Saturday Night Live

Season 2 Episode 23

Buck Henry/Kenny Vance, Jennifer Warnes

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM May 21, 1977 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • "Please accept this cash gratuity. Don't spend it all in one locality."

    Well, here we are. It is the end of Year 2 for Saturday Night Live and also time to pick the perfect host for such an occasion. So of course, Lorne and the cast went to Buck Henry, who would make a habit out of hosting an early season episode and then the finale in years 2-5. Buck, of course one of the more willing-to-do-anything hosts, was a good way for the cast to settle down and just bring in someone who wasn't going to reject all the suggestions that they threw at him. The musical guests this time would be Jennifer Warnes and Kenny Vance. Warnes would have her most well-known ditty by singing a duet with Joe Cocker entitled "Up Where We Belong." Vance, on the other hand, I have no clue who he is. Would this season end on a high note?

    Host: Buck Henry
    Musical Guests: Jennifer Warnes and Kenny Vance

    Cold Open: A Fireside Chat (Aykroyd, Newman, Radner) (2:54)

    --President Carter (Aykroyd) introduces his new energy program by powering his broadcast by running an exercise bike with the help of Roslyn (Newman) and Lillian (Radner) as well. Pretty amusing.

    Monologue: Total Control (Henry + Lorne Michaels) (3:14)

    --Buck announces that he's been given control to do whatever he wants on the stage and so he wants the show based on pornography. Unfortunately, the wrong audience member comes on stage though. Another good monologue from Buck.

    Samurai B.M.O.C. (Henry, Belushi, Morris, Radner) (6:56)

    --What starts off with a reference to the previous sketch, the Dean (Henry) chats with Jamal (Morris) about his militant actions before eventually meeting with the Samurai (Belushi) about not being able to graduate from the school. More hilarious banter between Buck and John.

    Jennifer Warnes sings "Right Time of the Night" (2:56)

    --Warnes belts out a heartfelt ballad that hits all the right notes.

    In The Shower (Henry, Murray, Radner) (3:41)

    --Richard Herkiman (Murray) hosts his talk show with his wife, Jane (Radner) and then her lover Richard Calarski (Henry) is brought into the shower as a surprise guest. Very fun concept from Murray and it's one of his first big moments on SNL besides his speech from earlier in the season and then Nick the Lounge Singer.

    Return of the Coneheads (Henry, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Newman) (9:46)

    --Dr. Ray Bondish (Henry) shows Beldar (Aykroyd) and Prymaat (Curtin) a strange device that fell from the sky with their address on it. This Coneheads sketch is one of the longer ones and also includes Belushi and Morris as fellow Coneheads as well. My favourite part though is definitely when they're driving through the city. Great stuff.

    Weekend Update with Jane Curtin (also: Buck Henry and Gilda Radner + Bella Abzug and Chevy Chase) (7:03)

    --Jane comments on the third Frost/Nixon interview to good comic effect and also shows footage of the horse race with a microphone attached to the Seattle Slew horse (voice of Chevy Chase) to start off. We also get Emily Litella (Radner) interviewing congressman Bella Abzug (the real McCoy) about a big announcement, but Emily keeps messing up the words, so Bella just says nevermind. Buck Henry then awards Jane a plaque, but then reveals his obsession with her in a very humourous fashion. Very fun edition of Update.

    Rhonda's Bridal Shower (Curtin, Newman, Radner) (5:23)

    --Rhonda Weiss (Radner) has her bridal shower with her many friends, including Barbara (Curtin) and Joycey (Newman). In the process, she gets some strange gifts and enjoys them all. I never really liked this Rhonda character a whole lot and Gilda tries, but the sketch falls a little flat.

    How Your Children Grow (Henry, Curtin, Newman, Radner) (3:37)

    --Jane interviews Dr. Richard Dalton (Henry), who works with two handicap girls with one speaking out all the punctuation (Radner) and the other (Newman) ringing a bell to give Jane a cookie. The ending twist of the sketch is what makes it.

    Home Movie: The Alarm Clock (:46)

    --An alarm clock goes off, but the dog that's in bed doesn't budge. Um, okay.

    Kenny Vance sings "The Performer" (3:58)

    --Vance sings a rollicking tune that has some kick to it.

    The Spirit of St. Louis (Henry, Aykroyd + Chevy Chase) (6:08)

    --The story of Charles Lindbergh (Henry) is documented by the narrator (Aykroyd) as Lindbergh battles exhaustion, the Atlantic Ocean, and yes...Land Shark (Chase). The appearance by Chevy was funny, but this sketch went on a bit too long.

    The SNL Band perform "Departure Lounge" (3:46)

    --Good if you like jazz I guess. I didn't really dig this.

    Mr. Mike: Mormon Tabernacle Choir (Henry, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Murray, Newman, Radner) (2:13)

    --Mr. Mike tries to imagine what it would be like if the Mormon Tabernacle Choir were to be stabbed in the eyes with steel needles. The re-enactment is done by the cast in an amusing fashion, while Buck cheers them on.

    Buck, the cast, and Chevy then say goodnight for the summer.

    Best segment: Return of the Coneheads
    Worst segment: The Alarm Clock

    Host: Buck Henry - 8.5/10
    Musical Guests: Jennifer Warnes - 7.5/10
    Kenny Vance - 7/10

    Again, Buck joined the cast and put forth all of his effort that was possible to get the best show possible. Buck excels here in sketches because he is willing to do everything and also because he is able to play a number of different characters despite not being a prolific actor or anything. Jennifer Warnes and Kenny Vance were pretty decent in their own right as musical guests, but I could've done without the jazzy tune from the house band. As for the cast, Gilda takes the cake here by standing out in most of her sketches and dominating with the amount of appearances as well. Pretty good show, certainly not Buck's finest, but still worth it.

    Rating: 7.25/10
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