TR: 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 OUT)
GK: They say that to get Valentines, you have to send Valentines, but the Valentines I sent went to women who probably get thousands of Valentines, Michelle Obama, and Hillary Clinton, and Camilla Gingrich, and the singing sensation Mama Yaya, whose video "Look At Me" I've watched a hundred times on YouTube.
HM (WITH BASS, DRUMS, ORGAN):
My mama told me when I was young
That being fabulous is not a sin
And someday I'd be Number One
Cause the spotlight is what I was meant to be in
Look at me, Look at me
When did you ever see
Anyone so fabulous,
GK: She's tall and blonde and wears a lot of eye shadow and huge high heels and the amazing thing is that she was brought up in Minnesota.
HM (SINGS): You go right ahead and be modest
I am the biggest, the brightest, and the hottest
Got a white mink coat and long blonde hair
And diamonds in my underwear.
GK: I sent her a Valentine that said, "You are my reason for living. You're my all, my everything. I worship the plastic your CDs are made from. When your voice comes on the radio, I have to lie down and take deep breaths." But I'm sure she gets a lot of fan mail. "Look At Me" has been huge on the charts. So when I heard she was playing the hockey arena, I pulled strings to get backstage. I called Rico----
TR (RICO): Okay, Buddy Boy, I'll call my pal Gino.
GK: And Gino called me----
TR (GODFATHER): For Rico, I can do that for you, Mr. Noir. Leave it to me.
GK: And he called up the janitor at the hockey arena-----
TR (JANITOR): Come to the stage door and ask for Tony, okay?
GK: And I did that, and he handed me over to security who walked me down to Mama Yaya's dressing room----- (FOOTSTEPS) -----
TR (SECURITY): She's in there with her whole entourage. Got about twelve of them. Aromatherapist, masseur, manager, business manager, herbalist, psychotherapist, personal trainer, dietician -----
GK: I walked to the dressing room with the big star on it and opened the door. (MURMURS OF SMALL CROWD) It was palatial. Tapestries. Candles burning. A small goat (SFX).
SS: You from hospitality? Listen. I need bottled water from melted glaciers and organic free-trade mint tea and a jar of raw honey, non-allergenic, and a fresh kumquat.
GK: Yes, ma'am.
SS: And hurry.
GK: You bet.
GK: So I grabbed everything she asked for out of the commissary, glacier water, non-allergenic honey, the kumquat, the mint tea, and brought it back to the dressing room (FAST FOOTSTEPS) and there she was the love of my-----
HM (HARSH COUGH, THROAT CLEAR): I need tea. Hurry. No lemon. Milk. Soy milk. Organic. From southern soy. Not northern. Southern.
SS: Poor darling. Success has been a terrible burden. She's worked too hard. Her fans have been relentless. She needs rest. Complete rest.
TR (GERMAN): I couldn't agree more.
SS: Darling, do your warm-ups.
HM (SINGS): meow meow meow-----
SS (FRENCH): Here, darling, let me mist you. (SPRAY) Must keep the voice moist. Again-----
HM (SINGS): Meow meow meow meow.
TR (CAPOTE): More mist, Louise. (SPRAY) Hold your head up high, darling. From the chest now.
HM: (DOES HIGH TRILLS)
SS (FRENCH): It's beautiful, darling. Beautiful. Do the shake shake.
HM: (CHEEK SHAKE)
TR (FRENCH): Her face is so pale. Where's the aromatherapist?
(SERIES OF RELAYS: WHERE'S THE AROMATHERAPIST?)
SS (FRENCH): Here. I am coming. (LIGHT FOOTSTEPS) So----- Mamzelle Yaya----- Vous êtes très malade. Vous devez fleurs. D'esprit a la légumes. Feuilles. (SPRITZ) Hyacinth. (SPRITS) Narcissus. (SPRITZ) Eucalyptus. (SPRITZ)
TR (FRENCH): Here, my Darling, a little shoulder massage.
SS: Would you care for carrot juice, Darling?
TR (RUSSIAN): I am the ear, nose, and throat doctor ---- open wide, Miss Yaya (HM WIDE) ----- hmmmm, not good, not good. There is a trauma of the throat, a tightening, a redness, a sense of despair......
SS: What can we do for you, Darling? Darling----
HM: Who is he?
SS: Who is who, Darling?
HM: Yes. Who are you?
GK: I'm a security man, ma'am. Noir's the name. Here to make sure you're okay and you make it out on the stage. How you doing?
HM: Not so good.
SS (NYER): It's a sold-out house tonight, Darling. 15,000 people coming to see you, Darling. Prince is here. Bob Dylan is here. Al Franken. Mary Tyler Moore. Everybody's here.
TR (GERMAN): I think maybe we should do the colonic. Cleanse the system-----
SS: Darling----- keep the voice warm. Please.
HM: (FIRE ENGINE) (SHE CONTINUES IN BACKGROUND: HUM SLIDE, SCALES, ME MY MO MY ME)
SS: She's a very high-strung artist. She has mood swings. Food moods. Dairy products throw her off. She's extremely delicate. I don't know what to do.
GK: Let me deal with it.
SS: And do what?
GK: I'll get her out on stage, that's what I'll do.
SS: How do I know that?
GK: You'll know it when it happens.
SS: Okay, mister. Good luck.
(FOOTSTEPS. KNOCK ON DOOR. DOOR OPEN)
GK: Miss Yaya, I'm Guy Noir.
GK: I see you have a heating pad on your throat.
HM: Yes. (A DELICATE COUGH)
GK: That's good. And you're drinking a lot of water.
GK: And you're misting, that's good. So----- Miss Yaya ----- or should I say, Marcie Jacobson?
HM: You know my name?
GK: I know a lot about you. I know your Uncle George. He and I used to shoot pool on Lake Street. Back in the day.
HM: He used to come with me to concerts. And then he decided to retire. Last week.
GK: Last week, huh? So this is your first show without your uncle.
HM: It is.
GK: You miss him, don't you.
GK: All these people fussing over you and spraying and spritzing and massaging ------ you don't care for it, do you.
GK: What did Uncle George do for you before a concert?
HM: He told me I was a rotten singer and an embarrassment to the entire family. He told me I stunk out the joint.
GK: You miss that, don't you.
HM: I do.
GK: A powerful inferiority complex is a performer's most precious possession.
HM: Can you help me, Mr. Noir?
GK: I doubt it, Miss Yaya. You're beyond help. You come from the shallow end of the gene pool. You can't carry a tune in a paper bag. You've got the personality of linoleum flooring and you got Cheese-Whiz for brains. I mean, you don't have the sense that----- that-----
HM: I don't have the sense that God gave an animal cracker.
GK: Okay. What else?
HM: If brains were dynamite----
GK: If brains were dynamite, you don't have enough to blow the wax out of your ears. And you-----you-----
HM: I'm dumber than a post.
GK: Right. If you were any dumber, you'd be a potted plant. You need both hands to wipe your rear end. And yes, you've got an inferiority complex, but you know something ----- it's not even a very good one. You're a day late and a dollar short and a few bricks shy of a load. Is that enough?
HM: That's good. Thanks. The lights are dimming-----
GK: You're on.
GK: Do it for Uncle George. (DRUMS, BASS)
GK: She did great, of course. It's all in the lighting. Audience in pitch black, artist in bright spotlight. And some strobes now and then and some pyro and flashes of this and that and crisscrossing beams of light. That's the secret of show business success. And that's why radio never caught on in a big way. Visuals. That's what you need. I stood in the wings, watching her triumph. A powerful sense of inferiority— it's the gift that keeps on giving.
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).