SNL Transcripts: Buck Henry: 05/22/76: Talk Back


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 1: Episode 21

75u: Buck Henry / Gordon Lightfoot

Talk Back

Frank Noland…..Buck Henry
Announcer…..Dan Aykroyd
Mrs. Noland…..Gilda Radner

[Frank Noland, loud, hard-hitting host of TV call-intalk show, sits in front of a white brick wall andaddresses the camera.]

Frank Noland: Good evening. I’m Frank Noland. And thisis “Talk Back”!

[Cut to the “Talk Back” logo, then pull back to revealFrank Noland sitting beneath it at a table lined withten black telephones. He smokes a cigarette as funky1970s-era theme music and a tough-talking announcerset the scene.]

Announcer: Talk Back! Frank Noland talks to you, thepublic! You, the public, talk to Frank Noland! Helistens! Talk back to Frank Noland and he’ll talk backto you!

Frank Noland: Tonight’s topic is “Federally SupportedMunicipal Bonds — Yes or No?” I’m Frank Noland and Iwant you to talk to me about federally supportedmunicipal bonds. Call me now at one of these toll-freenumbers: Eight zero-zero, five-five-five,three-three-one-zero — one-one, one-two, one-three,one-four, one-five, one-six, one-seven, one-eight andone-nine! [pause] That topic, once again: “FederallySupported Municipal Bonds — Yes or No?” Call me nowand let me know how you feel. Those numbers, onceagain, are: eight zero-zero, five-five-five,three-three-one-zero — one-one, one-two, one-three,one-four, one-five, one-six, one-seven, one-eight andone-nine!

[a long pause, Frank takes a deep drag onhis cigarette, the phones do not ring]

Yes, we’re talking about federally supported municipal bonds!Say, is it a federal problem? Is it a state problem?Is it – is it a combination of federal and stateproblems? Is it YOUR problem? Is it OUR problem? Whydon’t you give me a ring and talk back to me, FrankNoland? The operators ARE standing by! [another longpause, Frank grabs a glass of water and takes a sip,he looks at the silent row of phones, looksuncomfortable] This … is Frank Noland. And our firsttopic tonight is, and has been “Federally SupportedMunicipal Bonds — Yes or No?” Hey! But that’s not theonly issue I’m prepared to talk about tonight. How’bout this one? “Forced Busing — Yes or No?” Huh? I’msure you have as many things to say about forcedbusing as I do. I’m Frank Noland and I’m prepared totalk back to you! And those numbers, once again, areeight zero-zero, five-five-five, three-three-one-zero– one-one, one-two, one-three, one-four, one-five,one-six, one-seven, one-eight and one-nine! Andthey’re TOLL-FREE! Totally toll-free!

[another long pause, Frank takes another drag and impatiently taps his pack of cigarettes on the table]

Let’s run over those burning issues once again, shall we? They are, one, “Federally Supported Municipal Bonds” and, two,”Forced Busing”! Remember, toll-free! Totally free!You pay nothing here. We pay for the entire call.[phone rings once, Frank reaches for phone] And here’sour first on “Talk Back” right now!

[Frank puts his hand on the phone and freezes as he realizes that it has stopped ringing — another pause, Frank lets go ofthe phone and puts his hand to his head – he’s gettingdesperate]

Here’s another issue that may interest you: “Soviet Communism — Let’s Give It a Chance”! I’ll bet there are some of you who have opinions on this one. That’s Soviet Communism here — here and now! Here, in this country, in your own community. I guess there areplenty of good, red-blooded Americans out there who’ll have a little something to say about that. And, if there are, and you want to talk back to me, Frank Noland, I’m prepared to talk back to you! Maybe you forgot to make a note of those numbers. The numbersagain are eight zero-zero, five-five-five,three-three-one-zero — one-one, one-two, one-three,one-four, one-five, one-six, one-seven, one-eight andone-nine. And I’m ready to talk back on these sametopics: Federally Supported Municipal Bonds, ForcedBusing, and “Soviet Communism Here and Now”! I, FrankNoland, am ready to talk back to you in support ofspending federal funds to bus known Soviet Communistsinto your community now — to teach your children andto live in your house, whether you like it or not!Now, if anyone has another position, and it’s yourright as an American to disagree, give me a call onone of these toll-free lines. Call me collect! I’llanswer and I’ll talk back to– I’ll talk. I–

[pause, Frank puts an unlit cigarette in his mouth, thinks fora moment, then leans forward intently]

How ’bout this? “Killing Puppies — It Doesn’t Bother Me” … That’s me, Frank Noland, and I LIKE dead puppies! Frankly,I’m totally in favor of using federally supportedmunicipal bonds to pay for forced busing of SovietCommunists to come into your homes to kill yourpuppies! Give me a call, won’t you? The lines areopen. Tell ME what you think about it. [lights hiscigarette, mumbles to himself] Dead, mangled puppies… I like ’em …

[starting to lose it]

Okay. While you’re thinking about THOSE topics, here are a half a dozen others which I, Frank Noland, am personally infavor of. “Adolf Hitler — Boy, Do We Need Him Now”!Huh? What about that? Hey, “Incest — I Practice It,Why Don’t You?” Give me a call. Talk to me about it.[A sympathetic woman enters and joins Frank] “NoToilets for the Blind”? Call me! Call me, if you’rewatching! And, and–

Mrs. Noland: Frank? Frank, honey?

Frank Noland: “The Ozone Layer — Let’s Get Rid ofIt”!

Mrs. Noland: Frank, honey. Honey, let’s go home.

Frank Noland: How ’bout “Suicide — Fun for theElderly”? [The sympathetic woman gently guides Frankout of his chair and offscreen] I– I– What happened?Nobody called. I don’t understand it. What about nuns?We could do something about nuns… [As they exit,funky theme music begins and we zoom in on the “TalkBack” logo.]

Announcer: Join us again tomorrow on “Talk Back”!Frank Noland talks to the public! You, the public,talk to Frank Noland! He listens on “Talk Back”!

[Dissolve to the applauding audience. Asuperimposition reads: COMING UP NEXT: NEW HOPE FORTHE TERMINALLY CURIOUS]

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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