SNL’s Classic Landshark Sketch, From 1st Season

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The entire first season’s cast appears in the sketch

By November 1975, the new sketch-comedy series, Saturday Night Live, had already become a “water cooler show.” The Not Ready For Prime Time Players – as its cast was then known – were becoming familiar faces to its new late night TV audience. In just its fourth episode ever, the program was hosted by a young actress, Candice Bergen, and parodied Jaws, which had been released just months before and all-but invented the Hollywood summer blockbuster concept.

Bergen, at 29, was still more than a dozen years away from her signature role as TV’s Murphy Brown, but she was already a popular film star with a resume that included Carnal Knowledge.

Jaws was directed, of course, by Steven Spielberg, who was just 28-years-old when the film was released on June 20. It instantly made him one of the industry’s top (and most bankable) directors. The film was made for a reported $9 million and earned $470 million at the box-office, making it the highest-grossing film in history, until it was topped by Star Wars two years later.

On November 8, with Bergen hosting, SNL debuted its “Landshark” sketch. The Landshark, as the program’s longtime voiceover host, Don Pardo, described it, “is considered the cleverest of all sharks… and may strike at any place, at any time. It is capable of disguising its voice, and generally preys on young, single women.”

“Who is it? “Candy-gram…”

In the sketch, those single women were played by Gilda Radner, Laraine Newman, Jane Curtin, and finally, Bergen. When their doorbell rings, the unsuspecting victims are suckered into opening the door by a series of come-ons, including a tele-gram, candy-gram, flowers, and more, by the crafty Landshark.

The Landshark’s voice was done by Chevy Chase, who occasionally intentionally mumbles his answers when asked to identify himself. His arrival is accompanied by composer John Williams’ simple “shark theme” from the film. The gullible Radner, Newman and Curtin fall prey to the Landmark’s cunning. Each time, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, playing Jaws stars Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider, react to the victims’ corpses.

Bergen suspects that her visitor is the Landshark and takes matters into her own hands.

Watch the classic “Landshark” sketch; note that the entire Season One cast is featured

With a brief appearance by Garrett Morris towards the end, all seven cast members are in the sketch.

Chase was born Oct. 8, 1943. The skit proved so popular with audiences that it was used many more times.

Related: Bergen appeared opposite Aykroyd in the classic “Bag-o-Glass” sketch

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  1. RecordSteve
    #1 RecordSteve 10 May, 2021, 15:50

    Thanks for hooking up that hilarious Landshark routine….

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