SNL Transcripts: Sissy Spacek: 03/12/77: Bad Playhouse


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 15

76o: Sissy Spacek / Richard Baskin

Bad Playhouse

Written by: Tom Schiller

Leonard Pinth-Garnell…..Dan Aykroyd
Nils…..John Belushi
Pietri…..Laraine Newman
Jan…..Sissy spacek
Death…..Bill Murray

[ open on title slide: “Bad Playhouse” ] [ Music: classical piano – “March of the Lunatics” ]

Announcer: And now it’s time for “Bad Playhouse”, with your host — Leonard Pinth-Garnell.

[ music fades, as the scene dissolves onto Leonard Pinth-Garnell seated on a stool at the edge of Home Base ]

Leonard Pinth-Garnell: Hello, I’m Leonard Pinth-Garnell, and welcome once again to “Bad Playhouse”. Tonight, we feature a work by Jan Voorstraat, one of the worst of the new breed of bad Dutch playwrights of the Piet Hein School. His work has been reviled not only in his native Amsterdam, but throughout Europe. Voorstraat’s early plays dealt with the “existentialism of being” — difficult to understand because they were so very poorly written.

[ he holds the play script up to the camera ]

Tonight’s play, entitled “The Mill Keeper”, was written by the young Voorstraat in 1953 before he had even learned to form sentences. The principal characters of the play are the young millkeeper, Nils; his new bride, Pietri; his sister, Jan; “Death”; and the mill itself. The inner action of the play deals with the torment of the young bride alone in a windmill with her husband and his sister, who is caught in the clutches of death. Nils is torn between the idea of loving them and his endless need to work at the milling of grain. It is twilight as the play begins.

[ the background lights rise to reveal the interior of a Dutch windmill. Nils, his mouth agape, slowly and painfully pivots the spoke of the wooden rotating column of the windmill, as Pietri wrings her hands and shrieks. ] [ “Death” enters, carrying Jan, and joins the procession behind Nils as they slowly and painfully continue their journey around the windmill’s column. Pietri continues to wring her hands and shriek. ] [ the lights go down, as the actors step forward to bow ]

Leonard Pinth-Garnell: Thank you, thank you so much. [ to the audience ] There, now — that wasn’t so good, was it? And now, I’d like to introduce the cast of tonight’s “Bad Playhouse”. The ardent young millkeeper was played by Mike Mollay; [ he bows ] The young bride was portrayed by Christina Malfi; [ she bows ] And the sister was Genevieve Venus; [ she bows ] And “Death” was Ronnie Bateman. [ he bows ] [ the entire cast bows, as the audience applauds, then they walk off stage ]

Much —

[ the cast returns for a second set of bows and more applause from the audience ]

Terrible! Terrible! Awful! Awful! Awful! Couldn’t be worse! Couldn’t be worse! Terrible! Simply awful!

[ the cast walks off stage again ]

Much of Voorstraat’s work was much worse in his later years. Next week on “Bad Playhouse”, join me for an even worse play: Elmo Simpson’s “The Hod Carrier”.

[ music rises ]

Leonard Pinth-Garnell: Until then, this is Leonard Pinth-Garnell saying good night!

[ he drops the play script into a wastebasket near his foot ] [ dissolve to title slide: “Bad Playhouse” ]

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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2 years ago

I remember ‘Bad Playhouse’ from watching SNL as a teenager — I’m now a professor of theatre history and wanted to show this to my students — extra bonus: finding out the title of the mad theme music! Don, who thought to use this music? Brilliant choice.

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