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Appearing in "Live from New York, It's Saturday Night!"

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Synopsis for "Live from New York, It's Saturday Night!"

After a year of waiting for tickets, Peter invites Mary Jane Watson to spend a summer evening with him in the audience of the acclaimed late-night live sketch comedy TV show, Saturday Night Live;;. Unfortunately, they linger too long over dinner, and by the time the cab deposits them at the station, it is nearly 11:30 p.m. and pouring rain.

When Peter and Mary Jane arrive at the door, they find a crowd of people waiting to get in, and Salty, an usher, directs them to the balcony because all the stage seats are filled. As they head upstairs, they are suddenly shoved aside by a powerful Asian man dressed in an usher's uniform, and Peter's spider-sense starts to tingle. As the man heads downstairs, Peter realizes that he has heard his voice somewhere before.

On the way to their seats, Mary Jane waves to Gilda Radner, who is headed for John Belushi's dressing room. Gilda finds John and the other Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players preoccupied with a ring that John apparently received from a fan, which John put on but now can't remove. At five minutes to show time, Lorne Michaels enters to see what the holdup is, and he tells them to get moving. As they follow him toward the stage, the tall Asian watches them pass by. Then he enters a costume room, where he orders his gang to come out of hiding. Soon crates and trunks open and a small army of criminals emerge. As the Asian dons his costume, he tells his men that a ring of great value was inadvertently sent to one of the cast members. Their task is to help him recover it, but since he does not know who has the ring, they must be subtle, because one wrong move could bring down a flood of "superheroes." He dons his costume as the Silver Samurai.

Peter and Mary Jane find their balcony seats just as Don Pardo is introducing Stan Lee–the host for the evening–with special musical guest Rick Jones. During Stan's monologue, the Silver Samurai's gang begins to infiltrate the studio. When Peter spots one of them strong-arming a page, he reluctantly tells Mary Jane he has to leave. Unfortunately, his attempt to leave unobserved is thwarted when a camera projects him on a monitor. But then the show cuts to a commercial, and Peter quickly climbs into the rafters. As he changes into his Spider-Man costume, he drops one of his shoes, but he snags it with his webbing before it hits Stan in the head.

First Spider-Man looks into the production room, but even though his spider-sense tingles, he does not see the group of thugs that are holding Lorne Michaels and his staff prisoners. Then he heads backstage. Meanwhile, John Belushi is still trying to get the ring off, and he complains to Bill Murray that the thing gives him the creeps. Soon after John goes to his dressing room, Bill sees the Silver Samurai giving orders to his gang. Realizing that something sinister is afoot, he remains hidden until he gets the chance to clout one of the thugs with a prop Thor hammer. Then he dresses in the thug's clothes to infiltrate the gang, learn their plans, and tip off security. Bill's absence from the show's Weekend Update segment is deftly handled by Gilda Radner and Jane Curtin. But as Gilda does an Emily Litella routine, she suddenly falls through a trap-door in the stage. Jane tries to cover for her, but then she falls through as well.

The Samurai's thugs swiftly search the girls for the ring, but suddenly Spider-Man leaps among them. The Samurai knocks Spider-Man into a wall, then slices open a steam pipe with his sword and fill the room with steam. In the confusion, the Samurai escapes, but Gilda and Jane grab one of the crooks. Unfortunately, he turns out to be Bill Murray in disguise. After Bill explains what he is doing there, Spider-Man and the women realize that the ring that the Samurai is searching for is the one John has. Bill wants to call the police, but Spider-Man says that is a waste of time. The telephones are out, the security people are the Samurai's prisoners, and the criminals have the stairs and elevators covered. If they're going to stop him, they're going to have to do it themselves, he says. Then Spider-Man uses his webbing to return Jane and Gilda to the stage—before people start to wonder where they've gone.

In her dressing room, Laraine Newman has just finished donning her Ms. Marvel costume when two of the Samurai's thugs, Sammy and Harry, break-in. When they see her, they think she is the real Ms. Marvel, which stalls them long enough for Spider-Man to knock them out. When Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, and Bill Murray arrive, Spider-Man quickly explains the situation. Spider-Man thinks that since the Samurai's thugs seem scared to death of superheroes, they should turn that fear to their advantage. Thus, three thugs soon confront Thor, who is Garrott Morris in disguise, on a catwalk overlooking the studio. But Garrett is black, so the criminals quickly see through his disguise. Before they can do anything about it, however, Bill and Gilda electrify the catwalk and knock them out. (Rubber boots keep Garrett from sharing their fate).

In the meantime, Dan dresses up as a Crimean soldier while Spider-Man starts searching for John Belushi. John, meanwhile, has dressed in his samurai costume and is walking through a corridor backstage when the Silver Samurai finds him. The Samurai is offended by John's appearance, but when he sees the ring on John's hand, he slashes at him with his blade. Fortunately, John stumbles and the Samurai misses, but then the Samurai chases him onto the stage, where Stan Lee and Jane Curtin are improvising a soft-shoe routine to keep the audience entertained. Backstage, Dan and Laraine spray the thugs in the producer's room with a fire extinguisher and emancipate Lorne Michaels. Suddenly, Spider-Man web-swings above the stage and challenges the Samurai, who throws his sword and slices through Spider-Man's web-line. Spider-Man falls into the crowd, but they think this is part of the show.

With the Samurai temporarily disarmed, Belushi brandishes his own sword at him, but the Samurai simply knocks it aside and tries to pull the ring off Belushi's finger. As John howls for help, Spider-Man web-swings into the Samurai. The ring, however, has begun to glow, and when the Samurai is kicked aside, it slips off Belushi's finger into the Samurai's hand. The Samurai gloats that Spider-Man has turned defeat into victory, and as the ring's energy increases, the Samurai says that the ring is the core of a teleportation matrix that enables him to instantly transport himself anywhere on Earth. Then there is a blinding flash of light, and the Samurai vanishes. As the Saturday Night Live cast take their bows, Stan Lee comments that the live show was nothing like the rehearsals. Fortunately, the audience did not know the difference.

When Peter rejoins Mary Jane, she is furious at having been deserted and also at some remarks that the man next to her made. At a table next to Peter and Mary Jane's in a restaurant after the show, John and Garrett discuss what happened. Apparently, the ring was meant to be delivered to someone named J. B. Lu-Shi, whose offices are also at the Rockefeller Plaza. But the address label was rained on, the ink smeared, and a postal clerk delivered it to John instead.


Continuity Notes[]

  • The appearances of Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Bill Murray, Jane Curtin, Garret Morris, Laraine Newman, Gilda Radner, Lorne Michaels and Ken Morrow should be considered topical references per the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616. However, the appearance of Stan Lee in this story should not. Marvel creators are the only real-life people who are exempt from the Sliding Timescale rules, as they exist on Earth-616 during the Modern Age in their relative prime.

Publication Notes[]


  • Two old men in the audience refer to each other as Statler and Waldorf, a nod to the characters on the Muppet Show.
  • Rick Jones is announced as the show's musical guest, but does not make an appearance in the story.
  • When John Belushi is fighting the Silver Samurai, Belushi quotes the Beatles' song "Help," exclaming "Help! I need somebody!"

See Also

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