Profiles in Cowardice


93p: Helen Hunt / Snoop Doggy Dogg

Profiles in Cowardice

Steve Kangas…..Phil Hartman
Ray Rio…..Rob Schneider
Jack Killian…..Chris Farley
Linda Coleman…..Helen Hunt
Mack Panko…..Michael McKean
Mr. Smith…..Norm MacDonald

Announcer: [ over program logo ] And now, “Profiles in Cowardice”. With your host, Steve Kangus.

[ dissolve to Steve Kangas, surrounded by his four guests ]

Steve Kangas: Hello again. Webster defines courage as “strength of will in the face of extreme danger.” With me tonight are five people who utterly lack that quality. Our first guest is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm, and his is probably the most.. remarkable story to come out of the Gulf War. Former U.S. Army Private first class, Ray Rio. Welcome to the show.

Ray Rio: Thank you.

Steve Kangas: Now.. you are the only U.S. serviceman.. to surrender to the Iraqis?

Ray Rio: That’s correct.

Steve Kangas: Operation Desert Storm was such a one-sided victory for us. Tell us how it is that.. you came to surrender. Where were you?

Ray Rio: I was in Union City, New Jersey. You see, I was actually on leave during the Gulf War.

Steve Kangas: And, who exactly did you surrender to?

Ray Rio: The owner of a news stand.. his wife.. and their 13-year old son.

Steve Kangas: And.. they were Iraqis?

Ray Rio: I don’t know for sure. When you’re in that situation, and you’re as big a coward as I am, you don’t wait to find out. I just handed over my dog tags, and told them as much military information as I could think of.

Steve Kangas: Well, I imagine this brought a lot of notoriety to you, didn’t it?

Ray Rio: Well, I was invited to the White House. Where I was slapped by Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf. And Barbara Bush spat at me.

Steve Kangas: And, how was it that President Bush referred to you?

Ray Rio: “Garbage wrapped in skin.”

Steve Kangas: Understandable. Our next guest is outdoorsman, Jack Killian. Now, Jack, I understand.. you have run in terror from over fifty bears.

Jack Killian: [ nods ] Yes, I have.

Steve Kangas: And, you have also run from a crocodile.

Jack Killian: Yes, I did. I-in Australia.

Steve Kangas: And I read that you have even run.. from a shark.

Jack Killian: [ smiling modestly ] Yes, uh.. I was standing on the beach, and I saw a fin about a hundred yards out. Well, I just turned around and ran and ran and ran, until I couldn’t run any more.

Steve Kangas: And how far did you run?

Jack Killian: [ thinking ] Umm.. about six miles. Uh.. a lot of it through heavy brush.. which I also found very scary.

Steve Kangas: What’s the smallest animal you’ve ever run from?

Jack Killian: Well.. that would probably be a baby chick, that was.. painted pink for Easter. I’m so G.D. terrified of that thing..

Steve Kangas: Have you ever run from children?

Jack Killian: Steve, I’ve run from children as young as six months.

Steve Kangas: Our next guest has a fascinating tale of personal weakness. Linda Coleman, tell us your story.

Linda Coleman: Well, I had just gotten divorced from my husband – he’s Iranian. And he kidnapped our daughter and took her back to Iran.

Steve Kangas: Wow! That must have been heartbreaking.

Linda Coleman: It was. I’ll never forget that day.

Steve Kangas: Now, what did you do?

Linda Coleman: What do you mean?

Steve Kangas: Well, did you ever go over there to.. get her back?

Linda Coleman: What, to Iran? Are you joking? This is Iran. Does this ring a bell? [ raises blouse over face and chants like a deranged Iranian woman, startling Jack Killian seated next to her ] I mean, come on! Get real! I can have other daughters!

Steve Kangas: Well, few mothers.. would have done what you did. Our next guest is retired police officer, Mack Panko. And, Mack, you were involved in a very dramatic case.

Mack Panko: Well, I wouldn’t say “involved”, no.

Steve Kangas: Well, tell us what happened.

Mack Panko: Alright. Uh.. twenty years ago, I was walking through Flatbush in Brooklyn, and, uh, I saw this woman being attacked.

Steve Kangas: Ooh, so what did you do?

Mack Panko: I froze.. and I-I hid between two parked cars until I was sure the attack was over.

Steve Kangas: Then, you.. called the police?

Mack Panko: No! I was terrified the attacker might be watching.

Steve Kangas: Well, you were off-duty, so you didn’t have your gun.

Mack Panko: Yes, and no. Funny story about that. I, uh, was actually returning a gun I had borrowed from a friend.

Steve Kangas: So, you did have a gun?

Mack Panko: Yeah! you know, I guess I did!

Steve Kangas: Now, that is a Profile in Cowardice. Our final guest is in the Witness Protection program, so his appearance has been electronically altered. We’ll just call him Mr… Smith.

Mr. Smith: [ his face digitally blurred, but still adequately recognizable ] No, no, not Smith!

Steve Kangas: Oh, sorry! Okay, uh.. Mr…. S.

Mr. Smith: [ shakes his head ]

Steve Kangas: Uh.. how did you wind up in the Witness Protection program? Did you testify against mob figures?

Mr. Smith: No, no. I just heard about the program on TV, and, uh.. it seemed like a great idea. I didn’t know if anybody was after me or not, but.. better safe than sorry!

Steve Kangas: Uh-huh. How’s it working out for you?

Mr. Smith: Well, I’m not too crazy about living in Memphis — [ winces ] Oh, geez!

Linda Coleman: Ha! Memphis? Try Iran. Hello? Iran? [ raises blouse over her face again and chants like a deranged Iranian woman. She startles Jack Killian seated next to her, who bolts off-screen to escape his terror ]

Steve Kangas: Well, I see our time has run out – as has Mr. Killian. I’d like to say thank you to my remaining guests, and I hope you’ll join us next time on.. “Profiles in Cowardice.”

[ fade ]

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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