Saturday Night Live

Season 1 Episode 16

Anthony Perkins/Betty Carter

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Mar 13, 1976 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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  • The late Anthony Perkins pays a visit to "Saturday Night Live" and The Not Ready for Prime Time Players.

    This episode is one of the highlights of the historic first season. Anthony Perkins actually does a very good job as host. From his funny opening monologue to his numerous appearances throughout this episode, he delivers plenty of laughs. The Not Ready for Prime Time Players do their part as well. The sketch with Jane Curtain as the "housekeeper" and Gilda Radner as the oblivious housewife is hysterical. I have seen it numerous times and the laughs are always there. As usual in the first season Chevy Chase does a great job with "Weekend Update". An episode you shouldn't miss.
  • The late Anthony "Norman Bates" Perkins hosts with Betty Carter acting as the musical guest.

    Well, this episode is a little strange watching it today. Anthony Perkins, definitely best known for his role as Norman Bates in "Psycho" gets to host this episode of SNL because of another bit of cast admiration and not just because he had something to promote. I don't know anything about Carter though really so I went into this episode with a lot of anticipation of seeing how Perkins would work out as a host.

    Host: Anthony Perkins
    Musical Guest: Betty Carter

    Cold Open: SNL Fan Mail (Chase)

    --Chevy opens the show behind a desk and responds to the critiques of the show containing a lot of filler. His response, which is filled with a lot of stammering and pausing, is quite funny and the fall is only the icing on the cake.

    Monologue: Normal Guy (Perkins)

    --Anthony tells everyone that he's much different from any character he's ever played, followed by eating a fly, ripping off his band-aid nice and slow, and having a sniff of his 'good luck panties'. Perkins' quirky style works to his advantage.

    Commercial: A President's View on Marijuana (Chase)

    --President Ford (Chase) tries to roll a joint, while you can just see his hands as he does some pretty ridiculous things. Classic Chevy.

    Musical Psychiatrist (Perkins, Curtin)

    --A woman (Curtin) visits her psychiatrist (Perkins), who starts singing "Hello Dolly" to get her to calm down and save himself some time from talking to her. Quick sketch but it's a good start for Perkins on this episode.

    Dominatrix Housewife (Curtin, Radner)

    --Sue (Radner) hires a lady named Mrs. Zimmerman (Curtin), who turns out to be a dominatrix and whips her into shape...literally. Okay, that was a lame joke. This sketch has some funny stuff from Curtin and Radner as dominant and submissive respectively.

    The Norman Bates School of Motel Management (Perkins)

    --Yes, that's right. Everyone's favourite Mama's Boy, Norman Bates (Perkins), advertises for his motel management training school. This is a terrific parody and Perkins is clearly having fun here with his old role.

    Where's The Muppet Spot? (Perkins, The Muppets)

    --The Muppets interrupt Anthony Perkins before he introduces the next act and try to convince him to get them back on the show for tonight's episode. Thank God the Muppets would be gone practically after the first season. This, however, wasn't too bad.

    Betty Carter sings "Music, Maestro, Please" & "Swing Brother Swing"

    --Jazz vocalist Betty Carter sings two tunes that are fast-moving and everything but it's not really my bag and it doesn't really fit well with this type of atmosphere.

    A President's View on Marijuana 2 (Chase)

    --More hijinx from Ford (Chase) as he attempts to roll a joint. Veto it, I don't care. Haha.

    Weekend Update with Chevy Chase (also: John Belushi and Gilda Radner)

    --Chevy has quite a bit of news about Reagan and Ford, as well as an amusing bit on Jimmy Hoffa, another one of those artist's rendering bits with Patty Hearst in court, and some correspondent reports from John Belushi about weather metaphors and Emily Litella (Radner) on conserving this country's natural racehorses. Good edition.

    Commercial: Land is Scarce, Use Your Head (Aykroyd)

    --A man has an entire map on his head and...yeah. I don't know. This seemed pretty pointless.

    Happy Hour (Perkins, The Muppets, Curtin, Morris, Newman, Radner)

    --A man (Perkins) plans to have an affair with a co-worker (Radner), but then runs into a bunch of other ladies he's had affairs with, ending with the Muppets interrupting the sketch and continue to ask him about when they get their bit. Nice twist on that one.

    A President's View on Marijuana 3 (Chase)

    --The final chapter sees Ford (Chase) continue to work away at the joint before just giving up again.

    Weis Film #9: New Yorkers and their Pets

    --A cross-study is shown of five different New Yorkers and their relationship with their pets. Some amusing and cute things here and there much like the previous Weis film.

    Sherry's Bee (Perkins, Belushi, Newman)

    --Sherry (Newman) tries to protest to her professor (Perkins) about her "Bee" (Belushi) mark on her paper. This sketch is based on a silly one-joke premise and it never really takes off.

    Cheap Horror Films (Perkins, Aykroyd, Curtin, Newman, Radner)

    --Anthony introduces three "trailers" for his cheap-o horror films that he did after "Psycho", which includes "Terror Lunch", "Dressed to Kill" ('Do Not Reveal the Surprise Ending You Just Saw to Anyone'), and "Driven to School." Aykroyd's trailer voice was great and my favourite had to be the first one. Good stuff.

    Home Movie: P-Nut Fever

    --A bunch of peanuts plot revenge on the guy who keeps eating them in a fairly gruesome manner before sending him a little message. Well-done and all, but nothing great.

    Betty Carter sings "I Can't Help It"

    --Shorter song from Carter that's a tad more enjoyable than the other two in a row.

    Butt County Dance (Perkins, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Newman, Radner)

    --The sherriff's office takes over a dance party and then before offering a spotlight dance to a couple (Belushi, Newman), they (Perkins, Aykroyd) run their records through the computer to check for warrants. Decent 10-to-1 sketch.

    The cast then says their goodnights just as the Muppets try to get on the show. Credits roll and we're out.

    Best segment: The Norman Bates School of Motel Management
    Worst segment: Land is Scarce, Use Your Head

    Host: Anthony Perkins - 7.5/10
    Musical Guest: Betty Carter - 5.5/10

    This episode proved that even typecast horror actors can still show up and bring the funny when accompanied by some fun writing and good cast performances. Anthony wasn't the best host, but he was certainly good and despite a few times that I caught him at cue card reading, he still had a lot more emotion than most cue card-readers and did his part. Betty Carter, on the other hand, was entirely forgettable for me and really did nothing. Out of the entire cast, there wasn't any particular stand-outs, but I did particularly enjoy the first of Belushi's rage rants on Update. All in all, a very fun episode indeed.

    Rating: 7.5/10
  • In this episode of SNL's landmark first season, Anthony Perkins, best known for the Psycho movies, hosts, and the excellent jazz vocalist Betty Carter performs in a surprisingly good episode.

    In the first season of Saturday Night Live, many of the hosts were obvious comedic talents like George Carlin, who hosted the first ever episode, Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin, Madeline Kahn, Candice Bergen, Desi Arnaz etc. Some hosts were definitely atypical,and Anthony Perkins was one of them. Still, it is one of my favorite episodes of the first season DVD box set so far. From his opening declaration of his luck charm, his "good luck panties" to the obligatory Psycho skit, the extremely hilarious fake commercial for "Norman Bate's School of Motel Management" the majority of the skits were spot on. Still, the running gag of the "Muppets" is boring. It is so weird to see these very different Muppets from which I am used to, and they aren't quite as funny as the more well known ones. Overall, a very solid episode.