SNL Transcripts: Steve Martin: 10/17/87: Common Knowledge

 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 13: Episode 1

87a: Steve Martin / Sting

Common Knowledge

Bob Albert…..Steve Martin
Les Shermeyer…..Kevin Nealon
Jeanne Kirkpatrick…..Nora Dunn
Tracy Pollackson…..Victoria Jackson
Kyle Knopfler…..Dana Carvey

Bob Albert: Hello, and welcome to “Common Knowledge”! I’m yourhost, Bob Albert. You all know our champion Les Shermeyer, a high schoolguidance counselor. Now, let’s meet our challenger, Jeanne Kirkpatrick,former ambassador to the United Nations. Jeanne, are you ready?

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: Yes, quite ready.

Bob Albert: Well, that’s good, because we’re going to start withyou. What category, Jeanne?

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: Well, actually, I’ve been a professor of History,so I decided to make it interesting, and I choose Literature.

Bob Albert: Alright, Literature for $100, and the answer is: “Authorof the ‘Grapes of Wrath’.

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: John Steinbeck. [ buzzer ]

Bob Albert: Ooh, I’m sorry! Ernest Hemingway! [ approachesLes ] Les, you want to stick with Literature?

Les Shermeyer: Uh.. no, Bob, let’s go for State Capitols.

Bob Albert: State Capitols, for $100: Oklahoma.

Les Shermeyer: Oklahoma City. [ ding ]

Bob Albert: Alright!

Les Shermeyer: Uh.. let’s keep going.

Bob Albert: New York State.

Les Shermeyer: New York City. [ dings ]

Bob Albert: Very good, Les!

Les Shermeyer: Let’s go again!

[ Jeanne looks on curiously ]

Bob Albert: New Jersey.

Les Shermeyer: Jersey City. [ ding ]

Bob Albert: Whoa-ho! You’re on a roll!

Les Shermeyer: Let’s go again.

Bob Albert: Virigina.

Les Shermeyer: Virigina City. [ ding ]

Bob Albert: And last one. Washington.

Les Shermeyer: Washington, D.C. [ ding ]

Bob Albert: You swept through that category! And now, let’sgo on to..?

Les Shermeyer: Literature.

Bob Albert: Literature, for $200: Author of Christmas Carol.

Les Shermeyer: Ebenezer Scrooge. [ ding ]

Bob Albert: Okay!

Les Shermeyer: Literature for $300, Bob!

Bob Albert: Literature for $300: Author of Huckleberry Finn.

Les Shermeyer: Tom Sawyer. [ buzzer ]

Bob Albert: Ohh, sorry. The answer is Ernest Hemingway, sorry.
[ addresses audience ] And now, let’s take a minute to explain the rulesto “Common Knowledge”. Questions for our show are show are selected byeducators from Princeton University to express a broad range of commonknowledge that every American should possess. Answers for “CommonKnowledge” are determined by a nationwide survey of 17-year-old highschool seniors. And now, back to you, Jeanne.

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: [ flabbergasted ] History.

Bob Albert: Alright! History, for $100: His assassination sparkedWorld War I.

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: Archduke Ferdinand. [ buzzer ]

Bob Albert: Oh, sorry! The answer is Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln.Les?>br>
Les Shermeyer: I’m gonna stay with History, Bob, for $200.

Bob Albert: History for $200: The Louisiana Purchase was obtainedfrom this country.

Les Shermeyer: Louisiana. [ ding ]

Bob Albert: Alright!

Les Shermeyer: History for $300, Bob.

Bob Albert: Alright. When he discovered America, ChristopherColumbus thought he had landed in..

Les Shermeyer: Columbia. [ buzzer ]

Bob Albert: Oh, sorry. The answer is America. Back toJeanne Kirkpatrick.

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: Uh.. History, for $400.

Bob Albert: History, for $400: First man to land on the moon.

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: Neil.. uh.. John Glenn. [ ding ]

Bob Albert: Terrific, Jeanne! You’re on the board now!

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: History, for $500.

Bob Albert: History, for $500: Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of..

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: Gettysburg. [ buzzer ]

Bob Albert: Oh, sorry. Jericho. The Battle of Jericho.Tough one. But, Jeanne, don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of time to catch up,because it’s time for our Lighning Round! Let’s bring out the 17-year-olds!Bring them out! [ one teenage sits with Jeanne, the other sits with Les ]Okay, Jeanne, you’re being teamed with Kyle Knopfler, a high school seniorfrom Troy, New York.

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: How do you do, pleased to meet you.

Kyle: Hi! [ tosses his hair ]

Bob Albert: Kyle, has your high school education given you the toolsyou need to go out into the real world?

Kyle: Uh.. I.. you know.. whatever, I don’t know.. I mean.. yeah,sure.. I guess so.. [ laughs ]

Bob Albert: Terrific answer! [ approaches the opposing team ] And,Les, you’re playing with Tracy Pollackson, a high school senior from NewYork. Tracy, you were supposed to be on the show yesterday, butthere was a mix-up of some kind?

Tracy: I got on the wrong plane.

Bob Albert: Who-ho-ho-ho! Alright, let’s start our Lightning Round!Les picked Presidents. Are you and Tracy ready? Okay, go.

[ clock starts ticking ]

Tracy: [ GRANT ] “The British are coming! The British are coming!”

Les Shermeyer: Grant!

Tracy: [ WILSON ] Dennis the Menace!

Les Shermeyer: President Mitchell.

Tracy: His neighbor!

Les Shermeyer: Woodrow Wilson!

Bob Albert: Alright – Tag Team!

[ Les and Tracy trade places ]

Les Shermeyer: [ TYLER ] Tippecanoe!

Tracy: Nixon!

Les Shermeyer: Pass! [ Kennedy ] Sex!

Tracy: President Hart!

Les Shermeyer: Marilyn Monroe!

Tracy: Kenbnedy!

Bob Albert: Alright, that’s great! Very good! Now, Jeanne. Jeanne,before the show you picked the category of Historical Dates. Are you ready,Jeanne and Kyle?

Kyle: Alright, ready!

Bob Albert: Alright! Begin!

Kyle: [ 1215 ] Uh.. Civil War.

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: 1861.

Kyle: Ci-vil War!

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: 1861-1865!

Kyle: Uh.. pass.. [ 1787 ] Uh.. Pilgrims!

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: 1620.

Kyle: Thanksgiving!

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: 1621!

Kyle: Pass! [ 1929 ] Uh.. uh.. uh.. Gold Rush!

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: 1849.

Kyle: Gold Rush!

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: 1914! 1419! 1945!

Kyle: Pass!

Bob Albert: Tag Team! Tag Team! Let’s go! [ Kyle rushes around toJeanne’s seat, while Jeanne slowly walks around ] Come on, Jeanne, come on!

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: [ 1815 ] Congres of Vienna.

Kyle: Uh.. 1964.

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: Pass. [ 1917 ] Bohlshvek Revolution.

Kyle: 1756!

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: Uh.. Pilgrims land!

Kyle: 1861!

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: Battle of Auschweitz!

Kyle: 1492!

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: Korean War!

Kyle: Uh.. 1917!

Bob Albert: Oh, sorry, Jeanne. You only got one right.

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: [ peeved ] May I say something, please? Thisprogram is an outrage! This program just doesn’t do justice to the educationalsystem, which upholds the fragile civilization of our country together!
Bob Albert: Oh well, sor-ry Je-anne! Les is still our champion, butyou’ll be going home with $400 and a year’s subscription to TV Guide!TV Guide, the most widely-read publication in the world.

Jeanne Kirkpatrick: In the United States.

Bob Albert: Oh, whatever you say! Well, anyway, that’s”Common Knowledge”. And remember: It’s not what you know, but what youthink you know! Good night, everyone!

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