SNL Transcripts: Norman Lear: 09/25/76: The Snakehandling O’Sheas

 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 2

76b: Norman Lear / Boz Scaggs

The Snakehandling O’Sheas

…..Norman Lear
Writer…..Tom Schiller
Sister Mary Catherine…..Laraine Newman
Clovis O’Shea…..John Belushi
Barney…..Dan Aykroyd
Jane O’Shea…..Jane Curtin

[ open on interior, Norman Lear’s office ]

Norman Lear: As a producer of televison shows, I, and my fellow producers, are constantly testing and experimentng with new concepts. A lot of people accuse us of running factories. Factories, indeed. In my own case, I like to think that I have a very personal relationship with each and every one of the writers I work with. [ buzzes intercom ] Miss Shabbit, send in Writer #456.

Writer: [ enters ] Hello, Norman!

Norman Lear: Ah, Wyzkof. Tell me, sir, what is new with the new series?

Writer: Well, we studied the closest ratings and audience percentiles for Pittsburgh, and the hidden census is to set this new series there.

Norman Lear: Good, good.

Writer: Now, it’s got all the characters you ordered. The father is a union organizer; the mother is his boss, the president of a large steel company – but the father is proud and they live on his money. Now, the daughter is a nun, and their son is a gay state trooper.

Norman Lear: Tell me – does it have a twist?

Writer: A twist? Sure. They’re all practicing snake handlers.

Norman Lear: Practicing snake handlers?

[ cut to opening montage for new series ] [ SUPER: “The Snakehandling O’Sheas” ]

Pop is a hardhat
Mom’s an exec.
Sis is a nun
And Junior is gay.

We all live in Pittsburgh
Oh, that’s a cliche.
What else can we say?
But we’ll be okay.

Because we’re snakehandlers
We handle snakes.
Junior is gay.

[ cut to interior, O’Shea living room ] [ Clovis O’Shea enters to applause from the audience ]

Sister Mary Catherine: [ from upstairs ] Daddy? Daddy, is that you? [ comes downstairs, to applause from the audience ] Oh, no.. you mean it still hasn’t been settled?

Clovis O’Shea: I’m on that picket line for six hours today, with the men in my union looking up to me – their organizer! Only to suffer the ultimate humiliation of having my own son arrest me and haul me off to jail!

Sister Mary Catherine: Daddy, Barney called to explain..

Clovis O’Shea: I don’t want to hear any explanation! Where are the snakes?

Sister Mary Catherine: Okay, I’ll get them in a minute. But I want you to know that I came home from the convent to try and settle things here. But it looks like you just won’t listen to reason, so..

Clovis O’Shea: Reason? Reason?! Oh, you just wait ’til that brother of yours comes home. Boy, I’m gonna take care of him.. [ starts sweettalking his snake ] Boy, I’m gonna take care of that guy! My own flesh and blood!

Barney: [ enters the room, to applause from the audience ] Look, Dad, it was an illegal strike. Once Mom served the injunction, I had to move in there as a trooper and arrest you! I’m sorry, I couldn’t do anything about it! May I have my snake, please?

Clovis O’Shea: Your mother. Your mother. Just wait ’til she gets home, your mother. Miss Management mother! Yeah! When she gets home, she’s gonna get hers!

Jane O’Shea: [ enters, to major applause from the audience ] Snake, please.

Sister Mary Catherine: Yes, Mom.

Barney: Mother, you didn’t tell me that Dad was gonna be on that picket line today. I’m really upset.

Jane O’Shea: You’re upset?! Here I am, the newly-elected President of the National Steel Company, with a three-day old strike on my hands, and a union organizer for a husband! [ holds up her snake and swweettalks to it ] Hi, Skipper..

Barney: Mary Catherine, have you got the convent staff car tonight? Gimme the keys – I’m going to the drive-in with Boyd.

Sister Mary Catherine: Barney, as long as you’re seeing Boyd, I cannot lend you the nunmobile.

Clovis O’Shea: You know, the snakes feel so good today, I think I’ll start my chant..

Sister Mary Catherine: Dad, not yet.

Clovis O’Shea: Not yet? It’s just too much for me – your mother’s driving me crazy. I’m working my head off at the union, I’m the President there! The Lansford plans are out, they’re misfunctioning, what am I gonna do?

Jane O’Shea: 50-cents an hour at the current rate of production will ruin us. You know that, Clovis.

Barney: How’s your snake, Mom. It looks like Dad and Mary Catherine have already started their chants.

Jane O’Shea: Well, I’d better start mine, before I face the Board of Directors tomorrow.

[ they all start chanting to their snakes ]

Sister Mary Catherine: Just look at you two! You’re still both enjoying healthy, happy lives, handling snakes in a democracy! What more could you want?

Clovis O’Shea: I guess so.. You know, honey.. I think I’m gonna call off the strike.

Jane O’Shea: Sweetheart, I’ll see that you get that 50-cent-an-hour raise.

Sister Mary Catherine: Barney, tell Dad you’re sorry, and I’ll lend you the convent staff car, you can go to the drive-in with Boyd.

Barney: Daddy, I’ll never arrest you again. And, Mom, I’m not gonna marry Boyd, we’re probably just gonna go steady for a while.

Jane O’Shea: We’ve got to become closer, you know, and stop fighting. After all, we’re probably the only snakehandlers left in Pittsburgh!

[ dissolve to closing montage ]

“Because we’re snakehandlers
We handle snakes.
Junior is gay.

[ fade out ]

SNL Transcripts

Notify of