SNL Transcripts: Buck Henry: 11/11/78: Hunkler Headquarters


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 4: Episode 5

78e: Buck Henry / The Grateful Dead

Hunkler Headquarters

…..Laraine Newman
Dennis V. Hunkler…..Bill Murray
Victoria…..Gilda Radner
Bill Temple…..Garrett Morris
Betty Crane…..Jane Curtin
Staffer…..Alan Zweibel
Staffer…..Brian Doyle-Murray

[ open on Laraine Newman standing before a political podium at the Ramada Inn ]

Laraine Newman: This Laraine Newman, here at Hunkler Headquarters, in the small ballroom of the Ramada Inn, and the mood is somber. Hunkler, of course, is the congressional candidate who gained national attention by divorcing his wife of twelve years to marry a campaign aide, only to have the marriage annulled when it was revealed the girl was a minor. Evidently, voters did not buy Hunkler’s explanation that it was “an honest mistake”, because it appears that he has lost the congressional election by a record margin. In fact, not only will Hunkler’s opponent be the FIRST Republican in memory to WIN this traditionally Democratic seat, but it will be the first time that the Democrats have been outpolled by the Socialist Workers Party.

Hunkler trailed last evening; he trailed throughout the night; he continued to trail today; and, finally, this evening, with 99 of the precincts in, Hunkler’s staff has announced that he’s ready to concede. [ she looks behind her ] Oh — here he comes now.

[ Laraine steps out of frame, as the camera zooms closer to candidate Dennis V. Hunkler, now standing behind the podium and surrounded by his staff ] [ the crowd applauds and cheers ]

Dennis V. Hunkler: Thank you. [ sullenly ] My campaign manager has informed me that… even if I got every single vote in the remaining precinct, and every single absentee ballot… it is mathematically impossible for me to win.

Crowd: NO!! NO!!

Dennis V. Hunkler: Yeah — we lost. A few moments ago, I sent my opponent this telegram:

Crowd: NO!!

Dennis V. Hunkler: [ reading ] “Dear Congressman-Elect Trimble: My campaign manager has informed me that even if I get every single remaining vote, it is stillmathematically impossible for me to win. So here is the congratulatory telegram that I’m supposed to send. Sincerely, Dennis V. Hunkler.”

[ the crowd claps lightly ]

Dennis V. Hunkler: Now, I’d like to thank all those people who worked so hard —

Crowd: YEAH!! YEAH!!

Dennis V. Hunkler: My new girlfriend, Victoria, who has… stood by me. She stood by me in these past ten days, since the annullment.

My good friend Bill Temple, who helped me get the vote out in the Black community. Bill was the guy who got Coretta King to fly here to endorse me. And, Bill, let me take this opportunity, once again, to apologize for punching Mrs. King in the stomach. All I can say is, I — I had had a rough day, I was cranky, and I just did not recognize her. I’m sorry.

Uh — Betty Crane, my press secretary. Betty bore the brunt of a LOT of bad criticism I received after I accused my opponent of being an illegal alien. Once again, I was under a LOT of pressure, it was a televised debate — I just PANICKED! You know, I thought I could really get him with that one. [ he kisses Betty on the forehead ]

This has not been the easiest campaign. I have mde some mistakes. Any time you rely on your instincts, you’re bound to make mistakes. Perhaps “Let’s Raise Property Taxes Sky High” was not the best theme for a campaign in 1978. Uhhh — and we lost some time, early in the campaign — four months, to be exact — fulfilling my pledge to walk the state. [ scattered applause ] I don’t regret it. I don’t regret it. But, perhaps here, in a state like Montana, I would have been better off driving or even flying the state. But I’ve learned from my mistakes, and one thing I DO know is that I’ll be back in two years. [ cheers ] And, next time, WE’LL be the ones with 86%, and Mr. Trimble will be the one with 6%!

[ the crowd cheers loudly, as the camera pulls back to Laraine ]

Laraine Newman: Well, there you have it: A concession speech from Dennis V. Hunkler. But perhaps a ray of hope for the future. This has been Laraine Newman, “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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