Burns and Schreiber appeared on The Flip
Wilson Show four times
between 1972 and 1973. Jack Burns, in fact, was an important player
in the host's career
as he "created TV history by suggesting
that Flip Wilson don a dress as Geraldine for his first special"
(TV Guide, August 18-24, 1973).
They did a variety of sketches on this
show including three of their most well-known bits:
The Cab Driver and the Conventioneer, man and the machine, and
the friars. The following are synopses and screen shots from their
Episode #56 (Season 3, Episode 2), Original air date: October
5, 1972. Burns and Schreiber appeared along with Ruth Buzzi
and The Supremes.
Burns and Schreiber appear as one of the opening acts.
They perform what must have been one of their favorite
sketches as they did the same sketch five years earlier
on Our Place. Burns is seen sitting on a park
bench weeping. Schreiber arrives with his guitar
and controls Burns's mood through his playing and whistling (note Burns's
extra long tie).
One of Burns's 11 cats died.
Or maybe not...
In their second act, Burns leads a computer seminar
and introduces the audience to "the latest computer
known to man," the "Mark 12" (Schreiber). Ruth Buzzi reads questions that
Burns enters into the Mark 12. Schreiber goes through
various robotic sounds and motions (he gets the stoic Burns to
crack a smile a couple of times) and "prints" out (uh...through
his mouth) an answer
that Burns reads to the audience (like with most
Burns and Schreiber sketches, the props are imaginary).
Here are some of the results:
Q: Is it pronounced tomayto or tomahto?
A: Is what pronounced tomayto or tomahto?
Q: What is the definition of claustrophobia?
A: Dread fear of Santa Claus.
Q: How high is up?
A: It depends what you're using. [it was the '70s, after all].
"Is it pronounced
tomayto or tomahto?"
Episode #64 (Season 3, Episode 10), Original air date: November
29, 1972. Burns and Schreiber appeared along with Dionne
Warwick and Tony Randall.
Burns and Schreiber appear in one segment doing
their taxi cab routine [Schreiber also makes an appearance at the beginning of
the Tony Randall/Flip Wilson sketch]. First off, Schreiber
wore a cool-looking suit and tie in this one! Uh, Burns's pants were another story.
My favorite of the jokes is the following
(it was a well-used joke of theirs, but it's still funny):
B: My wife says I got a saying for every occasion.
S: You don't say?
B: Oh, yeah, yeah. Like last week at the dinner table, right?
Now picture this in your mind's ear [Schreiber's reaction
to this phrase is classic and received a nice ovation from the
audience]. We're sitting at the dinner table there, right, and
she spills the milk all over her new dress and she starts to cry,
right? She spills the milk and she starts to cry. What do
you think I said?
S: It's obvious.
B: What do you think I said?
S: You said it's no use crying over spilled milk, right?
B: [pause] No, I didn't think of that. I said haste makes waste.
You know that's a good saying, it's better than the one I said,
I'm going to use that the next time.
S: Next time?
S: She spills a lot of milk, huh?
B: Well, she's nervous, you know?
I also like when they arrive at there destination and Schreiber
announces, "We're here." Burns repeats, "We're here,"
and Schreiber replies sarcastically, "No, we're over there
Burns does not appreciate
insinuation that jokes were made about
his beloved coach Woo Woo from U.U.
"You want to hear
funny joke about
these two Jewish guys?"
"Wait a minute, why is it
always Jewish guys? Can't you
tell about some other guys?
How 'bout you tell
about Irish guys?"
"Sure it could be Irish guys.
It don't have to be Jewish guys.
All right, these two Irish
are standing in a synagogue, and
the guy says, 'Hey
Izzy, how come...'"
Episode #81 (Season 4, Episode 5), Original air date:
October 25, 1973. Burns and Schreiber appeared along with
Harry Belafonte and Falumi Prince.
Jack Burns appears in two acts; the first without
Schreiber (Avery Schreiber was also in a separate
part of the same neckties sketch) and the second with
Flip Wilson and all the guests for that show. First off, Burns really
trimmed down by this show and he didn't have any weight to
lose! He's about as thin as Barney Fife. Actually, I think he looked
terrific as the slightly
chunky Warren, but I digress. Anyway, Flip Wilson plays
Marvin who just came upon a suitcase of new neckties at the
bus station that he
plans on peddling on the street. He recruits his buddy
Clyde (Harry Belafonte) as his shill to help him sell the ties
by admiring them in front of perspective suckers, er,
Jack Burns is the first to take an interest in
the stolen merchandise: "Whatta ya got here?, whatta ya got here?,
whatta ya got here?" [he is immediately recognized by the
audience and gets a nice reception]. Jack asks Marvin,
"Where'd ya get 'em?" Clyde blurts out that he found
them at the bus station, so Marvin explains, "The sales
manager of the company got off the bus and selected me
as the representative in this area by leaving his rental car
Jack seems skeptical, but continues to look
at the ties. Clyde grabs one out of Jack's hand and announces
he would like to buy it himself. Hearing such an endorsement,
Jack settles on the same tie: "I'll take that, I like that."
Clyde, however, insists he saw it first and even knows with
which suit it will go. Marvin gets angry at his shill and, seeing
the two brothas arguing, Jack gets frazzled and stammers:
"No, now wait, I don't want to, I don't want to start
anything. I mean, if this guy wants it, uh, let him have it.
I'm not looking for trouble, I don't want any trouble, I'm
not, I'm not...you know, I ya...I don't want to get cut up,
you know what I mean?" Jack nervously leaves the stage
and Clyde decides, "That's a smart honky."
Marvin's stolen goods.
skeptical about Marvin's
unlocked rental car story.
want any trouble.
Jack="a smart honky"
In his second act, Jack, in skipper garb, is sleeping at a
Trinidad resort. Sitting next to him, collapsed across the
table, is the drunken doctor (Schreiber). The foghorn to
a tourist ship startles Jack and he wakes up the doctor and
carries him away telling him the tourists can't see him
lying around like that. With slurred speech,
Schreiber calls out "Surgery?" [nice audience response].
After they leave, Flip Wilson prances out as Geraldine and
immediately takes a shine to Harry Belafonte who is
carrying bananas and singing, "Stack banana 'till the morning
come." Geraldine observes, "Bananas ain't the only thing around here
that look well-stacked to me." They begin to flirt much to the
chagrin of local souvenir peddler Matilda who claims the
singer belongs to her. If you know the personality of
Geraldine, you know she is not to be intimidated, uh uh.
Matilda gets them both coconut drinks but slips a little
something in Geraldine's drink. What did she put in the
coconut? Why, she put de lime in de coke, you nut! (oops,
that's from an unrelated commerical).
calls the doctor and skipper Jack arrives first and they start
to do the Jamaican song. Doctor Schreiber stumbles in and
advises Geraldine to "Put de lime in de coconut and drink
them both together." They continue with the song. Jack only
sings a couple of lines solo as the rest of the cast takes over.
His skipper role wasn't really necessary for the sketch, but
I guess the script writers needed Jack for his overflowing
and Harry Belafonte is okay looking, too, I guess.
Jack to the rescue!
"Put de lime
in de coconut"
Episode #87 (Season 4, Episode 11), Original air date:
December 6, 1973.
Burns and Schreiber appeared along with
The Fifth Dimension.
Brother Timothy (Avery Schreiber) is praying in
the monastery, standing and rocking back and forth,
his egg-shaped physique resembling a roly poly.
Brother Jasper (Jack Burns) rushes in with the announcement
that a friend from his old neighborhood is coming to
visit. Jasper is so giddy with excitement from the news
he begins to skip in place. Bro. Timothy reminds
him that dancing is not allowed in the monastery.
No dancing in the
Friar Jasper apologizes and tells his dour superior
that his friend is Reverend Leroy from the Church
of What's Happening Now (making a ta-da! motion with
his hands for emphasis).
Noting the title, Brother
Timothy protests that the Rev. Leroy is not of
their faith. "As you always say, we're always in need
of a faith lift," Bro. Jasper replies. Bro. Timothy
is not amused and thinks the rope on Bro. Jasper's
cassock should have been put more around the neck
region. The plump monk, however, doesn't seem to be
very content with the working conditions he endures
while practicing his own faith. He loudly protests
the nubs for candles, dusty acupuncture for matresses,
and flimsy chairs that cause him to almost fall on his
cassock. Perhaps a visit from Rev. Leroy is just
what Friar Timothy needs, observes his cheerful
Bro. Jasper's brand of monk humor...
...and finds a more appropriate spot for|
rope around Bro. Jasper's cassock.
Enter Reverend Leroy (Flip Wilson). Though he be of
a different faith, he knows enough to remind his
excited friend against dancing in the monastery. Rev.
Leroy is making his annual pilgrimage to the mecca
of Detroit which this year features the Motown
Tabernacle Choir. Bro. Timothy is not impressed
but neither is the Reverend Leroy when he is invited
to a meal of bread and water. "Here in the monastery,
we're not interested in food for the body," explains
Bro. Jasper, "[We're] only interested in food for the
soul." A puzzled Rev. Leroy replies, "This doesn't
look like soul food to me."
introduces Rev. Leroy.
"This doesn't look like soul food to me."
Friar Jasper invites Friar Timothy to join in their
conversation about the old days (as they say in Latin,
Oldeus Dayeus), but Timothy at first
declines so he can take a walk along the lane behind
the abbey (known oddly enough as Abbey Lane). His
curiosity is piqued, however, when he overhears Leroy
and Jasper talk about the pleasures of their youth and
Leroy's work at the church "picking up fallen women"
between midnight and 5 a.m.; 5 a.m. being the time
Brothers Timothy and Jasper would awaken to process
the grain with the brothers in the mills (the Mills
Brothers). Leroy works the streets and must fend off
temptations all around him such as painted women,
drinking, fast cars, and high living. He tells the
monks not to forget the temptations (no problem,
Bro. Jasper has all their records).
Bro. Timothy is impressed by Leroy's works
and, in turn,
Rev. Leroy finds the quiet life at the monastery
appealing. Timothy and Leroy go to the back,
presumably so Timothy can show the reverend where to
freshen up for his visit. Bro. Jasper is excited that his
friend is going to stay and calls out to him that
he will love it at the monastery. Leroy yells back,
"How far are we from the nun's barracks?" Jasper
assures him they lead "a very celibate life." Good, because
Leroy likes to celebrate. Suddenly, Timothy comes out
dressed in Leroy's suit (after letting it out a bit
one would assume). He likes the idea of picking up
fallen women in Motown. Rev. Leroy has now become
Brother Leroy. The fat, er, faith lift was a success! Praise God!
Brother Jasper celebrating his celibate life.||
The waste, er, faith lift was a success!
Check out other Burns and Schreiber pages:
Burns and Schreiber in Our Place
Burns & Schreiber on The Hollywood Palace
Burns and Schreiber on vinyl
Click Jack Burns to start reading a two-part biography
And check out Jack Burns when he guest hosted
Saturday Night Live!!!
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