SNL Transcripts: Ralph Nader: 01/15/77: Andy Kaufman


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 11

76k: Ralph Nader / George Benson

Andy Kaufman

… Ralph Nader
Foreign Man/Elvis… Andy Kaufman

Ralph Nader: Ladies and gentlemen, AndyKaufman.

[Applause and squeals of delight. A spotlight findsKaufman as he enters, in character as Foreign Man,carrying a suitcase and wearing a pale pink jacket,white shirt, necktie, dark pants and shoes. A band ofmusicians stands in the background. A microphone standand a stool await him at home base. He places thesuitcase on the stool and opens it, making sure thatit is centered on the stool properly, then turns andwalks directly to the microphone. He hesitates for amoment, then speaks quietly and awkwardly with an odd,high-pitched accent.]

Foreign Man: There was two penguins on de pieceof ice. And they love each other very much. So, eh,one – one day de ice is broken. [By now, the lightshave gone down – Foreign Man is now spotlit on adarkened stage] And so the two penguins cry — theyare crying — because they never to see each otheragain. So they go away, you know, away from eachother. And one day, they– to see each other. So theyget closer and closer. And one of them say: [holds hisnose, imitates a penguin incomprehensibly — but itsounds like he’s saying something like:] “Big Boy fordinner.” [returns to his “Foreign Man” voice] Youknow? Because they never see each other again! [looksat audience happily as if expecting them to laugh]Thenk you veddy much. [Applause. Foreign Man bows tothe audience.]

Right now, I would like to do some eemitations foryou. So, first, I would like to imitate MeesterCarter, de President of de United States. [in the samevoice] “Hello, I am Meester Carter, de President of deUnited States.” Thenk you veddy much. [Applause.Foreign Man bows to the audience.] Thenk you veddymuch.

Now, I would like to imitate, eh, my, eh, Aunt Esther.[in the same voice] “You come into the house rightnow! Put – put on your coat and – and eat everythingis on your plate!” Thenk you veddy much. [Applause.Foreign Man bows to the audience.]

And now, last — but not to be the least — I will -would like to imitate the Elvis Presley.

[Scattered applause and cheers as Kaufman steps awayfrom the microphone and turns his back to theaudience. We hear the music of “Also SprachZarathustra” — also known as the Theme from “2001: ASpace Odyssey” — which opened most Elvis concerts ofthe 1970s. Kaufman removes two dark strips from hispants to reveal studded rhinestones running up anddown the outer legs. He puts the strips in the opensuitcase beside him. He removes his necktie and falseshirt front and dumps them in the suitcase. He takesoff his pink jacket to reveal that he is wearing ablack Elvis-style jumpsuit with a bejeweled vest. Heplaces the jacket in the suitcase and takes out a combwith which he styles his hair. He returns the comb andtakes out a hair brush. More grooming. He returns thebrush and uses the comb again. Another spotlight hascome up and we catch a glimpse of an acoustic guitarstanding ready at one side (opposite the suitcase).Kaufman returns the comb to the suitcase, grabs theguitar and straps it on as a heavenly light shinesdown from above and the 2001 Theme reaches its climax.Kaufman adjusts his wide white collar.

The theme ends and the thundering drumbeat thatusually heralded Presley’s entrance at 1970s concertscomes crashing in. We see a close-up of the back ofKaufman’s head. He starts shaking to the rhythm. Heturns his face to the camera — a classic Elvis sneeron his lips. Applause and laughter. Kaufman is in fullElvis mode as he turns around completely, shaking hislegs, waving to the audience (some of whom areshrieking), prowling the stage lasciviously. All traceof Foreign Man has vanished. Elvis bows, posesprovocatively with the guitar, approaches themicrophone and starts pumping it in time with themusic, sneering and making other “Elvis faces” untilthe music ends. Elvis bows to much applause. When theapplause dies down, Elvis pauses and then leans intothe microphone.]

Elvis: [imitation of Presley’s deep-throateddrawl] Thank you very much.

[With a nod of his head, Elvis signals to the bandbehind him. The pianist plays and Elvis sings his 1956hit ballad “Love Me” — words and music by JerryLeiber and Mike Stoller — and the rest of the bandjoins in.]

Treat me like a fool
Treat me mean and cruel
But love me
Wring my faithful heart
Tear it all apart
But love me

[Hiccups, Elvis-style. The crowd laughs.]

If you ever go
Darling, I’ll be, oh, so lonely
I’ll be sad and blue
Crying over you, dear only.

[Stutters, Elvis-style. The crowd laughs.]

I would beg and steal
Just to feel your heart
Beating close to mine

[Makes a funky Elvis move. The crowd laughs.]

If you ever go
Darling, I’ll be, oh, so lonely
Beggin’ on knees
All I ask is please, please love me
Oh yeah

[Cheers and applause. Band finishes song on Elvis’signal. Elvis removes guitar and poses with it, armsoutstretched, then places guitar back on its stand,lifts arms and wiggles his hips, and does a few moregoofy Elvis poses before speaking into themicrophone.]

Elvis: All right, thank you very much. You canall just stare at me while I catch my breath. I’d liketo do one of my biggest records for you. Course, allof them are the same size. One of the first songs Iever recorded, back in nineteen … twenty-seven, Ithink it was. Went somethin’ like this. [leg startsshaking, looks down at leg] Wait a minute, wait aminute. [lip starts twitching] Somethin’ wrong with mylip. [lip twitches into a sneer, Elvis suddenlylaunches into his 1956 hit rocker “Blue Suede Shoes”– words and music by Carl Perkins.]

Well, it’s one for the money
Two for the show

[Elvis takes his microphone off the stand, sets thestand to one side of stage – the crowd claps along tothe beat.]

Three to get ready
Now go, cat, go
But don’t you
Step on my blue suede shoes
Well, you can do anything
But lay off of my blue suede shoes

Let’s go, cats!

[Band plays instrumental break, Elvis dances aroundthe stage, women in crowd shriek]

It’s one for the money
Two for the show
Three to get ready
Now go, go, go
But don’t you step on my blue suede shoes
Well, you can do anything But lay off of my blue suede shoes

Well, it’s a blue blue blue suede shoes
Blue blue blue suede shoes
Blue blue blue suede shoes
Blue blue blue suede shoes
You can do anything
But lay off of my blue suede shoes.

All right!

[Applause. Elvis jumps up and down, windmilling hisarm. The band crashes to a halt as he goes down on oneknee. Elvis rises, acknowledges the applause, cheers,whistles, returns the microphone to its stand, raisesboth arms and makes the “I Love You” sign with hishands, then whips off his bejeweled vest, whirls itaround his head and tosses it to the crowd. Then hereturns the mike stand to center stage, adjusts themike, licks his lips, slightly out of breath. And,astonishingly, reverts completely to ForeignMan:]

Foreign Man: [hesitantly] Thenk you veddy much.[huge gust of laughter and applause from the startledaudience – after a pause, very politely] Could Iplease have my – my thing back?

[Foreign Man walks to edge of stage and awkwardlytries to retrieve his vest. Someone hands it to himand he backs away nervously, acknowledging theapplause as we fade out.]

Submitted Anonymously

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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