Saturday Night Live (season 7)
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|Saturday Night Live (season 7)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||20|
|Original release||October 3, 1981– May 22, 1982|
Following the dismissal of producer Jean Doumanian during the show's sixth season, Dick Ebersol, the program's developer, was hired as Doumanian's replacement. In March 1981 Ebersol dismissed several of her cast members (repertory players Gilbert Gottfried, Ann Risley, and Charles Rocket and featured players Yvonne Hudson, Patrick Weathers, and Matthew Laurance). After one episode on April 11, 1981, the show was shut down for the rest of the season because of the 1981 Writers Guild of America strike. In the summer break, Ebersol would also dismiss Denny Dillon and Gail Matthius, and featured players Laurie Metcalf and Emily Prager were not asked back as cast members.
The new cast of Saturday Night Live for Season 7 included most of the repertory players from the final Ebersol-produced episode of season 6: Robin Duke, Tim Kazurinsky and Tony Rosato along with the sole surviving cast members from Doumanian's era, Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo. Two new cast members, Mary Gross and Christine Ebersole, replaced Dillon and Matthius. Brian Doyle-Murray, who had been a writer for Doumanian's shows, joined Ebersol's new cast as a featured player.
Michael O'Donoghue, who Ebersol brought back to the show in March, remained as head writer for the first half of Season 7. Some sketches, as well as the appearances of artists like Fear and William S. Burroughs, reflected the increasingly bizarre ideas O'Donoghue had for the show. However, after developing a tense relationship with Ebersol and berating the cast in a meeting following the December 12 episode, O'Donoghue was fired, with Bob Tischler taking the role of head writer.
Wanting to distance the show from its first five seasons, Ebersol cut the popular opening line Live from New York, It's Saturday Night! from the cold openings. In fact, sometimes cold openings were not even shown and the monologues were skipped over almost entirely. These changes were not permanent, as Ebersol decided to reverse them for the eighth season. Each episode began with the announcement "And now from New York, the most dangerous city in America, it's Saturday Night Live!" After the opening credits, the cast would enter together and pose with the show's host before running to their places for the first sketch.
Ebersol also revamped Weekend Update. The segment went through its first name change (aside from the temporary change to "Saturday Night Newsline" in the final Doumanian episode from March 1981) and became "SNL Newsbreak". At the newsdesk was feature player Brian Doyle-Murray with Mary Gross and Christine Ebersole alternating as co-anchor. Doyle-Murray also became the first Weekend Update anchor to be a featured player while serving as anchor. The only other anchors to do this were Tina Fey, Colin Jost and Michael Che.
Additionally, this was the first season without Don Pardo (season 40 would become the next due to Don Pardo's death in 2014) as the show announcer. Instead the voice-overs were done by Mel Brandt, except for two episodes that aired in December 1981 when veteran NBC News announcer Bill Hanrahan handled such duties.
During the season, original cast member John Belushi died from an overdose of cocaine and heroin. The original airing of the episode hosted by Robert Urich had a tribute to Belushi. This was also the final season for Doyle-Murray, Ebersole and Rosato. All were let go to make room for new cast members in the following season.
bold denotes Weekend Update anchor
This season's writers were Barry W. Blaustein, Joe Bodolai, Brian Doyle-Murray, Nate Herman, Tim Kazurinsky, Nelson Lyon, Maryilyn Suzanne Miller, Pamela Norris, Mark O'Donnell, Michael O'Donoghue, Margaret Olberman, Tony Rosato, David Sheffield, Rosie Shuster, Andrew Smith, Terry Southern, Bob Tischler and Eliot Wald. The head writers were Michael O'Donoghue (episodes 1-8) and Bob Tischler (episodes 9-20).
|Host(s)||Musical guest(s)||Original air date|
|120||1||(none)||Rod Stewart||October 3, 1981|
|121||2||Susan Saint James||The Kinks||October 10, 1981|
|122||3||George Kennedy||Miles Davis||October 17, 1981|
|123||4||Donald Pleasence||Fear||October 31, 1981|
|124||5||Lauren Hutton||Rick James||November 7, 1981|
|125||6||Bernadette Peters||The Go-Go's
|November 14, 1981|
|126||7||Tim Curry||Meat Loaf||December 5, 1981|
|127||8||Bill Murray||The Spinners
|December 12, 1981|
|128||9||Robert Conrad||The Allman Brothers Band||January 23, 1982|
|129||10||John Madden||Jennifer Holliday||January 30, 1982|
|130||11||James Coburn||Lindsey Buckingham||February 6, 1982|
|131||12||Bruce Dern||Luther Vandross||February 20, 1982|
|132||13||Elizabeth Ashley||Hall & Oates||February 27, 1982|
|133||14||Robert Urich||Mink DeVille||March 20, 1982|
|134||15||Blythe Danner||Rickie Lee Jones||March 27, 1982|
|135||16||Daniel J. Travanti||John Cougar Mellencamp||April 10, 1982|
|136||17||Johnny Cash||Elton John||April 17, 1982|
|137||18||Robert Culp||The Charlie Daniels Band||April 24, 1982|
|138||19||Danny DeVito||Sparks||May 15, 1982|
|139||20||Olivia Newton-John||Olivia Newton-John||May 22, 1982|
- Hill and Weingrad, p. 453-7.
- Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 124–127. ISBN 0-395-70895-8.
- Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 138–140. ISBN 0-395-70895-8.
- Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 141–143. ISBN 0-395-70895-8.
- Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 144–146. ISBN 0-395-70895-8.
- Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. p. 147. ISBN 0-395-70895-8.
- Saturday Night Live: The First Twenty Years. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 1994. pp. 148–149. ISBN 0-395-70895-8.