SNL: S03E20... HOST: BUCK HENRY... DATE: MAY 20, 1978


The Founding Father Of The Six-Timers

*Eight If You Count Cohosting Club


Once again we are at the end of another season, and once again Buck Henry is our closing host. I went into this viewing with high expectations. First, my expectations were high because my favorite host was running the show but the main reason I was excited is that I've grown used to the closing episode being one of the biggest shows of the season. Though this was a perfectly fine episode, I hate to say, that I found is to be a very disappointing season finale.

Don't get me wrong, I know that they are only three years into the run, so they don't have the vast history that the now have to pick and choose former cast mates, hosts, and retired sketches to revisit to say, "So long" for the summer.

It's as if now, it feels like the show has to fight to survive while back then they had the safety of a contract when I think that these feelings should be the exact opposite. We now live in a time where it seems that any show can be canceled at any time, so even the bad shows are at least putting in the effort especially at the end of the season. 

Back then, there seems to be much more short-term safety for a show once it hit the airwaves. That is why I think this otherwise average show feels like a bit of a letdown. I sure everyone involved with the show was so burnt out by this point they just wanted it to be over, so I get why they would just coast through the show to finish things off to start getting some rest for next year.

And, speaking of moving on, it's time for me to share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Tonight's special episode is "interrupting" The Boy In The Plastic Pants Suit.

  2. Nixon then addresses the nation in a desperate attempt to sell his failed book that no one is buying due to so much hatred. His new marketing call is, "Think I'm a crook, take it out on the book." Then has a Marine punt the books out into the audience followed by Nixon announcing, "Live from New York..."

  3. Buck Henry then opens the show with a monolog about his relationship with SNL as he defensively justifies his season finale appearance especially following their recent star-studded season.

  4. Gilda then plays her nerdy kid character, playing piano before getting sent up to her room to prepare for the prom by her mom. Bill Murray's nerdy character and his dad arrive and wait for Gilda to get ready. This is more of a silly sketch where it's more about the characters than the story, and in this case, it's the two kids denying their flirtatious love while the parents are just as awkward but into it. This leads to the parents hooking up to go out while their nerdy children are at the prom.

  5. Samurai T.V. Repairman is another Samurai sketch with Buck Henry that is redundant while also being entertaining.

  6. Sodom 2003 B.C. takes place in the title's location at the title's time with the people of Sodom trying to figure out a way to fix their soiled reputation of being a sodomy-based state and try to come up with better marketing.

  7. Once again, Jane and Dan host the news. There is a movie review by Bill Murray where he reviews a movie I never heard of just from the clip he shares with the audience. There's also a Point-Counterpoint about jogging, but nothing else all that exciting.

  8. We then return to the Olympia Cafe for more Cheese Burgers, Cheese Burgers, Cheese Burgers. This time Belushi is about to fire Bill Murray's character who sleeps in the back so that he can subscribe to a service that rents overnight guard dogs but hires Bill back only because the dogs were too expensive.

  9. Mr. Mike's Least-Loved Music is more Mike stuff, but with singing and of course, he has to sing a creepy song about hooking up with underaged ghoulies.

  10. More Insects To Worry About returns for another installment, this time it's Buck Henry who's discussing some strange ass bugs that don't really exist that all have fascinating behaviors.

  11. Bill Murray returns as his director character and they pretty much redo the Stunt Baby bit from the last time Buck was the host only this time Buck "beats up" a stunt dog.

  12. Bad Conceptual Art is called Pavlov, Video, Chicken which is a crazy performance piece with Gilda doing a weird dance on a balance board with two monitors behind her, one with an image of Larraine's mouth and the other, a close up of Garrett's eye.

  13. Franken and Davis then do a bit where they announce they are going to do a sumo routine, but before they get to that point, Franken decides to introduce his wife and his son and the woman who Davis is living with. This triggers Davis to get upset because he's tired of living a lie. He then announces to the audience that he and Franken are gay lovers and that the woman is just a disguise. This really upsets Franken because Davis is saying this in front of his wife and child who are both also upset and the child runs out of the audience crying. Franken and Davis then start to fight, and Franken ends up killing himself with a gun. It really seems like they were going to commit to this dark ending, but Franken jumps up and admits that it's a joke just before going to commercial.

  14. Sun Ra then hits the stage to play a medley of crazy sci-fi sounding jazz.

  15. Finally, Buck Henry closes out the season by thanking the crowd and saying his goodnights.

 So as you can see, there's nothing all that celebratory to this season-ending episode but it was still pretty good and here are my favorite moments. First, I loved the Sodom 2003B.C. sketch because it was so serious yet silly in its delivery. Next, I liked the Franken and Davis bit because of how many twists were involved in the joke and I almost wish they would've stuck to their dark ending. Finally, I was a fan of the Samurai T.V. Repairman bit because I still love Buck's interactions with Belushi.


Watch More From Buck Henry:

Hear More From Sun Ra:

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.