Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 1: Episode 17

75q: Ron Nessen / Patti Smith

Gary Weis Film: Garbage

[Gary Weis film in which New York sanitation workers are interviewed on the job:]

1st Man: Well, I feel the men should be called "sanitation men" - not "garbage men."

Man in Truck 1: Eh, sanitation engineer's a little too high. But "garbage man" -- it - it - it - it's describing the person. I don't think that's right.

Man in Truck 2: You can call me anything as long as I get paid every week!

Man in Truck 3: It doesn't make a difference one way or another, doesn't matter. You are what ya are.

[We hear folk singer Pete Seeger's recording of Bill Steele's 1969 song "Garbage" over a montage of garbage trucks. The 1st Man directs the trucks. We see an enormous amount of trash being emptied from trucks into garbage scows.]

Pete Seeger: [sings]
Mister Thompson calls the waiter, orders steak and baked potater
Then he leaves the bone and gristle and he never eats the skin
The busboy comes and takes it, with a cough contaminates it
He throws it in a can with coffee grounds and sardine tins
Then a truck comes by on Friday - carts it all away
And a thousand trucks just like it are converging on the Bay
[sings the refrain]

Chorus: Garbage, garbage, garbage

Pete Seeger: Garbage

Chorus: Garbage, garbage, garbage

[Song ends. Interviews continue:]

1st Man: Around springtime, bodies start poppin' up. Usually, uh, they fall in around fall or wintertime. Whatever the reason is I don't know, they don't come up till spring. Whether it's the water heatin' up and the chemicals in the body, I dunno but they pop up around spring. We got four or five of 'em around here. Fact is, between us and the fireboat one day, I spotted somethin' I thought was a leg and after I got the police harbor boat on it, turned out to be, uh, an arm. The hand was missin' but the rest of it was there.

Man in Truck 2: Sometimes we find guns in the - in the hopper when we dump the cans.

Man in Truck 4: Found a diamond ring once.

Man in Truck 5: That depends on what's valuable to you, you know? I read a lot, I find a lot of books.

1st Man: [points] Then we found a [clears throat] guy dead over here on the other pier. Turned out to be a reporter and he's supposed to have blown his head off.

[Brief shot of trash falling into scow.]

1st Man: [points] Well, that dark land you see goin' across the whole of the river down there -- that's Staten Island. On the far side from here, that's where the scows go.

[We hear bluesman Jimmy Smith's version of "Got My Mojo Working" as we see a tugboat ferry a scow to the dump and various heavy machinery at the dump hauling huge metal dumpsters of garbage.]

Jimmy Smith: [sings]
Well, I tried in New York City!
Oh ho, oh, I'm gonna try it on you!
Oh, yeah -- work my rooster!

[At a salvage yard. Piles of salvageable material in front of a trailer.]

Salvage Worker 1: We have a contract with the city of New York. We have men pickin' - pickin' material right up - right off the dump, right out o' the dump. Glass, ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals, you know, brass, copper, steel, iron.

John: [leaning on a truck marked "sanitation"] Ah, this is part o' the scrap that we get down at the dump. Eventually, it'll be cut up, sold for scrap.

Salvage Worker 2: [petting a dog] We found him out here on the dump. Somebody dropped him off. He's only five months old now. He was a pup when we raised him - from out here. Well, we got him out o' the dump and, first thing that came to us, we called him "Dumpy."

[Dissolve to a long panning shot of a gigantic garbage dump in Staten Island -- nothing but garbage as far as the eye can see. Over this, we hear voices:]

Interviewer: What do they call this up here, John?

John: This is the Brookfield Land Dump.

Interviewer: You know how wide it is?

John: It's about six miles around.

Interviewer: Now, they say it's the largest, uh, landfill dump in the world, right?

John: It is. It is. The largest in the world.

Interviewer: You been in business about twenty years now.

John: About twenty years.

[Finally, the pan ends on the Interviewer wearing a face mask. He talks with John who stands nearby without a mask.]

Interviewer: Tell me, John, how do you stand the smell here?

John: Smells good today. Wait till the summer when it gets real hot and it's-- Stuff starts cookin' up a little bit. That's when you can't stand it. Now, it's nice.

Interviewer: This doesn't smell so bad right now?

John: Nah. Ain't that bad.

[Film ends.]

Submitted Anonymously

SNL Transcripts