Saturday Night Live: Season 1, Episode 17

Ron Nessen/Patti Smith Group (17 Apr. 1976)

TV Episode  -   -  Comedy | Music
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The host for the episode is press secretary to President Ford Ron Nessen, and the musical guest is Patti Smith. The skits for this episode are as follows: The opening act features a return ... See full summary »

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Episode credited cast:
Ron Nessen ...
Himself - Host / Various
Patti Smith Group ...
Themselves - Musical Guest
Himself (as Bill Crystal)
David Eisenhower / Tom Snyder / Various
Member / Spokesperson / Scott Shuman / Judge / Waiter
Spokesperson / Herself / Announcer / Rhonda Gwen Phillips
Member / Spokesperson
Member / Consumer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Herself (credit only)
King Ploobis (credit only)
Richard Hunt ...
Scred (credit only)
The Mighty Favog (credit only)


The host for the episode is press secretary to President Ford Ron Nessen, and the musical guest is Patti Smith. The skits for this episode are as follows: The opening act features a return of the dead string quartet. Ron Nessen's opening monologue includes a message from the actual President Ford. An ad for the Bass o' Matic promises a new way for viewers to enjoy bass. Nessen asks the president for permission to appear on a new comedy show, then briefs his boss on his daily schedule. A string of jam advertisers pitch products with increasingly disgusting names, since they must taste good to sound so repulsive. A number of skits feature historic figures like Catherine the Great, Oedipus and Thomas Jefferson. During the Weekend Update, Emily Litella becomes upset over presidential erections. Gary Weis presents a film about the dumps that handle New York's garbage, and the men who work there. An ad pitches new Autumn Fizz carbonated douche. Billy Crystal performs a stand-up routine ... Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

electric battery


Comedy | Music





Release Date:

17 April 1976 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The show was done during a technical strike, which accounts for the particularly stilted camera work. Also, due to the strike, Toni Basil and the Muppets were bumped. Don Pardo still mentions Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, Richard Hunt and Jim Henson during the end credits. See more »


Billy Crystal: Can you dig it? I knew that you could.
See more »


Edited into Saturday Night Live Goes Commercial (1991) See more »

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