Saturday Night Live: Season 2, 1976-1977
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Saturday Night Live's essential second season looms large in SNL's tumultuous history. Breakout star Chevy Chase departed after several episodes to pursue specials and a movie career. Mustachioed "new kid" Bill Murray's inauspicious beginning (he joined the cast in the Fran Tarkenton episode) was shaky enough to warrant pleading his case to viewers during the Broderick Crawford episode that he was, indeed, funny. He sealed the deal with his breakthrough sketch in the season finale, in which a husband transforms his shower into a lounge act, with guest appearances by his wife and even the man with whom she's having an affair. Another momentous episode marked Steve Martin's debut as host, ushering in Martin-mania. Joining John Belushi's Samurai in the pantheon of classic SNL characters are the Coneheads (Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtin, and Larraine Newman), extraterrestrials struggling to assimilate ("We're from France"). Legendary National Lampoon writer Michael O'Donoghue introduced his sinister alter ego, Mr. Mike, in whose "Least-Loved Bedtime Stories" the Little Engine That Could has a heart attack, and Br'er Rabbit is skinned alive in a "random act of meaningless violence." Jane Curtin proves a formidable successor to Chevy Chase as anchor of "Weekend Update," but not before that now-infamous moment during the Tarkenton episode when, in a bid for "raw thrills" that will make viewers forget "sexy" Chevy Chase, tears open her blouse and proclaims, "Try these on for size, Connie Chung."
It is still thrilling to watch Saturday Night Live find its voice. Except for one brief appearance, the Muppet segments are out, as are Albert Brooks' short films, replaced by the New York slice-of-life entries by Gary Weiss. A couple of sketches, one featuring Lily Tomlin and Garret Morris and another with Sissy Spacek and John Belushi, are more dramatic playlets. And Eric Idle's first stint as host plays like a lost episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus with the sketches seamlessly flowing in to one another. But the series still fearlessly subverted television convention. Envelopes don't get pushed much more than the Christmas-episode holiday song "Let's Kill [death row inmate] Gary Gilmore for Christmas." Saturday Night Live is a topical show, and Earl Butz jokes don't play as well in the 21st century. But the musical segments endure, including the thrilling pairing of Paul Simon and George Harrison and an extended set by the Band. The hosts, as ever, are hit and miss. One of the season's high points is Simon, in an ill-fated attempt to shed his "Mr. Alienation" image, taking the stage in a turkey costume to sing "Still Crazy After All These Years." This set's bonus feature is a true rarity, the "Mardis Gras" special, an infamous primetime debacle in which the cast gamely copes with drunken crowds that pelt them with beads, and botched logistics (Penny Marshall must go on without Cindy Williams who is caught elsewhere in traffic). In their impact on comedy and pop culture, Saturday Night Live 's iconic first ensemble has been likened to the Beatles. Then, season 2 is Help! to season 1's A Hard Day's Night: still wildly funny, though not quite as exhilarating. --Donald Liebenson
Beyond Saturday Night Live The Complete Second Season on DVD
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Stills from Saturday Night Live The Complete Second Season (Click for larger image)
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Top Customer Reviews
Here's what's on this season:
1. Lily Tomlin/James Taylor (First aired: 9/18/1976)
Sketches include "Lily Won't Rehearse," "Debate '76," "The Muppet Morgue," "The Phone Company," "Women In Literature," "Tess DiSenzo," "Judith Beasley," "Television Viewer" (film), and "The Antler Dance." James Taylor performed "Shower the People," "Roadrunner," and "Sweet Baby James."
2. Norman Lear/Boz Scaggs First aired: 9/25/1976
Sketches include "Gilda's Fall," "Norman Fell's Actors" (film), "Jimmy Carter's Libido," "The Snakehandling O'Sheas," "Chevy's Girls," "Joseph Franklin's Metric Week," "Yankee Doodle Slapstick" (film) "Abusive Divorce Lawyer," "Rhodesian Peace Talks," "Norman's Joke," and "Spanish Peanuts" (film). Boz Skaggs performed "Lowdown" and "What Can I Say."
3.Read more ›
1. Lily Tomlin/James Taylor
2. Norman Lear/Boz Scaggs
3. Eric Idle/Joe Cocker,Stuff
4. Karen Black/John Prine
5. Steve Martin/Kinky Friedman
6. Buck Henry/The Band (Chevy Chase's Last Episode To Be 'Weekend Update' Anchor)
7. Dick Cavett/Ry Cooder (Jane Curtin's First Episode To Be 'Weekend Update' Anchor)
8. Paul Simon
9. Jodie Foster/Brian Wilson (Chevy Chase's Last Episode)
10. Candice Bergen/Frank Zappa
11. Ralph Nader/George Benson (Bill Murray's First Episode)
12. Ruth Gordon/Chuck Berry
13. Frank Tarkenton/Leo Sayer,Donny Harper,& The Voices of Tomorrow
14. Steve Martin/The Kinks
15. Sissy Spacek/Richard Baskin
16. Broderick Crawford/The Meters,Dr. John,Levon Helm,Paul Butterfield
17. Jack Burns/Santana
18. Julian Bond/Tom Waits,Brick
19. Elliott Gould/The McGarrigle Sisters,Roslyn Kind
20. Eric Idle/Alan Price,Neil Innes
21. Shelley Duvall/Joan Armatrading
22. Buck Henry/Jennifer Warnes,Kenny Vance
Another possible episode to be featured on this set is the live special from Mardi Gras, but only time will tell if it will be included.
Bottom line, I am really looking forward to this set!
I've only watched the first 4 discs of this set, but so far it has been great. Even better than season one. This season marks the birth of the Coneheads. Jane Curtin takes over Weekend Update after Chevy Chase leaves the show. Lots of great moments.
The only thing that I find disapointing is the people that continue to complain about the long wait between seasons and the price of the sets. In case no one has bothered to address the issue, here it is in black and white. Music licensing issues. Come on folks. You complain that TV shows on DVD are constantly replacing or deleating music and when a company bends over backwards to make sure that each and every piece of music is inclued in the set, then you complain about the price. Sorry but in this case you can't have your cake and eat it too. The same goes for the so called 'long wait' between seasons. It takes a lot of time to negotiate those pesky music rights. I know, reality bites doesn't it? I, for one, don't mind the long wait. If this is what it takes for Universal to give me complete uncut seasons of this great show, then fine. I'll fork over the $50.00+ dollars for the set and wait patiently for the next season. End of rant.
The Karen Black episode doesn't have the LIVE "goodbye" close at the end. What BV did was recreated a credit close with stills from the show open.
However, the infamous Candice Bergen/Frank Zappa Christmas episode DOES HAVE the full, uncut skating rink goodnight in this set.
In all, minus a couple of edited episodes and commercial bumpers, it's still a good box set and a must have for die hard SNL fans!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Packaged well. Total of 8 DVDs - have watched first six and all look good. Enjoying reliving the memories!Published 4 days ago by M. Gillardi
Must have for original SNL fans! This is SNL the way it's supposed to be!Published 2 months ago by Lynn McDaniel
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هل يوجد مستع
Sep 1, 2015 by SAMEER ATEA ALRWELE | See all 2 posts
I got the advanced copy "for review purposes only" from Broadway Video two days ago. And I'm sorry to say that the commercial bumpers are NOT INCLUDED in SNL Second Season Box Set.
Nov 22, 2007 by TV Newsman | See all 13 posts
|Live from Mardi Gras||
As far As I know the answer is yes. I got the info from tvshowsondvd.com
Oct 9, 2007 by W. J. Robertson | See all 10 posts
|Jane you Ignorant sl--t||
Bad news....I think. I have 10 complete episodes from this season and there is no Point/Counterpoint on them. Aykroyd becomes co-anchor in the third season which is when this skit may have originated. At any rate, you'll definitely see it there, but probably not on the second season. Emily... Read More
Oct 1, 2007 by billymac72 | See all 5 posts
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