SNL Transcripts: John Goodman: 12/02/89: It Used To Be A Wonderful Life


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 15: Episode 7

89g: John Goodman / k.d. lang

It Used To Be A Wonderful Life

Mr. Chairman…..Phil Hartman
George Bailey…..Dana Carvey
Alan Cranston…..Jon Lovitz
Clarence…..Mike Myers

[ SUPER: “It Used To Be A Wonderful Life” ] [ SUPER: “Starring James Stewart” ] [ show sign: “You Are Now In Washington, D.C.” ] [ open on Congressional Hearing ]

Mr. Chairman: This meeting of the House Banking Committee is now in session. Would the next witness please state his name?

George Bailey: Uh.. what’s that, Mr. Chairman? I can’t hear too good out of this ear here..

Mr. Chairman: Your name?

George Bailey: Um.. that’s easy. George Bailey.

Mr. Chairman: And what is your position, Mr. Bailey?

George Bailey: Uh.. right now, I’m sitting up!

Mr. Chairman: No, Mr. Bailey, what is your job?

George Bailey: I’m President of the Bailey Building & Loan Association – in Bedford Falls. A pretty little town. I live there.

Mr. Chairman: Yes, I’m sure it is.. But what concerns this committee is how a small savings and loan could somehow end up costing the taxpayers nearly $2 billion.

George Bailey: Uh.. uh.. Mr. Chairman, I’m not sure what you’re getting at..

Mr. Chairman: Well, according to the bank examiners, Mr. Bailey, your savings and loan is totally insolvent. Where is the money? Where is our $2 billion?

George Bailey: Well, Mr. Chairman, you’re thinking of this thing all wrong! As if the money’s in a safe somewhere. The money’s not here! It’s in vast, unsold real estate projects, sitting out in the middle of the desert! It’s in salaries and bonuses, huge ones for me and my family, for crying out loud! It’s in your swimming pool Bob! It’s in your vacation home, Steve! It’s in your new Ferrari, Bill! The money’s not here, it’s just.. just out there! Federally-insured, to help people like you and me! [ reaches in his pocket ] Now, wh-what do you need? What do you need? Will $50,000 tide the bank over?

Mr. Chairman: [ banging gavel ] Mr. Bailey! Sit down!

George Bailey: Just trying to help.

Mr. Chairman: Mr. Bailey, did you give substantial financial contributions to five U.S. senators to influence bank examiners?

George Bailey: Yes, I did.. I mean, no! No, I didn’t! You’re twisting my words here! Th-that’s what you’re doing – twisting my words!

Mr. Chairman: The Chair calls Senator Alan Cranston. [ Cranston is wheeled forward ] Senator Cranston? Do you know this man?

Alan Cranston: Congressman, I’ve never seen this man before in my life!

George Bailey: Well, that’s a lie! A vicious lie!

Alan Cranston: If I find his books aren’t in order, I’ll swear under oath – misappropriation of funds! Manipulation! Malfeasance! [ George Bailey stands up and exits ] Yuo can run, but you can’t hide in a little town like Washington. [ laughs ]

Mr. Chairman: [ banging gavel ] Order! Order!

[ cut to George Bailey appeoach a bridge, where he stands contemplating life and the desire to jump. Suddenly, Clarence appears. ]

Clarence: Hello, George.

George Bailey: Clarence! Boy, am I glad to see you!

Clarence: I’m glad to see you.

George Bailey: Well, I-i see you’ve finally got your wings. They’re sort of like insect wings..

Clarence: Yes, they’re beetle wings, to be precise. It turns out I was the victim of a cruel joke.

George Bailey: Well, I’m gonna kill myself, Clarence.

Clarence: Oh, don’t do that. It turns out you’ve had a very good life, George Bailey. Especially financially. Would you like to see what it would be like if you’d never lived? It’s a weird, hellish, Fellini-esque world.. much like what you see in the opening montage of “Saturday Night Live”.

George Bailey: Well, l-l-et’s just do that, then. “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!

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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