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

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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