Saturday Night Live

Season 3 Episode 1

Steve Martin/Jackson Browne

Aired Saturday 11:30 PM Sep 24, 1977 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
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  • A great episode, even though Steve only appears in three sketches. I was kind of disappointed by this, but it's one of Steve's best in my opinion, plus a legendary musical guest in Jackson Browne. A great opening episode by everyone involved.

    This is my first review of an SNL episode, and I started with the best season of Snl, season three. My reviews will be just like Baron One's reviews, and I will try not to copy baron to a t. The first episode I am reviewing is the season premiere with Steve Martin, and Musical guest Jackson Browne. Let's begin our review…

    An Oval Office: cold open

    This is the first appearance of Akroyd's Jimmy Carter impression during season three, and it starts on a high note. Carter(Akroyd), says goodbye to Burt Lance (Belushi), before Lance promotes the National Express card. I believe this is the only commercial parody cold opening during the first five years, and is a great opening. One of the few commercial parody/political satire combination's in the history of SNL. Great Opening.


    Steve is at his zany best in his third ever appearance in an monologue. He begins with his version of the song, "Mack the Knife", to talking about cat handcuffs, his future shows, and his experiences with "Getting Small". Another great monologue for Mr. Martin.

    Royal Deluxe 2:

    A commercial that shows how a rabbi performed a circumcision on a baby while driving around in the brand new Royal deluxe 2. One of the classic commercial parodies Snl has ever done.

    Wild and Crazy guys 1:

    The first appearance of the Festrunk brothers, as they try to put the moves on two women playing ping -pong. A good sketch, each appearance of the brothers get better over time.

    Jackson Browne: Running on Empty:

    One of the great classics of rock, performed live during it's popularity.

    Weekend Update:

    The First episode of weekend update with Dan Akroyd and Jane Curtin. The two talk about the news stories of the day, with the weekend update weather forecast, a review of "The Deep", by Bill Murray, a report by Laraine Newman on her trip to china, a sports report by Garrett Morris, and a editorial by John Belushi. A great edition of WU, but Akroyd looked uncomfortable doing the news, and was back in season 4 doing editorials.

    Defense Lawyer:

    Steve martin plays a lawyer trying to get a rape victim to admit she disserved it. Mean Spirited, but Martin gave a great performance. A well written piece by the writers.

    Computerized Confession:

    A man learns that his confessions are being put into a computer. The ending is the best part. Not one of my favorites.

    Beatles Offer:

    Repeat from the first year of Snl. I will review the sketch when I review season 1.

    Great Moments in Rock and Roll:

    A groupie tells a story of how she obtained Roy Oribson's sun glasses. Belushi was great as Orbison.

    Franken and Davis:

    The cast and the duo perform a Mr.Usa pageant, with the duo performing different types of stunts. It is modeled for their type of comedy. It get's better down the road.

    Jackson Browne: The Pretender

    Another good song by Jackson Browne. But it's not a classic like his first song. But a great appearance by Mr. Browne.

    Kromega 3

    Another legendary commercial. "It's a watch so complex, that it takes two people to make it work."

    Well that's the show, a good start for the third season. In the closing monologue, Steve thanks everyone and interact's with the cast. Best: Weekend Update

    Worst: Computerized Confession
  • "Anyone know where I can get some cat handcuffs?"

    Okay, so let's get the Season 2 wrap-up done first.

    Best Host: Eric Idle (10/2/76 & 4/23/77)
    Worst Host: Ruth Gordon (1/22/77)

    Best Musical Guest: Frank Zappa (12/11/76)
    Worst Musical Guest: Richard Baskin (3/12/77)

    Best Overall Episode: Candice Bergen/Frank Zappa (12/11/76)
    Worst Overall Episode: Karen Black/John Prine (10/16/76)

    Best sketch: The Nixon Interviews (Eric Idle/Neil Innes, Alan Price - 4/23/77
    Worst sketch: The King Kong Dirge (Jodie Foster/Brian Wilson - 11/27/76)

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    So now it's time for Season 3 of Saturday Night Live! The host to start us off is none other than Steve Martin in a pretty sweet move by the producers. Steve hosted two very good episodes from the previous season and was such a joy to behold that he almost could've been a cast member himself. For the season premiere, Martin brings along country music superstar Jackson Browne, whose big hit "Runnin' On Empty" is one of the few country songs that I can say that I enjoy. The cast stays in tact this season except for the fact that Tom Davis and Al Franken are featured players, despite not being credited in the opening montage yet. Here we go!

    Host: Steve Martin
    Musical Guest: Jackson Browne

    An Oval Office: Cold Open (Aykroyd, Belushi) (1:55)

    --President Carter (Aykroyd) bids farewell to corrupt former OMB director Bert Lance (Belushi) before Bert turns to the camera and advertises the National Express card. Good, solid opening that acted as a commercial parody at the same time as a political satire.

    Monologue (Martin) (4:49)

    --Steve comes out for his usual wild and zany monologue as he delves into a version of "Mack the Knife" before talking about his future appearances and also "getting small." Great stuff as per usual.

    Commercial: Royal Deluxe II (Aykroyd, Morris, Radner) (1:30)

    --A spokesperson (Aykroyd) praises the smooth ride of the Royal Deluxe II by having a rabbi perform a circumcision in the backseat as they drive around. One of the great commercial parodies.

    Festrunks Ping-Pong (Martin, Aykroyd, Curtin, Radner)(6:47)

    --The brothers Festrunk (Martin, Aykroyd) make their debut and watch on as two 'foxes' (Curtin, Radner) play ping-pong before putting the moves on them and then showing off their version of ping-pong. This is a bit corny but this sketch got better the second time.

    Jackson Browne sings "Runnin' On Empty" (4:15)

    --Ahh, there it is. Jackson sings this great tune and it sounds just as awesome live as it does downloaded...err, I mean on CD.

    Weekend Update with Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin (also: John Belushi, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, and Laraine Newman) (11:10)

    --Dan makes an awkward transition into the Update chair (reportedly, he wasn't ecstatic about doing it) but he does okay for his first co-anchoring. The two report on Jackie Onassis' estate, Sammy Davis Jr. dumping his limo, and then there is also a test of the Emergency Broadcast System. For the first Update of the season, Laraine Newman reports on her trip to China and shows off her souvenir, Bill Murray reviews "The Deep" based on a few quick clips, Garrett Morris reports on the world of sports with specific reports on Muhammad Ali and a Japanese baseball player breaking a record, and John Belushi shows pictures from his Mexico trip where one of the "students" won a scholarship. Pretty good start.

    Mike McMack, Defense Lawyer (Martin, Belushi, Morris, Murray, Radner, Davis) (5:10)

    --Mike McMack (Martin) interrogates a rape victim (Radner) and makes outlandish connections to try to make her seem like she was asking for it. Despite this sketch seeming really mean-spirited by today's standards, Martin's performance is terrific and the sketch itself is well-written.

    Computerized Confession (Aykroyd, Morris) (3:32)

    --A man (Morris) confesses his sins to a priest (Aykroyd), who tells him of the technological updates to the church as he puts his confessions into a computer. The ending is the best part of this decent bit.

    The New Beatles Offer (Lorne Michaels) (2:52)

    --A repeat from the end of Year 1.

    Great Moments in Rock & Roll (Belushi, Murray, Newman) (5:54)

    --Strung-out Alice Slone (Newman) talks of owning Roy Orbison's glasses and we get a flashback to how she actually obtained them from Roy (Belushi). Once he starts singing and his manager (Murray) keeps him from falling over, it gets real funny.

    The Franken & Davis Show (Martin, Aykroyd, Belushi, Curtin, Morris, Murray, Davis, Franken) (9:26)

    --A large ensemble sketch featuring a Mr. USA pageant with Anita Bryant (Curtin) acting as host to it all while the cast plays the contestants. The two finalists, Mr. California (Davis) and Mr. Arkansas (Franken), engage in a number of ridiculous acts in the talent competition. In the end, Craig Rasmussen (Martin) presents the crown to the winner as well. Terrific bit by Franken & Davis that shows off their wonderful style of comedy.

    Jackson Browne sings "The Pretender" (5:36)

    --Jackson's second song of the night is another good one, albeit not a classic like "Runnin' On Empty."

    Kromega III (Jane Curtin) (1:43)

    --Another classic SNL commercial. The Kromega III, the watch "so complex it takes two people to make it work."

    And that's that for the beginning of the third season for Saturday Night Live. Steve then says goodnight and Dan leaves early for some reason.

    Best segment: The Franken & Davis Show
    Worst segment: Festrunks Ping-Pong

    Host: Steve Martin - 8/10
    Musical Guest: Jackson Browne - 8/10

    Did anyone else notice the lack of Steve in this episode? For a season opener headlined by one of the most reliable hosts that the show has ever had, Steve only appeared in three sketches other than the monologue. But regardless, Steve proved to be a great host once again and excelled in the pieces that he WAS involved in. Jackson Browne provided an equally satisfying portion of the show in terms of musical entertainment with a classic and another good song. The cast was superb but once again, Aykroyd dominated the evening and was great in pretty much every capacity, except for a somewhat clunky Update performance. Really strong start to the season.

    Rating: 8/10
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