TR (ANNC): 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.
GK: I was in New York, on assignment for the Walleye Institute, staying at the Hotel Cortez on Amsterdam Avenue, sitting in the lobby and waiting for a delivery.
(VOICES IN PASSING)
FN (NYER): Good morning, Mrs. Josephson----
SS: Good morning, Gus. (DOG YIPS) Hush, Lulu. (DOG GROWLS) Bad dog.
TR (NYER): Hey did the plumbers arrive yet? They was supposed to be here.
SS (CHILD): I don't want to go to school. Why do I have to?
GK: Any deliveries for me, Gus?
FN (NYER): Not yet, Mr. Noir. (BRIDGE)
GK: I was waiting for a package of walleye filets to take on a TV talk show. I'd been on Barbara Walters the day before and it didn't go well.
SS (BARBARA WALTERS): What is this, herring?
GK: No, that's----
SS (BARBARA): It looks like red herring.
GK: It's not, Miss----
SS (BARBARA): It looks repulsive.
GK: It's walleye.
SS (BARBARA): What? Walnuts?
SS (BARBARA): Walleye?
SS (BARBARA): Why would I want to eat walleye?
GK: Try it.
SS (BARBARA): You try it. I would rather eat raw
rhubarb. (STING, BRIDGE)
GK: The walleye tycoon Wally Washburn was in Washington wheeling and dealing at the World-Wide Wildlife Federation and waiting for the big Winter Wonderland wingding of Weight Watchers. He called.
TR (RICH GUY): Wondering what you're working on, Noir. I worry about you, being a weak-willed wishy-washy wuss when I want you working on the big woofers and white-collar workers of Wall Street ---- the watchword is, Work, work, work. Never mind the whys and wherefores. Walleyes will wax and wane without warning, but you know what's what. No waffling, no woolgathering. Word of mouth works wonders. Be a winner, not a wiener.
GK: He had put me in charge of a painting he bought at auction, an Edward Munch painting that looks like his painting "The Scream" except it's a walleye with its mouth wide open and a hook in its lip. He paid $4.5 million for it and I had it in room 12A, meanwhile I was waiting for fifteen pounds of frozen fish to arrive that I should take to the Waldorf for the Walleye Walkathon. Sitting in the Hotel Cortez, watching the parade go by and listening to New Yorkers killing time -----
ER: I hope it's a quiet Christmas this year.
FN: I thought you did Kwanzaa.
ER: No, Christmas. A regular Christian Christmas.
FN: In Connecticut?
ER: No. In Queens with my cousins Craig and Carlene. Last Christmas they made creamy cucumber coconut curry and crunchy carrot couscous and cranberry cake.
FN: Sounds incredible.
ER: How about you, Kurt?
FN: I'm gonna just curl up on a couch at our cabin in the Catskills like a character out of Chekhov. Me and my calico cat.
ER: What about Christine?
FN: She moved to California.
ER: Where? Claremont? Corte Madera? Compton? Coachella? Copper Canyon? Covina? Carmel?
ER: It makes no sense.
FN: I know.
GK: Traffic was at a near standstill out on Central Park West. I waited for the delivery man with the ten pounds of walleye, and listened to a couple of old actors killing time before the matinee.....
TR: I remember when theatre was an art form. Ibsen. Beckett. Chekhov. Remember when you played Anna and I was your Kostya?
SS (DRAMATICALLY): Yes.
TR: The Times called you "A raw, unapologetic talent. Unstoppable." The New York Times. Now we're working in this piece of crap. Crap, I tell you. C-r-a-p.
SS (DRAMATICALLY): Yes.
TR: It used to be about language and imagination. But now theater is dead. Because there's no love of language. None. It's all gone. Don't you think so?
SS (DRAMATICALLY): Yes.
FN: Package for Mr. Noir!!! Mr. Noir!!!
GK: Is that my frozen fish?
SS (DRAMATICALLY): Yes. (BRIDGE)
GK: So I took it upstairs to room 12A. It was an odd package about 4x5 and rather flat and then a man named Will from the Waldorf called ----
TR (NYER, ON PHONE): Listen. Big names signed up for the Wallleye Walkathon Wednesday. ---- Meg Ryan, Maya Rudolph, Rudolph Giuliani, Johnny Walker, Walker Percy, Paris Hilton, Julie London, Harold Rome, Stella Dallas, River Phoenix, Victoria de los Angeles, and Gary Indiana -----
GK: Okay, I got the walleye, okay?
TR (NY): Plus, Nicole Richie, Rich Dworsky, Starsky & Hutch, Anne Heche, H & R Block, Philip Glass, Jearlyn Steele, Steely Dan, Dan Martin, Martin Sheen, Mr. Bean, Ben Vereen, Ben Affleck, Alec Baldwin, Jack Black, Black Sabbath, Blue Man Group -----
GK: Will---- listen to me-----
TR (NY): Ruby Tuesday, Tuesday Weld, Joe Friday, Billy Sunday, Horton Foote, Cool Hand Luke, Luke Perry, Dolly Parton, Martin Scorsese, Daisy Duke, Dick Tracy, Tracy Chapman, Chip McGrath, McGraw Hill, Hal Prince, Prince, Prancer, Dancer, Dasher, Vixen, Vince Gill, Gilbert & Sullivan----- (FADES) Louis Sullivan, John Dewey, Huey Newton.....
GK: I put the phone down and set the ten-pounds of walleye on the floor---- next to the Munch painting of the fish ---- I needed to call a bellman to get me some ice---- (KNOCKS ON DOOR) Who is it?
SS (RUSSIAN, OUTSIDE DOOR): Open up, Fish Man.
GK: Who are you? (DOOR OPEN) She was tall, and blonde, her hair pulled back in a tight bun that I wanted to pour frosting on and eat. She had the kind of cheekbones that could cut glass. She was wearing a tutu and leotards and mouse ears and mouse whiskers.
SS (RUSSIAN):I come for the painting. Give me the painting.
GK: Your beauty distracted me so that I almost did not see that you're holding a gun. A Heimlicher-Schlemmer .547, I believe.
SS (RUSSIAN): My name is Wiktoria Wladislavsky. So give me painting, and back away slow or I kill you, yes?
GK: You're a ballerina, aren't you? I can tell by the tutu.
SS (RUSSIAN): You are too too intuitive. Yes, I am ballerina in Nutcracker. For eight years I am dancing rat. Never the Sugarplum Fairy. Eight years a rat. Give me the painting.
GK: Excuse me, ma'am. ---- Got someone on the phone. Will, hello?
TR (ON PHONE): Marvin Gardens, Marvin Gaye, George Strait, Kate Moss, Hugo Boss, Lukas Foss, Ross Perot, Roe vs. Wade, Dennis Quaid, Zadie Smith, the Smith Brothers, the Lennon Sisters, Quentin Tarantino, Tina Turner, Tommy Tune (FADE) Tony Soprano, the Three Tenors.....
SS (RUSSIAN): No sneaky tricks now. I have gun----
(BULLWHIP, CLATTER OF GUN ON FLOOR) Hey!
GK: Now I have your gun.
SS (RUSSIAN): You will regret this, private eye. I wear pointy shoes with daggers in the toes. (TWO KNIVES SNAP INTO POSITION IN TOES OF SHOES) See. (SHE MOVES SIDE TO SIDE)
GK: It was hard to concentrate on those shoes on the feet of a beautiful woman. I had the gun and the whip but (SWOOSH OF KNIFE KICK) ---- I could feel the sharp blade pass inches from my vital organs ----
SS (RUSSIAN): Give me painting. (SWOOSH, SWOOSH)
GK: Just then a cat came in, looking for the walleye, and got in between the naked dancer's feet (SS RUSSIAN: Out of way), (MEOW YEOW) and she tripped over the cat and she fell (BIG RIP) into the Edward Munch painting, and it banged against a table (SFX) and a candle fell off and the painting caught on fire (BURST OF FLAME) and before I could go get a bucket of water (FLAMES) Munch's only painting of a fish had gone up in flames.
SS (RUSSIAN): What did I do to deserve this? (RUNNING FOOTSTEPS)
GK: She ran down the stairs and out on the street and jumped in a car (CAR SQUEALS OFF) and I jumped in a cab (BRAKES) ---- Follow the woman in the tutu ---- TR ARABIC ----(DOOR SLAM, ACCEL) and she got out at 65th Street (DOOR OPENS, SHUTS, FOOTSTEPS RUNNING) and so did I, and I chased her through the joggers (SFX), and the bikers (SFX), and the rollerbladers (SFX), and the horse-drawn carriages (SFX), and past the carousel (SFX) and the sea lions at the zoo (SFX) and she disappeared. (SLOW FOOTSTEPS) I looked all over for her. So did the insurance company. They weren't happy about forking over $4.5 million so they paid it off in rolls of nickels and dimes. (TRUCK BACKING UP, FORKLIFT)
TR: Got four more truckloads, mister. Where do you want it? (BRIDGE)
GK: But the Walleye Walkathon at the Waldorf was wonderful. Count Basie was there, Doris Duke, Allen King, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Glass, Woody Allen, Anna Karenina,Nina Totenberg, Mayor Bloomberg. Leopold Bloom, Judy Blume. Black Beauty, Betty Boop, Big Bopper, Bob Barker, Walter Bobbie, and Barbara Walters. She had changed her mind.
SS (BARBARA): Walleye ravioli with red sauce. It's scrumptious.
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.
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).