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!

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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