SNL Transcripts: Michael Palin: 01/27/79: What If?s


Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 4: Episode 10

78j: Michael Palin / The Doobie Brothers
What If?
Written by: Jim Downey
Joan Face…..Jane Curtin
Kevin Temple…..Garrett Morris
Eileen Houton…..Gilda Radner
Hitler…..Michael Palin
Lois Laneoff…..Laraine Newman
Jimmy Olstein…..Al Franken
Klaus Kent/Uberman…..Dan Aykroyd
Jor-El…..John Belushi
Mr. Kent…..Bill Murray

Joan Face: Good evening, I’m Joan Face. Welcome again to “What If?” Each week on the show, we ask a hypothetical question about a specific historical event. Tonight’s question, like all our questions, comes from a Mr. Kevin O’Donnell, age 10, a paperboy from Alton, Illinois. Kevin asks, “What If Superman grew up in Germany, instead of America?” With us to help answer this question is our panel of experts: Brigadier General Kevin Temple, and Eileen Houton, Professor of Modern Histroy at Wellesly College, and owner of one of the largest comic book collections in the United States. Professor Houton, what if Superman grew up in Germany instead of America?

Eileen Houton: Well, Joan, as you know, Superman’s father, Jor-El, sent the infant Superman from Krypton toward the planet Earth, where he landed in Kansas, sometime around 1930. Superman adopted the philospohies of his new parents, the Kents: truth, justice, and the American way. Now, if he had landed in, say, Prussia, he would have adopted entirely different values.

Joan Face: So, what you’re saying is that the young Superman maywell have become a Nazi?

Eileen Houton: Exactly!

Joan Face: Well, of course, we should remember that at the time Superman was reaching manhood, Germany was at war with the United States. General, what would have happened if the Man of Steel had fought for the Third Reich?

Kevin Temple: Wait a minute, why didn’t Superman fight for us?

Joan Face: This is a hypothetical question, General.

Kevin Temple: Oh.. oh, yes.. I’m sorry.. Um..

Joan Face: Well, here’s tonight’s dramatization of: What if Superman had grown up in Germany instead of America?

[ dissolve into presentation ] [ SUPER: Berlin, 1943 – The Chancellory Headquarters of the Third Reich ] [ open on Hitler giving a speech ]

Hitler: The Russians are swine! Just one step above the Poles! Two steps above the Gypsies! Four steps above the Homosexuals! Five steps above the Negros! Nine steps above the Dwarves! Fifteen steps above the Gypsy Homosexuals! Twenty-seven steps above the Negro Gypsy Homosexual Dwarves! And forty-three steps above the Jews! Did I mention the Homosexual Jews? [ is assured he has ] Right! The meeting is over!

Generals: Heil, Hitler!

[ the Generals rise from their chairs and exit the Chancellory Headquarters.. except for one General who pauses to leave a ticking briefcase on the counter ]

Hitler: [ presses intercom ] Frau Guston, who is waiting to see me?

Voice on Intercom: Colonel Klink, and those three reporters fromthe Daily Planet.

Hitler: Send in the reporters!

[ the reporters are shown in ]

Reporters: Heil, Hitler!

Hitler: Well, I wish to praise your propaganda work in the newspaper! [ points to Lois ] Your must be..?

Lois Laneoff: Lois Laneoff, Mein Fuhrer. Und this is Jimmy Olstein.

Hitler: Olstein?!

Jimmy Olstein: E-Y-N, Mein Fuhrer! Dutch ancestors on myfather’s side!

Lois Laneoff: Und this is Klaus Kent.

Hitler: Klaus Kent! Aren’t you the man who beat Jesse Owens in ’36?

Klaus Kent: Ya.

Lois Laneoff: You, Klaus? You’re such a clumsy bumbler.

Klaus Kent: Yes, Lois. But I was younger then.. now, I’m just amild-mannered clerk for the Ministry of Propaganda. [ Klaus turns andnotices the ticking briefcase sitting on the counter – he uses his X-ray vision to discover a bomb inside ] Excuse me, Mein Fuhrer? Is that a janitor’s closet?

Hitler: Ya.

Klaus Kent: Excuse me for a moment. [ Klaus ducks inot to janitor’s closet, where he removes a piece of kryptonite and summons Jor-El ]

Jor-El: [ appearing ] My Son. My Son. I am your father, Jor-El. Your mother and I have sent you to Earth the only survivor of Krypton. As you hear this, I will have been dead many centuries, but I will reborn as Charlie Rich. On the planet Earth you have special powers and knowledge, which will separate you from mankind. Use these powers only for good, and above all you must never tamper with the destiny of man. And don’t eat junk food. [ disappears ] [ Klaus uses the kryptonite to summon his Earth father, Mr. Kent ]

Mr. Kent: My Son. When your Vearth mother und I found you in the Black Forest, we raised you as our own. We taught you how to battle at Versailles. How Jews are parasites. And how Germany vill one day bring order to the vorld. Und don’t, Son, ever lift those Volkswagens by the bumper – come right off in your hand. [ disappears ]

Klaus Kent: Ya! He’s right! I will use my powers for the fatherland. For I am.. [ strips off his Earth clothes to reveal his supercostume ] ..Uberman!

[ “Superman Theme” plays, as Uber-Man crashes through the janitor’s closet ]

Hitler: Wha..?

Uberman: Excuse me, Mein Fuhrer! Stand back! There’s a bomb inthis briefcase! [ thorws bomb to the floor, then dives on top of it. The bomb explodes, smoke rises, and Uberman stands up unharmed. ]

Hitler: You smothered the bomb with your body, and you’re not even bleeding! Who are you?

Uberman: I am.. Uberman! I have superhuman powers, and Ifight for untruth, injustice, and the Nazi way! And I have X-ray vision!

Lois Laneoff: X-ray vision? Can you see through my clothes?

Uberman: Ya! And through his, too. [ points at Jimmy Olstein ] He’s a Jew!

Jimmy Olstein: No! No, it’s not true! My parents were just very advanced in hygeine, that’s all..!

Hitler: Silence! Guard, take this Jew away!

Uberman: No need! I’ll drop him off at the camp on my vay to the Eastern front!

[ Uberman grabs Jimmy Olstein and flies out the window ]

Hitler: What an amazing stroke of luck. We might win this whole war!

[ cut to footage of troops marching – newspaper headline reads: “Uberman Takes Stalingrad in 5 Minutes”; second headline reads: “Uberman Rounds Up 2 Million Jews”; third headline reads: “Uberman Kills Every Person in England, U.S. Next” ] [ dissolve back to the “What If?” studio ]

Joan Face: Well, that looked pretty grim. I guess we would havelost the war.

Kevin Temple: Not necessarliy, Joan. As you know, Joan.. Superman, or Uberman, is vulnerable to one thing: kryptonite. The U.S. would have put all its energy into creating a kryptonite bomb in time to stop Uberman.

Eileen Houton: And after the war, with the entire British isles wiped out, it may well have become the Jewish homeland, and Israel would be in England today.

Joan Face: Ah. Well, thank you very much, General Temple, Professor Houton. Join us next week when we pose the question: “What if all women had snouzer faces?”

[ dissolve to audience shot, with SUPER: “coming up next… Is There A Super Bowl In Heaven?” ] [ fade ]

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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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