SNL Transcripts: Buck Henry: 05/21/77: Michael O’Donoghue


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 2: Episode 22

76v: Buck Henry / Jennifer Warnes, Kenny Vance

Michael O’Donoghue

Written by: Michael O’Donoghue

… Buck Henry
… Michael O’Donoghue
Mormon Tabernacle Choir … Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Laraine Newman, many others

[Buck Henry stands at a darkened home base addressingthe camera.]

Buck Henry: A year or so ago, it was my distinct goodfortune to introduce one of the most amazing men it’sbeen my privilege ever to see in the world of showbusiness — that unique and extraordinaryimpressionist, Mr. Michael O’Donoghue.

[Applause. Henry turns to the shadows behind him andapplauds as a burst of Vegas-style show music kicksin. From the shadows emerges Michael O’Donoghue –sometimes known as the evil Mr. Mike — wearing hisgarish paisley tuxedo and dark glasses. O’Donoghue andHenry shake hands and Henry exits. The music andapplause end and O’Donoghue addresses the camera,earnestly.]

Michael O’Donoghue: As a top impressionist, I spend somuch of my time out on the road doing club dates. Andthe thing I like to do the most after the show torelax and sort of wind down … You just turn on theold stereo and listen to a great choir. And whenyou’re talkin’ great choir, you’re talkin’ MormonTabernacle Choir. [Audience bursts into applause,O’Donoghue eggs them on:] Yeah! Yeah! All right! Allright! [Applause ends.] You know, I kid the MormonTabernacle Choir but — I love ’em. And I happened tobe in Utah recently so I drove over to the tabernacleto hear them and while they were singing “Shenandoah”or “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” or “For Unto Us aChild is Born” — you know, one of those moving,inspirational songs that just sends a chill right upyour spine — well, I was listening to this and afunny thought occurred to me. I thought, what ifsomeone took steel needles — well, well, actually,hundreds of pairs of steel needles — say, fifteen,eighteen inches long — with real sharp points — andplunged them into the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s eyes?What would their reaction be? I think it might gosomething like this.

[O’Donoghue removes his glasses, pockets them, andturns around as the lights at home base go up toreveal a massive choir of people in dark robes.O’Donoghue faces this choir, takes a pitch pipe fromhis pocket and blows a note. The choir responds byhumming the note back at him. All is quiet asO’Donoghue steadies himself, then grandly raises hisarms in the air. The choir responds by covering theireyes with their hands. All pause for a moment,motionless, silent. O’Donoghue glances to his left,then turns back to the choir. His arms drop andsuddenly he and the choir begin clutching their eyes,screaming, shrieking at the top of their lungs,staggering, collapsing to the floor, writhing aroundon the stage, kicking, trying to get up and thenfalling, dropping to their knees in agony, etc. Aftera few moments of this chaos and confusion, Buck Henryreturns to join the audience in applauding the choirwhich is sprawled and writhing all over home base.]

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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