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'Wasn't That Special' Season Ten 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. We have provided this one to everyone for free!
Below is the Season Ten bonus notes section, with the clips coming next week.
So please help keep the podcast advertisement-free and upgrade to the Executive Producer level, which will keep these emails coming in the future.
Episode One: No Host
Scot: Jim Downey and Larry David on staff - additional sketches by Blaustein & Sheffield.
Christian: Shearer looks like he wants to murder someone at goodnights.
First draft theater
Scot: Reminds me of the Murray typewriter sketch in S6.
Rich Hall's Election Report
Scot: It's not great, but it's not worthless.
Episode Two: Bob Uecker
Scot: Pretty bad stuff here!
Christian: I will abide no Uecker slander, but...yeah, material not great.
Password with Martin Short as Robin Williams
Christian: Robin Williams DOING Gilda Radner (who Short used to date) is some Inception-type stuff.
Scot: Short has a good Williams. Don't think I knew that was in his repertoire.
Good Uecker monologue, takes call from Reagan (Shearer)
Christian: Shearer: “You have a heck of a career ahead of you as an ex-sportscaster." Uecker is STILL doing Brewers games.
Scot: Weirdly low-key and low-energy from Uecker - Shearer's Reagan is better than Joe Piscopo's, vocally.
Crystal, Short and Guest as Snap Crackle and Pop
Scot: Why is Pop marrying an 8-year-old?
Negro Leagues video starring Crystal and Guest, both in blackface
Christian: In a sense, these are the most offensive roles - if you're trying to imitate an actual person, that's one thing - if you're just being "a black guy," that is worse.
Scot: Unsurprisingly, Guest directed this.
Uecker is gullible cop who gives Chris Guest stuff from lost and found
Scot: So ... slow ... moving ... and ... doesn't ... develop ... past ... the ... first ... joke.
Episode Three: Jesse Jackson
Christian: Jackson a surprisingly good host - has really good timing.
Scot: Our grades would say this was an exceedingly average episode, but it felt like a consistent winner throughout. Solid. Jackson was fun.
Cold open - Jesse Jackson talks to Sammy Davis Jr as The Godfather.
Christian: Jackson does imitations of George Bush and Reagan - Crystal makes him speak Yiddish after the "Hymietown" controversy.
Scot: Jackson' favorite song being "Red Rubber Ball" made me laugh.
Guest and Crystal do Willie and Frankie in elevator "I hate that"
Scot: Debut of characters - If all goes well, you could kinda see this being a Solomon & Pudge. If not, well …
Wrong Voice, Right Face - Stephenson as Billy Idol - Voice of the 40s, Face of the 80s
Christian: Disrespectful after Idol was on the show last season!
Scot: I don't recall this critique of Idol.
"The Question is Moot" game show with Jesse Jackson hosting
Christian: The joke is that every game show question is dumb because Reagan is ruining America. Written by And Breckman and Martin Short 45 minutes before scripts were due that week because they realized Jackson didn't have any political material to do. I liked this more on second viewing.
Scot: This works better than I remember, mainly because Jackson pulls it through. "Who gets the car? I do."
Rich Hall Election Report - makes fun of undecided voters
Scot: I liked this and Guest is the perfect person to play the head of the Undecideds.
Episode Four: Michael McKean
Shearer as Reagan - pushes prayer in school
Scot: As you mentioned earlier, Shearer's gift is his voice. He's just so on Reagan. -- "This Tuesday" election is this coming week.
The Folksmen bio film and perform Old Joe's Place
Scot: Hey, here's the rough draft for A MIGHTY WIND - I'm trying to gather thoughts on these Guest pieces - I'm not sure how well they work in short bursts. The films work so well because we learn character traits and tendencies. We're invested in their normalness punctuated by odd quirks. Here, it's tougher.
Madonna Navel Accessories
Scot: Stephenson seems like she's going to be an obstacle to laughs.
Rich Hall skit making fun of David Byrne's giant suit, singing various Talking Heads songs with new lyrics
Scot: They sure do think current pop stars are weird!!
Episode Five: George Carlin
Christian: Imagine being the "B" team thinking the show was all yours with Piscopo and Eddie leaving, then they hire three guys over you.
Scot: Carlin is a decent actor is these sketches.
Willie and Frankie as night watchmen
Scot: Are they improv-ing the items to each other? Hard to think it gets better than this for these two characters.
The Ghostbusters Show - Belushi, JLD and Gross as Latinas
Christian: The women's accents are the joke?
Scot: It's a little weird to realize this show and Ghostbusters are happening at the same time - Need to go further with the idea. I'm thinking Mr. Belvidere fan club sketch.
Carlin as colonial comedian - how poor can Poor Richard be?
Christian: “If it's ‘common sense,’ what do we need a book for?”
Scot: I like the audience member saying, "That's true!" when Carlin makes a joke - Pretty good concept here.
Profiles in sports - chess coaches - Jim Belushi as Bobby Knight of chess
Scot: Wheaton High! - Wow. This is as good as the show has offered recently.
Rich Hall Election Report
Christian: Reagan and Mondale speeches set to old Hekyll and Jekyll cartoons - TV Funhouse precursor?
Episode Six: Ed Asner
Scot: Can already figure out why Shearer would soon quit. He's just a second-string guy who probably can't play well with Belushi, JLD, et al.
60 Minutes novelty shops Minkman Bros - Nathan Thurm debuts - Shearer as Wallace
Scot: The whoopie cushion tester is a big laugh
Asner as Peter Pan gaining weight and getting old
Christian: Incredibly dull and no laugh to be found.
Scot: Nice little sketch and almost out-of-place in this S10.
Going away party at nuclear power plant - confusion of what "you can't put too much water in a nuclear reactor" means
Scot: I love so, so much about this, from the lack of Short/Crystal/Guest, to the wordplay, to the twists. There's some intellgent writing here. It's not quite perfect. But it is previewing a good number of approaches in the next era of the show.
Christian: I think Breckman is one of the scientists?
Jim Belushi PSA on smoke out
Christian: Oddly, Belushi's style is more Bill Murray than John Belushi.
Episode Seven: Ed Begley, Jr.
Christian: Might be the shortest cast ever. Crystal, Short, and Shearer are all 5'7".
Scot: Heavy on Short, lighter on Crystal and Guest - Also lighter on recorded pieces - Was Shearer even on?
Michael Reagan, adopted son of president-Jim Belushi
Scot: This is like the third "Ron Reagan Jr. might be gay" joke. I didn't know that was a thing at that time.
Kate and Ali - Short as Hepburn, Crystal as Muhammad Ali in blackface
Scot: Drag and blackface in the same sketch - A single good idea with nowhere to go. It was as long as it should have been.
Book talk show - two authors, same title - Begley comes from future to fondle JLD’ breasts
Christian: Yeah, this is dumber than I remembered. Also, in a weird way, it predicts people from the distant future will still love JLD, which is...true?
Scot: Maybe this is where Al Franken got the idea.
Death (Begley) comes for Short, they play Trivial Pursuit for his life
Scot: Seventh Seal "Picture did $1.25 at the box office but everyone I come for has seen it twice" - That's a great line. - Mark it down: the Second Coming is June 1, 2091.
Lou and Al vaudeville team buried together - their sons, Crystal and Short, do a bit
Christian: It's not good, but it's not offensive.
Scot: OK, for me, this is Crystal and Short at their worst. The worst qualities of their performances. This high-energy, singy, inprov-ish, random character work.
Chi Chi and Consuela - Gross and JLD Latina impressions
Christian: Terrible that their first recurring characters are broad racial stereotypes.
Episode Eight: Ringo Starr
Scot: Pretty limp episode. One Shearer sketch? Really falling into a rut the past two weeks. No Sat Night News.
Episode Nine: Eddie Murphy
Scot: Murphy's last appearance on the show until 2019, Belushi kicked off show until he begged for job back; too many fights with writers.
"White Like Eddie" - Eddie throws to this from monologue - Murphy goes undercover as white man
Scot: No one saw the irony of doing this during a season in which Billy Crystal has purchased a Sherwin Willliams store? - All holds up, though I remember it being a bit longer?
Newsmakers - Communists JLD and Gross
Christian: They dance when they jinx each other. Gross and JLD have clearly teamed up to write sketches together.
Scot: Communists can be fun, too! I guess is the joke.
Milestones - Murphy on talk show as Desmond Tutu, Rich Hall as Doug Flutie
Scot: Think about how a very simple concept results in such a good sketch - Even SNL knew Flutie couldn't succeed in the NFL but the Bears drafted him AND started him in a playoff game in '86.
At goodnights, Short chats with Paul Shaeffer, his old friend from Canada.
Christian: They worked together in Godspell in the early 70s in Toronto. Eugene Levy and Gilda Radner were also in the cast.
Episode Ten: Kathleen Turner
Scot: Seems like a ton of two-person sketches, rarely getting cast involved. Harry Shearer leaves after this show.
Christian: Joe Franklin was a real show on local NYC TV for decades - here's a sample that shows how nuts it could be.
Fernando cold open - goes to Donahue's green room, meets transvestite midgets, Nazis, and Bernie Goetz
Scot: More Bernhard Goetz jokes than Son of Sam jokes on SNL.
Willie and Frankie water skiing
Christian: Pretty much mad-libs at this point, beginning with "stallions must run free" line. Did they get this idea from the Go Go's "Vacation" video?
Short tries to hypnotize his daughter's (JLD) date (Crystal)
Christian: Crystal's wig falls off and the sketch falls apart.
Scot: How many times this year does everyone just end up playing 65-year-old men?
Turner comes on to Short at a party
Christian: No joke here. Although Breckman and David are guests at the party, so that's interesting, I guess.
Scot: Just sleepwalking through this show - no bite, no spark.
Episode Eleven: Roy Scheider
Scot: Billy Ocean gives the worst live SNL performances in recent memory.
Christian: Obviously, this is a modern observation, but the show does lack something when it doesn't have a black cast member.
Cold Open - Real film of Reagan taking oath, Nancy whispers to him
Scot: On a short list of worst cold opens - What is the joke? He can't hear? He only listens to Nancy?
Crystal plays "Ricky," guy who says "unbelievable" a lot - this is his one-man bowling character again?
Christian: Sounds like Crystal refuses to say a line - name of a pornographic film.
Scot: Willie and Frankie, but with insults.
Short plays good cop/bad cop, but he's his idiot character (Lawrence) with the big forehead
Scot: Jim Belushi is back - I might have a hot take here that Lawrence is the best Short character of the season.
Scheider tries to sell two Super Bowl tickets for $5 million
Scot: Look, $5M is the going rate these days. Not so crazy after all - This did something unusual for this season: I actually cared about where this was going, how it was going to end. So many sketches are just character exercises. This one had me wanting to watch to the end to see what happened.
Crystal plays drag queen pianist "Penny Lane"
Christian: Actually a respectful treatment of drag queens. Normally that would be the joke, but here it is not.
Scot: There's some heart in this writing. Again, an usual move this season.
Episode Twelve: Alex Karras
Christian: Crystal has black makeup on the whole episode for no reason.
Scot: Karras really was awful. Low-key on a list of worst hosts ever.
A Couple of White Guys - Karras and Belushi as "two rapping white guys"
Christian: Had I been of age, I would have sued NBC after this.
Scot: Pretty sure this was written by a primitive AI system.
Karras is boss at Kelly Cola, yells at employees, Crystal sweats and they make it a drink
Christian: Crystal in blackface for no reason. This is like the scene for Ocean Breeze Soap in the Muppets take Manhattan, which came out a few months before - "Ocean Breeze Soap - it's like an ocean cruise except there's no boat and you don't actually go anywhere."
Scot: "Dale Butterworth" - It's a Breckman.
Rich Hall as Bernhard Goetz on what to do in New York
Christian: I saw a documentary about how Goetz ended up living in apartment filled with squirrels.
Weekend Update - Rich Hall as guy who snuck into White House during inauguration, Short as Nathan Thurm defending tobacco, Belushi reviewing restaurants
Scot: Thurm is seemingly one-note. He's well-remembered but why?
Christian: How DARE you. Thurm is a great character. The crowd doesn't get him because they can't see him on the chroma key display behind the anchor.
Tina Turner "Private Dancer"
Christian: Do I need to mention the awesomeness of the muscle-bound sax player in this one?
Episode Thirteen: Harry Anderson
Christian: Crystal and Guest seem to team up in the second half of the season - Short is left on his own.
Rich Hall as guy who wandered into White House - over film of State of the Union
Scot: Again? Absolutely no reason this needed a reprisal.
Kate and Ali Valentine's Day special
Scot: Absolutely no reason this needed a reprisal
Minkmans are back - film selling novelty products - go to Mets spring training
Scot: I liked the 60 Minutes a ton, but absolutely no reason this needed a reprisal.
Christian: I am sensing a theme here.
Harry Anderson vs. Doug Henning (Rich) - dueling magicians
Scot: In 1984, Henning began a solo show on Broadway called Doug Henning and His World of Magic + many TV specials prior to 1982.
Christian: Oh yes, I watched all of them.
Belushi is 20 minutes late getting home, finds out his wife thought he was dead and has a new lover
Scot: Even here, we see the limits of Jim's acting ability. It needs something he can't quite give. Would've been a perfect Tim Kazurinsky role.
Short is an attorney during the Salem Witch Trial - repping Kroeger, who turns out to be an actual devil.
Scot: Kind of the opposite premise of Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer.
JLD and Gross do a singing routine for a talent agent - Gross is terrible, but JLD can't leave the duo because Gross saved her life
Scot: More Gross/JLD team-ups, which I like BUT it seems kinda obvious when putting them together that JLD is just on another level.
Episode Fourteen: Pamela Sue Martin
Christian: Light as a feather, stiff as a board.
Scot: Maybe the writer's strike was a blessing and the show will finish the year strong?
Willie and Frankie as messengers
Scot: This is basically a radio drama, right? Why do we even need to see them. No visual element whatsoever.
Joe Franklin Show - Short as Jackie Rogers, Jr., Kroeger as Alan Alda impersonator
Scot: Are we not supposed to notice Jackie Rogers Jr. dances just like Ed Grimley?
Christian: So does Short’s character “Lawrence” in the synchronized swimming film.
Filmed bit: Belushi visits a children's hospital, sees kid that criticizes his act
Christian: Morphs into a skit where Belushi's in drag - wasn't there a bit from Season Two or Three when John Belushi says drag doesn't get laughs?
Episode Fifteen: Hulk Hogan/Mr. T
Scot: Just limping along with a minimal level of professionalism.
Christian: I believe the guy who did the Cars' "You Might Think" video did the SNL open, right?
Prince does his own We Are the World - Hall as Marc Goodman
Scot: Man, they are really proud of that awful Pamela Stephenson Cyndi Lauper impression, aren't they?
Nathan Thurm gets his own sketch - in it, he’s having sex with Belushi's wife
Christian: Thurm was perfect in small bursts. This is excessive.
Scot: There's only so far you can push this character.
Guest tries to get a couple's son to go to camp Crystal Lake, of the Jason horror movies
Christian: I was wondering why Belushi was wearing that ridiculous wig.
Scot: Boy, I like the premise of a salesman trying to paper over the Jason killings.
Film: Crystal become substitute teacher in the ghetto
Scot: Nice little film. Good critiques from the kids on Cosby, Hope, Eddie.
Episode Sixteen: Christopher Reeve
Rehearsals for role of Superman - Reeve, Hall, and Kroeger. Turns out Hall can catch bullets, crush coal, etc.
Christian: Feels like the Farley Chippendale's sketch - pretty cool special effects.
Scot: There's JLD in a bit role - One of Rich Hall's better roles! - Might be grading on a curve, I guess, but pretty darn good.
Jackie Rogers Jr.'s $100,000 Jackpot Wad - Crystal and Sammy, Belushi as Capt. Kangaroo, Chris' Rajeev Vindaloo
Scot: Rajeev very much reminds of the kind of thing Dana Carvey would/could do later - I know it's kinda legendary, but my questions is: why? Couple laughs? Yes. Not vastly superior to other stuff.
Reeve and Crystal as two old men in nursing home - Reeve as old Superman
Scot: Interesting angle to explain why Superman aged and began to lose powers.
Episode Seventeen: Howard Cosell
JLD hosts talk show where she spits coffee all over guests
Christian: An oasis of genuine fun.
Scot: Was there only one JLD Show ever? - It's good, but it's just so thin, premise-wise.
Tape: Cosell hosts Run, Throw, and Catch Like a Girl Olympics - "Whining About How Cold It Is"
Scot: What the heck was that ending? Could have thought of 100 better ways to get out of it.
Scot: Hope you like Billy Crystal! Three giant Crystal sketches in a row.
(Editor’s Note: Christian binge-watched this season after getting his vaccine booster. It made him feel like he wanted to die, so he is not as chatty as normal in this installment of bonus notes.)