I’ll Be the Judge of That
Dick Cavett…..Rick Moranis
Professor Douglas Marsden…..Tim Kazurinsky
Madame Leonora Lostukochov…..Mary Gross
Tyrone Green…..Eddie Murphy
Oriana Fallacci…..Robin Duke
[FADE IN on a studio with a string quartet playing classical music live in the foreground. SUPERIMPOSE “I’ll Be the Judge of That” inside a circle across the entire screen. HOLD for several seconds.]
Announcer: [in clipped British accent] Ladies and gentlemen, your master of ceremonies: Dick Cavett.[Audience cheers as Cavett walks onstage and stops directly in front of a long white sofa in the background. Wearing a gray jacket with a blue turtleneck underneath, he thoughtfully places a finger to his mouth as the applause and music fade away.]
Dick Cavett: Um… good evening. Um, welcome to the only show that any network would let me have. Um… it’s a game show, a forum which I normally abhor, um… Nonetheless, it may not be as sophisticated as my late lamented PBS talk show, but I’ll be the judge of that. So… [glances down at index card] If we can meet our contestants, the first is a professor of Renaissance English Studies at Columbia University, author of the controversial monograph entitled, “Christopher Marlowe: Shakespeare or What?” Um… Would you please welcome, then, Professor Douglas Marsden.[Applause as the string quartet plays again and Professor Marsden walks onstage. In a gray suit and red tie, he stiffly shakes Cavett’s hand as the quartet ceases.]
Dick Cavett: Um… Welcome, uh, Professor, to the show. Are you ready to have a go at it?
Professor: [in a dignified accent] Well, as Shakespeare wrote: “Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!” [chuckles]
Dick Cavett: Well, he was always rather pithy, wasn’t he?
Professor: [shyly] Yes.
Dick Cavett: Anyway, thank you, please have a seat. Our next guest is one of the grande dames of Czechoslovakian ballet, and the founder of Prague’s first Szechuan cooking school. [soft laughter] Um… may we bring on Madame Leonora Lostukochov?[Applause as the quartet resumes the theme and Madame Leonora walks gracefully onstage. She wears a flowered head scarf and a flowing red gown.]
Dick Cavett: [places finger to lips] Um, Madame Leonora, when George Balanchine was on my former PBS talk show, he, too, expressed a love of Szechuan food. Um… is that a thing with dancers, or what?
Madame Leonora: [in heavy Eastern European accent] Well, if there ees a connection, Deeck, I’m too old to know it.
Dick Cavett: [places finger to lips] I just wondered if, the spicier the beef, the bigger the calf. What a wonderful pun I’ve stumbled on. [laughter] Um, thank you very much. [motions for her to sit] Our… our last contestant, then, is one of the angriest poets of the Bedford-Stuyvesant school, um… author of his latest poem, “Kill My Landlord,” which… [riotous cheers and applause] …was hailed by Marvin Gaye as a modern “Prufrock.” Um… would you please welcome, then, Tyrone Green.[Hearty applause as the strings resume and Green slouches onstage in a camouflage t-shirt and faded jeans. When he stops next to Cavett, Tyrone glares down at the string quartet, which continues playing.]
Dick Cavett: [places finger to lips] Um… Terrone, have you derived, uh, any satisfaction from your new-found notoriety in the black arts community?
Tyrone Green: [barking at musicians] SHUT UP!!![The quartet stops in the middle of a note.]
Tyrone Green: Yeah, I get a lot of sex now, now that I’m a poet. [squeals of laughter] What kinda prizes you got on this show?
Dick Cavett: Well, I’m glad you asked that, Terrone. Um… to find out what kind of prizes we have, we’ll go to our lovely and talented prize girl, Miss Oriana Fallacci. Oriana?
Oriana Fallaci: [in Italian accent] Thanks, Dick. Uhh… Eh, let me tell you this, ehhh, all of the, uh, contestants on, uh, “I’ll Be the Judge of That,” eh, will-a re-cheive an autographed, eh, first edition of my new book, ehh, “Interviews with Men Who Object to My Smoking.”[FADE to a slide of her book.]
Oriana Fallaci: Uhh, they will, uh, also re-cheive a year’s-a supply of Cappuccino Quik…[FADE to a canister of Cappuccino Quik.]
Oriana Fallaci: Ehhhh, from Nestle’s, of course, ehhh, who-a of course are Fascists. Ehh, Deeck?[FADE back to Cavett on the couch as he places his finger to his lips.]
Dick Cavett: Uh, thank you, Oriana. [ZOOM out to show Cavett and his contestants all seated on the long white couch.]
Dick Cavett: Well, let’s move on, then, to “I’ll Be the Judge of That.” You all know the rules, and if you don’t, I’m sure they’ll become self-evident as we proceed. Um… Professor Marsden, let’s begin with you. Um… [pauses] Do you find Gershwin more melodically satisfying than, let’s say, Cole Porter?
Professor: Actually, yes, I do prefer Gershwin.
Dick Cavett: I’m sorry, I don’t. No points there. Um…[long moment of laughter]
Dick Cavett: Madame Lostukochek [sic]… you’re sitting beside the pool of your Connecticut country home. Your actress wife, Carrie Nye, is reading aloud to you from “The New York Times Book Review.” Um… what would you be likely to be drinking?
Tyrone Green: A Fresca.
Dick Cavett: I’m, I’m sorry, Mr. Green, I was addressing Madame Leonora. What would you be likely to be drinking?
Madame Leonora: Wodka. Straight up. In a slipper.
Dick Cavett: No, I’m sorry, what you probably prefer is a Camprari and soda. No points there. Um… let’s move on to Mr. Green, and– [holds up card] My goodness, it’s a bonus question. Um… if you answer this one correctly, Mr. Green, you’ll get to move on to the final round. Now, what would be a good bonus question? [thinks for a moment] Um… Oh, yes. What did Lord Laurence Olivier say to me when I told him that I couldn’t possibly call him “Larry”?
Tyrone Green: [smoothly] “Oh, you must, you must, I wouldn’t feel right about it if you didn’t.”
Dick Cavett: Well done, Terrone, that’s absolutely right. Um…[laughter and applause]
Dick Cavett: You’ve won the honor of being interviewed by me. Um… All you have to do is–
Tyrone Green: Hold me, hold me back.
Dick Cavett: All you have to do is engage, uh, in some witty banter with me for 30 seconds, and if at any time you mention the secret word, you’ll win our grand prize. Is this clear?
Tyrone Green: [ thinks ] I would really like to see you dead, man.[laughter]
Dick Cavett: [places finger to lips] We only have 30 seconds. Um… Well, then, if the anethemous string quartet could give us the back half of the “Minute Waltz,” we’ll begin.[string quartet starts in]
Dick Cavett: You know, Terrone, after seeing some “Shakespeare in the Park,” I, I like nothing better than to go to one of my or Woody’s favorite eateries, “Elaine’s.” Um… do you have a particular favorite spot that you like to go to after purveying a bit of The Bard?
Tyrone Green: [to musicians] SHUT THE HELL UP!!![The string quartet keeps on playing.]
Tyrone Green: Only bourgeois trash purvey a bit of The Bard, man. I like to go to the “Enter the Dragon,” then I go down to Cozy Kitten social club, have somethin’ ta eat, and I like to sit around ’cause they got a scintillating ambiance, y’know, and the sounds–[The strings suddenly play happy notes as a duck drops down from the ceiling with a card reading “AMBIANCE” around its neck.]
Dick Cavett: My goodness, that’s…[cheers and applause]
Dick Cavett: Well, well done, Terrone, you’ve said the secret word. Unfortunately, an obvious one, but nonetheless, “ambiance.” Um, Oriana, would you please tell Mr. Green what he’s won?[CUT to Oriana in her black sweater with her cigarette.]
Oriana Fallaci: Sure, Dick, eeehmmm… You-a will be a-writing in comfort for the next year on a generous grant, ehh, from the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, ehh.[FADE to the “CHUBB GROUP” logo.]
Oriana Fallaci: Which, uhhh, of course are Facists, uh, everybody knows this, Dick.[CUT back to Cavett and Green.]
Dick Cavett: Thank you very much, Oriana. Well, I have had a splendid time–
Tyrone Green: I want it NOW, man.[ZOOM OUT as the string quartet starts up the theme music.]
Tyrone Green: I want prizes NOW, man, in gold.
Dick Cavett: Um… I hope we do this again soon, um…
Tyrone Green: [to musicians] I’m gonna shove them oboes down your throats!
Dick Cavett: Um… we’ll see you all again, then, tomorrow, um, *during the super bowl.*
Tyrone Green: I want my soul NOW, man.[SUPERIMPOSE “I’ll Be the Judge of That” logo as audience cheers loudly. FADE to black as Tyrone vaults off the platform toward the string quartet.]
Submitted by: Sean