Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 18: Episode 6
Bush Calls Contributors
President George Bush…..Dana Carvey
Bill Clinton…..Phil Hartman
[ open on exterior, White House ]
[ dissolve to interior, Oval Office, President George Bush speaking over the telephone and making wild hand gestures ]
President George Bush: Well, well.. so, once again, thanks to you and.. Margaret over there.. for your generous financial contribution, to our campaign. Bar and I certainly appreciate it. Sorry I let you down. No, no – my fault. A couple of things I wished I’d done a little different. Right. Right. Shouldn’t have called them “bozos”! [ chuckles ] I was whipped up! I was whipped up! That was crazy! [ laughs ] No, no, you’re right. Tou’re right. It was BAAAAD! BAAAAD!! BAAAAD!! Alright. Well, uh.. love to, uh — [ consults sheet of paper on his desk ] To Margaret, there. Okay. Bye! [ hangs up the phone, turns to his advisor seated next to him ] Alright, well, uh — who’s next, there?
Marybeth: [ looks among her notes ] Uh — Whitney Henderson; Covington, Kentucky.
President George Bush: Alright. [ takes the note card, dials the phone ] Whit? Whit? G-George Bush. Just called to thank you and, uh — [ glances at the card ] Louise, there, for your, uh, generous financial contribution. Sorry I let you down, there. No, no, you’re right — you know, you break a pledge like that, people just hold it against you. So, uh — [ glances at his notes ] how’s the grandson, little Nathan, there? [ smiles ] You know, I’m gonna be getting in the grandchildren business myself! Yeah, I think it could be — what? Sure. Call-waiting. Sure. Take it. Go ahead, I’ll hold. [ waits patiently for an extended period of time ] W-whit? You-you back? You know, looking back at the election — in a way, I’m kind of relieved. I — what? You gotta take it? No, I understand. Go ahead. Go right — [ holds the phone in front of himself, realizing he’s been hung up on; sighs, returns the cradle ] Bad.
Marybeth: Are you alright, Sir?
President George Bush: Well, how many more of these we got?
Marybeth: Well, about fifteen-hundred contributors to go, Sir.
President George Bush: Whew! Oh boy, that’s, uh — everyone who gave five-hundred or more, right?
Marybeth: Yes, Sir.
President George Bush: Well.. can we make the cutoff right there around five-twenty-five, in there?
Marybeth: That would be a big help, Sir.
President George Bush: Alright. Well, let’s do that, then. Who’s next?
Marybeth: [ dialing the phone ] Charles Blackburn, of Wilmat, Illinois. [ Bush nods ] Oh! Hello, Mr. Charles Blackburn? Mr. Blackburn, I have President George Bush on the line. Hello? [ drops the receiver ] Another hang-up, sir.
President George Bush: [ sighs ] You want to take a break there, Marybeth?
Marybeth: Alright, sir, I’ll just get back to the files. [ stands ] Um — oh, uh, I got that information that you wanted.
President George Bush: Oh, and – and what’s that?
Marybeth: Uh, William Howard Taft. William Howard Taft, the last sitting President to receive less than 40% of the vote.
President George Bush: Right, right, right — well, thank you, Marybeth.
Marybeth: Alright, thank you. You’re very welcome.
President George Bush: Uh, Marybeth? Could you hang on here for a minute? Why don’t you have a seat – love to talk to you. [ she sits ] You know, this whole – this whole electrion defeat thing, there, not all my fault, as you know. Business cycle there — you with me? Doing that downward spiral thing it does. [ motions his hands in a circle ] Doing that down in there — see that ltitle cycle down in there? Like a little tornado, going all over the place, there. That whole negative area! People were hurting. It was bad. It was BAD!! BADDD!!
Marybeth: Yes, Sir. Yes, Sir.
President George Bush: Now, as you remember, Marybeth — that-that February ’91 approval rating – well, right up there, isn’t that a beauty? [ motions his hands high ] Look at that. Look at that rating – right up there, nice and high! November ’92? [ lowers his hands ] Down on that flat zone right down there. I should have recognized the recession earlier. Didn’t think it was prudent at this juncture. Advisors wanted me to do it — I told ’em, “Nah gah do it.” Didn’t do it. I was wrong. I was wrong. And Dan Quayle? Never did quite gain acceptance.
Marybeth: Not fully, Sir.
President George Bush: No. [ waves his hands forward ] Gotta look to the future! Look out there in that future — got that grandchildren business going. See how that goes out there. Not-not a pledge. Didn’t say “Read my lips” or anything — just a pledge to spend time with those grandkids of mine, down in that whole grandkid area where they stay at. Well, the American people have spoken. Time for me to, uh.. step aside. So, to sum up, Marybeth: business cycle, down there like a cyclone; not recognizing recession, big mistake; Dan Quayle, never did quite gain acceptance.
Marybeth: [ stands ] Oh. Uh, Sir, I almost forgot — it’s 11:30, and President-Elect clinton is about to go on CNN.
President George Bush: Well, thank you, Marybeth. [ he picks up a remote and turns the TV on ]
[ show Presidential seal on the TV screen ]
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen – the President-Elect of the United States.
[ dissolve onto Bill Clinton, smiling ]
Bill Clinton: “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”
[ audience cheers, as Bush shakes his head glumly and slumps in his chair ]
President George Bush: I — I — I used to say that!