Flashback: Simon and Garfunkel Perform ‘Old Friends’ in 1977
In late 1977, Paul Simon‘s close friend Lorne Michaels helped him promote his new LP Greatest Hits, Etc. with an NBC primetime special. This was the peak of the variety hour where everyone from Donny & Marie to the Brady Bunch to the Starland Vocal Band had a cheesy variety show, but this was also the peak of Saturday Night Live and Michaels wasn’t about to attach himself to anything remotely like those other shows. Instead, they assembled a killer team that included Chevy Chase, Tom Davis, Al Franken, Charles Grodin and Lily Tomlin to craft something completely different.
The basic premise of the Paul Simon Special is that Simon merely wants to perform his tunes, but an imperious director, played by Charles Grodin, keeps interrupting him with crazy ideas. You never see much of the actual special, but there’s plenty of supposed behind-the-scenes footage and rehearsals. It’s basically a musical Curb Your Enthusiasm that included renditions of “The Boxer,” “Loves Me Like a Rock” and “Still Crazy After All These Years.”
Near the end, his old singing partner Art Garfunkel shows up to…