78i: Elliot Gould / Peter Tosh
Bob and Ray
Interviewer ... Bob Elliott
Garth ... Ray Goulding
... Elliott Gould
Elliott Gould: Ladies and gentlemen, Bob and Ray.
[Dissolve to classic radio comedians Bob and Ray who
sit together in a sort of festive holiday talk show
setting. The big guy, Ray -- in character as Parnell
W. Garth -- holds a small, sickly, dried-up fir tree.
His smaller partner, Bob -- father of future SNL cast
member Chris Elliott -- addresses the camera.]
Interviewer: Every year as the holiday season rolls
around, we have our scouts search the train stations,
the bus depots, trying to find people who have, uh,
well, hard luck stories to tell, and we try to make
their Christmas season a little bit happier. We have,
uh, an unfortunate gentleman here. [to Garth] I
believe our scouts found you over at the Port
Authority bus station, wasn't that right, sir?
Garth: Yes, it was in the bus terminal there I was
sittin' and, uh, I guess I looked depressed.
Interviewer: Probably did. Tell us your story right
from the start, will you, so we'll--?
Garth: Well, it was back on Labor Day and, uh, a bunch
of fellas, my friends and myself, are sitting on the
back porch havin' a couple of drinks.
Interviewer: You're from out Seattle way, I believe.
Garth: And, uh, we get thinking -- it was Labor Day --
about Thanksgiving and then Christmas and I said...
Garth: ... you know, that big tree they have there in
New York every year, they never bring it from the
Great Northwest. Now, we're proud of our fir trees out
there and seems like they always get a tree from
Interviewer: Up in New England someplace.
Garth: Massachusetts, somewhere like that. So I'm
easily led. And we had a few drinks.
Garth: So the, uh, the fellas said, well, uh, why
don't you cut down a tree and take it to New York, uh,
Interviewer: Sell it to Radio City, huh?
Interviewer: Uh huh.
Garth: So, it sounded, at the time, like a good idea,
I would say.
Interviewer: Right, right.
Garth: So I go out and I get a saw and I go out and
cut one down in my back yard. So I didn't have the
money to fly, so I got a bus ticket and, uh--
Interviewer: You were going to bring this tree...
Interviewer: ... all the way by bus to, uh...
Interviewer: ... sell--
Garth: I brought it all the way from Tacoma,
Interviewer: I understand. Now, what did you do, tie
it up and lash it to the top of the bus or what?
Garth: No, they wouldn't let me do that. The driver
made me hold it on my lap clear across the country.
Interviewer: Kind of uncomfortable.
Garth: It was uncomfortable. Made the trip a
little longer. Well, I made a lot of side trips, you
know? I didn't see the country, so I saw Yellowstone
Park and Dodge City and those places.
Interviewer: You had to carry this with you, all over?
Garth: Sure. I wouldn't let it out of my sight. I was
gonna sell it for a fortune, I thought, here in New
Garth: And, you know, there's a right way and a wrong
way to go through a bus door with this thing.
Interviewer: Well, sure. You put it through that end
Garth: This is the wrong way. [demonstrates]
Interviewer: That's wrong.
Garth: That's the way I - That's the way I did it.
Interviewer: It looks as if it has been through, uh,
quite a great deal. What happened when you got to New
Garth: Well, when I got to New York, there at the bus
terminal was a fella dozing.
Interviewer: Uh huh.
Garth: He was a very distinguished looking gentleman,
uh, and I said, uh, who do I go to, uh, here in New
York to sell this tree?
Interviewer: Uh huh.
Garth: He says you go up to Rockefeller Center.
Garth: So I walked up there--
Interviewer: Did you notice they'd already bought one?
It was already up.
Garth: I hadn't noticed.
Garth: So, uh, I get up there and I go in and--
Interviewer: Who did you see first?
Garth: Starter at the elevator.
Garth: He gave me a fishy look like I was some kind of
a nut, you know.
Interviewer: Oh, I'm sure.
Garth: I'm no fool.
Garth: And, uh, so I said, "Who do I sell this tree to
for the Christmas season here?" And he said, "Well,
gee, I don't know. He said, I think the man you want
to see is John Chancellor."
Interviewer: Might be, I suppose. Did you get to see him?
Garth: He wouldn't let me up the elevator.
Interviewer: Oh, he wouldn't?
Garth: No. So I stayed down there and, uh--
Interviewer: Did you notice him when he came out?
Garth: No, I was gonna say. What does John Chancellor
look like, you know?
Interviewer: Well, I can't describe it right now.
Garth: Well, he must've slipped by me 'cause I didn't
know him. So here I am -- I'm out, well, I figure the
bus fare was sixty dollars.
Garth: This tree is, you know, worth--
Interviewer: It's not much now. It's a fire hazard right now.
Garth: Aw, gee, a match, that thing'd go up like this.
Interviewer: Right. Your story has touched all of us,
as I said, and we want to make your Christmas a little
bit happier, if we can Mister-- What was the name again?
Garth: Parnell W. Garth.
Interviewer: Parnell Garth. Of Tacoma, Washington.
Interviewer: I remembered that. We would like to make...
Interviewer: ... your Christmas happier.
Garth: Listen, I don't want any tears or anything. I
didn't put all my eggs in one basket.
Interviewer: Ah! You've got an ace in the hole?
Garth: You bet. Do you have a few moments?
Garth: Like to show you how I'm gonna bail out. No, if this was...
Interviewer: All right.
Garth: ... my thing, I'd lose everything.
Interviewer: Oh, you may have a happy Christmas after all, huh?
Garth: I'll be right back. [rises, exits]
Interviewer: [to the camera] Well, what looked like,
uh, it was going to be a completely sad story may turn
out a little bit better after all. [loud crash of
shattered glass from off screen] Mr. Garth?
Garth: [returns with a box full of broken colored
glass] This ... this is my ace in the hole here.
Interviewer: Sit down. [Garth sits] What do you mean? What--?
Garth: Well, I mean... See, I'm a glass blower by trade.
Interviewer: Uh huh.
Garth: And these are all, uh, handmade...
Interviewer: You made ...
Garth: ... Christmas decorations that I - I sell to
Tiffany's and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Interviewer: Oh, expensive ones, huh?
Garth: Twelve hundred dollars a piece.
Interviewer: You must have fifteen, twenty thousand
dollars worth of ornaments in there.
Garth: This is my year's output. This is all hand-painted.
Interviewer: Well, I'm afraid we--
Garth: This is twenty-four carat gold.
Interviewer: I understand. I'm afraid we do have a
rather sad story here after all, Mr., uh, Garth. But
we want to make your Christmas a little bit happier
and go back to Seattle with this carpenter's extension
rule. [pulls a carpenter's extension rule out of his
jacket pocket and hands it to Garth] I think you'll
find a great deal of use for it. Thank you very much
for being with us. Happy Christmas.
[Applause. Pull back. Garth, upset, throws the
carpenter's extension rule down in disgust. Fade.]