Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 3: Episode 18
Theodoric Of York
Theodoric of York…..Steve Martin
Broom Gilda…..Gilda Radner
Announcer: [ over scolling SUPER ] “In the Middle Ages, medicine was still in its infancy. The art of healing was conducted not by physicians, but by barbers. The medieval barbers were the forerunners of today’s men of medicine, and many of the techniques they developed are still practiced today. This is the story of one such barber.”
William: Hello, Theodoric of York. Well, it’s springtime, and I’ve come for my haircut and bloodletting.
Theodoric of York: Hello, William, Son of Malcolm the Tanner. Have a seat. Broom Gilda, you start on William’s hair, and I’ll open a vein here.
Broom Gilda: Yes, Theodoric.
Theodoric of York: How’s that baby I delivered last Christmas when your wife died?
William: Oh, the little fellow is deformed.
Theodoric of York: Oh, that’s right. I remember now. [ cuts William’s vein, as his blood spills into a bowl ]
Announcer: And now, it’s time for another episode of “Theodoric of York: Medieval Barber”.
Theodoric of York: There you go. Looks like I have another patient. I’ll be back in a minute to see how you’re doing.
William: Right. Thank you.[ Theodoric approaches Joan, who stands next to her daughter ]
Joan: Hello, Theodoric, Barber of York.
Theodoric of York: Hello, Joan, Wife of Simkin the Miller. Well, how’s my little patient doing?
Joan: Not so well, I fear. We followed all your instructions – I mixed powder of staghorn, gum of arabic with sheep’s urine, and applied it in a poultice to her face.
Theodoric of York: And did you bury her up to her neck in the marsh and leave her overnight?
Joan: Oh, yes. But she still feels as listless as ever, if not more.
Theodoric of York: Well, let’s give her another bloodletting. Broom Gilda.
Broom Gilda: Yes, Theodoric.
Theodoric of York: Take two pints.
Broom Gilda: Yes, Theodoric.
Joan: Will she be alright?
Theodoric of York: Well, I’ll do everything humanly possible. Unfortunately, we barbers aren’t gods. You know, medicine is not an exact science, but we are learning all the time. Why, just fifty years ago, they thought a disease like your daughter’s was caused by demonic possession or witchcraft. But nowadays we know that Isabelle is suffering from an imbalance of bodily humors, perhaps caused by a toad or a small dwarf living in her stomach.
Joan: Well, I’m glad she’s in such good hands.
Hunchback: [ pulls Drunkard forward in a cart ] Is this Theodoric, Barber of York?
Theodoric of York: Say, don’t I know you?
Hunchback: Sure, you worked on my back.
Theodoric of York: What’s wrong with your friend here?
Hunchback: He broke his legs.
Drunkard: I was at the festival of the vernal equinox, and I guess I had a little too much mead.. and I darted out in front of an oxcart. It all happened so fast. They couldn’t stop in time.
Theodoric of York: Well, you’ll a lot better after a good bleeding.
Drunkard: But I’m bleeding already!
Theodoric of York: Say, whos the barber here?
Drunkard: Okay, okay, just do something for my legs.
Theodoric of York: Well, the three of us will get you up on the gibbet here. [ turns Drunkard upside-down, then spreads his legs apart ] Okay, now this is gonna hurt a little. What we’re doing is separating your broken bones, and if you don’t feel better tomorrow, we’ll just cut his legs off about here.
Drunkard: Okay. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna feel better tomorrow!
Theodoric of York: I guess this will teach you to go easy on the mead. Broom Gilda put a few leeches on his forehead.[ Broom Gilda complies ]
Drunkard: Thank you.
Theodoric of York: [ to William ] When was the last time you came in for a worming?
William: I guess I’m due.. but I don’t have time today. Please accept my payment – this fine, fat goose. [ hands over goose ]
Theodoric of York: Thank you. Broom Gilda will give you your change. [ returns to Joan ] So, how’s the little patient doing?
Joan: She’s worse. She’s looking pale.
Theodoric of York: Well, if she’s not responding to treatment, I’m afriad we’ll have to run some more tests. Broom Gilda, bring me the Caladrius Bird.
Joan: Caladrius Bird?
Theodoric of York: Yes. The Caladrius Bird is placed beside a patient. If the bird looks at a patient’s face, she will live; but if it looks at her feet, she will die. Okay, now, Freddy, come on out. [ unleashes bird from cage, but it just flies off ] I don’t know how to interpret that. Did you see Broom Gilda?
Broom Gilda: No.
Theodoric of York: Well, I guess, take another pint from Isabelle – and while you’re at it, take two pints from the bird.
Broom Gilda: [ feels paitnet ] She’s dead.
Joan: Dead! Dead! I can’t believe it! My little daughter dead!
Theodoric of York: Now, Mrs. Miller, you’re distraught, tired.. you may be suffering from nervous exhaustion. I think you’d feel better if I let some of your blood.
Joan: You charlatan! You killed my daughter, just like you killed most of my other children! Why don’t you admit it! You don’t know what you’re doing!
Theodoric of York: [ steps toward the camera ] Wait a minute. Perhaps she’s right. Perhaps I’ve been wrong to blindly folow the medical traditions and superstitions of past centuries. Maybe we barbers should test these assumptions analytically, through experimentation and a “scientific method”. Maybe this scientific method could be extended to other fields of learning: the natural sciences, art, architecture, navigation. Perhaps I could lead the way to a new age, an age of rebirth, a Renaissance! [ thinks for a minute ] Naaaaaahhh!
Announcer: Tune in next week for another episode of “Theodoric of York: Medieval Barber”, when you’ll hear Theodoric say:
Theodoric of York: A little bloodletting and some boar’s vomit, and he’ll be fine![ dissolve to studio wide shot, with SUPER: “coming up next… Extra-Sensory Conception” ] [ pan to fade ]