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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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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