75h: Candice Bergen / Martha Reeves, The Stylistics
Christmas Eve At The White House
Gerald Ford ..... Chevy Chase
Frank ..... Garrett Morris
Director ..... Joe Dicso
[ FADE IN on a shot of Gerald Ford sitting in a chair in a comfy room with a fireplace and a Christmas tree. SUPERIMPOSE caption: "Christmas Eve At The White House". DISSOLVE closer to Ford, who clumsily puts a record in the record player on the table next to him ]
Gerald Ford: (singing along) Pin your Christmas bonnet / With the mushrooms upon it / La la la...
[ Frank, the butler, enters. He is dressed in a tuxedo and is carrying a drink on a coaster. He stumbles on one of the presents under the tree as he walks in ]
Frank: Here is your cognac, Mr. President.
[ Ford rises from his chair and puts his hand on Frank's shoulder ]
Gerald Ford: Fred, you've been with me a long time now. I don't think that on Christmas Eve you have to call me "Mr. President".
Frank: Uh, Mr. President, my name is Frank.
Gerald Ford: Frank...
Frank: And what should I call you?
Gerald Ford: Well, how about "Dr. President"?
Frank: Okay. Dr. President, the First Lady says you should turn up the Christmas carols so that everyone can hear them.
Gerald Ford: No problem there.
[ Ford goes over to the record player and turns the volume all the way down ]
Gerald Ford: Would you ask Betty in here to help me trim the tree, please?
Frank: Uh, yes sir.
[ Ford takes the coaster from under his cognac and places it on the mantelpiece. Frank quickly drinks the cognac when Ford's back is turned, then exits. Ford starts to literally trim the tree, using a barber's comb and scissors, before Frank enters again ]
Frank: Uh, Mr. President, it is time for the Christmas Eve White House Fireside Chat with the nation.
Gerald Ford: Oh yes. Fine, thank you.
[ Ford puts down the scissors as Frank exits. The director enters as Ford takes a set in his chair ]
Director: Ten seconds, Mr. President.
Gerald Ford: All right.
Director: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.
[ Ford has already started talking since the beginning of the countdown ]
Gerald Ford: ...Merry Christmas to all of you and good evening.
Announcer (V/O): Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.
Gerald Ford: ...join me for this Christmas Eve. Perhaps sit with me by the fireside and spend this time together as I put up and Jack and Susan's stockings, and put the final ornament on the tree.
[ Ford gets up to the fireplace, where there are two Christmas stockings ]
Gerald Ford: This will be a Merry Christmas for the entire nation, I hope.
[ Ford hangs up the stockings upside-down, spilling the gifts inside ]
Gerald Ford: Peace and goodwill...
[ Ford picks up a handful of presents and tries to put them back in the stockings, but they fall to the floor again ]
Gerald Ford: ...toward all men.
[ Ford walks over to a ladder perched next to the Christmas tree ]
Gerald Ford: Put the final Christmas tree ornament on the tree.
[ Ford climbs the ladder and stuggles to put the final ornament on top of the tree and starts tipping ]
Gerald Ford: No problem...
[ Ford falls completely off the ladder on top of the Christmas tree, landing head first on the floor. He looks into the camera and smiles ]
Gerald Ford: Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!
Submitted by: Dan Pascoe