Saturday Night Live

Season 3 Episode 2

Madeline Kahn/Taj Mahal

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Oct 08, 1977 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • Madeline Kahn hosts Season Three episode two of SNL

    So the first seasons of SNL have been out on DVD for a couple of years now. Classic SNL is way better than the current SNL product by light years, however, with that said even the classic SNL had a couple of shows that weren't great. Case in point this one with Madeline Kahn. Her skits she had on the show were pretty bad, not a in a funny bad sort of way, just in a time waster sort of way.

    The skits are more of an excuse for her to show off her singing. The more I think about it, the funnier skits are the ones where she actually isn't in them.

    This is nothing new, over all the decades that SNL has been on the air, it's very common for skits to be funny without the host in them than with them.

    The opening a spoof of Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald is kinda lame but funny.

    The first official skit is the "Swill" mineral water- This is a very skit, so funny that in the special anniversary in 1990, this was one of the skits that was featured.

    Bad Opera is a skit designed to poke fun at Bad Opera-Not really funny to be honest even back then. It's a bit funny but not LMAO funny.

    Lorne has an anyone can be host contest on SNL-Funnier than the Bad opera skit but not by much.

    Kahn later has a skit impersonating Bianca Jagger with Truman Capote and friends-Again an ok skit but nothing spectacular.

    The musical guest was Taj Majal-Noted blues musician. The musical guest that SNL had in the early years were incredible.

    Weekend Update was one of the better skits in the show. That hasn't changed much over the years.

    There is a funny skit with John Belushi and Garrett Morris involving discrimination against a blind man.
    The skit is funny for the obvious shot at thievery by Belushi including the ending line where Morris thinks he is a black man with his friends uncovering the truth.

    Kahn has a forgetable skit (think this as the SNL digital short) where she is singing in NY. Very forgetable. There is a Hercules movie skit that is fairly funny again without Kahn. It's not the first time, SNL would use the Hercules franchise to make fun of.

    One of the last great skits is a kit where Dan shows an invention that reads air traffic reports. Obviously this would end in a panic where Dan tells the passengers of an airline about to hit them (a 747).

    There is a chick skit with Gilda and Kahn but it's nothing interesting at all.

    There are memorable skits on the show but none of them had Kahn in them. Madeline's guest hosting duties are a bit of a dud. It did seem like they catering the skits just so she can show off her singing. Worse yet, they aren't very entertaining to sit through. I don't mind how much creative input she had, but there weren't an emphasis on comedy.

    Again it's been a pattern on the show many times for the skits to be funny without the guest host. This is one such example.
  • "'s makin' me wait..."

    Well we are now at the second episode of Year 3 and we have Madeline Kahn back to host who, IMO, did a real good job with her stint in Year 1. This time, she brings along Taj Mahal, a very gifted performer who would be a good addition to this broadcast. Kahn's number one priority for hosting was getting the chance to sing on the program so she's received flack for concentrating on that rather than the acting, but I think it's unwarranted actually. There's not much else to say, so let's get started with this episode recap.

    Host: Madeline Kahn
    Musical Guest: Taj Mahal

    Cold Open: The Trial of Lee Harry Oswald (Aykroyd, Belushi, Murray, Franken) (1:12)

    --Poking fun at the ABC mini-series' inaccuracies in its made-for-TV film about the JFK assassination with Oswald (Murray) getting pie-faced by a heavy-set man (Belushi). Short and harmless.

    Monologue (Kahn) (1:41)

    --Maddie talks about starting a little late tonight due to the overtime baseball game and tells everyone that everything is unknown tonight. And that's that. Pretty pointless.

    Commercial: Swill (Murray, Newman) (1:19)

    --A spokesperson (Murray) advertises the new mineral water, Swill, which is the most disgusting thing ever but also provides a hilarious visual gag.

    Bad Opera (Kahn, Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, Murray, Newman, Radner)

    --Rare to see this sketch so early on in the show, but Leonard Pinth-Garnell (Aykroyd) presents an atrociously bad opera involving the Golden Note, which causes the lead (Kahn) to have her larynx locked on that one note. Fairly entertaining bit.

    Anyone Can Host Contest (Lorne Michaels) (2:13)

    --Lorne announces the start of the Anyone Can Host Contest. No comedic aspect here, but it led to a fairly entertaining episode so props.

    Bianca Jagger and Three Or Four of Her Close Personal Friends (Kahn, Belushi, Curtin, Murray, Newman) (5:28)

    --Bianca (Kahn) welcomes Truman Capote (Belushi), Margaret Trudeau (Newman), and Princess Grace (Curtin) to join her for an intellectual chat as Bianca tells everyone of her new knowledge of very basic things. There are a few funny moments, but the sketch wears out its welcome a bit.

    Taj Mahal sings "Queen Bee" (3:49)

    --I'm not too familiar with this guy's repertoire but this is a very entertaining tune and probably among my favourite musical performances from this season (and there's a lot of great ones!)

    Schiller's Reel #1: The Acid Generation - Where Are They Now? (1:14)

    --Survivors of the acid generation are interviewed and turn out to be spaced-out seniors. Total filler, Schiller.

    Weekend Update with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin (also: Bill Murray) (10:38)

    --After stumbling through the intro, Dan messes up one of the stories early on but manages to recover as they comment on Kojak, real-life violence causing television violence, Billy Graham planning to visit Elvis in heaven, and an urgent bulletin from the NBC Dancing N concerning fevers to name a few. Bill Murray also drops by with his smarmy editorial on Marie Osmond's recent trashy look. Better than last week's and Aykroyd would get better as the year went on.

    Silver Balls and Golden Pins (Kahn, Murray) (5:11)

    --A preacher (Murray) talks of bowling while a singer (Kahn) sings a tune comparing bowling to life. This didn't really work for me comedically but Madeline is a talented vocalist so it had that going for it.

    Law School Discrimination Case (Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Murray) (4:40)

    --A man (Belushi) threatens to sue a law school for hiring a blind African-American (Morris) rather than him so the board (Aykroyd, Curtin, Murray) makes a rather clever decision until the blind man's friends show up. Amusing.

    Film: Autumn in New York (Kahn) (2:13)

    --Madeline sings about autumn in New York while walking around the city and playing her harmonica. Funny in a weird sort of quirky way.

    Commercial: The Pink Box (Newman, Radner) (1:13)

    --The Pink Box - the product that allows for confidence, but no one really knows what it does. Not bad.

    Hercules Movie Dub (Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, Murray, Radner (3:42)

    --Actor Ross (Aykroyd) comes in to do some looping for "Hercules", an Italian film, while the director (Murray) looks on. I'm surprised this made it past the dress rehearsal because it simply fell flat.

    Dame Edna Everage (Kahn, Barry Humphries) (4:49)

    --Everage (Humphries) comes out to chat with Madeline about all sorts of things including some things that actually cause Kahn to get red with embarassment. Barry is pretty funny and manages to create a fairly entertaining 5 minutes.

    Commercial: Pocket Pal (Aykroyd, Davis, Franken) (1:02)

    --The Pocket Pal predicts mid-air collisions ten seconds before they happen but of course, that does nothing except stir panic among the passengers. I got the joke, but it was merely okay.

    Women's Secrets (Kahn, Radner) (7:49)

    --Judith (Kahn) and Gail (Radner) discuss Gail's recent date with a guy, who they're waiting for to call her back. Very well-written sketch by Marilyn Suzanne Miller with both ladies being very fun as drunk.

    Madeline says goodnight very quickly and then waves goodnight with Mahal, Humphries and the cast in tow.

    Best segment: Swill
    Worst segment: Hercules Movie Dub

    Host: Madeline Kahn - 7.75/10
    Musical Guest: Taj Mahal - 8.5/10

    Madeline Kahn does it again as she puts forth a whole bunch of effort into this episode and even though she got to sing a whole lot as well, she was already very talented in that department so it worked out. As for her musical guest, Taj Mahal only got to perform once but it was a very solid performance and one that was very entertaining and fast-paced. As for the cast in this episode, Bill Murray dominated the night with eight different appearances in sketches and Danny trailing behind. Both men will get the honour of best performances for this episode as they had the most memorable moments for sure. Despite all of these qualities, the episode was not one of the best of the third season by far.

    Rating: 6.5/10