SNL Transcripts: Reese Witherspoon: 09/29/01: 9/11 Tribute


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 27: Episode 1

01a: Reese Witherspoon / Alicia Keys

9/11 Tribute

…..Mayor Rudolph Guiliani
…..Paul Simon
…..Lorne Michaels

[ open on New York Mayor Rudolph Guiliani standing at Home Base surrounded by two dozen members of the New York Fire and Police Department ]

Mayor Rudolph Guiliani: Good evening. Since September 11th, many people have called New York a city of heroes. Well, these are the heroes. The brave men and women of the New York Fire Department, the New York Police Department, the Port Authority Police Department, Fire Commissioner Tom Von Essen, and Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik.

On September 11th, more lives were lost than on any other single day in America’s history. More than Pearl Harbor, and more than D-Day. The men, women and children who were in the World Trade Center came from across the country and 80 different nations. They were living their lives and pursuing their dreams, and they, too, are remembered as heroes. On our city’s darkest day, our heroes met the worst of humanity with the best of humanity. Their acts of heroism saved more than 25,000 lives. But even as we grieve for our loved ones, it’s up to us to face our future with renewed determination. Our hearts are broken, but they are beating, and they are beating stronger than ever. New Yorkers are unified. We will not yield to terrorism. We will not let our decisions be made out of fear. We choose to live our lives in freedom.

[ camera pans to the adjacent stage, where Paul Simon is ready on guitar ]

Paul Simon: [ singing “The Boxer” ]“I am just a poor boy.
Though my story’s seldom told,
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocketful of mumbles,
Such are promises
All lies and jest
Still, a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest.

When I left my home and my family,
I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station,
Running scared, laying low,
Seeking out the poorer quarters
Where the ragged people go,
Looking for the places
Only they would know.

Lie-la-lie …

Asking only workman’s wages
I come looking for a job,
But I get no offers,
Just a come-on from the whores
On Seventh Avenue.
I do declare,
There were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there.

Now the years are rolling by me,
They are rocking evenly.
I am older than I once was,
Younger than I’ll be,
That’s not unusual.
No, it isn’t strange,
After changes upon changes,
We are more or less the same.
After changes we are more or less the same.

Lie-la-lie …

Then I’m laying out my winter clothes
And wishing I was gone
Going home
Where the New York City winters
Aren’t bleeding me,
Leading me,
Going home.

In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
Or cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
“I am leaving, I am leaving.”
But the fighter still remains.

Lie-la-lie … “

[ camera pans back to Mayor Rudolph Guiliani and company, as Lorne Michaels joins them on stage ]

Lorne Michaels: On behalf of everyone here, I just want to thank you all for being here tonight, especially you, sir.

Mayor Rudolph Guiliani: Thank you, Lorne. Thank you very much. Having our city’s institutions up and running sends a message that New York City is open for business. “Saturday Night Live” is one of our great New York City institutions, and that’s why it’s important for you to do your show tonight.

Lorne Michaels: Can we be funny?

Mayor Rudolph Guiliani: Why start now? “Live, from New York! It’s Saturday Night!”

SNL Transcripts

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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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