Archive for Financial Crisis

Lily Tomlin, Howard Shore & The All Nurse Band: 11/22/75

Posted in 1975-1976 with tags , , , on February 15, 2010 by Erin

Yet another opening with Chevy Chase as President Ford. Subtitles appear: “This is not a good impression of Gerald Ford, but Rich Little won’t work for scale.” As Gerald Ford, Chevy Chase discusses New York City’s financial problems. He hasn’t granted New York City federal funds yet, stating:

The longer I hold out on New York City, the better chances I have with those Conservative Republicans who would otherwise support Ronald Reagan, pretty smart, eh?

Ford has two Rotary Phones at his desk: Henry Kissinger on one phone, Anwar Sadat on the other. He accidentally hangs up on both of them, falls down, and declares, “Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night!”

Lily Tomlin delivers her monologue on a brand new set, the set that would remain through the 1978-79 season. Lily delivers a short rap that closes, “Take pride in yourself, you could be Philadelphia.”

Saturday Night is still experimenting. John Belushi makes three appearances as Beethoven in this episode: in his first appearance, he attempts to play “Moonlight Sonata”, only to get frustrated and switch up to “Tie A Yellow Ribbon”. In the second Beethoven segment, he tries to play his “Fifth Symphony”, then gets bored and starts playing “My Girl”. Late in the episode, the third and final appearance, Beethoven snorts coke and starts playing Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say”. Laraine Newman and Gilda Radner, playing maids, appear dumbfounded by his raucous change of pace and become a ad-hoc version of the Raelettes. Beethoven’s “What’d I Say” is an irrevrent stab at Masterpiece Theatre.

Continue reading

Spotlight On: New York City’s Financial Crisis

Posted in Spotlight with tags , , , , , on January 29, 2010 by Erin

When King Ploobis was groveling over Gorch being on the brink of default, the writers weren’t pulling a random idea out of thin air. When Saturday Night Live debuted in October of 1975, New York City was seriously on the brink of default.

“There is no other business I can think of where the proprietor knows absolutely that he will face bankruptcy every year,” John Lindsay wrote in 1970. Following the Second World War, New York City had a boom period which enabled the creation of a lot of social programs and projects. Among these creations was a public university which guaranteed all New York City high school graduates automatic admission, and free tuition. In addition, many bridges and expressways were built during this period, including the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (aka “The BQE”), the Staten Island Expressway, and the Cross-Bronx Expressway.

The construction of the latter may have led to the City’s eventual downfall. In the 1960s, middle class families began to move out of the city and into the suburbs, and factories were pulling out of the city as well. At the same time, minorities with agraian backgrounds were coming into the city for better economic opportunities, and the jobs available in the city didn’t line up with their skills. As the city entered the 1970s, one in eight people living in New York City was on welfare.

Continue reading