Saturday Night Live

Season 4 Episode 2

Fred Willard/Devo

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Oct 14, 1978 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
10 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Live from New York, it's... Bill Murray! Sketches include "Honker in the Audience," "Two Guys Who Are Lawyers," "Aging Stuntman Cliff Preston," "One-Night-Stand vs. Phone Talk," "Mr. Bill Goes To N.Y." (film), "Bobbi Farber," "Crossroads," "The Scotch Boutique" and "Booji Boy" (film). Devo performed "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "Jocko Homo."moreless

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  • Well, whaddaya know? Another good one.

    The second episode of the fourth season saw comedy veteran (well, now he is) Fred Willard take hosting duties alongside the bizarre Devo. Willard's been in a host of things since like almost every Christopher Guest mockumentary he's ever made (or maybe all of them), he's been in American Wedding, Harold & Kumar, etc. etc. At the time, he was known for being on America Tonight at the time for playing a sort of simpleton and that could've been the reason he was selected. Either way, he always seemed to have a certain unique kind of charm so hopefully that will work in his favour. Devo, the musical guest, is one of the more bizarre choices. Perhaps they are not as outrageous as Sun Ra, but they are definitely not commercial and despite them being slated being surprising, it's kind of refreshing to go from a huge mainstream act in the premiere to a lesser-known band in the very next episode. Diversity, people. And no, not that old, old wooden ship from the Civil War era. Anyway, on with the show!

    Host: Fred Willard

    Musical Guest: Devo

    Cold Open: Honker in the Audience (Murray) (2:22)

    -- Honker (Murray) finds his way into the audience and yammers on and on about the Yankees and how "we bought our team, damnit." Finally, he realizes that this isn't Yankee Stadium and opens the show. I think this is the second appearance of Honker since the Mardi Gras episode and it's a fun character by Billy.

    Monologue (Willard) (7:11)

    -- Fred comes out dressed like Elvis, sings a tune, and reveals his secret identity before wondering why an Elvis impersonator isn't a star yet. Following that, he does some good observational stand-up and looks to be at ease with the whole concept.

    Commercial: Two Guys Who Are Lawyers (Willard, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Murray, Newman, Radner) (2:49)

    -- Art & Jerry (Willard & Aykroyd) are two sleazy lawyers who managed to get some television time. The testimonial by Patty Hearst (Radner) is the highlight as well as the faux cheesy acting.

    Mr. Stunt (Willard, Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, Murray, Newman, Radner, Davis) (6:15)

    -- Cliff Preston (Belushi), resident stuntman, is treated just as if he's a major movie star (even having a crash pad with his name on it). When the stunts actually happen though, Preston gets tiny nagging annoyances and treats them like major injuries. Funny concept and decent execution = good sketch. Plus, Willard is pretty amusing as the director.

    Devo sing "Satisfaction" (2:35)

    -- Well, apparently they like the Stones too as the bizarre Devo (clad in yellow jumpsuits) do a very weird cover of the Stones' "Satisfaction." It's pretty entertaining though.

    Weeekend Update with Jane Curtin and Bill Murray (also: Dan Aykroyd and Gilda Radner)

    -- This week, Bill does a funny take on the whole "Rhodesia" issue involving the racist Ian Smith and then introduces his new feature, Bill Murray's Celebrity Corner. This week, his guest is Lucille Ball (Radner) with husband Gary Morton (writer Alan Zweibel). Her raspy "Lucy-ism" is the highlight of the bit. Jane does some pretty funny stuff with an entire school of cardinals dying. Station Manager Dan Aykroyd comes in to deliver a rant against skimpy cheerleader outfits in a hilarious piece.

    Five A.M. (Willard, Newman) (5:52)

    -- A man (Willard) and woman (Newman) lay in bed until she gets a call from some girl looking for Newman's ex-boyfriend, who then calls and they make cutesy on the phone, followed by reuniting right in front of the guy. The twist at the end is pretty funny as is the sketch.

    On The Spot (Aykroyd, Curtin) (4:25)

    -- Irwin Mainway (Aykroyd) makes another appearance and Joan Face (Curtin) proceeds to criticize the lunch menus he assigns to elementary schools. The food choices and the chemistry between these two is gold.

    Film: Mr. Bill Goes To New York (1:49)

    -- No need for much of a description here. Mr. Bill goes to New York and the usual violence befalls him and his dog, Spot.

    Bobbi On The Phone (Radner) (3:49)

    -- Bobbi Farber (Radner) talks to her mom on the phone about various things including changing the kids' names and putting Larry on a diet. Gilda does admirably, but this felt kind of vacuous.

    Crossroads (Willard, Belushi, Murray, Radner) (5:42)

    -- A preacher (Willard) introduces the story of Moab (Belushi), who is forced to sacrifice his son Shlomo (Murray) to God. Again, Willard shines in this funny piece.

    The Scotch Boutique (Willard, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Murray, Newman, Radner) (7:19)

    -- A concept-heavy sketch involving a store that sells only scotch tape. The performances by all involved are really good, particularly Willard, Aykroyd, and Radner and the sketch is a nice type of bit that goes for warmth and subtlety rather than full-on laughs.

    Devo sings "Jocko Homo (5:03)

    -- Following a strange filmed opening with Devo, the band perform a tune that involves them stripping off their jumpsuits, extreme close-ups of some of their faces, and some truly innovative music.

    Fred says a quick goodnight and thanks as the cast waves goodnight with Devo lurking eerily in the background.

    Best segment: The Scotch Boutique

    Worst segment: Bobbi On The Phone

    Host: Fred Willard - 8/10

    Musical Guest: Devo - 8/10

    A very talented character actor in his own right, Willard proved to be an asset to the cast in this episode and did very well at anything he had to do, whether it was the cheesy performance in the lawyers commercial or the subtlety of "Five A.M." and "The Scotch Boutique", Willard pulled off his hosting duties very well and it's a sort of shame that he wasn't invited back. Actually, they probably could've ditched Mr. Bill and Bobbi's sketch to put another one with Willard in it and it would've been better. Devo, just like Willard, was entertaining and a tremendous asset to the show as they brought the weird on and didn't look back. As for the cast, everyone pretty much had a fair shake this week (except for Garrett) and Gilda seemed to shine the most throughout the night. Overall, a solid second episode.

    Rating: 7.5/10moreless



Guest Star

Fred Willard

Fred Willard


Recurring Role

Alan Zweibel

Alan Zweibel

Gary Morton

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Dan Aykroyd: [wearing gray suit and eyeglasses - grim, intense and fast] Thank you, Jane. Good evening. Well, it's football season again, we're right in the middle of it. And as usual every team's crew of female cheerleaders's providing the same supportive histrionics from the sidelines. However, this year, there are less cheers and more leers and it's the fans in the stands who do the leering at the girls who do the cheering because this season these cheer-ladies are more nudely, more lewdly, more crudely attired than ever.

  • NOTES (1)