FebruMurray Of The Day: Bill Murray’s Apology

In addition to flying the FebruMurray flag during each episode of the podcast, we’re also going to attempt to highlight a Bill Murray SNL sketch here on the site for you to watch and enjoy. So do that…

Though Bill Murray was in the running to be on Saturday Night Live’s first season, he didn’t actually join the cast until the second season and he didn’t get off to a blazing start. I don’t want to oversell the importance of this sketch, but when Murray mad a direct appeal to the audience and admitted that he was struggling on the show, some thing was unlocked. Call it charm or whatever, but Murray made a connection with the audience and by the end of his run on SNL, he was considered one of its signature stars and, obviously, someone who would go on to an amazing career. Does that happen if Murray doesn’t dialogue with the SNL moment, pulling back the curtain just a teensy bit? Who knows.

If you want to hear Jeremy’s assessment of this sketch as well, make sure you check out the next episode of the podcast, which should be up within the next couple of days.

If you want to keep up with our month-long celebration of some of Bill Murray’s most interesting Saturday Night Live moments, click here.

FebruMurray Of The Day: Frequent Flyer

In addition to flying the FebruMurray flag during each episode of the podcast, we’re also going to attempt to highlight a Bill Murray SNL sketch here on the site for you to watch and enjoy. So do that…

So I hate this sketch about a frequent flyer who has a burning need to bother his fellow passengers with recommendations about whatever in-flight services were offered in the 90s when in-flight services were actually offered. I actually thought I liked it when I clicked on it, but nope. So now, at midnight, I find myself worrying that my love of late 1980s and early 90s SNL (which I grew up watching) is really just a nostalgia mirage.

Also, Melanie Hutsell is in this sketch, so good for her. Also, does anything date a comedy sketch more than a hijacking joke? Also, the screenshot that I attached to this article is the best thing ever.

If you want to keep up with our month-long celebration of some of Bill Murray’s most interesting Saturday Night Live moments, click here.

FebruMurray Of The Day: NYC Cabbie

In addition to flying the FebruMurray flag during each episode of the podcast, we’re also going to attempt to highlight a Bill Murray SNL sketch here on the site for you to watch and enjoy. So do that…

This isn’t a laugh-out-loud sketch, just a great character piece with top notch performances by Bill Murray as his Honker character (this time as a cabbie) and Dana Carvey as a stockbroker/part-time writer whose “everyday” stories aren’t even close to as interesting as his cabbies reclaimed prostitute filled life.

This is the kind of weird, semi-experimental performance piece that the show doesn’t do all that often anymore. Mike O’Brien’s occasional contributions probably come the closest to this kind of thing in tone, I wish I knew who wrote this.

If you want to keep up with our month-long celebration of some of Bill Murray’s most interesting Saturday Night Live moments, click here.

 

Welcome To FebruMurray, Our Month-Long Celebration Of The Great Bill Murray

Murray 1Hello friends, if you’ve been a fan of this podcast over the years, you know that February is a special time when we celebrate our lord and savior, Bill Murray. It’s an annual tradition that we like to call FebruMurray, because the word February blends so nicely with Bill Murray’s last name and because Groundhog Day is in February, and because Monuments Men came out in February, and because back off, man,

In celebration of FebruMurray 2015, each episode of the podcast will be wrapped with Bill Murray affection, concluding in a bit of reflection on one classic Saturday Night Live Bill Murray sketch. Why SNL this year when we usually focus on Murray’s films or his work as an ambassador of fun? Because this is that iconic show’s 40th anniversary year, shut your face it’s still awesome, and because that’s what we wanted to do.

In addition to flying the FebruMurray flag during each episode of the podcast, we’re also going to attempt to highlight a Bill Murray SNL sketch here on the site for you to watch and enjoy. So do that…


Saturday Night Live – Chevy Chase & Bill Murray… by ClassicPL

To start things off, we’re giving you two sketches since I didn’t think to do the sketch posting thing until about 40 minutes ago and it’s the second day of the month. Both of these sketches feature Murray in song, and while that shouldn’t be a surprise considering the popularity of Murray’s Nick Winters character, the first one isn’t technically a lounge lizard sketch, but rather, a bit that paired Murray with Chevy Chase on the February 9, 1980 episode (above).

Chase was hosting for his second time since he bolted the show in the second season and reports about his behind-the-scenes scuffle with Bill Murray (who basically replaced him in the cast) had leaked out. Seeking to play with that, Chase and Murray staged a chummy medley of songs. It’s a fun moment, but if you ask me, Murray completely blows Chase off the stage.

The second clip is full Nick Winters, but it’s not from Murray’s heyday in the 70s. Tasked with kicking off the 25th Anniversary Celebration, Murray and Paul Schaffer teamed up for an awesome performance of Bruce Springsteen’s “Badlands” after Murray went through the crowd, teasing Drew Barrymore and some of the other luminaries in attendance. It’s a cool clip, but the story of why Murray wanted to sing “Badlands” is why I chose this clip.

From Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller’s Live From New York oral history:

There’s some lyric in “Badlands” that’s really appropriate for what we did, for what we’d done. It wasn’t “Born to Run” and just doing a classic song, which is what we always used to do; “Badlands” was more about what our experience had been. It was really about us. And Paul was like, “Badlands?” And when we started singing the song, his eyes lit up and he got it. He looked at me and he got it. Marilyn was still arguing and Paul said, “It’s going to be “Badlands”. – Bill Murray

Hopefully Lorne Michaels gives Bill Murray ten minutes, a microphone, and free reign once again when the show celebrates its 40th in two weeks.

 

For The Hell Of It: Jason’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ Dream Team

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Watching Bill Hader make his triumphant return to Saturday Night Live made me think about who I would put on the show, in their prime, if I were tasked with putting together an SNL Dream Team. In that I have posting privileges on this site and the magical power of the internet instant-gratification machine at my back, I decided to turn this foggy-headed late night thought into something like an article for your eyes and all that they are connected to. Including your heart.

To make this list, though, I would have to follow a few simple guidelines. This isn’t a “Best Castmembers Ever” list, this is me assembling a roster, so some omissions may be surprising. I also took a stab at crafting a Dream Writers list.

Here goes nothing.

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The Writing Staff:

Lorne Michaels, Chevy Chase, Anne Beats, Al Franken, Tom Davis, Don Novello, Michael O’Donoghue, Tom Schiller, Jim Downey, Robert Smigel, Jack Handey, Paula Pell, Bonnie Turner, Terry Turner, Bob Odenkirk, Adam McKay, Tina Fey and Seth Meyers.

Michaels should be obvious since he created the show in 1975 and he is still the key voice in deciding what lives on the air or dies in the room. Chase was such a widely acknowledged force as a writer and performer in his first season that I have to give him a job working on Weekend Update next to Seth Meyers under my political satire guru Jim Downey.

Other names are legends like Al Franken, Tom Davis, Tina Fey, Michael O’Donoghue and Robert Smigel (the latter three are my Head Writers) and valuable workhorses who had a big hand in the shape of their eras on the show like the Turners, Tom Schiller, Don Novello, Jack Handey, Paula Pell, Bob Odenkirk, Adam McKay and Anne Beats.

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Repertory Company: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal, Phil Hartman, Dana Carvey, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader

Featured Players: Norm Macdonald (Weekend Update), Chevy Chase (Weekend Update), Andy Samberg (SNL Digital Shorts), Kate McKinnon and Amy Poehler

Honorable Mentions: Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Darrell Hammond, Molly Shannon, Jason Sudeikis, Jan Hooks, Maya Rudolph, Jane Curtin, Jimmy Fallon, Martin Short, Jon Lovitz and Dennis Miller (for Update)

I was aiming for versatility with the cast and I think that I accomplished that with utility players like Phil Hartman, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Dana Carvey, Kate McKinnon and Aykroyd. That’s a lot of “glue” and a lot of talent that had the ability to save bad sketches.

Belushi, Radner, Murray, Myers, Ferrell, Wiig, Crystal and particularly Murphy are on the list to be the home run hitters. Chase would be used in sketches, but his biggest impact on the show was on the Update desk. Pairing him with an in-his-prime Norm Macdonald would be a joy to watch. Andy Samberg’s Digital Shorts are a mandatory part of a Dream Show. The same thing can be said for Tom Schiller’s short films and Robert Smigel’s Saturday TV Funhouse.

This list is full of legends but so is the list of honorable mentions. The hardest people to keep off the Dream Cast were Molly Shannon and Dennis Miller. In the case of the latter, I just couldn’t give him one of the Update chairs over Chase or Macdonald. Shannon is a victim of the same thing that Farley, Sudeikis, Rudolph, Curtin, Hooks, Lovitz and Hammond are: they’re amazing talents but people like Wiig, Carvey, Belushi, Hartman, Aykroyd and Murray do what they do and they do it a little bit better. No one does what Martin Short did, but I went with Crystal over him.

Despite my occasional annoyance with Jimmy Fallon’s over-abundant enthusiasm, I will say that he was very close to making the cast list but it honestly came down to him or his update replacement, Amy Poehler, and she had the slightest edge because I feel like she had more range on the show. Also, Samberg gets you a lot of what Fallon does, but he seemed like a more focused performer.

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snl list

Since I’m having so much fun, I feel like going a bit further so I’m going to breakout a list of 22 hosts for this imaginary season — 11 legendary hosts and 11 people who would or would have made amazing hosts.

Previous Hosts: Alec Baldwin, Steve Martin, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Buck Henry, Tom Hanks, Paul Simon, Candice Bergen, Drew Barrymore, Christopher Walken and Jon Hamm.

First-time Hosts: The Kids in the Hall, Key and Peele, Whoopi Goldberg, David Letterman, Will Smith, Patton Oswalt, Stephen Colbert, Donald Glover, Jeffrey Tambor, Will Arnett and Nick Offerman.

Baldwin, Martin and Goodman are honorary cast members at this point and they’ve hosted and popped in enough to have almost a season’s worth of appearances on Saturday Night Live. Like that trio, past hosts like Tom Hanks, Drew Barrymore, Christopher Walken, Candice Bergen, Paul Simon, Buck Henry and Jon Hamm are notable for the way that they surrendered themselves to the show. The best hosts are the ones who seem like they will do anything. The ones who take the role seriously and want to compete with the cast and the show’s legacy.

The Kids in the Hall and Key and Peele have their own legacies as two of Saturday Night Live’s best rivals, but both teams could stand in with the best of what Saturday Night Live has to offer. That was kind a prerequisite for inclusion on this list, being able to hold your own.

In another life, Glover, Tambor, Colbert, Oswalt, Arnett and Offerman could have been stand-out cast members on the show due to their comic skill and versatility.

I feel like Whoopi Goldberg could have been a top 10 cast member had the stars aligned and both her and Will Smith’s absence from the hosting post are wrong that should be righted. David Letterman’s inclusion is sort of a wild card, but I would love to see his weird energy crash up against the show.

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So, that’s my weird fantasy article about a full Saturday Night Live Dream Cast for a dream season that can never happen.

Panders To Their Listeners In The United Kingdom

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We came back! This time on… THIS PODCAST, Jeremy and Jason let a storm of wild and erotic comedy overtake them as they deliver all the hits with none of the filler. Honestly, I don’t know how you made it through without us but *finger to face* shh shh, it’s okay now. Let’s talk about Dan Aykroyd‘s idea to explore the mythology of the Ghostbusters one shard at a time. Let’s talk about stolen Batmobiles and Ben Affleck‘s feels. Lets talk about sex, baby. Fat guy sex, that is. Let’s put a black hamburger in our mouths and taste the squid juice goodness. Let us be adventurers together on the dope wave that is the internet, bro.

Other things that we will touch on during the show… [read more>>]

In Conversation With Marlon Wayans and Remembering Robin Williams

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Welcome to another edition of Radio Bastard: In Conversation. This time out, we chat with comedy star Marlon Wayans about his new film, Haunted House 2, Richard Pryor, twitter controversies, comedy and more.

Jeremy and Jason also welcome Den of Geek US writer Chris Cummins back to the show for a discussion about the tremendous history of sketch comedy in the 1990s (including In Living Color, The State, Kids in the Hall, SNL, Mad TV, Mr. Show, Ben Stiller and more) and the awesome legacy of Robin Williams, whose death was still a bit fresh in our minds on Monday night when we recorded.

Here’s a report on the interview with Marlon Wayans, which you can hear in full above: [read more>>]