Reliving the maiden voyage of 'Saturday Night Live'
As a Saturday Night Live junkie who spent her youth devouring sketches like “Dieter’s Dream” and “The McLaughlin Group,” I was ecstatic about NBC’s decision to rebroadcast the sketch comedy show’s debut episode this weekend, as a way to honor its very first host, George Carlin, who passed away June 22 at the age of 71. Really, could I have had a better reason to stay home with jar of Nutella on a Saturday night? (Or I just have no friends. You decide.) And for the most part, I was far from disappointed: What I saw was a stripped-down show that featured a not-quite-yet-cocky Chevy Chase, a larger-than-life John Belushi and traces of Gilda Radner’s brilliance (not to mention several of Carlin’s mind-blowing monologues, one of which included his now-famous football vs. baseball bit, embedded below).
Still, as much as I enjoyed delving into SNL history, I surprised myself by dozing off on a couple occasions. Sure, I’m a twentysomething living in a world of Speed Racer-esque pacing, but there’s no denying the SNL of 1975 was slower and more subtle (note: the absence oflaser cats) than the zippier broadcasts of 2008. Not to say the Carlin-led episode was completely dated — John Belushi’s”Wolverines” was one of several sketches that would still hold up well today. Others, however, like the faux commercial about the three-bladerazor — “Because you’ll believe anything” — were clearly products of their time. (Heck, my boyfriend uses a razor with not three, not four, butfive blades! And can you imagine how younger generations might react to SNL‘s “Happy Fun Ball” sketch after growing up in a society plastered with warning labels?)
Tell me, PopWatchers, did you enjoy Saturday’s SNL rebroadcast from 1975? Or were you jonesing for a more modern edition, complete with more outlandish sketches?