NewsRadio

"No Green Jello"

by Kristian Idol










The following screenplay is Registered WGA #623508 and Copyright 1996 by Kristian Idol.
Use of any material, in whole or in part, is expressly forbidden without prior written consent.

                            
                            
                            

                                        ACT ONE

                                        SCENE A



               INT. BULLPEN/CONFERENCE TABLE - MORNING

               DAVE BEGINS.

                                          DAVE

                              Okay, this is a critical meeting, so

                              let's get started...

                                          LISA

                              Did the numbers come in?

                                          DAVE

                              Yes, Lisa, but first --

                                          BILL

                              Can I ask a question, Chief?

                                          DAVE

                              Only if it's very important, Bill.

                                          BILL

                              Oh, it is.  Why would a man shave his

                              forearms?

                                          DAVE

                              What??

                                          MATTHEW

                              It was just an experiment, Bill, leave

                              me alone.  Is The Book here or not?

                                          JOE

                              Dude, you shaved your arms?

                                          BETH

                              His whole body.  (OFF LOOKS)  He told

                              me!

                                          BILL

                              You must look like some mewling

                              newborn puppy - oh, I'm sorry, how

                              would we know the difference?

                                          MATTHEW

                              Bodybuilders do it to make their

                              muscles stand out, thank you very

                              much.

                                          BETH

                              You da man, Matthew!

               MATTHEW FLEXES HIS ARMS AND GROWLS.

                                          DAVE

                              Okay, Mr. Universe, just leave the

                              posing bikini at home.

                                          ALL

                              Please!!

                                          DAVE

                              More significantly: yes, last

                              quarter's ratings came in.

               HE PLOPS A FEW PRINTOUTS ON THE DESK.

                                          DAVE (CONT'D)

                              Here's The Book.  Everyone, please

                              turn to page thirteen.

               THEY EXCITEDLY FLIP PAGES.

                                          DAVE (CONT'D)

                              Lisa, tell me the first number in the

                              fifth column.

                                          LISA

                              (READING)  Um... "All Stations Weekly

                              Average Number of Listeners: 316,812"!

                                          DAVE

                              And Matthew, the number next to it?

                                          MATTHEW

                              WNYX Average... three!  Aaahh!!

               MATTHEW FLINGS OUT OF HIS CHAIR AS IF ELECTROCUTED.

                                          DAVE

                              Relax, Matthew, that's our ranking.

                                          MATTHEW

                              Sorry, Dave...  I think it's my blood

                              sugar.  I'm not sure I like this new

                              caffeinated granola...

                                          DAVE

                              We've slipped a spot, gang, and before

                              Mr. James comes calling, we need

                              killer stories to tell him about. 

                              Jobs are made or broken by this.

                                          BETH

                              Especially yours.

                                          DAVE

                              Especially all of ours.  Fortunately,

                              the drop in listenership wasn't that

                              great, so I know we can get it back.

                              But I'll be looking at the way we work

                              together as well - there may be some

                              long-term changes.

                                          JOE

                              What's the big deal?  I mean, what's

                              the difference between second and

                              third?

                                          BILL

                              One hundred four thousand listeners

                              weekly, plus or minus a standard

                              deviation.

                                          DAVE

                              I'm impressed, Bill.

                                          BILL

                              Celebrity knows its audience, Dave. 

                                          MATTHEW

                              (SARCASTIC)  What does that have to do

                              with you?  Oh, forgive me, it's the

                              granola talking...

                                          BILL

                              Well, my smooth little co-worker, one

                              ratings point is worth several millions

                              of dollars to the station, but more

                              importantly, thousands of dollars in

                              income to yours truly, so let's listen

                              carefully to our boss' plans to get us

                              back to second, shall we?

                                          DAVE

                              No master plan, Bill, we just need to

                              work harder.

                                          BILL

                              Congratulations, Dave, it's that kind

                              of thinking that got us into third.

                                          DAVE

                              "Yo' mama."  Is that still hip? 

                              (OTHERS SHAKE HEADS)  Damn.  Oh well. 

                              Lastly, I need someone to clean out

                              the refrigerator - I found this in

                              there.

               HE HOLDS UP AN OBLONG, FURRY OBJECT.

                                          LISA

                              What was a bedroom slipper doing in

                              the fridge?

                                          DAVE

                              It's not a slipper, Lisa, it's a hot 

                              dog.

                                          STAFF

                              Eww! / Yuck! / Whoa!

                                          MATTHEW

                              Well, I guess I should get my little

                              "science project" out of there.

                                          JOE

                              Hey, Matthew almost made a joke.

                                          LISA

                              No, really, it's his graduate school

                              science project from '91.

                                          STAFF

                              Gross! / Uuuuhh! / Ick!

                                          DAVE

                              Okay, that's it.  Clean the fridge,

                              great story angles to me by the end of

                              the day.  And stop teasing Matthew,

                              Bill.

               THEY ALL NOD.  SUDDENLY, MATTHEW FLIES OUT OF HIS
               CHAIR AGAIN.

                                          MATTHEW

                              Oww!!

                                          DAVE

                              Now what?

                                          BILL

                              That was my fault, Chief.  Matthew

                              missed a hair.

               MATTHEW RUBS HIS NECK.

                                                                   CUT TO:










                                        ACT ONE

                                        SCENE B



               INT. DAVE'S OFFICE - LATER

               DAVE'S FRAZZLED LOOK AND CLUTTERED DESK SHOW THAT
               HE'S VERY BUSY.  JIMMY ENTERS.

                                          JIMMY

                              We're in third, Dave.

                                          DAVE

                              I know, sir.

                                          JIMMY

                              That's not good, Dave.

                                          DAVE

                              Yes, I know, sir.

                                          JIMMY

                              Third place doesn't get me as many

                              dates as second.

                                          DAVE

                              You get dates because of our ratings?

                                          JIMMY

                              Not as many as before!  Are you even

                              listening to me?

                                          DAVE

                              Yes, I understand.  We're working on

                              it right now.

               JIMMY HOLDS UP A SMALL DOOHICKEY.

                                          JIMMY

                              Know what this is?

                                          DAVE

                              It looks like a promotional keychain

                              of some sort.

                                          JIMMY

                              With...?

                                          DAVE

                              With...  (LOOKS)  a condom in it.

                                          JIMMY

                              A WNYX keychain with a prophylactic

                              molded right into it.  See, Dave, I

                              don't get this.  Who would want a

                              condom that you can't use?

               BETH WALKS IN.

                                          JIMMY (CONT'D)

                              "I'd love to have sex with ya,

                              darlin', but I can't get the rubber

                              out of the damn plastic!!"

                                          BETH

                              Uh, I can come back later...

                                          DAVE

                              No, Beth... what did you want?

                                          BETH

                              Mr. James, there's a man claiming to

                              be Clint Eastwood on line one?

                                          JIMMY

                              Thanks, Beth, I'll call him back. 

                              Lemme ask ya something, hon.  (HOLDS

                              UP CHAIN)  You ever use a thing like

                              this?

                                          BETH

                              Sure.  Finding a hammer at two in the

                              morning is a bitch, though.

               SHE LEAVES.  JIMMY STARES AT THE CONDOM.

                                          DAVE

                              You like that little keychain, don't

                              you.

                                          JIMMY

                              Nah, it's crap.  But it's the best

                              Marketing could come up with, and that

                              scares the hell outta me.

                                          DAVE

                              Well, we're busy looking for new

                              angles on issues from crime to

                              education.

                                          JIMMY

                              (FAKES SNORING)  Forget the news, son. 

                              I want you to come up with something

                              snappy like they do on TV - a jingle,

                              or a doodad like this.  Just make it

                              better than  (READS)  "Drive Safely".

                                          DAVE

                              You want the News Department to create

                              a promo?

                                          JIMMY

                              Ever seen that purple dinosaur,

                              "Bernie", "Baby", somethin' like that? 

                              Now that's clever.  That guy's nearly

                              a billionaire!

                                          DAVE

                              The dinosaur??

                                          JIMMY

                              The creator, Dave.  Do I need to lock

                              up the White-Out?

                                          DAVE

                              Look, Mr. James, these people aren't

                              exactly known for their creativity...

                                          JIMMY

                              Apparently, neither was Marketing.

                                          DAVE

                              Was?

                                          JIMMY

                              I canned 'em all.  Remember, Dave:

                              Success is a journey, not just a

                              destination.

                                          DAVE

                              What does that mean?

                                          JIMMY

                              Don't know, Dave, I read it in a

                              book...  How about, "My company will

                              lose millions over this ratings thing

                              and that ticks me off"?

                                          DAVE

                              We'll get the numbers back up,

                              whatever it takes.

                                          JIMMY

                              Maybe a bonus would stir things up...

                                          DAVE

                              It might make it worth the distraction

                              from our real jobs.  Reporting news?

               JIMMY IS STARING INTO SPACE.

                                          JIMMY

                              Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

                                          DAVE

                              You'll send someone to the Bahamas?

                                          JIMMY

                              No, Dave, I was just thinking where

                              the hell I wish I was instead of

                              dealing with this ratings mess.  Well,

                              good luck, you'll figure something

                              out.  (HE TURNS TO LEAVE)  By Friday.

                                          DAVE

                              Two days!  Mr. James...  Shouldn't we

                              all just stick to our respective

                              duties?

                                          JIMMY

                              Ah, maybe you're right.  What's my

                              position, Dave?

                                          DAVE

                              Well, you're the station owner, of

                              course...

                                          JIMMY

                              And what is my job description

                              exactly?

                                          DAVE

                              You tell us what to do.

                                          JIMMY

                              That there sorta answers your

                              question, now doesn't it!  I already

                              have to find a new Marketing

                              department, Dave, don't make me look

                              for another News Director.

               HE EXITS SINGING.

                                          JIMMY (CONT'D)

                              "I love you, you love me, we're a

                              happy fa-mi-ly...."

                                                                   CUT TO:










                                        ACT ONE

                                        SCENE C



               INT. BULLPEN - A MINUTE LATER

               DAVE ENTERS FROM HIS OFFICE.

                                          DAVE

                              Okay, everyone, slight change of

                              plans.  Mr. James wants to get the

                              numbers back up by using fun

                              promotional ideas.  I need some really

                              clever stuff by tomorrow.

                                          BILL

                              I didn't spend twenty years in radio

                              to be  (FINGER QUOTES) "creative".

                                          DAVE

                              Bill, sometimes we simply have to do

                              what our boss says.  Know what I mean?

                                          BILL

                              Well, if I have to actually work with

                              somebody, I want hazard pay.

                                          LISA

                              I heard Mr. James say something about

                              the Bahamas...

                                          MATTHEW

                              A prize??

                                          DAVE

                              No --

                                          BETH

                              Oh, neato-coolo!  I got a million

                              ideas!

                                          JOE

                              All right!  Let's stop working and sit

                              around making up stuff!

               DAVE OPENS HIS MOUTH, BUT RETHINKS AND GOES BACK TO
               HIS OFFICE.



               INT. DAVE'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

               HE SITS AND BEGINS PAPERWORK.  BILL ENTERS.

                                          BILL

                              Dave, what do I do here?

                                          DAVE

                              Besides frustrate your boss with

                              interruptions?

                                          BILL

                              My title, Dave, my job title.

                                          DAVE

                              Okay...  Announcer.  Reporter. 

                              Announcer-reporter.  Reporting --

                                          BILL

                              I believe the words you're searching

                              for are "Broadcast Journalist".  And

                              as the talent here at the station, and

                              I mean that in all forms of the word --

                                          DAVE

                              Your point, Bill??

                                          BILL

                              I hate the contest.

                                          DAVE

                              It's not really a contest - I just

                              need a fun promotional concept.

                                          BILL

                              Well, serious news announcers do not

                              do "fun" things.

                                          DAVE

                              I guess you're not counting the time

                              you put jalapeño sauce in Matthew's

                              cologne bottle, then?

                                          BILL

                              That's different.  That's war.  This

                              business was created by and for

                              intelligent, literate adults.

               BETH ENTERS EXCITED.

                                          BETH

                              Okay, Poppa Bear says to Momma Bear 

                              (GRUFF VOICE)  "Who's been listening

                              to my radio station??"  And Baby Bear

                              says --

               BILL FIRMLY PUSHES HER BACK OUT.

                                          BILL

                              We have to focus on what news is

                              really about:  Death!  Destruction! 

                              Mayhem!

                                          DAVE

                              I think that's a little extreme...

                                          BILL

                              Not at all.  We simply scare the hell

                              out of the listeners and the numbers

                              will go back up.

                                          DAVE

                              If Mr. James wants a jingle, we have

                              to give it to him, Bill.

                                          BILL

                              Jingle, schmingle.  This is about you

                              not standing up to Jimmy.

                                          DAVE

                              That's enough.  Tell you what, Bill -

                              I want you and Matthew to decide on a

                              promo together.  Maybe that will 

                              teach you something about playing nice 

                              with the other children.

                                          BILL

                              You can't do that.  I can't do that. 

                              They'll carry Matthew out on a

                              stretcher!

                                          DAVE

                              It's done.  Now if you'll excuse me...

               HE RETURNS TO HIS PAPERWORK.

                                          BILL

                              The writing is on the wall, Dave

                              Nelson.  This will tear the staff

                              apart!

                                          DAVE

                              Bill --

               MATTHEW RUNS IN WEARING A TOY HARDHAT, COMPLETE
               WITH WAILING SIREN AND FLASHER ON TOP.

                                          MATTHEW

                              (SINGING)  Look out!  It's an 

                              emergency!  Look out!  It's not on TV!

               BILL BASHES MATTHEW'S HEAD, DROPPING HIM LIKE A
               SACK OF POTATOES.  BILL STORMS OUT AS THE SIREN
               WHIMPERS DOWN.

                                                                   CUT TO:











                                        ACT ONE

                                        SCENE D



               INT. BULLPEN - LATER

               MATTHEW SITS NEXT TO A TOTALLY DISGRUNTLED BILL.

                                          MATTHEW

                              Something with little people.  I like

                              little people.

                                          BILL

                              You mean dwarves?

                                          MATTHEW

                              The correct term is "little people",

                              Bill, don't be so insensitive.

                                          BILL

                              How about "Pitch a Midget Day"?  No? 

                              Okay...  "Guess Their Weight in

                              Ounces".

               DAVE ENTERS AND CROSSES TO GET COFFEE.

                                          BETH

                              I think we should give cab drivers

                              turbans that say "WNYX".

                                          LISA

                              Yeah, but people would just think it

                              was their name.

                                          BILL

                              "The WNYX Midget Marathon."  A lot of

                              little guys running around...

               BETH SCOFFS.

                                          MATTHEW

                              Okay then, Miss Fancy Frock, what's

                              your idea?

                                          BETH

                              I still like "Chicks dig guys who

                              listen to the news.  In bed."

               DAVE INTERJECTS.

                                          DAVE

                              Look, maybe this isn't the best idea

                              right now.  Why doesn't one of you

                              clean out the refrigerator instead?

                                          LISA

                              Really.  Something got up and crawled

                              away this morning.  (SMALL LAUGHS) 

                              I'm not joking, something just crawled

                              out of the breakroom.

               THEY LOOK AT THE FLOOR NERVOUSLY.

                                          JIMMY

                              (ENTERING FROM BREAKROOM)  I'm not

                              sure I appreciate that, Lisa.

               BETH'S PHONE RINGS.

                                          JIMMY (CONT'D)

                              So, how are my kids doing?

                                          BETH

                              Mr. James, it's that guy claiming to

                              be Clint Eastwood again?

                                          DAVE

                              I'll get it.  Just great, Mr. James,

                              we should have a workable idea by

                              tomorrow.  (INTO PHONE)  Listen, pal --

                                          JIMMY

                              Well, let's hear 'em now!  Who wants

                              the prize?

               CLICK!  BETH HANGS DAVE UP.

                                          BETH

                              I thought we could design some neat 

                              t-shirts.

                                          JIMMY

                              Nope!

                                          LISA

                              A concert in the park, something

                              classical?

                                          JIMMY

                              Nope!

                                          BILL

                              "Even circus geeks need news."

                                          JIMMY

                              Hmmm...  (LONG BEAT)  Nope!  Well,

                              keep tryin'!

               HE PULLS DAVE ASIDE FROWNING.

                                          JIMMY (CONT'D)

                              Dave, I hate to be blunt here, but...

                              I don't want to have to do any

                              housecleaning.

                                          DAVE

                              You'd fire one of my people over

                              this??

                                          JIMMY

                              No, I meant housecleaning.  Have you

                              seen that refrigerator, boy howdy! 

                              Firing people 'cause they can't think

                              up a promo -- man, you are one cold

                              bastard!

               AS HE STARTS TO LEAVE, THE PHONE RINGS AGAIN.  BETH
               ANSWERS.

                                          BETH

                              Mr. James?  (RE: PHONE)  He swears

                              he's Clint Eastwood.  Boy, does he

                              swear.

                                          JIMMY

                              I'll get that in here.

               HE LEADS DAVE INTO:



               INT. DAVE'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

               AND ANSWERS THE PHONE.

                                          JIMMY

                              Squint!  How the hell are ya, you ol'

                              dawg!...  No kidding?...  Uh huh. 

                              Okay, then, dinner on Saturday. 

                              Later, Squint!

               HE HANGS UP. 

                                          DAVE

                              That was really Clint Eastwood?

                                          JIMMY

                              Yep.

                                          DAVE

                              And he's a friend of yours?

                                          JIMMY

                              Well, ol' Squint - he hates it when I

                              call him that, "Squint" - Squint and I

                              took acting lessons together back in

                              Berkeley.  Man, what a jokester - he

                              and I once stole the teacher's

                              dress...

                                          DAVE

                              You and Clint Eastwood stole a woman's

                              clothing.

                                          JIMMY

                              Didn't say anything about a woman,

                              Dave.  Yeah, ol' Pinch-Face is gonna

                              run for Mayor of New York City, how

                              'bout that?

                                          DAVE

                              You're kidding.  That's great, that's

                              national! It's exactly the kind of

                              story we need.  Has he told anyone

                              else yet?

                                          JIMMY

                              Uh, no... and we can't either.  He'll

                              have us all killed.

                                          DAVE

                              Oh, come on.

                                          JIMMY

                              I'm serious.  Remember that hurricane

                              that almost blew Dan Rather's face

                              off?  That was Squint.

                                          DAVE

                              Eastwood had something to do with

                              Hurricane Opal?

                                          JIMMY

                              All I'll say is, the man has

                              connections.

               DAVE STARES AT HIS BOSS.

                                          JIMMY (CONT'D)

                              Ever hear of Mike Ovitz?

               DAVE IS BAFFLED.

                                          JIMMY (CONT'D)

                              Big banana at Disney?

                                          DAVE

                              I know!  Okay, just to clarify, sir... 

                              I'm pulling my hair out because I may

                              get fired from my job, where I'm

                              trying my damndest to get a talented

                              yet fiercely individualistic staff to

                              work together, and you want me to sit

                              on one of the hottest stories of the

                              year because a Hollywood celebrity and

                              a Disney executive control the

                              weather?

                                          JIMMY

                              (SHEEPISH)  Sounds weird when you 

                              say it.

                                          DAVE

                              I can't tell my people that!  Look,

                              Mr. James, this breaking story is our

                              ticket back to second.  Not some

                              clever little doodad.

                                          JIMMY

                              Have no fear, Dave.  I have every

                              confidence that you and your fine crew

                              will work together to create an

                              absolutely great piece of promotional

                              radio.

               HE OPENS THE DOOR.



               INT. BULLPEN - CONTINUOUS

                                          BETH

                              Your idea sucks!

                                          MATTHEW

                              Oh yeah, well you suck.

                                          JOE

                              Not as much as you, King Suck!

                                          LISA

                              I can't even tell you how much this

                              all sucks!

               DAVE WILTS.  BILL APPROACHES WEARING A BLACK ARMBAND.

                                          BILL

                              This black cloth symbolizes my mourning

                              for the complete and utter death of

                              this station's professionalism.

                                          DAVE

                              Bill...

                                          BILL

                              And now I'm going to hold my breath

                              until you put a stop to this.

               HE INHALES GREATLY, FILLING HIS CHEEKS LIKE DIZZY
               GILLESPIE.  JIMMY TURNS TO DAVE.

                                          JIMMY

                              Looks like you got some work to do,

                              sailor!

                                        END OF ACT ONE










                                        ACT TWO

                                        SCENE E



               INT. DAVE'S OFFICE - LATE AFTERNOON

               LISA STANDS BEHIND DAVE, WHO IS SEATED AT HIS DESK.
               HE PRESSES THE INTERCOM.

                                          DAVE

                              Beth, hold my calls for 10 minutes.

                                          BETH (O.S.)

                              (OVER PHONE)  Backrub break?

                                          DAVE

                              Just do it.

                                          BETH (O.S.)

                              Sorry, Dave.  Nike came up with that

                              first.

               HE HANGS UP AND LISA MASSAGES HIS SHOULDERS.  JOE ENTERS.

                                          JOE

                              So, Boss, I'll empty the refrigerator

                              if you go with my promo idea.

                                          DAVE

                              Joe, no news station in their right

                              mind would hold a "kegger".

                                          JOE

                              Hey, eight or nine beers and you can

                              get anyone to listen to us.

               UNDER DAVE'S GLARE, JOE SHRUGS AND LEAVES.

                                          DAVE

                              This is awful.  I can't believe I have

                              to rely on them for something so

                              important.

                                          LISA

                              Do you think we can come up with

                              something that'll make Mr. James

                              happy?

                                          DAVE

                              I don't know and I'm terrified.  I'm

                              getting enough pressure from him

                              without having to count on people who

                              can't remember to throw out food from

                              the Kennedy Administration.

               BILL ENTERS, A SMALL BANDAGE ON HIS FOREHEAD.

                                          BILL

                              Chief?

                                          DAVE

                              How's your head, Bill?  Getting enough

                              oxygen now?

                                          BILL

                              Fine.  I'm actually rather glad it was

                              Matthew who broke my fall.

                                          DAVE

                              Look, Bill, I'm still very busy...

                                          BILL

                              Yes, the backrub was my main clue.

               LISA STEPS AWAY.

                                          BILL (CONT'D)

                              This has to stop, Dave.  Matthew wants

                              to use animals, for God's sake, and I

                              will not be party to any such

                              behavior.

                                          LISA

                              Shoot!  I thought of that first!

                                          BILL

                              I had to write it down, it terrified

                              me so.  (READING NOTE)  "Tippy the

                              Kitty loves Bill McNeal."  Cats don't

                              like me, Dave, and I don't like them.

                                          DAVE

                              Perhaps they don't appreciate your

                              aloofness.

                                          BILL

                              I'm serious, Dave, I'm starting to

                              lose my shi--... cool.

                                          DAVE

                              Well, lose your "shkool" somewhere

                              else.  You know, Matthew's a fun guy, 

                              maybe I'll put him in the booth. 

                              Permanently.

               BILL GRITS HIS TEETH, STARTS TO LEAVE, BUT CLOSES
               THE DOOR.  HE SCREWS UP HIS COURAGE.

                                          BILL

                              This never goes out of this room. 

                              (THEY NOD)  I used to be...  fun.

                                          LISA

                              You're pretty fun, Bill.

               BOTH DAVE AND BILL LOOK AT HER LIKE SHE'S NUTS.

                                          LISA (CONT'D)

                              Well?

                                          BILL

                              That was before some bone-headed

                              advertising idea introduced me to the

                              joy of Vitamin P.

               QUIZZICAL LOOKS.

                                          BILL (CONT'D)

                              Prozac, guys, try to keep up.  And I

                              thought I was the uncreative one...

               HE SCANS THE ROOM.

                                          BILL (CONT'D)

                              Okay...  Twenty-three years ago, at

                              KLAK 97.1, I was a novice who was just

                              learning how to put the "voice" in

                              "voice-over".  The owner thought it 

                              would be cute to use dogs in a 

                              promotional event.

                                          DAVE

                              What happened?

                                          BILL

                              Let's just say it wasn't the best idea

                              to mix 97 Miniature Dachshunds and a

                              truckload of green Jello.

                                          LISA

                              Oh my God, were any of the poor little

                              dogs hurt?

                                          BILL

                              No, Lisa, thanks to the quick thinking

                              of yours truly.  I am sure, however,

                              that in the recorded history of this

                              planet, Bill McNeal is the only man to

                              have sucked cold gelatin from the

                              pointed little noses of nearly a

                              hundred wienerdogs!

               DAVE AND LISA CAN ONLY STARE, STUPEFIED.  THEN:

                                          DAVE

                              Bill, as the News Director of this

                              radio station, and your boss... 

                              (LONG BEAT)  I have absolutely no idea 

                              what to say.

               LISA SHRUGS HER SHOULDERS: "DON'T LOOK AT ME".

                                          BILL

                              I will not work on some "yippee

                              skippee" project with Matthew any

                              longer.  And if WNYX is marketed as

                              "The Wacky Fun News Station", Dave, I

                              will quit.  Understand?

                                          DAVE

                              Oh, you don't mean that.

                                          BILL

                              Oh, I mean it.  You either find an

                              important news story to get us out of

                              this rut, or I'm gone.  You'll see my

                              little silhouette running away from

                              the Bill-shaped hole in the wall.

                                          DAVE

                              Honestly, Bill, sometimes getting you

                              people to work together is like...

                              (REALIZES, SMIRKS)  nailing Jello to 

                              a tree.

               LISA STIFLES A GUILTY GIGGLE.

                                          BILL

                              Please!!  No animals, no wacky fun,

                              and no green Jello!!

               DAVE SURRENDERS A SIGH.

                                          DAVE

                              Okay, I give up.  Bill, can you keep a

                              secret?

                                          LISA

                              That story wasn't proof enough?

                                          DAVE

                              You two can't tell anyone, but...

                              Clint Eastwood is about to announce

                              his candidacy for Mayor of New York.

                                          LISA

                              That's great, a big story!

                                          BILL

                              Dirty Harry's gonna kick some Big

                              Apple ass?

                                          DAVE

                              Yes.  But Mr. James has requested that

                              we wait and come up with a promo

                              first.  So, if you just keep quiet a

                              little longer, we'll all get through

                              this alive, okay?

                                          BILL

                              As God is my witness, Dave, I will

                              never, ever betray your confidence. 

                              But I have a very important question.

                                          DAVE

                              Yes?

                                          BILL

                              What if I were to mention it briefly?

                                          DAVE

                              Don't.

                                          BILL

                              A broad hint?

                                          DAVE

                              Bill, if you don't keep this under

                              wraps, I'll tell Matthew you secretly

                              desire to be his lifetime dogwalker.

               BILL STIFFENS.

                                          BILL

                              You win this round, Boy Wonder, but I

                              shall be vindicated...  (BEAT)  Now,

                              can you get someone to clean out that

                              damn refrigerator?  Doesn't anybody

                              actually work around here?

               HE EXITS INTO:



               INT. BULLPEN - CONTINUOUS

               WHERE MATTHEW WALKS UP WITH A FOLDED PAPER CUT-OUT
               OF THE "WNYX" LOGO.

                                          MATTHEW

                              Hey, Bill, wanna learn how to do this?

               BILL RIPS IT IN HALF AND QUICKLY ENTERS THE BOOTH.

                                          BILL

                              We interrupt this newscast to bring

                              you an extremely urgent bulletin that

                              affects all New Yorkers...

               DAVE POKES HIS HEAD OUT, GLARING.

                                          BILL (CONT'D)

                              But I'm not telling.  Details

                              tomorrow!

                                                                   CUT TO:










                                        ACT TWO

                                        SCENE F



               INT. DAVE'S OFFICE - NEXT DAY

               STRESSED DAVE AT WORK, BILL STROLLS IN SMUGLY.

                                          BILL

                              You know, I just realized something... 

                              If Jimmy finds out that you broke your

                              promise, you'll be back in Cheese-town

                              reporting on the latest cow-tipping...

               DAVE STANDS.

                                          DAVE

                              Don't even think it.

                                          BILL

                              And it occurs to me that my reputation

                              as a journalist far outweighs anything

                              you can dish out...

                                          DAVE

                              Don't play hardball with me, Bill -

                              you will lose.

                                          BILL

                              What's that I hear?  You're mooo-ving?

               THEY SQUARE OFF NOSE-TO-NOSE LIKE PRIZE FIGHTERS.

                                          DAVE

                              You don't know what I'm capable of.

                                          BILL

                              Take your best shot, Bossie.

               IT'S A STANDOFF.

               JIMMY ENTERS.

                                          JIMMY

                              William, my man!  Got any sexy promo

                              slogans for me?

                                          BILL

                              Oh, I've got something sexy for you to

                              hear, Jimmy...

               DAVE QUICKLY REACHES INTO HIS DESK AND YANKS OUT A
               DOG LEASH.

                                          DAVE

                              Bill, can you give this to Matthew,

                              please?

               DAVE HOLDS THE LEASH UP TO BILL LIKE A CROSS TO A
               VAMPIRE.  BILL RECOILS ACCORDINGLY.

               BILL LOOKS TO JIMMY, THEN THE LEASH.  HE OPENS HIS
               MOUTH TO SPEAK, AND DAVE STEPS CLOSER.  BILL
               REFLEXIVELY SCRUNCHES.

                                          JIMMY

                              Speak up, Bill.

               BILL REPEATEDLY STRUGGLES TO VOCALIZE, BUT DAVE VAN
               HELSING FORCES HIM BACK AGAIN AND AGAIN.

               FINALLY, COWERING AT THE DOORWAY, BILL EMITS WHAT
               CAN ONLY BE DESCRIBED AS A WHIMPERING PEEP, AND
               RUSHES OUT.

                                          JIMMY (CONT'D)

                              That's one hell of a management

                              technique, son.  (BEAT)  Maybe that's

                              what caused the huge jump in the

                              evening drive-time numbers last

                              night...

                                          DAVE

                              The numbers are going up?

                                          JIMMY

                              Unless Squint controls Arbitron, too.

                                          DAVE

                              Wow, Oliver Stone's got nothing on you,

                              sir.  Look, Mr. James, let's just tell

                              them about Eastwood and get on with our

                              jobs.  They're already working together

                              across departments, and combined with

                              real news we'll be back in second place

                              before you know it.

                                          JIMMY

                              "Working across departments", eh?  Is

                              that what you call the circus act I

                              just witnessed?

                                          DAVE

                              With all due respect, sir, what about

                              simple honesty?

               LISA ENTERS FLIPPING THROUGH A SHEAF OF PAPERS.

                                          LISA

                              I called up some files about Clint

                              running for Carmel...

               SHE SEES JIMMY.

                                          LISA (CONT'D)

                              Clint...-on... running for...

                              caramels... Bill Clinton running for

                              caramels, he, he loves that candy, you

                              know!

               JIMMY LOOKS ASKANCE AT DAVE.

                                          JIMMY

                              Looks like the "simple" outweighed the

                              "honesty".

               HE SHAKES HIS HEAD AS HE EXITS, DAVE FOLLOWING.



               INT. BULLPEN - CONTINUOUS

               BILL WORKS THE AIRWAVES.

                                          BILL

                              And now for that big, biiig political

                              news...

               JIMMY AND DAVE STOP IN THEIR TRACKS.  BILL QUICKLY
               CALCULATES HIS FUTURE...

                                          BILL (CONT'D)

                              Which is so big it won't even fit

                              through the door of the broadcast

                              booth!  Tune in tomorrow...  Say,

                              where's my crowbar?

               BILL TURNS HIS BACK TO THE GLASS AND PRETENDS TO
               READ COPY.

                                          JIMMY

                              (TO THE ROOM)  Listen up, people, I

                              have an announcement.

               WORK STOPS.

                                          JIMMY (CONT'D)

                              In just one day, the numbers are

                              quickly increasing.  Whatever you're

                              doing, keep it up!

                                          DAVE

                              Oh, no, I think that's a mistake,

                              sir...

                                          JIMMY

                              But I still need that promo - tomorrow

                              morning, eight a.m. sharp!

               HE STARTS TO LEAVE.

                                          JIMMY (CONT'D)

                              Thrill me!

               HE'S GONE.  DAVE LOOKS BEATEN.

                                          DAVE

                              I wonder if Mom'll let me move back in

                              for a while...

               HE EXITS TO HIS OFFICE.

                                          MATTHEW

                              What would make our numbers go up in

                              one day?  (BEAT)  I guess sometimes

                              life just says, "Good work, Matthew".

                                          BETH

                              And sometimes life says, "Par-taaay!!"

                                          JOE

                              Hey, let's go to the bar tonight and

                              you guys can come up with an idea

                              there.

                                          MATTHEW

                              Nothing wrong with a few "brewskis" to

                              get creative...

               A THOUGHTFUL PAUSE.

                                          JOE

                              Chug!  Chug!  Chug!

               THE STAFF JOINS IN.

                                          STAFF

                              CHUG!  CHUG!  CHUG!

               DAVE'S HEAD POPS OUT OF HIS OFFICE - THEY STOP
               INSTANTLY.  HE POPS BACK.

                                          STAFF (CONT'D)

                              (VERY SOFTLY)  Chug, chug, chug...

                                                                   CUT TO:










                                        ACT TWO

                                        SCENE G



               INT. ELEVATOR LOBBY - NEXT MORNING

               BING!  DAVE COMES OFF THE ELEVATOR AS MATTHEW
               RUSHES TO THE BATHROOM HOLDING HIS MOUTH.



               INT. BULLPEN - CONTINUOUS

               AT THE COFFEE STAND, DAVE APPROACHES A GRIMACING
               BETH, WHO'S GOBBLING ASPIRIN.

                                          DAVE

                              Beth?

                                          BETH

                              Oh, Jeez, Dave!  You don't have to

                              yell!

                                          DAVE

                              (SOFTLY)  Sorry.  Beth, can you --

                                          BETH

                              Man alive, keep it down!

               HE GESTURES IN MOCK SIGN-LANGUAGE, BUT SHE DOESN'T
               GET IT.



               INT. DAVE'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

               DAVE ENTERS AND PICKS UP THE PHONE.

                                          DAVE

                              Beth?

               A BEAT, THEN HE WHISPERS SOMETHING VERY SOFTLY INTO
               THE PHONE.

               THE STAFF STRAGGLES IN AND LINES UP.  ALL
               DISHEVELED, THEY LOOK LIKE THE DIRTY HALF-DOZEN.

                                          DAVE (CONT'D)

                              (LOUDLY)  THANK YOU!!

               THEY GRIMACE.  DAVE TWISTS THE KNIFE.

                                          DAVE (CONT'D)

                              LISA SAID THAT --

               THEY FLINCH AGAIN.  DAVE TONES IT DOWN.

                                          DAVE (CONT'D)

                              Lisa has informed me you've come up

                              with a pretty good promo idea. 

                              Something tells me the fact that it

                              was spawned by three dozen tequila

                              shots should concern me... but go

                              ahead.

               LISA BLOWS A NOTE ON A PITCH PIPE.  THEY ALL
               BLANCH, BUT MATCH PITCH.  WELL, APPROXIMATELY.

                                          STAFF

                              (HUMMING)  "Mmmmmmmmnmnnggkhkhhmmm..." 

                              (COUGH, GAG)

                                          DAVE

                              Wait!  This isn't going to be a

                              selection from "A Chorus Line", is it?

                                          LISA

                              No, Dave...

                                          DAVE

                              Because I'm not sure I can handle

                              Matthew's high kicks this morning.

                                          MATTHEW

                              I didn't know the lamp was an antique,

                              Dave.  Gosh, one misplaced arabesque

                              and he gets all bent out of shape.

                                          DAVE

                              Okay, go ahead.

               LISA BLOWS THE PIPE AGAIN.  MORE GROANS.

                                          DAVE (CONT'D)

                              Hold on.  Matthew, are you okay?

                                          MATTHEW

                              (LOOKING AT HANDS)  Have I always had

                              eleven fingers?

                                          DAVE

                              Yes.  Lisa?

               LISA BLOWS THE PIPE A THIRD TIME.  JIMMY WALKS IN.

                                          JIMMY

                              Hey, gang!

               LISA BLASTS A RESOUNDING SCREECH!!  MATTHEW NEARLY
               FAINTS BUT IS NARROWLY CAUGHT BY BETH.

                                          DAVE

                              Good morning, sir.  I was just about

                              to preview your new ad campaign...

                                          JIMMY

                              Super-duper!  Wait a minute.  Is this

                              gonna be a scene from Chorus Line? 

                              'Cause I had to dock Matthew for that

                              Chinese endtable of mine.

                                          MATTHEW

                              No, sir.

                                          JIMMY

                              Lay it on me, guys.

               EVERYONE TAKES A DEEP BREATH.  LISA BLOWS THE NOTE.

                                          STAFF

                              (SINGING SOFTLY)  It's a secret...

                                          BILL

                              "Five Eight Five A.M. News Radio..." 

                                          STAFF

                              It's a secret...

                                          BILL

                              "WNYX.  No secret here. We tell everything."

                                          STAFF

                              "Shhhhhh..."

               THEY LOOK EXPECTANTLY AT JIMMY, WHO IS CLEARLY
               THINKING HARD.

                                          DAVE

                              Sir?

                                          JIMMY

                              You guys make this up together?

               THEY ALL NOD.

                                          JIMMY (CONT'D)

                              You gonna quit, Bill?

                                          BILL

                              Not if I can get the hell outta here. 

                              Say, to a beach?

                                          JIMMY

                              Okay, then, I'll tell Marketing.

                              Oh, damn, that's right.

               HE TURNS TO LEAVE.

                                          BETH

                              Um, Mr. James?  The tiny, sober part

                              of my brain wants to ask: does that

                              mean there's no prize?

                                          JIMMY

                              Oh, yeah.  Keychains all around. 

                              See ya!

                                          DAVE

                              Hold on, sir.  Isn't there another

                              very important announcement you'd like

                              to make?

               THEY LOOK EXPECTANTLY AT JIMMY.  HE HESITATES, THEN:

                                          JIMMY

                              That fridge is really a mess, Judas

                              priest!

                                          DAVE

                              And?

                                          JIMMY

                              My birthday's comin' up?

                                          BILL

                              Oh, for God's sake!  Clint Eastwood is

                              running for Mayor of New York!!

                                          DAVE

                              Thank you, Bill, I'm sure that was

                              cathartic.

                                          JIMMY

                              Dave, the emotion you create is

                              inspiring.

                                          DAVE

                              It was the wiener dogs, sir.  (OFF

                              JIMMY'S LOOK)  I'll explain later.

                                          MATTHEW

                              I like Clint Eastwood.  Even though

                              he's definitely not a little person.

                                          BETH

                              I think he could use a little

                              moisturizer...  (PATS HER FACE)

                                          JIMMY

                              Yeah, poor Squint never recovered from

                              that Bobbing for French Fries gag. 

                              But he sure got me back with this

                              Mayor scam, didn't he!  Mayor of New

                              York, who'd believe that?  Well, good

                              bye, children, "drive safely"!

               THEY STAND STUNNED AS JIMMY EXITS.

                                                                   CUT TO:










                                        ACT TWO

                                        SCENE H



               INT. BREAKROOM

               MATTHEW SITS EATING FROM A TUPPERWARE BOWL.  BILL
               STANDS AT A DISTANCE, SIPPING COFFEE.

               DAVE ENTERS AND LOOKS IN THE REFRIGERATOR.

                                          DAVE

                              Oh, my God!!

                                          MATTHEW

                              (SMUG)  Is there a problem, Dave?

                                          DAVE

                              It's clean!

                                          BILL

                              Matthew and I came in early and

                              scrubbed it out.

                                          MATTHEW

                              Bill wore an apron!

                                          DAVE

                              Cute.

                                          MATTHEW

                              Not as cute as when he stuck the

                              dishwashing glove on his head and

                              inflated it with his nose.

               DAVE LOOKS AT BILL.

                                          BILL

                              I'm a wacky fun guy.

                                          DAVE

                              Howie Mandel lives.  Well, I wanted to

                              personally thank you two for putting

                              aside your differences to come up with

                              a great slogan.  Well, as least, one

                              that doesn't make us all vomit.  Hmm,

                              I guess I can't say that either...

                                          MATTHEW

                              You're welcome.  I was the one who

                              realized that Bill wasn't telling the

                              whole truth.

                                          BILL

                              But, ultimately it was my voice-over.

                                          MATTHEW

                              Yes, but it was my original concept.

                                          BILL

                              Which I made soar with MY vocal

                              tonalities!

                                          DAVE

                              Okay, okay!  Guys?  Thank you. 

                              Honestly, thank you from the bottom of

                              my very busy heart.

               DAVE LEAVES.  BILL DOWNS A FINAL GULP OF COFFEE.

                                          BILL

                              Just remember, Matthew, who they call

                              "Talent".

               HE STARTS TO WALK OUT.

                                          MATTHEW

                              Sure thing, Bill.  Hey, want some of

                              this green Jello?

               BILL'S EYES GO WIDE, BUT HE RECOVERS.

                                          BILL

                              No thanks, Matthew, I've already had

                              some.  (BEAT)  Two months ago, it used

                              to be milk.

               MATTHEW SLOWLY SPITS OUT THE GREEN SUBSTANCE BACK
               INTO THE TUPPERWARE.



                                        END OF SHOW






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