Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 18: Episode 2
Thomas Jefferson…..Tim Robbins
George Washington…..Kevin Nealon
Benjamin Franklin…..Phil Hartman
Clive Bradshaw…..Tim Meadows
Reporter #1…..Chris Farley
Reporter #2…..Rob Schneider
Reporter #3…..David Spade
Reporter #4…..Ellen Cleghorne
Reporter #5…..Tom Davis
[ Fade in on Jefferson and Washington standing together inside Independence Hall. Jefferson holds the Declaration of Independence in one hand, a quill in the other. ]
[ SUPER: “July 4, 1776” ]
Jefferson: General Washington, you realize that by signing this declaration, we may well be signing our own death warrants.
Washington: Quite correct, Mr. Jefferson. But as Ben Franklin so aptly put it, “We must indeed hang together, or assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”
Jefferson: Where is Mr. Franklin, anyway?
Washington: If I know Franklin, he is down in his laboratory tinkering with one of his harebrained — whaaa?!?
[ Washington is taken aback as Benjamin Franklin fades into the room. ]
Franklin: Tom, George … your nation is in dire peril!
Jefferson: Well, we are quite aware of that, Mr. Franklin. That is why we sign this document today …
Franklin: No! Your country needs you in nineteen ninety two! Let’s go …
[ All three of them fade out of the room ]
[ SUPER: “Donald Bellisario presents”]
Announcer V/O: From the producers of “Quantum Leap” comes …
[ SUPER + V/O: “Founding Fathers“]
[ Washington, Jefferson and Franklin are seen in a spiral vortex ]
Announcer V/O: Answering the call of a troubled nation, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and inventor Benjamin Franklin travel forward to the twentieth century, courtesy of Franklin’s quantum time warp machine.
[ Fade to TNN Special Report ]
Clive Bradshaw: Good afternoon. I’m Clive Bradshaw with a TNN special report. In a moment we will go live to the senate caucus room for the eagerly awaited press conference, in which the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and inventor Benjamin Franklin, will present their recommendations for curing America’s ills. Oh! [ Cocks an ear as he hears something in his earpiece ] I understand the founding fathers are arriving at the caucus room.
[ The press waits in front of an empty table, which is no longer empty when the founding fathers materialize into their chairs. ]
Franklin: Ladies and gentlemen, members of the press, my fellow Americans … after much study and soul-searching, General Washington, Mr. Jefferson and I are now ready to humbly offer our recommendations for reform. General?
Washington: Thank you, Mr. Franklin. I guess that it would be safe to say that, as we studied your problems, we kept coming back to one overriding concern: the crippling federal deficit. Mr. Jefferson?
Jefferson: And because this deficit threatens the very foundation of our great democracy, the three of us have put together this deficit reduction plan. It includes basically an increase in the tax rate on the upper income brackets, a cap on entitlements, and increased cuts in military spending. It’s all here in the package, but we’ll certainly open the floor to questions. Yes?
Reporter #1: Yes, uh, did any of you own slaves?
Washington: Um … yes. Yes, I did.
Jefferson: I did as well. We both own plantations.
Franklin: Next question.
Reporter #2: President Washington … did you ever sleep with your slaves?
Washington: I beg your pardon?
Reporter #2: Did you ever have … sex with any of your slaves? You know … have sex with any of your slaves?
Washington: [ offended ] Look, I did not travel through time to subject myself to that kind of question, and I most certainly refuse to dignify it with a response! Now if there are any questions concerning our deficit reduction plan … yes?
Reporter #3: Yes, uh, this is for Mr. Jefferson. I read somewhere that during the Revolutionary War you avoided serving in the Continental Army.
Jefferson: Yes, I thought I could be of more use in the Virginia legislature.
Reporter #3: Well, then how can you expect the American people to trust you?
Jefferson: I’m Thomas Jefferson.
Reporter #3: Yeah … [ sits down ]
Reporter #4: Um, uh, President Washington, um, did your wife Martha approve of your having sex with slaves?
Jefferson: Can I jump in here? Uh, I just want to remind you all that we’re talking about the eighteenth century. And yes, most landowners in Virginia had slaves. And yes, it was common for a master to take as his mistress a negro wench …
[ The three of them react in embarrassment ]
Jefferson: … I think I said the wrong thing.
Washington: Look, look – we do have a very important deficit reduction package to talk about. Is there any way we can get off this slave sex issue?
Reporter #5: Um, i-is that your real hair?
Franklin: [ shrugs, to colleagues aside ] I’m sorry, gentlemen, I …
[ Fade back to the shot of the founding fathers in a spiral vortex ]
Announcer V/O: Next week on Founding Fathers, Ben transports himself to 1962 to help president John F. Kennedy …
[ Fade to — ]
Franklin: [ dressed as Marilyn Monroe, singing seductively into a microphone ] Happy Birthday, Mr. President … Happy Birthday to yoooouuu …
[ Fade to title card ]
Announcer V/O: … on Founding Fathers!
[ Fade to black ]
Submitted by: G. Gomez