SNL: S04E07... HOST: WALTER MATTHAU... DATE: DECEMBER 2, 1978

or...

Potential Pivot Into

The Better Half Of The Season

At least I hope this is a pivotal episode because so far, this was the best show of the season. Unfortunately, I feel this sense of improvement has more to do with me acclimating more and more to the drawn out/slowed down pace of this season over it being an improvement in content.

Though I do feel this was the best episode of the season, it also felt kind of like a "very special episode" from a kid's sitcom show in the '80s. I don't know if they made everything seem so dramatic to highlight the comedy with contrast. It could also be that this tone was set to accommodate Walter Matthau's characters of being the curmudgeon with a heart of gold.    

The one thing that I did find interesting about this episode is how Walter Matthau was pretty physical with the woman as he comforted them the way a grandpa might, but they didn't make him molesty like they seem to do with every other host that have to interact with the woman especially when their acting as girls.

Alright, enough with my insights, it's now time to share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown: 

  1. Belushi plays an NBC executive trying to figure out the lineup for a new season after having to cancel nine shows. Gilda plays his assistant and the worse the ideas that these two come up with the quicker they agree on greenlighting these horrible shows. There's a disagreement between Belushi and Gilda where he ends up firing her which somehow triggers her to announce, "Live from New York..."
  2. Walter Matthau gets the best response from the audience to date just by walking out onto the stage. He shoves his handkerchief up his nose for his opening routine then goes on to do a monolog about being unable to relate to the rest of the cast with many jokes involving their humungous age gap.
  3. This is followed by a fake ad for Epoxy-Dent, the denture adhesive that is so strong that it will pass the helicopter test where they actually have footage of a man being lifted into the air by a helicopter while holding on to a harness with his false teeth and then flies him around the neighborhood.
  4. Bad News Bees was pretty much a Bad News Bears parody with the bees acting as the kids and is mainly a long-winded joke about masturbation that would have been much funnier if it was only abridged.
  5. We then get another Olympia Cafe sketch and in this installment, they switch from being Pepsi establishment to one that only sells Coke. This is funny because there was a while where I thought some Mandela Effect stuff was going down because I always swore the joke was, "No Pepsi, Coke," so I was confused that it's been reversed up until this moment.
  6. This is followed by Gilda and Bill spending the night at her parent's house for the first time as a married couple as they sleep in Gilda's childhood bed. Matthau then enters the room to say goodnight turning Bill Murray into a third wheel as these two reminisce about the bedtime rituals she grew up it, ignoring even the slightest input from Murray which causes a bit of a rift between her husband and her father.
  7. Once again, Jane and Bill host the news and it's nice to see that Bill is finally settling into his role. He still has his own voice but his delivery is growing to be closer to traditional style while still being a lighter news character. Meanwhile, Jane is still chugging along. I still think she could have and should have continued to host the news without having to play off of a co-host.
  8. We then see Nixon as he forges letters to congress to overturn the 22nd Amendment in hopes that he can run again in order to implement evil policies that he missed during his first go-round as president. We then meet Matthau who plays a guy named Ernie who was involved in every one of Nixon's scandals and was the only one not to get caught and these two work through their plans.
  9. Woman to Woman returns and this time, Gilda, as the overly proud, successful but single host who is passive-aggressively jealous of Larraine who is playing a young model.
  10. Walter Matthau then sits in a study, not in character, griping about the state of modern music. He then says that when Lorne asked him who his musical guest should be, he admits that he wanted Mozart. He then goes on to announce Garrett Morris who sings an Opera that was written by Mozart which is the first time he gets to sing as the guest without being degrade with subtitles.
  11. Matthau then works at an Army Surplus supplier that doesn't do retail. I don't know what the point of the no retail aspect of the sketch is but they keep referencing it whenever anyone enters the shop. Larraine is the main customer that Matthau has to deal with and she is trying to return colorful cantinas that she was trying to repurpose as disco purses, which this old timer has trouble grasping why anyone would try to come up with such a frivolous uses for these supplies that were used in the war.
  12. This is followed by a repeat of the Network Battle Of The Ts And As which wasn't funny as a repeat but was hilarious to see a group of young boys, acting up in the audience directly after this scene.
  13. Mr. Bill then returns only in this sketch he hasn't been built yet so they have his dog entertain us with tricks as the hand continues to build the star of the segment.
  14. Finally, Walter Matthau thanks the crowd and says his goodnights.

Normally, when I get to this point, especially during this season, I end up liking the episode more after writing the breakdown. This time I had the opposite results where I liked the show more before I revisited what I actually saw. That said, this episode was still pretty good for this season and here are my favorite moments.

First, I loves the Olympia Cafe sketch because it returned my sanity after thinking that I spent 41 years thinking they always said, "No Pepsi, Coke," to then find out why I always had this false memory. Next, I liked the Bad News Bees sketch, but more because I liked the Bad News Bears references over the actual content of the comedy. Finally, I was a fan of seeing the kids freaking out following the Network Battle Of The Ts And As ad. 

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.