SNL Transcripts: Ron Nessen: 04/17/76: Tomorrow


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 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 1: Episode 17

75q: Ron Nessen / Patti Smith


Tom Snyder…..Dan Aykroyd
…..Ron Nessen
Mr. Peanut…..Garrett Morris

[ open on “Tomorrow” set ]

Tom Snyder: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the “Tomorrow” show. Our guest tonight is Mr. Ron Nessen, press secretary to the President of the United States. Now, for those of you who might not know what’s going on here, I’m just gonna explain what this thing is all about, give you some background information. Mr. Nessen is the press secretary to, uh, President Ford. Now, the other fellow was a guy who got in trouble with the Watergate thing. That whole thing blew up, and, well, we all know what happened there. That, uh — President Ford is a guy who stands a very good chance of being elected by due electoral process this coming year. And Ron is, of course, the second Ron in a row to hold that office in the White House. Ron Number Two, but, in fact, Number One now. How the heck are ya’, sir?

Ron Nessen: Fine. Thank you very much, Tom.

Tom Snyder: Uh — now, Ron, uh — you and I know that the White House is in Wadhington, and, of course, you work there, so you live there, I guess. Maybe you can — maybe you can throw some light on a subject that’s been, well, bugging me for some time now. What’s all this crazy business in Washington about taxis having no meters and customers having to pay according to districts instead of, you know, regular metered fare?

Ron Nessen: Uh — well, Tom, uh — I understand that there were meters in most of the taxis —

Tom Snyder: Yes, sir?

Ron Nessen: — up until the, uh, last days of the Nixon administration. President Nixon had them all removed, because, although he never took taxis himself, still, he felt they were overcharging.

Tom Snyder: Mmm-hmm. I see, sir. You know, as well as working here on this popular late-night program, I also do a minute of prime-time news every night on the network, and everyone knows this, of course. Uh — they work me hard here, I sometimes do local news. You know, I’m a workhorse here, I perform a lot of functions, and I’m in the news. But, even with that one minute of exposure every night, you know — [ he gasps ] sometimes I don’t know WHAT the heck’s going on, you know? How does a guy like you, who has to brief the press corps — how does a guy like you keep up with it?

Ron Nessen: Well, uh, I read, uh, the Village Voice every week… and I also know Dan Schorr personally.

Tom Snyder: I see. Okay. I’ll buy that. I’ll buy that. Uh, now, you know you hear a lot of stories in the press about, you know, these wild parties in Washington, and the stories, rumors, what have you, about the sex lives of presidents and all that stuff. Now, is there any truth — the whole Tidal Basin bomshell, is that such a big, darn ting, you know? Is there any truth about these wild parties and call girls in our nation’s capitol?

Ron Nessen: Tom — well, no. No, not as far as I know, definitely not. Now, of course, I speak mainly for myself —

Tom Snyder: Yes, sir.

Ron Nessen: — and, uh, you know, I — and as everyone in WAhington knows — President Ford, and the people at this White House, normally go to sleep at about nine o’clock every night. Uh — we usually have our milk and cookies at the Oval Office, and then, if we’ve been good, the President will read us two or three of his favorite ghost stories from “Grand Rapids’ Greatest Ghosts”. Then, when we go up to the White House dorm, and the President comes and tucks us all in. Now, if we’ve been extra good, then he’ll let us camp out in the Rose Garden with the tents and the sleeping bags and everything like that.

Tom Snyder: Mmm-hmm. [ excited ] So, there it is, everybody! You heard it, everybody! There it is! All the tales and rumors about that wild stuff in Washington is just a load of — of — [ daring himself to shock ] BULL!! I said it! I don’t care! I said it! BULL!! [ proudly ] I said it! Ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha! Ha! Ha ha ha ha! Ha ha!

[ Nessen reaches an arm to control Snyder’s excitement ]

Tom Snyder: Thank you. Thank you very much. I’m gonna ask you a question now, sir, uh — Mr. Nessen — Ron — You’re out there, you know, every day fielding questions — and, I might say, sir, you do a VERY good job of it! Uh — what do you do, Ron, when somebody hands you a really DUMB question?

Ron Nessen: [ he rolls his eyes slightly ] Well, uh — well, usually, what I do is I just completely ignore them.

Tom Snyder: Just ignore them?

Ron Nessen: Yeah. [ he turns his head away ]

Tom Snyder: Just COMPLETELY ignore them? JUst… kinda… make them look like kinda — [ he catches on to what Nessen is doing, and begins to laugh at his own gullibility ] Ha ha ha! Ha ha ha! Ha ha! [ he finally stops ] Thank you very much, Mr. Nessen, for being with us. [ he turns to the camera ] Our nexxt guest — of course, tomorrow, the whole show, we’re gonna deal with, uh, that, uh — [ he grinds his cigarette butt into an ashtray ] controversial, uh, homosexual, uh, breeder of, uh, reptiles, and, uh — also, he’s a fast food chain owner. But, uh, right now, I’m gonna bring out a very special guest we’ve got here with us tonight. This is, uh, Jimmy Carter’s campaign manager —

[ Nessen has since his left his seat, as a costumed Mr. Peanut enters the set and shakes Snyder’s hand ]

Tom Snyder: Hello. How are ya’? We’re very, very pleased to have you with us, sir, and, uh, we’re gonna be talking with him, but, uh, right now, let’s go to our Home Movie.

[ cut to Snyder’s teddy bear sitting on the floor in front of a fern with stufed bunnies surrounding him on the floor. The art card on the bear’s lap reads “Home Movie”. ] [ 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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