SNL: S02E06... HOST: BUCK HENRY... DATE: OCTOBER 30, 1976

or...

The Buck is Back!!!

This was definitely my favorite episode to date. I think one of the reasons I liked it some much was that it may have answered the mystery as to why I am such a fan of Buck Henry. As I pointed out in past reviews of his hosting duties, it always feels like he's an average fan that won his opportunity to host the show. His over the top normalness really gives a viewer something to cheer for.

I've been waiting for this episode for quite a while because this was the show where the Samurai Stockbroker accidentally slashed the head of the host in the middle of the bit. I had seen this clip over and over again and couldn't wait to see the aftermath while watching the rest of the show.

The incident/accident seemed to unite the team to put extra effort into the show. There was already a pretty positive vibe going on as this was Chevy's final show. It felt like everyone had worked through where ever differences there might have been for one last hurrah.

It could also be that this was the first episode I watched while getting drunk. Oh well, here's what else I witnessed as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show opened with the Land Shark on Halloween sketch.
  2. Next, Buck Henry did a funny opening monolog where he reveals weird secrets about each member of the cast.
  3. Samurai Stockbroker, not the best of the Samurai series but it is the one where Belushi really bashes Buck in the head with the sword.
  4. Gilda as Barbara Walters then interviews the potential first ladies in her new parody talk show.
  5. Garrett Morris then shows us his Roots as he tells the back story of his family in a photo journey through time.
  6. This was followed by a parody of the third debate from '76. This one was a beauty pageant-themed event, complete with a swimsuit and talent portion of the show.
  7. The news starts with the top story being the Buck Henry incident. From here on out everyone in the cast has a band aid on their head to show solidarity with the injured host.
  8. The news commercial was for the Bat-O-Matic which was a blender to make magic potions and Aykroyd actual blends a dead bat. Once again, I was surprised by how shocked I felt that they would actually use a real dead bat.
  9. The news returned with a touching moment where Chevy hands off the news to Jane Curtin. I have to be honest and admit that I almost cried, but as I said, I was drunk by this time. 
  10. The band The Band then played three songs back to back. Life is a Carnival, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, and Stage Fright.
  11. This was followed by a parody of The Omen called The OintMENt that really felt like it was reaching to make any sense.
  12. The short film of the week was Buck Henry being put into drag.
  13. The next three sketches are connected in a very obscure way. First, they introduce that Garrett Morris will be going to Houdini's grave on Halloween to attempt to interview his ghost if it were to appear. The set up was so quick that it almost didn't make sense.
  14. Next, there was a sketch with Michael O Donoghue being weird as he tales the tale of the Least Loved Bedtime story. I kind of tuned out because I have mixed feeling about O Donoghue and he seemed to just be saying weird things for the sake of being weird.
  15. Finally, my attention was pulled back to the present as they cut back to Garrett Morris who just looked terrified and couldn't speak a word. Nothing else was said and they just moved on with the show. It was such a jarring return to reality that it had me laughing the hardest of any sketch I've seen up to this point.
  16. The band The Band then performed Georgia On My Mind.
  17. Finally, Buck Henry closes out the show by saying good night.

Though this was my favorite episode to date, I was a bigger fan of the overall energy over any standout sketches but I still have a top three, which are as goes. First, just because it made me laugh so hard, Garrett Morris being shocked by seeing Houdini's ghost has to top my list. Next would be the Samurai Stockbroker because that's the sketch that made Buck Henry a hero to me. Finally, I liked seeing the land shark again because it added closure to Chevy being on the show.

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.