SNL Transcripts: Peter Cook & Dudley Moore: 01/24/76: Backstage Banter


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 1: Episode 11

75k: Peter Cook & Dudley Moore / Neil Sedaka

Backstage Banter

… Jane Curtin
Sheila Ellington … John Belushi

[Light piano music under a graphic that reads: BACKSTAGE BANTER. Dissolve to Jane Curtin seated on a talk show set, addressing the camera.]

Jane Curtin: Good evening and welcome to Backstage Banter. I’m Jane Curtin and tonight’s guest is truly a remarkable woman. One of the foremost male impersonators working today. [pull back to reveal a man in a tuxedo seated beside her] Let’s welcome Ms. Sheila Ellington. [applause] May I call you “Sheila”?

Sheila Ellington: Aw, you know you can, Jane.

Jane Curtin: Sheila, your transformation from a woman into the man sitting next to me is – is astounding.

Sheila Ellington: Thank you. I guess I’m, uh, good at what I do.

Jane Curtin: You’re the best. May I ask you how long it takes you to get into make-up?

Sheila Ellington: Well, I’ve got it down to about three hours, now — that’s including, uh, cummerbund and stubble.

Jane Curtin: I was going to ask you how you got that naturalistic stubble effect.

Sheila Ellington: Ah! Chocolate jimmies. I glue ’em on, one at a time.

Jane Curtin: That’s ingenious.

Sheila Ellington: Mm hm. Mm hm.

Jane Curtin: [to the camera] Chocolate jimmies, in case you don’t know, are the brown sprinkle candies you dip ice cream cones into.

Sheila Ellington: I also use them in my baking. Terrific.

Jane Curtin: Well, they ARE terrific. Sheila, do you have that picture of your family with you, tonight?

Sheila Ellington: I sure do. It’s right here. [picks up photo and hands it to Jane who holds it up to the camera — it’s a black and white 8×10 of a family of four with the mother seated] That’s me seated there.There. [Of course, the woman pictured looks nothing like “Sheila Ellington”] And, uh, that’s Edie, my daughter, she’s thirteen. That’s my husband Edward. And my – my young son, uh, Ricky — he’s ten. Hi,kids. [lights a cigarette]

Jane Curtin: Well, Sheila, you’re all woman in this picture.

Sheila Ellington: Thank you.

Jane Curtin: Can I ask you how you manage to disguise your secondary sexual characteristics?

Sheila Ellington: Uh, yoga breath control. And, uh, masking tape. Always helps. Really holds ’em in there. I mean, I – I never jiggle when I’m onstage. Ever. [winces] Ohh.

Jane Curtin: What’s the matter?

Sheila Ellington: It’s cramps. [waves dismissively] It’s all right.

Jane Curtin: Perhaps you could tell us a little bit about your one-woman show.

Sheila Ellington: Well, I, uh, I sing, I dance, and, uh, I do impersonations of famous actors.

Jane Curtin: Could you do one for us now?

Sheila Ellington: Well, I–

Jane Curtin: Oh, come on! Let’s have it. [encourages audience’s applause]

Sheila Ellington: Well, I don’t – I don’t usually do this, I don’t have the band here, I do this in my act but, uh, I could do, uh, Rod Steiger singing. [Jane nods her encouragement] Okay, here goes. [imitates anasal, tuneless Rod Steiger] “One is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do – Two could be as bad as one – It’s the loneliest number since the number one – Do you understand what I’m talking about?” [applause]

Jane Curtin: Isn’t that great? Sheila, let me ask you one question.

Sheila Ellington: Yeah.

Jane Curtin: In your stage career as a male impersonator, what was the most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?

Sheila Ellington: Well, you see, I – I wear socks down there and once, I guess, it came out of my panties–

Jane Curtin: No, Sheila, I was referring to the mouse.

Sheila Ellington: Oh. The mouse. Oh, yeah. Right. [embarrassed, reluctantly] Well, once during my act, uh, a little tiny mouse, uh, ran across the stage. And, out of instinct, I guess, I just jumped on achair. I started yelling, “Eek! Eek!”

Jane Curtin: Tell me, Sheila, where will you be appearing next?

Sheila Ellington: Well, Jane, I’ll be taking some time off. You see, uh, I’m expecting a baby in a few weeks.

Jane Curtin: Ohhh. You don’t even show!

Sheila Ellington: Masking tape.

Jane Curtin: Oh! Well, I’d like to thank Sheila Ellington very much. She’s truly a remarkable woman. Let’s give her all a good hand.

[Applause. Dissolve back to the BACKSTAGE BANTER graphic.]

Submitted Anonymously

SNL Transcripts

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Author: Don Roy King

Don Roy King has directed fourteen seasons of Saturday Night Live. That work has earned him ten Emmys and fourteen nominations. Additionally, he has been nominated for fifteen DGA Awards and won in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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