Ernestine…..Lily Tomlin Technician in background…..Al Franken
Ernestine: A gracious hello. Here at the Phone Company, we handle eighty-four billion calls a year. Serving everyone from presidents and kings to the scum of the earth. So, we realize that, every so often, you can’t get an operator, or for no apparent reason your phone goes out of order, or perhaps you get charged for a call you didn’t make. We don’t care!
Watch this… [ she hits buttons maniacally ] We just lost Peoria.
You see, this phone system consists of a multibillion-dollar matrix of space age technology that is so sophisticated — [ she hits buttons with her elbows ] even we can’t handle it. But that’s your problem, isn’t it? So, the next time you complain about your phone service, why don’t you try using two Dixie cups with a string? We don’t care. We don’t have to. We’re the Phone Company.
Tom Schiller Chevy’s Telephone FallSummary: Because Chevy Chase is on medical leave after hurting himself during a fall on last week’s show, Gilda Radner plans to take the fall for him tonight. Chevy calls from his hospital room to to stop Gilda, and offers an alternative solution.
Norman Lear’s MonologueSummary: Norman Lear presents a video documentary that reveals how the actors on his sitcoms really feel about him.
Note: Bea Arthur and Bernadatte Peters would later host “SNL” in 1979 and 1981.
Bio: Norman Lear (1922-). Television writer/producer; his popular television productions include: “All in the Family” (1971-79) and its spin-off series “Maude” (1972-78), “Good Times” (1974-79), “The Jeffersons” (1975-85), “Archie Bunker’s Place” (1979-83).
Paid Political AnnouncementSummary: Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter (Dan Aykroyd) tells a crowd about the women he’s lusted after, and even flirts with a few new ones.
Boz Scaggs performs “Lowdown”Bio: Boz Scaggs (1944-). Singer/songwriter; participated in the first two albums by The Steve Miller Band, before securing a solo contract in 1968; released the album “Silk Degrees” in 1976.
The Snake-Handling O’SheasSummary: Writer #456 (Tom Schiller) sells Norman Lear on a new sitcom idea: members of the O’Shea Family, who are the last of Pittsburgh’s snakehandling family units.
Chevy’s GirlsSummary: Norman Lear performs a pratfall in honor of Chevy Chase’s absence during his hospitalization. Chevy’s Girls Gilda Radner, Laraine Newman, and Jane Curtin sing a pop tune about wishisg that he were falling for them.
Jimmy Carter: Uh, hi there, everybody. It’s good to see your faces. Tonight I want to talk to you about a timeless Democratic tradition – sexual performance in the White House! [ smiles and salutes the crowd ] I am going to personally try to be a lusty, zesty kind of president, and follow.. [ winks at girl in the crowd ] Hi, baby. How are you? [ returns to speech ] ..and follow the lusty example of LBJ, JFK, and FDR. I want you to remember for a moment the love life of Harry Truman, and my guess is that his First Lady was one satisfied customer! [ makes kissing gestures to girls in the crowd ]
It is in my heart that I have commited adultery, and that God forgives me, and.. um.. I forgot to add when I said that, that I have worn women’s clothing.. [ pauses and smiles ] ..and I look very beautiful in it, too! I dont know why I said that, but I think that in the long run it will help me get elected!
You know, when stopping like this, I have had the opportunity to lust after a lot of women in America, and I have found that.. “East coast girls are really hip, I really dig the styles they wear..” [ pauses and smiles ] “..and the Northern girls, with the way they look, they keep me warm up there..” [ clicks along ] “I wish they all could be California girls!”
So far in my campaign, I have only fantisized. But now I actually look forward to some of the girls I’ve lusted after. Saucy vixens like Helena Kazan, Sheri Lewis, Phyliss Newman – actually, I’m not sure God ever forgave me for Phyliss Newman. But I want you to look at our Democratic figures – FDR, LBJ, JFK, Harry Truman – now, here were lusty, zesty men, seething with vital hormonal secretions. These were men of action. Doers. Democrats! As your president, I look forward to deeply satisfying each and every last one of you! God forgive us all! Thank you!
[ waves and salutes crowd ]
[ dissolve to SUPER: “Democrats Do It” ]
[ fade out ]
Norman Lear: As you all know, Chevy Chase isn’t here tonight. Wethought it might not matter. But as the week went on, I noticed somethingwas missing. I didn’t know quite what it was, but there was a lack.. a void.And no one, no one among us, could figure out what it was.. and I wasthinking.. [ pratfalls ] ..about it. And it’s quite possible that’s what itwas. Well, I feel better now, I hope you feel better too, Chevy.
[ dissolve to Chevy on the cover of Photoplay magazine, with Jane Curtin, Laraine Newman, and Gilda Radner appearing over his shoulder ]
[ zoom on the girls, then dissolve to them in the studio ]
Chevy’s Girls: [ singing ]“When he’s doing “Update”, my heart stands still. When he says that Franco’s still dead, I could die!”
Gilda Radner: “When he talks dirty on that phone, it’s like he’s talking to me. I go to pieces when he sneezes in his tie!”
Chevy’s Girls: “When he does Gerald Ford, you know I’m never bored. He says, “No problem”, but I wish that he could see.”
Laraine Newman: “There is a problem, mine, because I want him so. And if he takes me in his arms, there would be…”
Chevy’s Girls: “Chevy! Chevy, I love when you fall down! Each Saturday Night on my T.V. Oh, but Chevy, everytime you take that fall, I wish you that you falling, falling for me.
I know this shouldn’t be said, I wish his girlfriend were dead. Her tragic “accidental” death I scheme and plot!”
Jane Curtin: “So when in heaven we meet, I will be able to say…”
Chevy’s Girls: “‘Hi, I’m Mrs. Chevy Chase and you’re not!”
Chevy! Chevy, I love when you fall down! Each Saturday Night on my T.V.”
Laraine Newman: “Oh, but Chevy, everytime you take that fall..”
Chevy’s Girls: “I wish that you were falling…”
Laraine Newman: “Falling for me.”
Gilda Radner: One day, he came into my dressing room.
Jane and Laraine: Do tell!
Gilda Radner: He asked for a match, and I felt my heart swoon!
Jane and Laraine: Then what happened?
Gilda Radner: The show began, he turned around to go, and said goodbye…
Jane and Laraine: Oh no!
Gilda Radner: I asked him to stay, I thought I would die!
Jane and Laraine: Look out! Look out! Look out!
Gilda Radner: He crashed into a wall and there was nothing I could do about it.
Chevy’s Girls: “Chevy! Chevy, I love when you fall down! Each Saturday night on my T.V.”
Jane: “Oh, but Chevy, everytime you take that fall,” I wish that you were falling…
Chevy’s Girls: “Falling for me!”
[ dissolve back to the cover of Photoplay magazine ]
[ dissolve to wide shot of the audience, zoom in on man with SUPER: “Mentally Undressing Self” ]
[ fade ]
Gilda Radner: Hi, I’m Gilda Radner. This is the part of the show where we usually do a short scene, and, at the end of it, Chevy takes a fall and then he says, “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!” But I’m afraid I have some bad news for you – right now, CHevy’s in the hospital. You see, last week during the Ford-Carter Debate, he fell and he hurt himself, making America laugh. And, uh.. I guess even though he won’t be here tonight, the show has to go on.. I mean.. he’d want it that way. So, I’m just gonna go ahead and do the scene that Chevy and I rehearsed, and, uh.. start the show, okay?
[ stands up, looks toward burned-out light ]
Chevy! That light burned out again, can you come and fix it? Oh, never mind – I’ll do it! [ she starts to climb ladder ]
[ phone rings; Gilda climbs down and answers it ]Hello?
Voice of Chevy Chase: [ coughing ] Uh.. Gilda?
[ show image of Chevy laying in hospital bed with phone to ear, SUPER: “Voice of Chevy Chase” ]
Gilda Radner: Chevy! Chevy, how are you?
Voice of Chevy Chase: I’m okay. Can you hear me okay?
Gilda Radner: Yeah, I can hear you.
Voice of Chevy Chase: Uh.. I was watching, uh, you know, the “Donald O’Connor Story” on Channel 2, and I flipped the channel-changer, and I saw the show was starting..
Gilda Radner: Yeah.
Voice of Chevy Chase: I’m a little groggy here, but, uh.. I thought maybe you were gonna do a fall or something, and I wanted to make sure you didn’t do it..
Gilda Radner: Oh, no, but Chevy, I want to do it.
Voice of Chevy Chase: Gilda, I don’t.. uh.. want to get in the way.. but I don’t want you to do the fall, it’s too dangerous..
Gilda Radner: No..
Voice of Chevy Chase: I can just tell from what happened to me..
Gilda Radner: Yeah.. no, but, Chevy, nobody could think of anything else to do to open the show.
Voice of Chevy Chase: Can’t you sing or dance, or anything?
Gilda Radner: Chevy, look – it’s not dangerous, and I’m gonna do it. Don’t you worry about it, okay? You just rest.
Voice of Chevy Chase: Gilda, I just..
Gilda Radner: Okay, bye bye! Bye bye, Chevy!
[ hangs up phone, and returns to scene ]
Oh, Chevy, look – that light burned out again.. um.. I’ll go fix it myself.. [ climbs ladder ]
[ phone rings again; Gilda climbs down and answers it ]
Voice of Chevy Chase: [ coughing ] Gilda?
[ show second image of Chevy laying in hospital bed with phone to ear, SUPER: “Voice of Chevy Chase” ]
Gilda Radner: Who.. who is it?
Voice of Chevy Chase: Gilda, listen.. this is Chevy again.
Gilda Radner: Oh.
Voice of Chevy Chase: Listen, honey, listen to me closely..
Gilda Radner: Yeah.
Voice of Chevy Chase: First of all, no one’s gonna believe that light bulb thing.. and, second of all, I have a great idea, and this is kind of gonna save us both here, so.. Are you listening closely?
Gilda Radner: Yeah.
Voice of Chevy Chase: Alright, I want you to sit down. Are you sitting down?
Gilda Radner: Yeah, I’m sitting down.
Voice of Chevy Chase: I can see you now – you look lovely.
Gilda Radner: Thank you!
Voice of Chevy Chase: Uh.. take the phone..
Gilda Radner: Yeah.
Voice of Chevy Chase: Take the phone away from your ear, and just put the receiver on the desk.. but stand it upright, you know? Like on its wire.
Gilda Radner: Oh, like this?
Voice of Chevy Chase: Can you hear me? Can you hear me through the earpiece?
Gilda Radner: Yeah, I can har you.
Voice of Chevy Chase: Okay. See the sign in front of you?
Gilda Radner: Yeah?
Voice of Chevy Chase: Your name sign? Your name plate?
Gilda Radner: Yeah?
Voice of Chevy Chase: Take it out of the way, so everybody can see you.
Gilda Radner: Okay.
Voice of Chevy Chase: Now, what I want you to do is, walk the phone, walk it along the edge of the table, across the table there, okay? Like a muppet.
Gilda Radner: Like a muppet?
Voice of Chevy Chase: Yeah. JUst strt walking.. [ as Gilda “walks” the phone ] “Hi-ho, hi-ho.. it’s off to work I go..” Gilda? Gilda, can you hear me?
Gilda Radner: Yeah! Yes!
Voice of Chevy Chase: Alright, at the ednge of the desk, just put your hand out and trip me, okay?
Gilda Radner: Okay, I’ve got you! [ “trips” phone, dropping it over the desk’s edge ]
[ camera closes in on the phone dangling over the desk’s edge ]
Voice of Chevy Chase: “Live, from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”
…..Norman Lear Writer…..Tom Schiller Sister Mary Catherine…..Laraine Newman Clovis O’Shea…..John Belushi Barney…..Dan Aykroyd Jane O’Shea…..Jane Curtin
[ open on interior, Norman Lear’s office ]
Norman Lear: As a producer of televison shows, I, and my fellow producers, are constantly testing and experimentng with new concepts. A lot of people accuse us of running factories. Factories, indeed. In my own case, I like to think that I have a very personal relationship with each and every one of the writers I work with. [ buzzes intercom ] Miss Shabbit, send in Writer #456.
Writer: [ enters ] Hello, Norman!
Norman Lear: Ah, Wyzkof. Tell me, sir, what is new with the new series?
Writer: Well, we studied the closest ratings and audience percentiles for Pittsburgh, and the hidden census is to set this new series there.
Norman Lear: Good, good.
Writer: Now, it’s got all the characters you ordered. The father is a union organizer; the mother is his boss, the president of a large steel company – but the father is proud and they live on his money. Now, the daughter is a nun, and their son is a gay state trooper.
Norman Lear: Tell me – does it have a twist?
Writer: A twist? Sure. They’re all practicing snake handlers.
Norman Lear: Practicing snake handlers?
[ cut to opening montage for new series ]
[ SUPER: “The Snakehandling O’Sheas” ]
Jingle: Pop is a hardhat Mom’s an exec. Sis is a nun And Junior is gay.
We all live in Pittsburgh Oh, that’s a cliche. What else can we say? But we’ll be okay.
Because we’re snakehandlers We handle snakes. Snakehandlers Junior is gay. Snakehandlers..”
[ cut to interior, O’Shea living room ]
[ Clovis O’Shea enters to applause from the audience ]
Sister Mary Catherine: [ from upstairs ] Daddy? Daddy, is that you? [ comes downstairs, to applause from the audience ] Oh, no.. you mean it still hasn’t been settled?
Clovis O’Shea: I’m on that picket line for six hours today, with the men in my union looking up to me – their organizer! Only to suffer the ultimate humiliation of having my own son arrest me and haul me off to jail!
Sister Mary Catherine: Daddy, Barney called to explain..
Clovis O’Shea: I don’t want to hear any explanation! Where are the snakes?
Sister Mary Catherine: Okay, I’ll get them in a minute. But I want you to know that I came home from the convent to try and settle things here. But it looks like you just won’t listen to reason, so..
Clovis O’Shea: Reason? Reason?! Oh, you just wait ’til that brother of yours comes home. Boy, I’m gonna take care of him.. [ starts sweettalking his snake ] Boy, I’m gonna take care of that guy! My own flesh and blood!
Barney: [ enters the room, to applause from the audience ] Look, Dad, it was an illegal strike. Once Mom served the injunction, I had to move in there as a trooper and arrest you! I’m sorry, I couldn’t do anything about it! May I have my snake, please?
Clovis O’Shea: Your mother. Your mother. Just wait ’til she gets home, your mother. Miss Management mother! Yeah! When she gets home, she’s gonna get hers!
Jane O’Shea: [ enters, to major applause from the audience ] Snake, please.
Sister Mary Catherine: Yes, Mom.
Barney: Mother, you didn’t tell me that Dad was gonna be on that picket line today. I’m really upset.
Jane O’Shea: You’re upset?! Here I am, the newly-elected President of the National Steel Company, with a three-day old strike on my hands, and a union organizer for a husband! [ holds up her snake and swweettalks to it ] Hi, Skipper..
Barney: Mary Catherine, have you got the convent staff car tonight? Gimme the keys – I’m going to the drive-in with Boyd.
Sister Mary Catherine: Barney, as long as you’re seeing Boyd, I cannot lend you the nunmobile.
Clovis O’Shea: You know, the snakes feel so good today, I think I’ll start my chant..
Sister Mary Catherine: Dad, not yet.
Clovis O’Shea: Not yet? It’s just too much for me – your mother’s driving me crazy. I’m working my head off at the union, I’m the President there! The Lansford plans are out, they’re misfunctioning, what am I gonna do?
Jane O’Shea: 50-cents an hour at the current rate of production will ruin us. You know that, Clovis.
Barney: How’s your snake, Mom. It looks like Dad and Mary Catherine have already started their chants.
Jane O’Shea: Well, I’d better start mine, before I face the Board of Directors tomorrow.
[ they all start chanting to their snakes ]
Sister Mary Catherine: Just look at you two! You’re still both enjoying healthy, happy lives, handling snakes in a democracy! What more could you want?
Clovis O’Shea: I guess so.. You know, honey.. I think I’m gonna call off the strike.
Jane O’Shea: Sweetheart, I’ll see that you get that 50-cent-an-hour raise.
Sister Mary Catherine: Barney, tell Dad you’re sorry, and I’ll lend you the convent staff car, you can go to the drive-in with Boyd.
Barney: Daddy, I’ll never arrest you again. And, Mom, I’m not gonna marry Boyd, we’re probably just gonna go steady for a while.
Jane O’Shea: We’ve got to become closer, you know, and stop fighting. After all, we’re probably the only snakehandlers left in Pittsburgh!
[ dissolve to closing montage ]
Jingle: “Because we’re snakehandlers We handle snakes. Snakehandlers Junior is gay. Snakehandlers..”
Announcer: And now, “Weekend Update”. Substituting for the injured Chevy Chase is Jane Curtin.
Jane Curtin: [ on the phone ] Well, I really think you have the wrong number, Miss. A golden shower? Oh, is that one of those drinks you can get at the Hawaii Kai, with a little parasol — [ notices camera ] I gotta go, excuse me! [ hangs up ] Good evening, Jane Curtin with the news.
Our top story tonight: in a Playboy interview to be published next month, President Ford reveals that, in his heart, he committed celibacy.
Thursday, the first in a series of three presidential debates was held at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theater, in front of an estimated 100 million viewers. The candidates, President Ford and Governor Carter, each spoke for approximately 30 minutes. Then, to the confusion of everyone, whispered very softly for the remaining half-hour. It is generally agreed that President Ford won the first half-hour, Governor Carter the second half-hour, and the American people the third.
Washington Post newsman Nicholas von Hoffman, this week, referred to President Ford as “America’s Pet Rock”. Ford responded by writing an angry note, wrapping it around his head, and throwing himself through von Hoffman’s window.
Well, Patricia Hearst has been finally sentenced for her bank robbery conviction. Miss Hearst was sentenced to one night in the trunk of a car in her underwear, six months blindfolded on the floor of a closet, a year and a half of fear and terror, and seven years in prison. In sixteen months, she will be eligible to be kidnapped once again.
Oh, incidentally, you might recall that it was reported some time ago that Miss Hearst participated in group sex when she was a fugitive with the SLA. This was clarified that she did not, however, “go all the way”. Patty is basically an old-fashioned girl, who is saving herself for the right army.
Ever wonder what nuns are really like? Well, now we can all find out. The definitive book has just been written, and it vividly explains the sexual feelings, sexual attitudes and sexual practices of nuns. It’s an accurate and candid book. Once you pick it up, you won’t be able to open it.
Jane Curtin: And now, a special live remote from correspondent Laraine Newman at Times Square.
Laraine Newman: Jane, I’m standing in the center of Times Square, New York’s traditional celebration and meeting place. The turnout this year seems to be amller than expected – the crowds are lighter, the noisemakers quieter. A lot of feeling of excitement and expectation prevails, as the new year approaches. Of course at midnight, the big ball on top of the Allied Chemical Tower will drop, and the numeral 5737 will herald the new year. And, according to tradition, the Book of Life will then open, and God will decide the fate of the world for the next ten years. After ten days, however..
Jane Curtin: Uh, Laraine? Laraine?
Laraine Newman: Yes, Jane?
Jane Curtin: Are you talking about the Jewish New Year?
Laraine Newman: That’s right, Jane – Rosh Hashana!
Jane Curtin: Well, Laraine, that’s usually celebrated privately in homes and in synogogues, not in Times Square.
Laraine Newman: I thought it seemed a little quiet. Well, this is Laraine Newman saying, “Happy Birthday, Steve”, “Good Yanta”, and sending it back to you, Jane.
Rock star Elton John has revealed he is bisexual. The statement was made this week in a two-part interview – part one in Rolling Stone magazine; part two in Women’s Wear Daily.
In a tragically-related final story, TV personality Speedy Alka Seltzer came out of the medicine cabinet this week, and admitted that he was a bicarbonate. Fearful over possible criticism, the beloved Speedy threw himself into a bathtub and was fatally effervesced. A grief-stricken close friend, Popenfresh, the Pillsbury Doughboy, said that Speedy left behind a suicide note that read, simply, “Plop-plop-fizz-fizz, oh what a relief it is.” Memorial services for Speedy Alka Seltzer will be tomorrow at ten o’clock, and will be repeated every four hours.
Jane Curtin: Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.