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"Saturday Night Live" Johnny Cash/Elton John (1982)

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Johnny Cash and Elton John perform on Saturday Night Live

Author: tavm from Baton Rouge, LA
6 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

On this April 17, 1982 broadcast, this cold opening has Johnny Cash (nearly four years before daughter Rosanne became an SNL musical guest) singing about the "Man in Black" as he tells a fictional story about himself (with Tim Kazurinsky playing him in inserts). He tells about breaking a window to get a black dress but when a cell mate asks what he did, he, as Kazurinsky plays him, says, "I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die!" Opening credits begin as Mel Brandt says, "And now from New York, the most dangerous city in America!" First sketch is The Honeyrooneys with Ralph Kramden as played by Andy Rooney (Joe Piscopo) asking questions like, "Did you ever wonder why the background looks so fake?" or "Did you ever want to send your wife to the moon? Bang! Zoom!" In comes Ed Norton (Eddie Murphy) who, after getting some food from the fridge, delays with the Norton gestures before Kramden/Rooney says "C'mon!" It seems Ralph is complaining to wife Alice (Christine Ebersole) about her mother again and Norton praises his mother-in-law since she got him his first sewer shoes. Sketch ends with Kramden/Rooney saying, "Well, I coulda said 'I got a biiig mouth!' or go 'Hommina, hommina, hommina!" but I think I'll just go (turns to Alice to kiss) 'Baby, you're the greatest'!" Then Elton John sings his tribute to John Lennon, "Empty Garden". Next sketch has death row inmate Eddie Murphy's last request: for Cash to sing "99,000 Bottles of Beer on the Wall". After a few hours, as the song ends, Governor calls inviting Cash for a Bar-B-Que! Murphy then appears as Bill Cosby plugging "my co-star from I Spy, Robert Culp" for the following weeks show with musical guest Charlie Daniels Band. On SNL Newsbreak, correspondent Mary Gross interviews a man (Akira Yoshimura) who saw Lenin's tomb as opposed to the missing Leonard Breznev. Brian Doyle-Murray shows pictures of various world leaders saluting among them Mussolini ("who later became Curly of The Three Stooges") and Generalissimo Francisco Franco ("Still dead after all these years"). At the newscast's end, Eddie Murphy reads a letter about Larry the Lobster's fate on the previous week's show (the audience voted him to live) expressing skepticism saying, "If Larry didn't die from overexposure, surely Eddie Murphy killed and maimed him. (That man is sick. I thought those people didn't like seafood)". Murphy mentions he kept his word but changed his mind after receiving "this racist letter from you. You want to see what Larry looks like now?" before showing Larry on a plate. "I personally boiled Larry ten minutes ago. And to prove we people do like seafood, in the words of Booker T. Washington, 'I do like me some lobster!'" before eating and passing some portions to Brian and co-anchor Christine Ebersole. Those were the show's highlights so I suggest you watch the rest of the show if you want to know more. Definitely seek this out if you're a die-hard SNL fan!

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