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Saturday Night Live: The Early Years- The Best Of Seasons 1-5 DVD Review

“Saturday Night Live: The Early Years- The Best Of Seasons 1-5” is SNL at its best.

For those that long for the glory days of “Saturday Night Live,” you’re in luck as Time Life has released a new 12 disc set featuring 33 full episodes from 1975 to 1980 years (a 37 disc version is also available to purchase). These episodes feature guest hosts and musical stars such as Paul Simon, George Carlin, Steve Martin, The Kinks, Lily Tomlin, Richard Pryor, Carly Simon, Buck Henry, The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel, Carrie Fisher, The Blues Brothers, George Harrison and so many more. Of course, the episodes themselves star talented cast members (who would go on to become stars) like Bill Murray, Chevy Chase, Dan Akroyd, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin to name a few.

While some may say the 80’s and 90’s runs are SNL gold, it’s hard to argue that the early seasons were the show at its best. Not only did it showcase a new wave of comedy, but a new wave of stars were born from it. Additionally, there were so many iconic moments in both the series and in pop culture in this time period as this set so readily shows. Among the best include Andy Kaufman’s “Mighty Mouse” song, Belushi’s Samurai character, The Blues Brothers, political spoofs (which have since become a staple), parodies, Belushi doing a duet with Joe Cocker, Landshark, the hilarious Consumer Probe bit, Weekend Update, Coneheads, Roseanne Roseannadanna, Nick Winters “Star Wars” lounge singer, “King Tut,” Mr. Bill and so many more. Really, anything with Belushi is so fun to watch as the comic actor was so so unpredictable and wild. You never knew what he was going to do next or what character he would bring to life.

Outside of the comedy, SNL boasted plenty of electric music performances. While everyone’s taste is bound to differ in the music arts, I personally found the live performances by The Rolling Stones and Paul Simon to be the cream of the crop (although there are plenty of other stand-outs to be sure).

As many gems as there are in this set, there are comic bits that fall flat for sure. A few of the duds include Frank Zappa’s sketches (his performances are dynamic though), the Marine wedding, and Charles Grodin as the host (he was so bad he was banned from the show). Also, there’s no denying that the show is still trying to find its footing early on but that’s the case with most any series.

You can pick up “Saturday Night Live: The Early Years- The Best Of Seasons 1-5” at the link below:



Presentation: 1.33:1. How does it look? It looks as it did when it originally aired.

Audio Track: Dolby Digital Mono. How does it sound? It sounds as it did when it originally aired.
* A booklet with written pieces, cast spotlights, quotes, and stand-out sketch descriptions.
* Screen tests for Dan Akroyd, Garrett Morris, John Belushi, Laraine Newman, Chevy Chase, Gilda Radner, Jane Curtin, and Andy Kaufman.
* Wardrobe test of John Belushi and Howard Shore
* Tonight Show interviews with John Belushi from 1978 and one with Gilda Radner from 1980
* Interviews with Mr. Bill on “The Tomorrow Show” and one with Lorne Michaels and cast members from 1975

December 19, 2020 - Posted by | DVD review | , , , , , , , ,

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