SNL Transcripts: Madeline Kahn: 10/08/77: Silver Balls & Golden Pins


Saturday Night Live Transcripts Season 3: Episode 2

77b: Madeline Kahn / Taj Mahal

Silver Balls & Golden Pins
Preacher…..Bill Murray
Singer…..Madeline Kahn

[ open on Preacher at pulpit ]

Preacher: You know… When I was in the Army, there was a guy in our outfit. A quiet little guy, who always had a kind word for everybody. And this guy never went to church. Instead, he’d go bowling every Sunday morning. So one day, the Chaplain saw him, and he went over and he asked: “Soldier, why are you bowling on the Lord’s day?” And the little guy sort of smiled, and this is what he said:

[ wipe to Singer ]

“Life is like… a bowling alley
There’s a fast lane and a slowwwww.
And a score sheet up in Heaven
Which records… the deep below.”

[ dissolve back to sermon ]

Preacher: Ah, do you remember what a thrill it was when that first ball crept down the alley? And by some wondrous and amazing miracle, you knocked over ALL the pins and you felt just like Mr. Dick Weber himself! Because you just took ’em out! Because you just took ’em down, because you JUST threw your very first strike!

[ wipe to Singer ]

“‘Cause you practiced every weekend
You were startin’ to improve.
Now you’ve learned to throw the big ball
And your hook… is in the groove.”

[ wipe to reveal that Singer is a statuette atop a bowling trophy ]

“And with a grace… that youth alone knows
Fortune smiles on every try.
Soon you’re bowlin’ for a team
And getting ones… and scorin’ high.”

[ dissolve back to sermon ]

Preacher: Yes… but the years roll by, and some days the lanes are dark and dreary. And you just can’t hit the pocket, and the pins keep standing like they’re part of the building! Why, it seems like only yesterday you were showing them how it’s done, and now your powerhouse has turned into a POWDER PUFF! But you don’t quit! You pick up the old apple, and you give it all you’ve got, and when the maw and maple stops spinning around, you find yourself looking down the alley at bedposts, snake eyes, mule ears, telephone poles — in other words, the impossible 7-10 split. And so you ask Him to guide your ball… but you miss anyway, and you start to lose your faith in bowling… and begin thinking seriously about taking up GOLF!

[ wipe to Singer ]

“If you end up in the gutterrrrr
Don’t feel shaaaaaame, and don’t feel sorrowwwww!
You can allllllways up your average
You bowl again tomorrowwwwww!”

[ dissolve to full shot of trophy, with Singer surrounded by bowlers ]

“‘Cause all too soon, the ball grows heavy
And your hair, gets tinged to gray.
Hands that tremble, feet that falter
And it doesn’t help to pray.

‘Cause You can’t bear to see the head pin
Gonna halt a perfect game.
AS you look, back on your scorecard
Empty dreams and open frames.”

[ dissolve back to sermon ]

Preacher: And then one day, you wake up in the BIGGEST bowling center you ever saw. The balls are silver like the moon, and the pins are golden like the sun, and the foul line… well, the foul line is the Milky Way. Yes, you rent your shoes from angels and they fit real good, too! But, friend, just one word of advice: There ain’t no beer frame in Heaven.

[ wipe to Singer with bowlers on trophy ]

“Leave all doubts, and fears behind you
Say goodbye to earthly woes
As the veil is lifted, and you
learn the secret, of the pros.

There you’ll be rollin’ strikes like thunder
You’ll be smaaaaashing pins like rain.
Winning trophies, make up rainbows
On an evvvvvverlasting lane!

In an alabaster alley
Silver balls and golden pins!
You’ll be bowwwwwlin’ with the Master
But the Master always wins! Ha!

In an alabaster alley
Silver balls and golden pins!
You’ll be bowwwwwlin’ with the Master
But the Master all-always wiiiiiiiiiins!”

[ fade ]

Lyrics updated, thanks to Mike Martin.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 5 / 5. Vote count: 1

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

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.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x