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Saturday Night Live: Season 5, 1979-1980

82 customer reviews

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(Dec 01, 2009)
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Editorial Reviews

Returning for what would be the final season (1979-80) for many of the original cast and writers of SNL, the complete fifth season includes an array of comedic hosts, including Steve Martin, Eric Idle, Buck Henry, Rodney Dangerfield, Martin Sheen, Bea Arthur, Ted Knight, Elliot Gould, Burt Reynolds, Bob Newhart, and former cast member Chevy Chase. The complete fifth season of SNL features classic performances by Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Randy Newman, The B-52s, The J. Geils Band, Anne Murray, Grateful Dead, Blondie, as well as Paul Simon and James Taylor celebrating the 100th episode live from studio 8H.

Product Details

  • Actors: Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 7
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • DVD Release Date: December 1, 2009
  • Run Time: 1347 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002MXG570
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,732 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 66 people found the following review helpful By billymac72 on October 23, 2009
Format: DVD
I'm looking forward to completing my collection of the original-cast series. The Season 5 episodes are always bittersweet for me to watch because it reminds me of the dread I was feeling at the time, knowing that the original cast would be leaving for good. I missed Belushi and Aykroyd (although Belushi does put in a short cameo, via séance, during one of the cold openings), and boy, in retrospect their absence is glaring. Just a few highlights/recollections:

1. The quality of the show definitely begins to wane here, although come 1980-81, it was easy to render this season brilliant by comparison. With the Not Ready for Primetime Players pared down to five, heavy reliance upon Harry Shearer, Fr. Guido Sarducci (Don Novello), Franken & Davis, Mr. Bill (Walter Williams) and Paul Schaffer grows. Although all talented in their own right, they don't quite fill the void. Gone are the beloved Festrunk Brothers, The Coneheads, The Bees, Point Counterpoint, the Samurai, The Blues Brothers and the brilliant Olympia Café. The good news is that Bill Murray becomes a major powerhouse/focal point, returning with the ever-engaging Stargazer, Nerds and Nick the Lounge Singer bits. Gilda Radner is also a force, bringing back classics like Judy Miller and Rosanne Rosanadana.

2. Highlight sketches - the trademark, vintage SNL style is still firmly in place, and the show (unlike today) wasn't afraid to showcase quieter, ensemble, subtly comedic, human interest pieces, such as a teacher's union meeting sketch from the Martin Sheen episode, or "Aunt Judy's Basement" from the Bea Arthur show (premise: grown, adult "kids" forced to eat at the "children's table" during a family gathering).
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Captain Opinionated on September 14, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi have moved on. Harry Shearer (way before Spinal Tap and before anyone really appreciated his talents) arrives to take their place. He brings with him his drier, more clever approach to comedy and the show moves somewhat away from the harder-edged belly laughs that Dan & John traded in. Also, with their absence, Jane Curtin blossoms as she is given far more character work to do. Bill Murray moves front and center as undisputed male star of the show. Gilda is still the audience's favorite female. Sadly, Laraine Newman & Garrett Morris seem to be barely holding on. This is also the season that introduced the "featured player." As a result, we get to thrill to the comedic stylings of Dan's brother, Peter Aykroyd, and Bill's genius older brother Brian Doyle-Murray. We get more Father Guido Sarducci (aka Don Novello) and a bunch more Al Franken & Tom Davis. We get some great hosts (always loved me some Howard Hesseman, Rodney Dangerfield, and Bea Arthur!) and amazing music. Because of the shift is cast, this season gets way more uneven but the new energy - when it works - seems to breathe new life into the already-predictable format. This season does not get aired much due to it being Dan-&-John-less, so it's great to see it coming out on DVD finally!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Barker on December 28, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Let me start of by saying that unlike many others who have already written reviews for Season 5, I actually own and have watched them.

For me this final season of the "first era" of SNL illustrated perfectly everything that was right and (sadly) everything that went wrong with what many call the "golden" years. You get sublime musical performances by acts like the B-52s and the J. Geils Band along with some nightmare appearances like the frog croaking of Marianne Faithful. Although many bemoan the exit of old cast members, some of the recurring skits (most notably the Nerds) get long in the tooth and lose their humor. It's difficult to maintain one-dimensional characters without running them into the ground and one of the reasons we remember the Coneheads and Samurai characters so well is because we were left wanting more. Unlike many who look at their absence as a great loss, I'm grateful that the actors left before repetitive usage of the same ideas reduced classic characters to the hell of long and unfunny bits that wind up going nowhere.

This is the season that much of America became better acquainted with a few of the people that toiled in the background during the first 4 years. Al Franken and Tom Davis, long involved with the writing of the show, emerge with greater onscreen presence and it lays the groundwork for a lot of the work Franken in particular did later. Brian Doyle Murray, forever consigned to stand in the long shadow cast by his brother Bill, is perhaps the most consistent performer the show will ever see. Even during the most meandering sketches, Brian delivers his lines with confidence and a stronger sense of timing than the rest of the cast. He never loses his place, never flubs a line, and almost never stutters.
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35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Slowcloud on September 1, 2009
Format: DVD
OK, the comedy got weaker at this point, but I'm getting this for the sole reason that it contains the episode with David Bowie performing 3 songs with Klaus Nomi. His weirdest live TV performance ever! Bowie performs TVC-15 (wearing a form-fitting dress), Boys Keep Swinging (his head super-imposed on a marionette's body) and the Man Who Sold the World (dressed in a futurist-like outfit Nomi often wore on stage)! Other notable musical acts of the time who appear include Gary Numan, Blondie, The Specials, The B-52s, J. Geils Band. Not to mention classic acts like the Grateful Dead, Marianne Faithful, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan. Some notable hosts include Steve Martin, Bea Arthur, Eric Idle, Howard Hessman, Burt Reynolds and Martin Sheen. Should be interesting...
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SNL season 6?
According to the SNL Archives Website Eddie Murphy was a cast member in Season 6 along with Joe Piscapo.
Dec 31, 2009 by Mr. x |  See all 26 posts
Do the shows include the "Bumpers" pics used to come back from commercial?
I highly doubt it, although I haven't picked this one up yet. None of the other seasons have them. Although they have the little stingers that come right before commercial break (where you see the cast run off the stage, the camera pulls back to show the audience and some humorous little caption... Read More
Jan 6, 2010 by billymac72 |  See all 9 posts
Does anyone know what season Jr. Walker and the Allstars appeared on SNL?
Season six Episode 13. The last episode of the season that shouldn't have been... but the music was great.
Feb 24, 2015 by E.Z. |  See all 2 posts
The Bel-Aires
It's there.
Dec 7, 2009 by LombaireFan |  See all 5 posts
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Saturday Night Live: Season 5, 1979-1980
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