SNL Transcripts: Cicely Tyson: 02/10/79: Nick Rails


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 4: Episode 11

78k: Cicely Tyson / Talking Heads

Nick Rails

Nick…..Bill Murray
Pianist…..Paul Shaffer
Captain Doctor Rice Lake…..Dan Aykroyd
Leslie Newcombe…..Cicely Tyson
Man with Leslie…..Andy Murphy
Jamarro the Bartender…..Garrett Morris
Elaine Sulfrey…..Laraine Newman
Bill Sulfrey…..John Belushi

[FADE IN on a closeup of Nick singing into his microphone over piano accompaniment.]

“Freeeeeeeak OUT!!!
Le freak, so chic,
Freak OUT!!!
Le freak, so chic,
Freak oouu-oouu-oouu-oouu-OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUT!!!!!!!”

[PAN back to show the bar car on a passenger train. Nick is wearing a white leisure suit over a blue tropical shirt. The customers clap obligingly as a couple emerge from the next car, stop behind Nick, and wait for him to move out of their way.]

Nick: Thank you, thank you. Welcome to the auto train lounge! I’m your h– [notices couple waiting behind him] Excuse me. I’m your host, Nick Rails, and I’ll be the entertainment, like it or lump it, all the way to Orlando.

[piano flourish]

“People all over the wor-r-rrrrrrld,
Get your caaaaarrrrrrr,
Drive it onto the auto traiiiinnnn…
The next stop that we maaaaaaaaaaaaake
Will be Florida-a-aaaa…”

[Nick turns around and jerks a thumb over his shoulder at a map of Florida sewn onto the back of his jacket.]

Nick: How many people your first trip to the Sunshine State, huh? [several passengers raise hands] How many people, first trip to Florida on the auto train? [most passengers raise hands] You know, when we get down there, you really have to watch the unloading of the cars, because the auto train staff is the best, it’s really something to see. Let me see who’s here enjoying the ride on the auto train–uh-oh–a serviceman! [stops at table] Ten-HUT! [salutes and laughs] Nick Rails, reporting as ordered! Give me your name, rank, and serial number, will ya? [sticks mike in his face]

Serviceman: [tightly] I’m Captain Doctor Rice Lake, United States Army Medical Corps, I’m on route to the Combined Services Trauma Center in Key West, Florida.


Nick: And, uh, what kind of car do you have, Captain Doctor?

Captain Lake: Uh, I got a ‘68 ‘Vette, with a blown 427, and a Hearst competition shifter on the floor, and a fuzz-buster on the dash. I made it from Utica to Washington in two hours and twenty minutes.

Nick: Hoo-hoo. That must some kinda record, I think. What do you do in the service?

Captain Lake: Uh, I’m an Army urologist.

Nick: You know, I would like to talk with you later, if I could, I’d appreciate it. [to piano player] Well, we got an Army doctor on, is there something we can do, uh… yeah, here’s something for all you Army medics.

[The pianist starts the chorus to “Suicide Is Painless.”]

“G.I’s who’ve been drafted,
Viet vets who’ve been shafted…”

[Captain Doctor Lake claps hard, hands in driving gloves.] Nick: “They all know the wooooooorrrrrrrrds to the THEME from “M*A*S*H”!!!”

Nick: [over applause] Thank you.

[He steps across the car to another table at which an older white man and a a black woman are sitting.]

Nick: Say, uh, here’s an odd couple. What’s your name?

[He sticks the microphone in the woman’s face, but she stares at the floor and doesn’t make a sound.]

Nick: [nonplussed] Excuse me, I’m sorry, I don’t think everybody heard you. What’s your name?

Woman: [haltingly] Leslie Newcombe.

Nick: Leslie, and what kind of car did you bring on? Leslie: It ain’t none of my car, it’s his car.

Nick: [to man] What kind is it?

Man with Leslie: ‘78 white and green four-door Plymouth Fury!

Nick: Uh-huh. [to Leslie] Are you from Florida?

Leslie: [shakes head] I’m from Illinois. [pauses] But I was down there, a couple weeks ago… had a real good time, you know, so, uh… they want me back, and I think… maybe this time I’ll probably stay about eight or ten years.

[The man next to her reaches across the table for his drink, and his hand can clearly be seen handcuffed to Leslie’s.]

Nick: Ouch. Well, this one’s for you, then, huh?

[Piano player starts “Folsom Prison Blues.”]

“I see a train a-comin’,
Comin’ round the beeeeeennd,
I ain’t seen no sunshine
Since I don’t know when,
Well, I’m stuck in…”

[He sticks the mike in Leslie’s face.]

Leslie: Gainesville.

“Gainesville Prisonnnn,
And time keeps draaaaggin’ ooo-ooonn,
But that train keeps a-rollinnn’
On down to Orrrrr-land-oooooooo.”

[He turns around and once again jerks his thumb at the map on his back.]

Nick: [laughs over applause] Thank you. Hey – free drink for this lady on Nick Rails, please, would ya? [turns to bartender] Make it one of your orange blossoms, would ya? It’s a special drink invented by our bartender, Jamarro–could we have a hand for him? Jamarro?

[passengers clap]

Nick: You know… J, the first place I go down in… Orlando is Disney World, because… it’s always new, it’s always exciting–it’s always alive. What do you do? [turns mike to him]

Jamarro: [twisting open a small liquor bottle] I like to get a shoe shine, a haircut, take out my jet-ski, and cruise the beaches for young–some young white girls.


Nick: [walking away] You know, I never know whether he’s kidding or not! [giggles] Hey, here’s a nice couple! Who are you folks?

[He bends down at another table and puts the mike into the woman’s face.]

Woman: [in a nasal voice] Uh, the Sulfreys.

Man: [in a heavy New York accent] The Sulfreys, yeah.

Woman: Elaine Sulfrey.

Man: Uh, Bill Sulfrey, from New London, Connecticut.


Nick: And you’re going down to visit relatives.

Elaine: My mother.

Nick: [coyly] I had a feeling…

Elaine: [pulls microphone toward her] She just got a new pacemaker.

Bill: We wanna spend another one of our vacations in Florida, driving her mother around, but… we want our children to do the same for us, so… [shrugs]

Nick: What kind of car do you have?

Elaine: Oh, we have a new Mercedes, and he’s gonna teach me to drive. [pats Bill’s arm]

Bill: It’s a 450 SL, cream-colored.

Elaine: It’s eggshell, for cryin’ out loud.

Bill: Eggshell, eggshell.

Nick: You know, I am fascinated by how many Jews drive German cars. [laughter] I used to have a Volkswagen… I saw “Holocaust”… I walked out to my bug the next morning, and I threw up all over it. [laughter] I had to get rid of it–and I’m not even Jewish. [stands up] But that is one of the great things about the auto train, what happens here. It d–here, listen to this, see if this makes sense to anybody.

[He throws back his head, rolls up his eyes, and then starts back in.]

Nick: After I finish the show, I go back to the first Vista Cruiser, behind the automobile car… and I sit there, and I look down on the cars, eighteen to a flatcar… and it HITS me. No car is treated any better than any other car on the auto train. No car is BETTER than any other car on the auto train. Same goes for all of us. When I get off this train… I might find out that… this guy… that I met… drives a Pacer. And I drive a Monarch. But I don’t CARE. At all. That’s what happens on this train, it does something…

[piano music rises]

“Don’t go changinnnn’,
To try to PLEASE meeeee…
You never let Nick Rails down before.
You’ll always have myyyyyyyy…
Unspoken pleasuuuurrrrrrre…
I love you just the wa-ay you aaaaaaaaaaaa-a-a-aaaaaarrrrrrrre,
Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaare, ar-ar-ar-ar-aaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrre…”

[piano music nears climax]



Nick: [bowing] Thank you. We’re gonna be in Orlando in nine hours!

[The Army doctor and several others jump to their feet and dash out of the car.]

Nick: Thanks, I hope you enjoyed yourselves. Thank you, so much. The bar’s not closed–I hope you enjoyed yourselves.

[FADE to a wide shot of the studio and PAN back to show the clapping audience and standing crew members. SUPERIMPOSE, “coming up next… Evelyn Wood Speedtaking Course.” FADE to black.]

Submitted by: Sean

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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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