Lost Ending To “It’s A Wonderful Life”


Lost Ending To “It’s A Wonderful Life”

…..William Shatner
Mary Bailey…..Jan Hooks
George Bailey…..Dana Carvey
Dave…..Kevin Meaney
Harry Bailey…..Dennis Miller
Mr. Potter…..Jon Lovitz
Uncle Billy…..Phil Hartman
Ernie…..A. Whitney Brown

(Fade-in to William Shatner, sitting on a stool on stage and speaking directly to the camera).

William Shatner: Ladies and Gentlemen: You are about to witness an important moment in the history of both television and cinema. After a search of nearly 40 years, the fabled “lost ending” to Frank Capra’s 1947 film, “It’s a Wonderful Life” has been found! Tonight, for the first time anywhere, “Saturday Night Live” is proud to present this priceless footage – the fully realized vision of an authentic American genius. So, without further ado, here is the “lost ending” to “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

(fade in to clips from the film of the famous “You are now entering Bedford Falls” sign, as well as the equally famous shots of the Christmas-lit streets of Bedford Falls. Cut to the Bailey home, where the good citizens have convened to rally behind their neighbor George Bailey in his time of need. As we fade in, we see Ernie emptying a basket full of cash onto the table as George and his family look on in awe.)

Mary Bailey: They’ve been coming all evening. They didn’t ask any questions – all they said was, “if George Bailey needs help, we’re here to help him!”

George Bailey: (holding Zsu-Zsu in his arms) Wh-wh-why Mary–I never realized I had so many friends! A-a man wh-who has a friend is a rich man, that’s what Clarence said, and by golly he was right!

Dave: I wouldn’t have a roof over my head if it wasn’t for you, George!

George Bailey: Thanks, Dave! Thank you!

(George’s brother Harry Bailey, dressed in his airline pilot’s uniform, makes his way through the crowd)

Harry Bailey: ‘Scuze me! Pardon me–Hello George, how are you?

George Bailey: Harry! Welcome home, Harry!

Harry Bailey: Thanks, Merry Christmas, George! (to the crowd) Now wait a minute, everybody! I got a telegram here I wanna read–from London! (reads) “Dear George. Stop. Mr Gower cables you need cash. Stop. My office instructed to advance you up to $8000. Stop. (crowd reacts) Hee-haw and Merry Christmas! Sam Wainwright”!!!

(crowd cheers and everyone breaks into a joyous rendition of “Hark the Herald Angels Sing”.)

Crowd: (singing)
“Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King
Peace on earth and mercy….”

(Uncle Billy is heard offstage, screaming–“George! George!”, before finally bursting into the room. He has a string tied around his finger)

Uncle Billy: Quiet everyone! I remembered! I remembered what I did with the money–the $8000!

George Bailey: Why that’s great, Uncle Billy! What did you do with it?

Uncle Billy: (frantic) I was in the bank–I had it in a newspaper–I remember giving it to someone!

George Bailey: Well, who? Who’d you give it to?

Uncle Billy: No, wait! I just called Clarence at the bank. He told me that Old man Potter deposited $8000 right after I left! IT WAS HIM!!!

(crowd is outraged)

George Bailey: Well–what’re we waitin’ for? Let’s go get him!

Crowd: Yeah!!!

(background music changes from bright and Christmas-y to dark and ominous, as the bloodthirsty citizens of Bedford Falls make thier way to Potter’s office.)

(cut to Potter’s office. Potter looks out his window to see the baseball bat and crowbar-wielding mob arriving at his door–which they proceed to batter to pieces with thier weapons. An angry George appears in the doorway)

Mr. Potter: Stay where you are, George Bailey, you’re in enough trouble already…

George Bailey: You made one mistake, Mr. Potter: you double-crossed me and you left me alive!

Mr. Potter: Now, wait just a second–I’ll give you the money back!

George Bailey: I don’t want the money–I want a piece of you, Potter! (tips Potter’s wheelchair over, spilling him onto the floor. George then begins kicking him ferociously) You think the whole world revolves around you and your money–well it doesn’t, Mr. Potter! In the whole vast configuration of things, you’re nothing but a scurvy little spider!

(The mob gasps in amazement as Potter pulls himself off the floor and onto his feet)

George Bailey: Why, you’re nothing but a fraud! You’re not even a cripple!

Mr. Potter: Now wait a second–I can explain this!

George Bailey: Harry! Mary! Hold him for me!

(Harry and Mary comply, each grabbing an arm as George pounds Potter repeatedly in the gut. A final punch to the jaw sends Potter sailing over his desk. George goes to the back of the desk and drags “Potter”–now a stuffed dummy–back around for more punishment).

George Bailey: I’m not through with you, Potter! Harry–Mary–have a piece of this!

Mary Bailey: Yeah, baby–you know it!

(she pounces on “Potter”, punching him in the head and body. Harry gets a few kicks in. George does a WWF-style, elbow-drop onto the hapless “Potter”. He then picks him up and throws him against a wall. Mary, Harry, and George each grab crowbars and/or 2x4s and proceed to bludgeon “Potter”, as Uncle Billy leads the mob in a few bars of “Auld Lang Syne”:)

Mob: (singing)
“Should old acquaintence be forgot
And never brought to mind
should old acquaintence be forgot
and days of auld lang syne!”

(Harry, Mary, and George continue to beat “Potter” to a pulp, as the movie fades out, and “The End” card from the movie flashes on the screen.)

Thanks to Shawn for 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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