SNL Transcripts: Saturday Night Live in the ’80s: Lost and Found: 11/13/05



Saturday Night Live Transcripts


Special: Saturday Night Live in the ’80s: Lost and Found







1981-82 opening montage

Announcer: And now, from New York, the most dangerous city in America, it’s “Saturday Night Live.” Starring Robin Duke, Christine Ebersole, Mary Gross, Tim Kazurinsky….Tony Rosato, Brian Doyle-Murray —


Bob Tischler V/O: The new cast included some seasoned comedy players.

Dick Ebersol V/O: And they were largely choices influenced by John and Danny.

Bob Tischler V/O: They’d done a lot of comedy. They’d done a lot of sketch comedy. They were NOT intimidated by the process.

Mr. & Mrs. T’s Bloody Mary Mix: 10/02/82

Mrs. T: Shut up, old man, shut up! Never canned ’em to the death! I canned the man! But I pity him first!

Spray-On Laetril: 10/17/81

All: [ singing ] “The Pump!”

Sarcastic Nun: 11/12/83

Father Alexander: You do want to serve God, don’t you?

Nun: Oh, no. I’m a nun. I want to worship Satan and dance naked at a black mass.

The Whiners’ Anniversary: 04/10/82

Maitre’D: Your name is, Sir, please?

Doug & Wendy: Doug and Wendy Whinerrrr!

Marvin the Iguana: 10/23/82

Marvin the Iguana: This is exciting. This place brings out the animal in me.

Mary Gross: I’m sorry to say this, but I thought the show was a sinking ship.

Tim Kazurinsky: I didn’t care what a poo the show was in. I just thought, I’m gonna go around and plug up the leaks. I want this thing to stay afloat until I get a house.
I Married A Monkey: 04/11/81

Tim: Don’t you see what I’m trying to do here? I am trying to save a marriage! I’m trying to save a family.

Mary Gross: I think we were very lucky to come in in 1981. Because the cast that came in, in 1980, had to take a lot of abuse from the critics because they were following those five golden years.

Barry Blaustein: Now it’s accepted that you replace the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” and new people go on. At that time, people questioned whether the show should even continue after the original cast.

Robin Duke: There was not a feeling that this was – this was gonna be great. You know, that we were going to save the show, I guess! [ laughs ]
Goodnights: 10/10/81

Susan St. James: “Saturday Night” is back! Good night, everybody! [ Cheers and applause ]

Joe Piscopo: At that point, we went from lackadaisical and cocky to “We’ve got something here. Don’t screw this up, now.”

Andy Breckman: Ebersol was smart enough to know what he didn’t know. He was the only guy in the business I ever heard turn to somebody else and say, “Is that funny? I just don’t know.” Like, he would just admit, “I don’t know.”

Neil Levy V/O: The difference was, there was hip people walking around who knew comedy and had some history.

Dick Ebersol: Lorne said to me, “You know who you should really consider as your right arm in all this, is Michael.”

Lorne Michaels: I said to Dick, at least it will send the right signals.

Tim Kazurinsky: Michael O’Donoghue, the Dark Prince. Oh, my God!
George Thoroughgood & The Destroyers perform “Bad to The Bone”: 10/02/82

George Thoroughgood: [ singing ] “Now on the day I was born
The nurses all gathered ’round
And they gazed in wide wonder
At the joy they had found.

The head nurse spoke up
Said, “Leave this one alone.”
She could tell right away
That I was bad to the bone.

Bad to the bone
B-b-bad b-b-bad b-b-bad.”


??? V/O: Dick and Michael were at odds from the beginning of day one.

Dick Ebersol: The first fight we had was over billing. Because he wanted to be called “Reich Marshall.”
24:08The Fiesta Cheese Platter: 02/19/83

Marvin the Iguana: [ on the phone ] Oh, no! No. Room Service? Yeah, we’d like to cancel the “Bavarian Pork Surprise.” [ a German marching band suddenly bursts into the room ] Cancel the “Bavarian Pork Surprise!” No!

??? V/O: Just delighted in being outrageous and upsetting people as much as he possibly could.

Tim Kazurinsky: It was nuts. When I showed up to work, Michael said, “Viking death! We’re going to take this ship down.”

??? V/O: And he just wanted to make it as outrageous as possible while it was going down.
The Bizarro World: 02/20/82

Narrator: [ a cubed Earth spins in space ] Somewhere in space, there exists a parallel universe. Where our earthly events are duplicated. But they are duplicated backwards, for it is a reflection. Our Earth is a sphere, so the parallel Earth is, of course, a cube. This is “The Bizarro World.” But even in this strange world, there is one place so bizarre, it scares even them — [ dissolve to: ] The headquarters of “Bizarro Broadcasting Company!”

[ dissolve to interior, Network President’s office, as Secretary enters ]

Secretary: Mr. President, man is here for job interview.

Network President: We too busy. Send him in! [ Writer enters ] Good-bye, good-bye.

Writer: Me want to work for “Bizarro Network.”

Network President: Ever write a script?

Writer: No.

Network President: Ever direct a show?

Writer: No.

Network President: Know anything at all about television?

Writer: No.

Network President: Congratulations!

??? V/O: Dick Ebersol’s most amazing talent is he’s able to deal with the network. And he kept the network away from the show.

Bob Tischler: I don’t remember ever, ever having any network interference at all. You know, except for things that we couldn’t do because of censorship.
The Bulge: 10/06/84

[ Jim Belushi in barroom men’s room, watching as Gary Kroeger stuffs toilet paper in his pants ] [ Jim Belushi follows suit, and endlessly stuffs toilet paper in his own pants ]

Jim Belushi: We had a film piece. Sasaying, “you can’t do that! That’s a penis!” Ebersol went and fought for that piece. And this is the way he negotiated — “Okay, as long as it’s not smooth.”
The Bulge: 10/06/84

[ Jim Belushi emerges from the men’s room with 6-foot padding in his pants ]

Jim Belushi V/O: So we had this 6-foot thing with all these bumps on it. It looked grosser than it would smooth. Ebersol had a way with the network.
Lone Justice performs “Shelter”: 12/20/86

Lone Justice: [ singing ] “Let me be your shelter
Shelter from the storm outside.
Let me be your shelter
Shelter From the endless tide.”


Dick Ebersol: The cast benefited on a number of levels from Eddie’s emerging stardom. I think Eddie and Joe Piscopo saved the show. I think that’s fair to say. Because the network was seriously thinking about giving it the ax.
Back | Next: Eddie Murphy Emerges

SNL Transcripts

SNL Transcripts: Saturday Night Live in the ’80s: Lost and Found: 11/13/05



 Saturday Night Live Transcripts


  Special: Saturday Night Live in the ’80s: Lost and Found




















Automobile Club: 11/22/86

Kevin Nealon: And how about these mile scales, on the bottom? Have you ever tried to figure those out? They’re so inaccurate, because you have to do it with your fingers, you know? Because you don’t have a protractor in the car! So you get your fingers out, and you get 50, 60, 70 — by the time you get it up here, it’s like 7,000 miles! From your hotel to the supermarket. Maybe — maybe If you did it real fast. You know, 50, 60, 70. [ moves his fingers across the map very quickly ] And maybe, they oughta just draw a little thumb and finger down there, like there, like that.

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers perform “Change of Heart”: 02/19/83

Tom Petty: [ singing ]“Oh yeah, oh boy
Looks like we finally reached a turning point
Oh me, oh my
Looks like it’s time for me to kiss you goodbye
Yeah, I can kiss you goodbye
There’s been a change
Girl, there’s been a change of heart.”


Dick Ebersol: After spending the long weekend in New York, watching the show secretly, it was worse than I thought it would be.

Gail Matthius: We got taken off the air. And everybody said, “Go away, go away for a month. We’ve gotta figure some things out.”

Gilbert Gottfried: Then, when you come back, we’ll tell you how we’ll be tweaking things. Doing it a little different.
Writer’s Script: 03/07/81

Author: “He chose his wife.”

[ the Jilted Husband shoots his wife – gun shot ]

Author: “She screamed –“

[ the Wife screams upon being shot ]

Author: “– and fell to the couch.”

[ she starts to fall away from the couch, but Mr. Lawnsdale pulls into the other direction and allows her to fall to the couch ]

Author: No, that’s no good. “Instead, he lets Old Man Lawnsdale have it.”

[ the Jilted Husband shoots Mr. Lawnsdale – gun shot ]

Author: Yeah, that’s it. “He, uh — Lawnsdale falls to the ground.”

[ Mr. Lawnsdale falls to the ground ]

Author: No, no, that’s no good. “He, uh — he, uh — falls backwards over the couch and slams his head through the Plate-Glass window.”

[ Mr. Lawnsdale looks toward the author like he’s insane, but complies with the storyline and sprawls across the edge of the couch and slams his head through the Plate-Glass window – glass shatters ]

Author: No, I don’t like that, either. “Instead, he staggers around the room, wildly, blindly.” [ Mr. Lawnsdale stands up and staggers ] “Finally, smashing against the bookcase, pulling the entire works of Leo Tolstoy down on his crumpled, lifeless body.”

[ Mr. Lawnsdale staggers into the bookcase, cradles the books into his arms and falls to the ground ]

Gail Matthius: And then we came back.

Joe Piscopo: And we heard, “Who’s coming in? We don’t know. Is Lorne coming back? What’s going on?” It was great. It was — it was turmoil!
Weekend Update with Chevy Chase: 04/11/81

Al Franken: Okay, now, who do they pick to rectify the original error? Someone who knows what he’s doing? Someone like me, Al Franken? [ SUPER: “Al Franken” ] No, they picked Dick Ebersol.

Dick Ebersol: There was no chance whatsoever for resurrecting anything resembling “Saturday Night Live”, unless it had Lorne’s approval.

Lorne Michaels: Dick called me and asked if we could have dinner. And, uh, he said that Brandon had talked to him. We sat and we talked, and he said that he thought he wanted to do it. And how would I feel about it? And I said, “My first reaction would be that it would be all right.”

Barry Blaustein V/O: He got Lorne’s blessing, which opened up all the old stars —
Vomitng For Good Luck: 10/31/81
Father Guido Sarducci’s Monologue: 01/14/84
Big Star Eddie Murphy: 01/22/83

Lily Tomlin: “Live from New York, it’s “The Lily Tomlin Show!” [ Eddie Murphy’s arm tugs her back into the hall ]
Weekend Update with Chevy Chase: 04/11/81

Chevy Chase: [ talking into the phone ] I think just a firm and gentle tug on the string, and it — [ looks at the camera, quickly hangs up ]

Barry Blaustein V/O: — and all the old writers. Suddenly, Marilyn Miller was in the office, and Alan Zweibel — all happy to, you know, help out. So it was brilliant. If Jean had done that, it would have changed history.
Weekend Update with Chevy Chase: 04/11/81

Al Franken: I know Dick, and I can tell you that he doesn’t know dick. [ laughter and applause ] Okay. Now, the show is going to be.. a little better. No English-speaking person could do a worse job than Jean.

Barry Blaustein: Dick Ebersol came in, we did one show. But then, there was a writers’ strike.

Dick Ebersol: That was the profound miracle of that first period. Because it was very important to me that the show stop, so that it could re-tool and get new people.

Joe Piscopo: Cut to 17th floor. Bang — everybody getting axed.

Gail Matthius: We had individual meetings with Dick Ebersol. We went in one at a time.

Gilbert Gottfried: You know, it’s always like — “This is always worse for me than it is for you. This hurts me so much more. I’ll have a job. I’ll be making money. You won’t. But it hurts me more.”
Bruce Hornsby & The Range perform “The Way It Is”: 01/31/87

Bruce Hornsby: [ singing ]“Standing in line marking time waiting for the welfare dime
‘Cause they can’t buy a job
Man in the silk suit hurries by
As he catches the poor old lady’s eyes
Just for fun he says, “get a job.”

That’s just the way it is
Some things never change
That’s just the way it is
That’s just the way it is.”


Barry Blaustein V/O: There was a total housecleaning. Dick came in, and he fired everyone — except David, myself, Pam Norris, Eddie Murphy and Joe Piscopo.

Bob Tischler: It was a way of basically making the show our own, rather than just inheriting Jean’s staff.

Joe Piscopo: And they bring Eddie and I before Mr. Ebersol. And Dick says, “I think we’re gonna keep you guys around.”

Tim Kazurinsky: Dick sent Joe and Eddie to Chicago, thinking, “They need some training.” So they both slept on my floor, and we went to do the shows at Second City.

Joe Piscopo: And we came back with some of the Second City guys. And that’s when we started to move.
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