a great man speaks of great men

…o, Franky, a great man, a
beautiful man.   it’s just not known
but you ought to know what he gives to
charity…

            …o, the crippled childrens’ hospital, o
yes, I designed that myself, no training, I got
the idea, I sat down at 5 one evening and at 8
in the morning I was
finished.   of course, I’m broke now, hahaha,
but you know lately I’ve been to many funerals,
all fine people who have died, God bless them,
it’s so hard to see them go, but you know I noticed
when they buried them they didn’t have any shoes on,
so I’m broke, hahaha, but what’s the use of money anyhow
when you’ve got to leave without
your shoes on?

Roosevelt.   President Roosevelt?   o, yes, I performed for
him.   a great man.   a beautiful man.   I was very much in
awe of him.   now Kennedy, I performed for Kennedy too, but
you know, he was different than Roosevelt.   Kennedy would
kind of walk up and punch me in the ribs and ask, “How
ya doin’?”   A great man, beautiful.   but he was different
than Roosevelt…   what?   Nixon?   o, of course, I’ve been
asked to perform for Nixon several times… many times…
Crippled Children, Arthritis, Cancer Fund, Overseas…
one of those…   I could never seem to
make it…

yes, i began in this little place in Chicago. a walk-
on.   the drunks had to cross the stage to get to the
restroom.   I began at 30 a week.   then my boss noticed
this big producer in the audience, night after night.
I got 60 a week, then I got 100 a week.   soon I was getting
300 a week, 600 a week.   ‘You own this place, my son,’ the
boss told me.   they came from all over the world to see
me. Moscow, Paris, Berlin.   London.   you know.   soon
they had to take the tables out and stack the people
vertical in order to get them all in…

…I’ve made friends   with all the beautiful people in show
business and outside of show business, God bless them,
I know things these people have done that nobody would ever
believe,   you’ll never know how many beautiful people are
doing things out there and expecting nothing back, and
keeping it quiet, saying, don’t let this get out that
I’ve done this thing, there’s no need for anybody to
know, that’s what they say…   but, look, I know, I’ve
kept quiet…   but I couldn’t help mentioning Franky, the
things he’s done for charity are un-
believable…   you know, you hear stories about him too,
things that happen in cafes, other things…
well, I’ll tell you, Franky, like all great men has
many enemies–you know what happened to Kennedy…

…all right.   I don’t mean to be melodramatic.   I mean,
I used to make people laugh.   o.k.   but I do think there
is a time in all of us for
heart-searching…

like now, I’m broke, and I’m asking you to laugh with
me…   come on now, LAUGH!

(the audience laughs and he laughs and then he applauds
the audience of laughs, and then the audience applauds
and laughs, and suddenly he runs off the stage, unable to
bear it all.   the great man has given another great
performance.)