Lionsgate // 1975 // 350 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Cynthia Boris (Retired) // July 12th, 2006
Eddie Murphy on Hosting Duties:
"I went out and did Best Defense, Best Defense turned out to be the worst movie ever done in the history of anything, and all of a sudden, I wasn't that hot no more. So, I called up the producer of Saturday Night Live, and I go, "Um, you still got my dressin' room?" and he said, "Why don't you come back on the show and host the Christmas show?" so I said, "You bet!" So, I signed the contracts to host the Christmas show, and while I was waiting for Christmas to come, sitting in my house by myself, somebody brought me a script for a movie called Beverly Hills Cop. Did Beverly Hills Cop, Beverly Hills Cop is a hit, all of a sudden, I'm an actor again. But, it's too late to pull out, so I had to host the show."
To quote the Men in Black, "we're the best of the best of the best, sir!" and that's exactly what you have here in this five disc set. Its' the best comedians of Saturday Night Live performing their best sketches, many of which have come to be known as the very best SNL has to offer. So get ready to smile, get ready to laugh, it's Saturday Night Live Collection: The Best of Giftset.
This gift set is made up of five previously released Best Of discs: Will Farrell, Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, Eddie Murphy and John Belushi snapped into a digipack with a useless color foldout that includes the front cover graphics from the original issue of each DVD.
Saturday Night Live Collection: The Best of Giftset is a mixed blessing. First off, if you already own any of the discs in this set...oh well, there's nothing new except the packaging. Since these are simply reissues packaged together, the quality of the discs and the extras included vary from disc to disc. Farrell's has his audition tape (which is fun to watch) and some deleted sketches, but Murphy's is no better than the original VHS edition that was released years ago.
Overall, there's a lot to laugh at here. Murphy does "Mister Robinson's Neighborhood" and Buckwheat. Belushi's Samuri is here as is Sandler's Operaman and Zagat's reviews. Farley does Chippendales and Farrell gives us more cowbell. It's also nice to see the span of the generations, from SNL's first guard to more recent favorites, this collection really shows the growth of the series over these past thirty years (yes, thirty years).
On the downside, the uneven quality of these DVDs are annoying. If you start with Farrell's you'll be pleased to find his two hilarious visits to the Conan O'Brian show. But your expectations will be dashed when you pop in the other discs and find they aren't as chock full of extras.
What I found even more annoying was the tendency to play only part of some sketches. What? Come on. SNL sketches aren't that long to begin with that you have to cut them in order to fit them all on a DVD. It's like watching a clip show and it's a lousy way to pay homage to some really great comedians.
If you're a casual SNL viewer, you will probably find this gift set to be acceptable and quite funny. If you're a real fan, you're likely to be put off by the uneven handling, cut sketches, and odd choices of which sketches to include and exclude.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. When are we going to get SNL on DVD the right way, complete and uncut?
The court finds Saturday Night Live Collection: The Best of Giftset to be guilty of artistic manslaughter.
Review content copyright © 2006 Cynthia Boris; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 1.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 350 Minutes
Release Year: 1975
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Will Farrell on Conan O'Brian
* Dress Rehearsal Sketches
* Chris Farley on Leno and O'Brian
* Photo Galleries
* Rolling Stone article on Belushi