Give Up The Ham


02n: Queen Latifah / Ms. Dynamite

Give Up The Ham

Jennifer…..Amy Poehler
Aisha…..Queen Latifah
Sylvia…..Rachel Dratch
Shantelle…..Maya Rudolph
Charlene…..Tracy Morgan
Emily…..Chris Kattan
Butcher…..Will Forte
Narrator…..Chris Parnell

[Open on exterior of A&P supermarket] [Interior of supermarket, looking down food aisle. A conservatively-dressed white woman with shopping car enters from right, and a casually-dressed black woman with shopping cart enters from left. Each approaches a freezer case in the middle of the aisle and they simultaneously reach for a large ham lying inside.]

Jennifer: [chuckles] Oh! Isn’t this funny?

Aisha: Heh. It *sure* is…

Jennifer: We both want this ham.

Aisha: We sure did! Hehehe… Well, are you gonna let it go?

Jennifer: Well, no. I mean, I got here first… so…

Aisha: Girl, this is *my* ham!

Jennifer: It’s *my* ham. My husband is bringing home some clients, somevery important clients, and I was going to serve ham. [they begin towrestle more over the ham] There! You thoroughly embarrassed me, so if you would just please…

Aisha: Nuh-uh! I’m’a take this ham home, and I’m’a eat it! [ham-wrestling intensifies]

Jennifer: Ma’am, it’s *my* ham…

Aisha: Don’t you “Ma’am” me, Miss Smarty-Mouth!

Jennifer: Okay, perfect. Are you satisfied?

Aisha: I’ll be satisfied when you let go of my ham!

Jennifer: Uh! I’d hardly expect you to understand this, but I was going to glaze this ham. Do you see what I have in my cart? There’s some cinnamon, some corn syrup, some light brown sugar, half a cup of apple cider… So there you have it, gimme the ham!…

Aisha: Well, for your infor-fay-she-on, I was gonna put a half a pound of butter on this ham, and pineapple it, and stick mad cloves in it, and then I was gonna bake it, and then me an’ my peoples was gonna eat it. So there you have it…

[Second conservatively dressed white woman enters from right]

Sylvia: Oh! Jennifer! Jennifer Hastings!

Jennifer: Sylvia Nash, my God…

Sylvia: [looking incredulously at both women’s hands on the ham] What in heaven’s name?!…

Jennifer: This woman won’t let go of my ham!

Sylvia: [scolding] You let go of it immediately! That’s Jenny’s ham!

Aisha: Shut up! I’m takin’ this ham!

Jennifer: No you’re not…

Sylvia: [reaching in to assist Mrs. Hastings] Give her the ham, you vulgar lady!

[Second casually-dressed black woman enters from left]

Shantelle: Aisha!

Aisha: Shantelle!

Shantelle: What you doin’, girl?

Aisha: These two white bitches is tryin’ to steal my ham!

Shantelle: Oh no they not! You better let go of that ham befo’ you get hit with it upside ya head!

Sylvia: Oh, now listen both of you: Jennifer Hastings is one of the finest women I know. If she says that that is her ham, then I am sure that that is *her* ham!

Jennifer: Thank you, Sylvia. Now let go of the ham!

[Third casually-dressed black woman enters]

Charlene: Aisha, Shantello!

Aisha and Shantelle: [in unison] Hey Charlene!

Charlene: Why is she pullin’ on that ham?

Shantelle: ‘Cause it’s *hers*, and Martha Stewart over there won’t let go…

Jennifer: [sighs]

Charlene: Well just pull on it, girl — you got some pounds on her!

Aisha: What you think I been tryin’ to do? She pullin’ on it like a pit bull!

Jennifer: Uh! How dare you?! I have half a mind…

Aisha: You let go of this ham!

Jennifer: Not on your life! [imperiously] This ham will be glazed, in my Viking stove, on my Williams-Sonoma oven rack…

[Third white woman enters from right, wearing tennis attire and carrying a racket]

Emily: [approaching] Did I hear Jennifer Hastings?

Jennifer: Oh! Emily! Thank God…

Sylvia: Emily, it’s *beyond* horrific: poor Jennifer is about to lose her ham!

Emily: Oh! [wagging finger] Let go of that ham! That ham belongs to myfriend Jennifer Hastings!

Charlene: Ohhhh yeah, let me grab that ham! [reaches in to assist]

Emily: [reaching over with tennis racket and swinging] Keep your hands off her ham!

Jennifer: Uh! Let go!

Aisha: You let go!

Shantelle: You let go!

Emily: Ham-stealer! You’re a ham-stealer!

[arguing and wrestling continues] [Faint soulful/psychedelic music begins as long-haired man in butcher’sapron enters from rear left]

Butcher: Stop it! Stop it this instant! [lights go down as he takes hamfrom between the two women and walks to the front of the freezer case]Everyone just needs to cooooooool out.

[singing]Give up the haaaaaam! Let the ham go and
Give up the haaaaaam!
Oh yeah!…
Give up the haaaaaam! Peace and unity,
Give up the haaaaaam!
All right!…
Give up the haaaaaam! Brother loving brother,
Give up the haaaaaam!
Oh yeah!…
Give up the haaaaaam! Let the ham go and
Give up the haaaaaam!
[raises ham over head] [Music continues, and ham combatants hum and sway with the music. Mandressed in suit and tie enters foreground from right]

Narrator: Give up… the ham. Pretty powerful words. I can’t speak for the writer, but maybe this simple piece about a fight over a ham was more about people loving one another in these trying times.

I *do* know this: the writer of this sketch would really like to thank the makers of Rheingold Beer for their generous offer this week. We don’t often get sent free stuff, so when a case of their very fine beer was delivered to the offices, this particular writer took it upon himself to enjoy the smooth taste of each bottle.

Although he pounded the sketch out in ten minutes while drunk off his ass, I don’t think that takes away from the enduring message he’s brough forth tonight. So, yeah: let’s *do*… give up the ham. And thanks, Rheingold.

[Man in suit cocks his head, makes double-gun motion with his hands, and exits. In background, ham combatants hug.]

Thanks to Amanda for this transcript!

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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