SNL Transcripts: Steve Martin: 01/21/78: State of the Union 1978

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 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 3: Episode 9

77i: Steve Martin / Dirt Band, Randy Newman

State of the Union 1978

Reporter V/O…..Tom Davis
Tip O’Neil…..John Belushi
President Jimmy Carter…..Dan Aykroyd
Walter Mondale…..Bill Murray

Announcer: “Bruce Jenner Wins The Javelin Catch” will not be seen tonight, so that NBC may present the following special program:

[ dissolve to “State of the Union 1978” slide ]

Reporter V/O: This is Washington correspondent Barry Potter here at the Capitol. The House Doorkeeper is about to announce the President, as we go to the floor.

[ cut to footage of House Doorkeeper James Malloy taking the floor ]

House Doorkeeper: Mr. Speaker! The President of the United States!

Reporter V/O: The President is entering the chamber. He’s smiling — obviously, very happy he’s still President. Congressmen from both sides of the aisle are standing and applauding, as is traditional for even the most disrespectful and incompetent of presidents. Mr. Carter has now reached the podium, and the Speaker will give a short announcement.

Tip O’Neil: Here he is, ladies and gentlemen! The President of the United States!

[ President Carter arrives, shakes hands and hands note sheets to both men ]

President Jimmy Carter: Thank you… Mr. Vice-President, Mr. Speaker… members of United States Congress, ladies and gentlemen. Two years ago today, we had the first caucus in Iowa; a year ago, I walked from here to the White House to take up duties as President of the United States. Since I hope to do the same in 1981, you can be sure that I’m gonna stand before you today and tell you the State of the Union is sound! [ everyone applauds ] [ image: James Schlesinger, Secretary of Energy, with TAG: “Wearing New Shirt” ]

President Jimmy Carter: This year, our country will have the first $2 trillion economy in the history of the world. What do I mean by that? I mean, one-thousand million is a billion, and one-thousand billion is a trillion; Two trillion is two-thousand billion dollars, and I believe that’s a lot of money!

[ behind Carter, Tip O’Neil opens a can of beer and drinks, as Vice-President Walter Mondale yawns and falls sleep ]

President Jimmy Carter: This resource will provide a trade balance, and, in turn, balance it aganst the pressures of an ever-balancing domestic economy balance. WE hope to create groeth incentives and job-creating areas like… the manufacturing of disposable cigarette lighters.,, disposable razors, and cheap paperback romances.

[ cut to exterior of the Capitol as it snows, with SUPER: “12 inches” ] [ cut to slow pan of footage of politicians watching Carter in the Capitol, with SUPER: “All thinking about snow tires” ]

President Jimmy Carter: We’re a great country, a STRONG country, a vital and dynamic country, and so we will remain. We’re a confident people! A hard-working people! A decent and compassionate people. And so we will remain.

[ cut to footage of Sen. Howard Baker, with SUPER: “Trying to look upset” ]

President Jimmy Carter: We’re a cold, hungry, and unemployed people. And so we will remain. Those of you who are unemployed MUST have jobs! Jobs are basic human needs!

[ cut to footage of Edmund Muskie, with SUPER: “Senator from Mars” ]

President Jimmy Carter: Therefore, you NEED jobs!

[ behind Carter, Tip O’Neil throws a paper airplane, as Walter Mondale shuffles a deck of cards ]

President Jimmy Carter: It is the intention of this administration to initiate dynamic programs for the young and disadvantaged. Specifically, a program of t-shirt distribution for the young and disadvantaged. [ he unfolds a t-shirt that reads “YOUNG AND DISADVANTAGED” and holds it over the podium ] Designed by my son Chip, these will help them help themselves become more visible. [ he folds the t-shirt back ] We come together tonight… we mourn the loss of a great man — Senator Hubert Humphrie. Who taught us that we’re a community and all our fates are linked. You the people, and I your President. How our futures intertwine. I’m sorry, but tht’s the way it is for a while. We have no choice but to act in that knowledge and spirit — together! And, as the Bible says: We CAN move mountains!

[ cut to footage of a black woman in the Capitol yawning ]

President Jimmy Carter: Thank you very much. I have nothing else to say, but “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”

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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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