Woo! It took a while but I'm back with another Saturday Night Live review from Year 3, this time of the Hefner/Titus broadcast. The King of Playboy would seem to be a very busy man so hosting a late-night comedy show and spending a week with the writers and performers would seem like a task he would not be able to complete, but alas, he did and this is a pretty interesting episode for those reasons. Titus is the musical guest and I'm not very familiar with her music, but I guess she was a pretty big thing in the 70s and 80s. We also have Andy Kaufman as a special guest on this show which is always a plus. Anyway, this is another instance of not having an actual actor as the host and working with that person's limitations as much as possible. Let's see how it turned out.
Host: Hugh Hefner
Musical Guest: Libby Titus
Playboy Party Jokes: Cold Open (Newman) (1:05)
--What catches me off-guard right away is Laraine's naked suit as I really thought that was her for a second. As for the sketch, Laraine does her airhead schtick well as a Playboy bunny and opens the show in quick fashion.
Monologue: "Thank Heaven For Little Girls" (Hefner) (3:09)
--Hugh sings the aforementioned song after talking of his initial reluctance to host the show. Not bad, but the scrolling text was what made this funny.
Commercial: Angora Bouquet (Curtin, Murray) (1:15)
--A really beautiful, but stupid woman (Curtin) uses Angora Bouquet soap to help her "wash reality away" and her brain, much to her husband's liking. Classic bit.
Planet of the Men vs. Planet of the Women (Hefner, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Newman, Radner) (4:13)
--In a sketch filled with innuendos all over the place, Captain Macho (Hefner) guides his ship of men as they encounter a ship of women guided by Captain Estrogena (Curtin) and trade stereotypes back and forth with the women using their hormones on the men, the men using a mouse to scare the women and then the BEST shot in the whole sketch at the end, which I'm surprised they got away with. Too good for words.
Libby Titus sings "Fool That I Am" (2:59)
--Libby belts out a slow-paced melody that's easy on the ears. Not too bad.
Anyone Can Host Contest (Morris) (1:33)
--Pretty straight-forward piece with Garrett reminding everyone of the contest and rules for entering.
X-Police (Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Murray) (3:02)
--The first installment of the X-Police (Aykroyd, Murray) in which they bust an intelligent couple (Belushi, Curtin) before they are about to smoke a joint. But their persistence in stopping the two of them gets out of hand so they report "another marijuana-related death." Sheer brilliance.
Circular Bed Research (Hefner, Aykroyd, Curtin, Davis) (4:00)
--Hugh helps one of the bunnies (Curtin) work on her thesis paper, but he continually gets interrupted by his beeper, the Playboy radar, and then even the President of the United States (Aykroyd). Another funny bit with Carter's visit being the highlight.
Listening To Great Music (Belushi) (3:03)
--John hosts a program to cherish great music and this week, he plays "Ride of the Valkyries" while John starts to tell everyone the images that they should be thinking of. This eventually develops into a rant as Belushi breaks everything in sight. Worth it for John's destruction of the set.
Weekend Update with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin (also: Gilda Radner) (7:31)
--After a brief back-and-forth with Don Pardo, Aykroyd reports on an old person's blowup doll. Lots of fun in this edition as one of the writers Tom Schiller plays a tour guide who takes a tour through Update while the show is still on the air. Curtin gets some funny moments, especially at the expense of Anita Bryant getting pie-faced. Nadia Comaneci (Radner) performs some gymnastics before begging everyone to come see her perform live while she's still cute. The Dancing N also delivers an important message about cocaine and heroin before Jane welcomes the military as watching SNL overseas. Great edition.
Sex in Cinema (Hefner, Murray, Newman) (3:05)
--Hugh hosts "Sex in Cinema" and talks of censorship before showing a banned movie clip with Cary Grant (Murray) and Katherine Hepburn (Newman) having a "graphic" sex scene with one of Cary's feet on the ground so as not to break the censorship rules. Not bad.
3 R's (Belushi, Curtin, Radner) (3:09)
--Jane hosts a program that highlights aspects of the education system, interviewing Michael Mykonos (Belushi) and his illiterate daughter, Colleen (Radner), whom he wants to go to college. The ending twist makes this sketch work, but it's only moderately funny.
The Story of H (Hefner) (3:07)
--Hugh narrates a collage of pictures and short video clips from his life and gives a little autobiography. Pretty entertaining and well-made.
The Playboy Philosophy (Hefner, Belushi, Morris, Davis) (3:09)
--Hef tells everyone of his Playboy Philosophy including Socrates (Belushi) and Plato (Morris) in the year 400 BC. This was a little flat.
Magical Eulogy (Hefner, Aykroyd, Murray, Radner) (6:30)
--Hartley Raymond (Murray), a magician, performs the eulogy at his friend Jonathan's wedding and manages to raise the crowd's spirit with some magic. Murray's smarmy performance makes this entertaining character piece work.
Andy Kaufman: Musical Numbers (6:49)
--Kaufman performs a number from "Oklahoma!", followed by a childish song on piano with audience accompaniment, and then some musical numbers as Elvis Presley. Not his best SNL appearance, but it's still fun.
The Farbers At The Playboy Club (Hefner, Aykroyd, Belushi, Newman, Radner) (4:46)
--The Farbers (Belushi, Radner) visit the Playboy Club and after keyholder Reg Shaefer (Aykroyd) tells some tall tales about Hugh Hefner, the man himself shows up and interacts with them. The Farbers were hit-and-miss, but this was pretty good.
Hugh says goodnight with Libby and the cast.
Best segment: X-Police
Worst segment: The Playboy Philosophy
Host: Hugh Hefner - 7/10
Musical Guest: Libby Titus - 6/10
What started out as an interesting idea to have someone like Hugh Hefner hosting the show turned out to be quite good as The Hef tried his darndest for someone who is not a performer in any way. The cast and writers also worked around his limitations as Hugh was basically playing different versions of himself for the majority of the sketches he was in. Libby Titus was an average musical guest that I'm glad only performed once as she wasn't really doing anything for me. As for the cast for this particular episode, I would give the award as it were to Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd, especially for the X-Police. Good show overall with a willing cast and good effort from the host.