This is probably the most memorable episode of the first season of "Saturday Night Live" (Aside from the premiere episode of course) mainly because of Lorne Michael's offer to The Beatles. It definitely was the highlight of the episode. It would have been even better if Lorne's offer were successful. Lorne's offer to The Beatles was not the only highlight of this episode however. There are a number of excellent sketches featured. The best being "The Claudine Longet Invitational." That sketch will have you laughing every time you see it. Another great sketch is Dan Akroyd explaining the "Decibet." Terrific.
Well, Raquel Welch had a movie coming out in about a month ("Mother, Jugs, & Speed") and what better way to promote it than by appearing as the host of a popular late-night comedy show that was on the rise. Raquel was a striking beauty even as the 70s rolled around and to this day, she still remains easy on the eyes despite being well into her 60s. John Sebastian was probably best-known for singing the theme song to "Welcome Back, Kotter" and Phoebe Snow was a throaty young singer who managed to have a couple of hits. Put them all together...
Host: Raquel Welch
Musical Guests: John Sebastian and Phoebe Snow
Cold Open: No Punchline (Chase)
--Chevy comes to the end of a long-winded political joke and prepares to deliver the punchline, but a crewman hands him a note telling him to get to the fall already. Chevy takes exception to being known as just a physical comedian before tripping over some chairs and opening the show. It got the point across.
Monologue: "Superstar" (Welch, Belushi)
--Raquel comes out and sings "Superstar" very nicely before being joined by Joe Cocker (Belushi) for some assistance. Fun duet to open the show.
Commercial: Purino Rat Chow (Chase, Morris, Radner)
--A white-trash couple (Morris, Radner) worry about the lackadaisacal nature of their rats until they get a visit from the Pied Piper (Chase), who introduces them to Purino Rat Chow. "For happier, healthier vermin." Amusing bit.
Commercial: The Decabet (Aykroyd)
--Joseph Franklin (Aykroyd) introduces the new metric alphabet -- the Decabet, where everything is either ridiculously simplified or complicated. Aykroyd is good in these types of roles, but the sketch itself is passable.
No Muppets This Week (Welch, Chase, The Muppets)
--The Muppets wonder why they're not on the show and then begin to hit on Raquel, who turns them down. Chevy then shows up and tells them that the Muppets have been cut before making an attempt at getting Welch's shirt off. Raquel's charm makes this work.
Phoebe Snow sings "All Over"
--She does better here than on the Simon/Newman, Snow broadcast and actually sings a song that I could groove to.
The Claudine Longet Invitational (Chase, Curtin)
--Two reporters (Chase, Curtin) cover the Claudine Longet Invitational men's freestyle skiing. The reporters provide the commentary while the skiiers are repeatedly
"accidentally shot" by Claudine Longet. The montage at the end is pretty funny.
Polaroid Ad #3: Role Reversal (Belushi, Curtin)
--Yeah...a commercial. Nothing to say here.
Great Moments in Herstory: Jane Russell (Welch, Aykroyd, Curtin, Morris)
--Howard Hughes (Aykroyd) directs Jane Russell in a western and invents quite a nifty brasiere for her brought out by Skip Dixon (Morris). Pretty funny impression from Danny and some good stuff with Welch as well.
Jane Curtin announces that on May 8th, Madeline Kahn will be the host with musical guest Carly Simon.
Weekend Update with Chevy Chase (also: John Belushi, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman, and Gilda Radner)
--Chevy quickly comments on last week's show and how people thought that the show made a fool out of Ford and Nessen in a funny bit. Chase is on his game in this edition and we also get a bit from Election '76 analyst Laraine Newman on the undecided masses, Barbara Walters (or "Baba Wawa") (Radner) is interviewed by Garrett Morris about why she's leaving NBC, and John Belushi gives another one of his psychotic rants with the subject being popular weather quips this time. Great stuff, especially from Chevy and John.
Bisexual Minute (Welch)
--Gore Vidal (Welch) tells a story. Um, sorry I didn't get this.
John Sebastian sings "Welcome Back"
--After dealing with some microphone feedback, Sebastian restarts the song and delivers the popular theme song. Joe Cocker (Belushi) then makes a second appearance to hold Sebastian's harmonica for him. Enjoyable.
The Beatles Offer (Lorne Michaels)
--A very memorable bit where Lorne offers the Beatles $3000 to play on Saturday Night, which they can divide among each other however they want. Not so much comedy, but certainly worth watching.
One Flew Over the Hornet's Nest (Welch, Aykroyd, Belushi, Chase, Morris, Newman, Radner)
--An obvious parody of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", but it is quite funny from Gilda Radner's unstable patient (Brocolli) right to Belushi as the McMurphy-type character. In a spoof directly lifted from the movie, all the patients vote on whether they want to watch the Oscars or not. It gets pretty surreal as Nurse Ratched (Welch) wins an Oscar as Louise Fletcher, much to her delight.
Gilda's Equal Time (Radner)
--Gilda tells everyone that Raquel and her have exactly the same body and parts. Filler, but Gilda is charming.
Weis Film #11: Raquel Dancing (Welch)
--It's exactly as it sounds. Some dance music plays while Raquel boogies. She's sexy, no doubt, but this is shameless filler that goes on way too long.
Phoebe Snow sings "Two-Fisted Love"
--This one's a slower tune from Snow, but it's still pretty decent.
Raquel Welch sings "Ain't Necessarily So"
--Two ditties in a row? Raquel holds her own in the singing department for sure.
The Muppet Trunk
--Hooray, the Muppets again. Scred and Ploobis find the Mighty Favog covered by cobwebs and he tells them that they might as well pack it in. The Muppets then get in the trunk and weren't too far away from being done. Blahhhhh.
Telegram (Welch, Chase)
--Chevy reads a telegram from a dying man who would like Raquel to take her shirt off as his last wish. She does and we get old battle images in her top. And that's all she wrote.
Raquel and Chevy do a little slow dancing to close the show.
Best segment: One Flew Over the Hornet's Nest
Worst segment: The Muppet Trunk
Host: Raquel Welch - 7.75/10
Musical Guests: John Sebastian - 7.25/10
Phoebe Snow - 7.5/10
I wasn't expecting anything from this show nor was I expecting Raquel Welch to be anything outstanding. However, Raquel blew me...away with her performance (sorry, I had to...) and the musical guests held their own as well. Raquel added lots of charm to her performances and when performing his popular ditty, John Sebastian did fairly well too. The biggest surprise though was Phoebe Snow, who was better than she was her first time and managed to belt out two enjoyable songs. I don't really think anyone in the cast stood right out as being better than the rest this time, but the two appearances of Belushi's Joe Cocker impression were more than welcome. Overall, a pretty decent episode.
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