Wednesday, September 22, 2010


On February 25, 1984, Edwin Newman hosted 'Saturday Night Live' after he retired from NBC News. The musical guest was Kool & The Gang, and Harry Anderson made a special appearance (probably doing magic tricks). The highlight of the program had to be the "News Bar" sketch......

Here's the transcript, courtesy of the Saturday Night Live Transcripts site:

News Bar Bartender.....Brad Hall

Joe Piscopo.....Tom Snyder
Julia Louis-Dreyfus.....Linda Ellerbee
.....Edwin Newman

Bartender: Here's some nuts.

Tom Snyder: Hey, hey, Elerbee! Pass those beer nuts. Don't be greedy! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Linda Ellerbee: Ladies and gentlemen, some call it retirement. Some call it a permanent vacation. I call it unemployment. And so, I toast to tonight's top story: Edwin Newman.

Tom Snyder: Okay, I'll go for that. First I got canned, then Ellerbee got canned, now you got canned, Ed! Ha ha ha ha ha! It's a small world! Ha! Actually, it's a small network! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Edwin Newman: Actually, Tom, I retired voluntarily.

Tom Snyder: Yeah, you retired voluntarily, just like Nixon! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Linda Ellerbee: Well Ed, I must run. But first, this. To Edwin Newman, great newsman, and so it goes, and so do I.

Edwin Newman: Goodnight, Linda.

Linda Ellerbee: Goodnight. And goodnight, for NBC News.

Tom Snyder: You know, Ed, that broad talks funny. Ha ha ha ha ha! Guess it's time for me to buy you a drink. Hey, I wanna hear more about this "retirement" thing of yours. Right after this brief message. Now tell me about this firing - I mean retiring. Ha ha ha ha ha!

Edwin Newman: Well, I'll tell you the truth, Tom. The news business is a new business these days.

Tom Snyder: Alright, alright, alright, I'll go with that, Ed. I mean, in your day, an anchorman could also be a critic, a reporter, a commentator, I mean, nowadays, an anchorman can only do one thing; it's a highly specialized skill.

Edwin Newman: Well, maybe if you call smiling a skill. Nowadays, how a man's mouth looks is more important than what comes out of it. Networks..
[ singing ]
"Why can't the networks teach the anchors how to speak?
'Stead of telling them how to style their hair, pick a suit that's chic?
They dress like fashion models, they all look like Mark Spitz,
And they sound as if they'd learned their English from Burlitz.

They read the news with foot in mouth, instead of tongue in cheek,
Why can't the anchors learn to speak?"

Tom Snyder: Ha ha ha ha ha! Hey, alright! Ha ha ha ha ha! Did you ever think of going on "Star Search?" Hey, Ed Newman and Ed MacMahon: News and Booze! Ha ha ha ha ha! Well, Ed, don't you think you're exaggerating a little bit?

Edwin Newman: Well, maybe a little, but I tell you what....

Tom Snyder: What?

Edwin Newman: If you give me a man with a nice voice, sufficiently nice voice, and good hair, I'll turn him into a anchorperson.

Tom Snyder: Well, alright, sir. How about Blondy over there?

Edwin Newman: Well, I have seen more promising material.. but what the hell. It's done, we've shaken.

Tom Snyder: Okay, let's get this thing going here. Hey, bartender, get the over here.

Bartender: Yeah, got your beers here.

Tom Snyder: Well, me and my buddy here made a wager that he could turn anyone into a news anchorman. Ha ha ha ha ha!

Bartender: Well, that shouldn't be too hard. I used to read the news on "Saturday Night Live". Hi, I'm Brad Hall.

Edwin Newman: Bet's off.

Tom Snyder: Now, Ed, we shook on it.

Edwin Newman: Well, okay. Young man, do you want to be a news anchorperson?

Bartender/Brad Hall: More than anything in the whole world!
[ singing ]
"All I want is a desk somewhere,
Thirty minutes of network air.
Somebody to come and spray my hair.
Oh, wouldn't I be newsworthy?"

Edwin Newman: Wouldn't "it" be newsworthy.

Brad Hall: Wouldn't what be newsworthy?

Edwin Newman: Bet's off.

Tom Snyder: C'mon. Now strictly speaking, strictly speaking.

Edwin Newman: Let's try something, shall we? Now, Brad, who's the leader of Iran?

Brad Hall: Iran. Let's see...the Iacoca!

Edwin Newman: Ayatollah.

Brad Hall: Ayatollah. Right, Kadaffi.

Edwin Newman: Khomeni.

Brad Hall: Khomeni.

Edwin Newman: Now what does that mean to the people of Iran?

Brad Hall: Free dance lessons?

Edwin Newman: No, not quite. It means pain. Now repeat after me:
[ singing ]

"Iranians' pains come mainly from Khomeini."

Brad Hall: "Iranians' pains come mainly from Khomeini."

Edwin Newman: Try it again.

Brad Hall: "Iranians' pains come mainly from Khomeini."

Edwin Newman: I think he's got it!

Tom Snyder: Alright, I'll buy that.

Brad Hall: "Homeini's reign is mainly based on pain."

Edwin Newman: Let's try something a bit more difficult. Environmental pollution in the Northeast.

Brad Hall: Northeast.. um.. uh..

"Terrain in Maine is stained with acid rain."

Edwin Newman: By George, he's got it.

Tom Snyder: If you say so, sir.

Brad Hall: "Terrain in Maine is stained with acid rain."

Edwin Newman: And where's the acid rain?

Brad Hall: "In Maine! In Maine!"

Edwin Newman: And what can they do in Maine?

Brad Hall: "Complain! Complain!"

All: "Irainans' pains come from mainly from Khomeini!"

Tom Snyder: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

All: "Terrain in Maine is stained with acid rain!"

Thanks to Michael Cauley of SNL Song Transcripts for this transcript.

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