A Roy Orbison Christmas


A Roy Orbison Christmas

Roy Orbison … Randy Quaid
Clamdigger … Terry Sweeney
Clamdigger … Robert Downey, Jr.
Connie Stevens … Teri Garr
Leslie Uggams … Danitra Vance
Don Adams … Jon Lovitz
Edd “Kookie” Byrnes … Anthony Michael Hall

[Announcer Don Pardo reads a text that rolls by on adark screen.]

Don Pardo V/O: Ten days ago, the GeneralElectric Company bought RCA, the parent company ofNBC. We at Saturday Night Live applaud this bold,wily, tactical maneuver, which places us under thegrip of an even more efficient managerial team. In aneffort to bring down production costs, GE has orderedthe network to broadcast all previously unairedprogramming by the end of the fiscal year. Thefollowing is from a 1965 Christmas special which waspre-empted by network reports of Hurricane Louise. Sowe now join the last six minutes of “A Roy OrbisonChristmas.”

[Before Pardo can finish, we hear Roy Orbison’sclassic growl and hear the singer’s signature tune”Pretty Woman.” We dissolve to the set of theChristmas special where Roy, in his usual black suitand sunglasses, and his band perform the end of thesong:]

Roy Orbison and his band: [singing]Pretty woman, don’t walk on by
Pretty woman, don’t make me cry
Pretty woman, don’t walk away, hey
I guess I’ll go on home, it’s late.
We’ll meet tomorrow night, but wait!
What do I see?
Is she walking back to me?
Yeah, she’s walking back to me
Oh, oh, pretty woman

[Cheers and applause as the song ends.]

Roy Orbison: [Southern accent] Mercy! Mercy!Thank you. Merry Christmas! You know, as I said aboutfifty-four minutes ago when I opened this Christmasspecial, Christmas is for family and friends and hereare some good friends of the entire Orbison family –Connie Stevens and the Clamdiggers!

[Applause. The band plays. The Clamdiggers, foursurfer dudes in psychedelic beach attire, run in andsing “Santa’s Little Surfer Girl” as ’60s pop starletConnie Stevens, an energetic blonde in fur-trimmed redbikini top, gold lame hula skirt and white boots,joins them and go-go dances to the beat, occasionallychiming in on a line or two:]

There’s a cat up north they call Saint Nick
He’s got some crazy little helpers and one of them’s achick
She rides his sleigh only once a year
Spreading Christmas cheer

She’s surfside and yuletide
Come on everybody and watch her ride
Whoo hoo, Santa’s little surfer girl
Whoo hoo, Santa’s little surfer girl
Whoo hoo, Santa’s little surfer girl

Guys and gals come from miles around
Come to hear her surfin’ Santa sound
Well, she can hang a stocking but she’s hangingten
She’s hipper than the Three Wise Men

She’s surfside and yuletide
Come on everybody and watch her ride
Whoo hoo, Santa’s little surfer girl
Whoo hoo, Santa’s little surfer girl
Whoo hoo, Santa’s little surfer girl

[As the band’s saxophonist solos, the Clamdiggersgroove in the background and sing Beach Boy-stylefalsetto harmonies as Connie brings out a surfboardand pretends to go surfing — a cheesy Chroma-Keyscreen lowers from above with stock footage of aboat’s wake to give the unconvincing illusion thatshe’s really out on the water.]

Surfside and yuletide
Come on everybody and watch her ride
Whoo hoo, Santa’s little surfer girl
Whoo hoo, Santa’s little surfer girl
Whoo hoo, Santa’s little surfer girl

[Cheers and applause as the song ends, the screen israised, and Roy joins his guests on stage.]

Roy Orbison: Mercy! Thank you, Connie. [Connieand the Clamdiggers exit, Roy growls at her as shegoes, then turns to the camera] You know, when ouroriginal sponsor found out that my next guest, LeslieUggams, is a Negro, they pulled out. So I really wannaexpress my gratitude to the good people at LuckyStrikes for steppin’ in at the last minute. Here, witha dramatic reading, Miss Leslie Uggams.

[Cheers and applause as we dissolve to the elegantyoung singer-actress Leslie Uggams, seated in aspotlight, holding a letter.]

Leslie Uggams: Christmas is a time when weshould think of those who cannot be with theirfamilies. I have a letter here from a young man in amental institution. … He writes: [reads, sombermusic under] “What is insanity? Is it dreaming dreamsthat others dare not dream to dream? Is it wanting aworld so rich in love that your heart despairs whenothers call your dreams madness? … Is it believingthat you are the conduit through which the ghosts ofslaughtered soldiers … [must rotate the letter inorder to follow the deranged scribblings of theauthor] … scream out from their graves seekingrevenge on the tiny little men who sent them there?’Bow-wow,’ says Blinky the Space Dog.” … [folds upthe letter] Then it becomes totally unintelligible….

[Cheers and applause as we dissolve to Roy and theband.]

Roy Orbison: Mercy! Thank you, Leslie! MerryChristmas! And that’s the end of our show. [band plays”Jingle Bell Rock” under] I’d like to thank my guests,Miss Connie Stevens. [applause for Connie who entersand kisses Roy] Ah, merry Christmas. And also GetSmart’s Don Adams!

Don Adams: [enters, dressed as Maxwell Smart]Roy, would you believe I had a great time?Merry Christmas, Roy!

Roy Orbison: Thank you, Don. Also, Miss LeslieUggams, my special guest!

Leslie Uggams: [enters, careful not to touchany white boys] Merry Christmas, Roy!

Roy Orbison: Thank you, thank you. MerryChristmas! And Edd “Kookie” Byrnes! Thank you,Edd!

Edd “Kookie” Byrnes: [the teen idol star ofTV’s “77 Sunset Strip” enters] Merry Christmas, Roy![combs his hair as teen girls scream]

Roy Orbison: Thank you. And merry Christmas toeach and everyone of you. Let’s take it onhome.

[The Clamdiggers join Roy and his guests as everyonelines up across the stage and sings a shortenedversion of “Jingle Bell Rock”:]

All: [singing]Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time
Dancing and prancing in Jingle Bell Square
In the frosty air

What a bright time
It’s the right time
To dance the night away
Jingle bell time is a swell time
To go ridin’ in a one-horse sleigh
Giddy-up, jingle horse
Pick up your feet
Jingle around–

[Over the song, the credits roll:

Produced by

Directed by


Written by

Musical Director

Art Director

All of these names, incidentally, are of real peoplewho worked on similar TV music-variety specials in the1960s and ’70s. Fade.]

Submitted Anonymously

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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