***** – Classic
**** – Great
*** – Good / Average
** – Meh
* - Bad
-After overhearing disparaging comments from Robin and Mary, Robert is frustrated with being compared to Burt Reynolds. A Clutch Cargo-style Burt head appears and tells Robert that he made him in his image, and that the best way to have a good show is to “be like ME!”.
-An interesting idea at least. I wonder if the idea came from the fact that SNL didn’t seem to be booking as big stars as it had a few years ago.
-I still jokingly refer to Urich as “Robert You-rich” based on Mary’s mispronunciation of his name.
-There were a few awkward stretches. Robert seemed to pause a long time before he said “To Hell with Burt Reynolds!” as if the musical sting was supposed to go there, and the ending had something that felt off about it.
-The Clutch Cargo Burt head had some funny lines, especially when Robert said talking to him was like talking to God and Burt piped “Better!”
-It doesn’t really hold up well as a separate segment but it does set up an interesting running gag.
MONTAGE AND TALENT ENTRANCE:
-Keeping with the running joke, Urich wears a fake mustache and is credited as Burt Reynolds in the opening montage and does his introduction to Buh-Weet as Burt.
-Buh-Weet and De Dupreems are also billed as a musical guest.
-I thought I’d point out here that one of the cameras seems to have a problem with it throughout the show: the upper left and lower right corners are pink. It’s especially visible in the talent entrance, Paul Harvey News and Comment, Golden Age School of Obedience, SNL Newsbreak, and The Embryo.
MUSICAL SKETCH: BUH-WEET AND DE DUPREEMS
-Buckwheat (Eddie Murphy) mispronounces a medley of Supremes classics, including “Ayby Nub” and “Meech Out and Dutch Dumbody’s ‘and”
-After being shoehorned into other sketches, this is the first time since Buh-Weet Sings that Eddie’s Buckwheat carries an entire sketch.
-It’s still more of the same formula of mangled song lyrics, but still fairly entertaining.
-The funniest part was the subtitles during the last song and Buckwheat making the audience members participate.
COMMERCIAL: REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE
-Repeat from February 6, 1982.
SKETCH: PAUL HARVEY NEWS AND COMMENT
-Paul Harvey (Joe Piscopo) pauses as dramatically as usual when he broadcasts “News and Comment” while his producer (Brian Doyle-Murray) assists.
-The audience reacted very well at the beginning and end of it. Piscopo I thought was a little hammy but having heard the real thing growing up I thought it was a good enough impression.
-Brian Doyle-Murray was actually funny doing a mainly silent role as the producer getting his coffee and changing his sheets.
-Best line: “After forty-five years, it’s still hard! (pause, changes page) To say good night!”
SHOW: FOCUS ON FILM
-Raheem Abdul Mohammed (Eddie Murphy) was able to get a big star this week, “Burt Reynolds”. After getting suspicious, Raheem eventually removes Robert Urich’s fake mustache.
-Funny segment. Urich’s Burt Reynolds, while not going to make anyone forget about Norm MacDonald, was kind of funny but more for the high-pitched laugh he would let out after making a racist crack at Raheem.
-I laughed at Raheem calling Burt’s movie’s rip-offs (Sharkey’s Machine not having a shark in it, the Smokey in Smokey and the Bandit wasn’t Robinson). Also funny was Raheem not recognizing who Robert Urich was at first, then afterwards telling him to “get a job!”.
-I think the Burt Reynolds running gag would have had more traction if they kept it going for a little longer in the show.
-This is the second time they mention Vega$ tonight. Kind of odd since it went off the air the year before.
-Keeping with the running joke, the bumper right before this segment has Robert wearing the mustache.
-The Focus on Film set now has its regular Blaxploitation movie posters.
COMMERCIAL: BUY A BULLET FOR A HUNGRY KID
-Supporting American policy regarding Central America will ensure starving little Maria will be put out of her misery.
-One of the nastiest political bits they did that season.
SKETCH: HAIL TO THE CHIEF
-To Ed Meese’s (Tony Rosato) horror, Reagan (voice of Joe Piscopo) has hired Dr. Strangelove (Tim Kazurinsky) as an advisor. Strangelove proposes a smart bomb to rid the world of all except powerful men and beautiful young women.
-Rosato was good as usual and Kazurinsky was a good choice to play Dr. Strangelove.
-It was interesting that they did this sketch since Terry Southern, who co-wrote the screenplay to the original movie, was on the writing staff at SNL that season.
-A lot of the Strangelove stuff was just a repeat of the movie, especially the out-of-control arm and the bomb only leaving certain men with a lot of young, nubile women.
-The sketch unfortunately dragged a lot and the audience was also disconcertingly quiet. I can’t help but think this sketch should have been a bit better than it was.
-The funniest part was Meese using the postcard of people limboing instead of the surveillance photo.
MUSICAL PERFORMANCE: “MAYBE TOMORROW”
-Kind of a retroish Brill Building meets Springsteen vibe to it; very tight performance.
-This season really seems to have a long streak of excellent musical guests.
-I saw in an old paper that the original choice for musical guest this week was The New Mamas and The Papas; I’d say Mink DeVille was a better choice.
COMMERCIAL: FUR: YOU DESERVE IT!
-A hunter targets and kills New York City fur-wearers for their coats.
-A well made, if particularly dark, commercial parody. The image of the hunter clubbing the women at the end like seals may not fly with some.
COMMERCIAL: GOLDEN AGE SCHOOL OF OBEDIENCE
-(Eddie Murphy) dog-trains Nana (Robin Duke) and Pop (Tim Kazurinsky) into submission when they start annoying their son (Robert Urich) and daughter-in-law (Mary Gross).
-Duke and Kazurinsky are always funny as old people; I heard a little of Duke’s Molly Earl character from SCTV when she kept asking “What time is it?” and the post-training sight of her flinching away from Urich was pretty funny. I also remembered Kazurinsky yelling “I want a jelly donut!” for a while after first seeing this.
-Eddie Murphy does an excellent job as the trainer, particularly when he grabs and breaks Kazurinsky’s character’s false teeth and makes the old people do push-ups.
-There’s a shadow in the corner of the shot when Piscopo is talking that’s distracting.
SNL NEWSBREAK: WITH MARY GROSS AND BRIAN DOYLE-MURRAY, SPECIAL REPORT FROM DR. JACK BADOFSKY (TIM KAZURINSKY)
-Best jokes: Simultaneous heart attacks, Billy Carter.
-The segments begins with another pointless relationship segment between the two co-anchors. This is the last time Mary Gross sits at the Newsbreak desk and it was a funnier than normal segment, but I’m relieved they dropped this angle as it was just a waste of time.
-Some of the jokes really died hard, namely the Kennesaw, GA, unleaded gasoline/handguns and the Kennedy speech being used instead of Reagan.
-The Pac-Man Diversified segment was pretty funny, mainly because they kept it fairly short.
-Dr. Jack Badofsky returns for the second episode in a row to discuss phobias; after a few really groan-worthy puns at the start, it really gets rolling with Mofobia (fear of being insulted by a black man). “Phoebesnobia” (fear of hiccups while singing) was my favorite one. These segments are pretty corny but some of the individual jokes are usually pretty good.
-There is another lengthy series-of-pictures/crawl regarding Rev. Donald Wildmon’s boycotts of NBC, RCA and Hertz. This is redeemed largely by the uselessness and absurdity of some of the products and subsidiaries of the companies listed in the crawl (example: “Rely Tampon Repair Kit”, “Sexual Harassment Mood Music”, “Homes for Dead Cats”, “Diff’Rent Strokes Survival Kit”, “Video Tapeworm Library”)
SKETCH: THE EMBRYO
-Expectant parents Bob (Tony Rosato) and Carol (Robin Duke) learn of a mix-up at the embryo bank: their unborn child is a koala bear.
-An interesting idea that unfortunately doesn’t really take off. I give Duke and especially Rosato credit for their performances but the audience clearly didn’t know what to make of this. It didn’t play as funny as it should have, and the discussion of abortion kind of weighed it down.
-That said, the abortion discussion did give a funny line: “What if we have a retarded bear?” I did also like the photo album with the real photos of Duke and Rosato posing with a stuffed koala.
SHOW: HEADLINE CHALLENGE
-Representatives from the CIA, and the militaries of El Salvador and Nicaragua have trouble identifying Jose Tardencillas Espinosa (Tim Kazurinsky).
-A one-joke premise, although there were a few laughs like the CIA guessing he was Jane Fonda and Ed Asner. I also did like Kazurinsky’s surprised facial expression upon receiving a prize of Rice-A-Roni.
-This sketch has not aged well at all; it was based on a recent event (which was referenced in this week’s Newsbreak), but the incident has long been forgotten.
SHOW: LOW CLASS ITALIAN THEATRE
-A production of “Hamlet” has elements of “Rocky” and “Raging Bull”.
-I didn’t really care for this segment; the audience was also pretty quiet as well and there were a lot of awkward silences which broke the flow. There also didn’t seem to be a payoff. Despite that the cast did decently and I did laugh at the visual of Piscopo’s Horatio wearing a white tank top, though.
-This was Christine Ebersole’s only appearance all night.
FILM: “THE THING THAT DESTROYED TOKYO” BY GARY SNEGAROFF, BRAD SOLOTOFF, FRANK VITTORI
-An ersatz Japanese monster movie about a giant hammer smashing the city.
-A dumb, cheap movie but amusing. The audience didn’t seem to be into it, but I always enjoyed the part where the scientist tests the formula and drops dead, and his daughter says “But Daddy, you’re not a hammer!”.
MISCELLANEOUS: JOHN BELUSHI TRIBUTE
-On the first live show after Belushi’s death, Brian Doyle-Murray tells the story of the time Belushi pushed him out of the way of an incoming truck, then survived getting hit.
-I can’t really give this a rating but this was the best segment of the night: a very simple, moving remembrance by someone who was evidently very close to John Belushi. Doyle-Murray was restrained but very clearly emotional in this segment, and it fades in silence to a still bumper of Belushi.
-Cruelly, for unexplained reasons this remembrance is taken out of the repeat version of the episode. Fortunately I was able to track down an original West Coast airing.
A weak episode that runs out of the little steam it has shortly after SNL Newsbreak. I can’t really put a lot of the blame on Urich who didn’t really get a whole lot to work with besides the whole Burt Reynolds gimmick that only lasts for about 15-20 minutes. It’s almost like the writers didn’t know what else they could do with him; he’s considered one of the “Bobs” (four underwhelming and questionably relevant hosts named Robert) but I don’t think he was bad himself, and at least he was the right age for SNL’s demographic. There seemed to be a few good ideas that unfortunately weren’t able to fully deliver on their promise, and the second half of the show had a few unfunny stinkers (again, partial blame goes to the datedness of the topical humor). The main thing this episode has going for it is two excellent musical performances from Mink DeVille and the touching tribute to Belushi at the very end.
-John Belushi tribute
-Golden Age School of Obedience
-Fur: You Deserve It!
-Focus on Film
-Low Class Italian Theatre
-parts of SNL Newsbreak
-Hail To The Chief
(tie) Tony Rosato / Brian Doyle-Murray
CAST & GUEST BREAKDOWN
Robin Duke: 4 appearances [Backstage, Buy a Bullet for a Hungry Kid (voice only), Golden Age School of Obedience, The Embryo]
Christine Ebersole: 1 appearance [Low Class Italian Theatre]
Mary Gross: 4 appearances [Backstage, Golden Age School of Obedience, SNL Newsbreak, Low Class Italian Theatre]
Tim Kazurinsky: 5 appearances [Hail To The Chief, Golden Age School of Obedience, SNL Newsbreak, Headline Challenge, Low Class Italian Theatre (voice only)]
Eddie Murphy: 5 appearances [Buh-Weet and de Dupreems, Focus on Film, Golden Age School of Obedience, Headline Challenge, Future Guests]
Joe Piscopo: 6 appearances [Backstage, Paul Harvey News and Comment, Hail To The Chief (voice only), Golden Age School of Obedience, Headline Challenge, Low Class Italian Theatre]
Tony Rosato: 3 appearances [Hail To The Chief, The Embryo, Low Class Italian Theatre]
Brian Doyle-Murray: 4 appearances [Paul Harvey News and Comment, SNL Newsbreak, Headline Challenge, John Belushi Tribute]
Robert Urich: 5 appearances [Backstage, Focus on Film, Golden Age School of Obedience, Headline Challenge, Low Class Italian Theatre]
Mink DeVille: 2 appearances ["Maybe Tomorrow", "Love & Emotion"]
De Dupreems: 1 appearance [Buh-Weet and de Dupreems]
June 19, 1982
Known alterations: Upcoming Guests and John Belushi Tribute are removed.