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Saturday Night Live 16 Seasons 1976

Season 5
4.5 out of 5 stars (87) IMDb 8.2/10

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.

Starring:
Steve Martin, Jane Curtin
Original air date:
May 24, 1976

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Season 5

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1. Steve Martin / Blondie - October 13, 1979

Steve Martin hosts and Blondie ("Dreaming" and "The Hardest Part") is the musical guest for the fifth season premiere. Includes The New Mr. Bill Show and Father Guido Sarducci.

CC TV-14 October 13, 1975 1 hour, 7 minutes
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2. Eric Idle / Bob Dylan - October 20, 1979

Eric Idle hosts with musical guest Bob Dylan ("Gotta Serve Somebody," "I Believe in You" and "When You Gonna Wake Up"). Features Roseanne Roseannadanna and special appearance by Andy Kaufman.

CC TV-14 October 20, 1975 1 hour, 7 minutes
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3. Bill Russell / Chicago - November 3, 1979

Bill Russell hosts with musical guest Chicago ("I'm a Man" and "Street Player"). Features Mr. Bill Stays Home.

CC TV-14 November 3, 1975 1 hour, 6 minutes
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4. Buck Henry / Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers - November 10, 1979

Buck Henry hosts with musical guest Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers ("Refugee" and "Don't Do Me Like That"). Sketches include Matchmaker Nerds.

CC TV-14 November 10, 1975 1 hour, 6 minutes
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5. Bea Arthur / The Roches - November 17, 1979

Bea Arthur hosts with musical guest The Roches ("Bobby's Song," and "Hallelujah'"). Features Mr. Bill Builds a House with an Update feature by Al Franken and special appearance by Andy Kaufman.

CC TV-14 November 17, 1975 1 hour, 7 minutes
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6. Howard Hesseman / Randy Newman - December 8, 1979

Howard Hessemen hosts with musical guest Randy Newman ("It's Money That I Love," "I'm Gonna Take Off My Pants" and "The Story of a Rock & Roll Band"). Update features Al Franken.

CC TV-14 December 8, 1975 1 hour, 6 minutes
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7. Martin Sheen / David Bowie - December 15, 1979

Martin Sheen hosts with musical guest David Bowie ("The Man Who Sold the World," "TV-C 15," and "Boys Keep Swinging". Update features Father Guido Sarducci.

CC TV-14 December 15, 1975 1 hour, 6 minutes
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8. Ted Knight / Desmond Child and Rouge - December 22, 1979

Ted Knight hosts with musical guest Desmond Child & Rouge ("Tumble in the Night," and "Goodbye Baby"). Features Nerds Christmas Pageant, Roseanne Roseannadanna and special appearance by Andy Kaufman.

CC TV-14 December 22, 1975 1 hour, 7 minutes
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9. Teri Garr / The B-52s - January 26, 1980

Teri Garr hosts with musical guest The B-52'S ("Rock Lobster" and "Dance This Mess Around"). Features Mr. Bill Gets Help and Father Guido Sarducci.

CC TV-14 January 26, 1976 1 hour, 8 minutes
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10. Chevy Chase / Marianne Faithful and Tom Scott - February 9, 1980

Chevy Chase hosts with musical guest Marianne Faithfull ("Broken English," and "Guilt"). Special appearance by Bert Convy and special musical performance by Chevy Chase and Tom Scott "16 Tons."

CC TV-14 February 9, 1976 1 hour, 7 minutes
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11. Elliot Gould / Gary Numan - February 16, 1980

Elliott Gould hosts with musical guest Gary Numan ("Cars" and "Praying to the Aliens"). Sketches include Jewess Jeans and Kennedy-Carter Debate.

CC TV-14 February 16, 1976 1 hour, 6 minutes
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12. Kirk Douglas / Sam and Dave - February 23, 1980

Kirk Douglas hosts with musical guest Sam & Dave ("You Don't Know Like I Know"). Includes Nick at Greg's Bar Mitzvah and Schiller's Reel: Mask of Fear.

CC TV-14 February 23, 1976 1 hour, 7 minutes
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13. Rodney Dangerfield / J. Geils Band - March 8, 1980

Rodney Dangerfield hosts with musical guest The J. Geils Band ("Love Stinks" and "Sanctuary"). Update features Father Guido Sarducci.

CC TV-14 March 8, 1976 1 hour, 7 minutes
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14. 100th Show / Paul Simon, James Taylor, and David Sanborn - March 15, 1980

The 100th Show with musical guests Paul Simon and James Taylor collaborating on "Cathy's Clown," "Sunny Skies" and "Take Me to the Mardi-Gras" and David Sanborn, Special appearances by John Belushi, Ralph Nader, Michael O'Donoghue and Michael Palin. Features Roseanne Roseannadanna.

CC TV-14 March 15, 1976 1 hour, 7 minutes
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15. Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss / The Grateful Dead - April 5, 1980

Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss hosts with musical guest The Grateful Dead ("Alabama Getaway" and "The Saint of Circumstances"). Includes The Franken and Davis Show and Mr. Bill Strikes Back.

CC TV-14 April 5, 1976 1 hour, 7 minutes
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16. Burt Reynolds / Anne Murray - April 12, 1980

Burt Reynolds hosts with musical guest Anne Murray ("Lucky Me" and "Why Don't You Stick Around"). Includes Baba Wawa at Large and Father Guido Sarducci.

CC TV-14 April 12, 1976 1 hour, 7 minutes
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17. Strother Martin / The Specials - April 19, 1980

Strother Martin hosts with musical guest The Specials ("Gangsters" and "Too Much, Too Young"). Include Irwin Mainway's Kiddie Fun World.

CC TV-14 April 19, 1976 1 hour, 6 minutes
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18. Bob Newhart / The Amazing Rhythm Aces and Bruce Cockburn - May 10, 1980

Bob Newhart hosts with musical guests Bruce Cockburn & the Amazing Rhythm Aces ("Who Will The Next Fool Be," "Third-Rate Romance," and "Wondering Where The Lions Are"). Includes Mr. Bill Goes to Jail.

CC TV-14 May 10, 1976 1 hour, 7 minutes
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19. Steve Martin / Paul and Linda McCartney and 3-D - May 17, 1980

Steve Martin returns with musical guests Paul & Linda McCartney performing "Coming Up" and & 3-D performing "All-Night Television". Include Father Guido Sarducci.

CC TV-14 May 17, 1976 1 hour, 7 minutes
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20. Buck Henry / Andrew Gold, Andrae Crouch, and The Voices of Unity - May 24, 1980

Buck Henry hosts the season finale with musical guests Andrew Gold and Andrae Crouch, & The Voices of Unity. Includes Lord & Lady Douchebag, Nick at Trader Nick's and Roseanne Roseannadanna.

CC TV-14 May 24, 1976 1 hour, 6 minutes
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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8 Comments 63 of 67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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3 Comments 25 of 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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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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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...
4 Comments 35 of 40 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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