SHOOTING OF BUCKWHEAT: PART ONE
(First airing: March 12th, 1983).
We interrupt our programming to bring you the following special report.
Good evening, I'm Ted Koppel. We, we have just received word that Buckwheat has been shot. Apparently it happened just moments ago as the legendary performer was leaving 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York. He had just finished making an appearance on Saturday Night Live, and as he was leaving the building, he was shot by an unknown assailant, or assailants, details are sketchy at this point now. I understand that we now have a videotape of the shooting. Let's take a look.
Cut to videotape footage from just outside 30 Rockefeller Plaza. Two Buckwheat Guards and two women in fur coats exit through the revolving doors. A commotion is heard as Buckwheat himself exits 30 Rock. A woman is on his right arm, and a female autograph seeker is to his left.
Oh! Oh, Mister Buckwheat. Oh, Mister Buckwheat, I so love your singing. Can I have your autograph please?
Oh, thank you bery much. No autographs, pease, pease! No, no. I lub loo! I lub loo! I lub loo! Oh, bootiful. (He stands outside his limousine, his arms outstretched to soak in the adulation.)
Hey, Mister Wheat!
Four gunshots are heard. The women scream. Buckwheat's Guards spring into action to apprehend the gunman.
GUARDS: (all at once)
Over by the wall. Get the car out of here! Get the hell out! Get the gun! Get the gun! Get a doctor!
The limousine, with Buckwheat inside, drives off, its tires screeching in the process. Cut back to Ted Koppel in the studio.
That was the scene just moments ago. To repeat: Buckwheat has been shot. We understand that he has been rushed to a nearby hospital. His condition: unknown. We'll bring you more details as this shocking tragedy develops.
The Shooting of Buckwheat: America Stunned. Brought to you by Texxon: Life goes on, and Texxon is there.
For the benefit of those of you who have just joined us, Buckwheat has been shot. Let's take a look.
Cut back to the videotape, beginning at Buckwheat stating "I lub loo" three times.
There he is, coming out of what appears to be 30 Rockefeller Plaza. There he is, now the shots come right about here. (The gunshots are heard) There they are.
Cut back to Ted Koppel in the studio.
Now, I have just been told that Buckwheat has arrived at Saint Vincent's Hospital, let's go there live.
We look over Ted Koppel's right shoulder at live footage from the hospital.
All right. Now, as you can see, several of Buckwheat's friends are already there.
The camera at the hospital focuses on Alfalfa, who is seen talking to one of the fur coat women.
Oh! I can't believe it, I can't believe they shot him. It's just terrible.
Alfalfa, have you had a chance to see the actual footage of Buckwheat being shot?
No, I haven't.
Then, let's take a look.
Alfalfa looks to the left of the camera, ostensibly at a television monitor. The footage begins at "Hey, Mister Wheat!" The gunshots (five this time) and women can be heard as the footage switches to slow motion.
Alfalfa, what are your feelings as you watched that?
Oh, I'm hurt, and confused, and I don't know what to say. No comment!
Alfalfa, apparently stunned by this tragic turn of events. All right, we're going inside now. (The camera follows a nurse into the operating room. Doctors are seen surrounding Buckwheat, who is on the operating table. They are just about to perform surgery.) Buckwheat, as you can see, going under the fire. Doctor, excuse me, this is Ted Koppel. (The doctors and nurses stop what they're doing) Have you had a chance to see the actual footage of Buckwheat as he was shot?
No, I, I haven't.
Well, then, let's take a look.
The medical staff look to the left of the camera, as Alfalfa did. The footage is once again shown from "Hey, Mister Wheat!" The five gunshots and screaming women are heard as the footage switches to even slower motion this time. Ted Koppel provides commentary for the footage.
TED KOPPEL: (on
There he is, about to get in his limousine at, uh, at 30 Rock. Well, the picture speaks for itself. Buckwheat being shot.
Cut back to Ted Koppel in the studio.
To repeat, Buckwheat has been shot, uh, he's now in emergency surgery and all we Americans can do is wait and worry.
Emergency Surgery: America Waits and Worries. Brought to you by Texxon: Life goes on, and Texxon is there.
We have just, we have just received some tragic news: Buckwheat is dead.
Buckwheat Dead: America Mourns. Brought to you by Texxon: Life goes on, and Texxon is there. (An audience member coughs twice) Because Buckwheat would have wanted it that way. (the words "...it that way" are obscured by audience laughter and applause)
For those of you just joining us, Buckwheat is dead. How did he die? Let's take a look at the videotape.
We look over Ted Koppel's right shoulder at the videotape footage. The footage begins at "Oh, bootiful."
All right, now, there it is. As you can see, it seems that the shots came from Buckwheat's left side. There are the security men. He makes that, he's going right after the assailant, or assailants. We're not quite sure as yet.
The footage ends, and we go back to the standard shot Ted Koppel in the studio.
Who killed Buckwheat, and why? Good questions. We intend to be here tomorrow night and every night until those questions are answered. Until then, we pay a final tribute to a great performer.
Fade out, then into a video montage set to the "Our Gang" theme music. Still photos are shown of Buckwheat as a youth, then "Buckwheat" as an adult appearing on Saturday Night Live. The final shot of Buckwheat is close-up footage of him immediately before, during, and after his shooting. Fade out, then back into Ted Koppel in the studio.
Buckwheat dead. This is Ted Koppel reporting. We now return you to our regular programming. Good night.