Saturday Night Live

Season 5 Episode 5

Bea Arthur/The Roches

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Nov 17, 1979 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
13 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Live from New York, it's... Laraine Newman! Sketches include "Reagan's Nap Schedule," "Spud Beer," "First He Cries," "Soviet Takeover," "Aunt Judy's Basement," "Woman To Woman," "SaveCo," "Rock Opera Preview," "Mr. Bill Builds A House" (film), "Los Beatolos Cubanos," and "Andy Kaufman Preview." Roaches preform "Bobby's Song" and "Hallelujah Chorus."moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

  • Mastectomies & Handel

    "First He Cries" was a funny spoof on the TV-movie sobstory of the week genre. And the Aunt Judy was good as well. Also liked Harry Shearer's SaveCo and (of course) Mr Bill. The rock opera thing seemed pretty much drug-induced. I remember at the time Andy Kaufman's wrestling crusade put me off, but now it looks funny, just him trying to stir things up and raise a little confrontational hell (and the slight exchange between him and Bea Arthur right afterward put a smile on my lips). Oh yes, and the Roches were quite impressive doing their cover of Handel. :)moreless
  • My introduction to the Roches, this was an episode which has stayed in my mind nearly 30 years.

    This early-years episode was the weekend before Thanksgiving. The cast had many of the original, and some new, faces which I thought did a great job.

    In somewhat the same vein as the Smos Bros (Smothers Brothers), the humor was current, cutting, and edgy.

    But the edgiest part was The Roches. Mhmm, Mhm, and Suzzi (forgot the first two\'s names) Roche, a great play on the Beatles but their names, they had amazingly tight harmony.

    At the time I didn\'t quite kniow what to think of it, and was a bit nonplussed.

    When they launched into their manic Hallelujah chorus rendition,though, I was hooked. So tight that the overtones got the remaining 4th part, and I didn\'t even notice that it was all in a register well above the original.

    Combine that with Bea Arthur, at the time a star from a couple other regular shows, the other skits and ensemble, and it\'s one of the very few TV shows that I would choose to watch again (if I could find it).

    I don\'t know why I\'m only allowed a 9.2 review - I\'d have given it more if I could.



Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Aide: Governor, I, uh... I want to go over tomorrow's itinerary. It's going to be kind of a long day... I want you up at 10:30 for the 11:30 flight to New Hampshire - don't worry, you can sleep on the plane. 1 o'clock, there's a working lunch on China. You'll be briefed by William Lowe and Bob Hope. Uh... just some cottage cheese and rice pudding... Now, after lunch, nap 'til 3:00. 3:15, meeting with Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan, Jack Kemp and Terry Bradshaw on inflation and football. And I promise I'll have you back at the hotel no later than 3:45 for that nap. 5:00... I thought you might want to know they're showing Part 1 of "Ocean's Eleven" on the early movie.. [ Reagan mumbles inaudibly ] ..uh, yeah.. Danny Ocean tries to rob a casino in Vegas, the whole Rat Pack's in it.. uh.. Frank, Dean, Sammy, Joey...

  • NOTES (1)


    • Jayydee: A Bit of Irony
      Despite the fact it was one of the more offensive SNL sketches ever, "First He Cries" was acually included on the family friendly Nick at Nite "Best of Saturday Night" package

    • Bill Murray: (sings) "But first, he cries/He'll make adjustments later"
      "First, He Cries" by Al Franken and Tom Davis, was titled after NBC News correspondent Betty Rollin's bestseller First, You Cry, chronicling her struggle to overcome breast cancer. Rollin, in fact, saved Franen's neck. After a tidal wave of hate mail and angry phone calls received at SNL, Rollin sent Franken a few kind words:
      "I just want you to know that I wasn't the least bit offended, and if I were offended, I don't think it should matter at all. You have a right to satirize everything, and the more unlikely the subject, the better."
      Franken quoted Rollin's appeal in a statement of apology he wrote to an angry America, explaining First, He Cries really criticized the insensitivity men had (at the time) about breast cancer. He also mentioned that his mother had undergone a masectomy.