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The Hold-Up

The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour

The Hold-Up

Feb 14 1935


HOST, Rudy Vallee

TOM, the comic; childlike

GEORGE, the straight man; tough

LADY, friendly and helpful

OFFICER, polite, pleasant



HOST: Tom Howard and George Shelton. Tom and George have declared a truce in their Thursday night argument in order to present a sketch which has long been a favorite with Tom's stage following, a little drama called "The Hold-Up." Tom Howard and George Shelton. 



HOST: The scene -- a street on the East Side, New York. An upright citizen, played by Tom Howard, is walking along minding his own business when suddenly--


GEORGE: Stick 'em up!

TOM: Stick--? Stick what up? Who--? What--? What is this, huh?

GEORGE: Come on, come on! I'm holdin' you up.

TOM: Aw, wait a minute. You can't hold me up. You're a perfect stranger to me.

GEORGE: Come on, nix on the chatter! Where's your money?

TOM: I, er-- Oh, the money?


TOM: I usually carry it in a small pocket-- Yeah, down there.

GEORGE: That all you got?

TOM: Yeah. I didn't know you were comin' or I'd had more, y'see. I didn't know--

GEORGE: Don't make a squawk or I'll drill ya full of lead!

TOM: Oh, yeah. Yes, sir. Say, do you--? You make all right doin' that kind of stuff, huh?

GEORGE: Well, you could do the same thing if you wanted to.

TOM: What? Do you mean hold people up?

GEORGE: Why, certainly. 

TOM: Yes?

GEORGE: All you gotta do is take this gun--

TOM: Yes?

GEORGE: Somebody comes along, you stick the gun in their face, go in their pockets, and get the money.

TOM: Oh! That's easy! Gun in their pockets, hand in the--

GEORGE: No, no! Gun in the face!

TOM: Oh, yeah. I--

GEORGE: Take this gun now.

TOM: I don't need a reference or anything?

GEORGE: No, you don't need it at all. I'm gonna run down the street.

TOM: Huh?

GEORGE: I'm gonna run down the street--

TOM: Okay.

GEORGE: --and I'll be back in five minutes.

TOM: I'll hold 'em up. I'll hold the--

GEORGE: Watch out now.

TOM: What? 

GEORGE: Here comes a girl now.

TOM: Customer already?

GEORGE: (MOVING OFF) Yeah. Be sure to get some money from her now.

TOM: Oh, leave her to me! That's easy! Gun in the face! Hand in the pockets! And get the money. (TO LADY) Just a minute. Just a minute, let me see your driver's license. I mean, stick - stick up your hands.

LADY: What is this?

TOM: Stick 'em up!

LADY: Who are you?

TOM: (HEMS AND HAWS) I'm a-- I'm a hold-up fella here. Hold-up man.

LADY: Oh, and are you holding me up?

TOM: Yes, ma'am. See? There's the gun right there. See the gun? I got it here.

LADY: (IMPRESSED, FRIENDLY) Isn't that nice?

TOM: You like it?

LADY: Why, yes.

TOM: Where's your money? Where's your money?

LADY: Oh, I haven't any money.

TOM: You haven't got any money?!


TOM: Well-- I can't hold you up if you haven't got any money, lady.

LADY: Oh, but I didn't know you were going to hold me up.

TOM: Oh, you didn't know?


TOM: (THOUGHTFUL) Yeah. That's right, too. (BEAT) I didn't know I was gonna be here myself. I just-- Just got the job a little while ago.

LADY: If I had only known.

TOM: Yeah. If I had dropped ya a card or somethin'.

LADY: Mm hm.

TOM: Yeah. Well-- I - I don't know what we're gonna do. I--

LADY: I could get some.

TOM: You could get some?

LADY: Mm hm.

TOM: Where at?

LADY: At the bank.

TOM: Today?

LADY: Oh, no, not today any more. Y'see, the banks are closed till tomorrow.

TOM: Yeah, that's right. St. Vallee's-- Valentine's-- Yeah. --Day. When could you get it, lady?

LADY: Tomorrow.

TOM: Tomorrow?

LADY: Mm hm.

TOM: Uh huh. What time tomorrow?

LADY: Oh, 'bout ten o'clock.

TOM: Ten o'clock, huh?

LADY: Mm hm.

TOM: (THOUGHTFUL, TO HIMSELF) Well, now, ten o'clock. I gotta go to the dentist at nine. Let me see. Well, I-- (TO LADY) How much do you think you could get?

LADY: Around -- five hundred dollars?

TOM: Five hundred dollars?

LADY: Mm hm.

TOM: Mm hm. (BEAT) Well, I guess that would be all right. Five hundred dollars. I, uh-- I tell you what you do. Could you get five hundred dollars out of the bank and meet me here tomorrow about quarter after ten? Would that be convenient for you?

LADY: Why, yes, that'll be all right.

TOM: Yeah. Well, you do that then, lady, and I'll hold you up and take the money, huh? 

LADY: All right.

TOM: Oh, and just another thing before-- You see, I'm very forgetful and I may forget the gun in the morning, ya see. So without the gun, I couldn't hold you up. You realize that, don't you?

LADY: Oh, yes.

TOM: So could you take the gun with you and bring it back in the morning with the money, huh?

LADY: Why, yes, I could do that.

TOM: Yeah, that'll save me a lot of trouble.

LADY: Oh, but how do I know that you'll be here?

TOM: Oh, I'll be here. It's my bread and butter-- On the wrong side.

LADY: I know, but somehow I have a feeling that you won't be here.

TOM: What? You think I won't be?

LADY: Uh huh.

TOM: Well, I - I'll - I'll give ya a deposit!

LADY: Oh, that'll be fine.

TOM: Yeah. I'll give ya a five-dollar deposit. That's what I'll do, see? See, if I don't show up -- there! There ya are. That'll pay you for any trouble you have incurred during the interval. Huh? How's that lady? Is that all right?

LADY: That's fine.

TOM: All right, I'll see you-- Oh! Wait. Just a minute. How do I know you'll be here?

LADY: Oh, I'll be here.

TOM: Yes?

LADY: See, I have the gun.

TOM: Yeah, but if you don't come back, you see, I wouldn't have any gun to start with in the morning.

LADY: Well, I tell you what I'll do. 

TOM: Yeah?

LADY: I'll give you an I.O.U. for your five dollars.

TOM: Yeah! You give me a U.I.-- Yeah, that'll protect the both of us, see?

LADY: Now--

TOM: Yes?

LADY: (SPEAKS AS SHE WRITES) I - owe - you - five dollars.

TOM: Five-- Yeah, that's it! That's it.

LADY: Now, uh, you sign here.

TOM: Oh, yeah, I gotta sign on the bottom, yeah. On the bottom line here?

LADY: That's it.

TOM: Yeah. (SPEAKS AS HE WRITES) Tom - Howard. (TO LADY) There ya are, ma'am.

LADY: That's fine.

TOM: Well, I'm very glad to have met you.


TOM: Goodbye! I'm very pleased to have-- A nice girl, you know? Do business in a business way, I like--

GEORGE: (APPROACHES, EXCITED) How'd you make out? 

TOM: Huh?

GEORGE: How'd you make out?

TOM: Oh, you're back, huh?

GEORGE: Yeah, I'm back. Come on.

TOM: Yeah, I'm doin' pretty good.

GEORGE: All right, come on, where's the money?

TOM: The money?


TOM: I didn't get no money yet, but I got a good prospect.

GEORGE: What do you mean you got a good prospect?

TOM: Y'see, a girl come by here, George; says she didn't have any money.


TOM: I didn't let her get away with that.

GEORGE: That's right.

TOM: Huh?

GEORGE: That's right.

TOM: Yeah! I said we gotta have money.


TOM: So she's goin' to get five hundred dollars out of the bank and meet me here tomorrow morning.

GEORGE: (EXPLODES) Meet you here tomorrow morning?!

TOM: Oh, you're gettin' sore.

GEORGE: What are you talkin' about?! You'll never see that girl again!

TOM: What do you mean?! She's gotta come back!

GEORGE: What do you mean she's gotta come back?!

TOM: Didn't I give her a deposit?!

GEORGE: A deposit?!

TOM: Yeah, a five-dollar deposit.

GEORGE: You gave her five dollars of your own money?!

TOM: Sure! 

GEORGE: You'll never see the five dollars or the girl again, I tell ya!

TOM: Don't be foolish. We're protected.

GEORGE: What do you mean we're protected?

TOM: I made her make out a I.O.U. What d'you think?


TOM: I.O.U. for five dollars! She wrote it on the paper!

GEORGE: Did she sign it?

TOM: Well-- What?

GEORGE: Did she sign it?

TOM: No, I signed it.

GEORGE: You signed it! Well, of all the numbskulls!

TOM: What's the matter?

GEORGE: Where were you when brains were given out?

TOM: The girl-- Over your house. The girl wrote it down on the paper there, I know.

GEORGE: I'm gonna give you one more chance.

TOM: I don't think I deserve it, you know?

GEORGE: Give me the gun.

TOM: Huh?

GEORGE: Where's the gun I just gave ya?

TOM: (BEAT) Yeah. 

GEORGE: "Yeah" what?

TOM: That's where I was a wise guy, with the gun, y'see.

GEORGE: What do you mean you were a wise guy?

TOM: You see, I figured if we forget the gun, we couldn't hold her up. Right? So I figure, if she has to come back in the morning anyhow, you see, it kills two birds with the same bush. So she's comin'-- Bring the gun with her, you see?

GEORGE: (EXPLODES) You gave her my good gun?!

TOM: Yeah. You don't--? What?

GEORGE: Well, of all the numbskulls that I've ever run into, you're the limit, you are!

TOM: She'll be back, George.

GEORGE: Say, how much would you charge to haunt a house?

TOM: The girl-- How many rooms? The girl'll be back. I know, George. She'll be back here.

GEORGE: As I said before, I'm gonna give you one more chance!

TOM: Okay.

GEORGE: I got another gun here.

TOM: Yeah, all right.

GEORGE: Now take this gun!

TOM: Yeah.

GEORGE: Remember, the first person come along, gun in the face, hands in the pockets, and get the money!

TOM: No I.O.U.'s?!

GEORGE: No I.O.U.'s!

TOM: Strictly cash.

GEORGE: And no deposits any more. 

TOM: Oh, yeah.

GEORGE: Don't forget that.

TOM: You didn't say that, George. I didn't--


TOM: Huh?

GEORGE: Nix! Here comes a cop.

TOM: Nick? Is that his name?

GEORGE: No, not his name. No.

TOM: Oh, I didn't know who it was. 

GEORGE: I mean the fuzz is on the Erie.

TOM: Oh, I see.

GEORGE: Yeah, yeah, and this is a cop and I don't want him to see you and I talkin' together.

TOM: Oh, yeah. Give me a bad name, maybe.

GEORGE: Give you a bad name?! 

TOM: Go ahead. I--

GEORGE: (MOVING OFF) Now I'll run down the street and I'll be back and I'll bring ya some cigarettes.

TOM: Yeah. Bring cigars, George, I don't smoke cigarettes. I smoke 'em--

OFFICER: (APPROACHES) Well, what are you doin' here?

TOM: Oh. How do you do? A policeman, huh?

OFFICER: Yes, I'm a policeman.

TOM: I knew it right away.


TOM: Yeah, I could tell by that suit.


TOM: Yeah. Funny how you can-- I'm-- Oh, I'm a hold-up fella, see?

OFFICER: Oh. You're a crook, huh?

TOM: Yeah.


TOM: Yeah, I hold up people -- you know, when they come by? Pedestrians.

OFFICER: Yeah, it's a fine business.

TOM: I hold 'em-- Who? What? 

OFFICER: I say, it's a fine business.

TOM: Yeah.


TOM: Ain't very good today.


TOM: No.


TOM: I've been here a half hour, haven't got a nickel yet.

OFFICER: Well, that's too bad.

TOM: Yeah.


TOM: You haven't got any money, have ya? You haven't--?

OFFICER: Ha! No, I don't get paid until the first of the month.

TOM: Oh, I see, yeah. A girl come by a little while ago, she didn't have any mother, either.

OFFICER: Oh, is that so? 

TOM: Well, I guess things are pretty bad all over the country.

OFFICER: Yeah, they're pretty bad, yeah.

TOM: Are you doin' anything tomorrow morning?

OFFICER: Tomorrow morning?

TOM: 'Bout quarter after ten?

OFFICER: Why, no.

TOM: I'm gonna hold a girl up here and take five hundred dollars off her, see? I'm afraid while I'm holdin' her up, a crowd'll get around me, see?


TOM: Could you get over here and sort of keep the crowd back while I'm holdin' her up in the morning?

OFFICER: Yeah, I can do that for you.

TOM: Quarter after ten. Oh, officer!


TOM: Did you ever see a gun like that before?

OFFICER: Let's see it there.

TOM: Yeah, look at that.

OFFICER: That gun is no good.

TOM: There's where the trouble is, I notice here -- snapper don't snap!

OFFICER: The snapper don't snap? 

TOM: Yeah.

OFFICER: You mean the trigger.

TOM: Yeah. Yeah, it don't trig! 


TOM: You see that? It don't trig.

OFFICER: Hasn't even got a hammer.

TOM: Nooooo. Hasn't even got a screwdriver.

OFFICER: Why, we've got guns down at the station house -- better guns than that -- that we're not using.

TOM: Better guns than that?

OFFICER: Mm, better guns than that.

TOM: Down at the station house?

OFFICER: Down at the station house.

TOM: Which way you goin' now?

OFFICER: Oh, I'm going down to the station house right now.

TOM: Yeah?

OFFICER: You wanna come along?

TOM: Yeah, I'll go down with ya.

OFFICER: Come on.