Hard News Cafe


Hard News Cafe

Female Reporter…..Valerie Bertinelli
Male Reporter…..Phil Hartman
Waitress…..Nora Dunn
Sam Donaldson…..Kevin Nealon
Cashier…..Victoria Jackson
Ted Koppel…..Dana Carvey
Fan…..Jon Lovitz
…..Edwin Newman


[ open on exterior, Hard News Cafe ]

[ dissolve to interior, couple sitting at a table in the middle of the cafe ]

Female Reporter: [ staring at memorabilia on the wall ] Whose bow tie is that?

Male Reporter: Oh, that’s Irving R. Levine’s.

Female Reporter: Wow..

Male Reporter: [ pointing ] And that’s Eric Severeid’s first microphone.

Female Reporter: Wow! What a great concept this is! How many Hard News Cafes are there?

Male Reporter: [ thinking ] Well, there’s this one in Washington.. one in New York. Uh.. a new one going up in Cambridge. And they have plans to open one up in every major American city except Los Angeles.

Female Reporter: Oh, yeah. It seems like there’s a lot of tourists, though. I don’t see any newsman, do you?

Male Reporter: [ looking ] No, I don’t see any.. [ suddenly spots one behind him ] Oh. There’s Sam Donaldson.

Female Reporter: [ stunned ]

[ Waitress enters the scene, as diners’ hand suddenly shoot into the air like newsthirsty reporters ]

Diners: Waitress! Waitress! Waitress! Waitress!

Waitress: [ points across the room ] Sam! Sam! [ walks over to him ]

Sam Donaldson: Can I get the Pierre Salinger club without the tongue?

Waitress: That would simply be the.. Charles Kuralt.

Sam Donaldson: Hmm.. I see. Alright, I’ll tell you what – maybe I’ll eat light. Give me the Lesley Stahl fruit cup.

Waitress: Alright. I’ll get that right away.

[ Waitress walks away, as the diners go nuts ]

Diners: Waitress! Waitress! Waitress! Waitress!

[ back to the first table ]

Female Reporter: Oh! My friend at the Dish came through!

Male Reporter: Great!

Female Reporter: [ pulls videotape out of her purse ] “Trade Representative Brought Testifying to Governor’s Conference on the Trade Deficit”.

Male Reporter: Excellent!

Female Reporter: “After the first ten minutes, it cooked.”

Male Reporter: Great!

Female Reporter: Oh, oh.. [ pulls out another videotape ] “Round Table Discussion on Reinterpretating the ABM Treatment: Richard Pearl, Robert MacNamera, San Nunn.”

Male Reporter: No!

Female Reporter: Yes!

Male Reporter: Great!

[ a scuffle can be heard off-screen ]

Off-screen Voice: Hey, let go of me, I’ve got a right to be here as much as anybody else! Ow!

Female Reporter: What’s going on? What is it?

Male Reporter: Oh, it’s Geraldo Rivera. He tried to sneak in again, and they bounced him.

Female Reporter: Oh, thank God.

[ Ted Koppel steps up to the Cashier ]

Cashier: Sir, can I help you?

Ted Kooppel: Hello, I’m Ted Koppel, and I have a reservation.

Cashier: [ looks at reservation log ] I’m sorry, Mr. Koppel. I don’t have your name written down here, but uh.. I can seat you right away if you don’t mind sitting with, uh.. Sam Donaldson.

Ted Kooppel: [ looks over ] I’ll wait.

Sam Donaldson: [ notices Ted Koppel is in the cafe ] Hey, Ted! Ted! Come on over! Ted! Ted! Over here! [ Ted gives in and sits with Sam ] Hey, you’re looking good, hair looks nice! Can I get you a waitress? Let me get you a waitress! [ raises his hand ] Waitress!

Diners: Waitress! Waitress! Waitress! Waitress!

Waitress: [ points across the room ] Sam! [ walks over ]

Sam Donaldson: Waitress, my friend would like to order.

Ted Kooppel: I’m Ted Koppel, and thi-i-is.. is my lunch. Turning our attention to the menu, Sam, you’ve eaten here before, you’ve attended many such lunches. Perhaps you wouldn’t mind sharing with us, your insights.

Sam Donaldson: Well, now, Ted, I could sit here and recommend specials until the cows come home. But, ultimately, you’re the one who’s gonna have to eat what’s on the plate.

Waitress: I’ll come back..

[ Waitress walks away, as the diners go nuts ]

Diners: Waitress! Waitress! Waitress! Waitress!

[ Fan approaches Sam and Ted’s table ]

Fan: Hey, hey! Ted Koppel, Sam Donaldson! Sorry for interrupting your lunch, man! You two are my favorite newsmen, you know? I can’t believe you’re sitting here!

Ted Kooppel: Thank you very much, young man. Keep watching.

Sam Donaldson: Thank you. Yes.

Fan: So, who do you like for the Democrats in ’88? Do you like Joe Biden?

Ted Kooppel: Yes, he’s a fine candidate, yes.

Sam Donaldson: Yes, nice meeting you.

Fan: Wh-what’s that supposed to mean, “nice meeting you”? What, because I’m not in the news fraternity, or something, I’m not worth talking to?!

Sam Donaldson: Yeah.. yeah.. Look, if you’ll just excuse us, please.

Fan: [ peeved ] Great, that’s just terrific..

Sam Donaldson: You know, everyone, you know, including electronic journalists, have the right to –

Ted Kooppel: Sam, excuse me for a moment, if you will. But I don’t think any purpose will be served by engaging this individual any further.

Fan: [ angry ] Well, you guys suck, you know that! You know what?! Without the audience, you guys would be nothing! You would be talking to yourselves! [ Edwin Newman walks up and grabs his shoulder ] What?

Edwin Newman: Pardon me, sir, I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave. I am going to have to ask you to leave.

Fan: Oh, yeah, well.. Edwin Newman – oh, I’m shaking! I’m not going nowhere, man!

Edwin Newman: Uh, in a way, you’re absolutely right. But, by using the double negative “not going nowhere”, you implied that you are going somewhere. As, indeed, you are. ie – out!

Fan: What? I don’t think so..

Edwin Newman: Out! [ grabs the Fan ]

Fan: Hey! Hey! [ as he’s dragged away ] Who do you think I am – Geraldo Rivera!

[ cut back to the first table ]

Female Reporter: This place really lives us to its reputation!

Male Reporter: Yeah, let’s buy a couple of t-shirts on the way out!

Female Reporter: Yeah! Yeah!

[ Waitress passes through ]

Diners: Waitress! Waitress! Waitress! Waitress!

[ fade out ]

SNL Transcripts

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