Guy Noir script
Saturday, April 2, 2005
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(GUY NOIR THEME)

Tim Russell: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets, but on the 12th floor of the Acme Building, one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions.....Guy Noir, Private Eye. (THEME)

Garrison Keillor: It was April in New York and I was there in search of a missing husband and wife from Mitchell, South Dakota, who had flown out in his cropdusting plane for Easter vacation and then called their kids and told them they were not coming home.

Sue Scott (MIDWEST, ON PHONE): Maybe we're crazy, but— we got here and it just struck us how long it's been since we actually laughed and stayed out late and talked and had a good time? It's been thirty years. Since before you and Brad were born.

Tim Russell (MIDWEST): We figured by selling the house and the plane and selling Grandpa's farm and cashing in our retirement, we can buy a one-bedroom over in Brooklyn. So that's what we're going to do. (BRIDGE)

GK: All I had to go on was a bad snapshot of two people in their fifties, with red eyes. They'd checked out of the Hotel Affluvium, on West 44th Street.

SS (DEEP): They checked out this morning. Nice people but they didn't understand the principle of tipping, I must say.

GK: So you looked under Peterson, right? Gary and Joanne Peterson.

SS: (DEEP): Right. They checked out.

GK: You wouldn't know where they went?

SS (DEEP): Who are you, a cop?

GK: Do I look like a cop to you?

SS (DEEP): Well, some cops keep working past retirement.

GK: That was not a kind remark.....

SS (DEEP): Kindness is not a useful trait for a desk clerk at this type of hotel, Mister. The last time I was kind to a stranger, he took me for everything I had including the ten best years of my life which he turned into the ten worst years of my life.

GK: Okay. I'm not in the market for a memoir, okay?

Maude Maggart: Excuse me. I'm looking for a room? A single? — For a week? Something cheap? I don't need a window or anything. (BRIDGE)

GK: She was young and beautiful in a sort of quiet seraphic way that made me inhale suddenly and then I got a big whiff of her perfume which gave me hallucinations of Paris (FRENCH POLICE SIREN) and birds in the trees (SFX SMALL BIRDS) — and a bottle of Pouilly-Fuisse (CORKSCREW, CORK POP) in a café where poets read from their work (TR SOFT POETIC FRENCH) — and when I came to, I was sitting in the chair with my head between my knees—

MM: Are you all right? —Should I call a doctor?

GK: You— you're an actress, aren't you?

MM: Yes! How could you tell?

GK: Your vivid facial expressions gave you away. And your graceful gestures.

MM: I was an actress — until about an hour agoi. I was in a musical.

GK: Oh.

MM: "Someday I'll Find You"

GK: You already have.

MM: That was the name of the show. It closed after two and a half performances.

GK: Two and a half, huh?

SS (DEEP): The star of the show got sick from eating shellfish for lunch and during the big love duet, projectile vomiting set in.

GK: Oh.

SS (DEEP): She opened her mouth to sing—

GK: Never mind — spare me the details. How about some lunch, Miss—

MM: Maggart. Maude Maggart.

GK: Let me buy you lunch.

MM: Maybe a clear chicken broth and a cup of herbal tea. (BRIDGE)

GK: We walked up the street to a coffee shop (CAFÉ AMBIENCE) and we found a corner table and ordered lunch and she told me more about the disaster of "Someday I'll Find You".

MM: You see, I was understudying the star, so when she upchucked, and the curtain came down and I had to change into her costume and then the woman who played Sophia had to take over my role and the woman who played the governess had to be Sophia and one of the dancers had to take the governess role and then they had to get the bassoonist into a dancer outfit and so the drummer had to play bassoon and the curtain came up and I sang — (SHE SINGS)

Someday I'll find you,
Moonlight behind you,
True to the dream I am dreaming.

And right there is a bassoon solo and the drummer reaches for the bassoon but it was the fire extinguisher and he sprayed foam over the first five rows of seats and in the pandemonium somebody dropped the asbestos curtain and it hit a candelabra and there was a fire and the firemen came and when it was all over the theater basement was full of water and the scenery burned and lawsuits started to arrive by fax machine so — the show closed. (FOOTSTEPS)

Jessamyn Liu: Sorry, sir. We seem to be out of clear chicken broth — would you care to order something else, sir?

GK: You have any other soup?

JL: Yes, sir. Chicken noodle and cream of mushroom, sir.

GK: Ma'am?

JL: Yes, sir?

GK: I don't mean to poke into your personal life here, but you don't strike me as somebody who's made a career out of waiting on tables, would I be right about that?

JL: Yes, sir.

GK: For one thing, your posture is too straight. Waitresses slump. Their feet hurt. And for another, your use of the word "sir"—

JL: Is that wrong, sir?

GK: It's more respect than a customer is used to from a waitress in a New York coffee shop, let's put it that way.

JL: You'd rather I didn't say "sir," sir?

GK: Try leaving it out. Just relax. What's your name? (SHE CLICKS BOOTS, SOUND OF COMING TO ATTENTION) Don't click your heels like that—

JL: LIU. JESSAMYN. PRESENT, SIR.

GK: You're in the Army, aren't you?

JL: Yes, sir. —

GK: You're not AWOL—

JL: I'm on spring leave from West Point.

GK: West Point, eh? Never met a waitress from West Point—

MM: West Point! My uncle teaches there. Colonel R.B. "Old Leather Butt" Maggart?

JL: He was my bayonet and karate instructor.

SS (MIDWEST): You know karate?

JL: Colonel Maggart taught me how to take him by his left wrist and throw him over my shoulder.

MM: I'd like to have seen that.

JL: He was a great teacher.

GK: Teaching a student how to beat you up is what I call inspired teaching.

JL: He's your uncle?

MM: Used to come for Christmas every year and we'd sit on his lap and he sang "Silent Night" to us and he always cried.

JL: "Old Leather Butt"? That's hard to believe.

GK: What's going on with you, cadet Liu? The waitressing and all—

JL: It's a long story, sir.

GK: Call me Guy.

JL: My parents moved here from Taiwan and we used to listen to public radio every Saturday — my parents thought it'd help us to understand American culture.

GK: Jessamyn, trying to understand America by listening to public radio is like learning basketball from your grandmother. Not many old ladies understand the idea of jamming the lane. But anyway—

JL: I got into West Point and I've worked really hard to do well but I'm in an American lit class and I'm supposed to write a term paper about a play by Terrence McNally called "Frankie & Johnny at the Claire de Lune" - ever hear of it?

GK: Sure. Terrific play.

JL: I thought I could write a better paper if I got to know the character of Frankie better by coming down and working as a waitress.

GK: You really are serious about school.

JL: When you learn to do 100 pushups without thinking about it, and then run ten miles in the dark, it sort of makes you a serious person.

TR (MIDWEST): Excuse me. Don't mean to interrupt, but I wonder if I could borrow your salt and pepper for a jiffy—

GK: Be my guest.

SS (MIDWEST): We'll bring it right back soon as we're done. It's just that the eggs seem a little underseasoned to us.

GK: Take the salt.

SS (MIDWEST): Unless you'd rather hang onto it, then I'm sure we could find some at another table.

GK: Here. Take it.

TR (MIDWEST): It's your salt and pepper, so you just say the word and we'll try elsewhere.

GK: You want the salt or not—

SS (MIDWEST): He's maybe gonna need that salt himself, Gary — look, there's some shakers there nobody's using.

TR (MIDWEST): Sorry to bother you, mister. (FOOTSTEPS AWAY)

GK: Those people are not from New York, cadet Liu. They're from the plains. Where apology is a way of life. — Say— I'd like you to meet Maude Maggart.

JL: Pleased to meet you.

MM: Same here.

GK: You ought to have some fun in New York, not just work on a term paper.

JL: But it's supposed to be done by Friday—

GK: There's something your parents forgot to teach you about America — it's called playing hooky. You're a block away from Broadway — you ought to go catch a musical. An American institution. Did you know that "Oklahoma" was written by Rodgers and Hammerstein just up the street at the Lambs Club. Nineteen-forty. The world just about to go to war and they wrote "Oh What A Beautiful Morning" — you know "Oklahoma"?

JL: I'm sorry, I don't.

GK: "Oklahoma where the wind comes sweeping down the plain, and the waving wheat can sure smell sweet when the wind comes right beyond the rain"?

JL: I don't think I know it.

GK: I'll bet you half the people walking along this street do.

JL: A song from 1940?

GK: I'll bet they know it. Let's find out. Come on outside. (FOOTSTEPS) Follow me. (OPEN DOOR, STREET AMBIENCE, FOOTSTEPS) Here's a copy right here. Excuse me, officer?

TR: Yeah? What's going on here? What you got?

GK: I've got a situation here, officer — a young woman at West Point and she's straight-A but they've left some stuff out of her education such as the Broadway musical and she just told me that she isn't familiar with the song "Oklahoma"—

TR: You gotta be kidding me. "Oklahoma"????? Rodgers and Hammerstein? You don't know that?

JL: No, sir.

TR: Excuse me. (ON BULLHORN) Okay—May I have your attention— attention — (AMBIENCE QUIETS) I'd like everybody on this street to stop what you're doing for one minute and face the squard car and put your packages or your briefcases down on the sidewalk — that's right— thank you— everybody— stop where you are and put your hands up above your heads and we're going to sing "Oklahoma" — here we go—1, 2, 3, 4 —

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOklahoma where the wind comes sweepin down the plain
And the waving wheat can sure smell sweet when the wind comes right behind the rain!
OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOklahoma every night my honeylamb and I
Sit along and talk and watch the hawk
Making lazy circles in the sky—

TR (ON BULLHORN): Everybody!

We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand
And when we say—— (WHOOP) yip ay yip I yip I ay

TR (ON BULLHORN): Hold it! Hold it! Hold on a minute. — Not all of you folks were doing the whoop there. I want to hear everybody doing the whoop. Okay? Once more, from "We know we belong to the land" — AND—

We know we belong to the land
And the land we belong to is grand
And when we say—— (WHOOP) yip ay yip I yip I ay
We're only saying
You're doing fine, Oklahoma,
Oklahoma, O-K-L-A-H-O-M-A Oklahoma ! (WHOOP)

TR: (ON BULLHORN) Thank you. Company dismissed. (AMBIENCE RESUMES) (TO JL) There it is. "Oklahoma".

JL: Thank you, officer. (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS)

SS (MIDWEST): Sir— mister—

TR (MIDWEST): It's us— from the coffee shop—

SS (MIDWEST): We were gonna borrow your salt—

TR (MIDWEST): You forgot your newspaper at the table, sir.

SS (MIDWEST): I just happened to look over there as the food was coming and I said to him, I said, "Gary, that gentleman forgot his newspaper there in the booth."

TR (MIDWEST): So we thought we'd better try to catch you and give it back.

SS (MIDWEST): I thought, What if he wrote something down in that newspaper, maybe a phone number, and what if he's a police detective, it may be important —

GK: Listen. It's okay. I'm not a police detective. I'm a private eye. Let me ask you— your name wouldn't happen to be Peterson, would it?

SS (MIDWEST): Well for mercy's sake—

TR (MIDWEST): How'd you know a thing like that?

SS (MIDWEST): We got luggage tags stuck to us??? Or something?

GK: Mitchell, South Dakota, right? Gary and Joanne Peterson. Like you to meet Cadet Jessamyn Liu from West Point.

SS (MIDWEST): Pleased to make your acquaintance—

GK: And the singer Maude Maggart.

MM: You're a private eye, Mr. Noir?

GK: Yeah—

MM: I really really need you to do something for me.

GK: What you need, Miss Maggart?

MM: Well— one of the backers of "Someday I'll Find You" is this really rich guy who I guess really loved the music and I'd like to find him to see if maybe he'd be willing to— you know—

GK: Invest in a show?

MM: I'd like to redo it — write a new book—freshen up the libretto—

GK: What's the guy's name?

MM: W.W. Throckmorton.

TR (MIDWEST): W.W. Throckmorton! The Soybean King?

MM: You know him?

SS (MIDWEST): He's my uncle.

MM: I know he's from somewhere out west—

TR (MIDWEST): Lives down the street from us in Mitchell.

MM: Really!!!Tall guy, bald, white hair, in a black tie and tuxedo--?

SS (MIDWEST): I never saw Uncle Wally in anything but coveralls and a blue Oshkosh work shirt and barn boots.

TR (MIDWEST): So that's what the old booger's been up to.

SS (MIDWEST): Sneaking off to New York and getting involved with musicals.

TR (MIDWEST): We were just about to fly back to South Dakota ourselves—

SS (MIDWEST): You could come with and we'll introduce you—

MM: That's a great idea. I've never seen South Dakota.

JL: Neither have I. And I have a term paper to write on "Giants In The Earth".

GK: You ought to go see it.

JL: My leave is up on Wednesday.

GK: Sometimes a quick trip is the best trip of all.

TR (MIDWEST): We got the plane waiting over in New Jersey. Teterboro. Half an hour from here. We could be in Mitchell in time for supper. I'll fly you back to West Point on Tuesday.

SS (MIDWEST): You can come to church with us — we're Lutherans.

JL: I've heard about Lutherans.

GK: You can't learn about Lutherans just by hearsay— you've got to get out there in the midst of them and soak up the milieu.

MM: We could make "Someday I'll Find You" into a Lutheran musical.

TR (MIDWEST): I'll bet Uncle Wally would like that.

GK: Lutherans haven't had a musical since Bach wrote his cantatas.

JL: How about a kung fu Lutheran musical?

GK: Now there is a great idea.

MM: Someday I'll find you, Moonlight behind you,
True to the dream I am dreaming.
As I draw near you
You'll smile a little smile;
For a little while

We shall stand
Hand in hand.
I'll leave you never,
Love you for ever,
All our past sorrow redeeming:
Try to make it true,
Say you love me too,
Someday I'll find you again.

(THEME)

TR: A dark night in a city that knows how to keep its secrets but one man is still trying to find the answers to life's persistent questions...…Guy Noir, Private Eye. (MUSIC OUT)

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).

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