Thursday, February 3, 2011

Saturday Night Live '80

I’m obsessed by the 1980-81 season of Saturday Night Live not only because it’s one of the absolute worst seasons of the show but because it’s one of the years that has been forcibly swept under the carpet in hopes that people will just forget or never rediscover it. It’s similar to Disney’s efforts to wipe away people’s memories of Song of the South or George Lucas’s attempts to pretend that The Star Wars Holiday Special never happened. It might fool some of the people but the nerds will always remember. The nerds will always remember.

Eddie Murphy was a featured player at this point and wasn’t included in the early promos. I’m still shocked Gilbert Gottfried was an SNL member. He’s so ill-fitting for that show.

I’m convinced that Ann Risley was the worst cast member to ever appear on Saturday Night Live. She was a lousy actress with very little background in comedy and according to various books on SNL was an unbearable diva. Her current obscurity speaks for itself.

Some sketches weren’t entirely cringe-inducing. This one repeatedly brought me to the cusp of laughter several times.

Gail Matthius’ Valley Girl character was one of the few re-occurring characters created during the 80-81 season. Much like the characters created on the recent version of SNL, this character seems to be created out of spite against the audience.

I really wish I could get the infamous Jack the Stripper sketch that aired on the Malcolm MacDowell episode but it’s still unavailable on youtube. Until then, here’s a pair of bland, mediocre and obvious bits.

Not from the 80-81 season but I’m hoping to eventually track down the Mad Magazine Theater sketch from one of the Ebersol seasons.


  1. What's even funnier is that someone felt these were good enough to upload. This season is the 'National Lampoon Goes to the Movies' of SNL (The Ebersol years were their 'Panic'). I think 'Fridays' only lasted as long as it did because it was on the same time as this season. It's ironic the biggest star they ever had came from this year. I recently saw the 75-80 seasons and even though they're considered "the golden years", the episodes in their entirety have a bigger miss-to-hit ratio than they do now

  2. I think what people forget about SNL is that it was always inconsistent and on those early episodes when a sketch missed it really missed.

    I also think you're right about Fridays. Fridays was bad but it wasn't as bad as this iterration(sic?) of SNL. At least Fridays had people like Larry David on their writing staff.