John Lithgow’s Monologue
John Lithgow: Thank you, thank you, thank you very much! I’m really delighted to be back on “Saturday Night Live” this year, I really am! And, besides, this time I have a kind of special reason to be pleased.
I just found out, every year, “Saturday Night Live” chooses just one single broadcast to the University of Maryland School of Communications for their consideration for the prestigious Robert Benchley Award for television humanity. And this is so great! I probably shouldn’t be telling you this.. but after a really great dress rehearsal, the producer came into my dressing room, a big smile on his face, and he said, “John, this is it. I think we got the Benchley winner!” [ nervous ] I’m so flattered! And I’m so moved! I mean, of all the shows they’ve done so far this year, he picks.. mine! I mean, what a responsibility. Frankly, I’m a little scared. Not only do we have to do a great show, but.. a perfect show.. we’ve worked so hard this week, I just know it’s gonna pay off!
[ suddenly, the boom mike appears just to the right of John’s head ]
[ worried ] Is that the boom? Uh.. uh.. was the boom in that shot? Did they see the boom at home? [ pause ] Well, that’s great! Terrific! So much for perfection. [ fumed ] Well, there goes the award-winning John Lithgow show. I guess dress rehearsal was just an accodent for some of us! Thank you, audio people! Thank you so much! [ angry ] Oh, what’s the use of going on!
Director’s Voice: John.. John.. I think you’re overreacting.
John Lithgow: Oh, fine! Fine! I’m overreacting! Let’s blame the whole thing on John! He’ll be gone tomorrow! It’s John’s fault we lost the coveted Benchley Award! Well, let me tell you something, Bucko! I on’t need Benchley’s puny ltitle award! [ starts to break down ] Oh.. oh, God.. I knew it.. I knew it.. I’m having an anxiety attack.. Does anyone have a paper bag..?
[ Director Joe Disco hands John a paper bag, which he immediately begins to breathe into rapidly ]
It’s okay.. I’ve done this before.. [ catches his breath ] I’m okay. I-I’m.. better. Anyway.. stick around. We’ve got a great show.. [ awkward pause ] Flawed, but great. A good show. It’s not an award show, but you might like it. Anita Baker is here, anyway.