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Milton Berle’s “Anaconda”

| November 28, 2009

Alan Zweibel, post-pepperoni

Alan Zweibel, post-pepperoni

Alan Zweibel is a writer and producer who was among the original writers on Saturday Night Live, back when Gerald Ford was still president. Here’s his story of coming face to face with Milton Berle’s legendary penis.

Milton Berle took a liking to me and gravitated to me, I think because in the early seventies I had written all these jokes for Catskill comics. And I wrote jokes for a lot of the Friars Club roasts, where Uncle Miltie was usually the roastmaster. You played to people’s stereotypes with those jokes —Jack Benny was the cheap one and so on — and with Berle, all I had known was he wore a dress on TV and supposedly stole everybody’s jokes. And also I learned early on that he was the guy with the big dick, one of the biggest m show business. So I started writing big dick jokes about him for these Friars roasts.

Now fast forward a few years and I’m in Milton Berle’s dressing room at Saturday Night Live. He’s sitting on a couch behind a coffee table and he’s wearing a very short kind of bathrobe, the kind that comes down to about midthigh. And somehow I just say to him, “You know, it’s so weird that I’m here talking to you, because for years I was writing jokes about your dick.” I said, “I wrote all these jokes about your cock and now I’m talking to you — I feel like there’s some violation or something here.”

He says to me: “You mean you never saw it?” I said, “Uh, no, I don’t believe I did.” Then he said, “Well, would you like to?” And before I had a chance to say, “Not really” or “Can I think about it?” or whatever, he parts his bathrobe and he just takes out this — this anaconda. He lays it on the table and I’m looking into this thing, right? I’m looking into the head of Milton Berle’s dick. It was enormous. It was like a pepperoni. And he goes, “What do you think of the boy?” And I’m looking right at it and I go, “Oh, it’s really, really nice.”

At which point Gilda [Radner] opens the door to the dressing room. It’s like an I Love Lucy sketch, but this honestly happened! She opens the door to his dressing room just in time to see me looking into his dick saying, “Yeah, it’s really, really nice.”

I tell Milton, “I’ll talk to you later,” closed the door, and left.

–From Live From New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live (Little, Brown, 2002).

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