SNL Transcripts: Buck Henry: 11/10/79: Weekend Update with Jane Curtin & Bill Murray


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 5: Episode 4

79d: Buck Henry / Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Weekend Update with Jane Curtin & Bill Murray

…..Jane Curtin
…..Bill Murray
Jack Van Arks…..Al Franken
Father Guido Sarducci…..Don Novello

Announcer: And now, “Weekend Update”, with the “Weekend Update” news team. Here are anchorpersons Bill Murray and Jane Curtin.

Jane Curtin: Good evening. I’m Jane Curtin. Here now, the news. Our top story tonight:

The Chase Manhattan Bank, this week, raised its prime lending rate to 100%. A bank spokesperson said that the move eliminates the need for computers, calculators, clerks and accountants. All the bank needs is somebody around who can multiply by two.

Campaigning in Chicago this week, presidential contender Ted Kennedy was hit in the left shoulder with an egg. Ironically, his motorcade had just passed the Illinois Egg Depository.

A disappointing turnout greeted folk singer Joan Baez as she began her tour of refugee camps in Thailand. Promoters of the tour said the light attendance was possibly due to the price of tickets, which were scaled from $17.50 to $30.

Jane Curtin: Bill?

Bill Murray: Last week, the World Health Organization announced that smallpox had finally been wiped off the face of the Earth. We’re sorry to report that today it broke out at the other end: Buffalo, New York. Get well soon, Buffalo.

Rosalind Carter was in Thailand this week, where she visited a camp of sick and starving Cambodian refugees. Mrs. Carter said that, as a mother, the experience was emotionally overwhleming, and pledged to raise American consciousness of the situation by starving her own daughter, Amy.

Bill Murray: Jane?

Jane Curtin: It has been brought to our attention that in a recent “Weekend Update” editorial, we offended a good portion of our audience by claiming that all Black people have gotten consistently poor grades in Geography. Well, we’re sorry. What we meant to say was: All Black people look like Charles Kuralt.

This week, “Weekend Update” is debuting a new feature: “Your Turn”, in which we welcome concerned citizens to express their views on issues in our society. Today, to speak on behalf of the chemical industry, is industry spokesman Jack Van Arks. Jack?

Jack Van Arks: Thank you, Jane. You know, these days, a lot of people think that anything chemical is bad! And anything natural is good! Now, what these people forget is that nature IS chemical! Now, one of the reasons I think people have this prejudice against chemistry, is that it was such a difficult subject in school! I admit it myself. That’s why I majored in Public Relations! Believe me, I’m a lot better at communicating with people than I am at figuring out complicated equations and formulas! [ he snickers ] Now, the other day, I was eating lunch at a chemical factory when one of the lab scientists said to me, “Jack, you want some sodium chloride on your baked potato?” And I said, “Whoa-oa! Keep your lab chemicals away from my food!” And he said, “Jack! Sodium chloride! NaCl!” And I said, “I don’t care what you call it, I don’t want any sodium chloride near my potato!” Well, you know what sodium chloride turned out to be? [ he picks up a salt shaker ] Simple table salt! [ he sprinkles some in the lam of his hand, then chugs it into his mouth ] Pretty harmless! Well… no sooner is that amusing episode over, when I say, “Boy! My soup sure is hot!” And this chemist says, “Why don’t you put some dihydrogen oxide in it?” And I said, “Dihydrogen oxide? Sounds pretty ominous to me!” And he said, “Dihydrogen oxide. H2O.” Well, even I know what H2O is! Simple water. Well, I guess eating would be kind of boring without old NaCl, and life would be pretty near impossible without… dihydrogen oxide! So, you see — without chemicals, life would be boring AND impossible! Jane?

Jane Curtin: Thank you, Jack. Hey, Jack — how would you like a glass of H2SO4? [ she hands him a glass of clear liquid ]

Jack Van Arks: Oh, sure, Jane! What, uh — what is H2SO4, Jane? [ he takes a sip ]

Jane Curtin: [ laughing ] Well, it’s nothing more than simple household… sulfuric acid.

[ Jack Van Arks chokes violently on the sulfuric acid and collapses to the floor ]

Jane Curtin: The Pentagon announced that yesterday afternoon a computer malfunction sent out a false alert of a Soviet missile attack, causing ten U.S. and Canadian jet interceptors to take off from their bases. The foul-up was corrected within six minutes. The false alert never reached President Carter, Defense Secretary Harold Brown, or General David Jones, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. However, strangely enough, the report did reach Allen Ludden and Betty White, singer Roy Clarke, and the entire cast of “Sweeney Todd”.


Bill Murray: Testifying before a Senate economic committee this week, Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker said that balancing the federal budget was “as easy as smoking a cigar through your forehead.”

The results of the first Weekend Update Glickman Poll for presidential hopefuls were released today. Our staff sampling revealed the following figures: Carter, 33 1/3%; Kenendy, 33 1/3%; and Glickman, 33 1/3%. Good luck, Glick!

Bill Murray: And the Pope announced on Friday that the Central Government of the Cathoic Church is in serious financial trouble, and expects a budget deficit this year of $20.2 million. It seems that repurcussions have even reached as far as the Find the Popes in the Pizza contest. Here with the details, is Father Guido Sarducci. Father Sarducci?

Father Guido Sarducci: The response from the Find the Popes in the Pizza contest has just been fantastic. Over 50 million entries came in to NBC, and then was transported to the Vatican. And, in Rome, it’s just madness — everyone was delighted by the amount of the entries. But, also, it made a little problem for us, to tell the truth. We thought one, maybe two people, would be able to find all of the 264 Popes in the pizza. I mean, it was only on for thirty seconds on the screen. But the judges, they found that out of 50 million entries, almost 2,000 people found ALL of the Popes. And, as you know, I did promise that the winner would get to have this button. [ he holds up button ] It says: “I Saw the Pope On TV.” But, most unfortunately, we’re just not in a financial position at the present time to make up 2,000 buttons. It’s just not a burden that we can take on our shoulders at the present time. [ he reaches for a raffle hopper ] So what I’m gonna do, I got all of the finalists in here — all 2,000 winners — in this hopper, and i’m gonna mix up these letters and pick out ONE winner who gets to have the button. [ he stands up and grabs the crank ] Okay, all of these letters. Isn’t it amazing? But this is nothing compared to the letters that came into the mailroom. They just came in by the TON. You should have seen them, just coming in. We got this film, if we can roll it. Let me show you all the letters that —

[ cut to film footage of a mailroom attendant shaking letters out of a mailbag ]

Father Guido Sarducci V/O: There it is! Look at it! Look at that fella! They said that’s more letters than NBC got after they canceled “Bonanza”. Letters from all over the world, some even as far away as Japan and Mexico. Look at all of those letters, I’m-a telling you! Find the Popes in the Pizza… Find the Popes in the Pizza… another one… another one… that’s another one there… another one… that’s another one… Watch this! He finds this one letter, doesn’t know what to do with it. It’s for Belushi. “Return to Sender! Address Unknown!”

[ cut to film footage of NBC switchboard ]

Father Guido Sarducci V/O: That’s the NBC switchboard — all the people calling in, making sure they had the correct address.

[ cut to film footage of a crowd of people ]

Father Guido Sarducci V/O: Then, about a week ago, all kinds of people started showing up at St. Peter’s Piazza. Everybody wanted to be there when they named the winner.. Too bad it didn’t happen there, but there was a real fun in the air. It reminded me of Woodstock. It was really exciting. There was some counter demonstrations from the Italian Presbyterians. They were jealous because they don’t have their own Pope. They got a real chip on their shoulders. Look at that, see that? That’s a Presbyterian Salute. And that’s to you, too, Buddy! You know where you can-a put it.

[ return to the news desk ]

Father Guido Sarducci: Well… this is it! This is it now! Let’s-a see who’s gonna win this thing. I’m pretty excited. [ he pulls out a letter ] This is the winner! This name, it’s a him. His name is Wolf Zimmermann, from Evanston, Illinois. Congratulations, Wolf! [ the audience applauds ] Wolf, I take-a my hat off, symbolically, to you. And to all of the people who entered and didn’t win, I would like to say: “Thank you for entering, I’m sorry that you didn’t win.” You know, what are you gonna do? It’s just a contest, right? You know, someday, maybe there’ll be another contest. [ he picks up the button ] Wolf, I’m gonna send this in the mail to you, you know, just as soon as I get around to it. It weighs pretty much — I don’t know where I’m gonna get the money to mail it. You know, Wolf, maybe you could send me a couple of bucks, just to cover postage — $5, $6… $10, for sure, ought to be plenty. And to those of you who didn’t win, once again, I would liek to tell you the words of, I think it was Saint Matthew, who said: “It is probably better to have entered and lost, than not to have entered at all.” Arriverderci, America!

Bill Murray: That’s the news. We hope our buddy Al Camoin is feeling better. Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.

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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