SNL Transcripts: Saturday Night Live in the ’80s: Lost and Found: 11/13/05



 Saturday Night Live Transcripts


  Special: Saturday Night Live in the ’80s: Lost and Found












Saturday Night Live in the ’80s: Lost and Found

…..Dick Ebersol
…..Gail Matthius
…..Gilbert Gottfried
…..Joe Piscopo
…..Lorne Michaels
…..Barry Blaustein
…..Bob Tischler
…..Tim Kazurinsky

[ title card: “Act 2: ’81-’85” ] [ cut back to Kevin Nealon in “Automobile Club”, 11/22/86 ]

Kevin Nealon: And how about these miles scales, on the bottom? Have you ever tried to figure those out? They’re so inaccurate, because you have to do it with your fingers, you know? Because you don’t have a protractor in the car! So you get your fingers out, and you get 50, 60, 70 — by the time you get it up here, it’s like 7,000 miles from your hotel to the supermarket. Maybe — maybe If you did it real fast. You know, 50, 60, 70. [ moves his fingers across the map very quickly ] And maybe, they oughta just draw a little thumb and finger down there, like there, like that.

[ cut to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ performance of “Change of Heart”, 02/19/83 ]

Tom Petty: [ singing ]“Oh yeah, oh boy
Looks like we finally reached a turning point
Oh me oh my
Looks like it’s time for me to kiss you goodbye
Yeah, I can kiss you goodbye
There’s been a change there’s been a change of heart.”

[ cut to Dick Ebersol ]

Dick Ebersol: After spending the long weekend in New York, watching the show secretly, it was worse than I thought it would be.

[ cut to Gail Matthius ]

Gail Matthius: We got taken off the air. And everybody said, “Go away, go away for a month. We’ve gotta figure some things out.”

[ cut to Gilbert Gottfried ]

Gilbert Gottfried: Now, when you come back, we’ll tell you how we’ll be tweaking things. Doing it a little different.

[ cut to Bill Murray as an author revising his novel as the cast acts out the scene behind him, in “Writer’s Script”, 03/07/81 ]

Author: “He chose his wife.”

[ the Jilted Husband shoots his wife – gun shot ]

Author: “She screamed –“

[ the Wife screams upon being shot ]

Author: “– and fell to the couch.”

[ she starts to fall away from the couch, but Mr. Lawnsdale pulls into the other direction and allows her to fall to the couch ]

Author: No, that’s no good. “Instead, he lets Old Man Lawnsdale have it.”

[ the Jilted Husband shoots Mr. Lawnsdale – gun shot ]

Author: Yeah, that’s it. “He — Lawnsdale falls to the ground.”

[ Mr. Lawnsdale falls to the ground ]

Author: No, no, that’s no good. “He falls backwards over the couch and slams his head through the Plate-Glass window.”

[ Mr. Lawnsdale looks toward the author like he’s insane, but complies with the storyline and sprawls across the edge of the couch and slams his head through the Plate-Glass window – glass shatters ]

Author: No, I don’t like that, either. “Instead, he staggers around the room, wildly, blindly.” [ Mr. Lawnsdale stands up and staggers ] “Finally, smashing against the bookcase, pulling the entire works of Leo Tolstoy down on his crumpled, lifeless body.”

[ Mr. Lawnsdale staggers into the bookcase, cradles the books into his arms and falls to the ground ] [ cut to Gail Matthius ]

Gail Matthius: And then we came back.

[ cut to Joe Piscopo ]

Joe Piscopo: And we heard, “Who’s coming in? We don’t know. Is Lorne coming back? What’s going on?” It was great. It was turmoil!

[ cut to Al Franken commentary on “Weekend Update with Chevy Chase”, 04/11/81 ]

Al Franken: Okay, now, who do they pick to rectify the original error? Someone who knows what he’s doing? Someone like me, Al Franken? [ SUPER: “Al Franken” ] No, they picked Dick Ebersol.

[ cut to Dick Ebersol ]

Dick Ebersol: There was no chance whatsoever for resurrecting anything resembling “Saturday Night Live”, unless it had Lorne’s approval.

Lorne Michaels: Dick called me and asked If we could have dinner. And he said that Brandon had talked to him. We sat and we talked, and he said that he thought he wanted to do it. And how would I feel about it? And I said, “My first reaction would be that it would be all right.”

Barry Blaustein V/O: He got Lorne’s blessing, which opened up all the old stars —

[ quick clips of John Belushi’s cameo (10/31/81), Father Guido Sarducci hosting (01/14/84), Lily Tomlin exiting Eddie Murphy’s dressing room (01/22/83) ]

Lily Tomlin: “Live from New York, it’s “The Lily Tomlin Show!” [ Eddie Murphy’s arm tugs her back into the hall ] [ cut to Chevy Chase anchoring Weekend Update, 04/11/81 ]

Chevy Chase: [ talking into the phone ] I think just a firm and gentle tug on the string, and it — [ looks at the camera, quickly hangs up ]

Barry Blaustein V/O: — and all the old writers. Suddenly, Marilyn Miller was in the office, and Alan Zweibel, all happy to help out. So it was brilliant. If Jean had done that, it would have changed history.

[ cut to Al Franken commentary on “Weekend Update with Chevy Chase”, 04/11/81 ]

Al Franken: I know Dick, and I can tell you that he doesn’t know dick. [ laughter and applause ] Okay. Now, the show is going to be a little better. No English-speaking person could do a worse job than Jean.

[ cut to Barry Blaustein ]

Barry Blaustein: Dick Ebersol came in, we did one show. But then, there was a writers’ strike.

[ cut to Dick Ebersol ]

Dick Ebersol: That was the profound miracle of that first period. Because it was very important to me that the show stop, so that it could re-tool and get new people.

[ cut to Joe Piscopo ]

Joe Piscopo: Cut to 17th floor. Bang — everybody getting axed.

[ cut to Gail Matthius ]

Gail Matthius: We had individual meetings with Dick Ebersol. We went in one at a time.

[ cut to Gilbert Gottfried ]

Gilbert Gottfried: You know, it’s always like — “This is always worse for me than it is for you. This hurts me so much more. I’ll have a job. I’ll be making money. You won’t. But it hurts me more.”

[ cut to Bruce Hornsby & The Range’s performance of “The Way It Is”, 01/31/87 ]

Bruce Hornsby: [ singing ]“Standing in line marking time waiting for the welfare dime
‘Cause they can’t buy a job
Man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old lady’s eyes
Just for fun he says, “get a job.”

That’s just the way it is
Some things never change
That’s just the way it is
That’s just the way it is.”

Barry Blaustein V/O: There was a total housecleaning. Dick came in, and he fired everyone — except David, myself, Pam Norris, Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo.

[ cut to Bob Tischler ]

Bob Tischler: It was a way of basically making the show our own, rather than just inheriting Jean’s staff.

Joe Piscopo: And they bring Eddie and I before Mr. Ebersol. And Dick says, “I think we’re gonna keep you guys around.”

[ cut to Tim Kazurinsky ]

Tim Kazurinsky: Dick sent Joe and Eddie to Chicago, thinking, “They need some training.” So they both slept on my floor, and we went to do the shows at Second City.

Joe Piscopo: And we came back with some of the Second City guys. And that’s when we started to move.

[ commercial break ]

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