The Joe Franklin Show

Joe Franklin ... Billy Crystal
Senor Cosa/Ricardo the Dummy ... Christopher Guest
Dan Halloran ... George Carlin
Jackie Rogers, Jr. (and Sr.) ... Martin Short



[Music: an uptempo piano version of "Twelfth Street Rag." A succession of black and white photos of old movie stars: W. C. Fields, Al Jolson (in blackface), Eddie Cantor, Mae West, the Marx Brothers (in "Go West"), Spencer Tracy, Buster Keaton (in "The Navigator"), Humphrey Bogart (in "The African Queen"), Laurel and Hardy (in "You're Darn Tootin'"). Finally, we dissolve to the darkened, book-lined set of Joe Franklin's talk show. The lights come up and we dissolve to legendary talk show host Joe Franklin, seated stiffly at his desk, wearing a plaid suit.]

Joe Franklin: A gracious hello, my friends. And welcome to "The Joe Franklin Show," my friends. Brought to you by Martin Paints. Beverages by Hoffman -- lively carbonation. Matzohs by Streit's -- for the unleavened experience of a lifetime. Today, my friends, a distinguished, medal-winning panel, my friends. On the far end, Jackie Rogers, Jr. -- a great albino performer. [cross-eyed, rubber-faced Jackie is a long-haired albino in a gold lame top and purple tights] New York City fireman extraordinaire Dan Halloran, my friends. [Dan is shy and nervous working class guy in a neatly pressed fireman's dress uniform] And my immediate guest -- a great, great ventriloquist -- Senor Cosa. [Senor Cosa sits with his dummy, Ricardo, in his lap - they wear matching mustaches and powder blue tuxedoes. Ricardo's eyes flick back and forth violently as Senor Cosa sits calmly.]

Ricardo the Dummy: [corrects Joe's pronunciation with a falsetto singsong] Cos-ha!

Senor Cosa: [laughs, elegant Spanish accent] He uses the Castilian pronunciation, Joe. He uses the "h" sound.

Joe Franklin: Ah! I see. Senor Cosa--

Ricardo the Dummy: Cos-ha!

Joe Franklin: Uh, sorry, Ricardo.

Ricardo the Dummy: Te nada.

Senor Cosa: He says, "No problem," Joe.

[Joe and Cosa share a laugh.]

Joe Franklin: New York City fireman Dan Halloran, have you ever seen a ventriloquist before?

Dan Halloran: Uhhhh--

Joe Franklin: You have any of this kind of stuff in the firehouse?

Dan Halloran: Oh, not that I know of.

Joe Franklin: Uh huh?

Dan Halloran: Maybe on one o' the other shifts or somethin', you know. But these - these guys are great, aren't they?

Joe Franklin: Yeah.

Ricardo the Dummy: Gracias.

Dan Halloran: Yeah. I don't know which one to watch. It's weird. It's really weird.

Joe Franklin: It IS weird -- like Jackie Rogers, Jr., my friends, one of the great performers. Jackie, you remind me so much of your father, the late Jackie Rogers, Sr.

Jackie Rogers, Jr.: Well, we ARE related.

[Joe and Jackie share a laugh. Dan looks at Jackie as if the latter had just landed from Mars.]

Jackie Rogers, Jr.: But, really, though, Joe, there are many similarities between my dad and I -- although I seem a little more obsessed with chasing the long-legged ladies.

Joe Franklin: Mm hmm. Mm. Dan? Dan, have you ever seen an albino performer before?

Dan Halloran: Not that I know of, Joe.

Joe Franklin: Mm hm.

Dan Halloran: Tell ya the truth, it kind o' throws me a little bit.

Joe Franklin: Mm hmm. Mm hmm.

Dan Halloran: I would have to say that this would be my first albino.

Joe Franklin: Mm hmm. Speaking of "firsts," tell us about your new show, Senor Cosa.

Ricardo the Dummy: Cos-ha!

Joe Franklin: Cosa.

Senor Cosa: Joe, we are doing a very exciting show at the--

Ricardo the Dummy: Theatre de Trenton Innes.

Senor Cosa: We have Eddie Simon III on our show.

Joe Franklin: Oh, he is an artiste, my friends. Is he doing a specialty?

Senor Cosa: Yes, he is. And after that, he's going to be doing his famous rice dance, of course.

Joe Franklin: Mm.

Senor Cosa: And then juggling the Siamese fighting fish.

Joe Franklin: Ah!

Ricardo the Dummy: Nos Ricardo's.

Senor Cosa: That's right.

Joe Franklin: I don't know about you, my friends, but this sounds like a true, old-time vaudeville potpourri extravaganza.

[Senor Cosa picks up a glass of water and drinks from it. Joe watches him expectantly, waiting for the ventriloquist to throw his voice. Instead, Cosa merely finishes drinking and sets the glass down. Joe looks around, confused, but quickly recovers.]

Joe Franklin: Dan, you are a great, great fireman. You save the lives of people in this city. Dan, what do you think about Eddie Cantor?

Dan Halloran: Well, I don't know. Was that the guy with the big eyes, right?

Joe Franklin: Mm hmm.

Dan Halloran: Ah, I never seen him, Joe. Never seen him.

Joe Franklin: Did you ever see this man's father? Jackie Rogers, Sr.? [to Jackie] Your dad was a great man.

Jackie Rogers, Jr.: And a remarkable teacher, Joe. I still find myself doing a certain move or taking a certain attitude and I'll stop and say, "Hey! I know where I caught that from!" [looks upward] Thanks, Dad! [looks up in another direction] Oh, there you are!

[Joe and Jackie share a laugh. Dan has watched Jackie with mute astonishment.]

Joe Franklin: [holds up a book] He has written a book about his father and it's called, "Damn You, Daddy, Sir" -- and this is a book about what?

Jackie Rogers, Jr.: It's - it's - it's a love letter, really, I suppose, with a dash of hatred in an almost mocha kind of swirl, if you'll have it.

Joe Franklin: I'll have it. I like what you like. You like what I like. And, alike, we like. My friends, let's sit back and reminisce with a recording of his father, Jackie Rogers, Sr.

Jackie Rogers, Jr.: Oh!

Joe Franklin: Let's drop the needle on Memory Lane and listen to this great, great recording, my friends, of the late, late, dead Jackie Rogers, Sr. - coming - up - right - now. Listen - to - this - song.

[Joe grins happily as the record plays. It's an upbeat, cheesy Vegas lounge lizard version of the title song from the Broadway musical "She Loves Me." Joe's guests sit quietly and listen. Senor Cosa grins slightly as Ricardo's eyes flick rapidly left and right. Dan squints and looks around uncomfortably. Jackie bops to the rhythm and mouths the words exuberantly as his father sings:]

Voice of Jackie Rogers, Sr.: [sings]
Yeah!
She loves me and to my amazement
I love it knowing that she loves me
She loves me but she doesn't know it
Why should she when she does not show it?
Yesterday, she hates me, ha!
Now, today she likes me, bah!
And tomorrow!
Oh, tomorrow ... !


Joe Franklin: [as the terrible song fades out] What a great memory, my friends. Uh, Dan, did you ever see his father perform?

Dan Halloran: Uh, not that I know of, Joe. And I think I really would have remembered that.

Joe Franklin: I think so, too, my friends. This show, my friends, is a show of shows. It is one to put in the comedy time capsule, my friends. Don't you think so, Senor Cosa?

Ricardo the Dummy: Cos-ha!

Joe Franklin: [consults a piece of paper] Dan, tell us about the, ehhhh, the, um, upcoming, uh, charity event here.

Dan Halloran: Uh, well, uh, Joe, the firemen are havin' a barbecue. And, uh, tryin' to raise money for the firemen's occupational hazards.

Joe Franklin: Such as what? Smoke inhalation?

Dan Halloran: Well, yeah, that's one, of course. And, uh, then there's, of course, uh, ankle-hip-ilitis.

Joe Franklin: "Ankle-hip-ilitis"? What's that?

Dan Halloran: Well, that's when the ankles are driven straight up into the hips. Usually this'll happen jumpin' off a building. Or sometimes slidin' down the pole too fast.

Joe Franklin: Mmm.

Dan Halloran: Mostly, it'll happen to your heavier firemen.

Joe Franklin: It sounds terrible.

Dan Halloran: Yeah. Well, it is. And, uh-- See, it makes 'em walk like this. [demonstrates stiffly] Gives 'em kind of a funny little duck-like walk.

Joe Franklin: A duck walk! Like Joe Penner, "Wanna buy a duck?"

[Ricardo the Dummy quacks like a duck.]

Joe Franklin: Right, Senor Cosa?

Ricardo the Dummy: Cos-ha! Cos-ha!

Joe Franklin: Cos-ha. Cos-ha. Jackie Rogers, Jr., my friend, the book, "Damn You, Daddy, Sir" ...

Jackie Rogers, Jr.: Yes.

Joe Franklin: ... is a provocative title.

Jackie Rogers, Jr.: Yes.

Joe Franklin: Did he beat you? Was there taunting? Uh, were there coat hangers?

Jackie Rogers, Jr.: No, but, I - I do remember one time, Joe -- and, when I think of it, I still find myself getting pretty shaky.

Joe Franklin: Mm hm.

Jackie Rogers, Jr.: He made me sit in front of a plateful of yams ...

Joe Franklin: Mm hm.

Jackie Rogers, Jr.: ... for a - a good thirty, thirty-five minutes.

[Awkward pause.]

Joe Franklin: Maybe he should have put the yams on Matzohs by Streit's, my friends, and washed it down with Hoffman beverages. Dan, have you ever had Matzohs by Streit's?

Dan Halloran: Uh, not that I know of, Joe.

["Twelfth Street Rag" pots up and continues under the following:]

Joe Franklin: Jackie -- the book, my friends, "Damn You, Daddy, Sir" -- I'm putting this on my bestseller list in the Hall of Fame. And I wish you could be at the Firemen's Barbecue with Dan. [to Dan] Always a pleasure. And we top it all off with Senor Cosa.

Ricardo the Dummy: Cos-ha!

Joe Franklin: So be there, my friends. Let's wave goodbye. Joe Franklin, saying good night, my friends, good night. Bye bye.

[Joe and his guests wave to the camera as it pulls back. The lights go down and the set darkens.]


Submitted Anonymously


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