SNL: S03E03... HOST: HUGH HEFNER... DATE: OCTOBER 15, 1977

or...

Hef Was No Hero Of Mine

When I was young, my grandpa on my father's side was a bit of a creepy letch. Though he was a charming enough pull off the role without getting the cops called on him, I still remember cringing a lot whenever we were out in public. It didn't matter if we were shopping for clothes or having dinner at a restaurant the moment any female came near he'd flirt and use that old man "innocence" to because touchy feely ignoring the awkward reaction.

Maybe this is why I've never been good at making a move because I never wanted to come across like he did. This is also why I never understood the hero-worshipping of a man who would make this kind of approach something that young men strive for. Then again, I never went through a phase where the swinger life ever appealed to me in any way.

Don't get me wrong, before you start thinking that I'm a prude of some sort, I've never had a problem with his product. I have a problem with the man himself because of the shitty prototype he created for the dirtbag guys to strive for.

This episode just rubbed me wrong because it started out with a sketch that makes fun of how dumb the Playmates are despite this magazine's claims of empowerment. Then to top it off, during Hefner's monolog he talks about the history of Playboy then starts talking about how excited he gets when he see five, six and seven-year-old girls implying that they'll someday be in his magazine which leads to him singing Thank Heaven for Little Girls.

Though there had been a couple pedophile jokes in the past where I could feel the host hesitate to commit to them, this is not the case with Hef as this was the best performance of his from the night. 

Luckily, this wasn't a host heavy episode so I was able to get through it without shifting my attention to my phone or some other project. Now it's time to share what else I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. We start with a sketch about how dumb Playmates are, as Laraine plays a Bunny reading from the joke page.  You'd think this would be Hef biting the hands that feed him but apparently, the Bunnies find it empowering. Anyways the sketch ends with a convoluted joke to get to, "Live from New York..."
  2. Hugh Hefner then opens the show with a monolog about how he started Playboy. This leads to him getting real creepy as he talks about how excited he gets when he sees girls aged five to seven, hinting that he hopes they'll be in his magazine before breaking into singing Thank Heaven For Little Girls. The subtitles tried to lighten the tone but it doesn't offset the creepy vibe and made me not look forward to this episode.
  3. Next was a replay of a fake soap ad for "beautiful but stupid" women. The soap is called Angor Boutique and it's loaded up with tranquilizers to keep her in a Stepford Wife way of thinking.
  4. Men's Planet vs. Women's Planet was a sci-fi parody of a universe where the sexes were split and we see what happens once the divide is taken away and the two sexes interact for the first time. I was expecting this to go horribly wrong but the back and forth of sexist stereotypes was equal enough to seem playful fun.
  5.  Libby Titus then sang Fool That I Am.
  6. Garrett Morris then fills in for Lorne to remind the home audience of the Anyone Can Host Contest that is currently in progress.
  7. Belushi and Jane then play medical students who are winding down their night with some weed. The X-Police then burst through the door to bust them for the illicit behavior. They knock out Jane right away and accidentally kill Belushi. They blame the death on marijuana but still decide to frame Jane as a murder. They bring her back to being conscious by throwing water in her face and telling her she killed her boyfriend and she's so confused that she believes it, leading her to jump out the window in shame while the X-Police officers continue to blame pot for the entire incident.
  8. Hugh Hefner then plays a mentor to Jane Curtin who I hope is playing a college student. Though they have her written as a super smart girl who's writing a mathematics paper with some crazy formula about having sex on a round bed and why it's the best way to do it. Hefner is playing himself so it's no surprise when a helicopter lands on the roof. It turns out to be Jimmy Carter asking for advice on what headphones to buy playing of the Playboy's got great article claims.
  9. Listening to Great Music with John Belushi was a sketch with just Belushi in a study with a record player. He points out how great Wagner was and goes on to share The Flight of the Valkyries. He tells the story of the song and grows more and more intense as it goes until he finally snaps and trashes the set.
  10. The news returns with Jane and Dan and it's interesting how now that it's two years after the election in the time of the show and now they barely talk about politics. Don't get me wrong, the jokes are still funny, I'm just noting this in case it becomes a pattern that I see as I make my way through ten more elections.
  11. Sex in Cinema was a segment host by Hefner where he shares the real story of the "One Foot on the Ground" standards and practices rule then plays a fake clip from the first movie to abuse it.
  12. 3 R's was an education talk show hosted by Jane Curtin. She interviews Belushi who is suing the school for graduating Gilda's catatonic character who is Belushi's daughter in this sketch. The longer the sketch goes the more it seems this is a scam as Belushi gets abusive every time Gilda speaks. Eventually, Gilda gets so smacked around that she admits that it is all a scam, then she gets whacked by Jane Curtin for not respecting her dad.
  13. The Story of H was pretty much a biopic of Hugh but with the false narrative that all of his successes were actually regrets.
  14. The Playboy Philosopher was a sketch with Hefner explaining his real philosophy but in the company of Socrates and Plato. 
  15. This was followed by a funeral sketch where Bill Murray comes up to do the eulogy only to end up doing a magic show where he cuts the coffin in half.
  16. Andy Kaufman comes out to sing a few songs ending with another visit from Elvis Kaufman who sings I Need Your Love.
  17. The Farbers (AKA the Coneheads neighbors) visit a Playboy Club. Once again, their naive but open minded way of being, makes this a fun take on the gentleman's club even though there wasn't much to the story.
  18. Finally, Hef came out to say his goodnights.

Though I wasn't a fan of the overall episode, it was still sort of easy to find my three favorite bits and here they are in a very particular order. First, I don't know what it is that I love about people destroying sets but Listening to Music with John Belushi really hit the mark. Next, I liked the funeral magician sketch because I found it extra funny that I was jokingly able to predict the joke and laughed out loud as my prediction came to fruition. Finally, it was fun to see Andy Kaufman again though it was nowhere close to my favorite of his appearances.

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.