Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 1: Episode 21

75u: Buck Henry / Gordon Lightfoot

Michael O'Donoghue's Tony Orlando Impression

Written by: Michael O'Donoghue

.....Buck Henry
.....Michael O'Donoghue

Buck Henry: [stands before a red curtain] A couple of months ago when I was on the show, it was my pleasure to introduce to America one of the most remarkably talented performers it's been my pleasure to see in some time. I discovered him in a little club downtown in New York and, you know, impressionists come and go. We - we all know who they are, and we know the characters that they portray and - and - But - but this guy, this fella does impressions that are unlike any other. They're imaginative, they're original, uh, and I think you are going to enjoy, as much as I've always enjoyed, the immense, fascinating talents of Mr. Michael O'Donoghue!

[Applause. Music. Buck Henry applauds and exits to the left as Michael O'Donoghue, perhaps better known as "Mr. Mike," enters from the right in a garish paisley tuxedo with a large bow-tie. He is a thin, bespectacled, bearded gentleman in his mid-thirties accompanied by two attractive young African-American women.]

Michael O'Donoghue: Thank you, thank you. And thank you, Buck. I'm gonna just name a few groups or teams of people: Burns and Allen, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, the Andrews Sisters, the Marx Brothers, Ferrante and Teicher, Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne. Now, what do all these people have in common? I mean, of course, they're all exciting entertainers, I know, but - but something deeper than that. Each of them has a special magic power, a power to reach out and touch not just the minds of the people for whom they're performing ... but their hearts as well. Today, in 1976, nobody fits that description better than Mr. Tony Orlando and Dawn. [Applause.] Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! [O'Donoghue applauds. Applause ends.] I happen to catch their show last week and a funny thought occurred to me. I thought, what if someone took steel needles, say, um, fifteen, eighteen inches long -- with real sharp points -- and plunged them into Tony Orlando -- and Dawn's -- eyes. What would their reaction be? I think it might go something like this ...

[O'Donoghue and the two women turn their backs to the camera and, after a pause, they clutch their eyes, screaming, shrieking at the top of their lungs, staggering, collapsing to the floor, writhing around on the stage in front of the red curtain, kicking, trying to get up and then falling, dropping to their knees in agony, etc.]

[Applause. Fade to black. The band plays some relatively sedate music over a photo of Jane Curtin and Buck Henry reviewing a script. After holding on this for a while, we dissolve back to O'Donoghue and friends writhing around on the stage at home base, hollering, hands clutched to their eyes. The red curtain is gone. Buck Henry jumps over one of the prostrate women and approaches the camera:]

Buck Henry: Thank you all very much. Remember, next week, Elliott Gould -- watch him breeze right through the security guard. Thank you, Gordon Lightfoot. He'd play another song but he only owns one guitar. Thank all of you for coming. And we'll see you sometime when this mess gets cleared up. [gestures to the three people on the floor behind him; the band plays the closing theme as members of the cast join Henry on stage; the credits roll; Gilda Radner hugs and kisses Henry; Chevy Chase and Garrett Morris rush to help the impressionists to their feet; Henry kisses Jane Curtin and gets a pat on the back from John Belushi; the cast lifts Henry up onto Belushi's shoulders; cast and audience wave good night as Don Pardo earns his paycheck:]

Don Pardo: Our host next Saturday night will be Elliott Gould. This is the voice of Don Pardo coming from the mouth of Don Pardo, triggered by the brain of Don Pardo, adapted from a short story by Don Pardo, and stolen from an idea by Johnny Olsen. Stay tuned as Paul Anka plays host to "Superstars" premiering tonight. Good night!

Submitted Anonymously

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