SNL Transcripts: Cicely Tyson: 02/10/79: Cicely Tyson’s Monologue


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 4: Episode 11

78k: Cicely Tyson / Talking Heads

Cicely Tyson’s Monologue

…..Cicely Tyson
…..Garrett Morris

Don Pardo: Ladies and gentlemen, Cicely Tyson!!

[FADE to the stage door as it opens to reveal Garrett Morris wearing an all-white dress with a sequinned shawl over his head and a brown purse slung over his left shoulder. He almost trips on his high heels while dismounting the steps, but manages a careful walk to home base as the audience cheers in approval and the band plays behind him. He grins broadly as the theme dies away.]

Garrett as Cicely: [mimicking a woman’s voice] Thank you! [laughter and applause] Now… thank you! Thank you! You know, as an award-winning black actress, I get to hear a lot of hilarious anecdotes, you know. So when the “Saturday Night Live,” uh, staff called me to do the show, naturally, I said to myself, I said, “Cicely…” [laughter] I said… I said, “What a…”

[Crowd roars with approval as Cicely Tyson walks up from the front row to join Garrett onstage. They stand side by side as the audience cheers for a long moment.]

Cicely: EXCUSE me, Garrett, but would you MIND telling me WHAT you are doing?

Garrett: Hey, I, I don’t believe it. Uhhh… you’re really here.

Cicely: Of COURSE I’m here! I’ve been in my dressing room… I mean, waiting for somebody to come and get me… what’re you DOING here? I mean, WHAT are you DOING here?!

Garrett: Well, you know, when I heard about–

Cicely: I mean, this is my spot!!

Garrett: When I heard them talk about, you know, Cicely TYSON, you know, on the show, I didn’t think they’d actually GET you! [laughter] I just assumed it was a part for ME, you know. [laughter] I do, I do a good Cicely Tyson, honey.

Cicely: Garrett, would you tell me WHY you have my clothes on? What’re you doing with my clothes on?!

Garrett: Look, look, let me explain something, now. I was hired by this show, Cicely, under the terms of the Token Minority Window-Dressing Act of 1978! [laughter] NOW: my contract–dig this contract, will you… [takes a folded sheaf of paper from his purse] …CLEARLY states, my contract clearly– [rummages through papers] –wait a minute, oh, right here–CLEARLY states that, “in addition to services described above”–see right there?–“Performer agrees that he will play all parts darker than Tony Orlando.” [laughter and applause] Now, the way I read it, that mean ALL parts!

Cicely: Ah, so you are playing a lot of women roles, is that it?

Garrett: Yeah, I’ve done Tina Turner, I’ve done Leon Spinks’ mother, I’ve done a lot of maids, honey, and oh! Do you remember the Coretta King MUD wrestling, uh, piece?

Cicely: No, no, no, I do not.

Garrett: No, no, that was ME! That was me, sister!

Cicely: Garrett, what is happening to you?

Garrett: Huh?

Cicely: I mean, look at what you’re doing! When we worked together at the Black Resentment Drama Workshop in the 1960’s, I expected something really very big from you! I mean, the RANGE you showed, your talent, your voice… Remember when Lee Strasberg stopped by to watch us do the improvs? I mean, you were the ONLY one that he remembered! God knows, I hope he’s not watching the show tonight! I mean, w-where’s your integrity? What HAPPENED to it?!

Garrett: [barely audibble] Well, uh…

Cicely: I mean, you have TALENT, and you are just throwing it away! Don’t you know you have a responsibility as a black actor to perfect your craft? And you are here on this stage, in front of all these people on television, acting like a clown. What’re you DOING it for?! [pauses] Money?!

Garrett: Well, it doesn’t look bad on my rèsumè, y’know. [laughter] AND I get to keep the dresses! [cackles]

Cicely: [pats his shoulder] Listen, listen dear, we’re gonna talk about this later. [to camera] We’ll be right back!

[Crowd roars and applauds as Cicely turns on a brilliant smile and hooks her arms around Garrett’s waist. FADE to black.]

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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