SNL Transcripts: Ralph Nader: 01/15/77: Televised Execution Rehearsal


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 11

76k: Ralph Nader / George Benson

Televised Execution Rehearsal

Warden…..Dan Aykroyd
Murderer……Tom Schiller
Director……Bill Murray
Assistant……Laraine Newman
Priest……George Benson

[ open on rehearsal for televised execution ]

Warden: Hi. Welcome to Lubbock State Penitentiary. I’m Warden Roy Groomis.. and welcome to the first local televised execution of convicted mass murderer Dean Slydell. Hi, Dean. How are you doing tonight?

Murderer: Well.. I guess I am a little nervous, Warden. It’s my first time.

Warden: Dean.. tell us why you are in the chair tonight.

Murderer: Okay, Warden. Well, I guess it all started when I was a kid..

Warden: Don’t take too long, Dean.. we don’t have too much air time.

Murderer: Okay. I stabbed – or took part in the stabbing of – 29 bank employees.

Warden: Fine. Thank you. Now, a little bit about the chair itself. It’s a beauty, folks. The chair is a custom-built Mainway Fry King, delivering 25,000 volts AC output at 2 amps boosted to 10 amps at point of execution.

Murderer: Say.. that’s a lot.. of juice, Warden!

Warden: Well, it’s not that we’ll ever need that much.. but it’s there if we need it.

Director: [ off-screen ] Cut!! Cut!! [ runs into scene ] Make-up, can you get in here, please! Sorry, fellas. Dean! Honey, having a little bit of trouble with your face, you’ve got an angry nose shadow. Can you get that, Francis? You’re perfect, you’re perfect! Okay, you got a good face, Phil, I want to see your face. Okay, lights! Phil! Please, baby! Throw a K-84 in this scrim on Deano’s face here, please – he’s looking like a hubcap on a ’56 Chevy, huh? You’re striving, baby, come on! [ beats on electro-headcover like a set of drums ] Okay! What’s going on here? You know, we gotta get a mood here, you know? I’m sorry, baby. Uh.. Dean! you’re going to fry, okay? You’re going to die, alright? Will you let us see what that feels like? What happens when you think about that, okay? Just show the people, okay? Beautiful! Alright, Props! Willie! [ Prop Man enters ] Hey, Animal.. come here, baby! Alright! Alright! I want to see the Governor’s phone in this shot, okay? Will you get it in here? Even if you have to cheat it, use a still, will you, Animal? Okay, where is my priest! Where in the hell is the guy?

Assistant: Right here, Jim! [ pushes Priest into the shot ]

Director: Okay. Hello, Reverend. Hello. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!

Assistant: You asked for a Baptist priest!

Director: A black priest in Texas – terrific. It will not work! Take him, take him, take him, get away from me, get away from me, get away from me! Go talk to Ferguson, I’m sorry! Okay. Alright, Warden, excuse me. You know what we need here? We need a little bit of warmth. Now, you know the guy, okay? Now, how long you been on Death Row now, maybe seven, eight years..

Warden: Seven years, two months.

Director: Seven years, two months. Okay. Now, I want you to put your arm around him, okay? Can we get this? [ Warden and Murderer wrap arms around one another ] Oh, that is perfecto! Perfecto! Isn’t it a little more warm? Everybody! Order! Okay, good, good, good! Okay, alright, let’s pick it up from the last part – your speech about the chair, Warden! Okay? Ready? Quiet, please! and.. action! [ exits scene ]

Warden: ..25,000 volts AC output at 2 amps boosted to 10 amps at point of execution.

Murderer: Say.. that’s a lot of.. [ screams ]

Director: [ off-screen ] Cut! Cut! Cards! [ enters scene ] Al! Will you look at this now, he’s showing the last card. Great! That’s for tomorrow, you banana-brain – get outta here! Oh.. Okay, I’m sorry.. talk about bringing you down prematurely. Okay, everybody, that is a wrap, okay, people? Thank you! Deano, get some sleep, huh? You’ve got some circles here under the eyes, we want you to look terrific on Wednesday, okay? Madeline, will you give them their calls? Tomorrow, everybody! Peace!

Assistant: Okay, Dean, we’ll pick you up tomorrow morning on Death Row at 7:30.. and, Warden-

Warden: I can get here myself, I’ve got my own car.

Assistant: Okay.

Director: Wardem, Warden, may I say that it’s getting a terrific reaction on the set, and they are the toughest audience. I can say that. Let’s get some coffee or something – come on!

[ they exit set, to 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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