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

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