24 Episodes 1975 - 1976
Imbued by a strong counterculture sentiment, the first season of the late-night comedy series is raw, raucous and laugh-out-loud funny thanks to the talents of the original---and some might argue, the best---cast\, which includes Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner and Jane Curtin. It also features satiric short films from Albert Brooks, a few off-the-wall spots from Andy Kaufman and segments starring an adult-oriented group of Muppets. Among the inaugural season's popular bits: Chase's impersonation of President Gerald Ford, whom he envisions as both a bumbler and a fool, and "Weekend Update" ("Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead"); Aykroyd's demented "Bass-o-matic" commercial; Belushi's spastic homage to rock star Joe Cocker; and producer-creator Lorne Michaels' offer to pay the Beatles $3000 to reunite on the show. Of course, plenty of humor also comes from the guest hosts. George Carlin sets a high standard when he chaperones the show's debut, but the hosts who follow him more than hold their own, including Richard Pryor, Lily Tomlin and Kris Kristofferson. Candice Bergen, Elliott Gould and Buck Henry host two episodes apiece. Even Ron Nessen, Ford's press secretary, fares better than expected, most notably in a sketch with Chase that mercilessly lampoons his boss. The season's musical guests are also top drawer, including Abba, the Stylistics, Patti Smith and Paul Simon, who hosts a music-heavy episode that features a reunion with him and old friend Art Garfunkel.
George Carlin; Janis Ian; Billy Preston
Sat, Oct 11, 1975 90 mins
The October 1975 premiere, with host George Carlin, Andy Kaufman, and music guests Janis Ian and Billy Preston. Included: Killer Bees maternity ward; Kaufman sings "Mighty Mouse." Music includes "At Seventeen" and "Nothing from Nothing."
Sat, Oct 18, 1975 90 mins
Paul Simon; Art Garfunkel; Phoebe Snow; Billy Preston; and NBA star Connie Hawkins. Songs include "Scarborough Fair" and "The Boxer" (Simon and Garfunkel); "Still Crazy After All These Years" (Simon).
Rob Reiner; John Belushi
Sat, Oct 25, 1975 90 mins
Rob Reiner; Penny Marshall; the Lockers dance group; and the Nuns comic duo. Joe Cocker (John Belushi) sings "With a Little Help from My Friends"; Jane Curtain interviews would-be assassin Squeaky Fromme (Laraine Newman); the cast performs a violent square dance.
Candice Bergen; Esther Phillips
Sat, Nov 8, 1975 90 mins
Candice Bergen; singer Esther Phillips ("What a Difference a Day Makes"); and Andy Kaufman.
Robert Klein; Loudon Wainwright III
Sat, Nov 15, 1975 90 mins
Robert Klein; Loudon Wainwright III; Albert Brooks. Emily Litella (Gilda Radner) discusses her book "The Tiny Kingdom"; Sam Peckinpah (John Belushi) directs a romantic comedy.
Sat, Nov 22, 1975 90 mins
Host Lily Tomlin appears in a "Jaws" spoof and performs "I Got You, Babe" and "St. James Infirmary"; John Belushi appears as Beethoven.
Richard Pryor; Gil Scott-Heron
Sat, Dec 13, 1975 90 mins
Richard Pryor plays a priest in a a sendup of "The Exorcist." Also: "Samurai Hotel"; and an original essay read by Emily Litella.
Candice Bergen; Martha Reeves; the Stylistics
Sat, Dec 20, 1975 90 mins
Candice Bergen hosts; Martha Reeves sings "Silver Bells." Also: the Not Ready for Prime Time Players perform "Winter Wonderland"; Emily Litella delivers an editorial on "Firing the Handicapped."
Elliott Gould; Anne Murray
Sat, Jan 10, 1976 90 mins
Elliott Gould hosts; Anne Murray performs "The Crawl" and "Blue Finger Lou". Sketches include a dessert topping that shines floors; the Godfather (John Belushi) joining a therapy group; and Lorne Michaels firing the director to pacify the Killer Bees.
Buck Henry; Bill Withers; Toni Basil
Sat, Jan 17, 1976 90 mins
Buck Henry hosts; Bill Withers performs "Ain't No Sunshine." Sketches include "Samurai Deli"; a press conference by Gerald Ford (Chevy Chase); and Dan Aykroyd as Citizen Kane.
Peter Cook; Dudley Moore; Neil Sedaka
Sat, Jan 24, 1976 90 mins
Peter Cook and Dudley Moore host; Neil Sedaka performs "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do." Included: convicts audition for a production of "Gigi"; a one-legged man (Moore) tries out for the part of Tarzan; Emily Litella comments on "Soviet jewelry"; and Jane Curatin interviews the first male impersonator.
Dick Cavett; Jimmy Cliff
Sat, Jan 31, 1976 90 mins
Dick Cavett hosts; Jimmy Cliff performs. Skits include an editorial by Emily Litella (Gilda Radner) on the "eagle-rights amendment"; and an interview with a Nebraskan pimp (Cavett).
Peter Boyle; Al Jarreau
Sat, Feb 14, 1976 62 mins
Peter Boyle hosts; Al Jarreau performs "We Got By." Sketches include "Dueling Brandos"; "Samurai Divorce Court"; and tag-team Killer Bees.
Sat, Feb 21, 1976 90 mins
Desi Arnaz and Desi Arnaz Jr. Included is an "I Love Lucy" spoof with Gilda Radner as Lucy.
Jill Clayburgh; Leon Redbone
Sat, Feb 28, 1976 66 mins
Jill Clayburgh hosts; Leon Redbone performs "Ain't Misbehavin' " and "Big Time Woman." Also: an appearance by Andy Kaufman.
Anthony Perkins; Betty Carter
Sat, Mar 13, 1976 90 mins
Anthony Perkins hosts; Betty Carter sings "Music, Maestro, Please." Included: Perkins appears in a "Psycho" spoof and plays a singing psychiatrist.
Ron Nessen; Patti Smith
Sat, Apr 17, 1976 90 mins
Former White House press secretary Ron Nessen hosts; singer Patti Smith performs. Also: an appearance by actor-comedian Billy Crystal.
Raquel Welch; Phoebe Snow; John Sebastian
Sat, Apr 24, 1976 90 mins
Host: Raquel Welch. Music by Phoebe Snow ("All Over") and John Sebastian ("Welcome Back"). Skits include Howard Hughes (Dan Aykroyd) inventing an aeronautical device for Jane Russell (Welch).
Madeline Kahn; Carly Simon
Sat, May 8, 1976 90 mins
Madeline Kahn hosts; Carly Simon performs ("You're So Vain"). Kahn plays Marlene Dietrich appearing on "Not for Women Only" with Baba Wawa (Gilda Radner).
Dyan Cannon / Leon & Mary Russell
Sat, May 15, 1976 66 mins
Buck Henry; Gordon Lightfoot
Sat, May 22, 1976 90 mins
Buck Henry hosts; Gordon Lightfoot performs "Summertime Dream." Henry plays a controversial phone-in show host and visits the Samurai Tailor for a tuxedo fitting; Baba Wawa interviews Lina Wertmuller (Laraine Newman).
Elliott Gould; Leon Redbone
Sat, May 29, 1976 90 mins
Elliott Gould hosts; Leon Redbone performs "Shine On Harvest Moon." Sketches include the last mission of the Starship Enterprise.
Louise Lasser; the Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Sat, Jul 24, 1976 90 mins
Louise Lasser hosts; the Preservation Hall Jazz Band performs. Skits include a Swedish movie; two teens talking about sex as they raid the fridge; and John Belushi encouraging viewers to buy his clothes.
Sat, Jul 31, 1976 90 mins
Host Kris Kristofferson performs "Help Me Make It Through the Night." Also: "Samurai Doctor"; Jane Curtain's blind date with her gynecologist; and Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd as Los Angeles cops.