SNL Transcripts: Lauren Hutton: 11/07/81: Hail to the Chief


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 7: Episode 5

81e: Lauren Hutton / Rick James & The Stone City Band

Hail to the Chief

President Ronald Reagan…..Joe Piscopo
Secretary…..Brian Doyle Murray
Jim…..Tim Kazurinsky
Ed Meese…..Tony Rosato
Elaine…..Christine Ebersole
Marker…..Joe Dicso
Reporter…..Andy MUrphy

[ open on exterior, THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON, D.C. ]

[ dissolve to interior, Oval Office ]

[ the entire scene takes place from President Ronald Reagan’s point-of-view. As the scene begins, he’s looking down at his desktop as he doodles cartoon characters on a pad. ]

[ he looks up as members of his staff enter ]

Secretary: Good morning!

President Ronald Reagan: Good morning, Jim!

Jim: You’re looking well this morning!

President Ronald Reagan: I feel well!

Secretary: Would you like to take a look at today’s itinerary — I mean, script? [ he chuckles ] Elaine, you want to bring in that shooting script?

Elaine: Yeah! [ she steps forward ] Uh — okay, uh, we’re gonna start with a presidential press conference, and a few of the reporters are going to ask you a few questions about the sale of the AWACs to Saudi Arabia, okay?

President Ronald Reagan: [ confused ] AWACs? What do I say?

Elaine: [ incredulaous ] I gave you the script yesterday. Where is it?

President Ronald Reagan: I must have lost it.

Elaine: Oh, no, not again…

President Ronald Reagan: I’m sorry.

Elaine: Forget it. [ she holds out a script ] Here’s another copy. Okay? Now, uh, did you get the rewrites on the MX missiles?

President Ronald Reagan: [ grabbing the script ] Sure, sure… I’ve got my lines memorized already.

Elaine: [ pleased ] Okay.

President Ronald Reagan: Ooh! Ooh! Is that Ed Meese over there? Uh, Ed! Ed! Could I have a word with you, please?

[ Ed Meese steps forward ]

Ed Meese: Morning, Ron! What’s up?

President Ronald Reagan: How much longer are we going to be making this movie?

Ed Meese: [ he looks around the room ] I’d say… about three more years, Ron. Three more years, at least, yeah.

President Ronald Reagan: Well… the movie’s long, Ed. I hope it’s not going to be another “Heaven’s Gate”!

Ed Meese: Don’t worry about it.

President Ronald Reagan: Ed… Ed, listen. Ed, I really appreciate you getting Nancy a part and all…

Ed Meese: No, no…

President Ronald Reagan: Well, I was thinking… what if there was some romantic conflict? Uh, like that gal who’s playing the new Supreme Court justice? Well, uh, what if she and I…

[ Jim steps forward ]

Jim: Look, uh, Ron? It wouldn’t be right for your character.

Ed Meese: That’s right, Ron.

President Ronald Reagan: Well, that’s another thing I wanted to talk to you about! I think my character’s getting AWFULLY unsympathetic!

Ed Meese: No…

Jim: Ron, why don’t you take care of the acting, we’ll take care of the writing? Okay?

President Ronald Reagan: BUt why would the President try to take money away from old people and poor people and kids? I — you know, I just don’t understand it! What’s my motivation?

Ed Meese: Look — Ron…

President Ronald Reagan: And another thing, another thing. If there are any more scenes involving pistols, I want a stand-in! [ Meese shakes his head ] Or at least use BLANKS!

Ed Meese: Alright, look, Ron — Ronnie, who’s directing this picture? Huh?! You… or me?

President Ronald Reagan: Look, Ed, all I want is a stuntman.

Ed Meese: I realize that.

President Ronald Reagan: Like the one we used in that other movie, where I played the governor of California.

Ed Meese: Look — look, Ronnie… between you and me, huh? Pretty soon, we’re gonna go back to the ran– Uh, the western location, okay? And we’ll shoot some ranch stuff, alright?

President Ronald Reagan: Ohhhh, good! I enjoy the horses!

Ed Meese: I know you do! I know you do!

President Ronald Reagan: You know, Ed… that’s what this picture needs — MORE action! Like that Libyan scene! Remember? When you flew those jets out of the sky? Ed… why wasn’t I in that scene?

Ed Meese: Look, Ronnie, don’t worry about it! It was a night shoot, and you need your rest. We didn’t want to wake you.

[ JIm steps forward ]

Jim: Let’s go. [ to Reagan ] How do you feel? You feel good?

President Ronald Reagan: Fine, fine.

Ed Meese: Alright, Make-Up! Let’s get Make-Up in here and shoot this next scene, okay?

[ the Make-Up lady enters and begins to wipe around the lens that represents Reagan’s face ]

President Ronald Reagan: Ed…? Ed…? What’s an AWAC?

Ed Meese: Ron! Please! Just let her do her job, okay? [ to the Make-Up lady ] Alright, get it all IN the hair! Get it all in here! He looks like a pumpkin! Put it up in here.

Elaine: Uh, Mr. Meese? Mr. Meese? The Press is here.

Ed Meese: Alright, everybody! Quiet, please! We’re gonna get ready to roll, okay?

President Ronald Reagan: I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. Meese.

Ed Meese: SHUT UP, Ron! Please! Everybody, get ready! Screen, Sound, and Slate!

[ the Marker steps forward with the slate ]

Marker: Presidential Press Conference, Take 1!

Ed Meese: And… ACTION!

[ the reporters rush into the Oval Office and surround the screen ]


[ 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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