Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 4: Episode 6

78f: Carrie Fisher / The Blues Brothers

Mercy Killers

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 mother.]

Mrs. Gilbert: [distressed] Doctor, what do you mean she could live for another year in all this pain?

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 machines?

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 veg. ...

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 sorry.

[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 bundle."

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 machines.

Orderly #2: [sighs] Sounds like a job for us, all right.

[Dramatic music. SUPER: MERCY KILLERS logo -- complete with an unplugged electric cord and an open electric outlet.]

Don Pardo V/O: And now it's time for "Mercy Killers"! The unsung heroes of the terminally ill!

[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 innocent.]

Doctor: What are you two doing in my office?

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 took anything.

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 knowingly.]

Orderly #2: [after a long pause, unconvincingly] No. We're orderlies. We just - clean bedpans.

[The doctor nods, convinced.]

Orderly #1: [to Orderly #2] Come on. Let's go clean bedpans.

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 vasectomy?

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. Good night.

Nurse #1: Good night.

Nurse #2: Good night.

Mr. Wilkie: [sleepily] Good night. [yawns]

[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 patient.

[They stand on either side of Mr. Wilkie's bed.]

Mr. Wilkie: Uh, hey, who are you people?

Orderly #1: [unconvincingly reassuring] It's okay. Uh, we're just orderlies. It's all right.

Orderly #2: [to Orderly #1] Hey, didn't the file say seventy-eight year old female Caucasian?

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? Hey!

[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 responsibility.

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 speech.]

Orderly #2: Gee, did that story happen to you?

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 more.

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 sweet roll.

[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 series:]

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!


Mercy Killers
A Quonset Production

executive producer
Ron Gwynn

Husky Blaimes

Larry Hayes

technical advisor
Dr. Robert Marks, D.D.S.

Robert Hackleman
Shimmy Plenner
Jack Thorax

stories are true, based
on files stolen from
hospitals throughout
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.]

Submitted Anonymously

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