Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 2: Episode 5
Steve Martin’s Monologue
Don Pardo V/O: Ladies and gentlemen, Steve Martin![Martin enters, runs down stairs to home base where hestands between his banjo and a stool upon which aresome props. He basks in applause, wearing histrademark white suit with black shoes and rednecktie.]
Steve Martin: [arms in the air] Thank you very much.Thank you, this is too much, thank you, thank you![bows] Okay! Well, I didn’t expect this.[bows] Thank you very much. Okay. We’re havin’ somefun now, eh, folks? Okay, it’s, uh, great to be herein New York. Um, I know that sounds phony ’cause everyentertainer in the world comes out no matter wherethey are and they always go “HEY! IT’S REALLY GREAT TOBE HERE!” And it really sounds fake. But, believe me,I am sincere when I say, “HEY! IT’S REALLYGREAT TO BE HERE!” Okay, no, seriously, it is great tobe here. And, um, well, actually, it’s great to be …here. [steps one pace to his right] Okay, so– No!It’s great to be here! [a few steps to his left] Thisis where it’s great to be. [walks upstage] No! It’sgreat to be here, too! [turns, heads back downstage]Well, I’ll never forget how great it was to be overthere. [back where he started] Okay, we’re movin’ now.[takes a glass of water from stool] ‘Scuse me. [sipswater through straw, puts glass back on stool, spitsout a mouthful of water to his left] All right.
We on? [waves hands in mock protest] Okay, okay, okay,okay. To, uh, open the show, I always like to do onething that IS impossible. [holds up straw from waterglass] So right now I’m going to suck this stool intomy lungs. [bends over stool and tries to suck stoolthrough straw – nothing happens, of course -straightens up, with mock disappointment] Oh, darn.[throws straw away] Okay! Well, here’s something youdon’t often see. [jumps up and down twice, grunting,wild-eyed, while stretching corners of mouth withfingers] Okay, um. You know, a lot of people come tome – they say, Steve, how can you be so damnfunny? Well, uh, I’m kinda gettin’ out of the comedything now, uh, gettin’ more into the music so I’d liketo do a banjo tune for ya right now. Here we go.[picks up banjo, applause] Thank you very much. Thankyou. [straps on banjo, pauses] I don’t deserve it. Allright. Was it free to get in? [audience says “yes”]It’s free? Okay. Get your money’s worth on this. Okay,doesn’t matter if it’s free to get in, whatever, uh,we’re on network, uh, big show. You’re expecting tosee a professional show so let’s not waste any moretime! Here we go with … PROFESSIONAL SHOW BUSINESS!Let’s go, hey! [picks a note or two on banjo, thenimmediately backs away and starts tuning it]
Here we go. [plays a steady rhythmic riff] Hey, thisguy’s good. [sings] “Well, I’m ramblin’, ramblin”round, I’m a ramblin’ guy, I’m ramblin’, oh, yes, oh,yes!” [whistles poorly, shrugs, speaks] Free to getin. [sings] “I’m a ramblin’ guy – R-A-M-B-L-I-Napostrophe, oh yes, I’m ramblin’ — Ramblin’ to NewYork City, N-Y-C! Rent a car, get a hotel, for onlytwo hundred dollars a day. Oh, yes.” [speaks] Okay,everybody! “I’m a ram–” Come on! Sing with me!Come on, have some fun, come on! “Ramblin’ …” Areyou people uptight or somethin’? You can’t singalong–? Oh, I forgot… New York. [applause, keepsplaying] Okay! All right, ladies only! “Oh, look! Aramblin’ guy!” Come on! Okay, this half of the room!Beautiful! Now this half! Good, good! All right, twofifths! Now, three-fifths! Good. Seven-ninths!Two-ninths. All right, in Chinese now! [sings Chinesegibberish, then sings in English:] “Well, I’mramblin’, ramblin’, ramblin’, ramblin’, ramblin’,ramblin’, ramblin’, ramblin’! Ram! Mah! BLINNNN!”[suddenly launches into a long, snappy, complex banjoinstrumental, smiles and raises eyebrows at audience,stops, takes a fake arrow-through-the-head prop fromthe stool and puts it on] I like to keep the laughsrolling even while I’m playing. [finishes banjo tunetriumphantly] Heyyyy! [applause] [sings without banjo] “Oh, I’m a neat guy!” [speaks]Excuse me, excuse me. All right, um, you know, uh, thebanjo’s such a happy instrument, it really is. It’s agood thing for a comedian, like me, and, uh, it’s justa happy thing, you know. [plays a happy melody] Isn’tthat happy? You just can’t sing a depressing song whenyou’re playing the banjo. You can’t go– [grins, playsand sings] “Oh, murder and death and grief andsorrow!” [pauses, holds up his hand] Really, whenyou’re with me, it’s like being at Shakey’s Pizza, youknow? It’s just… [plays “Ain’t She Sweet?”] Hey![keeps playing “Ain’t She Sweet?” but sings “SwaneeRiver”] “Way down upon the Swanee River…” [getsconfused, peers at banjo, stops playing, wavesdismissively]
Okay, I wanna do this, uh, last banjo tune and, uh,we’ll move on with the show. Could I get, like, atight shot, maybe, on the fingers, on this, okay?Dave? Dave Wilson, the director. I’d like to start offwith a tight shot, okay? [no tight shot appears, getsannoyed] I did this thing in dress. I thought we hadit worked out. I’m sorry. [clears throat, getsincreasingly upset] Okay, I’ll do something else then.I can go with it, all right? You know what I’m saying?It’s just, uh, um, you know, you ask for something,you think you’re gonna get it, throws you off, whenyou’re a performer, a professional like I am, and uh,I’m sorry if I look a little angry but, uh, I guess Iam, because, uh, you know, it hurts you. Youknow what I’m saying? It hurts the people who arewatching the show when me, the artist, comes out hereand I can’t get, what, a little cooperation, you knowwhat I mean? I mean, I can’t get a little help fromthe backstage crew? EXCUUUUUUSE MEEEEEEE![applause, still upset] I’m sorry! I’m angry! [playsbanjo tune, suddenly breaks out into a happy grin,apologetic] I’m sorry! We’ll be back after thiscommercial! [tight shot on the fingers playing thebanjo as we fade out]