Another Michael hosts this episode of Saturday Night Live, but one that is quite different from Michael Palin indeed. Michael Sarrazin, noted character actor, was chosen for this one. The last time fans had been graced with his presence was his appearance in a short film in the Lasser/PHJB debacle from Year 1. He was not to blame, but the film he appeared in was probably the worst sketch of the first season and I think it's safe to say that it wasn't the basis for the cast and crew wanting him to come and host the show. Tagging along with Sarrazin is musical guest Keith Jarrett, who would specialize in jazz and folk music. Although not noted on this episode, the other musical guest is Gravity, which was the band that one of the house bandmembers belonged to. Hmm, so a show with people whom I have no clue of who they are. Let's rock this.
Host: Michael Sarrazin
Musical Guests: Keith Jarrett & Gravity
Cold Open: The President's Message On Inflation (Aykroyd, Newman) (3:32)
--Giving a Plantside chat, President Carter (Aykroyd) asks Americans to burn 8% of their money to help prices get lowered. Even Amy (Newman) joins in to demonstrate. Solid opening.
Monologue: Booth Day (Sarrazin) (1:17)
--Sarrazin mentions that this date he's hosting is the day that John Wilkes-Booth, an actor, assassinated Abraham Lincoln. Really quick, pointless monologue.
Commercial: Angora Bouquet (Curtin, Murray) (1:15)
--Continuing the trend in this season, another brilliant commercial from earlier in the season.
Josh Ramsey, V.D. Caseworker (Sarrazin, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Murray, Newman, Radner, voice of Davis) (10:40)
--Josh Ramsey (Sarrazin), the aforementioned caseworker, gives a lecture about venereal disease and becomes a part of an after-school special type of play. This is a classic satire with wonderful performances by the whole cast, a great, dry take by Sarrazin, and a terrific twist of an ending.
Keith Jarrett performs "Country" (4:49)
--Keith performs a number on piano that is completely instrumental and was no slouch in the boring department.
The Hate Jennifer Show (voice of Curtin, Radner) (5:30)
--Judy Miller (Radner) returns! This time, the rambunctious youth is hosting a show about how much she hates her sister Jennifer. Just as brilliant as the first time they did this bit.
Weekend Update with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin (also: Bill Murray, Laraine Newman, and Gilda Radner) (11:06)
--Jane delivers a great biased report on Bert Lance and another good Orson Welles visual joke, while Danny remarks on "That Darn Jew!" Another Point/Counterpoint takes place this week this time on the issue of the neutron bomb, but alas, there's no "Jane, you ignorant slut!" Bill Murray then stops by to review "American Hot Wax" quickly before showing his interview he shot with the star of the film, Laraine Newman, in a parody of those phony Hollywood interviews. Finally, Roseanne Roseannadanna (Radner) comes by to talk about Spring fever, but talks about anything but. Her poem at the end is hilarious. Another superb edition of Update.
Penalty Box (Sarrazin, Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, Murray, Davis) (4:10)
--Several hockey players chat with each other in the penalty box as Sean Hurtubise (Aykroyd) and Laviolette (Sarrazin), players from opposite teams, have a very lousy broken french conversation. This fell kinda flat in my opinion.
E. Buzz Miller's Exercise World (Aykroyd, Newman) (3:32)
--Buzz (Aykroyd) and Christy (Newman) demonstrate some exercising maneuvers which mostly consist of Christy being told to do some very sexually suggestive moves. Another good edition of this recurring sketch.
Keith Jarrett performs "My Song" (4:05)
--Second verse, same as the first. Another piano tune with no lyrics that almost bored me to tears.
Schiller's Reel #4: La Dolce Gilda (Aykroyd, Belushi, Newman, Radner) (3:28)
--This almost acts as an homage to any Fellini film with Gilda Radner being a celebrity that is adorned after by many people. It is a sad, brilliant, compelling piece that is quite well-done.
Archaeologicus (voice of Aykroyd, voice of Belushi, Newman) (3:46)
--Tina Gemini (Newman) hosts a show about the treasures of Morton Kamen (voice of Belushi). That's pretty much it as this sketch really didn't offer up much.
Gravity performs ...something (3:27)
--Howard Johnson, a member of Shore's band, performs with his own band to play some big-bass number that is ten times more entertaining than the previous two numbers.
And that's it for the night, as Michael Sarrazin thanks Keith, Gravity, the cast, Lorne Michaels, etc. for helping him get through all two sketches that he was involved with.
Best segment: Josh Ramsey, V.D. Caseworker
Worst segment: Archaeologicus
Host: Michael Sarrazin - 6.5/10
Musical Guests: Keith Jarrett - 4/10
Gravity - 7/10
Well, this was an unexpected delight! Where I was expecting a bunch of jokes to go over my head due to having a host who I've never really heard of (outside of his previous SNL appearance) and two musical guests I wasn't really looking forward to, this still turned out to be a hell of a show. Sarrazin himself though was a little disappointing as he only appeared in two sketches but he still gets a decent rating for his strong performance in the V.D. Caseworker sketch. Keith Jarrett was boring as watching paint dry, whereas Gravity was more entertaining by a significant margin. All in all, another highly-ranked episode in my opinion and a vastly underrated one.