Saturday Night Live

Season 1 Episode 4

Candice Bergen/Esther Phillips

1
Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Nov 08, 1975 on NBC
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
38 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Live from New York, it's…Chevy Chase! Sketches include "Gerald Ford's Address," "Ambassador Training Institute," "Jaws II," "Garrett Morris and the CIA," "Triopenin," "Catherine Deneuve," "Third World Interview," "Girl-to-Girl Talk," "NBC Super Season" (film), "Midnight Probe," a guest performance by Andy Kaufman, "Crank Call to Airline Stewardess," "The Glig Population" (Muppets), "Black Perspective," and "Pong." Esther Phillips performed "What a Difference a Day Makes" and "I Can Stand a Little Rain."moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A very good episode with Candice Bergen as the first woman host. The show's format seems to be more even than the first three episodes.

    8.5
    Ford Cold Open

    Good Chase opening/fall.



    Monalogue

    Candice and the Bee (John Belushi)



    Ambassador Training Institute

    Decent commerical



    Garrett Morris And The CIA

    Nice twist, good skit



    Jaws II

    One of the funniest parodies on the show, a classic sketch introducing the landshark.



    Esther Phillips - "What A Difference A Day Makes"

    Nice performance by Esther Phillips



    Polaroid Commerical - Hilarious line/delivery by Chevy at the end.



    Weekend Update I & II

    Very good update with Chevy mocking Jane and the great Garrett Morris' News For The Hard Of Hearing ending



    Triopenin Commercial

    Decent commerical, not one of the best



    Catherine Deneuve

    Funny commerical with Candice as Deneuve for Chanel.



    Andy Kaufman

    One of many great SNL performances by Andy Kaufman.



    Candice and Gilda

    A nice little banter by the girls.



    NBC Super Season (Albert Brooks film)

    Not Brooks' best film, but okay.



    Midnight Probe

    A goofy skit, not funny though.



    Crank Call

    Typical skit for Michael O'Donahue's dark humor with a nice last line delivery by Laraine.



    The Muppets

    A nice little Muppets skit, though The Muppets usually do bring the show to sort of a hault. Still, decent enough.



    Third World Interview

    Along with 'Jaws II' - the best skit in this show! It should have been closer to the beginning, but I can see why it wasn't. Neverthless, one of the best skits I've seen. Also, sort of a pre-cursor to Candice's Murphy Brown character.



    Black Perspective

    Again, another funny skit at the end of the show. Jane Curtin and Garret Morris shine with great delivery in this funny skit.



    Pong

    I like the idea of these skits by Franken & Davis, it's inventive and funny.



    Esther Phillips - "I Can Stand A Little Rain"

    Another fine performance.



    Goodnights/Creditsmoreless
  • The fourth episode of Saturday Night Live sees its first female host in Candice Bergen with musical guest Esther Phillips. Plus, Andy Kaufman shows up as well!

    7.5
    This is the episode that is probably the closest to the format we have now for Saturday Night Live in which the host appears in a good deal of sketches, the musical guest appears twice, and the sketches are given a little bit more time to develop but they haven't quite gotten to their longest yet.



    Host: Candice Bergen

    Musical Guest: Esther Phillips



    Cold Open: Ford Speech (Chase)



    --Ahh, the debut of Chevy Chase's "impression" of President Ford. He bumbles and stumbles through his speech and then falls to open the show. This wasn't so much an impression as Chase really didn't put effort into looking like or sounding like him, but it's still a great slapstick performance by Chase. Good open.



    Monologue: Bee (Bergen, Belushi, Chase)



    --Candice is glad to be the first female host, but then a bee (Belushi) lands on her shoulder, only for Chevy to attempt to swat it away. Amusing.



    Commercial: Ambassador Training Institute (Aykroyd, Newman)



    --Want to become an ambassador for a foreign country? Now you can! Pretty funny.



    CIA Department of Records (Aykroyd, Morris)



    --A CIA operative (Aykroyd) is visited by a man (Morris) who wants to see his record, but he keeps getting more and more specific on what he's done although it doesn't help the operative at all. This was alright.



    Jaws II (Bergen, Aykroyd, Belushi, Chase, Curtin, Morris, Newman, Radner)



    --Funny enough is that they actually made a "Jaws II." This one, however, features the debut of the Land Shark (Chase) as he terrorizes his female victims while Cooper (Belushi) and Brady (Aykroyd) try to figure out how to stop it. Great ending to a terrific sketch as well with Bergen.



    Esther Phillips sings "What A Difference A Day Makes"



    --Not my type of music, but I guess it was alright for what it was.



    Polaroid Commercial: Alas Poor Yurick (Bergen, Chase)



    --Ahh, the first of the blatant Polaroid commercials that were scattered throughout the first season. Chase takes a picture of Candice with the new Kodak camera and then...yeah.



    Commercial: Long Distance



    --Funny bit where a man who was once dressed by his mother in girl's clothes uses a long-distance plan to call his mom and is now gay because of his childhood.



    Weekend Update with Chevy Chase (also: Jane Curtin and Garrett Morris)



    --This is the strongest Update so far, as Chase makes reference to an enemies list for the White House, more blundering Ford jokes, and a serious commentary by Jane Curtin that is blundered by Chase as he makes faces behind her back. We also get the news for the hard of hearing by Garrett again.



    Tri Openin (Chase)



    --A repeat from the first show. My opinion didn't change...



    Chanel (Bergen)



    --Catherine De Neuve (Bergen) tells everyone that it's not easy being her. Pretty funny performance by Bergen.



    Andy Kaufman performs some unique comedy



    --Kaufman plays his "foreign man" character and does a basic joke to start with, before launching into some imitations, then "forgets" his schtick, and finally plays the bongos to finish. Comedic gold here.



    Feminine Talk (Bergen, Radner)



    --A brief bit where Candice and Gilda chat about women and how to be feminine in front of other people. The chemistry between the two is evident and makes this work for what it was.



    Albert Brooks Film: Super Season



    --Three new shows ("Medical Season", "The Three Of Us", & "Black Vet") are ready to air on NBC! The first one seems like more of a soap opera than real life, the second is a typical sitcom with one guy (Brooks), his wife, and her friend living together where Brooks continuously tries to get them to do more "exotic" things, and then the third one is a black man who was a veteran and now is becoming a veterinarian. The second one was amusing, but as a whole, the film was pretty underwhelming.



    Midnight Probe (Bergen, Aykroyd, Belushi)



    --Candice hosts a show where she talks to two kiwi trappers (Aykroyd & Belushi) about their techniques. They then show their technique on Bergen to close it out. Not bad.



    Crank Call (Newman)



    --A crank call is made to a receptionist (Newman) at an airline service, which she then just answers by thanking him for calling. Hilarious short bit.



    The Muppets: The Glig Population



    --The glig population in the Land of Gorch is down to two, so Ploobis and Scred go to the Mighty Favog for assistance. Meh.



    Third World Interview (Bergen, Belushi, Morris)



    --Candice interviews the leader of a third-world country (Belushi) and continuously aggravates him with numerous pranks one after the other. Funny sketch.



    Black Perspective (Curtin, Morris)



    --Funny sketch mostly thanks to Curtin acting as a spokesperson for black people and the chemistry here is good too.



    Pong



    --Al Franken and Tom Davis' voices lend to two people playing Pong, which is all we see on the screen. In this first edition, they talk about one of their girlfriends coming over for Christmas. Clever idea for a sketch.



    Esther Phillips sings "I Can Stand A Little Rain"



    --A bit more energetic than her first song, but still nothing spectacular.



    And then we get the goodnights with Candice getting surprised with flowers from the cast to close the show.



    Best segment: Jaws II

    Worst segment: Triopenin



    Host: Candice Bergen - 7.5/10



    Musical Guest: Esther Phillips - 5/10



    This is really the first episode where everything seems to be very close to the style of today's typical episode of SNL, plus it is historic for having the first female host and getting the lowest ratings in SNL history for any episode. It has held up fairly well though and is definitely an early goodie.



    Rating: 7.5/10moreless
Esther Phillips

Esther Phillips

Herself

Guest Star

Andrew Duncan

Andrew Duncan

Ambassador Training Institute Pitchman

Guest Star

Candice Bergen

Candice Bergen

Herself

Recurring Role

Andy Kaufman

Andy Kaufman

Himself

Recurring Role

Tom Davis

Tom Davis

Pong Player #2

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • [ SUPER: "This is not the President of the United States" ]
      [ SUPER: "...But He Thinks He Is" ]
      President Ford: My fellow Americans... ladies and gentlemen.. members of the press... and my immediate family. First, may I thank you all for being here. And I am in my immediate family. (repeats his script) First, may I thank you all for being here. And I am in my immediate family. Thank you all for being here, and I am truly honored to be asked by you to open the "Saturday Night" show with Harvey Cosell.
      (Ford chuckles, as he pours water into one of the glasses then proceeds to sip from the empty glass)

  • NOTES (7)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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