SNL: S03E13... HOST: ART GARFUNKEL... DATE: MARCH 11, 1978

or...

How Is He Not The Funny One???

If I wasn't already aware of the history of Simon and Garfunkel and you were to hand me a photo of the two from the time, telling me that one would go on to have a pretty successful run on Saturday Night Live and one would continue to have a successful singing career, I would bet everything that I own that Garfunkel went on to have a successful career in comedy while Paul Simon continued to grow even more famous for singing. I would have then lost all my belongings while being blown away that it was Paul Simon who fit BOTH of these predictions.

I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but how could you have hair like that while maintaining such a flat personality. That and with the last name of Garfunkel, I assumed he had to develop a wonderful sense of humor.  

Keep in mind that I'm making this judgment based on two cameo appearances in earlier episodes and this second-half slump show that I just witnessed. Other than that I don't really know much about the man other than the work he and Paul Simon did as a duo. For all I know, Garfunkel could be the funniest man on the planet but his humor didn't show up in this appearance.

This really sucks because I was rooting for Garfunkel not only because he looks like he was made for comedy but it would have been nice if he at least had one small victory over Paul Simon. Unfortunately, though, he seemed far more focused on his singing which is fine but probably not the best fit for a comedy sketch show.

Even in earlier Paul Simon hosted shows where there seemed to be more singing than acting, every time Paul had to act he committed to the point where I bought it. Though Garfunkel said every line of dialog without so much as a hiccups, the moment that he stopped delivering lines he just stood there as if the character was broken.

Alright, enough Garfunkel bashing because it's now time to share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Tonight's special episode is "interrupting" Jacques Cousteau Gets an Undersea Enema.
  2. The opening sketch is a parody of an old black and white silent film featuring two grave robbers in Switzerland who get past a patrolling police officer due to his ineptness combined with a comedic error as you would see in one of those old films. The robbers then drop their loot with is a body wrapped up in a carpet. It's revealed that it's actually Charlie Chaplin's body just as the cop starts to catch on enough to turn back to see what's happening. We then see a bit of a Weekend at Bernie's routine before being flashed the dialog card that reads, "Live from New York..."
  3. Art Garfunkel then opens the show and goes straight into singing What a Wonderful World without so much as a hello to the crowd. It then turns into a bit of a sketch after Garfunkel gets distracted by a speaker giving feedback. He asks to start again as Belushi steps on the stage and kicks the speaker in question. Belushi goes on to act his ass off as he bitches and complains about how cheap the show is and how the cast is treated like second rate performers. All of this while Garfunkel chimes in with a few line with the delivery of someone who was called up from the audience. He smiles and chuckles making zero attempts to add to the realness of Belushi's performance. The Belushi bit ends and Garfunkel goes right back into the song as if there were never an interruption.
  4. This is followed by a repeat of the Kaomega III the watch from Japan that is so complicated that it takes two people to work it.
  5. Tomorrow with Tom Snyder once again makes fun of Snyder's interview style as he questions the secret silhouette of a man about how it feels to be a battered husband. As the interview goes on Snyder keeps accidentally introducing more and more information about the anonymous man first by accidentally using his real name instead of the fake one then builds to where he accidentally shares the man's picture which causes the man to jump into the light to cover the image so panicked that he doesn't realize the world can now see him live.
  6. Stephen Bishop then hits the stage to perform On and On.
  7. This was followed by a sketch about an Irish bar owner preparing for St. Patrick's Day. In the sketch, a late Mayor of Chicago returns from the dead to talk to the two guys in the bar. I don't know who this mayor was which I think was a requirement to get the humor because the audience laughed out loud multiple times while I couldn't even start to think this was all that funny.
  8. The next sketch takes place outside of a musical venue with Belushi and Garrett on guest list duty mainly blocking people from getting backstage to a KISS show. This was similar to the last sketch in that I think that you have to know the people being referenced to get the humor because everyone being turned away were names that I heard of but didn't get why the jokes were all that funny. The sketch did end on a funny note where it's revealed that Belushi is not actually the tour manager but someone else just trying to sneak backstage as he and the rest of the group bum rush Morris.
  9. Once again, Jane and Dan anchor the news and start with the story about Charlie Chaplin's body going missing in real life. This made the opening sketch make ten times more sense and got me to look up the real story after. This was also the week Larry Flint got shot and there were two segments by Morris and Murray that were both fun but not worth going into.
  10. Art Garfunkel then hits the stage to sing All I Know then goes right into singing Scarborough Fair
  11. Look at Books is an interview sketch where Jane interviews the authors of Whatever Happened to the Class of '77 which is a fake follow-up to a real book of the same title only the year is '65 so these nerds that Gilda and Murray are portraying. This sketch is one part youth bashing and one part Gilda and Murray having fun as these spastic characters.
  12. This was followed by the saddest short in SNL history called Don't Look Back In Anger. This is the classic short where an Old Belushi visits the graves of his fallen cast mates. They always said that he would be the first to go and in this sketch, he outlived them all and accredits his longevity to the fact that he was also a dancer. I still get choked up not only because of the irony but also after seeing the tombstone for Gilda.
  13. Andy Kaufman comes out on the stage and apparently it's at the point of his career where he was more about torturing the audience. He does his routine where he literally does nothing but read The Great Gatsby and fight with the crowd when they get antsy.
  14. Looking For Mr. Goodbar Sleepytime Playset is a fake ad for a toy based on the book and movie. Once again, I didn't get the reference because I don't know the Looking For Mr. Goodbar story. Yeah, I could pick-up on the point of the jokes but I still didn't find it all that entertaining.
  15. Art Garfunkel then returned to the stage to sing Crying in My Sleep.
  16. Finally, Art Garfunkel closed the show by saying thanks to the audience and then his goodnights.

There are so many sketches in the episode with references that didn't stand the test of time that it's kind of hard to pick my favorites but here goes nothing. First, I loved Don't Look Back In Anger for its sentimental appeal while still being sort of funny. Next, I guess I liked the opening sketch with the Charlie Chaplin, Weekend at Bernie's bit because I recently watched a few films by Chaplin so it's something that I've had on my mind plus it got me to look up the story of his missing body. Finally, I kind of like Andy Kaufman even though it was my least 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.