A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Swimming isn’t a sport. Swimming is a way to keep from drowning” (10/22)
“Time kills all deals” (10/22)
Entry forthcoming—B.P. (10/22)
“New York stabs you in the heart; Los Angeles stabs you in the back” (10/22)
“If the military wanted you to have a family, they’d have issued you one” (10/22)
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Entry from April 02, 2005
“I’ll have what she’s having!”
Katz's Deli, 205 East Houston Street. Meg Ryan. Billy Crystal. When Harry Met Sally... (1989), directed by Rob Reiner, with a screenplay by Nora Ephron.

Harry and Sally are seated. Sally fakes an orgasm, right in the restaurant! And another patron overhears and says--

"I'll have what she's having!"

The patron in the movie is Estelle Reiner, the mother of director Rob Reiner. Billy Crystal is given credit for adding the line to the movie.

If any one of you readers want to join me for pastrami at Katz's, let me know.

7 May 1980, Chronicle-Telegram (Elyria, Ohio), pg. F-7 cartoons:
DOWNSTOWN By Tim Downs
Panel One
WAITER: ARE YOU READY TO ORDER SIR?

Panel Two
CUSTOMER: I'LL HAVE WHAT HE'S HAVING.
WAITER: VERY WELL, SIR.

Panel Three
The customer waits while the waiter gets the meal.

Panel Four
ANOTHER CUSTOMER (not seen): HEY!
WAITER: YOU'RE IN LUCK. HE HARDLY TOUCHED THE POTATO.

26 July 1989, Harrisburg (PA) Patriot, pg. C7:
If a plot synopsis suggests that the film is predictable, you'll find that it's really full of surprises. Ephron's quirky screenplay is full of memorable moments. The one most likely to be enshrined in moviegoers' hall of fame is Sally's demonstration (in a crowded restaurant) that a woman can fake sexual satisfaction.

(``I'll have what she's having,`` one fellow diner tells the waiter after witnessing this performance.)

11 August 1989, Dallas (TX) Morning News, pg. 37:
WHEN HARRY MET SALLY It's been dutifully reported that the lady in the deli scene who, after witnessing Meg Ryan's exhibition, tells the waiter, "I'll have what she's having,' is played by director Rob Reiner's mother, Estelle. It's the most quoted line in the screenplay and it makes you wonder if father Carl is a little bit envious.

18 February 1990, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, pg. 5C:
Ephron cheerfully bemoans the fact that some of her brightest ideas were lost in the process of making the movie, but then some of the best lines were added on the set. Meg Ryan, who played Sally, suggested that Sally actually fake an orgasm in a delicatessen to prove a point; Billy Crystal, who played Harry, added a scene-ending punch line for a nearby customer placing an order: ''I'll have what she's having.'' The line went to Rob Reiner's mother, an extra in the film.

18 March 1990, Austin (TX) American-Statesman, pg. 43:
THE scene. Everybody takes credit for it - that ribald interlude in Katz's Deli: screenwriter Nora Ephron, who wrote the outline; co-star Billy Crystal, who ad-libbed the clincher - "I'll have what she's having" - for an elderly female extra. But according to When Harry Met Sally... director Rob Reiner, the brilliant 10 minutes were all Ryan's.

"How do women fake orgasm?" wondered Reiner, and Ryan showed him and all of America, contorting in her vinyl booth for something like 20 takes. She knew she was good when Reiner's face turned beet red.
Posted by Barry Popik
Food/Drink • (0) Comments • Saturday, April 02, 2005 • Permalink