Ron Howard: Ladies and gentlemen – the incredible, the unbelievable, and, as his own mother once said: the almost inconceivable – Harry Anderson!
[ Harry Anderson takes the stage, carrying a trick bag and a collapsable chair. He opens the chair, sits the trick bag on the seat, and begins his routine. ]
Harry Anderson: [ reaches into his pocket, glances toward the audience ] How ya’ doing? Here’s one you’ll love. [ removes a piece of paper and a lighter from his pocket. He flicks the switch and sets the paper on fire, which rolls into a cigarette from behind the flames. The audience cheers and claps as Harry puts the cigarette in his mouth. ] This stuff’s dynamite. [ lights the cigarette, puffs, glances behind himself in a paranoid manner ] Huh? [ continues to smoke the cigarette, until the tip explodes ] This stuff is dynamite.
[ drops the cigarette and removes his jacket ]
I’m gonna show you a weird trick. It’s a geek trick – you all into geeks? You know about geeks? Geeks are the guys who work the midway of a circus, and they bite the heads off of chickens, and swallow live snakes, and eat ground glass – they’re party commando types, you know? [ rolls up the sleeve of his left arm ] So this is a trick – it’s a geek trick, so it’s weird and it’s kind of shocking. But it’s a trick. Yuo gotta keep that in mind – it’s a trick. It’s an illusion. Kind of like economic recovery. [ the audience laughs ] Yuo see it, but it ain’t there. It goes like this. I clean off my forearm. [ wipes his forearm with a handkerchief ] not the whole forearm, just the foreskin part. [ puts the handkerchief away and takes out a small anesthetic ] Employing a local anesthetic, for reasons which will become nakedly clear in a moment. Then, I take a very large and a very sharp hat pin. [ looks around ] Hat pin.. hat pin. [ glances up ] Oh. Of course. [ pulls an extremely long hat pin off of his hat ] I take this hat pin, and I will shove it through my arm. [ the audience laughs nervously ] But it’s a trick! It’s a trick. You know? I mean, if you had any idea what I’m getting paid for this, you would know I’m not going to shove the needle through my arm. [ audience laughs ] It’s a gag. [ demonstrates “gag” by shoving his finger down his throat ] A gag. [ sticks his finger down his throat again, then checks the level ] Boy, I’m low. [ removes a flask of alcohol from his pocket and prepares to swig it ] Like the geeks say, “When you swallow a snake, you gotta oil that sucker up, boy!” [ swigs from the flask ] Okay. [ takes a bigger swig ] The needle through the arm gag. A treat for you and your whole.. [ pauses for a small burp ] family.
Can I have mood lighting here? [ no change in lighting ] Thank you. Okay. [ flexes his left arm, hiding the part of his arm he’s going to stab from the audience ] Aaaaggghhhhh!! [ checks for a puncture ] That damn near did it. [ readies his arm anew, then screams as he moves the hat pin forward, obscured from the audience’s view. As far as the audience is concerned, Harry hasn’t shoved the hat pin through his arm at all. ] How’s it look from the cheap seats? Huh? Does it look like it’s going through my arm. [ the audience chuckles at what appears to be a hat pin shoved through Harry’s arm from behind ] It’s spooky, huh? No? Does it look better from this side? [ swings his arm around to reveal the long hat pin pierced across his forearm; the audience gasps and screams ] What a bunch of namby-pambies! What? It’s a trick! It’s an illusion. It looks like — [ glances at his arm ] Gee, that really looks like it, don’t it? But it’s a trick, see? It looks like the needle is going through my arm. Actually, it is not going through my arm. How about that?
[ Harry he begins to move the needle back and forth, as blood begins to trickle from the puncture wounds, causing the audience to scream in horror. Harry himself finally notices the blood dripping down his arm, and pulls his arm up in confusion. ]
What the hell is that?! [ touches the blood with one finger ] Wait a minute, wait a minute! Hold on, hold on! Hold on here, hold on, hold on. [ retrieves the book “101 Needle Gags” from his trick bag, and quickly flips through it ] Hold on, hold on, hold on! Blood. Wait a minute, wait a minute here. Blood. [ flips the pages ] “Bocce Ball”, hold on, hold on. [ flips a page ] “Baby Feet.” [ flips a page ] “Barnyward Animals.” [ flips a page ] Blood, blood, here it is! Blood! [ reads ] “Don’t panic. Apply direct pressure.” [ glances at the audience, points to one of them ] You! Get outta here! Go home, get a job, call your mom! [ shrugs his shoulders, then pokes his finger through the missing lens of his bifocals and continues to read from the book ] “If direct pressure gag doesn’t go over that well, then check the blood. See if it is phony blood made out of karo syrup and food coloring by tasting it.” [ scoops up a fingerful of the blood gushing from his arm, then hesitantly tastes it, making sure to get as much of it on his tongue as he can ] It’s good. It’s delicious. [ scoops up more of the blood and continues to feast upon it ] Yuo see, it’s phony blood. See, the needle — [ twists the hat pin back and forth again, as a woman screams ] Lady, it’s a trick! If your cat has kittens in the oven, you don’t call them biscuits, right? [ the audience laughs ] Why am I — ? I feel like I’m missing the entertainment potential of this thing. [ takes hold of the hat pin once more ] Would you like me to play “Melancholy Baby”? [ twists the hat pin back and forth as though playing the violin, causing the audience to scream louder ]
Okay, okay, enough of that! [ pulls the hat pin out of his arm ] But, so you don’t think I’m a total lunatic here – let me clean the phony blood from my arm — [ wipes the blood off his forearm with his handkerchief ] — and ask this brave lady here to check out my arm. [ approaches a woman near the front of the audience ] Get a good look at it. Feel it and check it out – baby’s bottom. Go ahead, no puncture wounds, right? [ the woman feels his forearm, impressed ] No damage done, right?
Woman in the Audience: It’s amazing.. it’s amazing..
Harry Anderson: Okay! That’s, uh — [ returns to the stage, as the audience applauds ] Since we’re on the geek stuff, what else do you guys like? What other tricks? I’ve got other tricks. What do you like? [ the audience yells suggestions ] Huh? Rabbit? Rabbit? Okay. [ digs around his trick bag for a rabbit ] I got a rabbit. [ pulls out a plush bunny and a huge spike, which he shoves through the plush bunny’s head ] I don’t think it’s clearly as dramatic — [ twists the plush bunny around the spike ] Good night!