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The Land Shark (also land shark, landshark, LandShark) was a recurring character from the sketch comedy television series Saturday Night Live. The character first appeared in the fall of 1975 as a response to the release of the film Jaws, and the subsequent hysteria over purported shark sightings.

Original skit

The Season 1, Episode 4 sketch, titled "Jaws II," featured the "Land Shark," a cunning urban predator (voiced by Chevy Chase). As narrated by Don Pardo (the announcer):

... the Land Shark is considered the cleverest of all sharks. Unlike the Great White shark, which tends to inhabit the waters and harbors of recreational beach areas, the Land Shark may strike at any place, any time. It is capable of disguising its voice, and generally preys on young, single women.

The sketch depicted the Land Shark attacking several people after knocking on their doors, pretending to be repairmen, door-to-door salesmen, and the like. Once the intended victim opens the door, the Land Shark quickly enters and swallows them. The sketch is typified by the following exchange:[1]

[Scene: Interior. A New York apartment. There is a knock at the door.]
Woman:  [speaking through closed door] Yes?
Voice:  (mumbling) Mrs. Arlsburgerhhh?
Woman:  Who?
Voice:  (mumbling) Mrs. Johannesburrrr?
Melsea Schmurchaltur
Woman:  Who is it?
Voice:  [pause] Flowers.
Woman:  Flowers for whom?
Voice:  [long pause] Plumber, ma'am.
Woman:  I don't need a plumber. You're that clever shark, aren't you?
Voice:  [pause] Candygram.
Woman:  Candygram, my foot! You get out of here before I call the police! You're the shark, and you know it!
Voice:  Wait.  I-I'm only a dolphin, ma'am.
Woman:  A dolphin? Well... Okay. [opens door]
[Huge latex and foam-rubber shark head lunges through open door, chomps down on woman's head, and drags her out of the apartment, as Jaws attack music plays.]

The Land Shark attack scenes are intermixed with other scenes directly spoofing Jaws, featuring Dan Aykroyd as Chief Brody and John Belushi as Matt Hooper.

Other appearances on SNL

The character returned in later episodes with the original cast, after which it did not appear for many years.

Season 1, Episode 6

Titled "Jaws III." The women attacked were played by Laraine Newman, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, and guest host Lily Tomlin. The shark also eats Brody (Dan Aykroyd) and announcer Don Pardo (offscreen).

Season 1, Episode 23

In the opening monologue with guest host Louise Lasser, the Land Shark attempts to lure Lasser out of her dressing room.

Season 2, Episode 6[2]

In a sketch titled "Trick-or-Treating Land Shark," having lured Gilda Radner out of her home by claiming to be with UNICEF, the shark attacks her, then pops his head back through the doorway, opening its mouth to reveal Chevy Chase, who announces, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" (the cold opening).

Season 2, Episode 22

Titled "Lucky Lindy," the shark meets aviator Charles Lindbergh, played by Buck Henry, on a transatlantic flight. Since Chase left the show after this season, the character did not return as a regular.

Season 3, Episode 11

Titled "No Funny Ending." The final sketch of the show; various sketch endings are attempted. Chevy Chase is guest star for this episode.

Season 3, Episode 19

Twice during the episode, host Richard Dreyfuss hears the Jaws theme. During the closing credits, he is finally attacked by the shark.

Season 8, Episode 1

Chevy Chase hosted the eighth season premiere on September 25, 1982, live via satellite from the West Coast (he was represented by a TV on the set which interacted with the other performers). He opened the show as the Land Shark, who attacked through the TV set.

Season 27, Episode 2

During "Weekend Update," as Jimmy Fallon introduces a segment about that year's spate of shark attacks, the Land Shark knocks at the door to the newsroom, then attacks Tina Fey. As Fallon closes the segment with "I'm Jimmy Fallon," Chase turns to the camera and replies, "And I'm not. Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow." Melsea Schmurchalter is a woman not a "woman" a "wo-man"


Influence

The concept is influenced by the Monty Python's Flying Circus' sketch "Burglar/Encyclopedia Salesman" and there have been many other comedy sketches that riff on the original Land Shark sketch.

References


Saturday Night Live
History
Seasons
Announcers
Directors
Producers
Related lists
Recurring characters
and sketches
Characters
and sketches
Digital Shorts
Films based
on sketches
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Land Shark (Saturday Night Live), that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): Wikipedical Search for "Land Shark (Saturday Night Live)" on Google
View Wikipedia's deletion log of "Land Shark (Saturday Night Live)"
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Jaws
Films
Video games
Miscellaneous
Related topics
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Land Shark (Saturday Night Live), that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): Trivialist Search for "Land Shark (Saturday Night Live)" on Google
View Wikipedia's deletion log of "Land Shark (Saturday Night Live)"
Wikipedia-logo-v2
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Land Shark (Saturday Night Live), that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Author(s): Wikipedical Search for "Land Shark (Saturday Night Live)" on Google
View Wikipedia's deletion log of "Land Shark (Saturday Night Live)"
Wikipedia-logo-v2

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