SNL Transcripts: Burt Reynolds: 05/24/80: ABC News


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 5: Episode 20

79t: Buck Henry / Andrew Gold, Andrae Crouch & Voices of Unity

ABC News

Frank Reynolds…..Harry Shearer
George Bush…..Jim Downey
Ted Kennedy…..Bill Murray
Oliver Selenko…..Paul Shaffer



ABC News Anchor FRANK REYNOLDS is seated, facing the camera.


Frank Reynolds: Good Evening. Last September, when the 1980 Presidential Election was only a year and a half away, we began covering the campaign. Tonight, two months before the conventions start, are projections have given the Republican nomination to Ronald Reagan and the Democratic nomination to Jimmy Carter. Hopefully, by Labor Day, we shall be able to project the actual election winner… And we can all spend September and October concentrating on football.



Frank Reynolds: So now this long primary campaign, this string of Tuesday nights, this raid of bar graphs and exit polls, the sleazy morning after in hotel bars – it all comes to an end. And like everything else in this election season, we at ABC News are bringing it to you two months early. Surely, the clearest sign that Carter and Reagan have clear sailing ahead came this week with the holding of a unique political forum.


Frank Reynolds: A consolation debate between Teddy Kennedy and George Bush, which will help to decide who comes in third place when Campaign ’80 closes the record books. This first ever confrontation between non-frontrunners, sponsored by The League of Voters Who Dress Like Women, was held earlier today. Here are some highlights of that consolation debate. First, George Bush…


GEORGE BUSH stands at a podium.

George Bush: I see America moving ahead in this decade.


George Bush: I see problems… sure. But if we didn’t have problems, there would be no need for solutions. I welcome the opportunity to debate Senator Kennedy. Sure, nobody will really win. Sure, it won’t count at the convention. Sure, it’s meaningless in November… but that’s the excitement of it. The sense that you’re doing something, just because you want to do it. And because, you want, you have nothing else to do.


Frank Reynolds: The candidates disagreed on Iran; Bush saying the President was too indecisive while Mr. Kennedy felt he wasn’t decisive enough. And then Mr. Kennedy made a final statement.


TED KENNEDY stands at a podium.

Ted Kennedy: I want to speak! To all the people out there who never won anything — except perhaps, the New York primary? All the people who enter sweepstakes…


Ted Kennedy: Who send in coupons from their Sunday paper? The little people of this country, who don’t even feel they have a chance to win. Even though their being told by the President and the media and others that they may have already won. I want those people to feel for once in their lives that someone is achieving something on their behalf. I want to win this debate and use this victory as a platform to try to give new meaning to the word “third place finish”. To make that a position of power, a position of importance, to do things for people like me — the people tonight who are not being notified by mail that they are winners.


Reynolds shakes his head.

Frank Reynolds: Quite moving when you stop to think about it. With us in our Washington studios tonight to help evaluate the campaign is our Director of Polling — Oliver Selenko.

Reynolds turns his chair to a monitor displaying OLIVER SELENKO, who’s standing beside a chalkboard labeled VOTING SUB-GROUPS 1976 and a circle below it.

Frank Reynolds: Ollie, based on what we know now, and what we don’t yet know — how does a Reagan-Carter race stack up in November?

Oliver Selenko: Well Frank, to understand an election, you have to understand the groups who are voting. Different groups of people vote in different ways and some don’t vote at all.

The SCREEN fills up with Oliver’s story.

Oliver Selenko: Statistically, this concept is often illustrated with the pie chart.


Oliver Selenko: In which, the different influence of sub-groups can be shown. Let’s take, for example, the blacks, who voted for Carter in 1976. But now, not as likely to vote, they may account for only six percent of the voting margin — a very small slice of the overall pie.

Oliver smears a piece of pie into the circle.

Oliver Selenko: Now, on the other hand, take the middle-class Protestants. Not only are they numerically a large group-

Frank Reynolds (V/O): Now, you’re talking about raw numbers now? Right, Ollie?

Oliver Selenko: Naturally. But they also turn out in larger percentages. And that makes them more significant in the election pie.

Oliver smears a larger piece of pie into the circle.

Frank Reynolds: Ollie, with the ERA and all, women will be a significant factor in this Presidential race. Could you break them out as a separate group?

Oliver Selenko: No problem there, Frank. Women are the most significantly statistic group in the entire voting population, and I think our chart makes that abundantly clear.

Oliver smears a massive piece of pie into the circle.

Frank Reynolds: Well, Ollie, I know pollsters are a careful breed. Have you seen anything in your crystal ball on how these groups will actually vote in November?

Oliver Selenko: No, not much crystal ball work yet, Frank.

Oliver has pieces of pie which have ruined his suit and he tries to flick them off.

Frank Reynolds: Well, plenty of time of it for the months ahead. And so, in midpoint of the ’80 vote, to all those faces and voices we shall see no more, to Lyndon LaRouche, and Bob Dole, and Jerry Brown, and Phil Gramm, we…

Reynolds is handed a piece of paper.

Frank Reynolds: This just handed to me. “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”

Submitted by: Cody Downs

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Author: Don Roy King

Don Roy King is directing his fourteenth season of Saturday Night Live. That work has earned him nine Emmys and thirteen nominations. Additionally, he has been nominated for thirteen DGA Awards and won in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Mr. King is also the creative director of Broadway Worldwide which brings theatrical events to theaters. The company has produced Smokey Joe’s Café; Putting It Together with Carol Burnett; Jekyll & Hyde; and Memphis, all directed by Mr. King. He completed the screen capture of Broadway's Romeo & Juliet in 2013. - LinkedIn

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