SNL Transcripts: Steve Martin: 02/26/77: Roots II


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 14

76n: Steve Martin / The Kinks

Roots II

Alex Haley…..Garrett Morris
Slave…..Bill Murray
Jerry…..John Belushi
Slave Owner…..Steve Martin
Third Slave…..Al Franken
Lenny Gutman…..Dan Aykroyd
Lady…..Laraine Newman

[ open on slave setpiece ]

Alex Haley: Hello. I am Alex Haley. [ clutching chains that hang down ] Slavery. Practiced in this country from 1609 to 1865 or ’70 — a time in this country’s history that most people would just as soon forget, and almost everybody did until ABC produced a TV-ersion of my book, “Roots”. 80 million people viewed the final episode, and, uh, in one week, ABC sold $61 million in advertising. And, the next morning, this, uh, white dude from NBC called me — I mean, this really, really white dude, man. He says, [ sing-song ] “We want ‘Roots’, too!” So I say, “Like, man, I already did it. I’m fresh out of relatives.” So he says, “We’ll pay you #3 million!” [ chuckles] So I say, “Damn! If I ain’t got a great-great grandpa, I forgot all about him! ‘Cause, man, this is a sad, sad story, man — when they came here, they didn’t have no money at all.” It took me twelve years to write the first one, but I had to do a RUSH job on this one, I did it in FOUR days. Now, it’s a little but rushed, but there it be. I proudly present… “Roots II”.

[ camera pans over to a group of white slaves standing behind bars ] [ SUPER: “Roots II” ]

Slave: — I mean, you got to learn the language if you’re going to get by, man. [ points ] Now, what’s this over here?

Jerry: Oh, that be a window filler.

Slave: Right! Now, uh, uh — [ points ] what’s that, right over there?

Jerry: Oh, that’s a horse!

Slave: Right!

Jerry: Oh, fiddle! I’m tired of this fiddlin’! No crazy cracker’s gonna sell the son of a Mandingo warrior! I am Bop Shoo Wop! Son of Sha Na Na! Grandson of the great holy man, Shboom Shboom!

Slave: Yeah, well, these cats don’t go for none of that jungle jabber, Jerry, so, uh, you’d better quit talking like that, they cut out your tongue, you know what I think? [ points ] Now, what’s that over there?

Jerry: Oh, that be a spoon.

Slave: No…

Jerry: Oh, that be a barrel!

Slave: No! That be a LIGHTNING STICK, they blow your head off with if you try to run away! Now, what’s this right here? [ touches Jerry’s shirt ]

Jerry: That?

[ the slave motions his finger upward to flick Jerry across the nose ]

Together: That be the old one!!

[ they begin to give one another a series of high-fives ]

Slave: Gimme that long soul, boy!

[ the Slave Owner steps forward and whips Slave through the bars. He begins to unlock the cell, but Slave has his head wedged between two bars. ]

Slave: Oh, no, man, you got to unlock my FACE, first!

[ Slave Owner pushes Slave out of the way and unlocks the cell ]

Slave Owner: Alright, everybody come on out for name changes! Come on out here! [ three slaves step outside ] You! Come on out here! [ grabs Jerry ] What’s your name, boy?!

Jerry: My name… Bop Shoo Wop!

Slave Owner: Well, from now on, your name is… Peggy Fleming! [ Jerry eyes him suspiciously ] What’s your name!

Jerry: Bop Shoo Wop!

Slave Owner: [ as he whips Jerry ] PEGGY FLEMING!!

Jerry: Bop Shoo Wop!

Slave Owner: [ as he whips Jerry ] PEGGY FLEMING!!

Jerry: Ouch! [ a beat ] Bop Shoo Wop?

Slave Owner: [ as he whips Jerry ] PEGGY FLEMING!!

Jerry: How about if everybody calls me “The Doctor”? [ Slave Owner whips him repeatedly ] Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow!! Okay, okay, okay!! Okay! [ a beat ] Peggy Fleming. That do have a nice ring to it.

Slave Owner: Okay, everybody, come up here! [ he motions his slaves in a line ]

[ camera pans to reveal Alex Haley autographing a copy of his book for a young black woman ]

Alex Haley: Say, uh — lookie here, Momma, whatchoo doin’ after the show? [ she retreats from him, as he looks into the camera ] Oh, uh — I’ve done a lot of kidding, but, seriously, my family tree is now the pride of my life. My great-great grandmother was Leslie Uggams, who almost married the guy from “Welcome Back, Kotter”. And her father was John Amos, who married Florida, who used to work for Maude. And then they got their series, and they gave birth to J.J. Walker. And my great-great uncle was Thalmus Rasalala, who knew O.J. Simpson in the old country, who was a great uncle to Ben Vereen, who ran away from Lloyd Bridges. It’s a checkered past. Imagine me, being releated to J.J. Walker — dy-no-mite!

[ theme music pots up, as the actors assemble on the stage behind Haley ]

Alex Haley: Uh — they’re selling great-great grandpa right now. I want to see this.

[ Haley steps out of the way, as the scene continues ]

Lenny Gutman: Hello again, everybody! It’s trading time again! I’m your friend, Lenny GUtman, and I hope I’m going to help you out today! You say you need some heavy yard work done? Well, TALK to me! That’s what I’m here for. [ pulls nutcracker out of his back pocket ] If I can’t help you, I’ll STILL give you this free nutcracker… just for seeing me first!

[ he stands in front of Third Slave ]

Look at this handsome model right here — a twenty-five year old Boluzu! Great teeth, great spirit — [ yanks price sticker off his chest ] was $800, NOW only $599!

[ steps over to second slave ]

A twenty-two year old Fiani [?] warrior — now only $499!

[ steps over to Jerry ]

And our prize model today — an eighteen-year old fully equipped Mandingo warrior — ONLY $599! [ rips off sticker from his chest ] Throw away the sticker price — MAKE me an offer!

[ a Lady steps up ]

Lady: Well, just how equipped is this well-equipped one? You see, I’m looking for something for my summer home; I entertain a lot. [ she taps on Jerry ] Hey, Brown Sugar, you wanna see where the horse bit me?

Lenny Gutman: Oh, careful there, Ma’am! [ he chuckles ] Nice to handle — nice to handle, nice to hold; but if you scratch him, mark him SOLD!!

Lady: I just love him! In fact, they’re ALL wonderful — I’ll take them all!

Lenny Gutman: [ pleased ] Well, alright! You’ve got yourself a deal there, little lady! [ he chuckles ] [ the Lady walks her new slaves away from the market, as the lights dim and Alex Haley returns to center stage ]

Alex Haley: That’s as much as I wrote — [ he shrugs ] It was a rush job, remember I told you. But, if you want to see more: tune in to “Roots III”. I’m tracing my mother’s side of the family. It starts Tuesday, on CBS.

[ pull out on studio set, with caption: “Coming Up Next… There Is No Birth Control In Heaven” ] [ 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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