Not So Live On Saturday Night
I don't really go into season premieres with that high of expectations, especially when it comes to seasons like this where they've replaced more than half of cast and who knows what's going on with the crew. That said, I still wasn't all that impressed with this season premiere even though I am very excited about the new lineup of Not Ready For Prime Time Players.
First off, I didn't really like how many prerecorded sketches there were. Even though there were some entertaining segments with less than half the show being live it felt like an entirely different brand of sketch comedy than the SNL that I'm used to and love.
Next, there was the issue with the fact that they don't seem to have the news ironed out as they broke it up into four different segments and none of them were really that good which is extra rough being that these news segments made up a bulk of the live entertainment.
Part of me fears that this is going to be a weak season as the new cast and crew are going to have to take some time to find their legs, I just hope it doesn't take as long as the last batch of actors who I just grew to love that took over a season to win me over as a fan. I know this group will eventually tickle my fancy because we're getting to the point in history where I definitely have memories of the show as this was the year that I turned ten years old and there is no question in my mind that I was watching these episodes the night they originally aired.
Alright, now that I've shared my thoughts on this episode, it's time to move on and share what I saw as I give you...
The Wicker Breakdown:
- This week's show started with the parody Life Styles Of The Relatives Of The Rich And Famous where Harry Shearer returns to the cast as Robin Leach to interview newcomer, Martin Short, who plays Katherine Hepburn's third cousin Nelson who is a hot dog vendor which eventually leads to the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
- Billy Crystal then officially opened the show, not as the host but as new cast member where he shares his history with the show and how it relates to the fact that he's now feeling old being that he was cut from the very first episode that at this point was full ten years earlier.
- Olympics 1984: A Special Report was a filmed segment where we follow the Olympic torch's return trip to Greece and all that is involved in its unceremonious trip home.
- Rich Hall then made his debut as a new cast member to file a report of the '84 election while visiting multiple Walter Mondale fundraising dinners to show us what's actually involved but he can't afford the meal.
- Martin Short's Ed Grimley character then made his debut as he auditions to appear on the Wheel Of Fortune which we learn is his favorite show to the point where it's an obsession and his overwhelming excitement does nothing but bring down the suicidal casting agent even more.
- We then got to follow Howard Cosell as he babysits his grandchildren and puts on Monday Night Football and rambles on about sports to put the kids to sleep.
- This was followed by the very classic Synchronized Swimming routine featuring Martin Short and Harry Shearer as the first male synchronized swimming duo.
- "Mondale" and "Ferraro" then got a very brief segment to promote their upcoming debate before introducing this week's band.
- The Thompson Twins then took to the stage to perform Hold Me Now.
- The Bulge was a short film where a man overstuffs his pants in an attempt to impress the ladies.
- This week, Billy Crystal's character Fernando hosts the news and though fun as a guest, I hope this is just an experiment for this episode.
- First Draft Theater was a sketch was we got to see a performance of an earlier draft of the movie The Big Sleep complete with typos, rewrites, and awkward sentences.
- Once again, we got another segment of the news this time it was hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus as I guess there still deciding the permanent new host of the news now that Brad Hall is no longer a part of the cast.
- Book Beat then returned for another segment this time the host discusses the fact that he has a pipe that fell from a building and is now stuck in his head but he tries to pull off an interview about high risk investing only to freeze up due to his brain injury.
- Martin Short then took to the stage to kill time because the show was running by his last name.
- The Thompson Twins then returned to the stage to perform The Gap.
- Finally, the entire cast closed the show by thanking the audience and saying their goodnights.
Even though I wasn't a huge fan of how many prerecorded bits there were, my disappointment doesn't really have much to do with the quality of the content as most of these favorite moments weren't the live bits and with that here you go.
First, I loved the Synchronized Swimming sketch because it is probably one of the most classic moments in SNL history. Next, I really liked the debut of Ed Grimley, though I don't think I'm going to like him as much as an adult, I was a huge fan of the character as a kid so I figured I'd list at least this first visit as a favorite. Finally, I was a fan of Rich Hall's news segment because I'm just a huge fan of Rich Hall in general.