SNL Transcripts: Tom Hanks: 10/08/88: Jew, Not a Jew


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 14: Episode 1

88a: Tom Hanks / Keith Richards

Jew, Not a Jew

Bob Tompkins…..Tom Hanks
Greg Knutsen…..Kevin Nealon
Deborah Knutsen…..Victoria Jackson
Ted Johnson…..Phil Hartman
Mrs. Johnson…..Jan Hooks
“You Make The Call” announcer (voice)…..Al Franken

[ Title graphics and fanfare music ]

Announcer: It’s time for the game that all Americans love to play: “Jew, Not a Jew”! And here’s your host, Bob Thompkins!

[ Bob comes out ]

Bob Thompkins: Thank you! Thank you, thank you, Don, thank you, everybody! Welcome to “Jew, Not a Jew”! Okay, let’s say hi to our champions, the Knutsens! [ walks over to them ] Greg Knutsen — what kind of name is that?

Greg Knutsen: That’s Swedish, Bob. My father’s Swedish Lutheran.

Bob Thompkins: Well gee, I thought all Swedes were blonde.

Greg Knutsen: My mom’s Irish Catholic. Yeah.

Bob Thompkins: That’s very interesting. Debra, delightful to see you again!

Debra Knutsen: Great to be back, Bob!

Bob Thompkins: Debra, what was your maiden name?

Debra Knutsen: Rochez. It’s French Huguenot. It’s pretty hardcore Protestant.

Bob Thompkins: So, we got ourselves a real mishmash here, don’t we? Okay, now let’s go over and meet our challengers, the Johnsons! [ walks over to them, chuckling ] Ted, you hail from Oregon and are …?

Ted Johnson: Bob, we’re both WASPs.

Bob Thompkins: All right, all right, Johnsons! And now, let’s play, “Jew, Not a Jew”!

[ the fanfare music plays as the title card is pulled away to reveal a green screen ]

Bob Thompkins: All right, hands on buzzers, everybody, hands on buzzers.

[ The couples take their positions. Bob stands next to the green screen as an image of Penny Marshall is displayed ]

Bob Thompkins: [ reading from a card ] Star of ABC’s long-running hit, Laverne and Shirley, she directed the summer blockbuster, Big. Penny Marshall: Jew, or not a Jew?

[ The Knutsens press the buzzer ]

Bob Thompkins: Knutsens! Penny Marshall, Jew or not a Jew?

Greg Knutsen: [ softly conversing with Debra ] I think she’s from Brooklyn somewhere — I’m n–

Debra Knutsen: Okay, okay, we’re gonna go with Jew, Bob!


Bob Thompkins: Ohhh! No, I’m sorry, Penny Marshall was born Penelope Mashirelli, she is an Italian Catholic. Italian … Catholic. Now, let’s take a minute to review the rules for “Jew, Not a Jew”! According to Jewish law, anyone whose mother is a Jew, is a Jew, so if an individual’s father is a Gentile, and his mother is Jewish, that person is considered a Jew. However, reverse the bloodlines, and that person is NOT a Jew! But, for the purposes of our game, anyone with any Jewish lineage at all … will be considered … a Jew. Okay, now let’s get back to our games! Hands on the buzzers now! Hands on the buzzers!

[ The couples take their positions. Bob stands next to the green screen as an image of Michael Landon is displayed. ]

Bob Thompkins: [ reading from a card ] Star of Highway to Heaven. He was Charles Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie, and Little Joe on Bonanza. Writer/producer/star Michael Landon: Jew, or not a Jew?

[ The Johnsons press the buzzer ]

Bob Thompkins: Oh, Johnsons! Michael Landon: Jew, not a Jew?

Ted Johnson: [ softly conversing with Mrs. Johnson ] Oh boy, I heard somewhere he’s Jewish.

Mrs. Johnson: Are you sure?

Ted Johnson: Uh, yeah, when he was doing Bonanza, I read it —

Mrs. Johnson: Uh — you mean Lorne Greene?

Ted Johnson: No, no, I think he’s Jewish. Really.

Mrs. Johnson: We’re gonna say … Jew, Bob.

[ SFX: ding ding ding ding! ]

Bob Thompkins: That’s right! That’s right!

Mrs. Johnson: [ squeals ] [ The Johnsons hug each other while jumping for joy ]

Bob Thompkins: He was born Eugene Horowitz in Brooklyn, New York! Michael Landon is Jewish! Good, Johnsons! Ten points! Ten points. Okay, let’s continue, hands on buzzers. [ a picture of Ed Koch is shown as Bob reads from another card ] Mayor of New York … [ Greg Knutsen presses the buzzer ] Yes, yes, yes?

Greg Knutsen: He’s a Jew, Bob!

[ SFX: ding ding ding ding! ]

Bob Thompkins: Yes! That’s right, Ed Koch is a Jew! Ten points, Knutsens! All right! Oh — we gotta take a time out! We’ll be right back after this word.

[ Fade to a blue/black gradient screen with text as marching band music plays ]

“You Make The Call” announcer: Feldman’s Kosher Pickles presents: You Make the Call.

[ Film clips of a baseball game are shown ]

“You Make The Call” announcer: The 1965 World Series. Sandy Koufax leads the Los Angeles Dodgers into the seventh game against the Minnesota Twins. Koufax shuts out the Twins, yielding just three hits and striking out ten. Now, you make the call. Sandy Koufax: Jew, or not a Jew?

[ cut to a sponsor screen ]

“You Make The Call” announcer: “Jew, Not a Jew” is brought to you by Feldman’s Kosher Pickles. You don’t have to be Jewish to like Feldman’s, but it helps.

[ cut to another World Series film clip ]

“You Make The Call” announcer: If you said Sandy Koufax was a Jew, you made the right call. Sandy Koufax: baseball great, Jew.

[ Fade back to the set of “Jew, Not a Jew” ]

Bob Thompkins: Hey, we’re all out of time! That’s it for today! Tune in tomorrow, and we’ll take a look at — [ pictures of each are shown ] Bruce Springsteen, Goldie Hawn, Jose Ferrer, and Caspar Weinberger on “Jew, Not a Jew”! Bye-bye, everybody!

[ Bob shakes hands with the contestants. Fade out ]

Submitted by: G. Gomez

SNL Transcripts | Special Cable TV Promotions |

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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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Joyce Rifkind
Joyce Rifkind
3 years ago

What is the purpose of this skit? It is certainly not funny and frankly offensive.

Reply to  Joyce Rifkind
1 year ago

I think it was written by Al Franken, so….

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