It’s not that often when metal creeps its way into mainstream pop culture. So when metal/hard rock acts do actually pop up in beloved sitcoms, dramatic films, cartoons or even reality series, it’s kind of awesome. So in the weekly column Remember When, Metal Insider recalls the most random instances of metal’s elite appearing in front of the camera.
Plenty of hard rock and metal bands have graced Studio 8H’s stage for a performance on Saturday Night Live. But in February 1987 (30 years ago on February 28, to be exact), none other than Eddie Van Halen himself made a cameo during an SNL episode hosted by then wife, Valerie Bertinelli.
The Van Halen guitarist and Bertinelli appeared in a sketch together titled “Dinner at the Van Halen’s.” The premise was simple: what if Van Halen brought his roadies home with him to help prepare a typical evening dinner party? In short: not well.
As the sketch proves, roadies are better equipped to run a big arena rock show than a low key dinner party. The sketch also proves that Van Halen is not as great at acting as he is at playing guitar. He pretty much lets Bertinelli and the SNL cast members do all the talking, throwing in a line or two when instructed.
Anyone who knows what life as a roadie is like, though, will find the sketch humorous. And don’t worry, Van Halen returns later in the episode to jam with G.E. Smith and the SNL house band for an instrumental number titled “Stompin’ 8H” (ironically, castmember Dana Carvey also did an impression of David Lee Roth during that same episode’s Weekend Update segment, making the evening even more of a Van Halen themed night).
Both the guitarist’s sketch appearance and performance with the SNL house band can be seen below.
[Thanks to Van Halen News Desk for digging up the above clips]