My Birthday Episode: Year 1 


Jill Clayburgh hosted the season one episode of Saturday Night Live that aired hours before I was brought into this world. Though I still struggle to place what I know her from I now have this as a pop culture connection. Sure, this episode starring Steve Martin air a couple days before my first annual celebration of life but as a leap year baby the actual date didn't exist this year, so it's close enough to link the occasions.

Being born on a day that rarely exists has led to a life of one repeat question. "On the off years when there is no 29th, when do you celebrate your birthday?" This question actually doesn't bother me that much, unlike my reaction to "How many years old does that make you?" This question bothers me because a year is still a year and should be asking for a birthday count and not a year count, which I know I overreact to but you try putting up with the same invalid question to almost anyone who figures out your birthday.

As for when I celebrate my birthday, the answer to that is a little more tricky. I often think that having my special day rarely exist led me to lose the importance that I put into date acknowledgment. I struggle to remember any date of significance from other's birthdays to major holidays.

I think this might have stemmed from the fact that when my birth date didn't exist, we would just celebrate on whatever weekend was around it. I personally preferred to keep the celebration in February despite the fact that I was technically born on March first. I felt more connected to the concept of being born on the last day of Feb because March adds a deeper disconnect to my date association.

That said, I would have been turning one at this time, so I didn't have any say in the celebration. Either way, I may have been up with my parents while they watched this show because they were fans and love to tell me how I was always a child of the night.

Though I don't remember it from then, this is what I saw this time as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Steve Martin exits his dressing room to head to the stage and is instantly greeted by Gilda Radner who is complaining about how he's treated her since his last hosting gig claiming that his guest hosting spot on the Tonight Show had gone to his head. He assures Gilda that this is not true then continues on to get confronted by the rest of the cast who all seem to have the same concern. It ends with Belushi bullying Martin twisting his arm to get him to open the show with the famous, "Live from New York..."

  2. Steve Martin then opens the show with his high energy stand up that I'm finding I'm not a fan of. Just like with Richard Prior, I adore him as an actor, but I'm sad to say that his stand-up kind of annoys me.

  3. The Coneheads return, this time Steve Martin plays an IRS agent investigating why they randomly appeared in the tax system. The crosstalk between alien talk and talk of illegal aliens, which was surprisingly current as well as being pretty funny for the time.

  4. Once again, Garrett Morris sings opera as the subtitles explain why they were expecting something more stereotypically black after Morris's trip to Jamaica.

  5. This was followed by a sketch called Celebrity Weightlifting that put Jaclyn Kennedy Onassis up against a Russian Strongman, and she barely loses the contest.

  6. Next, The Kinks came out and did a medley of their hits.

  7. Once again, Jane Curtin does the news which was solid, but there were no stories worth sharing.

  8. The news commercial was for Doctor Ruth Breadloaf's diet book where you eat a page per meal until you meet your goal.

  9. This was followed by more news that was decent but nothing too exciting.

  10. Lily Tomlin then joins the show to promote a Broadway gig that she landed. She and the rest of the female cast then break into a performance of Broadway Babies about the women trying to start their stage careers while maintaining a life in Manhattan.

  11. Belushi then plays a child on life support while Steve Martin plays a light-hearted doctor discussing the options to pull the plug. The family is willing to fight until they learn of the daily cost to which Murray, playing the father, became bound and determined to unplug his son, even lying saying the wanted to die with dignity. Belushi then comes to life in the process of the "accidental" unplugging which leaves everyone in an awkward situation.

  12. Garrett Morris came out to introduce the short film with was just a mini-documentary about what looks to be a fantastic but run-down restaurant in New Orleans.

  13. Steve Martin then hosts a show called Hollywood Bingo that's like Hollywood squares only with tons of guest to fill up an entire Bingo card. Steve Martin sounds like an auctioneer because of how fast he has to rush through the introductions.

  14. The home movie was call From Orange to the Big Apple which was sort of like the Alanis Morissette music video where she plays everyone in the car, only this was first and featured Lily Tomlin playing every role, and she makes her way from nowhere New Jersey to the big city.

  15. Garrett Morris then played the author of Roots who was there to promote Roots II a version of the story where whites were the slaves to try to capitalize on the high ratings.

  16. The Kinks return to perform Sleepwalker.

  17. Steve Martin then has a blind date with Gilda where it turns out they have 100% in common, no matter how obscure their comparisons get they continue to agree on favorites.

  18. Finally, Steve Martin says his good nights.

I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed by my birthday episode. I'd say that it was a little bit better than an average episode, but with Steve Martin at the wheel, I was expecting more magic. That said, it was still easy to find my top three sketches which I will share right now. First, I was a fan of The Coneheads again, and I think it's because they're few sketches that have an ongoing storyline. Next, I like Steve Martin and Gilda on a date having 100% in common, it kind of reminded me of a dumb luck situation that The Jerk would find himself in. Finally, I was a fan of Hollywood Bingo sketch because I loved those celebrity show from the past and was able to get a majority of the references.


Watch More From Steve Martin:

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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.