Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 18

76r: Julian Bond / Tom Waits, Brick

Dr. X, Family Counsellor

Dr. X ... Dan Aykroyd
Announcer ... Don Pardo
Mark ... John Belushi
Harry ... Bill Murray
Colleen ... Gilda Radner

[A man, in suit and tie, wears an eerie metallic mask with dark eyeholes, stars and odd rectangular slits cut out of it -- sort of a hockey mask from Hell. With framed diplomas hanging on the wall behind him, he sits at a desk and addresses the camera.]

Dr. X: Hello. I'm Dr. X, Family Counsellor. Family counseling is a specialized service. My role as a professional counselor is to provide a warm, safe atmosphere of trust so that the family can discuss their problems freely in a comfortable environment. Tonight, please join me as I counsel the "M" family.

[Dissolve to a card that reads: DR. X Family Counsellor. We hear grandiose soap opera music and the sound of a beating heart.]

Announcer: And now another case from the files of Dr. X, Family Counsellor.

[Dissolve to Dr. X's office. A human skeleton stands by a window where sunlight streams in. Dr. X now leans on the front edge of his desk. The "M" family are seated around him: Mark, an obnoxious young boy who chews gum and wears a baseball cap; Harry, the uptight father, in a business suit; Colleen, the conservatively-dressed mother, who stares into space.]

Dr. X: Hello, Mark. [puts a hand on Mark's shoulder whereupon it is casually revealed that Dr. X's right arm is, in fact, a bulky prosthetic device] Hello, Harry. Hello, Colleen. I'm glad that all of you could come here today. This is a place to grow, to solve problems. And we can only do this by talking and communicating. I want each of you to feel free to say anything at all that comes into your mind.

Mark: Where'd ya get that mask?!

Harry: Mark!

Dr. X: [to Harry] It's all right. [to Mark] Mask? I guess you mean this mask, Mark. Well, uh, everyone has an image or a false front in life, Mark. Um, everyone wears a mask.

Mark: Yeah, sure. But not a silver mask with holes in it like that one!

Harry: [angry] Mark! [Harry bolts out of his seat and attacks Mark, shouting and strangling his son; Dr. X pulls Harry away and forces him back to his chair]

Mark: Leave me alone!

Dr. X: All right. Let him have his own space, Harry. That might be part of the problem. He needs breathing space. [matter-of-fact, to Mark] Mark, fair enough. It's a question. I'll answer it. I'll tell you where I got the mask. Remember that massive spill of lethal radioactive materials near Beatty, Nevada in 1956? Well, Mark-- [starts screaming horribly; Mark and Harry reach out to comfort him]

Mark: Hey! Dr. X! Take it easy!

Dr. X: [sudden calm sing-song] Oh, nothing ... [recovers] I'll be all right. Released a little of my own trauma there. Thank you. [back to business as if nothing had happened] Harry, what do you see as the source of the problem in your family now?

Harry: Well, it's this kid. [points to Mark] He's my son. He's rude -- you heard him. He's a rotten kid. Besides, he never listens to his mother. Right, Colleen? [Colleen, who has barely moved, continues to stare into space]

Dr. X: Harry, the boy might just need some elbow room, freedom to express himself. [playfully rubs Mark's baseball cap with his prosthetic device] You know, freedom--

Mark: Hey! Where'd ya get that arm?!

Harry: Hey! You fool! [bolts out of his seat, shouting, and punches Mark; Dr. X once again, intervenes and guides Harry back to his chair]

Mark: [making fists at Harry] Try it! Try it! Try it! Try me!

Harry: [yells at Mark] You wanna try the old man? [sits down] You wanna try the old man?

Dr. X: All right. Harry! [calmly, to Mark] I guess you mean this arm. Well, Mark, fair enough. I'll tell you. Remember in 1958 when the Air Force tried to cover up that bad rocket sled accident? Well, Mark, I happened to be the WAAAAAH!-- [screams horribly and cries; Mark and Harry try to comfort him]

Mark: Dr. X! What's wrong? What's wrong, Dr. X?

Dr. X: [sudden calm sing-song] Oh, nothing .... [recovers, acts as if nothing's happened] Harry, you've got a-- Well, Colleen, you've chosen to remain silent here. [Colleen still stares into space] Mark and Harry have said things. I'd like to know how you feel.

Harry: She's fine. [puts an arm around her] Aren't you, honey? [kisses her head; she's unresponsive but he holds her and touches her affectionately]

Dr. X: Well, she's not saying a word, Harry.

Harry: She's good. She's fine. She's just fine, she's--

Dr. X: I think she's catatonic, Harry. You've gotta face up! Now, you came here pretending that it was Mark who needed the treatment when in fact your wife needs the counseling and treatment. My colleague, Dr. R. D. Laing, might say that you and Mark are "in collusion." You're reinforcing the false reality that Colleen is normal and non-catatonic.

Harry: Come on. She's just shy, Doctor.

Dr. X: Harry! Harry, wake up and smell the coffee! The woman's vegged out! She's null and void! It's - it's - it's simple: Jack marries Jill, Jill has Joey, Jill is a veg, Jack won't admit it, Joey plays along. What do you think, Mark? [playfully touches Mark's cap with his prosthetic device]

Mark: She vegged out! How do you eat with that mask on?

Dr. X: Back off, Mark. I use tubes. And liquid protein! [again screams horribly; again Mark and Harry try to comfort him]

Mark: Hey! Dr. X! What's wrong? Lighten up!

Dr. X: [calm sing-song] Oh, nothing ...

Mark: Hey, can you drive a stick shift with that arm? [Harry threatens to attack Mark again but Dr. X waves him back]

Dr. X: Mark--

Mark: You know, Dr. X--

Dr. X: I happen to own a Lamborghini Miura, a very expensive five speed automobile. Yes, I can drive a stick shift.

Mark: You're a freak, you know that?

Dr. X: Thank you.

Mark: But, you know, you're weird, you know? You've been through some heavy stuff, man, you know? I'd like to hang out with you if I can.

Dr. X: Mark, you could come here and work at the clinic with me if you wanted to. Would that be all right, Harry?

Harry: Ho ho, if you think you can do something with this kid, take him. I'd love to get him off my hands.

Dr. X: All right. I think that's a - a - a good work-out of the problem here. [Mark claps his hands happily, Harry sarcastically waves goodbye to Mark] If Mark starts work, then he can, uh-- I'll give him some elbow room, some free space and he can just relax ...

Mark: Oh, great!

Dr. X: You can go and start work in the lab right now. [points to a nearby door] Go ahead and, uh, Glinda will give you a lab coat.

Mark: [rises, heads for door] Thanks a lot, Doc! See ya later, folks! Nice workin' with ya!

[As Mark exits out the door, we hear a strange buzzing sound coming from the lab.]

Dr. X: [to Harry] We have to work these problems out. And, uh ...

[From behind the closed lab door, we hear the strange buzzing, Mark screaming, a dog barking, more buzzing.]

Harry: [after glancing at Colleen] Hey, X, what's going on in there?

Dr. X: [calm sing-song] Ohhhhhh, nothinnnng ...

[We hear an offscreen voice say, "Start your crane" as Dr. X retreats behind his desk and we hear again his theme music combined with the sound of a beating heart. A superimposition reads: DR. X Family Counsellor.]

Announcer: Join us next week for another case with Dr. X, Family Counsellor.

[Dr. X awkwardly tries to pick up a phone from his desk with his fake hand and Mark puts his arm around Colleen as we crane and pan up off the set to reveal the applauding audience and zoom in on one bespectacled woman who peers down at the actors below. A superimposition reads: KNOWS WORDS TO "HOLLYWOOD SQUARES" THEME MUSIC. A friend, sitting two seats over, taps her on the arm. The woman looks over and then up, registering great surprise -- "Oh!" -- claps her hands to her mouth and then laughs.]

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