Saturday Night Live Transcripts


  Season 3: Episode 4








77d: Charles Grodin / Paul Simon

Hire the Incompetent

.....Charles Grodin
Bag Boy.....Bill Murray
Air Traffic Controller.....Laraine Newman
Rosanne Rosannadanna.....Gilda Radner
.....Lorne Michaels

[FADE IN on Charles Grodin alone from the waist up against a rosy purple background.]

Charles Grodin: I'm here to speak to you tonight on behalf of a discriminated people who you deal with daily, but who you don't hear much about. I'm speaking, of course, of the incompetent.

[laughter]

Charles Grodin: Every year, thousands and thousands of perfectly nice, incompetent people are fired from their jobs merely because they lack the qualities to do these jobs well. And why? Why should someone who is already good at their job win out over someone who is poor at theirs? Effective workers don't need the job. They already know how to do it. If they're such hot stuff, why don't they try doing something they're bad at? How will society ever grow if people are just hired to do what they already do well? Just listen to these heartbreaking testamonies.

[CUT to a man in a sweater vest.]

Man: [in heavy Chicago accent] Um, I worked at this supermarket, packing groceries in the brown bags for customers... and I kept putting fragiles, like eggs and tomatoes, on the bottom... and, uh, heavy stuff, like ten-pound bags of kitty litter, and economy-sized cans of bean--beans on the top... and heavy stuff would CRUSH the soft stuff, y'know, just smash it. And the slime would drip out the bottom of the bag, and spill all over these ladies' good coats... and they'd get really cheesed off and complain about me. But that's just the way my mind works, y'know: eggs bottom, cans top. And y'know, if that's such a crime, go ahead--PUT me on welfare.

[CUT to a woman in a sweater and a blouse.]

Woman: I used to work as an air traffic controller at Kennedy... and it was my job to watch the radar screen and radio landing instructions to the pilots, like... [chuckles] ...Ray, and Jim, Lyle, and Derek.

[laughter]

Woman: And like, if you could have SEEN these guys, I mean, they were SO CUTE! And like there was this one time, there's this really big storm, and Dirk, this pilot I was seeing at the time, who was only SO FINE... uh, he yells at me over the headset, "Where's the runway?" And I said, "Where were you Saturday night?"

[laughter]

Woman: So he makes this B.F.D. with the FAA, and I get fired!

[CUT to Rosanne Rosannadanna, in her first incarnation. She wears her trademark frizzy hair and a flowered blouse.]

Rosanne Rosannadanna: I. uh... I was fired from my job makin' burgers in the back kitchen at Burgerland... because a lotta customers complained' about hair in their burgers.

[laughter and applause]

Rosanne Rosannadanna: Now... I could take it when the boss would ask, "How do ya make 'em, like this?"

[She sticks her right hand in her left armpit. Audience laughs riotously.]

Rosanne Rosannadanna: LOOK! I'm no jerk, I wouldn't do that. It was hair--it was HEAD hair, it wasn't PIT hair.

[laughter]

Rosanne Rosannadanna: What was I supposed ta do, wear a bathin' cap ta work? Hah, hah, hah! Besides... there's a lot worse things that could be in burgers.

[She sticks her finger in her ear as the audience chortles. CUT back to Grodin watching in disbelief over laughter and applause.]

Charles Grodin: Uhhhh... Isn't this a pathetic waste of ineptitude? Believe me, I know how they feel. Look at me. They hired me as host, and you couldn't exactly call me competent--wait, I've never seen these cue cards before.

[laughter]

Charles Grodin: I'd never be saying these things about myself, or anyone incompetent. Gee, y'know, it's perfectly clear by now that no one really appreciates the time I put in at the sweater counter at Saks alone. Lorne? Lorne?

Lorne Michaels: [over intercom] Yes, Chuck?

Charles Grodin: I--this is--to talk about incompetent, this taste thing, this is a perfect spot for me to do my song. I don't see why... Is there some time?

Lorne Michaels: I think there may be enough time. Go ahead, Chuck.

Charles Grodin: Okay. Now this is--bring a little, you know.

[sings a capella]

"Help a person, be a friend, Hang on till the very end, A car, TV, some cake, a wife, These are my feelings about life."

[applause]

Charles Grodin: Thank you.

Lorne Michaels: That was wonderful, Chuck. Thank you.

Charles Grodin: Thank you. Thank you, Lorne. Thank you.

[SUPERIMPOSE "HIRE THE INCOMPETENT" over a quietly pleased Grodin.]

Don Pardo: Hire the incompetent.

[Grodin peers around the caption and gazes into the audience. FADE to black over applause.]


Submitted by: Sean


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