SNL Transcripts: Howard Hesseman: 12/08/79: The Nuclear Family


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 5: Episode 6

79f: Howard Hesseman / Randy Newman

The Nuclear Family

Dad…..Howard Hesseman
Mom…..Jane Curtin
Son…..Peter Aykroyd
Daughter…..Laraine Newman

[ open on footage of the nuclear reactors at Three Mile Island, over bouncy music ]

Announcer: And now, it’s time for… “The Nuclear Family”.

[ title card appears over a lone house situated between two large nuclear reactors ] [ dissolve to interior, living room ] [ Mom enters room yawning, still in her overnight robe. She lightly dusts a lampshade before sitting down on the couch ] [ Dad enters ]

Dad: [ groggy-voiced ] Hey, I’m home.

Mom: Oh hi, honey! How was work?

Dad: Oh, okay. I’m just bushed. I sure am glad the plant’s nearby — if it was any further, I-I think I’d just have to… [ he collapses into a chair along the wall ] get another job.

Mom: Well, why don’t you make yourself a drink?

Dad: [ he stands ] No, no, no. I’m really too tired. [ he moves over to sit next to his wife on the couch ] How was your day?

Mom: Fine. Fine. I just got up a little while ago.

Dad: Oh, yeah. [ he begins to fiddle with a tooth ] I think this one’s gonna be gone by morning. [ he pulls the tooth out ] No.

Mom: Oh. Another one. Oh golly, honey. [ she nearly loses her train of thought ] Oh, uh, by the way — we’ve been invited over to dinner with the Stelsons.

Dad: Again? [ she nods ] I don’t feel like going, honey. I have a cold.

Mom: Oh now, honey, you can’t use that excuse again.

Dad: But I AM sick! I’ve had this cold for months. I just can’t shake it.

Mom: Well, have you seen the company doctor?

Dad: Yeah. I must have been X-rayed a hundred times.

[ their Son enters the door, his arm in a sling ]

Billy: Hi.

Mom: Hi, Son! What happened to you?

Dad: You hurt yourself in practice?

Billy: Not exactly. I was in the locker room at school, and I pulled my t-shirt over my head and heard this snap. I think I broke my arm.

Mom: Ohhhhh, well, well, Mr. Briitle Bones!

Dad: Ah, sometimes I think you’ll do anything to get out of helping us around the house so he can spend more time with that girlfriend of his!

Billy: Come on, Dad.

[ he sits next to his dad on the couch ] [ Dad laughs playfully and pats the boy’s head, accidentally pulling a clump of hair loose from the back ]

Mom: Listen, how is Janie, anyway? I haven’t seen her around here. Did you two have a fight? She used to be around here all the time.

Billy: Aw, she hasn’t been feeling too well lately.

Mom: Ohhh. I hope it’s not too serious. [ she scratches her hair and pulls out a clump attached to a roller ] She’s such a cute girl.

Dad: The boy spends TOO much time with her, if you ask me. Now, maybe he’ll pay more attention to his school work. By the way, Billy — I think I can pull a few strings and get you a job at the plant this summer.

Billy: I don’t know, Dad. Could we talk about that later? I’m really tired now. [ he dozes off ]

Dad: [ surrendering ] Okay.

[ their daughter enters the front door ]

Daughter: Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad.

Mom: [ chuckling ] What took you so long?

Daughter: Oh, I rested on the way.

Mom: Don’t you have a big date tonight, honey?

Daughter: Oh, not any more. I told Ryan I couldn’t make it. [ she starts to pull clumps of hair from her head ]

Mom: Why not?

Daughter: I’m not going anywhere until my skin clears up! I don’t think it ever will.

Mom: Honey, ALL young girls your age go through this. If you’d just stop picking at that sore, it would go away!

Daughter: But I HAVEN’T been picking it, I SWEAR! It just won’t go away! I’m gonna start wearing a veil to school.

Mom: Why don’t you have a glass of lemonade? It’s got LOTS of sugar in it, it’ll pick you right up!

Daughter: No. I don’t think so. I feel a little queasy. I think I’m just gonna go to my room.

[ she exits the living room ]

Mom: Billy? Some lemonade?

Billy: [ thinking ] Yeah. I guess I could hold that down.

Mom: Then, why don’t you go fix it?

Billy: Okay.

[ Billy exits to the kitchen ]

Dad: Honey, uh, why don’t you just call the Stelsons, and just tell them that we’re not coming, okay?

Mom: Ohhh, no, honey. You’re not getting out of it this time.

Dad: Then, just let me get a little shuteye first, hmm? Could you turn out the light?

Mom: Okay, dear.

[ she crosses the room, turns out the light, then exits ] [ reveal Dad laying asleep on the couch in the dark, as green light radiates from his chest ]

Announcer: Join us tomorrow for more fun with “The Nuclear Family”.

[ fade ]

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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