On Broadway


On Broadway

Brenda Krouse…..Jan Hooks
Ross Treadway…..Phil Hartman
Nina Treadway…..Nora Dunn

[ music open: “Getting To Know You” ] [ dissolve to the “On Broadway” set ]

Brenda Krouse: Hello. I’m Brenda Krouse, “On Broadway”. Now, that music, and these posters, are, of course, from the Rogers & Hammerstein classic “The King & I”. Now, tonight we’ll be getting to know the man who’s now starring in the Westbury Music Fair production – Ross Treadway. Ross, welcome.

Ross Treadway: Thank you.

Brenda Krouse: Now, you took over the lead role in the show, the King of Siam, from the legendary Yul Brynner, who virtually made a career out of the role. I mean, he won countless awards, broke all kinds of box office records. I think it must be tremendously frustrating to step into the shadow of a performer like that, am I right? It must be a no-win situation.

Ross Treadway: So, what are you saying, that the show should be abandoned, never perform it again?

Brenda Krouse: Oh, no, not at all..

Ross Treadway: [ angry ] Then, what’s your point?

Brenda Krouse: Well, I-I-I.. just mean that, you know, you’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill. I mean, Yul Brynner was so popular in that role.

Ross Treadway: [ guffaws ] Oh, really? He was? What an interesting news item, I’d better write that down – Yul Brynner, popular, “King & I”.

Brenda Krouse: [ stunned by Ross’ outburst ] Uh.. I guess I can understand how it would be a, uh.. a sore point.

Ross Treadway: Alright, listen, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Yul Brynner wasn’t good in the role, I’m sure he was. All I’m saying is that there’s a guy by the name of Ross Treadway, and he’s pretty good, too.

Brenda Krouse: Okay. Alright. Well, the reviews, overall, have been pretty favorable. Looking at my notes here, I see that your performance has been called “satisfactory”, “adequate”, “serviceable”..

Ross Treadway: [ annoyed ] Yeah. You know, my favorite was “workmanlike”. A response like that doesn’t exactly blast you out of bed in the morning!

Brenda Krouse: But, you know, Ross, you really can’t blame people for making that comparison, can you?

Ross Treadway: Who can’t blame people? I can blame. You bet I can blame! You know, the thing that irritates me is that people accept this great reputation – on heresay! I mean, how many people actually saw Yul Brynner in “The King & I”?

Brenda Krouse: [ laughs ] Well, come on! He did about 4,000 performances, plus the film, which was quite successful.

Ross Treadway: Define “successful”.

: [ laughs ] Well..

Ross Treadway: No! See, this really galls me! I mean, maybe that film was okay, but this guy made a lot of bad movies! Nobody wants to talk about those. “The Ten Commandments” – phew-wee!

Brenda Krouse: Really? Well now, you see, I really liked him in “The Ten Commandments”.. I did..

Ross Treadway: [ jumps up and taps her skull really hard ] Hel-lo! Is anybody home?!

Brenda Krouse: [ struggling ] Ow! Ouch! Stop it! Stop it! Don’t ever hit me! Alright?! Now, I can understand how you can be frustrated by this. But, really!

Ross Treadway: No, people are robots! They are! You know, they’re programmed from birth: “The King & I”? [ imitates a robot ] Yul Brynner, Yul Brynner, Yul Brynner.. It’s all so nice and tidy! But, God forbid, an original thought, or, let’s say, a talented actor should intrude upon their little menagerie of lies!

Brenda Krouse: Alright. Alright. Now, you choose to portray the king as having a full head of hair.

Ross Treadway: Okay.. [ holds up script ] Here’s the book of “The King & I” – right here!! Nowhere.. in this book.. does it say the king is bald. Nowhere! I’ll give you $10,000 if you can find the word “bald” anywhere! Here it is! [ thrusts out his bank book ] You want it!

Brenda Krouse: No, I don’t want it! It just seems that after Yul Brynner, the audience might be expecting a bald head.

Ross Treadway: Yeah. Okay! Fine! You’re right, you’re absolutely right! You know, let’s not knock the icon off his precious pedestal! [ grabs a pair of scissors and begins to cut his hair out ] You want bald?! Bald! Fine! Alright, blad it is!!

Brenda Krouse: [ tries to stop him ] No! No!

Ross Treadway: You’re happy! Everybody’s happy, okay! Here we go!

Brenda Krouse: Stop this! Ross, please!

Ross Treadway: Bald, bald, bald!!

[ Ross’ wife, Nina, steps onstage and tries to calm him down ]

Nina Treadway: Give me the scissors! Please? Give them to me! [ Ross hands her the scissors, sits down and cries ] I’ve got something to say to those people. You people make me so damn mad! My husband is a good man! But, oh, one unpardonable crime – he’s not Yul Brynner! Well, gee, I’m not Yul Brynner, either! And, you know what, none of you are Yul Brynner, either, are you? Are you?!

Ross Treadway: [ embarassed ] Nina.. I’m alright now..

Nina Treadway: You don’t deserve my husband! My husband, an actor! You all seem to want Yul Brynner – dig him up! See what kind of a show he’ll do for you! Then do your little standing ovation, throw your roses, and just get out! Just get out!!

Ross Treadway: Nina, please..

Nina Treadway: You’re the lowest form of life on Earth! The LOWEST form!! [ spits, turns and exits ]

Brenda Krouse: [ stunned ] Um.. you know, Ross.. maybe you ought to discuss this with someone.

Ross Treadway: Someone? You mean, a psychiatrist? Oh boy, that’s a good one.. I’m crazy? The whole world is worshipping at the altar of some overrated has-been, and I’m nuts?! Whoa-oa-oa, that’s a good one! Wow-ow-ow! [ gives a creepy laugh ]

Brenda Krouse: Alright, it.. it.. it causes you so much pain. Why don’t you just quit the show?

Ross Treadway: I am! What, are you kidding? What do you think I am, a masochist?! Four more weeks, and I’m doing a different show. Because I don’t need the aggravation – I don’t need it!!

Brenda Krouse: Well, that’s great.. that’s great, Ross. What-what-what show will you be doing?

Ross Treadway: “Zorba the Greek”.

Brenda Krouse: Well.. best of luck to you, Ross. You know what? We’re out of time. [ laughs ] Good night, we’ll see you next time!

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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