SNL Transcripts: Stevie Wonder: 05/07/83: Stevie Wonder Impersonator


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 8: Episode 19

82s: Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder Impersonator

Richie…..Eddie Murphy
Byrne…..Joe Piscopo
Alan…..Stevie Wonder

[FADE IN on Eddie Murphy as a show-biz agent sitting at a desk and talking on the telephone.]

Richie: Look, I’m talking about more this year, I’m talking about pride, all right? I’m talking about the Miss Black Teenage America Contest. [pauses] Well, it’s gonna be a quality show, man, Don Cornelius is hosting! [pauses] Listen to who we got to be the judges: Ike Turner, Eartha Kitt, Willie Tyler and Lester… [pauses] You know, the dude with the puppet! [pauses] Look, all this show needs now is the incredible musical talents of Wilson Pickett, and- [pauses] What you mean, Wilson Pickett is busy? This is a quality job! [pauses] Well, at least tell the wicked Pickett to think about it, all right? [pauses] Do that for me, okay?

[knocking at the door]

Richie: All right. Someone’s at my door, I gotta call you back. [puts down phone] Uh, come in!

[Joe Piscopo enters, dressed in a suit and wearing a nerdy pair of dark-rimmed glasses. He talks in a nasal voice.]

Byrne: Richie, how are ya?

Richie: Good.

Byrne: The wife?

Richie: Good.

Byrne: Oh, good, good! Good to see ya. Hey, hey, guy robs a bank, right? Wants to go into hiding. He signs with the William Morris Agency–he’s never heard from again! It’s true! It’s true!

Richie: Who’d you get for me, Byrne?

Byrne: Who did I get for you? Did I get you Willie Tyler?

Richie: Yeah.

Byrne: Did I get you Lester?

Richie: Yeah.

Byrne: I got you a singer.

Richie: Who?

Byrne: Think biggest black singer alive.

Richie: You got Michael Jackson, man?

Byrne: No, no, no.

Richie: Marvin Gaye?

Byrne: Think blind.

Richie: You got Ray Charles?!

Byrne: Think braids.


Byrne: No, no, no!

Richie: You got me Stevie Wonder? Man, you really outdid yourself this time!

Byrne: No, no, no, I got you someone even better!

Richie: Better than Stevie Wonder?

Byrne: Mm-hm.

Richie: Who?

Byrne: [grinning] Alan, the Stevie Wonder Experience! It’s wonderful! The kid tours the country in a show called “Stevemania”! It’s a big hit with the college kids!

Richie: I don’t want a Steve Wonder imitation.

Byrne: No, no, no, he’s better than Stevie! I wanna introduce him to you. [calls through door] Alan!

Alan’s Voice: [offscreen] Yeah?

Byrne: Alan, come here. I want you meet Richie over here.

[Stevie Wonder walks in as Alan, with a portable keyboard in his hands. Byrne leads him over to Richie, and Richie and Alan shake hands.]

Byrne: Here we go, how you doin’, this is Alan right here. Alan, meet Ritchie, right here, your next employer.

Richie: [dubiously] How you doin’, man.

Alan: [with a huge grin and a nasal voice] Hello, I’d just like to say, it’s gonna be a great pleasure appearing on a Miss Black Teenage America program.

Richie: This guy is a dork. He ain’t nothin’ like Stevie Wonder!

Byrne: No, no, no! That’s because he’s here! But on stage, with the music, the lights, the whole kit and kaboodle, he becomes Stevie Wonder! It’s true!

Richie: I’m not interested.

Byrne: It’s true!

Richie: I’m not interested.

Alan: [to Joe] Listen, I get the feeling that he doesn’t want me on his show. [grins widely]

Byrne: No, no, no. Alan, Alan, please, please, Alan, it’s a definite do-able! Make, make your magic, sing for the man! Sing for the man a little bit.

[Stevie Wonder plays a brief chord on the keyboard and grins.]

Alan: Here’s one of my favorites. People say I sound just like Stevie, with one exception: you can understand every single word!

[Stevie starts playing the chords to “Superstitious,” then sings in a harsh, nasal voice. Joe bobs his head back and forth and smiles.]

Alan: “Very supersitious, writing’s on the wall… VERY SUPERSTITIOUS!!! Letters start to fall…”

Richie: Alan! It sucks, man.

Byrne: [sheepish] It’s true, Alan, it does suck. Uh, do the good one.

[Stevie looks hurt and struggles to maintain his composure.]

Alan: Okay. Here’s another one. [clears through loudly]

[In exactly the same manner, he starts bellowing out “Living for the City.” He sings the first entire verse out of rhythm while Joe again bobs his head back and forth and smiles.]

Richie: That’s the worst Stevie Wonder impression I’ve ever seen in my life.

Alan: [grinning] What’s the matter with it?

[The crowd roars with laughter as Stevie grins at Eddie, who breaks down and laughs helplessly for several seconds along with the audience.]

Alan: I can funk! I can funk! I can funk…

Richie: Yeah, yeah, but this, what’s you’re doing is ridiculous. It’s nothing like, I know Stevie Wonder, man, and he’s like, you have to mellow out, you see, you’re too tense. Loosen up. You have to see me do a Stevie Wonder impression…

[Eddie Murphy takes a pair of sunglasses out of his breast pocket. Crowd roars as Eddie puts them on.]

Richie: You gotta smile a lot, like this, you see, you gotta smile. [grins]

Alan: [grins with his mouth wide open] You mean like this?

Richie: No.

Alan: Like this?

Richie: Yeah, but you ain’t really got it yet. Then you gotta move your neck around. Stevie moves his neck around. Move your neck like somebody’s chokin’ ya, like this. Like that, see.

[Stevie puts his hands gently around Eddie’s neck as Eddie moves it back and forth a la Stevie.]

Alan: [grinning] If you don’t like my show, I’m gonna choke you.

[Stevie moves his head back and forth stiffly.]

Alan: Is this how he does it, like this?

Richie: Kinda.

Alan: Like that?

Richie: You gotta loosen up, you gotta move you hands, like this. See? Listen to me. Watch this.

Alan: Okay.

Richie: [clapping and singing like Stevie Wonder] “My Cherie Amour, lovely as a summer day…”

Alan: [nasal-voiced] “My Cherie Amour…”

Richie: No, no, no, better, with more feeling.

Alan: Oh.

[Stevie grunts as he tries too hard to sing like Stevie]

Alan: [nasal-voiced] “My Cherie Amour…”

Richie: You don’t even know the words!

Alan: “Lovely as a summer day!”

Richie: No, listen to me, listen, listen. [clapping and singing like Stevie Wonder] “My Cherie Amour, distant as the Milky Way…”

[The crowd roars, and then Stevie starts singing the song for real. He claps and sings the rest of the first verse beautifully, and the crowd claps along and roars even louder. Everyone smiles, and Joe pats Stevie on the shoulder. Finally, Eddie takes off his glasses and shakes his head.]

Richie: It still sucks, man.

Byrne: No, no, no! Richie, that was Stevie Wonder! I was standing here! He became Stevie Wonder! Look, I’m not married to this guy! I’ve got another fellow, you would swear he is Smokey Robinson!

Richie: I’m not interested.

Byrne: It’s true! It’s true!

Stevie: I do a great Anita Bryant!

Byrne: No, no, no, no, no. John Davidson, big with the black audience!

Alan: [jumping up and down like a girl] Oh, I can do, I can do John Davidson!

[Zoom out to show entire studio.]

Submitted by: Joe Cornfield

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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