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SNL Season 1 Episode 9 [1976)

Oof…Elliott Gould has the acting talent of a wet dishrag.

Sadly, he’s the host of this one.

But somehow the whole thing is watchable.

It seems that the writing took a step forward with this installment.

From the very opening the show has an artful tone (thanks to the Dead String Quartet [exactly what it sounds like]).

The “Killer Bees” sketch is very strong thanks to a massive hole in the fourth wall.  Lorne Michaels even gets into the action for the first time and is pretty fantastic in his control room smack-down.

In his final contractual installment Albert Brooks scores his second timeless triumph (the first being his surgeon-for-a-day masterpiece).  Brooks’ strange self-aware brand of humorless humor is excellent when it works.  It didn’t work often during his SNL run, but when it did it was very special.  His contribution to this night is not to be missed.

That this episode won an Emmy is astounding.  I wouldn’t hire Elliott Gould to shine my shoes.

Ah well…

Also noteworthy is the first SNL onscreen appearance of Al Franken.  His routine (as part of Franken & Davis) is another highlight of the show.  Franken’s unmistakable voice can be heard in previous episodes over the recurring Pong skit (just a shot of a TV screen’s video game display).

Oh, I can’t leave out Anne Murray.  While not great, she is generally enjoyable in this episode.  My main complaint is with her MOR repertoire.

 

-PD

2 responses to “SNL Season 1 Episode 9 [1976)

  1. You’ve now made me curious as to what the Dead String Quartet could possibly be like.

    You’ve set yourself a trial doing SNL straight through.

    • Yes, I have a feeling that not all of the episodes are easily watchable. Like, for instance, a particularly haunting performance by Brian Wilson (at the height of his mental troubles) which Lorne Michaels swore to never air again. Not sure what clearances from artists and hosts have it haven’t been gotten. I’m guessing I’ll just truck on along until I hit a roadblock :). –Paul

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