Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 1: Episode 16
A Word From Chevy
[ open on Chevy Chase seated at desk, wearing sunglasses, pile of letters, a pitcher of water and a glass on the desk ]
Chevy Chase: Hi. I’m Chevy Chase, from the, uh, “Saturday Night” show.
You know, uh, we get a lot of letters. I’m kind of stepping out of character here.. [ takes off sunglasses and throws them aside ] ..just to talk to you for a second. Uh, most of them are very favorable, uh, towards the show, and, uh, people seem to enjoy what we’re doing, and, uh, the great majority of them are, and some of them are not so favorable, but, uh, recently, we’ve been getting, uh, a batch of letters that have been kind of complaining. Uh, they complain because we’re a ninety-minute live show every week and we have to turn out the comedy and fill up every show, that sometimes we just gratuitously fill up time.. pad things.. uh.. wing things, you know? That we’re not tight. And I frankly, I, uh.. take exception to this and I’m offended by it. This show is tight, and, I mean, I’m not the only one, I’m sure that the writers feel the way I do. Every word is in its place.. every word is.. is.. is.. is.. uh, uh, what is it? .. rehearsed. Uh, the idea that we draw things out, that we.. milk things, that we’re trying to fill in time.. we.. we’re never gonna do that on this show. And I mean the writers.. I don’t want to mention them, but.. well.. Anne Beatts.. and Michael O’Donaghue and Tom Schiller and.. Marilyn Miller and Alan Zwiebel, Franken and Davis, and Herb Sargent, and Rosie Michaels.. you know.. I mean.. even Lorne.. the point is, this, this kind of thing offends us.. you don’t seem to realize how much goes into putting a show like this together. And one does have to be tight, and one does have to be concise.. [ takes cigar ] I’ll be right back. [ lights cigar ] You know, all I’m trying to say is, you know, unless you’re doing it yourself, well, it’s unnecessary to write that kind of a letter.
We – you know, I’m responsible for this particular piece. You may have noticed the, uh, uh, no.. no.. I don’t mean this, but I mean for the openings of the show. My cold openings are ochesive, they’re brief, they’re to the point. It’s always tight, and, uh, we never wing it. That would be cheap. It would be cheap to just suddenly, uh, uh, uh, uh.. extemporaniu-u-isize.. [ pours water into glass ] ..so, uh, I just wanted to say that, and we’re going to get to the opening now and I’m going to do the fall and announce the show now, but I just sort of wanted to get that off my chest, and I guess everybody else’s chest.. [ drinks water ] ..but.. so.. let’s get down to the – [ stands up, then sits back down ] – I’ll tell you this.. there are many ways to go with a show. You can either go loose or you can go tight. This is a live show. Everything has to be timed perfectly. I’m so unnerved by these.. look at this. [ lifts up letters, then leans back in his chair ] I remember a time.. this was back a ways. I was, uh, writing for a show called.. [ tips chair backward, pulling desk on top of him. Gets up, takes cigar out of mouth, looks up into camera and says.. ] “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!“