Paul Simon w/Art Garfunkel, Randy Newman & Pheobe Snow: 10/18/75

SNL’s second episode with Paul Simon singing “Still Crazy After All These Years”. No guitar, just Paul sitting on the stool in a reflective mode, clutching the mic. This episode is a mostly musical one, and no sketches. At one point, after Randy Newman performs “Sail Away”, the cast (sans Chevy Chase) comes onstage dressed in bee costumes, only for Paul Simon to tell them that the sketch had been cut.

In lieu of an opening monologue, Paul Simon performs his song “Love Me Like A Rock” with the Jessy Dixon singers.

Legendary Yippie Leader Jerry Rubin makes an appearance as a spokesperson for “The Berkeley Collection”, a collection of wallpaper patterned with spraypainted ’60s protest slogans such as: “Burn Baby Burn”, “Black Power”, “Burn Pot, Not People”, and “Free [Insert Black Panther Here]!” When a blob of yellow paint is splattered, Rubin non-chalantly says, “Oops! No Hassle! This wallpaper is vinyl and acrylic coated to make it scuff and stain resistant, and wipes clean with a damp cloth. Isn’t this outta sight?” The commercial concludes with Rubin declaring, “Up the wallpaper, motherfucker!”, with the “motherfucker” part bleeped out with a ear-splitting pitch. “The Berkeley Collection” suggests that the idealism of the 1960s were already a fleeting memory by 1975.

Paul Simon introduces Randy Newman’s performance by performing his own rendition of Newman’s “Marie”, and Simon mentions that he wished he’d written that song. Newman’s performance is followed by “Weekend Update”.

“Weekend Update” in its early days isn’t about putting a humorous slant on the news as it is a vehicle for Chevy Chase to make glib remarks. WU’s opening has Chevy making an extended gag about President Ford getting into an accident and wrestling a thumb to the ground.

Chevy goes to a “live” remote of a one-on-one basketball match between Paul Simon and the Atlanta Hawks’ Connie Hawkins. Hawkins sought Simon out for a one-on-one after hearing that Simon was one of the best players “on the schoolyard”. Simon, wearing a jersey with the number “.02″ on it, realizes that Hawkins’ 6′ 8” height gives him an advantage. The game is abbreviated to the tune of Simon’s “Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard”. Simon incredulously wins, but has opted to “get back into music” rather than pursue a career in basketball.

Simon & Garfunkel get ample time on the show, and their performance is opened by a photomontage documenting their days as Tom and Jerry until their break-up. As Art joins Paul on stage, Paul quips, “So, Artie, you’ve come crawling back. The movies are over now?”, alluding to the fact that Art has spent most of the previous five years acting in films like Catch 22 and Carnal Knowledge. Simon and Garfunkel perform “The Boxer”, “Scarborough Fair”, and “My Little Town”, the latter being a song on Garfunkel’s solo album, Breakaway. Then Art takes the stage alone, singing “I Only Have Eyes For You”.

The Muppets’ “Land of Gorch” sketch concerns Gorch being on the brink of default. “What we need is financial assistance,” King Ploobis suggests. Ploobis seeks the Mighty Favog for financial guidance.

“It’s gonna cost you,” says Favog, and asks to sacrifice Scred. After consuming Scred, Favog points out that he has “one less mouth to feed”, and encourages Ploobis to sacrifice more. The sketch seems to an allegory for New York City’s current financial crisis.

Albert Brooks’ short film is a review of old home movies his parents made of them intruding on young Albert’s most intimate rites of passage: his first solo trip to the bathroom, his first kiss, and when he lost his virginity. He then segues into outtakes from other films, where he appears dressed a cow trying to buy an airplane ticket, then stuffing himself in a dryer and pretending to be a talking dryer. The talking dryer seriously irritates the laundromat patron. “We filmed other people, but they all pretty much acted the same way,” Brooks concludes, suggesting that he didn’t really learn from his parents’ mistakes.

Phoebe Snow, seven months pregnant, sings the Billie Holiday tune “No Regrets”, which is followed by Paul Simon and the Jessy Dixon Singers joining her onstage to sing “Gone at Last”. There’s a collaborative spirit between Snow and Simon. Snow doesn’t seem to mind Simon and the Dixon Singers joining her onstage, and doesn’t appear to worried about being upstaged.

A commerical Parody for Try-Hard Batteries features five elderly people with pacemakers. The elders are left out on a lawn overnight, and the next morning, all of them look exhausted, except for the one who had the Try Hard battery put into him. A little morbid!

At the close of the show, Paul Simon is presented an award by New York Knicks forward Bill Bradley. The trophy nearly topples him, but Paul Simon is ready to take on Kareem-Abdul Jabbar!

One Response to “Paul Simon w/Art Garfunkel, Randy Newman & Pheobe Snow: 10/18/75”

  1. […] On: New York City’s Financial Crisis When King Ploobis was groveling over Gorch being on the brink of default, that wasn’t some random idea the write…. When Saturday Night Live debuted in October of 1975, New York City was seriously on the brink of […]

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