76j: Candice Bergen / Frank Zappa
Weekend Update with Jane Curtin
... Jane Curtin
Patrick ... Tom Schiller
Ray Basalt ... Dan Aykroyd
Emily Litella ... Gilda Radner
[Teletypes chatter in the background as we open on
anchorperson Jane Curtin, seated at WU desk. She
argues with her husband Patrick, who sits on the desk
beside her -- both oblivious to the camera.]
Don Pardo V/O: And now Weekend Update with Jane
Patrick: ... lonely, lonely thing!
Jane Curtin: Do you think I like being
Jane Curtin: Do you think I enjoy this? You're
Patrick: Oh, come on! You've got to come home
Jane Curtin: Somebody has got to make the money
otherwise we can't eat.
Patrick: I'm writin' a book! It's gonna make a
Jane Curtin: [dismissive] Oh, the book, the
book, the book. Big deal!
[Jane and Patrick suddenly notice the camera is on and
stare into it, horrified. Patrick instantly drops down
behind the desk and out of view as Jane tales a moment
to recover. She smiles and begins the news as if
nothing had happened.]
Jane Curtin: Our top story tonight:
[Photo of a smiling Jimmy Carter carrying dry cleaning
bag over his shoulder] Still trying to make up his
campaign deficit, President-elect Carter has taken a
part-time job delivering dry cleaning in the
Washington area. ...
[Photo of the Carter family: Jimmy, Rosalyn and
daughter Amy -- Amy's eyes are closed and she covers
her mouth with her hand] As a security measure to
avoid any leaking of White House information, the
Secret Service has stapled Amy Carter's eyes shut and
epoxied her hand to her mouth for the duration of
Jimmy Carter's term. ... A decision on what to do with
Amy's ears will be made shortly.
President Ford finally revealed the substance of his
post-election telephone call to Richard Nixon. Ford
asked Nixon if he thought Jimmy Carter would abuse the
presidency. Nixon said, "Nah, he doesn't have the
experience." ... [The joke dies - in response, Jane
frowns and crumples the sheet of paper it was written
on - Patrick's hand emerges from beneath the desk -
Jane puts the crumpled ball of paper in Patrick's hand
which disappears from view - Jane swivels, grins, and
continues without missing a beat]
[Photo of Henry Kissinger with eyes shut tight and
smiling a toothy grin] Despite the fact that his days
as Secretary of State are numbered, Henry Kissinger
showed he still has a sense of humor. The eternal
diplomat is shown here at a Washington party doing his
impression of Chinese leader Hua Guofeng. ...
[Suddenly, Jane bursts out laughing and reaches under
the desk - apparently having just been
[Photo of Betty Ford and lisping broadcast journalist
Barbara Walters] The First Annual Barbara Walters
Look-Alike Contest was held this week in Washington.
And the first runner-up was First Lady Betty Ford. The
winner was Barbara Walters who remarked that she
doesn't feel she really looks like herself but will
use the prize money to buy a lifetime supply of the
letter "R." ...
[Photo of Jacques Cousteau holding what appears to be
two small statuettes] And, in sports this week,
underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau has discovered a
tribe of eleven inch tall prizefighters in the Aegean
Sea. Negotiations are under way to match one of them
against Mayor Beame at Madison Square Garden next
Jane Curtin: And now Update presents a special
Christmas segment, courtesy of the United States
government's Public Safety bureau. Here is
correspondent Ray Basalt with the December radioactive
[Cut to genial, fast-talking Ray Basalt, casually
dressed in a denim suit with an open-necked
wide-collared shirt and a gold medallion on a chain
around his neck. Behind him is a bulletin board that
reads: DAILY FORECAST, several wall clocks, and a
chalkboard with a map of the U.S.]
Ray Basalt: Thank you, Jane! Hi, everybody and
welcome to the Fallout Report! We, uh, hope to give
you as much information as we can on the domestic
fallout situation for the holiday season. I'm Ray
Basalt and here's how it looks:
[moves to map, occasionally marking it up with chalk
and symbols of mushroom clouds as he speaks] Okay!
Prevailing northerly winds in the mid-Atlantic have
carried a cloud of radioactive particles into a few
population centers along the eastern seaboard here.
Uh, now, uh, this debris is the result of a blast that
was detonated over four thousand miles away by
the Indian government in the Gobi Desert - and it's
affecting the tri-state area. These particles are
expected to start sprinkling down into New Jersey,
Pennsylvania and parts of New York state early next
week. Not much to worry about, however. These
particles are far too big to inhale into the lungs ...
However, they do contain tellurium gamma rays so
water, milk and all dairy products will be
contaminated throughout the holiday season - for at
least two months, anyway. ... Well, it is the soft
drink season, so - [chuckles] - we don't have too much
to worry about.
Okay, let's turn to the west coast now and see what we
find here. All right, last summer, as you know, was a
heavy time of thermonuclear testing by the People's
Republic of China. In July, they detonated a fifty
megaton fission-fusion-fission device above the
Pacific Ocean. This resulted in a high altitude
airburst. Now, the fission products from this
detonation, which linger just below the Earth's
troposphere, have started to drop. They're being moved
across the Pacific water body by the high winds up
there in the troposphere. This -- coupled with cold
fronts which move up into southern California from
Texas -- uh, all in all, well, we should say that,
well, it should bring a fairly heavy shower of
dangerous beta particles into the San Diego area
sometime near the end of the month and probably before
Christmas anyway. Now, that blast was a pretty heavy
one so the yield of beta particles will be sizable.
Beta particles, of course, as you know, cause serious
radiation burns so, San Diego residents, stay inside,
keep pets inside, don't drink or eat anything and, if
you have a lead suit, wear it. ...
Elsewhere across the country, in Florida, uh, some,
uh, particles as a result of French testing in the
Antarctic. Uh, all across the Midwest, there are
particles there. Uh, from domestic testing in Nevada,
of course. And, uh, there was some in Texas down here
near Corpus Christi. Nothing too serious.
We should mention, however, the beta cloud over San
Diego will be moving on up into the Los Angeles area
and, although it won't be dangerous from a radioactive
standpoint, the remaining fallout when combined with
hydrocarbon emissions in the Los Angeles basin should
make for quite a brew [turns to a nearby wall chart
marked AIR QUALITY with four levels: POOR / BAD /
MASKS REQUIRED / REFRAIN FROM BREATHING] and a reading
of one, two, three, four - on our air quality table.
[puts a big red X next to number four: REFRAIN FROM
And remember the MLRD for human beings -- that's
Median Lethal Radiation Dose -- is four hundred and
fifty REMs. Uh, anything under that and the most you
have to deal with is some odd internal bleeding, loss
of hair, skin sores and unceasing nausea. Okay?
[tosses chalk in the air and catches it with a smile]
And that's the Fallout Report for the holiday season.
Back to you, Jane.
[Applause as we cut back to Jane at the desk.]
Jane Curtin: [Photo of gymnast Olga Korbut atop
a balance beam doing a particularly strenuous
backbend] Olga Korbut, the sensational Russian gymnast
of the '72 Olympics, announced this week that she will
be married next month in Moscow. The agile 21-year-old
is shown here getting in shape for her wedding night.
... The prospective bridegroom is reported to be in a
Russian hospital undergoing special surgery to have
all of his bones removed. ...
[Photo of snow-covered street] Still to come: Cocaine
dealers convene in Buffalo after this message. ...
[Applause - Jane winces and reaches under the desk
uncomfortably as we fade out for ad parody: FX-70
Jane Curtin: [Photo of man in Santa Claus
outfit holding a revolver] Tragedy at the North Pole
this week when Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer broke a
leg and had to be shot. When asked who will guide his
sleigh, a grief-stricken Santa Claus replied, "Jim
Nabors." More on this story as it develops. [Joke dies
- Patrick's hand reaches up from under the desk - Jane
hands him the paper which he crumples and disappears
[reads the next item:] Well, time certainly flies,
doesn't it? ... [Patrick reaches up again but Jane
bats his hand away]
Having trouble selecting a Christmas gift for your
stallion? Well, maybe this will help. [Doctored photo
of a horse wearing a human being's shoes on its hind
hooves] It's the latest style in animal footwear.
Earth horseshoes. Manufacturers say that they are like
ordinary shoes except the heels are lower than the
toes. [Photo of a horse showing its teeth, as if
smiling] Honest Pleasure, pictured here, says he wears
them and that, quote, [trippy voice] "It's real
mellow. It's like I'm standing in a lotus position."
[exhales through lips like a horse] End quote.
Jane Curtin: From time to time, Weekend Update
presents opposing viewpoints to important issues. Now,
here with an editorial reply is Miss Emily
Emily Litella: [bespectacled little old lady
with squeaky voice] Uhh, what's all this fuss I keep
hearing about this Christmas the United Nations is
collecting money for unisex? Now, don't those
kind of people have enough beauty parlors and clothing
stores as it is? I mean, do they need more? Why,
they're all over the place, these unisex places! The
United Nations should be giving money to little
children overseas, children who can use it, not to
Jane Curtin: Uh, Miss Litella?
Emily Litella: Why, it's outrageous!
Jane Curtin: Miss Litella?
Emily Litella: I can't believe-- What?
Jane Curtin: [speaking slowly and clearly] Uh,
that's "UNICEF." Not "unisex." The editorial was about
UNICEF, the United Nations International Children's
Emergency Fund, not unisex. UNICEF.
Emily Litella: Oh, well, well that's very
different. [squints and grins, into camera] Never
mind. ... [Applause] Uh, just, um, one more thing,
Miss Clayton. Um, I was wondering why ever since
you've been, ah, doing Update I haven't been on the
show too much. I mean, I used to be on quite
Jane Curtin: Yes. Well, Miss Litella, you can
be on as often as you like -- as long as you come up
with something funnier than "unisex."
Emily Litella: Well, I'll do my best
Jane Curtin: Good.
Emily Litella: Bitch. ...
[Applause, which continues till the end.]
Jane Curtin: That's all the news for tonight.
Thank you and have a very pleasant holiday.
[As we pull back and fade out, Jane glares at the
departing Miss Litella.]