Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Casey C., Aug 14, 2006.

  1. Casey C.

    Casey C. Stunt Coordinator

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    We'll probably never see this on DVD, but it would be a hoot to see.

    This isn't the "SNL" we're all familiar with -- it's a weekly variety show hosted by Cosell that lasted only a few months on ABC in the fall of 1975. (It's also why the NBC show was called "NBC Saturday Night" during its first season of 1975-76.)

    There were musical acts, interviews -- but the real reason I'd want to see this is because of the comedy sketch troupe that included Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray and Christopher Guest.

    I wonder if tapes of this even exist ... assuming production was done in-house at ABC, I would guess that Disney/Buena Vista owns the rights.
     
  2. Fredster

    Fredster Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe I saw Jimmy Connors begin (and end) his singing career on this show. It was similar to a particularly wet scene by Albert Brooks in "Broadcast News".
     
  3. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    I'm glad we'll never see Howard Cosell's failed variety show on DVD, but some of his cast were talented and Bill Murray and his older brother Brian Doyle Murray both were on Saturday Night Live. So was Christopher Guest, although he was in a later cast. If these showed up on TV Land I might watch them.

    The original SNL didn't add the "Live" part to its name until well into its second season, which was months after Cosell's "Saturday Night Live" ended.
     
  4. streeter

    streeter Screenwriter

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    You didn't like the show so you're happy that those of us who might be interested in seeing this will never be able to watch it on DVD? I don't care for Everwood but I don't sit around in glee knowing that those remaining seasons aren't coming out. (though I hope for the show's fans that that will change)

    I have never seen the Cosell show, but it has long been a curiosity and I would pick up a DVD if it ever came out.
     
  5. Casey C.

    Casey C. Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know exactly when the switch happened, but Lorne Michaels wanted to call his show "Saturday Night Live" from the start, but at first he was legally prevented from doing so because of the Cosell show. (Source: "Live From New York" by Tom Shales.)

    Also, the name "Not Ready for Prime Time Players" started as a joke because the comedians on the Cosell show (which aired in prime time on Saturday nights) were the "Prime Time Players."
     
  6. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

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    All I know about this is that Howard Cosell would host NBC's "Saturday Night Live" in its' 10th season (the All-Star season). I haven't seen that episode (I won't watch the chopped-up ones on E! and the full-length classic episodes on NBC air at 3:00 AM in the morning), but I think it might've been good. I've read people say that the All-Star season was the best one of the 1980-1985 seasons.

    Sincerely,

    John Kilduff...

    But that's a topic for another day.
     
  7. Jeff#

    Jeff# Screenwriter

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    The all-star Saturday Night Live season (1984-85, on which Christopher Guest was a regular and he eventually anchored the news segment) was indeed very well written. It benefitted from the additions of Billy Crystal and Martin Short, who were already TV vets at that point in time. It also was missing what made 1981 to early 84 so great too: Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo....although Eddie did come back once to host the Christmas show in Dec. 1984.

    There was only one funny bit in the episode that Howard Cosell was in, and it worked in spite of his horrid acting: the Ed Grimley sketch in which he played Ed's father -- complete with nerdy clothes and the greased hair! [​IMG] Then again, the Ed Grimley SNL sketches were always entertaining that year -- particularly in the shows hosted by Tina Turner and Edward Asner.
     
  8. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Didn't the Cosell Show air from the Ed Sullivan Theater in NYC (current home of the Letterman SHow)? I wa pretty young at the time and don't recall.

    I DO remember a bunch of Yankees and, I believe, George Steinbrennner himself going on the show and singing the song "Heart" from the broadway show Damn Yankees. Classic.
     

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