Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The Confession App
SNL got there first

As a Catholic, I really enjoy the buzz surrounding the new confession ap for the iPhone. A groundbreaking idea, right? Well, fiction got there way ahead of fact. On September 24, 1977, Season 3, episode one of Saturday Night Live (available on Netflix), the show featured a sketch called "Computerized Confession" featuring a new computer system called the Trinity-3000. From the SNL Transcripts site:

77a: Steve Martin / Jackson Browne

Computerized Confession

Woman.....Rosie Shuster
Priest.....Dan Aykroyd
Man.....Garrett Morris
Woman.....Rosie Shuster

[ open on exterior, confessional ]

[ a woman, kneeling, makies the Sign of the Cross and then exits, as ?? steps forward and kneels at the confessional on the opposite side ]

[ cut to interior, confessional, as the Priet slides the partition to begin ]

Man: Forgive me, Father. It has been six years since my last confession. In that time, I've received absolution and I've performed my penance. These are my sins.

Priest: Well, it's been a while since you last came to confession. [ he smiles ] There's been a lot of changes in six years. Go ahead with my, uh -- your confession, my son.

Man: Well, where should I start? My life's a mess, Father! I have so many sins...

Priest: Well... which one troubles you the most?

Man: Well, you see -- I'm married, and I have BEEN with another woman.

Priest: Mmm-hmm. Is she, too, beholden to another man?

Man: Yes! She's married.

Priest: I see. So you've broken the sixth and the ninth commandments?

Man: Mmm-hmm.

[ suddenly, a machine begins to beep wildly ]

Man: Hey... hey... Hey, Father, wh-wh-what's that noise...?

Priest: I told you, my son -- the church has undergone quite a few changes. Contrary to what you might have been reading, the Church IS progressive, and, uh, has modernized. [ he acknowledges a computer system before him ] This is the Trinity-300 Central Processing Unit, with an address capacity of 70 bits of information.

Man: [ curious ] Uh, well, what's it for?

Priest: Well, basically, it's a modern priest's companion. This terminal, here, has a direct link-up to the arch-darabank in Rome. It assists the priests in, uh, analyzing transgressions in the assignment of appropriate penance. Now, you said this other woman was married, didn't you?

Man: Yeah.

[ the Priest types the information into the CPU ]

[ screen reads: "Sin Series #10148" ]

[ screen reads: "Commandment #6: Adultery" ]

[ screen reads: "Commandment #9: Covet: wife" ]

[ screen reads: "Transgressions to date: Anno Domini 1977 - 2,600,808" ]

[ next screen reads: "RECOMMENDED PENANCE (flashing) 10 Hail Marys" ]

Priest: Alright, ten Hail Marys. Okay, anything else?

Man: Yeah, well, I got rid of her husband.

Priest: How did you do that?

Man: Well, I'm the Personnel Director for a large chemical company. We have offices all over the world.

Priest: All right.

Man: Her husband worked for me, and it got to be a hassle, Father, so I transferred him to Beirut. I put him up in the Holiday Inn, and his room got shelled. Now, did I kill him, or not?

Priest: Beats me. Let's check. [ he types the information into the CPU ]

[ screen reads: "ACTED TO REMOVE HUSBAND" ]

[ screen reads: "INDIRECTLY CAUSED DEATH" ]

[ next screen reads: "see : David and Bathsheba" ]

[ next screen reads: "SIN OF PASSION -- Not directly responsible" ]

[ screen reads: (flashing) "NO PENALTY" ]

Priest: Nooo, I don't think you have anything to worry about. You didn't commit murder.

Man: [ aghast ] Well, I wish you would tell his son that! He's after me -- for breaking up his family!

Priest: Well, what do you mean he's "after you"?

Man: Well, he hired two guys to follow me, man. They're out there NOW -- Father. Excuse me for calling you "man". They're out there NOW! That's why I ducked in here in the first place!

Priest: I see... hmm... hmm...

Man: I've got to get OUT of here, get away, think things over...

Priest: [ thinking ] Well, where do you think it would be safe for you to go?

Man: Well, I've got relatives in Chicago... maybe I could get a flight out tonight...

Priest: [ typing ] Will that be First Class or Coach?

Man: That would be First Class.

Priest: Smoking or Non-smoking?

Man: Smoking.

Priest: Okay. Would you like a rental car waiting for you when you get into Chicago?

Man: Yeah, whatcha got?

Priest: Let's see... [ typing ] We've got a mid-sized sedan, or a little hatchback.

Man: Hatchback!

Priest: Good choice. It's a gas saver. [ types the final few keystrokes ] Okay, are you sorry for your sins?

Man: Yeahhhh, sure!

Priest: Say those ten Hail Marys now?

Man: Uh, I certainly will, Father!

Priest: [ hands his tickets over ] Alright, bless you, my son. Have a nice flight.

[ the man smiles and makes his exit ]

[ fade ]

SNL Transcripts

This was a great episode. It also included Steve Martin's "Mike McMack, Defense Lawyer" skit and Jackson Browne peforming Running on Empty and The Pretender.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.