79d: Buck Henry / Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
[ open on protestors holding picket signs outside of 30 Rockefeller Center ]
Protestors: [ chanting ] NO MORE BUCK!! NO MORE BUCK!! NO MORE BUCK!!
[ dissolve to interior, Studio 8-H locker room, as Bill Murray approaches Jane Curtin ]
Bill Murray: Did you see what's going on outside?
Jane Curtin: Yeah. It's been like that all week, demonstrations at EVERY NBC station across the country.
Bill Murray: I guess people are really upset about Buck Henry hosting again, you know?
Jane Curtin: Upset? They're OUTRAGED! And I sympathize. I mean, Buck is a nice guy and everything, but he doesn't have any talent. Frankly, he's boring.
Bill Murray: Very boring.
Jane Curtin: Yeah. The man has hosted the show, what, eleven times? And I still haven't figured out what he does, beside hosting the show.
Bill Murray: And borrowing money from us when he's here.
Jane Curtin: My God... when I think of all the talented people who are DYING to host this show... You know, I have a friend who just worked on a movie with Clint Eastwood, and this show is his favorite show.
Bill Murray: Really?
Jane Curtin: Yes. And, according to my friend, Clint wanted very much to host tonight's show. He even called Lorne on the phone, at home.
Bill Murray: Really?
Jane Curtin: Yes. Lorne didn't call him back. [ outraged ] Clint Eastwood could have been here tonight! But we've got Bucky Henry.
Bill Murray: That's what we've got.
[ Buck Henry sainters down the hall surrounded by guards ]
Bill Murray: Hi, Buck.
Buck Henry: [ to the guards ] I'll be in in a minute. [ to Bill ] Hey! How you doing? Ready for the big show?
Jane Curtin: Yeah.
Buck Henry: Those fans are SOMETHING, aren't they? I mean, they just can't keep their hands off me! I'll just change my clothes, I'll be with you in a minute.
[ Buck exits down the hall ]
Jane Curtin: Lorne must be OUT OF HIS MIND!!
Bill Murray: Jane, don't blame him. He wouldn't hurt Clint for anything in this world, I don't think. He loathes Buck just as much as we do. It's the network... it's the network that forces Buck on us.
Jane Curtin: But nobody watches the show when Buck hosts the show! The ratings always go down!
Bill Murray: It's true. NBC loses a fortune every time he hosts the show. But, Jane, sometimes in show business there are things that are more important than dollars or cents.
Jane Curtin: What the HELL are you talking about?
Bill Murray: I wasn't going to tell this to anyone, Jane. It's a secret I've been keeping to myself ever since I started here at NBC, back when I was a file clerk in Legal -- this was before I got transferred into Acting. I came across a letter that explained a lot. Did you ever hear of the Korean War?
Jane Curtin: I thought it was the Korean Conflict?
Bill Murray: It was a war -- ask anybody who was there. Well, one of the fiercest battles took place at Pork Chop Hill -- the John Wayne movie, you ever see it?
Jane Curtin: Oh, yeah...
Bill Murray: Well, Buck was there. His whole company was wiped out by a raid, and Buck was crawling across a field trying to get back to Italian headquarters. And he got hit by a mortar shell, steel fragments tore through his leg and his arm. He fell into a foxhole and found himself next to another G.I., form his own unit who was wounded pretty badly. A mortar went off, and Buck jumped over this guy trying to protect him. He stayed there all day and night, and then he picked up the guy and carried him for six hours, sometimes on his stomach, crawling, always protecting him from bullets. Weak from blood, he gave him his last, last drop of water out of his canteen. And Buck and this man are the only two who knew what happened, until I saw the letter in Legal. And that is the reason why Buck Henry has hosted this show twelve times.
Jane Curtin: I don't get it, I don't understand the connection, I...
Bill Murray: You know that old saying, "Wars that tear nations apart, can also bring individuals together"?
Jane Curtin: Yeah, I know that.
Bill Murray: Well... that wounded soldier, whose life was saved by Buck Henry, that good-as-dead G.I., was a young kid from Cleveland, Ohio: Private First Class Fred Silverman.
Jane Curtin: THE Fred Silverman?
Bill Murray: [ he nods ] Our Fred Silverman. [ "America the Beautiful" begins to play softly in the background ] A man who finds himself fighting on a different battlefield now. The stakes aren't life and death, and there's no bloodshed... but maybe they're just as high. It's the life and death of a network. Despite the fact that the NBC peacock is in its own coma right now, Fred knows that he wouldn't be here today if it weren't for Buck. And he'll stick with him, no matter what the ratings. [ he chokes on his words ] And no matter how many affiliates across the country are destroyed by demonstrators... whenever Buck hosts the show.
Jane Curtin: [ solemn ] I didn't know that about Buck. I'm so ashamed I spoke so harshly of him. I don't know what to say... except... "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"