Minute 063: ABC’s Science Editor Jules Bergman

January 16, 2019

Dick Cavett is delivering his evening monologue on TV. Ken Mattingly is reclining on a couch, watching sullenly and drinking a beer out of a can.

“It’s a great day in New York,” says Cavett. “It’s girl-watchers’ weather. I like those ingenious girl watchers who put on Con Edison helmets and dig trenches in the streets to get a better view…”

The studio audience laughs.

“But I  – – ” continues Cavett, “Hey, speaking of girl watching things,  do you know that our first bachelor astronaut is on his way to the Moon? Is it Swigert?”

“Yes,” his announcer responds.

“Yeah,” replies Cavett, “First bachelor, and he’s the kind they say has a girl in every port. He has that reputation. I think he’s sort of foolishly optimistic, though — taking nylons and Hershey bars to the Moon.”

The audience laughs. Mattingly takes another drink from his can of Budweiser.

“Did you read that three million – – do you say less viewers or fewer viewers?” asks Cavett, “Three million — three million fewer viewers watched the last space shot than did the last one.”

Mattingly stands up and takes his phone off the hook.

“I talked to — Colonel Borman said that-“Cavett continues, but Mattingly walks behind the TV and doesn’t look at the screen as he reaches to turn off the TV. Just as he does so, a graphic with the words “APOLLO 13 SPECIAL REPORT” appears on the screen.

“An ABC News – ” begins the announcer, but Mattingly has already pressed the power button, and the screen goes dark.

Meanwhile, at the Lovell household, the ABC broadcast continues.

“Here is ABC Science Editor Jules Bergman,” says the announcer. Bergman appears on screen.

“The Apollo 13 spacecraft has lost all electrical power,” says Bergman. “and astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert are making their way through the tunnel to the Lunar Module using it as a life-”


Gary Sinese as Ken Mattingly
Dick Cavett as Himself
Jules Bergman as Himself

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