SNL Transcripts: Steve Martin: 05/17/80: Reagan Dinner

 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 5: Episode 19

79s: Steve Martin / 3-D, Paul & Linda McCartney

Reagan Dinner

Stephanie…..Laraine Newman
Ronald Reagan…..Harry Shearer
Niles…..Bill Murray
Ed…..Steve Martin
Nancy Reagan…..Jane Curtin
Waiter…..Brian Doyle-Murray

[ open on restaurant setting, zoom in on table of Governor Ronald Reagan and his party ]

Stephanie: Governor, what do you think of President Carter’s policy on the influx of Cuban refugees?

Ronald Reagan: Well, I’d say the answer to that is… Maybe it’s time we put President Carter on welfare.

[ the group laughs ]

Niles: Governor, that’s very glib, but if my paper is going to endorse you in the Primary, we’ll need more than just cute one-liners.

Ed: Now, Niles, be fair — the man hasn’t finished his dinner yet, and already you want a State of the Union Address!

Stephanie: Well, I think Niles sometimes underestimates the value of a good one-liner. I mean, that’s what viewers seem to remember most about our newscasts — a good kicker line! I mean, we had one the other night. I think it was, uh… It was raining this month, too, and we had… we were doing a special series on how to lose weight. And my co-anchorperson, Bob Hawkins, just ad-libbed this line: “The more weight you lose… [ thinking ] the less of you there is to sweat!” Well, I want to tell you that switchboard went CRAZY! And the crew, of course… well, they loved it!

Ronald Reagan: [ smiling ] That’s great.

Niles: Governor, I know we don’t have you very much longer…

Ronald Reagan: No, and I’m sorry about that, but you know how tightly they schedule your time once it becomes pretty obvious that… you’re gonna win. Everybody wants a little piece of you. I think next time’s supposed to be at a potato festival in Boise!

Ed: Uh, Governor, for your own reference, the next appearance is at a Lion’s Club dinner in Seattle. The Potato Festival was last week.

Ronald Reagan: Oh, yes… yes, yes, that’s right. Nancy, that was where you sat on that cottage fry, wasn’t it, Mommy?

Nancy Reagan: No, dear, that was Denver.

Ronald Reagan: Yes… well. That’s substantially what I said.

Niles: Well, Governor, what about the hostages? Now, if we don’t back down… do we bomb our way in?

Ronald Reagan: Well, sir… I kind of look at it this way: Maybe it’s time we put the Ayatollah Khomeini on welfare!

[ the group laughs ]

Stephanie: Well, Governor, that would be one welfare mother we could do without, huh?

Ronald Reagan: [ he chuckles ] I think so!

Ed: Uh, on that note, I think we’re gonna have to blow the whistle here. But please be our guest for dinner, alright? [ he grabs the bill ]

Niles: No, no… we went over that before, Ed. Our paper has a policy that we never go out on anybody’s tab.

Ed: Now, come on — even the next President’s?

Niles: Anybody’s. Let’s divvy up the bill instead. [ he takes out some cash ]

Stephanie: I’m just thinking… I wonder if our station has a policy on that? [ Niles turns away ] I guess we do.

Ronald Reagan: Well… I had the uh, veal cordon bleu, and Mommy had the salmon tips, and, uh, if we split the wine, that would put us at about thirty dollars.

Ed: Uh, sir, if I remember correctly, you had the steak, Stephanie had the veal.

Ronald Reagan: Oh… yes.

Stephanie: Oh, that’s right! The man is so convincing, you know? I forgot what I had! It’s amazing, it really — it’s a gift!

Ronald Reagan: Well, then, Ed, uh… I guess, as I recall, the steak — I have a kind of mind for these kind of trivial figures. I think it wwas $5.95, wasn’t it?

Ed: Uh, sir… just to err on the side of accuracy, the steak was $12.75.

Ronald Reagan: [ laughing ] Well, you know, if you run for President every four years, you don’t often pay for your own steak!

Niles: [ handing money over ] Well, here’s $20 — that should cover me.

Stephanie: [ handing money over ] Yeah, here’s $20 for me — I should get three back.

Ronald Reagan: [ handing money over ] Here you go, Ed – that’s for me and Mommy!

Ed: [ hands money to Stephanie ] Here’s three back. [ he looks up ] Waiter?

[ the Waiter comes over to collect the bill ]

Ronald Reagan: [ to his party ] I just want to re-emphasize, once again, how unjust it is that Vietnam veterans are NOT eligible for the G.I. Bill. Now, Mr. Carter has had FOUR years —

Waiter: Uh, excuse me for eavesdropping, but… my brother is a Vietnam vet, and, uh, the G.I. Bill put him through Med School. [ he walks off ]

Ronald Reagan: Well… maybe we ought to put the Maitre’d on welfare! [ the group is silent ] Well, I’m not gonna give you a little speech about how you should endorse me in the Primary. I think you two can make up your own minds about what’s best for the people of Oregon.

Niles: Yes, sir.

Ronald Reagan: But I can tell you one thing: That check would have been a lot smaller… if this state didn’t impose a sales tax on its people. Well… good meeting you, Niles. [ he shakes Niles’ hand ] All my best, Stephanie. [ he shakes Stephanie’s hand ]

Stephanie: Thank you.

Ronald Reagan: Come on, Mommy! We don’t want to keep those Potato Heads waiting!

Ed: [ getting up ] We’ll check back in a few days, folks. If there’s anything we can do, please give us a call, alright? Thank you. Good bye.

Ronald Reagan: Good bye.

Nancy Reagan: Bye.

Ed: Let’s go.

[ Ed leads Mr. and Mrs. Reagan out of the restaurant ]

Stephanie: Niles, Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax, do we?

Niles: No.

Stephanie: I didn’t think so. God, it’s amazing!

Niles: [ steamed ] Yes. It is.

Stephanie: I mean, the man looks TEN YEARS younger in person, don’t you think?

[ Stephanie exits the booth, as Niles gives her a furrowed look ] [ camera pans out on set, with SUPER: “Coming up next: Steosexuality” ] [ fade ]

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