Saturday Night Live

Season 6 Episode 13

Chevy Chase/Jr. Walker and the All Stars

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Apr 11, 1981 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • The road to recovery begins.

    You know, it's amusing to read how critics responded to this episode (Dick Ebersol's first), because people considered it to be a total turnaround from the previous twelve. It isn't, really; but the roots of the Ebersol years are definitely evident.

    On the whole, it isn't bad; it's nice to see the nods to the Lorne years, through both the resurrection of the original theme song, and the return of Chevy Chase to the Weekend Update desk. A few sketches are far too typical of the seasons to come (the debut of "I Married A Monkey" and the painfully long "Italian Wedding Day"), but the new castmembers enter with a flourish and manage to get big laughs... well, Tim and Tony, at least. Robin Duke is almost nonexistent at this point.

    As for the remaining Doumanian castmembers... well, their treatment is almost depressing. Denny Dillon is pretty much relegated to featured player status (with her main appearance, the cute "Bag Lady" film, being cut from every rerun of this episode), and Gail Matthius is met with chilling silence when she first appears in the rarely-seen "Drive For America" sketch. Even Eddie suffers this time around, with his Weekend Update commentary about 'Altered States' getting a noticeably weak reaction. The presence of the four leftover castmembers also makes the jabs at the previous episodes (by both Chevy and Al Franken) particularly unsettling.

    All in all, an episode showing an important transition in the show, especially since it would be the last semblance of Lorne's format to be seen for over a year. It's not perfect, but it has its moments.