Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 3: Episode 20
Buck Henry’s Monologue
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen — Buck Henry!
Buck Henry: Thank you all very much! It is VERY nice to be be back here, and an HONOR to be back here for the LAST show of the Third Season of this EXTRAORDINARY show. [ the audience applauds enthusiastically ] I, uh — I did the last show of last season, and, uh, I sometimes… I suppose you’ve wondered — and I’ve wondered — why I’m back again to do the last show of this season, because, I mean, they have some quite incredible hosts. Last week was Richard Dreyfuss, the winner of an Academy Award; a few weeks before was Steve Martin, perhaps the fastest rising young comic of our time… and I think, when you really come down to it — and I say this, I think, without any false sense of pride or modesty that what it probably is, is that the “Saturday Night Live” accepts the fact that, from me, they gain a sense of — what shall I call it? — class. I mean, after all, I have been, for the last year or so, working on a major motion picture called “Heaven Can Wait”, with some quite extraordinary people. I’ve been with them for a year. Uh — James Mason, Julie Christie, and my good friend and producer of the film and star of the film and co-director of the film… Mr. Warren Beatty, who has become a real pal of mine, a real friend, and a wonderful, wonderful guy to work with. Uh, I mean… we’ve been, we’ve been together now for almost… I guess for a year now. And Julie Christie has been with us, too, and she’s a wonderful girl and I could tell you terrific stories about her, if I had the time. All of us working together, in this kind of enterprise… I think, doing something as BIG as a picture like this gives my career — and the “Saturday Night” show — a sense of working on something, a persoective of something larger than just a weekly television show. I think the way I live, for instance, the way I live in Hollywood, the way I conduct myself both professionally and in my private life, demands a kind dignity to the show that most guests can’t give it. My home in Hollywood, I think, epitomizes, perhaps, what people like myself… what can I say about it? It’s not garish, but it represents a kind of classiness, and a kind of Hollywood success that most people understand and go for, and perhaps envy a little, and this show certainly can use some of it. I think there are fine people here, and they understand exactly what they’re doing when they asked me to come out here and say some things about them and about myself, and about what kind of person I am and that I deserve to be here. I’ve done this a few times, and I think I’m proud of this time because I know how I’m helping them out of a tight spot, being the last show of the year. And I know Lorne, if he were here, would probably say the same thing because, not only is he my buddy, but because he’s got that same sense of show business, and the same feeling for me and for all of you built in.[ as Buck talks, the following text SCROLLS up the screen: ]
“Buck doesn’t know Warren Beatty. He doesn’t know Julie Christie, either. He seems to know he’s here now, but clearly he doesn’t know why.
You see, Buck’s career is over. It’s been more than ten years since “The Graduate”. Even David Begelman doesn’t return his calls. This is a tough period for him — burnt out and lonely — what his psychiatrist calls “Mid-Life Crisis”.
It’s sad the way things work out in comedy. One day you’re on top of the heap, the next day you’re trying to convince people you know Warren Beatty.
Buck never married. He lives alone in his small Hollywood apartment — just a few magazines and a telescope. You figure it out. Sure, maybe we should have gotten some big star to do the last show. Some say with NBC in third place in the raings war, we can’t afford to be sentimental.But we believe there are some things more important than ratings — like helping a has-been through a difficult period. But then, that’s the kind of people we are.
Well, we’ve helped him through this. Now it’s up to you the audience, to help him through the rest of the show.
And Warren, if you’re watching, you can help, too. If you see Buck somewhere, and you recognize him, just nod or wave. It will mean an awful lot to him. Remember, the wheel turns, and maybe someday, if your world crumbles, you can go over to Buck’s small apartment and use his telescope.” ]
Buck Henry: So… I wanted to thank you for this opportunity to talk to you, and, uh — we’ll be right back!