75w: Louise Lasser / Preservation Hall Jazz Band
Louise Lasser's Monologue
Land Shark/himself.....Chevy Chase
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen -- Louise Lasser!
[ the audience cheers enthusiastically for nearly a minute ]
Lousie Lasser: Well, that's nice! Listen, uh -- this is a litle strange for me, because this is the first show I've done since my own show, and, uh -- it's the ONLY show I've done since my show. It's the only show I've SEEN since my own show! [ she laughs ] And one of the reasons why I really do love this show -- I mean, I loved it the first time I saw it, because it deals with stuff I like and it just sort of makes new entrees into comedy that I approve of. And it's just, uh -- also, I'll tell you, it's a relief to be here. Because right now, on my show, I'm having a nervous breakdown -- [ the audience laughs ] Some of you may watch it. I've just been committed to an institution. So, tonight, I'm here, committed to you. [ she laughs ]
Now... I wish I could tell you we had a great show for you, but I can't! [ she laughs ] Uh -- no! It's not because of the show! I mean... the staff, everyone's great. It's just that I'm real... tired... [ she laughs ] And they wonder why. And I'm a little scared. And, um... you're... uh... LIVE! You know what I mean? A LIVE audience! I mean, it's not -- I mean, we don't work in front of a live audience. [ she looks around uncomfortably ] Our audience is DEAD! [ the audience laughs ] No, it's not that they're dead, it's just that they're not there! I mean, they're somewhere. But they're not... there!
Uh, let me tell you how... how all this happened. Uh, how I got involved with the show is that... [ she rubs her hand over her face ] Lorne Michaels... [ she mutters something unintelligible ] So... Lorne Michaels, who's the, uh, producer of this show, uh... called me up one day and asked if I, uh... would do the show. He called me, and he said, "I just want you to know it's not because of, uh, "Mary Hartman" they want you to do it. I've always felt that you should do the show." Evidently, he'd seen me in something on Cable TV, I don't know... [ the audience laughs ] But, uh, I did say to him, "Listen, you know... what am I gonna do, you know? I'm not a novelist, I don't have an act, I mean I don't do that kind of... you know, I don't do JOKE jokes." And he said, "Don't worry about it, you're naturally funny." So he looked down at -- no! [ she laughs ] No. He said, "You're naturally funny." He said you just go out there and you be yourself, and you... quote... "Wing it."
[ she pauses and looks around uncomfortably ]
So I'm winging it! [ she laughs, then looks off-camera ] What? Oh. Okay. Oh! I'm sorry. Um... So, anyway -- So what I decided to do was, I decided that... uh... what I'd like to do is... I-I-I didn't want the writers to write a story, because I don't like, you know, contrived stuff very much. So I wanted to tell a personal story that happened to me, that I thought you might find interesting and, you know... you know... YOU KNOW! So anyway, I picked a personal story that I personally think is hilarious. Okay? [ the audience laughs ]
Now... I'm in Beverly Hills -- right? [ the audience laughs ] Uh, sorry -- it's not what you think it's gonna be! I'm in Beverly Hills... and, uh... I'm getting into a cab. I'm going to meet, um, my good friend Jack Nicholson for lunch. [ she stops, points toward the cue card ] I'm sorry, that should be "new" friend. "My new friend..." Let me explain something to you. They use cue cards. I'm not used to cue cards, okay? So they have on the cue card -- it says right here, you can see it. It says, uh... "My good friend Jack Nicholson..." when it should be "My new friend..." And it's not Jack Nicholson, I don't know Jack Nicholson. Anyway, uh... here is my personal story on cue cards, and Jack Nicholson is in it. So, I-I-I don't know... [ she stops ] I am tired. [ she laughs ] Right now, I really am tired. [ she stops, drifting off to soem unknown place ] I'm sorry... [ she looks around the stage ] I'm sorry... um... what? [ she looks toward the camera ] Oh! Listen. Let me explain something to you. This is, uh, live TV, which I'm not really used to. Um... um... I'm scared of that. [ the audience laughs ] I don't think that's funny. No, I really don't. And I know, like you -- I-I-I -- really, honestly, I am scared. I mean, I think you'd be scared if you were standing up here. And i'm really scared, and I know you're probably a little... scared for me right now. I mean, I -- I -- [ she turns around ] Oh. [ she looks around confused ] Uh -- let me tell you something. Uh -- they did tell me that this might happen, and, um... [ she looks around, more confused ] They said that it -- that when -- [ she keeps looking around ] this kind of thing happens, that it will all come -- it WILL all come together! You know?
[ Lasser looks around, more and more confused, then runs off Home Base and across the studio ]
Joe Dicso: Louise! Louise, we're on the air!
[ Lasser runs into the hall and begins crying ]
Gilda Radner: Louise? What's the matter?
[ Lasser runs past Gilda, crying, then rushes into her dressing room while mumbling incoherently ]
Gilda Radner: Louise! Louise, it's me -- Gilda!
Lousie Lasser: Oh, Gilda, what am I gonna do! I messed up the whole show! I didn't know what to do! I couldn't help it!
Gilda Radner: No, you didn't -- you didn't mess it up yet! You --
Lousie Lasser: I messed it up and I just can't DO it right! I mean, I just can't
Gilda Radner: Yeah, we'll help you! You know, we've done a whole bunch of shows, we can -- What's the matter, you have cramps? We'll help you, Louise.
[ Dan Aykroyd approaches from the hall ]
Lousie Lasser: Just leave me alone! If you just leave me alone for a few minutes, I think I'll be fine, I'll be out, okay?
[ Gilda steps away, as Dan dons sunglasses and takes over ]
Dan Aykroyd: Miss Lasser? Louie P. Stylo, probation officer, County of Los Angeles, State of California! You, uh -- you left the sight of a private desert in Los Angeles, Louise, and I gotta come up to you right now, okay? We'll just clear it up right now, and then you can go on with the show and everything else.
Lousie Lasser: DAN! Could you just stop it, I know your voice!
Dan Aykroyd: LOUISE, I CAN GIVE YOU AUTOMOTIVE PARTS!! I have TIRES... I have all kinds of things at BARGAIN PRICES!
Lousie Lasser: Dan, this is NOT funny! This is very DANGEROUS for me at this moment in time, okay?
Dan Aykroyd: [ stepping away ] Alright, she's not gonna come out of there... Hey! I gotta go up through the roof.
[ "Jaws" music begins to play, as the Land Shark's head appears in the frame ]
[ Chevy Chase's hand emerges from the shark's mouth and knocks on the door ]
Lousie Lasser: Who is it?
Land Shark: Mrs. Laff -- Laff -- Mrs. Lasser?
Lousie Lasser: What?
Land Shark: Telegram!
Lousie Lasser: From whom?
Land Shark: [ he clears his throat ] Candy -- Candygram, Ma'am!
Lousie Lasser: Who is this?
Land Shark: Half a gram.
Lousie Lasser: What?
Land Shark: Uh -- Braidmaker, Ma'am. Uh, here to do your braids.
Lousie Lasser: I really don't need any braids. Could you please leave me alone? I just need to REST here for a few minutes. That's all!
Land Shark: Cover of Time Magazine?
Lousie Lasser: What?
Land Shark: Cover of Time!
Lousie Lasser: I'll be right out.
[ the Land Shark backs out of frame, as Lasser slowly opens the door and emerges ]
Lousie Lasser: Did someone say the cover of Time?
[ Chevy Chase appears as himself ]
Chevy Chase: Yeah.
Lousie Lasser: What do I have to do to get the cover of Time?
Chevy Chase: Uhhh -- read this. [ he holds up a cue card ]
Lousie Lasser: [ reading ] "We'll be right back." [ confused ] That's what I have to do to get the cover of Time?
Chevy Chase: That's it.
[ fade ]