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"Saturday Night Live" third debate special. Video and script

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WASHINGTON--The Thursday pre-election special "Saturday Night Live" scooped up all the latest campaign business in a series of skits and parodies: the third presidential debate, Jesse Jackson on the Bradley effect and that crazy lady at the John McCain rally who wondered if Barack Obama was an Arab. Watch the clips, read the scripts, all right here.


"Saturday Night Live" returns live this Saturday with host Josh Brolin
("W.") and musical guest Adele.

New York, NY - October 16, 2008 - The top-rated SNL primetime "Weekend
Update Thursday" returned tonight with political comedy throughout its live
broadcast - opening with a parody of the Third Presidential Debate featuring the
return of SNL alum Chris Parnell as moderator Bob Scheiffer and numerous
references to "Joe the Plumber."

In addition, the half-hour live broadcast featured an extended "Weekend Update"
with Seth Meyers and Amy Poehler, which was interrupted by Kristen Wiig as the
McCain supporter from the Senator's Oct 10 rally in Minnesota who claimed Obama
was "an Arab" as well as Darrell Hammond as Rev. Jesse Jackson, addressing the
so-called "Bradley Effect" where African American candidates are hurt by racism
in the voting booths despite being ahead in the polls.

Highlights of the Third Presidential Debate sketch follow:

CHRIS PARNELL AS BOB SCHIEFFER: "Good evening, I'm Bob Schieffer of CBS News and
welcome to the third and final Presidential debate of the 2008 election. I'll
be your moderator tonight, for what we hope will be a lively and substantive
discussion between the candidates, Senator Barack Obama of Illinois and Senator
John McCain of Arizona. Gentlemen, let's begin. Obviously, with another
700-point plunge in the DOW today, this economy is in trouble. Each of you have
plans to address the problem, but tell us, why yours is better than your
opponent's. We'll start with Senator McCain."

DARRELL HAMMOND AS SEN. JOHN McCAIN: "Bob, let me begin by saying, a few days
ago, Senator Obama was out in Ohio, and he had an encounter with a man named
Joe, who is a plumber. We'll call him 'Joe the Plumber.' Now Joe wants to buy
the business where he's worked for many years. And he looked at Senator Obama's
tax plan, and saw that he was going to pay much higher taxes. Which would leave
him unable to employ people, and achieve the American dream. So my question is,
why would you want to do that to Joe the Plumber? What did Joe the Plumber ever
do to you, that you want to raise his taxes? Of all the people to go after in
this way, why single out Joe the Plumber?"

FRED ARMISEN AS SEN. BARACK OBAMA: "First of all, look, I don't recall meeting
the individual you're referring to. But let me say this, nearly all small
businesses earn less than $250,000 a year. And if Joe's business falls into
that category, he should know that under my plan, his taxes will not go up. Not
one cent."

HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "Senator, I don't think most people believe that. And I
know Joe the Plumber doesn't. Because he's told me so. And frankly, I trust
Joe the Plumber a lot more than I trust your plan. Because Joe the Plumber is a
straight shooter, and one of the finest people I've ever known. And I'll tell
you something else: He's got a lot of good ideas on how to fix this economy.
And, as President, I'll be relying on his advice and expertise."

PARNELL AS SCHIEFFER: "Let's turn to a related topic. Over the last several
years, we've seen budget deficits increase dramatically, with some experts
saying this year's could reach nearly a trillion dollars. What will either of
you do to bring government spending under control? Senator Obama?"

ARMISEN AS SEN. OBAMA: "Look, obviously, Bob, all government programs need to be
examined to see if they're necessary, or if they're working, or if they could do
the job more efficiently. But we've got to cut these programs carefully, with a
scalpel, not a hatchet."

HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "The fact is, Senator, only one of us has a record of
fighting wasteful government spending, and it's me. As President, I would go
after the bloated budgets with a giant hatchet, and then use a scalpel. Or I
might take the advice of my friend, Joe the Plumber, and use a plunger."

ARMISEN AS SEN. OBAMA: "A plunger? I don't understand."

HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "Obviously, Senator. It's not an ordinary plunger.
It's a magical plunger."

ARMISEN AS SEN. OBAMA: "So, your friend 'Joe the Plumber' has a 'magical

HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "That's correct."

ARMISEN AS SEN. OBAMA: "Would your friend Joe, be, by any chance an 'imaginary

HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "Senator, Joe the Plumber lives in a cigar box, under my
bed, with our friend Simon."

PARNELL AS SCHIEFFER: "So, Joe the Plumber would be very tiny then."

HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "Joe stands about 3 and a half inches tall. Except when
he's upset. Then he can become as big as a house! He's my best friend."


HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "Bob, could I just add, that Simon is invisible?"

PARNELL AS SCHIEFFER: "Of course. Gentlemen, over the last few weeks, the tone
of this campaign has become increasingly nasty. Senator Obama, in describing
your opponent, your campaign has used words like 'erratic,' 'out of touch,'
'lying,' 'losing his bearings,' 'senile,' 'dementia,' 'nursing home,'
'decrepit,' and 'at death's door.' Senator McCain, your ads have featured terms
such as 'disrespectful,' 'dangerous,' 'foreign,' 'sleeper agent,' and
'uncircumcised.' Are you both comfortable with this level of discourse?"

ARMISEN AS SEN. OBAMA: "Look Bob, obviously, in any campaign, harsh things are
going to be said. And certainly, both of our campaigns have now and then
crossed the line. But, I have to say; I am troubled by some of the things said
about me at my opponent's rallies. Things like 'traitor,' 'kill him,' and 'off
with his head.' And unfortunately, Senator McCain has yet to condemn these

HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "Bob, as to the 'off with his head' comment, that was
shouted at a rally we held at a Renaissance Fair. The gentleman had too much
mead and he was removed by security. "

ARMISEN AS SEN. OBAMA: "At that same event, I was also denounced as a

HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "At any rally of nearly 75 people, you're going to get a
couple of crackers. We all know that. But just a few moments ago, my opponent
slandered my very best friend in the world, Joe the Plumber, as "imaginary."
Would the Senator like to apologize to Joe for that remark?"

ARMISEN AS SEN. OBAMA: (LOOKING INTO CAMERA) "Joe, when attempting to confirm
your existence..."

HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "Senator, why don't you say it to his face? He's right

(ARMISEN AS SEN. OBAMA plays along, and)

if I in any way implied that you do not exist, I sincerely apologize."

HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "Joe the Plumber tells me he accepts your apology...Wait
a second, what's that? No, don't worry, my tiny friend, I won't let him raise
your taxes."

PARNELL AS SCHIEFFER: "Alright. We have time for one more question. Let's talk
about the people each of you would bring into government. Specifically, your
running mates. Senator Obama?"

ARMISEN AS SEN. OBAMA: "For nearly 35 years, Joe Biden has established a
reputation for honesty, compassion, and a mastery of the issues affecting this
nation. I can't think of anyone more qualified to assume the Presidency, should
anything happen to me."


HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "Bob, I've known Senator Biden for nearly 25 years. And
I think he's a good man. But let me say something here. He has never been
particularly nice to Joe the Plumber. I think Joe the Plumber resents that. In
fact, I know he does. But as to my own running mate, Governor Palin, I couldn't
be more proud of her. Now, on the question of people I'd bring into government,
let me say here tonight, that, as President, I will be the first to add a
cabinet-level Department of Plumbing. And you know how I'm going to tap for
that post?"

PARNELL AS SCHIEFFER: "Joe the Plumber?"

HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "Bingo. Joe the Plumber. You're damn straight."

ARMISEN AS SEN. OBAMA: "What about your mutual friend Simon, who also lives in
the cigar box under your box?"

HAMMOND AS SEN. McCAIN: "Senator, Simon cannot serve in the Cabinet, because
Simon is a unicorn. And I think you know that."

PARNELL AS SCHIEFFER: "And that concludes tonight's third and final Presidential
debate. From all of us here at Hofstra University, goodnight and Live from New
York, it's Saturday Night!!!"

Highlights from "Weekend Update" are below:

WEEKEND UPDATE CO-ANCHOR AMY POEHLER - "Last night marked the third and final
debate between Joe Cool and Yosemite Sam."

POEHLER - "With just 19 days left until the election, Barack Obama warned
supporters today to guard against overconfidence. Then he boarded Air Force
One, blasted 'We Are The Champions' and shouted 'I'm King of the World.'"

"WEEKEND UPDATE" CO-ANCHOR SETH MEYERS - "Barack Obama has begun running ads
within video games. Obama ads can be seen in video games such as 'Madden NFL
'09' and 'Burnout.' Not to be outdone, John McCain has begun putting ads inside
many MRI machines.

MEYERS - "A 20 year-old woman in Flint, Michigan has been painting Winnie the
Pooh characters on the sides of vacant houses in hopes of beautifying the area.
She hopes residents will be uplifted by the sight of a bear who can't afford
pants and his best friend, a depressed donkey."

(KRISTEN WIIG slowly wanders up to the Update desk as the lady from the October
10 McCain rally, wearing a red shirt, big glasses and muttering to herself)

MEYERS - "Oh no. It's that crazy lady from the McCain rally."
WIIG - "I gotta ask you a question. About Obama..."
MEYERS - "Now's really not a good time..."
WIIG - "I dough not...I can't trust him. Obama."
MEYERS - "And why can't you trust Obama?"
WIIG - "I read about him...and he's a...he's a...he's a...he's a Arab."
MEYERS - "No, ma'am. No. He's not an Arab."
WIIG - "No? Oh, 'cuz I went to the liberry and had this little black girl help
me look up Obama on the computer pages, and let me tell says he cavorts
with terriers."
MEYERS - "With terriers? No, ma'am. No, he does not do that..."
WIIG - "No? Oh. Maybe I heard I read that..."
(SHE wanders off)

POEHLER - -- "Public school officials in Chicago, Illinois are recommending
approval of a 'gay-friendly' high school because harassment and violence are
causing gay students to drop out at alarming rates. However, officials were
surprised when they found out the high school already exists. (IN THE KEYSCREEN,

(WIIG wanders up again, this time behind POEHLER & MEYERS)

POEHLER - "Uh oh, she's back. Ma'am, please sit down."
WIIG - "I got the proof that Obama, he's a...he's a muslin."
POEHLER - "Obama is a muslin? No, ma'am. Muslin is a kind of fabric.
WIIG - "You know, he wasn't born here...and he's...he's...he's a Jer.
POEHLER - "What? A Jer?"
WIIG - "He's a big Jer. He's Jerish."
POEHLER - "You mean Jewish? Ma'am, he's not Jewish."
WIIG - "No? Well, I do know he's fifty percent Egyptan. And he's gonna change
the White House to a pyramid."
POEHLER - "No, ma'am. No he's not."
WIIG - "No? Obama...He wants all the weddings to be gay weddings and they have
POEHLER - "Orgies? No ma'am. I don't know where you're getting this stuff..."
WIIG - "And the stem stells..."
MEYERS - "I think she means stem cells."
WIIG - "No..."
MEYERS - "Crazy McCain Rally Lady everybody!"

MEYERS - "More than 140 colleges across the country have completely banned
smoking on campus, which is more than triple the number from a year ago. Still
bucking the trend: The University of Winston-Salem Lights."

MEYERS - "The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce held the First Annual
Giant Pumpkin Regatta Sunday, in which participants rowed giant pumpkins. So
yeah, I think America's gonna be all right."

"A miniature horse has been given a second chance for a career as a show horse -
thanks to a prosthetic eye. When told about this incident, a race horse with a
broken leg said, "WHAT?!?"

MEYERS - "You know we can be a little bit negative at 'Weekend Update' so in an
effort to be positive about the debate that happened last night we'd like to
introduce a new segment we call 'We Liked It'
"You know, I liked that debate. I liked how the candidates didn't answer certain
questions and stuck to their talking points. And I liked how they kept talking
about Joe the plumber. That guy got more shout outs than the Moms at the Source

POEHLER - "I liked how they talked about education because I think teachers are
underpaid. But you know, who's not underpaid? Plumbers. Plumbers are doing
just fine. They are recession-proof. You might not buy a new car when the
economy is down, but if your toilet's backed up, you're calling a plumber.
America will put up with a lot of things but we will not settle for being
ankle-deep in our own poop."

MEYERS - "And you know what else I like? I like how the candidates always thank
the host school even though we all know they have nothing better going on. What
else were they going to do at Hofstra last night? Was the a cappella group
going to sing? I mean, it's college football season we're talking about Hofstra
for goodness sake.

POEHLER - "You know what I like? I like how in two debates John McCain has
compared Obama to Herbert Hoover. Aw snap! Way to connect with the youth of the
country with a Hoover reference. You got him good. But why stop there? Hey
young people, what about William Ayers? That guy is a regular Emma Goldman. You
know, the anarchist who incited violence in the early 1900's? Oh you don't know?
That's because your teachers get paid worse than plumbers."

MEYERS - "And John McCain, I like how you keep saying there should have been
more town hall debates event though you were not good at your town hall debate.
You were lurching at people and walking around like you should have been wearing
a hospital gown."

POEHLER - "And you know what else we like?"
POEHLER/MEYERS - "Split screen!"

POEHLER - "We like how it seems like the other person doesn't know they're still
on camera so they sigh and roll their eyes. But Obama, you gotta stop smiling.
You need a poker face. I know you have a full house and the other guy is going
all-in, but you can't start buying drinks for everyone.

MEYERS - "And hey McCain, you also have to stop smiling just in general. Just
trust me on that. I've seen more natural smiles on haunted house skeletons."

POEHLER - "But otherwise, we liked it."

MEYERS - "As Barack Obama gains momentum, some Democrats are worried about "The
Bradley Effect" - a term named after former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, an
African American, who lost the election for governor despite showing a
significant lead in the polls. Here to comment is the Reverend Jesse Jackson."

HAMMOND AS REV. JESSE JACKSON - "Greetings Seth and Amy. The Bradley Effect is
a reality that is both unavoidable and unequivocal. It is a phenomenon we all
hope will not become an Obama-non. According to recent CNN/Yahoo poll, when
voters were asked, 'Would you elect an African-American president?' 87 percent
responded 'yes.' But when asked the follow-up question: 'Really?,' that number
dropped to 30 percent."

MEYERS - "Well, most pundits estimate The Bradley Effect at around six
percentage points. Do you think it could happen to Obama?"

HAMMOND AS REV. JACKSON - "Oh, most certainly. In fact, when I ran for President
in 1984, the Bradley Effect cost me forty-three percent. It was certainly not
because I had no experience, had never held an elected office, or that I
referred to New York as 'Hymietown.'"

MEYERS - "So you think that despite the polls, some racism might come through
when people get in the voting booth?"

HAMMOND AS REV. JACKSON - "Absolutely. There is often a disparity between what
white people say and what they do. They tell their black friends they enjoy
hip-hop, but look at their CD collection and all they have is a Tone-Loc album
from 1987 and Sir Mix-A-Lot's 'Baby Got Back.'"

MEYERS - "But obviously, Obama still has an excellent chance to win, right?"

HAMMOND AS REV. JACKSON - "Absolutely. For tonight, in 2008, the dream of a
black President is still actual, and numerically factual and realistically
blacktual. Keep hope alive."
MEYERS - "The Reverend Jesse Jackson everyone!"

Photos from SNL are available on and via the Associated Press.
Embeddable video highlights of the show are available at

"Saturday Night Live" is from SNL Studios in association with Broadway
Video. The creator and executive producer is Lorne Michaels. Steve Higgins
produces. Marci Klein and Mike Shoemaker are producers. Seth Meyers is head
writer. Don Roy King directs.

1 Comment

"Oh my God! Are you serious!"

That was awesome.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on October 17, 2008 6:33 AM.

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