Politics Nation Cold Open

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Al Sharpton… Kenan Thompson

Lawrence Tatum… Jay Pharoah

Peter Dinello… Bobby Mounihan

[Starts with Politics Nation intro] [Cut to Al Sharpton in his set]

Al Sharpton: Okay, welcome to Politics Nation.

[cheers and applause]

Now, what happened in Ferguson has come to New York. This Arizona decision has upset me so much that in three days I have gained over 100 pounds. The world agrees. The Grand Jury’s decision was dubwa. Excuse me, dubious. Now, all over the country there are protests. And or the first time in my life, everyone agrees with me. Folks are high-fiving with me, invited me places, this must be what it feels like to be Beyonce. What the hell is going on? Last night I was sitting in front of my TV and I found myself saying, “You damn right Bill O’Reilly. I’m all messed up.”

Either way, it’s clear. The Grand Juries in both New York and Slosis– Excuse me, Saint Louis, have a lot to answer for. Joining me to make sense of it all is Lawrence Tatum, [Cut to Lawrence Tatum]  a civil rights lawyer who specializes in criminal justice.

[Cut to split screen of Al Sharpton and Lawrence Tatum]

Lawrence Tatum: Thanks for having me. Now, when a Grand Jury–

Al Sharpton: [interrupting] I mean this is just crazy.

Lawrence Tatum: Yeah, it is.

Al Sharpton: I mean, what does a man have to do to be put on trial?

Lawrence Tatum: I know, but the issue is–

Al Sharpton: [interrupting] How are you gonna get the whole thing on video, then turn around and say that there’s no crime here?

Lawrence Tatum: I have no idea. And I think that–

Al Sharpton: [interrupting] This is not how I would have done it. This is a ‘He did it.’

Lawrence Tatum: You’re right. You’re more than right.

Al Sharpton: Well, thank you, Lawrence Tatum for clearing this up for us. I really appreciate your time and insight.

[Cut to Al Sharpton]

But not everyone agrees that our country has a twatted– excuse me, two-tiered justice system. Joining me now is Peter Dinello, a deputy spokesman for the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association on Staten Island.

[Cut to Peter Dinello]

Thank you for being here.

Peter Dinello: Thanks for bringing me on.

[Cut to Al Sharpton]

Al Sharpton: Ay! I got my hands up already.

[Cut to split screen of Al Sharpton and Peter Dinello]

Peter Dinello: That’s very funny but I am not a police officer. I merely speak for the brotherhood of the police. And when I say brotherhood, I mean that 75% of police on Staten Island are brothers. The rest are just cousins.

Al Sharpton: Mr. Dinello, most people agree that the Grand Jury got it wrong in the Staten Island case.

Peter Dinello: Not so fast Al. [Cut to Peter Dinello] You see, this is very complicated. I mean, on one side, you have a video seen by millions that seems to clearly show police negligence. But on the other side, [laughing] I mean, yeah!

[Cut to Al Sharpton]

Al Sharpton: But whatever it is do these Juries need, I mean they got the whole thing on video.

[Cut to Lawrence Tatum]

Peter Dinello: But not in HD. Under New York law, if you’re gonna record a police in infraction on video, it must be at least 1080p resolution. And you must hold the camera horizontically, not vertically. It’s just more cinematic that way.

[Cut to split screen of Al Sharpton and Peter Dinello]

Al Sharpton: Bull-dutied Mr. Dinello, I’m gonna ask you a simple question, what does it take for a police officer to be indicted for a homicide?

Peter Dinello: Well, you know, it does happen Al, but there are very clear rules on this. [Cut to Peter Dinello. He is reading from a paper] Okay, let’s see. Um, the victim must not be resisting arrest. It’s best if he’s sleeping. And, it helped if he’s white.

[Cut to split screen of Al Sharpton and Peter Dinello]

Al Sharpton: I knew it. I knew it. Well, thank you for being here Mr. Dinello.

Peter Dinello: Thank you, Al. And good luck to you and all your protest friends going out there and stopping traffic in the city. Seems like the best way to get people on your side.

[Cut to Al Sharpton]

Al Sharpton: Ay! It’s our pleasure. And now, I thought we take a moment to heal. This week a photo was taken that has touched so many people.

[Cut to a photo of a policeman hugging an old lady]

It shows a Portman Police Sargent Brett Barnum hugging a young Farrell Williams. [Cut to Al Sharpton] And I thought, we need more this kind of out reach here in America, which is why I went to the streets in New York to hug a police officer myself. And I got this picture.

[Cut to Al Sharpton hugging a police officer in New York. The police is annoyed.]

Look at him. He’s so happy. [Cut to Al Sharpton] So, it is up to all of us to move this thing forward. And live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!

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Author: Don Roy King

Don Roy King is directing his fourteenth season of Saturday Night Live. That work has earned him nine Emmys and thirteen nominations. Additionally, he has been nominated for thirteen DGA Awards and won in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Mr. King is also the creative director of Broadway Worldwide which brings theatrical events to theaters. The company has produced Smokey Joe’s Café; Putting It Together with Carol Burnett; Jekyll & Hyde; and Memphis, all directed by Mr. King. He completed the screen capture of Broadway's Romeo & Juliet in 2013. - LinkedIn

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