SNL Transcripts: Buck Henry: 05/21/77: An Oval Office


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 22

76v: Buck Henry / Jennifer Warnes, Kenny Vance

An Oval Office

President Jimmy Carter…..Dan Aykroyd
Rosalynn Carter…..Laraine Newman
Miss Lillian Carter…..Gilda Radner

[ open on “A Fireside Chat” White House art card ] [ Music: “Hail to the Chief” instrumental ]

Announcer: And now, A Fireside Chat, with President Jimmy Carter.

[ dissolve to President Jimmy Carter, dressed in sweatshirt marked “Jimmy” as he smilingly pedals an exercise bike attached to a pair of methane tanks ]

President Jimmy Carter: Good evening, everybody! On many occasions, I’ve — I’ve used symbolic acts to communicate with you. Because I’m aware of symbolism. And, tonight, to symvolize my determination to implement the Carter Energy Program. I’m personally, at this moment, generating all the electricity necessary… to transmit this television broadcast to you! And, you know, there’s enough energy left over to run this electric hot comb. [ he pulls the device out of the bike’s basket, runs it through his hair and smiles ]

Rosalynn Carter: Jimmy! It’s, uh, my turn to power the broadcast now!

President Jimmy Carter: Okay. Ready to make the switch, Rosalynn?

Rosalynn Carter: Okay, now! I’m ready! [ she starts hopping up and down ] 1! 2! 3!

[ Jimmy jumps off one end of the exercise bike, as Rosalynn jumps onto it from the other side. The screen flickers as she pedals quick enough to match Jimmy’s speed. ]

President Jimmy Carter: Good work, honey!

Rosalynn Carter: Thank you, Sugar!

President Jimmy Carter: Almost lost it there!

Rosalynn Carter: [ she laughs ] I know, we did! [ to the camera ] You know, Jimmy’s got his life, and I’ve got mine… but we still find time to run the generator together, don’t we, dear?

President Jimmy Carter: You know, America MUST move away from… liquid fossil fuels. And to encourage that shift, uh — I’m gonna impose a heavy tax on imported crude oil, gasoline, and commercial lubricants such as motor oil and petroleum jelly!

Rosalynn Carter: Lillian, it’s your turn!

President Jimmy Carter: Come on, Mama!

Miss Lillian: [ waking up ] Huh?

Rosalynn Carter: It’s your turn to power the broadcast! Come on!

Miss Lillian: Alright, Rosalynn… here I come… [ she rises from her chair and slowly walks up to the exercise bike ]

President Jimmy Carter: [ smiling to the camera ] Everybody tries to pitch in, as best they can!

Rosalynn Carter: That’s right! [ to Lillian, as she approaches ] Now — now, you ready?

Miss Lillian: Yes…

[ Rosalynn climbs off the exercise bike, as Miss Lillian struggles to lift her leg over the seat. The screen flickers severely. ]

President Jimmy Carter: Keep that pedal going!

Rosalynn Carter: Honey, we’re losing the picture!

[ together, Jimmy and Roselynn move Miss Lillian’s legs up and down the pedals, as she struggles to keep the screen from flickering. ]

President Jimmy Carter: That’s it, Mama!

Miss Lillian: I’d — I’d do ANYTHING for my Jimmy!

President Jimmy Carter: Come on, Mama!

Rosalynn Carter: Keep pedaling, honey!

[ Jimmy and Rosalynn step closer to the camera ]

President Jimmy Carter: [ to the camera ] Let’s forget about the… substance-minded program for a minute. I just want to say I’m doing something personal and —

Miss Lillian: [ struggling ] I’m feeling a little… faint, Jimmy… I don’t know if I can go on any longer…

President Jimmy Carter: Come on, Mama.

Miss Lillian: No, I’ll do it for you, Jimmy…

President Jimmy Carter: Speed up, Mama. We don’t want to lose that picture. Just a few more minutes.

[ the screen flickers, as Miss Lillian slows down just a bit ]

President Jimmy Carter: [ to the camera ] As I was saying, you can see I’m doing something personally about the energy crisis. I’m about keeping the American family unit working together. And I think — [ turns to see Miss Lillian about to fall off the bike ] Come on, Mama!

Miss Lillian: Yes, I’m doing it, Jimmy…

President Jimmy Carter: [ to the camera ] I think… if you take up the example we’ve set… it’ll all work out for the better. I love you all. Thank you very much.

[ Miss Lillian wears herself out completely, and falls off the exercise bike. The screen flickers and turns to snow. ]

President Jimmy Carter: Mama! Come on, Mama!

Miss Lillian: I’m okay…!

[ the image flickers back into place momentarily, allowing a glimpse of Jimmy and Rosalynn helping Miss Lillian back to the bike ]

President Jimmy Carter: Come on, Mama!

Miss Lillian: I’m doing it…! Anything for my Jimmy…! Anything…!

[ the screen flickers back into place, as we see Miss Lillian back on the bike and pedaling with fury ]

Miss Lillian: I’d do… “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!!”

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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