SNL: S08E08... HOST: THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS... DATE: DECEMBER 4, 1982

or...

A Pretty Good Showing

Plagued By Technical Difficulties On My End

First off, this was another episode that I was excited to watch because I was raised to be a Smothers Brothers fan by my father. We used to listen to their comedy albums on every long road trip and even took us to see them live while I was still at an age to truly appreciate them while they were still at an age to put on a show that didn't feel like they were semi-retired.

During this episode, there was a sketch where everyone starts to lose their mind moments after their television goes offline for a couple of moments. This sketch couldn't have come at a better time because during the viewing I had to deal with the exact same issue only my entertainment outage came by way of the internet.

Due to my crappy internet service provider that rhymes with Time Burner, it took me close to three hours to get through this hour and change program once you minus the commercials. Though I stuck it out and watched many sketches multiple times to make up for any of the humor that could have been lost due to the freezing, I found it hard to see this as a cohesive episode from how much I had to start and stop.

That said, I could tell that I would have really liked this show because it had an energy that I appreciate and it did hit my nostalgia bone, I just wish it didn't end up getting so spread out due to my technical glitches.

With that, it's now time to move on and share what I saw, as I give you...  

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show starts with a parody of The Tonight Show where Tommy Smothers looks the part of Johnny Carson even though his impersonation is a little off. I can't tell who's playing Ed because whoever it is, wears a bizarre looking fat mask. The first guest is Eddie as Bill Cosby who rambles on about something. Then they bring out Dick Smothers who breaks the bit when "Johnny" is only interested in discussing Dick's famous brother who is actually himself. The sketch ends with a brotherly bickering fight before they both announce, "Live from New York..."
  2. The Smothers Brothers then officially open the show by skipping the monolog to sing the Man Of La Mancha theme song complete with The Smothers Brother brand of comedic banter strategically placed throughout the performance.
  3. We then got a repeat of the Thank You, Ronald Reagan ad where we see trickle-down economics at work.
  4. Eddie Murphy then plays a man on the ledge of a building who is threatening to jump while Mary Gross plays his wife who is trying to talk him down. Where it turns out he is going to jump because of her racist behavior which the guilt causes her to jump instead. His boss is the next to try to talk Eddie out of jumping which ends with white guilt causing him to take his life as well. Tommy Smother them comes around the corner but it turns out he's just a fellow jump and quickly leaves to find his own ledge. This is followed by a priest who also ends up jumping due to his guilt which causes Eddie to realize with all of these stressors now out of his life, the future is looking okay.
  5.  We then get a Safe Sex PSA that advises viewers to use condoms after seeing Tommy Smothers struggle to keep up with the rules of a children's See-And-Say type of toy.
  6. We then go to a man on the street interview segment where the question is asked, "If you were a homosexual, who would you find attractive?" For such a traditionally homophobic time it's funny how quickly these people come up with answers.
  7. Next is a sketch that takes place at a truck stop diner where we get a song and dance devoted to the Truck Driving Woman which is also the name of the song.
  8. We then went to a group of friends watching TV when all of the sudden they lose the picture which causes everyone in the room to see the world as it really is minus the distractions caused by technology. Once the novelty of reality wears out they instantly start to jump down each other's throats and then fall back into a trans the second the TV returns. Replace TV with the internet and this totally could be from today. 
  9. Once again, Brad Hall gives us the news. This week, "Ted Kennedy" checks in to explain why he doesn't plan to run for president, the CEO of PBS also drops by to rebut the sketch from a couple episodes again where they joked that the channel wasn't stuffy anymore, because he wants to reassure the audience that PBS hasn't changed and is still as stuffy as ever, Robin Duke plays a cop who advises tourist on how to avoid New York scams, and Sweetchuck drops in as Gandhi's former best friend to share his line of Guru style ramblings.
  10. Laura Branigan then takes to the stage to perform Gloria.
  11. Solomon And Pudge then return for another visit where they pretty much do the same routine as every other visit, but I still like this combo of characters.
  12. Dick Smothers then does a "Magic Act" he turns a handkerchief into an origami bow that also could look like a bra which "offends" Tommy Smothers who starts to apologize on behalf of his brother who easily distracts him with a song. 
  13. The Inside Story is a show that shares the insights of a woman who made a lot of money by selling the story rights of her serial killer boyfriend.
  14. Handsome Men With Big Noses is a talk show where Brad Hall and Gary Kroeger complement one another on their big noses which leads the two to point out every single flaw on each other's face ending on the compliment that when put together these flaws make them look wonderful which barely relieves the passive aggressive tension.
  15. Laura Branigan then returned to the stage to perform Living A Lie.
  16. Finally, The Smothers Brothers close out the show but thanking the audience and saying their goodnights, which is then followed by everyone jumping off the ledge from the Eddie Murphy suicide sketch.

Due to some technical issues, it was hard to fully enjoy this episode but these were my favorite moments. First, I loved the sketch where Eddie Murphy is on a ledge and realized that life is worth living after everyone who tries to save him take their own lives after working through how unfairly they've treated him because I feel I can relate to the sentiment. Next, I really liked the sketch where everyone's life started to turn to chaos after the TV went out for a couple minutes because this was totally me during this viewing because my internet kept cutting out. Finally, I was a fan of Solomon and Pudge, just because I'm so in love with the characters and this was one of those sentimental sketches that will always land somewhere as a favorite. 

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.