American Voices about the talk show

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Ruby Nichols… Leslie Jones

Janine Katz… Sasheer Zamata

Jackie Katz… Kyle Mooney

Absin… Kenan Thompson

Mom… Cecily Strong

Regie… Jay Pharoah

[Starts with American Voices intro]

Male voice: Tonight on American Voices. Corso, Litterman, Leno, Falon. The late night talk show landscape has been home to some of America’s great talents. All of them fun. And just about all of them, men. But was it always this way? [A picture of Ruby Nichols appear] Actually, one of Television’s very first talk shows was hosted by an African-American woman, comedian Ruby Nichols.

[Cut to Janine Katz- Ruby’s Granddaughter]

Janine Katz: My grandmother started out in the 1940 on the legendary Chitland circuit doing party records like, Skunkment for Supper, and Who Sat On These Biscuits? But her big break came when she married my grandfather, TV producer Jackie Kats.

[Cut to a picture of Jackie Katz and Ruby Nichols hugging] [Cut to Janine Katz]

Unfortunately this show had a couple of obstacles to overcome. Their band leader was blinded in an auto-plant accident. And they shot it in Atlanta which still wasn’t fully desegregated.

[Cut to Too Late with Ruby Nichols video bumper] [cheers and applause] [Cut to Ruby Nichols]

Ruby Nichols: Thank you. Thank you. You all see this? They had a big Hollywood movie opening last night. Vertigo, did anyone see it? You did? Well, I didn’t, because they wouldn’t let me in the Theater.  Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. They wouldn’t even let me in the front entrance of this theater and this is my show! Ha-ha-ha-ha. Makes me deeply sad.

Anyway, I want y’all to meet Absin on the piano. How you doing, Absin?

[Cut to Absin]

Absin: I- I- I’m doing real good. I’ve been resting comfortably since the accident. I don’t know what all the fuss was about. I don’t miss seeing nothing.

[playing piano] [Cut to Janine Katz]

Janine Katz: To say it read people the wrong way is an understatement. But, ABC bravely kept it going and until the Hailey Mill’s episode. My grandmother was always frustrated. She was the only one on TV who had to have a day job.

[Cut to Ruby Nichol’s talk show set. Ruby Nichol, Absin and Miley are sitting.]

Ruby Nichols: Thank you for being here.

Miley: Thank you. I didn’t know what to expect.

Ruby Nichols: That’s how I feel all the time.  [laughing] Let’s talk about this movie. A lot of people are talking about parent trap. You seen it Absin?

[Cut to Absin and Miley]

Absin: Ya, I saw it twice.

[Cut to Absin, Miley and Ruby Nichols]

Ruby Nichols: [laughing] Well, did you bring your twin here tonight?

Miley: I don’t have a twin. They shot me as a two different characters, you silly.

[Cut to Ruby Nichols]

Ruby Nichols: [laughing] Alright, you got one more time to call me silly.

[Cut to Miley]

Miley: I can just show you a bit if you like.

Ruby Nichols: Yes. I’d love it.

[Cut to a clip from the movie. Abygal played by Miley and Mom are sitting.]

Mom: Oh, Abby, please. At least eat your pie.

Abygal: I don’t want it mama, now that daddy’s not here. Not now, and not ever.

[Regie walks in]

Regie: Oh, now, come on Miss Abygal. Now I reckon I make all these pies for them now to get ate up. You hear? It will make me smile. Come on, now. Give old Regie a smile.

[Regie makes Abygal smile by pulling her lips at the two end with his fingers.] [Cut to Ruby Nichol’s talk show set.]

Miley: Oh! Perhaps not the best clip to show.

Ruby Nichols: Ha-ha-ha. Question. You couldn’t make your own pie?

Absin: [talking to the crew members] Look here, do me a favor. Make sure my car’s running.

Miley: Ummm…

Ruby Nichols: I’m just so sick of Hollywood making us look like this. You know, I’m gonna tell you right now what I think of every white person here.

[Video cuts to a screen message “Please stand by”.] [Cut to American Voices outro]

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Author: Don Roy King

Don Roy King is directing his fourteenth season of Saturday Night Live. That work has earned him nine Emmys and thirteen nominations. Additionally, he has been nominated for thirteen DGA Awards and won in 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. Mr. King is also the creative director of Broadway Worldwide which brings theatrical events to theaters. The company has produced Smokey Joe’s Café; Putting It Together with Carol Burnett; Jekyll & Hyde; and Memphis, all directed by Mr. King. He completed the screen capture of Broadway's Romeo & Juliet in 2013. - LinkedIn

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