Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 4: Episode 6
Doctor … Jane Curtin
Mrs. Gilbert … Gilda Radner
Mr. Gilbert … John Belushi
Orderly #1 … Dan Aykroyd
Orderly #2 … Bill Murray
Nurse #1 … Laraine Newman
Nurse #2 … Carrie Fisher
Mr. Wilkie … Garrett Morris
Singer … Bill Murray
[Hospital room. Doctor confers with Mr. and Mrs.Gilbert next to the bed of Mrs. Gilbert’s comatosemother.]
Mrs. Gilbert: [distressed] Doctor, what do youmean she could live for another year in all thispain?
Doctor: All I’m saying is that she has terminalmetastasis of the liver and vertebrae and will neverbe capable of walking, moving or communicating. Andbecause of a total deterioration of thevestibulo-colear nerve, she is, however, capable ofexperiencing excruciating pain.
Mrs. Gilbert: Oh …
Mr. Gilbert: [puts a comforting arm around hiswife] I don’t wanna sound cold about it but, uh, twothousand dollars a day to keep an old woman who’s hada full, happy life in excruciating pain doesn’t soundlike much of a bargain to me. … [to the doctor] So,uh, why don’t you just, uh, shut off all thosemachines?
Doctor: Well, we can’t do that. Not without thepermission of the closest of kin and that would beyou, Mrs. Gilbert.
Mrs. Gilbert: Oh, I just don’t – I just don’tknow. I mean, what would mother want? I wish she couldgive us a signal or something.
Mr. Gilbert: Aw, honey, let’s face it. She’s aveg. …
Mrs. Gilbert: I – I’m sorry but I can’t be theone to give my permission to let her die.
Doctor: Well, then, our hands are tied. I’msorry.
Orderly #1: [pulls file, reads it] Yeah, here’sone in 1217. “Terminal metastasis of the liver andvertebrae, deterioration of the vestibulo-colear nervebundle.”
Orderly #2: She must be in a lot of pain. Arethey gonna let her die with dignity?
Orderly #1: Let’s see. [turns pages in file]No! [grimly] They’re keepin’ her on themachines.
Orderly #2: [sighs] Sounds like a job for us,all right.[Dramatic music. SUPER: MERCY KILLERS logo — completewith an unplugged electric cord and an open electricoutlet.]
Don Pardo V/O: And now it’s time for “MercyKillers”! The unsung heroes of the terminallyill![Hurry music as the doctor enters and switches on thelights. The orderlies quickly return the file, closethe cabinet drawer, and try vainly to lookinnocent.]
Doctor: What are you two doing in myoffice?
Orderly #1: [lying badly] We – we passed byyour office. We heard some noise. We came in andsurprised some creep in a leather jacket. We tried tograb him but – he ran out.
Orderly #2: Yeah. That’s it. I don’t think hetook anything.
Doctor: [somehow convinced, sits at desk,focuses on paperwork] Oh, good. ‘Cause there’s beenstrange things going on in this hospital. You twodon’t know anything about that mysterious death inpost-op, do you?[The orderlies glance at one anotherknowingly.]
Orderly #2: [after a long pause,unconvincingly] No. We’re orderlies. We just – cleanbedpans.[The doctor nods, convinced.]
Orderly #1: [to Orderly #2] Come on. Let’s goclean bedpans.
Orderly #2: Yeah. Hey, wait up.[The orderlies exit. Transitional music as we dissolveback to the hospital room where two nurses escort apatient, Mr. Wilkie, into the room and put him in thebed next to Mrs. Gilbert’s comatose mother.]
Nurse #1: All right. Not too fast.
Nurse #2: Take it easy.
Mr. Wilkie: [walking gingerly] Ahhh….
Nurse #2: That’s it.
Nurse #1: Not too fast.
Nurse #2: That’s it.
Mr. Wilkie: [gets in bed] You know, you know,ladies, I – I feel fine. Why don’t both of you hopinto bed with me and let me try out my newvasectomy?
Nurse #2: Now, now, Mr. Wilkie, you’ll be outof here tomorrow and you can do whatever you want but,until then, we’ll follow hospital regulations. [puts ascreen between the room’s two beds]
Mr. Wilkie: [indicates Mrs. Gilbert’s mother]Hey, uh, who’s, uh, in that bed over there?
Nurse #1: [readies a hypodermic needle] Neveryou mind. It’s just someone fast asleep – which iswhat you’re gonna be in a second – once thesesedatives kick in. After that, all you’ll want to dois go to sleep.
Mr. Wilkie: Okay. I am pretty sleepy already.Good night.
Nurse #1: Good night.
Nurse #2: Good night.
Mr. Wilkie: [sleepily] Good night.[yawns] [The nurses shut off the lights and exit as Mr. Wilkiebegins to doze. After a moment, the Mercy Killersenter with flashlights.]
Orderly #1: This is it! 1217!
Orderly #2: There’s the bed. Here’s thepatient.[They stand on either side of Mr. Wilkie’sbed.]
Mr. Wilkie: Uh, hey, who are youpeople?
Orderly #1: [unconvincingly reassuring] It’sokay. Uh, we’re just orderlies. It’s allright.
Orderly #2: [to Orderly #1] Hey, didn’t thefile say seventy-eight year old femaleCaucasian?
Orderly #1: Yeah, it did. Anothermistake in the file system! … This hospital’sreally going downhill. Let’s do it.
Mr. Wilkie: Uh, what’s going on, fellas?Hey![The orderlies suddenly take a pillow from behind Mr.Wilkie’s head and start to smother him with it.Orderly #2 holds the pillow, leaving #1 to strugglewith Mr. Wilkie’s wildly flailing arms. The patient’sscreams are muffled by the pillow.]
Orderly #2: [loses his nerve] Stop! Wait aminute! Maybe we shouldn’t be taking thisresponsibility.
Orderly #1: [annoyed] What do you mean? Why doyou always pull this on me at the last minute?[grimly, rapidly] I’m gonna tell you a little storyabout a guy who dreamed of going to medical school tobe a surgeon but he couldn’t — ’cause his father waslying in silent agony for years while the family wasspiritually and financially drained. And that guy, hecouldn’t go to medical school so he had to become anorderly, clean bedpans, and the only way he could helppeople was by letting them die in dignity like this.[Mr. Wilkie has been struggling and flailing his armsin an undignified manner throughout the entirespeech.]
Orderly #2: Gee, did that story happen toyou?
Orderly #1: [as if it were obvious] No. [backto business] Give me a hand with this guy.[Mr. Wilkie finally succumbs, though there is anamusing final flailing of the arms.]
Orderly #1: Another merciful death.[Mentally and physically exhausted, the Mercy Killerswalk away from their patient.]
Orderly #2: [with a backward glance] Well, atleast we won’t have to clean up after this one anymore.
Orderly #1: [solemnly] The people we help cannever thank us. All we can expect is that maybesomeday, someone will write a song about us. …[casually] Come on, let’s go get some coffee and asweet roll.[They exit as the Theme from “Mercy Killers” playsover the show’s closing credits, which aresuperimposed over stills from other episodes of theseries:]
Singer V/O: [sings cheesily]
They kill not because they want to
Because they think it’s right to
In some cases
Have mercy on them and someday they may
Have mercy on you
The mercy killers
Have mercy on you
The mercy killers!
A Quonset Production
Dr. Robert Marks, D.D.S.
ALL MERCY KILLERS
stories are true, based
on files stolen from
the State of Nevada.] [STILL PHOTOS: The Mercy Killers in a darkeneddoctor’s office with flashlight and file folder;entering a darkened hospital room with flashlight andlarge hypodermic needle; squeezing a patient’s I.V.tubes; smothering a patient in bed.]