Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 1: Episode 21
Buck Henry’s Monologue
Security Guard…..George Coe
Don Pardo: Ladies and gentlemen – Buck Henry![ the offstage house band continues to play the main theme, but Buck Henry doesn’t come down the basement stairs to perform his monologue. The audience applauds in anticipation, quieting down only when the band finally commences. A stagehand sticks his head into frame, waves his hands, poits toward the back of the set and runs in that direction. He peeks up the stairs, but shrugs; Buck Henry is a no-show. The stagehand calls a robed and shaded John Belushi to the stage. ]
John Belushi: What?
Stagehand: Buck’s not here.
John Belushi: Buck’s not here?
Stagehand: Buck’s not here.
John Belushi: What do you want me to do?
Stagehand: Open the show.
John Belushi: Open the show?
Stagehand: Open the show.[ the stagehand rushes off, as Belushi takes center stage to thunderous applause. Lorne Michaels approaches Belushi on stage. ]
John Belushi: Buck’s not here, Lorne. Where is Buck, Lorne?
Lorne Michaels: He’s not here.
John Belushi: He’s not here?
Lorne Michaels: Uh.. he was here for dress rehearsal.
John Belushi: Yes, I know that.
Lorne Michaels: He hasn’t come back, I don’t know where he is.
John Belushi: You don’t know — he was here for dress? Where is he?
Lorne Michaels: What you’ll have to do is, you’ll just have to host until he gets here.
John Belushi: Host, until he gets here? Okay.[ Lorne Michaels rushes off stage to the hallway, leaving Belushi alone on stage ]
John Belushi: Uh.. well, I’m the host this week, uh.. for the show, I guess.. uh.. and, uh.. I’d like to do a few numbers —[ cut to Lorne rushing down the hallway ]
Lorne Michaels: We haven’t found Buck.
Jane Curtin: What?
Lorne Michaels: I don’t know where he is. He hasn’t come back. I don’t know. He went for cigarettes, or something, like — he said something about — a hamburger? No.[ Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner and Laraine Newman follow Lorne down the hall. They are, of course, dressed in costumes they won’t actually wear during the live show, except for laraine who’s still dressed as she was in the cold opening. ]
Jane Curtin: A hamburger? He said he’d be right back!
Lorne Michaels: I’ll find Buck. Go back there and help John.[ the girls begin to complain simultaneously ]
Lorne Michaels: Well, I can’t help that! I don’t know.. I don’t know..
Jane Curtin: Well, can you do something?
Lorne Michaels: [ stops at elevator, speaks into an intercom ] Meet me downstairs.
Jane Curtin: What do I do?
Lorne Michaels: John is onstage, he’s hosting tonight?
Girls: John is onstage? Alone?!
Lorne Michaels: I’ll find Buck Go back and help John.[ cut back to John Belushi at Home Base ]
John Belushi: — A few things I don’t like about this show myself, you know? I mean, they throw people out there. They don’t have anything to do, the host is late, who the hell knows what’s going on? I don’t know what’s going on! You know? Cheap jokes, folks! [ trips himself and stumbles tothe floor; the audience cheers ] [ cut to the main lobby, 30 Rockefeller Center. Buck Henry, holding a newspaper, is in a heated argument with a security guard, who fails to recognize him and is refusing him entrance into the building. ]
Lorne Michaels: Excuse me. This is Buck Henry – he’s the host of this week’s show.
Security Guard: Wait a minute. Excuse me, sir. Excuse me, sir. The host of the show is a star. This man is not a star! This is not no Ray-quel Welch. This is no Candice Bergen. This isn’t even Elliot Gould! What are you telling me?
Lorne Michaels: This man — this is the host of this week’s show.
Buck Henry: I’ve been going in and out all week!
Lorne Michaels: All week.
Security Guard: May I ask you a question? May I ask you a question, sir?! I’ve never seen this man before! Have I ever heard of you before, sir?
Buck Henry: Look, I gotta go —[ Buck rushes forward, but the security guard stands and grabs Buck by the shoulders ]
Security Guard: Listen, let’s not get physical!
Lorne Michaels: Please.
Security Guard: Who are you, sir? Who are you, sir?
Lorne Michaels: I am the producer of the “Saturday Night” show.
Security Guard: Alright, sir. I am the guard of the security desk. You’re responsible for going upstairs.
Buck Henry: Yes, he is!
Lorne Michaels: Yes.
Buck Henry: We’re on the air right now.
Lorne Michaels: I’m telling you, we’re on the air right now.
Security Guard: This man does not have a pass!
Buck Henry: I have a pass! I left it upstairs, in my clothes in the dressing room!
Security Guard: May I see your identification, please, sir?
Lorne Michaels: I have my identifiction right here. [ pulls out his badge and shows it to the security guard ]
Security Guard: Alright, thank you very much.
Lorne Michaels: Okay?
Security Guard: Okay. Alright, Mr. Mitchell, you may go upstairs.
Lorne Michaels: No, no, no, no. It’s Michaels.
Buck Henry: Henry is my name.
Lorne Michaels: Buck Henry is the star of this week’s show, okay? He’s coming with me.
Security Guard: The man – the man may not pass without a pass!
Lorne Michaels: Can you call someone, please?
Security Guard: I’m sorry, sir. I’m only following orders.
Buck Henry: It’s upstairs in the dressing room, I’ll bring it down to you later.
Lorne Michaels: Honestly, he is the host of this week’s show. I will take responsibility for him. Okay? I’m Lorne Michaels, I’m the producer of the show —
Security Guard: You’ll take responsibility for him?
Lorne Michaels: Yes, I will. [ walks toward the elevators with Buck in tow ]
Security Guard: Alright, sir, let it be on your head![ the elevator doors close, as the security guard picks up a red phone ]
Security Guard: Harry? It’s Main Desk Security. A couple of very peculiar guys just went upstairs. Yeah, some guy, Myers, says he’s the producer? And he’s got Buck Jones — I don’t know. Buck Owens. A little beady-eyed guy. I don’t know what they’re doing. He’s in there to give somebody a karate chop – that’s all we need.[ cut to the halls of Studio 8-H, as Lorne and Buck step out the elevator and head for the studio ]
Lorne Michaels: Buck, how can I apologize for him? This has never happened to a host before.
Buck Henry: 2,000 miles, I flew —
Lorne Michaels: I’m sorry. I did the very best I can.
Buck Henry: Insane.
Lorne Michaels: This man, John Belushi, is on stage now.
Buck Henry: We could have left a picture of me downstairs — what do you mean he’s on stage?
Lorne Michaels: But I can’t quit. This man is obviously new to Security. Now, John is doing, is doing very well —
Buck Henry: [ offended ] What do you mean he’s doing very well?
Lorne Michaels: Well —[ they enter the studio, where Belushi is delivering some sort of triumphant monologue ]
John Belushi: — melting Bobbitt’s teeth. Instead of melting Bobbitt’s teeth to frighten the soldier’s fearful adversaries, he gave us —[ the audience applauds wildly, as Lorne and Buck step onto the Home Base stage. Buck stomps to the back of the set, flings his newspaper to the floor, and climbs up the stairs, as Belushi slinks away. ]
Lorne Michaels: Howard, Howard? Can we start again, please?
Howard Shore: Lorne, we’ve done the theme already.
Lorne Michaels: Can you start with the theme again, please? I know it’s — we’ll do it one more time, alright?[ the opening theme begins anew ]
Don Pardo: Ladies and gentlemen – Buck Henry![ Buck Henry comes down the stairs, steps over his newspaper, and folds his arms in anger as he stands before the audience and waits for the opening theme to wrap up ]
Buck Henry: [ as the music stops, smiles wide ] Hi! Uh.. I-I’m really pleased to be, uh.. to be back here on-on-on the show. It’s a great thrill for me. You know.. a rather strange occurence happened to me while I was, uh.. while I was going to the airport to take the plane —
Dave Wilson V/O: Buck, we’re running a little long, can you cut it short?
Buck Henry: [ miffed ] We’ll be right.. back.