75x: Kris Kristofferson / Rita Coolidge
Bobby McGee/Paisner/Farber.....Gilda Radner
Larry Farber.....John Belushi
[FADE IN on a closeup of Kris Kristofferson’s hand strumming his guitar.]
Kris: "Busted flat in Baton Rouge,
I’m headin’ for a train..."
[PAN back to show him playing and singing as the audience applauds.]
Kris: "Feelin’ near as faded as my jeans..."
Kris: Thank you, thank you, thank you. That song is called “Bobby McGee,” and I wrote the thing back in 1969, and I guess you know how much it meant to me. What you probably don’t know is there really was a Bobby McGee. Only it wasn’t her name, it was Bobby Paisner, but I rhymed it... with “me,” and nothin’ rhymes with “Paisner” anyway, but it... somebody here at NBC took the trouble to hunt her down, and she’s somewhere out there in the audience now, I ain’t seen her in seven years, and I’d like you all to meet the real Bobby McGee. Bobby? Come up here.
[The band plays an instrumental of “Bobby McGee” as Bobby steps up to home base. She has frosted, curly hair and a salmon-colored dress, and she carries a white pocketbook in front of her. She and Kris grin awkwardly at each other while the band winds up.]
Kris: Wow! Bobby... [kisses her cheek]
Bobby: [in a nasal voice] Kris. [laughter] It’s wonderful to see you, you look, you look just fabulous. Tell me honestly, would you have recognized me?
Kris: Sure, sure. [they laugh] You look a little, dress a little different... [looks her up and down] I don’t think I’d forget the shape, anyway.
Bobby: [embarrassed] Oh...
Kris: Oh, boy. Hey, what happened to you, uh...
Bobby: Oh, you mean in Salinas?
Bobby: Oh, I had to leave, I’d really had it with the road, you know, four weeks is a long time to be away from home, you know. And, uh, my parents sent me this plane ticket back to Chicago, and they were so SUPPORTIVE, they fixed up my old room and everything. And, you know, I’ll never forget it, my father said to me, “You can’t be a grasshopper your whole life.” You know, so I went back to college and I got my teaching certificate.
Kris: [stares lovingly at her] Wow...
Kris: So you’re a teacher.
Bobby: Well, I never actually got a chance to teach, because that’s when, uh, I met Larry.
Kris: [quietly] Larry who?
Bobby: Larry Farber.
[Larry leaps up to home base.]
Larry: Hi, how are ya, Kris, nice to meet ya!
[Wearing a gray plaid blazer with a red tie and dark-rimmed glasses, Larry reaches for Kris’s hand and pumps it heartily while the audience applauds.]
Bobby: This is my husband, Kris, Larry Farber.
Bobby: He’s in, uh, woman’s pocketbooks.
Larry: Yeah, lemme get a picture of you two over here. C’mon, get together here now, let’s see...
[Larry pulls out a camera with a tall flash bar and motions for Bobby to stand next to Kris. Kris dutifully puts his arm around Bobby’s shoulder.]
Larry: C’mon, let’s see that little smi--aha!
[Bobby grins widely for him. Larry snaps a couple of quick shots and then turns and waves at the TV camera.]
Larry: [in a nasal voice] Hi, kids! Hi, Tracy, hi, Jason! How are ya?
Larry: They’re our kids, I promised I’d say hello.
Kris: Hey, this is live TV...
Bobby: They’re watching in Highland Park. Hi, kids.
Larry: Hi, kids!
Kris: [awkwardly] Well, that’s really terrific, uh, your kids are out there...
Bobby: Yeah, you know something? Tracy, uh––they just LOVE you, you’re their--they’re your biggest fans! Kris, really. Y’know, they always listen to your record. Their favorite one is “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover.”
Larry: Y’know, all I ever hear them listen to is Elton John. [cracks up]
Bobby: Oh, Larry’s such a joker, you’re such a joker, Larry, he’s really a joker.
Kris: [flatly] I bet you guys have a lot of yuks, don’t ya?
Bobby: Um, Kris, Larry’s never heard you sing. Could you sing “Bobby McGee” for him?
Kris: Oh, now, he don’t wanna hear it.
Larry: Come on!
Bobby: Yes he does, really, he wants to hear it, Kris? It’s our song, right? It’s our song.
Larry: Yeah, y’know Bobby tells me you’ve been quite a MAN out there, pal. [claps his shoulder] Hey?
Bobby: God knows, I never saw a penny. [laughter] Go ahead and sing it, though, Kris, please.
[Kris starts playing his guitar.]
Kris: Well, "I--let’s see--I took my harpoon out
Of my dirty red bandanna,
Blowin’ sad while Bobby sang the blues..."
[Larry claps his hands out of time and does a very bad samba.]
Bobby: Oh, I love it.
Kris: "Them windshield wipers slappin’ time,
And Bobby clappin’ hands..."
Larry: Yeah, I love it. Really, nice.
Bobby: Yeah, you know... You know, I’ve waited so long for the two of you to meet, really.
Larry: Oh, yeah.
Bobby: You know, Kris, I’ve told Larry all about you.
Kris: All about me?
Larry: [joshing] What’s that supposed to mean?
[They both pant and guffaw stupidly for a moment.]
Bobby: [to Kris] We really had some good times, didn’t we?
Kris: [clearly uncomfortable] Yeah, they were some crazy, zany old times!
Bobby: Yeah. C’mon, Kris, finish the song, y’know, a lot of my friends back in Highland Park don’t believe that I’m the real Bobby McGee. So, could you just sing it for them, please, sing the rest of the song?
Kris: Uh, look--
Bobby: Please? Please?
[Kris haltingly picks a few notes.]
Bobby: [grinning] Pretty please, with sugar on top? Please? Could you sing it, Kris?
Kris: [muttering quickly through his lines] “Somewhere near Salinas, well, I let her slip away...”
Bobby: Yeah. Yeah.
Kris: “California, coal mines of Kentucky to the California sun, Bobby shared the secrets of my soul...”
Larry: Hey, when were you in Kentucky, sweetheart?
Kris: [softly] “Standin’ right beside me, through everything I done...”
Larry: Uh, I, I thought you were just hitchhiking back to school!
Kris: [softly] “Every night she kept me from the cold...”
Bobby: Larry, it was a long time ago.
[They all stop while Larry glares at Kristofferson.]
Larry: “Kept me from the cold?” Is that what you said? “Kept me from the cold”?
Bobby: Yes, he said “kept me from the cold.”
Larry: [getting sore] I thought you just talked! I thought it was one afternoon, uh, I thought you said you just happened to get a ride in the same truck at one time, that was it!
Bobby: [in a monotone] Look, LARRY, it was a long time ago, it was dark, there was a thunderstorm, it was chilly, it looked like night. Enough is enough. [turns back to Kris and smiles] Go ahead, Kris, sing the song.
Kris: “Standin’ in the road...”
Larry: [shortly] Go ahead, sing it. C’mon.
Kris: “I don’t think it’s ever gonna be that--”
Bobby: He wants to hear the rest of it, c’mon.
Larry: I wanna hear that song!
Kris: [at breakneck speed] “Somewhere near Salinas, I let her slip away, looking for the love I hope she finds--she found...”
Bobby: [humming along] Mm, mm...
Kris: “I’d trade all my tomorrows for some single yesterday, and holding Bobby’s body next to mine--”
Larry: Okay, okay, “holding Bobby’s body next to mine.” Wait. Look, I get the picture. I’m not stupid. You know, I may not be a folk singer, but I am not stupid. I know what’s goin’ on, “holding Bobby’s body next to mine.”
Bobby: Larry, I don’t believe this. I don’t believe you could--
Larry: Let him ANSWER it! C’mon!! What is that supposed to mean, fella?
Kris: Hey, Frank--Far--Larry...
Larry: LARRY! Larry Farber.
Kris: [losing patience] When you’re in the front seat of a truck--
Kris: --and there’s three of you, and when you got a... a... harpoon...
Larry: Yeah, sure.
Kris: And a bandanna...
Kris: Somebody’s butt is going to be next to somebody else’s.
Larry: [shoves him] Yeah, how’d ya like to step outside for a knuckle sandwich pal? C’mon! [removes jacket]
Larry: [slips back into jacket] C’mon, weirdo! Let’s go! C’mon, pal!
[Rita Coolidge suddenly walks up from backstage and stops next to Kris.]
Kris: [to Bobby] Honey, I would like you to meet somebody real special. [to Rita] This is Bobby McGee. And her, it’s Bobby...
Bobby: [smiles at Rita] It’s Bobby Farber now, right.
Kris: And her husband Larry.
Bobby: This is my husband Larry Farber, woman’s pocketbooks, right. [holds out pocketbook]
Larry: [waves briefly at Rita] Nice to meet you.
Rita: [smiles politely to Bobby] It’s beautiful.
Bobby: Thank you. Uh-- [to Kris] Listen, uh, just one last thing for me, Kris. Could you just finish the song, please? A lot of people don’t believe--
Kris: [quickly] “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose...”
Bobby: [droning] “Nothin’ left but nothin’ every daaaaaay, nothing ain’t worth nothing...” [to Larry] I wrote the “na na-na” part.
Larry: [sullenly] Yeah, I know.
[They all sing for a moment while Kris plays.]
Bobby: Remember the “na na-na” part? [sings] “Na na-na, na na-na na na...”
Larry: “Feeling good was...” good enough for YOU!
Bobby: “Na na-na, na na na-na...”
Larry: It was good then! Now, now what does it take, huh?
[CUT to Kris and Rita as they watch in disbelief.]
Larry: Next two weeks in the Caribbean, now, to set you straight.
Larry: Yeah, the charge card, the tennis lessons for the kids, a house in Benton Harbor, the analyst...
Bobby: “Na na-na, na na na-na...”
Larry: The damned analyst, the KIDS’ damned analyst. I shoulda been a damned FOLK singer, that’s what I shoulda been!!
Bobby: Larry, you’re making a--
Larry: AW, NO! I shoulda been a folk singer, and grown a beard! [grabs Bobby’s arm] No, let’s get out of here!
Bobby: [slaps his arm] No!
Larry: [dragging her offstage] We’re getting out of here!!
[He growls at her and pulls her quickly off past the cameras. Audience applauds as Kris and Rita watch them go in disbelief.]
Rita: That’s Bobby McGee? I mean, that’s Bobby McGee?
Kris: [takes a deep breath] That was a long time ago, things were different in the ‘60s. [to audience] Wait! We’ll be right back in a few minutes, folks! [to Rita] Listen, this one means a lot to me...
[As they talk quietly, PAN back over applause and FADE to black.]
Submitted by: Sean