SNL Transcripts: Ron Nessen: 04/17/76: Gary Weis Film: Garbage


 Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 1: Episode 17

75q: Ron Nessen / Patti Smith

Gary Weis Film: Garbage

[Gary Weis film in which New York sanitation workersare interviewed on the job:]

1st Man: Well, I feel the men should be called”sanitation men” – not “garbage men.”

Man in Truck 1: Eh, sanitation engineer’s alittle too high. But “garbage man” — it – it – it -it’s describing the person. I don’t think that’sright.

Man in Truck 2: You can call me anything aslong as I get paid every week!

Man in Truck 3: It doesn’t make a differenceone way or another, doesn’t matter. You are what yaare.

[We hear folk singer Pete Seeger’s recording of BillSteele’s 1969 song “Garbage” over a montage of garbagetrucks. The 1st Man directs the trucks. We see anenormous amount of trash being emptied from trucksinto garbage scows.]

Pete Seeger: [sings]
Mister Thompson calls the waiter, orders steak andbaked potater
Then he leaves the bone and gristle and he never eatsthe skin
The busboy comes and takes it, with a coughcontaminates it
He throws it in a can with coffee grounds and sardinetins
Then a truck comes by on Friday – carts it allaway
And a thousand trucks just like it are converging onthe Bay
[sings the refrain]Garbage

Chorus: Garbage, garbage,garbage

Pete Seeger: Garbage

Chorus: Garbage, garbage,garbage

[Song ends. Interviews continue:]

1st Man: Around springtime, bodies startpoppin’ up. Usually, uh, they fall in around fall orwintertime. Whatever the reason is I don’t know, theydon’t come up till spring. Whether it’s the waterheatin’ up and the chemicals in the body, I dunno butthey pop up around spring. We got four or five of ’emaround here. Fact is, between us and the fireboat oneday, I spotted somethin’ I thought was a leg and afterI got the police harbor boat on it, turned out to be,uh, an arm. The hand was missin’ but the rest of itwas there.

Man in Truck 2: Sometimes we find guns in the -in the hopper when we dump the cans.

Man in Truck 4: Found a diamond ringonce.

Man in Truck 5: That depends on what’s valuableto you, you know? I read a lot, I find a lot ofbooks.

1st Man: [points] Then we found a [clearsthroat] guy dead over here on the other pier. Turnedout to be a reporter and he’s supposed to have blownhis head off.

[Brief shot of trash falling into scow.]

1st Man: [points] Well, that dark land you seegoin’ across the whole of the river down there –that’s Staten Island. On the far side from here,that’s where the scows go.

[We hear bluesman Jimmy Smith’s version of “Got MyMojo Working” as we see a tugboat ferry a scow to thedump and various heavy machinery at the dump haulinghuge metal dumpsters of garbage.]

Jimmy Smith: [sings]
Well, I tried in New York City!
Oh ho, oh, I’m gonna try it on you!
Oh, yeah — work my rooster!

[At a salvage yard. Piles of salvageable material infront of a trailer.]

Salvage Worker 1: We have a contract with thecity of New York. We have men pickin’ – pickin’material right up – right off the dump, right out o’the dump. Glass, ferrous metals, non-ferrous metals,you know, brass, copper, steel, iron.

John: [leaning on a truck marked “sanitation”]Ah, this is part o’ the scrap that we get down at thedump. Eventually, it’ll be cut up, sold forscrap.

Salvage Worker 2: [petting a dog] We found himout here on the dump. Somebody dropped him off. He’sonly five months old now. He was a pup when we raisedhim – from out here. Well, we got him out o’ the dumpand, first thing that came to us, we called him”Dumpy.”

[Dissolve to a long panning shot of a gigantic garbagedump in Staten Island — nothing but garbage as far asthe eye can see. Over this, we hear voices:]

Interviewer: What do they call this up here,John?

John: This is the Brookfield Land Dump.

Interviewer: You know how wide it is?

John: It’s about six miles around.

Interviewer: Now, they say it’s the largest,uh, landfill dump in the world, right?

John: It is. It is. The largest in theworld.

Interviewer: You been in business about twentyyears now.

John: About twenty years.

[Finally, the pan ends on the Interviewer wearing aface mask. He talks with John who stands nearbywithout a mask.]

Interviewer: Tell me, John, how do you standthe smell here?

John: Smells good today. Wait till the summerwhen it gets real hot and it’s– Stuff starts cookin’up a little bit. That’s when you can’t stand it. Now,it’s nice.

Interviewer: This doesn’t smell so bad rightnow?

John: Nah. Ain’t that bad.

[Film ends.]

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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