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"Saturday Night Live" Milton Berle/Ornette Coleman (TV Episode 1979) Poster

Trivia

Milton Berle's long opening monologue featured bits from his nightclub stand-up routine that did not mesh with the younger audience, including jokes about women, "Arabs", George Burns, and retirees in Miami Beach. After about five minutes, an off-stage Bill Murray dropped a large pipe, making a loud noise and disrupting the comedian's routine. Shortly after, Berle was told by a producer at the foot of the stage that the monologue was over, which he responded incredulously to and briefly contested. During the audience's applause while transitioning to commercial, he can be seen angrily yelling while the house band looks on nervously.
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While on-air, Milton Berle frequently mugged for the audience, did spit-takes, and ad-libbed straight to the camera.
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At the end of the show, Milton Berle broke into a "dreary version" of the 1950s standard "September Song" and according to Lorne Michaels, loaded the audience with friends and family members who awarded his performance of the tune with a standing ovation. Michaels told Dave Wilson immediately afterwards that this show was the worst ever; he kept it from appearing in syndicated reruns later.
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