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Saturday Night Live: Season 1, 1975-1976
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The set is a very entertaining look at a significant point in TV and American cultural history. It is so 1975, but that's a major part of its appeal: did Chevy Chase really used to look that young? Did a young George Carlin really used to look so old? Check out Abba in those disco jumpsuits. And if you're a fan of The Muppets, seeing them here on late-night TV making jokes about getting drunk will blow your mind. Younger fans may not fully understand just how groundbreaking this show was at the time. For example, Richard Pryor hosting the seventh episode, which includes the famous "Word Association" sketch. Back then, to have a comedian of Pryor's reputation joking about drugs, sex, and race on live TV was a tremendous risk (it's also gratifying to see the obvious effect he had on the next generation of comics like Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock), and it helped established the show's cache as unpredictable and edgy. The DVD set is full of moments like this and, like the show itself, it has its ups and downs. Watching hosts like Rob Reiner (back when he was still in his "Meathead" days from All in the Family), Madeleine Kahn, and Desi Arnaz work their comedy chops with the cast are high points. Whereas the infamous Louise Lasser episode, which is known for being among the worst episodes in the show's history not so much. Still, it's entirely to Executive Producer Lorne Michaels's credit that it's included here. It's a tremendous collection of everything that gave birth to Saturday Night Live, and the seed of what SNL would become, spawning many movies (not to mention a few catch-phrases), launching the careers of many great comedians, and providing TV viewers with some of the most famous, and infamous, moments in broadcast history. And it all started right here.
The set is packaged in a well-designed, sleek fold-out digi-pack with every episode listed on the sleeves, with hosts, musical guests, and the original air date. The special features include a rare look at the cast members' original screen tests, and a 1975 TV interview with the cast. --Daniel Vancini
- Features all 24 episodes from the first season in their original, 90-minute format, including all of the original music
- Archival footage from the Today Show with Tom Snyder
- Cast member screen tests
Top Customer Reviews
Younger audiences unfamiliar with the original SNL will likely be surprised by a number of things in viewing this great collection. Firstly, for those of us who remember, SNL was the most weird and cutting-edge show to be found in those days. The concept of "late night" television was certainly not then what it is today either. There really is no "late night" anymore, what with hundreds of cable/satellite channels and the Internet to keep us entertained around the clock. In the '70s, however, late night was a wasteland of old movies and reruns. Most stations ended their broadcast day by about 1 or 2am (for the tech-geners, this means the three network stations, one public station and typically about 3 or 4 local stations). As far as the networks were concerned, Johnny Carson owned the airways after the local news; this was literally true in many ways. Although not on air during the weekend, Carson Productions was quite a powerful entity, owning many weekend program slots. Beyond local news & the Tonight Show, there was little interest in developing a "late night" program. Secondly, SNL had huge shock value for a culture that wasn't used to seeing risqué material paraded constantly on broadcast TV.Read more ›
THE DOWN SIDE: There has been little effort made to restore the 30+ year old videotapes. The picture is often soft with color bleeding to the right of objects on screen. This is not the original way we saw the series live, so some restoration would have been nice. Other shows have gotten better DVD treatment.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW if you never saw the first season live:
1) Take away the 25 minutes of commercials and these "90 Minute" shows only run 65 minutes.
2) In those days the show was NOT called "Saturday Night Live", that title was used by sportscaster Howard Cosell for his weekly live vartiety show seen at 9pm, Saturday Nights on the ABC Network. This show's first season was officially called "NBC's Saturday Night" and introduced as "Live from New York, it's NBC's Saturday Night". These original titles were later re-shot as just "Saturday Night" for the hour long syndication run, and "The Best Of Saturday Night Live" for the later cut-down half hour syndication run.
3) While the first show seems to be a in the regular sketch format, the second show is more of a Paul Simon Special with Chevy Chase making a brief appearance to introduce the show, and later to do a "Weekend Update". The "Not Ready For Prime Time Players" make brief appearances in filmed segments.Read more ›
SNL The Complete First Season (1975-1976) is a really sweet collectors item. A fan of SNL really would be pleased with this first season set release. Hopefully, the quality of future sets will measure up to the dedication and effort put into the first season set. If you have purchased those SNL "Best of Sets" in the past, don't even compare those to this release. This is a really nice deluxe box set.
The 1975-1976 cast were the one's who got the ball rolling with the series. Cast members from the debut season were Dan Akroyd, John Belushi, Jane Curtain, Chevy Chase, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner. Surely these names ring a bell to you. The majority of the cast members went on to have successful film and television careers in the 1980's.
The great thing about the DVD box set is that it includes the episodes in their original 90 minute format for the first time on DVD--with all musical performances in tact. Season one musical guests included Simon & Garfunkel, Joe Cocker, Neil Sedaka, Desi Arnez, Carly Simon, Kris Kristopherson, and Gil Scott-Heron among others. Each single sided disc includes three 90 minute episodes. The disc case includes the name of the guest host, the musical guest and the episode air date. The first air date on the set is October 11th, 1975 and the set ends with the air date July 31st, 1976.
Another nice feature of the set is a booklet which includes really awesome black and white cast photos from the shows first season. Special features include original screen tests, a 1975 interview with the cast and the aforementioned collector's booklet with the cast photos.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What can I say, nothing beats the original, the classic Saturday Night Live humor.Published 1 day ago by Dorothy Bees
I was unable to see the show after downloading it. Some sort of Internet issue. Can I give it a zero?Published 16 days ago by Jorge Prieto
SNL is my favorite show, I would say i like SNL from 1975-1995 it was good up until (Rob Schneider-Adam Sandler and all others from them times. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Leigh
This is a beautiful set. Very well done and packaged great! Nice trip down memory lane.Published 1 month ago by Pamela
|Topic||From this Discussion|
|where is the booklet?||
The booklet was only available until supplies ran out. It's easy to see it before purchasing next to the digipack in the slipcase. You might still be able to find a copy in stores and exchange yours.
Jul 9, 2009 by gswithen | See all 2 posts
|Louise Lasser Episode||
After her closing monologue, I looked her up for more info (I'm a traditional college student, so I wasn't born until about a decade after this show aired). It seems that Louise was rather picky about this show: she insisted some film be aired and also refused to appear with any cast member but... Read More
Jul 21, 2007 by L. P. Trojanowski | See all 5 posts
|Anyone else think the video quality is bad?||
You know, that was 1975, it was a new show, and video in those days was not DVD quality, in fact they didn't even have beta yet, I remember watching the original show on tv, and I thought it looked "ghostly" then. plus i'm sure it had to be transferred from some old format to dvd.
Apr 23, 2007 by R. S. Lawrence | See all 3 posts
|If anyone from Universal is reading this. . .||
I am longing for Episode 5:12 -- Kirk Douglas was the guest host. How long will I have to wait? Why did they do all those "Best of" sets before doing the logical thing and releasing the shows as they were?
May 9, 2007 by Swithin | See all 4 posts
The Mr. Bill shorts started out from that home movie that was sent in by a viewer. The popularity of the original short initiated a long-term contract to produce more Mr. Bill movies. Wait til you see future seasons; almost all of the Mr. Bill films are "home movie" quality. Funnier... Read More
Aug 31, 2007 by S. Wetzel | See all 3 posts
|Who composed / where to get theme to POLICE STATE sketch?||Be the first to reply|
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