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April 11, 1981

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April 11, 1981
Season 6 episode
Chase-apr-11-81
Details
Season Number 13
Episode Number 119
Host Chevy Chase
Musical Guest(s) Jr. Walker & The All-Stars
Song(s) performed by Musical Guest(s)
Chronology
Previous Episode March 7, 1981
Next Episode October 3, 1981


The last episode of season 6 was delayed due to a change in producers; it was the first episode for producer Dick Ebersol, who brought in several new cast members: Robin Duke, Tim Kazurinsky, Tony Rosato, and featured players Laurie Metcalf and Emily Prager. Both Metcalf and Prager were not kept after this episode; in fact, Prager was credited but never appeared. It was also the last appearance for Denny Dillon and Gail Matthius, who were not kept for the following season.

Chevy Chase hosted and appeared in a few sketches, including the opening sketch and anchoring Weekend Update. This episode was a one-off in a few ways:

  • The cast was an amalgamation of the remains of season six, several who would remain for season seven, and two who only appeared on this episode.
  • The opening montage was unique. It used stills from the earlier season six opening, but had to be edited for the new cast members, and ended up with noticeable differences in titles. The opening music reverted to that from season 1. The opening was totally revamped for season seven.
  • Weekend Update returned to that name for only this episode. The previous episode used a one-time name, Saturday Night NewsLine, while season seven debuted SNL Newsbreak.

BackgroundEdit

Jean Doumanian had been fired immediately after the previous episode. New producer Ebersol demanded and was given a month to retool. He originally wished to replace the entire cast, save Piscopo and Murphy, but was stifled by the existing cast members' contracts, which needed to be paid off. As a result, Denny Dillon and Gail Matthius remained on with Piscopo and Murphy, while the rest of the cast was terminated.[1]

Sketches and PerformancesEdit

Apr-11-81-wu

Weekend Update title card

  • SNL Storage Room: Mr. Bill makes an appearance
  • Montage
  • Frank Sinatra for American Automobiles
  • Lite Beer
  • I Married A Monkey: Tim Kazurinsky said later that the sketch was designed intentionally for an on-air screwup; the show was so flawless that people forgot that it was live, and he'd hoped to reinforce that.[2]
  • Jr. Walker & The All Stars perform "Road Runner" and "Shotgun"
  • Weekend Update with Chevy Chase: Al Franken appears as himself, maintaining that he has not been affiliated with SNL since the departure of Lorne Michaels. He also bashed the choice of both Jean Doumanian and Dick Ebersol, stating "No English-speaking person could do a worse job than Jean." Laurie Metcalf contributes a segment; it was her only contribution to the show. Emily Prager was slated to do a segment, but it was cut, and she did not appear at all.
  • Same: Irene Cara (Gail Matthius) sings an altered (and somewhat off-key) version of Cara's song Fame.
  • The Self-Righteous
  • Frank's Wedding Day
  • The Famous Broadcasters School Of Cue Card Reading
  • SNL is Improving: Chevy Chase comes out to tell the audience that SNL is on its way up. Guest stars Robin Williams and Christopher Reeve briefly appear and seem to disagree.
  • Jr. Walker & The All Stars perform "How Sweet It Is" and "What Does It Take"
  • Wild Country Gun Cards
  • Bag Lady
  • Goodnights: Matthius reprises her role as Cara, and goes into the audience singing with the rest of the cast in tow.

AftermathEdit

The show was very upbeat, and reviewers praised it as a much-needed boost. As mentioned by Al Franken during the Weekend Update segment, the following week's episode was to be hosted by Franken and Tom Davis, with musical guest The Grateful Dead. Ebersol was unhappy with their writing during the week, however, and cancelled the remainder of the season. Now free from contractual obligations, Ebersol fired Dillon and Matthius, as well as newly-hired featured players Metcalf and Prager.[1]

CastEdit

Repertory PerformersEdit

Featured PerformersEdit

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live
  2. Live From New York: An Uncensored History Of Saturday Night Live
Preceded by:
March 7, 1981
Saturday Night Live episode Followed by:
October 3, 1981


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