stick.

  7. Dan Aykroyd then plays a TV repairman that briefly tells a story of the history of television with one weird futuristic lie out of nowhere. We then zoom in to see how the TV works to see Lorraine Newman, Jane Curtin and Gilda Radner singing Electron Girl in some sort of poodle skirt doo-wop style.

  8. This was followed by the news the covered the 1976 Election Cycle and the Summer Olympics. No mid-news commercial this week.

  9. Jane Curtin and Gilda Radner act in another one of these sketches where they seem to bounce back and forth between being small children and adults as they have a slumber party talk about sex. Meaning their voices were as little kids, but the situations seem closer to college age experiences, but maybe that's what kids did back then.

  10. Next was a very Charlie Kaufman style short film where Louise Lasser is at a diner with her date. It seems like she's rambling and crazy, but she is just looking for her next line. Then she has another breakdown saying she's too exhausted to act only to forget her line within the breakdown, building up layers of scripted mistakes. I love this type of stuff and am happy to see this early stage in the style's evolution.

  11. Belushi then pitches his line of clothing which just turns out to be the clothing off his back that he is selling out of desperation. He then goes on to try and sell even more of his belongings.

  12. This was followed by Dan Aykroyd playing Carter in a campaign commercial despite putting zero effort into nailing down the look.

  13. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band performed Panama, which looked like a bunch of old men that escaped the local Moose Hall Masons Lounge.

  14. Louise Lasser then lays on the ground to put on her shoes and share the tale of her scandal, in a genuine moment that just might have been a cry for help.

  15. Louise Lasser returns to say her good nights.

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

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

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 team. With it being a different time, 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’s commercial break returned which, I wasn't all that happy to see. This ad was pretty funny though because it's pretty much a commercial about how all you have to do to become famous amongst the Country crowd is to talk real dumb. He shared this technique as he pitches a product called Country Talk to teach these ignorant 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 hilarious 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.

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