Saturday Night Live

Season 2 Episode 4

Karen Black/John Prine

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Oct 16, 1976 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
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  • The late Karen Black serves as host. The music is provided by John Prine.

    Aside from this episode marking the debut of Mr. Bill, there is nothing that makes this episode particularly memorable. That does not mean the episode is bad however, it does have its strong points. The best sketch in my opinion is the presidential debate. Chevy Chase and Dan Akroyd are nothing short of terrific. The other participants do a good job as well. The "Lunch Counter Reunion" sketch is another standout. That sketch shows that even something very simple can be very effective. As usual, Chevy does another great job at the anchor desk for "Weekend Update". Though I would not consider this episode one of the best of the season, it's still entertaining to say the least.
  • Karen Black of Airport '75 fame hosts this episode with musical guest John Prine! W00T.

    Okay, I'll admit it. I only know Karen Black from "Airport '75", "House of 1,000 Corpses", and that obscure reference made about her on "Family Guy". Other than that, I don't have a good knowledge of her filmography and I definitely am not familiar with her acting style or anything. Nevertheless, I am still going to review this episode regardless. John Prine...I really don't know who he is. Sorry. Without any further adieu...

    Host: Karen Black
    Musical Guest: John Prine

    Cold Open: Wheelchair Bound Chevy (Belushi, Chase, Curtin) (1:07)

    --Jane introduces Chevy back to Saturday Night, as Belushi wheels him out on a chair and then shoves him off the stage to deliver the line. Pretty bland compared to the three previous openings.

    Monologue: History of Motherhood (Black) (2:51)

    --Karen comes out with her very young son and talks about being a mother and how the evolution of mothers has come to be. The only amusing part of this was the kid that kept trying to get at his mother's boob.

    Baba Wawa At Large (Newman, Radner) (3:43)

    --Baba Wawa (Radner) interviews Indira Gandhi (Newman) in a funny sketch where they discuss Gandhi's regime and how it is bad for the people. Radner's impression is fun and makes for a funny sketch.

    Debate '76 (Black, Aykroyd, Belushi, Chase, Curtin, Morris) (8:12)

    --The second debate sees Ann Wrabel (Black) moderating it while Liz Montgomery (Curtin), Earl Rowland (Morris), and Marilyn Kraus (Belushi) question Ford (Chase) and Carter (Aykroyd) on their policies. This is not as good as the first debate sketch, but it still is a lot of fun with Ford the stumblebum and Carter the sexual dynamo.

    John Prine sings "Hello In There" (3:45)

    --Prine delivers a slow tune that is a nice easy listening type of ditty.

    Weekend Update with Chevy Chase (5:13)

    --Chevy returns to the newsdesk for a shorter version of Update than usual with a great riff on the Swine Flu and addresses the Carter/Playboy interview controversy as well. No correspondents this week either and this edition is a little disappointing mostly because of its short running time.

    Commercial: Triple-Trac (1:29)

    --A repeat from the first episode and's dated as all hell.

    Commercial: Green Cross Cupcakes (Black, Aykroyd, Belushi, Chase) (2:38)

    --Yes, it's the cupcakes that DON'T give you cancer! They've been tested on rats and a scientist (Chase) even says that there is no evidence linking cupcakes and cancer. This was pretty lame actually.

    Film: A*M*I*S*H (Aykroyd, Belushi, Chase, Curtin) (5:07)

    --Three Amish people (Belushi, Chase, Curtin) act as superhero sorts to stop a bank robbery but of course they take forever to get there, so the teller (Aykroyd) informs them that it's been a week since the robbery. This was alright.

    Love Russian Style (Black, Aykroyd, Belushi, Chase, Radner) (5:31)

    --Catherine the Great (Black) is visited by a peasant (Belushi), who complains about how his sister was accosted by locusts. Catherine then meets up with her lover, Snowball the horse (voiced by Chase), and they go through a bunch of lame jokes back and forth. Yeah, this was bad.

    Weis Film #18: Nightclub Owner (4:16)

    --This film highlights nightclub owner George Schultz, who gives up-and-coming comedians a chance in his place. The guy tells a couple of amusing anecdotes, but this drained me out.

    John Prine sings "The Bottomless Lake" (3:40)

    --After an introduction to the background behind this tune, Prine delivers a pretty catchy tune about a fairly sad tale.

    Lunch Counter Reunion (Aykroyd, Curtin, Radner) (6:28)

    --A typical Marilyn Suzanne Miller piece in which an obnoxious guy, Ralph Bort (Aykroyd) reunites with an old high school colleague, Patti Rivers (Curtin), but she keeps getting interrupted by Bort, who goes on and on about his pathetic life. Pretty funny Miller piece where the laughs are not abundant but the characters are interesting to watch.

    Home Movie: The Mr. Bill Show

    --The second appearance of Mr. Bill, who of course gets tortured by Mr. Hands and Dr. Sluggo again. Amusing.

    Karen Black sings "Ten Cents A Dance"

    --She's pretty decent on the microphone but it feels very unnecessary for a musical number from her and the song is whatever.

    Tribute To American Coinage (Black, Aykroyd, Belushi, Chase, Morris)

    --Karen, Danny, John, Chevy, and Garrett deliver a musical tribute to the penny, nickel, dime, and quarter to remember a time when they used to mean something. This felt like they needed something to fill the last few minutes desperately, but at least the scroller during Belushi's turn is pretty funny.

    The show has run too long so we just cut right to a credit roll over some stills of the opening montage.

    Best segment: Debate '76
    Worst segment: Love Russian Style

    Host: Karen Black - 6/10
    Musical Guest: John Prine - 7.5/10

    This episode featured Karen Black delivering an average performance as a host and to be fair, the poor sketches were not entirely her fault either. I really could've done without her song though as that really brought an already drab show to a halt. John Prine was a good musical guest and I especially enjoyed "The Bottomless Lake." I wouldn't have minded seeing him on another episode as a musical guest, but this would be his only stint unfortunately. As for the cast, I guess you can give it to Aykroyd again for his Jimmy Carter impression and for his performance in the Miller-penned sketch. Still, this was a pretty dull episode overall.

    Rating: 4.5/10