Eric Is Sick


Eric Is Sick

Doctor…..Harry Shearer
…..Gilda Radner
…..Lorne Michaels
…..Buck Henry

[ open on tight shot, door to Eric Idle’s dressing room (labelled 8H-7) ] [ the door opens, and out steps a casually-dressed doctor in glasses and stethoscope; he sighs heavily before heading down the hall, where he runs into Gilda Radner and Jane Curtin ]

Gilda Radner: Doctor. How is he?

Doctor: It’s not good.. Not good. [ continues down the hall ] [ cut to Lorne Michaels knee-deep in conversation with Buck Henry, as a cavalcade of the evening’s jokey non-performances – including a guy walking a llama – pass through the hall; the Doctor approaches ]

Lorne Michaels: Doctor. How is he?

Doctor: Mr. Michaels, this man has a 104 temperature, he has a cute laryngitis, and yet, even in his delerious state, he insists in going on! However, in my opinion, there is no way that Eric Idle is capable of doing a show tonight.

Buck Henry: [ being helpful ] I’ll go on.

Lorne Michaels: Doctor, he’s a pro. If he says he can do it, he can do it, uh.. it’s not gonna kill him.

Doctor: I’d say if he performs, he has a 50-50 chance of surviving the show.

Buck Henry: [ sounding needy ] I’ll go on.

Lorne Michaels: I can’t believe this..

Doctor: Uh, what I don’t understand is, Mr. Michaels, is why you didn’t call me earlier. This is a very sick man.

Buck Henry: [ pleading ] I’ll go on!

Lorne Michaels: Well, I thought it was the.. Dylan being here. You know? All week, everyone was making such a fuss about Dylan.. Eric’s an actor, I just thought that this sore throat was an attempt to get attention.

Buck Henry: [ now sounding desperate ] I’ll go on..

Doctor: Well, I’m telling you, if you put that man on stage in his present condition, he may die!

Buck Henry: [ yelling upon deaf ears ] I can go on!

Lorne Michaels: I’m afraid that’s a chance I’m gonna have to take, Doctor.

Doctor: Alright.. but you’re gonna have to take full responsibility.

Buck Henry: [ frantically ] I’ll go on!

Lorne Michaels: [ sighs ] How long will it take to get him ready?

Doctor: Well.. I could shoot him up with some Cordazon.. but I want you to know shooting a patient up with drugs goes against everything I stand for as a doctor! You’re asking me to tear up the Hippocratic Oath and throw it in the toilet! You’re asking me to abandon every principle held by the medical profession! I-I-I absolutely refuse!

Buck Henry: Lorne, the doctor is right. What you’ve got in there is a half-dead Englishman! Someone who can’t possibly get up in time to host the show! Now, I can give you the energy and the enthusiasm you need! Listen to this: “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!

[ a beat, as Lorne and the Doctor stare at Buck ]

Doctor: [ shakes head with relunctance ] Well.. I’ll give him the shots.. [ returns to Idle’s dressing room ] [ dissolve to opening montage, as the SNL Band catches up from the non-traditional opening by the third frame ]

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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