Phil Donahue…..Phil Hartman
Elaine Poldask…..Victoria Jackson
Phyllis Sykes…..Jan Hooks
Dr. Norma Hoeffering…..Nora Dunn
First Man…..Jon Lovitz
Second Man…..Kevin Nealon

[ Scene: Donahue Studio. Guests seated on stage, facing audience. Donahue stands in the audience bleachers with his microphone and cards. ]

Phil Donahue: Women.. are exploited in relationships! Because there’s a lot of men out there who live off them, who, who cheat on them, who, who off them, and then when they’re done using ’em, throw ’em out like last night’s garbage. [ applause from audience ] Yeah, but…you women are exploited because you want to be exploited. [ jeers from audience ] No, you want someone to take responsibility for your life and take responsibility for your problems. If I don’t exploit you, you’ll find someone else who will! [ to camera ] We’re in New York talking about women trapped in exploitive relationships.

[ Cut to “Donahue” title and theme music. Fade in to Donahue on stage ]

Phil Donahue: Elaine Poldask. You’ve been involved with a married man for eight years.

Elaine Poldask: Nine.

Phil Donahue: [ to audience] Nine years! [ to Elaine ] Why do you do it to yourself? You know, why do you keep coming back for more?

Elaine Poldask: Well, I only suspected that he was married five years ago, and then I asked him about it four years ago, and then I got the evidence three years ago, and then I confronted him with it two years ago, and finally he admitted it only last year, so really, to be fair, it has only been a year.

Phil Donahue: [ stares blankly turns to Phyllis ] Phyllis Sykes.You’ve had a string of degrading relationships.

Phyllis Sykes: Yes, I have.

Phil Donahue: Now, your last boyfriend.. [ reads cards ] drunk, totaled your car, with you in it! Which left you in intensive care for over a year and.. [ Phyllis starts to cry ] ..during your painful convalescence he never visited you, he withdrew your life savings, spent the money on other women! Held orgies in your apartment, got you evicted.. [ lifts his head, stares effortlessly and shakes it in disgust ] ..and yet I understand you still live with this man.

Phyllis Sykes: [ suddenly smiles ] Well.. you would really have to meet him! David’s like.. he’s like a bad little boy, you know? He’s like.. he looks at me with these big puppy dog eyes, and I just.. I can’t stay mad at him.

Phil Donahue: [ in a low tone ] Now, he.. sold you to an Iraqibusinessman. Didn’t he?

Phyllis Sykes: Yes, yes he did. But his landscaping business wasfaltering, and there was – he needed the money, and David.. David neverintended for it to be permanent, see.

Phil Donahue: With us today is Dr. Norma Hoeffering, author of the book, Women Good, Men Bad. Doctor, you know, what the heck’s going on?

Dr. Norma Hoeffering: Well, Phil, these women lack a basic sense of self-worth; they feel they deserve whatever they get.

Phil Donahue: Now, what prompted you to write Women Good, MenBad? Was it something in your personal life?

Dr. Norma Hoeffering: I’d really rather not discuss it.

Phil Donahue: Oh come on now, doctor! [ paces the stage ]Isn’t this the kind of ivory tower, armchair analysis yousociologists are always handing us? Elaine and Phyllis poured their hearts out to us. Now surely you can tell us a little bit about your personal experience with men. [ convincingly puts one foot up on the stage, right in front of Norma, and faces down ]

Dr. Norma Hoeffering: My personal experience simply is not relevant to the topic. I am a clinical psychologist; this is my field of expertise. [ Donahue starts beating his head with the microphone ] I’m perfectly willing to enlighten you on why women stay in degrading relationships, but I will not discuss my personal life.

Phil Donahue: [ looks up and begs ] Pleeease!

Dr. Norma Hoeffering: Drop it.

Phil Donahue: [ stands up straight ] Elaine, you gave up a career for a married man.

Elaine Poldask: Yes.. um.. because he was married, he could only give me fifteen minutes notice before a date, so I had to sit by the phone to wait for his call.

Phil Donahue: And you had been a marine biologist.

Elaine Poldask: Yes. But it was impossible for me to go to sea when I had to wait for his calls.

Phil Donahue: Okay, we’ve got a caller. Are you there? Hi!

Caller: I know exactly how these women feel. I was in a degrading, exploitive relationship with a pompous egomaniac for years. My husband was never there for me emotionally because all he cared about was his precious career.

Phil Donahue: Your voice sounds familiar. Have you called us before?

Caller: It’s your ex-wife, Phil! [ hangs up ]

Phil Donahue: Well, Doctor Hoeffering, didn’t that caller make apoint? I mean, it’s not just the mistresses, it’s not just the girlfriends who get exploited. What about the wives? Aren’t you giving them the back of your hand, I mean.. well, have you ever been married?

Dr. Norma Hoeffering: I’d really rather not discuss it, Phil.

Phil Donahue: Ever been engaged?

Dr. Norma Hoeffering: No.

Phil Donahue: Pinned?

Dr. Norma Hoeffering: No, I don’t want to discuss it.. [ reluctantly ] All right, I’m a lesbian! Okay? Are you satisfied?

Phil Donahue: [ turns to the audience ] Sir, you have a point?

First Man in Audience: [ stands ] Yeah, I just want to say that I don’t think all men are insensitive brutes. [ arguing between several audience members is heard from behind ] And.. I mean from high school I just never knew women who went out with guys who treated them badly, guys like me who are just looking for sharing and caring relationship.. someone to spend their life with..

Second Man in Audience: [ to his wife ] You’re making a fool out of yourself! [ wife gets up to leave ]

Phyllis Sykes: Excuse me. Excuse me please, I’m trying to see that very attractive man behind you. Could you sit down?

[ First Man in Audience sits down ]

Phil Donahue: [ to Second Man] Any comment?

Second Man in Audience: [ stands ] Yeah, I know what these broads need and I got it. Okay? You want a sharing relationship? I got something to share with ya! Okay? You want a buddy? Buddy up on this!

Elaine Poldask: Excuse me, do you live in the city? Do you need a lift home?

Phyllis Sykes: Phil.. uh.. are there any rules about dating members of the audience?

Dr. Norma Hoeffering: Excuse me, any sisters at home like you?

Phil Donahue: Well, it’s a fascinating question, I feel we justtouched the tip of the iceberg.

Second Man in Audience: I’ll give ya the tip of the iceberg!

Phil Donahue: The name of the book, is Women Good, Men Bad. [ theme music plays ] Tune in next week..

Second Man in Audience: Yeah tune in to this next week!

Phil Donahue: ..when our guest will be Lee Iacocca.

Second Man in Audience: Iacocca this!

[ Donahue flings his arms up and walks to stage, talking with guests.Superimposed title display. Fade out. ]

Thanks to Rob Holtmanfor this transcript.

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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