DVD Review: Saturday Night Live

Series •••• Picture ••½ Sound ••• Extras½
The only extras accompanying the 24 episodes on this eight-disc set are screen tests for the original cast, a brief 1975 promotional clip from The Tomorrow Show, and a 32-page booklet that has no text, just photos. The series, therefore, must stand on its own - and it does. The untrimmed episodes include all of the original music and are hosted by such luminaries as George Carlin, Lily Tomlin, Paul Simon, Richard Pryor, Candice Bergen, and Madeline Kahn. Meanwhile, cast members Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Gilda Radner, Garrett Morris, Laraine Newman, Jane Curtin, and Dan Aykroyd create brilliant and often memorable comic moments.

However, the 1.33:1 images are very uneven - never awful, but ranging from focused and somewhat detailed to downright blurry. The sound is good, clean mono, giving decent if bass-shy readings of the music by 1970s headliners like Simon & Garfunkel, Phoebe Snow, Randy Newman, ABBA, Loudon Wainwright, Kris Kristofferson, Carly Simon, and Patti Smith. [NR] English, Dolby Digital stereo; full frame (1.33:1); eight dual-layer discs.

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