Buck Henry: Well, Jane, I don’t think we can keep it a secret any longer. Do you want to tell them?
Jane Curtin: I guess not, Buck. [ chickens out ] Here is a song from Randy Newman!
[ dissolve to Randy Newman at the Theater of the Performing Arts ]
Randy Newman: [ singing ]“In America, you’ll get food to eat Won’t have to run through the jungle And scuff up your feet You’ll just sing about Jesus and drink wine all day It’s great to be an American.
Ain’t no lions or tigers, ain’t no mamba snake Just the sweet watermelon and the buckwheat cake Ev’rybody is as happy as a man can be Climb aboard little wog, sail away with me.
Sail away, sail away We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay Sail away, sail away We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay.
In America, every man is free To take care of his home and his family You’ll be as happy as a monkey in a monkey tree You’re all gonna be an American.
Sail away, sail away We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay Sail away, sail away We will cross the mighty ocean into Charleston Bay.”
[ audience applauds ]
Randy Newman: Thank you very much! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you very much!
…..Buck Henry …..Jane Curtin Ricky Mussolini…..John Belushi
[ dissolve back to SNL’s reviewing grandstand at the corner of Bourbon and Canal streets ]
Jane Curtin: Thank you, Baba and Helen.
Buck Henry: You know, every year around Mardi Gras time, hundreds of traditional events take place. The most spectacular to me are the lavish masquerade recreations of famous happenings in New Orleans’ history. The men of the Krewe of Vastoth [?] annually restage the 300-mile crossing of the bayou by pirate Jean Lafitte in 1810. That’s one that the folks really enjoy. The combined Krewes of [?] and Apollo always serve their commemorative gumbo brunch for 20,000 people on a festival barge in the middle of Lake Pontchartrain.
Jane Curtin: I’ve never been to one, Buck, but I hear that’s quite a party.
Buck Henry: And I am personally intrigued by one of the more recent Carnival events, and that is the yearly Masquerade Re-Creation of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini’s state visit to New Orleans in 1940. Let’s go now to the French Quarter, where the Krewe of [?] is re-creating that colorful and historic event.
[ dissolve to a close-up shot of a crowd of revelers chanting, zoom out to reveal the magnitude of this crowd ]
Buck Henry V/O: This, of course —
[ cut to exteriro shot of a French Quarter building, the balcony draped with an Italian flag ]
Buck Henry V/O: This, of course, has been done each year since 1966, to commemorate il Dulce’s formal address to the waters of the Mississippi delta.
[ the crowd cheers with excitement, as John Belushi, dressed as Benito Mussolini, steps onto the balcony and looks down proudly ] [ outstretches his arms and addresses the crowd in thick Italian, only the word “party” coming through audibly, which is enough to cause the drunken crowd below to erupt into ecstatic applause ] [ dissolve back to SNL’s reviewing grandstand at the corner of Bourbon and Canal streets ]
Buck Henry: The part of Benito is being portrayed by his 27-year old grandson, Ricky Mussolini. He looks like he’s having fun out there tonight. Ricky Musso — Ricky Mussolini, playing his grandfather, here at the Mardi Gras. Incidentally, Ricky is a successful pick-up truck salesman in [ with a Cajun accent ] Bat-on Rouge.
[ extended silence, as Buck and Jane look to the camera with uncertainty. The Bacchus parade has still not arrived at this location. A lone voice shouts in the background, as Jane taps her earpiece. ]
Jane Curtin: Uh – something that you might find interesting: the origin of the parade. One-hundred years ago, thousands of people began to line both sides of Canal Street, for no particular reason. After years of going away disappointed, the city put a parade in the middle!