Season: 1 (The Sonny & Cher Show)
Guest(s): Neil Sedaka, Evil Knievel
CBS Air Date: February 15, 1976
Also aired: TV Land, GetTV
Opening Song: "More Today Than Yesterday" (Video)
Cover of Spiral Staircase (1969)
Sonny is in a sparkly blue suit and bow tie. Cher wears a blue and white gown. Cher mocks Sonny's hand gestures as they sing. Sonny pulls hair from Cher's face. My notes call this the "worst dress" underlined! I don't know why I thought that. It's probably busy-looking to conceal little Elijah Blue. The dress actually gives her a nice figure.
Sonny & Cher also sang this song on their previous Comedy Hour show on episode #12 and they recorded the song on their 1971 Live album and on their 1972 album All I Ever Need Is You. It's a sweet little song.
Opening Banter: I've starred this banter in my notes. They shake hands and argue about the key of the song. Sonny complains Cher blocked the view of audience members who wanted to see him. Cher offers to revolve around him. Sonny jokes, "well, we don't do that anymore" in reference to Cher's prior deference. He says it would be nice if she "just got the hell out of the way" and Cher indicates that didn't work so well when he tried a solo TV show.
Sonny talks about Raymond Burr's performance singing "Windmills of My Mind" the week prior and they mess up the title and talk about tongue twisters they practice and Cher does a perfect "I'm not the fig plucker" and then Sonny messes up "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers" and this after telling Cher he speaks better than she does. Cher tells him her tongue twister is much more dangerous if she would make a mistake. Sonny says he wants to "recitate" and Cher offers to give him "artificial recitation." Sonny gives a dramatic recitation of the German disco group Silver Convention's lyrics to "Fly Robin Fly," the joke being there are no lyrics to speak of. Cher does funny "ethereal" singing offstage. Sonny keeps getting distracted. Cher says she doesn't "get the song." Sonny tries to explain the song with intellectual embellishments. It's all very funny. There's a nose joke in there somewhere and Cher says something about morning sickness. Sonny says, "Don't blame me." They finish the song holding hands.
+ Mao Zedong celebrates his birthday in a spoof of the commercial for Meow Mix. Get it? Mao, Meow?
+ King Kong: Cher as Fay Wray talks to King Kong about committing to marriage and how he's never taken her to see his parents. They talk about "mixed marriages" and there's a reference to a banana daiquiri.
+ Summit Meeting at Vail: This is the very eerie snow-skiing skit with Sonny which now views as alarming and does not seem funny in light of Sonny’s death by skiing and hitting a tree. It literally ends with a skier hitting a tree. Creepy, creepy, creepy.
+ Daredevil Evel Knievel tries to get accident insurance.
The Musical: Murder on the Oriental Choo-Choo. In this spoof of Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express Neil Sedaka plays the conductor, Sonny plays Inspector Poirot and Cher is a rich Prussian countess. There's a Marx Brothers reference.
Duet with Guest (Video)
Sonny & Cher with Neil Sedaka singing his hits. Neil and Sonny are in red. Cher is in brown off-the-shoulder blouse and a long bobbed wig.
- "The Hungry Years" (Neil Sedaka, 1975) - This song, Sedaka says, was written about Sonny & Cher and their divorce. Interesting to hear them all sing it. Cher would always say her fondest memories of Sonny were right in the beginning when Sonny wasn't all about business and would be up for doing any fun thing they could think up to do.
- "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" (Neil Sedaka, 1962) - Sedaka takes this one.
- "Sad Eyes" (Neil Sedaka, 1974) - They all sing this. Cher gets a closeup.
- "Calendar Girl" (Neil Sedaka, 1960) - Sonny and Sedaka sing this one.
- "Laughter in the Rain" (Neil Sedaka, 1974) - Oooh, one of my favorite songs and hearing Cher sing it is a treat! They all sing the chorus.
- "That's Where the Music Takes Me" (Neil Sedaka, 1972) - They all sing this and then half way through they all move in front of the piano.
Always a Woman Behind Every Man:
I prefer to call this recurring sketch "The Three Fairy Drag Queens." Ted Zeigler, Billy Van and Gailard Sartain play the men in big dresses and makeup.
+ Napoleon and Josephine - of course there's a nose joke.
+ Popeye, Brutus and Olive Oyl - Cher actually plays a good Olive Oyl. They use stunt dolls for this one.
+ Johann Bach and his wife working on writing a new waltz. This one has obvious references to Sonny writing songs on his piano. Not to compare Sonny with Bach or anything.
IGUB: Sonny & Cher close the show and thank Neil Sedaka. It seems like Cher has no lipstick on and they seem to be singing the song slower. "Goodnight everybody. God bless you," Sonny says.
Thank you to S&C scholar Jay for providing extra TV Guide and viewer information not available on the Internet so we could sort out what is on or not on these re-airings. GetTV is missing the full Sonnytone News, the Napoleon and Josephine and Popeye sketches.
Highlights: Or rather one big lowlight being Sonny re-enacting skiing accidents. Highlight: Cher as Olive Oyl. More Cher and King Kong.