Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 1: Episode 11

75k: Peter Cook & Dudley Moore / Neil Sedaka

Backstage Banter

... Jane Curtin
Sheila Ellington ... John Belushi

[Light piano music under a graphic that reads: BACKSTAGE BANTER. Dissolve to Jane Curtin seated on a talk show set, addressing the camera.]

Jane Curtin: Good evening and welcome to Backstage Banter. I'm Jane Curtin and tonight's guest is truly a remarkable woman. One of the foremost male impersonators working today. [pull back to reveal a man in a tuxedo seated beside her] Let's welcome Ms. Sheila Ellington. [applause] May I call you "Sheila"?

Sheila Ellington: Aw, you know you can, Jane.

Jane Curtin: Sheila, your transformation from a woman into the man sitting next to me is - is astounding.

Sheila Ellington: Thank you. I guess I'm, uh, good at what I do.

Jane Curtin: You're the best. May I ask you how long it takes you to get into make-up?

Sheila Ellington: Well, I've got it down to about three hours, now -- that's including, uh, cummerbund and stubble.

Jane Curtin: I was going to ask you how you got that naturalistic stubble effect.

Sheila Ellington: Ah! Chocolate jimmies. I glue 'em on, one at a time.

Jane Curtin: That's ingenious.

Sheila Ellington: Mm hm. Mm hm.

Jane Curtin: [to the camera] Chocolate jimmies, in case you don't know, are the brown sprinkle candies you dip ice cream cones into.

Sheila Ellington: I also use them in my baking. Terrific.

Jane Curtin: Well, they ARE terrific. Sheila, do you have that picture of your family with you, tonight?

Sheila Ellington: I sure do. It's right here. [picks up photo and hands it to Jane who holds it up to the camera -- it's a black and white 8x10 of a family of four with the mother seated] That's me seated there. There. [Of course, the woman pictured looks nothing like "Sheila Ellington"] And, uh, that's Edie, my daughter, she's thirteen. That's my husband Edward. And my - my young son, uh, Ricky -- he's ten. Hi, kids. [lights a cigarette]

Jane Curtin: Well, Sheila, you're all woman in this picture.

Sheila Ellington: Thank you.

Jane Curtin: Can I ask you how you manage to disguise your secondary sexual characteristics?

Sheila Ellington: Uh, yoga breath control. And, uh, masking tape. Always helps. Really holds 'em in there. I mean, I - I never jiggle when I'm onstage. Ever. [winces] Ohh.

Jane Curtin: What's the matter?

Sheila Ellington: It's cramps. [waves dismissively] It's all right.

Jane Curtin: Perhaps you could tell us a little bit about your one-woman show.

Sheila Ellington: Well, I, uh, I sing, I dance, and, uh, I do impersonations of famous actors.

Jane Curtin: Could you do one for us now?

Sheila Ellington: Well, I--

Jane Curtin: Oh, come on! Let's have it. [encourages audience's applause]

Sheila Ellington: Well, I don't - I don't usually do this, I don't have the band here, I do this in my act but, uh, I could do, uh, Rod Steiger singing. [Jane nods her encouragement] Okay, here goes. [imitates a nasal, tuneless Rod Steiger] "One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do - Two could be as bad as one - It's the loneliest number since the number one - Do you understand what I'm talking about?" [applause]

Jane Curtin: Isn't that great? Sheila, let me ask you one question.

Sheila Ellington: Yeah.

Jane Curtin: In your stage career as a male impersonator, what was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

Sheila Ellington: Well, you see, I - I wear socks down there and once, I guess, it came out of my panties--

Jane Curtin: No, Sheila, I was referring to the mouse.

Sheila Ellington: Oh. The mouse. Oh, yeah. Right. [embarrassed, reluctantly] Well, once during my act, uh, a little tiny mouse, uh, ran across the stage. And, out of instinct, I guess, I just jumped on a chair. I started yelling, "Eek! Eek!"

Jane Curtin: Tell me, Sheila, where will you be appearing next?

Sheila Ellington: Well, Jane, I'll be taking some time off. You see, uh, I'm expecting a baby in a few weeks.

Jane Curtin: Ohhh. You don't even show!

Sheila Ellington: Masking tape.

Jane Curtin: Oh! Well, I'd like to thank Sheila Ellington very much. She's truly a remarkable woman. Let's give her all a good hand.

[Applause. Dissolve back to the BACKSTAGE BANTER graphic.]

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