Waiting For Lefty

Skit starring The Boss (Jerry Nelson),
Benny (Richard Hunt) and Lefty (Jim Henson)
originated in 1972


NOTE: The original transcriber named this one after Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets.

With concern to the performers, this is not the same Lefty as the character known as the Salesman (played by Frank Oz, famous for Would You Like To Buy An O?).

[Scene: A shabby, run-down room, with a bare light bulb hanging from the ceiling.
As the camera pans, two doors are seen. The front door is fastened with a chain and a bunch of bolts.
Seated at a table are two shady-looking Muppet men: Benny and the Boss.
Music from a gangster movie is playing but dies away by the time the first line is spoken.
A foghorn is heard in the distance.]

The Boss: Weíve been waitiní for Lefty a long time.

Benny: Yeah, Boss. But, uh, when he gets here, how will we know itís him? Huh?

The Boss: I told ya, heíll knock three times. Thatís our secret knock!

[Suddenly, a single knock at the front door is heard.]

Benny: Hey! Hey, thatís him, Boss! Thatís him! Thatís him!

The Boss: Thatís not him. That was only one knock.

Benny: Ah.

Voice [from outside the door]: Hey, let me in, you guys!

Benny: Hey, hey, thatís him, Boss! Thatís his voice! Yeah, thatís him! Thatís Lefty!

The Boss: That canít be him, Ďcause I didnít hear no three knocks.

[Two knocks are heard at the door.]

Benny: Hey, thatís him, Boss! Thatís him!

The Boss [in a dangerously soft and patient voice]: No, Benny. That was two knocks. Thatís not him, because our secret knock is three knocks.

Leftyís Voice: Hey, Benny, fellas, you guys in there?

Benny [in a loud voice, turning toward the door]: Nobody gets in here until we hear our, the secret knock!
[to the Boss] Right, Boss?

The Boss: Right!

Leftyís Voice: Well, whatís the secret knock, anyhow?

The Boss [in a loud voice, turning toward the door]: Itís more than two knocks, but less than four knocks!

[Three knocks are heard at the door.]

The Boss: Yeah. Thatís him.

Benny: Thatís him, Boss!

The Boss [getting up]: Thatís three knocks. Thatís Lefty.

Benny: Right.

The Boss: Yeah.

[He goes to the door.]

The Boss: Yeah, itís about time!

[He unfastens the door and opens it, revealing Lefty, a short, pudgy Muppet who is trembling with anxiety.
At the sight of the Boss, his shivering increases greatly.]

Lefty [timidly]: Hi, Boss.

The Boss [in increasingly dangerous tones]: I told ya the secret knock was three knocks. One, two, three! Right?

Lefty: R-right, Boss. I forgot!

The Boss: Come in here! You forget once more, and youíre in big trouble. I mean, youíre finished, Lefty!

Benny: Yeah, yeah, the end! Right, Boss?

The Boss: Right! [to Lefty] Now, get in there!

[Lefty, with a little shriek of fright, obeys.]

The Boss [stepping outside]: Itís our turn. And donít you let us in until you hear the secret knocks, you understand?

Lefty [as Benny goes outside]: Right! Sure!

The Bossí Voice: Otherwise, youíre in big trouble!

Bennyís Voice: Big trouble, right, Boss?

Lefty: Okay!

[Still shaking, Lefty closes and fastens the door.]

Lefty: Now, if I can only remember the secret knocks!

[A single knock is heard.]

Lefty: One knock! One knock! Was one knock the secret knock? I forget!

[Two knocks are heard.]

Lefty: Two knocks! Two knocks! Thatís the secret knock, right? Thatís the secret knock?

[Three knocks are heard.]

Lefty: Thatís three knocks! That was .... No, three knocks wasnít the secret knock, was it? Or was it?

[Lefty starts as four knocks come.]

The Bossí Voice: Hey, Lefty...!

Lefty: That was...!

Bennyís Voice: Come on, let us in, Lefty!

[The yelling and the pounding on the door grow louder. Lefty shivers more and more, backing away from the front door.]

Bennyís Voice: Hey, come on, let us in, Lefty!

The Bossí Voice: Hey, you gotta let us in, Lefty!

Bennyís Voice: Let us in!

The Bossí Voice: Youíre gonna be in big trouble!

Lefty: I tell you what ... [in a frantic shriek] I didnít want to play this game in the first place!

[With a terrified wail, he runs out the back door and closes it behind him. The music starts up again, and the banging at the front door gets even louder as Benny and the Boss yell things like ďHey, Lefty!Ē]

The Bossí Voice [in exasperation]: Lefty, let us in!

Bennyís Voice: This isnít fair!


Originally transcribed by Silvery Shoe, with help from David Frangioso