Demi Moore: 11/12/88: Woman vs. Rattlesnake (a.k.a. Don’t Move)

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Woman vs. Rattlesnake (a.k.a. Don’t Move)

Mike…..Kevin Nealon 

Mike’s wife (a.k.a. “Wife”)….Demi Moore

(As the sketch starts, Mike and his wife are coming out of the woods into a clearing.)

Mike: Well, this is it, the place I’ve been tellin’ you about.

Wife: Oh, Mike, this is perfect.

Mike: Yeah? (They stop walking a few feet in front of what looks like one log on top of another,  perhaps all that remains of what used to be a log cabin. Most of the ground is bare, though. We hear birds singing and see trees, patches of overgrown yellow grass and, in the distance, mountains. Except for the evergreens, the trees’ leaves have changed color and many trees have lost most or all of their leaves.)

Mike: Well, I figure I’ve been promisin’ ya a summer cabin for so long, the least I could do is find a place to build it on.

Wife: Mike, it’s wonderful. I mean, you’re so – I don’t even know what to say. (They hug.) Ooh!

Mike: Hmm! (after they separate): Well, it’s not built yet.

Wife: Oh, you know, this would make a great place for a picture window (draws a square in the air), facing right out here.

Mike: Yah. Yah.

(Mike’s wife sits on the logs. As she settles herself, we hear a loud rattling sound and see a snake curled on the top log, its head about a hand’s length from her right thigh.  She is a similar distance from where the log ends on her left, in case she wants to inch away from the snake and slide off the log.)

Mike: (slowly) Whatever you do, don’t – move.

Wife: What? (turns to see the snake and gasps)

Mike: Don’t move. There’s a rattlesnake right beside you .

Wife: Oh, Mike!

(Mike stays put, perhaps six feet away from the snake, perhaps a little farther. He starts pulling a gun from a holster.)

Mike: Okay. Just don’t move a muscle. (speaks more slowly) Just remain per-fect-ly still . . .

(He takes aim. As the snake’s rattling continues, he fires at the snake without moving any closer. We hear a bang and the sound of a ricochet. As he keeps firing, never moving any closer, we hear an additional bang-and-ricochet one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine times. The rattling never stops.)

Wife (still sharing the log with the snake): Ooh!

Mike: Okay. I’m gonna reload now . . .

Wife: Ooh. Mike, do something!

Mike:  It’s okay . . . it’s okay . . .

Wife: Aw, he looks real mad that you shot at him.

Mike: Just hold on . . .

(We see the snake strike toward Mike’s wife, an instant before the camera leaves her)

Wife: (shrieks) Oh! Oh, it bit me!

Mike: (quickly) Okay, don’t move. Just stay still or he might bite you again. (Mike’s wife moans repeatedly and breathes heavily.)  Okay, just hold still . . .(Fires once, a split second after we see the snake strike again and hear another shriek from his wife.)

Wife: He bit me again! Ooh! Oh, Mike, it hurts!

Mike (a little louder): Okay, all right, don’t worry. It’ll get numb in a minute . . .You just – you just hold still.

(As he fires again, still from the same distance, we hear the now-familiar bang-and-ricochet combination one, two, three, four, five, six, seven times. Again, the rattling continues.)

Wife: Ow, you shot me in the elbow!  (We see the snake strike again, biting her in the leg.)

Wife: (shrieks) He bit me again!

Mike: (over her moaning): Okay, okay, the gun thing’s not workin’! I’m gonna try something else. (pulls out hunting knife) Okay.

Wife: Oh,,no….

Mike: Stay perfectly still.  (Still where he was when he fired the gun, he throws knife at snake.) Hi-yahh! (The knife falls short and bounces off log, in front of his wife.)

Wife: Ohh . . . I think that knife getting thrown at him is really making him madder.

Mike: OK.

Wife: He’s giving me a really weird look..

Mike: All right, just don’t look at him.

Wife: Okay.

Mike: All right honey. Very slowly. Do exactly as I say. Reach down, very slowly pick up my hunting knife . . .

Wife (starts to bend down): Oh. . . I don’t think he likes me doing this . . . (continues bending)

Mike: Very slowly. That’s it, now toss it back here gently. Gently? (She tosses the knife.) That’s it!  (We hear him catch it.) Okay. (We see the snake strike and bite his wife’s arm.)

Wife: (shrieks) Oh, he bit me again! (holds her elbow, breathing heavily)

Mike (a foot or two closer): Just stay perfectly still . . . (as he throws knife again): Hi-yahh! (Knife bounces off snake, or passes just above it, and flies over the log. We see the snake bite Mike’s wife in the leg. Holding her elbow and leg now, she howls in pain.)

Mike: OK. OK. Did I get him?

Wife:  No, no, no…

Mike: It looked like he jerked a little bit or something.

Wife: No, that was him biting me again. Look, look, can’t I just move now? I’ll move out real fast.(Waves her hands toward her left)

Mike: No no no no. No no, don’t move. Don’t move, okay? I see what’s happening here. The knife thing’s not workin.’

Wife: Oh, Mike, I’m starting to see rockets.

Mike: All right, just stay still. Stay perfectly still. I’m gonna – I’m gonna lasso him. (He pronounces it “las-soo.” He moves farther from the log.)

Wife: Oh, no, listen, maybe I can just…maybe I can just slip away, you know? He – he’s probably out of poison by now.

Mike: (tying the lasso): No, no. He’s a big one. He’s a big one, honey . . .

Wife: (moans in pain and exasperation)

Mike: . . . and he’s got plenty of poison. You just don’t move. (pause)  Okay. All right. (adjusting lasso): Now the loop . . .has to be big enough . . . to pull the rope through the air . . .

Wife: Oh Mike . . .

Mike:  . . . but small enough . . .to get around his neck, so that when I pull it tight . . .I don’t have to tighten it too much. Does that make sense to you? .

Wife: Oh . . . oh Mike, he just bit me three more times!

Mike: Okay. Okay, just stay still . . . (He twirls lasso, tosses it and misses. The snake bites Mike’s wife again in the leg.)

Wife: Ow! Oh, he bit me again, Mike!

Mike: OK. I know, I know. I know. Okay. All right. He’s getting slower though, have you noticed?

Wife:  Noooo . . .

Mike: All right, listen, I got an idea. I got – I got a good idea. It’s crazy, but it might work. Okay? All right. Honey? (more slowly) With your open hand . . . reach down very, very slowly . . . and grab the snake.

Wife: Oh, but – grab the snake? He’ll – he’ll bite me some more!

Mike: No no, no he won’t. Now . . .

Wife: Yes, but . . .

Mike:  . . . you-you’ve gotta trust me. Do you trust me?

Wife (moaning and frightened): Ohhh . . . oh, yes . . .

Mike: OK. Okay, very slowly, reach down . . . just reach down . . . (as she reaches): That’s it, that’s it.  Now just . .

(The snake bites her hand; she pulls away).

Wife: Oh, he’s biting me! I told youuuu . . .

Mike:  OK. It’s okay, it’s okay!  Just – now, now – reach a little closer.  Reach closer. Now – grab him! Grab the snake!!

(She does. The snake bites her arm as she holds on; she screams repeatedly)

Mike: All right, c’mon! Ignore him!! Now, throw him over there – throw him down, throw him down there . . .

(She throws the snake onto the ground behind the log. Mike walks up to the log and points his gun over it, aiming toward the ground. He fires one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven times at the snake – no ricochets now. The rattling has never stopped.)

Mike: Okay, where’d he go? Okay, I don’t see him.  (Rattling gets fainter and eventually dies out) He’s gone. Okay. That’s the important thing. Okay, he’s gone. All right. Okay, honey. Okay – honey?

Wife: Huh? (We see something on her shoulder.)

Mike: Whatever you do, don’t move.  There’s a tarantula on your shoulder.

Wife (as she brushes tarantula off her shoulder): Aw, shhhhaddup and just get me to the doctor. (stands up and starts walking)

Mike (excitedly): Okay, remain calm, that’s the important thing. You gotta remain calm. That’s what we’re looking here for [sic]. Calmness. Calmness . . . (They leave the clearing and walk back through the woods.)

Contributed by Matt Vandermast

Thank you, Matt!

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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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