SNL Transcripts: John Goodman: 04/10/99: Adult Literacy Program


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 24: Episode 17

98q: John Goodman / Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

Adult Literacy Program

Teacher…..Tim Meadows
Arthur Dugan…..John Goodman
Adult Male #1…..Horatio Sanz
Adult Male #2…..Darrell Hammond
Adult Make #3…..Chris Parnell

[ open on exterior, Wilson High School ] [ dissolve to interior hall sign: “Adult Literacy Program, Monday Nights 8pm” ] [ dissolve to interior, adult literacy classroom ]

Teacher: Good evening, everyone. Uh — you should all be proud of yourselves for coming out here tonight. Adult illiteracy, uh — it isn’t an easy thing to admit. Huh?

[ murmurs of agreement from the adult students ]

Teacher: Yeah. But — with some hard work, determination, and the support of each other — at the end of the semester, you’ll be able to leave this classroom and say: “I can read.” [ he nods ] Yeah. Now, the first thing we’ll cover is — [ he is interrupted by a makeshift farting sound effect from the back of the classroom ] Uh — I’m sorry. What’s going on back there?

[ cut to Arthur Dugan, dressed in the style of a high school slacker with his hands pressed between his lips as he blows into them ]

Arthur Dugan: Come on, Teech! Ain’t you never heard nobody cut the cheeeeeeese?

Teacher: Uh — [ consults the class roster ] Who are you?

Arthur Dugan: My name’s Arthhur Dugan, and I’m your worst nightmare, Teacher-man! ‘Cause I ruuuuule… this schooooooll!

Teacher: Right. Uh, how old are you?

Arthur Dugan: Fifty!! [ flashes both hands five times ]

Teacher: Yeah. And you “rule” the, uh, adult literacy program?

Arthur Dugan: [ lowers his shades a tad ] Oh… yeeeeeeeaaahhhhh!!

Teacher: Meaning: you can’t read or write?

Arthur Dugan: [ lowers his shades a tad ] Oh… nooooooo!! Let’s just say the only word I know how to spell is PAR-TAAAAYYY!!

Teacher: Okay, uh — well, why don’t you spell “party” for us?

Arthur Dugan: [ tapping his pencil ] T! K! L! [ pause ] L! O! B! O! [ pinches his lower lip ] Yeeeeeaaaahh! [ raises both lips ] Caw!! [ plays air guitar ]

Teacher: Okay, well… it’s clear, Mr. Dugan, that you’ve got a lot of work to do, uh — which is what we’re all here for. So, why don’t we start out by sounding out osme alphabets, uh — starting with “A”.

Arthur Dugan: Yo, Teach!!

Teacher: Yeah?

Arthur Dugan: Do we, uh, have to know this for the test?

Teacher: Uh, no — you have to know this to learn how to read.

Arthur Dugan: [ fake-snores ] Well, wake me up when it’s over! I’m kickin’back and puttin’ on some tunes! [ flops his headphones over his ears ]

Teacher: Look, uh — this is a volunteer class, you don’t have to be here if you don’t want to.

Arthur Dugan: Oh, no. Oh, no, no, no! [ his backwards cap falls off ] You ain’t gettin’ rid of this bad boy that easy. I got a REP to maintain, dude! [ he picks his cap off the floor ]

Teacher: Uh — and what is your rep?

Arthur Dugan: I’m a fifty-year-old father of three who can’t read! [ puts his cap back on his head ] And I rule… this… school!

Teacher: Alright, well, look — just try to be more respectful for the people around you, okay?

Arthur Dugan: What? What’s that? Uh — Geek Patrol, here?

Adult Male #1: [ insulted ] Geek Patrol? I drive a bus.

Adult Male #2: [ insulted ] I’m a veteran!

Adult Male #3: [ insulted ] I’m here because I want to better myself!

Arthur Dugan: [ makes foghorn sound effects ] NERD ALERT!! NERD ALERT!!

Teacher: Look, uh — Mr. Dugan, look, you’re being extremely insensitive. These people, they face hardships every day because they can’t read.

Arthur Dugan: Well, you know what they say: “If you can’t read, you better do… some serious… PAR-TEE-IN’!! [ mimes raising bottles back and forth from his lips ]

Teacher: [ deadpan ] No one’s ever said that.

Arthur Dugan: Well! Come on, now, let’s get goin’! [ lifts a small boombox onto his desk and hits Play ] Illiteracy Class of ’99 is lookin’ fine!! [ stands and dances to “Low Rider” by War ]

Teacher: You’re very sad, sir.

Arthur Dugan: That’s right! I’m sad because I can’t read! [ mimes rubbing tears from his eyes ] I can’t even read medicine labels! I once took Altoids for my high blood pressure! [ plays air guitar ]

Teacher: Look — I’m here to HELP YOU!

Arthur Dugan: Okay, let’s hear all the illiterate homies in the class say: “Yeeeaaa-eahhhh!!” [ performs a wave ] “Yeeeaaa-eahhhh!!” I was misdiagnosed as retarded when I was young, so no one bothered to teach me how to read! [ mimes rubbing tears from his eyes ]

Teacher: Look — I am going to teach you how to read!! I am going to do it!!

Arthur Dugan: Oh, yeah? You and what army? [ raises both lips ] [ dissolve to still image of “Fundamentals of Reading” textbook, as text scrools ]

Narrator: “Arthur Dugan’s teacher worked with him for three long years, teaching him how to read. They started slow at first, with words like “dude”, “kegger”, and “booty”. Eventually they moved up to advanced phrases, like “Is it cool if I puke in this?” and “He who smelt it dealt it.” But finally, after three years of work, Arthur Dugan left that school as a proud, LITERATE jackass.”

[ 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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