Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 4: Episode 11
Cicely Tysons Monologue
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 womans 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 dont believe it. Uhhh… youre really here.
Cicely: Of COURSE Im here! Ive been in my dressing room… I mean, waiting for somebody to come and get me… whatre 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 didnt think theyd 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? Whatre 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, Ive done Tina Turner, Ive done Leon Spinks mother, Ive 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?
Cicely: I mean, look at what youre doing! When we worked together at the Black Resentment Drama Workshop in the 1960s, 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 hes not watching the show tonight! I mean, w-wheres your integrity? What HAPPENED to it?!
Garrett: [barely audibble] Well, uh…
Cicely: I mean, you have TALENT, and you are just throwing it away! Dont 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. Whatre you DOING it for?! [pauses] Money?!
Garrett: Well, it doesnt look bad on my rèsumè, yknow. [laughter] AND I get to keep the dresses! [cackles]
Cicely: [pats his shoulder] Listen, listen dear, were gonna talk about this later. [to camera] Well be right back![Crowd roars and applauds as Cicely turns on a brilliant smile and hooks her arms around Garretts waist. FADE to black.]
Submitted by: Sean