Well, it's a good thing Jack Nicholson wasn't a cast member or they never would have gotten Shelley Duvall to host without fearing for her life. Well I guess he wouldn't start doing that until 1980. To be honest, she's one of the last people I would expect that would be chosen as the second-to-last host of a season. I think she seems more of a mid-season gal. In any case, Shelley comes on to host accompanied by musical guest Joan Armatrading, who again I'm not familiar with. The season was winding down here as Lorne's prized possession was gaining more and more steam every week with some of the best AND most daring comedy on television and by the next year, Lorne had widdled down the number of episodes to 20 so as to take it easy on the cast. Well, let's see how this one turns out.
Host: Shelley Duvall
Musical Guest: Joan Armatrading
Programming Change: Cold Open (Duvall, Belushi, Curtin, Newman, Radner + Lorne Michaels) (2:51)
--Shelley and John plan for a love scene from "Flight of the Bumblebee" but are told by Lorne that they must show the 58-second Bobick-Norton fight. Laraine and Gilda then get into a fight backstage before Jane breaks it up. Meanwhile, Belushi opens the show on the monitor behind them and the girls head out to the stage. Interesting conceptual way to start.
Video Vixens (Duvall, Curtin, Newman, Radner) (4:04)
--Instead of the traditional monologue, Shelley, Jane, Laraine, and Gilda sing about being video vixens while making reference to their own characters and such. Great opening with some good stuff in the lyrics.
Bank Robber Disguises (Duvall, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Murray, Newman, Radner) (5:10)
--A gang of bank robbers (Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, Radner) are thwarted by one teller's (Duvall) noticing that one of them (Aykroyd) didn't really work hard on his disguise and is supposed to be an insect. Pretty funny bit.
Joan Armatrading sings "Love & Affection" (4:17)
--Armatrading, not a well-known performer by any stretch, sings a slow love ballad that is decent.
Continental Men (Duvall, Aykroyd, Belushi, Murray, Newman, Radner) (5:19)
--Three men (Aykroyd, Belushi, Murray) are not sure which one of them is Ricardo Montalban, Fernando Lamas, and Cesar Romero because they have all been hanging out together so long that they've forgotten. Another amusing sketch.
Weekend Update with Jane Curtin (also: Gilda Radner) (5:24)
--After chatting about Carson on the phone, Jane comments on the Bobick-Norton fight, the Frost/Nixon interview, and more prodding at Patty Hearst of course for example. Emily Litella (Radner) doesn't show up, so Jane calls her and gets her interesting answering machine message. That was definitely the highlight of an average Update.
Black Educational Conference (1:12)
--Duane Bobick (writer Tom Davis) speaks on getting blacks more educated so they won't have to beat up on whitey. Ehh.
Viva Las Vegas II (Duvall, Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, Murray, Radner) (5:35)
--Elvis Presley (Belushi) prepares to shoot a sequel to one of his earlier hits. Um, I don't really know what the funny part about this was, but I guess seing Belushi do Hamlet as Elvis was okay.
Baba Wawa At Large (Murray, Radner) (4:02)
--Baba (Radner) interviews Richard Burton (Murray), the last man to wed Elizabeth Taylor. Burton talks about his real voice, the paparazzi, and Liz of course. Murray's fun in the role and Gilda is her usual charming self so this is passable.
Film: Brides (Spalding Gray) (2:53)
--Spalding Gray narrats this film about brides and talks of several quirks. This film was pretty funny actually.
Bad Ballet (Duvall, Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, Murray, Newman, Radner) (4:42)
--Leonard Pinth-Garnell (Aykroyd) introduces a terrible ballet called "Swan" about an evil swankeeper, his swans, and a poultry inspector. Another good edition.
Night of the Moonies (Duvall, Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, Murray, Newman) (6:00)
--Two deprogrammers (Aykroyd, Morris) attempt to work their magic on a Moonie (Duvall), who is off in space. Sun Myung Moon (Belushi) eventually shows up and tries his best to convert the two deprogrammers. The sheriff (Murray) also shows up on the scene and starts shooting them dead. The best part about this is the fact that the Moonies act almost exactly like zombies except that they speak. This is a pretty clever sketch, being a half-parody of Night of the Living Dead (even the original brilliant ending) and a skewering of the Moonie cult.
Joan Armatrading sings "Down To Zero" (3:18)
--Another slow ballad from Armatrading and no, I'm still not a big fan.
Van Arguments (Duvall, Aykroyd) (7:39)
--A Miller piece in which a husband (Aykroyd) argues with his pregnant wife (Duvall) over designs and modifications to his van while she prefers to talk about other things. Another very well-written sketch by Marilyn.
Shelley says goodbye and hugs the cast.
Best segment: Night of the Moonies
Worst segment: Viva Las Vegas II
Host: Shelley Duvall - 7.5/10
Musical Guest: Joan Armatrading - 5/10
Shelley was surprisingly a good host and despite several glances at the cue cards, she provided for some good moments and was clearly trying to do her best in everything throughout. The cast obviously had quite a bit of confidence in her as well, as she was in a healthy supply of the night's entertainment. Joan Armatrading, on the other hand, just felt like she was putting a halt on the show every time she performed and her ballads were really slow and flavourless in my opinion. As for the wonderful cast, I would say that Gilda definitely dominated the sketches in terms of numbers, but that Aykroyd was given the best roles to work with including the poorly-disguised bank robber, Ricardo Montalban, Leonard Pinth-Garnell, and the husband in the final sketch of course. Slightly above average show.