The Coneheads Return, and They're Still Funny (Even to Our Kids)

by Laurie Ulster
Originally Published: 

While their daughter Connie (Laraine Newman) doesn’t make an appearance—presumably because she’s grown up and moved out—Beldar (Dan Aykroyd) and Prymaat (Jane Curtin) have surfaced in a commercial for State Farm.

Seem familiar? Yeah, it’s a Coneheadified version of the “State of Unrest” commercial.

Maybe it’s because I grew up on early Saturday Night Live, but I think this is pretty funny. It’s got everything that went into a good Coneheads sketch: a typical suburban setting, a vocabulary query and a reference to mass quantities.

In honor of Saturday Night Live‘s 40th anniversary a few months ago, I wrote a piece about the history of the show and found myself watching a lot of the original sketches to see if they measured up to my memory of them. I was 9 when SNL went on the air, so I was hardly in their target demographic, but I loved it. My brother and I—who didn’t always get along at the time—used to stay up late to watch it together, especially when the guests were among our favorites. (I was a major Paul Simon fan even back then.)

I gave up on the show in later years when the cast got less funny as well as more likely to laugh at their own jokes while they were on the air. But then I got to rediscover it all over again by watching it with my 11-year-old son. I know the show was pretty edgy back then, but if I could watch it at 9, maybe he’d like it at 11. This is what I showed him:

I couldn’t believe how hard he laughed when she said, “You sound like a really attractive guy.”

Then this:

My happiest moment was when he decided that “The Wolverines,” the first sketch ever to air, the one that kicked off the show on its very first night, was utterly hilarious. He’s either a very sophisticated boy, or a weirdo like his momma. Or both.

And now I have a son who walks around saying “Cheeburger cheeburger!” and I couldn’t be prouder. Once he knows who Julia Child is, I’ve got another gem for him.

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