Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 3: Episode 15
Written by: Alan Zweibel, Herb Sargent, & Gilda Radner
Mother … Jane Curtin
Penny … Laraine Newman
Mr. Death … Christopher Lee
[A little girl’s bedroom at bedtime. A mother comfortsher daughter, Penny.]
Mother: Your father and I will get you another dogright away, honey. We promise.
Penny: I don’t want another dog! I want Tippy! Why didTippy have to die?
Mother: Honey, dogs die just like people do. Just likewhen Grandpa died.
Penny: You mean, Grandpa also swallowed a doorknob?
Mother: Well, no, not– No. But – but don’t worry,honey, tomorrow we’ll pick out a new dog.
Penny: Can I name him “Tippy”?
Mother: Of course you can.
Mother: Good. Now, close your eyes and get a goodnight’s sleep [kisses Penny on forehead] and I’ll seeyou tomorrow.
Penny: Good night, Mom.[Mother shuts off light and exits. Penny gets out fromunder the covers, kneels by the bed and says herprayers:]
Penny: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord mysoul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I praythe Lord my soul to take. [Unseen by Penny, a shadowyfigure moves into view behind her] God bless Mommy andDaddy and my best friend Karen and my dead dog Tippy.Amen.
Mr. Death: That’s very nice, Penny.[Penny turns and rises to confront Mr. Death, a GrimReaper with a deep, cultured voice, wearing a darkrobe, and carrying a huge scythe. Penny is not scaredat all, just amazed.]
Penny: Hey! Who are you? What are you doing in my room?
Mr. Death: I’m … sorry about Tippy and I came to apologize.
Penny: Are you the man who made Tippy die?
Mr. Death: Well, sort of. Tippy was on my list.
Penny: [upset] What list? What do you mean?
Mr. Death: Oh, please don’t get too angry at me. Everyday I’m given a list of lives that … have to end.It’s – it’s not the greatest job in the world but it’sa living.
Penny: [sits at foot of bed] But you KILLED Tippy! Andthat’s bad! ‘Cause in Sunday school we learned the TenCommandments. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt notsteal. Thou shalt not cover up thy neighbor’s wife.Thou shalt not witness false bears. Thou shalt not–
Mr. Death: [sits next to Penny] Yes, you areabsolutely right, Penny. You are right. You are notsupposed to kill and, well, I – I don’t … kill.
Penny: What do you do?
Mr. Death: Well, when you are born, Mr. Life is there.And when you die, Mr. Death takes over.
Penny: Well, you’re mean, Mr. Death. You make people cry.
Mr. Death: Well, I can’t help that, Penny. I’m …inevitable. Everything has to die. People, animals, flowers.
Penny: What about rocks?
Mr. Death: Rocks were never alive so they can’t die.
Penny: What about dolls?
Mr. Death: Same thing.
Penny: Once, Tippy ate off one of my doll’s heads andI yelled at him and I hit him with the newspaper andhe hid under the couch and – now I’m sorry and I can’ttell him – oh! – ’cause he’s not here anymore and Ihate you! Why don’t you take Kenny Tuckman? He sitsbehind me in school and pokes me!
Mr. Death: [pulls a scroll from his pocket] Tuckman?[consults the scroll] Tuckman? No. I don’t see him onmy list, uh, for-for quite a while. I wish thatRichard Harris and Nick Nolte were on it.
Penny: Can I see that?
Mr. Death: [pockets the scroll] Oh, no, no, no. No,Penny! That’s, uh, that’s very private.
Penny: I’ll bet you killed a million thousand skilliontrillion people.
Mr. Death: Well, I don’t know if “killed” is the rightword. But I have got a big list.
Penny: My grandpa?
Mr. Death: Yes.
Penny: Senator Humphrey?
Mr. Death: Yes.
Mr. Death: No, the Romans did that.
Penny: Did you come here to get me?
Mr. Death: No.
Penny: Once, I had a baby chick — it died. Lastsummer, I caught a frog — died. And then I had ahamster — died. Goldfish — died. Turtle — died.
Mr. Death: So I hate small animals! You can’t blame me for that.
Penny: That’s terrible!
Mr. Death: I told you, I just came here to apologizeabout Tippy. It’s the first time I’ve ever apologizedto anyone. I’m – I’m not used to this. So don’t makeit any harder for me, please. Do you mind if I have adrink? [pulls out a flask, unscrews it, and takes a snort]
Penny: You’re drinking whiskey, aren’t ya? You know,when my dad does that, some times he feels so bad inthe morning he can’t even go to work.
Mr. Death: Well, I wish I didn’t have to go to work.You think I like making little girls like you cry?
Penny: [sympathetically] Oh, Mr. Death!
Mr. Death: I wanted to be … Mother Nature. Didn’twork out. I couldn’t tell butter from margarine. So Iwent into this field and I’m quite successful at itbut all the recognition, it doesn’t help at all, youknow. Poets, novelists, playwrights, philosophers,they’ve all written about me. Ingmar Bergman makesmovies I’ll never understand. Why don’t they justaccept me for, well, for what I am? I’m – I’m just aman with a job to do. Someone has to do it. [pause]Well, I’m off. [rises, Penny follows]
Penny: Well, where’re ya goin’ now, Mr. Death?
Mr. Death: I’m going to Lebanon. I have some moppingup to do there.
Penny: Well, are you really sorry about Tippy?
Mr. Death: Yes, I am.
Penny: Well, I guess I forgive you.
Mr. Death: Thank you, Penny.
Penny: Mr. Death, will I ever see Tippy again?
Mr. Death: Oh, yes, someday. Someday I’ll take you tohim but that won’t be for a long time.
Mr. Death: [she’s asked one question too many and hesnaps at her] I’ll come and visit you on yourfifteenth birthday!
Mr. Death: [realizes he’s said too much] Oh, justkidding, Penny. You, uh, you better get to bed.
Penny: [climbs into bed] Okay. Well, Mr. Death, I’msorry I got mad at you. I know you have a hard job.
Mr. Death: [sits beside her] It’s not easy. But rightnow you have a job to do, young lady, and that’s to goto sleep.
Penny: Okay. Mr. Death, can you kiss me good night?
Mr. Death: Penny?
Mr. Death: [crisply] Don’t press your luck. [rises andwalks off] [ pull out to studio wide shot, with SUPER: “coming up next… How To Break The Smoke-Enders Habit” ] [ fade ]