Late one Saturday night in 1981 I was in the dark, the bedroom illuminated only by the glow of a Hitachi portable black and white television. Our parents would sometimes let us stay up late on the weekends and watch Saturday Night Live. That's what I was doing. This particular episode stood out because of two sketches - one incredibly silly (if over my head at the time), and one that sort of frightened me. About a dozen years ago, when you could catch reruns of the '81 season on cable, I saw those sketches again, but since I didn't have the VCR ready (and wasn't aware the episode was on) I couldn't tape them. Thankfully, it's Hulu to the rescue.
Here's the one that frightened me a little. Yeah, now I can appreciate its silliness and the cheesy way it was done, but when you're a kid and you see this (especially in the dark, and without any warning), it sort of creeps you out a bit, and in a way it haunted me for years. (Maybe it was the Piscopo factor? I don't know.)
And here's the one I loved for its silliness. The cutaway to the chorus of doctors is what I remembered, but until I saw it again a few years ago I'd forgotten it got just a little out of hand. It's a little tasteless, but when you remember this man had a hand in writing it, that explains a lot.
Unfortunately, only part of the episode is available, and you don't get to see this little gem (yes, Joe Patroni himself actually sang). Nor do you get to see the performance by Miles Davis this episode featured that, while not Miles at his best, still blew me away when I saw it on that rebroadcast back in the '90s. Still, being reunited with at least those two sketches from that dark night thirty years ago is worth something, at least for me. (By the way, there's a review of the episode here.)