Saturday Night Live

Season 1 Episode 24

Kris Kristofferson/Rita Coolidge

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Jul 31, 1976 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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  • The historic first season ends on the wrong note as a drunken Kris Kristofferson struggles to make it through the show.

    Lorne Michaels would rather forget this episode as well as the one before it (The one prior to this one was hosted by the absolutely horrible Louise Lasser.). Watch this episode once and you won't find that hard to understand. Kristofferson looks like he got out of bed just minutes before the show began. His opening looked like it was made up on the spot. However Kristofferson's sketch with Gilda Radner and John Belushi was actualy pretty good. Kristofferson's then-wife Rita Coolidge certainly did her part to salvage things with an impressive musical performance (The second time this season a host appeared with his then-spouse. The first being Rob Reiner which was coincidentally also a disaster.). This episode is also significant in being it was Chevy Chase's final appearance as a regular. I bet he wishes he can turn back time and undo that very big mistake. At least he read some of his most memorable stories especially the one about Jimmy Hoffa. Despite some positive points however, this episode is not particulay memorable.
  • A drunken Kris Kristofferson hosts the season finale of Saturday Night with his wife-at-the-time and musical guest Rita Coolidge!

    Well, this was it for Year 1 and it had been quite a ride. After the debacle that was the week previous to this, the cast really needed to step it up and try to make up for it by delivering some classic comedy again. So they went and got country singer Kris Kristofferson, who wasn't too shabby of an actor either (he did win a Golden Globe not long after this!), but he decided to get drunk right before the show leaving him looking a little worse for wear during the duration of the program. Rita Coolidge was also an accomplished country singer and is quite easy on the eyes in addition to that. Would this make up for a good ending?

    Host: Kris Kristofferson
    Musical Guest: Rita Coolidge

    Cold Open: "Help Me Make it Through the Night" (Kristofferson, Coolidge, Chase)

    --Kris sings the aforementioned song while Chevy prepares to have sex with Coolidge, but many inconveniences arise when preparing. This of course leads to the fall and the usual opening, but it was a nice change of pace.

    Monologue (Kristofferson)

    --Nothing much to say here except that he just stumbles a bit through the introduction and then admits that he's not very good at this.

    Commercial: I Was Not A Sucker For Saturday Night (Newman)

    --Sherry (Newman) makes another appearance to tell everyone how working for Saturday Night as an intern for this past season was really weird because all of the writers had these strange requests ("Rocket ships are okay but your missile is tremendous"). It's all in her book "I Was Not A Sucker For Saturday Night." Fun performance by Newman here.

    Samurai General Practitioner (Kristofferson, Belushi)

    --The Samurai (Belushi) treats his patient (Kristofferson) to a number of different tests including making a phallic reference with the scale and then some hilarious stuff with a skeleton. Even though Kris is drunk, he tries his best to make it through and does a half-decent job. Good sketch.

    Rita Coolidge sings "Hula Hoop" (additional dancing by: Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner)

    Decent for a country song I guess, as Rita sings and then Laraine and Gilda dance with a hula hoop for a while.

    Commercial: Great White Athletes (Morris)

    --Jesse Owens (Morris) offers Olympic medallions commemorating "the last of a dying breed", the Great White Athlete. This was ok.

    Mississippi Delegate (Kristofferson, Chase, Curtin)

    --President Ford (Chase) welcomes undecided Mississippi Delegate Frank Wade (Kristofferson), who tries to get Ford to help out with the water and sewage treatment so he can support Gerald in the upcoming election. More fun from Chase as he gives Wade a Mint Tulip drink with an actual tulip in it and then stumbles around like usual.

    Police State (Kristofferson, Aykroyd, Belushi, Chase, Morris)

    --Kevin Brut (Aykroyd) and Aramis McCord (Chase) play two cops who are probably the worst two cops ever, as they shoot before asking questions and then make small talk about where they should go eat after the show. Definitely an O'Donoghue sketch as the dark comedy gives it away. Good stuff again.

    Weekend Update with Chevy Chase (also: Laraine Newman)

    --After a humourous opening by Don Pardo, Chevy is on his A-game again by going right to the Olga Korbut story and then the usual Ford stumblebum joke. Laraine Newman also gets to report from NASA (but it turns out to be Nassau) in a throwaway segment. Chevy also adds a good attack on Spiro Agnew ("Some of my best friends are Christ-killers") and then does not repeat the top story for people that may be growing tired of Update.

    Commercial: Talk Country (Kristofferson)

    --Kris Kristofferson advertises his new book, Talk Country, which ditches the handicap known as "education" and teaches you how to talk just like a good ol' country boy. It's cool that he pokes fun at himself, so it gets points for that.

    The Real Bobbi McGee (Kristofferson, Coolidge, Belushi, Radner)

    --Kris sings his famous song for a bit, but then introduces the real Bobbi McGee (Radner) to the stage, who tells a surprised Kristofferson that she's now Bobbi Farber and has married Larry Farber (Belushi). As Kris finishes the song, Larry (Belushi) points out the lyrics and questions his wife about her past before Rita Coolidge then comes out as well. I liked this the first time, but this seemed like a mess on this go-around.

    Gynecologist Blind Date (Kristofferson, Curtin)

    --A woman (Curtin) prepares for a date with her gynecologist (Kristofferson) and the awkwardness between the two provides for some amusing moments.

    Kris Kristofferson and Rita Coolidge sing "Eddie the Eunuch"

    --Husband and wife team up to deliver a decent tune.

    Praising Carter (Aykroyd, Morris)

    --Andrew Young (Morris) praises Jimmy Carter in front of a church to the delight of the audience and then brings him out, but loses his smile when Carter (Aykroyd) announces that Young will not get a political pay-off for his support. The ending is a cop-out, but Garrett's reactions are priceless and Aykroyd's impression is even better than last week.

    Waiting For Pardo (Kristofferson, Chase, Morris)

    --Garrett introduces an avant-garde classic, "Waiting For Pardo" with Vladimir (Kristofferson) and Estragon (Chase) waiting for Don Pardo, while Pardo himself advertises things while they wait. Except for one clever joke about Spinoza, the sketch falls pretty flat.

    Kris Kristofferson sings "I've Got A Life of My Own"

    --Kris belts out one of his real good tunes and even though this is another country ditty, I did enjoy this one thoroughly.

    Kris says goodnight amd thanks everyone before the whole cast (minus Aykroyd) and Rita joins him on the stage, while Aykroyd mimics Don Pardo for the closing announcement to talk about some Beach Boys special that some SNL castmembers will be a part of.

    Best segment: Police State
    Worst segment: Waiting For Pardo

    Host: Kris Kristofferson - 6.5/10
    Musical Guest: Rita Coolidge - 6/10

    And the first season comes to an end! Kris Kristofferson delivered as best he could when under the influence and thus proved to be a fairly competent host, but it was obvious why he wasn't invited back again. Rita Coolidge on the other hand was sober as a priest and was pretty average as a musical guest, not really delivering any memorable moments or songs except for maybe the cold open bit with Chevy. As for the cast, it seems like everyone got some decent time this week with Chevy only getting slightly more than everyone else. Hard to pick a stand-out castmember this week, so I'll just say that it was an overall good effort by all. Decent way to close the season out.

    Rating: 6.75/10
  • friends don't let friends perform comedy drunk.

    Well, You definatly tell that Kristopherson was not in his right mind. The show struggled around his inability to speak the english language, however the rest of the crew difinatly stepped it up. Its a shame it was Chevy Chase's last show, I really didn't get the Waiting for Pardo sketch.