Discover more from Wasn't That Special: 50 Years of SNL
'Wasn't That Special' Season One Bonus Material
As the Wasn’t That Special co-hosts watch each season of Saturday Night Live, they compare notes on each episode, chatting back and forth about both popular and long-forgotten sketches. Some of the topics they discuss make it to the final podcast; others are left on the cutting-room floor.
But for those of you who join at the Executive Producer level, you will have access to Christian and Scot’s behind-the-scenes notes, as well as bonus materials the co-hosts used to prepare for the episode.
Below is the Season One bonus notes section, with the clips coming later this week. (You will see Christian and Scot didn’t have much to say about some of the episodes, but plenty to say about the others.)
So please help keep the podcast advertisement-free and upgrade to the Executive Producer level, which will keep these emails coming in the future!
(Although if you want to support us at a lower level and want to just hear the shows, you can do that, too!)
Episode One: George Carlin
On Carlin as guest host:
Scot: “I've never been a huge Carlin fan and nothing tonight changes that. But for the time a huge get as host. He has the most screen time and no appearances in sketches.”
On Albert Brooks’ film in which Oregon lowers the age of consent to seven years old:
Christian: “This aged poorly.”
Scot: “The consent stuff is creepy.”
On the “home security” sketch in which Aykroyd breaks into Belushi and Radner's home to sell security services:
Scot: “Longest sketch by far. First Aykroyd ‘sales guy’ character. This works pretty well. Maybe the first "real" SNL sketch?”
On the show in general:
Scot: “The story is that the show was 2X the length at dress. It feels that way. Four songs, four standups, how many commercials?”
Episode Three: Rob Reiner
Chevy Chase Public Service Message: Saliva Disbursement Difficulty - Droolers (Breaks):
Scot: “Chevy has the first break of the show's history.”
Mark Hampton and Denny Dillon perform a sketch about nuns running talent show:
Christian: “One out of five.”
Scot: “Hampton has a bit of Jimmy Fallon in his face. Dillon auditioned for the original cast but didn't make the cut (obviously). Just awful stuff.”
Radner performs a bit called “What Gilda Ate:”
Scot: “Less funny when you know she's suffering from eating disorders at this very moment?”
Albert Brooks film in which he lives his dream of performing heart surgery:
Christian: “No part of it resembles entertainment. It’s 15 minutes straight with no commercial.”
Scot: "’A bit of a prima donna’ -- No anesthesiologist --- ’Boy they had a lot of drugs in there’ -- you didn't laugh at the fake vein trick?
Episode Four: Candice Bergen
Christian: “First time the show really becomes what we know it to be later (Brooks/Muppets excluded.)”
Scot: “Story is that Bergen came in really liking the show and eager to work with the cast. How? Why? They'd hardly been on the show so far.”
Bergen Monologue congratulates herself for being first woman host - ERA vote just happened - Belushi behind her as bee:
Scot: “I'm ... a little tired of the bees already.”
Aykroyd as CIA worker , Garrett Morris plays himself, says he once changed his name to "Baracka" - "I conspired to incite a riot:"
Scot: “I liked this one. Best since the last sketch in Ep. 1? Aykroyd so good a CIA gov't bureaucrat. Comedy of escalation.”
Bergen and Radner - Gilda tells Bergen she is jealous of her looks:
Christian: Gilda says she couldn't go to the bathroom with a man in the other stall (PRESCIENT!)
Scot: “Following ‘What Gilda Ate’ with ‘Gilda Doesn't Think She's Pretty’ provides a stark, real look into her psyche (probably?)”
Michael O'Donoghue makes creepy call to Newman as airline scheduler:
Scot: “Man, a total MO'D sketch. Dark, dark.”
First time the cast appears with the host during the goodnights:
Scot: “Roses were a true gift, an expression of gratitude from the cast to the first host who understood what the show really was and could be.”
Episode Five: Robert Klein
Scot: “Bad, bad episode. Worse than Reiner. Batting .200 at this point.”
Episode Six: Lily Tomlin
Land Shark II - Curtin hammers Aykroyd and Belushi ignores it, Shark talks to Aykroyd in office "round up a posse."
Christian: “Better than the original.”
Scot: “Really good. It's a 5 out of 5. "Get a posse. Surround the area" Shark cuts scene short. He's too smart!
Tomlin speech to lady construction workers - teaches to cat call, Aykroyd as model:
Christian: “Very feminist.”
Scot: “First ‘classroom’ sketch -- getting most of cast involved --- written by Anne Beatts & Rosie Schuster -- no one wanted to play the guy part.”
Episode Seven: Richard Pryor
Scot: “I was expecting more/underwhelmed overall. Yet you look back and ... first Samurai, word association, Exorcist II. Some things were working. Timing and flow still a work in progress.”
"Albert Brooks is sick this week and sent this video in:"
Christian: “This makes no sense because he’s out in L.A. and always sends his movies in.”
Scot: “Promotes album, one film left on contract. OK, this one stinks.”
Shelley Pryor, Richard's ex wife, tells story at Pryor's insistence.
Scot: “And this is terrible.”
Episode Eight: Candice Bergen
Bergen tells people to send their home movies to SNL, followed by “Bees on Ice.”
Scot: “America's Funniest Home Videos is born! yaaaaaaaawwwwwn.”
Belushi and Radner meet at laundromat, have to do laundry in same machine, turn it into tease, he pours drinks.
Scot: “A nice, fully developed, wordless sketch.”
Minute Mystery - "you look like you comb your hair with buttered toast."
Scot: “Were we clamoring for another one of these? -- Don Pardo gets more airtime than some cast members.”
Episode Nine: Elliott Gould
Scot: “Good group of sketches in this episode --- honing in on a feel/tone for the show --- first time cast isn't deferential to the host --- Gould just becomes integrated into everyone else.”
Chase and Radner are a couple attacked by South American Killer Bees - skit breaks when camera moves away from Gould when he gives speeches. Lorne appears at end.
Christian: “Goes on forever, including appearance from Gilda's mother to meet Elliot Gould.”
Scot: I actually like this quite a bit and think it's key to the shifting tone. Compare to the buttoned-up, quick, one-joke sketches earlier in the season. We break the 4th wall, we go into the director's room, we're not "sure" what's real and what's not.”
Albert Brooks' last movie - hires researchers, including computers, to determine what audiences like.
Christian: “Okay, I like this one. Very prescient regarding audience surveying and algorithms.”
Scot: “Brooks is just 28. Looks so young. Lots of tenson b/t him and Lorne on these. Bad blood lasted a while.”
Episode Ten: Buck Henry
Buck Henry’s monologue, in which a list of people they called to host before him scrolls at the bottom.
Scot: Again, feels like the first real SNL monologue --- ongoing dialogue with chyrons -- Francisco Franco was called before Buck -- Buck's favorite "charities."
Scot: “Gotta be one of the most well-known sketches of S1. Henry is wonderful playing against someone who doesn't use words.”
American constipation society - they use euphemisms for "constipation."
Christian: "’Constipation is no laughing matter.’"
Scot: “Euphemisms for illness/sickness --- it does feel like they are running out of material each show near the end --- weird stuff but also not a high batting average.”
Episode Eleven: Peter Cook, Dudley Moore
This opening montage is the first in which announcer Don Pardo reads aloud the names of the "Not Ready for Primetime Players."
Cook and Moore monologue: Their famous one-legged auditioner bit, where a man auditions for role of Tarzan.
Christian: “Shows how much better things are that have been practiced 100 times.”
Scot: "I've got nothing against your right leg. The problem is, neither do you."
Cook and Moore bit- "Frog and Peach."
Scot: “I don't like this. Moore is two years older than Cook, FYI.”
Gary Weis movie - novelty shop, sells black soap, surprise peanut brittle, "Polish mug" - "Polish jokes are popular."
Christian: “So winning. 4 out of 5.”
Scot: “A 4? Funnier than Brooks? I don't think so....”
Episode Twelve: Dick Cavett
Dick Cavett on talk show as a pimp - book called "Nebraska pimp."
Scot: “Nebraska prostitutes don't go all the way, just "mess around" - Cavett is limited as an actor, but he tries.”
Episode Thirteen: Peter Boyle
Bees wrestling WASPS - rich people from the Hamptons - ends with cow-dropping call back.
Scot: "’Drop the cow’ was a saying around the show/writing room meaning ‘Tell the joke and get out [of the sketch].’"
"Janitor in the fridge," "doorman in the closet" - Boyle comes home and men are in the house with Curtin.
Scot: “Admire the writing effort here. Concept is thin, though. Everyone gets involved, though!”
Episode Fourteen: Desi Arnaz
Scot: “Desi was game for anything and he tried, but not the best episode.”
Newman as Luciana Vermicelli's beauty regimen - drinking the blood of girl scouts.
Scot: “Breakneck pace on this show. Fast, quick monologue + sketches so far.”
Chase playing piano as "Very White."
Christian: “This song gave Flight of the Conchords their entire vibe.”
Scot: “All tension/talking, no release. Good, fun. Unique.”
Gary Weis introduces his own film - Taylor Mead and his cat.
Christian: “Mead was a Warhol actor, starring in movies like "Taylor Mead's Ass." Loved it. Three stars.”
Scot: “Not good.”
Episode Fifteen: Jill Clayburgh
Scot: “Poor episode but at least we got Mr. Bill.”
Clayburgh as guidance counselor - Belushi as "Julio," a thug - Chase is basketball coach - visits Radner and Morris as Julio's parents. Radner - "we are very poor people - we can't afford to give our children different names."
Christian: “This really goes on and on.”
Scot: “Roseanne Rosanneadanna accent debuts - who wrote this? - done today with the right edge, this could really bite -- the do-gooder ignoring advice from everyone else.”
Clayburgh introduces Andy Kaufman - Does Old McDonald incorporating audience members - they all pick up their parts.
Scot: “Kaufman is so immaculately precise --- yet provides some of that ‘live’ danger to the show.”
Episode Sixteen: Anthony Perkins
Scot: “A perfectly average Season One episode.”
Perkins monologue - eats fly, peels band-aid off, throws fit because someone stole his good luck panties.
Scot: “Random -- is Anthony Perkins the first gay actor/actress on the show? -- upper-end monologue so far.”
Gary Weis movie - New Yorkers and their pets.
Scot: “I don't really appreciate these.”
Butt County Highway Patrol Dance Party.
Christian: “Makes no sense. Love it. Three stars.”
Scot: “Al Franken dancing! -- just an excuse to say Butt a lot? ---- timing way off on the database check?”
Episode Seventeen: Ron Nessen
Scot: “They tried to make this the most tawdry, risque, disgusting ep possible -- not going right after Ford, but making him embarrassed to be associated with the show --- Ford family was furious with Nessen.”
Scot: Still holds up. After 5-10 fish it gets to be quite a rush.”
Nessen in Oval Office with Chase.
Scot: There's just no real growth to the Ford bits. It's all the same joke, it's all the same set-up, payoff, same arc. There's a need to be more creative with these.
"Bill Crystal" gives stand-up - one man show-style where he talks like a Jazz legend - "can you dig it? I knew that you could."
Christian: “Not a single laugh.”
Scot: “Doesn't any stand-up from 1975-76 tell actual jokes?”
Episode Eighteen: Raquel Welch
Aykroyd explains America's conversion to the decabet, with ten letters.
Scot: “This is fun and good and deserved a better final joke.”
Muppets - molest Raquel Welch "until you've made it with a muppet" - Chase saves her, then tells her to take her shirt off.
Scot: “Integrating muppets into the actual show makes good comedy sense, but also underscores how out of place they really are.”
“One Flew Over the Hornet's Nest” - with the bees.
Scot: “Outside of Update, Laraine just doesn't have anything to do on the show --- this is really bad.”
Episode Nineteen: Madeline Kahn
Chase starts show pretending to play Ronald Reagan while playing organ - "I like to get down with the colored people" - tells Morris to "take it boy" - punches him.
Scot: “Chase playing Reagan the same way he plays Ford - man, what foreshadowing for his entire film career ... he's just always Chevy Chase, no matter what.”
Episode Twenty-Two: Elliott Gould
Scot: “They really love these fake PSAs in S1 - they never say what the uvula is, which makes it just a bit dirty.”
Newman as Shirley Temple trying to solve war in Ghana - big song, brought in two extra black actors.
Scot: “Oh, this is death.”
Episode Twenty-Three: Louise Lasser
Episode was so bad and Lasser's behavior so difficult, Lorne kept it out of syndication. Lasser says her manager asked to take it out of syndication. MO'D: Lasser was "clinically berserk" - "I wanted to force her to eat her goddamn pigtails at gunpoint."
Scot: “This is the Battlefield Earth of SNL episodes -- too big/famous to say no to the ideas, too invested to back out --- hard to believe it actually exists.”
During monologue, Lasser pretends to have nervous breakdown, goes back to dressing room - really happened before the show - Land Shark shows up at her dressing room.
Scot: “Kaufman foreshadowed this earlier in the season --- something going very bad (funny or not?)”
Lasser talks to dog at dinner, gets emotional apologizing to dog while it ignores her.
Christian: “Lasser is the same person as Natasha Lyonne, right down to the public drug bust.”
Scot: “Give the dog some water for goodness sake. A little long and stagnant. But not totally awful. Lasser isn't half bad here -- Believe it is taped from dress; Lasser insisted on doing it.”
Curtin and Radner - two teenage girls talking about sex - have you seen "it?"
Scot: “Lasser was supposed to be in this one but refused. Curtin took her place - Cast was pumped to do the show without her.. Chase was taking her parts, Bill Murray (on hand) was going to take Chase's parts.”
Zweibel/Lasser pre-filmed in diner - keeps asking for her line, says she can't go on, sits t bar, guy she talks to asks for line - "Film by Louise Lasser."
Christian: “This has to be in running for one of the worst things ever on the show.”
Scot: “Chevy knows this sucks - can't hear half the lines; mixed terribly.”
Episode Twenty-Four: Kris Kristofferson
Kristofferson was drunk all week, including on Saturday, and cast didn't think he would make it to air --- wine at noon, tequilla by sunset --- awful at dress ... Lorne: "Just get the biggest pot of coffee you can find."
Belushi - Samurai General Practitioner - puts picture of naked woman on x-ray.
Christian: “This is entirely silent film gags.”
Scot: “The second nude woman of the season! --- Highlights how good Buck was in these.”
Morris as Jesse Owens selling coins commemorating the dying white athlete.
Scot: “Man, they just keep looking for black celebs for Garrett.”
Curtin going on blind date with her gynecologist - first happy he doesn't remember, then angry he doesn't.
Scot: “Kristofferson as a doctor is a stretch - this is good and the audience is not reacting b/c Kristofferson isn't nailing his lines - wish someone else might have done it - Gould?”