Saturday Night Live

Season 4 Episode 16

Richard Benjamin/Rickie Lee Jones

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Apr 07, 1979 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
13 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Live from New York, it's... Dan Aykroyd! Sketches include "John's Substitute," "The Pepsi Syndrome," "Nerds in Love," "A Bird For All Seasons" (film), "Scottish Restaurant," and "Little Chocolate Donuts." Rickie Lee Jones performed "Chuck E's In Love" and "Coolsville."

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  • "Oh, wow! I could have had a V8"

    My absolute favorite episode of year 4. It seems the cast (minus an absent John Belushi) pulled out all the stops for this one and a series classic was made.

    Cold Open - Belushi Stand-In : Backstage, Aykroyd helps a stand-in (Marvin Goldhar) go over some of Belushi's trademark phrases. Quick, funny opening.

    Monologue - Benjamin tells his wife he found a new lover (Gilda), but Gilda relents. Pespi Syndrome - A spilled soft drink on machinery causes chaos at a nuclear power plant and a visit from President Carter (Aykroyd). Public Relations (Benjamin) tries to quell fears with a press conference and mimes (Franken and Davis). Great stuff, well-written and the Rodney Dangerfield cameo is priceless. The 14 minutes moves quickly.

    Nerds in Love - Todd's cousin (Benjamin) lets Todd use his apartment for a night of romantic activities with Lisa. The physical comedy used in between the dialogue kept the sketch going. Another great entry into the Nerds ongoing storyline; probably the best of The Nerds sketches. Weekend Update - Greats jokes as usual from Jane and Bill, part 2 of the Chico Escuela story, Bill Murray gives his predictions for the 1979 Academy Awards (he got two predictions right) and Roseanne Roseannadanna gives another sidetracked commentary with a funny poem at the end.

    Rickie Lee Jones peforms "Chuck E.'s in Love" - My introduction to Miss Jones music and a nice one as well. A fun little Funk-pop tune.

    A Bird for All Seasons (film) - Neil Wasserheim (Bill Murray), a studio exec., showcases programming featuring parakeets. Cute

    Scottish Restaurant - a couple (Benjamin, Laraine) go to a Scottish restaurant and in the process are grossed out by the menu and annoyed by the waitstaff. This was okay.

    Little Chocolate Donuts - a repeat ad from Buck Henry/Leon Redbone (11/19/77) about a triathlete (Belushi) who uses the chocolate cover pastry as an energy aid. Still great.

    Rickie Lee Jones performs "Coolsville" - A jazzy number that would make Tom Waits proud.

    A very good show. 9/10moreless
Richard Benjamin

Richard Benjamin


Guest Star

Rickie Lee Jones

Rickie Lee Jones


Guest Star

Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield

Himself ("The Pepsi Syndrome")

Guest Star

James Downey

James Downey


Recurring Role

Brian Doyle-Murray

Brian Doyle-Murray

Two Mile Island Technician

Recurring Role

Featured Episode Clip

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The chief technician at 2 Mile Island tells President Carter that no one is allowed inside the reactor core, and yet in the background there is stock footage of two scientists working inside.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Matt: All right. Give me a napkin! [ hands Matt a tissue, as Matt tries to clean up spill ] No, that's a Kleenex! Have you got a napkin somewhere? Turn down that alarm, it's driving me nuts! [ Carl turns down the alarm ]

    • Reporter #1: Is it true that the president is a hundred feet tall?
      Ross Denton: That's nonsense! Of course not!
      Reporter #2: Is it true that he's ninety feet tall?
      Ross Denton: No comment.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Due to the length of the "Pepsi Syndrome" and "Nerds in Love" sketches (25 minutes combined), this broadcast features the smallest number of sketches/segments in one 90-minute broadcast of the show (10).

    • "The Pepsi Syndrome" ran 14 minutes, so long that, in the 30-minute cutdown of this program syndicated by Orion in the 1980s, a commercial break had to be inserted before all the events of "Day 4."

    • John Belushi does not appear in this episode. An ear infection prevents him from flying back to New York for rehearsals.


    • The "Pepsi Syndrome" sketch is a cross-parody of the film "The China Syndrome" and the situation at Three Mile Island. In fact, Rodney Dangerfield's "The President's So Big..." routine lampoons Jack Lemmon's famous rant in the film.