76e: Steve Martin / Kinky Friedman
Looks at Books
Dr. Kaufmann.....Steve Martin
[FADE IN on the usual “Looks at Books” graphic as piano music plays softly, then FADE to Jane Curtin’s face.]
Jane: Good evening, and welcome to “Looks at Books.” I’m Jane Curtin, and our guest tonight has written a most interesting book called, “Sex and Sports.”
[She holds up a book with the title and a stock illustration of a baseball bat and a football inside a basketball hoop.]
Jane: Please welcome Dr. Lloyd Kaufmann. Welcome to our show.
Dr. Kaufmann: [glancing down and smiling] Thank you.
Jane: Tell us, Dr. Kaufmann, exactly what is your book about?
Dr. Kaufmann: [in a scholarly voice] Well, I just completed a ten-year study examining the effects that sexual activity has on athletic performance. Now this has been a, uh, controversy for, uh, quite some time--many coaches maintain that abstension is preferable prior to an athletic event, because sex depletes one’s strength; therefore, the athlete doesn’t do as well.
Jane: That’s very interesting. How was this study done?
Dr. Kaufmann: I employed a strict scientific method, uh, using over five hundred athletes, uh, one half of whom did have sex prior to sports, and the others did not. Now this, of course, was all done in complete confidence.
Jane: Did you use anonymous questionnaires, like Kinsey, or did you conduct private conversations, like Masters and Johnson?
Dr. Kaufmann: [a bit sheepishly] No, um, I employed a different kind of method involving, uh, binoculars... and, uh, spending many hours across the street from the subject’s window.
Jane: [evenly] Oh, I see. Your book deals with all sports?
Dr. Kaufmann: Yes, it does.
Jane: And since this is the World Series time, I was especially interested in your chapter called, “Base on Balls.”
Jane: I understand that you brought along some film.
Dr. Kaufmann: Yes, we found that abstension from sex helps one’s athletic performance, and I think these films can show that. [points offstage] Can you roll the films, please?
[CUT to archival footage of Johnny Bench slugging a home run to left off Vida Blue at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati against the Oakland A’s, 1972 World Series.]
Dr. Kaufmann: [narrating] Now this batter was coming off a bad season, and he decided to abstain, and it helped his performance remarkably. He hit home runs and was a big help to his team.
[Bench is seen trotting home triumphantly and slapping the hands of the third base coach and the batter on deck.]
Dr. Kaufmann: Very interesting.
Jane: I see he has a lot of--
[CUT abruptly to film of a New York Yankees shortstop charging a ground ball in the infield and wheeling it to first for the out.]
Dr. Kaufmann: Now, here’s a terrific defensive play by someone who took a vow of celibacy after joining a religious cult.
[CUT back to the studio, where Jane and Dr. Kaufmann watch intently for a moment, then turn back to each other. Dr. Kaufmann nervously clears his throat.]
Jane: Now, these men, for one reason or another, abstained from sex.
Dr. Kaufmann: That’s right.
Jane: Now what about the others?
Dr. Kaufmann: Well, I have some film. I have shown that, uh... [muffing his lines] The men who uh, who did abstain were somewhat hampered, and um... as closer, uh, sports got to the athletic event, then their performance would hamper accordingly. [points off camera] So maybe we can roll the film on that, please.
[CUT to film of a New York Mets left fielder running up for a fly ball which lands just in front of his glove and skips far past him.]
Dr. Kaufmann: [over laughter] Now the, uh, left fielder in this had sex one week prior to the big game, as did the pitcher in this play.
[CUT to a Boston Red Sox pitcher charging a dribbler to his right and bobbling it badly. He keeps the ball and turns back to the mound.]
Dr. Kaufmann: Now, this catcher was teased the night before the game...
[CUT to a catcher camping under a pop foul right along the third base line. It falls out of his mitt, and he pounds the mitt in disgust.]
Dr. Kaufmann: And it’s no surprise that these two players here were seen with a few hookers on the way to the ballpark.
[CUT to another clip of a batter hitting a high pop foul just left of home plate. The catcher and third baseman both run for it and converge right in front of the dugout. Both of them lift up their gloves to catch it, but it falls out of the catcher’s mitt just as the third baseman trips him and sends him sprawling. The umpire is seen waving off the play as no catch. CUT to another batter lofting a lazy line drive over the second baseman’s head. The ball rolls straight to the center fielder.]
Dr. Kaufmann: Now, note the center fielder in this play. He visited his wife in the locker room between innings.
[The center fielder bends to scoop up the slow-rolling ball, but misses it and slides down on his butt as the ball continues to roll out toward the fence. He picks up and runs after it. CUT to a batter being hit by a pitch and diving to the dirt in the batter’s box.]
Dr. Kaufmann: Now this is interesting: the girlfriend of this pitcher had sex with this batter during the seventh-inning stretch.
[The batter takes several slow steps toward first, glaring at the pitcher, and then suddenly charges the mound and barrels into him.]
Dr. Kaufmann: [wryly] And with everyone else during the National Anthem.
[CUT to another angle of the brawl as the benches clear and other players try to break it up. FADE back to the studio.]
Dr. Kaufmann: Not a pleasant sight, but still I think it illustrates the results in my findings.
Jane: Very clearly. Thank you very much for joining us, and I’m sure everyone is looking forward to your next study, which is?
Dr. Kaufmann: Um... the, uh, next book I’m going to do is titled, “Sex and Sex.”
Dr. Kaufmann: See, I found that if one is going to have sex, his performance will be better if he doesn’t have sex right before doing it.
Jane: I see. Well, thank you again. [to camera] And thank you, and coming up is a film by Gary Weis.
Dr. Kaufmann: Say...
[ZOOM OUT as Dr. Kaufmann leans over to Jane and starts rubbing her knee suggestively. She looks down in disbelief and then smiles timidly. FADE to black.]
Submitted by: Sean