Classic SNL Season 4 Episode 18: Michael Palin (Again)
After a string of newcomer hosts, SNL attempted a return to the familiar when it brought back Michael Palin to host for the second time this season. Could Palin outdo his performance from his previous episode? Let’s take a look.
You know it’s not good when Laraine Newman gets only nine points, and she’s only third lowest in scoring. Michael Palin and Dan Aykroyd tied for the top spot with a shockingly low 14 points apiece. The scores just kind of cascaded down from there. At least everybody outscored the cameos.
In a rare anomaly, the percentages were actually higher than the scores they represented. That means there were less than 100 points to be spread around this episode. Ouch.
We weren’t exaggerating in the previous two paragraphs when we said things looked bad, numbers-wise. The cast average for this episode is the second lowest so far this season. With only seven sketches, a high score of 14, and three cast members in the single digits, things just stacked up for low statistics all around.
The bad night continued for the individual cast members. Everyone in the cast except for Laraine Newman had score decreases; for her part, Newman stayed steady. The one bright side to this night’s poor scores was that no one had their worst night.
We asked at the start of this post if Palin would be able to surpass his score from earlier this season. The answer is a resounding, “No.” His ending score was more hobbled than the Black Knight after a sword fight with King Arthur. He tied for third worst score this season, only being under-scored by combo host/musical guests. It just wasn’t his night.
In addition to the poor scoring, we also thought this episode was a dud in terms of laughs. First off, the episode had two ridiculously long multi-part sketches that only seemed to be good for getting everyone on the scoreboard. Did we really need a Part II of “Miles Cowperthwaite?” Everything else featured premises that have been done better in previous episodes.
The next host will be another first-timer, Maureen Stapleton. Let’s to Wikipedia to find out her claim to fame. It looks like at this time, Stapleton was famous for her role in Interiors, a Woody Allen movie. This show hasn’t had the best track record with Woody Allen’s associates coming in to host. Will Stapleton be like Milton Berle and follow up a low scoring episode with a high scoring one? Will the cast lift itself from the past episode’s scoring doldrums? Will Stapleton break the “Woody curse?” Only time and the numbers will tell.