SNL: S04E13... HOST: KATE JACKSON... DATE: FEBRUARY 24, 1979

or...

My Birthday Episode: Year 3

I don't know if I've lucked out, or just lower standards when it comes to these late February episodes that land on the celebratory Saturday prior to my nonexistent birthday, but I've yet to be disappointed so far. That said, I've also yet to have better than a slightly better than average episode land on my closest thing to special day.

Now this slightly better than average may not sound like the most complimentary label when talking about one's favorite show but you have to keep in mind, that by this late in the season, we are solidly in the center of the second half slump. Luckily the show is four for four in delivering oasis episodes just in time for my birthday.

Then again, it could just be the narcissist in me that give these episodes extra credit. This show, in particular, was good but not great, but that was also part of the plot of the entire episode.

At first, I didn't know who Kate Jackson was by name alone but the show started out with a Charlie's Angels sketch and I instantly knew who she was. This opening sketch also set up a subplot and through line story that lasted throughout the entire episode. In it, the new CEO of NBC announces he still has ties to ABC and was going to use this cross-network star to host SNL as a form of sabotage.  

This joke about the CEO of NBC both created a through line subplot which I really love when done right but it also validated the idea that I put forth yesterday when realizing it may have been the network's involvement in this newly successful show that is to blame for the low-quality season. Learning that the CEO was new at the time leads me to double down on this blame game.

Hopefully, this CEO will step out of the way next season to allow the original cast a proper send-off. As for this season, it is what it is, and though frustrated I'm still enjoying the process. With that, it's time to move on to share what I saw as I give you...

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. As I mentioned in the intro above, the show starts with a Charlie's Angels parody where we learn that the new CEO of NBC came over from ABC and is actually there to sabotage the network. This gives some validation to my theory that it's the Network that is messing up the show and why this is such a sucky season. That said, the sketch isn't that bad, though, the hand-off from Kate Jackson to Belushi is rather sloppy leading to a very lame announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Kate Jackson then opens the show with a monolog about how she used to be the tour guide for NBC before becoming an Angel. Her monolog is then interrupted by a tour and she spends the rest of the intro answering tour related questions.
  3. Gilda Radner's nerdy kid character sits in a chair with a hot water bottle. Jane enters as her nerdy mom with a cast on her arm and finds out that Gilda is heartbroken. It turns out that Bill's nerdy character has a crush on Jane's nurse who will be by in a bit to provide cast removal services. This is when we see that Bill does have a crush but Kate is just being nice to a child. As soon as Bill finds that his love is unrequited he goes right back to flirting with Gilda. 
  4. We then revisit the new NBC CEO who is working on the Fall Season Schedule. This goes back to the Charlie's Angels sketch and this is all part of his plot to continue to sabotage the network.
  5. Gilda's "special needs" character and family then visit a child psychiatrist then it's revealed it's a literal CHILD psychiatrist played by Larraine who does a great job at playing a kid. At first, this sketch was sort of boring because of than her age the Larraine is a very competent psychiatrist. It wasn't until the end when she realizes that she has to pee and starts to squirm and rush through the rest of the appointment, that this sketch becomes rather funny.
  6. Delbert McClinton then performs B' Movie Boxcar Blues.
  7. Once again, Jane and Bill do the news. This week we get Father Guido Sarducci doing weather and Roseanne Roseannadanna does a segment of the travel Tut exhibit that ends with her rambling about dental care.
  8. Andy Kaufman returns to the show to do a bongo routine with a tough looking band of bongo players. Though the music has a traditional bongo sound to it Andy starts to do a yodel. He then goes on with his song and dance which is silly as usually but the funniest part is when the tough looking band join in as they sing backup and also start to yodel.
  9. Once again we get caught up with the new CEO of NBC. This time he is trying to pitch the show Super Limo to Garrett Morris in order to take him away from the show. Once Garrett leaves the CEO catches Kate as she passes by to get to her next scene. It turns out she's falling in love with the cast and wants no longer wants any part in this plot to sabotage the show.
  10. Bad Cabaret For Kinds is another in the "Bad" series we see exactly what the title promises only there is no extra title for the Cabaret act.
  11. Delbert McClinton returns to the stage to perform I'm Talking About You.
  12. Mr. Bill then has a snack party which results in him having to go on a diet. He also gets introduced to Sluggo LaLanne who puts him on an extreme workout regimen. 
  13. The Coneheads then go to the movies where Beldar is given a joint by Belushi who is smoking in the back of the theater. Beldar then gets super high and heads out to the lobby for munchies. He then returns with an armload of snack and ruins the movie with his laughter until an usher kicks out the entire family.
  14. Finally, Kate Jackson closes the show by thanking the audience and saying her goodnights.

Though I found this episode to be slightly better than average, I feel the quality of this review is lacking, so I am just going to jump ship right here and share my favorite moments. First, I loved the Coneheads going to the movies because it reminded me of back in the days when I was a movie going degenerate. Next, I liked the child psychiatrist sketch especially toward the end when she started to legitimately act like a child. Finally, I was a fan of the moment where Andy Kaufman gets his rough looking bongo band to yodel.

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.