Hillary set to do "Saturday Night Live"

A secret memo outlines the first lady's upcoming appearance as "SNL" guest host.

Published January 12, 2000 1:00PM (EST)

After months of being tele-browbeaten, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton finally accepted David Letterman's offer to appear on CBS's "The Late Show" program Wednesday night.

Now, Salon has obtained a confidential memo from "Saturday Night Live" producer Lorne Michaels sent Monday to Clinton campaign manager Bill de Blasio regarding the first lady's upcoming surprise appearance as "SNL" guest host.

MEMO TO: Bill de Blasio, campaign manager, Hillary Rodham Clinton for Senate

FROM: Lorne Michaels, producer, SNL


Below is the initial outline of what we think the show might look like. As you can see, we plan to make full use of the first lady's willingness to show New Yorkers that she, indeed, has a sense of humor. Let's talk soonest.

Ciao, Lorne


"It Takes a Greenwich Village."

Darrell Hammond as Pres. Clinton in love with Chris Kattan as "Mango," the captivating exotic dancer. HRC appears as herself, and after moment of initial shock, urges hubbie to "go for it" so she can enjoy sympathy bounce in polls as well as shore up support of gay voting block. "Bill" asks HRC if she knows what she's doing. She replies, "Sure I do, honey. Live! From New York! It's Saturday Night!"

Roll Opening Credits.

Host Monologue.
HRC: It's great to be here at "Saturday Night Live"! Waitasec -- I forgot something. (Puts on Yankees cap) (Applause)

As soon as I found my way into Manhattan, lemme tell you, everything was smooth sailing. (Laughter) You know, I've only lived in New York for a few weeks, but I feel like a New Yorker already. In only a few short days, I've cursed at three cab drivers, been mugged twice and been insulted by the mayor five times. (Laughter)

So these kids, on this show, lemme tell you -- they're nuts! (Laughter and applause) But they work so hard, and they are the best, smartest group of kids I've been around ever since I tried to put together that health care bill back in '93! (Laughter and applause) We've got a great show for you tonight. Monica is here -- the singer, that is! (Laughter and applause) Stick around, we'll be right back! (Applause)

(Note from Lorne: The above can be reworked. Just make sure the control booth knows which are the applause lines.)

Voice-over (with Wagner music in background. Black-and-white photos of urban blight): He's made our streets safer by locking up various undesirables. Like squeegee men. And the homeless. And vendors. And artists. And gardeners. And ethnic minorities. Now he's coming for you ... unless you vote for him for Senate. Rudy Giuliani. Because he knows where you live.

"Spartan Spirit cheerleaders"
Craig and Arianna (Will Ferrell and Cheri Oteri) jealously deride Homecoming Queen (HRC). But after Queen is dumped by quarterback (Note from Lorne: Can we get a cameo by the president here?!), all three bond by relating drama of moment to past episodes of "Party of Five."

After anchorman Colin Quinn jokes about the news, and Jimmy Fallon does his funny song shtick, HRC appears as guest commentator to do a "Washington minute," h la David Spade's cutting "Hollywood Minute." Here she really shows that she's ready for the rough and tumble of NYC politics as she gets even with all her past enemies. "Strom Thurmond -- this guy died 10 years ago and no one bothered to tell the voters of his state," etc. Other possible targets: Ken Starr, House impeachment managers, Henry Hyde, Monica (fat jokes?), Rudy, Colin Quinn.

(Note from Lorne: Remember -- Revenge is a dish best served cold! And really lay into Colin about his weight, btw. He hates it!)

Oteri as Barbara Walters interviews HRC. Premise is that "Walters" is trying desperately to get the first lady to cry, but HRC won't. "Walters" starts by citing worst passages of Starr Report, then allegations from tabloids, then pictures of dead puppies and kittens, then surreptitiously peeling onions. HRC eventually tears up, but it is revealed that she's only crying because she's in pain, because Mayor Giuliani is hiding underneath her chair, biting her ankle.


"Slumber party" Molly Shannon, as nervous Catholic schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher, crashes a slumber party (HRC, Oteri, Ana Gasteyer, Monica and Horatio Sanz in drag). After pillow fights, siance and "light-as-a-feather, stiff-as-a-board," girls play "Truth or Dare," and Gallagher has her first experimentation with lesbianism when she is dared to kiss HRC.

"The Ladies' Man"
HRC appears with Tim Meadows as Leon Phelps, the Ladies' Man, who tells the first lady that she is "very, very foxy," much foxier than Monica Lewinsky. He speculates what it would be like to be in an HRC-Lewinsky sandwich, at which point President Clinton pops in and says he'd like a bite, too.

(Note from Lorne: Can we get him for this cameo, also? If not, we'll use Hammond again.)


"The real reason"
Lesser-known SNL Players like Horatio Sanz, Chris Parnell and Tracy Morgan complain to HRC that they don't get enough air time. HRC sits them down like schoolkids and tells them about the "vast, right-wing conspiracy" she holds accountable for their lack of exposure on the show.


(Note from Lorne: Watch poll numbers and Nielsens soar!)

By Jake Tapper

Jake Tapper is the senior White House correspondent for ABC News.

MORE FROM Jake Tapper

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Hillary Rodham Clinton