SNL Transcripts: Ray Charles: 11/12/77: Ray Charles’ Monologue

 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 3: Episode 5

77e: Ray Charles

Ray Charles’ Monologue

… Ray Charles

Don Pardo V/O: Ladies and gentlemen, RayCharles!

[Applause. Darkened Home Base. In a spotlight, RayCharles sits at a grand piano.]

Ray Charles: Aw, thank you. Thank you, thankyou very– Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.Uh, I want to say that when the people, uh, fromSaturday Night first asked me to, uh, host this show,of course, I – I – I said “Absolutely not.” Uh, I – Iknew the show was tasteless and – and offensive and -and – and there was no way I was gonna letthirty years of a career go down the drain. I – I – Imight be blind but I’m certainly not stupid. But they- they – they kept on askin’ me and the producer wassaying, “Hey, hey, Ray, you know, we gonna make youlook good.” And – and– But, you see, I was worriedmore about the sound. So, I – I – eventually, Isaid, “Listen, I’ll tell you what. Er, uh, I’ll do theshow but – but – er, uh – there must be some, uh,particular conditions in order for me to do it. Ah,for instance, I’ve got to have my own musicians. I – Iwant the Raylettes. And they said, “Okay.” But for thelast thing I asked ’em about, it took ’em a littlewhile to come up with it but they were even able to dothat, too. So, therefore, ladies and gentlemen, let mesay that: [grandly] Tonight, we are proud to be comingto you live — from Carnegie Hall!

[lowers his voice conspiratorially] Now, listen, I,uh, I gotta tell you something. [chuckles] You see,now, they think that I think that this isCarnegie Hall but… [laughter and applause] … Yousee, but, ah, the joke is really on them because, yousee, I – I’m not the real Ray Charles. The realRay Charles IS at Carnegie Hall. Ah, but if hewere here tonight, I – I am sure that he wouldlead off this show with somethin’ like this. One!Two!

[Charles’ band comes crashing in and the lights comeup to reveal a stage full of musicians and numerousfemale backing vocalists, the Raylettes. They alllaunch into a swinging, soulful version of “I Can SeeClearly Now” …]

Submitted Anonymously

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