I don't recall what prompted this skit, I had forgotten about it until I starting going back to all my old stuff, but it's very typical of me. Less so of PHC, which is probably why it wasn't used. GK is very much reduced to a straight man here, just trying to correct the "comic," and growing frustrated by the process. That's a bit out of character for his character.
However, the idea that a singer can't come up with the right song when there are dozens of songs about NYC is a pretty solid premise for a sketch. The line "I left my spleen in New Orleans" was a little ditty I'd sing whenever I heard the Tony Bennett standard, developed in a time when I felt I had to put a twist on everything, because that's "what comedy did!" And, there's a bit of topicality here with mentions of Mayor Guilliani, who, thought respected in NYC at the time, was still not thought well of by the NPR liberals, so that line would have gotten a laugh. I'm especially fond of the wrap up and smiled as I re-read the bit while editing it for the blog. Abbott & Costello would have had a fine time with it. Keillior & Co., less so.
I SING OF NYC
GK: New York, legend of film, television and song. And we'd like to perform a medley of New York songs.
SR: My kind of town, New York is---
GK: Hold it. That's not right.
SR: New York isn't your kind of town?
GK; Well, yes it is, but that's not a New York song.
SR: Yes it is. It's got New York in it.
GK: It's supposed to be, "My kind of town, Chicago is." Try again.
SR: I left my heart in New York City---
GK: Now stop right there. That's not a New York song either.
SR: Yes it is. When I bought these songs, I asked for New York songs.
GK: Who'd you buy them from?
SR: Mayor Guilliani.
GK: The song is "I left my heart in San Francisco."
SR: Guilliani isn't the mayor of San Francisco.
GK: From the top.
SR: "I left my heart in San Francisco, I left my spleen in New Orleans..." You're right it does sound better.
GK: Do the next one.
SR: I don't think I will.
GK: You'd better sing it. We promised the people a New York Medley.
SR: They'll understand.
GK: I won't. Sing the song.
SR: Neeeeew York City, where the wind comes sweeping down the plains---
GK: Hold it, hold it. Now that's just silly. Did you think that was a New York song?
GK: Think about it, man. That can't be a New York song. There are no plains in New York.
SR: Sure there are. At Kennedy Airport.
GK: Let's just move on.
SR: "The hills are alive with the sound of traffic---"
GK: No, they're alive with the sound of music.
SR: Not in my neighborhood.
GK: Push on, maybe no one will notice.
SR: (ala Jolson) New York, how I loves ya, how I loves ya, my dear New Yorky---
GK: "New Yorky?"
GK: This isn't turning out well at all. Perhaps we'll hand out pamphlets about the city instead.
SR: I'm sorry, I tried, I really did, but I just couldn't think of a song.
GK: You couldn't think of a New York song?
SR: No, I choked. I went blank. And it's so ridiculous because I Love New York
GK: Because it's so exciting.
SR: Yes! Yes, it's a helluva town. The east side, west side, all around the town, every street's a boulevard in old New York. 'Cause when you get stuck between the moon and New York City, it's everything they say and no place that I'd rather be---
GK: Where else can you do a half a million things and all at a quarter to three?
SR: Exactly! Any where, take the train, take the bus, take Manhattan, the Bronx and Staten Island, too. And especially now, with summer in the city, because I love New York in June, although autumn in New York is very nice, also. Most of the time I'm in a New York state of mind. I want to be a part of it.
GK: New York?
SR: New York! 'cause if I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere. But I couldn't think of a medley!
GK: That's a shame. Well, you tried.
SR: Well, I'll be going now.
GK: Where are you going?
SR: Forty second street.
GK: Give my regards to Broadway.
SR: Okay..Hey, wait a second!
GK: I'm sorry, we're out of time, maybe next week.