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’s 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 ]

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