Well it's been a while since I've reviewed a classic episode of Saturday Night Live and I do apologize to the 7 fans that actually did read them. After having gone through the first three seasons exhaustively, I thought I would take a break and focus on getting myself educated. With one year left in this crazy thing we call university, I decided the summer was the best time to start up again with good ol' season four this time.
This is a pretty unique episode as this is definitely the moment where everyone became aware of these kings of the comedy world as it was proven by booking the biggest rock group in the world on the program. Also unique is the fact that the Stones would be the only band to host and the only band to pull off hosting & musical duties at the same time as well. The cast returns from the end of season three in tact, but adding Don Novello the featured players mix now. This would be the last season for Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, but how would it all begin? Let's check it out, kiddies!
Hosts & Musical Guests: The Rolling Stones
Cold Open: The NBC Theme (Aykroyd, Curtin, Morris, Newman, Radner) (2:35)
-- We start off with an announcer (Aykroyd) introducing Garrett Morris and his singers (Curtin, Newman, Radner) to sing the NBC theme in an homage to those old-style music hall openings. Garrett has quite a voice as has already been established earlier in the show's history and they really do have the set design down-pat.
Montage: Fairly bland compared to the third season, with still photos of the cast and nothing too animated. Umm, Don, who's "Gilda Ratter"?
Monologue (Ed Koch, Belushi) (6:39)
-- Yes, the beginning of a show with the Rolling Stones as hosts features the monologue by Mayor Ed Koch. Edward make a couple of amusing jokes related to New York's relative poverty at the time before awarding John Belushi with a certificate of merit for his work on the show and for "Animal House." Belushi is grateful but quickly switches to manic, unappreciated and angry that he only gets a piece of paper. Good stuff.
Commercial: Autoscent (Aykroyd, Curtin, Radner) (1:12)
-- It's the new scented spray for your exhaust pipe. Yes, get all the horrible chemicals but this time, it smells wonderful.
Tomorrow (Jagger, Aykroyd) (6:24)
-- This time out, Tom Snyder (Aykroyd) interviews Mick Jagger (the Real McCoy) and discusses the Stones' songs, barbecues, dance moves, and wearing women's clothing. The revelation that Snyder wears ladies garments and gets offered a push-up bra from Jagger is the icing on this comedic cake.
The Nerds & the Norge (Aykroyd, Curtin, Murray, Radner) (6:41)
-- It's the return of the nerds! This time, the ol' Norge is broken down and a greasy refrigerator repairman (Aykroyd) is called in to take it away and fix 'er up. The physical humour with Danny is the highlight, but Murray's off-key singing is a close second. And don't forget about the wonderful chemistry between Bill and Gilda.
The Olympia Cafe (Watts, Wood, Aykroyd, Belushi, Morris, Murray, Newman, Radner, Novello) (5:02)
-- Another recurring sketch makes its comeback, but this time Pete (Belushi) has left to go and collect an inheritance but only collected $400. The cafe's design is switched up and two of the Stones show up as customers (including a funny exchange between one of them and Murray) and the charm is still there.
Weekend Update with Jane Curtin and Bill Murray (also: Gilda Radner)
-- Billy makes a really solid debut as co-anchor, coasting through several stories as either inappropriate or inconsequential ("Who cares! People are DYING in Lebanon!"). There's a quite funny Point/Counterpoint but in this case, Murray takes Jane's insults and switches to the "Point" side of the issue. Roseanne Roseannadanna (Radner) makes another one of her frequent appearances, this time to comment on Studio 54 and how exclusive it is. A really good edition of Update.
The Rolling Stones sing "Beast of Burden", "Respectable", & "Shattered" (13:08)
-- Here it is. The Stones bring the house down (despite Mick's slightly hoarse voice) with a three-song set. This is amazing more for the star power that is assembled here.
Schiller's Reel: Sushi By The Pool (Carrie Fisher, Hal Holbrook, Steven Keats) (2:20)
-- A bunch of celebs hang by the pool and are constantly distracted by small tremors until it eventually becomes a huge earthquake and wipes everyone out. Don't really know what that was all about. Anyone care to explain?
A Framework for the Reunion of The Beatles (Aykroyd, Belushi, Murray) (4:25)
-- President Carter (Aykroyd) brings John Lennon (Belushi) and Paul McCartney (Murray) together and hopes to get Ringo and George in order to reunite the Beatles and get the public on his side. This was amusing, but lacked something to really send it over the top.
Commercial: Network Battle of the T's and A's (:41)
-- A mockery of an advertisement for shows by just basing them on the breasts and buttocks of the female stars. Amusing throwaway bit.
Danger Probe (Aykroyd, Belushi, Murray, Newman, Radner, Davis) (3:24)
-- The second edition of Danger Probe in which Dave Mable (Aykroyd) examines the reactions among some insane mentally unbalanced doctors when a hare krishna (Belushi) and a mime (Radner) intervene in the proceedings. Very clever bit and just as good as the one on Palin/Doobie Brothers.
Ed Koch says goodnight as the Stones smile and wave with the rest of the cast.
Best segment: Tomorrow
Worst segment: Schiller's Reel
Hosts & Musical Guests: The Rolling Stones - 7.5/10
Well, that was quite the season premiere. Talk about opening with a bang! At the time, the Rolling Stones were huge and it must've been quite a coo to get them to host the show even if they only appeared in two sketches and performed a three-song set. This episode tended to be more cast-centric and especially Dan Aykroyd-centric, as he managed to hit a home run with everything he was involved in during this episode. Overall, this is a really solid and promising way to start the season. Fingers crossed for the rest of it.
PS: Let me know what you think, anyone that's reading this. Agree? Disagree? Could care less? Lemme know!