Family Ties (1982–1989): Season 2, Episode 18 - Lady Sings the Blues - full transcript

Elyse tries to revive her performances practiced as a college folk singer with mixed results while Alex and Stephen are traumatized by Mallory's driving lessons.

♪ I bet we've been together
for a million years ♪

♪ and I'll bet we'll be together
for a million more ♪

♪ oh, it's like
I started breathing ♪

♪ on the night we kissed

♪ and I can't remember
what I ever did before ♪

♪ what would we do, baby

♪ without us?

♪ what would we do, baby

♪ without us?

♪ and there ain't no nothin' ♪

♪ we can't love
each other through ♪

♪ ooh-hoo

♪ what would we do, baby

♪ without us?

♪ sha-la-la-la

♪ how many times
can a man turn his head? ♪

♪ pretending he just doesn't see

♪ the answer my friend

♪ is blowing in the wind,

♪ the answer is blowing in the wind


Oh, that was great, Elyse.

You certainly haven't
lost your touch.

Thank you.
I'm so rusty.

I must have plucked
20 bad notes.

Oh, come on, mom.
No, you didn't.

I counted 23.

I only counted 19.

That's as high as you can count.

Listening to you
really reminded me

of the old days, Elyse.

Makes me want to
go out and...

boycott some lettuce.

Did you know
she was a folk singer?

I wasn't really
a folk singer, honey.

I picked up a guitar or two.

Oh, don't be so modest, Elyse.

Kids, when we were in college,

your mother used to perform
every Thursday night.

It was in a tiny, jam-packed,
smoke-filled coffee house

two floors underground.

The age of Darkness Cafe.

Sounds like a fun place.

I remember,
Wednesday was anarchist night.

People in favor of violent
overthrow of the government

got a free cocktail.

Hey, you remember that time

we came there after the rally...

Don't get started.
We've got to go.

She's got a point.

You know, Elyse, you could have
made a career out of singing.

Why didn't you ever
follow up on it?

I had a family to raise,
another career to build.

Singing was never more
than a hobby.

Passing interest.

Couldn't ever have
a decent following.

Decent following?
Elyse, everybody, who heard you,

thought you'd gotta be the next
Joan Baez or Judy Collins.

You sing great, mom.

I bet you could have been
the next Joan Collins.

Judy Collins, honey,
and your dad's exaggerating.

Oh, no, he isn't.

You were really
something special, Elyse.

The world may gained
an architect, but...

lost a great singer.

Maybe you could
have combined that two.

You could've been
the singing architect.

Ah, to watch
a great mind at work.

You know, Elyse,
I just got an idea.

Andy and I went to a noon
nightclub downtown

called the Top Spot.

They have comedians,
musicians, and singers.

It's no Age of Darkness cafe,
but it was fun.

Maybe we could all
go sometime.

Oh, sounds good.

- Good!
- Ahem.

- All right.
- We've got to go.

- The timekeeper.
- Thank you.

Okay, bye.

- Bye-bye.
- Good seeing you.

- Bye.
- Good-bye.

And you, baby, time for bed.

Good night, mom. You were great.
Thank you.

Dad, will you tuck me in, please?

Oh, come on.
I'll tuck you in.

I'm going to bed early, too.

Alex is giving me
a driving lesson tomorrow.

That's right. Tomorrow
we're gonna work on, uh...

opening the car door.

Alex, stop sneering.
I want to actually drive.

Look, Mallory, you know, uh...

you may be
carrying packages sometime.

Did you ever think of that?

Opening the car door
is not always easy.




Thank you.

Thank you very much.

It's a pleasure
to be here tonight.

Ah, you're a beautiful audience.

Hi, Mal.


Hi, Mal.
How'd the driving lesson go?

Great! I think
I'm a natural-born driver.

Where's Alex?

How'd the lesson go?

I thought I'd never
see this house again.

Oh, Alex, don't be
so melodramatic.

Oh, don't worry, Mallory.
I don't blame you.

It's not your fault.

I just assumed that when you
saw a red sign marked "STOP,"

you'd take it at face value.

I told you,
I didn't see the sign.

Well, yeah. How could you?
You were going in reverse.

Oh, come on, Alex.
It couldn't have been that bad.

It wasn't dad.
Alex just has no patience.

He was yelling at me
the whole time.

I wasn't yelling at you.

I was yelling at a cop
to shoot at our tires.

You're not being
very helpful, Alex.

Your sister needs a patient,
tolerant teacher.

Will you take me tomorrow, dad?

Sure, Mallory. I'll be glad to.

You might need this.

What is that?

Hi, honey. You're late.

Where have you been?

Oh, I'm glad you
asked that question.

You going to answer?

You're not going to
believe this,

but on the way home
from work today,

I stopped in at the Top Spot,

and I have an audition
tomorrow afternoon!

Hold down the enthusiasm a bit.

Honey, honey, that's great.

How are you going
to be a singer, mommy?

Are you going to quit your job?

Wait a minute, wait a minute.
Hold the phone!

Nobody's quitting
any jobs around here.

These people
got kids to support.

They got a boy
to put through college.

I'm not quitting my job.

It's just... I had such
a good time last night

singing and reminiscing
about the past, that...

I just was thinking
how nice it would be

to perform again.

In front of people?

Well, that's the basic idea, Mal.

Well, mom,
I think you're a great singer,

but you're our mother.

I try to keep
a low profile on that.

I just thought, why not?
I mean, what have I got to lose?

Your mother is very brave
to try something like this, kids.

It's important
to pursue your dreams,

no matter how great
the odds against you may be.

Sort of like you trying to get
a driver's license.

Now, Corky, don't you think
you talked enough?

Why don't you try listening
for a change?

Well, I'm certainly not gonna
listen to a dummy like you.

Hey, Corky, I hear you
got a new girlfriend.

Is that true?

Oh, Dennis, she's the greatest.

Her skin is so soft,
when I touched her,

I only got three splinters.

Okay, Dennis. You were great.

Hey, what about me?

Oh, you were crock!

You guys crack me up.

Pretty soon you're
gonna be able to kiss

that dishwashing job good-bye.

Well, we got it down.
But he washes, and I dry.

Yeah, all right.

All right. You're
the opening act.

We do two shows a night,
$50 a week.


Thank you, uncle Lou.

Thank you, uncle Lou.

I don't know, Steven.

What if he doesn't like me?

Of course he'll like you.

He liked Dennis
and Corky, didn't he?

Are you saying
I'm as bad as they are?

Of course not.

I never see your lips move.

Excuse me, sir.

I'm Steven Keaton.
This is my wife Elyse.

She sings.

What do you do?

I, uh, manage a public
broadcasting station.

Okay, Steven.
You'll follow the juggler.

It's a joke. Come on!

He's here for moral support.

- I'm the one with the audition.
- Okay.

Elyse Keaton, folk singer.

We're ready for you.

Uh, up there.

- Good luck, honey.
- Thank you.

There's a lot of suffering
in the world today.

We tend to forget about people
who have less than we do.

Who less fortunate than we are.

We take things for granted.

We don't realize
how lucky we are.

Excuse me.

Just why are you
telling me these things?

Look, if I want to feel guilty,
I'll call my mother.

I'm sorry.

♪ to everything

♪ turn, turn, turn

♪ there is a season

♪ turn, turn, turn

♪ and a time for every purpose ♪

♪ under heaven

♪ a time to be born

♪ a time to die

- ♪ a time...
- That's enough.

Why don't you come right
down here and we'll talk, okay?

You were great, honey.

Did you think so?

Well, look at Lou.
He is visibly moved.

So, how did I do?

You definitely didn't stink.


You really mean that?

Welcome to show business.

When do I start?

Uh, start Saturday.

Two shows a night, $25 a week.

Wait a minute, wait a minute...

You're paying Dennis
and Corky $50 a week.

Of course.
There are two of them.

Jeniffer, I just had my best
driving lesson ever.

I'm really getting good at this.

Maybe when you get your licence
you can take me to school in stuff.

Sure! We'll be driving
all over town.

I explained to you, officer.

She got
the two pedals confused.

Excuse me, dad.

But I didn't get
the pedals confused.

I got my feet confused.

Mallory, let me
handle this, please.

But dad...

She violated almost every
traffic ordinance known to man.

She made a few little mistakes.

Nothing out of the ordinary.

Hey, dad...

What's this doing
in the front yard?

Alex, put that back, please.

Ah, Mallory's driving lesson.

I'll just put this
with the other stuff.


Officer, please.

If you come down
hard on her now,

you'll destroy her confidence.

I'll tell you what. Just this one
time, I'm gonna let her go.

But, please,
keep her off the streets.

She's really not a bad driver.
She has a lot of potential.

So, dad, what time tomorrow
will we go driving?

You're my daughter,

and I love you very much,

but I'm never getting into an
automobile with you again.


Hey, guys, I need your help here.

Which one of these, do you think,
I should wear tonight?

I told you,
you got to go casual.

Couldn't you wear
something with a veil?

Mallory, why are you
so embarrassed about this?

Your mother's always
loved to sing,

she misses doing it,

and it's important for her
to try it now.

When Alison Weber's mom was
going through midlife crisis,

she just went to law school.

When Nancy Hefner's mom
was feeling blue,

she ran off
with a college sophomore.

Let her sing.

I'm not going through
a midlife crisis.

I just want to do something
that I haven't done in years.

Midlife crisis.

Classic. Classic.

Hey, have you, uh... Have you
chosen a stage name yet?

A stage name?

Yeah. Something...
with a little more pizzazz,

Something other than Keaton.

I was thinking Elyse Lamour.

Alex, she's a folk singer,
not a stripper.

All right, all right.
How about, uh...

Ramblin' Elyse Lamour?

No, thanks, Alex.

Come on, Elyse,
you better get dressed.

Well, honey.

I'm having trouble with
this land is your land.

Can you sing it now?

Well, I could sure
use the practice.

Let's see.

♪ this land is your land ♪

♪ this land is my land

♪ from the redwood forest

Honey, I'm sorry.
California, right?

♪ California


Start again.
Pick it up a little.

♪ this land is your land

♪ this land is my land

♪ from California

♪ to the New York Island

♪ from the redwood forest

♪ to the Gulf Stream waters ♪

♪ this land was made
for you and me ♪


♪ as I was walking

♪ that ribbon of highway

♪ I saw above me

Mom, maybe you should
play some modern songs.

You know,
ones from this century.

Songs like "Beat It"
or "Murder by Numbers".

Do-do, do-do. Da-da, da-da.

Ah, those old standards.

Amazingly enough,
Mallory may have a point.

You should at least be ready
with one of those songs.

How does one go?

♪ beat it, beat it

♪ beat it, beat it

♪ no one likes to be defeated ♪

♪ show me what's funky

♪ show me what's right ♪

♪ it doesn't...

I liked it.

My father used to call me
by my biblical name...

I'll start with This Land,

then Blowing... No, no.

Blowing first...

Honey, just do it the way
you rehearsed it.

You'd be wonderful.

Count your blessings, knothead.

There are few ventriloquist acts
around these days.

Yeah, you right. There are lot
of dummies out of work.

You could be next.

Hey, pal, you're
moving your lips.

I'll stop if you will.

Good night.

Good night and don't forget.
Conserve firewood.

The log you save
may be my uncle.

Good night!

Dennis McKay and Corky.

Let's hear it for them.

A little lady came
into our Wednesday audition

and really knocked us
for a loop and a half.

So put your hands together.

Let's have a warm
Top Spot welcome

for miss Elyse Keaton!

Come on up here.

My name is Elyse Keaton.

I'm a singer.

Actually, I'm an architect,

but I can't very well come up here
and draw pictures of houses

for you, can I?


I'd like to dedicate
this first set

to a man who changed
the course of my life...

A man named
Woody Guthrie.

♪ this land is your land

♪ this land is my land ♪

♪ from California

Oh, god.
Man, get real.

♪ from the redwood forest

♪ to the Gulf Stream waters ♪

License number XJ473,
please see Edmundo. Thank you.

♪ as I was walkin'

♪ that ribbon of highway

♪ this land was made
for you and me ♪

Uh, that song had
a lot of meaning for me,

but, um...
I'm just one person.

Maybe we'll try something else.

♪ Kumbaya, my lord

♪ Kumbaya

♪ Kumbaya, my Lord

♪ Kumbaya

♪ Kumbaya, my Lord

♪ Kumbaya

Better keep your day job, lady.

♪ oh, Lord, Kumbaya

Check, check.

Maybe you'll like
this one better.

♪ beat it

♪ beat it

♪ no one wants to be defeated ♪


♪ show me...


Elyse, darling.
Come on. Please.

- Look, sit down. Please, relax.
- Take me home, please.

Honey, you're upset.
Come on.

I was horrible.

Isn't that funny?
I thought you were great.

You sang beautifully, Elyse.

Yeah. Really, mom.

The crowd just wasn't
ready for you, mom.

They were too conservative.

You're very kind,
but I wasn't any good.

I was rusty.
I should've rehearsed more.

I just didn't sing well,
that's all.

Mrs. Keaton...

I thought you
were wonderful myself.

Great vocal ability.

It's your material, honey.
That's all.

Mind your own business, Corky.

No. Let him speak.

Well, it's those songs
you're singing.

It's not what everyone today
wants to hear.

They have too much meaning.

Sure, you and I
can relate to them,

but what about guys
like Dennis here?

I gotta admit
I couldn't follow it.

But those are the songs
I want to sing.

Then sing for your own pleasure.
Forget the audience.

You believe in yourself,
they'll believe in you.

Corky makes
an excellent point, Elyse.

Thanks, Steve.

Let's have lunch.


Oh, Steven.
Please, don't try and talk me

into going back out there.

That was so horrible,

so frightening.

I should never have done
it in the first place.

It all came back
with a rush, Elyse.

What did?

Sitting in clubs like this,

watching you up there,

listening to you sing.

Cheering you on,
hoping you'd sing another.

Loving your voice.

Loving you.

I loved you so much
then, Steven.

I love you even more now,

but that... that's
separate from this.

I made a mistake.

I can't go home again.

I was such a jerk.

I was out there trying to...

recapture something.
It's over.

I'm too old for this, you know?

It had its time, and so did I.

I made such a fool
out of myself.


There's another
audience at 10:00.

They don't know what a
fool you made of yourself.

I for one promise
not to tell them.

- Steven.
- Look, it's like Corky said.

Go on out there
and do it for yourself,

for your own pleasure.

You can't go home again, Elyse.

You may not like what's
happened to the neighborhood,

but you can't go home.

Do it, Elyse.

You won't be alone.

Your best friend
will be with you.

As you can see,
he cannot see a thing,

ladies and gentlemen.

Not a thing.

- Can you see anything?
- Nothing!

How many fingers
am I holding up?

Uh, two.

The amazing Corky!
How does he do it?

Thank you, and good night.

Dennis McKay and Corky.
Let's hear it for them.

And now, I'd like
to introduce a little lady

who made her debut
here this evening.

And now she's again,

for her second debut,
miss Elyse Keaton!

- All right!
- Yay!

Yay! Yay, mom!

Thank you.
Thank you very much.

I haven't stepped up on a stage
to sing in almost 20 years...

In the sixties.

Anyone out there
remember the sixties?


We tried to ban the bomb
and beautify America,

and we sang songs.

Folk songs,
songs of social protest.

And I'm going to sing a few
of those for you tonight.

And I want you to see
how it goes.

I'd like to
dedicate this first set

to a man who changed
the course of my life...

A man named Steven Keaton.

♪ come gather 'round, people ♪

♪ wherever you roam

♪ and admit

♪ that the waters
around you have grown ♪

♪ and accept that quite soon ♪

♪ you'll be drenched
to the bone ♪

♪ time to you is worth savin' ♪

♪ you'd better start swimmin'

♪ or you'll sink like a stone ♪

♪ for the times

♪ they are a-changin'

♪ come writers and critics ♪

♪ prophesize with your pen

♪ and keep your eyes wide

♪ the chance won't come again ♪

♪ don't speak too soon

♪ the wheel's still in spin ♪

♪ and there's no tellin'
who that it's namin' ♪

♪ for the loser now

♪ will later, too, win

♪ for the times

♪ they are a-changin'