Tag Archives: Martin Short

Elliott Ghoul’d: JT Joins the ‘SNL’ Five Timers Club But One Member is Conspicuously Absent

Justin Timberlake made his triumphant return to Studio 8H this past weekend, delivering the episode that it felt like SNL and its fans had been waiting for all season long. The affair marked Timberlake’s fifth turn as host, inducting him into the esteemed “Five Timers Club” that includes such SNL luminaries such as Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Alec Baldwin and Tom Hanks. In fact, it was during Hanks fifth hosting appearance in December of 1990  (and before fifteen of Baldwin’s sixteen hosting turns) when we first learned about the existence of the exclusive club, with a young Conan O’Brien (going by the alias “Sean”) presenting Hanks with his club robe. For the first time in just over twenty-two years we revisited this VIP lounge this past Saturday night, with Timberlake receiving his robe from another O’Brien, SNL writer and 7 Minutes in Heaven star Mike O’Brien. Martin, Simon and Hanks were once again present, as well as fellow club members Chevy Chase and Candice Bergen (and non-club but former cast members Dan Ackroyd and Martin Short). But shockingly absent from the distinguished proceedings was Five Timer Elliott Gould, who helped initiate Hanks back in ’90. Sure, by that time Gould hadn’t hosted for ten years, and hasn’t in the twenty-two since, but once a Five Timer always a Five Timer, right? In fact, Gould was the third host to join the club (behind Buck Henry and Martin), which essentially makes him a charter member. So why then has Gould essentially been excommunicated from Saturday Night Live? Why has someone who was so instrumental and loyal in those early SNL years become a persona non-grata at the Five Timers Club? Was it his role on FriendsA falling out with Don Pardo? Or, perhaps he and his friends stole from Lorne? Most likely, while fellow club members Martin and Baldwin climb higher and higher into the double digits, we’ll never know why Gould has been away for over two decades, whether by banishment or by self-righteous declaration of independence. No matter what though, they can never take away his pool privileges.

Btw, Lindsay Lohan is one hosting appearance away from joining the club. Should she be tapped for that fifth time, expect stricter membership requirements to follow soon after.

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Filed under Flashback!, Good Humor, Hanx, Makes You Think, Saturday Night Live

‘Saved by the Bell’ Season 4!

Season 4, as per the DVDs.  Basically a lot of episodes that are square pegs in round holes, but arguably some of the show’s best.  Certainly several of our favorites.  Here we go, guys!

3:42pm, Season 4, Disc 1, Episode 1: “SAT’s”

01:41: The SAT’s episode!

01:55: Probably the most frequent nugget of Saved by the Bell trivia is “What was Zack’s SAT score?”

2:25: Kelly, no talking!  That’s cheating!

02:35: I don’t think they had any trains traveling in opposite directions word problems on the SATs.  This episode is just riddled with inaccuracies.

02:40: Ladies and gentleman, Mrs. Ben Stiller, Christine Taylor!

Still to come: Desert Springs, Johnny Dakota and Zack Attack!

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Filed under Bob Loblaw, Fashion Show at Lunch, Masochism, Nostalgia Corner, Saved by the Bell, Saved by the Bell Project, Seinlanguage

Did ‘SNL’ Rip-Off Billy Crystal’s Mildly Racist ‘SNL’ Monolgoue?

Thanks to the wonder of Netflix Instant Watch we’re now able to go back and relive all those years of SNL that we had only read about in Live From New York.  As we had previously mentioned, one of the seasons we were most curious about was the 84-85 season, the year that featured a bunch of ringers named Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest.  So as soon as we could we went right to season premiere, which began with a monologue from de facto lead cast member Crystal.  We were struck by a number of aspects of the act: how young Crystal looks; the perfectly 80s sweater; the dark, depressing subway platform set.  But what stayed with us most was this mildly racist bit about going to scary movies with African-Americans:

We’ve been meaning to upload this clip for a few weeks, but we were hoping to wait until we could procure better quality video.  But we bring it to you now, without further hesitation, because last week’s SNL basically used the same exact joke in its “Globe Theatre” sketch:

Curiously, the sketch is not available on Hulu.  Is a rights issue because they reworked a Black Eyed Peas song?  Or maybe “Let’s all go the lobby” is not public domain.  Or, perhaps. Mr. Crystal filed a plagiarism complaint.

Sadly, we’ll likely never know.

Either way, we’re a little concerned about how enthusiastic that one woman in the audience was when Crystal asked if anyone had “ever been to a scary film with a black audience” (it’s also kind of a weird question.  The 80s weren’t the 60s, right?).  Crazy times, man, crazy times.

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Filed under Rip-off, Saturday Night Live, Sha la la la, Woody Allen, Bar Mitzvahs & Bagels, You Decide

Danza Moment of the Week: Boxer-Actor or Actor-Boxer? Toe-to-Face with Anthony Michael Hall

Our old pal Eliot Glazer recently alerted us to the virtual treasure trove of classic Saturday Night Live episodes that can now be found on Netflix Instant Watch.  In fact, they’ve made available nearly every episode of the show from its tumultuous 35 year history (although, it should be noted that episodes only feature “selected” sketches, and the musical performances have been excised for obvious licensing reasons).  Upon learning of this bounty, what was of most interest to us were two seasons in particular.  The first was the 10th Season, which boasted Billy Crystal, Martin Short, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer (and an opening credit sequence that inexplicably contained giant flying hot dogs); basically a group of ringers brought into the save the show after the departure of budding superstar Eddie Murphy (and, to a lesser extent, the exit of soon-to-be-punchline Joe Piscopo).  The second season we were most curious about was the subsequent year, in which Lorne Michaels returned to the show after a five year absence and replaced the seasoned veterans with a group comprised mostly of young novices, including Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Downey, Jr. and Joan Cusack.  The show suffered dismal ratings and a critical beating, but since it staved off cancellation and experienced a renaissance the following season with the arrival of Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey, Jan Hooks and Kevin Nealon, the 11th Season has become something of a footnote in SNL history.  However, after years of darkness, we can finally shed a light on this forgotten season.

And what did we find upon closer inspection?  You bet, an episode from April of 1986 hosted Mr. Tony Danza, who was just beginning to earn the greatest praise of his career for his early work in Who’s the Boss?*  Clearly though, Danza was not meant for sketch comedy, as his Russian accent in one sketch is just barely perceptible for much of the scene, and absent for the rest of it.  Much like in his roles on Taxi and Who’s the Boss?, Tony just can’t help being Tony, and his genuine upbeat, gregarious, often laughable, personality shines through no matter what character he attempts to portray.  Which is why inserting Dazna in this boxing sketch was a smart move.  Just like the producers of Taxi recognized, it’s best not to let “Tony” stray too far from Tony.  And then on top of Danza doing what he does best, and what comes naturally, you have Anthony Michael Hall probably turning in his finest work since The Breakfast Club (until 1988’s Johnny Be Good,** of course).

Hard to believe that scrawny little guy turned out like this.

*We’re making this up and assume it to not be true.

**See above.

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Filed under Who's the Boss?