SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE/NBC/1975+ (Hard of Hearing)
(Gilda Radner) Emily Litella, an elderly woman with a hearing problem seen on the op-ed “Weekend Update” segment of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE on the NBC network in the late 1970s.
Dressed in a simple dress and a sweater, Emily Litella peered through her bifocals and read an editorial response only to discover in the middle of her report that she had gotten the theme of her story wrong.
“What is all this fuss I hear about the Supreme Court decision on a ‘deaf’ penalty. It’s terrible! Deaf people have enough problems as it is.”
When the on-air reporter pointed out her error she would crinkle her nose and humbly say to the audience “Never Mind!”
Other misunderstood topics included Soviet Jewelry, Endangered Feces, Making Puerto Rico a Steak, Presidential Erections, Pouring Money into Canker Research, the Eagle Rights Amendment, Busting School Children and Violins on Television.
Emily’s answering machine message said: “Hello, This is Emily Litella. I’m not home right now, but I will call you back as soon as possible. Just leave your name, number and what time you called after you hear the sound of the Jeep.”
Note: SNL comic Garrett Morris performed a skit on “Weekend Update” where he provided on air updates for the hard of hearing. Inserted aside the news anchor, Morris shouted the words just spoken in a normal voice by the news reporter.
The skit was a spoof of TV broadcasts which provided side by side coverage of broadcasters with a person using sign language to translate what was just spoken for deaf viewers of television programs and news events.