Saturday Night Live

Season 1 Episode 8

Candice Bergen/The Stylistics, Martha Reeves

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Dec 20, 1975 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • It's time for SNL's first Christmas show with returning host Candice Bergen, musical guests Martha Reeves and the Stylistics, and special guest Margaret Kuhn! This is the most jam-packed SNL in history, but is it any good?

    Well, this show is historic for a couple of reasons. This show began the trend that SNL still carries to this day of having a Christmas-themed show right around mid-late December. Also, this show marks the first time someone is hosting for their 2nd time, namely Candice Bergen.

    Host: Candice Bergen
    Musical Guests: Martha Reeves and The Stylistics

    Cold Open: Christmas at the White House (Chase, Morris)

    --President Ford (Chase) stumbles his way around before his butler (Morris) tells him that its time for the fireplace talk with the nation. Of course, the sketch ends with the fall and the usual opening, but it's still amusing to watch Chevy do slapstick.

    Monologue (Bergen)

    --Candice wishes everyone a safe and happy holidays. Yeah, so nothing really happened.

    Martha Reeves and Howard Shore & his All-Angel Band sing "Higher and Higher"

    --I like the song and she does a pretty decent job of it. I couldn't stop looking at her very droopy breasts though.

    Commercial: Mel's Char Palace I (Aykroyd, Radner)

    --Mel (Aykroyd) and his wife (Radner) advertise their restaurant chain where you kill your own food before you eat it. Part of an amusing trio of sketches.

    Billy's Call Home (Aykroyd, Chase, Curtin, Morris)

    --Billy (Chase) calls his parents (Aykroyd, Curtin) to tell them that he's in the police station and what he says gets gradually worse and worse. The saving grace of this sketch is the last line by Curtin.

    Bee Capades (Bergen, Aykroyd, Belushi, Chase, Curtin, Morris, Newman, Radner)

    --Candice and Chevy introduce a video of the cast skating outside Rockefeller Studio as bees just as an example of what they're looking for when people send in their home movies. Filler.

    Commercial: Don Digital I: Ashtray

    --Another trio of sketches is started here as Don Pardo shills his digital ashtray. Meh.

    Polaroid Commercial: Santa & Reindeer (Bergen, Belushi)

    --Bergen and Belushi shamelessly plug the Kodak camera for the audience.

    The Stylistics sing "You Make Me Feel Brand New"

    --The Stylistics do a good job here with this tune.

    Commercial: K-Put

    --A repeat from the Klein/ABBA, Wainwright episode. Still great.

    Latent Elves (Bergen, Aykroyd, Chase, Curtin)

    --Clever sketch in which Linda's (Bergen) brother Teddy (Chase) is revealed to be a "latent elf." This sketch is really well-done with all the references to homosexuality without being too obvious about it.

    Weekend Update with Chevy Chase (also: Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman, and Gilda Radner)

    --"Generalissimo Francisco Franco is STILL dead." This week, we get an "artist's rendering" of Squeaky Fromme's trial, Laraine Newman reporting from Times Square for the New Year's celebration, swipes at Cher, Sonny Bono, George Wallace, a "live report" from Angola, Emily Litella (Radner) doing an editorial on "firing" the handicapped, and finally, Garrett Morris doing the hard of hearing finish. This was a really, really good edition with almost every joke hitting the mark.

    Commercial: Tarn-Off (Bergen)

    --Princess Grace (Bergen) advertises for Tarn-Off, which will leave your crown and scepter shining. Meh.

    Laundromat Romance (Belushi, Radner)

    --A man (Belushi) and woman (Radner) share a washing machine and the man slowly woos the woman into throwing her more personal clothing items in there. This was a nice sketch, but was more about enjoying than laughing all the way through.


    --Really quick segment this week and really just filler.

    Muppets Christmas (Bergen)

    --The Muppets throw a Christmas party, but nobody shows up because they're all at the Bees' party. Candice does show up to the Muppets' party though and sings "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" with Ploobis and Scred. Cutesy.

    Commercial: Mel's Char Palace II (Aykroyd, Radner)

    --Another loud, booming announcement for the do-it-yourself restaurant.

    Candice Bergen, the Not Ready For Primetime Players, and Howard Shore & his All-Angel Band sing "Walkin' In A Winter Wonderland"

    --This is obviously just to fill time too, but I must say that I did like this rendition and thought it was well-done.

    Commercial: Don Digital II: Mood Ring

    --This time, it's a mood ring. W00T.

    Minute Mystery (Bergen, Aykroyd, Belushi)

    --I didn't really care for this the first time, although this second and final edition is a bit better as a seductress/murderer (Bergen) seduces Mendoza (Aykroyd) and Lopez (Belushi).

    Commercial: Don Digital III: Suit

    --Now, it's a suit with a digital clock for a vest.

    Martha Reeves and Howard Shore & his All-Angel Band sing "Silver Bells"

    --Another good performance from Martha and co. here.

    What Gilda Ate (Bergen, Radner)

    --Much like the segment of the same name on the Rob Reiner episode, this really shows Gilda's natural character and it's what makes this amusing.

    The Fritzie Kringle Show (Newman)

    --Fritzie (Newman) tries to prepare some Christmas goodies, but she ends up eating the ingredients before she can even cook them. Good performance by Newman in an average sketch.

    Commercial: Mel's Char Palace III

    --The final in the trio of sketches ("no excess fat!").

    Candy & Kuhn

    --Candice talks to Margaret Kuhn about growing old, as she tells everyone not to fret and just to go along with getting older. Waste of time.

    Weis Film: Homeward Bound

    --This is the first film by Gary Weis to be shown and is really well-done with footage of people coming home for Christmas to their families while "Homeward Bound" plays.

    Candice and the gang then say goodnight to close the show.

    Best segment: TIE - Latent Elves & Weekend Update
    Worst segment: Candy & Kuhn

    Host: Candice Bergen - 6.5/10
    Musical Guests: Martha Reeves - 7.5/10
    The Stylistics - 7.5/10

    This show was pretty disappointing when I first watched it as I saw that Candice Bergen was the host and based on the first episode that she hosted, I expected a lot better. The sketch about the latent elves was the best thing to come out of this show, while Update was the best it had been up to that point. Candy also wasn't as good as when she first hosted, but to be fair, the material wasn't quite as good either. The cast is getting better and better though.

    Rating: 5.75/10