SNL: S05E20... HOST: BUCK HENRY... DATE: MAY 24, 1980

SNL: S05E20... HOST: BUCK HENRY... DATE: MAY 24, 1980

The Wicker Breakdown: 

  1. The show starts out making fun of the new but not via Weekend Update. I'm not sure which network they were ribbing but the sketch parodies the coverage of the presidential campaign as they reach the end of the primaries. The first half of the sketch is so serious that it almost feels like real coverage but Paul Shaffer saves the bit by breaking down the polling numbers using an actual pie to fill up a pie chart. Harry Shearer plays the main host who gets handed breaking news right as he was about to sign off. He opens the note and reads, "Live from New York..."
  2. Buck Henry then opens the show with news that it's not being canceled. He then goes on to announce the replacement cast but I don't really get the joke. At first, I was excited to see Eddie and Gilbert hit the stage this early in their careers but instead, we meet a bunch of strangers. I don't know if all these people were replaced over the break with what became the true second cast or if something went over my head but no one seemed to be trying anything funny (maybe this is why they had to be replaced because they looked like a boring bunch.) 
  3. This was followed by my forgotten favorite sketch of all times. In it, Buck Henry and Gilda play Lord and Lady Douchebag. I strictly remember loving this sketch before I even knew what a douchebag was. To me, it was just a funny word and I loved the reactions that I'd get when I used it. There's something about an adult laughing their ass off while telling a child to shut up that's the best reaction by far. I also found this sketch twice as funny when I was finally old enough to truly understand the real joke.
  4. The Cow Minder's Daughter was a parody of The Coal Miner's Daughter, which is a title I'm familiar with but never knew the story. In the sketch, Larraine plays a country singing in India who lives with her dad who minds cows. Bill Murray plays a cowboy in India for some reason who takes her to become a star. Once again, I didn't get the reference material and from what I saw I wouldn't be interested in the real deal and didn't really care about the parody.
  5. Andrew Gold then hits the stage to perform Kiss This One Goodbye.
  6. Once again, and for the very last time, Jane and Bill anchor the news. Bill genuinely messes up the main camera by taking a flash photo directly into the lens, burning a big orange square in the middle of the screen. Other than that we get a visit from an art critic who is doing a segment about an art exhibit featuring the paintings from the movie Big Eyes. Chico Esquela also drops by for one last update on sports and Roseanne Roseannadanna talks about the recent eruption of Mount Saint Helens and ends up rambling about seeing Gloria Vanderbilt who had a feminine itch. 
  7. Then we get a visit from my least favorite of character's which is Buck Henry as the creepy uncle. Though this sketch is another molestation joke that's too real to be funny, it's over the top and cartoony, unlike the authentic creepy material that used to be put out by Mr. Mike. Either way, this character should have died when said Mr. Mike left.
  8. Bill Murray then returns as his lounge singer, this time he's at a tiki bar. Once again this sketch is the exact same as the others in the series and though I don't mind it, I am not the biggest fan.
  9. Week In Review was a panel interview show, which runs just like the world today. It shows that even before the internet people had different sources for news, so one guest would want to talk about politics while one wanted to talk about world news. Meanwhile, the other two guest were interested in celebrity gossip and what would now be considered click bait news with miracle diets and all that other nonsense. Not only do they each have their own agenda, they each look down on the others for not being on the same page.
  10. This was followed by a fake ad for Mommy Beer where a bunch of hunters return to a cabin to celebrate their kills by enjoying a beverage with a nipple on top while they all join in to sing the slogan song.
  11. Andrae Couch And The Voices Of Unity then hit the stage to perform Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus.
  12. Finally, Buck Henry closes the show by thanking the crowd and saying his goodnights but there was no real special goodbye from the rest of the cast.
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SNL: S05E19... HOST: STEVE MARTIN... DATE: MAY 17, 1980

SNL: S05E19... HOST: STEVE MARTIN... DATE: MAY 17, 1980

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts with a Weekend Update Special. This is a follow-up to the news story earlier in the season where Paul McCartney was busted in Japan for possession of marijuana. This time they've sent Father Guido Sarducci to England in an attempt to snag an interview. Other than talking circles as to why Paul was a no-show, the Father talks about his decision to get corn rows following the success of 10. He also grabs a passing mailman to take Paul's place and announce, "Live from New York..."
  2. Steve Martin then opens with his usual blend of monolog and stand-up routine.
  3. Real Incredible People was a parody of That's Incredible or some show you would now see on the Discovery Channel where people have incredible lives, only these people's incredible feats are more like quirks that are barely worth mentioning.
  4. Harry Shearer and Larraine put together a puzzle when Martin and Murray burst through the door like they are going to rob the place, only all they do is yell out threats while vandalizing the place. Right when Larraine notices nothing was taken the door is kicked in again. This time it's Gilda and Jane who are playing middle-aged women who also carry themselves like robbers. It turns out that they are Martin and Murray's moms who follow the two around to aggressively apologize and clean up their mistakes.
  5. The band 3-D then hits the stage to perform All-Night Television. 
  6. Once again, Jane and Bill anchor the news. This week the main focus is Paul McCartney so we spend most of the segment with Guido Sarducci who is still outside of McCartney's apartment and at one point sings a pretty awesome medley of Beatles tunes.
  7. The Hominids is a sketch that takes place back in caveman days and Steve Martin is the first to develop a modern mind. He's the only one that has enough brains to solve problems using logic. Unfortunately, this angers the alpha male who uses his muscles to bash in Martin's brain with a very big rock to highlight that brawn without brains is actually a weakness.
  8. We then check back in with Guido Sarducci who finally catches Paul McCartney's attention by throwing a rock at his apartment window. After all of this waiting Sarducci finally gets the chance to ask the all-important questions, "If you could be any animal what would it be?" Paul answers koala bear and then goes on to introduce his and his wife's latest music video. 
  9. Said music video plays for a song called Coming Up. I'm not sure what's worse, the song or the video as they attempt the Eddie Murphy technique to play every single character.
  10. We then jump to a dinner with Reagan and a few members of the press. He is discussing his PR strategies and at this point that they are still treating him like he is a complete joke that will never step foot in the White House. The humor of the sketch comes with the group having to split the check as this was a time when the press was presented to have dignity.
  11. This was followed by a fake ad for a television-marketed album from Patti Caldwell called Stretch Marks. I have no idea who this woman is so I really don't get the humor.
  12. We then go to the side of the freeway next to a deer crossing sign. Martin and Gilda hop into the scene dressed as dear and are very hesitant to cross. Garrett shows up dressed as a cow only to be informed that the cow crossing section is just down the street. Bill Murray plays the alpha male deer who throws caution to the wind and crosses without looking both ways. He is instantly hit by a car which traumatizes Gilda and Martin to where they decide to remain on their side of the street.
  13. Finally, Steve Martin closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
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SNL: S05E18... HOST: BOB NEWHART... DATE: MAY 10, 1980

SNL: S05E18... HOST: BOB NEWHART... DATE: MAY 10, 1980

The Wicker Breaker:

  1. The show starts by making fun of NBC's current schedule of throwing anything at the wall to see what sticks brand of programming. Their new big plan is a prime time show called Pink Ladies and Carl, where Gilda and Larraine make a horrible attempt to portray Chinese women as they play sidekicks to Carl Sagan in a show that I'd almost consider The Cosmos meets Hee-Haw. The sketch ends with the two girls offensively announce with horrible accents, "Live from New York..."
  2. Bob Newhart then opens the show with a monolog/routine about just how lame television used to be in the early days of broadcasting.
  3. The Dating Zone is a parody of The Dating Game with three return characters from episodes past. Bob Newhart plays the contestant who gets to pick only he turns out to be a married man on the way home with groceries in hand who somehow ended up on the show which leads to the reveal that we are now in The Twilight Zone before the game show continues on with Newhart reading prewritten questions that all get a crazy response. Also, I'm not sure if it was part of the joke but Newhart's character's name was Don Johnson. 
  4. The Amazing Rhythm Aces then hit the stage to perform two songs back to back. They start with Who Will The Next Fool Be followed by Third Rate Romance.
  5. Once again, Jane and Bill anchor the news in a week good enough to only require one special guest who happens to be Al Franken with an update on the Al Franken Decade update.
  6. This is followed by a sketch where a soldier dies in a makeshift hospital during the Civil War. The soldier's dying request is for his captain to write his mom a note to inform that he died honorably and doesn't regret his fate. Newhart plays the captain, who gets stuck in a loop of procrastination. Days pass, then months pass until it becomes two years later and Newhart is still making lame excuses right up until the war is over. Then he gets a visit from the deceased soldier's mom. He tries to keep the lie going by claiming that the soldier is still alive and kicking and is just a horrible son and that he'd have a conversation with him later and scold him for not writing home.
  7. Bruce Cockburn then hits the stage to perform Wondering Where The Lions Are.
  8. Dave's Variety Store is a sketch where Newhart is the shopkeeper for what looks like a corner store that sells everything under the sun. Customer after customer come in each with a stranger request. They ask for bizarre products as if they are common items and Newhart has everything in inventory from a pink balloon filled with pretzels to the nephew of somebody great (I didn't recognize the name so I didn't note it especially since it had something to do with sports.)
  9. Mr. Bill then serves time in Sing Sing after his court case from a few weeks ago.
  10. Newhart and Jane are at dinner when he brings up the idea of marriage even though they've only been on a few dates. Jane gets nervous that they are rushing into things and after a little bit of prying she announces that she's also ashamed that she used to be fat. Newhart takes this fine at first until he sees her pictures. This is when he goes from suggesting she eat more than salad to watching everything that she eats. 
  11. Bob Newhart then closes the show by thanking the crowd and saying his goodnights.
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SNL: S05E17... HOST: STROTHER MARTIN... DATE: APRIL 19, 1980

SNL: S05E17... HOST: STROTHER MARTIN... DATE: APRIL 19, 1980

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. We start with the First Lady, Rosalynn Carter, addressing the nation about the upcoming census and its attempt to track illegal immigration with loopholes for the illegal immigrants that are working for the elite in Washington. Gilda then enters the scene as a Mexican maid who curses and spits at Mrs. Carter before announcing in Spanish, "En vivo desde Nueva York..."
  2. Strother Martin then opens the show with a monolog about how he got chosen to host after a run in with a producer while out having dinner. At first, this seems like an interesting but boring story that would be written for a host who isn't known for comedy. This added to my anticipation for a bad show but then he started to win me over as he starts to reveal the joke that said producer mistook him for Tennessee Williams and how he didn't correct them when asked to host under a case of mistaken identity because he really needed the money.
  3. This is followed by a Cool Hand Look parody where instead of it being a prison camp it's a strict camp for people seeking a fully immersive approach to learning French. This sketch goes on for a long time but since it stuck to one premise and I knew the reference material it didn't really feel like it was dragging on.
  4. The Specials then hit the stage to perform Gangsters.
  5. Once again, Jane and Bill anchor the news. This week, Larraine interviews G. Gordon Liddy about MK Ultra (even though they didn't use that name) and how he's become a tool of the state and Chico Esquela gives us an update on sports. 
  6. The next sketch is the one that makes me consider this the best episode to date because it's the most fun thing that I've seen in a while. It starts out in an attorney's office. Bill and Gilda play husband and wife who are waiting for the reading of Bill's father's will and they are already griping about the deceased late in life money grubbing wife because they are super greedy and fear she will get a large chunk of their money. Jane then arrives late due to the fact she was shopping. The attorney then announces that the late Mr. Martin opted to videotape himself reading the will before hitting play on the VCR and we see Strother Martin in a hospital bed addressing his future heirs. Up until this point, I was fading in and out of paying attention to details but then Garrett enters as an orderly just checking in on his patient only to instantly turn into Strother's first guest as this video will turns into a talk show. Meanwhile, the greed family just wants to get to their prize so the keep fast forwarding leading us into different segments. We come back one time and he interviewing his nurse, then we get an impromptu news break as his hospital roommate is discovered to be dead which is followed by a music segment with the janitors. Not only is the idea of this sketch pretty funny, everyone involved in the hospital side of the sketch seems to be having so much fun that the positive energy feels contagious. The sketch end with Strother informing his family that most of his money went into making the video and he wants his remaining funds to go to his newly found/chosen hospital family.
  7. Then we go to a musical conductors club where they are just about to start their meeting. Garrett reads the minutes from the last gather which consisted of nothing more than reading the minutes from the week before, followed by a 30-second break to conduct to then go back to the meeting where they agree there was nothing else to talk about so they concluded to the meeting and moved on to conducting for fun for three hours. The big debate this week is whether or not to skip the break and just move right on to the after meeting conducting. This idea is overwhelmingly denied so they take their 30-second conducting break and then get back to the meeting. Bill then announces that he wants to sponsor a new member. They meet the new guy but then determine he's not a fit so they move on to their post-meeting conducting.
  8. Invasion Of The Brain Snatchers was a parody of Body Snatchers only in this case the pod people were democrats who seemed to randomly switch sides to vote for Reagan. Once again, this was a sketch that ran really long but knowing the reference material kept it from dragging on.
  9. The Specials then return to the stage to perform Too Much, Too Young.
  10. Then we go to a General Store that only sells generic things in a generic town called Anywhere, USA. We then get to see the rest of the town where we see that no one has a name, they job boy or girl or whatever job they work at, with only one person in the town having an actual name who's the high school coach that the general store owner sabotages in a very dark way. This felt more like Twilight Zone than Saturday Night Live. It also reminded me of a Vonnegut story where everyone is forced to be equal which are two more reasons that why I loved it.
  11. The short film this week was a stop motion music video with cartoonized photographs of New York street food establishments that feels like a modern day travel ad.
  12. Finally, Strother's closes the show by thanking the crowd and saying his goodnights.
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SNL: S05E16... HOST: BURT REYNOLDS... DATE: APRIL 12, 1980

SNL: S05E16... HOST: BURT REYNOLDS... DATE: APRIL 12, 1980

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts in Burt Reynolds's dressing room. He is in the make-up chair and Larraine is telling him what a shame it is that he wasn't nominated for an Oscar based on his latest role. The condolence comes across a little backhanded, especially as they go on and on and on. Larraine eventually leaves and Garrett takes her place and continues this line of complement. Garrett then leaves to get ready himself which is when Burt refers to him as a "Nigger in Hollywood" to the make-up guy before leaving the room. He then goes to the locker room where Gilda and Jane were discussing the same aspect of Reynolds's career. Jane bounces quickly but Gilda sticks around and gets her head repeatedly bashed into the locker just for trying to start the same conversation once again. He ends up shoving her in the locker and locking the door before storming off to the stage. This is when a battered Gilda blurts out from within her cage, "Live from New York..."
  2. Burt Reynolds then hits the stage and as a person with Misophonia, just watching him chomp his gum throughout the entire performance is enough to drive me out of my mind. He does a bit of a monolog about how great it is to host the show then has a seat at the front of the stage and pulls up a member of the audience. This audience member is obviously not a plant because the two have a bore-off of a conversation.
  3. And then for tonight's pedophile sketch, Bill and the girls are staying up late waiting for a special guest. At first, I thought this was a continuation of the sketch where politicians drop by random houses as they do anything to win a vote but it turns out to be Burt and Burt, and he's there to have sex with a 16-year-old kid because she wrote him a fan letter and he's horny. The parents are fully willing to play along and go as far as to throw the 15-year-old in, in order to sweeten the deal. Again, this could be just a sketch that didn't age well, but the most disappointing part of it is how the cheers and laughs without there being any sense of shock, which I expect being a former fan of offensive comedy.
  4. We then go to Rome 65 A.D. Bill Murray plays a vomitorium attendant at an all you can eat restaurant. The sketch starts out sort of funny as Brian Doyle-Murray and Harry Shearer discuss their dining activities but then enters Burt Reynolds who goes on to sexually harass all the women who are just there to vomit.
  5. Anne Murray then hits the stage to perform Lucky Me.
  6. Once again, Jane and Bill anchor the news. This week, Father Guido Sarducci has a segment on the plight of the panda and how he's tired that man is always getting blamed for most forms of animal endangerment. Bill Murray also does his annual Oscar predictions.
  7. Up until this point, the show already had racism and sexism nailed down, so when I saw that this sketch was Deliverance II I was expecting over the top homophobia to complete the offensive trifecta. The fact that this sketch was set up to where Reynolds plays an undercover cop who plans to infiltrate a gay camping ring caused me to double down on this expectation. Surprisingly, however, when we get to the actual Deliverance portion of the scene, it was actually handled rather well as they reveal that everyone involved in this debauchery is an undercover cop. That is, until the true reveal shares that there is one guy who is actually gay and is now pretending to be a cop as well.
  8. This is followed by a fake ad for The Burt Book, which is pretty much just beat-off material for women. 
  9. The short film this week is what appears to be behind the scenes footage of a director yelling out instructions to extras for b-reel coverage. The director then doesn't like how one of the buildings looks so he tells his crew to bring it down. It turns out that this is actually footage from a building being demoed as it collapses to the ground like Building 7.
  10. We then start with Larraine on the phone and it sounds like she's making prank phone calls. She announces with each call that she is a Pepper and would like to know if the person on the other end would like to be a Pepper too before going on to push Dr. Pepper products. The more she does this the less silly it seems and the more she sounds like a missionary trying to draw new members into her Dr. Pepper cult. Her parents are concerned about her obsession until her friends stop by to add to the cult-like atmosphere as they get the adults to finally give in and play along.
  11. Burt and Gilda then return home from a party and get into a very realistic and unfunny couples fight about how he's too self-absorbed to introduce her to anyone to talk to when they go to his company events. Of course, he tries to turn it around to the point where she's wrong and when that doesn't work he once again resorts to violence, lifting Gilda off the ground and shaking her until she agrees. Then when he puts her down and she's a crying mess, he offers to ease her nerves with sex, which again get a cheer from the audience and again is the darkest aspect of these jokes.
  12. Anne Murray then returns to the stage to perform Why Don't You Stick Around?
  13. In this week's Baba Wawa At Large, Baba interviews Burt as Marlon Brando but when the sketch started with a rape joke I tuned out because what I did here was just making fun of speech patterns anyway.
  14. Finally, Burt Reynolds closes the show by thanking the crowd and saying his goodnights.
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SNL: S05E15... HOST: RICHARD BENJAMIN AND PAULA PRENTISS... DATE: APRIL 5, 1980

SNL: S05E15... HOST: RICHARD BENJAMIN AND PAULA PRENTISS... DATE: APRIL 5, 1980

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Tonight's "special episode" is "interrupting" a fake show called Police Boat.
  2. Then we go to the opening sketch which is a parody of ABC's news coverage of President Carter being held hostage in the White House in order to keep him to his word about not leaving until he figures out the Iranian crisis of the time. Though there is an update with information from a pundit, this is mainly a set up for Harry Shearer to announce, "Live from New York..."
  3. Richard Benjamin returns to the show with his wife Paula Prentiss, the same woman he openly joked about cheating on during his last visit. Granted, that was a total joke but I still don't find humor in blatant affairs. The two do a bit of a monolog that leads to a bit where Benjamin is jealous because Paula is getting more of the attention.
  4. Larraine and Gilda then play their kid characters who watch a movie about Jesus while having a slumber party. The two go on to compare the Jesus they are watching from Jesus's from other movies and show and then go on to talk about the fictional savior the same way girls from the '90s would talk about Brad Pitt.
  5. The Grateful Dead then hit the stage to perform Alabama Getaway.
  6. Richard and Larraine are in a motel room after just having sex. Richard is overly thankful but then freaks out when he notices she's wearing his shirt. This is when it's revealed that it's a cheating sketch and where I started to check out. Mainly, he's freaked out that her smell is now on his shirt which makes him freaked out that he's going to get caught. There's a knock on the door leading him to rush into the bathroom to hide, thinking it's his wife but it turns out to be room service. Larraine decides to play into his fears and pranking by keeping up the fear that it's his wife, which causes to go into pre-stroke conditions because of his overwhelming fears of getting caught.
  7. Once again, Jane and Bill anchor the news. This week, Harry Shearer covers women's golf and tries to make it sound excited which ends up in a rant about how he's forced to watch this nonsense because of the baseball strike. Al Franken also does a segment on filing taxes which ends up being a way for him to brag about his success during the Decade Of Al Franken while calling for the audience to help him out in some sort of tax fraud.
  8. This is followed by a sketch about Assertiveness Training where Paula hosts a training session for women who need to be more assertive when dealing with their husbands. This ends up being a sketch filled with modern cliches that feel like they were even old at the time... but I could be wrong and too bored care because by this point I just wanted the show to be over.
  9. The Franken and Davis Show finally returns with a parody of the tonight show. In it, the leader of some group, which was involved in the Iran problem of the time, played the Ed McMahon to the Ayatollah's Johnny and the two do their version of Carnac The Magnificent.
  10. Bill and Gilda then host their new neighbors, Richard and Paula for the evening to welcome them to the neighborhood. The two couples have just finished dinner and are heading to the living room for an evening of conversation, only Bill and Gilda put in all the effort and the return is an awkward silence. That is, until they discover their mutual love of Joy Bishop. This gets to two couple chattering on about their favorite perform. Then they go from indifferent to best friends to enemies when the two couples disagree on whether it's the early or later performance that is always better.
  11. The Grateful Dead return to the stage to perform The Saint Of Circumstances.
  12. In Mr. Bill Strikes Back, Mr. Bill decides to turn in Mr. Hand and Sluggo to the police. He then heads down to the police station to register a complaint only to become a victim of abuse by the sheriff.
  13. Finally, Richard and Paula close the show by thanking the audience and saying their good nights.
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SNL: S05E14... HOST: 100TH EPISODE SPECIAL... DATE: MARCH 15, 1980

SNL: S05E14... HOST: 100TH EPISODE SPECIAL... DATE: MARCH 15, 1980

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts backstage with all of the remaining members of the original cast sit around a crystal ball as Garrett Morris tries to talk them into doing a seance. It takes some convincing but they finally give in and get visited by ghosts of the Prime Time Players who have moved on. First Mr. Mike chimes in and no one is happy to see him. He takes a shot at the current season without him and they take a shot at his crappy movie called Mongo Video. Then Jane channels Belushi, who gets a better response. He complains about how he was excited to come back but hates just being a head in a globe and in his rant he works in, "Live from New York..."
  2. Bill Murray then hits the main stage to open the show with a Broadway-style tune about New York.
  3. This was followed by a fake ad for Horizon System 12 which is almost a real deal ad for a home entertainment center from the late '90s, complete with a humungous box to contain a humungous screen as well as a whole bunch of speakers.
  4. The current Senator of New York from the time then reads an Irish Fairytale. It's called The Biggest Leprechaun and we get a reenactment as he reads. In the story, our hero is the biggest leprechaun who is too big to hide. This causes him to get caught all the time which causes his fellow leprechauns to hate him for burning through their budget.
  5. Then we get another sketch from Gilda and Murray's nerd characters. This time Murray is running for high school president but other than that it's the same. Again, these are fun characters that were probably fresh at the time but now the cliche is so played out over the ages that I rarely feel genuinely entertained by them, even though I know this was not the case in the past.
  6. Paul Simon and James Taylor then come out to play three songs back to back to back. First, they duet on Cathy's Clown, then James Taylor takes the lead for Sunny Sky and Paul Simon wraps up the performance with Take Me To The Mardi-Gras.
  7. Once again, Jane and Bill anchor the news. This week, Ralph Nader drops by and really criticizes Exon and the rest of the corporate world for holding this country hostage. Bill also share with us the decision process behind the Ayatollah Khomeini's hat and then Roseanne Roseannadanna does a segment where she starts out discussing the breastfeeding debate then goes on to ramble on about Bo Derick's nose hair.
  8. Next, we go to Gaunt Manor to witness a medieval band practice. Bill Murray plays the drummer, who is literally only there to keep time. He has one drum and one drumstick with a very simple beat, yet he still struggles to figure it out which does nothing but anger his bandmates. He angers them so badly, apparently, Paul Shaffer slips up and accidentally yells fuck instead of feck. We also get a quick drop in from Belushi who plays the queen/audience for the band and he/she is not pleased.
  9. Talk Or Die is an action talk show where the host, Michael Palin, interviews guest about theater under very extreme circumstances.
  10. Garrett Morris and Peter Aykroyd then play two homeless drunks who are in the subway terminal begging for money to buy wine. Bill Murray eventually joins them as a fellow homeless drunk. He's managed to get his hands on a bottle of white wine and the three proceed to taste and discuss the beverage as if they were professional tasters discussing the specifics of the brand.
  11. David Sanborn then hits the stage to perform Anything You Want with his saxamaphone.
  12. The David Susskind Show then returns and I still don't know who he is but this week he interviews a bunch of people who got plastic surgery to look more like the celebrity who they impersonate in order to make a living. One of these guests is actually Donny Osmond who has horrible surgery scars from deciding to go cheap to look like Donny Osmond. Another guest is actually Paul Simon who says his look was always spot on but he had to get surgery to reduce his height because no one was buying a 6'7" Simon.
  13. Finally, the cast and guest close the show by thanking the crowd and saying their good nights.
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SNL: S05E13... HOST: RODNEY DANGERFIELD... DATE: MARCH 8, 1980

SNL: S05E13... HOST: RODNEY DANGERFIELD... DATE: MARCH 8, 1980

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts in Rodney's dressing room as he reads the script to prepare for the show. It's not long before he in interrupted by Father Guido Sarducci who wants to share dressing rooms because his shared dressing room is overcrowded. Being that Sarducci only has one outfit Rodney agree and goes back to studying the script. Then Jane enters the room with news of a drug deal for Sarducci, only he doesn't have his cut so he ends up borrowing a few bucks from Rodney, who just wants to stick to studying his lines so gives him the cash and tries to go back to reading. Then the phone rings and it's the drug dealer for Jane who takes the call and goes on to discuss the deal. Then there's another knock on the door and it's Sarducci's family from Italy. The growing chaos causes Rodney to worry about starting the show when the TV turns on to reveal the dressing room on the screen where Rodney announces, "Live from New York..."
  2. Rodney then opens the show with one of his classic routines which can be considered crass but actually does stand the test of time.
  3. This is followed by the above mentioned fake ad for the "Niggerrand" the gold currency mind by slaves in South Africa. Again the hard "R" is shocking to hear on TV anymore but this joke is more of a comment against apartheid which was still going on at the time.
  4. Dr. Shockley's House Of Sperm is a sketch about a mall like sperm store where anyone can by the sperm of the famous and apparently there is a high demand for funny babies. This leads everyone that stops by to buy a batch to look for a sample from Rodney.
  5. J. Geils Band then hits the stage to perform Love Stinks.
  6. Once again, Jane and Bill anchor the news. This week, Bill interviews the real Beaver and Wally from Leave It To Beaver who still act like their characters from the show. Guido Sarducci also steps in for a segment about the illegal immigration issue where people are getting their ethnicities surgically changed and interviews an Italian that now looks like he's from China.
  7. Manhasset is the long sketch of the night as well as the most offensive. It's kind of shot like an indy film with Rodney doing voice over to introduce information over B reel footage used during transitions. The sketch is mainly about Rodney dating a 10-year-old girl scout. Unlike the other pedophile sketches that I accredit to Mr. Mike, Larraine actually looks and kind of acts her real age and not like a little baby. This feels more like Rodney's take on dating a woman in her twenties in his advanced age. It's as if they lowered her age to make the point even more dramatic as all of the issues the couple deals with throughout the sketch is still inappropriate but more fitting for a girl in her twenties. Again, she's literally supposed to be ten in this sketch yet none of their issues deal with her parents, but more of a problem of her wanting to party with her friends and the two having nothing to talk about. Hell, for him, at that age, he could have made the same point about how old he feels by placing the girl in her 40s.
  8. Road To Moscow is an interview show discussing the upcoming Summer Olympics. The topic at hand this week is the potential the US will boycott and all of the guests are the type of people who lost in the past but act overly disappointed as they swear this would have been their year if they only had the opportunity to compete.
  9. This is followed by a courtroom scene where Brian Doyle-Murray plays a substitute judge and the entire courtroom treats him like children would treat a substitute teacher.
  10. J. Geils Band returns to the stage to perform Sanctuary.
  11. America On The Job is a quick sketch that looks into the lives of America's Clothing Inspectors.
  12. Finally, Rodney closes the show by thanking the crowd and saying his goodnights.
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SNL: S05E12... HOST: KIRK DOUGLAS... DATE: FEBRUARY 23, 1980

SNL: S05E12... HOST: KIRK DOUGLAS... DATE: FEBRUARY 23, 1980

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts with Gilda and her aunt outside of Kirk Douglas's dressing room. She's going to bring her aunt in to get a quick autograph from one of her favorite stars. The door opens and we find a Kirk out of make-up, where he has no cleft in his chin and is only about four feet tall using the technique the Dorf On Golf did. The aunt is shocked as the make-up crew enters with mannequin legs and heavy machinery to fix up his face. As Gilda explains the magic of Hollywood she sneaks in the adage, "Live from New York..."
  2. Kirk Douglas then opens the show with a monolog about his relationship with Broadway. He then starts to ramble on about his family which got me feeling nervous about how the rest of the show would go.
  3. What If? returns for another installment this time we learn what if Spartacus had access to a Piper Cub, which I've never heard of but during the reenactment, it looks like a plane one would use for crop dusting. Since this isn't a plane of war, Spartacus can do nothing but through random things from the cockpit which turned out to be more of a nuisance than a way to win a war.
  4. Then we go to the Pentagon dentist where Harry Shearer is preparing to work on President Sadat of Egypt. He then introduces the top secret technology, available to the Pentagon employees, which is a practice called micro-dentistry. Enter Kirk, Bill, and Larraine who are then shrunken down and thrown into Sadat's mouth. With the graphic of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids and the concept of Innerspace the micro-dentist quickly get to work and then all the fun begins. First, Bill realizes that he drank too much coffee and has to pee and contemplates going behind a molar. Kirk then discovers a tiny can of Budweiser which is apparently the sign of trouble since the Taste Buds arrive and attack. This battle takes up enough time to where the micro-dentist have to jump ship before they start to regrow. Bill and Larraine bail right away but Kirk has one more thing that he has to accomplish. This leads to a close call countdown to Kirk's escape and then all of the sudden we cut to Gilda and Jane who claim there was a special effects error. The fact that they are holding their laughter so hard it makes me think this fail effect must have been hilarious but then we cut back to the scene to see Kirk in also a 69 position with Garrett acting as if he just jumped out of his mouth. I'm guessing now that the girls must have been watching this all go down and hence the unprofessional laughter.
  5. Sam and Dave then hit the stage to perform You Don't Know Me Like I Know.
  6. Once again, Jane and Bill anchor the news, starting with a story and a fake campaign ad for Reagan making fun of how racist and out of it he is and even have him insulting the Irish, but they still don't treat him like a viable candidate. Bill can also barely contain himself after a masturbation joke and Al Franken does a segment on bringing back the draft where he's now totally for it now that he's aged out of having to participate. He does this while continuing on with his Al Franken decade routine.
  7. Then we go to a bar mitzvah that starts out as a slightly exaggerated parody of the event but ends up being another sketch with Bill Murray's lounge singer character which plays out the same as the rest.
  8. Next, the show Prime Time Saturday borrows the satellite time to fit in a major story. I guess Prime Time Saturday was the lead in news show? Either way, the sketch is as boring as they claim the show is that they are parodying. Harry plays the host who interviews the all the brothers of the Republican presidential candidates. It might have been more fun if I remember enough about the candidates, let alone their brothers, to get a lot of the joke.
  9. Kirk Douglas, as himself, pitches a new album of him doing impersonations of impersonations of him as done by famous comedians. The album is called Kirk's Greatest Kirks and we get to hear several samples and he does a pretty good job at sounding like himself only a little bit different.
  10. This week's short film is called Mask Of Fear where we see the set up to what looks like a robbery with men in ski masks rushing a house but it turns out to be a surprise ski trip invitation.
  11. Sam and Dave then return to the stage to perform their version of Soul Man.
  12. We then go to a fancy restaurant where the bathrooms use unclear symbols instead of words which is something that takes a while to matter. We then go into the women's lounge which is one of those luxurious make-up rooms just before you get to the toilets. Gilda is playing the bathroom attendant who is talking Jane's ear off in an attempt to earn her tip. After a while, Kirk Douglas enters because of the sign confusion. He tries to quickly leave in order to avoid a scene but Gilda keeps holding him up as she tries to get an autograph and any other type of memorabilia. The scene then ends when a woman in the stall announces she's having a problem doing her business just knowing Kirk Douglas is in the room.
  13. Finally, Kirk Douglas closes the show by thanking the crowd and saying his goodnights.
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SNL: S05E11... HOST: ELLIOT GOULD... DATE: FEBRUARY 16, 1980

SNL: S05E11... HOST: ELLIOT GOULD... DATE: FEBRUARY 16, 1980

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Once again, the show starts with a Weekend Update special where Father Guido Sarducci was just released from prison following his "arrest" in "Japan" while trying to get a Paul McCartney interview from a sketch a couple weeks ago. Now he is outside of Nixon's brand new New York house and is waiting to sabotage him to get an interview. It turns out, Nixon and his wife are at a move which gets the Father talking about film before slipping in, "Live from New York..."
  2. Elliot Gould then opens the show with a monolog about how much he loves the show. This is the first time he didn't start with a song, they just jumped right into the show.
  3. This was followed by a fake ad for Jewess Jeans that parodied an ad from Jordache.
  4. Next, we had our first debate sketch of this presidential election season. The debate was between Ted Kennedy and Carter only Carter is too busy to show and is replaced by one of the current president's assistant.
  5. This was followed by another fake ad called Because The Wine Remembers, which give a breakdown of crappy twist top wine, treating it how you would treat a high-end equivalent.
  6. The Incredible man is the best of the long sketches to date because it's a parody of The Wizard Of OZ if it took place in Canada. Since there is enough source material to last as long as the sketch, it never feels like it's dragging on and there is no need for filler. We start out in Saskatchewan in black and white until our Dorothy gets bonked in the head sending her to some snowy location. She met by the good witch who sends her on her way, following a line of golden pee that is creating a path in the snow. On her way to meet The Incredible Man she meets a Mounty who needs a wife (in place of the Scarecrow), a frozen Hockey Player who wants to be famous (in place of the Tin Man), and an insomniac Bear that just wants to hibernate (in place of the Lion). They get to this Incredible Man who lives in a trailer and solves all of their problems with rational solutions, sending our Dorothy back to Saskatchewan to reunite with her family.
  7. Gary Numan then hits the stage to perform Cars.
  8. Once again, Jane and Bill anchor the news and so far this is their best season as a team. This week the only guest spot is when they check back in with Father Guido Sarducci to see if he has any Nixon updates only Nixon has yet to return from the theater which leads to more talk about movies.
  9. Then we go to prison where there is a sports agent trying to recruit Garrett Morris, who is playing a character named Matoose. I'm not sure if this is based on a person from the news at the time or a racist way to highlight just how corrupt the college sporting program actually is as this agent offers Matoose the moon because the school has unlimited funds to finance anything when it comes to sports. Just like the Bel-Arabs sketch, the bad guys in the sketch is the establishment but the ethnic minorities in these sketches get hit with a whole lot of shrapnel.
  10. Harry Shearer then plays what I thought was the return of the Wayne's World radio DJ character, only it turns out he is a radio DJ only this time he hosts a call-in show that's only purpose is to deliver the time. Call after call asks him what time it is and he answers and transitions to the next call in a very radio DJ way.
  11. Then we go to the subway where Garrett plays a rambling drunk. Gilda gives him a quarter just to go away and he rewards her with his empty bottle of Thunderbird. I'm not sure why she opens the bottle and give it a whiff but in doing so she releases the Subway Genie who grants her three wishes that she has no control over and all are subway-themed.
  12. Once again, we check in with Sarducci who is griping about the situation, unaware that the camera is on. He then finds a neighbor and decides to ask her the one question he wanted to ask Nixon, which is, "If you could be any animal, what would it be?" To which she gives a very standard answer that I didn't even think to write down, thinking the question was the point of the joke.
  13. This was followed by another parody ad for the follow-up to the successful Kramer Vs Kramer only the sequel is Kramer Vs Godzilla.
  14. Gary Numan then returns to the stage to perform Praying To The Aliens.
  15. Finally, Elliot Gould closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
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SNL: S05E10... HOST: CHEVY CHASE... DATE: FEBRUARY 9, 1980

SNL: S05E10... HOST: CHEVY CHASE... DATE: FEBRUARY 9, 1980

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. Since this is a Chevy Chase hosted show it starts out with a visit to Gerald Ford when Henry Kissinger drops by the house to try and talk Ford into running for president because he was the best of the puppets who was super easy to control. This whole conversation takes place with Ford talking from the top of the stairs. He keeps heading back and forth to his office, building the anticipation as to which return would end up with the famous Chevy fall. The fall eventually does take place leading to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Chevy Chase then opens the show with a monolog about how great it is to be back. He also wants to squelch the rumors that he and Bill Murray were having a feud. The two then go into singing a duet of a few tunes that is obviously not rehearsed and makes it look like the two are having a blast.
  3. Billy Murray then rushes over to another set to do a fake ad for Pre-Chew Charlies, a restaurant for those that are too old, too injured or too lazy to chew.
  4. We then get a follow up to The Bel-Arabs which is a pretty offensive take on the Beverly Hillbillies. In this episode, the FBI takes advantage of these Arabian rubes with oil money to frame a congressman who must have been involved with some sort of campaign financing scam. The saving grace to this sketch is, despite the fact that they are making bad jokes playing off of stereotypes the point of the piece is just how corrupt the US government is, as not only do the FBI agents successfully catch the congressman, they give in to a pay off as well.
  5. Marianne Faithful then hits the stage to perform Broken English.
  6. Once again, Jane and Bill host the news and again there is way more focus on the upcoming elections. Bill Murray does a commentary on being for drafting women into the army so if we go to war with Russian we'll have the extra bodies we need to win but if we lose the Russians won't be able to take pride in their victory because they only beat a bunch of girls. He also sings happy birthday to the bust of Washington and Lincoln in celebration of President's Day, which at the time I remember being two separate holidays, celebrating the individual man. I was surprised that Chevy didn't even make a guest appearance since it was his original role.
  7. This was followed by a game show parody call You Can't Win which offers the contestants a grand prize of one million dollars, as well as a bunch of high-end luxury merchandise but the challenges are so impossible that there is literally no way to win.
  8. Speaking Of Fashion (And Other Things) was a black and white cable access show where Mr. Blackwell interviews Chevy as his arrogant self about his new line of men's clothing that uses a style called California Flare.
  9. Marianne Faithful then returns to the stage to perform Guilt.
  10. This week's short film was called Hollywood's Forgotten Directors which was pretty much a career profile of Linden Palmer who was blackballed during the first round of the Red Scare.
  11. Somewhere On The Coast Of Honduras was a sketch that I just didn't understand. I'm guessing that the characterization of the impersonations being used was enough to clue the audience into who was being referenced because they never mentioned a name. Minus any knowledge of the source material, this sketch is just Jane Curtin rambling into a cassette recorder about her mundane upper-class existence why on vacation for at least three minutes and then everyone gets randomly poisoned by blow darts in the very end.
  12. Chevy and a guy named Tm Scott then hit the stage to perform 16 Tons.
  13. Finally, Chevy returns to the main stage to close out the show by thanking the crowd before going on to say his goodnights.
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SNL: S05E09... HOST: TERI GARR... DATE: JANUARY 26, 1980

SNL: S05E09... HOST: TERI GARR... DATE: JANUARY 26, 1980

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week the show starts with a special Weekend Update covering Paul McCartney's arrest in Japan after finding marijuana in his luggage. They breakdown the week of events with a blend between accurate and exaggerated news. It turns out they also sent Father Guido Sarducci over to Japan with weed in his luggage as a way to scoop and interview, only we find out he arrived on the day McCartney was released leading the new news to be Father Sarducci's statement which ends on, "Live from New York..."
  2. Teri Garr then opens the show with a lot of excited energy but then skips the monolog altogether.
  3. This is followed by a repeat of the ad for Craig's Traveler's Check, travel currency distributed by some guy named Craig.
  4. It's not just the news that's getting political as the next sketch was about how desperate the huge line-up of this year's candidates were to get a vote, going as far as to provide maid services to an independent voter in Iowa leading to a room too filled with politicians underachieving and over promising to the point where they are more of a nuisance than a cure.
  5. Debs Behind Bars was a sketch following three debutants serving time in the same cell. Since they come from wealth, they get special treatment but are too privileged to see the benefits so all they do is complain.
  6. The B-52s then hit the stage to perform Rock Lobster.
  7. Once again, Jane and Bill anchor the news and despite the intro sounding like a complaint, I'm a fan of Weekend Update and find the segment much stronger in these election years. If anything, I wish the news writers would be as vigilant about covering our rulers even in non-election years.
  8. The Anchovy Council Of America then meet to discuss the extremely flat anchovy market and have an advertising company step in to pitch their ideas for commercials. Their big idea is to start marketing to the "blacks" because not only are they the market with the less experience with anchovies giving them a bigger market to win over, they also feel that "the blacks" would be an ideal market because of how much "they like salt." The sketch then ends with a blaxploitation ad with Garrett Morris and Yvonne Hudson (AKA the first official female black cast member) who never gets mentioned in the "Featuring" section of the intro despite the fact that this isn't her first visit and she had multiple lines. I'd also like to point out that this was the first episode that introduces every other "Featured" cast member for the season even a couple that were just non-talking extra for this episode.
  9. The Bad series of sketches returns with Bad Playhouse. Aykroyd has been replaced by Larraine but the concept is exactly the same. This time, we watch a bad performance about the potato famine feature Mr. Potato but like the last couple times this segment aired, they didn't give it a name. 
  10. Gilda and her agent then prepare to meet with a powerful producer about her latest screenplay. It turns out this powerhouse of film is Larraine as the same child character she was as a literal "Child" Psychiatrist, who strong-arms Gilda into rewriting the script to have the star of the film be her mom.
  11. Mr. Bill is spotted on skid row and gets sent to a psychoanalasyst to get help. This shrink uses hypnotism and we get to see flashbacks of Mr. Bill's miserably violent life and end with him getting a lobotomy.
  12. The B-52s then return to the stage to perform Dance This Mess Around.
  13. Teri Garr then closes the show by thanking the crowd and saying her goodnights.
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SNL: S05E08... HOST: TED KNIGHT... DATE: DECEMBER 22, 1979

SNL: S05E08... HOST: TED KNIGHT... DATE: DECEMBER 22, 1979

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts with a Christmas Special being broadcasted from Panama and is hosted by the exiled Shah of Iran. He talks a little about his circumstances before breaking into We Wish You A Merry Christmas And A "Live from New York..."
  2. Ted Knight then opens the show with a pretty funny impersonation of a few opening moments from when Steve Martin hosted the show. He then goes on to claim in a Vader-like announcement that he is actually Steve Martin's father.
  3. This was followed by a couple real quick parody ads for upcoming NBC programming, continuing the joke that the network is trying to rebuild off of the back of Gary Coleman.
  4. The Chudd Insurance Corporation sketch was another sketch that felt for the most part like and actual work meeting. In this sketch, a group of executives try to investigate a claim of sexual harassment. Gilda is the only female executive in the bunch but after hearing the harassment case, it's clear that they are suggesting that she slept her way to this promotion. It's also obvious that this fictional corporation are full of scumbags as the group drags their feet as they attempt to turn the harasser into the victim. This felt more like it was highlighting how life really worked at the time because I had trouble really feeling the satire.
  5. This is followed by a Christmas announcement from Ted Knight as a Boston cop that sound way more like a threat than a seasonal greeting before introducing the band.
  6. Desmond Child and Rouge then hit the stage to perform Tumble In The Night.
  7. This was followed by more quick ads for upcoming Gary Coleman shows.
  8. Once again, Jane and Bill anchor the news. This was a pretty slow week as for as news guest goes but Roseanne Roseannadanna does a segment that starts with her complaining about corporations begging for handouts during the holidays, only to end up rambling about the time she mistook Gene Shalit was a dog.
  9. Ted Knight then plays the director of the local community Christmas pageant on the last day of rehearsal. Luck for him his star characters are Gilda and Bill as the nerd. Unlucky for him, they are both distracted in their usual way but it worked better this time because at least there was an interesting situation and not just these two playing around the stage counting only on character.
  10. Andy Kaufman then hits the stage to wrestle the female fan that won the fight Andy Kaufman contest. Just like I thought the last match was compelling, I felt this fight was exciting as well. Since this was real deal rolling on the floor wrestling this felt more like UFC style wrestling over the off the ropes slam men of the WWE. I also like how the added incentive of Andy claiming he would shave his head and retire from the ring made the crowd twice as angry at his technical win because they rarely set up a situation like that without a pay off in the real world of fake wrestling.
  11. Once again, this is follow by more Gary Coleman ads.
  12. Then Garrett Morris plays Sammy Davis Jr. as Santa in a fake ad for Sammy-Seltzer to relieve holiday based indigestion.
  13. This week's short film is noir in style and follows a man to his favorite dinner to get served cup of coffee after cup of coffee by Teri Garr until he because a coffee addict aka the titular Java Junkie.
  14. This was followed by a sketch about the family on the block that over decorates their house for the holidays because one individual is overly festive but mainly because of the personal attention he receives by being part of such an obnoxious spectacle of an abode and it's also a way for grandpa, in this case, to finally feel appreciated by the family.
  15. This is followed by one more segment of Gary Coleman ads. I'd go into more details but these are just fake posters with voice over and not actual mini parodies.
  16. Desmond Child and Rouge then return to the stage to perform Goodbye Baby.
  17. Finally, Ted Knight closes the show by thanking the crowd and saying his goodnights.
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SNL: S05E07... HOST: MARTIN SEAN... DATE: DECEMBER 15, 1979

SNL: S05E07... HOST: MARTIN SEAN... DATE: DECEMBER 15, 1979

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts with the parody of a docudrama following Bill Murray as he heads off to Europe to get a sex change. When he gets there he is given two options, an expensive one that takes months to transition and a discount package where you can go through the switch in a day. Be a cheapskate he opts for the same day service where it seems they cut off his penis with a scalpel then complete the process by adding a dress, wig, and makeup. Bill then wakes up from the surgery takes a look at his new female self and announces, "Live from New York..."
  2. Martin Short then opens the show joking about how unfunny he is. I always find this to be a discouraging intro but at least he follows it up with a humorous routine where he promotes Toys For Tarts to provide Christmas gifts to hookers.
  3. This was followed by a fake ad for French shoes called Le Shoes.
  4. Martin Sean then reads Gilda's child character The Raven before putting her down to sleep. She then thinks she sees a bear in the corner but when her parents rush to the room it turns out to be nothing more than a pile of clothes. Next, Garrett Morris enters the room which again causes Gilda to freak out. Once again, the parents rush to the room only to get upset that she's overreacting because Garrett is just the electrician who is there to retrieve his tool box. The parents leave the room again and this time Gilda's bed begins to bounce up and down, causing to fear that this is being caused by ghosts and again the parents return to the room scolding Gilda for being rude to the Gypsy family that has been living under the bed for a while. Gilda is left alone one more time when she finds an ax murderer in her closest. She tests the waters as to whether she can call for help but when the parent promise problems if they have to return to the room she decides to risk it and silently hide under the blankets.
  5. The next sketch was about a Teacher's Union meeting to discuss negotiations following a multi-month ongoing strike. This felt like a very real work meeting with a couple chuckles sprinkled into an otherwise boring situation.
  6. David Bowie then hits the stage to perform The Man Who Sold The World.
  7. Once again, Jane and Bill anchor the news. This week, Bill breaks down this week's movie releases complimenting Steve Martin for The Jerk and subtly jabbing at Belushi for his decision to quit the show to make 1941. Father Guido Sarducci also has a segment where he pitches his new product which is a follow up to Mr. Coffee called Mr. Tea which was pretty much just a glorified funnel because you have to provide the tea bag, hot water, and cup and the machine does zero percent of the actual effort.
  8. Martin Sean then meets with studio executives and is given the mission to head over to the Philippians to pull the plug on the filming of Apocalypse Now for how crazy Coppola is burning through an already extreme budget. Haven seen Hearts Of Darkness, this was more of an interesting sketch to me even though it was rather long winded and felt very dry at times.
  9. David Bowie then returns to the stage to perform TV-C 15.
  10. The short film series First Love returns this time the spotlight is on Bill Murray and his first love who turns out to be a puppy named Fanny who he still stalks to this day, even now that she's a fully grown dog.
  11. This was followed by a parody of the Eveready Battery ads that I kind of recall starring a tough guy who's toughness is supposed to translate to how tough the battery is. Only in this ad, Martin Sean plays the tough guy who gets beat up the second he lays down his challenge and runs off to get his father to save the day, only he instantly gets beat up as well.
  12. Garrett then holds Jane hostage until Martin returns to the room with the ransom of one million dollars. They manage to pull this off in a way where only Jane knew their identity so they decide to kill her to create the perfect crime. A second after Garrett shoots her, there is a knock on the door from what turns out to be a pizza delivery guy who now has knowledge of the crime scene. This leads Garrett to have to kill him too only there's another knock on the door right away. Garrett and Martin then commit a killing spree as everyone in the area seems to have a reason to visit the room to become another witness to silence.
  13. Bruce and Chrystie Jenner then do a commercial for a camera as they capture the signing of their divorce papers.
  14. Revisions Of Freudian Theory is pretty much a Franken and Davis sketch where they discuss the newly discovered nasal stage of child development.
  15. Jane Curtin then does an ad for Martin Sean, whose saliva is supposed to do wonders to women's hair giving them that Martin "Sean."
  16. David Bowie then hits the stage for a third time to perform Boys Keep Swinging.
  17. Finally, Martin Sean closes the show by thanking the crowd and saying his goodnights.
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SNL: S05E06... HOST: HOWARD HESSEMAN... DATE: NOVEMBER 17, 1979

SNL: S05E06... HOST: HOWARD HESSEMAN... DATE: NOVEMBER 17, 1979

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts with a Great Moments In Rock 'N Roll where Don Kirshner introduces a segment that shares the humble beginnings of James Brown, back when he was a Scottish performer.
  2. Howard Hesseman the opens the show with a political statement about the Iran Hostage situation and his issues with the network for trying to silence the shows input on the events of the day.
  3. This was followed by The Bel-Arabs and Beverly Hillbillies parody with a funny premise and a very long winded and racist delivery.
  4. Randy Newman then hit the stage to perform It's Money That I Love then goes directly into performing I'm Going To Take Off My Pants.
  5. Once again, Jane and Bill anchor the news. This week Chico Esquela checks in again with a sports segment and Al Franken discusses the upcoming decade change which he claims with be the decade of Al Franken.
  6. Richard and Gilda then hang out at their home when they are joined by Gilda's ex who is played by Bill Murray. What follows is a long-winded sketch where Gilda realizes she still has feelings for Murray and Richard isn't as confident in the relationship as he puts out to the world. This isn't a comedy sketch, it's more of a boring swinger story gone wrong where everyone ends up alone without making a comedic point.
  7. Harry Shearer then plays his morning radio DJ character that he played in the movie Wayne's World.
  8. The Nuclear Family is a sketch about a radioactive family that lives bay a Nuclear Power Plant and the family is run down and falling apart despite the fact that everyone keeps saying that it has absolutely nothing to do with radioactive interactions with the environment around them.
  9. Randy Newman returns to the stage to perform The Story Of A Rock And Roll Band.
  10. This was followed by a short film with was an interview with Jane Curtin about her first love who happens to be Walter Cronkite.
  11. Next, we go to The Holiday Inn Of Horror where sleeping guest get woken by the maid who is hell bent on cleaning the room even though it's 6:00 in the AM.
  12. Finally, Richard Hesseman closes the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.
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SNL: S05E05... HOST: BEA ARTHUR... DATE: NOVEMBER 17, 1979

SNL: S05E05... HOST: BEA ARTHUR... DATE: NOVEMBER 17, 1979

The Wicker Breakdown: 

  1. The show starts in Ronald Reagan's makeup room following his announcement of his plans to run for president in the 1980 election. The main point of the sketch is how old Reagan is, as the removal of the makeup reveals a grey-haired, balding, old man who gets the honors to mutter the words, "Live from New York..." 
  2. Bea Arthur opens the show by singing Let Me Love You with Paul Shaffer on piano. 
  3. This was followed by a repeat of an ad from season one for a beer for "boat people" called Spuds.
  4. In He Cries First, Bea Arthur plays a doctor that has to announce to a husband that his wife will be losing a breast to cancer. The rest of the sketch goes on in on in a very dramatic tone about how this husband has it so bad because he now has to live with this deformed wife. Part of me feels that the fact that this is not a joke that could be made anymore due to being completely insensitive, the super serious tone seems to be making less of a point toward their original intent to where it feels a little like they are validating this type of outlook when really the problem is that the entire routine just didn't age all that well.
  5. Jane is preparing breakfast for the family as Bill plays the dad getting ready for work and his son played by Tom Davis announces he's too sick to go to school. This causes Bill to freak out making a big deal about how everyone has to do things that they don't want to so he should just man up and go to school. Tom doesn't change his tune leading Bill to call in sick to work to prove a point about how the world doesn't work with all these absences. This causes a chain reaction of everyone in America calling in sick opening the doors to a Russian invasion. 
  6. The Roches then hit the stage to perform Bobby's Song.
  7. Once again, Jane and Bill host the news. Though they do start with a story of the upcoming election, it's still not the main topic of the news. This week there is a segment where Al Franken plays a scientist that pretty much just murders a bunch of cockroaches on live TV. 
  8. This is followed by a Thanksgiving sketch with adults who still have to sit at the child's table that is set up in the basement. They start out complaining about having to sit at this table despite being in their 30s and then everything breaks down as they all start to act like children as they remember thanksgivings from the past.
  9. Woman To Woman returns and this time Gilda's perfectly content, single successful woman character passive-aggressively tries to find holes in the perfect life that Bea Arthur is experiencing as a very proud mother of five.
  10. This is followed by a fake ad for Save Co, a store that buys up all the government recalled products to then pass the savings on to the public despite how dangerous their merchandise is.
  11. Bea Arthur then hosts a party to showcase a play call Two Men to investors. The play is a musical with a story that has something to do with the meeting of Mel Torme and Charles Manson but I could really follow the plot because the songs are more of the point of the sketch than the actual story.  
  12. Mr. Bill then moves into a trailer park as he waits for the insurance money to come in from the burning down of his last abode. Mr. Hand then tries to jump start the transition into the new permanent home by starting the building process and beating up Bill as he goes.
  13. Los Beatalos Cubanos is a TV ad for an album of a Cuban Beatles cover band.
  14. Andy Kaufman then gets a few moments of air time to discuss how hate filled his mail has been since his last visit where he wrestled a woman. He then makes a call to the audience to submit their names for to win the opportunity to fight him when he comes back for his Christmas appearance this time, not only are the $500 dollars up for grabs but Kaufman claims he will shave his head and retire from wrestling if he loses.
  15. The Roches then return to the stage to perform Hallelujah.
  16. Finally, Bea Arthur closes the show by thanking the crowd and saying her goodnights.
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SNL: S05E04... HOST: BUCK HENRY... DATE: NOVEMBER 10, 1979

SNL: S05E04... HOST: BUCK HENRY... DATE: NOVEMBER 10, 1979

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts outside of the NBC studio with people protesting the eleventh appearance of Buck Henry with the joke being that people were sick of seeing him on the show. We then cut to the SNL locker room where Jane and Bill discuss the controversy and agree that he is taking airtime from real stars like Clint Eastwood. Every reason they give for why he shouldn't keep hosting are the exact reasons that I like seeing him on the show. Bill then goes into a convoluted story about how he got his hands on Buck Henry's NBC paperwork and discovered he was a war hero from the Korean War who saved the current CEO and is why he is getting special treatment by the network. Somehow Jane takes over the conversation and FINALLY gets to officially announce, "Live from New York..."
  2. Buck Henry then opens the show amongst guards to protect him from the protesters. He ignores the yells and the boos and powers through his monolog about how great it is to be a part of the show while casually dismissing the hecklers.
  3. Gilda then does an ad for Harley's Bristol Cream booze where she calls guy after guy to come to her house to drink with her. She gets turned down left and right and I'm guessing it's the quality of the booze that's the turn off since I've never heard of Harley's Bristol Cream or any other booze that it could be making fun of. Anyways, she ends up yelling out her window to some passerby who comes up to join her and turns out to be homeless who enjoys the booze as well as the make out session.
  4. The Mystery Of Toad Island is a mystery sketch where Buck Henry ends up on a strange island where everyone has the inflatable throat of a toad. The toad throat is the star of this sketch because there isn't too much of a story to hang on to.
  5. Gilda and Bill then play their nerdy characters again with Jane as Gilda's mom and Buck as Bill's dad. This time Bill is trying to get Buck to ask Jane out since they hit it off well the last time Buck Henry was hosting the show. This would allow for Bill to be alone with Gilda with an empty house so he can finally make his move, only in the process of setting up the date, Buck accidentally sends Gilda and her mom off to the event the date was to be based on.
  6. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers then hit the stage to perform Refugee.
  7. Once again, Jane and Bill host the news. It's interesting that as election coverage ramps up the focus is on Carter and Kennedy, without even one mention of Reagan yet so it will be interesting to see how and when that happens as far as Saturday Night Live goes.
  8. Bad Clams was an amazing sketch where Garrett Morris the barely publicized first black female cast member Yvonne Hudson, host a Baltimore passed morning talk show where they start out talking about movies and then go on to eat spoiled clams with their special guest Lucille Ball. I'm sad and surprised that I never heard of Yvonne because the type of unknown fact that I would love to bring up as trivia but also because it should have been a much more celebrated accomplishment.
  9. This was followed by an ad for a record that teaches children how to talk to their grandparents to make them like you enough to give you a buck by simply telling them everything that they want to hear, like how great they are and how they come across as being young.
  10. The short film this week is a repeat of the documentary style film that explores the afterlife that was witnessed during near death experiences. Each story ends with everyone getting to a bright room and being told to take a number and have a seat.
  11. Buck and Gilda are eating dinner when Buck randomly coughs up what is arguably his liver or lung and then Gilda cuts off one of her fingers. At first, this seems very random but it ends up that this is an ad for Speci-Pak the freezer pack for transporting body parts to the emergency room when these types of strange events occur.
  12. Bill is about to propose to Larraine but before they can get down to the romance they have a meeting with their lawyers to iron out the prenuptial agreement, highlighting just how unromantic this process is. Larraine wants everything is this doesn't work out and Bill wants to give nothing if it fails and they try to express this while at the same time saying that they are deeply in love. Then out of the blue, Jane and her lawyer enter into the apartment with a signed document saying that she's ready to commit to marriage. This is enough to get Bill to call it off with Larraine and decides to marry Jane because it is a better deal.
  13. Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers return to the stage to perform Don't Do Me Like That.
  14. This is followed by Buck, Jane and Gilda all in a car on a wild ride because Buck Henry is too pee shy to use a public restroom and is running red lights and over pedestrians as he tries to get home before he explodes.
  15. Finally, Buck Henry thanks the crowd but before he can say his goodnights he's chased out of the studio by the cast and the crew as if they were an angry mob minus the pitchforks and torches.
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SNL: S05E03... HOST: BILL RUSSELL... DATE: NOVEMBER 3, 1979

SNL: S05E03... HOST: BILL RUSSELL... DATE: NOVEMBER 3, 1979

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. We start out behind the scenes of a Ted Kennedy event for his announcement that he's running for president. He shows up late and soaking wet and everyone is worried that this is a repeat of the Chappaquiddick Incident. Davis of Franken and Davis then steps out onto the stage to create a delay to figure out what is going on before making the announcement. He hands over the podium to some old guy who rambles on as Davis goes backstage to deal with Kennedy. It turns out he just went out for a swim and his wife if safe and sound. Kennedy then goes out to announce his decision to run along with announcing, "Live from New York..."
  2. Rill Russell then opens the show with a monolog about how the show runs a lot like a basketball team and then breaks down every position.
  3. This is followed by a fake ad for an electronic device called the Banshee that wails in your place at funerals for people that you can be bothered to go to.
  4. Next is one of the long winded after school special sketches that I can't stand. It's called The Black Shadow and is about a black high school basketball coach and his white team that does everything they can to defend him. Meanwhile, he live up to every black stereotype, selling drugs, fighting, sexual predator, and the list goes on and on and these white kids defend him no matter what and every time anyone has a problem he says that they just have a problem because he is black without acknowledging the fact that he is just a horrible individual. It's an interesting point that ages in a way that feels like it's straight up racist.
  5. The Landers File is a parody of Ann Landers advice column where she reads the letter from a reader as we see a reenactment of the events. The reader asking the question is pretty much how everyone in her life turned on her during her husband's funeral in a humorous but inappropriate way where she is clearly not to blame.
  6. Chicago then hits the stage to perform I'm A Man.
  7. Once again, Jane and Bill give us the news. This week Larraine visits a Korean Surprise Dinner Party where Gilda and some guy to horrendous Asian accents with the surprise being that the guy randomly shoots Gilda as she tries to explain the meal. Bill Murray also celebrates the 100th birthday of the light bulb by singing a bulb a song.
  8. Bill Murray returns as his crappy lounge singer this time he is performing for the troops in Greenland. Though it's funnier than the past couple installments of this sketch, it still pretty much the exact same thing.
  9. The Continuing Correspondences Of Eleanor Roosevelt is a sketch where we see Eleanor writing elegant correspondences only to find out that they are all going to bill collectors. We see a couple samples of this as she also starts a chain letter that is also spread by these bill collectors who could care less of these flowery letters and only want their cash. The sketch then ends in an adorable way, when Franklyn Roosevelt defends his wife's actions in a letter of his own by paying off the late bill and explaining how she was busy with way more important things.
  10. Mr. Bill then has to deal with Mr. Hand after claiming to be sick in order to avoid hanging out. Of course, this leads to Mr. Hand "caring" for Mr. Bill in a very abusive way.
  11. Bill Murray then plays a sports talk show host who interviews Bill Russell as himself, only apparently Murray lives in a parallel universe where no one has ever heard of basketball and all follow some other bizarro world sport.
  12. This is followed by a fake ad for a car salesman who is encouraging people to buy a second car in order to sell enough cars to be able to pay off the rebate they were supposed to get for the first car.
  13. Chicago then performs Street Player. I had no idea this was a Chicago song since I've only heard it in every other rap song since 1988.
  14. We then see a quick fake ad for a Barry White Big and Tall store. We then cut to a franchise of said store that just opened in the crappy mall where the Scotch tape store is the only establishment that is having any success.
  15. Finally, Bill Russell closes the show by thanking the crowd and saying his goodnights.
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SNL: S05E02... HOST: ERIC IDLE... DATE: OCTOBER 20, 1979

SNL: S05E02... HOST: ERIC IDLE... DATE: OCTOBER 20, 1979

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. The show starts with a guy playing a doctor who exits Eric Idle's dressing room. He was in a sketch or two in the first episode of the season, and I totally know who he is but can't place it because he looks so young. Anyways, this doctor interrupts Buck Henry and Lorne to inform Lorne, that Eric is way too sick to host the show. Buck keeps desperately insisting that he could step in if needed but Lorne acts like he doesn't even hear this, thinking it would be honorable for Idle to put out his last efforts to die while hosting the show. Buck keeps insisting he take over going as far as to announce, "Live from New York..." Only this doesn't instantly initiate the opening credits because the doctor fits in one more line... Oh, I figured it out, that Harry Shearer from the Christopher Guest movies again, he looks so young, and I kept thinking he was Marv Albert but he didn't have the voice.
  2. Eric Idle then opens the show being brought out to the stage on a stretcher. Once again his very first joke is how bad this show is going to be. Where last time I hated that joke because his prediction actually came true but this time he went right into a hilarious routine doing impersonations including the stretcher.
  3. This was followed by the Hotel Motel Art Fair, where Harry Shearer hosts a show where he sells low-end art that is sold in bulks to all the hotels and motels.
  4. Bill Murray then enters a handmade shoe shop that is run by Eric Idle who offers free kisses from his Spanish daughters to get customers into the store. Bill asks if he has a specific style shoe and Idle runs through all the options in order to impress Bill with the pure volume and options available even if they are not even close to a match. In between random kisses from Charo like characters Bill eventually finds a pair that he likes. The only problem is that Idle does seem to grasp the idea of selling two shoes which sends Bill Murray over the edge.
  5. Bob Dylan then hits the stage to perform Gotta Serve Somebody.
  6. Prince Charles then promotes his book on advice for how to hook up with attractive but common women. All of his pick-up lines include letting it slip out that you are royalty.
  7. Once again Jane and Bill host the news. It looks like we are at the very start of the campaign season for the 1980 presidential election as there is a segment where Harry Shearer goes to Britain to discuss their reaction to the pre-election build up. Bill Murray also has a segment where he responds to Princess Margret who recently called the Irish pig when she was in the states visiting Chicago. Roseanne Roseannadanna also has a segment where she talks about the current mortgage crisis, only to end up rambling on about a vacation she took which led to advice about fitness.
  8. Then we go to a club for drag queens, though, after watching a lot of RuPaul I hesitate to call this drag as they are in no way trying to hide their man-ness they're just men in dancing around in women's clothes. Larraine and Gilda then enter the club looking for someone when Larraine spots her father putting on a show while dancing on the stage. The sketch then becomes a bit of a movie trailer for an adult film called Hardcore II. About a daughter whose father's a drag queen while claiming not to be gay.
  9. Bob Dylan then returns to the stage to perform I Believe In You.
  10. Andy Kaufman then returns to the show to perform his famous routine where he offers women $500 if they can beat him at wrestling. He is so good at getting people to hate him and walking a fine line where there is no heads or tails as to where the person and character of a person begins or end.
  11. Heavy Sarcasm is an interview show where Jane asks very sarcastic questions to two very sarcastic guests.
  12. Ask Elvis is a call in psychic show where Larraine takes letters from her audience to ask the late rock singer. They then cut to a statue of Elvis while the question is being answered in voiceover using an Elvis Impersonator's voice.
  13. Once again, Bob Dylan returns to the stage to sing When You Gonna Wake Up.
  14. Finally, Eric Idle closes the show by thanking the crowd and saying his goodnights.
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