78q: Milton Berle / Ornette Coleman
Milton Berle's Monologue
Don Pardo: Ladies and gentlemen, Mister Television himself: MILTON BERLE!!!
[Mr. Television emerges through the door and mugs for the audience before he dismounts the stairs to great fanfare and the band winds up quickly.]
Milton Berle: Oh, boy, look at this! Lovin' it! [cheers and applause] You love me! You want me! How 'bout this, huh? [cheers] Thank you! Thank you! You want me. You love me. I think I'll quit right now, I think this is a little too big. Thank you very much. Let's hear it! [suddenly motions for quiet] Hold it, folks. Please? We've only got ninety minutes!
You folks on the show, hold it, please. [gestures toward band] Let's hear it for Lee Marvin and His Witnesses, ladies and gentlemen. Take a bow. Lovely outfit. You always dress this classy? Now, uh... I don't feel much like workin', I got bad news, my wife ran away with my best friend... and I miss him.
I'm unlucky, I'm goin' bad, I should, um... I'm so unlucky, if they sawed a woman in half, I'd get the part that eats. Would you believe that?
I'm goin' bad, I'm a real loser. Last night, for example, I dreamt... [turns around toward band] Which joke are YOU workin' on back there, huh? It's the black guy, huh? You're lucky, pal, you can walk home alone at three in the morning.
[laughter and applause]
I, uh... Will you laugh at the real joke? Now, I'll show you how bad I'm gone... last night I dreamt Dolly Parton was my mother, and I was a bottle baby. [guffaws] Oh, before I go any further, hold it, hold the music--a flash just come over the air. Forty-four Puerto Ricans in a crash. The bed broke. Just came over the air just now.
But I... [pats chest] Ooooh. God, I've got so much gas, I'm being followed by Arabs. But this, uh... No, I wanna tell ya, everybody looks wonderful. [points at audience member] I'm sorry, sir, your head is shining right in my eyes.
[Berle walks toward the man, who playfully covers up his bald head with his hands.]
For a minute I thought you were sitting upside down. But it is REALLY...
No, I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I'm kidding, I'm kidding. I'm kidding. Is this your wife? Well, what're ya gonna do... The, uh... This other couple here look very, very sweet. Is this your wife, sir?
Audience Member: [softly] Oh, no.
Milton Berle: Oh, no? Oh. Motel job, huh? Okay, NOW. Motel spelled backwards: "let him." The, uh... two, three four. But, uh... No, she's very pretty. She's very pretty. You got any NUDE pictures of her? No?
Audience Member: [barely audible] Wanna buy...
Milton Berle: Wanna buy some? [reaches inside his suit] I speak to everyone, I really do. [to right] Pull up your dress, there, pull up. [hikes up his breast pockets] Catch your breasts down, they're comin' out. I, uh... God, I can't wait until she hiccups. Reminds me, I gotta get a new set of tires. But this, uh... Reminds me, I got a new set of tires...
[imitating a magician with his hand] Here's another one you may not care for. I have a lot of these gems. It's a good audience, I'm really thrilled, really. I haven't been so thrilled since I won Truman Capote on "The Dating Game." But this is a good audience, I'll tell ya why--because it's so young--oh, see what it says? [walks toward left] "Hi, Uncle Miltie."
[He walks up to the same bald guy, who now dons a visor on his pate.]
Milton Berle: Let me see that, sir.
[He pulls the visor off and raps his head lightly with it.]
Milton Berle: Get outta here, will ya? [laughter] I'd like to put my finger in your ear and go bowling.
You're pretty old to come to this kind of a show, pal, with no hair. Look at the young people! You talk about, this is a young audience. I was in Miami Beach, I was in Miami Beach, and... Are you from Miami Beach? You heard the applause. And, uh... I was in Miami Beach, we had an audience--not like this--I'd say the average age of the audience in Miami Beach was "deceased." But I'm glad I'm back in New York, because I love it here, I really do...
[cheers and applause]
I haven't been--no, listen--I, this is the truth, I haven't been in New York for a long time. There's so many changes here. For example, I was walking on Fifth Avenue the other day, I saw a guy dressed very funny. I walked over to him, I said, "Are you a Jehovah Witness?" He said, "I didn't even see the accident."
"I didn't even see the accident..." [examines his fingernails] What'd the rest of you think of it? I wanna tell ya, you can't go out at night here, it's murder. You go out at night to buy a paper, the next morning, you're in it. I, uh, I'm... Which joke are YOU workin' on there? I'm staying over here at the Essex House, they put me over here. Really. Last night by mistake, I knocked on the wrong door-- [knocks on microphone] --knocked on the wrong door, a girl opened the door, and she said, "Yes?" I didn't even ask her. Every--next door to my room was a Hawaiian honeymoon couple, 'cause all night long I heard the girl yellin', "Luau!" Heh, heh, heh!
[Audience laughs politely, then a touch harder as Berle looks dejected.]
Can I see your library cards tonight, please? And on the other side of my room, must be a newlywed couple, 'cause I heard the husband say to the wife, "Tell me, darling, am I the first one?" She says, "Why does everybody always keep asking me that?" But I love it here. I got married, by the way, at the Essex House, twenty-five years ago. This is my twenty-fifth anniversary. Let's hear it out there, my twenty-fifth...
[cheers and applause]
Twenty-five years! This is the truth! Twenty-five years, to the same woman. I think that's remarkable in show business. When I got married, when we got married first, my wife must've thought I was very sexy. Now she's complaining a little. We were in bed together a couple of months ago... [looks dejected] She said to me, "Milton... even eggs take three minutes." But, uh... I tried, I tried, I tried to please her. In the bedroom, I put up mirrors on the wall, mirrors on the ceiling... Now I get twelve different views of her headache.
The kids don't know about that stuff. Okay. But... I tell ya what, I went to expense--I bought us a waterbed, a waterbed. She calls it the Dead Sea.
Ladies and gentlemen, I was asked by the producers of this show--
[A sudden clang rings out from the band section, as though a music stand has fallen over.]
Milton Berle: [looks around] What the hell? [laughter] NBC just dropped another show. I, uh...
[cheers and applause]
What the hell's goin' on here? It's a live show. Before we go any further, I was requested, by the, uh, producer of the show, that there's gonna be some great hosts on here in the future. George Burns, they're trying to get George Burns--he's great, he looks just like he did 40 years ago. Old. I can't tell you how old Burns is, but I think he was circumcised with a stone knife.
He's old, man, I'm tellin' ya. [mumbles] Aw, forget it.
[A woman's voice calls out from off camera.]
Milton Berle: What'd ya say? That's it? I'm all through? That's it? The monologue's through? [checks watch] Good, I can catch "Gilligan's Island."
[laughter and applause]
You mean I don't do any more after this? It's only five minutes. Are you kidding? [rubs his lapel] I usually bow for twenty. [looks dejected] Well, that's the monologue. [chuckles] Thank you. We'll be right back.
[ZOOM OUT over applause as Berle fakes outrage. FADE to black.]
Submitted by: Sean