SNL Transcripts: Eric Idle: 12/09/78: Eric Idle’s Monologue


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 4: Episode 8

78h: Eric Idle / Kate Bush

Eric Idle’s Monologue

…..Eric Idle
…..Howard Shore
…..Dave Wilson
…..Lorne Michaels
Interviewer…..Tom Schiller
…..Garrett Morris
…..John Belushi
…..Gilda Radner
…..Bill Murray
…..Joe Dicso

Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen — Eric Idle!

Eric Idle: Um… good evening. It’s nice to be back. [ he folds his arms, looks around nervously and starts whistling to himself ] Sorry about this! [ he smiles sheelpishly ] It won’t be a minute now, you know, it’s just, uh… [ he laughs ] just waiting for the opening monologue! They do a lot of things at the last minute on this show, you know, and, uh… [ he laughs nervously ] sometimes a little bit ,i.later than the last minute. and, uh, the thing is, the writers are just, uh… [ he laughs nervously ] just working on this monologue that they’re gonna give me to do, to open the show with. [ he laughs ] It’s very important, you know, when you’re doing a live show to, uh, to have something really funny to come on with, and get the whole show off to a good start! Otherwise, you know, it can go right into the dumper, you know, right from the start. [ he looks around ] You know how it can go right to the dumper at the start. [ he sighs deeply ] Actually, the writers are working on it at the moment, uh, just right now. [ he step closer to the audience ] I think the thing is, they take too many drugs. [ he steps back ] Shhh. Don’t — don’t say anything. Don’t say anything. [ he looks around nervously and sighs heavily ] Well, look, uh — I think I’d better go and find out… [he laughs ] what’s going on, because, uh, I don’t — you know, I would really like to get the show really going! You know, lots of big laughs — they said it’s a very funny monologue, and, uh, uh… I’ll just go and find out where it is.

[ Idle steps over to bandleader Howard Shore ]

Eric Idle: Howard? Do you think you could just play a bit of, you know, music, uh, ehilst I just go and find Lorne? Okay?

Howard Shore: He’s, uh — [ he points off-camera ]

Eric Idle: Yeah. Could you play something — Why don’t you play something like, uh — play — play “My Love”. Yeah. “My love does it good.” Okay? Just bust it, you know? [ to the audience ] Howard Shore plays “My Love”! Okay? Hang in!

[ Howard Shore and the band begin to play, as Idle runs offstage and into the audience past the “What Do You?” set ]

Eric Idle: [ to an audience member ] Have you seen Lorne? No.

[ Idle continues through the audience, past a cameraman ]

Eric Idle: Excuse me. Uh, do you know where Lorne is?

Cameraman: [ pointing ] He’s in the Control Room.

Eric Idle: He’s in the Control Room. Right.

[ Idle continues through the studio toward the Control Room, passing a Page ]

Eric Idle: Hi!

[ Idle enters the Control Room, where director Dave Wilson is telling a joke to the crew ]

Dave Wilson: …So he says, “I already had my breakfast!”

[ the Control Room laughs ]

Eric Idle: Uh — sorry, Davey. Do you know where Lorne is?

Dave Wilson: Oh, he’s in the back. Supposed to do an interview.

Eric Idle: Oh. Oh, I’ve gotta go see him.

Dave Wilson: Oh! Oh, Eric! I have a note for you. [ he opens up the script ] Um — you know that scene where you play the professor?

Eric Idle: Yeah.

Dave Wilson: Do you think you could be funnier?

Eric Idle: Yeah. I-I-I’ll be funny…

Dave Wilson: Funni-er.

Eric Idle: Funnier. Okay, I’ll be funnier.

Dave Wilson: Just a little.

Eric Idle: Okay. alright, Davey.

[ Idle exits through the Control Room to where Lorne Michael is conducting an interview ]

Lorne Michaels: I think of all the things, I guess the most important thing really is, is, uh, timing.

Eric Idle: Lorne?

Lorne Michaels: Uh — not now, Eric. [ to the interviewer ] Oh! Timing.

Eric Idle: I’m sorry, I have to interrupt because, uh… do you know where the writers are?

Lorne Michaels: Uhh — they’re probably in the writer’s lounge. It’s just down the hall to the left.

Eric Idle: Yeah. The thing is, I never got the opening monologue.

Lorne Michaels: Oh. [ he checks his watch ] Well, uh — I’m just in the middle of this. I — I — uh — Well, it’s just to the left. They’re down in the lounge.

Eric Idle: Okay.

Lorne Michaels: If you’d just mentioned it to me earlier

Eric Idle: I’m sorry, It just occurred to me.

[ Idle exits ]

Lorne Michaels: [ to the interviewer ] That was Eric Idle. He’s our host.

[ cut to Idle entering the hall, where a woman rides a pony ]

Eric Idle: Hi! I thought this sketch was cut?

Woman: Really?

Eric Idle: Yeah. Yeah, this is out.

[ Garrett Morris approaches ]

Garrett Morris: Hey, man, what’s happening?

Eric Idle: Have you seen the writers?

Garrett Morris: Um…

[ Idle continues down the hall and enters John Belushi’s dressing room, where Belushi is talking on the phone as he’s given a back massage ]

John Belushi: I’m telling you, the record’s gonna be —

Eric Idle: Hi, John?

John Belushi: Eric! how are you doing?!

Eric Idle: I’m doing fine, thanks.

John Belushi: [ into the phone ] Okay, I’ll talk to you later. [ he hangs up ] How are you doing, Eric?

[ the Masseuse yanks Belushi’s head up ]

Eric Idle: Have you seen the writers?

John Belushi: Are you hosting the show this week?

Eric Idle: Yeah, I’m supposedto be hosting it right now. I’m supposedto be doing the monologue.

John Belushi: Oh.

Eric Idle: I’m a bit late.

John Belushi: Oh, the writers? They don’t talk to me.

Eric Idle: No?

John Belushi: They don’t write me into anything! They’re JEALOUS! JEALOUS! They’re next door…

Eric Idle: Next door. Right.

[ Belushi’s name is called on an intercom, as Idle exits down the hall and opens the door to the writer’s lounge to reveal everyone smoking joints to the beat of Indian sitar music ]

Eric Idle: Hello? [ he checks one writer’s pulse ] Does anybody have the opening monologue?

[ Idle exits the room and rushes through the hals ]

Intercom: Please be advised that Fred Silverman’s Disco Barbecue, at the home of Fred Silverman, has been cancelled.

[ Idle rounds a corner and runs into Gilda Radner chatting with an actor dressed as Abraham Lincoln ]

Gilda Radner: Oh, hi, Eric!

Eric Idle: Hi, Gilda.

Gilda Radner: Look — I heard the monologue went GREAT!

Eric Idle: Uh… I haven’t done it yet. I mean, I never got the script.

Gilda Radner: You didn’t?

Eric Idle: No!

Gilda Radner: Well, why don’t you go out there and ad-lib it or something? I mean, they must be waiting.

Eric Idle: I don’t do that.

Gilda Radner: Well — come on! You’re a real funny guy! You can ad-lib it! Go on! I mean, why do you think we’ve had you on the show, hosting so many times?

Eric Idle: Because I’m a friend of Lorne’s.

Gilda Radner: [ stunned ] I never thought of that…

Eric Idle: Yeah.

Gilda Radner: Well, hurry up! Go on!

[ Gilda rushes Idle down the hall, where he runs into Bill Murray ]

Bill Murray: Eric? Why aren’t you on stage?

Eric Idle: I’m supposed to be on.

Bill Murray: Well, why aren’t you out there just doing something?

Eric Idle: I don’t have the monologue.

Bill Murray: You nut! [ he smacks Idle’s head ] You’re funny! Now GO OUT THERE and be funny!

[ Bill puts Idle in a headlock and drags him to behind the Cochise at Oxford set ]

Bill Murray: Listen here! You’re a funny man! God gave you an INCREDIBLE gift! You can be funny with ANYTHING you say! This is a New York audience — even if it’s not funny, they know it’s SUPPOSED to be funny, and they’re gonna LAUGH! You can do it! You’re the best, you’re the funniest! Tell a story! Something must have happened in Tunisia, right?

Eric Idle: Yeah… the jar…

Bill Murray: Tell THAT! The jar!

Eric Idle: [ to Joe Dicso ] Can you get the jar for me? The Roman jar out of my dressing room. Can you just bring it?

Joe Dicso: Right.

[ he rushes off ]

Bill Murray: Now, you’re gonna go up there, and you’re gonna be the FUNNIEST man in America! Now, right now! [ he drags Idle up to Home Base ] ERIC IDLE! GIVE IT UP!! GIVE IT UP!!

[ the audience applauds wildly, as Bill exits the stage ]

Eric Idle: Thank you. [ he laughs ] This isn’t really a funny story, but it, uh, it’s a true story. Um — uh — hmm! I-I’ve, uh, I’ve just got back from Tunisia, where I spent tow months filming with Monty Python. And, uh, we were filming in Carthage, where there are some ancient 2,000-year old ruins — [ his jar is brought to him ] Thank you. And… just by the side there was a dig, and I went to sort of have a go, and I spent about an hour and I found this. And I dug it out, and I, uh, and I had it looked at, and it’s over 2,000 years old. And it’s a very delicately worked Roman pot, and it’s about 2,300 years old. Isn’t it beautiful?

[ he admires it for a moment longer, then tosses it over his shoulder and lets crash to the floor ]

Eric Idle: Another thing that I liked about Tunisia… uh, was the music. It’s very strange music. Uh — it’s something like this: [ he begins to chant comically ] It’s, uh… [ the audience applauds ] Thank you. It’s music from the Stone Deaf Age. And, uh — this is a little story, it’s about two people: He is a jasmine czar, and she isn’t. [ he chants comically some more ] She wears a sheet, and he asks her for her hand in marriage — ’cause that’s the only thing he can see. [ he chants comically some more ] Uh, she says she cannot marry him… as she has boils. [ he chants comically some more ] He stabs himself to death, giving her a little jasmine flower at the last minute. [ he chants comically some more ] She is allergic to jasmine flowers, and dies from the allergy. The story ends unhappily, but, unhappily, not for another twenty minutes. We’ll be right back.

[ he chants comically some more, as the scene fades ]

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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