Created for Albert Salmi
By His Fans
Albert had a wonderful sense of humor, but he very rarely had
a chance to show it to us. Let’s be his script writers and give
him some roles that he could’ve really had fun with!
Poems and Sketches:
Ballad of Albert
Albert Settles Actors’ Residuals
Albert on The Beverly Hillbillies
Jonny Cobb Sketch
Albert and Dino
The Devil and Mr. Feathersmith
Power Play Revisited
Something Big – Revisited
Would you like to write a comedy scene for Albert? Feel free to
contribute your ideas. Contact Sandra Grabman at
Power Play Revisited
“Don’t Keep Wild Things
In a Cage!”
By Klaus D. Haisch
Title illustration by Mike McKiernan
The original Untouchables episode was filmed in 1961.
Albert was born in 1928 and was 33 at the time. He is 6’2”.
Mary was born in 1932 and was 29 at the time. She is 5’8”.
Cast of Main Characters. . .
1) Steve “Country Boy” Parrish (Albert Salmi), a loveable,
simple country boy who got caught up in crime. He just wants to return to the
simple country life.
2) Emmy Sarver (Mary Fickett), man-hungry woman whose biological clock
is ticking – like a time bomb!
3) Eliot Ness (Robert Stack), head of the Untouchables.
4) Agent Enrico Rossi (Nicholas Georgiade), Ness’ Italian
5) Agent Lee Hobson (Paul Picerni), Ness’ trusted pal.
6) Willard Thornton (Wendell Corey), on the surface, a Reformer out to
clean up crime – but secretly a big crook himself.
7) Barney Lubin (Carroll Connor), a crooked lawyer, isn’t that
NARRATOR: Toward the end of 1932,
the power of Chicago’s Underworld seemed to be waning. But by
summer of the following year, a new wave of crime had engulfed the city.
Gangsters firing machine guns. Car bombs exploding. Summer of 1933, the
city of Chicago has voted Willard Thornton to the post of heading a civic
group designed to eliminate crime, and get some arrests. At a press
conference, Thornton promises to get some arrests, while saying a bit
ironically that he does not “criticize any established law enforcement
agency” (Eliot Ness is standing right next to him), for failing to do so.
Thornton makes the sly implication that Ness is not “really”
responsible that there have been no major arrests lately. Eliot does not trust
Late one night, Eliot Ness, Enrico Rossi and Lee Hobson follow a small-time
crook named Joey Loomis to the Central States Pharmaceuticals warehouse.
The Untouchables break in and find something not in the official inventory
– heroin. Joey’s capture, and the $80,000 heroin bust, causes
a meeting of 5 big-time gangsters, early afternoon the following day, on a
south-bound train from Chicago. Barney Lubin is serving drinks to Felix Varsack,
representing the Al Capone mob. Wally Jater, former lieutenant of Bugs Moran.
Steve Parrish, the Enforcer, they called him “Country Boy,”
or “Country” for short. And one more, known only to the other
4 – he had organized this merger in crime – Willard Thornton!
Even though Eliot Ness couldn’t hold Joey, because he knew nothing
of the heroin deal, the Big Bosses decide Joey must be rubbed out.
Thornton says, “Take care of it, Country.”
Steve is a tall, good-looking, country boy type. Clean cut, with a neatly
trimmed moustache. He had been standing there, leisurely leaning against
a wall, peeling an apple with his pocket knife, when Thornton gave him that
order. More surprised than trying to argue with him, Steve says, “Me?
You know I’m pullin’ out.” Yes, he is such a simple,
good-natured, and naive country boy, he actually thinks that someone in so
deep with the Syndicate as he is, can just retire anytime he likes, and no one
will have any objections. (Like any long-time employee could just retire when
he’s put in his time, and the company would tell him, “happy
retirement.”) He doesn’t realize that Thornton could just as
easily give someone the order to kill him, and Country would never knew
what hit him.
Thornton tells him, “One more job.” All the mobsters give
Country a steely, icy glare.
“Well, I don’t know,” Steve says, almost in a
conversational tone. “I bought the farm, my train leaves first thing
in the morning.” Ironic choice of words – he doesn’t
realize that if he disobeys a direct order from Thornton, he will “buy
the farm” alright!
Thornton accommodates, and tells him, “Then do it tonight.
You owe it to us.”
Steve thinks about the situation for a moment. Joey Loomis used to
be a dope pusher. He got a lot of young people hooked on drugs, and
several had died from overdosing. Rubbing out Joey was removing a
stain from society. Joey had had the bad habit of using too much dope
himself instead of selling it. Now, he was no longer a pusher, just a
junkie. Steve says softly, “This once. Okay?” He is so
naive, he still thinks that by doing one last job, he will be able to leave
the Syndicate with their blessings. Steve doesn’t realize, when
you are in this deep, you are in for life. The only way you leave is by
being thrown in jail for the rest of your life, or by dying (usually by being
Thornton tells Country to get off at Kankakee (about 59 miles south
of Chicago), and he can do the job, and get back in plenty of time. So
as not to arouse any suspicion, or to establish alibis in case Country
gets caught, they all get off at different stops. Thornton will travel all the
way to Springfield (200 miles south of Chicago) before taking a plane
back to Chicago – he is having dinner with the Governor in
In town, on a sidewalk, Steve is combing his hair. A street vendor
is heating peanuts; Steve helps himself to a free handful, and walks
away. This “outlaw&rldquo; mentality is something he enjoys,
on a small scale. He doesn’t notice the car behind him –
he is being tailed by Ness and his men. The Feds don’t recognize
him just then, because it’s too dark. They watch him as Steve
goes into a dive with the sign “Rooms for Rent.” Upstairs,
Steve knocks on the door of room 32. Joey thinks Steve is there to give
him a fix. Instead, Steve slowly unfolds his shiv. For a moment,
Steve’s face lights up in a grin; to him this is fun, just like hunting
possum or bear or rabbit.
Ness and his men run upstairs, and find Joey stabbed to death.
Since the back door to the building is locked, Steve must still be in the
building. The Feds go door to door. When Ness kicks in the door of room
34, there is a man calmly reading the newspaper. Ness gets a good look
at him now, and says, “Country Boy Parrish.”
Country Boy is NOT a hardened criminal. He couldn’t even
lie with a straight face, which is a prerequisite. And he knows he
can’t lie, having been brought up an honest country boy. So he
is just toying with Ness when he says, “You got a nerve
bustin’ in here. Can’t a man read his paper?”
Steve knows Eliot is seeing right through his little “playing
innocent” routine. Poor Steve still thinks this is all a big joke
– he is retiring from the mob (he thinks). Eliot won’t be
able to make any charges stick, for knifing Joey (no witnesses, and the
mob will bail him out, he thinks).
Eliot Ness does NOT have a sense of humor with crooks trying to
“play cute” with him! As big and strong as Steve is, an
angry Eliot Ness pulls him out of his chair with one hand, and pushes
him backwards into the waiting arms of Lee Hobson, who quickly frisks
Some muffled groans from the closet reveal the real tenant of room
34. Steve is calm as he tells Ness, “I’ll come along for
the ride,” and adds, “I’ll be out on bail before
your booking slip is dry.” (He still doesn’t realize that a
possible manslaughter charge brought against him by the Feds is nothing
compared to what the mob will do to him.)
Because of that wisecrack, Eliot “hands”
Steve’s hat to him – with a thrust to his bread basket
that knocks the wind out of Steve. And Ness, known for not being able
to restrain his temper at crooks, pushes Steve out the door with such
force that Steve is off-balance for several steps. Good thing the stairway
wasn’t directly outside the door – he would have fallen
down the stairs, with his behind feeling every step!
Later, at Barney Lubin Bail Bonds, Barney gets on the blower and
gives a quick message to Thornton, “Ness again!” he
says with irritation, and adds, “He’s got the Country
In Fed headquarters, Ness, Rossi, Hobson and Captain Johnson
grill Steve Parrish, giving him the 3rd degree. Ness is rolling up his
sleeves; Country Boy is calmly adjusting his tie and vest, to keep his
neat, cool appearance. Usually it’s the suspect who asks for
a glass of water; but Steve is acting real cool, and says a bit
sarcastically, “You better get yourself a glass of water, Mr.
Ness. It sounds like you’re losing your voice.”
He is really playing with fire. He knows Ness would like nothing
better than to punch him for his sarcasm, but Ness has to control himself.
When Ness explains the scenario of the mob wanting Joey dead,
Steve says playfully, “And YOU think I killed him. Tsk, tsk,
tsk.” After saying how there are no witnesses, Steve adds,
“I’m not gonna be here long,” and starts to rise
out of his chair. Ness pushes him back down in his chair with a
Steve’s face lights up when shyster attorney Lubin shows up,
offering to post the $100,000 bond using a property on Erie Street as
collateral. Ness keeps Parrish in jail overnight, while he checks to see
what the property is really worth.
At the Public Library, Lubin meets with Thornton. Thornton has decided
to use $100,000 cash to spring Parrish. Lubin is afraid Parrish will sing,
even if he’s free on bail. Thornton says with finality, “Dead
birds don’t sing.”
The collateral property is only worth $38,000 – minus $31,000
in liens! Then Ness gets the bad news from Capt. Johnson that Parrish
was sprung on $100,000 cash. Eliot’s frustration is obvious
– once again, he caught a crook, only to have the legal system set
him free. That night, Lubin takes Parrish for a ride. In gangster parlance,
this is the infamous “one way ride,“ where one person never
comes back. The only unusual thing about this is that Steve, the one
fingered to be rubbed out, is doing the driving.
Lubin pulls out his gat and tells Steve to turn right down a dirt
side-road.It isn’t until Lubin comes right out and tells him, that
Steve finally realizes they aren’t driving to Thornton’s
place – Thornton has double-crossed him and wants him dead.
In desperation, Steve fights with Lubin to get the heater away from him.
The car crashes, and hits a telephone pole with such force that the
pole is split in two. From the crashed car, there is the sound of 2 slugs
being fired. Steve crawls out of the burning car. His clothes look a
In the small town of “Five Points” (so named because
there are 5 roads leading in and out) we first see Emma Sarver, who runs
the local diner. 29 years old, she is the most man-hungry woman in the
county. Tall (5’8”) and slim, she could be attractive if
she dressed nicer, but is dressed in tomboy fashion. Baggy blue jeans,
plain working shoes, and white socks (no stockings for her). A shirt
instead of a blouse (and a dark shirt with two pockets, the kind that a
male gas station attendant might wear, at that), and an old knitted
sweater with oversized buttons. Her light brown hair is done up in a
practical, but not very flattering, style.
Emma also runs the gas pumps. She is fueling a truck for a couple
of middle-aged, overweight truckers, as an attractive motorcycle cop
pulls up. His name’s Pete, and he fills her in that a killer is on
the loose (Parrish) and about the murdered Lubin. The first fat trucker
quips the guy must have killed himself rather than eat Emma’s
cooking. All the men kid Emma just like she was “one of the
guys.” She usually takes the kidding good-naturedly (or
pretends to, on the outside), though her heart aches to have a man
– any man – treat her like a woman.
When policeman Pete asks her if she’s seen Parrish, the
knucklehead truckers quip that if there is a MAN on the loose that
Emma hasn’t seen, he’s not in the county – or
even the state! (Well, the fact that Emma is man-hungry is no secret in
She smiles broadly, flashing her teeth, and fluttering her eyelashes
at the nice-looking cop, telling him, “Waffles wouldn’t
take too long.” He has to leave. As the truckers leave, one of
them says Emmy is just “one of the boys,” a phrase she
has heard a million times, and probably never wants to hear again for the
rest of her life. (Emma must be thinking to herself: “Forget the
truckers, they’re married anyway. But that nice, single policeman
Pete. . . ” )
Emmy had known Pete for years. He was the only man who was nice
to her, treated her like a lady. They had even dated a few times, though
that was a few years ago. One time, when some yokel had said that
Emmy “looks like a man,” Pete punched him. His chivalry
didn’t lead to romance with Emmy though; instead his reputation
as an enforcer encouraged him to enter the police academy, and now
he’s a cop. Now, Pete was dating a very nice girl named Louise.
Emmy was still good friends with Pete.
Emma stopped for a moment to feed her pet raccoon, which she
kept in a big cage. There is a big sign on the cage: “Do not feed
raccoon. This means you!” This raccoon is a bit symbolic of how
Emmy had the bad habit of trying to keep wild things in a cage. There
was also a sign on her diner: “Truck Drivers welcome”
– this was not so symbolic, it’s in plain English.
The customers gone, Emma walks inside her diner, pauses and smiles.
She can’t believe her good luck, she has found a man. Emma
brushes some hair from her forehead. She walks into the back room.
Imagine a prospector who finds gold; an archeologist discovering a rare
find; someone who finds a pirate’s buried treasure.
For the longest time, Emma had prayed, “Dear Lord, send
me a man – any man.” Bingo! She hit the jackpot. Steve
was sleeping on the floor, and she eyed him from head to toe. . . tall,
handsome, strong, Nordic good looks – so doggone cute! The
local men are okay, but he had Scandinavian fair complexion, light hair
and (though she hasn’t seen his eyes yet) she bet his eyes were
blue. Emma is man-hungry, and she’s going to gobble him up.
He is Thanksgiving dinner. She thought to herself, “Thank you,
Lord – I’m going to church next Sunday for sure!”
She wakes him up. Emma has to do the talking, since Steve
won’t say a word. She likes the way he dresses – suit
and tie, so distinguished. Not like the truck drivers and farmers around
here. He must be from a big city, maybe Chicago.
She explains that she found him in her back room. Yet, she asks
for no explanation from him (even though he is technically guilty of
breaking-and-entering, and trespassing). Speaking calmly and sweetly,
Emma says, “What you need is a good cup of Joe”
– (and thinks, “and one serving of me, served steaming
A bit later, Emma serves him some hot Java from a coffee pot, as
he is sitting there eating, at a barrel which he uses as a table. Finally,
the laconic Steve asks, “Look, how come you do this for a
Without missing a beat, Emma says sweetly, “Oh, a fella
needs something to eat, a place to sleep, you give it to him.
That’s the way it is in farm country.” Then, leaning
over the makeshift table, looking Steve directly in the eyes, from only
about 8 inches away, she smiles broadly and adds, “my Pa
was a farmer.” (Yep, country folk are very friendly people. In
her mind, she’s thinking, “Country girls make the best
wives!” She almost feels that if she thinks it hard enough,
Steve will know what she’s thinking.)
Her eyes gaze into his, looking for any sign that the love she
feels might be mutual. But all Steve does is give off a short grunt, and
he keeps on chewing his food.
Emma goes on, and tells the story of how her dad worked the
farm, then bought this place, then died. Steve isn’t really
listening. To him, her talking is like having the radio playing in the
background – just background sounds.
Finally, she comments how he is so smartly dressed, and must l
ike the big city life.
Steve says, “I was a farm boy once. I guess it sticks.”
Suddenly, a ray of hope – Emma sits down next to him. Even
though it is hard for her to come right out and ask a man for a dance,
or a date, let alone to live with her, she is desperate. A few minutes ago,
she only thought it – now she is putting it into words:
“You should stay.”
Steve says he’s moving out.
(“Rats!” Emmy thinks to herself. But, all is fair in love
and war, and she is already two steps ahead of Steve. Step one. . .) As
Steve wants to pay the 4 bits for his breakfast, he discovers his wallet
is missing. He had hitchhiked to Sycamore, then walked the last 3 dusty
miles to Five Points. Without any money, it’d be harder to leave.
He is still determined to leave, but (here is Step two), the
fast-thinking Emma is way ahead of Steve, who is a bit slow this morning.
She hands him the morning paper, with the headline “Commissioner
to give reward.”
“Pa’s room is real nice,” she says, offering
him guest quarters. Then adds,“It’s big.” (She
eyes Steve and thinks, “Big room for a big man.”) She
almost bites her lower lip in anticipation.
She finally gets him to say he’s thinking to stay. She closes
her eyes again for moment, as if in prayer. Thank God he is staying.
Though after she leaves the room, an angry Steve throws the
newspaper at the door. He is not happy at the prospect.
Emma had taken 3 things from Steve, as she’d gone through
his suit and pants when he was sleeping in the store room that first day:
his wallet; a letter-sized envelope with a paper in it, with Barney
Lubin’s signature on it; and Steve’s handgun.
Next day, Eliot Ness and Enrico Rossi drive into town; they drive
very slowly and politely, and stop by Emma’s diner.
Wally Jater, with orders from Thornton to find Steve (and Thornton
has put up a $5,000 reward), drives into Five Points like a wild man,
almost running over a flock of geese. No respect.
Meeting with Ness, Emma is wearing the same clothes she had
on the other day, including that light brown belt that looks like a large
Boy Scouts belt, the end of which hangs sloppily to the left side. Ness
gives her his card, saying she can “reverse the charges”
since Chicago, 71 miles away, is a long distance call.
Social Eliot stops for a second to look at the raccoon in her cage
and quips, “Didn’t know raccoons made good
“They don’t,” Emma replies. She just keeps
wild things that she likes, whether the animals or men like it or not.
(Emma thinks to herself, “that handsome Eliot Ness, and
that good-looking Italian Enrico Rossi. So many gorgeous men.”)
She is not used to seeing men dressed in nice suits, and on a weekday
yet. They look nicer than the local men in their Sunday go-to-meetin’
clothes. Seeing these handsome men, she is in heaven. Emma is
positively smiling as she walks into the back room to see Steve.
Emma is pleased that she fooled the Feds so easily, they
didn’t even search her place.
Steve is very nervous; he wants to leave. Says he has to get back
to Chicago to take care of a few things.
Emma tells him he must stay at least a week or more. That should
give her plenty of time to get Steve to fall in love with her. And then she
spills her real plan. She says, “Comes a dark night,”
(that would be 2 weeks from now – today is Wednesday, July
5, and there will be a full moon tonight), “I sneak you out of here.
And the next day I bring you back, say from Springfield, maybe.”
Her blue eyes are staring intensely into his. Emma continues, softly, yet
oh, so firmly, “You’re my cousin Ame.” (She
means kissing cousins – and for country folk, they usually marry
their cousins!) She goes on, “You’re coming down here
to work for me. Ain’t nobody gonna guess. You stay with me. . .
for the rest of your life.”
Steve looks tired. He has a 2-day growth of beard. He can not fight
her, as he might like, not under these conditions. “You’ve
got everything figured out, haven’t you?” is all he can
say in way of protest.
A man he could fight, even stick with a shiv. But how does he fight
a woman? Especially THIS determined woman who has made up her mind.
Still looking him straight in the eyes, letting him know he has no
choice at all, Emma says softly, “Me. . . or the police. Take your
pick.” As if to rub it in, she adds, “Walk out. . . anytime
you like,” as she heads out the door. And she runs right into
Wally Jater (unlike Ness, who didn’t ask to snoop around, Jater
just barged in).
Wally Jater takes out his gun. He tells Country Boy he is going to take
him back to Chicago, where he will be rubbed out.
Steve vainly protests, “You don’t have to kill me, just
because I bungled the Joey rub out. Okay, I got caught, but I wasn’t
gonna squeal to Ness. Honest! That’s the only reason Thornton
turned on me, he thought I was gonna sing. Thornton’s my pal.
Thornton will tell ya – ”
Jater yells, “You idiot! Thornton gave me the order to kill you
2 days BEFORE he even sent you on the Joey job! As soon as you said
you were gonna retire, you’d signed your own death warrant.
Nobody walks out on the mob – never! You were living on
borrowed time. Thornton only let you live a couple more days, so he
could kill 2 birds with one stone: have you rub out Joey, and then we
were gonna make it look like one of Joey’s pals killed
Steve couldn’t believe it. All this time, he thought the boys
in the mob were his pals. They got along. He did jobs for them. They all
made good money. And now, he was going to be rubbed out!
And the story continues. . . . .
Page 1 —
Would you like to write a comedy scene or a script for Albert?
Feel free to contribute your ideas. Contact Sandra Grabman at
Spotlights & Shadows: The Albert Salmi
Story, by Sandra Grabman, is available in both print and
audio formats. Read by author Michael Hoctor, the unabridged
audiobook runs 6 hours and 58 minutes.
Print edition ~
eBook edition ~