Dragnet featured some memorable quotes and speeches. This page collects a few of the most requested ones, as well as some Dragnet-related quotes from other shows.
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The “What is a Cop?” Speech
“It’s oregano…” (From Episode 96 – “D.H.Q. — Night School”)
“Mother of the Year…” (From Episode 71 – “Juvenile”)
“LSD is the bomb…” (From Episode 36 – “The Prophet”)
“None of us want to see this [badge] turned into a hunting license!” (From Episode 21 – “The Shooting Board”)
“If it weren’t for prison food, you’d starve to death…” (From Episode 9 – “The Shooting”)
“That makes you just what you’re afraid you’ll be called: common garden-variety thieves…” (From Episode 42 – “The Big Departure”)
“You laid another bruise on every man who wears a uniform and a badge…” (From Episode 60 – “Internal Affairs DR-20”)
“I wear a badge, not a swastika…” (From Episode 70 – “Intelligence DR-34”)
“That’s your department, Father…” (From Episode 35 – “The Christmas Story”)
“Because you got rights, you dig?…” (From Episode 55 – “Robbery DR-15”)
“Mrs. Tolstoy and Mrs. Dickens…” (From Episode 69 – “Forgery DR-33”)
“Geneva Convention! I’m a prisoner of war! ” (From Episode 34 – “The Big Shipment”)
“No more answers! I want a lawyer!” (From Episode 65 – “Ad. Vice DR-29”)
“Don’t feel too sorry for her–she’s dead!” (From Episode 59 – “Homicide DR-22”)
“There’s nothing new about being a thief; the state prison’s full of ’em.” (From Episode #15 – “The Big Kids”)
“Police have constitutional rights, too.” (From Episode 96 – “D.H.Q. Night School”)
“Son, no matter how you slice that, that’s dangerous.” (From Episode #49 “Public Affairs” aka “The Chuck Bligh Show”)
“The Squeeze: George Fox”
“The Copper Clapper Caper” (from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson)
The Stan Freberg Dragnet Parodies
Joe Friday: “This is the city. Los Angeles, California. I work here… I’m a cop.” (This was later changed to “I carry a badge” following complaints from police officers.)Following this opening, Joe would start giving details of the episode. (“It was Tuesday, February 9. It was raining in Los Angeles. We were working bunko… (etc.)”
Before the actual start of the show, Hal Gibney (or, in earlier episodes, George Fenneman of “You Bet Your Life” fame) would intone: “The story you are about to see is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.” (In earlier episodes, it would begin: “Ladies and Gentlemen…”)
(From “The Interrogation”)
Written by: Preston Wood
Jack delivers the following speech about the trials and tribulations of being a police officer to a rookie undercover officer suspected of robbing a liquor store. It’s our most-requested speech, and many people frame the words. (Please note that this transcript was taken from the slightly edited Nick at Nite version of this episode. We plan to add a few missing lines soon.)
“It’s awkward having a policeman around the house. Friends drop in, a man with a badge answers the door, the temperature drops 20 degrees.
You throw a party and that badge gets in the way. All of a sudden there isn’t a straight man in the crowd. Everybody’s a comedian. “Don’t drink too much,” somebody says, “or the man with a badge’ll run you in.” Or “How’s it going, Dick Tracy? How many jaywalkers did you pinch today?” And then there’s always the one who wants to know how many apples you stole.
All at once you lost your first name. You’re a cop, a flatfoot, a bull, a dick, John Law. You’re the fuzz, the heat; you’re poison, you’re trouble, you’re bad news. They call you everything, but never a policeman.
It’s not much of a life, unless you don’t mind missing a Dodger game because the hotshot phone rings. Unless you like working Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays, at a job that doesn’t pay overtime. Oh, the pay’s adequate– if you count pennies you can put your kid through college, but you better plan on seeing Europe on your television set.
And then there’s your first night on the beat. When you try to arrest a drunken prostitute in a Main St. bar and she rips your new uniform to shreds. You’ll buy another one– out of your own pocket.
And you’re going to rub elbows with the elite– pimps, addicts, thieves, bums, winos, girls who can’t keep an address and men who don’t care. Liars, cheats, con men– the class of Skid Row.
And the heartbreak– underfed kids, beaten kids, molested kids, lost kids, crying kids, homeless kids, hit-and-run kids, broken-arm kids, broken-leg kids, broken-head kids, sick kids, dying kids, dead kids. The old people nobody wants– the reliefers, the pensioners, the ones who walk the street cold, and those who tried to keep warm and died in a $3 room with an unventilated gas heater. You’ll walk your beat and try to pick up the pieces.
Do you have real adventure in your soul? You better have, because you’re gonna do time in a prowl car. Oh, it’s going to be a thrill a minute when you get an unknown-trouble call and hit a backyard at two in the morning, never knowing who you’ll meet– a kid with a knife, a pill-head with a gun, or two ex-cons with nothing to lose.
And you’re going to have plenty of time to think. You’ll draw duty in a lonely car, with nobody to talk to but your radio.
Four years in uniform and you’ll have the ability, the experience and maybe the desire to be a detective. If you like to fly by the seat of your pants, this is where you belong. For every crime that’s committed, you’ve got three million suspects to choose from. And most of the time, you’ll have few facts and a lot of hunches. You’ll run down leads that dead-end on you. You’ll work all-night stakeouts that could last a week. You’ll do leg work until you’re sure you’ve talked to everybody in the state of California.
People who saw it happen – but really didn’t. People who insist they did it – but really didn’t. People who don’t remember – those who try to forget. Those who tell the truth – those who lie. You’ll run the files until your eyes ache.
And paperwork? Oh, you’ll fill out a report when you’re right, you’ll fill out a report when you’re wrong, you’ll fill one out when you’re not sure, you’ll fill one out listing your leads, you’ll fill one out when you have no leads, you’ll fill out a report on the reports you’ve made! You’ll write enough words in your lifetime to stock a library. You’ll learn to live with doubt, anxiety, frustration. Court decisions that tend to hinder rather than help you. Dorado, Morse, Escobedo, Cahan. You’ll learn to live with the District Attorney, testifying in court, defense attorneys, prosecuting attorneys, judges, juries, witnesses. And sometimes you’re not going to be happy with the outcome.
But there’s also this: there are over 5,000 men in this city, who know that being a policeman is an endless, glamourless, thankless job that’s gotta be done.
I know it, too, and I’m damn glad to be one of them.”
“No, man, it’s oregano for a pizza sauce. I’m a gourmet chef.”
(Jerry Morgan, played by J.C. Curtiss, says this to Joe Friday when he asks him about the contents of a suspicious plastic bag stuck inside his notebook. Fridays busts him for pot possession and almost gets expelled from class.)
After being arrested for abandoning her newborn baby in a trash bin, actress Michelle Grumet (as Donna Halpern) she asks Joe Friday, “You don’t think much of me, do you?” and Joe replies, “Let me put it this way– You’ll never make mother of the year.” Shortly afterwards she asks, “What’s going to happen to me?” and Joe replies, “That’s up to the court, and your conscience. Or did you throw *that* away, too?”
Brother William (Liam Sullivan), the Timothy Leary-like drug guru, pushes Joe too far and Joe says:
“Marajuana is the flame, heroin is the fuse, LSD is the bomb. So don’t you try to equate liquor to marajuana, Mister, not with me. You may be able to sell that jazz to another pothead, but not to somebody who holds some sick kid’s head while he vomits and wretches on a curbstone at 4:00 in the morning. And when his legs get enough starch into them so he can stand up and empty his pockets, you can bet he’ll have a stick or two of marajuana. And you can double your money he’ll turn up a sugar cube or a cap or two. So don’t you con me with your mind expansion slop. I deal with kids every day. I try to clean up the mess that people like you make out of ’em. I’m the expert here, you’re not.”
Brother William: “I may even sell you a few [ideas!]”
Friday: “You couldn’t sell me directions to the men’s room!”
Brother William: “I’m not only news, my friend, I make news. Big news.”
Friday: “So did Judas.”
(Thanks to Dale Schulz and Doug Montgomery for sending the text.)
(Speech by Captain Brown. The trial board for the shooting of Arthur Ashton has adjourned; for Joe it doesn’t look too good. Captain Brown [Art Balinger] calls Friday and Gannon into his office.)
“You were issued this when you first came on the job. 20 bucks worth of brass and pot metal and a two-dollar leather case. You were told to give it a regular polish or it’d tarnish. It’s easy to keep the metal bright and clean-but what about the men who carry it? The Department set up that board of inquiry–we did–ourselves. No political pressure, no citizens’ groups, just us. And it’s been in business for fifteen years. I’ve faced it before; so have a lot of others. Sometimes the going’s rough. It has to be–but it’s the best way to get at the truth we know of.
“We live in a free and open society. That’s why that board was set up. I don’t have to tell you we don’t sweep anything under the rug here. No whitewashing of anybody or anything.
“That’s why this hunk of metal means something and why it always will. It’s not something we hide behind. It’s something we live up to. Believe me, I know what you’re going through, Joe. If the board rules against you it means a possible jury trial for manslaughter; dismissal from the force.
“But I know this, too: You want this cleared up with facts, not opinions. And that’s the way it’s gonna be. You men are professionals at your job. And you’re judged first by professionals just like yourselves. Men who aren’t out to whitewash you. Men who aren’t out to bury you. I wouldn’t want it any other way, and neither would you–because the alternative sickens me!
“None of us want to see this [Friday’s badge] turned into a hunting license!”
(Friday and Gannon have located and arrested Roger Kensington [Hal Baylor] and Harry Johnson [Dick Miller] for the point-blank shooting of Officer Dave Roberts. Now they have the two suspects in a holding room, where they confront them with their evidence.) Kensington: “Look here, Harryâ€”they sent in the first team!”
Friday: “All right, tunnel-mouth, let’s all save time! Last April a police officer was shot. We think you and this shotgun did it.”
Johnson: (sarcastically) “Does he scare you, Roger? He scares me.”
Kensington: “He makes me sick. You’ve rousted me since I was a kidâ€”you and every cop from here to Kansas City. Year after year.”
Gannon: “If it weren’t for prison food you’d starve to death. You haven’t been out of jail more than two or three years in your entire life.”
Kensington: “I’ll be out again in twenty-six months, brown eyes. Stay home nights!”
Friday: “You listen to me: I’ve handled jaywalkers tougher than you!”
Kensington: “When I get out I’m gonna waste you!”
Johnson: No reason to work up a sweat, Roger; they read us our rights; we don’t have to talk to them!”
Friday: “All right, I’ll talk to you, Johnson. You were born in Harlan, Kentucky. Your father was a house-painter killed in the war. Your mother and sister brought you out here. You went to school in Torrance. You got expelled for throwing a punch at your math teacher. The Army took you for the Korean Warâ€¦they didn’t want youâ€”they shoved you out on a Section Eight.
Johnson: “I do hope you’ll write my book!”
Friday: “Now your buddy here [Kensington] is real big-time. Three states want him for parole violation: two for armed robbery, one for statutory rape. That’s in Kansas. You remember her name, don’t you?”
Kensington: What if I don’t?”
Gannon: “You should; she was your sister’s daughter!” [Johnson looks at Kensington in surprise.]
Friday: “Now let’s take it back about a year, Last April 14th you were on trial in Hempstead, Nevada, on felony assault with GBI. On April 22, you stole a 1960 Mercury sedan from in front of a drugstore on Clinton Street. You drove to Elko and lifted a plate from the Gunnison Brothers junkyard.
“Tuesday, April 28: You parked your clean car, the blue Chevrolet, at Whitsett and Flower. You drove the Mercury over to Olive and Main. You staked out the Stewart Liquor Store. While you waited for the owner to show up, you sat in the car dropping pills and chasing them with cheap port wine.
“The store opened up. You knocked it over. You got back in the car. Johnson, you were driving. Kensington, you were in the back seat with this shotgun cradled under your arm hanging on this bent tablespoon!
“Everything was going just fine. You kept dropping bennies and swallowing wine.
“This black-and-white spotted you and pulled you over. Officer Dave Roberts walked up to your car and told you to get out.
“Then, Kensington, you broke out in a rash of real bravery. [Friday picks up Kensington’s shotgun.] You swung this shotgun out from under your arm, pointed it at Robert’s middle, pulled the trigger, and slammed two hundred and seventy-six pellets into his stomach!
“Johnson, you dropped the car into gear and dug out, leaving that officer with his life draining out into the gutter!”
Kensington: “That’s a good story, cop. But you need a witness, and that you ain’t got!”
Friday: “Ain’t we?”
(Friday drops the shotgun on the table. Gannon opens the door and there stands Officer Dave Roberts, in uniform; Kensington and Johnson see him and suddenly incriminate each other.)
(Thanks to Doug Montgomery for sending the text.)
(After Friday and Gannon have brought Charles Vail (Roger Mobley), Dennis Melvin (Lou Wagner), and Paul Siever (Kevin Coughlin) together for questioning, Mobley, speaking for the trio, claims that a lot of people have struck out on their own-like the Pilgrims.)
FRIDAY: “Yeah, well, they had a few things going for them that you don’t. They knew how to hunt. How to use an ax. How to build a house. Start a fire without matches and bank it at night so it wouldn’t go out.
“You know how to do all that, of course. And you’re going to grow this.” [Friday holds up a packet of asparagus seeds, which the kid claims he bought.]
MOBLEY: “Oh, yeah, I really dig fresh asparagus.”
FRIDAY: “When do you think you’ll eat it?”
MOBLEY: “This summer.”
FRIDAY: “Asparagus takes two years.
“The Pilgrims could raise their own food-which you can’t. And even so, half of them died the first year. But you prepared for that too, didn’t you?”
MOBLEY: I don’t know what you mean.”
FRIDAY: “You’ve got shovels.”
MOBLEY: “All right. Big deal. We’re not the frontiersmen of all time. But Dennis and Paul [Wagner and Coughlin] are very bright people–mature intelligent–“
FRIDAY: “And high-principled.”
MOBLEY: “That’s right.”
FRIDAY: “What was that one about materialism?”
MOBLEY: “We’ve rejected material values.”
FRIDAY: “Oh, yeah. Well, what are you going to do when the batteries run down?”
MOBLEY: “We’ve got a generator.”
FRIDAY: “And when there’s no more gas?”
MOBLEY: “OK. So we won’t listen to the radios.”
WAGNER: “That’s not vital!”
GANNON: “But food is. And you’ll run out of it sooner than you think. Then you figure you’ll start eating wild goat. Well, it’s not prime rib. But maybe you’ll acquire a taste for it. You’d better–three times a day. What’ll you do when you run out of ammunition?” MOBLEY: “We’ll figure it out.”
GANNON: “Or haven’t you thought that far ahead? I hope you have, because if you haven’t you’ll starve to death.
“Maybe you’ll explain to me how you’ll survive without $4000 of someone else’s property. And I call that pretty material. Where does that leave your principles?”
FRIDAY: “I’m listening. The only principle you’ve rejected is paying for it. And that makes you just what you’re afraid you’ll be called: common garden-variety thieves.”
MOBLEY: “You just don’t understand.”
FRIDAY: Maybe we do, son. Don’t think you have a corner on all the virtue vision in the country or that everyone else is fat and selfish and yours is the first generation to come along that’s felt dissatisfied–they all have, you know, about different things; and most of them didn’t have the opportunity and freedoms that you have.
“Let’s talk poverty. In most parts of the world, that’s not a problem, it’s a way of life. And rights? They’re liable to give you a blank stare because they may not know what you’re talking about.
“The fact is, more people are living better right here than anyone else ever before in history. So don’t expect us to roll over and play dead when you say you’re dissatisfied. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great deal better than when we grew up: a hundred men standing in the street hoping for one job; selling apples on the street corner– that’s one of the things we were dissatisfied about; and you don’t see that much anymore…”
GANNON: “You’re taller, stronger, healthier, and you live longer than the last generation; and we don’t think that’s altogether bad. You’ve probably never seen a ‘Quarantine’ sign on a neighbor’s door. Diphtheria, scarlet fever, whooping cough–probably none of your classmates are crippled with polio. You don’t see many mastoid scars anymore.
“We’ve done quite a bit of fighting all around the world. Whether you think it was moral or not a lot of people are free to make their own mistakes today because of it. And that may just include you.”
FRIDAY: “I don’t know; maybe part of it’s the fact that you’re in a hurry. You’ve grown up on instant orange juice. Flip a dial–instant entertainment. Dial seven digits–instant communication. Turn a key–push a pedal-instant transportation. Flash a card–instant money. Shove in a problem–push a few buttons–instant answers.
“But some problems you can’t get quick answers for, no matter how much you want them.
“We took a little boy into Central Receiving Hospital yesterday; he’s four years old. He weighs eight-and-a-half pounds. His parents just hadn’t bothered to feed him. Now give me a fast answer to that one–one that’ll stop that from ever happening again.
“And if you can’t settle that one, how about the 55,000 Americans who’ll die on the highway this year? That’s nearly six or seven times the number that’ll get killed in Vietnam. Why aren’t you up in arms about that? Or is dying in a car somehow moral?
“Show me how to wipe out prejudice. I’ll settle for the prejudices you have inside yourselves. Show me how to get rid of the unlimited capacity for human beings to make themselves believe they’re somehow right–and justified–in stealing from somebody, or hurting somebody…and you’ll just about put this place here out of business!”
GANNON: “Don’t think we’re telling you to lose your ideals or your sense of outrage. They’re the only way things ever get done. And there’s a lot more that still needs doing. And we hope you’ll tackle it.
“You don’t have to do anything dramatic like coming up with a better country. You can find enough to keep you busy right here.
“In the meantime, don’t break things up in the name of progress or crack a placard stick over someone’s head to make him see the light. Be careful of his rights. Because your property and your person and your rights aren’t any better than his. And the next time you may be the one to get it.
“We remember a man who killed six million people–and called it social improvement.”
FRIDAY: “Don’t try to build a new country. Make this one work. It has for over four hundred years; and by the world’s standards, that’s hardly more than yesterday.”
(Mobley, Coughlin, and Wagner look down, glum and defeated)
GANNON: “Now we want to know the names of those who were in this with you and we want to know where you’ve stashed all the things you’ve stolen.”
MOBLEY: “OK. But it was a beautiful notion–that’s all I can say.”
FRIDAY: “Yeah, son–that’s all you can say.”
(Thanks to Doug Montgomery for sending the text.)
(Friday, working out of Internal Affairs Division, talks to Officer Ed Hillier [John McCook], accused of striking a citizen early that morning.)
FRIDAY: “When you put that uniform on nobody ever told you you’d be running in a popularity contest, now, did they?”
“McCOOK: “No, Sir.”
FRIDAY: “Your PRR puts you in the top ten percent of the Department. Now to me that indicates a trained, capable, disciplined police officer. Not a back-alley brawler!
“You were riding with a young partner. What kind of example do you think you set for him? And worse–you committed one of the cardinal sins in our business: You struck a man. And I’ll use your words: A man you’re hired to protect and to serve.
“One last thing, Hillier–and maybe this is the most pregnant issue of all. These are tenuous times we live in. The young people in this country are searching for a direction and they’re having trouble finding it. The older people aren’t much better off: They seem to have lost one of the great American commodities: a sense of the true values–the values that built this country into the great one that it is.
“I’ll tell you, I never thought I’d live to see the day it would be stylish to shout down constituted law and authority-to scream ‘Police brutality!’ at almost every opportunity.
“Here’s the key to this, Hillier: When you lost control at 2 a.m. this morning out there on Garland Street, you laid another bruise on every man who wears a uniform and a badge. Your newspaper story will give credence to those whose sole aim is to kick authority right in the groin. And you’ve shaken the confidence of those who believe in order with justice.
“No, a lot more went down this morning at 2 a.m. on Garland Street besides a man being struck by a policeman!”
(Thanks to Doug Montgomery for sending the text.)
(Friday attends a reunion of a night-school class. A classmate, Paul Reed [Peter Duryea], chides him gently about the Department spurning “help” from the likes of the Fielder Militia, a paramilitary organization Duryea is considering joining.)
FRIDAY: “Paul, I can’t speak for the Department but I’ll say this: We want help; we welcome help; we’re getting help, from legitimate groups and responsible citizens. Now that doesn’t include people who yell ‘Spy!’ every time they hear an accent; or who look under the bed at night for a seditionist; it doesn’t include racists–white or black–and it lets out people who think legitimate protest is unconstitutional or that change is treason. It excludes nuts on either fringe, Paul–the guy who sees an anarchist in every kid with long hair. It excludes the Fielder Militia. Patriotism? That militia of yours has got a corner on the market! Civil rights? They got ’em all! Protesters? Shoot ’em all down! That may be your philosophy, Paul, but it’s not mine, and I don’t think it’s the Department’s either. We work it a little different in this country.”
DURYEA: “What do you mean?”
FRIDAY: “I wear a badge, Paul–not a swastika.”
(Thanks to Doug Montgomery for sending the text.)
(“The Big Baby Jesus”) [Friday and Gannon, at the parish church, have told Father Xavier Rojas (Harry Bartell) that so far they’ve failed to locate the statue. As they start to walk away, a small boy, “Peco Mendoza,” approaches pulling a toy wagon, with the Jesus statue in it. Bartell and the boy speak to each other in Spanish.]
BARTELL: It’s Peco Mendoza, a boy from the parish.
FRIDAY: Well, ask him where he found it.
BARTELL (to Peco) Â¿DÃ³nde le encontraste?
PECO: No encontrÃ©, lo cogÃ esta maÃ±ana.
BARTELL: He says he didn’t find it, he took it.
PECO: Todo los aÃ±os rezÃ© para un camioncito rojo. Y en este aÃ±o rezÃ© al niÃ±o JesÃºs y le prometÃ que el primer viaje en mi camioncito.
BARTELL: He says that all through the years he prayed for a red wagon. This year he prayed to the Child Jesus. He promised that if he got the red wagon, the Child Jesus would have the first ride in it.
PECO: Â¿Me llevarÃ¡ el Diablo?
BARTELL: He wants to know if the Devil will come and take him to hell.
FRIDAY: That’s your department, Father.
BARTELL: El Diablo, no. Por que JesÃºs ama mucho a Pequito. [“The Devil, no. Because Jesus loves Pequito very much.”] [Pequito smiles and the Padre sends him home.]
(Thanks to Doug Montgomery for sending the text.)
[Friday and Gannon, working the desk in Robbery Division, interrogate a hippie arrested for robbery with assault. He rejects the Miranda warning Friday starts to give him and insists on just being jailed. He affirms he cannot afford a lawyer.]
FRIDAY: We’ll get you a public defender.
SUSPECT: Hold it, baby, let’s start all over again! We need a little bread, me and my buddy–right? So we knock over this mom-and-pop market. I’m nailed! So now I’m hit, man. You dig? I want to plead guilty! Right now! No trial, no dead time, no nothing!
FRIDAY: You left out one thing.
FRIDAY: The assault.
SUSPECT: OK, OK, so I helped with the thumping! Now throw me in the bucket!
FRIDAY: The sooner you’re in, the sooner you’re out.
SUSPECT (smirking): One of my rights, man–Dig?
FRIDAY: Oh, yeah, I dig, Mister. And I know you–I’ve handled you before. And I’m gonna tell you something: You’re accused of a felony, or you’re gonna be real quick. Maybe two or three counts. You can’t afford a lawyer, so the taxpayers–including that guy who owns the market–the guy in Central Receiving–is gonna foot the bill for one. Now listen real close, man–you can’t plead guilty! Not now, not a week from now, not two weeks from now–and it’s all ‘dead time,’ Mister, not a minute of it counts! SUSPECT: You’re out of your mind!
FRIDAY: You think so? Well, then, dig this: A person accused of a felony and represented by a public defender is not allowed to plead guilty at a preliminary hearing. The public defender’s office won’t allow it. Now that’s one of your rights, Mister, and here’s some more: Before the preliminary hearing you’ll be arraigned in municipal court. Now that may be three days from now. Then your preliminary hearing, maybe a week after that. But you still can’t plead guilty, remember?
SUSPECT: You’ve got to be kidding!
FRIDAY: Am I? Well, if you’re lucky, two weeks after your preliminary hearing you may be arraigned in Superior Court. Then you can plead guilty, not before! And it’s all ‘dead time’; because you got rights, you dig? And we sure wouldn’t want to see those rights violated, now, would we?
(Thanks to Doug Montgomery for sending the text.)
[Friday and Gannon have met with writer Blake Thompson (Gary Crosby) at his hillside home, for a second interview concerning his wife, who he says is a suspect, albeit the “Number one patsy” in a forgery operation. Joe and Bill comment on the messy condition of Thompson’s home.]
GANNON: You seem like a bright guy, Thompson; tell me, do you like living like this?
CROSBY: All an artist needs is pen and paper. All the rest is just trivia.
GANNON: Doesn’t this mess depress you?
CROSBY: Does it matter whether Tolstoy or Dickens slept in a clean bed when they wrote War and Peace or Oliver Twist?
FRIDAY: Maybe not to everybody, Thompson, but I’ll lay you odds it mattered to someone.
FRIDAY: Mrs. Tolstoy and Mrs. Dickens.
[Friday and Gannon leave; Thompson mulls this over and straightens things up a bit.]
(Thanks to Doug Montgomery for sending the text.)
[Friday and Gannon have located the home of Jerome Frank (Fred Vincent), a private pilot. They were investigating the crash of a small private plane, in which they found heroin and marijuana. They suspect that Frank was the pilot who abandoned the plane. They burst in on him and his friend, a woman named Pat Wingate (Elaine Devrey). Gannon has just called for a radio unit to come to the address.]
Friday: All right, fella, you’re in big trouble and you know it. You’re supposed to make a delivery at 5 A.M. That’s just a little over an hour from now. What do you think’s gonna happen when you don’t show up?
Frank: Nothing. They’ll read about the crash in the newspapers. I called the story in myself. That’s my insurance.
Friday: Well, your policy just lapsed. We killed that story. In one hour your connection is gonna figure you’ve decided to go into business for yourself with $120,000 worth of his merchandise! Now you like to live dangerously–What do you think the odds are that you’ll still be alive tomorrow night?
Frank: Mind if I don’t believe you, because I don’t?
Friday: You’ve got about an hour before that phone’s gonna ring. The man on the other end’s gonna want his merchandise. He never heard of a plane crash and you’re not in jail. Now you explain that to him. Come on. Let’s go, Gannon. [Friday and Gannon start to leave.]
Frank (frightened): Wait a minute! Geneva Convention! I’m a prisoner of war! You gotta lock me up!
Friday: Wrong war!
Gannon: Who you hauling the junk for?
Frank: They’ll kill me! I don’t know who picks the stuff up and that’s the truth!
Friday: All right, where?
Frank: They’ll kill me if I tell you!
Friday: They’ll kill you if you don’t!
Wingate: Tell them, Jerry.
Frank: You know what that means?
Wingate: I know what it means if you don’t!
Frank: Out near the Hollywood Dam. A vacant field. I leave the stuff behind some rocks. The next day they leave my money in the same place.
Friday: Which rocks?
Frank: Big one. Two smaller ones in front of it. One of the smaller ones has some writing on it. I leave the stuff right behind it.
Friday: What kind of writing? What does it say?
Frank: “Jesus Saves.”
[Friday and Gannon have staked out the drop point and arrested Peter Whitmer and Wallace Shanklin (John Sebastian and Julian Burton), who came and picked up the heroin and marijuana the detectives planted at the site. They Mirandize Whitmer, but Shanklin doesn’t react–Whitmer says Shanklin was “born deaf and dumb.” Whitmer refuses to answer the detectives’ questions and Shanklin still claims to be deaf-mute.]
Friday: How long do you think you can hold out on this “deaf-and-dumb” bit? I think you’re faking! I think you can hear good and you can talk good! All right, you–take everything out of your pockets and put it on the table!
Whitmer: You’re just gonna have to reach in and get it! Wally don’t understand you! [Friday makes empty-the-pockets motions to Shanklin. He complies. Whitmer continues:] I don’t see why you don’t leave him alone. You don’t have to roust the poor guy–he can’t hear and he can’t talk and you’re treating him like a bum!
[Friday looks at a printed slip Shanklin had set on the table. He reacts angrily and slams the slip onto the tabletop.]
Friday (to Shanklin): I’m gonna ask you once more: Who did you pick the stuff up for?
Whitmer: He couldn’t tell you if he wanted to!
Friday: This says he can. It’s a receipt from a music store for two phonograph records! Now, what do you do, Shanklin–sit there and watch the labels go around? [Friday makes spinning motions with one hand.] Come on–who are you and Whitmer working for?
Shanklin: I told you it would never work!
Whitmer: You stupid jerk!
Friday: Let’s have it!
Shanklin: They told me that if I was ever picked up just to play deaf and dumb and since I didn’t have nothing on file they could get me off!
Friday: All right, who’s the big man?
Shanklin: I’m gonna tell them!
Whitmer: You do that, fink–and I wouldn’t give you ten cents for your future!
Friday: That’s enough of that! Come on, Shanklin!
Shanklin: The man you want is Sal Romero. He’s the one we picked up the stuff up for!
Whitmer: You really are stupid, aren’t you?
Shanklin: Why do you say that?
Whitmer: You just didn’t think, did you?
Shanklin: What do you mean?
Whitmer: Why didn’t you tell him you bought the records for a friend?
[Friday and Gannon lead Whitmer and Shanklin out of the interrogation room. Whitmer muses over his own stupid remark.]
(Thanks to Doug Montgomery for sending the text.)
[Lt. Chris Drucker is the “inside man” for a bookmaking operation. Drucker (Anthony Eisley) tried to bribe Friday to go along with him. Friday secretly worked with Captain Nelson (Clark Howat) to set up a sting to break up the bookmaking ring. Friday and Nelson now have the goods on Drucker, and the captain has called Friday and Drucker into his office. Friday hands Drucker his notebook.]
Friday: Read it.
Drucker: Why should I read your notebook?
Friday: Just what’s printed on the back. Read it.
Drucker: I don’t get it.
Nelson: You heard the man, Drucker–read it!
Drucker (reading): “You have the right to remain silent. If you give up the right to remain silent, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…” The rights. So what? You want to hear them backwards?
Friday: Keep going!
Drucker (continues): “You have the right to speak with an attorney and to have the attorney present during questioning. If you so desire and cannot afford one, an attorney will be appointed for you without charge before questioning.”
Friday: Do you understand it, Lieutenant?
Drucker: Of course I understand it, Sergeant!
Nelson: Be sure.
Drucker: I am sure. Why?
Friday: You’re under arrest for conspiracy to commit bribery, obstructing justice, and violating gambling laws!
Nelson: Anything you want to say?
Drucker: No more answers! I want a lawyer!
(Thanks to Doug Montgomery for sending the text.)
[Friday and Gannon have identified the 91-year-old apartment manager Calvin Lampe (Burt Mustin) as a retired deputy chief from the Chicago P. D. With Chief Lampe present, They interrogate Eve Wesson (Jill Banner), as an accessory to the murder of a young woman named Mary Jenkins by Wesson’s boyfriend, Cletis Martin, whom the police have not yet located. She is a heroin addict. The detectives have Mirandized her.] Gannon: How long have you been shooting “H”, Miss Wesson?
Wesson: Two years, since I was fifteen.
Friday: Is that why your boyfriend needed money–to support your habit?
Wesson: No, Sir. The other girl–Beverly Long.
Friday: What about her?
Wesson: Her husband is in jail. We needed money to bail him out.
Gannon: How do you support your habit, Miss Wesson?
Wesson: I’m a prostitute.
Gannon: Go on, please.
Wesson: There’s not much to tell. Mary Jenkins wouldn’t give us the money. Said she didn’t have any. When Beverly used her perfume Mary got mad. Then Cletis got mad. He and Beverly stated tearing up the apartment. Mary tried to stop them.
Gannon: Go ahead.
Wesson: She kept trying to stop them from tearing the place apart. Clete said, “Okay, if you wanna do it the hard way!” and he threw Mary down on the floor! She started to scream and he tied that gag in her mouth. He really cinched up on her – I felt sorry for her.
Friday: All right, go on.
Wesson: he said, “You’ll be a good girl when I get through hog-tying you.” And then he tied her up awful tight; Clete’s real good with ropes. She couldn’t move an inch–I really felt sorry for her.
Gannon: What were you doing all this time?
Wesson: I was scared and I needed a fix. I had a glass of water. Finally I told Clete I’d wait outside in the car. I couldn’t stand watching Mary tied up and lying there.
Gannon: What time was that?
Wesson: 1:30; two; I don’t know; I waited outside a long time.
Friday: Are you sure Mary Jenkins was alive when you left that apartment?
Wesson: I swear it, Sergeant! I stopped and looked; she was on the floor – she was trying to get loose. Clete really tied her up tight – she couldn’t get away – poor girl – I really felt sorry for her.
Friday: Did Martin tell you he killed her?
Wesson: He said Mary wouldn’t give him any money; so he killed her. He hit her with something just before he left the apartment. When Clete told me that I knew I should turn him in!
Wesson: I’m a hype and a prostitute, Sergeant–but I want no part of murder.
Gannon: What does Martin do for a living?
Wesson: He’s a cowboy–you know, in rodeos.
Gannon: What made you return the jewelry?
Wesson: I figured it might go easier on all of us if I did.
Friday: The Long woman and Martin–we’ll need their addresses.
Wesson: I’ll give it to you; Clete’s apartment–they’ll still be there.
Friday: All right, one last question: Why did Martin tell you he killed the Jenkins girl?
Wesson: When we got back to Clete’s place Saturday, him and Beverly and me, I asked Clete what he did about Mary–I mean, Did he leave her all tied up and gagged like she was? I told Clete the way he roped her up she’d never get away–that I felt sorry for her.
Friday: What did he say?
Wesson: “Don’t feel too sorry for her–she’s dead!”
(Thanks to Doug Montgomery for sending the text.)
(Friday is talking to Audie Fulton [Roger Mobey], warning him and some other high-school boys about what they risk if they continue with shoplifting.)
“Don’t think you’ve come up with a new angle. There’s nothing new about being a thief; the state prison’s full of ’em.
“Let me tell you about one of them. The first time I met him he was 16–just about your age. His name is Jim. He went to school in North Hollywood. We picked him up for shoplifting. We talked to his parents; seemed like a nice family; so we let him go.
“A couple of months later we picked him up again. He was at the wheel of a stolen car. They put him on probation. It looked like he was going to straighten out. He didn’t.
“A couple of weeks later the owner of a liquor store picked him out of a showup. He’d held up the store with a .22 rifle his father had given him for his birthday. I didn’t see much of him after that; that was eight years ago. But I know he put in two years with the California Youth Authority.
“He got out and went home. His buddies from high school were all in college, married or thinking about getting marriedÃ¢â‚¬Â¦and they didn’t want to have much to do with him. Honest people don’t like to be around thieves. The only people who’d associate with them are other thieves. And when thieves get together they’ve only got one thing in mind: to steal something from somebody.
“They tried their hand at holding up a supermarket. They didn’t make it–but they did manage to kill the manager. “Jim’s up at San Quentin now; he’s 25. He’s spent one-third of his life in jail. It’s doubtful he’ll reach his 26th birthday. His lawyers are trying to get the sentence commuted to life, but right now he’s scheduled for the gas chamber on September 8.
“Ten years ago I told him what I’m telling you: When you live in a society you either live by the rules or by democratic process you change ’em. You don’t break ’em!”
[Joe returns to the office of Professor Grant (Leonard Stone) the week after being voted out. After a discussion in the office, Grant agrees to give Friday a chance to speak to the class in his defense, followed by another vote. But there’s a catch—Joe will need a two-thirds vote this time.]
Joe: All right—let me say, for the record, if you vote to let me come back to the class and I see anybody else holding, I’ll arrest him just the same as I did Jerry Morgan.
Jack (Tim Donnelly): But why should we let you come back at all?
Joe: Tell me–what’s the idea of this class? To get to know each other, right? Well, I’m a policeman. You ask me any question, as long as it doesn’t involve a case now under investigation or before the courts, and I’ll tell it just like it is.
Kelly (Marion Charles): Do you like being a policeman, Joe?
Joe: Sometimes, no. Sometimes it hurts.
Kelly: Why are you, then?
Joe: Because it’s my profession.
Jack: Kicking little people around.
Joe: You consider someone who sells narcotics to be one of the “little people,” do you?
Jack: Yeah, man—if someone wants to smoke a little dope or drop a pill, who’s the victim? The guy who’s doing it. Now shouldn’t he have the right to do what he wants with his own body? Man, it’s a crime without a victim!
Joe: When you say using dope is a “crime without a victim,” who’s picking up the tab for all the lost wages, the stolen property, and the destroyed lives? How many overdoses have you seen come through your hospital, Barbara?
Barbara (Shannon Farnon): Quite a few.
Joe: How many die?
Barbara (sadly): Too many.
Barbara: Most of them.
Joe: The County of Los Angeles is spending a million dollars a month just handling kids who use and sell dope. Now who’s the victim? We are. All of us.
Bob (Bob Clarke): Sergeant, I’d like to ask you a question.
Joe: All right, ask it.
Bob If you were Chief of Police, how would you handle the narcotics problem?
Joe: Pretty much the way it’s handled today.
Bob: I disagree: We need tougher laws. We should really crack down on them.
Joe: Maybe. But half of you people in this room are in an uproar because I enforced one of the laws already on the books! Let’s get to the bottom line here…the law–your law–tells us we’re supposed to arrest people when they commit crimes–when they break those laws. We arrest them, and the courts don’t see fit to punish them. Or if they do, and they’re sent to prison, it doesn’t seem to do any good because every year there are more and more people breaking the law. And every year we’re finding it more difficult to recruit policemen, because they don’t want to put up with the frustration, the public apathy, the abuse, and the low wages. Now I don’t like being called a “pig” any more than some of you like being called a female dog’s relative!
Jack: Tell me something, Sergeant; what’s your personal opinion of marijuana? We already know your official one.
Jack (smugly): Now why do you say that?
Joe: I see the results–every hour on the hour, ever day. The kids–I’ve seen what it does to them. Every time you pick up a youngster using acid, nine times out of ten he’s holding marijuana. I judge weed by the company it keeps.
Professor Grant: I think it’s time we put this to a vote.
Joe: I’d like to say one more thing if it’s all right.
Professor Grant: All right, get it over with.
Joe: Nine of you people think I violated your trust by arresting Jerry Morgan last week. Okay. But when did we vote to suspend the laws of the State of California? I haven’t missed a class here–now when did we do that? You don’t like the laws in marijuana, then you and your friends get together and you change them.
Now this question of trust. Isn’t trust another word for responsibility? Well, I have responsibility that I’ve sworn to uphold. That’s my trust.
What about Jerry Morgan’s responsibilities? As a citizen he’s supposed to obey the law. That’s his trust. Now when I gave my oath I agreed to enforce all the laws–not just the ones I agreed with. I think you people paying the bills have a right to expect me to live up to my word.
Now we’ve been rapping on and on about doing our own thing. [Grimly] Well, that’s my own thing–‘keeping the faith, baby!’ [a catchphrase used by Congressman Adam Clayton Powell in the late 60s]–with the people of this city. Thank you for listening to me. [Professor Grant takes the floor and puts the matter to a vote. He counts the votes to expel Friday and the votes to allow him to stay.]
Professor Grant: Eight to eight. That makes it a tie. I believe we had an agreement.
[Joe starts to leave. Carl (Harry Bartell), wearing an eyepatch, stands up and speaks.]
Carl: Just a minute. Where are you going, Sergeant? The vote was even.
Professor Grant: Friday made a deal. He had to get a two-thirds vote to stay in this class.
Carl: Who wrote that rule?
Friday: I agreed to it.
Carl: Well, I didn’t! I’ve been sitting through this silly mess for a week now. I wanted to see what kind of policeman this man really is. I wanted to wait and see if he would take this nonsense that’s been thrown at him, or if he was really interested in remaining in this class–if he’d come back.
Well he didn’t disappoint me. He’s back, he’s interested, and he’s going to stay.
For the record, I’m a practicing attorney attending this class for the same reason as the rest of you: to learn about human nature. Well, I just took a post-graduate course with this ridiculous display!
Now let me spell this out for you people in simple English: This man will be allowed to stay in this class, and complete the semester, and receive a grade in this class commensurate with his ability in this particular subject–or I’m prepared to file charges against you, Professor Grant, on his behalf!
Professor Grant: Charges? What charges?
Carl: Denying him an education because of his occupation. A couple of fancy words for that, Professor–it’s called “job discrimination.”
Professor Grant: That’s fine coming from you–you didn’t even vote!
Carl: Certainly I didn’t. Why? Neither you nor any of the people in this room can vote this man out. Police have constitutional rights, too. [Pause] Or didn’t you know that?
[Professor Grant knows when he’s been licked. He motions Joe back to his desk.]
John Dietz: How come smoking pot is illegal and drinking booze ain’t?
Friday: With marijuana, the idea is to get so high that you don’t know who or what you are. There is no such thing as a quickie or one to be sociable. In pot-smoking circles if you’re not flying you’re a square. And “flying” means you don’t know who you are or what you’re doing. Son, no matter how you slice that, that’s dangerous.
The Squeeze: George Fox
Joe Friday: “Don’t you ever sing a new song? Is that the only one you know? Every time you’re brought in you go into that same tired routine ‘the new George Fox’. Well in our books you’re still the same guy. The same George Fox who did three long terms in the joint; and you didn’t do ’em for jaywalking. You went to Q for armed robbery and twice for assault with a deadly weapon. So you haven’t been busted in four years…nobody brought ya down here 11 times for questioning because they like to see ya. They brought ya in to ask ya about murders, shakedowns, and strong-armed rackets. They didn’t arrest ya because they couldn’t and you know why they couldn’t. Because in two cases the only witness against ya suddenly wound up dead and in the other cases witnesses were too afraid to testify. So don’t start telling us about the new George Fox, if you’re so clean where ya been since a week ago when we started looking for ya, on a Boy Scout camping trip?.)
Transcribed by Rick Dias from the Johnny Carson Show taped 2/19/68. “This script is not found on the entire Internet. Now hopefully it will be.” -Rick
A sound file from this classic can be found at Clay’s TV WAV Page.
Introduction: Jack Webb: This is the city (Shows a very smoggy downtown L.A.) Los Angeles, California. Some people rob for pleasure. Some people rob because it’s there. You never know. My name’s Friday, I’m a cop. I was working the day watch out of robbery when I got a call from the Acme School Bell Company. There’s been a robbery.
(A Very Serious) Johnny Carson: There’s been a robbery.
(A stone faced) Jack Webb: Yes sir! What was it?
Johnny Carson: My clappers!
Jack Webb: Your clappers?
Johnny Carson: Yeah you know those things inside a bell that makes them clang.
Jack Webb: The clangers?
Johnny Carson: That’s right! We call them the clappers in the business.
Jack Webb: A clapper caper.
Johnny Carson: What’s that?
Jack Webb: Nothing sir! Now can I have the facts? What kinds of clappers were stolen on this clapper caper?
Johnny Carson: They were copper clappers!
Jack Webb: And where were they kept?
Johnny Carson: In the closet!
Jack Webb: (Ugh! Ugh! ) Do you have any ideas who might have taken your copper clappers from the closet?
Johnny Carson: Well theirs is once I fired a man and he swore he’d get even!
Jack Webb: What was his name?
Johnny Carson: Claude Cooper!
Jack Webb: You think then?
Johnny Carson: That’s right! I think Claude Cooper copped my copper Clapper kept in a closet.
Jack Webb: You know where this Claude Cooper is from?
Johnny Carson: Yeap! Cleveland.
Jack Webb: That figures!
Johnny Carson: What makes it worse is that they were clean!
Jack Webb: Clean copper clappers? Why do you think that Claude Cooper would cop your clean copper clappers kept in your closet?
Johnny Carson: Only one reason!
Jack Webb: What’s that?
Johnny Carson: He’s a kleptomaniac.
Jack Webb: Who first discovered the copper clappers were copped?
Johnny Carson: My cleaning woman Clara Clifford!
(Smirking) Jack Webb: That figures! Now let me see if I got the facts straight here? Cleaning woman Clara Clifford discovered your clean copper clappers kept in a closet were copped by Claude Cooper a kleptomaniac from Cleveland. Now is that about it?
(Smirking) Johnny Carson: One more thing. If I ever catch kleptomaniac Claude Cooper from Cleveland who copped my clean copper clappers from the closetâ€¦.
Jack Webb: YES! Johnny Carson: I’ll clobber him!
Michael Hayde sent us a transcript of a Dragnet parody that was on the Jack Benny show in 1974. The sketch featured
Jack Webb and Harry Morgan as Friday and Gannon.
Stan Freberg 2000
The “Stan Freburg Here…” Archives
www.Rhino.com for Stan Freburg CD’s.
Stan Frebergs’ ‘ST. GEORGE AND THE DRAGONET’ (1953)
(Many thanks to Jennifer Pope for transcribing this classic parody and sending it in!)
St. George speaks in a very good Joe Friday monotone; the maiden and knave both have high-pitched, somewhat grating voices; the dragon talks like your typical â€˜Dragnet’ heavy. The music is exactly the same as that used on the radio shows.
â€˜Dragnet’ theme music
Announcer: The legend you are about to hear is true. Only the needle should be changed to protect the record.
â€˜Dragnet’ opening music
St. George (voiceover): This is the countryside. My name is St. George. I’m a knight. Saturday July 10th, 8:05pm. I was working out of the castle on the night watch when a call came in from the chief. A dragon had been devouring maidens. Homicide. My job – slay â€˜im.
â€˜Dragnet’ opening music
St. George: You call me, chief?
Chief: Yes, the dragon again, devouring maidens. The king’s daughter may be next.
St. George: Mm hmm. You got a lead?
Chief: Oh, nothing much to go on. Say, did you take that .45 automatic into the lab to have â€˜em check on it?
St. George: Yeah. You were right.
Chief: I was right?
St. George: Yeah. It was a gun.
St. George (voiceover): 8:22pm, I talked to one of the maidens who had almost been devoured.
knocking, door opening
St. George: Can I talk to you ma’am?
Maiden: Who are you?
St. George: I’m St. George, ma’am. Homicide, ma’am. I wanna’ ask you a few questions, ma’am. I understand you were almost devoured by the ma’am, is that right, dragon?
Maiden: It was terrible. He breathed fire on me. He burned me, already.
St. George: How can I be sure of that, ma’am?
Maiden: Believe me, I got it straight from the dragon’s mouth.
St. George (voiceover): 11:45pm, I rode over the king’s highway. I saw a man. Stopped to talk to him.
St. George: Pardon me sir, could I talk to you for just a minute, sir?
Man: Sure, I don’t mind.
St. George: What do you do for a living?
Man: I’m a knave.
St. George: Didn’t I pick you up on a 903 last year for stealing tarts?
Man: Yeah. So wha’dya wanna’ make a federal case out of it?
St George: No sir. We heard there was a dragon operating in this neighborhood. We just want to know if you’ve seen him.
Man: Sure, I seen him.
St. George: Mm hmm. Could you describe him for me?
Man: What’s to describe? You see one dragon you’ve seen â€˜em all.
St. George: Would you try and remember sir, just for the record? We just want to get the facts, sir.
Man: Well, he was, you know, he had orange polka dots…
St. George: Yes, sir.
Man: Purple feet, breathing fire and smoke…
St. George: Mm hmm.
Man: …and one big bloodshot eye right in the middle of his forehead, and, uh, like that.
St. George: Notice anything unusual about him?
Man: No, he was just your run of the mill dragon, you know.
St. George: Mm hmm. Yes sir, you can go now.
Man: Hey hey, by the way, how’re you gonna’ catch â€˜em?
St. George: I thought you’d never ask. A dragon net.
St. George (voiceover): 3:05pm, I was riding back into the courtyard to make my report to the lab. Then it happened.
ominous music, dragon roaring
St. George (voiceover): It was the dragon.
Dragon: Haaay, I’m de’ fire breathin’ dragon. You must be St. George, right?
St. George: Yes sir.
Dragon: I see you got one â€˜a them new .45 caliber swords.
St. George: That’s about the size of it.
Dragon: (laughing nastily) You slay me!
St. George: That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.
Dragon: Wha’dya mean?
St. George: I’m taking you in on a 502. You figure it out.
Dragon: What’s the charge?
St. George: Devouring maidens out of season.
Dragon: Out â€˜a season?? You’ll never pin that rap on me!! Do you hear me, *cop*?!!
St. George: Yeah. I hear ya’. I got you on a 412, too.
Dragon (shouting): A 412??!! What’s a 412???!!!
St. George: Overacting. Let’s go.
â€˜Dragnet’ trial music
Narrator: On September the 5th the dragon was tried and convicted. His fire was put out, and his maiden devouring license revoked. Maiden devouring out of season is punishable by a term of not less than 50 or more than 300 years.
â€˜Dragnet’ end music
Stan Freberg’s “Little Blue Riding Hood” (1953)
(Sent in by Jennifer Pope.)
Freberg again does a dead-on imitation of Joe; Daws Butler (later the
voice of Yogi Bear) does an equally good job with Frank. Grandma’s door
bell chimes the familiar ‘dum de dum dum.’
>’Dragnet’ opening theme< Narrator: The story of Little Blue Riding Hood is true. Only the color has been changed to prevent an investigation. >’Dragnet’ opening music< Joe (voice-over): This is the woods. My name is Wednesday, I work outa’ homicide. Monday, February the 2nd, 10:22am. Bumped into Chicken Lickin’. Told me the sky was falling. I booked her on a 614, turned her over to the psychiatrists. Then a call came in on a 503. When I was on my way to the 503 a 618 came in. I added up the 614, the 503 and the 618. Got 1735. I handed in my paper to the Chief, he corrected it, gave me 100%, patted me on the head. Told me I was a good cop. >dramatic music< Joe (voice-over): 11:45am, it happened. I saw a little girl in a blue hood carrying a basket. I stopped to question her. Joe: Pardon me, ma’am, could I talk to you for just a minute, ma’am? Little Blue: What about? Joe: Nothing much, ma’am. Just wanna’ ask you a few questions, ma’am. What’s your name? Little Blue: Little Blue Riding Hood. Joe: Where ya’ going, ma’am? Little Blue: Grandma’s house. Joe: Yes, ma’am. Whad’ya got in the basket? Little Blue (defensively): Whad’ya trying to say, I got something in the basket I shouldn’t have? Joe: No, ma’am, I didn’t say that. Little Blue: Then whad’ya asking me all these questions for? Joe: Just routine, ma’am, we just wanna’ get the facts. May I have a look in that basket, ma’am? Little Blue: Be my guest. Joe: Let’s see. Sawed-off shotgun. Knife. Bludgeon. Box of dumdum shells. Nothing suspicious here. All right, ma’am, we may want to talk to you later, so don’t leave the woods. >dramatic music< Joe (voice-over): She skipped on down the path. But she didn’t know I’d seen the concealed compartment in the basket. In it, what I’d suspected all along – goodies. >dramatic music< Joe (voice-over): My job – get to grandma’s before she did. I took a shortcut through the strawberry patch. It was sort of a strawberry shortcut. >sound of walking< Joe (voice-over): I walked up to the cottage, rang the bell. >door bell< Grandma: Coming, dear. >door opens< Joe: OK, grandma, it’s a raid. Grandma (acting surprised): A raid? Why, I’m just a peace-loving old lady, you’ve got the wrong grandma. Joe: Yes, ma’am. We just wanna’ get the facts. Where’d you get that bump on your head? Grandma: The sky fell on me this morning. >dramatic music< Joe (voice-over): I made a note to book her on a 614 and turn her over to the psychiatrists. I tied her up, put her in the closet, then I put on the grandma suit and got into bed. >knock on door< Joe (making no attempt to disguise his voice): Come in, ma’am. >door opens< Little Blue: Hello, gramma, I got the loot. What’re you doin’ in bed? Joe: I’m feeling poorly. Little Blue: But gramma, what big ears you have! Joe: All the better to get the facts. I just wanna’ get the facts, ma’am. Little Blue: But gramma, what a big subpoena you have in your pocket! Joe: All the better to serve you with. Little Blue: But gramma, what a big .38 police special you have pointed at me! Joe: All the better to take you in. You’re under arrest. You and your grandma are operating a goodies ring. Little Blue (sadly): A cop. I shoulda’ known. Joe: Known what, ma’am? Little Blue (sadly): You look nothing like my gramma. You forgot about the mustache. Joe: But I don’t have a mustache. Little Blue: I know. But gramma does. >dramatic music< Frank: Well, I see you broke the goodies ring. How’d you get a lead on ‘er, Joe? Joe: I just played a hunch, Frank. It was just a hunch. I played my luck; sometimes a hunch pays off, sometimes it doesn’t, I was just lucky, I just played a hunch, Frank. Frank: What you’re trying to say, Joe, is you just played a hunch. A lucky guess. Sometimes a hunch pays off, sometimes it doesn’t. You just played a hunch. Is that what you’re trying to tell me, Joe? Joe: Yeah. I just played a hunch. >’Dragnet’ end music<
Christmas Dragnet by Stan Freberg
(Sent in by Sarah C.)
Dragnet March/Jingle bells
Joe: This is the season. My name is Wednesday. My partner is Frank Jones. The chief is Captain Kellogg. December the 24th, Christmas Eve. They brought in a guy named Grudge. When I heard what they booked him on, my blood ran cold. It was a 4096325-096704. Not believing in Santa Claus.
Joe: 4:35 PM. I was working the holiday watch out of homicide with Frank.
Frank: Hang up your stocking yet Joe?
Joe: Yeah, just before I came down. You too Frank?
Frank: Always do. Hung it up early, just in case I have to work late tonight. Wouldn’t want to miss out when Santa Claus comes, you know.
Joe: Mm-hmm. Sure wouldn’t. Be a shame.
Frank: Whatcha gonna do tomorrow Joe? Whatcha gonna do on Christmas? You got any plans?
Joe: Nothing much.
Frank: Why don’t you come by the house Joe? We’re gonna have Christmas dinner. You know, all the trimmings.
Frank: Turkey, celery, stuffing, oysters maybe, chestnuts.
Frank: All the trimmings. Cranberry sauce. Love to have you.
Frank: The misses always fixes a plate of relish with them little carrot sticks. You know, olives, pickles, scallions. Most folks call â€˜em, green onions, but they are really scallions. Did you ever notice that, Joe?
Joe: Ever notice what, Frank?
Frank: How most folks call â€˜em green onions, but they’re really scallions.
Joe: Mm-hmm. Scallions.
Frank: Anytime after 2, Joe. Love to have you.
Joe: Mm-hmm. Well, I’ll see.
Frank: Love to have you.
Joe: Mm-hmm. Well, I’ll see.
Frank: The misses always fixes a plate of relish with them carrot sticks. You know them little carrot sticks? Olives, pickles, scallions.
Joe: Mm-hmm. Let’s not go through that again.
Frank: Love to have you. Go through what again, Joe?
Joe: How most folks call â€˜em green onions, but they’re really scallions.
Frank: Oh. You noticed that too, huh Joe?
Joe: Homicide. Wednesday.
Telephone receiver slammed down
Frank: What’s the matter Joe? What’s the matter Joe?
Joe: There bringing a guy in on a 4096325-096704.
Frank: You meanâ€¦?
Joe: Mm-hmm. Guy don’t believe in scallions, I mean Santa Claus.
Joe: 6:29 PM. We questioned the guy that didn’t believe in Santa Claus. A guy named Grudge. Says here your name’s Grudge right?
Joe: Said you don’t believe in Santa Claus?
Frank: It’s hard to believe what you said. Did you really say that?
Grudge: Sure I said it! How do you know there’s a Santa Claus? You got a picture of him?
Joe: No, no mug shot.
Grudge: Any fingerprints?
Joe: No. Not even prints. I just know, that’s all. It’s like saying there isn’t an Easter Bunny.
Grudge: That’s another guy there ain’t no of.
Joe: Mm-hmm. Well, that’s your story mister.
Frank: Joe? He just said that to make me feel bad, didn’t he? There really is an Easter Bunny, isn’t there? Joe?
Joe: Listen Grudge. Didn’t I pick you up 3 years on a 1492? Not believing in Columbus?
Grudge: Yeah! I don’t believe in Cleveland or Cincinnati either.
Joe: How â€˜bout Toledo?
Grudge: I, uh, ain’t made up my mind yet about Toledo.
Joe: Okay, mister. I get the picture now. You don’t believe in nothin’, do you?
Grudge: Nothing! And you wanna know something else?
Joe: What’s that?
Grudge: I’m gonna get up and walk right out of this room. Cause you guys ain’t got nothin’ on me. There ain’t no law against not believing in Santa Claus.
Joe: There is in my book. Let me tell you something, mister. I’m gonna prove there’s a Santa Claus if it takes me all night.
Grudge: Pretty funny. The police department’s got nothing else to do.
Joe: Let me straighten you out, buddy. This one’s on Frank and me. Right Frank? Right Frank?
Frank: There really is an Easter Bunny, isn’t there Joe? You know, hippity-hopping down the bunny trail?
Joe: I took Grudge over to the helicopter. Got in, flew around the city for hours. I showed him department stores. What’s hurrying in and out of those department stores Grudge?
Grudge: Happy people. But I ain’t impressed.
Joe: I showed him stockings. How are those stockings hung Grudge?
Grudge: By the chimney with care. But I didn’t hang none up.
Joe: I showed him children, all snug in there beds. What’s dancing in their heads Grudge?
Grudge: Visions of sugar plums. But you ain’t sellin’ me. There ain’t no Santa Claus!
Joe: He still didn’t believe. There was only one thing left to do. My job, get to the North Pole. 11:45 PM. We arrived at the North Pole. I set the plane down, we walked over to Santa’s workshop. Rang the bell.
Joe: Pardon me sir. Can I ask you a few questions?
Elf: (with southern accent) Why sure! Just tickle me to death.
Joe: What do you do for a living?
Elf: I’m a brownie.
Joe: What are you doing at the North Pole with a southern accent?
Elf: Well, the boss sorta ran short on help this year. So he had to recruit a few of us brownies from the South Pole.
Joe: Mm-hmm. That figures.
Grudge: (laughs) What a waste of time!
Joe: Could we talk to your boss, please?
Elf: Oh, he’s out. You would come on the one night he’s out in the whole year.
Joe: Mm-hmm. What’s your particular job, Mr. Brownie?
Elf: My boss has eight tiny rain deer. My job: feed â€˜em.
Joe: Mm-hmm yes sir. What’d you feed â€˜em?
Elf: Well, most times I fix up a plate of relish. Olives, pickles, and them carrot sticks. You know them little old carrot sticks?
Elf: And scallions.
Joe and Elf: Most folks call â€˜em green onions, but they’re really scallions.
Elf: How’d you know?
Joe: Just a stab in the dark. The little man showed us through the workshop.
Elf: My boss will be back for a second load pretty soon. Say, would y’all like to hear an interesting story?
Joe: Yes sir.
Elf: Well, you see that huge pile of presents over there?
Grudge: Man! Look at all that stuff!
Elf: Would you believe it? They’re all for the same man. Been piling up here year after year.
Joe: Why didn’t the guy ever get them?
Grudge: Yeah, why?
Elf: Cause he didn’t believe in my boss. You know the rules.
Joe: Mm-hmm. We know.
Grudge: I, uh, don’t suppose, uh, there’s no chance, uh, the guy can still, uhâ€¦.
Elf: Get the presents? Oh, sure. He gets â€˜em all. The minute he believes! But I don’t suppose he ever will.
Joe: Too bad about that guy. What’s his name?
Grudge: Don’t say it. I don’t wanna hear it.
Joe: Come on, Mr. Brownie, what’s his name?
Elf: His name? Grudge.
Joe: The brownie saw us through the door, wished us a merry Christmas. We were heading back to the plane when it happened.
Joe: Yeah Grudge?
Grudge: You know that guy I said I didn’t believe in?
Joe: Who’s that?
Grudge: S-s-s Santa Claus?
Joe: Yes sir.
Grudge: Do you think I’m too old to change my mind?
Joe: You’re never too old, Mr. Grudge.
Grudge: Then I believe in Santa Claus! And Columbus.
Joe: How about Cleveland, Cincinnati, and the Easter Bunny?
Grudge: Yeah. Them too.
Joe: And Toledo?
Grudge: I, uh, still ain’t made up my mind yet about Toledo!
Joe: Look Grudge. Up in the sky. He’s coming back for the second load.
Grudge: It’s Santa Claus! It’s Santa Claus!
Joe: There’s the only guy I know who can make everybody happy in one night!
Grudge: Yeah. He must have the biggest heart in the whole world.
Joe: That’s about the size of it!
Dragnet March/Jingle Bells
NOTE: For more information on Stan Freberg, please visit:
Stan Freberg 2000
The “Stan Freburg Here…” Archives
www.Rhino.com for Stan Freburg CD’s.