Tuesday, June 24, 2008
In the annals of Saturday Night Live hosts, Michael Sarrazin has to be among the most obscure. At the time he hosted - April 15, 1978 - he was obviously fairly well-known, having starred in a few movies with varying degrees of hipness: They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, For Pete's Sake with Barbra Streisand, the made-for-TV Frankenstein: The True Story, The Reincarnation of Peter Proud, all made in 1975 or earlier.
But his hosting really marked the moment at which his career went into the dumper. Actually, it had gone into the dumper two years before, when he played his last leading role in a movie of any popularity at all, in the forgettable chase comedy The Gumball Rally. After no films in 1977, Sarrazin appeared in the 1978 flop Caravans, the 1980 flop Double Negative, and the 1982 flop The Seduction, notable only for Morgan Fairchild's nudity. By the 1990s he was reduced to guest shots on Canadian TV series.
So when he hosted, Sarrazin basically had no career left. He was like a much younger Broderick Crawford.
By the way, Keith Jarrett was the musical guest on Sarrazin's show. When he came out for the goodbyes, he was noticeably shorter than Gilda Radner, who I have listed as five foot six.