Saturday Night Live: Season 5, 1979-1980
DVD | Box Set
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Watching this season makes one wonder what could have happened in season 6 had most of this ensamble stayed on. The gradual loss of one or two members per year, allowing a few new members to join the cast, keeps things fresh (kind of like M*A*S*H). But the mass exodis almost killed the show.
It is ironic that in the last show (ep#20) Buck Henry announces that while the original cast would not be back he will return, he never did. Buck's DVD commentary hints to the rift between NBC and the original cast & producers over their departure as the reason he never returned. One sketch in this episode does fall flat, and it is dangerously positioned at the beginning of the show. Buck Henry is introducing "next years new cast". These people are not the real replacement cast, what is worse is that they are not even funny. Some are introduced with a clunker punchline to follow, others don't even bother to try. Buck's DVD commentary even admits that he did not know where the sketch was going, it was as if it was never finished. But this one sketch is just a brief clunk in an otherwise enjoyable final show. You just hope everyone stayed through it to get to the good stuff. To end it all the cast walks somberly out of the studio, not like excited stars about to embark on new & wonderful projects, but like a group of people who just got their pink slips. Buck Henry also comments on this odd serious departure.
Where this set falls way short is the lack of any bonus documentary, disc 7 has 70 minutes or more of free space on it! I know there are already documentaries released about the first 5 years, but I think something about the introduction of new members & promotion of secondary members would have been nice.
I will not drop the star rating of this set because of this, it just feels a little empty.
I am just glad this season got released.
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. It stands in stark contrast to the performances of some of the veteran players such as Larraine Newman who shows definite signs of frustration and burnout. The amount of drug usage backstage is now common knowledge and there are times when it had a definite impact on what manifested on camera.
Despite the shortcomings I've mentioned however, there are enough magic moments in Season 5 to make this worth buying. The Rodney Dangerfield episode in particular is fantastic and features a very politically incorrect sketch dealing with the unexpected problems that arise when an older man gets involved sexually with a 10-year-old child. The odds are that if you purchased the earlier seasons you will be buying this one regardless of what any reviewer has to say one way or the other. But if you've watched any of the SNL episodes from the past 10 years or so you do owe it to yourself to buy at least one of the earlier years so you can fully understand how far the show has fallen from the peaks it once reached. This should NOT be the first set you buy. Seasons 2 and 3 in particular are much stronger than this one. But Don Novello (Father Guido Sarducci) is a bigger presence in Season 5 than in any other year and, as I've already stated, Franken & Davis and also Harry Shearer are prominent during this season. That alone makes this set good enough to add to your collection.
Add to that the rare television performances of acts like the Greatful Dead and David Bowie in an environment that allows them to be themselves with less censorship than anywhere else away from an actual concert, and you have no reason to hesitate. As always with a full season of SNL the highs far outnumber the lows and this is the final chance to see the remaining members of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players. Many fans are speculating that the sets will stop at Season 5, but if they continue on beyond here and release the Piscopo, Murphy, and Farley years there will be a large enough fanbase to make them profitable so I think we'll see these continue. Hopefully they will speed up the release schedule a bit though because I'd like to be alive long enough to own them all and at the present rate they'll be shipping quite a few of them to my surviving heirs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Set up an Amazon Giveaway
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Look for similar items by category
- Movies & TV > Boxed Sets > Comedy
- Movies & TV > Boxed Sets > Television
- Movies & TV > Classic TV
- Movies & TV > Genre for Featured Categories > Comedy
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Universal Studios Home Entertainment > All Universal Studios Titles
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Universal Studios Home Entertainment > Boxed Sets
- Movies & TV > Studio Specials > Universal Studios Home Entertainment > Television
- Movies & TV > TV