Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Fleischmann's Yeast Hour
Show: The Love Nest
Date: Nov 09 1933

CAST:
HOST, Rudy Vallee
GREGG, the obtuse husband
BARTLETT, the good-natured reporter
FORBES, the butler
CELIA, the model wife
ANNOUNCER

NOTE: Another version of this sketch aired on The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour, September 13 1934. This transcript includes material from the '34 broadcast in brackets.

HOST:

... A few weeks ago, the hearts of thousands of us were saddened by the death of one of America's greatest humorists and masters of the short story, Ring W. Lardner. Mr. Lardner, as radio critic of The New Yorker magazine, listened regularly to this program and gave us good notices as well as bad, a compliment we regard as the finest we've ever received. In tribute to his memory, we present tonight a radio adaptation of one of the best-known Lardner works, "The Love Nest." Our cast is headed by Miss Jean Dixon, leading lady in "Heat Lightning" this season, remembered particularly by New York playgoers for her work in "June Moon" and "Once in a Lifetime." She'll be assisted by Homer Barton and Harold Vermilyea.

Our scene, the vastly magnificent reception hall of the vastly magnificent home of Mr. Lou Gregg, a vastly magnificent motion picture producer. Gregg, played by Mr. Barton, has as his guest an interviewer for a magazine. As the curtain rises, Gregg and the journalist have just entered.

GREGG:

Well, here we are. How do you like it? Quite a shack, eh?

BARTLETT:

I should say so.

GREGG:

It ought to be. I mean, I spent enough on it. I mean these things cost money. Here, sit down.

BARTLETT:

Ah, thanks.

GREGG:

No amount of money is too much to spend on a home, I always say. I mean, it's a good investment -- insures me of a happy wife and family. You know, Celia calls this her love nest. I mean, what more can a man ask?! (CALLS) Forbes?! Forbes?!

FORBES:

Yes, sir?

GREGG:

Forbes, we want a drink. You'll find a full bottle of that Bourbon in the cupboard.

FORBES:

It's only half full, sir.

GREGG:

Half full?! Well, that's funny! I mean, I opened it last night and just took one drink. I mean, it ought to be full.

FORBES:

It's only half full now, sir.

GREGG:

Well, anyway, it's good stuff, Bartlett.

BARTLETT:

(CHUCKLES) I'm sure it is.

GREGG:

I mean, this ain't the first time lately-- When you keep so many servants, it's hard to get 'em all honest. You see what I mean?

BARTLETT:

Yes, I see. Well, er, will Mrs. Gregg be joining us here? You know I want to meet--

GREGG:

Oh, sure! Sure! The little wife makes a point of always bein' home when I get in from the city. I'll call her now. (CALLS) Oh, sweetheart?

CELIA:

(OFF) Hello, sweetheart.

GREGG:

Come down, sweetheart. I've brought you a visitor.

CELIA:

(OFF) All right, sweetheart. In just a minute.

GREGG:

You'll see, Bartlett. You'll be able to get a lot more [for your write-up] by [meetin' the wife and family,] coming out home with me this way for the evening. I mean, that'll give you a chance to see us as we really are. Not like if you just sat in the office with me, askin' me questions. Why, we may even go upstairs later and see my kiddies. You'll love 'em.

BARTLETT:

(CHUCKLES) Three girls, isn't it?

GREGG:

Yes, sir; three girls. Terrific, all of them. And my wife! Did you ever see her? I mean in pictures?

BARTLETT:

Oh, yes, in "The Cad." I remember her as a pretty and vivacious girl.

GREGG:

She certainly was! And she certainly is yet! I mean, she's even prettier, but of course she ain't a kid no more. I mean, she was only seventeen in that picture and that was ten years ago. But it's remarkable the way marriage changes a girl.

BARTLETT:

(CHUCKLES) Yes, isn't it?

GREGG:

I mean, who would ever have thought that Celia would turn out to be a sit-by-the-fire? I mean, she still likes a good time, but her home and the kiddies come first. Wife[hood] and motherhood have given her a-- Well, you know -- a kind of a pose. Know what I mean?

BARTLETT:

(CHUCKLES)

GREGG:

Say, here she comes now. (BEAT) Oh, this is Mr. Bartlett, sweetheart. Mr. Bartlett, meet Mrs. Gregg.

CELIA:

I'm so pleased.

BARTLETT:

How do you do?

GREGG:

Mr. Bartlett is with that magazine Mankind. He's goin' to write me up; I mean, us.

CELIA:

(MODEST, LIGHTLY) No, you mean you. The public isn't interested in great men's wives. [Oh, and] I've been out of the limelight so long nobody remembers me. I'm no longer an artist; merely a happy wife and mother.

BARTLETT:

Well, it takes an artist to be that, Mrs. Gregg.

FORBES:

Beg pardon. The drinks, sir?

GREGG:

Oh, yes! Put 'em down, Forbes. (TO CELIA) Say, listen, sweetheart. One of the servants has been helpin' himself to this Bourbon. I mean, it was a full bottle last night. Now who do you suppose has been at it?

CELIA:

(NERVOUS LAUGH) How do I know, sweetheart? Maybe the groceryman or the iceman or somebody.

GREGG:

But you and I and Forbes are the only ones that have a key. I mean, it was locked up.

CELIA:

Maybe you forgot to lock it.

GREGG:

No, I never do. Well, anyway, Bartlett -- here's how!

BARTLETT:

Here's how! But doesn't Mrs. Gregg indulge?

CELIA:

(AMUSED) No. Only a cocktail before dinner.

BARTLETT:

Oh[, I see].

CELIA:

Lou objects and, well, I don't like whiskey much anyway.

GREGG:

Ohhh, I don't object to your drinkin' whiskey, sweetheart. I just object to ya drinkin' to excess. I think it coarsens a woman to drink. I mean, I think it makes 'em coarse.

BARTLETT:

Well, it certainly is smooth stuff.

CELIA:

Oh, sweetheart, have you forgotten your appointment with Mr. Latham this evening?

GREGG:

Gosh! I did forget all about him! Gee, that's terrible! You see, Mr. Bartlett, I made a date with this theater owner and he's goin' back East tomorrow. But I'll phone him and call it off. I mean, you come first.

BARTLETT:

Oh, no, no -- don't do that on my account, Mr. Gregg; I can see you some other time, at your office.

CELIA:

I don't see how you can call it off, darling. Not if you want his theaters to book your pictures any more. I'll entertain Mr. Bartlett as best I can and give him all the information he needs for his interview.

BARTLETT:

(MURMURS AGREEABLY)

CELIA:

After all, sweetheart, your home life speaks for itself without you even saying a word. So you just run along, sweetheart. I'm sure Mr. Bartlett understands.

BARTLETT:

Of course. Certainly.

GREGG:

Well, then, good night, Bartlett.

BARTLETT:

Good night.

GREGG:

I'm awfully sorry about this. I mean, I sure am. But I'll see ya soon. Lord, I'm late now. (MOVING OFF) I'll have to run. Good night, sweetheart. You'll get a ring from me later. I mean, I'll call you up.

CELIA:

(AMUSED SIGH) Poor Lou. Always rushing off somewhere. Well, Mr. Bartlett, what do you think of our love nest?

BARTLETT:

It's - it's magnificent.

CELIA:

(HESITANT) Is, uh, is this really such wonderful whiskey, Mr. Bartlett?

BARTLETT:

Oh ho, yes.

CELIA:

Well, I - I think I'll take just a sip of it and see what it's like. It can't hurt me if it's so good, can it?

BARTLETT:

(CHUCKLES) Oh, I don't believe so.

CELIA:

Well then, I'm going to taste it.

BARTLETT:

(CHUCKLES)

CELIA:

(LIGHTLY) And if it hurts me it's your fault, Mr. Bartlett. (CHUCKLES)

BARTLETT:

(CHUCKLES)

CELIA:

Now - now, what is it you men say? Here's how!

BARTLETT:

Uh huh.

CELIA:

(DRINKS) Hmmm. It is good, isn't it? (CHUCKLES) You know, I feel like I wasn't being a good hostess to let you drink alone. I'll join you in just one more sip -- a little wee sip. Here.

BARTLETT:

(INCREASINGLY UNCOMFORTABLE) Uh, no, no-- Well, that's hardly a sip for me, Mrs. Gregg. Now, please--

CELIA:

(FIRMLY) Down the hatch!

BARTLETT:

Okay, down the hatch.

CELIA:

(DRINKS) Say! (MERRILY, MOVING OFF) Let's have some music.

BARTLETT:

All right.

CELIA:

(OFF) See this phonograph, Bartlett?

BARTLETT:

Yes.

CELIA:

(OFF) Cost two thousand dollars.

BARTLETT:

[Really?]

MUSIC:

PHONOGRAPH ABRUPTLY BLASTS LOUD, RAUCOUS JAZZ ... CONTINUES IN BG

CELIA:

(RETURNS TO BARTLETT, INEBRIATED AND FLIRTATIOUS) Isn't that a swell song? I mean, it's hot, ain't it? I mean, I like 'em hot. Let's dance!

BARTLETT:

Oh, no, I'm sorry, Mrs. Gregg; I don't dance.

CELIA:

[Okay.] The trouble with you, Mr.-- (SHORT HIGH-PITCHED LAUGH) Now, isn't that a scream? I can't think of your name.

BARTLETT:

(LAUGHS) Bartlett.

CELIA:

Oh. The trouble with you, Barker-- Know what's the trouble with you? You're too sober. See? You're too rotten sober! That's the whole trouble, see? If you weren't so sober, we'd be better off. See? What I can't understand is how you can be so sober and me so high.

BARTLETT:

But you're not used to it, Mrs. Gregg.

CELIA:

Not used to it! Where do you think that other half-bottle went? (MORE SERIOUS) Say, I'm like this half the time, see? (GRIM) If I wasn't, I'd die.

BARTLETT:

What does your husband say?

CELIA:

Hm! He don't say, 'cause he don't know. See, Barker? There's nights when he's out and nights when I pretend to be sleepy and go upstairs. But I don't go to bed, see? I have a little party all by myself. If I didn't, I'd die. Say, Barker, you weren't dumb enough to fall for all that apple sauce about the happy home and the contented wife, were ya?

BARTLETT:

Well, I--

CELIA:

Listen, boy, I'd give anything in the world to be out of this mess and never see that baboon again. Have another, Barker. Here's how!

BARTLETT:

But, Mrs. Gregg-- Now, don't you love him any more? Doesn't he love you?

CELIA:

Love! Ha ha! Say, that's a laugh. I never did love him! And all his love is for himself! I was a kid; an ambitious kid, see? He got stuck on me and I thought he'd make me a star. I married him to get myself a chance, and now look at me.

BARTLETT:

Well, I'd say you were fairly well off.

CELIA:

(INCREASING BITTER AND SAVAGE) Well off, am I? Say, I'd change places with the scum of the earth just to be free. I could have been a star without any help if I'd only realized it. I had the looks and I had the talent. I could have got myself anything. And look what I did get! I thought he'd make me! See, Barker? Well, he's made me all right; he's made me a chattel [--his property] to show off along with his home and his cars and his horses! Just to show off, see? I'm like the big diamond he wears on his fat paw, Barker. See? You go back to your magazine and you write about our love nest, Barker! You go ahead! Here. Here's to Lou Gregg and his love nest! Here's mud in your eye, Barker! Well, have you got enough dope for your story now?! Have ya?! Have ya?! Have ya?!

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS

MUSIC:

JAZZ ENDS AS PHONOGRAPH IS ABRUPTLY SHUT OFF

SOUND:

PHONE RINGS

BARTLETT:

[Let me--

CELIA:

(CALM AGAIN) No. It's Lou.]

BARTLETT:

(BEAT) Well-- I've got it.

CELIA:

(PULLS HERSELF TOGETHER) No. No, I'll take it.

SOUND:

RECEIVER UP

CELIA:

(BEAT, REVERTS TO HER OLD SELF, STONE SOBER) Hello? ... Yes, sweetheart. ... Yes, he's just leaving. ... (WRY) Yes, sweetheart, I told him everything. ... (INNOCENT) Why, yes, sweetheart. ... (ENIGMATIC) Yes, sweetheart.

SOUND:

RECEIVER DOWN ... STUDIO AUDIENCE APPLAUDS

MUSIC:

ORCHESTRA PLAYS A CHORUS OF THE GERSHWINS' "MINE" ... THEN ACCOMPANIES THE HOST FOR A CHORUS--

HOST:

(SINGS) Mine, love is mine,
Whether it rain or storm or shine.

Mine, you are mine,
Never another valentine.

And I am yours. Tell me that I'm yours;
Show me that smile my heart adores.

Mine, more than divine,
To know that love like yours is mine!

MUSIC:

ORCHESTRA CONTINUES THE SONG IN BG

HOST:

Next week, another Fleischmann's Yeast Hour brings you another group of interesting people with something of interest to say and do. This is Rudy Vallee bidding you all good night.

SOUND:

STUDIO AUDIENCE APPLAUDS ... OUT ABRUPTLY WITH--

MUSIC:

OUT ABRUPTLY

ANNOUNCER:

(BEAT) Among the selections played on these programs were "Mine," from "Let 'Em Eat Cake," and "Of Thee I Sing," from the production of the same name. This is the National Broadcasting Company.