SNL Transcripts: Ron Howard: 10/09/82: Carter’s Flashback


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 8: Episode 3

82c: Ron Howard / The Clash

Carter’s Flashback

Reporter…..Gary Kroeger
Jimmy Carter…..Joe Piscopo
Secretary…..Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Voice of Ronald Reagan…..Joe Piscopo

[ open on former President Jimmy Carter sitting comfortably next to a reporter from Time Magazine during an interview ]

Reporter: First of all, President Carter, I think I speak for everyone at Time Magazine when I say that we’re proud to be publishing the excerpts of your memoirs.

Jimmy Carter: Well, you’re very kind, Chris, thank you. And thank you for leaving out that picture of me fighting off that crazed rabbit with a boat paddle!

Reporter: [ laughs politely ]

Jimmy Carter: You know, there are a few things I would like to forget, however: the rabbit, Billy, the Ayatollah, my mother.

Reporter: Let’s talk about your dealings with President Reagan.

Jimmy Carter: I’d rather talk about the rabbit. [ smiles ]

Reporter: [ again laughs politely ]

Jimmy Carter: Actually, it was during a period of transition. Just before I left the White House, I invited Mr. Reagan to the Oval Office. Uh, honestly, I was going to brief him on matters of extreme importance. I was very disturbed at his lack of interest —

[ the screen ripples into the past, into a point-of-view shot of Ronald Reagan walking down the hall outside the Oval Office, where he’s greeted by a Secretary as he hums “Hail to the Chief” ]

Voice of Ronald Reagan: Hi, I’m Ron Reagan! I’m moving in pretty soon. President Carter asked me to drop by.

Secretary: [ happily ] Oh! Yes, of course, Mr. Reagan. Please come with me.

[ she stands and leads the way into the Oval Office ]

Voice of Ronald Reagan: Ohh, is this where Jimmy works?

Secretary: Oh, yes sir, this is the Oval Office! Please take a seat. [ Reagan sits facing Carter’s desk ] Um, President Carter will be with you in just one moment. Will there be anything else?

Voice of Ronald Reagan: Yes. You’re fired! Ha ha ha! I’m just kidding.

[ the Secretary smiles politely, then exits the Oval Office ] [ Reagan’s point-of-view shot glances around the room ]

Voice of Ronald Reagan: Gee.. the Oval Office. I wonder why they call it that? [ continues to hum “Hail to the Chief” as he begins to move about the Oval Office ] Oh, that’s a nice tune. Oh, gee, when they swear me in, maybe I’ll get Sammy Kahn to write some special lyrics. [ wanders to the back of Carter’s desk ] Gee, the President’s desk. Well, may as well get a feel for it. [ sits at Carter’s desk ] Let’s see, uh, let me say something presidential. Uh.. shut up! [ his hand points toward the door ] Yeah, that’s good! “Shut up.” [ his hand reaches down and pulls open a desk drawer, revealing peanut shells covering doctored photo of Billy Carter; Reagan holds it up , then drops it on the desk and pulls out an issue of Playboy Magazine ] I wonder who the Playmate is? [ opens the magazine to the page featuring an interview with President Carter ] [ President Carter enters the Oval Office ]

Voice of Ronald Reagan: Oh. Uh, hi, Jimmy!

Jimmy Carter: Looking for something?

Voice of Ronald Reagan: Just trying it out for size.

Jimmy Carter: Ron, for the next few days, would you mind very much if I sat there?

Voice of Ronald Reagan: Oh, uh, not at all, Jimmy! Knock yourself out!

[ they switch sides at the desk ]

Jimmy Carter: Thank you, thank you very much. [ places his briefcase across the desk ] Ron, now – I-I invited you here to brief you on matters of supreme importance. [ Ron’s hand enters the frame in a posed position, as Ron admires his manicure ] Uh, Ron?

Voice of Ronald Reagan: Yes, Jimmy?

Jimmy Carter: I-I was saying – concerning the issue of human rights, I’m sure you’ll want to continue the policy of opposing dictatorial regimes throughout — [ Ron now begins to trim his fingernails with a clipper ] Ron, am I – am I boring you?

Voice of Ronald Reagan: Uh, no. no, no. I-I-I’m all ears.

Jimmy Carter: With regard to our domestic problem, we must never advocate our responsibilty to the nation’s poor.. the elderly.. the disadvantaged — [ Ron holds up a handkerchief in front of the camera; as it disappears from view, we can hear Ron blowing his nose ] Ron, now that you have attended to your personal hygeine, let’s try to ocncentrate for a moment on the SALT negotiations. Of all the overwhelming problems faced by — [ Ron’s hands enters frame and begins to caress Carter’s briefcase ]

Voice of Ronald Reagan: Uh – nice briefcase.

Jimmy Carter: Well, thank you, thank you very much, Ron. But, uh, no problem is mroe urgent than finding a way to curb the dangerous and expensive buildup of nuclear — [ Ron opens Csrter’s briefcase with both hands, revealing a beeping triggering device inside labeled “Warning: Triggering Device Activated” ]

Voice of Ronald Reagan: [ holds his hand over the trigger button ] What’s the button for?

Jimmy Carter: Don’t touch that, Ron. [ smiles ] I see we have got a lot of work to do. [ closes and locks the briefcase ] Uh.. perhaps there is something that you would like to ask of me?

Voice of Ronald Reagan: Yes, uh, Jim – can you do this? [ holds his hands together and twiddles his thumbs around one another ]

Jimmy Carter: [ grabs the briefcase and pulls it away ] No, I can’t, Ron.

Voice of Ronald Reagan: Uh.. how about this one? [ touches his fingers together, then moves them in a climbing motion and sings: ] “The itsy-bitsy spider went up the waterspout..”

Jimmy Carter: [ Carter looks on, dubmfounded, as a side camera pulls out to reveal the cameraman and stagehand kneeling in front of the desk ] [ 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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