Saturday Night Live

Season 2 Episode 7

Dick Cavett/Ry Cooder

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Nov 13, 1976 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
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  • Elliot Gould couldn't make it so Dick Cavett steps in as host. Ry Cooder provides the music.

    Aside from marking Jane Curtain's first official appearance as anchor of "Weekend Update" there is nothing that makes this episode particularly memorable. Despite being called in as a last minute replacement Dick Cavett does a very good job as host. His opening monologue is actually quite good. One of the high points of this episode. Cavett also does well in the various sketches he appears in. He is at his best portraying John Dean. In the end this episode is just so-so. There have been better episodes (The episode that aired after this is one such .
  • Last-minute replacement host Dick Cavett makes his second appearance on the show and brings along musical talent Ry Cooder with him this time.

    Fun personality Dick Cavett makes his second hosting appearance on Saturday Night here, but only because of original host Elliot Gould dropping out at the last second (anyone know why?). Cavett was supposed to host later in the season, but just got asked to do it earlier because of this incident. Ry Cooder appears as the musical guest here which is a nice addition to the show. It seems that there weren't too many musical guests that were just putrid or terrible. I mean, you had the ones that were instantly forgettable but not really bad like, say, Ashlee Simpson today.

    Host: Dick Cavett
    Musical Guest: Ry Cooder

    Cold Open: Chroma-Trak (Morris, Radner) (:50)

    --Gilda speaks out for Chroma-Trak, telling everyone what colours her clothing is before Garrett Morris watches on and knocks around the TV to get the colours right. And now that Chevy's gone, Gilda gets to say the opening line first!

    Monologue: Audience Questions (Cavett) (4:46)

    --Dick brings out some cards with questions from the audience and answers with his witty, sarcastic style that is most amusing.

    Commercial: Puppy Uppers & Doggie Downers (Newman, Radner) (1:29)

    --Puppy give your dog the boost he needs! But then he might be too excitable, so that's why you give them Doggie Downers. One of the better commercial parodies.

    Blonde Ambition (Cavett, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Radner) (9:17)

    --John Dean (Cavett) looks into the Nixon administration to see if he can impeach the president. Nixon (Aykroyd) initiates his plan to try and make Dean look guilty with the help of Henry Kissinger (Belushi) and Rose Mary Woods (Radner). The great part of this is Aykroyd's Nixon impression and how he keeps trying to get Dean to speak into the lamp microphone to record him.

    Ry Cooder sings "Tattler" (4:00)

    --Nice melodious tune from Cooder and you gotta love that shirt he's sportin'.

    Gilda announces that Paul Simon will host Saturday Night next week with special guest (but not musical guest) George Harrison.

    Weekend Update with Jane Curtin (also: Laraine Newman) (6:24)

    --Jane repeats a story from Year 1 about prostitution being commemorated with stamps and then goes into her original stuff, which is quite strong in itself for an early Update for her. Laraine Newman then reports from Lincoln National Forest on the funeral for Smokey the Bear while the forest burns behind her. The "Good Samaritan" bit debuts here too, as I think it was used again later on. Good edition.

    Commercial: The Marines (Aykroyd, Morris)

    --A recruiter (Morris) goes around looking for "a few good men" for the Marines. Not bad.

    Crossroads (Cavett, Aykroyd, Belushi, Radner) (4:29)

    --A family at a crossroads in their lives is observed by Reverend Dantley (Cavett), as the son (Belushi) tries to convince his dad (Aykroyd) and mother (Radner) that quitting school is the right choice for him. Unfortunately though, there is a "breakdown of communication" as the parents just keep knocking him down. This was alright, but was a little too broad.

    Commercial: Mobile Shrink (Belushi, Newman + Chevy Chase) (2:37)

    --A bit that was cut earlier in the season in dress rehearsal, Chevy plays a mobile shrink that talks to his clients even when they're on the job or busy somewhere. I can see why this was cut.

    How Things Work (Cavett, Curtin) (2:49)

    --Jane interviews Merle Tadburney (Cavett) on how pressure groups work, but it turns out that the letters requesting that Merle be on the show were phony letters from his company. Fun performance by Cavett in an amusing bit.

    Weis Film #4: The Paramount Novelty Store (3:19)

    --A repeat from Cook, Moore/Sedaka. I still don't find it funny at all.

    The Bee Heritage (Cavett, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Newman, Radner) (7:43)

    --Two bee parents (Belushi, Newman) tell of their arrival to Ellis Island and then New York where WASPs ruled the land. Well-written, but a little long in the tooth.

    Ry Cooder sings "He'll Have to Go" (4:44)

    --Cooder's second song is slower, but is slightly better and has a nice tempo.

    Mr. Mike's Least-Loved Bedtime Tales: 'The Blind Chicken' (1:42)

    --This time, the story is of a blind chicken that gets tricked by an alligator and eaten, but then the alligator is mashed by a hovercraft. Another great installment.

    Funny Word Survey (4:57)

    --Dr. Franken and Dr. Davis present a funny word survey conducted for NBC's research purposes in a really wonderful example of their unique brand of comedy.

    Dick Cavett kills some time because they've run under the alotted time. The credits then finally roll and they wave to the crowd.

    Best segment: Funny Word Survey
    Worst segment: The Paramount Novelty Store

    Host: Dick Cavett - 7.25/10
    Musical Guest: Ry Cooder - 7/10

    I wonder how the episode would've gone had Elliot Gould been the host because Dick Cavett did a decent job in his own right especially for someone that started so late in the game before showtime. Dick has that game show host-type sarcasm and charm (which makes sense because he did host game shows) and it works for a show like this, especially in the monologue. Ry Cooder was a pretty decent if forgettable musical guest that delivered two good tunes. As for the cast this week, I would probably give it to either Aykroyd or Belushi for Nixon and Kissinger respectively and also the Bee Heritage sketch. Pretty decent, if not rushed, show.

    Rating: 7/10
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