SNL: S04E04... HOST: STEVE MARTIN... DATE: NOVEMBER 4, 1978

or...

The Second Entrant Into The Six-Timer's Club!!!

Alright, it's now four episodes into the fourth season and I'm starting to get used to this new pace of the show. I still don't really like the longer sketches but the writers are getting better at spreading out the jokes and I've just given in and lowered my expectations for this season as I lower the benchmark for the first time in this challenge. 

Not bad when you take into account that this is four years in if you're playing this out in real time and also the fact that though the bar has been lowered it's not low enough that I'd even think of giving up on this challenge just like I wouldn't have given up on the show back then.

Again, my only problem with this season is that the sketches are getting longer in a way that fills like that I trying to meet a time requirement over using the extra time to add to the bit. Often it will make an otherwise funny sketch feel like it is dragging on.

And again, again, to show just how long these sketches are there are only a dozen sketches in this episode when we used to average a dozen and a half up until this point.

Now it's time to stop my griping, welcome Steve Martin into the Six-Timers Club and give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Carter addresses the nation about how screwed our economics system is and comes up with a new, "Inflation is our friend" campaign to where it's now a good thing because it will make more people millionaires in the future when money isn't worth anything. He then accurately predicts that this will create am let's party attitude in the 80s before screaming, "Live from New York..."
  2. Steve Martin then opens the show with a vice on his head with a bit making fun of an old aspirin commercial. He then goes into a stand-up routine and then is met by Murray who does tricks for treats like a dog but then doesn't get rewarded after jumping through a ring of fire. This gets Murray to revolt because he's really expecting the payoff from his Pavlovian response. This entire opening was pretty funny but it started to feel like it was three openings long that could have each been their own segment to avoid the feeling that the show is dragging on.
  3. This is followed by a fake commercial for a docu-concert that follows Elvis's coat as it hits the road for a tour.
  4. In this week's installment of What If? We discover what would have happened if Eleanor Roosevelt could fly, complete with dramatization.
  5. Theodoric Of York: Medieval Judge is the return of Steve Martin's Barber character from the medieval period only this time he is a judge and we see the crazy logic used to find out if people are guilty, including the classic, drown the woman if she survives she's a witch, routine. It ends with him having a moment of clarity after the mother of a drowned Larraine makes a valid point about this type of punishment but just as he gets to his most enlightening point he says, "Nah... Nevermind."
  6. Van Morrison then sings Wavelength.
  7. Once again we have the news hosted by Jane and Bill. This blend of silly and serious is really growing on me to the point where I realize I love the routine of someone wanting to take something serious only to have to deal with a partner that wants to do anything but stick to a plan. Belushi has a funny segment where he starts out talking about the latest non-presidential election and the low turnout. He then starts to bitch about how he couldn't vote at 18 then rambles on about how he gets pissed off by friends who don't vote. As he begins to hulk out this time it's because he feels the more people that vote the more likely drugs will become legal. This is the thing that sends him over the top and down to the ground as well.
  8. Two Wild And Crazy Guys then leave their apartment to do the same thing at a bar. Again, this sketch seems to go on and on and is super-duper repetitive not just throughout the sketch but from visit to visit as well.
  9. Gilda then plays the nerdy girl who's in the hospital for a deviated septum. The sketch starts out with her and Garrett who is playing the same kid we met at the science fair. They have almost a sketch's worth of time together just acting like two kids with the only information that we get that seems important is that Garrett Morris's mom works at the hospital and that's why he's there. Then Gilda is left alone by Garrett and her mom and nerdy Murray joins the scene where the two nerd out for a while. Then Steve Martin joins the sketch playing a gay sounding nerdy kid. I mention that because I think its part of the joke that Murray gets jealous over this kid who isn't interested in Murray's love interest in that way but he could also just be acting childish and is actually really into her and Murray has a reason to be jealous. Either way, Murray ends up wrestling him ending with a dog pile and on hospital bed only to get interrupted by Morris, now as his own mother who is the nurse that kicks everyone out of the room for the night. The sketch then takes another minute to have a cute moment with Gilda who retrieves her teddy bear from across the room.
  10. In this week's installment of Looks At Books, Jane interviews the writer of a book called Mauled, who was mauled by a bear and has simple advice on how to avoid it happening to you.
  11. Van Morrison performs Kingdom Hall.
  12. Gilda and Steve have a date together acting as themselves. Aykroyd is the waiter who is a fan of their work and keeps referencing their characters during a super serious conversation. The sketch then cuts out mid-action.
  13. Finally, we return to Steven Martin explaining there was a technical glitch before thanking the crowd and saying his goodnights.

 You probably hear this a lot this season but this was a pretty fun episode even though the sketches went long but I still have my favorite moments and here they are. First, I liked seeing Bill Murray jump through a ring of fire. Next, Theodoric Of York: Medieval Judge made me laugh a couple times, especially when the crazy way to test Bill Murray's guilt actually worked but I also like the, "Nah... Forget it," joke that the sketch ends on. Finally, I was a fan of the fact Aykroyd Carter predicted the "F' It, Let's PARTY," outlook of the '80s. 

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.