Bathtubs Over Broadway (2018) - full transcript

A Late Night comedy writer stumbles upon a hilarious, hidden world of entertainment and finds an unexpected connection to his fellow man. With David Letterman, Chita Rivera, Martin Short, Jello Biafra, and more.

STEVE YOUNG: None of this
should have happened.

I shouldn't know about it.

This stuff is bizarre
and hilarious.

Those are only
the beginning layers.

We were not supposed
to hear these songs.

We were not supposed to see
these productions.

It was supposed to be
all thrown away and forgotten.

But we played a trick
on history, and we saved it.

♪ Shows with songs
and dance and humor ♪

♪ They made salesmen
want to sell ♪

♪ It wasn't for you,
consumer ♪

♪ You might say,
"What the hell?" ♪

♪ A hidden world of showbiz ♪

♪ Sequins and CEOs ♪

♪ Profits and sales
with top hats and tails ♪

♪ Corporate music ♪

♪ Corporate musical shows ♪

We've never heard of those!

Well, hang on 'cause...

♪ It'll change your life ♪

♪ You're off the rails
for shows about sales ♪

♪ It'll change your life ♪

♪ Soon you're itchin'
to sell a new kitchen ♪

♪ They put the dazzle
in diesel ♪

♪ They add the ooh
to shampoo ♪

♪ When you see what
these two worlds can do ♪

♪ It'll change ♪

♪ Change your life ♪

♪ But now this secret world
is fading ♪

♪ Soon it will slip away ♪

♪ The grooves with that sound
still wait to be found ♪

♪ And the records ♪

♪ The records
will guide the way ♪

♪ It'll change his life. ♪

Hey, Todd. How's it going?

-Is it a bloodbath?

He cut a decent amount,
but we put in some saves

-and some new, uh, Patriots
jokes. -Okay. All right.

So right now, three elements?

-Uh, yeah, closing on Cher.


And does Cher require
a special cue?

Or is it just from off
the previous stage joke?

She's just cued off
the Kim Kardashian joke.

"Wound clear around her ass."

STEVE: I feel like industrial
musicals kind of chose me.

It just kind of
crossed my path,

and I seemed to be
the right person

at the right time in history
to latch onto this.

The joke preceding that is, uh,
one you have on your page

about Kim Kardashian, uh...

"Big line for the...
for the book.

Uh, the line
wound clear around her ass."

- WOMAN: I like your tie.


So I'm gonna double-
and triple-check that,

but that seems to be
where we landed.

All right, thank you.

From the heart of Broadway,

broadcasting across the
nation and around the world,

it's the Late Show
with David Letterman.

LEE ELLENBERG: Steve kind of is
the voice of the show.

Uh, I mean, obviously Dave
is the voice of the show,

but Steve has been around
as a writer

longer than anybody else.

I consider Steve
to be the last vestige

of the heyday of late-night
talk show television writers.

There are precious few of these
men and women who can do this.

-ELLENBERG: All right.
-WEINER: Do we just have him

- groan a little bit, like...

Should we put that line
earlier on?

'Cause I think
that's funny that he has

-a compound fracture.

When you're a comedy writer,

you become so calloused
to so much out there,

'cause we're so immersed
in pop culture and comedy

that it takes a lot
to entertain us.

We become hard laughs.

But with Steve, he's already,
you know, way left of center.

STEVE: ♪ Pull out the organs,
they must be inspected ♪

♪ No sign of disease
can be detected ♪

♪ Gizzards, livers,
necks and hearts ♪

♪ Are set aside
as the giblet parts ♪

♪ The abdominal cavity
gets a cleaning ♪

♪ The carcass then
must pass a screening ♪

♪ On Thanksgiving,
let's all sing ♪

♪ Of industrial
turkey processing ♪

♪ Gobble, gobble,
gobble, gobble. ♪

Steve always takes it
in a way that we...

you know,
you just could never do.

STEVE: After decades of writing
comedy and working in comedy,

I do think that many
of the receptors in my brain

that would allow me
to enjoy comedy

like civilians,
I would call them,

have been burned out.

People around me
will be roaring

with laughter at something,

and I'll just be
nodding politely.

For me now to find anything
that makes me

burst out laughing
is somewhat rare.

That's just Bob's head
on a stock-photo guy's body.

It makes perfect sense

that Steve would be enamored
with something

-called The Bathrooms
Are Coming! -Yeah.

-Isn't that the name of it?
Okay. -Yeah.

HANNAH: I had been hearing
The Bathrooms Are Coming!

as long as I can remember,

but I didn't actually know
what it was.

I thought he had just
kind of made it up.

-I thought he made it up, too.
-And, like,

it was this thing
in our family.

Now, here's something
that nobody cares about.

Sorry. Back up.

Here's something that
most people don't know about.

Um, and-and he's just turning
it into this huge thing.

I found out that it was
part of a bigger thing later.

Yeah, that was a shock.

So, how does a cynical

comedy writer
with comedy damage

get emotionally involved

with people who wrote musicals
about ball bearings

and light bulbs and bathtubs?

It began really very
accidentally and randomly.

- LETTERMAN: Here we go!

♪ Dave's Record Collection. ♪

Perfect. Oh, good.

Uh, here we have an album,
it's called Number One Hard.

Now, this is a musical.

Please don't make up
your own jokes.

Number One Hard--
it's a musical

about the Canadian
grain industry,

and we'll be hearing a song

from this album
entitled "Wheat."

♪ Wheat, wheat, wheat, wheat,
wheat, wheat, wheat ♪

♪ Wheat makes your life
complete ♪

♪ Wheat, wheat, wheat, wheat ♪

♪ Wheat, wheat, wheat ♪

♪ It makes our life complete ♪

♪ Hey, hey, hey, hey. ♪

STEVE: I didn't really
collect any records

before the Letterman show,

but it became my job
to look for records

for "Dave's Record Collection."

It's a comedy bit we do
on the show.

We find unintentionally funny

and weird records,
and make jokes about 'em.

I'm a bad bird.

STEVE: Bloopers, I probably
would not have gotten,

'cause that's already
trying to be funny.

The best stuff
for "Record Collection"

was the stuff that was
unintentionally hilarious.

But then I started finding

these mysterious
corporate souvenir records

marked on the labels

"not for commercial use,"
"not for broadcast,"

"souvenir use only."

And I had no idea
what I was finding.

I-I just thought, you know,
"This is something

we can make fun of right away."

♪ My insurance man ♪

♪ The man we rely on ♪

♪ My insurance man ♪

♪ The best of them all ♪

♪ Who serves
all coverage needs ♪

♪ That's why he succeeds ♪

♪ My insurance man,
is that what they... ♪

Hey. It's amazing,
it's actually more annoying

-than my insurance man.
-SHAFFER: Yes, you're right.

STEVE: It seemed like,
this is too easy.

Some big faceless corporation

trying to put on a-a musical
like a Broadway show.

How pathetic.

A whole musical
about diesel engines

or Oldsmobiles or sneakers.

Thank you, comedy gods,

because this is hilarious.

These weren't jingles.

These weren't commercials.

This was a full-fledged
Broadway-style musical show

for a private audience
of people within the company.

ANNOUNCER: You did it,
and we are here today

-to pay tribute to you.

Some were live recordings,

and you hear audience going,

And sometimes you'll see
a letter tucked inside.

"Here's the souvenir of
the-the fun we had last May."

You just think, "Well,
that's kind of sad, isn't it?"

What kind of people

worked on this stuff?

I mean, that must be
the strangest dead end

of show business that anyone's
ever wandered into.

Do you get out of that?

I thought, probably
something wrong with me

that I keep wanting

to listen to My Insurance Man

and Diesel Dazzle
in my off hours.

♪ They've got features
to talk about ♪

♪ Features to remember ♪

♪ General Electric ♪

♪ Refrigerators
and freezers... ♪

I didn't really know anything

about musical theater,

but I was pretty sure
it wasn't supposed to be this.

♪ 22 slices of bread ♪

♪ A crust on either end ♪

♪ Cookbook's the name
of this bread ♪

♪ Baked while you sleep,
my friend ♪

♪ 22 slices
of fine white bread... ♪

What shouldn't you write
a musical about?

Let's write it,
and let's make it really good,

and let's not tell anyone
about it.

♪ The dishwasher
and the disposal ♪

♪ They're moving up ♪

♪ The dishwasher
and the disposal... ♪

I had no hobbies.

I barely had any friends
outside the show.

I just thought,
wouldn't it be great

if there were, like,
dozens of these records?

-♪ Go, go, go... ♪
-I don't really care

about the rest
of "Record Collection."

I just want to find more
of these things.

♪ There's a new world
opening up ♪

♪ There's a new world ♪

♪ Opening up ♪

♪ There's a new world
opening up ♪

♪ For the likes
of me and you... ♪

STEVE: Do you know if you ever
have souvenir records

from company conventions
or sales meetings?

MAN: That kind of stuff
is definitely

gonna be a challenge.

Um, not off the top
of my head.

Does that ring a bell?

No, you never saw
something like that?

-No, sorry, that's...
-All right.

That's crazy.

Could I give you my card?

Can I give you a card?

Hey, can I give you a card
in case

-you ever see them?
-Oh, please, yeah.

I'd, uh, make it
worth your while

if it's, uh...
it's one I don't have

-for my collection.
-Will do.

♪ One thing's sure,
you'll find pure ♪

♪ Xerox spoken here. ♪

No one else cared
about this stuff.

No one else was looking for it,

with a couple
specific exceptions.

I think the first one
I consciously got was this one.

And, man, I was hooked.

At that time, 20 years ago,

there was less
Internet involvement.

It was canvassing record stores

and cold-faxing record stores
around the country.

SPORT MURPHY: I spent years
trying to find other versions

of this kind of thing.

And then eBay came,
and it was...

it was like a wonder
of miracles. Here we go.

♪ We're on our way
to a brand-new day ♪

♪ And we reiterate... ♪

But every time I found one,
which was still pretty rare,

I was always outbid.

Always outbid by the same guy.

He just bought the same one
three times in a row.

I can't get near this stuff.

JELLO BIAFRA: I think I only
had the Arrow shirt record.

And then another mutual friend
and connoisseur

of the incredibly strange said,

"Yeah, yeah, I know
that Arrow shirt record.

"I mean, there's somebody who
really knows about that stuff.

You need to meet this guy."

MURPHY: And then I realized
my competitor's name

was PantsSteve on eBay.

WARD: There was nobody
as serious as-as Steve.

♪ There's a new day
coming our way ♪

♪ There's a new day... ♪

There are records
that I know are out there

that I do not have yet, and
that... it's a little painful.

I should have them all.

I will have them all

EMCEE: Thank you very much,
and good evening.

I am happy to be with you
tonight for this great event

in the life
of Cities Service Oil Company.

This closed-circuit telecast
is going to 10,000

of you Cities Service people
in one private meeting.

Now, let's put on
your "zoom" glasses,

because everything's
coming up Citgo.

♪ Coming soon, wait and see ♪

♪ Cities Service
is off on a spree ♪

♪ Brightening up,
tightening up ♪

♪ Yes, sir, everything's ♪

♪ Coming up Citgo ♪

-♪ Brand-new sign ♪
-♪ Brand-new sign ♪

-♪ Watch it shine ♪
-♪ Watch it shine... ♪

WARD: What about
that Frigidaire song?

It's pretty good.

STEVE: Yeah, I don't think
I know that.

It's got a-a nice '60s, punchy,

sort of a Walter Marks
kind of feel to it.

"Put Payoff Punch
in Your Selling."

-It's a Frigidaire show.

Great. No, I've never even...

I don't think
you've mentioned that one.

- Six dollars. Nice score.

Let's see.

"Music to Spell..." Oh.

♪ We can put payoff punch
in our selling ♪

♪ With the power
of Frigidaire ♪

♪ Yes, we can put payoff punch
in our selling ♪

♪ Of a thing
that we all can share ♪

♪ Join in our happy bunch ♪

♪ That is telling a story
beyond compare ♪

♪ We can put payoff punch
in our selling ♪

♪ With the power
of Frigidaire ♪

♪ Come on and spread the word
to every sales creator ♪

♪ Get the news
in each new refrigerator ♪

Take that up.

♪ See the freezers ♪

- ♪ That are pleasers there... ♪

I am 97% sure
that is Michael Brown.


Well, is that...
does it sound like, uh,

-another track that he wrote?
-It-it... it sounds like

seven of his songs
were put in a blender.

WARD: Oh, wow. The reason
I-I think I suggested,

-um, Walter Marks...
-Mm-hmm. because it's
a Kerbowie NPO production.

Uh-huh. But, uh,
Michael Brown did

-the '64 Dodge show.
-Did he?

-Which is Kerbowie as well.
Oh, yes. -Yes, it is.

Steve Young was my mentor.

He started the canon,
and I added to it.

And this is always
one of my favorites, too.

That's pretty scarce.

The Johnson & Johnson, uh,

sunscreen musical of 1978...

-STEVE: Yeah.
-...with that classic...

Actually, there's a few
good songs in here,

but "Hot Promotions,"
that's pretty good.

Yeah that's one
I always excerpt.

That is... that is really
a terrific...

♪ Hotter than hot ♪

♪ Is what you've got ♪

♪ The hottest-selling
sunscreen under the sun ♪

-♪ Hotter than hot ♪
-There we go.

♪ Is what you've got ♪

That's how we know
we're having fun.

♪ The hottest-selling
sunscreen ♪

♪ To make you number one. ♪

-7UP. -One of... one of
the worst shows I've ever seen.

-This one I love. Lipton
on the Move. -Oh, yeah.

-I think I first heard that
at your place. -Mm-hmm.

And that song, um, is it the...

-"Salesman Sonata"?
-"Salesman Sonata."

-Yeah, great.
-That's pretty good.

The guy's voice
is just terrific.

♪ Oh, you've got this big
fantastic presentation ♪

-♪ You've rehearsed it ♪

♪ And you know
it's gonna sell... ♪

We communicated, you know,

once a day for eight years.

Sharing little tidbits
of information.

Every new one that we find

is a-a puzzle piece
added to a...

a very large jigsaw puzzle

where we still
can't quite make out

-what the overall picture
is supposed to be. -It's true.

But-but we're assembling
some version

of a picture of America
in the 20th century

that had never quite
been seen before.

♪ Allowances are the root
of all goodness ♪

♪ They're what
you grocers adore ♪

♪ So Purina comes to you
with bigger ones ♪

♪ Than ever before ♪

♪ That's the way to work ♪

♪ These payments from Purina ♪

♪ That's the way
to fatten your till ♪

♪ Get extra turn ♪

♪ As more consumers
come through ♪

♪ Naturally there's profit
in there, too ♪

♪ From the extra margins
that accrue ♪

-♪ Gee whiz, what a deal ♪
-♪ Gee whiz, what a deal ♪

♪ It's spectacular! ♪

Here we go.

-Hi, Steve.
-Hello, Melody.

-How are you?
-I'm good. How are you?

I'm good. I'm just trying
to see you here.

-All right. Oh, here.
-There you are!

Let me try that...
a little of that.

WARD: Where Steve took it
into a different level

was that he was contacting

people who were actually
in the shows.

Maybe they'll talk to me,

and maybe they'll say,
"Oh, sure,

"I have a closet
full of records

I'd be glad to...
to-to fix you up with."

MELODY: It just blew me away
when I heard from you.

-And then, when you sent that

- Purina Dog Chow film...

I mean, I just about fell over.

I didn't even remember
that they had filmed that.

You don't have any, uh,
records or tapes or videotapes

or anything
from your industrial stuff?

You know, I don't think I do.

-Mm. -I mean,
it's been a long time ago.

Well, I've got some names
I can toss out.

-See if they shake
anything loose. -Okay.

Uh, Sheldon Harnick?

Yes, of course.
I did an industrial with him.

-I forget what it was.

I had grown up not really
caring about Broadway musicals.

So these records had names
and credits on them,

but I didn't recognize names.

A friend of mine had to say,

"Do you realize
who these people are?

"Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock
wrote Fiddler on the Roof.

"John Kander and Fred Ebb,
they're famous.

"They... they did Cabaret.

They did Chicago."

So many performers and writers,

have this stuff
in their background.

Bob Fosse, Bob Newhart,
Chita Rivera,

Florence Henderson,
Martin Short, Susan Stroman.

These are people who have
changed American culture.

That's, I think,
when it started to feel like

I've found some sort
of treasure trove here

that we weren't supposed
to know about at all.

Everybody else has been told,
"This is not for you,

and you can safely ignore it."

But something in me--
maybe it's comedy damage--

said, "That's where
I want to go now."




-Well, hi, Steve.
-Hello, Florence.

-Hello, Sheldon.
-Welcome to casa mia.

Ah, thank you.

I brought some memorabilia.

-This is from the early
1970s... -Oh, my God.

-Hello, Hank.
-Good to see you.

It was almost like
having a door open

to a secret society
a little bit.

The general public had no
knowledge of what was going on

unless you were at
one of these sales meetings.

They were never publicized.
There was no advertising.

There were no tickets sold
or anything like that.

It was like we were CIA agents.

You'd travel all over.

Great hotels, great salary.

It was a dream job.

It was great
if you could get one,

and there were a lot of them.

I did them for Shell gasoline.

The Buick show.

The Ford tractor show.

York air conditioners,

American Standard
air conditioners,

General Electric.

I did Dodge, Cadillac,

RCA, McDonald's.

-Burger King. -KAREL: Ragu.
-And Nabisco.

At one point, I did a big
industrial show for Maidenform.

The 75th anniversary

of the Ford Motor Company
comes to mind

as one of the most extravagant.

I'm partial, but I think

the ones we did, the Oldsmobile
industrial shows,

were by far the best.

I got your number
through Melody.

Now, did you know some
of the other Chicago people?

Oh, yes.

The more I looked,

the more it just opened up
and got broader and deeper.

How about Sandi Freeman
of the legendary show,

-The Bathrooms Are Coming!?
-KELLY: Yes.

SILVESTRE: Oh, she was on
the Pure Oil tour with me.

-She moved away.
-STEVE: I started to suspect

that there were thousands
of other shows.

So, what else is out there,

and just how far does this go?

You uncovered a whole new world

that was going on
in those days.

Yes, and it's still unfolding.

ANNOUNCER: Everywhere
throughout the civilized world,

people know this street.

Broadway, USA, the longest
street in the world.

But Broadway is a street
of many moods,

and we're going to see
most of them.

When I arrived in New York,

I wanted to be Richard Rodgers.

But when I got there,
I found there already was one.

And he was very active.

Yeah, I came along

at what they call
the Golden Age.

And that was when there was...

every single theater had a...

a hit in it.

Theater was something I knew

absolutely nothing about,

but a friend loaned me a copy
of Finian's Rainbow.

I listened to it,
and I thought

those lyrics were so clever.

That is what I want to do
with my life.

So, your first awareness

that there was something
called an industrial show

was after you had gotten
to New York

and you were trying
to break into

-the songwriting business.

By-by that time,
I had placed songs in revues.

I don't think that I'd had
a book musical yet,

but I was broke

and that's where
the industrials came in.

♪ Money, money, money,
money, money ♪

♪ Paychecks come
to quite a sum ♪

♪ Money, money ♪

♪ If you're gonna get
this plum ♪

-♪ Money, money ♪
-♪ You gotta shake it loose ♪

♪ You gotta shake it loose ♪

♪ You gotta shake, shake,
shake it loose ♪

BEEBE: During that period
of '50s, '60s and '70s,

there was this enormous

optimism in the United States.

And the industrial shows
represented that optimism.

America came out
of World War II,

and we just kept
right on going.

Tomorrow's gonna be better
than yesterday,

and everybody felt that.

ANNOUNCER: It looks like
an ordinary day in the USA,

but in the city of Flint,
Michigan, all is excitement.

For on this day,

General Motors is building
its 50 millionth car.

No one has ever come close
to that before,

so no wonder celebration
is in the very air.

MAN: Now, I know that
your district managers

already told you
something about our

sales drive,

but the details of this program
are so startling

that we thought our entire
selling organization

would like to be together
to hear about them.

♪ Honolulu's waiting
for you, Firestone ♪

♪ Honolulu's celebrating
Firestone ♪

♪ Win a prize,
come to paradise ♪

♪ Have a happy, happy,
happy time ♪

♪ There'll be music like
you never heard before... ♪

During a certain time frame,

it was very popular
for businesspeople

to hold an annual meeting

where they would bring in
their salespeople.

-♪ You can be the one ♪
-♪ All yours ♪

♪ You can have the fun... ♪

MAN: Over 1,000 salespeople
will spend the next four days

learning more know-how
from top sales executives

-in the industry.
-MAN: So I say to you,

go out and sell Tupperware.

But also sell America.

The executives wanted

to introduce new products
to all their salesmen.

So they-they combined

education with entertainment.

There are going to be cars,

singing, dancing,

movies and more cars.

To me, all I can think of

is a hotel banquet room,

and they're clearing the plates
and the half-eaten roast beef,

and the cigarette butts
are being taken away, and...

and there may be, uh,
Baked Alaska for dessert,

and then the house lights dim,
and then...

Shh. Your attention, please.

Your A.B. Dick Company
pacemaker sales meeting...

♪ Is about to begin. ♪

♪ Detroit Diesel is dazzling ♪

♪ Diesel is dazzling ♪

♪ Diesel is dazzling now ♪

♪ Detroit Diesel is dazzling ♪

♪ Diesel is dazzling ♪

♪ Diesel is dazzling now ♪

♪ We're here to celebrate
the wonderful past years ♪

♪ Been moving fast ♪

♪ These last years ♪

♪ Now that we're a company
that they must watch ♪

♪ Just watch ♪

♪ Detroit Diesel dazzle ♪

♪ Our competition knows ♪

♪ Who's having the last laugh ♪

♪ As our profits climb ♪

♪ Right off the graph ♪

♪ And when they see they'll
never stop it or stall it ♪

♪ They'll call it ♪

♪ Detroit Diesel dazzle ♪

♪ Dazzling sales,
dazzling growth... ♪

STEVE: How much money
are we talking about

to put on one of these?

They spent a lot of money.

The first Chevrolet show I did,

uh, the budget for that
was three million.

You can compare that,
for instance,

to what it cost
to put My Fair Lady on

that same month in 1956,
which was $446,000.

So the amount of money

being spent on the real
Broadway musicals

is being dwarfed by the amount
of money spent over decades

on the industrial shows.

At the time, yes, absolutely.

-Yeah. -So, real Broadway
is this little tip

sticking above the water.

are the eight-ninths

of the iceberg under water.

Certainly, in terms of money
spent on live shows, yeah.

♪ They're setting the pace ♪

♪ Yes, setting the pace ♪

♪ They're setting the pace ♪

♪ For the world... ♪

STEVE: In the '50s,
you had the car companies

and appliance companies.

But by the '60s,
it turned into a flood.

Everybody was doing
these things.

Giant companies,
tiny companies;

cast of 40 people, cast
of two people and one piano.

You get shows
for weird products

like plastic wrap for butchers,
floor tile,

car key blanks,
roller bearings.

Anything can be a musical.

♪ Ah... ♪

♪ In polyester,
who's got the bester? ♪

♪ In polyester,
the texturized kind ♪

♪ May we suggester
who leads the rester ♪

♪ In polyester,
the Milliken kind ♪

♪ What would the world be like
without great spark plugs? ♪

♪ Gloom and misery ♪

♪ But just as long
as there's a Champion ♪

--♪ It will never be... ♪

♪ We're gonna show
the world ♪

♪ Just who's-a the boss ♪

♪ 'Cause all across the land ♪

♪ There's a cry for new sauce ♪

♪ The sauce, the sauce ♪

♪ Nothing shakes the kingdom ♪

♪ The kingdom of Ragu. ♪

STEVE: So, over the course
of several decades,

there were thousands of shows
being done around the country.

Many were song parody shows
based on preexisting material.

But my favorite writers

were the original
music and lyric people.

Hank Beebe, Michael Brown,
Sid Siegel.

That's what I was really
looking for.

-WOMAN: It says "Care-A-Van."
-STEVE: That was supposed to be

some crazy thing
with hippies and appliances.

But there was no centralized
bureau of information

that I could draw upon.

The Library of Congress
has corporate films,

but within that,
there's thousands of them,

and very few would actually
be of interest to me.

You understand
why they needed a-a musical,

because, oh, my God.

♪ It's a great big
beautiful morning ♪

-♪ At the start of... ♪
-That's Michael Brown music.

That's Michael Brown music.

That's Michael Brown.
That's Michael Brown.

"Starring Michael Brown."
"Written by Michael Brown."

Oh, my. Oh, my. Oh, my.

That is an exciting find.

Who knows who's ever looked
at this in the last 50 years?

♪ Come on along
and find a treasure ♪

♪ Much nearer
than the rainbow's end ♪

-There he is.
-♪ Come on along ♪

♪ And try the pleasure ♪

♪ Finding your heart's
desire, my friend... ♪

He wrote his own lyrics.
He wrote his own music.

He directed his own shows.

He quite often starred
in his shows.

He was just this
all-around showman,

not shying away from

the human emotion element
in these things and the...

the hope for a better tomorrow.

♪ Good morning, Kemmerer ♪

♪ Good morning ♪

♪ It is 6:00 a.m. ♪

♪ And no one's come ♪

♪ I've swept the sidewalk ♪

♪ 20 times this morning ♪

♪ My heart is beating ♪

♪ Louder than a drum ♪

STEVE: Historians
didn't really know about it.

♪ Won't you come? ♪

Music people
didn't really know about it.

-♪ Won't you come? ♪
-No one knew what it was.

No one cared. No one wanted it.

♪ Won't you come? ♪

There are many records
in my collection

that are the single known copy
of a show.

It's that close
to having disappeared forever.

♪ Please come. ♪

This is a record I've never
heard, I've never seen.

I didn't even know it existed.

Now I'm gonna see if we have
a great new masterwork.

Here we go.

♪ Who else but Whirlpool
could ever be ♪

♪ First of all
in the industry ♪

♪ First with the products
that serve so well ♪

♪ First with the features ♪

♪ That sell, sell, sell... ♪

HANNAH: I don't know
a lot of other dads

who sit in front
of their record collection

just sitting there
for hours and hours and hours

just listening to these records

that, like,
only he knows about.

STEVE: No lyrics
about Whirlpool appliances?

All right, let's go. Here we go.

♪ She only buys one
when she finally buys... ♪

I don't think I've ever
been able to express to myself

what I'm trying to do
with collecting this stuff.

♪ Just one... ♪

I remember just as
a-a snapshot of how,

in the early '90s,
I was in New York,

I was working at the show.

There was two weeks off
in August.

My wife was working.

We-we didn't have kids yet.

After a couple days,
I ran out of things to do.

I literally didn't have
any interests.

I just went to a bar
and just drank like four drinks

and came home,
and the room was spinning,

and I passed out,
and that's all I had to do.

♪ Just one... ♪

Cut to two years later,
and I'm finding

the first industrial show
souvenir album.

♪ Just one ♪

♪ For only one... ♪

If no one else in the world

liked or cared
about industrial musicals,

I would still just want them
for myself,

even if I was the only one
cackling with glee

over a particularly good
air conditioner selling song.

♪ First at any price... ♪

And then I would also think,

maybe not this year,
maybe not in ten years,

someday there's gonna be
somebody with the weird, uh,

psychological makeup
that I have,

more or less,
who's gonna like this also.

♪ Just one. ♪

-Hello, Don.

Don Bolles is well-known

from the punk-rock world,

but, uh, he's also
a very advanced collector

of weird records of all sorts,
including industrials.

-We record vocals in here.

STEVE: I met him
at the Rose Bowl Flea Market,

and he was selling records
with somebody, and I said,

"Do you have anything with this

kind of corporate
musical thing?"

And you ask that question
a hundred times,

you think people are never
gonna understand what you say,

and then he immediately says,
"Oh, yeah, sure.

"I got the Listerine show.
I got the Life magazine show.

I think I got
the Westinghouse show."

I said, "You and I
need to be friends."

This is Chez Bolles.

-BOLLES: Indeed. Come on in.
-All right.

Mi hovel, su hovel.

Oh, m-merci.

BOLLES: Here's my collection
of "lost pet" flyers.

Do you find many of the pets?

Uh, no, mostly just the flyers.

Here's a pretty good one.

-It's okay.

- If you like that sub-subgenre.

I wanted to show you this.

I don't know
if you know this record.

STEVE: Mead Johnson.
I don't have that one.

It's a real good one.

♪ Pharmaceutical men
and women ♪

-Oh, really?
-♪ Rise up to hear the call. ♪

: "Rise up
to hear the call."

Well, I want one of those.

-And here.
-All right.

May I hold that?

This is the pièce
de résistance.

STEVE: That's right. We think
this is the only known copy

confirmed in the world
at this point.

There was a rumor that
one had been snapped up

by a Japanese collector.

-♪ Growing ♪
-BOLLES: So here you go.

All right. So you know
I've wanted this one

-for a long time.
-Oh, yeah.

Yes, and you've copied it
for me.

And I feel bad, you know,
not, uh...

not just handing it over
to you outright.

Well, someday I will find it.

There are records
that I've looked for

for a dozen years
and then found.

BOLLES: If I find it, you know,
you're getting

whatever copy
is more scratched up.

- Okay.

♪ We bring power
to millions and millions ♪

♪ We've the expertise
and resources ♪

♪ To control
electrical forces ♪

♪ We provide the power
the world uses ♪

♪ Store, convert,
we even make fuses ♪

♪ We're that corporation
you know as Gould... ♪

BIAFRA: I wish I could do
more trades with Steve,

but I don't find enough stuff.

If I actually
blundered into 'em,

it usually means they're
the ones that are relatively--

if you can even use
the word-- common,

by the standards of this.

And Steve not only
has one copy,

he may be sitting
on a closet full of them,

that wicked hoarder.

STEVE: Jello, this is only
the second copy

of this record
I have ever seen.


I might have to talk to you,
uh, about some sort of trade.

-Because this is...

BIAFRA: He's coming
to collect his debt.

-Yeah, well...
-He warned me.

"Here, you can have
the Bathroom record."

-Then he goes, "Someday you're
gonna owe me." -That's right.

It's hard to top
The Bathrooms Are Coming!

I mean, because it's the '60s,

it even starts out
with a song about revolution,

but it's all a revolution
in plumbing fixtures.

And, you know,
you're-you're the new...

you're the new Paul Revere,
the new Samuel Adams.

You're crossing the Delaware
to better toilets.

♪ It's revolution ♪

♪ Bathroom revolution ♪

♪ Hurry now,
the bathrooms are coming ♪

♪ The bathrooms
are coming your way... ♪

The Bathrooms pretty much

is perfection on vinyl,
I must say.

♪ Get behind
American Standard ♪

♪ American Standard today... ♪

The album cover has all these
wonderful vignettes

of mysterious moments
from the show,

and for years,
I'd been saying,

"Oh, I wish I knew what
that caveman toilet thing was."

Or, "I wish I knew
what was going on

with this hillbilly
with his jug of moonshine."

I guess we'll never know.

There were a lot of cast
members who I couldn't find.

And the composer, Sid Siegel,
I couldn't find.

Sport noticed on YouTube once

somebody had put up
the song "My Bathroom."

But one of the comments was,
"Oh, my aunt sang that."

That's what broke it open.

So I'm talking suddenly
to Patt,

one of the cast members from
The Bathrooms Are Coming!

She e-mailed me
at one point and said,

"I didn't want to tell you
until I was sure,

"but I-I went and looked
through a lot of stuff,

"and I do have
a 16-millimeter film

of The Bathrooms Are Coming!

This was a bolt
out of the blue.

I could not have even dared
to hope that there was a film.

I put the DVD into the player
with trembling hands.

After all this time, questions
were going to be answered.

♪ My bathroom ♪

♪ My bathroom ♪

♪ Is my very special room ♪

♪ Where I primp
and fuss and groom ♪

♪ Where I can get ♪

♪ Away from all ♪

♪ And really feel in bloom ♪

♪ I'm free, I'm free ♪

♪ I've closed out the world ♪

♪ I'm free ♪

♪ I'm free, I'm free ♪

♪ Now at last ♪

♪ I can really be me ♪

♪ In my bathroom ♪

♪ My bathroom ♪

♪ Is much more
than it may seem ♪

♪ Where I wash
and where I cream ♪

♪ A special place
where I can stay ♪

♪ And cream and dream
and dream ♪

♪ And dream ♪

♪ Dream. ♪

STEVE: The film,
it's a... it's a mess.

Well, I mean, I love it.
It's at-at the far horizon

where the usual adjectives
of "good" and "bad"

don't even apply anymore.

That sweet spot
where I-I can't tell anymore.

Is this the best thing ever,

or is this
the worst thing ever?

Now, that's a good place to be.

Come on, Femma, come alive.

Lead a revolution for us.

What do urinals
and doctors' wash bowls

have to do with us?

What do I look like,
a piano tuner?

I'm a plumber.

STEVE: Today I finally get
to meet Patt Stanton Gjonola

The Bathrooms Are Coming!

It's like a...
a summit meeting, a...

I don't... I don't know how I'm
a somebody at a summit meeting.

--That's usually... presidents.

I don't even know
what Patt looks like now.

I have this vision of her
from 45 years ago,

and I'm trying to update it
in my head.

♪ No more will we
be contented... ♪

I'm sure I will, uh,
get the idea

once I get down there
and there's a woman

sort of looking attentively
in my direction.

♪ This is the time,
the time for change ♪

♪ We've gone and made a vow ♪

♪ We want a bathroom
really new ♪

♪ Must be a woman's
dream come true ♪

♪ It's a big job
you've got to do ♪

♪ The time for change ♪

♪ Is now. ♪

Excuse me. Are you Patt?

I'm Patt. Are you Steve?



-I got a twofer?
-Hello, my friend.

-Hello. Oh, my God.
-We've got a surprise for you.

Wow! Sandi.

-So good to meet you.

-Ah, you can call me Sandi.
-All right, just for one night,

-you're Sandi again.
-You have to call her Sandi.

-You have to call her Sandi.
-Oh, my goodness.

Well, that is
a stunning reveal.

I've gotta say,
you girls know your showbiz

and how to spring a surprise
on the audience.

-That was all Patt's idea.
-Oh, my gosh.

Well, this is a...
a historic occasion.

--Sandi, oh, my God.

♪ Proximatics ♪

♪ It's the latest way
to get things done ♪

♪ And it's fun ♪

♪ Proximatics ♪

♪ Soon will be
the way of life ♪

♪ It's gonna come ♪

♪ All you have to do
is get near ♪

♪ That's true, just like that ♪

♪ You'll pop your toast ♪

♪ Get a little close ♪

♪ Just a little close ♪

♪ Very soon
you'll cook his roast. ♪

Steve, you're nuts.

♪ All you do is get
a little near... ♪

Did you have any inkling

that someday
this would come up again?


No, never.

I think we knew that we weren't
gonna become stars doing this.

-Right. -You know, but it was,
uh, just a wonderful way

to pay the rent and to...

-continue doing what we loved.
-Do what we loved, yeah.

Well, I will correct you
on one point.

45 years later, you are stars.

But getting to The Bathrooms,

I-I know one huge thing
that resulted

from The Bathrooms Are Coming!
for-for you is...

I met my husband
on that show. Yes.

The caveman.

- PATT: Yes. Yes.

-Yes, I chased him until
he caught me. -

STEVE: You marry him, what,
like a year and a half

-after The Bathrooms
Are Coming!? -Yes.

-SANDI: Dave Shelley.
-PATT: Dave Shelley was

my husband's best man.

-STEVE: At your wedding,
at which you danced to... -Yes.

♪ My bathroom, my bathroom. ♪

Just, like,
I could not have imagined

a more, uh, thrilling detail
in my little world.

♪ They said
it couldn't be done ♪

♪ Said it couldn't be done ♪

♪ With Ultra Bath
we went ahead and did it ♪

♪ They said
it couldn't be done ♪

♪ Said it couldn't be done ♪

♪ With Spectra 70
we went and did it... ♪

STEVE: Now we are heading up
to Buffalo Grove

to track down
the elusive Sid Siegel.

I had tried to find Sid
many times over the years.

I thought I had
missed my chance.

I thought he was gone,
but what a delightful surprise

a few months ago to find Patt,
and then Patt says,

"Oh, yeah, Sid, yeah,
he's around."

♪ This is your lucky day... ♪

The man who put pen to paper

and wrote the immortal lines,
"My bathroom,

my bathroom
is a private kind of place."

The impossible dream
has happened.

I found the master, and-and
I'm on the phone with him,

and he's telling me
he did 250 industrials.

He seemed mildly pleased
to hear from me,

but he didn't seem
thrilled or excited.

They say,
"Don't meet your heroes."

What if we just don't click?

♪ The lucky one is... ♪

Oh, my God,
I hope this is gonna be good.

What has he got in there

that I can't get anyplace else
on this planet?

♪ You! ♪

-SID: Steve?


SID: You like my...
you like my, uh...

-door... door chime?
-I do. That was charming.

Hello, Sid.
Pleasure to meet you at last.

-Yeah, at last.
-Yes, here we are.

-May I come in?
-Yes. Who's she?

-Well, those are our
documentary people. -Oh.

Were you surprised when
this 45-year-old production

that you had just done
and moved past

seemed to be catching on
as this underground favorite?

Yes, I discovered

-it was on the Internet

-and was very surprised.

- Everyone laughed about
the bathroom. -

They thought it was gonna be,
"Isn't that funny?"

But it was nothing like that.

It was all about new-new
fixtures for the bathroom.

I want it all changed.

It doesn't do
what a bathroom should do.

It, uh...

it's unsafe, it's inconvenient

- and it's ugly.

When you hear it years later

and you're just somebody

from the outside world,

not in the business,

-it just seems crazy.

Is there any show that
you worked on over the years

that you recall as
a particularly good one?

Oh, yes.

IGA, International Harvester.

Two Hardee's shows I did
were very good

with Tony Randall
and a big cast.

♪ You're a family with pride ♪

♪ You're a family
who's sharing ♪

♪ Always doing your part,
reaching out with your heart ♪

♪ Serving people and caring ♪

♪ And you love
what you're doing ♪

♪ All for Hardee's,
you get things done ♪

♪ You're a family and look
how far you have come... ♪

STEVE: Some of these melodies
and tunes seem so primal

and durable that you wonder,

if they had had
different lyrics

that were not about
a certain company or product,

would everyone in American
know this man

and his, and his work
right now?

♪ If you want a bathroom ♪

♪ We'll give you a bathroom ♪

♪ We're here to serve ♪

-That was it.
-♪ Here to serve ♪

♪ A pink one, a blue one ♪

♪ A tan one, a new one ♪

♪ We're here to serve,
here to serve ♪

- ♪ Our shelves are all full ♪

♪ Yes, we're ready ♪

♪ The line doesn't change,
but it's steady ♪

♪ We're the distributors ♪

♪ Kindly distributors,
give us praise ♪

♪ We carry our customers
90 days ♪

♪ We may be conservative,
but it pays. ♪

Well, that's quite a treat
to be able to sit

in the room with you
and have you play those songs

and let me bellow the lyrics,

which I've been singing
to myself for,

I don't know,
18 or 20 years now

as I go about my daily life.

They're just so darn catchy.
What have you done?

-My biggest fan.
-That's right.

♪ If the patient gets bloody ♪

♪ Real bloody ♪

♪ Surg-O-Pak is the way ♪

♪ If I mess up the cover ♪

♪ We'll get another ♪

♪ We throw the old ones away ♪

♪ We never enjoyed
our operation more ♪

♪ Every complication more ♪

♪ Love that modern
Surg-O-Pak way... ♪

The cleverness of the writing

to incorporate this thing
that you're selling

and being clever enough

to make it
a part of their lives

and show it in ways

that they would never
dream of seeing it.

-♪ Stunning... ♪
-With humor, with sex appeal.

I mean, you can make

the product come alive.

♪ How can we demonstrate
its versatility ♪

♪ Its endless variations
and endless ability ♪

♪ I got a way we can do
the whole bit ♪

♪ The silicone story
as a Broadway hit. ♪

STEVE: Hank Beebe, with his
late partner Bill Heyer,

wrote what I think are

some of the very finest
of these shows.

The lyrics and the music

just, uh, just spoke to me.

When you write something,

sometimes it just
is fun to write.

Other times,
it's-it's pulling teeth.

But we had to make it work.

The silicone number
is a good example.

Silicones had
something like 180 uses,

and they wanted 'em all
in there.

♪ First let's see
what we can see ♪

♪ About the many uses of RTV ♪

♪ The furniture molding
that you see here ♪

♪ Would not have been
possible in yesteryear ♪

♪ But now with RTV, we've got
those molds down cold ♪

♪ And vinyl shoes can also use
a perfect mold ♪

♪ Silicones are just a must ♪

♪ They're also used
on the lunar dust ♪

♪ When man walked on the moon,
picking up stones ♪

♪ The soles of his boots
were made of silicones ♪

♪ As a construction sealant,
it's really worth noting ♪

♪ For industrial roofs,
it's weatherproof coating ♪

♪ It works on the tops
of the big sports domes ♪

♪ For sealing and for caulking
in motor homes ♪

♪ Insulates the transformer
on your TV set ♪

♪ Makes custom ski boots,
the best you can get ♪

♪ It's the coating
on your waistband ♪

♪ To make your waistband
hold... ♪

BEEBE: It went on for, oh, I
don't know, five, six minutes,

something like that.

-Uh, five minutes and
55 seconds. -Five minutes.

Ah, there you go.

Once you started doing
industrial shows,

and these producers

and production companies
found out

that you could handle
all of this material,

-then you worked a lot. A lot.
-STEVE: Mm-hmm.

Must've been surreal
to just do this stuff

that you maybe have
half of an understanding

of what you're even
talking about.

Sometimes no understanding.

Uh, perfect example,
the John Deere tractor company.

I had a long speech that I had
to give about liquid manure.

-And so I learned a little bit
about a lot of things. -Mm-hmm.

Dangerous, dangerous.

I remember one song was...

♪ I'd rather be a Fury
than a Ford. ♪

And through dry ice
and dancing girls,

the-the new Fury would come out

And I remember Andrea Martin
and I doing...

♪ Molded bucket seats,
power at your feet ♪

♪ The-the Chrysler. ♪

Oh, or Andrea and I did
another Spanish number.

♪ Festival nights
with the moon shining bright ♪

♪ That's Cordoba. ♪

I was dancing around
like a monkey.

But what was exciting about it

was because you got paid
more money

than you'd ever gotten paid
as a performer,

and, you know, you'd learn
to sing and dance.

You had to do it.

-You had to do it well.
-STROMAN: If you could book

maybe four industrials a year,

you could survive in New York.

But for me, uh, as a creator,
they actually helped me

develop how I arrange music
for dance,

how I put a show together.

I did learn from them.

♪ Case by case,
we grab the space ♪

♪ In kegs and bottles
and cans ♪

♪ Every detail counts
and the numbers mount ♪

♪ When we're working
hand in hand... ♪

STROMAN: I choreographed
an industrial show

for Miller beer one time,
and they ended up putting

a group of-of lovely dancers

in beer-- giant beer cans.

We were in rehearsal,

and-and the two beer cans
slammed into each other,

and then the girls
couldn't get up.

And of course
that made me hysterical.

I thought it was, like, the
funniest thing I'd ever seen.

- DANCERS: Hooray!

We ended up keeping it in.

Could somebody help me up?

STROMAN: So, doing industrials
gave me confidence.

ESTEY: I mean, it's not
necessarily the material

that you studied, as an actor
prepares with Stanislavski.

But it was about the product.

And you have to...
and one needs to be as sincere

and supportive about
that particular dialogue

as if it were Chekhov
or Shakespeare.

It's just that it's not
the product

it's supposed to be, Frank.

And, Frank, three pickles
instead of four?

-Come on.
-Oh, boy.

- Now you're counting pickles!

I'm losing money
and you're counting pickles!

You guys are some help.

BEEBE: There was therapy
involved, too.

They wanted to teach
their managers

management techniques
that would make things better

for the people involved
in their operations.

So we would write a show
about a manager,

disaffected, of course,
finding ways

that he could find his way back
into the fold.

♪ You tell me that
your profits are down ♪

♪ And things are not
what they used to be ♪

♪ You're ready
to close it down ♪

♪ Well, just take a moment
and listen to me ♪

♪ Wishing won't make a winner ♪

♪ Nothing good in life
comes free ♪

♪ It takes energy,
effort and determination ♪

♪ To get you where
you wanna be... ♪

STEVE: So, the audience
is full of salesmen

-and distributors.
-BEEBE: That's right. Yeah.

And suddenly they were being
shown a version of their world

in which they're heroes
and it's glamorous.

We tried,
we aimed for that at least.

♪ He's important to the buyer ♪

♪ To the dealer and supplier ♪

♪ He's important
to the U.S.A. ♪

STEVE: You think the shows
that you worked on

actually had an effect
on the sales force?

They must've, because they'd
call you back the next year.

It must've worked.

They tell you
that you're the best,

you're the best,
and after awhile,

it really starts to sink in.

It's got them all hyped up
and ready to go back

and-and give it the ol'
Culligan thing again.

Salesmen were really...

they were thrilled

about this whole thing.

And they just went out

like a pep rally.

When you heard these dealers,

my gosh, you'd think
it was some kind of...

I don't know.

Like a religious revival?

Yeah, or a sexual experience.

I don't know
how you would exactly, uh...

But they were like, "Whoa!

The new cars!"

That was exciting to see
how excited they were.

STROMAN: Industrial shows
seemed to just disappear.

I don't know what happened.

The car shows
kind of fizzled out a bit,

and so did the, uh,
the other types of products.

♪ Now look at me
and I'll put you wise ♪

♪ I'm the spirit
of free enterprise ♪

♪ And I'm gonna be with you
through every day... ♪

For years, Detroit was a symbol

of what made America great,

and what Detroit made,
the world wanted.

It is over, perhaps forever.

♪ I've been with you
a long time... ♪

Only thing I can say is move
somewhere else.

The shock that hit Wall Street

was just the beginning.

The next will hit
the American economy itself.

It's a bloodbath
out there today.

-♪ Now I came here... ♪
-STEVE: By the late '80s,

with economics
and tastes changing,

what had had a great golden era
for a few decades

had fallen apart.

It was tough going,

because it was winding down.

They just stopped, and so we,
who relied on industrials

to a great extent,
were out of work.

♪ Everywhere you go... ♪

Oh, get used to the idea

of life without
your Top Ten list every night.

In another seismic shift
in the world

of late night television,
David Letterman,

host of the Late Show on CBS,
says he is retiring next year.

Paul and I will be
wrapping things up

and, uh, taking a hike.

Thank you.
Thanks to everybody.

Yes. And the cast.

Some official bureaucratic
notice or something.

Your separation agreement.

Oh, ooh, review the document.

Well, I'm not really sure
what this all means,

but I will review the document
at my leisure.

I've had a steady job
and a steady paycheck

for so long
that I've never really had

to think about month to month,
what am I gonna do next?

And now I-I'm almost
50 years old,

and I haven't had to look
for a job

in a quarter of a century.

♪ There was an S.O.S. ♪

♪ Survivors afloat ♪

♪ Then to the rescue came ♪

♪ A simple fishing boat ♪

♪ We were there ♪

♪ We were there... ♪

It's at the point
where I realize, uh,

everything that I do every day
that I'm so familiar with,

it's gonna be over.

What does a comedy writer
with comedy damage do

when he's still got
a fair amount of time left

-in his career?

There are several items
set aside there

in the costume room;
I hope that's okay.

Well, it's okay.

I just want to tell you that

Alan would not fit
the, uh, Communist hat.

He has such a large head, so
we'll have to deal with sizes.

Yeah. D-Do you have
a smaller head for him?

- SUSAN: Pardon?

STEVE: Good Lord, Susan, these
are the final days of Rome.

We have to do what we can do
to make this happen.

Ah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

STEVE: Yeah, I can save all the
scripts and whatever I write,

but there's something about
a show and music

that if it's... if it's
not alive and being heard,

then it's really...
it's really gone.

And so I feel a kinship
with so many of these people

who worked on projects

and shows that they knew
the best case scenario

was it was gonna be
a tremendous success

and people would leave saying,
"Wow, that was terrific,"

but that was the end forever.

Oh, look at that.

More programs.

An International Harvester

You realize how rare
these things are?

-You probably have the only
ones in the world. -Yeah.

Star World '79, another one
I've never heard of.

Yeah, that was a big one.

-STEVE: Las Vegas announcement.
-Went to two...

two cities, I believe.

STEVE: Did you ever ask for
a discount on a car or truck?

No, they didn't offer me.

Oh, you gotta ask, Sid.

Oh, look at this.
This is beautiful.

"We're number one."

Amoco, Chicago North District.

So these weren't even

national conventions.

-This was a regional show.
-No. Regional.


-What does it say?
-Oh, my goodness.

-Burny Brothers.
-It says Burny Brothers Bakery.

That's the '70s.

STEVE: That looks like
a sexy show, Sid.

Yeah, yeah, it was.

- It's all about b-bakery goods.

Did you get some free rolls?

--Sid, you're killing me.

You gotta ask for free stuff.

Okay, from now on.

All right.
I'm gonna be your manager,

and I'm gonna make, uh, some
outrageous demands from now on.

You did these shows
very quickly.

You moved on and you did
the next one and the next one.

And it all became a blur.

And it's been nice for me that,
40 or 50 years later,

I get to tell somebody,
"You know,

I really enjoyed this thing
you wrote in 1966."

They never had the time
or the luxury to really assess

what they were doing.

So we have found the lost
Library of Alexandria here.

That's right.

STEVE: Is it okay if I go up
and take a look?

Be my guest. I'm glad for it.

-STEVE: Dig through stuff.

I dreamed of being an
archeologist when I was a kid,

like Howard Carter,

uh, uncovering the tomb
of King Tut,

and this is probably as close
as I'm ever gonna get to that.

Well, you dug me up.

I did, and you're-you're still
walking the Earth, thank God.

Oh, my God,
the actual material here

from the-the
Seagram's Symphony.

A whole batch of RCA stuff
I've never heard of.

And this is just like
one one-thousandth

- of what's up here.

Oh, it's... it's thrilling
and fatiguing to look at this.

For every one I know, there's
probably dozens and dozens

of things
that were never recorded.

That's right.

Do you, do you feel regretful
about that?

-Do you think, "Oh, I wish..."
-I-I did for a minute.

When Nancy and I would sit
at the show

and listen to the overture and
realize that's the last time

we're gonna hear that overture,

and then hear
the opening number,

last time
we're gonna hear that.

It was a bittersweet time.

STEVE: Are you proud
of what you did in this world?

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Working with
the captains of industry

to improve the lives
of the people in the audience,

and then fanning out from
there, uh, the general public.

I was part of it.

Did your family understand

what you were doing
with these shows?

BEEBE: No, they didn't.

It was a tragedy for me
at the time.

My mother wanted me
to not only play

but to live in Carnegie Hall.

That was her-her dream for me.

And of course,
the way things worked out,

what I was doing

was not something
that she was proud of.

Uh, she said, not to me
but to someone else--

I guess it was Nancy--

"Why, it's nothing but
a bunch of commercials."

And, uh, when I heard that,
it-it really hurt me,

you know, that-that
she didn't see what I saw.

It bothered me, at the time,

that when people would say,
"Well, and what do you do?"

and I'd say, "Well, I mainly do
industrial theater,"

and they... and they didn't
know what it was.

-That only the-the employees

inside these companies knew

-and the general public
didn't know. -Mm-hmm.

How can there be something

so large and so crazy
in the world

that we had no idea of?

This is too good
to just let disappear.

Unless I'm greatly mistaken,

there's something
really valuable

and memorable
and worthwhile here

that I would like to do my part
to preserve.

♪ Everybody waits
for miracles ♪

♪ Everybody wants a sign ♪

♪ Every lifetime
has a moment ♪

♪ When all of tomorrows
combine ♪

♪ In an instant,
you see everything ♪

♪ All your juices start
to flow... ♪

STEVE: I was just bursting
with this feeling that

I want the world to see
the crazy, thrilling excitement

that's in this that we weren't
supposed to have at all.

♪ It's time... ♪

♪ Out of my way
'cause it's time ♪

STEVE: There was no guy,
and now there's a guy,

and thank God there's a guy
because this stuff

needed a guy,
and I was the guy.

♪ It's time. ♪

Ladies and gentlemen,

you're in for
a special treat tonight.

Please welcome
a good friend of ours

and longtime staff writer,
Steve Young, come on out.

SHAFFER: ♪ Steve Young's
Record Collection ♪

- ♪ It's wack, that's a fact ♪

♪ MP3s and CDs ♪

♪ Lots of vinyl, that's final ♪

-♪ Here comes Steve. ♪
-Hi. Welcome back.

-Nice to have you
on the program. -Dave. Hi.

-Thank you.
-Before we get started,

I'd like to point out
that you're the coauthor

of this, uh, fascinating book.

Tell people what we're
looking at there,

Everything's Coming Up

STEVE: Yes, it's a book about
one of the least known

and least understood musical
genres that ever existed.

This is Fresh Air.

I'm Terry Gross.
With us is Steve Young

who has a whole new book
about industrial musicals.

Steve, do you have
another favorite?

STEVE: Do you have a...
a York air conditioner song?

Oh, I like that one!

Yes, excuse me.

Some of these are just
so much fun.

MURPHY: You know,
the response is great.

I-I think people get it
the same way we get it,

which is nice.

STEVE: Every time I look
at the book, I think, "Yes!"

And if we hadn't done it,

I-I don't know that anyone
ever really would've.

It's been a long time coming,
but I'm very proud

how it turned out.

-Oh, this...
-Oh, it's wonderful.

-Hard copy.

I'll show you the pages
that have

some of your...
your work on it.

After the book came out,

I got an e-mail
from a young woman

in the Midwest, and she said,

"Oh, my God.

My dad made that

She was very excited
and brought it home and said,

"Dad, you're finally

STEVE: These people have given
me a great deal of their time,

letting me talk to them

and seeing stuff
in their collections.

I just wanted to make sure that

they were able to hold the...
the book in their hands.

Michael Brown, he...

after the book was done,
he passed away.

But, you know, we all felt
just so good

that it made him so happy.

You have come out and said,

"Look, this is what was
happening back then,

"and it was important,

and it gave pleasure
to people."

I think, just pleasure.

So you would tell people
that yes,

they should buy the book
at full retail price?

Oh, yes, absolutely.
No question about that.

On a purely logical basis,

I shouldn't be here.

I should never have met Sid,

who wrote music
I wasn't supposed to hear.

But I did hear Sid's music,

I did meet him,
and here I am this evening.

Life can be so rich
and wonderful

when we step off
the logical path

and embark
on eccentric adventures.

Getting to know people like Sid
and Patt and their families

and becoming a little part
of their lives,

it has meant so much to me
to be able to say to Sid,

and others like him,
"Your work is great.

"Your work has not
been forgotten.

Your work endures."

Thank you, Sid, for a
wonderful, eccentric adventure.

And just that I merited
inclusion here

is-is very touching.

At first, I was looking at it
very practically,

from a record collecting

I focused on people
that I thought

could find me more records.

I certainly never thought
I would end up making friends

with people
all over the country

and getting to know
their families

and being part
of these emotional reunions

and these moments
that really...

It was far more than...

than you would think
you would get into

when you start looking
for a ridiculous record album

to make a joke about.

So, what do you think?

What-what will we
be doing next?

You've got a million things
on the plate.

Yes, and I should make
a clear

five to seven dollars
from them,

if I'm lucky,
over the next year.

Good-bye, Joe.
I love you. You're my buddy.

I've enjoyed working with you

I've enjoyed it, too.

♪ Times have changed
since I was around ♪

Bye, Kirsch. Bye, Zach.

-♪ Times have changed ♪
-Bye, Mike.

♪ It's clear ♪

♪ Things that once
were wondrous to me ♪

♪ Are now no longer here ♪

♪ There are other things
more wondrous now ♪

♪ It's all been rearranged ♪

♪ Well, I guess there's always
somebody saying ♪

♪ My, how times
have changed... ♪

Are you out for the day, Steve?

Yeah, I don't think
I'm going back in,

so let's have our-our hug

while we have our, uh,
large, awkward items.


It was great working
with you, man.

It was great
working with you, too.

A lot of fun.

MR. MORTON: Well, what do
you think of that, Charlie?

Wow, Mr. Morton.

Xerox is the greatest!

Sales keep climbing
and climbing.

Yes, you're right, Charlie.

But a dream
is an unending thing.

Always changing.

Always growing.

Always on the threshold
of an exciting future.

Our dream,

our dream of destiny
is yet to be fulfilled,

and today we know more than
ever that this fulfillment

is within our reach.

STEVE: Thank you all
for coming out tonight.

This evening, I'm going
to lead you through a door,

- a door that's usually locked.

It's marked
"authorized personnel only."

On the other side of that door,

you're going to see
and hear things

-you were never meant to see
or hear. -

RIVERA: Should there be
another lifetime,

I would always
want to come back

and be in the theater,
because the theater is life.

You talk to people.
You tell them stories.

You watch them enjoy it
or be moved by it.

You're part of people's lives.

Even when applied
to the project of selling

a piece of
agricultural equipment?


BEEBE: Musical theater
is our art form,

American art form.

Opera is Europe's,

but this is ours.

It's peculiarly American.

STEVE: And if the musical
is the American art form,

then the industrial musical
is the hyper-American art form.

Absolutely, absolutely.

I think it has
an unexpected importance

that you and certainly I
would never have noticed

when I was holding up
the records on the show.

It, uh, illuminates

an American business world

that doesn't exist
at all anymore,

and that says a lot about the
change between now and then.

You know, people were lifers.

They would work for Kinney
Shoes their entire career.

I don't even think
you could anymore.

BIAFRA: The people who made
these cars cared about them,

so they could say, "Yeah, I'm
part of this, I made this."

You don't get that now.

an extremely important part

of the entertainment industry.

It was important to me,
both financially

and as an education.

HENDERSON: I'm very proud
of those shows.

I think some companies

might think about
doing it again, Steve,

and you should be the producer.

-STEVE: Okay.
-Maybe you should star in it.

Since the book came out,

I've found,
to my surprise somewhat,

that there is more
of this industrial

sort of work still going on,

very much in, uh,
the old tradition.

I have to believe
that I can do it.

- And you know what?

I truly believe I can!

STEVE: So, a few companies have
kept the flame alive.

I've seen, uh,
Walmart: The Musical,

less than ten years old.

Really very much like
an old line industrial

with a plot and characters
set in a Walmart store.

I don't know if this night
has been real

or some incredible dream

or if we've been inhaling
too many fumes

- from the paint department.

Maybe the wheel has turned

and what-what is old
is new again.

BOLLES: I hope everyone becomes
interested in it.

-Yeah. -'Cause then I can sell
the ones I don't care about

for lots of money.

- STEVE: Capitalist pig.

Well, I learned that
by listening to these records.

- I really got motivated

to, to sell, sell, sell.

You know her,

the brunette from
The Bathrooms Are Coming!

Ladies and gentlemen, please
welcome Patt Stanton Gjonola.

-Come on over here, Patt.

♪ My bathroom... ♪

♪ My bathroom ♪

♪ Is a private kind of place ♪

♪ Very special kind of place ♪

♪ The only place
where I can stay ♪

♪ Making faces at my face ♪

--♪ I'm free... ♪

My friend, my hero,
your hometown hero,

Mr. Hank Beebe.

PATT: ♪ I've closed out
the world, I'm free ♪

-♪ I'm free ♪
-That's right.

-♪ I'm free... ♪
-Come on over here, Hank.

You know her as Femma.

Here she is,
my friend, SuEllen.

Where are you, SuEllen?

There she is.

♪ In my bathroom... ♪

-Thank you so much.
-See you soon. Coffee.

-Coffee, yes.

♪ Is much more
than it may seem ♪

♪ Where I wash
and where I cream ♪

♪ A special place ♪

♪ Where I can stay and cream ♪

♪ And dream and dream ♪

♪ And dream ♪

♪ Dream. ♪

PATT: I felt like I was in
a stadium with 20,000 people.

I mean, to me,
that's how it sounded.

I just haven't received
that kind of appreciation

for my talent.

Uh, you know,
my husband was the star.

It was just, it was really,
really nice.

You know.

Getting to know

a lot of these veterans
from the field

has... opened up my ability

to... be receptive to people.

Whereas before,
they might have just passed

through my field of vision
without a thought,

or I might have made
some snap judgment

in a snarky way.

Now I think,
"That-that old guy?

"He might be
the Sid Siegel of something.

"That woman there, that might
be the Patt Stanton Gjonola

"of some realm of creative work
that I will never know,

but she might be fantastic."

HANNAH: You know, everyone
says, like, be yourself

and do what you want to do,
but he definitely showed me

that I can do
whatever I want to do,

even if it's something weird

- that literally no one else has
ever heard about. -

STEVE: It's gone further
than I've imagined.

Now I'm working on songs
with Hank Beebe.

I saw his name in 1995
on a record album,

and just thought,
"Who's that guy?"

But it is a thrill

to be...
on a piece of music paper

where it's his name
and my name.


that's, uh, worth a stack
of records to the moon.

♪ If your life is gray
and normal ♪

♪ And you're wishing
there was more ♪

♪ Clues about
a different world ♪

♪ May whisper, come explore ♪

♪ That little voice
inside you ♪

♪ Knows how rich
your life could be ♪

♪ Even though
most people cannot see ♪

♪ The things you see... ♪

♪ Take that step,
shine your light ♪

♪ That left turn
might be right ♪

♪ Don't wait for the world
to say okay ♪

♪ Find your own way ♪

♪ Find that path
others missed ♪

♪ Life is grander
with a twist ♪

♪ There's that knock
you've heard before ♪

♪ Open that door ♪

♪ You may find that selling ♪

♪ Is what you're born to do ♪

♪ Or singing or collecting ♪

♪ Is what makes you feel
like you ♪

♪ Take that step,
shine your light ♪

♪ That left turn
might be right ♪

♪ Don't wait for the world
to say okay ♪

♪ Find your own way ♪

♪ You may find
you're doing jazz hands ♪

♪ When someone says Dow Jones ♪

♪ Or maybe you start dancing ♪

♪ When you hear silicones ♪

-♪ Silicones ♪
-♪ Silicones ♪

♪ Silicones ♪

♪ Take that step ♪

♪ Open that door ♪

♪ Hear a song
and you may realize ♪

♪ Now you have the power ♪

♪ There's a sparkle
in your eyes ♪

♪ You want to sell a shower ♪

♪ The more we keep on moving ♪

♪ Stepping toward our dream ♪

♪ The more we find our people ♪

♪ We are stronger as a team ♪

♪ Take that step,
shine your light ♪

♪ That left turn
might be right ♪

♪ Don't wait for the world
to say okay ♪

♪ Find your own way ♪

♪ Find that path
others missed ♪

♪ Life is grander
with a twist ♪

♪ There's that knock ♪

♪ Open that door ♪

♪ Take that step ♪

♪ It'll change your life ♪

♪ Take that step ♪

♪ It'll change your life ♪

♪ Take that step,
take that step ♪

♪ It'll change your life ♪

♪ Take that step ♪

♪ It'll change your life... ♪

♪ It'll change your life. ♪