SNL Transcripts: Ben Affleck: 11/01/08: Countdown with Keith Olbermann


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 34: Episode 7

08g: Ben Affleck / David Cook

Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann…..Ben Affleck
Michael Hilyard…..Kenan Thompson
Richard Wolffe…..Fred Armisen

[ open on “Countdown” opening montage ] [ dissolve to Keith Olbermann seated at desk with stern expression on his face ]

Keith Olbermann: Good evening, I’m Keith Olbermann. Our fifth story in the “Countdown”: [ image: President George W. Bush with “Racist In Chief” text ] That he is the worst president in our nation’s 220-year existence — indeed, the worst president EVER to head a government of any kind of the whole human history — is beyond dispute. But even Mr. Bush’s harshest critics had, until this week, credited him with a MODICUM of human decency — a decency utterly BELIED by the tape you are presently to see, a tape at which, at a White House press conference, Mr. Bush abruptly launches into a stream of ugly racist invective that would embarrass even David Duke! We turn now to Michael Hilyard, board member of the New York/New Jersey branch of the NAACP. As always Michael, great thanks for your time.

Michael Hilyard: Happy to be here, Keith.

Keith Olbermann: Michael, given the vile nature of his racist tirade, should not Mr. Bush immediately resign?

Michael Hilyard: Well, Keith, I haven’t really seen the tape. Is it… that bad?

Keith Olbermann: It is, without question, one of the most REPELLANT displays of bigotry I have EVER witnessed!

[ cut to Bush delivering a speech on tape ]

President George W. Bush: “…and to conduct a full-scale investigation… to hunt down… and to find those folks… who committed this act.”

[ cut back to the studio ]

Michael Hilyard: I’m sorry. Is that — is that the whole tape? Because, I’ll be honest, I’m not really seeing the racism there.

Keith Olbermann: [ he puffs his cheeks ] “To find the folks.”

Michael Hilyard: [ confused ] “Folks”?

Keith Olbermann: Well, he obviously meant African-Americans.

Michael Hilyard: Really? Well… it didn’t hit me that way.

Keith Olbermann: “We will find the folks.”

Michael Hilyard: Yeah. Also, in that clip, he’s talking about al Qaeda, whose members are entirely Middle Eastern and not Black.

Keith Olbermann: So we have a president who is not only a racist, but also an imbecile.

Michael Hilyard: That — that’s not what I meant!

Keith Olbermann: Michael Hilyard of the NAACP. It’s always so great, thanks for your time.

Michael Hilyard: No, no, no! That’s not what I meant!

[ Hilyard is cut off ]

Keith Olbermann: On our fourth story of the “Countdown”: in his last and desperate moments, the McCain presidential campaign has decided to get its “Nazi” on. Asked at a Toledo rally yesterday to justify the invasion of Iraq, the Arizona senator said: [ image: McCain with quote and “Seig Heil” banner ] “When a brutal dictator threatens his neighbors, responsible democratic government simply must act. Hitler is a good example.” So, let me get this STRAIGHT, Senator! Nazi Germany was a responsible democratic government and Hitler was not only GOOD, but, indeed, in your words: “a good example”? We’re joined now by our own Richard Wolffe, senior White House correspondent for “Newsweek” magazine. Good evening, Richard.

Richard Wolffe: Hi, Keith.

Keith Olbermann: Richard, as you know, throughout this campaign, I have frequently called for Senator McCain’s ARREST! But, with this latest celebration of all things NAZI, has not McCain crossed the line, and, for the good of the country, should he not straight away resign?

Richard Wolffe: Well, Keith, I, too, have been critical of Senator McCain. But to suggest that he has Nazi sympathies, I think, is rather outrageous.

Keith Olbermann: [ modestly ] Courageous? I suppose. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve been called that. That started in high school, with my editorials for the school radio station, and my work as the equipment manager for the cross country team. So… courageous? Sure. Guilty as charged.

Richard Wolffe: Uh — no. Outrageous. Not courageous. Outrageous.

Keith Olbermann: Richard Wolffe, senior White House correspondent.

Richard Wolffe: No! Keith, please don’t cut me off! Please!

Keith Olbermann: Alright, thanks for your time.

Richard Wolffe: I didn’t mean it!

Keith Olbermann: Ahead on the “Countdown”: my bid for a three-bedroom apartment on Manhattan’s upper west SIDE is REJECTED by the building’s CO-OP BOARD! Ostensibly, because my CAT is not allowed under its policy banning PETS! Tonight, my special comment. But, first, on this date in 1903, Eric Blair was born under the pen name George Orwell. He wrote two of the 20th century’s most consequential books — “Animal Farm”… and “1984”. Both of which… I have read. The first, when I was only 19. I have known his real name was Eric Blair since senior year at Cornell. As the leading visionary of his age, were he alive today, Orwell would no doubt admire me greatly. My eloquence, my passion, and, perhaps most of all, my ferocious integrity!

[ organ music pots up ]

And now, “Countdown’s” Worst Person in the World! To “Newsweek” senior White House correspondent Richard Wolffe! [ image: still-shot of Wolffe’s moments-earlier appearance ] ONCE an actual journalist! Mr. Wolffe is now a full-time water carrier for the NAZI WING of the Republican Party! Hey, Richard! HOW MUCH IS HALLBURTON PAYING YOU??!! I HOPE IT’S NOT PAYING YOU IN OIL!!!! [ Affleck stifles his own laughter as the audience explodes ] Seriously, Richard… why not preserve what tiny scraps of dignity you still have left, AND RESIGN?! [ image: Wolffe dressed in Nazi garb ] Richard Wolffe, McCain campaign butt boy, and today’s “Worst Person in the World!”

And now, as promised, a special comment. The letter was brief and to the point. “Dear Mr. Olbermann,” it read. “The co-op board, having reviewed your request for an exception to its “No Pets” policy, in order to accommodate your cat — [ image: Olbermann’s cat ] Miss Precious Perfect, regretfully concludes that, in consideration of the rights of other co-op residents, such an exception is not possible at this time. Sincerely Richard Lieberstein, Co-op President.”

[ Olbermann turns his head to the left to face the next camera ]

And there it was. All perfectly legal. [ image: Japanese-Americans boarding a bus ] Like the 1942 internment of more than 100,000 Japanese American citizens. [ image: Trail of Tears ] Or the forced relocation of the Cherokee on the Trail of Tears. [ image: drinking fountain with “Whites Only” sign ] Or the monstrous injustice of our nation’s Jim Crow laws. It was ALL perfectly legal!! AND!! EVERY BIT AS WRONG!!! If NOT!! Indeed, MORE SO!!

[ Olbermann turns his head to the right to face the next camera ]

Mr. Lieberstein!! [ image: Mr. Lieberstein ] You speak of considerations of the rights of others!! How DARE you, sir?! How DARE you?!

[ Olbermann turns his head again to the right to face the next camera ]

Where, sir, in any of this, were the rights of Miss Precious Perfect considered? [ image: Miss Precious perfect ] DAMN YOU, Mr. Lieberstein!! [ image: Mr. Lieberstein ] DAMN YOU TO HELL!!!

[ Olbermann turns a complete 360 in his chair to face right back to the same camera ]

No, Mr. Lieberstein — your decision was based, not on consideration, but on FEAR!!! [ image: Miss Precious Perfect ] Fear of carpets STAINED!!! Of deliverymen CLAWED!!! Of kitty litter, boxes tipped over!! Of hairballs coughed up!!

[ Olbermann turns his head again to the right to face the next camera ]

We have seen this fear before: in Cambodia, under Pol Pot. [ image: skulls and bones ] In Russia, under Stalin. [ image: Stalin ] In Massachusetts, under Mitt Romney. [ image: Mitt Romney ] It is the FEAR, sir, and the TYRANNY of with which we DARE no longer PUT!! I pray thee, sir, let us have done with it!!

[ Olbermann leans back in his chair and cranes his neck to stare into a higher-placed camera ]

And what of the building’s other residents? [ image: the Donnellys ] The Donnellys in 7A. [ image: the Gaspens ] The Gaspens in 4B. [ image: gay guys ] The gay guys in the garden apartment! Their silence is deafening. See they not that HORROR to which the Liebersteins have so willingly blinded themselves? [ image: Miss Precious Perfect ] This, sir, is a GENOCIDE! A FELINE genocide!

[ Olbermann turns his head again to the right to face the next camera ]

And, so, the verdict is rendered, there is no appeal. Miss Precious Perfect, my mother and I, shall find another apartment. For me, the financial damage is negligible. For Miss Precious Perfect, the psychological damage, incalculable! [ image: Miss Precious Perfect perched on a small-sized toilet ] Still, one imperative remains. Mr. Lieberstein, sir, if you yet retain any trace of HONOR, you must, at once, RESIGN as president of this co-op! INDEED, sir, justice and decency DEMSNDS YOU SO TO DO!!!

Good night! Good luck!

[ dissolve to end graphics ] [ 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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