Saturday Night Live

Season 1 Episode 21

Buck Henry/Gordon Lightfoot

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM May 22, 1976 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • Buck Henry makes his second appearance hosting and this time, he brings along Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot!

    Good ol' Buck Henry. He takes his second stab at hosting and the cast couldn't be happier. Buck was one of those hosts who would do sketches that other hosts refused to do and was one of the easiest hosts to work with as well. Gordon Lightfoot was a very talented singer/songwriter from Canada that was another great choice for the show. His music seems a bit different than the type of audience Michaels and the cast were going for, but he's still a really great addition to the line-up.

    Host: Buck Henry
    Musical Guest: Gordon Lightfoot

    Cold Open: Chevy on Crutches (Chase, Newman)

    --Chevy comes out on crutches and announces that he can't take the fall due to a leg injury he suffered accepting an Emmy. He gets Laraine to do it, but she pushes him over and makes him take the fall anyway. His faux-smugness at winning the Emmy was only too real, but this was a better opening than the week previous.

    Monologue: Buck is Missing (Henry, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Newman, Radner)

    --Buck is announced but is nowhere to be found, so John Belushi is sent out to host until he can be found. Lorne finally finds Buck, who's stuck at the front door because security won't let him get in in a parody of how inept some of the NBC security guards were at the time regarding SNL cast or hosts. Buck finally gets out to the stage but is cut off for time reasons. Great start to the show.

    Commercial: Peter Lemon Moodring (Chase)

    --Peter Lemon (Chase) sings tunes with colours in the lyrics and turns those colours when they're mentioned. I didn't really get this.

    Samurai Tailor (Henry, Belushi)

    --Mr. Dantley (Henry) picks up his tuxedo from the Samurai (Belushi) in preparation for his wedding. The chemistry between these two is quite stunning. Hilarity ensues.

    Talk Back (Henry, Aykroyd, Radner)

    --Frank Nolan (Henry) hosts a cable access show that allows viewers to call in and voice their opinion on "Federally-Supported Municipal Bonds." No one calls though, so he keeps moving onto new topics, eventually getting more and more controversial and then ridiculous as in "Killing Puppies." Great performance by Buck and a fun concept for a sketch.

    Commercial: Dell Stator's 99 Cent Toad Ranch (Henry, Aykroyd, Curtin, Newman, Radner)

    --Dell Stator (Aykroyd) advertises for toad steaks and roasts at his Toad Ranch while his customers (Henry, Curtin) approve with a little jingle by Newman and Radner at the end. Clever bit.

    Gordon Lightfoot sings "Summertime Dream"

    --Gordon delivers one of his goodies (but I mean, how many were bad?) and proves that Canada (wooo!) is a good breeding ground for talent.

    Polaroid Commercial: Emmy Photos (Morris, Radner)

    --Garrett shows off some Emmy photos while Gilda watches from the camera stand.

    Weekend Update with Chevy Chase

    --Chevy is on the ball this time with some good riffs on Edward Kennedy's constantly changing opinions, some Ford clumsy jokes, and one of his clever "incomplete jokes." Not to mention the video that accompanies his report on Patty Hearst finding out if she is sane or not. No guests this week, but Chevy holds his own and makes up for the week before's dull material. Great stuff.

    Commercial: Germasol (Curtin, Newman, Radner)

    --A repeat from Henry/Withers, Basil.

    Crowd Audition (Henry, Aykroyd, Belushi, Chase, Curtin, Morris, Newman, Radner)

    --A director (Henry) and his assistant (Chase) audition a crowd (the rest of the cast and writers) for a role in the director's next film in a very creative sketch with some fun choreography from the crowd and good interplay between Buck and Chevy.

    The New Beatles Offer (Lorne Michaels)

    --Lorne ups the offer for the Beatles from $3000 to $3200 and a stay in a quality hotel with pitchers of ice water delivered all the time and a "leisurely check-out time of 10am." Good companion piece to the first offer.

    Not For Ladies Only (Newman, Radner)

    --Baba Wawa (Radner) interviews director Lina Wertmuller (Newman) to talk about her latest film, which is violent, sadistic, and "hilarious." Gilda's impression is good on its own and Laraine's performance adds to it as well.

    Weis Film #14: Toilet Seats (Henry)

    --Buck asks several people in a store about what goes through their minds when shopping for a toilet seat. It's pretty ridiculous to see these people shop for design toilet seats and Buck's deadpan style makes it all the more funnier.

    Looks at Books (Henry, Curtin)

    --Jane Curtin interviews a very shy Henry T. Ruden (Henry) about his sex book, but he only continuously refers to sex as " know." Jane tries to get him to get to the point, so he finally does in a subtle and funny way. Quick sketch, but it was amusing.

    Gordon Lightfoot sings "Spanish Moss"

    --Gordon delivers another terrific song from his repertoire and proves once again that he's awesome. Yes, I'm biased. Sue me, haha.

    Only Two Songs (Henry, Lightfoot, Belushi)

    --Gordon goes for a third song, but Buck interrupts and says that he can only play two. The Samurai (Belushi) then enters and plucks Gordon's guitar strings just to make sure. Gordon's a good sport.

    Garrett Morris sings "An Die Musik"

    --After some initial confusion as to why Garrett would be doing this, a scroller explains how Garrett was actually able to convince the big chiefs to be allowed to do this. The scroller is amusing.

    Mr. Mike: Tony Orlando and Dawn

    --Mr. Mike (head writer Michael O'Donoghue) and some ladies do an impression of Tony Orlando and Dawn if they had needles plunged into their eyes. Basically the same as the first one he did, but still very darkly amusing.

    Buck leaps over Mr. Mike and the ladies to say goodnight before the cast quickly joins him onstage to wave to the people.

    Best segment: Talk Back
    Worst segment: Peter Lemon Moodring

    Host: Buck Henry - 9/10
    Musical Guest: Gordon Lightfoot - 8.5/10

    Well, Buck does it again. Coming back for his second time, Henry delivers as a very capable host and did even better than his first wonderful appearance. Buck had a style of delivering his lines with gusto and making a lot of stuff work even though it was weak. Thankfully on this episode, there was a great shortage of weak material and Buck was able to elevate it even further. Gordon Lightfoot was terrific as expected and may be the one to challenge Jimmy Cliff in terms of the best musical guest in the first season. As far as the cast goes, everyone was pretty much strewn throughout the episode but if I had to give the honours to one person being the highlight, it probably would've been John Belushi.

    Rating: 8.5/10