The Real Story
Lawrence Fleishacker.....Tim Kazurinsky
Abraham Lincoln.....Joe Piscopo
Mary Lincoln.....Mary Gross
[FADE IN on a still slide with a picture of a globe and the caption, “HISTORY: The Real Story.” FADE to Lawrence Fleishacker sitting in a leather-bound chair in a library, wearing a pair of spectacles, and reading a thick book. He looks up and addresses the camera.]
Lawrence Fleishacker: Good evening. I’m Lawrence Flyshacker, and welcome to, “The Real Story.” Tonight we continue our series on the U.S. Presidents. You know history often whitewashes itself? For example, for years it was thought that Thomas Jefferson was a man, and that his wife slept around... whereas we now know the opposite to be true. Tonight we’ll go behind another of history’s myths to learn, “The Real Story.”
[FADE to a recreation of the balcony of Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C., on the night Lincoln was shot. Mary Gross is dressed as Mrs. Lincoln; Julia Louis-Dreyfus is dressed as a young lady in a pink dress off the shoulders. To the left is Gary Kroeger dressed as a Union general. The three watch the play for a moment, and then Joe Piscopo enters as Lincoln, in a long black suit and stovepipe hat. He is carrying a jumbo tub of popcorn and a large soft drink. He stumbles to his chair.]
Abraham Lincoln: Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me! Excuse me. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. [plops into his seat]
Abraham Lincoln: [loudly] Sorry I’m late, guys, but I was freeing some Negroes! Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!
General: That’s perfectly all right, Mr. President.
[Joe throws an arm around Mary Gross’s shoulders and squeezes her tight.]
Abraham Lincoln: Hey, hey, hey, is this a First Lady or WHAT, huh? I just hope I’m her first man!
Mary Lincoln: Abraham, please, the play!
Abraham Lincoln: Oh, I’ve seen it five times, Mary--
[Brad Hall is heard yelling from off camera]
Voice: Yeah, well, some of US haven’t!!
Abraham Lincoln: [stands up and jeers him] Oh, well, hey, pardon me, pal, huh?! [mockingly] What am I, just the President of the United STATES!!
[He sits down and shakes his head. As the actors’ voices are faintly heard, Lincoln reaches into the inside right pocket of his suit and pulls out a candy bar. Noisy unwrapping sounds are heard as he peels off the wrapper, and the audience shushes him.]
Abraham Lincoln: [leaning over railing] SORRY!
[Joe takes a bite out of the candy bar and tosses the rest of it behind him. He points toward the stage.]
Abraham Lincoln: [with his mouth full] Hey. Oh, I love this part! I love this. Watch this. Listen to how she tells this jerk off. Watch this.
[He stands up and calls toward the stage]
Abraham Lincoln: Hey, hey! You tell him, honey, YEAH!! WHOOOO!!!
[sits back down]
Abraham Lincoln: Some people, they just don’t know how to enjoy theatre.
Voice: [off camera] Hey, quiet down, will ya?!
Abraham Lincoln: [stands up] Hey, stick it here, pal!!
[drops his tub of popcorn and his drink off the balcony]
Abraham Lincoln: Whoa!
Voice: [furious] Watch it!!
Abraham Lincoln: Hey, I’m sorry, pal! Look, send me your cleaning bill! To my GETTYSBURG ADDRESS! Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha!! [slaps railing]
[As the audience shushes Lincoln, the general next to him taps him on the shoulder to try to divert his attention. Mrs. Lincoln raises her opera glasses and concentrates on the play.]
General: Mr. President, Mr. President, I understand that the young woman taking the role of Sarah tonight is the talk of Washington.
Abraham Lincoln: Oh, yeah?!
[grabs opera glasses from Mrs. Lincoln and peers at the stage]
Abraham Lincoln: WHOA, YEAH!!! Hey, I thought mine eyes had seen the glory, but get a load of that babe!
[stands up and waves toward stage]
Abraham Lincoln: Hey, hey, hey, angelpuss! Whoooo, whoo, whoo!! Up here, huh?
[An unidentified voice, presumably one of the actors, calls out from off camera with a heavy sort of Confederate General accent.]
Voice 2: Will you shut up, suh?
Abraham Lincoln: [stands up] Hey, hey, you gonna do something about it?
Voice 2: I may, suh!
Abraham Lincoln: Yeah, you and what Confederate Army, cracker-barrel?!
Voice 2: I warned you, suh!
Abraham Lincoln: [losing temper] Yeah, well, why don’t you come up here and do somethin’? What, what are you gonna do, shoot me, pal, huh?
[Lincoln puts one leg on the railing and is about to vault over it, a la John Wilkes Booth. FREEZE picture, and then FADE to a shot of an oil a painting of Lincoln looking down and about to jump as the others try to restrain him. FADE to Lawrence Fleishacker sitting in his library.]
Lawrence Fleishacker: And the rest is history. Please join us next week on “The Real Story” for “Hiroshima: Insurance Fraud of the Century.”
[Music rises as Lawrence Fleishacker returns to reading his book. FADE to the slide with the globe and “HISTORY: THE REAL STORY,” then FADE to black.]
Thanks to Joe Cornfield for this transcript!