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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 appearances.

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.
...just kidding!

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].

Introducing Mark 12
"Is it pronounced
tomayto or tomahto?"
Beep, Beep, Beep
Beep, beep... put-put-put-

"Is what 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?

B: Yeah.

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 someplace."

Woo Woo
Burns does not appreciate Schreiber's
insinuation that jokes were made about
his beloved coach Woo Woo from U.U.
Another Jewish joke
"You want to hear
a funny joke about
these two Jewish guys?"

Wait a minute!
"Wait a minute, why is it
always Jewish guys? Can't you
tell about some other guys?
How 'bout you tell
about Irish guys?"
Another Irish joke
"Sure it could be Irish guys.
It don't have to be Jewish guys.
All right, these two Irish guys
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, customers.

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 unlocked."

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."

Nice ties
"Whatta ya got here?"
Jack admires Marvin's stolen goods.
But is skeptical about Marvin's
unlocked rental car story.

I dont want any trouble
Jack doesn't want any trouble.
smart honky
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).

Harry 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 sex appeal...Oh, and Harry Belafonte is okay looking, too, I guess.

What's the matter?
Skipper Jack to the rescue!
Doc Schreiber
"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!
No dancing in the monastery!

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 colleague.


Faith lift
Bro. Timothy doesn't appreciate
Bro. Jasper's brand of monk humor...
attempted clergicide
...and finds a more appropriate spot for
the 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."

Rev. Leroy
Friar Jasper introduces Rev. Leroy.
soul food
"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!

Celibate life
Brother Jasper celebrating his celibate life.
Bro. Leroy
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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