Guy Noir, April 16, 2011
Town Hall in New York, NY
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Guy Noir

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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.

(THEME)

GK: It was April, and I was in New York, trying to track down a youngster named Melissa Kemper who was in law school and then switched to film studies.

SS (ON PHONE): She's a wonderful smart kid. Or was, until she hooked up with this boyfriend. Oh boy.

TR (ON PHONE): Her boyfriend is a comedian named Ricky Danny and we're afraid they're going to elope.

SS (ON PHONE): We've been watching her Facebook page, and we think they may be at City Hall right now. (STING)

GK: I'm on my way.

(BRIDGE)

GK: So I headed down to City Hall on the Lexington train (TRAIN SFX). I knew there was no hurry. (BING BONG, DOORS OPEN, FOOTSTEPS). The marriage bureau takes its time, like the Driver's License Bureau ----- in New York City, they want you to think about driving for a few hours before you rush into it ---- sometimes by the time a couple gets to the front of the line, they've already worked out the terms of the divorce. And at the Marriage Bureau, sure enough, there was a long line moving very slowly. (WHISPERS MURMURS). The couple at the end of the line was getting impatient.

FN: I donno. There's a hundred people ahead of us. Maybe we should come back tomorrow.

TR (CC): You're getting cold feet, aren't you. I knew it.

FN: No, no----- I'm just getting antsy. What's taking so long?

TR (CC): You don't love me. You love my apartment, it isn't about me at all.

FN: I just think it might be easier to come back tomorrow.

TR (CC): Okay, if you want to leave, we'll leave.

FN: We'll do it tomorrow. I'll call you.

TR (CC): I may not pick up. We'll see. Bye.

GK: I looked at the head of the line and there was a clerk in a blue plaid jacket standing behind a counter.

TR (FLAT): So, do you take her?

FN: Yeah.

TR (FLAT): And you take him?

SS: Hey. Whatever.

TR (FLAT): You've got to say yes.

SS: Okay, whatever. I'm like, yes.

TR (FLAT): You can't be like yes. You have to be yes itself.

SS: Cool.

TR (FLAT): Okay. There you go. (STAMPS) Married. Next----

(BRIDGE)

GK: I saw them. Ricky and Melissa. He wore black jeans and a tuxedo t-shirt and sunglasses and he was carrying a violin, and she wore a full princess bridal gown and a veil and pink ballet slippers. And I was almost there when (PHONE RING) Darn it. (CLICK) Yeah. Noir here.

TR (BLOOMBERG): Mr. Noir, this is Mike Bloomberg speaking.

GK: Yeah. Mayor. How are you?

TR (BLOOMBERG): I've been better.

GK: How can I help?

TR (BLOOMBERG): I'm looking for a new Superintendent of Schools.

GK: Right. You just fired a new superintendent, didn't you-----

TR (BLOOMBERG): She was someone I met at a dinner party and she was very intelligent, very well-spoken, we just seemed to click ---- you know?

GK: Right. And was there liquor involved, Mr. Mayor?

TR (BLOOMBERG): No liquor. But we did share a wonderful bottle of Barolo, I believe a 1987.

GK: So you hired her and then you had to fire her.

TR (BLOOMBERG): It turned out she had no background in education. And now I've found someone to replace her and I need you to do a background check.

GK: Okay.

TR (BLOOMBERG): It's Katie Couric.

GK: Mr. Mayor------

TR (BLOOMBERG): She'd bring a perky new approach to education.

GK: Right. --- excuse me, sir----- (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS) Melissa?

SS (YOUNG): Who are you?

GK: The name's Noir. Could I have a word with you? Could you step out of line----- let's go over here. Mr. Danny?

SS (YOUNG): Did my parents send you?

GK: It will just take a minute. You're Ricky Danny, right? You with the violin------

FN: So. Easter. That's when Jesus rose from the dead and if he sees his shadow there'll be six more weeks of winter (VIOLIN RIFF)

GK: C'mon, kid. I want to talk to you.

FN: New York. True story. A mugger stopped me and said "stick em down." I said,"Don't you mean stick em up?" And he says, "No wonder I'm not making any money!" (VIOLIN RIFF)

GK: Kid. Give it up.

FN: So I walk into this restaurant and I order chicken soup and the waiter brings it and I look and I say to the waiter, "there's a fly in my soup." And the waiter says, "It's possible. The chef used to be a tailor." (VIOLIN RIFF) I went to the doctor. Doctor says " You're going to live until you're sixty." I said, "But Doctor, I am sixty!" The doctor says "What did I tell you?"

GK: Kid, I'm trying to help you out here-----

FN: Listen to this-----

GK: He did an impression of a chicken singing Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" ---- accompanied by a fire extinguisher (SFX). He put Vaseline in his armpits and arm farted "In My Life" (FART NOISES TO 'IN MY LIFE'). He made a pigeon fly out of his violin. (PIZZ NOTES, PIGEON). He played the violin and the pigeon sang "As Time Goes By" (SFX) Mister, stop. Your name is not Ricky Danny and you're not a comedian.

(FOOTSTEPS)

SS (YOUNG): What do you mean?

GK: I mean I just lifted his wallet while he was playing his violin. And here's his ID (SFX)

SS (YOUNG): Arnold Gustafson? (STING)

GK: A student ID. Luther Seminary. St. Paul, Minnesota.

SS (YOUNG): Seminary??? He told me he was Jewish. A Lutheran??? Oh my gosh. How could I have been so dumb.

GK: When you're in love, you don't look that closely at someone's ID.

SS (YOUNG): I was in love with you and you don't exist. There is no Ricky Danny. You invented a Jewish kid from Brooklyn escaping from his Hasidic parents to find himself on the comedy stage and instead----- you're from Minnesota. Oh my gosh.

FN: Sorry.

SS (YOUNG): What were you thinking!?!

FN: Living the dream I guess. Sorry.

SS (YOUNG): Omigosh That's not even your real hair. You're a blonde. I can't believe this. How could I have been so stupid?

FN: I should go.

SS (YOUNG): Yes, you should! Telling lies, Arnold, is not a good strategy.

FN: Okay. You just seemed like really impressed by my being from Brooklyn. Anyway. Good knowing you. Take care. Good luck. Well anyway…Bye. (FOOTSTEPS OFF)

SS (YOUNG): I can't believe I almost married that jerk. How could I? It's so dumb.

GK: Well, I suppose he made you laugh.

SS: He did. Sort of. (PHONE RING)

GK: Excuse me. (PICKUP) Guy Noir here.

SS (DEEP): Mr. Noir. It's the Speaker of the House on the phone. Can you take the call?

GK: Yes, ma'am.

TR (BOEHNER): John Boehner here, Mr. Noir.

GK: That's how your name is pronounced?

TR (BOEHNER): It is now. Listen, I was just taking a close look at this budget bill that we passed ----

GK: The one with 38 billion in cuts----

TR (BOEHNER): Right. That one. And I see on page 4,984, section 1, paragraph 87, that there still is money for public radio in there. I thought we cut that out. I want to find out who put that back in.

GK: I'll find out, sir.

TR (BOEHNER): (STARTS TO WEEP) I went over that bill a hundred times to make sure it was gone and somebody snuck it in. This is terrible. Tell me something?

GK: Yes, sir.

TR (BOEHNER): Do they broadcast mainly in the Arabic language?

GK: Public radio?

TR (BOEHNER): I heard that they do.

GK: I'll check into it, sir.

TR (BOEHNER): We can't use federal money to support Muslim broadcasting that's anti-American---- that's horrible. An abomination. (BLOWS NOSE)

GK: I'll get to the bottom of it, sir. (BRIDGE)

(TRAFFIC)

GK: I took Melissa for a walk in Central Park to cheer her up.

SS: Ricky Danny was a fake but ---- you're right, he did make me laugh. He told me this one joke that I loved about a rabbi and a priest and a minister who all walk into a bar and there's this young punker with green spiked hair and earrings. And there's also a parrot sitting on the bar. And there are three mice and one of them has darkglasses. Okay? And did I mention the cowboy? I didn't? There's this cowboy sitting at the end of the bar and suddenly he pulls his gun out of the holster and shoots it. And then a Texan, a Russian, and a New Yorker walk in and the New Yorker has a hamster who plays the piano.

GK: A hamster playing the piano.

SS: And he plays Malaguena." And then this frog jumps out. And the frog says, "Did you hear about the guy who was stranded on a desert island for months and months?" And the rabbi, the priest, the minister, the Texan, the Russian, and the New Yorker all say, No, we never did. Even though they had. "Okay," says the frog. "He was so lonely that he opened a bar on the island hoping that someone would come in. And then one day this grasshopper came in. And the guy says, Hey, we got a drink named after you, and the grasshopper says, Why would anyone name a drink Steve.

GK: Steve.

SS: Did I tell that wrong?

GK: Well, the way I heard it, the grasshopper says, "Why would anyone name a drink Bob."

SS: So I did tell it wrong.

GK: You told it differently. But it's just as good.

SS: But you didn't laugh.

GK: It's a complicated joke.

SS: Ricky told it better than I did.

GK: You told it fine.

SS: Do you think I should stay in law school?

GK: What's the alternative plan?

SS: Ricky told me I had a lot of talent as a writer. He thought I could write comedy.

GK: I'd finish law school.

SS: He thought I was very funny.

GK: Ricky Danny was in seminary, Melissa. You ever hear ministers tell jokes?

SS: No, we were Unitarian.

GK: Stick with law school.

SS: Okay. I only have a month left.

GK: Stick with it. By the way, your parents have somebody in mind for you to marry.

SS: I know. Kyle, the kindergarten teacher.

GK: I'd avoid that if I were you.

SS: Don't worry.

GK: Marriage will get you into comedy soon enough, Melissa. Stay with the law for now. Good luck.

(THEME)

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.

Old Sweet Songs: A Prairie Home Companion 1974-1976

Old Sweet Songs

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