March 7 1985, Los Angeles, California, USA (televised CBS)
I guess of all the people here tonight, it is I who has been closest to gene throughout the years.
I remember it was the early fifties,and Gene and Stanley Donen were directing a film, and I dropped by to see my pal Gene.
And they were very glum, kinda depressed and I said, ‘what’s the matter?’
And they said, ‘this damn weather. We can’t get this number shot.’
I sat there for a minute, and I said, ‘why don’t you shoot it anyway?’
Stanley Donen said, ‘Get him out of here! I don’t want this guy around.’
Well, the rain kept up, and Stanley said, ‘What the heck, well do what Steve said and we’ll shoot it anyway. Let’s just get this lamppost out of here and we’ll be ready to go.’
I said, ‘leave the lamppost.’
Gene said, ‘But Steve, what’ll I do when I get to the lamppost?’
I said, ‘swing around it a couple of time, make it like a big deal.’
The rest is history.
That film was ‘On the Town’.
The number was cut from the film, and Gene never spoke to me again.