An Imaginary Dialogue Between
President Reagan and Henry Kissinger
DAD CASEY'S OPERATION
"And n'er an
empty craft in either direction!"
Sketch from the Terry Southern Archive
Written for Saturday Night Live (unproduced)
by Terry Southern
Scene: Oval office, Ron at his big desk. On the-wall behind
him is a large map of the Middle East, with about 50 little
American flag-pins scattered up and down the Persian Gulf.
Emblazoned in black beneath the map are the words:
"GO AHEAD, MR. KHOMANI.
Make My Day!
Henry Kissinger, wearing a seer-sucker suit and sweating
profusely, enters the office. Ron stands, shake his hand, and
gives him his 'Boss Charm' smile.
RON: Hello, Hank! Good to see you. Good to see
you'. Please sit down.
He graciously gestures him into an armchair
near I the desk, and Kissinger sits down with a sigh.
RON (with a mischievious twinkle, assumes his
best German accent)
Vell, is it varm enough for you, Hank?, Hee-hee-hee.
KISSINGER (with a pained smile, goes along with
the exaggerated accent)
Yah, too varm, Mr. President, too varm in Vashington!
RON (jovially) Hey, do you remember von Sternberg
in Sunset Boulevard? You know, I ran into Zanuck's kid the
other day. What the heck is his name? Dickie.' Dickie Zanuck! I
said 'Listen, Hank Kissinger is a dead ringer for
von Sternberg in Sunset Boulevard--why don't you do a remake?
You know what he said?
KISSINGER (wearily): Vat?
RON: He said 'Great! Let's take a meet at the
Lounge, and we'll talk story! Ha! Isn't that classic'!
KISSINGER: Mr. President . . . vat vas it
ekzackly you vanted to zee-me about?
RON: Ah yes, well it's about The Prince.
You know what I mean? The Prince?
KISSINGER (in highly animated surprise): Vat? You
mean.zee zinger? Zee schwartze zinger?!?
RON (impatiently): No, no, I'm talking about the'book
--the book that tells you how to be a good ruler. It's by
an Italian--Felini, Antonioni, Mastriani...
KISSINGER (brightening fanatically) Ah you
mean.Machevilli's I Principia! Das Reichenfein! Of
course I know it! I gave it to Nixon, and he gave it to you!
RON (gleefully): I thought that-was your
KISSINGER (pleased): Yah, small vorld, eh? Heh,
RON: Okay, remember-the part about how when the
going gets tough-- that is,to say, when the people, especially
the smart ones, begin to turn nasty... like with this whole darn
KISSINGER (nodding sagely): Yah, dot is.der
time-for der foreign adventure!
Der external threat to der homeland! Ha!
(points to the map of the Persian Gulf, grins crazily)
You're on der right track mit dot-'crazy 'Make My Day' stuff! Dot
vill unite der people, und dey vill forget der big scam!
RON: And what about Mister Ayatollah scumbag?
Think he'll fall for the flag bit?
KISSINGER (shrugs): Vell, it looks good on
paper...but vat about der human element, vich, as vee
know, is subject to human error und human veakness.
RON (gleefully) : That's exactly what I'm
counting on! (winks) So I guess I don't have to tell you who'll
be in charge of the operation.
KISSSINGER (slaps his knee, eyes
Ollie!?! Big Ollie North!?! Oh dot big vunderful galoot!
RON (gleaming) : Isn't it just too marvelous! I
mean, are we talking Central Casting, or-what?
Know what I'm saying, Hank?
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