SNL Transcripts: Bea Arthur: 11/17/79: Backer’s Audition


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 5: Episode 5

79e: Bea Arthur / The Roches

Backer’s Audition

Bea…..Bea Arthur
Teddy Naddler…..Harry Shearer
Andrew Mazelle…..Paul Shaffer
Danny Dare…..Bill MurrayMargie Pantelle…..Gilda RadnerGreg Dobson…..Garrett MorrisGuests…..Anne Beatts, Andy Murphy, Alan Zweibel

[ open on semi-fancy party in a penthouse apartment ]

Bea: Well… I really think we can’t wait any longer. [ ] I’d like to thank you all for coming up to my apartment, to hear what I think may be the next major rock musical of the American theater! [ the crowd claps ] And on behalf of the New York Advanced Theater Foundation, I’d like to welcome you all as potential investors of the show. We have supported these two young, briliantly-talented men for the past six months, and now we’re all very hopeful about this… their latest show. Ehich is called — with the simplicity of great art — “Two Men”. Please welcome the NEXT geniuses of the American rock theater — Teddy Naddler and Andrew Mazelle!

[ the two men emerge from the room, kiss Bea on the cheek, then take their positions standing behind the piano ]

Teddy Naddler: Thank you so much. “Two Men”, as the title implies, is the story of two men. But it’s much more.

Andrew Mazelle: Yes! It’s as a story as old as the rock musical form itself — the story of good vs. evil.

Teddy Naddler: Our two men actually lived. And it’s from them we draw inspiration. One was Jay Seabring — at the time, the best known hair stylist in Hollywood. The other… was Charles Manson. Enough said.

Andrew Mazelle: [ pointing to a trio seated off to the side ] Now, we have invited these three extremely talented kids to help us tonight: Danny Dare —

Teddy Naddler: Over on the end.

Andrew Mazelle: Kind enough to take the night off from his duties as Robert Klein’s understudy in “They’re Playing Our Song”.

Teddy Naddler: Margie Pantell has been working downtown at the Women’s Commercial Theater Collective.

Andrew Mazelle: And Mr. Greg Dobson is rehearsing for a Broadway revival of the all-Black version of “Low Doll”. Of course, in the actual cast we’re hoping for all big names.

Teddy Naddler: Our Narrator is kind of an everyman. He sings the story of the show. He narrates the story in song. He’s another character based on a person who is actually living — Mel Torme. [ Andrew starts playing the piano ] He’s onstage in limbo. He sings the opening song — “The Ballad of Two Men”.

Andrew Mazelle: [ singing ]“Charlie’s hot; Was evil, dear.
Like Knievel, dear.

Hey, but Jay; He loved to beautify.
Though eye-to-eye
They’d never see.

Two men. Two men.
One did hair in Hollywood.
Two-oo-oo men. Two-oo-oo-oo-oo men.
But one… was up… to no good.”

[ the room applauds ]

Bea: Now tell me, though — does this mean that we would have to get Mel Torme for the show?

Andrew Mazelle: Uhhh, well — it’s not so much Mel Torme the performer. We’re talking, more, Mel Torme the idea.

Bea: Ah!

Teddy Naddler: Mel walks offstage — we’re in Jay’s salon. This is where most of the action of the show takes place. It’s Hollywood’s most IN salon — all the celebrities have their hair done there. There are plants hanging… and, in the middle of the room, there’s a HUGE SINK! If you saw the, uh, big toilet in “Lenny” — it’s at LEAST that big.

Andrew Mazelle: Yeah. Uh, it’s about eight o’clock at night… and the last celebrity has left the salon. Jay is alone at the sink.

Teddy Naddler: He’s getting ready for the big party — he’s getting dressed and, in an ironic touch here, he’s fixing his own hair. And he sings a song about he emotional turmoil he’s going through… called “Burglar of Love”.

[ Danny Dare steps forward and rest on the edge of the piano ]

Danny Dare: [ singing ]“What is this passion that binds me
That keeps all my lovers behind me
When was it, push came to shooooove!
Made me a burglar… of loooooove!!

Why can’t I fall in love, like any other man?
Where do I go
to find out who I really am?

When will this strange torment cease?
Why can’t I burgle in peeeeeace?
Why must you call the poliiiiiiice?

I’m just a burg-l-er!
Don’t let me be, just a burg-l-er!
I’m just a burg-l-er… of love!”

[ the room applauds wildly ]

Bea: Excuse me just a moment, fellas?

Teddy Naddler: Yes?

Bea: Is “burgle” a real word?

[ Teddy and Andrew shrug ]

Andrew Mazelle: We’re not sure about that.

Teddy Naddler: We’ll look it up! We’ll look it up. [ Bea returns to her seat ] Okay! Now we go a little experimental here. Judy Garland’s daughter — Lorna Luft — meets and falls in love with Jay. Uh, through a series of sliding partitions, rotating stage platforms, probably some lasers — we’re now in Jay’s apartment.

Andrew Mazelle: Now, remember — we NEVER lose… the big sink in the background. That’s always there. That’s always there.

Teddy Naddler: Okay, Lorna wants to settle down, have a meaningful relationship — Jay wants to succeed in Hollywood. They sing a duet called “You Don’t Stay Home/I Want to Go Out”.

[ Danny and Markie Pantell step up to the piano together ]

Margie Pantell: [ singing slowly ]“You don’t stay home!
Come what may, home!
Hip hooray, home.
Where I’ll be.”

Danny Dare: [ singing up-tempo ]“I want to go out, where all the lights are bright!
I want to go OUT! And do my thing tonight!
I need to party, with people I dig!
IMPORTANT people! I’ve gotta think big!
Got to go disco! Got to go disco!
Bye bye!

I want to go out! Where all the lights are bright!”

Margie Pantell: [ singing ]“You donnnn’t staaayyy hoooome!”

Danny Dare: [ singing ]“I want to go out! And do my thing tonight!”

Margie Pantell: [ singing ]“Coooome whaaaaat maaaayyyy hooooome!”

Danny Dare: [ singing ]“I need to party, with people I dig!”

Margie Pantell: [ singing ]“Hiiiiip hoooooraaaayyyy hooooome!”

Danny Dare: [ singing ]“Important people! I’ve gotta think big!”

Margie Pantell: [ singing ]“Wherrrrrre I’llllll beeeee!”

Danny Dare: [ singing ]“Got to go disco! Got to go disco!
Bye bye!”

Margie Pantell: [ singing ]“Stay home!”

[ the room applauds, as Bea steps forward ]

Bea: Uh, fellas, if you don’t mind my asking. But, just to clarify for everybody…

Teddy Naddler: We should just make it clear — Jay GOES to the party… Lorna stays home.

Bea: Yes. But the question I wanted: I presume that he or we are not talking about the real Lorna Luft?

Teddy Naddler: Well! Well! It’d be GREAT if we could get her, but… the basic, uh, point here is just the idea of somebody who’s Liza’s sister.

Bea: Ah.

[ Bea sits ]

Teddy Naddler: Okay. All of a sudden, in limbo, we meet Charlie and his girls in the desert.

Andrew Mazelle: Alright, listen — they have just spent a week listening to The Beatles’ White Album — about 150 times — and Charlie has realized that there is a secret message for him in the song “Revolution #9”. This is all true, by the way. It’s all coming from the Odyysey.

Teddy Naddler: Yeah. Now, Charlie sings this song… “Nine”. It’s kind of a special little story attached to it, because it’s written in 9/4 time. You may remember we used that in “Tommy on Ice”. It’s a song called “Nine”.

Andrew Mazelle: 9/4 time.

[ Greg Dobson steps up and leans against the piano ]

Greg Dobson: [ singing ]“How many fingers would you have if you lost one? Nine!
How many players are on a baseball team? Nine!
This number nine! Is coming your way!
And it’s not gonna be good.

Negroes will riot!
White people will riot!
Everybody will riot!!
Number Nine!!
Number Nine!!
Number Niiiiiine!!”

[ he crouches down but holds up nine fingers ] [ there’s no response from the room ]

Teddy Naddler: The stage goes black.

[ the room applauds ]

Teddy Naddler: We’re at the party. But Jay — there’s a lot of lights and lasers.

Andrew Mazelle: Suddenly, the lights go out, the music stops, and a single spotlight focuses on Jay… meeting Charlie. Jay says:

Danny Dare: Hi.

Teddy Naddler: Charlie says:

Greg Dobson: Nice… to meet you.

Andrew Mazelle: Entire stage… goes black! He don’t see ANYHING! You just hear… Mel Torme singing a reprise of “Two Men” — this time, with lyrics that cover the whole “Helter Skelter” thing.

Teddy Naddler: See, this is how we get around that [ he makes finger quotes ] “bad taste” question. Uh — Jay passes on, Evil seems to have won out over Good.

Andrew Mazelle: And the next thing we see is the sink… on a deserted stage. Lorna, dressed in black, goes to the sink… and sings… this song.

[ Margie steps up once again ]

Margie Pantell: [ singing ]There’s a hole… in my heart… where a man was.
Excuse me for living, but I care.
I got no one beside me
to love and to guide me
And who’s, gonna do, my hair?
I can’t go on, now that he’s gone!
Hey! What’s happening… with the sink?”

Teddy Naddler: At this point, the sink is bathed in a brilliant white light! Jay rises up out of the sink — REBORN! Good triumphs over Evil! And Jay joins Lorna for the finale, with a counter obligato from… Mel Torme.

[ Danny joins Margie at the piano ]

Danny Dare: [ singing ]“There’s a maaaan in your heart
where the hole was.
I’m back with the living, and not deeeeeead.”

Margie Pantell: [ singing ]“Now I’ve got you beside meVto love and to guide me!”

[ in the background, Teddy moves his lips silently to the lyrics ]

Danny Dare: [ singing ]“And I’ll always dooooo…”

Margie Pantell: [ singing ]“Yes, you’ll always dooooo…”

[ Margie removes her cap and lets her long, luxurious hair flow down ]

Together: “Yes, I’ll/you’ll always doooooo… your/my haaaaaaiiiiirrrrr!!”

[ the room applauds wildly ]

Bea: Wonderful! Wonderful! I LOVE when you keyed in on the word “hair” at the end!

Teddy Naddler: Yeah.

Bea: Well, God willing, we have another “Hair” on our hands! [ to her guests ] I’m sure you all share my feelings that this going to be THE major theatrical hit of the Eighties!

[ Teddy crosses his fingers ]

Bea: So why don’t we get out our checkbooks, and we’ll talk about it over cake, okay?

Andrew Mazelle: FABULOUS idea!

Teddy Naddler: Yeah!

Andrew Mazelle: Thanks! Thanks!

[ Bea kisses the boys on the cheek, as the guests surround them ] [ pull back, with SUPER: “coming up next… Bowling For Glory” ] [ 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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