SNL Transcripts: Buck Henry: 11/11/78: Samurai Optometrist


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 4: Episode 5

78e: Buck Henry / The Grateful Dead

Samurai Optometrist

Samurai Futaba…..John Belushi
Mr. Dantley…..Buck Henry

[ open on interior, optometrist store, as Mr. Dantley enters carrying the day’s newspaper under his arm ]

Mr. Dantley: Hello! Can anybody help me?

[ Futaba, standing behind counter, turns around and grabs his sword ]

Announcer: And now, another episode of: “Samurai Optometrist”.

Samurai Futaba: [ steps forward and grunts a greeting ]

Mr. Dantley: Oh, fine, thanks! How are you? Listen, thank good ness you’re open. [ he holds up his newspaper ] You know, it’s the FIRST Sunday Times that we’ve had in about THREE months, and I have to break my reading glasses! [ he holds up his broken glasses ] Look — mangled! Look at this paper — all the news that’s fit to print! BY golly, I miss the Times! Do you think you can fix those glasses so I can read it?

Samurai Futaba: [ he grunts as he examines the mangled glasses ]

Mr. Dantley: You don’t? Well, what about new ones? Can I have new ones made up?

Samurai Futaba: [ grunting, he chops along his arm and leg ]

Mr. Dantley: Cost that much, huh? Listen, I don’t care WHAT it costs — if I can walk out of here with a pair of glasses so I can read my paper —

Samurai Futaba: [ directs Mr. Dantley to take a seat, as he seizes a sword, props it upon his shoulder, then flicks a switch and shines a light in Mr. Dantley’s eyes ]

Mr. Dantley: Ah-ha! Okay, well, I’ve got these glasses, but I need the reading ones — I’ve got ALL these great journalists waiting for me to read them! [ Futaba points ] The eye chart? Yeah.

Samurai Futaba: [ grunts, as he covers one eye and indicates for Mr. Dantley to read the letters before him ]

Mr. Dantley: Uh-huh. Which one? [ Futaba covers his left eye ] E, F, P! T, O, Z!

Samurai Futaba: Oh-ooohhh! [ impressed, he indicates for Mr. Dantley to now cover his right eye and read ]

Mr. Dantley: Okay. E, F, P! T, O, L —

Samurai Futaba: Uh-ohhhhhhh!

Mr. Dantley: [ concerned ] What, not so good? [ Futaba grunts ] Really bad? [ Futaba grunts ] Well, how bad is my eyesight?

[ Futbaba pulls out his sword and mimes using it as a walking stick ]

Mr. Dantley: Now, now, now! Cut the clowning, beause I need glasses! If I want to be entertained, I’ll go to see a comedian, not an optician!

Samurai Futaba: [ grunts ]

Mr. Dantley: I said I’ll go to see a comedian, not an optician!

Samurai Futaba: [ offended, he takes out his sword and presses it to his belly for hari kari ]

Mr. Dantley: No, no! Wait a minute! I — I — I’m sorry, I meant an optometrist! I’m sorry.

Samurai Futaba: [ he puts his sword back ] Phew!

Mr. Dantley: Now… you know what I miss more than anything about the Sunday Times?

Samurai Futaba: [ grunts, as he holds up a lens ]

Mr. Dantley: This may seem strange to you — it’s the crossword puzzle. [ Futaba grunts ] Yeah, the crossword puzzle. I mean, every Sunday, usuall, my wife and I lie in bed all Sunday and just do the crossword puzzle. It’s so much fun. But now, we haven’t had the paper for three months, we just had to lie there in bed and, uh —

Samurai Futaba: [ he pulls his sword in and out of its sheath a few times ]

Mr. Dantley: Alright, now those are the right lenses? [ Futaba holds them up ] Okay. Right. Now, are they — are they shatter-proof?

Samurai Futaba: Huh?!

Mr. Dantley: Are the lenses shatter-proof?

Samurai Futaba: [ he begins to grunt “Shattered” by the Rolling Stones, then pounds his fist upon the lenses on the counter; the counter crashes to the floor, but the lenses are in perfect condition ]

Mr. Dantley: Yeah, I see. I see. Now, what about the frames? Yeah, I need something… something… some real nice frames.

Samurai Futaba: [ he grabs a pair of frames and plops them over Mr. Dantley’s eyes ]

Mr. Dantley: Yeah, those are nice. But, uh, I was thinking of something in a kind of fancy tortoise-shell, that’s what I’d really like.

Samurai Futaba: [ he reaches into an aquarium on the back ounter, and pulls out an actual living tortoise ]

Mr. Dantley: No, no, no! I didn’t want a tortoise. I want tortoise… shell… frames. [ Futaba grunts ] Yes! Exactly!

Samurai Futaba: [ he tosses the tortoise in the air and swings his sword. He picks up the tortoise to reveal a pair of tortoise-frame glasses embedded in the shell. ]

Mr. Dantley: Inredible! Just incredible! [ he puts the glasses on ] You do FABULOUS work! Now, if ONLY these were BIFOCALS!

Samurai Futaba: Ahhh! [ he swings his sword toward Mr. Dantley’s face ] Yee-ahhhh!!

[ the scene freezes, at least in theory ] [ title card appears ]

Anouncer: Tune in next week for another episode of “Samurai Optometrist”!

[ pull back on studio wide shot, with SUPER: “coming up next… The Grateful Dead Story as told to Art Linkletter” ] [ fade ]

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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