Recap: The Facts gals are hanging with Andy, who's bummed that he's being forced to stay with them (aka under Mrs. Garrett's shrieky supervision) while his mother's out of town for a few days. The gals point out that he's only eleven years old and therefore can't be left alone unless his mother wants to be charged with child neglect, then assure him they're all going to have a blast watching The Wizard of Oz. Natalie idly peruses the newspaper and is all, "Ack!" when she spots the obituary of Art Jackson, aka the jazz singer/restaurant worker she and Tootie became friends with last summer. Andy looks intrigued and pleads, "Tell me more!" - LOL - so Tootie begins regaling him with a boring recap of the friendship she and Natalie struck up with Art Jackson, the jazz musician-turned-waiter they met while working in the same Poconos resort restaurant.
Natalie and Tootie are getting run off their feet as they wait and bus tables in a Poconos restaurant. Tootie tells fellow waiter Art she's worried that if she doesn't make it as an actress she'll be working a minimum wage type job like this forever, and Art wanks her about how special she is and that she can accomplish whatever she sets her mind to. Their dorky supervisor, Carl, appears out of nowhere and snarls at them to talk less and work more, and Art tells him to go pee up a rope and throws it back in his face about how short-staffed the restaurant always is.
After the dinner rush, an exhausted Natalie, Tootie, and Art are slumped around a table looking half asleep. Jo and Blair enter the restaurant after a day of swimming and playing tennis - just as Carl enters the room, perks up at the sight of the two "super-babes", and announces that he's about to perform his comedy routine for whoever hasn't yet had the good sense to flee the restaurant. He asks Art why his act didn't seem to fly last night, and Art says he needs to do a more thoughtful job of reading his audience and delivering what they want. Tootie looks impressed by that answer and asks him how he knows so much about gauging the mood of an audience, and he just kind of shrugs and mumbles something unintelligible.
Tootie and Natalie stop by Art's cabin before their next shift...and quickly see that he's not there. Tootie remarks that there's so much more to Art than he's let on, and that she's going to use his secrecy as free license to rifle through his drawers. She finds a box filled with photos of Art posing aside various music legends - Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald - and sees that many of them signed the photos and affectionately addressed him as Art Jazzbeau. Natalie implores Tootie to put the photos back and not risk ruining their friendship with Art, but Tootie just stares contemplatively into space and wonders aloud why in blazes Art would give up a stimulating music career to wait tables in the Poconos.
Back to present day..
Natalie tells everyone that Tootie became obsessed with uncovering all the deets about Art's defunct music career. Tootie concurs, then gushes about how kind Art was to them, and how he inspired her to continue her pursuit of acting.
Art is helping Natalie and Tootie serve coffee to the restaurant patrons when Jo and Blair drop by after an afternoon of lounging by the pool. Carl appears out of nowhere to gabble at Jo and Blair about his next comedy act, and they shrug disinterestedly and are like, "We really don't give a shit, Carl."
Tootie asks Art if he's at all into music, and he just grunts something non-committal and wanders off. Natalie snaps at Tootie to leave him alone and points out that if he wanted to talk about his past life as a musician, he would. Art obliviously wanders back and suggests that the three of them spend their next day off at a lovely nearby lake.
Art, Tootie, and Natalie return to his cabin...and Art says he's dismayed that the lovely lake he used to take his wife to somehow got drained and replaced with an amusement park. Tootie brings up the topic of music again, then stupidly blurts out, "Jazzbeau!!" and Art glances over at Natalie with a bemused 'the fuck?' expression on his face. Natalie sheepishly admits that she and Tootie - but mostly Tootie - were poking around his room the other day and just happened to stumble upon his box of photographs. Art explains that Jazzbeau was a nickname someone gave him when he was just starting out as a jazz singer...and that he no longer had the heart to continue performing after his wife became terminally ill. Tootie gushes about how exciting the life of a jazz performer must have been and that she'd loooooove to hear him sing - but Art says that while he's flattered by her strange fascination with his past life, he has zero interest in performing just 'cause she wants him to. Natalie assures him they're A-OK with that, then urges Tootie to shut it and stop aggravating the poor man.
After the after dinner rush, Tootie begs Blair and Jo to invite Carl to go dancing with them in order to free up the stage for the night from his grisly comedy routine. Jo and Blair are like, "No way in hell!" before changing their minds and reluctantly agreeing to take the dork off of her hands... and Carl smugly accepts their invitation and interprets it to mean that he's going to have to figure out which of the two super-babes he's more into. After the three head off to the dance club, Tootie tells Art there's a performance slot available now that Carl has bailed out - but Art firmly tells her he doesn't sing anymore, doesn't want to sing anymore, and that he really just likes being an ordinary guy with an ordinary job. When he explains that he considers it progress to give up one thing in life for another, Tootie scrunches her face confusedly and says she simply can't get her tiny brain around his decision to no longer want a career in showbiz. Art shrugs indifferently and says he doesn't give a rat's ass whether or not she understands his life choices, and Tootie apologizes for meddling, then announces to the handful of people left in the restaurant that there won't be any kind of entertainment after all.
As Tootie laments to Natalie how shittily she messed up, Art unexpectedly takes the stage and tells the smattering of onlookers that, upon further reflection, he's going to perform some jazz one last time. Tootie's all, "Hurray!" ... and as he starts singing, the small audience bobs their heads to the beat as they woot and cheer him on.
Back to present day..
Tootie and Natalie stare wistfully into space and wax on about how awesome Art's performance was, then add that they kept in touch with him for a few months after the summer. Tootie picks up a pair of scissors and cuts out the obituary from the newspaper before staring down at it sadly.
Thanks for reading! If you are enjoying TVofYore's recaps, consider thanking me by buying me a "coffee"!