Saturday Night Live

Season 2 Episode 18

Jack Burns/Santana

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Mar 26, 1977 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (1)

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  • "What the hell are you doing standing up?!"

    This episode would see middle-aged comedian Jack Burns taking the reigns of the host and wonderful band Santana taking the spot of the musical guest for the evening. Burns was doing stand-up mostly but starred in some films here and there. Ironically, he would go on to the inferior show "Fridays", which tried to capitalize on SNL's lessening fanbase during the early 80s. Eddie Murphy prevented that though. Santana is of course one of the hottest bands that has come through the ages and they are another great addition to this season that already had a great number of popular and enjoyable musicians in it. Let's see how this one turned out.

    Host: Jack Burns
    Musical Guest: Santana

    Cold Open: John's Demands (Belushi) (4:25)

    --Belushi does an editorial on how everyone sees him as a troublemaker and then holds the show hostage because the show can't start until he does the opening. He gets into his list of demands and reads some fan-mail before being tricked into starting the show. I liked this opening as John is great at these one-man bits.

    Monologue: Touching Yourself (Burns) (3:19)

    --Jack does some stand-up about going to confessional and touching himself before doing so. Fairly entertaining monologue.

    The Farbers Meet the Coneheads (Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Newman, Radner) (7:06)

    --No fake ad? Nope, we start out by mixing two sets of recurring characters. The Farbers (Belushi, Radner) invite the Coneheads (Aykroyd, Curtin, Newman) over for drinks and witness the usual hijinx from the people "from France." Great stuff here and a great crack-up from Gilda and John too.

    Santana perform "Black Magic Woman" (3:58)

    --It's a classic of course and it sounds really good in the live version as well.

    Marine Wedding (Burns, Aykroyd, Curtin) (2:49)

    --A chaplain and Marine Captain (Burns) organizes a wedding between two Marines (Aykroyd, Curtin) in a humourous fashion as they are still very rigid.

    A Town Without Pity (Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, Murray, Newman) (4:16)

    --Indira Gandhi (Newman) and her son Sanjay (Belushi) sulk after losing the Indian election, break into song, and then welcome the new prime minister (Morris) before Elliot Ness (Aykroyd) shows up. The cow-drop was an idea by Burns I believe, but the sketch was nothing special.

    Weekend Update with Jane Curtin (5:24)

    --Jane consoles a cardboard cutout of Harry Reisener and then goes solo for this edition of Update. This week, she talks about the Nixon/Frost interview, more Jimmy Carter news, and another great jab at Roman Polanski ("Little Women" indeed). The highlight of Update is Jane giving away the Oscar results. Decent edition. Oh and by the way, Jane was 1/3 right.

    Commercial: Leech-Tab 100 (Aykroyd, Murray, Radner) (1:28)

    --Mr. Wiggins (Aykroyd) offers leeches to a man (Murray) with terrible headaches. Wow, if those were real, I don't envy Billy.

    The Story of the Squatters (Burns, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Murray, Newman, Radner) (5:04)

    --Taken very literally, the Squatters welcome everyone including indians (Radner) and slaves (Morris). Col. George Hall (Burns) then orders the Squatters away, so they revolt and form a mob. Pretty funny visual gags.

    Executive Suicide (Burns, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Murray, Newman, Radner) (5:05)

    --Sherry's (Newman) boss, Mr. Ross (Burns), has her write a suicide note before he tries to jump out the window, but screws up the jump and breaks character. Everyone then comes in to do their parts, but Jack's already screwed it up for everyone. More good stuff from the cast and especially Burns.

    Weis Film #29: Jack is Rocky (Burns) (2:58)

    --Sure enough, we see Jack preparing for the big show in Rocky-style by drinking egg yolk, running up stairs, and punching the air. One of the better Weis pieces.

    Ask Big Daddy (Aykroyd, Morris, Murray, Radner) (2:54)

    --Walter Cronkite (Murray) is tied up by Idi Amin (Morris) so as to give Idi his own call-in show. One-note sketch that was kinda flat.

    Home Movie: Mirage (1:51)

    --A man finds a pop machine in the desert, but it just drizzles out pop and then drops a block of ice. Nice gag.

    Pantygrams (Aykroyd, Morris, Murray, Radner) (3:19)

    --Ricardo Montalban (Aykroyd) advertises his pantygrams as we are then treated to a dramatization with a woman (Radner) and then a man (Murray) getting very different pantygrams. Not bad.

    Santana perform "Europa" (4:07)

    --Another good song from Santana though of course not on the level of "Black Magic Woman." The guitar-playing is still fantastic though.

    Drunk Comedy Writer (Burns, Curtin, Radner) (5:23)

    --A drunken comedy writer Gags Beasley (Burns) interrupts a dinner between Jane and Gilda before confusing them for being stars on "Laugh-In" and making an ass out of himself. Well-written ten-to-one sketch.

    Jack and the gang wave goodnight to end the first official "Saturday Night Live" (rather than "Saturday Night").

    Best segment: Executive Suicide
    Worst segment: Ask Big Daddy

    Host: Jack Burns - 7.5/10
    Musical Guest: Santana - 8/10

    Well, Burns certainly let his comedic roots help him out for this hosting gig and he was able to use them to be an all-around solid host. I actually wouldn't have minded seeing him go another round with doing the show, but it was not to be I guess. Santana made for a good musical guest as well, as they performed a classic and another song that was pretty good ("Europa"). The mix of the host and musical guest was a nice combination even though Burns was not as involved in the night's segments as some hosts. As for the cast on this given night, I would give the award to Belushi just for being the dominating presence in pretty much every sketch he took part in, especially having fun with the opening. Pretty good show.

    Rating: 7.25/10