08b: James Franco / Kings of Leon
The New York Times
Written by: Jim Downey
Peter Connolly, Assignment Editor.....James Franco
Queens Gillespie.....Darrell Hammond
Ted Boucher.....Jason Sudeikis
Ari Schenckman.....Andy Samberg
Indian Guy.....Kumail Nanjiani
Karl Marx.....Fred Armisen
Victorine Kopelman-D'Angelo.....Casey Wilson
Eric Nyman.....Will Forte
Howland Gwathmey Moss V.....Bill Hader
[ open on exterior, The New York Times, September 8, 2008, reporters looking busy, some on conference calls, some typing, most talking ]
Alright, alright, everybody!
[ dissolve to interior office during staff meeting with Peter Connolly, who stands at podium ]
Assignment Editor: I'd like to begin. In case some of us haven't met, I'm Peter Connolly, the assignment editor of the New York Times. Now... you all know why you're here. Yuo are, quite simply, the fifty BEST investigative reporters in journalism today. And with the selection of Governor Sarah Palin, we've got a Vice-Presidential candidate who needs a LOT of investigating!
Tandalaya: [ raising her hand ] I'd like to know if she's ever been a member of a golf club that doesn't admit women... oh, wait, that doesn't make sense.
Assignment Editor: That's quite all right, Tandalaya. [ sees Steven raise his hand ] Uh, yes -- Steven.
Steven: Uhhh -- what about the husband? You KNOW heís doing those daughters! [ he chuckles ignorantly ] I mean, come on! Itís Alaska!
Assignment Editor: He very well could be. Admittedly, there is no evidence of that, but, on the other hand, there is no convincing evidence to the contrary. And these are just some of the lingering questions about Governor Palin. That's why, in a few days, ALL fifty of you are going to Alaska!
[ the group of reporters clap, except for James, who raises his hand ]
James: Yeah. Do you need me for this? I mean, I'm kind of still working on that sub-prime mortgage piece.
Assignment Editor: James, that piece can wait. Trust me, Lehman Brothers isn't going anywhere! [ he continues ] Now... I know that none of you have ever BEEN to Alaska. In place, most of you have never been ANY place except Manhattan Island, Los Angeles, and Sag Harbor.
Queens Gillespie: I fell asleep on the A train once. Ended up in Queens.
Assignment Editor: Uh, yes. I've heard that story --
Queens Gillespie: That's why everyone here calls me "Queens". "Queens" Gillespie.
Assignment Editor: Indeed. Indeed. Now... if we're gonna operate in alaska, under the radar -- incognito, so to speak -- you'll have to become familiar with its culture and customs. [ acknowledges Ted Boucher at his side ] Now, this is Ted Boucher. In 1988, he spent the summer as a reporter with the Anchorage Daily News. So he knows more about Alaska than ANYONE at the Times has ever HEARD of! Over the next five days, he'll teach you ALL you need to know to pass... as a local! Ted?
Ted Boucher: Thank you, Peter. Why don't we go around the room really quick, and you can all tell me your names.
Ari Schenckman: Ari Schenckman.
Ted Boucher: Mmm-hmm.
Indian Guy: ???
Ted Boucher: Okay.
Karl Marx: Karl Marx.
Ted Boucher: Really? [ he laughs ] Alright.
Victorine Kopelman-D'Angelo: Victorine Kopelman-D'Angelo.
Ted Boucher: Wow! That's a mouthful! [ he laughs ] In Alaska, I would go with... Vicky D'Angelo.
Victorine Kopelman-D'Angelo: [ smugly ] In New York, I would sue you for sexual harrassment.
Assignment Editor: Ah, she's not kidding. She sued me... [ silent whisper ] three times.
Ted Boucher: Okay. Alright, alright, uhhh -- okay, we'll, I'm sure you'll all blend right in! Now, uh, let's talk about the state itself, alright? The first thing you need to know is that Alaska is very, very big. [ Queens Gillespie raises his hand ] Yes?
Queens Gillespie: Bigger than Queens?
Ted Boucher: Yes. It is.
[ everyone murmers ]
Ted Boucher: Yes, the transportation is really important. Now, is there anyone here who canNOT drive a stickshift?
[ everyone raises their hand ]
Ted Boucher: Okay, okay -- alright, alright, that's not a problem -- okay, now does anyone here NOT have a driver's license?
[ everyone raises their hand ]
Ted Boucher: Really? Oh boy, okay! I'm, uh -- I'm curious. How did you all plan on getting around?
[ everyone raises their hand ]
Ted Boucher: 'Cause if it was by taxi... there aren't any.
[ everyone lowers their hand ]
Ted Boucher: Alright, I see. Okay... that makes sense. [ Eric Nyman raises his hand ] Yes?
Eric Nyman: Yeah. I noticed you haven't yet said anything polar bear attacks? Uh, is there a certain time of day when such attacks are most frequent? And, how do ordinary alaskans deal with polar bear attacks in their daily lives?
Ted Boucher: Okay, uh -- well, you don't have to worry about polar bears, they're all the way on the Arctic slope. So the only place you'll see one is the zoo! [ he laughs ] Now, can anyone tell me what this is? [ he holds up a picture of a shotgun, as Victorine raises her hand ] Yes?
Victorine Kopelman-D'Angelo: A... revolver?
Ted Boucher: Uh -- no... no.
Ari Schenckman: Uh -- a semi-authomatic assault weapon.
Ted Boucher: No.
Howland Gwathmey Moss V: I believe the precise technical term would be a .357 Magnum -- more commonly, a "zip" gun, or a Derringer!
Ted Boucher: [ incredulous ] No! No, it isn't.
Howland Gwathmey Moss V: [ arrogantly ] Really?
Ted Boucher: [ he nods ] It's a shotgun!
Howland Gwathmey Moss V: I'm not altogether certain that's correct!
Ted Boucher: Yes, it is.
Eric Nyman: Question!
Ted Boucher: Yes?
Eric Nyman: Exactly how secure are Alaskan zoos? Uh, specifically with regard to polar bear escapes? And, does the state of Alaska maintain a special hotline number for this type of situation?
Ted Boucher: Alright, you're NOT going to be attacked by a ploar bear, okay? I mean, you're, uh -- you're more likely to get struck by lightning! [ he laughs ] Yes?
Karl Marx: Yeah. Neither of my therapists allow me to call them at home after midnight. So, because of the four-hour time difference, I'm gonna need a referral for at least TWO local psychiatrists in Alaska -- maybe more.
Ted Boucher: Uh -- uh -- alright, well, that might not be possible. As I understand it, there's only one licensed psychoanalyst in the entire state.
Karl Marx: [ freaking out ] WHAT?!
Ted Boucher: Yeah, I believe that's -- that's the case.
[ Karl Marx hyperventilates ]
Assignment Editor: Everyone! In light of this situation, if there is any reporter here who feels they cannot commit to six weeks in Alaska, I would certainly understand.
[ a great majority of the reporters exit the room ]
Assignment Editor: Uh --
Ted Boucher: Oh, boy...
Assignment Editor: Uh -- uh -- I -- I -- I didn't know.
Ted Boucher: Okay. Alright. Okay. Hey! Uh, who can tell me what this is? [ holds up a picture of a snowmobile ] Anybody know?
Ari Schenckman: Is it some kind of baptizing machine?
Ted Boucher: [ alarmed by this guess ] No! [ he nods to Victorine ]
Victorine Kopelman-D'Angelo: Could it... be... a crucifix?
Ted Boucher: Nooo.
Indian Guy: Is it a... semi-automatic assault weapon?
Ted Boucher: No.
Howland Gwathmey Moss V: I believe what we're looking at is a "Nordic Track". Possibly a prototype of an early-generation model, such as the A-5!
Ted Boucher: [ he shakes his head ] No, it's not. It's what's called a SNOWMOBILE! But, in Alaska, it's called a snowmachine.
Howland Gwathmey Moss V: [ he nods thoughtfully ] It's possible. You could be right.
Ted Boucher: [ he crinkles his eyebrows, then nods to Steven ] Yes?
Steven: Uh -- as a person whose gender is currently in transition, I was wondering... wondering if Alaska has any public facilities catering to pre-op transsexuals?
Ted Boucher: Uhhh -- boy, I, uh -- you know, no, I can't say for sure, uhhh -- but, if I had to guess, I would guess that it... does NOT! Okay...
Assignment Editor: Uh -- uh -- and, again: if you, or any other reporter feels this might present an undue hardship, we would, of course, understand.
[ a great majority of the remaining reporters exit the room ]
Ted Boucher: Uhhhh -- that's a shocker.
Assignment Editor: [ as an exiting reporters motions to him ] Uh, no -- no apologies necessary.
[ Eric Nyman raises his hand ]
Ted Boucher: Uhhh -- you have a question?
Eric Nyman: I do.
Ted Boucher: Is it about polar bears?
Eric Nyman: In an indirect way, yes.
Ted Boucher: Go ahead.
Eric Nyman: Let's suppose, for the sake of argument, a polar bear were to make its way from the wild to downtown Anchorage and into my room at the EconoLodge.
Ted Boucher: Hmm... and why would it do this?
Eric Nyman: Well, you know, what if it followed the scent of my Thai delivery food?
Ted Boucher: Okay! Alright! Well, you'll be relieved to know that, in Alaska, there IS no Thai delivery.
[ Ari Schenckman and James look at each other, then casually exit the room, leaving only WIF, Victorine, and BIH ]
Assignment Editor: That is alright. [ to the remaining three ] Okay, uh -- how about you three? Are you still on board?
Howland Gwathmey Moss V: [ as they all nod yes ] We are if you are, Boss!
[ cut to graphic card of Victorine Kopelman-D'Angelo: ]
Narrator: [ with SUPER ] Victorine Kopelman-D'Angelo successfully sued the town of Denali, Alaska for seventy million dollars, when in the course of her investigation into Governor Palin's childhood membership in 4-H, a local school board member called her "Sweetie."
[ cut to graphic card of Eric Nyman: ]
Narrator: [ with SUPER ] On his second day in Alaska, Eric Nyman was attacked and killed by a polar bear. Moments later, his mangled remains were struck by lightning.
[ cut to graphic card of Howland Gwathmey Moss V: ]
Narrator: [ with SUPER ] In 2009, Howland Gwathmey Moss V was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his Times series on unproven, yet un-disproven incest in the Palin family. Sadly, he was to die 3 months later, run over by a snow machine, driven by a polar bear.
[ dissolve to page from the New York Times, with large headline: "In a Small Alaska Town, Doubts Still Linger", and smaller headline: "While No Direct Evidence of Incest in Palin Family Emerges, Counter Evidence Remains Agonizingly Elusive" ]
[ fade ]