Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 4: Episode 4
Theodoric of York: Medieval Judge
Theodoric of York…..Steve Martin
Broom Gilda…..Gilda Radner
Guard #1…..Tom Davis
Guard #2…..Al Franken
Simpkin of Partridge…..Bill Murray
John the Tanner…..John Belushi
Witchs Mother…..Jane Curtin
EXT. PUBLIC SQUARE 12 TH CENTURY – DAY
SUPER: YORK, ENGLAND 1153
Various townspeople are gathered around a WITCH. BROOM GILDA stands behind the witch, pointing more and more at her. THEODORIC OF YORK is seated at a judicial bench/table where the witch leans against.
Broom Gilda: I saw her consorting with the devil!!
Townsman: No calves have been born since she moved here!!
Townswoman: Shes a witch! Burn her!
Crowd: BURN HER! BURN HER! BURN HER![ Theodoric rises up. ]
Theodoric of York: Wait a minute! Wait!! What are we!? Barbarians!? This is the 12th century! Just as long as Im the justicard of this shire, everyone will be giving a fair trial according to the laws of England!
SUPER: THEODORIC OF YORK – MEDIEVAL JUDGE
Announcer (V/O): Theodoric of York Medieval Judge.
Reeve: Hereby! Let it be known to all, Theodoric of York, the justicard of the realm, will preside this day, to here all writs to dispute all claims and thereof of the shire!
Theodoric of York: Now! Who saw this woman consort with the devil!?
Broom Gilda: It was I! Broom Gilda.
Broom Gilda: I was driving home the Abbotts oxen last night and I saw her! By the river! Talking freely with Satan!![ The witch sobs. Theodoric raises his arms. ]
Theodoric of York: How do you know it was Satan!? What form did he take?
Broom Gilda: A leather-winged griffin!
Theodoric of York: Hh-mm Thats the devil all right! How do you answer these charges!?
Witch: I was gathering wood when a wandering troubadour stopped me and asked me where he might find food. I told him I didnt know where, but offered him some goose liver I had in my pocket.[ Broom Gilda grabs the witchs braided ponytail. ]
Broom Gilda: You liar! You bitch!![ The crowd gets riled. ]
Theodoric of York: Hold! Hold! The law is clear in such matters. Let us consult the writ of common wisdom Reeve![ Reeve fetches a large, black leather-bounded reference manual and holds it in the air. ]
Reeve: The writ of common wisdom![ Reeve places it before Theodoric. Theodoric paces through it. ]
Theodoric of York: Okay. Lets see Befoulment of wells Boar pouching Consorting with dames Consorting with yourself Aha! Consorting with the devil. All right, this is very clear in here. Its in Latin, so Ill put it to you in laymans English – – were going to have to throw you in the trough of justice![ Two GUARDS tie the witchs hands in rope. ]
Theodoric of York: And if youre guilty, youll float on water. And if youre innocent, youll sink. So you have nothing to fear![ The guards hoist the witch up and carry her to a hot water-filled trough. Theodoric follows them. ]
Theodoric of York: If the accused floats, that means the water has rejected her body. Of course, if the accused here sinks, that means the water has accepted her body therefore shes innocent.[ The witchs body has sunk to the bottom. Minimal air bubbles float up to the surface. No sign of life. Theodoric raises his arms. ]
Theodoric of York: Ah! Not guilty![ The crowd bickers and cheers equally. Theodoric returns to the bench. Reeve opens another scroll. SIMPKIN OF PARTRIDGE, a man in tattered clothes and unkempt hair, approaches the bench holding a piglet hes also stroking. ]
Reeve: The case of Simpkin of Partridge versus the Thane of Brisbane! A sheriff arrested this man serving time when stealing swine while impersonating a free man.
Simpkin: Your justice the charges are false. I was returning Charlotte here to the Thane and I really was made a free man yesterday as a travelling nobleman said Youre free, go ahead. If you let me go back to my home, I can come back with the documents for you.
Theodoric of York: You swear before this court that what you say is true?[ Simpkin nods his head. ]
Simpkin: Youre damn right.
Theodoric of York: Well, theres only one way to tell remove his boots!
Reeve: Take the piglet! Take the pig![ Broom Gilda takes the piglet away from Simpkin. The guards lift Simpkin onto the bench and remove his boots. ]
Theodoric of York: You will take 10 paces on the burning coals of truth. If youre telling the truth, your wounds will not fester![ A guard escorts Simpkin to a bed of burning coals. ]
Simpkin: 10 paces, huh? Like Sugar Ray in the ring?[ Simpkin steps on the coals and begins pacing. He shows no pain. ]
Simpkin: One, two, thr aaahhh![ The guard removes Simpkin from the coals. ]
Simpkin: Okay. I was lying. I stole the pig. But I was so hungry and the taxes were so great.
Theodoric of York: Put him on the rack.[ The guards tie Simpkins arms to a body-stretching rack. ]
Simpkin: My feet. My feet hurt.[ The guards spin the racks wheel. Simpkin wails. ]
Simpkin: This is worse than the coals.
Reeve: Send in the accused! The case of John the Tanner versus Lord Coltchester![ JOHN THE TANNER saunters in. ]
Theodoric of York: John the Tanner you have stood twice before this court. First, you were found guilty of theft and your right arm was cut off.[ John raises whats left of his right arm. ]
Theodoric of York: Then you were found guilty of lying and your tongue was cut out.[ John makes odd oral motions with his mouth. ]
Theodoric of York: Now, you stand charged again. How do you plead?[ Johns eyebrows raise. He jerks his head side-to-side, opens his palms, and shakes his head. ]
Theodoric of York: I see. And whats this man accused of?
Reeve: Adultery.[ Reeve passes an opened scroll to Theodoric. Theodoric glances over it. ]
Theodoric of York: Lets see adultery. You were found guilty of theft and your right arm was cut off. Uh you were found guilty of lying and your tongue was cut out Now adultery[ Theodoric eyes the sky and strokes his chin. ]
Theodoric of York: The writ of common wisdom!
Reeve: The writ of common wisdom![ Reeve places the prior seen reference manual before Theodoric. ]
Theodoric of York: The punishment for adultery is Oh, geez I cant read this publicly.[ Theodoric hand-signals John for a whisper. Theodoric whispers and after, he and John grimace. The guards take John away. The WITCHS MOTHER scurries to Theodoric. ]
Mother: They told me my daughter was here. They told me she was accused of consorting with the devil.
Theodoric of York: Congratulations! She was found innocent.
Mother: Oh Thank God! Where is she?
Theodoric of York: At the bottom of the trough of justice![ The mother trots over to the trough. ]
Theodoric of York: You see if the body is accepted by the water that means shes not guilty.[ The mother pulls out a soaked dress from the trough. ]
Mother: Shes dead!!
Theodoric of York: Well, she must have drowned from being under the water.
Mother: You call this justice!? An innocent girl dead?
Theodoric of York: Hey! Gods will!
Mother: Why dont you just admit it!? You dont know what youre doing! And who are you to interpret Gods will!?
Simpkin: Yeah! By what right?
Theodoric of York: Well the King. Its the law.
Mother: Well, the laws wrong. It should be changed.
Simpkin: You know, shes right. Theres a point in what shes saying.[ Theodoric guides around the trough and to the center. ]
Theodoric of York: Wait a minute perhaps shes right. Maybe the King doesnt have a monopoly on the truth. Maybe he should be judged by his peers. Oh! A jury! A jury of his peers. Of six good men! No wait! Eight good men! No!! Ten good men!! No, thats not enough 18 good men!! No, thats TOO MANY. Lets see 11 good men! Wait! 13 good men! No 11, 13, 11, 13 it doesnt matter. Okay. But everyone should be tried by a jury of their peers and be equal before the law. And perhaps, every person should be free from cruel and unusual punishment.[ Theodoric takes a brief pause. ]
Theodoric of York: Nah!!
Reeve: The Shire before the Court is now adjourned!![ Theodoric returns to the bench. ]
SUPER: THEODORIC OF YORK – MEDIEVAL JUDGE
Submitted by: Cody Downs