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HTF DVD REVIEW: Saturday Night Live - The Complete 5th Season


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#1 of 37 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted December 27 2009 - 02:27 PM



#2 of 37 OFFLINE   Adam Gregorich

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Posted December 27 2009 - 03:14 PM

Thanks for your episode summaries.  I have always appreciated the level of detail you put into your SNL reviews.

#3 of 37 OFFLINE   David Rain

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Posted December 28 2009 - 02:08 AM

What a bummer about the bumpers.

Now let's see what gets released next about six months from now. The 1980-81 season ? A best-of the '80's comp ? The Dana Carvey years ? The Will Ferrell years ?


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#4 of 37 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted December 28 2009 - 07:16 AM

My instincts say that the next release should be a combination of the 6th and 7th seasons, with the artwork featuring Eddie Murphy.  That assumes that they'll keep going in chron order, and not just jump ahead to the most current years of SNL. I can't see SNL '80 being released on its own, both due to having too few eps, and to the fact that so much of it is SO BAD.  There's a few Murphy bits that really shine, but the rest of the stuff that season was painfully unfunny. It's also possible that they may simply stop doing full season sets and go back to the compilations, but I really hope they'll keep going, if just for history's sake. 

#5 of 37 OFFLINE   AnthonyC

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Posted December 28 2009 - 07:59 AM

I heard that the Will Ferrell era is up next.


#6 of 37 OFFLINE   Stephen Wight

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Posted December 28 2009 - 09:07 AM

  If that's true, I stop buying SNL season sets.

#7 of 37 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted December 28 2009 - 09:40 AM

Well, if they go the way I'd like, you'd possibly be looking at two releases next year: 6th/7th years as a collected pack - basically going from 1980-82 8th year as a single pack - 1982-1983  - which was essentially the last big year of Eddie Murphy They could follow in 2011 with 9th year - 1983-1984  (Murphy did some appearances pretaped) 10th year 1984-1985 (The All Star year with Crystal, Guest and Short - and one great Murphy hosting event) After that, it gets tricky again, because the 11th year, wherein Lorne Michaels returned, 1985-86 was so bad that they even acknowledged this on the air with the final cliffhanger, and with Madonna pulling the "Dallas" card during the next season's premiere to say that the whole thing was just a horrible, horrible dream!

#8 of 37 OFFLINE   Joseph J.D

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Posted December 28 2009 - 11:53 AM



Originally Posted by Stephen Wight [url=/forum/thread/296345/htf-dvd-review-saturday-night-live-the-complete-5th-season#post_3642890]  If that's true, I stop buying SNL season sets.
I agree with this quote....if they stop at season 5 and do 'best of' material and combo sets, count me out.....I want Season 6 and onward because I started watching SNL regularly during the early eighties.  I'm an Eddie Murphy fan and want complete seasons of these in my collection.

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#9 of 37 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted December 28 2009 - 02:47 PM

I hear you, but it likely really depends on whether Lorne Michaels wants to spend up to two years releasing DVDs of stuff he didn't produce.  And when they finally get back to his stuff, the first year back was so bad I could really understand him not wanting to put that out either. Personally, I really hope they just continue releasing the year sets, albeit with some combinations - like 6th and 7th together, and probably 11th and 12th together to make it more palatable for people. The latter 80s run was to my mind the closest the show ever got to its original quality - due to the caliber of the cast (Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Jan Hooks, Dennis Miller) and to the chances they tried to take here and there.  (William Shatner going on the show and telling Trek fans at a convention "Get a life, will you people?")  It wasn't the same, to be sure, and Lorne and the writers were ten years older, but there was a lot of intelligence and some really funny material in there.  Heck, they even got Charlton Heston to do a guest shot and then show up at their 15th Anniversary show to read the angry letter he had sent to NBC ten years earlier.

#10 of 37 OFFLINE   David Rain

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Posted December 28 2009 - 10:06 PM

I agree that every season that's released should be complete but SNL has always been obsessed with doing their half-assed, cash grab "best of" comps. If they condense the 80-81 season into a comp then that's likely the only way I'd get it. But for people who like that season (*crickets*) or who are just curious, they should be able to get it uncut.

I'd like it if they would release the 6th and 7th seasons separately at the same time, perhaps giving the 6th season less of a promotional push since I'd be shocked if it did well. I'd also be fine if they released "classic" and more current seasons at the same time to please a wider variety of viewers. Starting with the Will Ferrell years forward, it's really only the women from those seasons that I care anything about. Why isn't Cheri Oteri a huge sitcom star now ? She regularly wiped the floor with the men on the show.

I agree that Lorne might not want to spend an extended period of time releasing seasons that he had nothing to do with but he's also a smart businessman. If he's going to profit from those seasons then he might not have any problem putting them out. Ca-Ching !

As a devoted (if not obsessive) fan of the show, the next few months are going to make me very nervous until we hear official word on what's coming next. Please let it have Eddie Murphy on the cover.

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#11 of 37 OFFLINE   Kevin EK

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Posted December 29 2009 - 01:11 AM

I agree with you about continuing the complete season releases. I actually was thinking that since the 6th season was shortened anyway, the complete '80 season could be combined with the complete '81 season and marketed in terms of Eddie Murphy's first debut on the show. This, of course, with the knowledge that for much of the eps of the 6th season, Murphy wasn't used at all.

#12 of 37 OFFLINE   Mark Y

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Posted January 08 2010 - 12:45 PM

Season 6 would be a hard sell after the classic "first five years" -- but has some things to recommend it. For one, the Mr. Bill films continued to appear that year (I don't think Mr. Bill appeared on the show after Season 6) as well as Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy (though Murphy was only a featured player then). Seasons 6 and 7 as a combo set would make sense from a marketing point of view, but would be a hefty set (Season 6 had 13 shows compared to the usual 20, but I think 1981-1982 was a regular-length season).

We'll have to wait and see. I am certainly on board through 1984-85 if they get released.

#13 of 37 OFFLINE   GE Cafe

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Posted April 21 2010 - 03:04 AM

The most logical way that we will ever see any further seasons on home video will be doing annual 5-year "era" releases on BluRay. 1980-85, 85-1990, etc. on through 2005. I also think it would work to time these releases with a more contemporary season release on BluRay, from the past five years since the show began broadcasting in HD.

I doubt any of this will happen, and frankly, even if it does, I won't buy anything past 1990 since it'll be heavily-edited from the original live broadcasts.


#14 of 37 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted April 21 2010 - 04:18 AM


Quote:
I won't buy anything past 1990 since it'll be heavily-edited from the original live broadcasts
 

Why would they be heavilly edited?

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#15 of 37 OFFLINE   GE Cafe

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Posted April 21 2010 - 04:50 AM

Long story short: Since 1989 SNL's production facilities have allowed them to re-edit every video and sound element after-the-fact, rather than the linear downmix of old. Virtually every episode since then has been at least partially edited from its live premiere. Often it's small edits, like camera switching, audio/chyron mistakes/mis-cues, which, yes, they are small, but to me, it's what makes it a live show. It isn't perfect. I just don't really care to buy edited shows like that, particularly when I've been recording the damned thing every single week since 1992, there isn't much incentive to buy versions of the show that aren't as I remember, the shows I grew up with.

Then of course there's bigger edits, like swapping out live sketches for the dress rehearsal version, cutting band shots, bumpers, etc. The first five years are legacy, and look at how much they were messed with. Later seasons don't stand a chance.

For instance, there's an episode with Kirstie Alley and Tom Petty from 1991. The live show ran short and towards the end of the night, longer band shots were used to fill time. When the goodnights came, there was a good 5-6 minutes left. Alley and the cast improvised a bit, finishing off by singing "O Canada," and then credits. And during the credits, with 2 or 3 minutes left on-air, the cast and crew walks off the stage to go party, leaving the director to take shots of the live band for the remainder. As well, in the opening credits, Don Pardo really screwed up his timing for most of the announcements. In reruns this was all smoothed over, and another bland uneventful episode of Saturday Night Live entered the official register.


#16 of 37 OFFLINE   WillG

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Posted April 21 2010 - 02:49 PM

So are you saying that the original aired live versions don't even exist anymore?

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#17 of 37 OFFLINE   GE Cafe

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Posted June 19 2010 - 11:35 PM



Originally Posted by WillG 

So are you saying that the original aired live versions don't even exist anymore?


Not at all! They have multiple tapes* for every episode. The original as-broadcast live tape, a repeat (edited) copy, and a tape of the dress rehearsal. The live show is usually not seen again after its original broadcast.


*They used to do tapes, maybe still do, I don't know. On NBC's SNL site there used to be a background photo of a shelf of the archives which shows what appear to be tapes from the mid-2000s.



#18 of 37 OFFLINE   streeter

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Posted June 21 2010 - 02:36 AM

Note that there are no dress rehearsal tapes for the first 5 years (at least). Those weren't saved and are long gone. They didn't start saving these until the 80s.
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#19 of 37 OFFLINE   GE Cafe

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Posted June 21 2010 - 04:10 AM



Originally Posted by streeter 

Note that there are no dress rehearsal tapes for the first 5 years (at least). Those weren't saved and are long gone. They didn't start saving these until the 80s.


I''ve always wondered, since you seem to know maybe you could answer. Why are there audio recordings of at least some dress sketches from those years? It never made sense that there would be separate audio recordings from the video/audio tapes. I wonder the same about the first Johnny Carson "Tonight Show" that only exists as audio. Did it used to be industry practice to audiotape everything or what?



#20 of 37 OFFLINE   streeter

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Posted June 23 2010 - 05:05 AM

No idea. About a year ago I spoke to LM and asked him about the dress rehearsal footage and he said they didn't have it for the first five years at least, except for the Rolling Stones episode where all sorts of stuff was taped and saved without his knowledge at the time, which used to circulate among private collectors. So I really only know about this 1 show and have no idea what the industry practice was. That said, before people had VCRs, it wasn't unusual for people to taperecord TV shows and listen back to them. Could this be how some programs survived only as audio recordings?
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