Saturday Night Live Transcripts
Season 10: Episode 10
[Gray-haired Tony Manetti, in a cap, apron, andstriped vendor’s uniform, is discovered alone in aspotlight on a darkened Home Base in front of a blackcurtain. He works the aisle at a boxing arena sellingbags of snacks to the patrons. The camera, playing therole of an old friend, trucks slowly towardhim.]
Tony Manetti: [gravel-throated New York accent]Peanuts, popcorn, twenty-five cents a bag! Let’s go,hurry up. Hey, how ya doin’? How are ya, huh? Peanuts,popcorn, twenty-five cents a bag! Let’s go, there yago, pal. Let’s go. [catches a tossed coin] Oh! Thankyou, pal. Peanuts, popcorn, twenty-five cents abag![stares into approaching camera, points at it, as ifgreeting an old friend] Heyyyyyy! Hey, how areya? Huh? How are ya? Huh? How are ya?Huh? … Who are you? … [recognizes his oldfriend] Oh, yeah! Hey, yeah! How are ya? Yeah, ya lookgood, ya look good. You do. I – I don’t see so good,all this stuff hangin’ over here. Hey, you look good,you look good, you really look good. You do. You do.You look good. I swear, you look good. You do! Youlook great. I think you do. Ya do. Huh? How areya?! …
Yeah. Hey, you still fightin’? Oh. How come? Youstarted to bleed at the weigh-ins? Yeah, well, youknow … That happens. That happens. Boxing’s a toughgame. We’re in a tough racket. But I love the sweetscience. I love the game. Yeah, these kids today aregreat. These fighters today are great, they is.They’re great, they are. But, you know, I think it’stough, you know? The black fighters today are thegreatest fighters, I think. You know, you got, like,Tommy Hearns is great. And the Marvelous MarvinHamlisch, he’s great! They’re all great! …
See? See, but I think we had it tougher when we wasfightin’, right? Because, like, the Jewish fighterswere fightin’ then. And the Jews are tougher to fight,I think, because the Jews are used to fightin’ athome. … You know what I mean? All day long, they’regoin’ “Ya did!” “Ya didn’t!” “Ya did!” “Ya didn’t!””Ya did!” “Ya didn’t!” “What did I do?” “You left thatmuch soda in the bottle, ya put it back in therefrigerator! Drive me nuts!” “Oh, yeah? Who the hellleaves an egg in a cup stinkin’ up the place? Youknow? You makin’ me crazy! It’s disgusting!” “Oh,yeah? You bought retail!” “I did not!” “Yadid!” “Ya didn’t!” “Ya did!” “Ya didn’t!” “And youain’t so kosher! When you eat out, I seen you eatshellfish!” “I did not!” “Ya did!” “Ya didn’t!”So by the time they get in the ring, they’re nuts,right? … I get in the ring, they look at me and go,”You did!” I go, “I didn’t!” AND THEY BEAT THE HELLOUT O’ ME! …[calms down, grins, gently] But I look better now,don’t I? Yeah, I – I got this fixed. [points to hisnose] Yeah, yeah, I had it put in the middle. Butthat’s it. … That’s all. See? See? See? See? Andnow, now there’s this whole movement, you know, youknow, to stop boxin’! They wanna stop boxin’! They do.You know, that group, what do you call that, eh –?Right! The, uh, the AMA! They wanna ban boxin’. Theythink that guys – They think that guys – They thinkthat guys get hurt! Listen. I had over a hundredfights. And I NEVER was REALLY hurt. You know? I evenfought nine fights in one night. Nine. Because none ofthe other fighters showed up. … I fought nine fightsin one night because I loved it! And this group –this, uh, A.F.L. — thinks they know – they know whatgettin’ hurt is. All right. I’ll tell ya about that.Sunnyside Gardens in Queens. I’m fightin’, uh, Ernesto”the Gardener” Torres, right? Now, Ernesto breaks mynose, he does, in the first round. Clean. Pow! Rightthere. My eyes are shut and, finally, after a littlebit, I visit the – the canvas, you know? I go down, Igo down, I do. The referee comes over and he says,”Tony! How many fingers am I holdin’ up?!” I looked athim and I said, “I think I’ll order the lamb chops,please.” Now …
This, ah, NBA group thinks that that is hurt. Iwas STUNNED! That’s all! I was NOT hurt! … [pause]What? I’m sorry. I – I went to Coney Island for asecond. Now … See – see, this now – It makes memad, you know. If – if – if they wanna stop theviolence in boxin’, don’t let nobody ride the subwayto the arena, that’s all. But let me tell ya this.They can’t stop the boxing. They can’t – Theycan’t take these kids’ futures away from them, youknow what I’m sayin’? The thing about it– See, thefighters could help themselves. They could.They could help themselves. You just gotta know whenit’s time to QUIT! You know when it was time for me toquit? The eighth fight o’ that night. You know? … Ihit the canvas for the thirteenth time, see, see, see?And I looked out over the crowd – and I seen afamiliar face in the third row goin’ [whispers] “Staydown, Tony. Stay down.” [beat] It was ME! … That’swhen it’s time to get out. You know? So, you tell thisgroup, y’see? See, even that night, I wasn’t hurtthen. I was just DAZED! That’s it. So this group,this, uh, this CIA group, they don’t– I hope this,uh, MBL don’t ever stop the sweet science. Don’t stopthe sweet science. You know? If they stopped it, wewouldn’t’a’ had the Joe Louis, we wouldn’t’a’ had theAlis, we wouldn’t’a’ had these people if they hadstopped it. See, this group, they DON’T KNOW NOTHIN’!
Now, lemme tell ya somethin’, pal. You know, I had alot o’ fights. An’ I took a lot o’ punches. An’, tokeep my health, I took a brain scan. And you knowsomethin’? They didn’t find nothin’. … So,tell that to that group, I’ll tell ya that right now.Hey, did you hear the bell for the fights? Ya did?Whew! Good. All right. Now, listen. I’ll, uh, I’ll,uh, wait for ya, if you – you wanna get togetherafterwards, after the fights, if you wanna see me,after, we– Yeah. Yeah, I would love to have abeer with you. We’d be breakin’ training, though.Yeah, okay, come on! Yeah, I’ll be right there! Wherethe hell else am I goin’? All right? Yeah, yeah, yeah.Okay, see ya. [the camera tracks back and away fromTony as he goes back to work] Peanuts, popcorn,twenty-five cents a bag! Hey, how are ya?![Cheers. Applause. Tony shadowboxes. Dissolve to awider view of the Studio 8H audience.Fade.]