SNL Transcripts: Karen Black: 10/16/76: Debate ’76


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 4

76d: Karen Black / John Prine

Debate ’76

Ann Wrabel…..Karen Black
Liz Montgomery…..Jane Curtin
Earl Rowland…..Garrett Morris
Marilyn Kraus…..John Belushi
President Gerald R. Ford…..Chevy Chase
Jimmy Carter…..Dan Aykroyd

Announcer: And now, the three television networks join with the League of Women Voters to bring you “Debate ’76”.

Ann Wrabel: Good evening. I’m Ann Wrabel, your moderator for this third televised debate between President Gerald R. Ford… [ show Ford standing on the side of his podium, before taking his correct position and revealing a syringe poking his left arm ] and the Democratic nominee for president, Georgia governor Jimmy Carter. Now I will introduce the three journalists who will be asking the questions tonight: Earl Rowland of the Chicago Tribune, author of “Minorities in Politics”… [ reveal Earl ] Liz Montgomery of the New York Post, author of “Women in Politics”… [ reveal Liz ] and Marilyn Kraus of the Rolling Stone Magazine, author of “Transexuals in Politics”. [ reveal Marilyn snorting a bag of cocaine ] Because this is the last of these historic debates, we will begin with our National Anthem.[ the National Anthem plays. The journalists stand in respect, as Ford hits his buzzer ]

President Gerald R. Ford: I can name that tune in… four notes!

Ann Wrabel: No… no…

President Gerald R. Ford: “Star Spangled Banner”!

Ann Wrabel: No, Mr. President…

President Gerald R. Ford: Nope? “Battle Hymn of the Republic”? How about “I Gotta Be Me”?

Jimmy Carter: No. “I Gotta Be Me” goes, uh: “I gotta be… when I’m right… uh… when I’m wrong…”

Ann Wrabel: Let’s just forget the National Anthem, and move right into the body of our debate. Mr. Rowland, a question for Governor Carter.

Earl Rowland: Yeah, uh — Governor Carter, since after the last debate you have been criticized for not answering the questions directly, uh, keeping this in mind, why do you oppose the B-1 Bomber?

Jimmy Carter: Well, Mr. Rowland, that’s a very complicated issue, and I’d like to break the question down into two parts, if I might. Uh: the first part, of course, is the, um, the eternal question “Why?” which has plagued philosophers from Socrates to Thomas Aquinas to Bob Dylan. Now, I could not begin to answer that question in the alloted time here. Of course, the second part of the question is “Do I oppose the B-1 Bomber?” Yes.

[ buzzer sounds ]

Ann Wrabel: Ms. Montgomery, a question for Governor Ford — uh, I’m sorry, President Ford.

Liz Montgomery: Yes. Uh, Mr. President, this week you admitted making a mistake in the last debate, when you asserted that Eastern Europeans are autonomous and independent, and that they don’t consider themselves dominated by the Soviet Union. Certainly, anyone can crack under the pressure of the debates and say something incredibly dumb. To set the record straight, would you describe what you saw in your last visit to Poland?

President Gerald R. Ford: Well, Ms. Ma-ma-mon… Montgomery… gomery. Last year I visited the capital of Poland… and let me just say from the outset that Milwaukee is a beautiful city. And I sense they’re… very independent and autonomous in spirit, much, uh, much like the voters of our northwestern and northeastern urban centers. Because of Soviet domination, the Poles don’t seem to have the equipment, uh, take for granted — that WE take for granted here in the, uh… great United States. [ he fumbles with his papers ] Excuse me! I’ll never forget — I was in my hotel room there in, uh, Milwaukee… my light bulb failed me. Well, I climbed on the desk, and, of course, I had to call on a few Secret Service men to come in and… spin that desk around, while I… put the bulb in.

[ buzzer sounds ]

President Gerald R. Ford: Excuse me!

Ann Wrabel: Madam Kraus, a question for Governor Carter?

Marilyn Kraus: Uhh… yes, uh… [ sniffs ] Excuse me. Uhhh… Mr. Carter, you’ve been criticized by President Ford for making, uh, unfairly bitter personal attacks on him. Now, how do you answer this charge, Sir?

Jimmy Carter: Bitter? Um… Mr. Kraus, in the 1930’s in New York, a man criticized his opponents for their bitter personal attacks on him, and that man was Adolph Hitler. Now, Adolph hiter was responsible for the deaths of over fifty million people during World War 2. Now, I don’t believe that Mr. Ford would purposely KILL fifty million people… but his lack of leadership may lead to a total fiery, demonic HOLOCAUST!

[ buzzer sounds ]

Ann Wrabel: President Ford? Rebuttal?

President Gerald R. Ford: Well, once again, Mr. Carter’s playing fast and loose with his figures. During Word War 2, of course, only forty million people were killed.

[ buzzer sounds, causing Frod to poke himself in the face with a pencil ]

Ann Wrabel: A question for the President?

Earl Rowland: [ taking the ball ] Yeah, uh… how about Chile, you know, where, in 1973, the State Department, under the direction of Dr. Kissinger, helped overthrow the Democratic Allende government and replaced it with a brutal military dictatorship, which you now support, and which tortures THOUSANDS of political prisoners.

President Gerald R. Ford: Well, now, Mr. Rooo-owland… Chiles are an independent and autonomous people, and they don’t consider being beaten with rubber crunches to BE a torture! Why, just the other day I talked on the phone to the dictator of Chile, and he assured me that Chiles certainly do not believe that having electrodes placed between your genitals means you’re under donimation. [ turns to Carter ] Care for some water, Governor?

Jimmy Carter: Thank you.

President Gerald R. Ford: Certainly. [ he pours the glass in front of him, but the water appears to go through the bottom of the glass ]

Jimmy Carter: Uh —

Liz Montgomery: Uh, excuse me, Mr. President, uh — uh — Mr. President? I would like to ask Governor Carter a question, if I may.

[ Ford drops the pitcher and glasses to the floor ]

Liz Montgomery: Governor Carter, you have said that the Playboy interview may have been a mistake. Do you think you were being too honest with the American people, and do you still lust after women?

Jimmy Carter: Well, I — I don’t think there’s such a thing as being too honest, Ms. Montgomery… and, just to prove it, I’m gonna answer honestly how I feel right now. I want to say that you’re a very attractive woman… and your hair looks kind of silky and kind of soft, and, uh — at this moment in my heart… I’m wearing a leather mask and breathing in your ear.

[ buzzer sounds, as Carter continues to stare lustily at Liz Montgomery ]

Ann Wrabel: President Ford, uh… rebuttal?

President Gerald R. Ford: Well, of course, as you know, I have only lusted after two women in my life. They are, of course, my lovely wife, Betty, and my lovely mother. Mom.

[ buzzer sounds ]

Ann Wrabel: Marilyn Kraus, a question for the President?

Marilyn Kraus: Uh — [ coughs ] Yes. [ he sniffs ] Uh, Mr. President… uh, just last week you were absolved of any guilt connected with your Congressional campaign funds. However, you do admit receiving paid vacations from United States steel lobbyists. What is your “relationship” with these “captains of industry”, sir?

President Gerald R. Ford: [ snoring, then looks up ] Yes. Well. On that point, Mr. Kake… Kate… Kathans… Kraus. Mr. Kraus. People in U.S. Steel are clearly an independent and autonomous people, and I don’t think they consider themselves a political payoff people. [ he stares without blinking ]

Ann Wrabel: [ stumbling on her lines ] Uh — uh, gentlemen — I — I’m very sorry, but we’ve reached the… end… of our question-and-answer period. We just have time for your concluding statements, if you would, please?

[ both candidates give their concluding statements simultaneously ]

Jimmy Carter: The purpose of these debates —

President Gerald R. Ford: America’s future is brighter than ever —

[ their words indistinguishable, the debate theme music pops up, along with the following SUPERS:

Ford-Carter Debates Sponsored by THE LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS
Honorary Chairperson ] [ credits scroll, including:

President Ford Assisted to the Stage by Tony Orlando

President Ford’s Wardrobe by MISTAKE

Governor Carter’s Makeup by MICK JAGGER

Coffee Provided by JOE DIMAGGIO ] [ 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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