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Radio Days

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Once upon a time, many years ago...
two burglars broke into our neighbor's house in Rockaway.
Mr. and Mrs. Needleman had gone to a movie...
and the following events occurred.
I say we should answer the phone.
Do you wanna wake up the whole neighborhood?
Hello?
You, Mr. Marty Needleman...
have been chosen from the telephone book to...
guess that tune!
Jesus.
Can you tell us what is the tune...
the orchestra is playing?
I can't hear it.
Would you turn on the radio?
Find the radio and turn it on!
What's going on?
I can't hear.
What are you doing?
I think I know it.
Come on.
Jesus.
"Dancing in the Dark"!
That's right!
And nowfor question 2...
on the way to the grand jackpot.
Here's the tune.
"Chinatown, My Chinatown."
That's correct!
And now, the chance for the grand jackpot...
with all the prizes.
This one is not so easy, so get ready.
I know that!
I know that. I know.
What?
"The Sailor's Hornpipe."
"The Sailor's Hornpipe"?
That's right!
Mr. Marty Needleman, you've won the grand jackpot!
Ahh! I'm rich!
That night, the Needlemans returned home...
and were shocked to find a ransacked apartment...
with $50 and some silverware missing.
But the following morning, a truck arrived.
Let's all sing like the birdies sing
Tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet, tweet
Now, I love old radio stories.
And I know a million of 'em.
I've collected 'em down through the years, like a hobby.
Anecdotes and gossip...
and inside stories about the stars.
Plus, I recall so many personal experiences...
from when I grew up and listened to one show after another.
This girl singing used to be a favorite at my house...
one of many.
Now it's all gone...
except for the memories.
The scene is Rockaway. The time is my childhood.
It's my old neighborhood...
and forgive me if I tend to romanticize the past.
I mean, it wasn't always as stormy and rain-swept as this.
But I remember it that way...
because that was it at its most beautiful.
In those days, the radio was constantly playing at our house.
My mother, for instance, never missed her favorite show...
"Breakfast with Irene and Roger."
Good morning, darling.
Pass the orange juice, please.
Very well.
That was quite an opening night...
we attended last night, wasn't it?
Yes, wasn't it divine?
Everyone was there, from Rodgers and Hart to Cole Porter.
Yes, darling.
There were two completely different worlds.
While my mother stood over the dirty plates in Rockaway...
Irene and Roger ate their elegant breakfast...
over the air from their chic Manhattan townhouse...
while they chatted charmingly...
about people and places we only dreamt of.
You look marvelous, darling.
Tomorrow morning, we'll be telling you all about it.
And also about the new Moss Hart play...
which I hear is just divine.
This is Irene Draper...
and Roger Daley saying have us for breakfast tomorrow...
and every morning.
And have a wonderful day.
My own personal favorite show...
was something called "The Masked Avenger"...
who I fantasized was a cross between Superman and Cary Grant.
Little did I know.
...While I was on the scene?
It's the Masked Avenger.
It's off to jail for you.
I hope you'll enjoy making license plates.
I'd like to tell you the story...
of the Masked Avenger's secret compartment ring...
and how it turned me to crime.
But first, you have to meet me...
and my family.
There I am in my Masked Avenger hat and goggles...
which I got off my friend in a trade.
And then there were my father and mother...
two people who could find an argument in any subject.
Wait a minute!
Are you telling me you think the Atlantic...
is a greater ocean than the Pacific?
No, have it your way. The Pacific is greater.
I mean, how many people fight over oceans?
Then there was my uncle Abe.
He kept bringing home fish...
from his friends who worked at Sheepshead Bay.
Ceil, I'm home!
Ceil, I got fish!
I got great fish today.
What do we need rawfish for?
And of course my aunt Ceil...
who dreamed of a more exciting life...
than always having to filet his flounder.
They're fresh fish!
He has friends at Oscar's dock...
so he can't spend a single afternoon there...
where they don't load him up with fish.
You don't like it, take the gas pipe.
Next, there was Grandpa and Grandma.
Every single morning...
he spent a half-hour packing her into her corset.
I'm pulling, I'm pulling!
A woman in her 70s, and her bosom is still growing.
Nathan!
Abe and Ceil's daughter was cousin Ruthie...
who entertained herself by sitting and listening to...
the next-door neighbors on the party line.
Mrs. Waldbaum's having her ovaries out.
Both or one?
Get off the line, OK?
Stop listening in on my phone!
Stop snooping on us!
All right, all right.
Don't get your bowels in an uproar.
Nobody's snooping.
Oh, yeah? My wife hears her breathing!
And she giggles!
Hey, Waldbaum. Waldbaum...
you think we care what goes on in your house?
Let them take her ovaries out. What's it our business?
Mrs. Waldbaum had a steel plate in her head...
and it was said she couldn't walk near magnets.
Finally, there was Aunt Bea, who only wanted to get married.
This is a Lindy.
My dancing teacher gave me this great new step for it.
Hey, Tess?
Tess, I can't decide...
if I should take my vacation on a cruise...
or go to the mountains.
I mean, the men are richer on a cruise...
but there's more of them in the resorts.
What do you think, Tess?
Well, I met my husband at a mountain resort...
so I'd advise you to go on a cruise.
That's very funny.
Can we get back to my idea?
We buy cultured pearls. We box 'em here in velvet...
and we sell 'em mail order.
I can get a good price.
You were in jewelry. It didn't work.
We got stuck with the rhinestone earrings.
You don't have a business head.
You got stuck with mail order parts...
you tried seeds...
then you lost money selling greeting cards.
You know we have 6,000 "get well" cards in the closet?
There aren't that many sick people in America.
Forget it. I'll spend the rest of my life at the job I do.
There's nothing wrong with it.
What do you do, Dad?
It's none of your business.
All my friends know what their dads do for a living.
Don't you have any homework?
Hey, can I have 15 cents for the new Masked Avenger ring?
No. What am l, made of money?
Pay more attention to your schoolwork...
and less to the radio!
You always listen to the radio.
It's different. Our lives are ruined already.
You still have a chance to grow up and be somebody.
You think I want you working at the job I do?
I don't even know what your job is.
You gotta get an education.
While I'm getting it, can I get the secret compartment ring?
We don't have money to waste.
Do you think we all like living together?
We'd like to save up, maybe have another child.
Your father works all day like a horse...
supporting everybody.
-At what? -He's a big butter-and-egg man.
What do you mean, "our lives are ruined already"?
I didn't mean "ruined" ruined.
We're poor, but happy. But definitely poor.
Isn't this a beautiful sea bass?
Who wants to join me, hmm?
By now, you've probably guessed...
that the Masked Avenger's secret compartment ring...
meant a lot to me.
Well, it did.
Because they were gold and mysterious...
and they fit any finger.
The box top, I already had.
But the 15 cents was hard to come by in those days.
I tried not thinking about it...
but it was very hard to keep off my mind.
And the masts and the sail.
You even have to work with the tweezers...
to get some of the small stuff in.
I'll pass it around.
That was lovely, Evelyn.
Arnold, why don't you come up...
and show the class what you have?
Just go stand right over there. Go ahead.
I found this on my parents' night table.
That will be enough! You go sit down!
What did I do? You told me to bring something.
Put that thing in your pocket and sit down!
Ross, why don't you come up here?
You have something suitable to show the class, don't you?
Yes, I do.
Very good. Stand right here.
This is my Masked Avenger secret compartment ring.
It's very special to me.
Now basically, I was an honest kid.
But there are some things in life...
that are just too compelling.
That afternoon at Hebrew school, a scheme occurred to me.
Next week, we are going to issue collection boxes...
and each of you will be asked to go out in the street...
and collect funds for the promotion...
of a new state in Palestine.
Hey, can you give to the Jewish National Fund...
and help us build a homeland in Palestine? Please? No?
Hey, how about you?
Can you give to the Jewish National Fund?
Can you help us? Anything?
Hey, how about--
Can you? Can you? No? Oh.
Give to the Jewish National Fund?
Hey, can you give us-- Hey, excuse me.
Can you--give it to me, please. Thank you.
Guys, we got enough here to get Masked Avenger rings...
and an ice-cream soda.
We gotta leave some for Palestine.
Why should we leave anything for Palestine?
It's all the way over in Egypt.
It's a sin. What if the rabbi catches us?
Hey, they'll never find out. Besides, I can handle him.
You sure?
Positive.
Dimes! I got 4 dimes!
Monies for our Jewish homeland...
used to buy this "masked adventure" ring?!
My heart is full of grief.
It swells with anguish!
He'll pay back every cent.
-Yup. -Shut up.
I don't know what to do, Rabbi.
Every night, he listens to the radio.
I can't keep him away.
I say, "Go to the beach.
"Play in the sun. Get some fresh air."
No. "The Lone Ranger," "The Shadow,"...
"The Masked Avenger."
This is not good. This boy needs discipline.
Radio, it's all right once in a while.
Otherwise, it tends to induce bad values...
false dreams, lazy habits.
Listening to the radio...
these stories of foolishness and violence...
this is no way for a boy to grow up!
You speak the truth, my faithful Indian companion.
To a rabbi you say "my faithful Indian companion"?
Hey, hey. Don't hit my son!
What kind of upbringing is this?
Look, I'll hit him, but you don't hit him.
I know better how to teach the children!
I said, I'll hit him! You leave him alone!
No, I'll hit him because you are too lenient!
Oh, I'm lenient? Watch.
That's lenient? That's lenient?!
I am a faithful Indian? Such an impertinence?
Rabbi, I will teach him some manners.
Yeah, I'll show him lenient.
Think that's lenient?
Enough, enough. You'll hurt the boy.
And so, that ended my career in crime.
And I never did get the Masked Avenger ring.
But to this day...
I still get chills when I recall his famous sign-off.
Be sure and tune in tomorrow...
for another adventure of "The Masked Avenger"...
when he flies over the city rooftops...
and we all hear his cry...
Beware, evildoers, wherever you are!
Tess, did you see my yellow bag?
I didn't touch it.
Aw. Ooh, what is that?
Ooh, turn it up.
What's the fuss?
She's got a big date.
Mr. Manulis finally asked her out.
Oh, what'd he do, go blind?
Him with the insults, right?
Hey!
You should go tell her that she looks nice.
Yeah. I'll tell her, I'll tell her.
Mrs. Waldbaum found a pocketbook in the subway...
and she doesn't think she's gonna give it back.
You ought to stop listening.
Tess, can I borrow your anchor pin?
Well, sure, sure.
Oh, God, he's so handsome!
I waited so long. I never thought he'd ask me.
Where'd you meet him?
In the Catskills. He rides horseback...
he dances, he's some tennis player.
Sounds like a perfect victim. What's he do for a living?
His firm imports coffee.
What do you do for a living, Dad?
Get my cigarettes, will you?
Oh, this could be the answer to my prayers.
Bea, don't you think it's about time you compromised?
I don't know the meaning of that word.
So stay single.
Do you smell my perfume? It's good, right?
Oh, gosh. OK, uh, Ceil. Ceil, get it!
I don't want to appear too anxious.
I've been cleaning fish all afternoon.
That man never stops bringing home fish.
I'll get it.
Oh, my gosh. My glasses.
Coming. I'm coming.
Almost forgot my glasses.
Oh, well, hello. Come on in.
Would you come in, please?
I'm Bea's sister, Tess.
Well, how do you do? Is Bea ready?
Oh, she'll only be a minute.
This is most of my family.
Hello, hello!
And this is my husband.
Ah, pleased. Pleased!
That's quite a firm handshake you got.
Oh, well, sure.
I hate when somebody shakes your hand...
they put a dead paw in it. You know what I mean?
Have you been waiting long?
Oh, not at all, sugar. Hey.
Well, have a very nice time.
Yeah. Come on, sugar. It's into the old jalopy.
We're gonna paint the town red!
Oh, gosh. Didn't Bea look lovely?
What did she do? Fall into a vat of perfume?
You know, when we were younger, of the 3 sisters...
she used to be considered the pretty one.
Some contest.
Oh, what do you know?
You're lucky I love you, you old goose bag.
Aunt Bea and Mr. Manulis were having a wonderful time.
He took her out for the evening to Coney Island...
where they went roller-skating.
And although she had never roller-skated...
before in her life...
in his capable hands, she did her best.
He took her for oysters and beer.
And as she later told the story...
she was shy about having to wear glasses...
and kept trying to hide the fact that she needed them.
Aunt Bea was really developing a crush on Mr. Manulis...
and as they ate and joked, it would've been impossible...
to guess that their evening together...
would soon end in total disaster.
Oh, did I have I wonderful time.
I'm still a little tipsy from that beer.
Oh, really? 'Cause you only had one.
I know, but alcohol affects me strongly.
And you, how can you even drive?
You must have had 5 beers.
Well, I'm a big boy. I could have 10.
Oh, and it's so foggy.
Yeah. I love the fog.
It's very romantic.
What's that?
Oh, you're not gonna believe this...
but we're out of gas.
Oh, gosh. Wouldn't you know it?
Right out here on the tip of Breezy Point, too.
Hmm. Looks like we're stuck here.
Least till the fog lifts.
Oh, well. What's a girl to do?
Oh, Sidney. Oh, Sidney, this is our first date together.
Aw, Bea, you know how I feel about you.
We interrupt this program...
to bring you a special news bulletin.
A state of emergency has been declared...
by the President of the United States.
We're switching live to Wilson's Glen, New Jersey...
where the landing of hundreds of unidentified spacecraft...
has now been officially confirmed...
as a full-scale invasion of the Earth by Martians.
I can't believe my eyes--
Dying...being trampled in their efforts to escape.
The power lines are down everywhere.
We could be cut off at any moment.
Oh, my gosh!
There's another group of spaceships.
The alien ships are coming out of the sky.
Despite his bravado all evening...
Mr. Manulis panicked and bolted out of the car.
He was so frightened by the reports...
of interplanetary invasion that he ran off...
leaving Aunt Bea to contend with the slimy green monsters...
he expected to drop from the sky at any moment.
She walked home 6 miles.
When Mr. Manulis called her for a date the next week...
she told my mother to tell him she couldn't see him anymore.
She had married a Martian.
Now, earlier...
I promised some inside stories about the stars.
Well, here's a little something...
that actually happened one night with Roger and Irene.
Everyone's here tonight, sweetheart.
Isn't that Richard? Oh, Richard!
We saw that show at the Morosco.
You're right. It's terrific.
Thank you. Thank you very much.
I thought I saw Ernest Hemingway at the bar, darling.
Well, I heard he was in town, actually.
Cigars. Cigarettes.
Oh, I'll have some Camels.
Hello, Mr. Daley.
Where have you been? You don't return my calls.
I can never get ahold of you.
I told you it was over.
Please don't say that!
You call me all hours.
I mean, I meet you in hotel rooms...
in the back of cars, in stalled elevators...
you're gonna lose your respect for me.
Please don't be unreasonable.
Cigars. Cigarettes.
Cigar, please.
Thank you very much.
Sally, you can't just break it off now.
I'm in love with you.
Yeah.
If you loved me...
you'd leave your wife and marry me.
Well, I can't do that. Our ratings are too high.
Hi, Roger.
Oh, hi.
Lucky Strikes, please.
Tico-tico!
I look at you, and I'm aflame with longing.
Oh, what am I gonna do? I'm a single girl.
I want you, Sally. I crave you.
I've already spoken to the head of the agency about you.
He wants to meet you.
-Really? -Yeah.
I told him you were the most promising young actress...
I'd seen in years.
But you've never even seen me act.
I've got great intuition...
and I care so much about you.
I've just got to have you, Sally.
I'm exploding with desire.
We can't do it now. I'm working my shift.
There must be somewhere we can be alone for a few minutes.
I'd be taking a real chance.
I told my wife I was going to have a drink...
with Richard Rodgers.
You know, we always table hop for a long time.
Well, let me think.
And so, as the story goes...
Roger and Sally set out...
to find a secluded trysting place...
while Roger's wife Irene...
spent her time drinking and hobnobbing...
with society's most interesting and exotic Latin playboy.
I think it's probably pretty safe up here.
And under the stars
An orchestra's playing
Listen, I only got a 10-minute break.
Come here, baby.
He wants to meet me?
Who?
The head of the agency.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Yeah. Come here. Yeah.
Oh, wait.
Can you take this off?
Yeah, sure.
Yeah, there you go.
You tell him I could sing?
Sure.
Yeah?
Like a nightingale.
You told him that?
-Yeah. -Promise?
Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Boy, that was fast.
Probably helped I had the hiccups.
I have to get back to the table.
Hey, Sally, this door's locked.
It is?
It's locked from the inside.
Oh, no.
What are we gonna do?
The trick is not to panic.
There's no other way down.
Well, we'll have to climb down.
We can't climb down the side of the building.
What do you think I am?
Didn't you know the door was locked from the inside?
No. I never actually came up here...
with anybody but you.
Oh, my God. What a predicament!
And that's exactly how it happened.
No matter how hard they tried...
Roger and Sally could not get back in.
Legend has it that an electrical storm broke out...
and that he was struck by lightning--
had to miss his show for a month.
Another version of the story I heard...
said that Irene came up to the roof...
with the same intention as her husband...
and that Sally got fired.
The other 3 were so sophisticated...
they all spent a weekend in the same hotel suite in Havana.
It's terrible. They have no respect.
They should be thrown out of the neighborhood.
It's a disgrace.
My nerve's on edge because I'm so hungry.
You think they fast?
They don't care about the High Holidays.
They eat, even though you're supposed to fast.
Grandma can't stand the radio next door.
It's awful. It's just awful.
Wait a minute. Dad, I don't understand.
I thought that you're allowed to turn it on.
No, no. For 24 hours, you're supposed to do nothing.
You can't even turn on a light switch.
Just sit and fast and pray and atone for your sins.
Well, how come they're not?
Well, what do they care? They're communists.
That's right. They don't believe in religion.
Abe, go speak to them.
What, you want me to talk to them?
I'd like to burn their house down...
but I'm not allowed to light matches today.
If they don't believe it themselves...
at least they should do it out of respect for the neighbors.
It's terrible. They're Jewish...
but they don't believe in God, just Stalin.
Well, I'm just gonna go tell them a few things...
that's all.
Hey. Hey, listen.
What the hell are you doing?
Can you turn off the radio? We're praying in there.
-Praying? -Yes.
What good is that? You should be working.
Working for the benefit of your fellow man.
It is a sin to work today.
It's a sin not to work.
Are you gonna pay for this fence?
Today is the most holy day.
Can't you please turn off the radio?
Cut that off.
He's been there over an hour.
Yeah. Meanwhile, the radio's still on.
Better be careful.
The daughter believes in free love.
Why do you say that?
You heard what happened to Mrs. Silverman?
She couldn't sleep.
She was up one night taking a cup of tea...
and she heard a car pull up 3:00 in the morning.
So, you know Mrs. Silverman.
She always likes to know what's going on.
So, she's peeking out her front door...
and there's the girl across the street...
coming back from a folk-singing thing...
with a tall colored man.
You're not gonna believe this, Ceil.
She gives the guy a big, long kiss.
Well, you can imagine how Rose Silverman reacted.
She had a stroke on the spot.
Her arteries hardened. The woman remained frozen...
the teacup on the way to her mouth.
They never saw anything like it at the hospital.
I'm telling you, Ceil, she was as stiff as a board.
I'm home.
It's about time.
Abe, they're still carrying on.
What'd you do there for over an hour?
Oh, I talked. Or should I say I listened.
Hey, you didn't eat?
I did eat.
Abe, we're fasting!
They're right. It's silly.
Oh, my god, Abe.
I mean, look, I should fast to atone for my sins?
What are my sins? Who did I bother?
The only sin is the exploitation...
of the worker by the bosses.
Listen to him.
Did the daughter get ahold of you?
No, no. You see, the problem is not between man...
and some imaginary super being.
It's between man and the owners of 90%...
of the world's wealth.
What do you mean, some imaginary super being?
You don't believe in God?
Look, religion is the opium of the masses.
That's the problem.
Abe, God will punish you.
No, God is not interested in-- in me. He--
What's the matter?
What is it?
Abe?
I have chest pains.
Abe, really? My goodness.
Abe, are you all right?
I can't breathe.
No, stop it.
Just relax. Just relax.
Try. Breathe out slowly.
Abe, I told you God would punish you.
You see? I was right. This time he was right.
All right, I'll get the doctor's number.
Maybe it's indigestion.
What did you eat over there?
Uh, some pork chops.
Pork chops?
And some clams.
Abe.
And chocolate pudding.
Abe, how could you do this?
And some french fries.
French fries? You ate french fries?
You won't eat my french fries...
but you'll eat the Russian's-- the commie's french fries?
I'm gonna get him some bicarbonate.
That's too good for him. He deserves an enema.
Oh, Ceil.
Yeah, right.
Oh.
Hello, sports fans...
and welcome to today's edition...
of Bill Kern's "Favorite Sports Legends."
Now, in my family...
each person had his own favorite show.
For instance, my uncle Abe was a great sports fan.
And he always listened to Bill Kern.
Today's story is about a baseball player.
His name was Kirby Kyle...
a lean southpawfrom Tennessee.
He played for the old St. Louis Cardinals.
He threwfast, and he had a good curve ball.
And all the hitters knew it.
He was a kid with a great future...
but one day...
he went hunting.
He loved to hunt...
just like his father and his father's father.
Chasing a rabbit, he stumbled, and his rifle went off.
The bullet entered his leg.
Two days later, it was amputated.
They said he would never pitch again.
But the next season, he was back.
He had one leg...
but he had something more important.
He had heart.
The following winter...
another accident cost Kirby Kyle an arm...
fortunately not his pitching arm.
He had one leg and one arm...
but more than that...
he had heart.
The next winter...
going after duck...
his gun misfired.
He was blind...
but he had instinct as to where to throw the baseball.
Instinct...and heart.
The following year...
Kirby Kyle was run over by a truck and killed.
The following season...
he won 18 games...
in the Big League in the sky.
This has been Bill Kern...
with another favorite sports legend.
Well, to tell you the truth, you look pretty good.
While uncle Abe loved the "Bill Kern Sports Show"...
his wife Ceil adored a very prominent ventriloquist.
And this always used to drive Abe crazy.
He's a ventriloquist on the radio.
How do know he's not moving his lips?
Who cares? Leave me alone.
Ceil and Abe's daughter Ruthie had her own favorite program.
Naturally, it was one of those romantic boy crooners.
She and her girlfriends used to sit and swoon endlessly...
over the sentimental lyrics and velvety voice.
The local boys, of course, were all a little jealous...
and they used to look on disgustedly...
thinking the girls were real jerks.
And now, ladies and gentlemen...
the makers of General Spark Plugs bring you...
"The Court of Human Emotions"...
with world famous counselor on affairs of the human heart...
Thomas Abercrombie.
And now, my friends--
My mother and father loved to hear the show...
where ordinary people were helped...
with their personal problems.
Six years ago, his mother came to live with us...
and she won't leave and he won't throw her out.
Claire, how can I throw my own mother out?
What do you mean? You grab her by the throat...
and throw her out.
Oh, just like that. Just like that.
Grab her by the throat and throw her out.
Why don't you just get a knife and stick it in here?
That's what you should do.
I'm not gonna stick any knife anywhere!
Throw my mother out!
I found the show silly...
and always imagined my parents on it...
airing their standard complaints.
He's a business failure.
He never finishes what he starts.
We're forced to live with my relatives...
and thank God for them.
And I could have married Sam Slotkin.
Sam Slotkin's dead.
Yes, but while he was alive, he was working.
She'd be lost without her whole family...
around her all the time, and you should see 'em.
They're like some kind of tribe.
They're like the Huns. Maybe if I had married...
a more encouraging woman, who knows?
So who do you think is right?
I think you both deserve each other.
What does that mean?
Look, we didn't come here to be insulted.
I love him, but what did I do to deserve him?
Naturally, my folks never were...
on the Mr. Abercrombie program.
In fact, the only radio celebrity...
any of us ever really met in person...
was the 14-year-old mathematical genius...
of a quiz show my father loved called "The Whiz Kids."
Hey, Tess, that's one of the kids from the radio.
It's a Whiz Kid.
Hey, Joe, it's one of the Whiz Kids from the radio.
It's one of the Whiz Kids.
Hey, excuse me. Pardon me?
We really enjoy your son on the radio.
You're a real genius.
Yes, I have a 160 I.Q.
And that is extraordinary by any standards.
This is our son.
Say hello.
Hi.
Charmed to make your acquaintance.
Although perhaps charmed is really overstating it.
Your son is a whiz at math.
Hey, quick. What's 1,754 divided into 13 million, huh?
Martin.
Yeah, this palooka can't even pass...
a simple arithmetic exam, you know?
And now, if you'll excuse us.
Boy, what a kid.
So well spoken.
Why can't you be like that, huh?
Why can't you be a genius?
I'll tell you why. Because you're too busy...
listening to the radio all the time.
That's why. Put your hat on.
Put his hat on. Honest to goodness.
Aunt Bea listened almost exclusively to music.
Because of her, I grew up hearing...
the most wonderful songs.
To this day, there are certain songs...
that no matter where I am, the minute I hear them...
I get instant memory flashes.
For instance, every time I hear this song...
I think of Evelyn Goorwitz...
who I had a crush on, but who didn't like me.
And I remember her pretty girlfriend...
treating me like I had the plague.
But eventually, persistence won out...
and I did break down her resistance.
I can never hear this song...
without recalling my parents' anniversary.
It was the only time I ever saw them kiss.
It was a very wonderful memory.
Now, when this song was popular on the radio...
I remember a strange little event.
My friend Andrew and I built a snowman...
in front of the school...
and he supplemented its anatomy...
with a particular vegetable.
Another song that we listened to on the radio...
was by Carmen Miranda.
I can only think of my cousin Ruthie...
and how much she loved it.
"Mairzy Doats."
I remember when I first heard that song on the radio...
and I always associate its popularity...
with a bizarre incident when Mr. Zipsky...
normally a very quiet man in the neighborhood...
had a nervous breakdown and ran amok...
through the shopping district of Rockaway.
My most vivid memory connected with an old radio song...
I associate with the time that Aunt Bea...
and her then-boyfriend Chester...
took me into New York to the movies.
It was the first time I'd ever seen...
the Radio City Music Hall...
and it was like entering heaven.
I just never saw anything so beautiful in my life.
OK. Now, remember Sally the cigarette girl?
Well, I want to come back to her now...
because there are some great radio stories...
associated with Sally.
She was one of those characters...
that always seemed to be around when things were happening.
Plus, she eventually became the star...
of my aunt Ceil's favorite show.
But that's later.
Right now, we find her struggling.
A coat-check girl in a nightclub run by a mobster.
It's after hours.
Oh, my god!
You killed Mr. Davis!
I saw you shoot him!
No!
Oh, no!
Where are you taking me?
Shut up. You're gettin' yours.
It's nothing personal.
It's just bad luck you were a witness.
My whole life I had bad luck.
Me, too.
Where are you from?
Brooklyn.
Yeah? Me, too.
Whereabouts?
Canarsie.
Me, too.
Yeah?
85th Street.
I was 86th Street.
-No kidding? -Yeah.
You must know Joey's Clam House.
Yeah, I eat there all the time.
You know, this is a funny coincidence.
I don't meet anybody...
from the old neighborhood in years.
I finally do, and I got to kill her.
You were Freddy White's daughter, huh?
But I remember you when you had little pigtails...
and braces on your teeth.
But you were the cutest little girl in the neighborhood.
Here you are.
You need bullets, too?
Here.
Grazie, Mama, grazie.
Honey, you said that you enjoy the peppers.
Wait, I'll give you some more.
They're delicious.
Yeah, right here. Eat some more of these...
because you said you enjoy them very, very much.
Thank you.
Where are you gonna dump her body?
I'll dump her body in Jersey, Mama.
4:00 in the morning...
you want to dump her body in Jersey?
Dump her in Red Hook.
Sweetheart.
Look, these shrimps are nice and fresh.
I made them today.
Listen, I ain't gonna squeal. Honest.
I can keep a secret.
I know everything about everybody on Broadway.
Really. Places I've worked.
I got secrets on everybody.
Think I go around talking?
But what do you do?
She sings, Mama.
Oh, yeah? That's nice.
Yeah, that's right. I can act, too.
I'd just do anything to get on radio.
I'd be happy to give the weather report...
or interview people.
I think I'm a natural.
Oh.
I'm a great dancer.
But you can't dance on radio!
I know, 'cause they can't see you.
I know.
Wait. Wait. Come here, Rocco.
Come here. Come here.
I got to tell you something. You come over here with me.
Listen to me.
You don't have to fear. Don't worry about that girl...
because she's not too fast up here.
She wouldn't make no trouble.
Yeah. Well, I feel sorry for her, Mama.
She wants to get into radio so badly...
I think some men take advantage--
She's so pretty.
Listen to me.
Then your cousin Angelo could help her.
Yes, because he knows everybody on radio.
He could get her any little part...
because they owe him this favor.
All right.
Now they not only decide not to bump Sally off...
but they get a relative to ask an unrefusable favor...
on her behalf.
I don't know if people were bribed or threatened...
but the result was that she suddenly found herself...
with a big acting part...
on a very serious dramatic radio show...
that was doing Chekhov.
Now here's the payoff to the story.
The country never got to hear her act...
because at the last minute, fate stepped in.
The Japanese have bombed Pearl Harbor.
Earlier this morning...
a surprise attack was made on our naval base...
with enormous casualties to the United States.
We are pre-empting this show to bring you...
a special report on the enemy attack...
and a statement from the President of the United States.
Aren't we gonna do the show?
What do we do? Come back Monday?
Who is Pearl Harbor?
In one terrible moment...
world events had come between the listening public...
and Sally White.
And suddenly, the nation was at war...
and lives changed.
And Sally, like everyone else, found herself doing her bit.
I don't want to walk without you
Baby
Walk without my arm about you
Baby
I thought
The day you left me behind
I'd take a stroll
And get you right off my mind
But now I find that
I don't want to walk
Without the sunshine
Why'd you have to turn off
All that sunshine?
Oh, baby
Please come back
Or you'll break my heart for me
'Cause I
Don't want to walk without you
No, sirree
My friends and I...
acting on advice from the radio G-Man Biff Baxter...
collected scrap iron every day after school.
Our local soda jerk, Lita, joined the WACS...
and looked good in uniform.
And Mrs. Riley had a Victory Garden...
in her flower pots.
On the radio, stories changed...
and now it was the Japanese and Germans...
who were the villains.
OK, you Axis rats.
I know you've got submarines...
sneaking around the coast of America.
We have no submarines.
Yes, you do!
U-boats and airplanes.
But we Americans are...
always on the lookout, always alert.
Take that!
OK. I think you've learned your lesson.
One American with courage is worth 20 of you.
Come along.
Uncle Sam knows what to do with Axis rats.
My friends and I hung on Biff Baxter's every word...
and when he said to keep a sharp eye out...
for enemy planes and submarines lurking off the coast...
our parents laughed, but we took it seriously.
Remember, if we see any German planes...
I do have a number to call, OK?
Aw, look at that.
Hey, look. There's one.
No. No. That's one of ours.
You sure?
I don't think the Germans can get over here so easy.
They can!
The Masked Avenger says they're working on rockets.
Hey, look! There's a Japanese bomber!
-Let me see! -Get off!
Hey, wow! Look in that window!
Let me see! Let me see!
What do you see?
Jesus! What legs!
Hey, it's my turn.
Hey, hand 'em over. What do you see?
Oh, God, I can hardly breathe!
Later that afternoon...
we all walked down to the water's edge...
and the talk had shifted away from Nazis...
to more important matters.
Boy, she was pretty.
Nah, she was nothin' special.
She was all right...
but my favorite is Rita Hayworth.
I like Betty Grable.
I like Dana Andrews.
Are you kidding? Dana Andrews is a man.
She is?
Yeah. Didn't you ever see "Crash Dive"?
With a name like Dana?
Say, guys, want to look for planes or something?
I'm going home.
Yeah. I'll come with you. Let's go listen to the radio.
I didn't care if the guys went home.
I was in a funny mood that afternoon.
I just stood there, looking out at the Atlantic.
My mind was thinking about life and women...
and a million different things.
And then, suddenly, I saw it.
It was just like Biff Baxter described it.
It came up and went under so mysteriously and silently...
that I couldn't believe my eyes.
I never told anyone about it afterward...
because I doubted my own experience.
Besides, I knew that no one would believe me.
No one except Biff Baxter.
They're either too young or too old
They're either too gray or too grassy green
The pickin's are poor and the crop is lean
What's good is in the army
What's left will never harm me
They're either too old or too young
So, darling, you'll never get stung
Tomorrow, I'll go hiking with that Eagle Scout unless
I get a call from Grandpa
For a snappy game of chess
I've looked the field over...
What are you doin'?
I'm out of nylons, but lots of girls paint them on now.
Better hope it doesn't rain.
Oh, right!
Oh, Tess, I really think this could be the one.
I hope so.
He's so good-looking, and he's good-natured...
and he has his own business...
and his fiancee died last year...
so he's obviously marriage-minded.
How come he's not in the army?
-He has flat feet. -Oh.
But that's his only drawback.
Oh, you really think...
you could love a man with fallen arches, huh?
I know. You think I'm too demanding.
I do. I think you have these qualities that you demand...
and when you meet a nice man...
you disqualify him for the smallest fault.
That's not true.
So, what was wrong with Nat Bernstein?
He wore white socks with a tuxedo.
That's not a good enough reason.
And then, when you fall in love with somebody...
there is always something wrong with him.
Yeah. Well, they all seem fine.
I don't know.
You've got this sixth sense for picking losers.
Sometimes I wonder...
do you really want to get married?
More than anything!
Don't you think I want to have a child...
before it's too late?
God, how I envy you.
I just want it to be perfect.
Well, it's never perfect.
If you wait for perfect, you don't get pregnant.
You wind up with your teeth in a glass of water.
Easy for you to say.
I compromised when I picked Martin.
I mean, I wanted someone tall and handsome and rich.
Three out of three I gave up.
Well, I think you did right to compromise.
Why? You don't think I could have done better than Martin?
I know. You could have married Sam Slotkin.
So, why didn't you?
Well, Sam Slotkin was a mortician.
He always smelled from formaldehyde.
And don't think that Martin didn't compromise...
when he picked me.
I mean, he always dreamed of being a business tycoon,
having a beautiful, blond wife.
I tell him the day he becomes a tycoon, I'll dye my hair.
Well, at least you have each other.
That's all I want--someone.
So, you have to lower your standards a little.
You know, marrying for love is a very recent idea.
In the old country, with Mom and Pop...
they didn't marry for love.
A man married a woman because he needed an extra mule.
Yeah, but meantime, you're the one that listens...
to all the romantic soap operas on the radio.
Yeah, well, I like to daydream.
But I have my two feet firmly planted on my husband.
First we're gonna go to the movie, then we'll go to eat...
and maybe I'll ask him back here...
although I don't want to seem too forward on the first date.
You really like this guy, huh?
Oh, I like him so much.
Well, we'll say a prayer for you...
and then, maybe this time next year, you'll look like me.
Hey, you know what I was thinkin', Tess?
What?
If I could learn engraving and buy a machine.
Not another "get rich" scheme.
I could make a few dollars engraving, let me tell you.
Hey. Now, let me tell you the beauty part.
Yeah? I'm waiting.
When you engrave gold rings and lockets, you know...
what you cut out when you make the letters...
falls down on the table and accumulates.
-lt's gold dust. -Forget it, will you?
It'll be like all the other ideas.
Gold dust, Tess, and the engraver owns it!
Hold my wool.
If it's a girl, I thought we could name it Lola.
Lola? What do you want her to be, a stripper?
And if it's a boy, Lionel?
No son of mine is gonna be named Lionel.
I want an "L" name after my Uncle Louie.
Oh, your Uncle Louie. How about louse?
The news is not good tonight.
Reports are that Nazi tank divisions...
are pushing American infantrymen back...
in furious armored warfare.
Meanwhile, on the second front, Japanese have taken control...
of two more islands in the Philippines...
and are advancing on American...
This is John Jenkins, broadcasting from London...
and the bombs are falling even as we speak.
And the morale of the boys is good here in Guadalcanal...
despite heavy losses.
What do you think, Martin?
You think Hitler's gonna win?
Sometimes I wonder about the wisdom...
of bringing new life into the world, I'll tell you that.
Come on. Lights out. It's blackout.
Oh, God. Another air raid drill.
Between the Nazis and the Communists, give me those Reds.
Stick to your fish.
What do they want, those Nazis--
to slaughter everyone on the planet?
The Nazis, the Communists.
The world would be better off without any of them, believe me.
Come here. You know what W.C. Fields said, don't you?
He said, to settle a war...
the leaders of the countries involved...
should meet in a stadium and fight it out...
with socks filled with horse manure.
Hey! Put that light out!
Maybe you should wake him up to see the searchlights.
No, no. Let him sleep. He's got school.
So beautiful.
Wow, what a world.
It could be so wonderful if it wasn't for certain people.
Later that night, I was awakened...
by the sound of our radio in the kitchen.
I had a very nice time.
Yes. It was wonderful.
It was such a clear night out.
You could see all the stars.
I think I should be going.
Oh, don't go. It's not late.
Well, I have to drive back to the Bronx.
Fred, you must know I have a little crush on you.
Please, Bea.
What is it?
What's wrong?
Nothing. It's just I...
What's wrong?
Is it still your fiancee?
It's been such a long period of grief.
It's not fair to you.
I know. I know.
It's just that every time I hear that song on the radio...
my memory goes back to Leonard.
That was our song.
Leonard?
My beloved.
You never said your fiance's name was Leonard.
How could I?
I see.
Just calm yourself.
Would you like a drink?
No.
Just relax.
It's a nice song.
You guys, shut up!
The principal's coming!
Sit down!
Good morning, class.
I'd like you to know...
that your regular teacher, Mrs. Nash, is ill today...
and you will have a substitute teacher.
Now, now. Children. Children, please.
Be quiet. No noise.
I want you to be very good today.
I want you to be on your very best behavior.
Miss Gordon, would you please come in?
They're all yours.
OK, class.
We're going to begin today--
Well, first, let me tell you what my name is.
I'm Miss Gordon.
Oh, God, we're all going straight to hell.
I conclude the Miss Gordon episode...
with just one observation:
for some miraculous reason...
it's a wonderful feeling having a schoolteacher...
you've seen dance naked in front of a mirror...
but that's how it happened.
Now, I want to take a minute to tell you how Sally wound up...
because it's one of the radio legends of the time.
Get regular with Re-Lax
Start every day the Re-Lax way
Your system will feel so great
You'll want to relax on the top of the Empire State
Get regular with Re-Lax
Start every day the Re-Lax way
When your tummy's not so hot
Remember, "X" marks the spot
Get regular with Re-Lax
The Re-Lax way
No, no. More feeling!
It has no inner life.
We need the name of the product...
to be enunciated a little more clearly.
Please, I'll deal with the performers.
And let's cut the phrase "X marks the spot"...
because people will be reminded of Ex-Lax.
You're being too touchy.
Why take the chance?
Let's run it again, Sally.
Three, four...
Get regular with Re-Lax
Start every day the Re-Lax way
-Your system... -No! No!
Will feel so great, you'll want...
Like this:
Re-Lax, Re-Lax
Well, what should I be thinking inside?
Think laxative.
Think soothing relief.
Please. I'll give her a motivation.
Laxative, darling. You crave one.
Try again.
Three, four...
Get regular with Re-Lax
Start every day the Re-Lax way
Your system will feel so great
You'll want to relax on the top of the Empire State...
It's not the commercial, it's the girl.
She has no flair for it.
She's the best who auditioned.
What do you think, Mr. Monroe?
I think she's correct to represent my laxative.
She's fresh. Her voice is natural...
and she does it simply.
What do you think, Doris?
I don't like her.
Get rid of her.
Sally hung around the Broadway area...
and tried to break into broadcasting...
but the only roles she ever seemed to wind up with...
were in the bedroom.
Then one day, as she would later tell her biographer...
the voice of God told her to take diction lessons...
and her whole life changed.
Hark! I hear the cannons roar.
Is it the king approaching?
Hark! I hear the cannons roar.
Is it the king approaching?
Hark! I hear the cannons roar.
Is it the king approaching?
Hark. I hear the cannons roar.
Is it the king approaching?
No, no, no.
The cannons roar.
Sally practiced faithfully every day for many months.
Her natural speech was a great obstacle to get over...
yet through diligence and perseverance...
plus a rather special intimate knowledge...
of many Broadway personalities...
it was only a question of time...
before she emerged a full-blown star.
And now, the makers of Lady Lydia facial cream...
bring you "Sally White and Her Gay White Way."
Good evening, and cheers to you all out there.
My first exclusive--
Clark Gable was in town this week in uniform...
and where did he go?
To El Morocco, naturally.
That brunette on his arm...
was Lolly Hayes, an up-and-coming starlet.
Hope you had fun, Clark.
And didn't Rita Hayworth look stunning last night...
at the Copacabana?
Oh, Abe, how come you never take me...
to the Copacabana or El Morocco?
Take the gas pipe.
I suppose you would have been happier...
married to Rita Hayworth.
You gotta ask?
Believe me, Abe, those show business celebrities...
get divorced every 6 weeks, but we're together forever.
I may take the gas pipe.
Just once, I'd like to eat at the Stork Club.
They don't take Jews in the Stork Club.
No Jews, no colored.
Abe, this is the United States of America.
Now here, try taking Minnie's maid Cleopatra...
to the Stork Club. You'd get curb service.
Damn.
Don't hit it, Abe, you'll break it.
I know what I'm doing.
Naturally, he did break it.
He sent it out to be repaired...
and a week later, I was sent to pick it up.
My parents told me that since it was so heavy...
I could take it home by taxi, but I had a brilliant plan.
I figured if I carried it, I could keep the cab fare.
The first half-mile was barely manageable.
Pretty soon, I realized I was gonna have to give in...
and that I was not gonna save any money.
Hi.
You?
I'm helping out a friend, you know.
Come on. Get in.
That's how I found out what my father did for a living.
For some strange reason, he was ashamed of it...
and even then, he didn't admit it.
It didn't bother me one bit, though.
I loved him.
In fact, I gave him the biggest tip he got all day.
Chimson's coffee is having a slogan contest.
You write it in to their radio show...
and you win a refrigerator.
That fraud!
What's a good slogan?
Wait a minute, wait a minute. I got one.
How about, "A coffee with oomph!"
That's terrible.
Oh, yeah? What's your idea, big shot?
"Good to the last drop"?
That's Maxwell House. Come on.
I knew I'd heard it.
"It won't keep you awake, it will keep you happy."
Hey, that's not bad.
It's catchy, right?
Yeah.
-Ooh! -What? What?
It's happening!
Hey, Ceil. All right. Easy, easy, easy.
This is really it.
Now, put your arm around me.
I am so ready for this.
Put your arm around me. All right.
Nice and easy. Ceil, this is it.
This is it. I'm so excited! A baby! I can't wait!
I want a girl.
Take it easy. You should get a girl.
Oh, you should get a girl. No problem.
Abe, isn't this wonderful? You want to have a baby?
Slow, slow, slow.
You got the bags?
Suitcases. Yeah.
Nice and slow.
Here you go, honey.
You did a good job.
Aw!
Yeah, she did a good job.
You did a good job, too, Martin.
I did a great job. It was very difficult.
Tess, you haven't met Sy yet.
Oh, pleased to meet you, Sy.
My pleasure. Congratulations.
Oh, and this is my brother-in-law Abe.
-Hello. -Hello.
And Ceil.
-Hi. -Hello.
So, we better be going.
We're gonna take your son into Manhattan for the day.
Oh, great. Lucky boy.
Sy has a new car, and we'll do some driving.
Don't lose him, all right?
No, we won't lose him.
I'll be good. Don't worry.
Have a good time.
-Thanks. -lt's nice of you.
-Thanks a lot. -Ok. I'll see you soon.
Don't give them any trouble, all right?
I'm not going to give them any trouble.
-Bye. -Drive carefully.
Have a good time.
-That's very nice. -Bye.
Bye, Sy.
Nice. Nice looking.
He's not bad. I like him.
Why is she wasting her time with him?
He's married.
Really, Ceil?
He's supposed to be getting out of it...
but you know how tight some women hold on.
No. Tell me about it.
I hope she knows what she's doing.
She'll be all right.
Martin, are you sure you want to call the baby Ellen?
Sure. Sure. Why not?
It's in memory of your cousin Eddie.
In memory? He's not dead yet.
He should be.
Oh, Martin, you and your jokes.
Aunt Bea and her boyfriend...
gave me one of the best days I ever had.
They took me to my first radio show...
and if that wasn't thrill enough...
Aunt Bea was chosen as a contestant.
You're from Rockaway, huh?
Yes.
And what do you do, Bea?
I'm a bookkeeper.
Oh. For a minute, I thought you said beekeeper.
I'd hate to get stung.
Now, you chose as your topic "fish."
How'd you get to know about fish?
Well, my brother-in-law brings home fish...
from Sheepshead Bay all the time...
and we all help with them, and after a while...
you get to identify them, and--
Oh, that's great. I get it.
Well, now, can you tell me what this is?
Aunt Bea had no trouble.
Years of living in the same house with Uncle Abe...
had turned us all into ichthyologists.
And finally, how about this one?
That's a flounder.
No, no, no.
That's a fluke.
You're sure?
That's a fluke.
Well, this is no fluke.
You've won 50 silver dollars.
Boy, a chemistry set. I can't believe it.
I've always wanted one of these.
This is so great.
God, I can't wait to get home and open this.
Oh, this is fantastic.
Bea.
It was a lovely afternoon.
A lovely afternoon.
Gosh, I almost forgot what a fluke looked like.
It's a good thing I remembered.
Well, this time next week...
we won't have anything hanging over our heads.
I'll be free of all my obligations.
Are you sure, Sy?
I've only stayed because of the children.
I'm telling you, Bea, mark my words.
This time next week, I'll be a free man.
And the most expensive one in the store, too.
I can't believe this.
So what are we gonna do with the rest of the money?
What Aunt Bea did with the rest of the money...
was treat us all to a Broadway dance palace.
She and Sy seemed very much in love, and she seemed happy.
But it was not to be because after a week...
Sy did not leave his wife and children...
nor did he after two weeks nor ever.
And as the year came to a close...
Aunt Bea would soon be back to her old dreams...
of finding a true love.
Still, on this night, no one had any thoughts...
except what a wonderful time we were all having.
Aah! Ohh! Oh, my God!
Did you do this? I'll kill you.
When I catch you, I'm gonna kill you!
Come here! Don't you run away from me!
What happened?
Look what he did to my good coat.
What?
Bea bought him a chemistry set.
He made purple dye and--
Wait a minute. That's the coat...
I gave you for an anniversary present?
Look at it!
No, you don't hit him. I'll hit him.
I can hit him, I can hit him!
You're too easy with him. I know how to hit him.
Abe, have you seen Mama's teeth?
She left them in a glass of water yesterday...
and she can't find them.
The kids were playing hockey with them.
They were playing hockey with Mama's teeth?
Yeah. They're about the same size as a puck.
Oh, listen! Isn't that the conga?
Oh, my teacher said you could meet...
very interesting men in a conga line.
Come on, Ruthie! Come on, Ceil!
I can do this, I can do this!
One, two, three!
Come here! Hey, you're making it worse on yourself.
Come here!
Can you really meet men doing this?
Come here! I got you! Come here!
You're gonna pay for it this time.
We interrupt this program...
to bring you a special news bulletin.
Emergency workers and laborers...
outside Strasberg, Pennsylvania...
are working diligently to locate and remove...
an 8-year-old girl who has fallen down a well.
Polly Phelps fell down the well while playing with friends...
and has been lodged at the bottom since 12 noon.
Reports will be coming to you live on the spot...
where this tense drama is unfolding.
We don't know if the girl is still living...
although authorities are predicting...
they will rescue the child within moments.
It has been 7 hours, and still emergency workers have not...
been able to contact or free 8-year-old Polly Phelps.
Attempts to go down into the well...
Can you hear me? Polly!
Can you hear anything?
Get the press back!
Polly, honey! We're coming for you, just hold on!
Be careful with that thing!
Meanwhile, members of the press are out here in abundance.
And this field is illuminated by the eerie incandescence...
of searchlights and flash bulbs.
The anxious parents, Mr. and Mrs. Phelps, stand by waiting...
hoping for some word, some sign.
We'll continue to broadcast live...
from the scene of the accident...
and bring you details as they unfold.
I'm sure all Americans listening to their radios everywhere...
are praying for Polly Phelps and the Phelps family.
Please, God, don't let her die.
The fire department and local emergency squads...
have been on the job for many hours...
but the difficulty seems to be...
that the well is quite narrow and the surrounding--
No, wait, wait!
It looks like he has something.
He's tugging the rope.
They're raising the rope very, very slowly.
They seem to be close to a rescue.
Police have her. Stand by.
We're coming to you live.
Don? Don, is--Don...
Oh, God, this is terrible.
Ladies and gentlemen...
The child is not alive.
Polly Phelps is dead.
After all the efforts and prayers...
the little girl is dead.
This is tragic.
Just tragic.
We are going to end our broadcast, ladies and gentlemen.
I know that all America shares the grief of the Phelps family.
This has been a sudden, unexpected human tragedy.
Good evening, and Happy New Year.
We're broadcasting live from the King Cole room...
in midtown Manhattan, where everyone is here...
to welcome in 1944.
You know, I used to work in this place.
Now I'm here with, of all people, the Masked Avenger.
Beware, evildoers, wherever you are!
Now, where are they this evening?
There they are. Hello, everybody!
Hello, everyone!
Oh, listen to that.
Doesn't that sound wonderful at that nightclub?
Yeah. Why aren't we there, Abe?
Why aren't we there? Because we're here.
Don't you want to hit the hot spots...
and drink champagne from my slipper?
I can't take that much liquid.
Just a minute. And besides, only creeps and crazy people...
go out New Year's Eve.
Then you should definitely go out, Abe.
There are those who drink champagne at nightclubs...
and us who listen to them drink champagne on the radio.
Yeah. I heard "Breakfast with Irene and Roger"...
this morning, and they said they were going...
to the King Cole room tonight...
and they said all their friends would be there.
Roger and Irene are rich and famous.
They have a radio show.
They wear fancy clothes...
they hobnob with their celebrity friends...
they go to all the openings and nightclubs.
What, you think they're happier than us?
How much time do I have to answer that question?
You'd be so nice to come home to
You'd be so nice by the fire
While the breeze on high
Sings a lullaby
You'd be all that I could desire
Under stars chilled by the winter
Under an August moon burning above
You'd be so nice
You'd be paradise
To come home to
And love
What, no date tonight?
Well, it's OK.
We're all together, you know.
Under stars chilled
By the winter
Under an August moon
Burning above
You'd be so nice
You'd be paradise
To come home to
And love
Thank you. Thank you.
To a wonderful year.
A Lucky Strike, please.
Thank you, darling. Keep the change.
You know, it's not even midnight, and I'm drunk.
Anyone ever seen the roof of this place?
I beg your pardon?
It has the most marvelous view of the city, really.
How do you know the roof?
I was up there once when I worked here.
The circumstances were quite different.
Why don't we go up there and see it?
Would you like to? Come with me.
Come on. What fun!
Oh, my goodness! It's freezing out here.
This is amazing.
Amazing, but it's freezing up here.
What a crazy idea.
What were you doing up here?
Oh, it's a long story.
Oh, look at the sky.
It's gotten so overcast.
And all the lights.
What a city this is.
Another year is passing.
I hope 1944 turns out well.
They pass so quickly.
Where do they all go?
So quickly. Then we get old.
And we never knew what any of it was about.
That's right.
I wonder if future generations...
will ever even hear about us.
It's not likely.
After enough time, everything passes.
I don't care how big we are or how important are our lives.
Six...five...
four...three...
two...one...
Happy New Year!
Martin...
I'm a little scared for the future.
What are you scared about? She's always scared.
Don't worry so much.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year, Bea.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Happy New Year.
What is he doing up?
I woke him so he wouldn't forget 1944.
Happy New Year!
God, I wish this war was over!
There are no single men around.
This year you're gonna find your true love.
I have a feeling in my bones.
Yes, you will.
Oh! You know what we should start the New Year with?
A little red snapper! Don't you think?
Hey, Happy New Year, everybody.
Happy New Year! Martin! Mama!
Hey, it's starting to snow!
Let's go downstairs.
Beware, evildoers, wherever you are!
I never forgot that New Year's Eve...
when Aunt Bea awakened me to watch 1944 come in.
And I've never forgotten any of those people...
or any of the voices we used to hear on the radio.
Although the truth is...
with the passing of each New Year's Eve...
those voices do seem to grow dimmer and dimmer.
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Rikyu 1989
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