Thomas Jefferson Meets Sally Hemings


02g: Robert De Niro / Norah Jones

Thomas Jefferson Meets Sally Hemings

Thomas Jefferson…..Robert De Niro
James Madison…..Chris Parnell
Statesman #1…..Jimmy Fallon
Statesman #2…..Will Forte
Maria…..Amy Poehler
Sally Hemings…..Maya Rudolph

[ open on interior, Monticello ]

Thomas Jefferson: I call them the Lazy Susans, because it’s round but flat, like Hamilton’s wife!

[ they all share a hearty laugh ]

James Madison: Oh, Thomas Jefferson, you are as great a wit as you are a statesman!

Thomas Jefferson: No more than you, James Madison!

[ Jefferson’s daughter Maria enters, with her slave Sally Hemings ]

Maria: Gentlemen. If you’d like to adjurn to the dining room, dinner is nearly served.

Thomas Jefferson: Maria.

Maria: Yes, Father?

Thomas Jefferson: Who is that? [ points to Sally ]

Maria: That’s Sally Hemings, Father. The new slave you inherited.

[ Jefferson moves in for the kill ]

Thomas Jefferson: Sally? I’m Thomas. Jefferson. The owner of this house.

Sally Hemings: I know who you are.

Thomas Jefferson: I just wanted to welcome you to Monticello. I hope you’ll be very happy here with us.

Sally Hemings: Well, I’m.. I’m just happy to be indoors.

Thomas Jefferson: [ chuckles ] That’s charming.

[ cut to ]

Statesman #1: Oh, brother, here he goes.

James Madison: [ sighs ] Like a bee to a blossom.

Statesman #2: What are you talking about?

Statesman #1: Don’t you read the papers? Everyone knows it. Thoams Jefferson only dates black chicks.

Statesman #2: No, really?

James Madison: You’ve never heard that? That’s totally his thing, everybody knows that!

[ cut back to Jefferson and Sally ]

Thomas Jefferson: Do you like the house?

Sally Hemings: Yes.

Thomas Jefferson: I designed it myself.

Sally Hemings: Oh.. it’s beautiful, sir.

Thomas Jefferson: Sir? What sir? No. please call me T.J.!

Sally Hemings: [ giggles ]

Thomas Jefferson: Did anyone ever tell you you look like.. a young Nefartiti?

Sally Hemings: Uh.. no. That’s a new one.

Thomas Jefferson: Your hair is so.. unusual. May I touch it.

Sally Hemings: Sure. [ titters as he touches her hair ] [ cut to the statesmen watching ]

James Madison: [ sighs ] He doesn’t waste any time, does he?

Statesman #2: Maybe he hasn’t met the right white lady.

James Madison: No. That’s not it.

Statesman #1: He likes his women like he likes his coffee – hot, black, and first thing in the morning.

[ cut back to Jefferson and Sally ]

Thomas Jefferson: What kind of music are you in to?

Sally Hemings: Um.. I sometimes sing while I work.

Thomas Jefferson: Spirituals!

Sally Hemings: Yeah.

Thomas Jefferson: I love sprituals. Do you know.. [ singing ] “Go Down Moses”.

Sally Hemings: Oh! [ sings along ]

Together: “..when Moses was in Egypt land, let my people gooo!

Sally Hemings: Yeah..

Thomas Jefferson: You have a great voice!

Sally Hemings: Oh! [ laughs ]

Thomas Jefferson: Really, a great voice! Have you ever thought about being a singer?

Sally Hemings: Um.. it’s really not an option for me.

Thomas Jefferson: Right. I forget sometimes, because I used to live in Paris.

Sally Hemings: Oh.

Thomas Jefferson: You know the French, they’re so free. Sa vrie, n’est-ce pas?

[ cut back to the statesmen ]

Statesman #2: He does seem smitten.

Statesman #1: Look at him, he’s working it hard!

James Madison: He’s probably telling her about her “inalienable rights”.

Statesman #1: Like liberty, and the pursuit of brown sugar!

[ they laugh ] [ cut back to Jefferson and Sally ]

Thomas Jefferson: You know, if it were up to me, there would be no slavery. I mean, I wrote the Declaration of Independence, so that tells you where my head’s at! your hands are so.. so tiny..

Statesman #1: Hey, hey, Thomas! you coming to dinner!

Thomas Jefferson: I’ll join you.. presently. [ to Sally ] I’d like to take you out for corn cakes sometime.

Sally Hemings: Alright!

Thomas Jefferson: What time do you get off work?

Sally Hemings: Um.. never.

Thomas Jefferson: You’re fiery, Sally Hemings! I like that!

[ cut back to the statesmen ]

Statesman #2: I can’t believe I didn’t know this!

Statesman #1: Seriously, don’t you read the gossip columns? Jefferson’s got jungle fever..

James Madison: Franklin is a chubby chaser..

Statesman #1: John Adams is way into Asian chicks.

Statesman #2: Asians? Where does he meet them?

James Madison: Oh, he¬ís never actually seen one. But he’s heard descriptions, and they drive him crazy!

[ cut back to Jefferson and Sally ]

Thomas Jefferson: I think I could love you, Sally Hemings.

Sally Hemings: You’re the boss.

[ dissolve to still photo footage of Jefferson’s descendents ]

Tracy Morgan Voiceover: And so, Thomas Jefferson fathered six children by Sally Hemings. But those children have never been recognized by the Jefferson Family. President Jefferson’s African-American descendents are now scattered allthroughout the United States. Their legacy unacknowledged, their inheritance unclaimed.

[ dissolve to Tracy Morgan wearing a snazzy-ass coat ]

Tracy Morgan: Which is why somebody owes me a million dollars, man! Get what I’m sayin’? I need to get paid, man! I got four more payments left on this coat!

[ fade ]

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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