Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 17

76q: Jack Burns / Santana

John's Demands

... 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 opening montage.]

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