San Diego Civic Center Theatre, San Diego, CA
TR (ANNC): 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 trying to find the answers to life’s persistent questions: Guy Noir, Private Eye.
GK: It was February, and I was in San Diego on the trail of a missing person named Frank Fish. We’d gotten a tip on watermarked paper and traced it to Sea World where I was directed to talk to their head trainer, Miss Yago.
SS: Call me Sandy.
GK: She was training a dolphin to (DOLPHIN) dance and sing (DOLPHIN WET FINS, WHILE SINGING “Dolphins… dolphins who need dolphins… are the luckiest dolphins in the world”). ----This is quite a talented dolphin, Miss Yago.
SS: Please. Call me Sandy. What can I do for you, Mr. Noir?
GK: I’m looking for a man by the name of Fish. Frank Fish.
SS: I know him well. He’s a trainer who went over to the dark side. He works at a show called Sea Wars.
GK: Sea Wars?
SS: Yes. Here at Sea World, we have dolphins who leap through hoops. Seals who balance balls on their noses. The traditional things. At Sea Wars, they have killer whales, sharks, stingrays, in fin-to-fin combat with a lot of underwater explosions.
GK: Pretty popular, huh?
SS: They’re eating our lunch, Mr. Noir.
GK: We found this note. “Fish fish fish fish fish fish fish.”
SS: That was written by Sparky, our performing seal.
GK: What does it mean?
SS: It’s the only word he knows. (BRIDGE)
GK: I found Sparky sitting at a typewriter (TYPING), smoking a cigarette. (SEAL MURMURING). He was writing, “Fish fish fish fish fish fish fish.” ---- Sparky, I’m Guy Noir. Want to ask you a couple questions.
FN (SEAL): My name isn’t Sparky.
GK: It says Sparky on the door.
FN (SEAL): I changed it to Dude.
FN (SEAL): Yeah, Dude.
FN (SEAL): I’m tired of doing tricks.
SS: Sparky! Showtime Sparky! (CLAPS HANDS, SEAL GROANS) Come on, Sparky! (SEAL MUTTERS)
GK: She led the animal into the pool area and he did some somersaults (SFX) and he leaped through a flaming hoop (SFX) and onto a motorcycle (SFX) and he rode it up a ramp (SFX) and he grabbed a pan (SFX) and he chopped up an onion and a red pepper (SFX) and he cracked two eggs (SFX) and he made an omelette holding the pan up to the flaming hoop (SFX) and he did a little breakdance (SFX), and ate the omelet (SFX) and threw the eggshells into a recycling bin (PLOPS) and dove into the water (SFX) and through an underwater tunnel back to his quarters. ----- Quite a performer, Miss Yago.
SS: He is. And if you find Mr. Fish, tell him to stop trying to steal Sparky away from us.
SS: They’ve offered him a truckload of herring to join their show.
GK: So that night I went over to watch Sea Wars. (TR BARKER: Hurra hurra hurra, killer whales, wild stingrays, they’re in here, they’re all deadly, they’re dangerous, they crawl, they swim, they dive, they kill. Right this way. Hurra hurra hurra) The ticket seller was an octopus (SFX) and it swiped my credit card (SFX) ----- forty bucks admission ---- kind of steep, but you don’t argue with an octopus. ---- I got in just as the show was starting.
(BUZZER, WATER THRASHING)
GK: A buzzer rang and the gate lifted up and the dolphins lunged at the whale (SFX) and the whale slapped them back (SFX) and the sting rays swam up underneath the whale and started jabbing at its underside (SFX) and the whale cried out (SFX) and the octopus suckered up on top of the whale (SFX) and covered up the blowhole so the whale couldn’t breathe in (CHOKING WHALE), and meanwhile a demented sea captain with a wooden leg (TR FURIOUS GIBBERISH) was waving a harpoon and then the whale blew the octopus straight up into the air (SFX), and it landed in the audience (AUDIENCE FRIGHT) and the evil dolphins were circling, (SFX) and the sting rays were flying through the air (SFX) and there were explosions underwater (SFX). And that was when I left. Too loud. (STING) I had had enough. I went out into the lobby and saw a door marked Manager and walked in (SFX).
TR (GODFATHER): Yeah. Who are you?
GK: The name’s Noir.
TR (GODFATHER): Whaddya want? I’m counting money.
GK: I’m looking for a man named Fish. Frank Fish.---- (SEAL, WALKS IN) Sparky. What are you doing here?
FN (SEAL): I’m here to perform. And my name is Dude.
GK: I don’t believe it. After all that Miss Yago has done for you.
TR (GODFATHER): Hey, beat it. This seal is working for me now.
GK: Think it over, Sparky.
FN (SEAL): I thought it over. I’m going with the money.
GK: You’re not going to be able to look yourself in the mirror if you sign that contract.
TR (GODFATHER): Okay, that’s enough out of you, wise guy. Beat it. (BIG PUNCH, GK OOFFFF) And you with the flippers.
FN (SEAL): Me?
TR (GODFATHER): Sign the contract. Or else I’m gonna take this stapling gun and I’m gonna put this tag on you. And I’m gonna put it on in a very very bad place.
FN (SEAL): Okay, Mr. Fish. I’ll sign it.
GK: I came to as Sparky was holding the pen in his right flipper and reading the contract (SEAL MURMURS) and I saw the stapling gun sitting on the table and Mr. Fish got up to get the herring and I grabbed the stapling gun and I reached up and (STAPLER, TR PAIN) I nailed him and nailed him again (STAPLER, TR PAIN) and again (STAPLER, TR PAIN). And I grabbed the pen out of Sparky’s hand (SEAL REACT) and I wrote IXNAY on the contract and out the door we went. (SEAL FLIPPER STEPS)
GK: And that’s how SeaWorld started coming back from the brink. They opened their new show, “Deep Sea Divas,” and the public loved it. Especially when they added a mermaid.
SS: Hi everybody.
GK: And she wore not much of an outfit at all, and Sparky sang to her---- (‘MACK THE KNIFE’)
When the sting ray comes around dear
Poison darts aimed right at my head
I say what gives? Have a fish, dear
Let’s go dancing out instead….
SS: Thanks, Mr. Noir.
GK: Hey, don’t thank me. Thank your mermaid. That’s what people want to see. A semi-naked amphibious person. Always a hit. Violence is interesting but in the end, what brings them in is **.
GK: **. Ever since time began. ** is what makes the world go round.
TR (ANNC): 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 trying to find the answer to life’s persistent questions: Guy Noir, Private Eye.
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).