SNL Transcripts: Kate Jackson: 02/24/79: Fred Silverman II


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 4: Episode 13

78m: Kate Jackson / Delbert McClinton

Fred Silverman II

Fred Silverman…..John Belushi
Paul Gross…..Bill Murray
Voice of Receptionist…..Laraine Newman
…..Kate Jackson
Tom Snyder…..Dan Aykroyd

[FADE IN on Freddy and Paul standing in front of a board which displays NBC’s prime-time schedule for the coming fall.]

Paul: [taps board] Well… here’s the new schedule, just like you dictated it, Freddy.

Freddy: I like it! I like it very much.

Paul: I wanna say… a few members of the board were a little bit, uh… disturbed. [chuckles nervously] Surprised, I guess. Irv Goodman said, if he didn’t know better, he’d say you were trying to sabotage the network.

[Paul laughs awkwardly again. Freddy suavely straightens his tie.]

Freddy: Well, that’s why Irv’s in finance, and, uh, we’re in programming, Paul. [claps his shoulder]

Paul: Well, I must say that I share some of Irv’s… apprehension about it. If you’d let me play Nielsen’s advocate for a second… Uh, now, putting the “Today” show at eight o’clock at night, you know, that’s a little confusing, you know? The “Today” show made its reputation on being a morning show.

Freddy: But the “Today” show is one of our biggest shows. We NEED it in prime time. [taps board with finger]

Paul: Okay. But why did we hang on to “Little Women”? It was dead last in the ratings.

Freddy: Paul, let me give you a little lesson in creative programming. Y’know… uh, this thing that’s going on between the United States and Red China. It’s very important, you know that?

Paul: What’s it got to do with TV programming?

Freddy: “Little Women” is on nobody’s mind. But China is on everybody’s mind. So, next season, uh, we make “Little Women” into… “Little Chinese Women.”

[He stoops and holds out his hand to indicate a short person.]

Paul: [uncertainly] Well, I guess you know what you’re doing. Uh… all the NBC News contracts have been signed. Effective March 1st, David Brinkley will be replaced by Rip Taylor. [laughter] I just hope we don’t lose our credibility!

Freddy: Let’s leave credibility to Walter Cronkite and his core of holier-than-thou serious news journalists. He makes me wanna vomit!

Paul: Well, I don’t know, I don’t think Cronkite’s so bad, but… you’re the boss, Freddy!

[intercom on desk buzzes]

Freddy: Yeah?

Receptionist: Kate Jackson to see you, Mr. Silverman.

Freddy: Oh, send her right in.

Paul: Kate Jackson. She’s the smart one, isn’t she?

Freddy: Right, yeah.

Paul: [reaches toward desk] Well, I’ll get these contracts countersigned.

[Paul picks up the folder and steps toward the door. He opens it exactly as Kate turns the knob and walks in.]

Kate: Oh! Excuse me.

Paul: Oh, hi, er…

Kate: Hi.

Paul: Paul Gross. [shakes her hand] Nice to meet you.

Kate: Nice to meet you.

Paul: Say, how are things working out with that Saturday night group of crazies?

Kate: Oh, it seems to be going pretty well.

Paul: Boy, that’s a wigged-out bunch, y’know that, I don’t know whether they’re kidding me or what. [laughs]

Kate: Nice to meet you.

Paul: Nice meeting you, too. [starts to leave]

Kate: Bye-bye.

[She watches Paul exit and then steps over to Freddy.]

Freddy: [in a hushed voice] Kate, how’s everything going?

Kate: I don’t know, Freddy, it’s a little early to tell. Now, I talked to Gilda about, uh, your proposal for “Hello, Radner.”

Freddy: Good. Did you talk to, uh, Jane about “Mrs. Kojak”?

Kate: No, no I, look, could you just, could you just, uh, I don’t think she’s going to shave her head!


Freddy: Well, ask Laraine.

Kate: All right, now, look. [checks watch] I’ve gotta get back down there because I’m in another sketch right now, okay?

Freddy: Okay. See you later.

Kate: [pats his shoulder] See you later, Freddy.

[Kate dashes away. The intercom buzzes a moment later.]

Freddy: Yeah?

Receptionist: Paul’s on the line with the scrap iron people. They made an offer for the Supertrain.

[Audience laughs while Freddy sits down behind his desk and picks up the phone. A row of video monitors behind him displays the still shot of Kate Jackson seen in the previous commercial bumper.]

Freddy: Yeah, Paul. [pause] They’ll give us fifty dollars a ton? So let’s see, that’s… twenty-two hundred dollars. Which makes a… 11-million-dollar loss. Give or take a couple thousand. [sits back] What do you MEAN, they don’t want the caboose? That’s the best part! [pause] I know, I know! Listen, I got an idea. See if the caboose can float. I mean it! Maybe somebody could… No, wait. I got it. We’ll make it a series. “Caboose Cruise.” Every week it goes somewhere else. YES, I’m serious! [pause] We can give it to McLean. We’ll call it… “Ahoy, Larry.”

[intercom buzzes]

Freddy: Excuse me, Paul. [into intercom] Yeah?

Receptionist: Tom Snyder here to see you, Mr. Silverman.

[The audience bursts into applause.]

Freddy: [frantically] Tell him I’m not here! I’m NOT HERE! Does he know I’m in? I–

[He bites off his words as Tom walks in with a cream-colored leisure jacket, slicked-down hair, and a cigarette in his right hand.]

Tom: [over applause] Freddy? I know you’re a busy man, and I, I know you got good reasons why you haven’t returned my calls, whatever. We’re all busy, right–there are people whose calls I don’t return. Ah, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! [applause] Freddy, I understand through my stage manager, Shelly Schwartz, that you’re moving me to 10:00 p.m. Friday night! [extends his arms]

Freddy: That’s right, uh, it’s to get a bigger share of the audience. You’ll be premiering after a special two-hour “Hello, Larry.”

Tom: Freddy? You’ve done it again, sir. What can I say, sir? I take off my hat to ya, if I were wearing a hat, I’d take it off, I’d give it to ya. I’m sorry I go barging in like this–I’ll be seeing ya at… nine o’–ten o’clock Friday, nine o’clock Central time. [backs up to leave] From all of us on the prime-time shift, good night, sir, thanks a lot, and, I’ll, I love ya, and I’m not gonna do ya wrong!

[Tom exits to cheers and applause. Freddy rubs his forehead for a second and swivels around in his chair. The video monitors behind him display a waiting room set.]

Freddy: [into phone] Listen, Larry! Larry, I’m sorry, listen, I’ve gotta hang up. “Saturday Night Live” is coming on the screen. Uhh… uh, I haven’t seen the opening yet. I missed it. Here…

[ZOOM IN on the monitors as Freddy turns to watch.]

Submitted by: Sean

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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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