In her opening monologue for the July 24, 1976 episode of “SNL,” Lasser appeared on stage dressed like her character in “Mary Hartman.” She started to dawdle in a stream-of-consciousness slur like Mary, however spoke in a method that indicated it was truly Lasser, maybe struggling to differentiate between herself and her character. She ultimately runs backstage, the cameras in pursuit, and locks herself in her dressing room. Solely Chevy Chase dressed as Landshark manages to coax her out.
In a wide-ranging interview with The Toast carried out in 2013, Lasser recounted the occasions that led to what has gone down in historical past as an actual, dwell psychological breakdown. “Oh, nicely that was on function,” she started. The monologue during which Lasser and Hartman look like at a battle for psychic supremacy was “carried out as written,” in keeping with Hartman. The actual battle behind the scenes got here all the way down to all the opposite materials. “They wrote sketches for me and I did not wish to do them, as a result of they had been salacious,” she defined. One bit to be carried out with Gilda Radner revolved round “the scale of fellows’ organs … I simply could not think about performing it in entrance of my dad and mom,” Lasser defined.
Lasser’s refusal to carry out sure sketches led some forged members to develop indignant together with her, and prompted head writers Michael O’Donoghue to name her “clinically berserk.” Lasser disputes the rumors that she was the primary host to be banned from the present that persist to this present day. Although the backstage strife needed to do with the whole lot however the monologue, it was the (intentionally) unhinged monologue that branded Lasser a legal responsibility within the press. It was the one sketch carried out precisely as deliberate, and it was evidently so convincing that it wound up hurting Lasser in the long term.