SNL Transcripts: Donald Pleasence: 10/31/81: Profiles In British Courage


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 7: Episode 4

81d: Donald Pleasence / Fear

Profiles In British Courage

Colonel Harold Sweeney…..Donald Pleasence
Baktu…..Tony Rosato
Lieutenant Whitten…..Tim Kazurinsky

[ open on Thanes Color Television logo ]

Announcer: Over the course of history, the words “British” and “Courage” have become synonymous. And to salute the bravery of Englishmen, Thanes Television proudly presents… [ dissolve to program card ] “Profiles In British Courage”.

[ dissolve to British Army tent, as Colonel Harold Sweeney enters and sits to study battle plans ] [ suddenly, Baktu rushes in, dragging one-armed Lieutenant Whitten behind him ]

Baktu: Colonel Sweeney! Colonel Sweeney, sir!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: [ peeved ] What is it? What is it this time, Baktu?!

Baktu: It’s Whitten, sir! Lieutenant Whitten, sir!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: [ more formal ] Ohhh. Lieutenant Whitten, sir! [ he stands, as Whitten salutes with his one intact arm ] Lieutenant Whitten… God fell dead tonight.

Lieutenant Whitten: Fine!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: I wish I could be out there with you… Unfortunately, I have the court duty to report…

Lieutenant Whitten: Yes!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Uh — Lieutenant… you seem to have lost an arm.

Lieutenant Whitten: [ looking down ] Have I really?

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Yes, uh…

Lieutenant Whitten: Ah, yes!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: I’m going to have a look at that.

Lieutenant Whitten: I suppose so. If it’s not too much of a bother, sir! [ he chuckles dryly ]

Colonel Harold Sweeney: No, it’s no trouble at all. Just hop over here.

[ Lieutenant Whitten hops over ]

Colonel Harold Sweeney: [ laughing ] Ha! Lieutenant, I didn’t mean you to take it literally!

Lieutenant Whitten: I’m sorry, sir. My leg seems to have been blown to bits.

Colonel Harold Sweeney: What? [ he looks down ] Oh, it does, yes. Oh, I am sorry…

Lieutenant Whitten: Sorry!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: No, don’t be sorry. Um — let’s get you on the table here. [ he begins to remove objects from the table ] Baktu.

Baktu: [ alarmed ] What?! [ he begins to salute like crazy ]

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Lend a hand here… get him on the table. There’s blood all over the place… [ they lift Whitten onto the table ] Whoopsie-daisie! [ to Baktu ] Now, go get a blanket.

Lieutenant Whitten: Thank you, sir! Sorry to be messing up your table, sir.

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Oh, forget it. That’s not a problem at all. After all, I can always get another table, whereas you, on the other hand, uh, can hardly get another, uh… another, um…

Lieutenant Whitten: Yeah!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Uh, may I ask you a direct question?

Lieutenant Whitten: Certainly, sir!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: How would you feel about, um… getting along with just one leg?

Lieutenant Whitten: I suppose if one must!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: [ he chuckles ] I-I’m afraid we have no regular surgeon.

Lieutenant Whitten: Pity!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: I could take a crack at it myself.

Lieutenant Whitten: Oh, sir, would you?

Colonel Harold Sweeney: [ nervous ] I’ve never done this sort of thing before…

Lieutenant Whitten: There’s a first time for everything, sir!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Alright, um… let me, um, give it to you from the shoulder now… [ he pats Whitten on his missing arm ] Oh! I beg your pardon. Uh… we, uh… we have no antisthetic.

Lieutenant Whitten: Oh, well.

Colonel Harold Sweeney: How about, uh, biting on the ol’ bullet, hey? Hey? [ he places one of Baktu’s bullets in Whitten’s mouth ] Bite on that.

Lieutenant Whitten: Thank you, sir!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: [ he chuckles nervously ] No surgical instruments, either. Uh — Baktu?

Baktu: [ saluting quickly ] Yes, sir!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Give me a blunt.

[ Baktu hands him a blunt blade ]

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Baktu?

Baktu: Yes, sir?

Colonel Harold Sweeney: I should FLOG you within an INCH OF YOUR LIFE!!

Baktu: [ backing up ] Don’t beat me, sir! Don’t beat me again!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: [ to Whitten ] Listen, ol’ chap — I’m afraid it should take a couple of hours.

Lieutenant Whitten: Well… take your time, sir. Just take your time.

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Right, uh — better late than never, hmm? [ his monocle falls from his eye ]

Lieutenant Whitten: Whoopsie-daisy there!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Hmm… do you think I, uh… do you mind if I ask your advice?

Lieutenant Whitten: Certainly, sir!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: I’ve never done this before. Do you think I should go straight into the kneecap, or…?

Lieutenant Whitten: SPLENDID!!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: No. Well, let’s have a go, eh? [ he places the blade across the kneecap and begins to saw back and forth ] There we go!

[ blood starts squirting out of Whitten’s knee ]

Lieutenant Whitten: Very good, sir! You’re doing very well!

[ Batku rushes back in ]

Baktu: Colonel Sweeney! Colonel Sweeney! [ he nearly faints at the sight of squirting blood ]

Colonel Harold Sweeney: What is it, Baktu?!

Baktu: It’s a message from General Headquarters, sir!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Hold it up for me. [ Baktu holds it up, as he reads ] Oh, good gracious… they want me to finish the quarterly report immediately!

Lieutenant Whitten: Ohh…

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Tell them I’ll do it later!

Lieutenant Whitten: Yes, sir!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: I’m right in the middle of something!

[ Baktu rushes out ]

Lieutenant Whitten: Uh, sir?

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Yes?

Lieutenant Whitten: If you don’t mind, I’m SURE that quarterly report is a LOT more important than this silly business! So with your permission, sir… let’s say I hack off my own leg!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: [ he stops sawing ] I say… would you really?

Lieutenant Whitten: Yes, sir!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: That’s certainly sporting of you. It would be as great help, yes. Here, have a go… [ he hands the blunt instrument over ] and I’ll hold the leg.

Lieutenant Whitten: Oh, good! [ he begins to saw his kneecap, as blood continues to squirt ]

Colonel Harold Sweeney: You know…

[ Whitten begins to slash the blunt instrument through his kneecap ]

Lieutenant Whitten: It’s coming along quite well, sir!

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Yes! But I’m afraid I’ll have to write the report in blood.

Lieutenant Whitten: [ he chuckles heartily ] In the red again, eh?

Colonel Harold Sweeney: Ha ha ha! I want to tell you something…

Lieutenant Whitten: Yes, sir?

Colonel Harold Sweeney: …Lieutenant Whitten. Um… you’ve really behaved in a very sporting manner about this.

Lieutenant Whitten: Oh, sir… thank you! [ he slashes his kneecap further ]

Announcer: Within minutes, Whitten died. Colonel Sweeney, however, went on to complete his report on schedule. And, for this, he was decorated and commended for his punctuality.

[ dissolve back to title card ]

Announcer: Colonel Herald Sweeney. Another profile in British courage.

[ dissolve back to Thanes Color Television logo ]

This is Thanes Television, dedicated to upholding the British tradition of courage, honor, grace and dignity. Stay tuned for Benny Hill.

[ fade ]

SNL Transcripts

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

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.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x