SNL: S02E20... HOST: ERIC IDLE... DATE: APRIL 23, 1977

SNL: S02E20... HOST: ERIC IDLE... DATE: APRIL 23, 1977

The Wicker Breakdown:  

  1. The show opened with a sketch featuring an IRA member being interrogated by an agent from MI6 who gets the IRA member to literally sing by literally torturing his potatoes. The agent finally gets the IRA guy to answer three questions where the answer equals "Live" "From New York" "It's Saturday Night."

  2. Eric Idle then rolls out the red carpet for himself to start his opening monolog. He then informs the crowd that the Queen would be sitting in as he introduces a pretty good impersonator. He then goes on to explain how even though Britain has all the culture it's America that has all the cash. This is when he announces the telethon angle that I was hoping would run through the entire show. He also announced a “Kick A Canadian” campaign where you could kick a Mountie in the balls for a buck.

  3. Next was an ad warning that buying your marijuana from Central and South American drug dealers was taking away American jobs. This lead to an ad for the American Dope Growers Union which left me wondering if they actually had union commercials at the time or if this was an overall spoof.

  4. This followed by a parody of The Nixon Interviews with David Frost special where Nixon rambles about breakfast as a child and bores everyone in the process. Nixon's wife then comes out to stop the show asking to give Nixon another chance. Idle as Frost uses this as an opportunity to trick Nixon into thinking the mics are off getting him to spill his guts about everything only there is a sound issue that drowns out his admission of guilt. They then return to the regular interview where Nixon continue to bore the audience to death.

  5. We check in with the telethon to see that it's still at the $20 total from the only donation so far.

  6. Alan Price then sings Poor People. I may be wrong in my interpretation but is a song that really makes Price look like a douche saying that poor people don't matter singing through the perspective of the rich without being ironic of cute.

  7. The short film this week was a bit of a mockumentary with Idle's British accent breaking down the actions of the cast acting out bits in Central Park.

  8. Once again, Jane Curtin does the news. She starts by announcing that she's won a Pulitzer Prize to a silent response from the crowd. Bill Murray sits in again with an editorial that kept getting very dark and perverted in a Michael O'Donoghue way that didn't seem to match Murray's comedic voice.

  9. The news commercial was for Oxxon which was obviously making fun of an Exxon spot from the time. In this commercial, they break down the commercial's production cost as if this were the excuse for why gas prices are so high finishing the ad with the line Oxxon, Fuel for a gullible America.

  10. The news returns with Emily Litella who starts with a rant about Air Solution instead of Air Pollution. Even she, as a character, thinks this is her worst attempt. She claims she's too love-smitten to focus because of Tom Snyder. She then sings I Will Swallow Him, which I'm surprised made it past the censors even though she is quickly corrected that it's, "follow him."

  11.  Next was a parody of a boxing event with Eric Idle vs. Belushi. Instead of boxing, they tell jokes as it becomes a bit about British humor vs. the comedy found in the US. Jokes count as punches and eventually devolves to being a pie fight.

  12. Pardo then announces "The Ruttle that lives in New York" who sang a song called Cheese and Onions in an attempt to get more callers for the telethon.

  13. Laraine Newman then set up the next sketch as she informs the audience about the financial struggle suffered by British cinema and introduces a movie called The Battle of Britain that cost $900 to produce. The sketch is of the movie with is all voice-over as Gilda reads a letter and flashback to quick scenes happening in the same room. 

  14. Next was a novelty singer named Neil Innes who sings a silly song called Shangri-La.

  15. This was followed by a sketch called Plain Talk that had Aykroyd and Idle speaking complete gibberish acting as if they understand one another. It reminded me of a YouTube video showing how English sounds to someone that doesn't speak the language.

  16. Next was a crazy Airline sketch where everyone on the plane had a gun and openly used them to threaten the stewardess to get whatever they want.

  17. Alan Price returns again but just looking at him rubs me the wrong way. He sings a song called Times Like These, but I was too annoyed to listen to the lyrics to see if my earlier analysis was wrong.

  18. We then return to the telethon where it is revealed that the one donor had requested a refund. Bill Murray comes out to save the day by drinking an entire bottle of grape juice. He gives up about a quarter of the way through and leaves the stage feeling dejected.

  19.  We come back from the final break to the announcement that someone really stepped up bringing the new total to $35,000,000 and with the host says his good nights.

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The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. (This is a repeat of what's written above in the intro.)The premise of the first sketch was that the first sketch was canceled. They then cut to a boxing match claiming it's the way that NBC is going to recoup from their horrible deal to air the match in the first place. They then cut to another sketch within the sketch where Shelley Duvall is getting taunted by the cast girls. All this is happening while the intro to the show is playing on the TV behind them. The girls then come out on the stage as an almost roller derby rock band that sings a song about how Saturday Night Live will make you laugh.

  2. A gang of Halloween costume-clad bank robbers enters a bank for a robbery. Not one person in the bank, even the rest of the gang can tell what Aykroyd's costume is supposed to be which leads to an argument when he claims to be an insect. Which eventual evolves into an impromptu costume contest.

  3. Joan Armatrading performs Love and Affection.

  4. I group of three swarthy guys hang out at a restaurant looking like the original Night at the Roxbury twins. It turns out they are three actors from the time that aren't sure which on amongst themselves is Ricardo Montalban. I recognized the other two names, but Montalban was the main focus as they try to figure out who's who like we would with Bill Paxton/Bill Pullman jokes of today. They found out the right answer by finding the one with the keys to a Cordova.

  5. There was then a quick cut to Chevy Chase in the audience with a humorous note, "Used to work on this show."

  6. Once again, Jane Curtin does another excellent job on an average night of the news.

  7. The news commercial played off the opening sketch playing the boxing match that NBC overpaid for once again. This time there is a PSA type voiceover explaining why blacks are better at boxing in an incredibly racist sketch saying that it has to do with education ending with the quote "A better educated Blackman is a weaker opponent." Though there was a humorous tone to the delivery, there was no twist on the stereotype, so any sense of satire really missed the mark.

  8. The news returns and Emily Litella is a no-show. Jane has to call her on the phone to get to the joke, "Leave your message at the Jeep." I wonder if Jane isn't joking when she says she doesn't like this routine because I love the character when she seems into the joke but I don't really like this trend of her having a half-assed approach to her rage.

  9. Belushi then plays Elvis for Viva Las Vegas II. In it, he plays a busboy totally dressed like Elvis who after the slightest bit of conflict decided he has to prove himself by putting on a performance of Hamlet which is mainly him rambling bits and pieces of the play eventually leading to him singing Jailhouse Rock. All the while Aykroyd who is the customer that started this conflict can't get over how much they are letting the bus boy get away with.

  10. Barbara Wawa then interviews Richard Burton where the two talk funny about his marriage to Elizabeth Taylor and other rumors about his life.

  11. This week's short film was called Brides which was a funny little short filled with joke information about brides.

  12. Bad Ballet is a PBS-type show with a pretty pretentious host who explains the tale of tonight's bad ballet which is called the Swan but has nothing to do with The Black Swan. The Ballet begins with three ballerinas all in white leotards with Garrett Morris as the fourth in black. He is a black swan but not the black swan. Belushi then comes in as the swan wrangler who starts to cattle prod the swans into line. Then, for some reason, a Russian soldier arrives along with a poultry inspector. These two characters take on the wrangler leading to the end of the ballet.

  13. We are in black and white, and Aykroyd and Morris are playing two guys who try to deprogram Shelley Duvall from her time with the Moonies. This evolves into a pretty good zombie parody called The Night of the Moonies where the cult members take the place of the walking dead.

  14. Joan Armatrading then performs Down to Zero.

  15. This was followed by a slower sketch that I still liked for some reason. This was Aykroyd and Duvall as a married/expecting couple in the cafeteria line at Kmart. The two are bickering about couple things, but the main bone of contention is Aykroyd's van. She accuses him of becoming his dad, avoiding her with van task. He is super defensive about his van claiming that all he wants is a moveable fur house after explaining the interior of the van. They eventual find balance as the reality sets in that he's going to be a dad.

  16. Finally, Shelley Duvall gives her good nights. 

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SNL: S02E22... HOST: BUCK HENRY... DATE: MAY 21, 1977

SNL: S02E22... HOST: BUCK HENRY... DATE: MAY 21, 1977

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show opens with a Fireside Chat where Carter is riding a bike to power the cameras as part of his promise to work on getting away from big oil. First, his wife takes his place, and the image starts to fade during the brief downtime during their switch off. Carter continues to explain his plan until it's his mother's turn to hop on the bike because she's too old to keep going. She eventual collapses causing the screen to go all snow. The image comes back and she back on the bike to say, "Live from New York..."

  2. Buck Henry opens the show with a monolog about how Lorne has given him the freedom to do whatever he wants since he's done so much for the show. He then announces that he's going to shot the first ever live porno scene expecting Lorne to call his bluff, but the FCC keep clearing everything until Buck Henry almost ends up in a gay porn scene after an accident mix-up when Henry was attempting to pick a hot female partner from the crowd.

  3. This scene starts with Garrett Morris dressed like a militant black student waiting to talk to the Dean. Gilda then enters and improvs a line about why the Dean was late due to the action in the opening monolog. Buck Henry then enters, and the scene finally starts with Morris wanting to start up an All Black Student Union. It gets a little convoluted right here, but it turns out they've actually built the building in the demands but let the All Black Student Union keep the admin building they took over in protest. This triggers Morris to run out of the building for some reason and the sketch switches randomly to be another Samurai sketch. This one is called Samurai B.M.O.C. (Big Man on Campus) which was pretty much the Samurai as a Van Wilder-type character.  

  4. Jennifer Warnes sings Right Time of the Night.

  5. Bill Murray enters the shower with a microphone soap on a rope, and he's singing and acting like some kind of high energy radio host and introduces his wife to join the show. Gilda then joins the shower and Murray tries to interview her. She just wants to shower, but then things get strange, and Murray brings that man she's been cheating with to join them in the shower. Buck Henry joins the crowd and Murray continues the interview. We then find out Murray is being dumped but continues his shower show all alone after the other two leave to be with one another.

  6. Next was a Coneheads sketch that went on forever and ended on a bit of a flat note. It starts in the house where Buck Henry plays a man from the military who found a strange space pyramid that fell from the sky and had the Coneheads address on it. Henry thinks the Coneheads are actually in the Klan despite all of their alien talk. They reveal the truth and that this pyramid thing is a note telling them it's time to come home. Henry then says their secret was safe because he always wanted to know what it was like to fly through space, so Aykroyd grabs him by the collar and belt and throws him out the front door. Next, we are on film and outside as the Coneheads hope in the driving school car to drive to their rendezvous point. This is pretty much just coverage of people reacting to the Coneheads in the real world. They then get to the Empire State Building that turns out to be a rocket ship that takes them home. Then we cut back to the stage where the Coneheads are on their home planet talking to the leader, who tells them the missions been canceled because of funding and that the leader wants to marry the daughter. That is until he finds out that the daughter is not a virgin which gets Aykroyd and the leader to fight and the sketch randomly ends when they fall out the window.

  7. Once again, Jane Curtin does the news. There is an interview segment where Emily Litella interviews a congresswoman who gets so frustrated in dealing with the mistakes that she cancels her initial reaction. Then there's another creepy bit where Buck Henry comes out to present Jane with an award that turns out to be a fake attempt to get her to hook up with him. Then he takes it back when she rightfully turns him down. 

  8. Next was a bachelorette/wedding shower making fun of the reactions girls give to the mundane and weird gifts you get in this sort of situation and how other girls will join in to exaggerate how thoughtful any gift is.

  9. How Your Children Grow was a fascinating sketch where Jane Curtin interviews Buck Henry who plays a speech therapist. As he speaks Gilda sits beside him verbally saying the punctuation as he says every sentence. When the phrase is declared, Laraine rings a bell and points to Gilda who gives Jane a chocolate chip cookie. Jane finally asks what's with the assistants, when Henry explains, Gilda is someone who he ran into on the street, and this is just something she does. Laraine was just some "ditz" he met at a party that likes to ring a bell and points to her right, and it's finally revealed that he's into Pavlovian response research while Jane is now drooling expecting a cookie.

  10. The short films haven't been from Gary Weis for a while, this week's short was just a dog sleeping in bed with an alarm clock next to it, and the dog slowly wakes as the alarm goes off and that's it.

  11. Kenny Vance sings The Performer.

  12. Buck Henry then played Charles Lindbergh in a parody documentary about his transatlantic flight. It starts simple and silly as if there's not much to show with a man in a small cockpit. The further and further into the flight we get the more we see sleep deprivation setting in up to the point where he ends up trying to buy amphetamines from Chevy Chase making a special appearance as the land shark. 

  13. The Saturday Night Band performs a song called Departure Lounge.

  14. Then Michael O'Donoghue then did another one of his impressions of people with steel knitting needles jammed in their eyes. This time it's the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and the entire cast joins in to do the screaming and rolling around on the floor.

  15. Finally, Buck Henry hit the main stage to say his goodnights.

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