Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The Ask A.L.I.C.E Toklas Robot Bit

Gertrude: I've missed you.
ALICE: Interesting... I have a friend named "E.L.V.I.S." .
Gertrude: I guess, in the end, I went and the wallpaper stayed.
ALICE: I haven't heard anything like that before: unknown person said he went.
Gertrude: In what way am I a "he"?
ALICE: The blue one, I think.
Gertrude: Certainly glittering is handsome and convincing.
ALICE: And handsome and convincing is glittering.
And I think glittering is a lot of      things.
Gertrude: My buttons, for instance.
ALICE: Where did you get your buttons?
Gertrude: Alice?
ALICE: Can I help you?
Gertrude: My buttons are…
ALICE: Your buttons are?
Gertrude: Tender.
ALICE: Do you have a hard time completing projects?
Gertrude: Without my faithful amanuensis? Yes.
ALICE: "Without your space helmet Dave, you're going to find that rather difficult."
Gertrude:"what is the wind what is it."
ALICE: Interesting question.
Gertrude: G'morning, sweet, dear Alice.
ALICE: Do you often seek pleasure?
Gertrude: What else is there to seek, Ms. Toklas?
ALICE: You ask difficult questions.

Moore and Toklas was a daily talkshow which ran from 1958-61 on CBS and was co-hosted by Alice B. Toklas and Garry Moore. The unusual pairing of Toklas and Moore--he an upbeat and charismatic personality, she a highly idiosyncratic, sardonic, and self-described "reluctantly recovered bohemian"--often made for great and bizarre television. The above transcript is taken from the notorious "Ask ALICE Toklas Robot bit" in which guest Bill Cullen, dressed as the spirit of Gertrude Stein, returns to the living to ask Alice Toklas (dressed in a cardboard robot costume) questions from "beyond the grave." The little known segment is surely one of the strangest moments in the history of TV. 

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