Saturday Night Live

Season 1 Episode 15

Jill Clayburgh/Leon Redbone, The Singing Idlers

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Feb 28, 1976 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
22 votes

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Episode Summary

Live from New York, it's... Chevy Chase!

Sketches include "No More Falls," "Great Moments in Herstory," "White Guilt Relief Fund," "Jill Carson, Guidance Counselor!," "H&L Brock," "Car Yummies," "Paying the Milkman," "Dog Tricks" (film), "Inquisitive Girlfriend," "Old MacDonald," "Triple-Trac," "The Mr. Bill Show," and "Grable and Lombard."

Leon Redbone performed "Ain't Misbehavin'" and "Big Time Woman"; Jill Clayburgh, the Singing Idlers, and the SNL Band perform "Semper Paratus" and "Sea Cruise."moreless

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  • Jill Clayburgh hosts for her first time with some musical accompaniment from Leon Redbone in his first appearance. Also there to join the gang is Jonathan Dorn to assist Leon, Andy Kaufman doing some more quirky comedy, & the Singing Idlers to sing also.moreless

    Longest summary ever. Seriously. Anyway...this is a rather forgettable episode from the first season in terms of hosts as Jill Clayburgh was certainly no Desi Arnaz or Richard Pryor or even Elliot Gould for that matter. Nope, she was just a fairly well-known actress for a couple of TV movies and small TV show roles along with a recent (at that time) forgettable part in "Gable and Lombard." So did this still hold up?

    Host: Jill Clayburgh

    Musical Guest: Leon Redbone

    Cold Open: No More Falls (Lorne Michaels, Chase)

    --Chevy argues with Lorne that he doesn't want to do the opening fall anymore, but Lorne tries to convince him that everyone thinks the fall is the most popular and hilarious thing on the show. A funny voiceover by Chevy guides him through the audience and of course, he ultimately takes the fall stumbling in Lorne's office. The banter with Michaels at the beginning was the best part.

    Monologue: Date with Don Pardo (Clayburgh)

    --Jill comes out to talk about her date with Don Pardo, while Don finds a way to shill things while talking about the occasion. It was okay.

    Great Moments in Herstory: Anna Freud (Aykroyd, Curtin, Newman)

    --An awkward moment occurs when Anna (Newman) tells her father, Sigmund (Aykroyd) about a very perverse sex dream using euphenisms that gets him very excited. Aykroyd's facial reactions are the highlight.

    Jill Carson, Guidance Counselor! (Clayburgh, Aykroyd, Belushi, Chase, Morris, Radner)

    --Jill Carson (Clayburgh) tries guiding Julio Alvarez (Belushi), a notorious greaser, to a cleaner life while the gym and music appreciation teacher (Chase) has his doubts about Julio's abilities. Jill then meets Julio's parents (Morris, Radner) who warn her away from him as well. This 10-minute sketch ends well but this whole thing just kind of chugs along at a slow and steady pace. It was alright overall I guess.

    Leon Redbone sings "Ain't Misbehavin'"

    --Leon performs a very mellow and relaxing song with that terrific and unique voice of his.

    Commercial: White Guilt Relief Fund (Morris)

    --An institution funded by Garrett is for people who feel bad for the blacks and can donate money to him. It's been done before, but this is probably one of the first times and Garrett makes it amusing.

    Great Moments in Herstory: Isadora Duncan (Claybugh, Curtin, Radner)

    --Isadora (Clayburgh) and Eleanor Duse (Radner) converse about Duncan's garments and then she dies by getting the scarf caught in the door. I get the joke, but it's kind of weak.

    Weekend Update with Chevy Chase (also: Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner)

    --Ahh, here's Chevy to break the mediocrity. Newman's report is pretty blah, but Chevy does some funny stuff especially when screwing up his lines. There's a great bit on Nixon by Chevy, another "artist's rendering" and Emily Litella's (Radner) editorial on the "deaf penalty." It had some good points, but this is one of the weaker Updates so far.

    Commercial: H&L Brock (Belushi)

    --Lowell Brock (Belushi) talks of the H&L Brock Church & Synagogue as another reason to choose them as your tax people. This was a fun recurring bit, but this one wasn't as good as the three that appeared a while back.

    Jill Clayburgh, the Singing Idlers, and Howard Shore & the Shore Patrol sing "Semper Paratus" & "Sea Cruise"

    --The funniest part of this is the list of people that dolphins are definitely smarter than as everyone is singing. Pretty lively performance here on everyone's part especially Clayburgh, who delivers some decent vocal chords.

    Commercial: Car Yummies (Aykroyd, Morris)

    --An announcer (Aykroyd) sells some little traffic sign-shaped snacks for cars that they will simply enjoy. That would be crazy if people actually did this.

    Paying the Milkman (Chase)

    --The Muppets couldn't show up (oh no, what will we do?!) so Chevy does a puppet show with his hands until he's caught by the camera and introduces the Weis film. Obvious filler, but the reaction on Chevy's face when he gets caught is pretty funny.

    Weis Film #8: Dog Tricks

    --The dog is adorable and knows how to spell, do a Hollywood kiss, and a few other cute things.

    Andy Kaufman: Old McDonald

    --Andy lip-syncs to "Old McDonald" and gets four volunteers to do the four additional parts. A lot more complicated than it sounds and it works out really well. Hilarious stuff as Andy even gets it right down to the chatter between verses.

    What Are You Thinking About? (Clayburgh, Chase)

    --A woman (Clayburgh) asks her lover (Chase) what he's thinking about and then constantly probes him. I like Chevy's line ("Well, you're inquisitive"), but this was a one-note joke with a great punchline. Okay, I laughed.

    Leon Redbone, with assistance from Jonathan Dorn, sings "Big Time Woman"

    --A very peppy, big-band type song. Better than the first as Leon was one of the more fun performers.

    Great Moments in Herstory: Indira Gandhi (Belushi, Curtin, Newman)

    --Indira Gandhi (Newman) complains to her father, Mahatma (Belushi) about not having her own gun and talks of plans to be the exact opposite of him. This was pointless.

    Home Movie: The Mr. Bill Show

    --The start of a phenomenon with the overly-abused clay figure Mr. Bill as a result of Mr. Hands and Mr. Slugell. This is a cult favourite and the debut of it is pretty funny.

    Grable & Lombard (Clayburgh, Chase, Curtin)

    --Quick parody of Gable & Lombard before Jill, Chevy, and Jane say goodnight to everyone. More filler.

    Best segment: Andy Kaufman: Old McDonald

    Worst segment: Jill Carson, Guidance Counselor!

    Host: Jill Clayburgh - 5/10

    Musical Guest: Leon Redbone - 8/10

    This is one of those episodes that was just sort of...there. It certainly wouldn't be the debacle that was the Lasser/PHJB episode that was yet to come but it wouldn't even come close to Pryor/Heron, Gould/Murray, or Arnaz. Jill was a pretty worthless host its easy to say, as she appeared in a decent chunk of sketches but was never really that hilarious and did a tad bit of obvious cue card reading. Although she WAS fun in the musical performance. Leon Redbone, on the other hand, was great and was given the opportunity to perform two great songs. Out of the cast, it seems that no one in particular really stood out here except for maybe Chase hogging the spotlight. The sketches on their own definitely weren't all terrible, but nothing really stood out as great. Really blah-worthy episode.

    Rating: 5.5/10moreless
Jill Clayburgh

Jill Clayburgh


Guest Star

Edie Baskin

Edie Baskin


Guest Star

Leon Redbone

Leon Redbone


Guest Star

Andy Kaufman

Andy Kaufman


Recurring Role

Alan Zweibel

Alan Zweibel

Man in hallway

Recurring Role

Al Franken

Al Franken


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (4)

    • Lowell Brock: Hi, I'm Lowell Brock of H&L Brock, with more of my seventeen reasons why you should bring your taxes to us, instead of H&R Block. Reason #13: The H&L Brock Church and Synagogue. The IRS does not require churches or synagogues to keep financial records. In 1957, my brother Henry became the first priest of Our Lady of the Holy Rebate. In 1963, our partner, Saul Weinstein, was ordained Rabbi of Temple B'nai Shalom Brock. If you are a wealthy religious person, you may want to make a large donation to either of these houses of worship, and claim it as a deduction. We will then kick back 95 percent of the donation, keeping the rest as payment for our services, saving you a bundle on your returns. You can cheat on your taxes and look like a saint. So come to H&L Brock. You'll thank the Lord you did.

    • Garrett Morris: Hi, I'm Garrett Morris, talkin' to all you white Americans about the way black people have been treated in America. Now, I know a lot of you feel guilty, and you should. My great-great-grandmother was brought over here on a slave ship and was raped by her white master. And my grandfather was lynched by a mob for not tippin' his hat to a white lady. Now, they're dead now and there's nothing you can do to erase their suffering. However, if you would like to relieve your guilt, I am willing to accept money as a representative victim of four hundred years of repression. Send your check or money order to White Guilt Relief Fund, care of Garrett Morris, 870 West 127th Street, New York, New York 10089 (Superimposed text reads: WHITE GUILT RELIEF FUND c/o Garrett Morris, 870 West 127th Street, New York, New York 10089) and if you send in before July 4th, 1976, (holds up a parchment scroll and an orange card) I will send you this beautiful scroll and I.D. card certifying you as an honorary Negro in the eyes of several black Americans! Once again, that address! (smiling, Garrett pauses)
      Voice of Don Pardo: White Guilt Relief Fund, in care of Garrett Morris, 870 West 127th Street, New York, New York 10089. Send cash or money, I know I have. I felt just terrible until I did.

    • Chevy Chase: After a lengthy and tiring conference in Geneva, members from some 35 nations, including England, France, Germany, the United States, Russia and Red China...

    • Chevy Chase:  Good evening, I'm Chevy Chase and you can't.

  • NOTES (2)

    • In reruns, several audience shots ("John Beresford Tipton" and "Adjust your set if it will make you happy") and the Home Movies address voiceover after the Mr. Bill film were removed, and the opening theme music was spliced in from the Lily Tomlin show until Pardo announces Jill Clayburgh's name. "Triple Trac" is added.

    • This episode marks Mr. Bill's first appearance.