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Burns & Allen Transcript: Gracie Adopts Mickey Rooney (1949-05-19) February 26, 2017

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The year is 1949. The Republicans are the left-wing party; Hialeah Park is doing a booming horse-racing business; and Mickey Rooney is best known as the adorable fresh-faced star of the Andy Hardy movies.

Also, Gracie Allen is Tumblr. This adult male actor is her son now. She adopted him, he is her child, sorry folks but she doesn’t make the rules.

Download the episode here, and read the transcript below.


Well, it’s pretty hard to surprise a man who’s been married to Gracie Allen for 15 years. He’s heard everything. But occasionally even George gets a jolt. For example, today, when Gracie said…

Gracie Allen: George, would you like to have a son?

George Burns: Sure, Gracie.

Gracie: Oh, good. Then we’re adopting Mickey Rooney.

[laughter]

George: Adopting Mickey Rooney?

Gracie: Yes, dear. I’ve been reading about him in this movie magazine. You know, that poor little child needs a home. Someone to guide him. Look – here’s a picture of him driving a car.

George: Mm, what’s wrong with that?

Gracie: Well, that’s no plaything for a child! Why, the dear little boy should be cuddling a doll.

George [dryly]: Look again, he probably is. [audience laughter] Gracie, Mickey Rooney may look like a little boy, but I’ve got news for you. He’s old enough to get married.

Gracie [chuckling]: Ooh, married. Aw, George, you’re funny. Why, I’ll bet he doesn’t know what life is all about.

George: He knows as much as I do.

Gracie: Well there, y’see?

[laughter]

George: We’re not adopting Mickey Rooney. If we adopt anyone, it’ll be a minor.

Gracie: Ohh, no. I’m not gonna have a miner tracking coal dust across my carpet.

George: I mean, Mickey is too old to adopt. He’s a grown man.

Gracie: George, he’s a child. If he wasn’t a child, he wouldn’t be going to horse races!

George: They’re for children?

Gracie: Well, certainly! I read that the Kentucky Derby is just for three-year-olds.

[laughter]

George: O-kay, have it your way, Mickey Rooney is a child. We’re still not adopting him.

Gracie: But, dear, he needs a father and a mother. And that happens to work out just right for us! You’re a man and I’m a woman!

George [deadpan]: No other couple can make that statement.

Gracie: Y’know, Mickey’s becoming a juvenile delinquent. A boy who robs the very studios he works for.

George: Where’d you get that?

Gracie: It’s right here in this article. It says he steals every picture he’s in.

George: This is murder.

Gracie: Well, just think of that poor little boy associating with thieves and crooks! Maybe we can keep him from falling in with worse company.

George: Gracie, he associates with actors.

Gracie: …We’re too late, huh.

George: Yes, and forget it.

Gracie: But there’s always a chance a good home can save him. And by adopting Mickey, we’ll keep two children out of mischief!

George: Two children?

Gracie: Well, yes, I’ll be too busy to get into trouble.

[laughter]

George: I forgot you’re a child.

Gracie: Well, I’m not really, but everyone thinks I am! They think I play with marbles.

George: You?

Gracie: Well, yeah – often I’ve heard people say ‘I don’t think she’s got all her marbles.’

[laughter]

George: Yes, I’ve heard that myself, that’s getting around.

Gracie: Well, I’ll run over to Mickey’s house and get him.

George: Hold it, hold it! Once and for all, you cannot adopt him. Besides, he won’t let you. He’ll laugh right in your face.

Gracie: Well, if he does, I’ll push him off the chair he’s standing on.

[laughter]

George: Gracie…I know you mean well, so I hate to get tough with you, but you force me to. I forbid you even to talk to Mickey Rooney. I command you to stay in this house. That is an order.

Gracie: Oh, George, I didn’t realize you were so strong and masterful!

George: I am when I have to be.

Gracie: Awww, you’re gonna make a wonderful father for Mickey. Now excuse me while I change my clothes.

[door closing noise]

George: By golly, this time I’ll head her off. I’ll go over and warn Mickey.

[jaunty scene change music]

 

[knocking]

Mickey Rooney [terrible racist Japanese accent]: What do want, please?

George: I wanna see Mickey Rooney.

Mickey Rooney: Vella solly, Mista Looney not come home, Looney leave town, not come back, goodbye please, chop chop.

George: Well, tell him George Burns was here.

Mickey Rooney: Oh? Oh, George, wait a minute. [unlocking door, drops accent] Hi, George, come in.

George: Hello, Mickey. [audience applause] What’s the idea of the big routine?

Mickey Rooney: I’m hiding out from my studio, George. They want me to play another of those innocent little kid parts. I’m fed up to the teeth with them.

George: But, Mickey, you were great as Andy Hardy with Lewis Stone as your father.

Mickey Rooney: George, if he tells me about the birds and bees once more, I’ll sting ‘im.

George: You wanna do the grown-up stuff, eh?

Mickey Rooney: Why, sure. There’s another part in the same picture that I’d love to do. A tough guy that kills. This beautiful girl is crazy about me. She’s with me when the cops close in. The place is full’a tear gas! We’re kissin’ and cryin’! ‘Awright, come up with your hands up, killer, we got you surrounded!’ ‘Come an’ get me, copper!’ [machine gun type yelling] [falsetto] ‘Oh, Killer! Jimmy got hit! ‘It’s nothin’, kid! Just a few ribs shot away! Take that copper!’ [machine gun] Killer! Did ‘e get you again? ‘Aghh! Nellie, this is it! It’s goodbye!’ ‘No, Killer, don’t go, don’t leave me! I can’t live without’cha! I love you, kid! Ilovya!’…I’m gonna have to watch that girl, George, she’s pretty hammy.

George: Well, good luck, Mickey. I hope you get the part you want.

Mickey Rooney: Thanks, George. If I can hide from the studio long enough, I think they’ll give in.

George: Well, I just dropped by to warn you that Gracie has made up her mind to adopt you.

Mickey Rooney: Adopt me?

George: Yeah. She thinks you’re a little boy.

Mickey Rooney: Eh, you see? Everybody thinks I’m a kid. I’m the only dancer at the Palladium who gets cut in on by the truant officer.

George: It’s tough, Mickey.

Mickey Rooney: I’ll say it is! I buy a girl a present, I take her out in my car, I park, I pucker up, and what happens? She sticks a lollipop in my mouth.

[laughter]

George: Well, I just thought I’d warn you about Gracie. I told her not to bother you, but she, she pays no attention to me.

Mickey Rooney: Really? I thought husbands always gave the orders and wives always obeyed, without question.

George: Eheh heh heh…kid, you not only look young, you are young.

[audience loves it]

George: So long, Mickey.

Mickey Rooney: So long.

 

[jaunty scene change music]

 

[knocking]

Mickey Rooney [terrible accent]: Velly solly, Mista Rooney not here, go ‘way please, chop chop.

Gracie: Open the door, Mickey! You can’t fool me with that English accent.

Mickey Rooney: That’s got to be Gracie. Just a minute. [unlocks door] ‘Scuse the act, Gracie, I’m hiding from my studio.

Gracie: Stealing again.

Mickey Rooney: Eh?

Gracie: Aww, Mickey boy, give up this life you’re leading, and come live with George and me.

Mickey Rooney: Heheh, I’d rather not.

Gracie: Everybody will think you’re George’s real son! You look just like ‘im!

Mickey Rooney: Now I’ve got two reasons to hide!

[audience loves it]

Gracie: Look, you need someone to look after you. Why aren’t you in school?

Mickey Rooney: [nervous laughter] I…I graduated.

Gracie: Well, that’s a pretty lame excuse. Besides, I don’t believe it.

Mickey Rooney: Aw, Gracie, come inside and I’ll show you my sheepskin!

Gracie: You leave your clothes on, young man! I’m not your mother yet! Aww, but I wanna be, Mickey. I’ll see that you get an education. I’ll even hire a private tutor to toot ‘cha.

Mickey Rooney: Aw, Gracie, I’ve been tutored. I have an education!

Gracie: Well, we’ll see whether you have or not. Spell ‘cat’.

Mickey Rooney [disbelieving]: ‘Cat’?

Gracie: [chuckles] Too tough for you, eh? I’ll give you a simpler word. Spell ‘to’.

Mickey Rooney: T-O, T-W-O, or T-O-O.

Gracie: Ohhh no, you don’t get three guesses. You’re really in a bad shape!

Mickey Rooney: Look, Gracie, I went to school. Just ask me questions about literature, or economics, chemistry, physics…anything, go ahead!

Gracie: Awright! Take chemistry.

Mickey Rooney: A’right.

Gracie: Who is the president of the United States?

[laughter]

Mickey Rooney: That, Gracie, is unrelated subject matter!

Gracie [sternly]: No, sir, that’s Harry S Truman.

Mickey Rooney: I mean, chemistry is nothing to do with a President. Chemistry is when you put a whole lot of strange things together, and get gas or something.

Gracie: No, that’s Congress.

[audience loves it]

Mickey Rooney: All right, you win, you win. Let’s take another subject. I majored in math and languages. Geometry and Latin!

Gracie: You did, huh.

Mickey Rooney: Yeah, sure!

Gracie: Let’s hear you say something in Geometry.

Mickey Rooney: Say something in Geometry?

Gracie: Yeah.

Mickey Rooney: Lemme see…pi r squared.

Gracie: Pi r squared, hahaha. That proves you never went to school. Pie are round!

[audience dying]

Gracie: Mickey, you better let me adopt you. You need help!

Mickey Rooney: Yes, well. [phone ringing] Excuse me, would you, Gracie? [picks up phone] Hello?

Director: Aha, caught you, you are in town!

Mickey Rooney [hasty accent]: No no no no, Mista Looney not here, Mista Looney leave town, chop chop!

Director: Too late, Mickey, too late! I’ll be right over to see you.

Mickey Rooney: Ahh, darnit. [hangs up] That was my director, Gracie. Now the studio’s found me!

Gracie: Why did you steal those pictures? Oh, they’ll send you to prison for life. Or maybe even longer!

Mickey Rooney: Gracie, waitaminute, what are you talking –

Gracie: Ah-ah-ah-ah, I won’t let them, you’re too young! I’ll take you home, and hide you, and give you a fresh start.

Mickey Rooney: But Gracie, I don’t have – hey, wait. The studio wouldn’t find me there at all, would they?

Gracie: Well, never! George’s house is the last place anyone would look for an actor.

[laughter]

Mickey Rooney: Mrs. Burns, you’ve got yourself a child.

Gracie: Sonny boy!

Mickey Rooney: Mammy!

[jaunty scene change music]

[Maxwell House ad]

 

[knocking on door]

Mickey Rooney [affected childish voice]: Well, here I am, Mama.

Gracie: Well, you certainly got here in a hurry, Michael.

Mickey Rooney: Michael? What’s with the Michael?

Gracie: Well, that’s your name now. Michael Burns.

Mickey Rooney [unenthusiastic]: But Mama, I–

Gracie: Now, come along, and I’ll show you your room. [door noise] Now: this is where you’ll sleep.

Mickey Rooney: Oh, well, it’s nice. But, ah…George is in that bed. I can see his head sticking out of the covers!

Gracie: That’s a teddy bear!

Mickey Rooney: Oh, oh.

Gracie: How could you mistake a teddy bear for George?

Mickey Rooney: Eheheh, silly.

Gracie: A teddy bear has little fuzzy arms and legs, and tiny shoe-button eyes, and…uh…anyhow, it’s not George.

Mickey Rooney: But Gracie, what’s a teddy bear doing in my bed?

Gracie: Well, I bought it for you. It’ll be your companion, your playmate.

Mickey Rooney: Oh?

Gracie: I bet you never had one before with such a lovely fur coat.

Mickey Rooney: I’ve had a few playmates with fur coats.

Gracie: What happened, did you break them?

Mickey Rooney: No, they broke me.

Gracie: Wha?

Mickey Rooney: Let it go, Mama, just let it go.

Gracie: Now, over here is your clothes closet. Oh, by the way, I bought a new brown suit for you.

Mickey Rooney: New brown suit? Oh, that’s great. Light brown or dark brown?

Gracie: Buster Brown.

Mickey Rooney: Now, wait just a minute, willya please! I can’t wear that.

Gracie: Ooh, Michael, if you wanna stay here, you’ll do as I say. You know, Mama knows best.

Mickey Rooney: Okay, Mama. I’ll wear it on special occasions, like when there’s an eclipse of the sun.

Gracie: Well, that’s a good boy.

[door opening noise]

George [entering]: Gracie, I was over – Mickey.

Mickey Rooney: Mmm. Hello, Daddy.

George: Huhh?

Mickey Rooney: I’m Sonny Boy.

George: Do you mean to say that you let Gracie adopt you?

Mickey Rooney: Sure, George, sure. My studio will never find me here, heheh.

George: Ohh, I get it. Okay, Mickey, I don’t mind.

Gracie: Aww, I’m glad, darling. If we hide him, he’ll have a chance to grow into a fine, decent man, just like his daddy.

George: Yeah! He can step right into my shoes!

Gracie: Aww, that’s a perfect place for him to hide.

Mickey Rooney: Yeah, there’s plenty a’ room there.

Gracie: You know, we must raise him properly, George. Send him to the finest schools. And make sure he’s not a Republican.

George: Not a Republican?

Gracie: I want our boy to be President!

[laughter]

Gracie: I’ve bought some books to improve his little mind. Now, Michael, sit down and I’ll read you a poem.

George: Michael?

Mickey Rooney: That’s my name now.

George: Oh, Michael! Yes, Michael Rooney, yeah.

Gracie: Now I’ll read from Hiawatha, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

On the shores of Gitche Gumee,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood Nokomis –

Mickey Rooney: Please, Mom, if you don’t mind, I’ve got something here in my pocket that I’d rather read –

Gracie: Well, let me have it, I’ll read it to you.

Mickey Rooney: No, give it to me, I–

Gracie: I said I’ll read it, Michael.

Mickey Rooney: Give it back!

Gracie: Now pay attention.

In the pits at Hialeah,
There are only seven entries,
Where the pool and track is muddy…

…why, it’s just like Hiawatha, only prettier!

Mickey Rooney: Mama, Mama, look, Mama –

George: Gracie, you know what you’re reading?

Gracie: Well, I didn’t look at the title.

George: It’s the racing form.

Gracie: Well, it’s the loveliest thing Longfellow ever wrote.

George [dryly]: Yes, he was a fine writer.

Gracie: Well, that’s enough culture for now. It’s time for your nap, Michael.

Mickey Rooney [disbelieving]: My nap? In the middle of the day?

Gracie: Well, yes! Little boys need plenty of rest, don’t they, Daddy?

Mickey Rooney: Ah – Daddy, that’s you.

George: Oh! Oh yes, yes. Eh. Ah. It’s, ah, it’s time the little man went beddy-bye. Aheheh.

Mickey Rooney: You, rat. All right, Mama, I’ll take a nap – if Daddy here takes one too.

Gracie: Aw, how sweet! Hop in bed with him, George.

George: Are you kidding.

Gracie: Now, dear, don’t argue, You’ve gotta set our son a good example.

Mickey Rooney: Come to beddy-bye, Daddy!

Gracie: And Michael, don’t let the railroad train frighten you!

Mickey Rooney: Does one run by the house?

Gracie: No, no, but when George sleeps on his back, you’ll think so! When he blows the whistle, turn him over.

[audience loves it]

George: I’m not taking a nap.

Gracie: You get in that bed or Mama will punish you.

George: I’d like to see you!

Gracie: Oh, not me – I’ll send for my Mama!

George: Move over, Michael.

Gracie: Ah! That’s better. Now kiss Mama before you go to sleep, Michael.

Mickey Rooney: Eh?

Gracie: Kiss Mama.

Mickey Rooney: Okay. [kiss noise]

Gracie: …Hmm. You must be a little older than I thought. [audience laughter] Now kiss Daddy.

George: Are you – that’s it – wait a – [splutters]

Gracie: Now, I want this to be a devoted family. Kiss your daddy.

Mickey Rooney: I’d rather play a love scene with Lassie!

 

[jaunty scene change music]

 

Well, two days have passed since Gracie brought little Mickey to live with little George. And all is not peaceful in the Burns house.

George: Gracie, do you know that Mickey smoked every one of my cigars?

Gracie: Aw, bless his little heart, he kept his word.

George: Eh?

Gracie: He promised me that he’d give up cigarettes.

George: Nice kid.

Gracie: Isn’t he, though? And he really thinks of you as his father! Every time he makes a long-distance call, he says ‘Charge it to my father, George Burns.’

George: Gracie…that boy, one of these –

Mickey Rooney: Hiya, Pop! Hello, Mama!

Gracie: Aww, hello, Michael.

Mickey Rooney: By the way, Pop, here’s the keys to your hot rod!

George: I’ve got a brand-new car, it’s not a hot rod.

Mickey Rooney: It is now! I took the fenders off!

George: Ohhh, no.

Gracie: Aww, Michael, you mustn’t take the fenders off of Daddy’s car, you’ll get your hands all dirty!

[knocking]

George: See who that is, Gracie. I’m taking Michael in the den for a little talk.

Mickey Rooney: Eh?

George: Come on.

Mickey Rooney: Now, waitaminute, George –

[door close, knocking]

Gracie: Come in!

Bill Goodwin: Well, hi, Gracie!

Gracie: Hello, Bill! We haven’t seen you all week. Where’ve you been?

Bill: Oh, out of town. I ran up to San Francisco.

Gracie: Aww, you must be out of breath.

Bill: Uh…yeah, yeah. What’s new, Gracie?

Gracie: Oh, there’s wonderful news. George and I have a son!

Bill: You’re kidding! When did he arrive?

Gracie: Just a few days ago. His name is Michael Burns.

Bill: Well, gee, tell me all about it! How much does he weigh?

Gracie: About a hundred and twenty pounds.

[laughter]

Bill: A hundred and twenty pounds?

Gracie: Well, he is small, but I love him anyhow.

Bill: But Gracie –

Gracie: You know, the only bad thing about him, the little rascal smokes George’s cigars.

Bill: This kid I gotta see!

Gracie: He’s in the den with George! I’ll open the door and you can peek in.

[door opening noise]

Bill: Holy murder, I knew it! George is so old, he had an old baby.

[audience dies]

Gracie: Aww, Bill! Bill, he’s Mickey Rooney. I adopted him. Go in an’ talk to him.

[door closes behind them]

Mickey Rooney [laughing]: Hello, Bill!

Bill: Hi, Mick! Listen, Mick, is it true that Gracie adopted you?

Mickey Rooney: Yeah, that’s right, Billy.

Bill: Well, George, so Gracie finally did what thousands of people have wanted to do.

George: What’s that?

Bill: She slipped you a mickey.

[laughter]

George: Bill, he’s hiding from his studio.

Mickey Rooney: Yeah.

George: And like a sucker, I let him stay here. Now I’ve had enough. C’mon, Bill, help me throw him out.

Bill: Wait a minute, wait a minute! If Mickey wants to be your son, hang on to him! He makes a bundle, he could support you!

Mickey Rooney: You tell ‘im, Bill.

George: I don’t need Mickey to support me.

Bill: Well, I know, but it’s time Gracie had a rest.

[laughter]

George: Mickey is leaving! Out, kid. Out!

Bill: George, I don’t understand you. You’ve always wanted a son to carry on!

George: Not one who carries on like this little twerp.

Bill: He needs work –

George: Throw ‘im out, Bill.

Bill: Now, listen, don’t call Mickey a little twerp.

Mickey Rooney: That’s right, tell ‘im.

Bill: He’s very talented, He could be a big help on your radio program.

Mickey Rooney: Sure, I could be the one who tells the people about Maxwell House coffee. [starts into the ad patter, to Bill’s increasing objection]

Bill: Hold it, you little twerp! You’re trying to steal my job, you little no-talent chisler! I’m throwing you outta here, right now!

George: You tell ‘im, Bill!

Mickey Rooney: Ahh, let me go, ah! He’s hcoking me!

Gracie [entering]: Oh, Michael, would you – aww, how sweet! Uncle Bill is teaching you how to dance.

[laughter]

Mickey Rooney: No, Mama, Uncle Bill’s trying to kill me. Help.

Gracie: Ooh! Bill, stop choking that child!

Bill: Okay.

Gracie: Are you all right, Michael?

Mickey Rooney: Ah, I – I don’t know. I think so. I – think I swallowed my Adam’s apple.

Gracie: Well, never mind, when Adam comes around I’ll buy you another one. Bill Goodwin, you’re a brute, choking a little boy! Next you’ll be wrestling with girls.

Bill: Hey, that reminds me, I got a date! So long!

[door closing noise]

Gracie: Well, come on, Michael darling. You can go out in the back yard and play…[fades out]

George [to himself]: I’ll put an end to this. I’ll phone Mickey’s studio and tell his director to come and get him.

 

[jaunty scene change music]

 

[knocking]

Mickey Rooney: I’ll answer it, Mama! [door opening] Wally! How did you know I was here?

Director: Never mind that now, Mickey, I’ve got good news for you! Now, wait a minute – we’ve decided to give you the part you wanted. You know, the tough guy. Come on, come on, let’s get going.

Mickey Rooney: Well, gee, it won’t be so easy to break the news to…Mama.

Director: ‘Mama’?

Mickey Rooney: Yeah, Mrs. Burns. She thinks she adopted me, heh. What a time I’ve had here.

Director: Well, they must’ve treated you right. You look great.

Mickey Rooney: Ooh, Wally, I feel great! Never eaten such good food in my life!

Director: Really?

Mickey Rooney: Yeah. What a cook her husband is.

[laughter]

Director: Well now, look, Mickey, I got an idea. Living here has put you in great shape. So why don’t you stay here while you learn your new part? I’ll come over every day and work on it with you.

Mickey Rooney: Ehh. Yeah, that’s not bad, Wally.

Director: It’s too bad I can’t live here too.

Mickey Rooney: …Wait a minute. Maybe you can. If Mrs. Burns adopted me, why, why shouldn’t she adopt you?

Director: Ohoho, Mickey, only a woman who’s daffy would do that.

Mickey Rooney: You’re as good as adopted! Come along and follow my lead!

[door opening]

Mickey Rooney [affected kid-voice]: Mama? Oh, Mama, I’d like you to meet Wally. Wally’s my best friend.

Director: Hello, Mrs. Burns.

Gracie: Hello, Wally. Aren’t you a little old to be a playmate of Michael?

Mickey Rooney: Well, Mama, we’re the same age. Wally just looks old because he’s had such a terrible life. He was…raised in…poverty.

Gracie: Is that far from Los Angeles?

Mickey Rooney: …About twenty miles. When he was a tiny baby, he was left on a doorstep, Mama!

Gracie: Ohhh! He’s a stepchild!

Mickey Rooney: Say, Mama, why don’t you adopt him too, eh?

Gracie: Well, would you be happy here, Wally?

Director: Yes, yes!

Gracie: Oh, well, then I’ll do it! My, what a wonderful age we live in. It took my mother almost a year to have a child, and in less than a week I have two of them!

George [next room]: Oh, Gracie!

Gracie: It’s your father, boys. Wait here. [door noise] George, something happened while you were gone.

George [cheerfully]: Yeah! I figured that it would!

Gracie: Well, come in the other room with me.

George: Okay! …Mickey! Who’s this?

Director: Hello, Daddy.

George: Huh?!

Gracie: I adopted another son! …Oh, how cute. Daddy’s going to play a game with you, boys. He’s getting a baseball bat out of the closet!

Mickey Rooney: Waitaminute! We don’t wanna play!

[music, final ad, closing credits]

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