Host and Musical Guest: Paul Simon
Featured Musical Guests: Art Garfunkel, Randy Newman, Phoebe Snow
Cast: Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman, Gilda Radner, Neil Levy – i.e. the “Not Ready For Primetime Players”
This second episode was virtually an all music extravaganza, with Paul Simon acting as emcee. And singer. And featured sketch artist. The featured musical guests were all “invitees” of Simon’s.
Simon started the show by singing “Still Crazy After All These Years,” the same song he sang to close out the 40th anniversary show, for all of you young’uns keeping track.
Simon AND Garfunkel. The long contentious duo made one of their storied reunions on this very early SNL episode. They sang “The Boxer,” “Scarborough Fair,” and “My Little Town.”
The Bees, in the form of the whole cast dressed like the bees from the hospital sketch of the previous week, reappeared, ready to go on, until Simon told them that the “bee sketch was cut because it didn’t go over well last week.” So, they KNEW.
Chevy Chase’s Weekend Update relied on a series of jabs aimed at then President Ford, for the second week in a row. Sensing a theme?
Activist Jerry Rubin actually appeared in a fake commercial for “The Berkeley Collection,” a wallpaper series featuring protest-related graffiti, in both militant and peaceful styles. Funny and relevant!
Jim Henson’s Muppets in “The Land of Gorch” sketch, which included a Muppet sacrifice!
Simon appeared in a pre-recorded segment, in which he played one-on-one basketball against an actual NBA player, Connie “The Hawk” Hawkins, who was sixteen inches taller than Simon. Sportscaster Marv Albert interviewed each. Now, in the segment, Simon beat Hawkins quite handily, the implication being that his shortness gave him an advantage. I wonder if the sketch was staged… though all of Simon’s shots were tracked by camera…but did Hawkins purposely miss?
A young Randy Newman sang “Sail Away,” though Simon sang his song “Marie” prior to his performance. Phoebe Snow sang “No Regrets” and “Gone at Last” with Simon. Garfunkel sang “I Only Have Eyes For You” solo. Simon also sang “Loves Me Like a Rock” and “American Tune.”
Less Successful Moments
There really weren’t any. This was a much tighter show all around. Even the Albert Brooks film was occasionally funny, if not altogether a highlight (it’s odd that he’s the voice of Marlin in “Finding Nemo”).
Most Valuable Not Ready For Primetime Players
All of them, since none of them got to do much for the episode.