Air For Sale
skit with Ernie (Jim Henson),
Lefty the Salesman, and Bert (both Frank Oz)
[Ernie, standing behind a brick wall, is blowing on a harmonica.
Lefty the Salesman, unnoticed by Ernie, sneaks onscreen with his usual theme music.
Looking cautiously around him, he comes up to Ernieís side.]
Lefty [in a low voice]: Hey, bud.
Ernie: Who, me?
Ernie [whispering]: Who, me?
Lefty: Riiiiiiiight! Listen. I got something you need.
[Holds out an empty glass bottle.]
Ernie: Oh, youíre wrong. I donít need a bottle.
Lefty: Iím not selliní the bottle. Iím selliní whatís in the bottle.
Ernie: Well, whatís in the bottle?
Lefty [in a lower voice, after glancing around him]: Air.
Ernie [whispering]: Air?
Ernie: Well, why do I need air?
[I think thereís a conversation at this point about breathing.]
Lefty: How do ya get music out of that harmonica?
Ernie: I blow air into it!
Ernie [whispering]: I blow air into it.
[Another forgotten line?]
Lefty [looking at the ground]: Hey, pick that up.
[Ernie picks up an uninflated balloon.]
Lefty: Now, you take this little bottle of air and you put it into one of those, and what do ya got?
Ernie: A balloon!
Ernie [whispering]: A balloon.
Lefty: Riiiiiiiight! So ya see, with this little bottle of air, you can breathe. You can make music.
You can blow up a balloon. And I am prepared to sell you all the air in this bottle for the low price of just ...
[leans closer and whispers]
... one nickel.
Ernie [excitedly]: One nickel?
Ernie [whispering]: One nickel?
Ernie: Okay, Iíll take it. Hereís a nickel.
Lefty [opening his trench coat]: Just put it right in the olí coat, there.
[Ernie presumably slips the nickel into an inner pocket. Lefty closes his coat.]
Lefty: Okay. Now, hold out your hands.
Lefty: Why? Soís I can pour the air into Ďem!
Ernie: Well, canít we just leave it in the bottle?
Lefty: I told ya, Iím not selliní the bottle!
Ernie: Oh, right, right. I forgot.
Lefty: Iím selliní the air. Now, just hold out your hands.
[Ernie cups them and holds them out to Lefty, who tips the bottle down toward them.]
Lefty: Okay, there it goes ...
Ernie [after a short pause]: Wow, thatís a lot of air for just five cents.
Lefty: Well, do ya think Iíd cheat ya? Whoops, someís spilling. Careful, now. Okay, there you go.
[He tips the bottle back up.]
Ernie: Oh, thank you!
Lefty: Now, you enjoy your air.
Ernie: Oh! Well, you enjoy your nickel.
Lefty: Oh, indeedy I will.
[He looks cautiously around him and then goes away, chuckling.]
Ernie [staring happily at his cupped hands]: Oh, boy, I gotta show this to Bert.
[More lines? He sees Bert in the distance and waves to him.]
Hey, Bert! Come here, Bert, I got something to show you ... Oh ... oh, no! I dropped my air!
Bert [coming over]: You dropped your what?
Ernie [frantically searching around]: I dropped my air!
[Bursts into tears.]
Bert: Well, come on, Ernie. If you had something to show me, you couldnít have lost it right away.
It couldnít have just vanished into thin air.
Ernie [sobbing]: Oh, yes, it could, Bert! It could!
[He cries loudly while Bert looks on in utter confusion.]
Transcribed by Silvery Shoe