SNL Transcripts: Ron Nessen: 04/17/76: Billy Crystal Stand-Up


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 1: Episode 17

75q: Ron Nessen / Patti Smith

Billy Crystal Stand-Up

… Ron Nessen
… Billy Crystal

Ron Nessen: Ladies and gentlemen, here is BillCrystal.

[Applause. Young Billy Crystal enters. Nessen,applauding, exits.]

Billy Crystal: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you forthat warm welcome, uh, very often, new comedians likeme, uh, we have a rough time, especially in bigconcerts. Often, we’ll get no billing. The audiencewill have no idea there’s an opening act. And it’s notfair. I come out, three thousand people have timedtheir drugs for the headliner. Whoa! Can be difficult.But, uh, I started performing when I was a little boy.My family was in the jazz recording business. We owneda label called the Commodore Jazz label. We recordedall the great people like Billie Holiday, EddieCondon, all the great old players and my dad used toproduce them in concert and that’s where I was broughtup, backstage, and these old players were my friends.Uh, it was a great period in my life. They alwayscalled me “Face.” “Face” is a hip jazz term for cutekid or really pretty lady. They always called them”Face.” And I hadn’t seen any of them in about fifteenyears till, about two months ago, I was passing alittle club in the Village, recognized the name of areal old great friend of mine. I went to see him. Senthim a note. And we had a real sweet reunion backstage.

[Lights go down, shrouding the studio in darkness.Jazz saxophone plays a mellow tune. A lone spotlightshines on a stool on the walkway that juts out intothe audience. Crystal, imitating an old jazz musician,walks into the spotlight and sits on the stool.]

Billy Crystal: [in character, raspy voice] Yes, yes,yes, yes, yes. The Face! Yes, yes, yes, yes. This isheavy. This is heavy. Yes, yes. Can you dig it? I knewthat you could. Yes, yes, yes. You’re lookin’ so nice,Face. Just so nice to see ya. … I’m okay. I’mfeelin’, uh, copacetic. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Canyou dig it? I knew that you could. Yes, yes, yes, yes.Yeah. You been doin’ so many things. I been seein’ yapoppin’ up on the tube. It’s lovely to see ya,absolutely charming. Hey, Face, do you remember thefirst joke I ever did tell you? You do? Do it with me.It’s about old Zooty. Yes. Do it. Zooty goes into thebarbershop and he says, Hey, man, how much is ahaircut? And the haircut man he says, “Haircut’s twodollars.” Zooty says, “Wow! How much is a shave?”Says, “Shave’s a dollar.” Zooty says, “Wow, baby.[points to head] Shave it!” Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.That’s lovely. Yes, yes. Can you dig it? I knew thatyou could. Yes, yes. … I’m okay. I’m giggin’, I’mgiggin’ all the time, all the time. I had some problemwith my teeth a while back. Yes, yes. Didn’t havenone. Yes, yes, yes, yes. It was low, it was low. Ihad to get some new dental work done on my chops, yes,so I had no bread, you know, so I had to hock my horn,you know, to get my teeth fixed. Yeah but then I waslookin’ good. I was lookin’ sassy. Like Jaws, yas,yas, yas, yas. Can you dig it? I knew that you could.Yes, yes, yes. … What? Huh? No. That’s – that’scool, I thought you was gonna say something. I was inItaly. Yeah, I – I was there with old Pops BenWebster. We had a lovely time. Love the Italian folks,they’s charming. Absolutely lovely. We went to aconcert that was given by Romano Mussolini. Yassss,yes, yes, yes. He’s the son of Il Duce. Yasss, yes,yes, yes. Can you dig it? I knew that you could. Yes,yes. Romano, he don’t play too good. He stunk up thejoint. And we was nervous ’cause we know, we’s gonnago backstage and he’s gonna say, “Hey, Pops, what’dyou think about the set?” And Webster, he’s too kindto tell him that he stunk up the joint, you know whatI’m talkin’ about? Yes, yes, yes. Sure enough, wewatch him. He’s lousy. We go backstage and he says,”Hey, Pops, what’d you think about the set?” AndWebster, he don’t know what to say and he goes, uh,”Hey, man, it was a drag what they did to yourfather.” We just laughed and laughed, yes. Can you digit? I knew that you could. Yes, yes, yes. [turns andtalks to someone behind him] What? I’m – I’m comin’.[sadly, to Face] I gotta go do the second set. Yes.Ain’t nobody there but we gonna do it anyhow. Hey,Face, it was so lovely to see ya. Absolutely charmingto see ya. Keep it together. Yeah, don’t ever stop.It’s happenin’ now and it’s so lovely to see. Yeah.Never quit. Maybe … get a teaching gig to fall backon, you know, just in case the gig don’t happen, youknow, you know what I’m talkin’ about? Yes. Can youdig it? I knew that you could. Yeah. It can be a sweetlife, Face. I got all that I need. God bless us, stillgot my old lady. And my horn. And you know I got themusic. Hey, Face, wherever you go, just remember that,well … love you madly.

[Saxophone winds down as Crystal waves goodbye, wipeshis brow, and remains seated quietly on the stool.Applause.]

Submitted Anonymously

SNL Transcripts

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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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David Hyden
David Hyden
6 months ago

I remember watching this as a kid back in the 70s. So, so good — as indicated by the fact that it’s stuck with me for almost 50 years. “Can you dig it? I knew that you could.” Genius.

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