Cinema Classics- The Birds

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Reese D’eWhat… Kenan Thompson

Tippi Hedren … Kate McKinnon

McCafferty… John Mulaney

[Starts with Cinema Classic intro]

Male voice: You’re watching Cinema Classic on PBS.

[Cut to Reese D’eWhat in his set. He is wearing a vampire costume.]

Reese D’eWhat: Good Hallo’s eve to you. I am Reese De’What. And De’What’s that behind you? I am just kidding. Tonight, we take a look at Alfred Hitchcocks Reese 1963 horror thriller, “The Birds”, starring Tippi Hedren as a woman menaced by birds for reasons that are never explained. Why did Hitchcock not clarify what the birds were up to? I do not know. I am a bad guesser. Just ask my wife who asked me to guess what she was going to be for Halloween and I said, “I don’t know. Drunk on rum?” Worst double bubble bath ever! Let’s look at our recently unearthed alternate scene in which Hitchcock tries to really spell out what’s going on with the birds. Here we go.

[Cut to the scene from the movie. The birds are just flying all over the place. Tippi Hedren runs into a telephone booth scared.]

Tippi Hedren: Oh my god. [panting] Oh. [Tippi Hedren calls the police station] Operator, get to the sheriff.

[Cut to McCafferty in his office]

McCafferty: This is sheriff McCafferty. What’s the emergency?

Tippi Hedren: [panting] Birds.

McCafferty: I’m sorry. Did you just kind of gently whisper the words “Birds”? What does that mean?

Tippi Hedren: It means birds. The flappy, flappy things. They’re trying to kill everybody. [a birds hits the telephone booth and dies there] [scared] Ah! You got to do something, please. These birds, they’re the jerk of the year.

McCafferty: Has anyone said like, “Shew, get out of here, bird!”, like, with a hand wave?

Tippi Hedren: No. No. There’s too many and they’re too mean.

McCafferty: Okay. So, these are birds of prey? Like, a hawk or and eagle?

Tippi Hedren: No. They’re seagulls. You know, the little guys that eat french fries at the beach. Oh, no, look. [Cut to a gas station on fire] They set fire to the gas station.

McCafferty: How?

Tippi Hedren: Sir. I cannot explain.

McCafferty: No, no, no. You just said that a bird set fire to a gas station. So, you need to explain that to me.

Tippi Hedren: Maybe the bird took a cigarette from someone and then like, flapped it into the gas box. I don’t know. [someone else gets hit on the phone booth being attacked by the birds]

McCafferty: Now what’s happening?

Tippi Hedren: The birds. They just birded a man to death. Oh no, one of the birds found a glass cutter. [a bird’s foot is holding a glass cutter and cuts the phone booth glass in circle.] No, please. It’s got a knife. [a bird’s foot is holding a knife. It’s trying to reach Tippi Hedren through the hole but can’t.] Please do something. The birds weren’t raised right.

McCafferty: Ma’am, you are hysterical. There is no way this is happening all because of a bunch of no good– [now, a bird’s foot is holding a gun on McCafferty’s head] Ahem! I have to call you back. [McCafferty hangs up the phone] [Cut back to Reese D’eWhat]

Reese D’eWhat: I mean, right? Wow! I got to tell you though, test audiences positively hated this new version. Almost as much as my wife hates vacuuming. You know what? I’m sorry. That is not fair. She is a good woman. Still worry that audiences would not be scared enough by birds, Hitchcock filmed yet another version of the scene adding even more sources of potential terror. Let’s watch.

[Cut to the movie’s clip. Now, Tippi Hedren and McCafferty both are in the phone booth.]

Tippi Hedren: Well, thank god you came. These are the birds that are doing it all.

McCafferty: I am very sorry I doubted you. The birds are trying to be very mean.

Tippi Hedren: Oh, no. What’s that one doing? [a bird puts it’s butt inside through the glass cut hole.] It’s mourning us. [the bird then lays an egg]

McCafferty: An egg? It’s trying to be nice. So we have breakfast.

Tippi Hedren: No. They’re trying to make more birds!

McCafferty: Okay. That’s it. I’m gonna start shooting my gun off in here and see what happens.

Tippi Hedren: No. You dummy, you’ll kill us. And it’s too late. The birds have picked up turtles to use as a battering rams.

McCafferty: Oh my god. They entered phase two of their plan. They’re putting the turtles on people like hats.

Tippi Hedren: And squeezing people’s heads until they die.

[A man gets hit on the phone booth being attacked by the birds]

McCafferty: We’re on the phone! We’re on the phone!

Tippi Hedren: Oh, no. The turtles have now picked up sandwiches.

[They’re getting hit by the sandwiches]

McCafferty: I get it. The turtles are bullying the sandwiches like the birds bullied the turtles. It’s a cycle.

Tippi Hedren: And now the turtles have learned to fly without the help of the birds.

McCafferty: As have the sandwiches.

Tippi Hedren: Is this a lesson about man’s lack of respect for nature?

McCafferty: Oh, I don’t know. Dammit, I don’t know. Just kiss me.

Tippi Hedren: What? No. That’s not this.

[Cut back to Reese D’eWhat]

Reese D’eWhat: Ultimately, this alternate scene was scrapped after an assistant editor pointed out that it had added over a day to the film’s total running time. Happy Halloween, everyone. For cinema Classics, I have been Reese De’What.

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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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