Saturday Night Live

Season 2 Episode 2

Norman Lear/Boz Scaggs

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Sep 25, 1976 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • Legendary writer and producer Norman Lear hosts with Boz Scaggs providing the music.

    The second episode of the second season does have its moments. The best being the opening sketch featuring the late Gilda Radner "filling in" for Chevy and Dan Akroyd's terrific turn as Jimmy Carter. What also deserves to be mentioned is Radner, Jane Curtain and Lorraine Newman's terrific musical salute to the absent Chevy. At the time of this episode's premier Boz Scaggs was at the height of his fame with the release of his tremendously successful album "Silk Degrees". He gives a great musical performance of two terrific songs from that album. However there is a big liability in this episode and that is the host. We all know what a great television writer and producer Norman Lear is. However I don't think he is cut out for work in front of the camera.
  • Writer/producer Norman Lear hosts this episode with musical guest Boz Scaggs and a whole slew of appearances from actors on Lear's shows.

    The second episode of Year 2 recruited television writer/producer Norman Lear to host the show, which kind of reminds me of Buck Henry hosting because both guys were writers and definitely not performers to begin with by any stretch. Would Norman be as wonderful a host as Buck though? Boz Scaggs was a really talented musician who was a pretty big hit with the younger crowd at the time and was an interesting choice to pair with Lear. Oh, and also no Chevy this week due to the injury. Well...almost.

    Host: Norman Lear
    Musical Guest: Boz Scaggs

    Cold Open: Chevy's Telephone Fall (Chase, Radner)

    --Gilda announces that Chevy is in the hospital with a (legit) injury from last week's show. Even so, Chevy calls Gilda up and improvises since he can't do the fall in person. Pretty clever opening, but it seems a little vain that even when Chase is injured, he still gets to say the opening line.

    Monologue: Norman and His Actors (Lear)

    --Norman Lear does a quick intro, experiences some "audio problems", and then shows a video of himself interviewing the actors he works with on his shows about how they feel about Lear. As soon as he turns his back, they take back all their positive comments and make fun of him. It's pretty much the same joke repeated ad nauseum, but some of the reactions are pretty funny especially with the two actors who play the Jeffersons.

    Paid Political Announcement (Aykroyd)

    --Jimmy Carter (Aykroyd) comments on sexual performance in the White House while winking at some ladies in the crowd and reminiscing about lusty, zesty presidents. He even incorporates a Beach Boys song into this speech and this is definitely one of the best Carter pieces by Danny.

    Boz Scaggs sings "Lowdown"

    --Boz delivers a jumpin' and jammin' tune that's a load of fun and is so much better than "popular music" today.

    The Snakehandling O'Sheas (Lear, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Newman)

    --Norman meets with Writer #156 (writer Tom Schiller) to come up with an idea for a new show entitled "The Snakehandling O'Sheas", featuring a union organizer father (Belushi), the mother (Curtin), who is her husband's boss, the nun daughter (Newman), and the gay state trooper for a son (Aykroyd). The twist? They're all snakehandlers. The sketch is funny and the concept is great too. Aykroyd choosing to play the gay character as un-stereotypical is also a breath of fresh air.

    Gilda Radner announces that Eric Idle will be the host next week with musical guest Joe Cocker. During this, Idle smokes and rips up newspaper a in the background.

    Weekend Update with Jane Curtin

    --Jane substitutes for Chevy Chase this week and does a fine job, commenting on the audio problems during the Ford/Carter debate and a great bit on Patty Hearst and group sex. Laraine Newman reports from Times Square for the Jewish New Year (Rashashana), expecting the ball to drop for the event. The final story by Curtin only further asserts that she was a great choice to follow Chevy in this segment. Good debut.

    Chevy's Girls (Lear, Curtin, Newman, Radner)

    --Norman introduces Chevy's Girls (Curtin, Newman, & Radner), who sing a little ditty dedicated to Chase. The lyrics are pretty humourous and the three ladies show the other side of their talent.

    Commercial: The Metric Leisure Week (Lear, Aykroyd, Radner)

    --Joseph Franklin (Aykroyd) makes his second appearance on the series and even references the other sketch (the Decabet) before going into how the week will be condensed into three days. Lear and Radner then star in a dramatization of how a metric week will play out. Lear does a good job with the acting in this sketch and his chemistry with Radner is good. Aykroyd gets better stuff to do this time around too.

    Weis Film #17: Yankee Doodle Slapstick (Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Newman, Radner)

    --Gary Weis himself chats on the phone and hums "Yankee Doodle Dandy", while it is intercut with slapstick comedy involving the cast. Amusing quick bit.

    The Violent Attorney (Lear, Belushi, Radner)

    --Mrs. Kaufman (Radner) and her lawyer (Belushi) prepare for the trial against her abusive husband, but she doesn't show enough emotion and it causes the lawyer to resort to abuse himself. Eventually, another lawyer (Lear) comes in and tries to stop it, but gets abused himself. The ending is a weird "breaking character" bit that doesn't really fit the sketch, but Belushi in a rage is fun to watch.

    Boz Scaggs sings "What Can I Say"

    --Another boppin' song from Scaggs to close out his set for the night.

    Rhodesian Peace Talks (Lear, Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris)

    --Henry Kissinger (Belushi), along with his assistant Charles W. Robinson (Lear), does his best to moderate a discussion between Ian Smith (Aykroyd) and Joshua Nkomo (Morris) to settle the Rhodesian peace talks. I love the banter between Dan and Garrett and the Kissinger impression by Belushi is terrific. Lear holds his own in a straight-man role.

    Norman's Joke (Lear)

    --Norman Lear gets a "volunteer" from the audience to do an old-style joke with him. This feels very old-generation and doesn't fit in with the show's pace.

    Home Movie: Spanish Peanuts

    --Waste of time as it's essentially a film with a bunch of peanuts wearing Mexican-style clothes dancing around.

    Norman and the cast wave goodnight to everyone as Kate Lear then makes her way up to join in on the dancing.\

    Best segment: Paid Political Announcement
    Worst segment: Spanish Peanuts

    Host: Norman Lear - 7.25/10
    Musical Guest: Boz Scaggs - 7.5/10

    This a lot like the season premiere in terms of quality and proved that while Norman Lear is no Buck Henry, he still held his own as the host and did a pretty good job in the sketches he was involved in. That being said, he was of a totally different generation but it didn't seem to work against anyone except for maybe the bit where he told his joke. Boz Scaggs was a nice addition, proving to be of great musical talent and providing some entertaining tunes. Belushi probably stands out this week although because of her performance on Update, Jane Curtin is also one of the stand-out players this week. Peace.

    Rating: 7.25/10
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