[Jean Shepherd speaking in a much-exaggerated, mock-sorrowful, pleading voice.] I want to hear one person. Just one small person. That’s all I need. Night after night I wring my poor bones dry. Night after night, out of this turnip—this me, out of this rock—this me—I try to draw a little blood—for you. For what? For what? Do you think it’s to sell Miller Beer? Eh? Do you think I get satisfaction out of selling Miller Beer, eh? Eh? You’re doggone well tootin’ dad, you’re doggone well tootin’! [A Miller Beer commercial follows.]
Ah! That’s all I need. Just one little word—of encouragement. A small word. All I want is just to hear one voice crying out of the wilderness, “Hurray, Shepherd! You’re fantastic! Hurray, Shepherd! There’s nobody in the world like you! Hurray, Shepherd for the president of the world!”
That’s all I want. Just one little word here and there, of encouragement. That’s all we only want—all of us. Just a little cheering, just a little solace from time to time. Just a little indication. Just the smallest clue! That somebody cares. That somebody [said with a sob] cares. That somebody cares [he is crying, pounding on his table]. I sang my heart out for ya, just about five minutes ago. I almost blew a gasket for you. For all of you—out there on the Island, for you, you slobs in Staten Island, and for that nothing bunch up in the Bronx. (Friday night broadcast, March 5, 1965)
Shep, we love ya.
Shep, your work is on our minds night and day.
Shep, we build shrines to ya.