Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 8: Episode 1
Siskel & Ebert
[ Siskel & Ebert turn their chairs away from TV screen with SNL bumper, to face the audience ]
Roger Ebert: Welcome back to “Saturday Night Live”. Across the aisle from me, Gene Siskel, film critic of the Chicago Tribune.
Gene Siskel: And this is Roger Ebert, film critic for the Chicago Sun-Times. And this is history’s first live review of a television show still in progress. We will be reviewing three of the sketches from this week’s show, and, first, Roger begins with the PTC Club.
Roger Ebert: Well, Gene, that was the sketch about the televangelists, and it reminded me of college humor – freshman year. It’s a very tired and cliched reworking on an ancient, old satirical target. I mean, the idea that TV evangelists suffer from sexual repression and lust has been overworked for years. However, the audience participation portion of the show was awesome, totally awesome.
Gene Siskel: They had the best lines. You know, I still think we’re both “Can’t Recommending It” for it. We both can’t recommend that, people had seen this thing.
Roger Ebert: No.
Gene Siskel: No. Actually, why not have the evangelists – a better idea – perform a phony miracle, and it turns out to be a real miracle.
Roger Ebert: Mmm-hmm.
Gene Siskel: Well, our next sketch is the art gallery opening with the white liberals, you remember that. Uh, I like this, even though it’s almost as good as that old religion sketch. You know, the difference? Eddie Murphy, I think he really made it work.
Roger Ebert: Right on, Gene! I liked the acting, too. But, uh, why give us angry blacks and white liberals yet once again? Why not flip it, and give us black liberals patronizing angry whites?
Gene Siskel: Well, I think for that they’d need more blacks in the cast maybe, huh?
Roger Ebert: My next sketch is, uh.. “Video Junkies” a film about kids hooked on video games. I thought this was a brilliant satire, right down to the tightly controlled hysteria of the Narrator’s voice. And it made a good point, that most of those alarmist TV documentaries are pretty much interchangeable.
Gene Siskel: Well, I thought it was terrific, too. I was impressed by the actor who played the doctor in the sketch, and by the quality of the video in the piece. [ accidentally reading Ebert’s cue card ] I couldn’t decide if it, uh — what?
Roger Ebert: I couldn’t decide if it reminded me of Fellini or Bergman.
Gene Siskel: I couldn’t decide it, either.
[ sound effect of barking dog ]
Roger Ebert: That sound of the dog barking reminds us that it’s time for our “Dog of the Week” segment.
[ image of Chevy Chase appears on the screen between Siskel & Ebert ]
Gene Siskel: Well, Roger, I think we’re both going to agree on this one. The dog in this show, obviously, is – that’s right – Chevy Chase.
Roger Ebert: I think that’s, uh, pretty obvious.
Gene Siskel: He couldn’t even be bothered to fly in from the coast for the show.
[ Chevy begins moving his lips to mock Siskel & Ebert ]
Roger Ebert: You know, Gene, speaking of dogs: “Oh, Heavenly Dog” was the movie where Chevy was reincarnated as Benji the dog.. and that movie split the audience right down the middle. Half the people were disappointed when Chevy turned into the dog, and the other half were disappointed when the dog turned into Chevy.
Gene Siskel: Well, in another movie, “Seems Like Old Times”, I know that the best scene there was played by Chevy’s hand. He was lying under the bed when Goldie Hawn stepped on his hand with her high heeled shoe. Uh.. the hand played the scene, though, like Marlon Brando. it was really one of the great acting hand jobs of all time.
Roger Ebert: Exactly, Gene. One thing you can say for television that you can’t say for the movies — [ looks behind him to the TV screen ] Can you hear us, Chevy? [ Chevy doesn’t motion, so Ebert turns the tube off ]
Gene Siskel: Well, so much for this show. Next time, we’ll see you.. “At The Movies”.
[ fade ]