SNL Transcripts: Conan O’Brien: 03/10/01: Sports Century


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 26: Episode 14

00n: Conan O’Brien / Don Henley

Sports Century

Chris Fowler…..Chris Parnell
James “The Gentleman Masher” Corcoran…..Conan O’Brien
“Tiny” Jack O’Dowd…..Chris Kattan
Willie Pinckney…..Jerry Minor

(SportsCentury opening sequence)

Chris Fowler: When talking about the century’s greatest boxers, the names of Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, and Muhammad Ali come to mind. But true boxing fans may also recall a less celebrated heavyweight who dominated his sport, from 1912 to 1914. He’s James “The Gentleman Masher” Corcoran.

(dissolve to photo of a baby sporting a handlebar mustache)

Chris Fowler V/O: He was born James Finian Emmias Moore Garrity Corcorn in Chicago on July 19th, 1889 to an Irish Family.

(Dissolve to black and white film footage of Corcoran prancing about in a boxing ring)

Chris Fowler V/O: After spending his youth trapped in a vat in a meat packing plant, and the rest of his youth starving, Corcoran began boxing, and instantly developed an original pugilistic style that completely baffled his opponents

(Corcoran sits on a stool and talks to a group of reporters)

James Corcoran: : (with heavy Irish accent) The game of boxing requires a healthy diet and training regimen. That’s why each day, I drink thirty-eight quarts of beer and eat eight pounds of salted pork. Of course I rigorously avoid all sunlight and ventilation. Finally each month, without fail, I make sure I move my bowels.

(dissolve to photo of Corcoran holding back a young child with only one hand)

Chris Fowler V/O: Before long “The Gentleman Masher” ran up a string of amateur boxing championship victories over fierce opponents like Kid Regan, who was, in fact, a nine-year-old kid.

(dissolve to small boxing arena, where O’Dowd, and Corcoran are preparing to fight)

Chris Fowler V/O: In 1910, his first professional fight, James Corcoran: : knocked out British lightweight “Tiny” Jack O’Dowd, in a thriller for the ages.

(O’Dowd and Corcoran simply prance around, waving their fists at one-another, as the following round cards appear on the screen: )

Round 5
Round 12
Round 26
Round 31
Round 49
Round 65

(at this point, O’Dowd coughs and Corcoran seizes the opportunity, and lands the only punch of the fight, and knocks O’Dowd out cold)

(dissolve to a newspaper with a headline that reads “O’DOWD GOES DOWN IN 65”, which cuts to Corcoran sitting on the stool talking to more reporters)

Chris Fowler V/O: Corcoran’s victory established him and perhaps the very first trash-talker in sports history.

James Corcoran: : : To the next fighter against whom I spar, let me just say this: I’ll put corn in his muffin! I’ll crimson his face! I’ll butter his bean and serve it to him cold I will! Then I’ll deliver a blow to the mouth area, the blood from which will issue most copiously!

(Cut to old-tyme boxing footage of Jack Johnson fighting)

Chris Fowler V/O: But just two years later, African-American fighters were allowed in the ring, and Corcoran’s domination of the sport would be put to the test.

(Cut back to Corcoran sitting on the stool talking to the press)

James Corcoran: : : Believe you me, I find this son of Africa quite affable. But, still he must get a proper trashing. I plan to crimson his face with a series of dapper lefts, then bring issue to rest a powerful blow, upon his dark and mysterious brow. For as we all know, the muscular African is no match for the lanky, smooth-talking Irishman, and history will prove me correct!

(cut to same arena where the referee brings to two fighters together)

Chris Fowler V/O: On, May 6th, 1914, James Corcoran: : met his first black opponent in the ring: Willie Pinckney.

James Corcoran: : : (tauntingly) Come quickly Pinckney, it’s time for your thrashing! (to crowd) I’ll pepper your porridge!

(the bell sounds, and Pinckney begins rapidly punching Corcoran in the chest and once Corcoran moves to a corner, he begins to land a series of continuous punches to the face. With each punch Corcoran’s head snaps backwards and then comes back.)


(A newspaper appears with a headline that reads “COLORED MAN DEFEATS CORCORAN” at the bottom of the page a headline in smaller print reads “World War I Begins.” As the next line is read we see a series of photos showing Corcoran getting the stuffing beaten out of him.)

Chris Fowler V/O: James Corcoran: : ignored the advice of doctors, and attempted to make a comeback, but lost a record 247 fights in a row, all to black men.

(cut to boxing arena where we see Corcoran standing in a corner preparing to fight)

Chris Fowler V/O: Finally, it got to the point where Corcoran would begin bleeding before punches were even thrown.

(the bell rings and a stream of blood begins to flow down the front of Corcoran’s face)

James Corcoran: : : I’LL BASTE YOUR TURKEY!

(cut back to the SportsCentury studio)

Chris Fowler: Three years later, James “The Gentleman Masher” Corcoran’s career ended. But history will always remember him as a man who fostered a love and respect between Irish-Americans and black people that lasts until this day

(the screen behind Fowler shows a split-screen picture of Pat Buchanan and Sean “P. Diddy” Combs)

Chris Fowler: For SportsCentury, I’m Chris Fowler

Submitted by: Brian A. Henegar

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Author: Don Roy King

Don Roy King has directed fourteen seasons of Saturday Night Live. That work has earned him ten Emmys and fourteen nominations. Additionally, he has been nominated for fifteen DGA Awards and won in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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