SNL Transcripts: Dick Cavett: 01/31/76: Our Town


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 1: Episode 12

75l: Dick Cavett / Jimmy Cliff

Our Town

Stage Manager…Dick Cavett

[fade from black onto spartan backstage set with standing lamp and aladder. A solo flute plays, SUPER: “Our Town”] [Stage Manager enters, and stands in front of the ladder. He wears ajacket, tie and hat, and carries a pipe from which he occasionallydraws from. He speaks in an upstate New York or New England accent].

Stage Manager: This play is called ‘Our Town’, and it was not written by Thornton Wilder. The name of the town is New York City, NewYork…it’s just across the Jersey border, Longitude 73 degrees, 58minutes, Latitude 44 degrees, 7 minutes. The time is January 31,1976, [looks around] and it’s a little before dawn.

It the air quality wasn’t so poor, you could see the first streaks oflight right over there through the twin trade towers. [sfx: a policesiren starts to wail] The big street right around here is calledBroadway…another is called 42nd Street….’course, the subway runsright underneath us.

Over there is the new methadone center…we’re very proud of that.[audience laughs] And just above the leather bar is, uh, VinnieSabotino’s massage parlor, where you can get a decent rub job for tendollars. Next to that is the, uh, body paint studio, and uh [drawspipe], oh yeah, beside that is ‘Sex Aid City’, and on the corner isthe adult bookshop. Let’s see what they have there [peers at objectsupposedly at a distance] ‘Torrid Tots Meet the Nympho-‘ [chuckles]. They always put black tape over the good parts.

[draws pipe] I, uh- I suppose you’re wonderin’ what those big moundsof garbage everywhere are. Fact is the sanitation workers went onstrike a few months ago and it’s been that way- [distracted, hechuckles] look at the size of that, would ya? Ha ha…looks more likea dog! Where was I anyway? Oh yeah, I was talkin’ about strikes…mygoodness, seems like they’re all on strike now. We’ve got the transitworkers, and the…teachers, the typesetters, the cab drivers. Theambulance drivers and the doctors and the milkmen, [sfx: roar of jetengines approaching] the gravediggers and the operators and themunicipal- [notices engine noise, checks watch] Ah, that’d be Flight646 from Boston, right on time…[sfx: boom]. Looks like the aircontrollers’ strike went through too.

[draws pipe] Now, uh, those women that you see in the platform shoesand the microskirts standin’ there in front of the fire station- well,that used to be the fire station but our mayor made somecutbacks…mostly police and fire department- they closed it down.

[sfx: woman’s bloodcurdling screams] Well, I reckon that’s old Mrs.Grossman getting raped and strangled in the alley. You probablywonderin’ why I don’t call the cops. Well, for one thing, the phonein that booth over there hasn’t worked since Dewey was governor. Andfor another, that’s how we do things here in Our Town, we tend not toget involved, you know…sorta let people go about their business. Like, uh, Rafer Jones over there. Good ol’ Rafer, we- we just let himgo about his business. Gosh, he’s been pushing junk on this cornerfor more years than I care to remember. [calling off camera] Mornin’Ray!

Yep…well, it looks like the town’s startin’ to wake up now- [noticessomething on his shoe] Nghh, ha ha…gotta watch where you step inthese New York streets, I tell ya [walks to side of ladder and wipeshis foot on the lowest step].

Say, a sad thing happened last week to old, uh, Doc Andrew. You, youthink a grown man would have more sense than to go traipsing aroundthe park after sundown. Not Doc. He went out jogging, or something,and they found him next moring, stabbed 112 times. You might haveread about it in the papers. [draws pipe] Never did find thefeet…the hands were mailed back of course but that’s life, Isuppose.

Least ways, that’s how life is here in Our Town…population eight million, one-hundred ninety-five thousand, five hundred and sirty-thwix… five-hundred and sixty-two, I should say because we almost forgot about old Mrs. Grossman. [puts pipe in mouth, sfx: car horns] Well, I better be goin’ if I wanna beat the mornin’ rush hour home [takes pipe out]. Oh…I don’t live here, I just work here; I live in Connecticut. Most everybody who can afford it lives in Connecticut or Westchester. [a beat] Even Valley Stream.

[turns to go, pauses] Anyway, uh, glad to say the weather’s clearingup, although when it turns out to be a hot sunny day, it’s a shame ina way because, uh, the garbage always smells wors on a hot sunny day,but anyway, we’ll be seeing you, you have a nice day. [puts pipe inmouth, turns, and walks into the darkness behind].

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Author: Don Roy King

Don Roy King has directed fourteen seasons of Saturday Night Live. That work has earned him ten Emmys and fourteen nominations. Additionally, he has been nominated for fifteen DGA Awards and won in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

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