Background: This two DVD set is of the exact original broadcast as it was originally aired on 24th of September 1989. Eventually the 15th anniversary special would be released on home video in the format at VHS only. The VHS is only 1 Hour and 37 Minutes and 38 Seconds. That release is NOT the complete original broadcast! For contractual reasons and/or licensing issues or other reasons that will probably never know about, all music related segments and live performances from the original broadcast were omitted in the shortened version edited version that was released on VHS home video. This double DVD set contains all the content from the original broadcast including a live performances highlights reel that containing artists as early as the 1970s all the way to 1989. Also exclusive to this particular release of the original broadcast are live performances from Prince, Paul Simon and a complete unedited live broadcast of Robin Williams improvisation to stretch the show along that was partially cut down in the VHS home video release. See it here in it’s complete form that aired one time only on national television. The total duration for the original broadcast as it aired one time only on 24 September 1989 is exactly 2 Hours and 4 Minutes. These facts make the original broadcast a total of 27 MINUTES LONGER in content than the actual video VHS release. This extra footage has not been seen since it’s original broadcast in 1989.
The 15th anniversary as it appears in this DVD set combines the pristine footage from the VHS release and joins it with the direct off-air recording of the rare omitted segments that only aired one time in 1989. All segments are integrated chronologically throughout the duration of the program. Combining both the pre-recorded home video and the rare omitted segments from the original off air recording of the original broadcast combines to make the best of both worlds for quality and has a running time of nearly Two hours long.
Nowhere else world wide can you obtain the original broadcast as it first appeared in 1989 other than here at MVR.
Another product brought to you by the staff here at MVR!
Description: This comedy/variety special celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of the live, late-night comedy series “Saturday Night Live.” The program includes performances by musical guests Prince, Paul Simon, and G.E. Smith and the Saturday Night Live Band, and clips from past shows featuring former cast members Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, John Belushi, Laraine Newman, Dan Aykroyd, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray, Jim Belushi, Eddie Murphy (as Velvet Jones, Buckwheat, and Mr. Rogers), Billy Crystal, Rich Hall, Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, Martin Short, Brad Hall, Robin Duke, and Mary Gross, and current cast members Jon Lovitz, Dana Carvey, Kevin Nealon, Phil Hartman, Jan Hooks, Nora Dunn, and Victoria Jackson, with Michael O’Donoghue, Andy Kaufman, Steve Martin, Julian Bond, George Harrison, Eric Idle, Robert Klein, Elliot Gould, Paul Simon, Tom Hanks, John Lithgow, William Shatner, Sean Penn, John Malkovich, Madeline Kahn and producer Lorne Michaels. As the program begins, Michaels, Curtin, Piscopo, and Morris try to convince Chase he is too old to perform the famous fall that opened many of the shows in the 1970s. Program highlights include the following: Hanks delivers the opening monologue and introduces clips from early shows featuring “The Not Ready for Prime Time Players” and others; Guest and Short introduce clips from 1985; Steve Martin and Buck Henry introduce clips from 1985 to the present; Curtin and Newman introduce clips featuring the late Gilda Radner; Aykroyd and Jim Belushi introduce clips featuring the late John Belushi; Crystal introduces a montage of short clips featuring past musical guests, including Fine Young Cannibals, Cowboy Junkies, Bobby McFerrin, Tracy Chapman, Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians, Randy Newman, 10,000 Maniacs, Randy Travis, Cher, Sting, Simply Red, Roy Orbison, Suzanne Vega, Anita Baker, The Pretenders, Buster Poindexter, Laurie Anderson, Simple Minds, The Cars, Spinal Tap, Men at Work, Stevie Wonder, Joe Cocker, Squeeze, The Clash, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, David Bowie, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Blondie, Bette Midler, Linda Ronstadt, Pheoebe Snow, Rickey Lee Jones, Gregory Hines, Eubie Blake, David Byrne, Devo, Mick Jagger, Billy Joel, Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, Leo Sayer, James Taylor, Leon Redbone, and Simon and Garfunkel; “Weekend Update” host Dennis Miller comments on clips of SNL political skits, including one featuring Jesse Jackson; Mary Tyler Moore introduces clips that demonstrate SNL’s irreverent humor, featuring Matthew Broderick and Buck Henry; and Charlton Heston reads a letter humorously criticizing SNL. The program also includes “SNL Moment” segments presented by Hooks, Susan Saint James, and O.J. Simpson, and SNL commercials for Radner’s “Olfab’s: Hey You! The Perfume for One-Night Stands,” Aykroyd’s “Bass-o-matic,” and a First Citiwide Change Bank commercial. Other clips include Murray as an out-of-shape Hercules in a takeoff on low-budget foreign films; Simon dressed in turkey costume; and Gary Weis’s film short of lounge singers performing “Misty,” introduced by Gould. As the program concludes, Robin Williams performs a stand-up routine and banters with famous audience members, and Bruce Willis makes closing remarks.
DISC 1 of 2: 1 Hour and 20 Minutes
DISC 2 of 2: 44 Minutes
Total Duration of DISCS 1 and 2: 2 Hours 4 Minute (ALL COMMERCIALS are PROFESSIONALLY EDITED OUT)
Review: The stars came out to celebrate the first 15 years of SNL more than a year before the actual anniversary (that would have been October 11 1990). I always have trouble calculating the difference between numbers and years, but somehow 24 September 1989 marked the start of the 15th season live from New York.
It kicks off with a ‘cold opening’ that features all the biggest comedians of that time. SNL’s very first star, Chevy Chase, finds out he is no longer insured to do a pratfall now that he has ‘reached 58’. After the credits only some of the comedy A-list make an encore, while the rest presumably went home early. Tom Hanks has fun spoofing the “weakest part of the show” (the opening monologue), while Steve Martin gets overexcited as only actors in tuxedo’s can.
And so the first fourteen years are neatly divided into three compilations: The Great years, the Elusive years and the (at that time) Current stuff. The middle part (1980-1985) is mostly made up off Eddie Murphy clips, with some stuff from the ‘star season’ (84-85) thrown in for good measure. Also, most of the Short/Crystal stuff was pre-recorded on videotape! In between there are amusing ‘SNL Moments’, presented by comedy geniuses like Susan Saint James and O.J. Simpson. A couple of commercial parodies range from the classic ‘Super Bass-O-matic ’76’ to the unbearable ‘Compulsion’ by Calvin Kleen. Charlton Heston and Mary Tyler Moore (with Eddie Murphy’s entourage) appear, not to add some class to the proceedings but to mercilessly put them down (yes, you guessed it, insult comic dog owner Robert Smigel was one of the writers). The former Mrs. Van Dyke gets to introduce a segment of ‘Smut’ (strangely, they have yet to release “The best of SNL Smut”).
At this time only two of the former ‘Not Ready for Prime Time Players’ had left these mortal soils behind, and so Curtin and Newman introduce a tribute to Gilda, while Dan and Jim do the same for Belushi. When Dan Aykroyd takes the opportunity to bash Bob Woodward (without mentioning him by name) for his Belushi book ‘Wired’, it presents a ripple in all the self effacing fun. The well edited compilations mix the usual classic skits with more obscure stuff like John Belushi as the Hulk (from the married Superman sketch) and an older, fatter Bill Murray in “Il Returno de Hercules”. However, I still don’t understand why Phil Hartman had to play Frankensteins’ creature to Kevin Nealon’s Tarzan.
During a look at the political past of SNL we notice how much the make up department has matured over the years. In 1975 they only had some spray on hair when Dannie portrayed Gov. Jimmy Carter. After the election they finally got some halfway decent hairpieces and even took a stab at covering Aykroyd’s mustache with make up. While introducing this segment, Dennis Miller gets away with one of the best lines of the evening, referring to “the really bad sketch at ten to one that makes everyone want to go to bed early”. Unfortunately, this line proved to be a self fulfilling prophesy almost instantly.
With about half an hour of live TV left, the show was running early and Robin Williams had to hurry on stage to stall. Doing the ole’ Arnold imitation and heckling many famous faces in the audience. After this we get one of those Gary Weis films they used to feature in the early days. Bruce Willis comes out to mention he will be hosting the first show of the upcoming season. Certainly all the musical guests and most popular hosts could have been mentioned?