Salem Court


Salem Court

Bailiff…..Rich Hall
Judge…..Harry Anderson
Larry Grodner…..Martin Short
Edward Abbey Manning…..Gary Kroeger
Counsel…..Jim Belushi
Mistress Cartwright…..Pamela Stephenson

Bailiff: Here ye, here ye! The court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, village of Salem is now in session. By the grace of God and our Lord, William III, all rise.

[ Judge enters and takes his seat at his bench ]

Judge: Be seated! [ slams gavel ] Edward Abbey Manning, you stand accused before the eyes of the Almighty. Who speaks for thee?

Larry Grodner: [ runs in late ] Uh, I do, your Honor! Uh.. Larry Grodner, 7th Hall Defender’s Office. Your Honor, can I have five minutes with my client?

Judge: So shall it be!

Larry Grodner: Thank you! Sorry I’m late. [ sits next to Edward ] Okay, what have we got here? Okay.. speeding in the ox cart? No. Pouching deer? I could get you off with a warning. Ah! Consorting with the Devil, copulating with demons, and using the blood of Christian children in a pagan ritual. See that.. that.. that’s gonna be a problem.. Let me level with you.. Ed? It’s Ed? This court is very tough on witches.

Edward Abbey Manning: But I be no witch. I am but a simple cobbler, enstranged to these parts.

Larry Grodner: Just do what I say, alright? I think I can get them to knock down the charge to simple possession. Okay? You’ll just get maybe a lecture and a stoning – that’s it!

Edward Abbey Manning: Stoning? But I’ll be just as dead!

Larry Grodner: [ laughing ] Hey, I’m not the one who copulated with the Devil, am I?

Edward Abbey Manning: But I implore you to believe me. I am not a witch.

Larry Grodner: Right, right.. you’re not a witch. No one’s ever a witch. I mean, according to my clients, there have never been any witches. Crops just die all by themselves! The moon just decides to pass in front of the sun, you know, every once in a while! Look, Ed, I’m gonna try like hell to get you off. But don’t you ever lie to me! Okay? Your Honor, we’re ready to proceed.

Judge: Counsel, would you present the evidence, arguments and proof of the case for the Commonwealth?

Counsel: [ stands as a dramatic pause, then points angrily at Edward Abbey Manning ] WIIIIIITCH!!! [ takes his seat ]

Judge: Very well. Edward Abbey Manning, I find you are –

Larry Grodner: Objection, your Honor! Isn’t Counsel going to produce at least some evidence?!

Judge: Brother Grodner, must I admonish you once again about needlessly prolonging these trials? But very well, Brother. Let the Commonwealth produce a witness.

Counsel: So be it. I call before the eyes of God! Mistress Cartwright!

[ pregnant Mistress Cartwright, with Scarlet Letter “A” on chest, enters the court ]

Mistress Cartwright: [ points at Edward ] He’s the one! He beguiled me with evil charms, and led me to boil sins of the flesh! He pumped me with the evil seed that made me great with Satan’s child!

Counsel: Your witness?

[ Mistress Cartwright takes a seat at the stand ]

Larry Grodner: Mistress Cartwright, how exactly did thou meet my client?

Mistress Cartwright: He came to me in the form of a goat.

Larry Grodner: Ah. [ walks over to Edward ] Has thou ever taken the form of a goat?

Edward Abbey Manning: No!

Larry Grodner: I think I’ve got it. [ returns to the stand ] Mistress Cartwright, let me ask you something: Can we just assume that you simply allowed this goat to impregnate you?

Mistress Cartwright: No, he beguiled me! [ backtracking ] Well, he.. he.. he took me to a restaurant first.

Larry Grodner: But if he took you to the restaurant as a goat, how do you know it was my client?

Mistress Cartwright: The reservations were in his name!

Larry Grodner: Inadmissable, your Honor! That’s heresay!

Judge: There will be no pig latin in this court!

Mistress Cartwright: [ stands, angry ] If this witch did not get me with child, then.. then, who did!!

[ everyone in the courtroom coughs and points to Edward ]

Crowd: Witch! Witch! Witch! Witch! Witch! Witch!

Larry Grodner: Your Honor, if I could just be Devil’s Advocate for one second.. [ everyone groans ] Let me just rephrase that for one moment..

Edward Abbey Manning: Though sealeth my doom! Is there no test by which you could prove that I speak the truth?

Larry Grodner: [ thinking ] Ah, well, let me just throw ths question out to you: How long do you think you can hold your breath under water, with, like, very heavy stones on your chest?

Edward Abbey Manning: Two, perhaps, three minutes.

Larry Grodner: No, anything less than a week, and they’ll just laugh us out of court! There’s got to be.. ah, yes! Yes! We’ve got one other last straw, we’re gonna use it! Calm down. Your Honor, I would like to call to the stand.. Edward Manning!

[ Edward takes the stand ]

Bailiff: Place your hand on the Holy Scripture and prepare to recite the oath, please.

[ Edward places his hand on the Bible, which causes it to begin dispensing smoke, as Edward rattles off in demonic verse ]

Larry Grodner: [ stuck ] Your Honor, we.. we.. we’d like to change our plea!

[ Edward extends his hand, firing lightning upon Grodner’s papers ]

Larry Grodner: Unless you have a problem with that! THen we could certainly move for dismissal!

Judge: Granted on all counts! Case forgotten! [ bangs gavel and flees from courtroom ]

Larry Grodner: Yes!

[ close ]

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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