Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 4: Episode 9

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: Tacoma.

Interviewer: Tacoma.

Garth: And, uh, we get thinking -- it was Labor Day -- about Thanksgiving and then Christmas and I said...

Interviewer: Sure.

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 Pennsylvania...

Interviewer: Up in New England someplace.

Garth: Massachusetts, somewhere like that. So I'm easily led. And we had a few drinks.

Interviewer: Sure.

Garth: So the, uh, the fellas said, well, uh, why don't you cut down a tree and take it to New York, uh, Parnell?

Interviewer: Sell it to Radio City, huh?

Garth: Yeah.

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...

Garth: Right.

Interviewer: ... all the way by bus to, uh...

Garth: Right.

Interviewer: ... sell--

Garth: I brought it all the way from Tacoma, Washington.

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. So, uh...

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 York.

Interviewer: Okay.

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 first, right?

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 York?

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.

Interviewer: Right.

Garth: So I walked up there--

Interviewer: Did you notice they'd already bought one? It was already up.

Garth: I hadn't noticed.

Interviewer: Ah.

Garth: So, uh, I get up there and I go in and--

Interviewer: Who did you see first?

Garth: Starter at the elevator.

Interviewer: Ah.

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.

Interviewer: No.

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.

Interviewer: Yeah.

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.

Garth: Yes.

Interviewer: I remembered that. We would like to make...

Garth: Wait!

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?

Interviewer: Yes.

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.]

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