78f: Carrie Fisher / The Blues Brothers
Doctor ... Jane Curtin
Mrs. Gilbert ... Gilda Radner
Mr. Gilbert ... John Belushi
Orderly #1 ... Dan Aykroyd
Orderly #2 ... Bill Murray
Nurse #1 ... Laraine Newman
Nurse #2 ... Carrie Fisher
Mr. Wilkie ... Garrett Morris
Singer ... Bill Murray
[Hospital room. Doctor confers with Mr. and Mrs.
Gilbert next to the bed of Mrs. Gilbert's comatose
Mrs. Gilbert: [distressed] Doctor, what do you
mean she could live for another year in all this
Doctor: All I'm saying is that she has terminal
metastasis of the liver and vertebrae and will never
be capable of walking, moving or communicating. And
because of a total deterioration of the
vestibulo-colear nerve, she is, however, capable of
experiencing excruciating pain.
Mrs. Gilbert: Oh ...
Mr. Gilbert: [puts a comforting arm around his
wife] I don't wanna sound cold about it but, uh, two
thousand dollars a day to keep an old woman who's had
a full, happy life in excruciating pain doesn't sound
like much of a bargain to me. ... [to the doctor] So,
uh, why don't you just, uh, shut off all those
Doctor: Well, we can't do that. Not without the
permission of the closest of kin and that would be
you, Mrs. Gilbert.
Mrs. Gilbert: Oh, I just don't - I just don't
know. I mean, what would mother want? I wish she could
give us a signal or something.
Mr. Gilbert: Aw, honey, let's face it. She's a
Mrs. Gilbert: I - I'm sorry but I can't be the
one to give my permission to let her die.
Doctor: Well, then, our hands are tied. I'm
[Sad music as we dissolve to the doctor's darkened
office where a white-uniformed orderly rifles through
a filing cabinet while a second orderly holds a
flashlight for him.]
Orderly #1: [pulls file, reads it] Yeah, here's
one in 1217. "Terminal metastasis of the liver and
vertebrae, deterioration of the vestibulo-colear nerve
Orderly #2: She must be in a lot of pain. Are
they gonna let her die with dignity?
Orderly #1: Let's see. [turns pages in file]
No! [grimly] They're keepin' her on the
Orderly #2: [sighs] Sounds like a job for us,
[Dramatic music. SUPER: MERCY KILLERS logo -- complete
with an unplugged electric cord and an open electric
Don Pardo V/O: And now it's time for "Mercy
Killers"! The unsung heroes of the terminally
[Hurry music as the doctor enters and switches on the
lights. The orderlies quickly return the file, close
the cabinet drawer, and try vainly to look
Doctor: What are you two doing in my
Orderly #1: [lying badly] We - we passed by
your office. We heard some noise. We came in and
surprised some creep in a leather jacket. We tried to
grab him but - he ran out.
Orderly #2: Yeah. That's it. I don't think he
Doctor: [somehow convinced, sits at desk,
focuses on paperwork] Oh, good. 'Cause there's been
strange things going on in this hospital. You two
don't know anything about that mysterious death in
post-op, do you?
[The orderlies glance at one another
Orderly #2: [after a long pause,
unconvincingly] No. We're orderlies. We just - clean
[The doctor nods, convinced.]
Orderly #1: [to Orderly #2] Come on. Let's go
Orderly #2: Yeah. Hey, wait up.
[The orderlies exit. Transitional music as we dissolve
back to the hospital room where two nurses escort a
patient, Mr. Wilkie, into the room and put him in the
bed next to Mrs. Gilbert's comatose mother.]
Nurse #1: All right. Not too fast.
Nurse #2: Take it easy.
Mr. Wilkie: [walking gingerly] Ahhh....
Nurse #2: That's it.
Nurse #1: Not too fast.
Nurse #2: That's it.
Mr. Wilkie: [gets in bed] You know, you know,
ladies, I - I feel fine. Why don't both of you hop
into bed with me and let me try out my new
Nurse #2: Now, now, Mr. Wilkie, you'll be out
of here tomorrow and you can do whatever you want but,
until then, we'll follow hospital regulations. [puts a
screen between the room's two beds]
Mr. Wilkie: [indicates Mrs. Gilbert's mother]
Hey, uh, who's, uh, in that bed over there?
Nurse #1: [readies a hypodermic needle] Never
you mind. It's just someone fast asleep - which is
what you're gonna be in a second - once these
sedatives kick in. After that, all you'll want to do
is go to sleep.
Mr. Wilkie: Okay. I am pretty sleepy already.
Nurse #1: Good night.
Nurse #2: Good night.
Mr. Wilkie: [sleepily] Good night.
[The nurses shut off the lights and exit as Mr. Wilkie
begins to doze. After a moment, the Mercy Killers
enter with flashlights.]
Orderly #1: This is it! 1217!
Orderly #2: There's the bed. Here's the
[They stand on either side of Mr. Wilkie's
Mr. Wilkie: Uh, hey, who are you
Orderly #1: [unconvincingly reassuring] It's
okay. Uh, we're just orderlies. It's all
Orderly #2: [to Orderly #1] Hey, didn't the
file say seventy-eight year old female
Orderly #1: Yeah, it did. Another
mistake in the file system! ... This hospital's
really going downhill. Let's do it.
Mr. Wilkie: Uh, what's going on, fellas?
[The orderlies suddenly take a pillow from behind Mr.
Wilkie's head and start to smother him with it.
Orderly #2 holds the pillow, leaving #1 to struggle
with Mr. Wilkie's wildly flailing arms. The patient's
screams are muffled by the pillow.]
Orderly #2: [loses his nerve] Stop! Wait a
minute! Maybe we shouldn't be taking this
Orderly #1: [annoyed] What do you mean? Why do
you always pull this on me at the last minute?
[grimly, rapidly] I'm gonna tell you a little story
about a guy who dreamed of going to medical school to
be a surgeon but he couldn't -- 'cause his father was
lying in silent agony for years while the family was
spiritually and financially drained. And that guy, he
couldn't go to medical school so he had to become an
orderly, clean bedpans, and the only way he could help
people was by letting them die in dignity like this.
[Mr. Wilkie has been struggling and flailing his arms
in an undignified manner throughout the entire
Orderly #2: Gee, did that story happen to
Orderly #1: [as if it were obvious] No. [back
to business] Give me a hand with this guy.
[Mr. Wilkie finally succumbs, though there is an
amusing final flailing of the arms.]
Orderly #1: Another merciful death.
[Mentally and physically exhausted, the Mercy Killers
walk away from their patient.]
Orderly #2: [with a backward glance] Well, at
least we won't have to clean up after this one any
Orderly #1: [solemnly] The people we help can
never thank us. All we can expect is that maybe
someday, someone will write a song about us. ...
[casually] Come on, let's go get some coffee and a
[They exit as the Theme from "Mercy Killers" plays
over the show's closing credits, which are
superimposed over stills from other episodes of the
Singer V/O: [sings cheesily]
They kill not because they want to
Because they think it's right to
In some cases
Have mercy on them and someday they may
Have mercy on you
The mercy killers
Have mercy on you
The mercy killers!
A Quonset Production
Dr. Robert Marks, D.D.S.
ALL MERCY KILLERS
stories are true, based
on files stolen from
the State of Nevada.]
[STILL PHOTOS: The Mercy Killers in a darkened
doctor's office with flashlight and file folder;
entering a darkened hospital room with flashlight and
large hypodermic needle; squeezing a patient's I.V.
tubes; smothering a patient in bed.]