Back in Year 2, Eric Idle made a huge impression on Saturday Night Live audiences by hosting two superb shows that year and being a really fun host to boot. It would only be a matter of time then before another Monty Python member followed suit and in this case, it would be Michael Palin, who would also be known for his role in "A Fish Called Wanda" in the future. Palin was a great castmember of Monty Python and would go on to host thrice more after this episode. Joining Palin in this episode is Eugene Record, a man that sings...songs. Sorry, I have no idea who this musical guest is this time out. Here's hoping this one is as good as Idle's attempts on the show!
Host: Michael Palin
Musical Guest: Eugene Record
"Grandma Walton Tries To Tie Her Shoelace"...hmm, a little too old school for me to get.
Cold Open: The Oscars (Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Murray, Newman) (4:08)
--Spoofing the controversial Vanessa Redgrave Oscar acceptance speech, as Vanessa (Curtin) quickly condemns the "Zionist hoodlums" before then introducing Yasser Arafat (Belushi) to share her honour. This somehow leads to Anwar Sadat (Morris) and then President Carter (Aykroyd) making additional speeches. Hilarious parody, especially the last few lines.
Monologue (Palin) (5:02)
--Instead of Michael, his manager Sid Biggs (Palin) comes out and tells the audience to just be patient as they wait for the host to come out. Sid then culminates with a bizarre seafood salad/cat trick that culminates a very entertaining monologue.
Commercial: Little Chocolate Donuts (Belushi, Davis) (:56)
--A repeat from earlier in the season. Great stuff.
IRS Confession (Palin, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Murray) (4:47)
--An IRS agent (Aykroyd) comes by a confessional booth to question Father O'Neill (Palin) about his tax history. Another man (Morris) then stops by with his own tax cheating confession, causing O'Neill to pray for...Lowell Brock (Belushi) at H&L Brock. The twist worked, but the sketch wasn't all that.
The Seagull (Palin, Curtin, Murray, Newman, Radner) (5:55)
--Michael Palin proposes to portray the poet Tragorian in "The Seagull" but the twist is that he will do it while bound and locked in a chest. What follows is a very bizarre, but hilarious bit as two actors (Curtin, Murray) spout some brilliant dialogue while Palin struggles to get out of it in under a minute with the bounds he has on.
Eugene Record sings "Have You Seen Her?" (3:49)
--What starts off with some spoken-word introduction, Eugene then sings a very strange retro-funkadelic tune that was pretty enjoyable.
Weekend Update with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin (also: John Belushi) (7:56)
--Sponsored by Sirhan Wrap, it will protect your sandwich from Arab assassins! Jane is all over Jimmy Carter with a joke about the Fig Neutron and then Billy Carter with his drunken stupidness. Aykroyd has some fun mocking Gerald Ford and then introduces "Tongsun Park" (crewmember Akira Yoshimura), who Jane immediately points out is an impersonator. John Belushi stops by as well to comment on the possibility of tearing down Radio City Music Hall and delves into a maniacal rant. One of the stronger Updates of the season for sure.
Nerds Piano Lesson (Palin, Curtin, Murray, Radner) (6:43)
--Todd (Murray) and Lisa (Radner) are at it again and this time Lisa waits for her piano teacher Mr. Brighton (Palin) to show up. Brighton turns out to be a creeper and is eventually chased away. Murray and Radner have such a wonderful chemistry that makes these sketches so good.
The Forgotten Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (Palin, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Murray, Radner) (8:57)
--After a hilariously botched introduction, we examine the Case of the Scarlet Membrane. Sherlock (Palin), with a rolled-up bill stuck up his nose from constantly doing cocaine, is then accused by Watson (Aykroyd) for being an addict. Sherlock's deductive abilities are put to the test when Mrs. Hammercrack (Radner) asks for his help in finding her husband's killer and the result is delirious fun.
Party Arguments (Murray, Newman) (4:10)
--A couple (Murray, Newman) argue over whether they should or should not go to a party. A typical character piece which I THINK was written by Marilyn Suzanne Miller. Good stuff.
Eugene Record sings "Trying to Get to You" (3:26)
--Again with the super-cool funky jukebox setup that compliments another good tune by Record that is very mellow and relaxing.
The Mr. Bill Show #4: Mr. Bill Pays Taxes (2:01)
--More hijinx with Mr. Bill as he owes an arm and a leg to Mr. Sluggo.
Danger Probe (Palin, Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, Davis, Franken) (3:19)
--Host Dave Mable (Aykroyd) examines the reactions of two racist rapists (Belushi, Franken) when a Belgian fop (Palin) and a handsome blackamoor (Morris). Good start for a short-lived recurring sketch.
Palin shows the two cats from the start of the show to prove that they are fine and then bids a goodnight with Eugene Record and cast in tow.
Best segment: The Oscars
Worst segment: IRS Confession
Host: Michael Palin - 8.5/10
Musical Guest: Eugene Record - 7.5/10
Without a shadow of a doubt, Michael Palin lived up to Eric Idle's performance standard and was a wonderful host, delving into every sketch with pinpoint precision and accuracy. He even did the straight-man thing in one sketch and pulled that off as well as any of the castmembers. I can't wait to witness his other hosting stints. Eugene Record's performances were good and would fall into the category of "easy listening." They weren't amazing songs or anything but they just wistfully glided by and were enjoyed while they were around. I have nothing much to say about this episode except to praise the writing and the very original concepts behind most of the sketches along with some terrific performances and good music. All in all, another season classic.