SNL Transcripts: Buck Henry: 11/11/78: Nick “Sands”


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 4: Episode 5

78e: Buck Henry / The Grateful Dead

Nick “Sands”

Nick…..Bill Murray
John Thompson…..John Belushi
Cliff Morton…..Bill Kreutzmann
…..Paul Shaffer
Earl King…..Garrett Morris
Barfly #1…..Laraine Newman
Barfly #2…..Gilda Radner
“Secretariat”…..Buck Henry
Jimmy Joe Red Sky…..Dan Aykroyd

[FADE IN on a bar with a desert mural painted on the far wall. In the foreground, the bartender briefly speaks with a lanky brunette in a white leopard print backless dress. Jazzy piano music is heard as Nick, dressed in a red leisure suit studded with rhinestones, walks in and sets an empty beer mug behind the bar.]

Nick “Sands”:”I been through the desert on a horse with no name,It felt good to get outta the ra-ainnnnnn…

[The audience hoots and applauds as Nick picks up two full beer mugs.]

Nick “Sands”:
“In the DESERT!
You can’t remember your name,
Cause there ain’t no one
For to give you no paaaainnn…”

[He sets the mugs on a crowded table.]

Nick “Sands”:
“La-la-LAAAAAAAAAA, la-la-la-laaaa…


Nick “Sands”: Thank you! Hey, for those of you who just came in, welcome to Nick Sands’ Strip North Oasis, located here on Nevada 287, which feeds into 15A, which winds on down into Las Vegas, and is therefore, technically, The Strip. Hence, The Strip North. Hey, we’ve only been here a couple of weeks, and I see we’ve already got some regulars here! Hey, I know I’ve seen you guys before, let’s treat ’em like a regular thing, huh? Hey, pardner, what’s your handle?

[He sticks the mike in front of a guy in a CAT tractor cap and work clothes.]

John Thompson: Uh, John Thompson in Winnemucca.

Nick “Sands”: [turning to the other worker] And who are you, fella?

John Thompson: Cliff Morton. Bakersfield, California.

Nick “Sands”: All right, and what brings you guys back to The Strip North?

John Thompson: First time we came here, uh, we were thirsty, and I had to make a phone call. This time we had a flat tire out front.


Nick “Sands”: That is too bad. [turns around] Hey, let’s play our game with ’em, Paul.

[Paul launches into a new piano line.]

Nick “Sands”: A round of beers for you guys if you can guess the name of this song.

Nick “Sands”: [singing]“Ah, who’s the black dick
Who’s the sex machine to all the chicks?”


Nick “Sands”: “SHAFT!”

[He turns and struts up to Paul at the piano.]

Nick “Sands”: “You see, this cat Shaft is a bad mother–“

Paul: “Shut your mouth!”


Nick “Sands”:
“Well, I’m talking about Shaft!
He’s a complicated man,
Nobody understands him
But his old ladyyyyyy…
JOHN Shaft.”

Nick “Sands”: Hey, you think you got a clue? [sticks mike in John’s face]

John Thompson: “Shaft.”

Nick “Sands”: AHHHHHHHHHHHHH, he got it! [to bartender] Hey, “Shaft,” get a round of beers for this table over here!

Bartender: Well, I think it was a lucky guess, but I’ll do it if you say so, Nick. [serves up two beers]

Nick “Sands”: Well, I’m sorry we didn’t have a BOARD meeting on it, Earl! Earl King, our bartender. I know you OWN five percent of the Strip North, but I own TWENTY percent, so just do it, will ya? [more quietly] We have four owners, and we all share the work, and right now I’m doing MY twenty percent for YOU people.

[reaches back for beers]

Nick “Sands”: Here you are, a couple of brewskies on Nick Sands.

[sets beers on table]

Nick “Sands”: [to Cliff] Hey….. Who wrote “Your Cheatin’ Heart”?

Cliff Morton: Hank Williams.

Nick “Sands”: Ah, here’s a Slim Jim for ya! [sets a Slim Jim on the table] Ha, ha, ha! Hey, what do you guys do, do ya work around here, is that it?

John Thompson: Uh, well, y’know, uhhhh, we got an auto, uh, an auto car semi, y’know, and, uh, we’re haulin’ gypsum… 3-rock ’bout a hundred and eighty miles from here. You know that big gray cloud, uh, you see as you come in?

Nick “Sands”: Sure.

John Thompson: That’s from the gypsum mine.

[piano cue]

Nick “Sands”: Well, John, Cliff, this is for you and everybody in the increasingly important gypsum industry.

[starts dancing]

Nick “Sands”:
“I’m workin’ in a gypsum mine,
Goin’ down, down, down,
Workin’ in a gypsum mine, OOOOOO! [tosses and catches microphone]Got to FLIP DOWN!
Workin’ in a gypsum mine,
Goin’ down, down, down… [slinks down toward floor]Workin’ in a gypsum mine, OOOOOO! [tosses and catches microphone]I got to flip dooowww-HOOOOOWWWNN!!”

Nick “Sands”: Hey, gypsum: damn fine industry in this state of Nevada. Hey, Paul? Hey, “fifteen percent!” Ha-ha, ha-ha! Paul and I were talking… and y’know, it’s the lack of humidity out here that’s the saving grace. I’m from Illinois–back there, 95 degrees, I wilt. Out here–a hundred and fifteen, and I’m fine. But you know, it gets a hundred twenty-five, a hundred and thirty, and you cannot get me out of this air-conditioned cinder block, ha ha! [turns to side table] What do you think about that, gals? What brings you all to The Strip North?

Barfly #1: [in a drunken voice] Our husbands have gone huntin’, so we girls here are havin’ a little weekend of our own! [clinks glasses with others] YA-HOOOOOO!!!!!

Barfly #2: We’re just gettin’ warmed UP, Golden Throat!

[She stands up, cradles Nick’s neck, and leans drunkenly against him.]

Nick “Sands”: Well, I’m glad you like the material. [slides out of her arms] Well, uh, who is THIS guy, anyway?

Barfly #1: Uh, he works fer me, I call him Secretariat! HAH-HAH-HAH!!! [touches his cheek]

Barfly #2: That’s right, but tonight he’s workin’ fer BOTH of us!!

Nick “Sands”: [chuckling] Well, good luck, little filly, you’re gonna NEED it. They look like they mean business. HA HA HA HA. Ah, ha ha!


Nick “Sands”: Here’s to you two kids.

[ENTER a man in a vest and a plaid shirt with a dead snake in his hands.]

Nick “Sands”: UH-OH!! Here is another “SNO” co-owner, Jimmy Joe “Ten Percent” Red Sky! Hey, lookit THIS guy.

[Jimmy Joe teasingly shakes the dead snake in a barfly’s face.]

Nick “Sands”: “J.J. Ten,” of course, is a full-blooded Ojibwa [sic], and… the Indian, if nothing else, was a builder, and I love that, I’ve always loved that. He built this place, he put in the plumbing, he built the parking lot. Hey, what’ve you got here, anyway?

Jimmy Joe Red Sky: Nick, this is the vicious desert sidewinder: the most dangerous snake in da whole state o’ Nevada!

Nick “Sands”: Yike, how did you get it?

Jimmy Joe Red Sky: I backed over him with da pickup truck!


Jimmy Joe Red Sky: Ya see, he was windin’ to the side when I did it. Y’know, at night, these snakes, dey, dey like to crawl out on the asphalt, y’know, ’cause it’s still warm, den dey relax one eye, so watch it dere when you go in da parkin’ lot, ya never know where dey are. I gotta get myself a drink.

Nick “Sands”: Well, thank you, Jimmy Joe, I think it’s an old Indian story. Hey, how ’bout some firewater for my architect, please? I tell ya, out in the parking lot, kick some stones under your car before you get there, that lets ’em know you’re getting there.

[Earl the bartender clangs a bell behind the bar.]

Nick “Sands”: Uh-oh, that’s the bad news bell here at “SNO.” Yeah. See, we have a limited liquor license here, because we are 200 yards outside of the zoning area, which wouldn’t let us stay open all night. So we gotta close at 11:00 now, but we are working on our 2:00 papers, and then hopefully the 24-hour license–but we gotta throw ya out now.

Nick “Sands”: [singing]”‘Cause when we get behiiiiiii-iind clooooooooosed doooooo-oo-oo-ors…”

Nick “Sands”: [to barflies] C’mon, girls, drink up! Drink up! C’mon! Take a bow!

Nick “Sands”: [singing]”That’s when I let my haaaaaaaaaaair haaaaaaaaaaaang low–“

Nick “Sands”: [to miners] LET’S GO, PEOPLE!!! TIME TO FACE REALITY!!! LET’S GO!!!

[The lanky woman at the bar gives Cliff a smoldering glance while the patrons all scurry out.]

Nick “Sands”: [singing]”And she makes me GLAAAAAAAAAD that IIIIIIIIIIIIIIII’M a MAAAAA-AA-AAAAAAAN–“

Nick “Sands”: C’mon, they’re very tough on us, please, move it on!

[Jimmy Joe starts putting up chairs and picking up glasses as the last of the customers exit.]

Nick “Sands”: [singing]“‘Cause NO ONE KNOOOOOOWS

[Nick shuts the door behind them as the audience starts to applaud.]


[FADE to a wide shot of 8H. SUPERIMPOSE, “coming up next… The Joy of Hoarseness.” FADE OUT.]

Submitted by: Sean

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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