Bit: The Richard Burton Pageant

Episode: 312- Gamera vs. Guiron

Transcribed by Sarah "Bookworm" Heiner


(Enter Joel, Tom, and Crow. Joel holds a big book. Lots of glasses and a few pitchers of what looks like alcohol sit on the desk.)

Joel: Hi. We, the Satellite of Love Wooster Group, would like to present this week's pageant, once again based on a...a movie character's weak resemblance to a Hollywood star.
Tom: There we go. Thank you, Cambot. This week, it's child star Richard Burton, who later went on to star in 'Hamlet' at the Old Vic Theater.
Crow: Yeah. And later in such great films as "Bluebeard," "Raid on Rommel" and "The Exorcist 2."
Joel: I will narrate and Crow will be playing--
Crow: Crow T. Robot.
Joel: What?
Crow: Ah, Crow T. Robot. That's my stage name.
Joel: Oh, okay. I'm sorry. Right. Crow T. Robot will be playing the part of Richard Burton, and Thomas Servo will play Elizabeth Taylor and Lee Majors. I will be playing the role of the sleepy-voiced narrator. (Various stills from the movie are shown.) Richard Burton was born with a name that wasn't Richard Burton--but we can't remember what it was--into a poor Welsh coal-mining family in Nineteen-Hundred and Twenty-Five.
Crow (as Burton): I'm Welsh. I'm poor. My name's not Richard Burton yet. Do you hear me? I'm Welsh and poor and my name is not Richard Burton yet!
Tom: Richard grew up--some--and got into acting in high school. And then he lived with this guy named Burton, who gave him his name. He particularly liked the poetry of his drunk Welsh countryman, Dylan Thomas.
Joel: Ah, Richard did a radio version of Thomas's famous adaptation of the Gamera song.
Crow (as Burton): Not for the proud man/Apart from the raging moon I write/Gamera! Gamera!/What dark, despis'd dreams dwell/In the sullen, weight bones/'Neath your impenetrable shell?
Joel: That was good, Crow.
Crow: Ah, thanks!
Joel: No that was really good. I mean, very moving--
Tom: Joel, please! (clears throat)
Joel: Oh, I'm sorry. Okay. (turns page in book) Later, Richard Burton got famous, and they paid him a lot of money to do movies in Hollywood. Did some bad ones, and some good ones, and then he met Elizabeth Taylor, and they fell in love, and she dumped Eddie Fisher, but he got over it, and became a really famous chess player.
Tom: Huh?
Joel: Liz and Richard got super-famous and became the Tom and Roseanne of their day. Tom Servo and Crow will now do a scene from their most famous collaboration, 'Who's Afraid of Gamera Turtle?'
Tom (as Liz): 'Argh!' Who said that? 'Argh!'
Crow (as Burton): I don't know, Martha.
Tom (same): Oh, come on, George. You remember. Who said that? 'Argh!'
Crow (same): I don't remember. I said I do not remember, Martha.
Tom (same): Oh, I remember! It was Gamera! He walked into the room, lit a cigarette, looked around, and said, 'Argh!'
Crow (same): If you say so, Martha.
Tom (same): Oh, you laughed your ass off!
Joel: That's enough, okay?
Crow and Tom: Okay.
Joel: All right. Later, Burton got back to his roots and trod the boards as King Arthur in the smash musical 'Gamera.' His performance was nothing less than mesmerizing, even when he drank two bottles before the matinee. Here are some highlights.
Crow (as Burton): Gamera, Gamera./I know it sounds a bit bizarre/But with Gamera, that's how conditions are/I wonder what the king is drinking tonight/I wonder if the king will get stinking tonight.
Joel: Okay, Crow. That's enough.
Crow: I was totally off-script. Could you tell? I was way off--
Tom: After the success of 'Gamera,' Burton's life hit a rough spot. Parts dried up, but he didn't. He was drinking more and acting less. A project called 'Mannequin' was discussed, then dropped. Then, just when things were getting desperate, his agent called. They wanted him for a meaty roll in the critically-acclaimed TV smash, 'The Fall Guy.'
Joel: A chance to work with Heather Thomas and Lee Majors? It was too good to be true. Burton's answer was a bleary but resounding 'yes.' Here, we recreate a scene from that historical television play.
Tom (as Majors): So, what do you say? You wanna climb into my 4X4, drive really fast, help me chase down that scumbag who jumped bail? What do you say?
Crow (as Burton): I say, *hic* let's nail the sucker.
Joel: Ah, Richard Burton passed away shortly after performing his magnum opus. (Crow collapses behind desk.) Thus ends our pageant. We salute you--(Crow rises up again.)
All: One of the good dead ones.