I'm planning to review the 4th Season for this site. It represents the final year of SNL as many people remember it in the glory days. This was the last year with Belushi and Ayckroyd in the cast. The 5th Season is interesting in that it shows what could happen without the presence of B&A to dominate the proceedings, but it clearly shows that the series was headed for a reset one way or the other. Of course, nobody could have predicted how serious of a disaster the 6th Season would wind up being. (Some people have commented to me that it was better than people think - but I remember those episodes - and with very few exceptions, the sketches totally bombed. Had it not been for the presence of Joe Piscopo and the first glimmers of Eddie Murphy's talent, there might not have been anything at all to recommend that year.)
I still don't see the point of putting out the 6th Season on its own. Not very many episodes, and most of them were terrible. I could see putting out a joint set of the 6th and 7th Seasons and pushing the presence of Eddie Murphy - but I think this may depend on both Universal's sales projections and on Lorne Michaels. He could ask them to pick up the next season at 1985, which would mark his return to the series, but that season was almost as bad as the 1980 season. (It was bad enough that they got Madonna to come on the show at the beginning of the 1986 season to parody DALLAS and announce to the crowd that the whole prior year was all some horrible dream!)
I'll pay any price for Season 6. Yes, it's bad. But the nostalgia is thru the roof for me personally. I remember it taking many episodes to convince me and my friends it wasn't going to get any better. Laugh at it bad. It can be painful in the wrong mood though. I seem to remember a lot of really bad musical guests too. Lots of laughs.
Great idea, though, to pair off 6 and 7. I'd preorder that one.
I'd have to go back and check again, but I recall the musical guests were actually pretty interesting in the 6th year. Prince did an early performance, among others. Jean Doumanian's big strength before she took over the show had always been in getting solid musical guests. When it was her show, that was the only strength they had going, other than Piscopo's appearances and her lucking out with Eddie Murphy. (And she wasn't even going to use Murphy - he really was the one who pushed and pushed until he got something real on the air.)
I do wonder if Lorne Michaels will just sit back and have that season go out on DVD without saying anything to Universal. For years, he resisted having any of the non-Michaels years appear in reruns. Only within the last few years, when they were running "Classic SNL" episodes in the slot following the current show, did he relent and let in a few Ebersol shows. And even then, he did not put in any of the SNL '80 episodes. Granted, this is Universal's call - but I wouldn't expect him to not put up a fight over it.
The one musical guest I remember was Captain Beefheart. "Hot Head" and Ashtry something or other. I felt it was awful at the time. Not on SNL but to clarify, I also felt Bob Dylan was a laugh riot (well, except for Lay Lady Lay and Knockin on Heaven's door).
1. Season 6 is 13 episodes, so a release of just season six would be four or five discs, certainly not too few discs for a legitimate release. 2. Season 6 combined with season 7 would be 33 episodes, or eleven or twelve discs, which seems a tad unwieldy. 3. SNL is never as good or as bad as we remember. Did season six stink? Sure. Would it be unspeakably horrible in comparison to recent seasons? Not really. 4. Would be great if they could get Jean Doumanian and/or Dick Ebersol to sit for an interview to put the whole lousy season six in some perspective. 5. After season five, going to season eleven (Lorne's return) would be unfortunate, because season eleven was if anything worse than season six (and longer). Plus, I would think season ten (Crystal, Short, Guest, the unfunny Belushi brother) would sell far better. 6. I would think it would make the best business sense for NBC Universal to start releasing the most recent season and go backwards from there. Unfortunately, once the "classic" years are done, the more recent years are probably the most marketable. 7. Bottom line, I would love seasons 6-10, but would not complain if they skipped to season 12 for the first Hartman/Carvey/Hooks season.
Well, the box art is now up on TSoD. ... Ugh! What a horrible picture. It's Nick the Lounge Singer sitting with Lisa Loopner. And their poses and facial expressions border on the dismal. They should have used a pic of Roseanne Roseanneadanna; that was her pivotal year after all--and she was far more photogenic, it seems. Hopefully this isn't the actual art--just advance art.
That's Todd from the Nerds sketch. Think it's when he takes her to the prom. And Roseanne Rosanneadanna is on the Third Season boxset - inside on the actual box that holds the DVDs and not the cover box.
You're right--I forgot about that Roseanne pic. She's really more of a cover girl though, IMO. ....That's supposed to be TODD? Sheesh! The mustache threw me--didn't realize he ever played Todd with that mustache.
Which season had Billy Crystal and Jim Belushi? I might get ridiculed for saying this, but outside of the Phil Hartman/Dana Carvey years, the season with Crystal is my favorite. Loved the sketches with him as the Albino or the janitor who along with his co-worker exchanged the infamous dialogue, "Don't you hate it when......".
The Billy Crystal/Christopher Guest/Martin Short season was from 1984-1985. It was the final year that Dick Ebersol produced the show, and he wanted to do an all-star season, so he mixed the new guys in with Jim Belushi, Mary Gross, and several of the surviving regulars from his earlier seasons from 1981 on. Eddie Murphy returned as a guest host after BEVERLY HILLS COP came out and joined the group for one episode. The Guest/Crystal "I hate it when that happens" sketch appeared in this season.
I actually agree that Lorne Michaels' return season the following year (1985-86) is about as bad as the 1980 season, but for different reasons. The 1985 year saw Michaels return with Al Franken and some of the original writers and a mixed cast with very little chemistry, and it belly flopped. (The 1980 season, on the other hand, was a matter of Michaels having left and taken the entire writing staff with him. All Doumanian had left was the bare bones of the staff, so she had to rebuild the show practically from scratch, and she didn't have the eye or ear for comedy talent that Michaels did. If you look at the ensemble she put together, as opposed to the one Michaels started, you can see a night/day difference. The result for Doumanian was a season of episodes where the audience quickly realized there wasn't much to see - and sketches were greeted with scary silence rather than laughter. This reached bottom when Charlene Tilton hosted and Charles Rocket ended the episode by uttering the F-word on TV. NBC used that excuse to fire Doumanian and bring back Ebersol, who had started the series with Michaels. Ebersol got Michaels' blessing and managed to recruit a few of the departed writers, including Franken and a hostile Michael O'Donoghue. They got one episode on the air before the next industry strike hit, effectively grounding them until the fall - but that episode was already leagues ahead of what had been on the air that season. While the 1980-81 season holds 13 episodes on its own, it would not likely be able to sell many sets. A slightly larger season set including the 7th season with the better segments would do better. Or they could just forget the 6th season entirely, which is entirely possible.)
I also agree that the recent seasons have been more sophomoric and less memorable. I truly hope Universal doesn't decide to try to work backwards from 2007 after finishing the "classic" years.
I would be okay with them skipping the 6th season and going on to the 7th through the 10th years, to show what happened with Ebersol at the helm. (A lot more silly names and pre-taped bits, and a lot less edgy material than the mayhem that went on during the first few years.)
Barring that, I would have no problem with going right to the 12th season (1986-1987), which is the first one with Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman, and which saw Michaels find his footing again with the show. (They were in serious enough trouble after the 1985 year that NBC only picked up the show for 13 eps and was prepared to cancel it if Michaels couldn't save it.) The 1986 through the 1993 seasons are all fairly strong, albeit not in the same league as the first five years. There's some great sketches, some great breakout characters, and a return to some of the edgier humor of the original years, although there's much less of an emphasis on drug humor.