Host … Harry Shearer
Vincent Price … Michael McKean
[Graphic: PBS PLEDGEBRATION – Dissolve to a two-tieredphone bank full of seated volunteers who answerringing telephones, collect pledges, and talk amongstthemselves as part of a public TV station fundraisingdrive. As we pull back, an earnest, bespectacled hostwalks into view and abruptly addresses thecamera.]
Host: Okay! As we’ve been reminding you allevening long, our fine PBS programming is running justa little bit late tonight because of our special FallPledge-a-bration. It’s now – [checks wristwatch] -eight thirty-five. We’ll be joining our scheduledprogram at – [checks wristwatch] – eight forty-five.It’s a rollicking new comedy series from Britain, “ABun in the Oven,” a domestic farce about a young manwhose wife must perpetually pretend to be pregnant orthey’ll be evicted from their council flat — or whatwe’d call “public housing.”
And speaking of “public”: YOU — are the “public” in”public television.” That’s right. Only seventy-fivepercent of our funds come from oil companies. We needyou. We count on you. You’re the reason we interruptour fine programming to remind you that, without you,there would be no “public” in “public television” andthere would be no fine programming to interrupt toremind you that we need you.
We’re delighted to have with us here at PledgebrationCentral tonight, the distinguished star of stage,screen, scary movies — AND public television, too –please welcome, Mr. Vincent Price![Applause as we dissolve to Vincent Price standing infront of a podium, wearing a tuxedo, graciouslyacknowledging the crowd.]
Vincent Price: Edgar Lee Masters — the authorof the American classic “Spoon River Anthology” –never lived to see public television. And it’s a shamewe can’t send videotapes of this fine PBS fare up tohis lonely crypt on Spoon Hill. I think he’d get akick out of “Newton’s Apple,” don’t you?
Whenever I’m at home with my wife, the actress CoralBrowne, and we’re watching public television together,I often forget she’s in the room. The programming isTHAT fine. But I have another, more personal, reasonfor urging you to support public television. You see,without these fine programmers who occasionally seefit to employ this humble mummer, I’d be spending manya morning at the Hanna-Barbera office playing thevoice of the evil Doctor von Blowfish in the Snorksseries.
Which brings me to a blatant plug for my new projecthere on the public airwaves. What we’ve done is totake the cooking show out of the kitchen and put it ina spooky old library. Won’t you join me now for apreview of my exciting new series, “Recipe”?[Price holds up a folder marked RECIPE and, as thestudio lights darken, he opens the folder and readsfrom it.]
Vincent Price: “Fave Dolci”! Or — “Dead Man’sBeans.”
Now, the origins of this somewhat morbid name areobscure but, in many cultures, beans were connectedwith death or the souls of the departed. But thistasty sweet makes a safe if somewhat tardy Halloweentreat.[Dark, low string instruments play a minor melody asPrice adopts a melodramatic mood.]
Vincent Price: [dramatically, as if reading apoem by Poe]
Crush two-thirds of a cup of sweet almonds in amortar,
With three-quarters of a cup of sugar,
Four tablespoons of butter,
[ominously] And one egg.
Add the grated rind of half a lemon,
And work into a smooth paste.
Flour your hands!
And roll the paste into a long tube.
Cut this tube into bean-sized pieces.
Arrange them! Well-spaced,
On a greased baking sheet.
And squash them lightly to effect an ovalshape.
Vincent Price: [mischievously] I’m not going totell you at what temperature to bake it or for howlong. You’ll just have to watch the show. So — joinme, my wife, the actress Coral Browne, and some otherdistinguished doily-sniffers on “Recipe” — comingthis January on PBS. Programming so fine, it almostseems like fun.[Dissolve back to the host standing before thevolunteers.]
Host: Thank you, Mr. Price. Stay with us. Nexthour, Mr. Steve Allen joins us to tell a fascinatingstory of why Jayne Meadows is in show business.Meantime, Pledgebration continues — so won’t youwatch till it hurts?