Season: 2 (Cher)
Guest(s): Steve Martin, Wayne Newton, The Spinners
CBS Air Date: November 9, 1975
Also aired: VH1, TimeLife Sonny & Cher Vol. 1 and 2
All the guests appear in video clips at the top. We're again using the first season's opening style of all video clips instead of the cool, new Cher graphics or the old photos. And there's a bizarre new jazzy intro song.
Torch Open/Opening Song: "Aint Nobody's Business" (Video)
Blues standard (1922)
This is one of my favorite openings. First of all, this is my favorite Cher/Bob-Mackie dress. There's a Cher doll version. Cher starts out in a shimmery black and purple laced cape. She throws it off to show a pink pantsuit covered in an overlay of black mesh and lace with long fringe at the feet. The background is a pink circle with a big white sun inside. Cher claps loudly as she sings. This is a song she's done again in other specials and shows and is another song about dealing with criticisms and bad press.
Monologue: Secondly this is one of my favorite monologue segments. Cher says the audience is "looking a little sparse there" and she talks about how clumsy she is (she calls herself "El Klutzo") and shows a video of herself falling off the tongue of her stage. She's wearing the yellow, cut-out pantsuit and she falls in between the "torch" spot upstage and the gap when the tongue starts to project out into the audience. (This was from episode #20) Mr. Cher Scholar notes how high the stage is and how in heels she could have very easily broken her ankle. She says, "Eat your heart out, Fred Astaire!" She introduces the guests, including Steve Martin this time. She also calls out, "Hi Mark!"
Skit: Wayne Newton pretends to advertise for a faulty product called Mr. Grinds Coffeemaker that overflows with coffee. Newton uses hats, shoes and kitchen drawers to catch the overflow, finally adding sugar and cream to the filled drawer and drinking from it.
Cher Medley of "Witchy Woman" and "Honky-Tonk Woman" (Video, Audio only)
Cover of the Eagles (1972) and the Rolling Stones (1969)
Cher's outfit here is very modern, something more like she would wear in later-day concerts.
Guest Spot: Cher with a silver halter top and bobbed wig (her Vegas look) introduces Wayne Newton as a standing-room-only act and a "total entertainer." He sings "Feelings." As painful as you'd imagine. He wears a ridiculously big silver and turquoise belt buckle (more like a belt girdle). The set looks like Pier One Imports came in with a truck of tan feathers and blinking lights. Cher comes out and tells him his song was terrific. Newton says the song was fun and he likes songs he can "really get into." At the end and Newton says he'd like to see Laverne on the opening-stage ramp...
Life with Laverne (Video)
Laverne does a full fantasy introduction to the Cher show opening singing "The Lady is a Tramp," (from the Rodgers and Hart musical Babes in Arms (1937). She sings "Albuquerque." Laverne's outfit is gussied up a notch with more baubles, glittery earrings and hair extensions. The stage background is a green circle with a tacky and torn heart in the middle. She calls it The Laverne Show” and says it's "tres chic." She wears a flowered turquoise belt. She says the guests are The Seventh Fleet (she's promiscuous, see?) and her friend Rocco de Boca. When someone asks what her last name is, she says she's dropped it like Cher, Liberace, Sabu and Tonto. When asked what Harry looks like she says, "not much." When asked if she likes small men or big men, she says, "yes." She claims she started the sexual revolution. She’s asked where she gets her clothes (no answer) and who is the sexist man (she doesn't want to play favorites). Does she like Cher? She says Cher is "a little big skinny but has potential."
Guest Spot: Steve Martin does his "It's great to be here" routine with Cher who wears a peach coat and halter top and bobbed wig. It's a routine about being very literal. He moves around trying to find exactly where it's great to be until he's finally offstage. Cher is laughing a lot but I can't tell if it's genuine. She says Martin used to write on the Sonny & Cher show and worked in concerts with him (presumably as their opening act).
Donna Jean Brodine: This time Cher shills the Mug-omatic, a crime prevention kit. Gaylard Sartain plays Lamar Jo Pucket and he pretends to mug her. She sprays him with water (mace-like), then hits him with her iron-weighted purse, pours chocolate sauce and feathers on him and then hits him with a boxing glove. She says once he's incapacitated gals can call the police or take him back home for customized punishments (kinda creepy there). The kit is $35 plus the dashboard of a particular car I didn't catch (?) sent to Box 10, Sucker Falls, South Dakota.
Skit: The cast does a Steve Martin skit about a mad hypnotist (Martin dressed in a magician's outfit) who hypnotizes everyone into jumping out of a high-rise building's doctor's office window. Newton plays the doctor and jumps out of the window too. Not really too funny that. The skit is Cherless on top of everything else.
Cher Solo: "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" (Audio only)
Cover of Aretha Franklin (1967)
This is Cher's piano-laden nightclub version. Maybe overwrought but little flourishes of falsetto are nice. Cher also covered this song in a better version in 1968 on her Backstage album. The less drama, the better on this one.
Guest Spot (Video)
Cher wears a red and orange pantsuit outfit here (versus the Vegas look for Newton), complete with a curly black wig. She says she saw The Spinners recently at The Apollo in New York. They sing "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love" with red and black suits and red bowties.
Skit: "Money Works Miracles" - Gaylard Sartain plays a TV evangelist named Brother Billy Jo Bob Sweeney who is having an affair with one of his choir members and his wife Cher finds out. The podium is so flimsy the actors can't barely touch it. Cher wears a yellow dress and a big, conservative-style red wig and she abuses Brother BJBS (not kidding, that's the acronym) and threatens him. Brother BJBS sells a $19 pamphlet on anger management (also on cassette) and Cher reads a letter from a poor follower who asks to be anonymous but they publish her address on the screen anyway. She says she has only $3.50 left and so Cher and Brother BJBS try to sell her a t shirt for that amount (to get the last bit of money out of her). Sad in that the satire has become reality again these days.
Cher and Wayne Newton sing a duet of big-band songs. Cher wears a checkered cab pantsuit one of those miniscule wigs where you can't for the life of you figure out where all her hair went underneath. Cher seems to be having a good time. Wayne Newton is wearing the big belt buckle here again.
- "Rock-a-bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody" (Al Jolson, 1918)
- "The Birth of the Blues" (from the Broadway revue George White's Scandals, 1926)
- "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You" (Russ Morgan's Orchestra, 1944 and Dean Martin 1960 and 1964)
Close: The Spinners join Cher and Wayne Newton and Cher says goodbye to the guests and continues singing "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You."
VHI is a half-hour episode and is missing Cher's medley and solo song, the mad hypnotist's skit, Donna Jean Brodine and the evangelist skit.
The TimeLife Vol. 2 is missing the Cher medley and the Cher solo and "The Lady is a Tramp" from Laverne's fantasy.
Highlights: The opening dress and monolgue with Cher taking a dive from the stage, Laverne as Cher and commenting on cher.