SNL Transcripts: Danny DeVito: 12/05/87: Reagan-Gorbachev


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 13: Episode 6

87f: Danny DeVito / Bryan Ferry


Mikhail Gorbachev…..Danny DeVito
Ronald Reagan…..Phil Hartman
Driver…..Kevin Nealon

[ open on Mikhail Gorbachev and Ronald Reagan sitting in the back of a limosine, riding through the heart of Washington, D.C. ]

Mikhael Gorbachev: It is important dat we not expect too much from dis Summit. But it is a first step. And, from such a step, many.. Please, Ron, would you stop staring at my forehead?

Ronald Reagan: Oh, I’m sorry! I did it again, didn’t I? I’m trying hard not to. I’ve got kind of a mental thing about it. Please continue.

Mikhael Gorbachev: Never mind, it wasn’t important. Anyway, here we are in Washington, D.C. Please give me the grand tour.

Ronald Reagan: Well, to begin with, as you can imagine, Mikhail, our nation’s capital is rich wih history. See that building over there with the big pillars?

Mikhael Gorbachev: Lincoln Memorial.

Ronald Reagan: Whatever. Anyway, that’s where Jean Arthur talked Jimmy Stewart out of giving up in “Mr. Smith Goes To Washington”.

Mikhael Gorbachev: “With malice toward none. With charity to all.”

Ronald Reagan: No, I believe she said, “You can’t quit now, Jeff.” Oh, look, over there – the Iwo Jima Memorial. Have you ever heard the story behind that?

Mikhael Gorbachev: I’m not sure.

Ronald Reagan: Well, evidently, John Wayne didn’t want to play that part.

Mikhael Gorbachev: I see.

Ronald Reagan: Duke had his heart set on doing “Slattery’s Hurricane”. But he was under contract to Warner Brothers at the time, and, well, Jack Warner phoned Duke’s agent, Lew Wasserman, and said, “Lew, if the Duke doesn’t do “Sands of Iwo Jima”, he’ll be shagging tennis balls for Tyrone Power.”

Mikhael Gorbachev: I’m sorry, who?

Ronald Reagan: Tyrone Power. Anyway, Duke did the movie and was nominated for an Academy Award. Now, you know who would have played Duke’s part if he’d gotten his way?

Mikhael Gorbachev: To play John Wayne’s part? I.. I don’t know..

Ronald Reagan: Forrest Tucker.

Mikhael Gorbachev: It is strange how these things happen.

Ronald Reagan: [ points ] Oh, look! The Pentagon. You, of course, would know this from “Seven Days in May”, “Fail Safe”, and so on. Remember the really big war room in “Fail Safe”?

Mikhael Gorbachev: [ lying ] Yes.

Ronald Reagan: Well, it’s in there. I’ve never seen it, but in the event a war breaks out, they’ll take me there, evidently.

Mikhael Gorbachev: Would it be possible for me to see this war room? It would be fascinating to compare it to the film.

Ronald Reagan: Well, I don’t see why not. You’re on the VIP tour.

Driver: Ah, Mr. President, I’m afraid we can’t visit the war room.

Ronald Reagan: Why not?

Driver: Well, sir, I’m quite certain the war room would be off-limits to Premier Gorbachev, being that he’s such a high-ranking Soviet official.

Ronald Reagan: Oh, right. You know, sometimes I forget that we’re mortal enemies.

Mikhael Gorbachev: Well, Ron, often I think that if the circumstances had been otherwise.. [ Reagan stares at the birthmark again ] and I could have been great.. Well, we could have been good.. if.. [ irritated, covers up his borthmark with his hand and points to the Jefferson Memorial ] What monument is that?

Ronald Reagan: Hmm.. it might be the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Driver: It’s the Jefferson Memorial, sir.

Ronald Reagan: Ah.

Mikhael Gorbachev: Is very beautiful.

Ronald Reagan: Yes, it is. Must be quite a story behind that. Oh! Oh! [ points ] There’s the Washington Monument! And here on this very field is where the saucer from “The Day The Earth Stood Still” landed. And I figure that the robot Gort stood.. right.. there! [ points ] Right there!

Mikhael Gorbachev: [ recalling fondly ] “Klaatu barada nikto”.

Ronald Reagan: Yep. “Klaatu barada nikto”. I always wondered what those words meant..

Mikhael Gorbachev: It means: “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”

SNL Transcripts

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

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.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x