SNL Transcripts: Jack Burns: 03/26/77: John’s Demands


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 17

76q: Jack Burns / Santana

John’s Demands

… John Belushi
… Robert Van Ry

[John Belushi stands in a kitchen set with a coffeecup, addressing the camera.]

John Belushi: Hi. I’m John Belushi. I’m just having acup of coffee before the show. It’s kind of atradition with me. [sits at kitchen table] Here atSaturday Night Live, we have another tradition thatthe show has always opened with the words, “Live fromNew York, it’s–!” Well, you know the rest. [sipscoffee] Tonight, our producer, Lorne Michaels, hasconvinced the NBC brass to let me say the words tostart tonight’s show. Now, it was no easy battle. Imean, we’ve done close to fifty shows and this is thefirst time I’ve been allowed to do the opening. Yousee, I’ve got a bad reputation around NBC as atroublemaker. The network brass think all actors arestupid. So, uh, naturally any actor who thinks forhimself or has any sort of intellect is a”troublemaker” to them. Let’s forget that now. I mean,that’s not important now.

Anyway, that– I know that my being out here alone, atthe beginning of a live show, represents a – a sacredtrust the network has bestowed upon me. Because, ofcourse, the show cannot start until I say thosewords. Right now, NBC, one of the country’s largestcorporations, with billions in assets, is waiting forme, a stupid troublemaking punk actor from Wheaton,Illinois, to open the show. [makes a fist] Well, I’vegot them where I want them. Right in the palm of myhand. [opens fist, points to palm] But, although Icould easily do it, I would never, never — Oh, what’sthe word I’m looking for? — betray thenetwork’s trust in me. I will say the words, “Livefrom New York, it’s–” you know what, when I’m ready.

[takes a paper from his pocket] I will now read a listof demands. [applause, Belushi unfolds the paper, sipscoffee] When these demands are met, I will say thewords that open the show. [looks to his left andstarts talking to someone off screen] Get back, Bobby.Now, I mean business. No, don’t try and stop me. [cutwide to reveal a bespectacled stage manager venturingonto the set, pointing to his wristwatch andwhispering to Belushi who addresses the camera] BobVan Ry, one of our stage managers, a heck of a guy.Let’s hear it for him. [Belushi leads the audienceinto applause] A nice guy. [to Van Ry who exits] Let’snot start anything, okay?

[clears throat, reads from paper] First demand.Separate showers for the male and female cast members.Now, I, myself, don’t mind showerin’ with the girlsbut I know the new kid, Bill Murray, doesn’t like it.He’s shy. The guy’s been showering with his swim -swim trunks on, y’know. It’s embarrassing. But can youblame him? Uh, my second demand. Beer for the wholecrew on work nights! [throaty cheers and applause] Mythird demand! For myself, I want nothing. But for mylovely new wife, Judy, I demand an all-expense-paidtrip for two to the next Ali-Foreman fight in Korea,plus two ringside seats.

[folds up paper, after a pause] I can wait. Hey. I’vegot all night. Watch this. “Live from New York, it’sThursday night!” Hahahahaha! Just kidding, suckers![someone off screen offers Belushi an envelope] Ah!Ooh! What’s this? [takes envelope] I knew the weaselswould back down. [opens envelope, finds letter] Oh! Hoho ho! [reads letter aloud] “Dear John, Whatever yourdemands are, they will be met.” Hey, what’d I say?”But before we discuss those demands in greaterdetail, may we say how very much we admire your actingwork. [pleased, raises an eyebrow] We enjoy all yourcharacterizations, though our favorites would have tobe your Samurai, your Brando, your Bee, your JoeCocker, your Live from New York, it’s Saturdaynight–” [SNL band kicks in, Belushi jumps up] No!Wait! Stop! Stop! It’s a trick! It’s a trick!

[But it’s too late. The show has begun. Dissolve toopening montage.]

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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