SNL Transcripts: 10/03/81: The Funeral


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 7: Episode 1

81a: (none) / Rod Stewart

The Funeral

Aunt Edie…..Mary Gross
Ruth…..Robin Duke
Uncle Ed…..Tony Rosato
Ruth’s Mother…..Christine Ebersole
Father Riley…..Joe Piscopo
Rod…..Tim Kazurinsky

[FADE IN on a funeral home as soft, mournful music plays. Ruth is dressed in black and standing in front of a closed casket while a huge weath is being carried across the room. Another woman in black walks up slowly behind Ruth.]

Aunt Edie: [gently] I suppose you expect me to bite my tongue and say, “It’s all right.” Well, it’s not all right, it’s all wrong.

Ruth: Well, I’m sorry you don’t like it, Aunt Edie.

Aunt Edie: Don’t like it? I hate it. That’s my brother inside a closed casket. He didn’t believe in closed caskets. And what kind of color is that, that’s a sissy color.

Ruth: I picked it out, Aunt Edie.

Aunt Edie: Oh, Ruth. Why didn’t ya ask me? I’ve been through this a million times. Honest to God, nobody asks Aunt Edie about anything, and nobody says “thank you.” You know, I got your mother a discount on the obituary notice ’cause the neighbor’s nephew works at the Tribune-Democrat.

Ruth: [forcing politeness] Thank you, Aunt Edie.

Aunt Edie: Did you get the casserole?

Ruth: Yes, thank you.

Aunt Edie: You’ll thank me for it later. And don’t forget to return the casserole pan, I lose more pans at these things.

Ruth: Well… I’ll wash it and return it personally.

[Ruth turns to walk away, but Aunt Edie touches her arm.]

Aunt Edie: Honest to God, your father’d turn over in his grave if he knew he was in a closed casket.

Ruth: Aunt Edie–

Aunt Edie: But you kids nowadays do things your own way; I guess that’s the way it goes. [sighs deeply]

Ruth: [angrily] Aunt Edie, they couldn’t get the chicken bone out of his neck, okay?

[soft laughter]

Aunt Edie: Oh. Well… that’s a different story, then.

Ruth: Yes.

Aunt Edie: Well, I guess it’s not so bad.

Ruth: Thank you.

Aunt Edie: Course, he could’ve wore a scarf, but people would ask, “Why is he wearing a scarf at this time of year,” y’know? [laughter] I woulda wore one, I dunno…

Ruth: Excuse me, Aunt Edie, I just have to talk to Mom for a second, all right?

Aunt Edie: Okay.

[Ruth walks away, but a man in a conservative blue suit and an ugly brown tie calls out to her.]

Uncle Ed: [loudly] Hey, RUTHIE! Heyyy, so, Ruth, hey.

Ruth: Hi, Uncle Ed.

Uncle Ed: How are ya, dear?

Ruth: Oh, I’m fine.

Uncle Ed: Hey, I want ya to know your old man–or, your father, there, he was a wonderful man!

Ruth: [softly] Thank you.

Uncle Ed: Wonderful man, y’know that? I–y’know remember him, last month, there, at that, uh, wedding party for your brother!

Ruth: [whispers] Yeah.

Uncle Ed: Hey, y’know, your brother got that girl in trouble, huh? [guffaws obnoxiously] Like father, like son, I guess. Y’know, he just brought a brand new pair of shoes that day, too. He comes up to me, says, “Hey: why don’t you try these on, I betya we got the same foot size!” So I try them on, and what the hell… son of a gun, they FIT! [guffaws] A PERFECT FIT–heh heh heh heh heh heh heh! You don’t know if he still got ’em on, do ya?


Ruth: [outraged] Uncle Ed! LOOK!!

Uncle Ed: Oh no, I couldn’t, it’s a closed casket, maybe a little later, when everyone’s gone, yeah. Don’t worry about it.

Ruth: [covering her face] Well, uh, just talk to Mom, okay, later?

[She goes to leave, but he stops her.]

Uncle Ed: Oh, sure! I will, Ruthie, because I’ll tell ya, I think we’re both a 15 1/2-inch neck.

[Ruth gasps and steps over to her mother, who is standing next to a priest.]

Ruth: Mum…

Ruth’s Mother: Ruth? This is Father Riley. Father Riley, my daughter Ruth.

Father Riley: [shaking Ruth’s hand] Ruth, I’m so sorry.

Ruth: Oh, well, thank you, Father. Father, could I just have a few moments alone with Mum?

Father Riley: Oh, I understand.

[He pats both women’s shoulders gently. Ruth pulls her mother aside.]

Ruth: Mom, I can’t take much more of this.

Ruth’s Mother: Oh, I’m sorry, honey, it’s almost all over. Nothing more wrong is going to happen, I promise.

[As she comforts Ruth, a young man in a bright blue leisure suit with a light blue flowered shirt appears. With a wardrobe bag over his shoulder, he turns to them.]

Man: Ruth!

Ruth: Chuck!

Man: Rod!

Ruth: What are you DOING here?!

Rod: Hey, no probs! I knew you were upset, so I flew into Pittsburgh. I didn’t know how I was gonna find ya, but I just knew I had to!

Ruth: Rod–

Rod: Then it HIT me. You’d probably forget you and your father have the same surname!

Ruth: Rod–

Ruth’s Mother: [politely] I don’t believe we’ve met.

Rod: Rod Schapps. [shakes her hand] Ruth’s lover.


Ruth: No! [She looks frantically around at everybody, including Father Riley.] No! [losing her composure] He isn’t!

Rod: YES! Yes, he is! [points to casket] He’s DEAD! And the sooner you understand that, the sooner you can move–LOOK!! He’s DEAD, Ruth, he’s dead!! Ruth– [hands bag to priest] Excuse me. Your Holiness, I can handle this. [grabs Ruth’s arms] C’mon, sweetheart, it’s okay.

[The others clear away as Ruth struggles in Rob’s grasp.]


Rod: Let it go!

Ruth: Why don’t you just go away? Lemme go!

Rod: [pulling her closer] Let it go! Let it go! Get it out of your system! Have a good cry!

[She finally collapses on his shouder and sobs.]

Ruth: [muffled] Noooooo…

Rod: [cranes neck toward others] What’re ya staring at, huh? Have you ever seen anyone have a nervous breakdown before? Go on about your business! [turns back] No, honey, it’s all right, it’s okay. [tries to kiss her]

Ruth: Rod, Rod, Rod, Rod, listen to me!

Rod: What’s the matter?

Ruth: [grabs his arms] Listen to me close!

Rod: I’m listening, I’m listening.

Ruth: You have got to understand this!

Rod: Yeah…

Ruth: I am normal, Rod. I’m normal. And you’re not!


Rod: I KNOW that! I know–remember when I told ya about that famous guy that died? What’s his name, BIG guy! I wanted to cry. I wanted to cry but I couldn’t. And that’s what I love about you.

Ruth: What?!

Rod: You just don’t understand, do you? You’re so innocent. [caresses her face]

Ruth: Rod. You are such a tool. [laughter] You are never gonna believe that I don’t like you the least little bit, are you? [waves hand in his face] Just doesn’t register! Rod, you are amazing!

[Rod grins sheepishly and looks at the floor.]

Ruth: [grabs his shoulders] Rod, I, I’m tired. I’m exhausted. Yes, I am, and right now I just need to be alone with my family.

Rod: [softly] Oh, sure. I understand.

Ruth: Okay? And I was just–I was FINE until you got here!

Rod: You cried on account of me?

Ruth: Technically speaking, yes.

Rod: Ahhhh, GEEEEEEZ!

Ruth: Rod, shut up, shut up and let me finish, all right?

Rod: Yeah.

Ruth: Now, I, I, I don’t have much strength left–I want you to go to your van.

Rod: No, I flew in.

Ruth: Well, then go to your hotel.

Rod: Okay.

Ruth: Okay? And wait for me there, and I promise I’ll come by later, and I’ll–

Rod: Promise?

Ruth: I–yes. Hope to die.

Rod: Okay.

Ruth: Okay? Okay.

Rod: [pulls out a matchbook] I’m staying at the Monongahela Arms, out on Route 54 out by the airport! See, there’s directions on the matches.

Ruth: Okay.

Rod: There’s a little map there.

[Rod turns from her and steps over to the mourners.]

Rod: Can I have my bag–thank you, Father. [takes wardrobe bag from priest]

Uncle Ed: You’ll like that hotel. I’ve been there myself.


Rod: [turning back to Ruth] Listen… you… you better not keep me waiting too long. I think the maid’s kinda sweet on me. She pulled the covers down on my bed, and she put a chocolate mint on my pillow.


Ruth: [hopefully] Great.

Rod: Naw, I was just kiddin’, c’mon, I don’t go for girls that throw themselves at ya.

[Out of nowhere, Ruth is overcome by passion.]

Ruth: [whispers] Rod.

[He mashes his lips against hers and bends her over almost to the floor. She grabs him to keep from falling. He pulls her up and breaks the kiss.]

Rod: [hushed] Okay, babe, take care…

[He dashes out of the room, but stops cold in the doorway and turns back.]

Rod: Dan Blocker!

Ruth: What?

Rod: “Bonanza”! Remember I talked about that famous guy died? Big guy? Dan Blocker!

Ruth: Rod, go. [She pushes him out through the doorway as he blows her a kiss.] Good, Rod. Go.

[She turns back in and walks straight into Uncle Ed.]

Uncle Ed: Hey, Ruth, was that guy one of your, uh, y’know…

Ruth: [stalks off] Drop dead, Uncle Ed!

Uncle Ed: Sure, no problem, sorry.

Ruth: [clasping her mother’s hands] Mom, listen. Mom, listen. I, I, I, I’ll explain this all later.

Ruth’s Mother: Look, you don’t have to, I’m a woman, I understand.

Ruth: No, you don’t understand. Mom, I’ve gotta get to Rod before the Humane Society picks him up, all right? [turns to leave] I’ll be home in a couple of hours.

[Ruth dashes away as the mourners gather again.]

Aunt Edie: You get the casserole?

Ruth’s Mother: Yes, thank you.

Aunt Edie: You’ll thank me for it later.

[Audience applauds as Uncle Ed steps in with a pair of brown shoes in his hand and starts to take off his own shoes. ZOOM OUT.]

Submitted by: Sean

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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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