Saturday Night Live Sports Featuring Eddie Atari (1981)

There are many names that rank as legends in the Golden Age of arcade and video games. Ralph H. Baer, Nolan Bushnell, Allan Alcorn, Walter Day, Billy Mitchell, and Todd Rogers to name just a very few. But there is one name that seems to have been all but forgotten these days, a young man who was once a champion and received national attention on the likes of Saturday Night Sports…
Joe Piscopo - Saturday Night Live
…I’m of course talking about the once legendary Eddie Atari. The man who pioneered the “Italian Maneuver” and some of you might recall when back in 1976 during an Asteroids exhibition he hit his hyperspace button and disappeared for two complete years.
Asteroids
Yes, it turns out we just thought that Atari released Asteroids back in 1979. Being such a rising star it is absolutely hard to believe that anyone could have forgotten the name of Eddie Atari…as well as the tragedy that Saturday Night Sports reporter Matthew Laurence and head anchor Joe Piscopo witnessed on that evening back in 1981 during this live interview.

All my silliness aside, Eddie Murphy is on fire and this skit is worthy of your attention not just to help bring a smile to your face but as a nice reminder at how big arcade games were at the time to enter into such popular television shows like Saturday Night Live!

Jaws Will Drop When You Pick Up This Fright-Rags Box Set!

There is a very real possibility that you do not spend quite as much time thinking on the Halloween season as we do here at the Retroist. But the upside of us stressing over it almost daily is we can find the perfect item that will almost guarantee you are the hit of the party, like when you pick up the JAWS box set from Fright-Rags!

Just look at all of the awesome loot that $40 will net you!

All images courtesy of Fright-Rags.

All images courtesy of Fright-Rags.

Here is a closer look at that T-Shirt of Bruce by Christopher Lovell…
Jaws - Fright Rags - Christopher Lovell
…a prismatic sticker and most importantly the replica of the “Collegeville” Jaws mask and box! The only way you are going to get shown up at your Halloween party when wearing these is if someone comes dressed as a land shark!

More on the 1978 DEVO Appearance on Saturday Night Live

Last Sunday’s DEVO post was so popular I decided to do some follow up work on the performance and got some insight from DEVO’s own, Gerald Casale. I asked him if the agitation shown by members of the Saturday Night Live cast during those seemingly uncomfortable closing credits, where Booji Boy crawled around the stage, was real? I also wondered if this had been talked about in interviews before. Casale was nice enough to respond:

No, it was all too real. I have spoken about those 3 days in interviews. Incredible and unparalleled are the operative words.

This is exactly what I wanted to hear. It was all real AND their was other source material to look for (I love long term quests). So far I have been able to find one interview that has been posted online, but I will keep looking. The interview I found was one that Casale gave to Acid Logic’s Will Forbis. It looks like DEVO made quite an impression on the cast.

We appeared on SNL in October of 1978. Mark began dating Laraine. Belushi snorted the entire contents of the first gram of coke I ever purchased. Dan said he was sorry he threw away the DEVO video I had sent him a year earlier.

Obviously Akroyd really became a fan (and sorry he SHOULD be), because as many of you know, DEVO did the very awesome theme song for his underrated film “Doctor Detroit“. As for Belushi taking the entire gram of coke from Casale, that is kind of an honor, like Willy Wonka taking all of your candy.

For more information on DEVO, visit Club DEVO and stay there.
AND if you like DEVO you will love Gerald Casale’s solo project Jihad Jerry & The Evildoers.