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The Complete 5th Season

Saturday Night Live - Say Goodnight to Gilda Radner: The Complete 5th Season DVDs are Announced!

7-disc set ends with the exits of Radner, Curtin, Murray, Newman, Morris, and Michaels

Posted by David Lambert
    Returning for what would be the final season (1979-80) for many of the original cast and writers of SNL, the complete fifth season includes an array of comedic hosts, including Steve Martin, Eric Idle, Buck Henry, Rodney Dangerfield, Martin Sheen, Bea Arthur, Ted Knight, Elliot Gould, Burt Reynolds, Bob Newhart, and former cast member Chevy Chase.

    The complete fifth season of SNL features classic performances by Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Randy Newman, The B-52s, The J. Geils Band, Anne Murray, Grateful Dead, Blondie, as well as Paul Simon and James Taylor celebrating the 100th episode live from studio 8H.
The studio-provided description above says a mouthful, when they note that Saturday Night Live - The Complete 5th Season sees an exodus of cast members from the show. Following the departure of John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd at the end of the previous (4th) season, the fifth year for the show added some new blood to the cast in the form of Harry Shearer (now with The Simpsons), Al Franken (now a U.S. Senator), Tom Davis (the other half of "Franken & Davis"), Don Novello ("Father Guido Sarducci"), Peter Aykroyd (Dan's younger brother) and even future Dave Letterman sidekick Paul Shaffer, among others.

Yet by the end of the year, there was a huge pull-out. Gilda Radner left after the season finale (which was also Buck Henry's final SNL hosting gig), never to return. Other cast members returning from previous seasons would also leave the show, only returning as guest hosts in the future: Jane Curtin, Billy Murray, Laraine Newman and Garrett Morris. Shaffer, Davis and the younger Aykroyd also left the cast for good, and others left the cast only to return in future seasons: Franken, Shearer, Novello, and Brian Doyle-Murray. Producer/Creator Lorne Michaels also left the show after this season, but also returning years later for Season 11.

Beside the guest hosts mentioned in the studio description, there were also Howard Hesseman, Teri Garr, Kirk Douglas, Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss, and NBA legend Bill a brief return appearance by John Belushi in the "hostless" 100th Episode. Other musical guests not mentioned above include Chicago, Dave Bowie, Gary Numan, and Andrew Gold.

This can't-miss season of beginnings and endings comes to DVD on December 1st, when Universal presents the 7-disc set of Saturday Night Live - The Complete 5th Season. Video is full frame and audio is in English mono, as originally broadcast. English subtitles are also included. The cost will be $69.98 SRP. Package art isn't available yet, but stay tuned and we'll bring that to you just as soon as we can!

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