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11

July 2008

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Sort-of-live musing: George Carlin on SNL

Written by , Posted in Reviews

Two weeks ago, SNL re-ran their first-ever episode as a tribute to the recently deceased George Carlin, who was the host. I’m finally getting around to watching it.


It opens with a kind of silly Belushi sketch, which vaguely reminds me of the scene in When Harry Met Sally . . . where they are at the Met and Harry is trying to get her to repeat what he’s saying (‘…and I’d like to partake of your pecan pie.).


Chevy Chase delivers the first ever “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” Ah Chevy. Remember he was funny? Good times.


The monologue is George Carlin (wow, he’s so young) delivering his now-famous “Football vs. Baseball” routine, trying to point out why football is so much more testosterone-y than baseball. A sampling (and so much is in the delivery):


“In Football, you get a penalty.

In Baseball, you make an error.”


“Football is played in a stadium.

Baseball is played in a park.”


I’ve read it, but seeing him deliver it is outstanding.


Now we have Dan Ackroyd in a cheesy home . . . it appears to be an ad for “New Dad” – family insurance coverage. As soon as old Dad dies, New Dad is there to help meet “physical and emotional” needs. Nice. And creepy.


Chevy Chase used to be cute, too . . . 


Whoa, it’s jarring to go from the grainy 1970s film to 2008 commercials.


Billy Preston is playing! I like this song. It’s catchy. But not catchy enough to keep me from fast-forwarding.


New sketch. Oooh, Jane Curtain is on the witness stand. Chevy is the attorney. Her voice is so high. Huh. She can’t bring herself to give her evidence, so they’re letting her write the remarks on a piece of paper. Oh, the judge is not happy. Neither is the prosecutor. Nor the defense attorney. They’re showing it to the jury now. We still don’t know what it says. Ha! Gilda was asleep in the jury box, and thinks Belushi is saying whatever ‘it’ is to her. And she likes it. Ah, Gilda.


Oh sweet, it’s the classic Andy Kaufman / Mighty Mouse sketch! It is really funny, because he does absolutely nothing while the theme plays, except to lip sync to “Here I Come to Save the Day.” That’s it. And yet it’s so freaking funny.  He reminds me of Gene Wilder’s Willy Wonka a bit.


More George stand-up. Let’s see. Ah, tee shirt under a blazer. Classic. “Do you ever look at the crowds in old movies and wonder if they’re dead yet?” HA! Man, he’s so good at the unexpected, mundane hilarious one-liner.


Another musical guest – Janice Ian. Oh man – I didn’t know who sang this. You know the song – it starts with “I learned the truth and 17, that love was meant for beauty queens.” She’s in a white suit with a green satin blouse. More awesome. But now I must fast-forward.


“Victims of Shark Bite.” Jane Curtain hosts. Belushi is missing an arm and half of a leg. Except his ‘missing’ arm just appeared. Awkward. And his other leg is fine, too. And that’s the sketch. No offense, but that seems like something that would be on modern SNL and get panned.


Chevy Chase and other guy. Other guy is supposed to be his wife. Wait, huh? Hmm.


Weekend update! Chevy Chase! Hoffa joke starts it off. Dumb president jokes. Some things never go out of style. “The US Postal Service announced today a new stamp commemorating prostitution. It’s a 10 cent stamp, but if you want to lick it, it’s a quarter.” HA!.


Arthritis ad for medicine that you can’t open. Kind of funny.


I didn’t realize that Chevy first used the “Goodnight, and have a pleasant tomorrow” sign-off that Tina Fey used.


Jim Henson Muppet sketch. Interesting…but not so funny. It’s like every second Robert Schmigel cartoon on modern SNL.


More George Carlin. He just addressed the audience – people are laughing before the punch line. No blue food! Military intelligence.


An Al Brooks film? Huh. Headlines – mocking shows about impossible but true things. “The entire state of Georgia and the entire country of Israel are switching places.” “The age of consent in Oregon is lowered to seven.” Ew. So perverse. And yet kind of funny . . . 


New sketch. Bee hospital. All are in bee costumes. “Congratulations, it’s a drone.” Yay! Then “Congratulations, it’s a worker.” Oh. Bummer.


Mocking technical college commercials.


Valerie Brownfield – Comedianne. A dress shields joke actually got a chuckle. Huh.


“Show us your guns.” Ah, suburbia. High-wasted pants. Always a good choice.


I gotta admit, this seems just as hit-and-miss as modern SNL.


George Carlin. Talking about God. “I think God may not be perfect. I think his work shows that. Look at the mountain ranges. Everything he has ever made died.”


More Billy Preston.


Dan Ackroyd – Trojan Horse home security.


Razor ad. Oh crap! They’re making fun of razors by suggesting a razor with THREE blades. Considering we now have razors with five blades ha.

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