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

or...

Welcome to the Club...

The Eight-Timers Club!!!

Though I love when I look at the queue to see that Steve Martin is hosting, that said, this trend of having him and Buck Henry host twice in a season is a little much. It seems that every time this happens one of the two visits is great while the other is just mediocre. In this case, this second visit was the latter.

As always, just because I found this to be an average episode, I am by no means saying that it was bad. Steve Martin did his Steve Martin thing and the cast performed with high energy. The sketches were also good enough to keep me entertained. I just feel that the high-frequency of hosting visits keeps the show from feeling special.

Not only did this episode seem like the writers may have run out of customized material Martin since it was so soon since he last dropped by but this is also the second to last episode of the season, so the creative tank may have been running dry and these were decent evergreen bits to burn through.

Oh yeah, and it didn't help that have of the show was devoted to setting up the debut of Paul and Linda McCartney's latest music video which ended up filling four segments. Now that I think about it, this was my main issues with this episode because when it didn't feel like a promotional tool the show was pretty solid.

Well, now that I've worked that out, it's time to share what I saw as I give you...

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.

Even though I was kind of annoyed by how much time this episode spent promoting McCartney's new music video, it meant was got to spend more time with Guido Sarducci which is always a plus in my books. Aside from his series of segments here are my favorite moments. First, I loved The Hominids sketch because I often feel that we are still cavemen who think we're smart due to the advancements of technology that a majority of us don't fully understand. Next, I liked the deer crossing sketch because it was simple, silly, and fun. Finally, I was a fan of Father Guido Sarducci's medley of Beatles songs.

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.