A Prairie Home Companion Segment 4 for June 7, 2014
Download MP3
0:00 | 00:11:33


SS: 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: It was June and up on the 12th floor of the Acme Building on the ledge under my open window, the pigeons seemed to be having a big romance (SFX) and talking about making a family (SFX) and meanwhile I was trying to fend off a woman I met online through a website called Beautiful Losers----

SS: I want to meet you, Mr. Noir. I love your profile. You look a lot like the young Jack Nicholson.

GK: Well, that picture was taken a few years ago.

SS: How old are you exactly, Mr. Noir?

GK: Age is just a number, ma'am. You're only as old as you feel.

SS: So you're in your 70s, huh? (STING)

GK: And then out of the blue, I got a call from Hollywood.

TR (ON PHONE): Mr. Noir, this is Joe Fluff out in Hollywood.

I'm a producer. Fluff & Fold Productions. Listen, we got your screenplay, the one about the flesh-eating mosquitoes that carry a virus that makes people stupid, it's a fantastic story, the two lovers in the woods and he gets bit and she doesn't ---- we love it.

We want to put it into production. Can you come out and consult? We'll pay you $10,000 a week.

GK: I'm on my way. (BRIDGE) So I got myself a one-way ticket aboard Universal Airline, the airline that gives you two hours of non-stop thrills on every flight.


SS: We're going down!!!

TR: Look out! He has a gun!!!

DR: Don't try to stop me. (GUNSHOTS, SILENCER)

SS: There are snakes in the overhead!!! (SFX)

TR: There's a man who got liquids through Security and he's mixing them up over a gas burner in row 24 and cooking up a powerful explosive.

DR: German Luftwaffe, coming in at two o'clock. (MACHINE GUN) (BRIDGE)

GK: We landed at LAX and I took a cab to the address in West Hollywood where Fluff & Fold Productions had its office and it turned out to be a laundromat.

SS: Oh hi. Would you mind holding my detergent while I take my clothes off?

GK: Beautiful people stripping down to their thongs and tossing their tiny tanktops into the wash. And there was Joe Fluff, a big burly guy with a cigar whose office seemed to be a chair in back next to the dryers.

TR: Mr. Noir, thanks for coming out. We're terrifically excited by your screenplay DUMB BLOOD and we think it's going to be the sleeper hit of 2014.

GK: Let me ask you a question.

TR: What is it?

GK: You're not going to pay me $10,000 a week to work on this, are you.

TR: No, we're not.

GK: You just said that to lure me out here.

TR: That is correct.

GK: That was a lie.

TR: You could call it that, yes.

GK: What would you call it?

TR: An estimate.

GK: You knew you wouldn't pay me when you said you would. That's a lie.

TR: Yes, but I could have been wrong. If Prince Esterhazy decides to put a couple million into the picture, I can pay you even more than that.

GK: The Prince Esterhazy? Of Hungary? Prince Anton Esterhazy?

TR: No, Prince Brad Esterhazy. He made his money in parking lots.

GK: Did he say he'd put up the dough?

TR: If we put him and his girlfriend Candy in the movie.

GK: No problem for me. What's his address? (BRIDGE) I took a cab up to Sunset Park and 79 Wistful Vista, a big white stucco mansion with a red tile roof and a bell tower. I rang the bell in the tower (BELL TOLLS, DOG HOWLS) and a man came and opened the gate. (HUNCHBACK WALK, FOOT DRAGGING, APPROACH) Hello, I'm here to see Prince Esterhazy.

FN (IGOR): Yes? Are you from the camera store who we called to come and fix the movie projector?

GK: What seems to be the problem with it?

FN (IGOR): It's chewing up the film like a dog eating a biscuit.

GK: I'll take a look at it.


GK: I figured I could fix a projector, or look like I was fixing it, and meanwhile I could meet the Prince and talk him up for the cash. (FOOTSTEPS) He led me through the gardens, (BIRDS) with strange birds flitting about and a fountain (SFX) and a swimming pool where (SPLASHING) a dolphin was doing the backstroke and eating raw oysters off a plate on his chest (SFX)-----

TR (IGOR): ) Here's the library.


GK: Prince Esterhazy?

TR (SLOW TALKER): Hello. Good to see you.

GK: I understand you want to be in our movie, DUMB BLOOD.

TR (SLOW TALKER): I would like that very much.

GK: And your girlfriend Candy?

TR (SLOW TALKER): She would like to be in it too.

GK: There may be a slight problem in casting you in a movie. There's quite a bit of dialogue, sir.

TR (SLOW TALKER): I love dialogue. I once won an award for excellent diction. A Peabody Award from the Phoebe Peabody Foundation in Penobscot, Maine.

GK: Prince ---- if you don't mind---- could you take this pill? Just toss it down. (TR GULP) Good. Thanks.

TR (SLOW): What is it?

GK: Speed. (STING)

TR (ACCEL): Is this better?

GK: Much.

TR (ACCEL): Good. Are you still able to undertand every word I say? It's very important to me to be comprehensible. I want people to understand each and every one that I say. I mean, why speak if you can't be understood? What's the point of it? (BWANGGG)

TR: What was that?

GK: Speed bump. Where's your girlfriend Candy?

SS (DEEP): I'm right here.

GK: Are you alive?

SS (DEEP): I was.

GK: You're lying in a box full of dirt.

SS (DEEP): Does that bother you?

GK: I'm just wondering if I need to call somebody?

SS (DEEP): Do you feel you need to call someone?

GK: Are you all right?

SS (DEEP): Do you feel concern that I might not be?

GK: Are you some sort of therapist?

SS (DEEP): Do you want me to be?

TR (ACCEL): Take Candy to the cellar, Igor.

FN (IGOR): Yes, Master.Come, my darling. Come (SQUEAKY WHEEL, GOING OFF)

GK: So ---- where is this projector that needs fixing?

TR: It's in here. (FOOTSTEPS) It's the only print of an old Warner Brothers film of "Moby Dick" with Ronald Reagan playing "Captain Ahab" ---- there are no other copies. I paid $1.3 million dollars for it. Here--- look. (PROJECTOR STARTS UP, ORGAN SLIDES INTO KEY, TR REAGAN SLIDES IN......

TR (REAGAN): Well, men, that great white whale who bit my leg off has been a real pain in the wazoo for a darned long time. Long enough, I'd say. What do you say we go out and harpoon him and make the oceans safe again for all of us?

GK: I could see that as the film came through the lens and onto the take-up reel, (GRINDING) it was being shredded into pieces. So I turned it off. (PROJECTOR, ORGAN, TR REAGAN SLOW TO STOP) I thought maybe it was a bad print so I put in another Ronald Reagan movie, his version of "Macbeth"-----

TR (REAGAN): Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more: it is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing."


GK: How much did you pay for this one?

TR: Two million. It was his only Shakespearean performance.

GK: You're sure? (GRINDING) How do you turn this off?

TR (REAGAN): To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!


GK: I can't turn off the projector. (GRINDING) I'm afraid your investment is all gone.

TR: Then I'm bankrupt. Oh dear. Have to sell the house and move back to Michigan.

GK: Michigan???

TR: My name isn't Esterhazy, it's Krebs. Bradley Krebs. (STING)

GK: So there went my dream of breaking into Hollywood. (STING) I headed for the airport and skipped Universal Airlines and took Nicholson Airline instead. (BING BONG)

TR (JACK): Okay, here's the deal. The plane is going up in the air and I am going to do my best to keep it nice and smooth, but if it isn't, don't come up here crying to me, because life without a few bumps ---- what's the point of it. Okay. Let's go. Which one is the throttle? (JET TAKE OFF)

GK: I felt better when I got home. The pigeons were still going at it (SFX) and I wrote myself a new profile for Beautiful Losers.....(CLICK OF COMPUTER KEYS) Mature gentleman, interested in forming friendship with woman who shares my passion for the classics. Let's create some sound and fury and blow out some candles.


SS: 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.