Flashback to 5/29/76 – Watch SNL’s “The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise” Skit

On May 29th, 1976 Saturday Night Live ran what is likely one of the first and possibly the best Star Trek parody sketches of all time. For a flashback from 34 years ago today, see "The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise" below.


SNL Flashback – The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise
Via HULU (USA only – sorry)

This skit was from the first season of Saturday Night Live in 1976, airing on NBC just seven years after the network cancelled Star Trek. It is possible SNL was taking a poke at the net, as Star Trek had become a rerun hit in the 1970s. The script was written by Michael O’Donoghue, who was reportedly a big fan of Star Trek. According books about the history of SNL, Jon Belushi was also a huge fan, and he was determined to get the role as Kirk ahead of Chevy Chase. Belushi went as far as shaving his sideburns to match Kirk’s.

For more info on the sketch and a transcript visit snltranscripts.jt.org



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Tiberius Kirk
May 29, 2010 10:08 am

Loved this back in 75!

May 29, 2010 10:12 am

This was the first time I saw anyone imitate the Shatner delivery (every. word. is. its. own. sentence).

Allen Williams
May 29, 2010 10:25 am

good skit.

Apparently the non intelligent networks have spread. UPN canceled enterprise for low ratings in spite of the fact that it had high ratings on DVRs. I can’t think of anything on UPN i would actually watch now. NBC is still unintelligent. They canceled conan when leno was the problem. I don’t watch NBC anymore either.

May 29, 2010 10:39 am

NBC = No brains channel

Captain Dunsel
May 29, 2010 10:42 am

@1 “Loved this back in 75”

Time Travel? It aired in ’76.

@4 “NBC = No brains channel”

And here I thought they manufactured cookies!

May 29, 2010 10:44 am

crap only for US folks…

May 29, 2010 10:45 am

I meant – only people in the US can watch this…

May 29, 2010 10:57 am

I remember my stepmother telling me about this skit the day after it aired. At the time I was 13, and apparently was already in bed for some reason. I wasn’t really interested in SNL at the time and wasn’t watching it . My stepmother described some of the skit, and said she and my Dad were tempted to wake me up to see it. I was heartbroken that they hadn’t, but I finally got to watch a videotaped copy of it a couple of years later, and I loved it. I now have that first season SNL set, just for that skit ( got it as part of a buy one get one free sale ).

You can definitely tell that O’Donoghue was a Trekkie…I mean, who else but a hrdcore trekker would have references to “the flying parasites of Ingraham B” ( “Operation Annihilate” ),”the vampire clouds of Argos 10 ( “Obsession” ) and “the sandbats of Manark IV” ( “The Empath” ). Great stuff.

You also have to love the extra effort put into the sound effects. Somebody obviously audiotaped “The Lights Of Zetar” and they created loops of bridge and computer sounds.

Also nostalgic are the Remco phaser gun toys. I had one of those big goofy beeping toys.

I wonder how many people now get the reference the ‘Promise Margarine’ commercials that Shatner did in the ’70s?

” George, Nichelle, let’s go…I’m gonna tie one on!” – LOVE it!

May 29, 2010 11:09 am

3 — “I can’t think of anything on UPN i would actually watch now. ”

err, that might be because UPN folded in 2006.

James Cannon - Runcorn Trekkie UK
May 29, 2010 11:25 am

Can’t watch it in UK….. boooo.

Frankly Captain I’m exhausted…

Jim Nightshade
May 29, 2010 11:45 am

yah that skit is a classic…some of belushis best work…and yah even back then you could tell they all liked star trek…It was probably easier for them to get the sound effex n stuff cuz they were also on nbc as was star trek–also one of the FEW snl sketches that blatantly said that the decision makers who cancelled trek were not very intelligent, insightful or right when it got cancelled….I also loved the way the two leads stayed in character the whole skit til the end. that was funny….like they didnt want to believe the reality and were trying to make their own reality….kinda deep for snl hahaha

Belushi was brilliant much of the time but I really loved his Kirk….my 2nd fave Belushi was when he imitated Joe Cocker….gawed that was funny to see Belushi next to Cocker doing his routine….incidentally Joe Cocker was on the American idol finale and was awesome….

May 29, 2010 12:37 pm

SNL has had the two key “Trek” comedy sketches: This, and Shatner’s ‘Get a Life.’

Belushi is one of the best Kirk imitators I’ve ever seen, and having three legends-to-be play the Big Three is amazing to watch.

This was during TOS’s big revival in syndication, too.

Gotta love the evasive action sequence.

Tony Whitehead
May 29, 2010 12:46 pm

I remember seeing this live and eating up every line.

I have the original script from an old SNL book released around the same time. The love put into the script is evident. Great stuff. Thanks Anthony!

Jorg Sacul
May 29, 2010 1:29 pm

That, my friends, was right up at the top of SNL’s greatest moments.

Hat Rick
May 29, 2010 1:35 pm

Not just a network skit, but actually a very good fan-type production, in the best sense of the term.

SNL was so good in its prime.

May 29, 2010 1:36 pm

“Via HULU (USA only – sorry)”…..Blaaaaa,blaaaaa !Cabrones¡

May 29, 2010 1:44 pm

I remember this from when it first aired. I was 12 and just getting into Trek in syndication. It’s classic! Absolutely hilarious stuff. John Belushi was a comic genius.

May 29, 2010 2:43 pm

Aykroyd’s line:

“But we’re on five year mission to explore space! We’ve only been out here three years!” really resonates.

I’ve worked with Nielsen in several countries as a producer of Consumer Goods. Their methods were flawed, and they are LAZY. Their estimate of a given product’s sales volume was always around 50% of reality, so we always needed a secondary source of information. Problem is, shareholders recognize the ‘Nielsen’ brand as a large 3rd party auditor, as do advertisers.

Well, Trek won out in the end, didn’t it?

May 29, 2010 3:18 pm

Sniff!!! ….I can’t see it!

May 29, 2010 3:19 pm

#12,13 & 16.
Yeah US only – but they’ll still push their ads onto us before they tell us.

May 29, 2010 3:29 pm

This is the first time I have seen this. I was in the Army, Over Seas when this aired. I didn’t even know about it. It is funny and poignant.

May 29, 2010 3:45 pm

I appreciate Hulu letting us non-Americans watch their advertisement before denying access to the video. Ugh. This one IS a classic though!

Canadian Shane
May 29, 2010 3:53 pm

You guys are so lucky, being in Canada we get to watch so few of these great clips. Awesome SNL amazing time of the whole “Star Trek Lives” period of Star Trek history.

Captain Conrad
May 29, 2010 4:11 pm

John was so much funnier than Jim

4 8 15 16 23 42
May 29, 2010 4:44 pm

I know it’s just for laughs, but Belushi was a pretty decent Kirk, and Chase, if he’d tried a little harder, kinda works for Spock…..

May 29, 2010 4:57 pm

Just think how many times they could update that last joke.

Great stuff from a time when SNL didn’t take itself so seriously.

Arnie Dippet
May 29, 2010 5:03 pm

Gene said it best when he first saw it — DELICIOUS!

Khan was Framed!
May 29, 2010 5:03 pm

This was a classic!

Truly sums up the brilliant cheese of TOS & network stupidity all in one!

Now if Hulu would only make itself available to Canada, I could have enjoyed this once more.

May 29, 2010 5:22 pm

Wow, I was born five days before they aired this back in 1976.

May 29, 2010 5:26 pm

This was funny but the skit with Lorne Michaels offering the Beatles something like 3500 dollars to reunite is something that really sticks in my mind. I remember hearing George, I believe, say he John and Paul were in NY watching that night and actually considered coming down to the studio. SNL seemed to be a little more relevant back then.

Jo Jo
May 29, 2010 5:41 pm

What’s great here is that Belushi isn’t “doing Shatner” – he drops a few bits in but for the most part he’s actually playing the character – and he’s terrific! He could easily have had a dramatic acting career. He *owns* this part!

Gorn Captain
May 29, 2010 6:20 pm

The guy playing Sulu would play him again when Shatner hosted a decade later!

May 29, 2010 6:37 pm

Well, it is obvious what Star Trek has over NBC.

Fans, fans in every corner of this globe upon which we live. Star Trek lives and Star Trek will live long beyond US Network Television’s days – WHICH are numbered.

One day soon there will be ONE deliver mechanism for entertainment in the home – a broadband delivery media with the capacity to deliver entertainment from myriad sources and producers NOT the select few.

Just examine the trend to diversified entertainment sources during the past 25 years! More producers, more channels, more cable channels, over-the-air, cable, satellite, DSL and 3G/4G systems.

Look at the diversity of cities and nations where US delivered entertainment now is created.

The entry barriers have been vastly altered and the costs dramatically lowered. Some web series draw larger audiences than any US network draws today.

Hurrah for the entertainment diversity!

May 29, 2010 6:45 pm

ahhh…the good old days….when SNL was acually funny!

May 29, 2010 7:19 pm

They couldn’t post in on you tube?

May 29, 2010 10:01 pm

only in the US?!?! WTF??? I’m seeing this more and more on this site and it’s getting annoying. Couldn’t you guys find this anywhere else for your fans in the rest of the world?

May 29, 2010 10:09 pm

For the people in the UK, try this Link and see if you have better luck . . .

IMDb Video Star Trek – The Last Voyage of the Starship Enterprise

May 29, 2010 10:18 pm

My friends loved ribbing me when I was a kid for being a Trek fan, and they felt that this SNL skit gave them ammunition for their sometimes relentless taunts. What they didn’t get though was that I thought it was a pretty damn funny skit myself, so my friends were only making idiots of themselves actually when they brought it up as though it was proof of something when it wasn’t proof of anything other than the SNL cast and writers knowing how to come up with a good skit and knowing how to perform it well. Belushi was actually a big Trek fan I believe –I’m pretty sure I saw him alluding to it in more than one interview way back then, and I wouldn’t have been surprised at the time if he actually served as the inspiration for their doing that skit.

May 29, 2010 10:30 pm

Well, almost. George Harrison wasn’t there. You might be thinking of George’s later appearance where he was in a scene w/Lorne Michaels, or his duet with Paul Simon, which was outstanding.

But Paul and John were, amazingly, both in New York and saw the show, and almost came down. There were two factors: they were tired, but mainly, they hadn’t prepared anything and weren’t going on national television without rehearsal.

John Trumbull
May 30, 2010 12:07 am

One of THE classic SNL sketches. Michael O’Donoghue was a great writer, and Belushi’s Kirk is where all the other Shatner impressions sprung from.

Jim Nightshade
May 30, 2010 3:02 am

Right on about the beatles reunion details-it was just john n paul toogether watching that night-i think the amount offered was much lower than 3500 i think it was around 500 or maybe 1000 giving each beatle 250 heheh–that was another great snl moment–those were the days-really smething-despite many talented people the first snl is still the best-

May 30, 2010 5:16 am

That was from the time when SNL was funny? How bad is it now?

That was ok but it was summer camp skit night level.

May 30, 2010 7:04 am

I’m SO TIRED of this USA only – have you heard of world wide web??
If it’s not visible to everyone – don’t put it here! Same crap with Bones, NCIS etc on Facebook!!!

P Technobabble
May 30, 2010 9:38 am

This was certainly one of the most memorable skits SNL ever did, and the “Belushi era” was, IMO, the best cast ever… although the “Eddie Murphy era” was pretty good, too.

As an aside for the Beatle folks, Eric Idle was behind the “well, we couldn’t get the Beatles, but we got the Rutles” skit, and the subsequent Rutles tv special. Word has it that the Beatles loved being made fun of by a Python-er, and Harrison was in it, to boot.

May 30, 2010 11:41 am

does anyone recall that not only the shat’s “get a life” SNL but they also did this type sketch again AND the dude that played Sulu played him again? think it’s on youtube

i recall reading the SNL that Shatner hosted was one of the highest rated one’s up to that point

May 30, 2010 12:36 pm

The sad thing is: Shatner was probably as big in Season Three as Belushi is in that skit!

May 30, 2010 2:11 pm

Awesome skit, haven’t seen it in years. You can tell Belushi really liked the show. They put a lot into it!

Sarah S
May 30, 2010 3:46 pm

LOL!! By the way, I still hope somebody from “The Supreme Court” has been reading these posts. I don’t know how much it would mean since I guess I’m the only one who’s said so (and I’m only one person out of how many thousands?), but I would still very much like to see Bill Murray have a role in the next movie.

May 30, 2010 4:39 pm

Blows me away that this is considered funny by anyone. TV in the U.S must be pretty low level.

May 30, 2010 5:03 pm

I would love to see the Jonas Brothers do a Star Trek parody on SNL one day. That would be fun and totally rock! Joe can be Kirk, Nick can be Spock, and Kevin can be Bones! What do you think? Can Joe pull off a Shatner impression?