SNL Transcripts: Sissy Spacek: 03/12/77: Dave Wilson is Dead


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 15

76o: Sissy Spacek / Richard Baskin

Dave Wilson is Dead

…..Dan Aykroyd
…..Pete Fatovich
…..John Belushi
…..Laraine Newman
…..Garrett Morris
…..Jane Curtin
…..Bill Murray
…..Sissy Spacek
…..Gilda Radner
…..Dave Wilson

[ open on “Please Stand By” card ]

Don Pardo: The “Saturday Night” show, which you are about to see, will go on as scheduled, despite certain “technical” difficulties. Unfortunately, a few minutes ago, just after dress rehearsal, the director of the show… died.

[ momentary silence ] [ cut to the Control Room, where Director Dave Wilson is hunched across the control board. Dan Aykroyd, dressed in a Confederate costume, stands on the other side of the control panel listening to a signal in his ear. ]

Dan Aykroyd: Yeah… yeah… okay. [ straightens his posture, addresses the camera ] Uh, hi. I’m, uh, I’m Captain Rip Ryder. Uh — no, I’m, uh, Dan Ayrkoyd. Uh — uh — I’m — I’m kind of — I’m kind of afraid because of, uh — because — uh, this is live television, where the unexpected can happen, and, well — [ he chuckles ] the unexpected has happened! Uh — uh, we’re all quite saddened and disappointed, but, uh — in show business, we have an old saying: “The show must go on.” And, although we have this old saying, well… the show can’t possibly go on, without Davey Wilson, our director, who has apparently died. Uh, Davey, was, uh — uh, IS — uh, WAS — one of the last of a dying breed of people, uh, who knew — who know — who know how – -who knew how live television works. Of course, the true testament of, of a man is the words and thoughts about him spoken by those who worked closest with him. Uh — sir, uh, you knew Davey Wilson?

Pete Fatovich: Uh, yes, I did!

Dan Aykroyd: Uh — what sort of man was he?

Pete Fatovich: Seemed like a nice guy, but he was hard to get to know — you know what I mean?

Dan Aykroyd: [ chuckles ] Yeah! Uh — Davey Wilson, uh, a marvelous man and a guy who knew what live television was all ab– [ looks offscreen ] John! How are ya’!

[ John Belushi, dressed in ancient Biblical garb, enters ]

John Belushi: What’s happening out there?

Dan Aykroyd: Uh —

John Belushi: What’s happening?! I’m sitting out there in front of 350 people, ready to pull down the temples of Israel and say, “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” and nobody knows what’s going on!

Dan Aykroyd: Davey… is dead.

John Belushi: Who?

Dan Aykroyd: Davey Wilson. Our director. He just died before we went on the air.

[ Belushi reacts with surprise, as Laraine Newman, enters ]

Laraine Newman: Danny, what’s going on?! The lights went out!!

Dan Aykroyd: Uh — yeah. Well… uh, Davey’s dead, you see. He — he died before we went on the air.

Laraine Newman: [ looking down ] Oh, my… That means we can’t do the Delilah scene!

Dan Aykroyd: Well, as it stands now, we can’t really do ANYTHING, except just sort of stand here and, uh, and talk to you at home, and, uh, and hope things work out.

Laraine Newman: That’s just great, you know? I mean… I research a role ALL week, I read BOOKS on Delilah, I get PICTURES of Delilah — I was GREAT as Delilah!! I had them eating out of my HAND at dress rehearsal!!

Dan Aykroyd: Laraine, please…

Laraine Newman: Don’t worry! I’ll be alright…

Dan Aykroyd: As you can see, ladies and gentlemen, this is a shock to everyone. Uh — the fact that wer’e without a very —

[ Garrett Morris straggles into the Control Room ]

Garrett Morris: What’s going on?

Dan Aykroyd: Davey Wilson died.

Garrett Morris: [ confused ] The — the director?

Dan Aykroyd: Uh, that’s right, Garrett, uh — you worked with, uh, Davey Wilson for almost two years. Is there anything that stands out in your memory of him?

Garrett Morris: Well, he seemed like a nice guy to me, man! He never hassled me at all —

Dan Aykroyd: Two years, and he NEVER hassled Garrett! Quite a tribute to Dave Wilson — whether you were black or white, or red or blue or cream, Davey Wilson just seemed to be… a nice kind of guy! Uhh — he was a, he was a nice guy. He, uh —

Laraine Newman: He was a very nice guy.

Garrett Morris: Yeah…

John Belushi: Yeah, that’s right — he pretty much kept to himself.

Dan Aykroyd: Uh-huh. He’s a nice guy, a quiet guy, everyone seems to agree on.

John Belushi: Yeah.

Dan Aykroyd: I understand we have a, uh, film, of highlights of the, uh, the career or Davey Wilson, which we are about to roll. [ to a technician ] Can you roll the film?

Technician: Uh, no — no, because, uh, I run these.

Dan Aykroyd: [ confused ] These?

Technician: Yeah.

Dan Aykroyd: O-kay. Well, uh, we’re having some techincla difficulties with that film. That’s easily explainable — the film is about director Davey Wilson, who just died, and he’s the only one who really knows how the techincal end works… Now, say, Garrett or John or myself had just died, and, uh, you know, we were rolling a film on us, well, we’d have no problem because we’re on the acting end, as opposed to the, uh, techincal end… and, well, film is technical, and Davey knew that stuff — and he’s not here, he’s gone.

John Belushi: That’s the irony here, uh —

Dan Aykroyd: Yeah.

John Belushi: It’s real ironic —

Dan Aykroyd: Uh — Jane! [ reaches over to pull Jane Curtin into the scene ] Jane Curtin is here, and, uh — Jane, you knew Davey, you must have something about him that you could share with us.

Jane Curtin: Uhh — I once heard Davey say he really liked the Beatles.

Dan Aykroyd: [ smiling ] Well! Here’s something about him! He liked the Beatles!

Garrett Morris: Yeah, a white man who liked the Beatles — now that’s interesting.

Jane Curtin: And — and I think the Beatles summed it up best when they said, Ob-la-di… ob-la-da… life goes on… bra!”

Dan Aykroyd: Ahhh, thank you… thank you, Jane.

Jane Curtin: Thank you, Dan, and… [ glumly ] thank you, Davey…

Dan Aykroyd: Yeah, alright. [ glances offscreen ] Bill! Bill Murray! Bill Murray! [ pulls Bill into the scene ] The newest of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players!

Bill Murray: Yes — yes, I am.

Dan Aykroyd: Uh, perhaps you have a story about Dave Wilson, our deceased director, to tell the folks?

Bill Murray: Sure, umm — [ thinking ] Uhhh — Davey and I used to, uh, drink a lot of coffee together, and, uh — one time, I was at the machine, and he said, “Don’t drink”, uh, “the milk. It’s sour,” you know?

Dan Aykroyd: Yeah.

Bill Murray: And, uh — [ he laughs ] I drank it, anyway, and it WAS sour! Yuo know, it was nice of him to tell me that.

Dan Aykroyd: Thank you, Bill, for that story about Davey Wilson, our director who died. If there’s any one person who relied on Davey Wilson more than anybody else, it would have to be, uh, the host. This is sissy Spacek, the, uh, host of this week’s show, uh — [ Spacek enters the scene ] which isn’t quite the show that we or she thought it would be. Sissy, this is your first TV show?

Sissy Spacek: Yes, it is, Danny, I usually work in movies. If someone dies in a movie, we just — we just stop film.

Dan Aykroyd: Uh-huh… uh-huh.

Sissy Spacek: But here, everything just falls apart. I — I guess that’s what makes live TV so exciting.

Dan Aykroyd: [ excited ] Ye-es!! The EXCITEMENT of live television! That’s a good one!

Sissy Spacek: I just — I just hope that we get to do something that we rehearsed…

Dan Aykroyd: Well, Sissy, I’m sorry that it happened this week. I, uh — you know — I know that if Davey was here, he’d just —

Pete Fatovich: [ interrupting ] Danny! They’re getting ready to run the film!

Dan Aykroyd: Okay! I think they’re ready to run that obituary film. The standard obituary film. Are they ready to roll the film now?

Pete Fatovich: No!

Dan Aykroyd: O-kay. [ Gilda Radner runs in ] Gilda Radner!

Gilda Radner: Hi!

Dan Aykroyd: You knew Davey Wilson as well as any of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players.

Gilda Radner: Uh — yes — yes, I did, um — he reminded me of my grandfather!

Dan Aykroyd: Oh, yeah? Well, what does your grandfather do?

Gilda Radner: He died! He was real sick!

Dan Aykroyd: And, uh, before that?

Gilda Radner: He had a lot of headaches!

Dan Aykroyd: How about before that?

Gilda Radner: [ meekly ] He used to yell at my grandmother…

Dan Aykroyd: Okay, thank you, Gilda. Thank you, uh — you know, there’s an old saying that, uh — [ Gilda begins to cry on his shoulder ] Well, you can tell a lot about a man, uh, from the… [ thinking ] contents of his wallet!

[ everyone begins to jerk the corpse around in search of a wallet or other personal effects ]

Dan Aykroyd: Uh, let’s see, uh — [ the wallet is retrieved ] Davey, uh — was, uh — let’s see — [ reading contents of the wallet ] Davey Wilson, our director, he was, uh — a member of the Diner’s Club! And, uh —

Pete Fatovich: [ pointing ] Hey, hey! The film is on! The film is on!

Dan Aykroyd: The film is on? [ he turns toward a monitor, which turns fuzzy ] The NBC obituary — no, it stopped. No, the, uh — the film of our – -Davey Wilson, our late director — our very recently deceased director, Davey Wilson — the standard NBC obituary film.

[ close-up as the screen turns black ]

Dan Aykroyd: Not on. It’s not on… [ the picture suddenly appears ] Ah! There it is! Yes!

[ show the screen with “The Late Great Dave Wilson” superimposed over a screen capture of Wilson dressed as a bee (from the Jodie Foster episode earlier in the season) in the control room ]

Don Pardo V/O: Davey Wilson, winner of the 1976 Emmy for directing the Saturday Night show. His untimely death brought to an end a career of directing that stretched over twenty years and included such hits…

[ cut to opening credit montage from: ]

as “The Paul Weissner Story”…

[ cut to footage of a couple dancing a mambo ]

“Mambo Macambo”…

[ cut to close-up footage of a mouse and a frog at what looks like a miniature picnic table ]

“Animal Fun”…

[ cut to a montage of war footage ]

“Hats Off, Ensign O’Rourke”…

[ cut to footage of a young boy walking a dog who wears rollerskates ]

and “Cincinnati Midday”.

[ the tape ends, as the screen remains black. Light chatter is heard in the background, before the screen returns to Aykroyd in the cast huddled up in the control room with a pile of money in their hands. They are surprised to find the camera back on them. ]

Dan Aykroyd: Uh — we found, uh — a card here, a medic alert card. It says — a medic alert card has been found! Can somebody –? A medic alert card has been found. It says: “Dave Wilson: In the event of loss of consciousness, say ‘Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night.'”


[ suddenly, Dave Wilson rises from the control panel and turns to a fellow engineer ]

Dave Wilson: Tape roll!!

[ dissolve to opening montage ]

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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