Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 4: Episode 20

78t: Buck Henry / Bette Midler

The Nixons Watch "Blind Ambition"

Richard Nixon.....Dan Aykroyd
Pat Nixon.....Jane Curtin
Julie Eisenhower.....Gilda Radner
David Eisenhower.....Bill Murray
John Dean.....Buck Henry

[ open on broadcast of the "Blind Ambition" mini-series, President Richard Nixon in secret meeting with John Dean ]

John Dean in Movie: ..Uh, but there's no denying the fact that the White House - Ehrlichman, Haldeman, Dean - are all involved in some of the early money decisions.

President Richard Nixon in Movie: How much money do you need?

John Dean in Movie: Well.. I would say these people are going to cost, uh.. a million dollars over the next, uh.. two years.

President Richard Nixon in Movie: We could get that.

John Dean in Movie: Uh-huh.

President Richard Nixon in Movie: You, on the money, if you need the money, I mean, uh.. you could get the money. Let's say-

John Dean in Movie: Well, I think that we're going to-

[ the broadcast goes black, as camera zooms out to reveal former President Richard Nixon hunched over the television flipping the off switch ]

Richard Nixon: Well, that was a piece of crap!

Julie Eisenhower: You know.. Daddy, I thought the guy playing you was really terrible!

Richard Nixon: [ sweating ] Yeah, uh.. Rip Torn.

David Eisenhower: He didn't look anything like you.

Richard Nixon: Yeah, he was really stiff, too.

Pat Nixon: [ holding tight to a highball ] I think, in some ways, he was uncannily accurate.

Richard Nixon: [ angry ] Shut up! I noticed they didn't spend a lot of time on your dynamic role in history!

Pat Nixon: Well, I didn't commit any crimes.

Julie Eisenhower: Daddy? Did you really say those things?

Richard Nixon: Now, Princess, you know Daddy.. would I say those things..?

David Eisenhower: Well, actually, sir.. it said that all your conversations with Dean were taken from the taped transcripts..

Richard Nixon: Okay, bright eyes! It was from the transcripts! But it's not how you say it- it's not what you say, rather.. it's how you say it, idiot! You see, I.. I called you "idiot", but I meant it affectionately.

David Eisenhower: [ confused ] I'm not sure I understand..

Richard Nixon: Okay, look, look.. you just say something, and I'll.. show you how the meaning changes, depending on how you say it.

David Eisenhower: Okay.. [ thinking ] "I wish.. I were.. a baseball player."

Richard Nixon: Okay. "I wish I were a baseball player." [ analyzing the statement ] Uh.. "I wish I were a baseball player?" You see, like I don't really mean it.

David Eisenhower: But I wouldn't say it that way..

Julie Eisenhower: Well, that is the point, David.

Pat Nixon: [ drunkenly ] Why don't you try "I love you"?

Richard Nixon: Look, we made the point there! Have you got enough ice? Is your drink okay?! Just let me finish talking to my daughter and her husband, alright?! [ continuing ] Now,

Julie Eisenhower: Uh.. you were saying that they took those transcripts, and they twisted them around to make you look like a crook!

Richard Nixon: Uh, uh, ye-eah.. that's right, Kitten. For example, the scene we just saw, that March 21st meeting with Dean in the Oval Office. The way they show it, it makes it seem like I authorized raising the hush money. But, of course, nothing could be further from the truth! Let me tell you how it really went down. You see-

Pat Nixon: [ standing ] Excuse me. I'm going upstairs to watch the rest of the show, and find out what really happened. [ exits upstairs with her highball in hand ]

Richard Nixon: She could have said she was going up to read a book! But no! [ yelling up the stairs ] THANKS!! Thanks for the sensitivity!! THANKS for the support!! THANKS A LOT!! [ returns to Julie and David ] Where was I, now?

David Eisenhower: Uh.. you were telling us how they twisted the meaning of what you said.

Richard Nixon: That's right, uh.. uh, yeah, yeah.. [ chuckles ] You see.. my administration.. had the greatest sense of humor that this country has ever seen. You see.. most of the time, we were.. making "party" tapes. Me, and Haldeman, and Ehrlichman, and Dean could joke for weeks on end. We actually.. played to the microphone..

[ slow dissolve to a flashback scene of Nixon's March 21st meeting with John Dean in the Oval Office ]

Richard Nixon V/O: ..We'd do anything to crack wach other up! And I remember, that day, Dean was on a roll, so I just followed his lead, and.. "played along" with the "joke"..

John Dean: [ standing over Nixon's desk; a microphone is unseen underneath a small lamp on the desk ] ..Plus.. there's a real problem.. in raising money.

[ Dean holds up handwritten sign: "Let's Pretend There's A Cover Up"; Nixon laughs, removes lampshade to reveal hidden microphone ]

John Dean: Uh.. Mitchell.. Mitchell has been working on raising some money.. feeling he's got, you know.. he's one of the ones with the most.. to lose

President Richard Nixon: [ covers microphone with hand, tries not to laugh ] Martha!

John Dean: ..but.. there is no denying the fact that the White House - Ehrlichman, Haldeman.. [ points to himself ] ..Dean - are all involved in some of the.. early.. money decisions.

President Richard Nixon: [ stands slightly to speak directly into the microphone ] How much money do they need?

John Dean: Well.. I would say these people are going to cost, uh.. uh.. [ looks to Nixon for help, who sticks both thumbs in the air to silently cue Dean to pick a high number ] ..a million dollars! Over the next.. two years.

[ Nixon and Dean pound on the desk to subdue their laughter ]

President Richard Nixon: We could get that.

John Dean: [ stifling laughter ] Uh-huh.

[ Nixon scribbles on a pad, then, laughing silently, holds it up to reveal the message: "Let's Talk In Incomplete Sentences" ]

President Richard Nixon: Uh.. uh.. You, uh.. on the money.. if you, uh.. need the money, I mean, uh.. you could get the money. Let's say, uh..

John Dean: Well, I think if we're going to, uh..

President Richard Nixon: What I meant is, uh.. you could get, uh.. you could get a million dollars. And you could get it in cash.

[ Dean stick two pencils up his nose, resembling a walrus; Nixon practically falls out of his chair laughing at the sight ]

President Richard Nixon: I, uh.. I know where it could be gotten!

John Dean: Uh, huh! [ puts lampshade on his head and dances in a circle, to nixon's amusement ]

President Richard Nixon: I mean it's not easy.. but it could be done!

[ Dean drops his pants and continues to dance with lampshade on his head; Nixon falls to the floor laughing, as Dean pounds on the desk in a fit of laughter ]

[ slow dissolve back to the Nixon household, present day ]

Richard Nixon: You see, David? Things aren't always as they seem.

David Eisenhower: Well, I.. guess people just hear what they want to hear.

Julie Eisenhower: I'll say. You know, Dad's only crime was having too good a sense of humor.

Richard Nixon: You're damn right, Kitten!

David Eisenhower: You know, Dad.. you should try to.. get those tapes released, and then everyone can hear how you were joking around.

Julie Eisenhower: Yeah! That's a good idea!

Richard Nixon: Well, uh.. you know.. even audio tapes can be a little misleading. The expression on your face is really important, too!

Julie Eisenhower: Ohh.. it's too bad you didn't make any videotapes.

David Eisenhower: Yeah.

Richard Nixon: [ eyes shifting ] Yeah.. yeah.. too bad..

Julie Eisenhower: Well, uh.. we should go to bed.

David Eisenhower: Awww..

Richard Nixon: Uh, you're right! That little granddaughter of mine's gonna be waking you two kids up early tomorrow!

Julie Eisenhower: Good night, Dad.

Richard Nixon: Good night, Princess.

[ Julie exits to upstairs ]

David Eisenhower: Good night, Sir.

Richard Nixon: Good night, David.

David Eisenhower: Uh.. Dad? I.. guess I owe you an apology for.. what I said about the transcripts..

Richard Nixon: No, that's okay, David.

David Eisenhower: Well, good night, sir.

Richard Nixon: Good night.

David Eisenhower: Pleasant dreams.

Richard Nixon: Mmm-hmm..

David Eisenhower: Pleasant dreams, sir.

Richard Nixon: Mmm-hmm..

David Eisenhower: Uh.. pleasant drea-

Richard Nixon: Yes, David! Thank you! Good night!

[ David exits to upstairs, as Nixon paces the room briefly before turning the TV back on. The Three Stooges are now, and Nixon watches cheerfully. ]

Richard Nixon: Ha ha! Shemp! Larry! Moe! Ha ha!

[ Dissolve to wider view of set showing cameras, lights, applauding audience, etc. ]

[ SUPER: "Coming up next: Czechoslavakian Towel Monograms" ]

[ fade ]

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