Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Some things Never Change

December 1979 on the set of Saturday Night Live Weekend Update:

Jane Curtin: Well, the 1970's are in their final month, and with some thoughts on this decade and the one we're about to enter, here's Weekend Update's Social Sciences Editor Al Franken.

Al Franken: Thank you, Jane. Well, the "me" decade is almost over, and good riddance, and far as I'm concerned. The 70's were simply 10 years of people thinking of nothing but themselves. No wonder we were unable to get together and solve any of the many serious problems facing our nation. Oh sure, some people did do some positive things in the 70's - like jogging - but always for the wrong reasons, for their own selfish, personal benefit. Well, I believe the 80's are gonna have to be different. I think that people are going to stop thinking about themselves, and start thinking about me, Al Franken. That's right. I believe we're entering what I like to call the Al Franken Decade. Oh, for me, Al Franken, the 80's will be pretty much the same as the 70's. I'll still be thinking of me, Al Franken. But for you, you'll be thinking more about how things affect me, Al Franken. When you see a news report, you'll be thinking, "I wonder what Al Franken thinks about this thing?", "I wonder how this inflation thing is hurting Al Franken?" And you women will be thinking, "What can I wear that will please Al Franken?", or "What can I not wear?" You know, I know a lot of you out there are thinking, "Why Al Franken?" Well, because I thought of it, and I'm on TV, so I've already gotten the jump on you. So, I say let's leave behind the fragmented, selfish 70's, and go into the 80's with a unity and purpose. That's what I think. I'm Al Franken. Jane?

Jane Curtin: Thank you, Al. That's the news. Good night, and have a pleasant tomorrow.
Tonight will be the last Weekend Update of the Al Franken Decade and here to give his thoughts on the '90s is Al Franken. Welcome, Al!

Then the same place 10 years later:

Al Franken: [cheers and applause for bespectacled Al Franken, in suit and tie] Thank you, Dennis. In December 1979, I sat behind this desk and asked you to think about what you could do for me, Al Franken. [SUPER: AL FRANKEN] ... Well, it's ten years later and I know you're wondering what the '90s will bring for me, Al Franken. [SUPER: AL FRANKEN] Another Al Franken Decade? No. No, in the '90s, I'm going to be looking beyond myself, Al Franken. [SUPER: AL FRANKEN] Because, frankly, I'm worried about the kind of world we're leaving to my children. I've had two this decade. A son, Joe. And a daughter-- Uh-- [can't remember daughter's name] ... Boy, this is embarrassing. Um-- I can see her face. She's - she's really beautiful. In fact, when I look at my kids, I see me, Al Franken. [SUPER: AL FRANKEN] ... And that's why the 1990s will be the Joe Franken Decade. Joe? [Five year old Joe Franken, a tiny boy in a checked suit and tie, rolls into view on a chair and joins his father - cheers and applause] Hi, Joe.
Joe Franken: Hi, Dad. [SUPER: JOE FRANKEN]
Al Franken: Ah, I under-- First of all, congratulations on, uh, first, on being my son. And, uh-- ... And on my decision to make the 1990s the Joe Franken Decade. Now, I understand you - you have a joke for us.
Joe Franken: Knock knock.
Al Franken: Who's there?
Joe Franken: Me.
Al Franken: Me, who?
Joe Franken: Me, Joe Franken. [SUPER: JOE FRANKEN] ... [applause]
Al Franken: And, Joe, your watchword for the '90s is?
Joe Franken: [enthusiastic, with pumping of fists] YES! ...
Al Franken: By the way, Joe will, uh, turn fifteen just before the close of the Joe Franken Decade. You - you did a good job, Joe.
Joe Franken: Thank you, Daddy.
Al Franken: Ah, and, for those of you who won't be, uh, in - be able to be in Times Square on New Year's Eve, here's a little peek at how the Joe Franken Decade will be ushered in.
[Cut to Times Square at night where a lighted ball with Al's face drops as a roaring crowd counts down to zero. When it hits bottom, green neon text reading "1989 - GOODBYE AL" switches to "1990 - HELLO JOE - HAPPY JOE FRANKEN DECADE" and Al's face is replaced with Joe's. Fireworks explode, the lighted ball ascends, the crowd roars. Extended cheers and applause as we dissolve back to the WU desk.]
Al Franken: Dennis?
Dennis Miller: [shakes hands with Joe and Al] Thank you, Al. Thank you, Joe. Thank you, buddy. Joe Franken. [Al puts a supportive hand on Joe's shoulder and kisses him on the head] Thank you, Joe, thank you. I already like him better than the old man. You know-- ...
Then this morning at the United States Capitol:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

God Help Us All

No comments: