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(NOTE: This Seems like an audio skit, perhaps for the radio. But later, in 1972, I came up with the idea of the Roving Reporter, which is a similar concept. Note also that I had previously had a newspaper column in the Goleta Valley Sun, where I interviewed people.)

Our Man-in-the-Street Show - skit

by Ron Kurtus (1971)

CHARACTERS:

  • ANNOUNCER
  • 1st MAN
  • 2nd MAN
  • SALLY RANDY
  • 3rd MAN

ANNOUNCER: Yes sir, ladies and gentlemen, we're doing our man-in­the-street interviews today on lower State Street. In fact, right now we're standing outside of - I think it is a drugstore of some sort. It looks like a drugstore, although the windows are painted over and the door - or rather the sign on the door says: you must be 21 to enter.

Well, folks, it must be one of these new adult drugstores – ha, ha. Where they only sell drugs to adults – ha, ha. Yes sir-ree.

Ah, here comes our first man in the street. He's coming out of the door of the drugstore.

Oh sir. Sir. I'm Fred Strong, and we're doing our nightly man-in-the-street show for radio station KPZZ. Have you heard of our show? Come here sir, and talk into the microphone. Right here, sir. This thing I'm holding in my hand. Yes, that's it. Just a little closer now. You're doing fine.

OK, now have you ever heard - or are you familiar with our KPZZ man-in-the-street show? We talk to various people we meet on the streets in Santa Barbara, every evening from 9 to 9:30 P and M, brought to you by those wonderful people from Save-you-bucks Discount Supermarket Stores. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, if you shop at Save-you-bucks, I'll guarantee that it'll be bucks you save. So rush right now to your neighborhood Save-you-bucks Store and be the first in line. Doors open at 10 AM tomorrow morning.

Now sir... hey! Where'd that guy go? What happened to him? Well, ladies and gentlemen, I guess he was in quite a hurry.

It's a great evening here tonight in Santa Barbara. As you all know, that little bit of inclement weather has past and most of the snow drifts have melted...

Oh sir. You - sir. You with the trench coat. Come here. I'm Irving Stone from the man-in-the-street show. You know?

2nd MAN: What do you want with me? I didn't do nothing.

ANNOUNCER: Sir, a little closer to the mike, sir. Fine. Now our question for tonight is on sex education of the children in our local schools.

2nd MAN: I didn't do nothing. I didn't have no sex with no kids. It must have been another guy, I tell ya. I'm straight.

ANNOUNCER: No, I think you've misunderstood me. I just want to ask you your opinion on what should be done.

2nd MAN: I got to get going. I ain't squeeling on anybody.

ANNOUNCER: No sir, you've got me all wrong.

(Aside into Mic)

Ladies and gentlemen, I'll try to use a little different tact here. This gentleman seems a little shy.

(To man)

Ah, sir. I noticed that you're clutching onto a package. Did you buy something in the store?

2nd MAN: There ain't no law against it. It's all legal.

ANNOUNCER: May I take a look?

2nd MAN: Get your own, buddy! Three bucks for each magazine, and I ain't going to go showing them around to every Tom and Dick. I had to pay, so you go buy your own.

ANNOUNCER: Thank you very much, sir.

Ah - here comes a young lady, walking down the street. Not exactly young - but certainly painted up to look young. In fact, the closer she gets, the older she looks. Well, never mind. We'll see if we can get her opinion for our man-in-the-street - this time woman-in-the-street -- ha ha -- for the question of tonight.

Say, apparently the gentleman we were just talking to knows this young lady, as he is walking towards her. Now he is undoing the belt on his trench coat... and he's opening up his trench coat. What in the world is he doing? Oh, my gosh! Bill, did you see what that guy...! He didn't have a stitch....! Oh, my gosh! What next?

Excuse me, madam... Ma'am. Ma'am, over here by the microphone.

RANDY: Did you see what that bastard did?

ANNOUNCER: Ma'am, we're on the radio.

RANDY: Did you see what he did? Of all the nerve, that little bastard.

ANNOUNCER: Ma'am, we're on the radio.

RANDY: Oh, I'm sorry. We're on the air? Is this radio?

ANNOUNCER: Yes. I'm Elmer Strain, and this is the man-in-the-street program. Brought to you by these wonderful people who...

RANDY: Oh yes. I've listened to your program regularly.

ANNOUNCER: You have?! Why that's wonderful!

Hey, Harvey - she's a regular listener.

(Aside, into mike)

One of the millions of regular listeners, up and down the California coast, ladies and gentlemen. This fine woman.

(To Randy)

Now, I'd like to ask you the question of the night...

RANDY: You know, I've always wanted to be on radio. TV too. They used to say that I should get in show business, they used to say. But like a fool, I met Alvin and got married. That's been the story of my life. One bad break after another. I would probably be up there in lights now, if it wasn't for Albert.

ANNOUNCER: You mean Alvin?

RANDY: No. I divorced him and married Albert. But he was just after Robert. Now, there was a man. He was no oddball like that little pig in the trench coat. No, he was a real gentleman. He treated you like a lady. Champagne - caviar - the works.

ANNOUNCER: Where is Robert now?

RANDY: In prison. Doing 5 to 10 for armed robbery.

ANNOUNCER: Ahem. Now ma'am, the question for tonight is...

RANDY: Say, do you broadcast to Hollywood?

ANNOUNCER: Elvis Strip's man-in-the-street show on radio station KZZP is broadcast up and down the California coast on 51,000 watts of power both night and day for your listening pleasure.

And this show tonight is brought to you by those friendly people at Easy-Rest Funeral Parlors. Dear hearts, are you troubled by nagging backaches? Do you put a board under your mattress in order to sleep? Well, at...

RANDY: Gee, you broadcast all the way down to Hollywood. Maybe some big producer is listening to the show. Maybe Col. Bowey or Ted Mack is listening in. This may be my big chance to make it too Kate Smith proved that a fat girl could make it in show-biz, and I'm twice the woman Kate is.

ANNOUNCER: Let me finish the commercial please, and then you can answer our man-in-the-street question. Or for you: our woman-in-the-street. Ha, ha.

RANDY: (singing) Ohh, it was me and Billy McGee... we was walking down the street... trying to hitch a ride and I was wearing my dirty jeans...

ANNOUNCER: Yes sir, ladies and gentlemen, East-Rest Funeral Parlors, right behind Izzy's Jewish Pizza Palace, is the place to go for...

RANDY: (Singing) The Billy McGee said bye... and I enquired why because he was the, man I loved... no matter which way he goes...

ANNOUNCER: Thank you ma'am. That was very nice. Oh, here comes an interesting gentleman...

RANDY: That's Sally Randy. Just call collect from Hollywood at 555-0221.

ANNOUNCER: Yes. Thank you. Now, here's an interesting gentleman. Why are you in such a hurry, sir2

3rd MAN: I'm on my way to a wiot.

ANNOUNCER: Excuse me, but what's a wiot?

3rd MAN: You see, it's a - a - like a wumpus.

ANNOUNCER: A wumpus?

3rd MAN: Weally, I don't know how you ewew became a wadio announcew, if you can't even undeswand what people say. Good day!

ANNOUNCER: And good night, ladies and gentlemen.

END.