Lily Tomlin in Appearing Nitely

00:00Copy video clip URL Opens with a three-minute sketch titled, “On the Way to Broadway (Seven Free Women)” in which actress and comedienne Lily Tomlin plays several different women as they take a road trip to Broadway, as well as the other characters they encounter along the way.

03:34Copy video clip URL The opening credits for “Lily Tomlin in Appearing Nitely” roll.

04:15Copy video clip URL Shots of the outside of the Huntington Hartford Theater in Los Angeles, where a performance of “Lily Tomlin in Appearing Nitely” is on the bill. People are entering the theater and being informed that the performance will be videotaped. Several famous people enter, including George Burns, Peter Falk, and Jack Nicholson.

05:15Copy video clip URL The camera follows Lily Tomlin backstage as she prepares for the performance, putting on make-up in her dressing room and drinking water. “I have to drink a lot of water,” she says.

7:00Copy video clip URL The show starts to audience applause. Tomlin takes the spotlight at center stage and begins a humorous monologue about her dream of performing in her own show on Broadway.

09:18Copy video clip URL Tomlin pretends to faint. While lying on the stage, she enters into a series of one-liners and non-sequiturs. “Bean-bag chairs will be antiques.” “Every time I see a ‘yield’ sign on the highway I feel sexually threatened.”

10:55Copy video clip URL Tomlin changes character from her “entertainer” persona to a bag lady selling a potholder on the street. The bag lady talks about being committed to a mental health institution for seeing God, and about a visitation from an alien in a flying saucer.

16:12Copy video clip URL The bag lady says, “In this world, you ain’t got evidence, you ain’t got nothing.”

16:50Copy video clip URL Tomlin changes back to her “entertainer” persona and continues to deliver one-liners. “My mother told me a lot of things that weren’t true…” Tomlin transitions into a humorous sketch about her mother and father, in which she plays all the roles. Her mother and father argue about cake.

23:56Copy video clip URL Tomlin concludes the sketch about her mother and father and returns to delivering one-liners about the 1950s and 1960s.

25:01Copy video clip URL Tomlin begins a sketch about the 1960s, playing two teenage girls gossiping over the phone about the Beatles.

26:00Copy video clip URL One of the teenagers monologues about how lame her high school is. “My biggest drug problem is that I can’t get my mother’s prescriptions refilled.”

28:00Copy video clip URL Tomlin (as one of the teenagers) pantomimes smoking a joint. The teenage girls get high and have “revelations” about life.

31:05Copy video clip URL One of the girls participates in a political rally. Tomlin distorts her voice and pantomimes talking through a megaphone.

32:00Copy video clip URL Tomlin (as one of the teenagers getting high) discusses “I Love Lucy” and the assassinations of Malcolm X, Robert Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

34:00Copy video clip URL Tomlin traces the life of one of her teenagers as the moon landing takes place, the Beatles release Abbey Road, Bob Dylan sings “The Times They Are A-Changin'” and the young woman’s father dies of a coronary.

41:06Copy video clip URL Tomlin’s young woman character talks to a therapist. “You can give meaning to somebody else’s life easier than you can your own.”

44:30Copy video clip URL Tomlin traces the adulthood of her subject– getting married, giving birth. “There is nothing natural about natural childbirth.” She discusses motherhood.

46:30Copy video clip URL Scene change. The camera cuts away, and a sort of intermission occurs. Tomlin takes a drink of water before returning to the stage.

47:00Copy video clip URL Tomlin adopts the persona of a man at a bar, talking about sports and trying to hit on women. He is repeatedly rejected, and concludes with a story about his wife leaving him.

55:56Copy video clip URL Tomlin briefly returns to the persona of the bag lady, who proudly proclaims that she’s found “evidence!” while holding a head of lettuce, one of the only props along with a bar stool, that is used in the production.

56:10Copy video clip URL The show is over. Tomlin takes a bow and the audience applauds. Tomlin steps off stage and then returns for an encore, a monologue in the style of a southern preacher or Gospel choir leader. The persona is called “Sister Boogie Woman.” She says, “Boogie is not a meaning, boogie is a feeling.”

1:00:43Copy video clip URL End of tape.


1 Comment

  1. Tejaswoman says:

    Bless you, bless you, bless you with the spirit of Boogie for this upload. I have wanted to know for decades how the parts of the show were set up where there were multiple characters going on at the same time. I wondered if maybe there were cutouts, or if maybe there was a figure that had its back to the audience. I had seen her perform Signs of Intelligent Life in person back in the day, but I still couldn’t remember how the parts with multiple characters were staged. and you have answered that! What fantastic work she does, and what a great writer Jane proves herself to be.

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