SNL Transcripts: Miskel Spillman: 12/17/77: Least-Loved Bedtime Tale: The Soiled Kimono

 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 3: Episode 8

77h: Miskel Spillman / Elvis Costello

Least-Loved Bedtime Tale: The Soiled Kimono

Written by: Michael O’Donoghue

Laraine … Laraine Newman
Mr. Mike … Michael O’Donoghue
“Fingers,” the Pianist … Cheryl Hardwick

[Sound of thunder crashing and rain pouring down as weopen on an exterior view of a brick building framed bypalm fronds. Above a broken window, a sign reads:CORAL WATERS BAR & GRILL. Through the window, we see auniformed sailor seated at a table and a bartenderstanding behind the bamboo bar wiping down thecountertop. As we slowly zoom forward through thewindow, the noises of the storm outside disappear andwe hear piano music.

We slowly zoom in on the bearded, bespectacledbartender: Mr. Mike — a thin gentleman who wears adark suit, no necktie, a shirt open at the collar anddark eyeglasses. A lit cigarillo is clenched betweenhis teeth as he wipes the bar with a cloth. On thewall behind him: numerous bottles of liquor, a fishnet, and a huge fish, stuffed and mounted.

It’s near closing time: chairs have been put up ontables and the only customer is the half-conscioussailor who hunches over his drink while smoking acigarette. The pianist, a young woman nicknamed”Fingers,” sits at a piano decorated with a plasticsilver and blue Christmas tree. She plays a slow,quiet version of “Have Yourself a Merry LittleChristmas.”

Laraine, a thin woman in a red evening gown enters thebarroom and walks unsteadily to the bar where she sitson a stool. In the background, a glowing neon signreads: MR. MIKE’S Coral Waters Cafe. Laraine, slurringher words, drunkenly addresses Mr. Mike who polishes aglass with his cloth.]

Laraine: M-Mr. Mike, I – I need a Least-LovedBedtime Tale. I need one real bad.

Mr. Mike: Sure thing, Laraine, but I’m afraidyou’re gonna have to sing for it.

Laraine: Aw, Mr. Mike, you know I can’t singany more — not since I started hitting thesauce.

Mr. Mike: Well, if you wanna hear a Least-LovedBedtime Tale, I’m afraid you’re gonna have to sing thearia from Madame Butterfly.

Laraine: Sing the aria from MadameButterfly? [looks away, distressed] I can’t singthat. I – I – I could sing “These Boots areMade for Walking.” [thinks] Or any old Nancy Sinatrasong. [desperate] Please, don’t make me sing the ariafrom Madame Butterfly, please.

Mr. Mike: Sorry, cupcake, but – no aria, nobedtime tale. That’s how it is.

Laraine: Well, in that case, I–

Mr. Mike: [abruptly, to the pianist who glancesat him] Say, “Fingers,” why don’t you accompany thelittle lady on the piano while I mix her up one of myspecial drinks, the – the one I call – [into thecamera] – the Soiled Kimono.

[“Fingers” plays and a reluctant Laraine bravelystruggles through the aria (“Un bel dì” a.k.a. “OneFine Day”), singing in a screechy, drunken voice. Asshe does, Mr. Mike casually fixes the drink on the barbeside her.]

Laraine: [sings]
One fine day, we’ll notice
A tiny smoke cloud nearing
On the sea, in the far horizon,
And then his ship appearing

[During the first few lines of the aria, asuperimposed text scrolls by:]

HOW TO MAKE A SOILED KIMONOMix 2/3 glass costly French champagneWith 1/3 glass Japanese plum wineAnd top with apaper butterfly.Laraine: [sings]
Now the mighty war ship
Slowly comes to harbor
Cannons roar a welcome
See, there, how I know it!

[Over the rest of the song, another – longer -superimposed text scrolls by:]


A Japanese aviator was
angry with an unfaithful
Geisha girl.
“Take this!” he said,
flinging 2/3rds of a glass
of costly French champagne
in her face.
“And this!” he said,
flinging 1/3rd of a glass
of Japanese plum wine
in her face.
“And this!” he said,
flinging a paper butterfly
in her face.
“Why this tastes delicious!”
she exclaimed, kissed him,
and then hit him
in the lungs
with a gardening tool.
The end.

Laraine: [sings]
I’m dying of rejoicing
And then, in agitation,
He will call, he will call:
“My precious little darling,
My lovely silver goddess!”
Those loving names I will always remember
All I say will come true, you must believe me!
Love cannot be mistakened
But, there, can beat unshakened

[Laraine hits some long high notes on the last fewsyllables just as the scrolling text ends.Simultaneously, Mr. Mike tops off the Soiled Kimonowith a paper butterfly which twists and turns in theglass. Much applause. Laraine, trembling andexhausted, reaches for the drink but can barely liftit. She lowers her head. In the background, “Fingers”quietly plays “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roastingon an Open Fire)” throughout the rest of thesketch.]

Mr. Mike: [hands the glass to Laraine] Here,drink this, kid. I – I think you’re gonna needit.

Laraine: Okay. [desperate] Now will you tell mea Least-Loved Bedtime Tale, please? [puts her hand onhis] Y-you promised.

Mr. Mike: Well, I’m afraid not, dollface.

Laraine: [distressed] Butwhy?

Mr. Mike: Because you sang lousy, that’s why.’Cause you don’t deserve a “Least-Loved BedtimeTale.”

Laraine: [on the verge of tears] Oh, Mr. Mike,you’re so cruel!

Mr. Mike: Well – [Laraine sobs] – sometimes ya- you have to be cruel, Laraine.

Laraine: [thinks she understands, looks up athim] In order to be kind, Mr. Mike?

Mr. Mike: No, in – in order to be even crueler.Now, scram. Put an egg in your shoe and beat it. It’sclosing time.

[Mr. Mike turns away from Laraine who looks at thepaper butterfly in her drink and twirls it in herfingers. After a pause, she asks Mr. Mike:]

Laraine: Do – do you eat the butterfly?

[Mr. Mike turns to stare at Laraine for a long, longmoment as the camera pulls back and away. Finally, heturns his back to her and looks around for a clothwith which to wipe down the liquor bottles behind him.Applause. We pull slowly back to reveal the nowunconscious sailor slumped face down at his table. Wepull all the way back through the broken window to endon the same exterior view of the building with whichwe began. Sounds of thunder and rain. Fadeout.]

Submitted Anonymously

SNL Transcripts

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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