76q: Jack Burns / Santana
... John Belushi
... Robert Van Ry
[John Belushi stands in a kitchen set with a coffee
cup, addressing the camera.]
John Belushi: Hi. I'm John Belushi. I'm just having a
cup of coffee before the show. It's kind of a
tradition with me. [sits at kitchen table] Here at
Saturday Night Live, we have another tradition that
the show has always opened with the words, "Live from
New York, it's--!" Well, you know the rest. [sips
coffee] Tonight, our producer, Lorne Michaels, has
convinced the NBC brass to let me say the words to
start tonight's show. Now, it was no easy battle. I
mean, we've done close to fifty shows and this is the
first time I've been allowed to do the opening. You
see, I've got a bad reputation around NBC as a
troublemaker. The network brass think all actors are
stupid. So, uh, naturally any actor who thinks for
himself or has any sort of intellect is a
"troublemaker" to them. Let's forget that now. I mean,
that's not important now.
Anyway, that-- I know that my being out here alone, at
the beginning of a live show, represents a - a sacred
trust the network has bestowed upon me. Because, of
course, the show cannot start until I say those
words. Right now, NBC, one of the country's largest
corporations, with billions in assets, is waiting for
me, a stupid troublemaking punk actor from Wheaton,
Illinois, to open the show. [makes a fist] Well, I've
got them where I want them. Right in the palm of my
hand. [opens fist, points to palm] But, although I
could easily do it, I would never, never -- Oh, what's
the word I'm looking for? -- betray the
network's trust in me. I will say the words, "Live
from New York, it's--" you know what, when I'm ready.
[takes a paper from his pocket] I will now read a list
of demands. [applause, Belushi unfolds the paper, sips
coffee] When these demands are met, I will say the
words that open the show. [looks to his left and
starts talking to someone off screen] Get back, Bobby.
Now, I mean business. No, don't try and stop me. [cut
wide to reveal a bespectacled stage manager venturing
onto the set, pointing to his wristwatch and
whispering to Belushi who addresses the camera] Bob
Van Ry, one of our stage managers, a heck of a guy.
Let's hear it for him. [Belushi leads the audience
into applause] A nice guy. [to Van Ry who exits] Let's
not start anything, okay?
[clears throat, reads from paper] First demand.
Separate showers for the male and female cast members.
Now, I, myself, don't mind showerin' with the girls
but I know the new kid, Bill Murray, doesn't like it.
He's shy. The guy's been showering with his swim -
swim trunks on, y'know. It's embarrassing. But can you
blame him? Uh, my second demand. Beer for the whole
crew on work nights! [throaty cheers and applause] My
third demand! For myself, I want nothing. But for my
lovely new wife, Judy, I demand an all-expense-paid
trip for two to the next Ali-Foreman fight in Korea,
plus two ringside seats.
[folds up paper, after a pause] I can wait. Hey. I've
got all night. Watch this. "Live from New York, it's
Thursday night!" Hahahahaha! Just kidding, suckers!
[someone off screen offers Belushi an envelope] Ah!
Ooh! What's this? [takes envelope] I knew the weasels
would back down. [opens envelope, finds letter] Oh! Ho
ho ho! [reads letter aloud] "Dear John, Whatever your
demands are, they will be met." Hey, what'd I say?
"But before we discuss those demands in greater
detail, may we say how very much we admire your acting
work. [pleased, raises an eyebrow] We enjoy all your
characterizations, though our favorites would have to
be your Samurai, your Brando, your Bee, your Joe
Cocker, your Live from New York, it's Saturday
night--" [SNL band kicks in, Belushi jumps up] No!
Wait! Stop! Stop! It's a trick! It's a trick!
[But it's too late. The show has begun. Dissolve to