Saturday Night Live

Season 1 Episode 14

Desi Arnaz/Desi Arnaz, Jr.

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Feb 21, 1976 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
27 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Live from New York, It's... Chevy Chase! Sketches include "President Ford's Word Association," "National Express," "No Sex on His Birthday," "Luciana Vermicelli's Beauty Regimen," "Literary Recital," "Very White," "The Failed Pilots of I Love Lucy," "Speed," "The Untouchables," "Lucy's Costumes," "Taylor Mead's Cat" (film), "Cuban Accupuncture," "Understanding Men," "Bisexual Minute," and "Lucy Plugs Desi's Book." Desi Arnaz Sr. and Jr. performed "Cuban Pete" and "Babalu."moreless

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  • Desi Arnaz hosts and sings for this episode with his son Desi Arnaz Jr. making an appearance as well.

    When one thinks of people hosting Saturday Night Live in this day and age, it can be said that the host usually has something to promote in some shape or form and it is one of the reasons they were chosen to host. This wasn't the case so much with hosts in the earlier seasons. Granted, a good deal of them did have something to promote but this one, Desi Arnaz, was a favourite among the cast members and just someone they really wanted to have on the show. So, how did this turn out?

    Host & Musical Guest: Desi Arnaz

    Cold Open: Ford's Psychiatrist (Aykroyd, Chase)

    --Gerald Ford (Chase) goes to his psychiatrist (Aykroyd), where he of course stumbles around and messes up his words like usual. Good stuff.

    Monologue (Arnaz)

    --Desi does a quick introduction, says it's great to be here, and then praises the cigars he received from the cast ("Acapulco Gold"). The big bug-eyed look he gives is pretty funny.

    Commercial: National Express (Morris)

    --Rubin Carter (Morris) speaks from prison and it turns into a credit card commercial. That was a funny twist.

    No Sex on His Birthday (Belushi, Chase, Curtin, Radner)

    --A couple (Chase, Curtin) have a little tiff after a sexual miscommunication, but the husband is then greeted by all his friends in a surprise birthday celebration much to his embarassment. This was there.

    Commercial: Luciana Vermicelli's Beauty Regimen (Newman)

    --Luciana Vermicelli (Newman) advertises for her beauty regimen book as she also hints at her vampire tendencies and ugliness as a child. Laraine's performance is funny in this very quick bit.

    Literary Recital (Arnaz, Aykroyd)

    --"Desmond" Arnaz comes out to do a recital of the classic 'Jabberwocky' and of course, with his accent, he butchers the novel and repeatedly complains about how it's written ("Who the hell talks like this?") before eventually giving up on it. Clever sketch written around Desi's strengths.

    Very White (Chase)

    --Very White (Chase) sings about the ladies while being just about the whitest soul singer you'll ever see. I wonder if Chevy ever planned to do this character again. It's not the greatest, but it's still a fun performance from him.

    "I Love Lucy" Pilots (Arnaz, Desi Arnaz Jr., Morris, Radner)

    --Desi sets up some clips of alternate ideas that he and the writers had for "I Love Lucy" before it got off the ground. Desi Arnaz Jr. joins in on the festivities too as well as Gilda playing Lucille Balle perfectly and to a tee. The best one was probably "I Love Louis" though with Ricky living with Louis Armstrong (Morris) instead of Lucy. Great, great stuff.

    Weekend Update with Chevy Chase

    --After an amusing opening from Don Pardo, Chase goes editorial-less in this installment of Update. He delivers some good chuckle-worthy jokes, but it's not one of the stronger Updates during Chevy's reign over the desk. Good Nixon joke though.

    Commercial: Speed

    --A repeat from the Lily Tomlin episode.

    The Untouchables (Arnaz, Desi Arnaz Jr., Aykroyd, Belushi, Chase, Morris, Newman, Radner)

    --Raoul Nitti (Arnaz) looks to complete a major deal but Elliot Ness (Aykroyd) and his Untouchables are on the case to stop them. I love how they tie this one in with "I Love Lucy" and how Lucy (Radner) messes something up like usual, but its on a much higher scale obviously with the Untouchables tone surrounding it. A classic for sure.

    Lucy's Costumes (Curtin, Radner)

    --Lucy (Radner) and Ethel (Curtin) prepare to go to Ricky's musical performance, but each costume Lucy goes through is more ridiculous than the previous one. Radner shines here.

    Desi Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. perform "Cuban Pete"

    --Desi is absolutely wonderful in his performance and his son provides some good assistance on the bongos.

    Weis Film #7: Taylor's Cat (Taylor Mead, Gary Weis)

    --Taylor Mead shows off his cat and then feeds it some catnip, which causes him to get really "bombed out." Taylor is a pretty amusing person.

    Cuban Acupuncture (Arnaz, Belushi)

    --A Cuban acupuncturist (Arnaz) uses cigars instead of pins on his patient (Belushi) in an attempt to cure his headache, but it doesn't seem to be making any sort of a difference. There's a couple of amusing lines here and there, making this a funny sketch but not as great as the pilots or the Untouchables for example.

    Understanding Men (Belushi, Chase, Morris, Newman)

    --A woman (Newman) has trouble understanding her boyfriend (Chase) because he seems to just speak jibberish. The waiter (Belushi) doesn't help as he seems to talk the same way. Odd sketch. Not bad or anything, but a typical 10-to-1 sketch.

    Bisexual Minute (Curtin)

    --Jane tells a story of a woman who defended herself against her husband and then ran off with a woman. I don't really see how this was funny.

    Desi's Book (Radner)

    --Lucy (Radner) does a quick shill for Desi Arnaz's new book coming out.

    Desi Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. perform "Babalu"

    --Another energetic number from father and son, this time with Arnaz actually playing this huge drum while singing at the same time.

    To end the show, Desi, Desi Jr., and the entire cast continue to perform "Babalu" and engage in a huge conga line all around the studio until the credits go up and we end the night.

    Best segment: The Untouchables

    Worst segment: Bisexual Minute

    Host & Musical Guest: Desi Arnaz - 8.5/10

    This was a really fun episode overall with a terrific host and musical guest in Desi Arnaz and some fun sketches thrown in as well especially the ones revolving around Lucy. The cast all shined here especially Gilda as she got to play Lucy a handful of times throughout the episode and have some fun with the character. Desi Arnaz Jr. showing up was also a nice addition as he was there to help with the musical performances and even lended himself to a couple of sketches. Woohoo!

    Rating: 7.75/10moreless
George Coe

George Coe

Walter Winchell

Guest Star

Desi Arnaz

Desi Arnaz


Guest Star

Desi Arnaz, Jr.

Desi Arnaz, Jr.


Guest Star

Tom Schiller

Tom Schiller

Ricky Ricardo

Recurring Role

Neil Levy

Neil Levy


Recurring Role

Alan Zweibel

Alan Zweibel


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Gerald Ford: Good afternoon, Dr. Speck.
      [ Speck extends his hand for a handshake, but Ford uses the wrong hand ] You know, I just want to tell you that these sessions have been great for me and I'm much more clearheaded already.
      Dr. Speck: Well, I'm very glad to hear that, Mr. President. If you'd just like to lie down we can get on with the session.
      Gerald Ford: Wonderful. Thank you.
      [ Ford takes a few steps towards the couch but lies down on the floor ]
      Dr. Speck: Uh, Mr. President, it might go a little easier if you just lie down on the couch as you usually do.
      Gerald Ford: Ah.
      [ Ford gets up and lies down on the couch the wrong way, horizontally rather than vertically ]
      Dr. Speck: Might I suggest, Mr. President, that things might flow a little easier if you lie down with your head up here (motions toward pillow) and your body lengthwise on the couch.
      Gerald Ford: Very good, doctor.
      [ Ford finally lies down the correct way ]

    • Chevy Chase:  Good evening, I'm Chevy Chase, and you - you're merely a statistic.

  • NOTES (2)

    • Though he is not the first host to perform as the musical guest, Desi Arnaz is the first host to be simultaneously credited as such.

    • Appearing uncredited in this episode: George Coe, Tom Davis, Alan Zweibel, Tom Schiller, Michael O'Donoghue, Anne Beatts, Neil Levy, and Gary Weis.