Ruth Buzzi Interview Transcript

Ruth Buzzi

I can remember how happy I was when a fella named, I think it was David Winters who was a director, choreographer, came up to me on the set of Laugh-In, and said that The Monkees were interested—or he suggested that I do this particular part, ’cause they really wanted to hire a much, you know, an old lady, to do this role, and they started thinking of people that they could use who were a lot older than I was at the time, and he suggested me, because he said, hold the phone, you know, to do all the crazy antics that I had to do, swinging around on things and doing crazy dancing and jumping up and down. He said it’ll kill somebody. They’ll have a heart attack, he says, so you should go for Ruth Buzzi. I mean, of course, this was how many years ago? I dunno, thirty? Thirty-five years ago? How long—I don’t know. Long enough that I am obviously messing around with what he said to me, but it was something like that. And I said, oh yeah, sounds great, and we had a fabulous time. First of all, it was great to see that the lead meanie was George Furth, whom I knew very, very well in New York City, and we had done a lot of shows together. We had done musical revues and all funny stuff, and so it was great working with him again, and I hadn’t had much time to see The Monkees, because we were so busy, you know. But I knew who they were. I’d heard the music and everything. And they were terrific to work with. We had just tons of fun. You can see it when you look at the film. How much fun it must have been to shoot, and it was. And they were so wonderful to work with. There was no one who was, you know, playing star or anything. And we just had a great, great time. Just the other day, I called my niece in San Francisco, and she said, “What you doing, Aunt Ruthie?” and I said, “Well, the next thing I’m gonna do that’s very important will be doing this tape for The Monkees for their cassette.” She said, “The Monkees?! Oh! Oh! I just love them! I just love them, Aunt Ruth! Oh! Oh!” I says, I’ve got a tape. You’ll enjoy the show. I just loved it. I hadn’t seen it in all that time, and it’s really funny. “Oh, Aunt Ruth, oh, bring it up the next time you come to visit, oh, please, please, please, Aunt Ruth!” So, that’s where it’s gonna go. With me. That tape, that show. Lot of fun, really.