Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 3: Episode 5

77e: Ray Charles

Ray Charles' Monologue

... Ray Charles

Don Pardo V/O: Ladies and gentlemen, Ray Charles!

[Applause. Darkened Home Base. In a spotlight, Ray Charles sits at a grand piano.]

Ray Charles: Aw, thank you. Thank you, thank you very-- Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. Uh, I want to say that when the people, uh, from Saturday Night first asked me to, uh, host this show, of course, I - I - I said "Absolutely not." Uh, I - I knew the show was tasteless and - and offensive and - and - and there was no way I was gonna let thirty years of a career go down the drain. I - I - I might be blind but I'm certainly not stupid. But they - they - they kept on askin' me and the producer was saying, "Hey, hey, Ray, you know, we gonna make you look good." And - and-- But, you see, I was worried more about the sound. So, I - I - eventually, I said, "Listen, I'll tell you what. Er, uh, I'll do the show but - but - er, uh - there must be some, uh, particular conditions in order for me to do it. Ah, for instance, I've got to have my own musicians. I - I want the Raylettes. And they said, "Okay." But for the last thing I asked 'em about, it took 'em a little while to come up with it but they were even able to do that, too. So, therefore, ladies and gentlemen, let me say that: [grandly] Tonight, we are proud to be coming to you live -- from Carnegie Hall!

[lowers his voice conspiratorially] Now, listen, I, uh, I gotta tell you something. [chuckles] You see, now, they think that I think that this is Carnegie Hall but... [laughter and applause] ... You see, but, ah, the joke is really on them because, you see, I - I'm not the real Ray Charles. The real Ray Charles IS at Carnegie Hall. Ah, but if he were here tonight, I - I am sure that he would lead off this show with somethin' like this. One! Two!

[Charles' band comes crashing in and the lights come up to reveal a stage full of musicians and numerous female backing vocalists, the Raylettes. They all launch into a swinging, soulful version of "I Can See Clearly Now" ...]

Submitted Anonymously

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