[The 90’s: Robert Demella]

Raw footage for the award-winning series The 90's. Cab driver Robert Demella tells us a series of stories, zipping from one topic to another. The camera mostly focuses on Demella but there are some shots of the New York streets.

00:00Copy video clip URL Videomaker Esti Marpet is sitting in the passenger seat looking sideways at Demella. He says he will tell four stories. The first one is about a group of Eastern European men who he likened to Dan Akroyd and Steve Martin’s Saturday Night Live characters, the “Wild and Crazy Guys.” “They got in to my cab and said, ‘Hey take us to a bar where there are lots of women who want to have sex because we’ve fucked every woman in our country.’ And I’m going, ‘Hey listen, you four losers couldn’t get laid in that little backwater Eastern European country you came from. What makes you think you’re gonna get laid in New York, which has the most demanding women in the world? New York men can’t get laid in New York!'” Demella enacted his revenge by taking them to a lesbian bar and encouraging them to go inside with their “zippers down.”

01:49Copy video clip URL Demella’s next story is similar. Men ask for a place where they can get a blow job, and he takes them to a gay bar. After dropping them off, he waits a block away, and they come out 12 seconds later.

03:26Copy video clip URL When asked to recount stories that don’t pertain to sex, Demella responds, “[Sex] stories are the most interesting ones! And you wouldn’t be watching this if I wasn’t telling sex stories… You slimy perverts!” He then says he hates ending up on drug runs where he’s asked to wait outside.

04:20Copy video clip URL Demella says he will tell us the two most horrifying things he’s seen in New York. He saw a fat prostitute who he realized was about 8 1/2 months pregnant. The worst thing he ever saw was at Herald Square, 70 below wind chill factor, 3 AM, three children begging in the street. “You’re watching somebody bleed to death on the street with no blood… Where was anybody?”

06:58Copy video clip URL Demella talks about the decay of society. “Look around you. All you see is these giant glass office towers in which paper is exchanged for paper which is exchanged for more paper… And the only thing which gets worked is your hand and a pen signing a document.”

08:03Copy video clip URL Marpet says that Demella seems very cynical. “I see more of the city than the mayor, the police commissioner, the fire commissioner… Even the policeman only works a tiny precinct. I work the whole city… I go into every neighborhood, I see everything.”

09:12Copy video clip URL Marpet asks how Demella would change things, and he says education will fix things over the long-term. “I hate quick fixes, I hate sound bytes. I hate 30-second political commercials, okay? It makes me want to take a sledgehammer to the person who’s foisting it on us… I can smell a fraud a mile away.” He talks about doubting overly friendly passengers, because they usually don’t have enough money. He says he used to be a junior high school teacher, but started driving cabs four years ago for the money.

12:02Copy video clip URL End of tape.

 

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