Saturday Night Live Transcripts


  Season 1: Episode 17




75q: Ron Nessen / Patti Smith

Billy Crystal Stand-Up

... Ron Nessen
... Billy Crystal

Ron Nessen: Ladies and gentlemen, here is Bill Crystal.

[Applause. Young Billy Crystal enters. Nessen, applauding, exits.]

Billy Crystal: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for that warm welcome, uh, very often, new comedians like me, uh, we have a rough time, especially in big concerts. Often, we'll get no billing. The audience will have no idea there's an opening act. And it's not fair. I come out, three thousand people have timed their drugs for the headliner. Whoa! Can be difficult. But, uh, I started performing when I was a little boy. My family was in the jazz recording business. We owned a label called the Commodore Jazz label. We recorded all the great people like Billie Holiday, Eddie Condon, all the great old players and my dad used to produce them in concert and that's where I was brought up, backstage, and these old players were my friends. Uh, it was a great period in my life. They always called me "Face." "Face" is a hip jazz term for cute kid or really pretty lady. They always called them "Face." And I hadn't seen any of them in about fifteen years till, about two months ago, I was passing a little club in the Village, recognized the name of a real old great friend of mine. I went to see him. Sent him a note. And we had a real sweet reunion backstage.

[Lights go down, shrouding the studio in darkness. Jazz saxophone plays a mellow tune. A lone spotlight shines on a stool on the walkway that juts out into the audience. Crystal, imitating an old jazz musician, walks into the spotlight and sits on the stool.]

Billy Crystal: [in character, raspy voice] Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. The Face! Yes, yes, yes, yes. This is heavy. This is heavy. Yes, yes. Can you dig it? I knew that you could. Yes, yes, yes. You're lookin' so nice, Face. Just so nice to see ya. ... I'm okay. I'm feelin', uh, copacetic. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Can you dig it? I knew that you could. Yes, yes, yes, yes. Yeah. You been doin' so many things. I been seein' ya poppin' up on the tube. It's lovely to see ya, absolutely charming. Hey, Face, do you remember the first joke I ever did tell you? You do? Do it with me. It's about old Zooty. Yes. Do it. Zooty goes into the barbershop and he says, Hey, man, how much is a haircut? And the haircut man he says, "Haircut's two dollars." Zooty says, "Wow! How much is a shave?" Says, "Shave's a dollar." Zooty says, "Wow, baby. [points to head] Shave it!" Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. That's lovely. Yes, yes. Can you dig it? I knew that you could. Yes, yes. ... I'm okay. I'm giggin', I'm giggin' all the time, all the time. I had some problem with my teeth a while back. Yes, yes. Didn't have none. Yes, yes, yes, yes. It was low, it was low. I had to get some new dental work done on my chops, yes, so I had no bread, you know, so I had to hock my horn, you know, to get my teeth fixed. Yeah but then I was lookin' good. I was lookin' sassy. Like Jaws, yas, yas, yas, yas. Can you dig it? I knew that you could. Yes, yes, yes. ... What? Huh? No. That's - that's cool, I thought you was gonna say something. I was in Italy. Yeah, I - I was there with old Pops Ben Webster. We had a lovely time. Love the Italian folks, they's charming. Absolutely lovely. We went to a concert that was given by Romano Mussolini. Yassss, yes, yes, yes. He's the son of Il Duce. Yasss, yes, yes, yes. Can you dig it? I knew that you could. Yes, yes. Romano, he don't play too good. He stunk up the joint. And we was nervous 'cause we know, we's gonna go backstage and he's gonna say, "Hey, Pops, what'd you think about the set?" And Webster, he's too kind to tell him that he stunk up the joint, you know what I'm talkin' about? Yes, yes, yes. Sure enough, we watch him. He's lousy. We go backstage and he says, "Hey, Pops, what'd you think about the set?" And Webster, he don't know what to say and he goes, uh, "Hey, man, it was a drag what they did to your father." We just laughed and laughed, yes. Can you dig it? I knew that you could. Yes, yes, yes. [turns and talks to someone behind him] What? I'm - I'm comin'. [sadly, to Face] I gotta go do the second set. Yes. Ain't nobody there but we gonna do it anyhow. Hey, Face, it was so lovely to see ya. Absolutely charming to see ya. Keep it together. Yeah, don't ever stop. It's happenin' now and it's so lovely to see. Yeah. Never quit. Maybe ... get a teaching gig to fall back on, you know, just in case the gig don't happen, you know, you know what I'm talkin' about? Yes. Can you dig it? I knew that you could. Yeah. It can be a sweet life, Face. I got all that I need. God bless us, still got my old lady. And my horn. And you know I got the music. Hey, Face, wherever you go, just remember that, well ... love you madly.

[Saxophone winds down as Crystal waves goodbye, wipes his brow, and remains seated quietly on the stool. Applause.]


Submitted Anonymously


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