SNL Transcripts: Jack Burns: 03/26/77: The Story of the Squatters


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 17

76q: Jack Burns / Santana

The Story of the Squatters

Head Squatter…..John Belushi
Squatter 1…..Dan Aykroyd
Squatter 2…..Bill Murray
Ma…..Jane Curtin
Squaw…..Gilda Radner
Runaway Slave…..Garrett Morris
Colonel George Hall…..Jack Burns
Other Squatters…..Laraine Newman, Anne Beatts, Tom Davis, Jim Downey, Al Franken, Mitchell Laurance, Neil Levy, Marilyn Suzanne Miller, Tom Schiller, Rosie Shuster, Alan Zweibel
Modern-Day Couple…..Al Franken, Rosie Shuster
Sons…..Jim Downey, Tom Davis

Announcer: [ over scroll ]“The Squatters.”

“Dare we forget the contributions made by these rugged pioneers? As the West opened up in the early 1800’s, the Squatters crossed the uncharted frontier to settle on land they did not own. The journey West was grueling and dangerous. Hardships were many; pleasures, few. But the Squatters moved on toward their dream of finding a home.”

[ reveal three men squatting on their haunches, drawing a makeshift map in the dirt ]

Head Squatter: Okay. Okay, the mountains are over here… the river, over here. I say we go… THAT way! [ he points stage right ]

Squatter 1: Looks good to me.

Squatter 2: Me, too.

Head Squatter: OKAY, EVERYBODY!!! LET’S GOOOOO!!!!

[ the three men turn on their haunches and waddle toward stage right without rising. A group of fellow settlers, also squatting on their haunches, follow close behind. ] [ title card ]

Announcer: These are the Squatters. And this is their story.

Announcer: [ over scroll ]“From 1790 to 1840, the prairies were dotted with trains of Squatters, relentless in their quest for that piece of land on which to squat.”

[ the group stops at one point to rest ]

Squatter 1: Boy, am I tired.

Squatter 2: Yeah, my knees are killing me!

Head Squatter: Mine, too. Well… looks like as good a place as any.

Squatter 1: Let’s stop here.

Head Squatter: Sounds good to me. OKAY, EVERYBODY!!! THIS… IS… THE PLACE!!!

[ the group cheers ]

Head Squatter: LET’S GO TO WORK!!!

[ they begin setting up ]

Announcer: [ over scroll ]“And so, the Squatters found their piece of land. They worked hard; tilling the soil, and building homes, roads, bridges, and grist mills. Life was grueling and dangerous, but still the Squatters found time for fun!”

[ reveal the Squatters participating in a hoedown, then settling around to socialize with one another ]

Head Squatter: Hey! You know, Ma here is the best cook in the territory! What’s for dinner tonight, Ma?

Ma: Squab!

Head Squatter: Oh. And that vegetable — what’s that vegetable?

Ma: Squash!

Head Squatter: Uh-huh! And, uh —

[ an Indian squaw waddles forward ]

Squatter 1: Who are you?!

Squaw: Squaw!

Squatter 1: Come on! Squat on over here by me, Squaw!

[ she waddles over ]

Announcer: [ over scroll ]“Yes, some Indians became Squatters. And so did runaway slaves…”

[ a runaway slave waddles past them ]

Head Squatter: Hey, hey, hey! You can stop running! You’ve found a home as a Squatter!

Runaway Slave: Thanks! My name… Dred Squat!

Head Squatter: Welcome, Dred! No reason you should live in squallor, when you can be a Squatter!

Announcer: [ over scroll ]“Just when it looked as though the Squatters were over the hump, trouble once again reared its ugly head. By 1830 the railroads arrived with land grants that included Squatting ground.”

Colonel George Hall: [ enters standing tall ] Are you people Squatters?

[ the Squatters squat closer to the stranger ]

Squatter 1: Does a bear squat in the woods?

Colonel George Hall: [ squats down to their level ] I’m Colonel George Hall, United States Cavalry. I’m assigned to order you people off railroad property!

Head Squatter: You mean, you’re taking OUR land… and you’re not gonna pay us ANYTHING for it?!

Colonel George Hall: Yuo ain’t gonna get diddly-squat!

[ Colonel George Hall stands tall and exits the scene ]

Announcer: [ over scroll ]“The spirited Squatters would not allow themselves to be stepped on, and they organized a Squatters Rights Movement!”

[ the Squatters hold protest signs: “We’re Getting Squewed!”, “Squelch the R.R.s!”, etc. ]

Squatter 1: I’ll tell ya — I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m mad!

[ everyone screams in agreement ]

Squatter 2: I say we FIGHT the railroad with GUNS!! What do you say?!

[ everyone screams in agreement ]

Squatter 1: No! No! No, you idiot! We’ll all get killed!

Squatter 2: Why, you cheap squat!

[ they erupt into a squatting fistfight ]

Head Squatter: Alright, stop it! Stop it! Let’s unite! Let’s not squabble amongst ourselves! Come on, unite! Squat! Squat! Squat!

Everyone: SQUAT!! SQUAT!! SQUAT!!

Announcer: The Squatters won their fight, and, in 1841, Congress passed the Pre-Emption Act, guaranteeing Squatters the first right to buy land upon which they squat.

[ dissolve to modern-day squatting couple over a miniature barbecue pit, as their two sons play Catch in the background ]

Announcer: And, today, descendants of the original Squatters flourish in the modern community of Squatters Heights, Kansas.

[ title card ]

Announcer: And that is the Story of the Squatters — Americans who did not stoop to conquer.

[ dissolve to audience shot, zoom in on excited bearded man with CAPTION: “Came Here To Deliver A Pizza” ] [ 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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