The Jackie Thomas Show

"My Kingdom for a Verb"

by Kristian Idol










The following screenplay is Registered WGA #522844 and Copyright 1993 by Kristian Idol.
Use of any material, in whole or in part, is expressly forbidden without prior written consent.





                                ACT ONE

                                SCENE X



       INT. JERRY'S OFFICE - DAY

       THE WRITERS ARE VIRTUALLY MOTIONLESS.  JERRY SITS 
       AT HIS DESK, STARING AT THE TOP, FINGERS ENTANGLED 
       IN HIS HAIR.  GRANT IS SEATED AT THE ROUND TABLE, A 
       STATUE WITH A PEN.  BOBBY SPRAWLS ON ONE END OF THE 
       COUCH, EYES TO THE CEILING.

                                  BOBBY

                      "Blocked"... "Frustrated"... "Dried-

                      up"...  uh... "Uncreative"...

                                  JERRY

                      Bobby, don't!  We've got to end this 

                      block, and I'm trying to think, okay?  

                      We've got to think!

                                  BOBBY

                      "Think"... "Ponder"... "Ruminate"...

       THE DOOR BURSTS OPEN, JACKIE POPS HIS HEAD IN.

                                  JACKIE

                      Guys, I decided I need that outline in 

                      an hour.  Just remember, write like your 

                      jobs depend on it... because they do!

       JUST AS QUICKLY, JACKIE'S HEAD POPS OUT.

                                  BOBBY

                      "Unemployed"... "Destitute"... 

                      "Homeless"...

                                                           CUT TO:

                                MAIN TITLES









                                ACT ONE

                                SCENE A



       INT. JERRY'S OFFICE - A FEW MINUTES LATER

       JERRY DRUMS HIS FINGERS ON THE ARMRESTS OF HIS 
       CHAIR.  BOBBY IS SPRAWLED ON THE OTHER END OF THE 
       COUCH.  GRANT HAS NOT MOVED A MILLIMETER.

       LAURA BREEZES IN CARRYING THREE FAMILIAR BOXES.

                                  LAURA

                      Okay guys, here's the pizzas!

       SHE HANDS THEM OUT.

                                  LAURA

                      Pineapple-anchovy- (RE: STAIN) grease-

                      sludge surprise for Bobby...

       SHE WIPES HER FINGERS ON THE BOX.

                                  LAURA (CONT'D)

                      Jerry's usual cheese and mushroom...

       LAURA FLIRTS BUT JERRY IS TOO FRAZZLED TO RESPOND.

                                  LAURA

                      How do you like my gift?

                                  JERRY

                      The pizza?

                                  LAURA

                      The watch!

                                  JERRY

                      Oh, yeah.

       HE FORCES A PAINFULLY PLASTIC SMILE AND HOLDS UP HIS 
       WRIST, DISPLAYING A BUTTON-ENCRUSTED SPORTS WATCH.

                                  LAURA

                      A hundred and forty-three functions...

                                  JERRY

                      I know, but--

                                  LAURA

                      They took it to Mt. Everest, you know.

                                  JERRY

                      Yes, I'll remember that if I ever 

                      write sitcoms with Sir Edmund Hilary.  

                      I love the watch and thanks for the 

                      pizza, Laura.  Now we need to be alone 

                      and get to work.

                                  LAURA

                      I spent six dollars on it.

                                  JERRY

                      The watch?!

                                  LAURA

                      The pizza!!

                                  JERRY

                      Uh-huh.  Well, give Grant his present-- 

                      er... pizza and we'll be on with it, 

                      okay?

       LAURA BRINGS THE LAST BOX OVER TO GRANT AT THE 
       ROUND TABLE.

                                  LAURA

                      And green olive for Grant.

       HE STILL STARES INTO SPACE.

                                  LAURA

                      What's wrong with Grant?

       JERRY TRIES TO REPROACH THROUGH A MOUTHFUL OF PIZZA.

                                  JERRY

                      Mmblgrm.

       GULP.

                                  JERRY (CONT'D)

                      Laura, look...  (SIGHS; SHE'S NOT 

                      GOING AWAY)  Ohh, Laura, this ratings 

                      disaster is just crushing us.  Jackie 

                      wants the outline for the last show in 

                      an hour and we are so blocked, and  

                      (RE: GRANT)  one-third of my staff is 

                      on Planet Pluto.

       HE TAKES AN AGGRESSIVE BITE OF PIZZA.

                                  LAURA

                      Roseanne is really killing us, isn't 

                      she?

       JERRY TRIES SPEECH-WITH-PIZZA AGAIN.

                                  JERRY

                      Rglrmug.  (SWALLOW)  Ratings.  I hate 

                      the Nielsen family!  I hate 'em!  Mr. 

                      and Mrs. Nielsen never should have 

                      gotten married!

       HE TAKES ANOTHER FIERCE BITE.  LAURA POUTS FOR A 
       SECOND, THEN BRIGHTENS AND TURNS TO GRANT.  SHE 
       WAVES A TEMPTING PIECE OF PIZZA IN HIS FACE.

                                  LAURA

                      Hellooo, Grant.  It's Mr. Green 

                      Ahh-live!  I want you to eeeat 

                      meee...

       THE ONLY PART OF GRANT THAT MOVES IS HIS MOUTH, AND 
       EVEN THAT'S PRETTY SUBTLE.

                                  GRANT

                      (HAZY)  Black.  I wanted black 

                      olives.  I'm a black man, and I want 

                      black olives.

                                  JERRY

                      Next time, Spike Lee.  Right now we 

                      need a bang-up second act closer.  

                      Thanks, Laura.

                                  LAURA

                      Bang-up, eh?  (BEAT)  How about, 

                      Jackie "bangs-up" his car.  Ha, ha!

                                  JERRY

                      Thank you, Laura, I think we can take 

                      it from here.

                                  LAURA

                      C'mon, let me help.

       JERRY GIVES UP AND SLUMPS IN HIS CHAIR.  LAURA 
       TRIES A HEARTFELT RALLY.

                                  LAURA

                      Listen, everything you need to develop 

                      rich, wonderful story ideas already 

                      exists inside each one of you.  Just 

                      tap into your inner self and become 

                      friends with your powerful creative 

                      resources!

       PAUSE.

                                  JERRY

                      You've been smoking the mushrooms from 

                      my pizza, haven't you?

                                  BOBBY

                      Hey, could you levitate over to the 

                      Mini-Mart for some garlic?

                                  LAURA

                      You guys!  I read that in a book, 

                      "Writing Your Movie in Three Days".

                                  JERRY

                      Three days?!

                                  LAURA

                      Well, the last day is for rewriting, 

                      of course.

                                  JERRY

                      Ack!  Who writes that crapola?

                                  LAURA

                      It is not crapola!  (UNSURE)  The 

                      author's name is Petey Barnes.

                                  BOBBY

                      Wasn't he the little dog in the "Our 

                      Gang" series?

       JERRY GETS UP, GRABS LAURA'S ARM AND LEADS HER 
       TOWARDS THE DOOR.

                                  JERRY

                      Well, Ms. Miller, maybe your doggie 

                      scriptwriter can spend three days 

                      licking his creative juices, but we--

                                  LAURA

                      Resources, Jerry, creative resources.

                                  JERRY

                      Right.  Look, Laura, we really need 

                      some time to just wrap this up.  Thank 

                      you, hon.  Bye-bye.

       HE OPENS THE DOOR.

                                  LAURA

                      I want to help, Je--

       AND PUSHES HER OUT.

                                  BOBBY

                      She gets kind of like Mom Junior 

                      sometimes, doesn't she?

                                  JERRY

                      Ah, she means well.  She's just trying 

                      so hard it bothers me, you know?  I 

                      mean, how dense do you have to be not 

                      to leave writers alone?

       JACKIE'S FACE POPS IN AGAIN.

                                  JACKIE

                      Hi, guys.  Just thought I'd let you 

                      know I need that outline in fifty 

                      minutes.

                                  JERRY

                      Look, Jackie...  We're all really 

                      blocked here.

                                  JACKIE

                      Hey, I understand.  (HE WALKS IN)  

                      Try some Kaopectate in a beer.  

                      (CONFIDENTIALLY TO JERRY)  One time I 

                      was real blocked up, but a little 

                      'Kao cocktail' and whoosh!, I was 

                      back on the ol' throne for an hour.  

                      Used up a whole can of Lysol 

                      afterwards, but I felt great!

                                  JERRY

                      Wonderful.  No, Jackie, I mean 

                      writer's block.  I'm not sure we can 

                      have this outline for you in fifty 

                      minutes.

                                  JACKIE

                      Forty-eight, but who's counting?  

                      (BEAT)  Besides me.  (BEAT)  And Doug 

                      and all the network guys.  (NOTICING 

                      GRANT)  What's wrong with him, why 

                      isn't he writing?

       GRANT IS MINDLESSLY PICKING THE OLIVES OFF HIS 
       PIZZA AND PLACING THEM INTO A NEAT LITTLE PILE.  
       JACKIE WALKS OVER.

                                  JACKIE

                      No wonder he can't write, man, he's 

                      got the wrong olives on his pizza!  

                      Why would you give a black man green 

                      olives?

                                  BOBBY

                      Jackie Thomas and Spike Lee.  (RAISES 

                      FIST)  Power to the people.

       GRANT STARES FORLORNLY AT HIS 'ZA.

                                  JACKIE

                      Hey, I don't get that, but me and 

                      Spike Lee are like brothers.  You 

                      know, like Boyz Under the Hood.  

                      That reminds me, I gotta call him 

                      for a copy of that X-rated movie he 

                      did.

       JERRY AND BOBBY LOOK AT EACH OTHER.  JERRY IS 
       AFRAID TO ASK.

                                  JERRY

                      Malcolm X?!

                                  JACKIE

                      Yeah, I've never seen a porno with 

                      black chicks before.  Maybe my buddy 

                      Curt can help you guys.  He's written 

                      lots of porno.  Man, he comes up with 

                      some great ideas, like one time, the 

                      Head Nurse walks into the barber shop--

                                  JERRY

                      Jackie, Jackie, look, I think we can 

                      solve this all by ourselves.  No 

                      nurses, and no more writers, okay?

                                  JACKIE

                      Yeah, okay.  But I'm gonna do some 

                      research anyway.

                                  BOBBY

                      It's a dirty job, but Jackie's gotta 

                      do it twice.

                                  JACKIE

                      You betcha.  So, what've you guys got 

                      so far?

       JERRY LOOKS NERVOUSLY AT BOBBY.

                                  JERRY

                      Well, um...  So far the best idea 

                      looks like a take-off on "Casablanca".

                                  JACKIE

                      All right!  That was one of Columbus' 

                      ships, wasn't it?

       OFF JERRY'S REACTION, BOBBY SMIRKS.

                                  JACKIE (CONT'D)

                      Yeah, we could flood the studio with a 

                      million gallons of water, just like 

                      the movies!  I'm gonna get right over 

                      to Props and get me a cool pirate hat!

       AND WITH THAT, HE RUNS OUT.  JERRY LOOKS PLEADINGLY 
       TO BOBBY, WHO SHRUGS.

                                  BOBBY

                      If we're lucky, maybe we can sink 

                      Captain Jackie's ship.

                                  JERRY

                      Somewhere, there's a cannonball with 

                      Jackie's face on it.

       AND WE:

                                                          DISSOLVE TO:








                                ACT ONE

                                SCENE B



       INT. JERRY'S OFFICE - LATER

       JERRY PACES LIKE A MADMAN.  BOBBY IS UPSIDE DOWN ON 
       THE COUCH, FEET OVER THE BACK, HEAD NEARLY ON THE 
       FLOOR.  GRANT COULD BE A MANNEQUIN.

                                  JERRY

                      I can't believe you're laying there 

                      with only  (GLANCES AT WATCH)  thirty-

                      six minutes left.

                                  BOBBY

                      Jerry, buddy, you gotta learn to 

                      relax.  (PATTING CUSHION)  Take a load 

                      off.

                                  JERRY

                      I can't, I can't.  (STARING AT WATCH)  

                      We only have thirty-five minutes and 

                      twenty seconds to finish.  (BEAT)  I 

                      mean, thirty-five minutes, fifteen 

                      seconds.  (BEAT)  Now it's only thirty-

                      five minutes ten--

                                  BOBBY

                      Laura never should've given you a 

                      digital watch, Jerry.

                                  JERRY

                      Yeah.  (BEAT)  But listen to this.

       JERRY STOPS PACING AND PRESSES THE WATCH.  A TINY 
       FEMALE VOICE SQUEAKS FORTH.

                                  WATCH (V.O.)

                      I love you, Jerry!

       JERRY GIVES UP A WISTFUL SMILE.

                                  BOBBY

                      It sounds like the Time-and-

                      Temperature lady.

       JERRY PRESSES AGAIN.

                                  WATCH (V.O.)

                      (BEEP!)  I love you, Jerry!

                                  BOBBY

                      That's a lot of commitment from a six-

                      dollar watch.

                                  JERRY

                      (BACK TO EARTH)  Agh, Laura.  We just 

                      get to a nice, comfortable point in 

                      our relationship and now she wants all 

                      this attention.  First pizza, then a 

                      watch, what next?

                                  BOBBY

                      Curtains?

                                  JERRY

                      That's right!  Curtains!  But I blow 

                      her off because of Jackie.  (BEAT)  

                      Let's finish this outline so I can go 

                      say I'm sorry.

       JERRY SITS NORMALLY ON THE COUCH NEXT TO BOBBY, WHO 
       IS STILL UPSIDE-DOWN.

                                  JERRY

                      (RE: BOBBY'S POSITION)  Does that 

                      really work?

                                  BOBBY

                      Richard Gere swears by it.  And look 

                      who he snagged.

                                  JERRY

                      No, for writing.

                                  BOBBY

                      Absolutely.  I've thought of some of 

                      my most creative ideas this way.  And 

                      it enlarges my eyeballs, too.  Try it!

                                  JERRY

                      I may be desperate, Bobby, but I'm 

                      getting pretty old for this acrobatic 

                      stuff.

                                  BOBBY

                      Yeah, that's what Laura said.

                                  JERRY

                      She said that?  Well, I'll show that 

                      little scriptwriter wannabe!

       JERRY STRUGGLES TO POSITION HIMSELF UPSIDE DOWN.  
       HE GETS SUCCESSFULLY INVERTED, BUT IS STILL VISIBLY 
       TENSE AND UNCOMFORTABLE.

                                  JERRY

                      (NASAL AND UNCONVINCING)  Oh yeah, 

                      this is great.  (BEAT)  I think I'm 

                      blacking out.

                                  BOBBY

                      Hang on, that's when the 

                      hallucinations start.

       A FEW MOMENTS PASS.  JERRY STARTS TO RELAX.

                                  JERRY

                      Oh, look!  (POINTING AT CEILING)  That 

                      tomato-sauce stain looks just like a 

                      horsie!

                                  BOBBY

                      Now you're gettin' it.

       ANOTHER THOUGHTFUL MOMENT.

                                  JERRY

                      You know, if we put fluorescent lights 

                      in the floor, we could have a disco.

                                  BOBBY

                      We'll call it "Club Vertigo-go".

                                  JERRY

                      Bobby, this isn't working - we have to 

                      get this outline done.

       HE CLAMBERS OFF THE COUCH.  BOBBY RIGHTS HIMSELF 
       AND TRIES TO STAND UP, BUT HIS EYES ROLL INTO HIS 
       HEAD AND HE CRUMBLES TO THE FLOOR.  JERRY CROUCHES 
       TO HELP.

                                  JERRY

                      Bobby, are you okay?

                                  BOBBY

                      (DAZED)  Whoa.  Cool.

                                  JERRY

                      Bobby, are you okay?

                                  BOBBY

                      Yeah, I guess.  (HOLDING UP HANDS)  

                      What does it mean when there's little 

                      sparks shooting out of your fingertips?

                                  JERRY

                      How do you feel?

                                  BOBBY

                      I feel like Grant.

       WITHOUT MOVING, GRANT WHIMPERS A MONOSYLLABLE.

                                  GRANT

                      Uhhur?

       JERRY PICKS BOBBY UP OFF THE FLOOR.  BOBBY LEANS ON 
       HIM LIKE A WOUNDED SOLDIER.

                                  JERRY

                      That's the last time I let you eat the 

                      four-burrito appetizer from Señor 

                      Wang's catering truck.

                                  BOBBY

                      Si, I think maybe it was all the cough 

                      syrup I poured on top.

                                  JERRY

                      (EXCITED)  But you've got the right 

                      idea about ending this damn block...

       JERRY LETS GO AND BOBBY THUNKS TO THE FLOOR AGAIN. 
       WITHOUT MISSING A BEAT, JERRY PICKS HIM UP AND 
       PLOPS HIM ON THE COUCH.

                                  JERRY

                      Sometimes you just have to do non-

                      writing things.  You know, anything to 

                      get your mind off the show.   

                                  BOBBY

                      So what's new?

                                  JERRY

                      When I was at "Cheers", we used to do 

                      all sorts of weird, creative things to 

                      help us through a block.  Some guys 

                      did needlepoint, some would even sing 

                      and dance.

                                  BOBBY

                      Sounds like sitcom gypsies to me.

                                  JERRY

                      No, really.  There are times when 

                      you're so desperate, singing and 

                      dancing is the only thing that clears 

                      the cobwebs out.

                                  BOBBY

                      We've only got twenty-six minutes left.

                                                           CUT TO:



       INT. OUTER OFFICE - SAME TIME

       DOUG AND TWO SERIOUS EXECS WALK PAST STEPHANIE'S 
       DESK.

                                  DOUG

                      Of course, ultimately the success of 

                      the show depends upon our very 

                      professional, hard-working writers.

       DOUG OPENS THE DOOR.

                                                           CUT TO:



       INT. JERRY'S OFFICE - SAME TIME

       JERRY AND BOBBY HAVE THEIR ARMS CROSSED AGAINST 
       THEIR CHESTS AND KICK THEIR FEET LIKE RUSSIAN 
       DANCERS.

                                  JERRY & BOBBY

                      (SINGING FULL VOICE)  Scaramouche, 

                      Scaramouche, can you do the Fan-dang-o!!

       DOUG SLAMS THE DOOR SHUT.

                                                           CUT TO:



       INT. OUTER OFFICE

                                  DOUG

                      Maybe we'll check back later.

       AND WE:

                                                           DISSOLVE TO:








                                ACT ONE

                                SCENE C



       INT. JERRY'S OFFICE - A FEW MINUTES LATER

       DOUG SNEAKS IN AND CONSPIRATORIALLY PEEKS OUT THE 
       DOOR BEFORE CLOSING IT.

                                  DOUG

                      What in blazes is going on in here?  I 

                      had to tell the big guys you were 

                      bringing in Fred Astaire as a guest 

                      star!

                                  JERRY

                      Fred Astaire is dead, Doug.

                                  DOUG

                      (WHINING)  They don't know that!  Now, 

                      I may be begging for a heap of 

                      trouble, but is there anything about 

                      the, uh, relationship between you two 

                      that I should know about?

                                  JERRY

                      No, Doug, we--

       BOBBY PUTS HIS ARM AROUND JERRY, PLAYING WITH HIS 
       HAIR AND GRINNING.  JERRY PUSHES HIM AWAY.

                                  JERRY (CONT'D)

                      We just have twenty-four minutes to 

                      finish the outline for Jackie and we 

                      haven't even started.

                                  DOUG

                      Haven't started?!  Our lives depend on 

                      the season finale, you know!

                                  JERRY & BOBBY

                      (TOGETHER)  We know.

       DOUG WALKS OVER TO GRANT.

                                  DOUG

                      Well, what's wrong with him?  And what 

                      is wrong with his pizza?

                                  JERRY

                      Nevermind!

                                  DOUG

                      He looks like my step-sister after one 

                      of her sorority Chug-Fests.

                                  JERRY

                      Doug, I'm afraid Grant is trapped in 

                      The Rewrite Zone.

       BOBBY WHISTLES THE "TWILIGHT ZONE" THEME.

                                  BOBBY

                      (A LA ROD SERLING)  Consider this:  A 

                      psychotic TV star, a pathetic network 

                      executive and a zombie writer... 

                                  JERRY

                      Bobby...

                                  BOBBY

                      ..struggling with barely a brain 

                      between the three of them...

                                  DOUG

                      Listen, I've half a mind to tell 

                      Jackie about that.

       BOBBY OPENS HIS MOUTH TO RETORT, BUT JERRY'S HAND 
       FLASHES OUT OVER IT.  JERRY SMILES INNOCENTLY WITH 
       HIS HAND OVER MOST OF BOBBY'S FACE.

                                  JERRY

                      Okay, Doug, we have to get back to 

                      being busy as little beavers!

       DOUG TURNS BACK TO GRANT AND SNAPS HIS FINGERS IN 
       FRONT OF GRANT'S FACE.  NOTHING.

                                  DOUG

                      Well, okay, as long as this one 

                      doesn't claim any psychotherapy under 

                      Workman's Comp.

       JERRY REMOVES HIS HAND FROM BOBBY, WHO GASPS LIKE A 
       LANDED FISH.

                                  JERRY

                      (INTERESTED)  You can do that?

                                  DOUG

                      You bet, my whole family's --  uh...  

                      I think I read it somewhere.  In the 

                      employee mental... er... manual!  How 

                      about them Dodgers, anyway?

                                  JERRY

                      It's been a long season, hasn't it, 

                      Doug?

       DOUG NODS QUIETLY.  JERRY AND BOBBY HERD HIM TOWARD THE 

       DOOR.  HE LOOKS BACK AT GRANT AND SHAKES HIS HEAD.

                                  DOUG

                      He always seemed to be the most normal 

                      one.

                                  BOBBY

                      This from a man who thinks dogs can 

                      play poker.

                                  DOUG

                      I'll win it back, you wait.  I just 

                      didn't know they could bluff!  (BEAT)  

                      And you guys aren't... buddies?

       BOBBY PUTS HIS ARM AROUND JERRY AGAIN AND SMILES 
       THE FAKE PHOTO-OP SMILE.  JERRY DISENTANGLES.

                                  JERRY

                      I assure you, Doug, we're all very 

                      manly around here.

       JACKIE ENTERS WEARING A PIRATE HAT WITH A HUGE 
       FEATHER ON IT, HIS IOWA T-SHIRT OVER BLOOMERS AND 
       POINTED BOOTS.  HE STANDS PROUDLY WITH HIS HANDS ON 
       HIS HIPS.

                                  JACKIE

                      I've come for my men!

                                  DOUG

                      Oh, Lord, my life is over.

       DOUG RACES OUT, AS WE:

                                                           FADE OUT

                                
                                
                                END OF ACT ONE











                                ACT TWO

                                SCENE D



       FADE IN:



       INT. JERRY'S OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER

       CAPTAIN JACKIE APPEARS A LITTLE LESS CONFIDENT.

                                  JACKIE

                      Hey, honestly, I don't look like a 

                      dork, do I?  I mean, when I discover 

                      the first butcher shop in the New 

                      World, I gotta look studly.

                                  BOBBY

                      The word "fluffy" comes to mind.

       JERRY TRIES TO "SHOOSH" BOBBY.  JACKIE TAKES OFF 
       THE HAT.

                                  JACKIE

                      Aww, I knew it.

                                  JERRY

                      The problem is, Jackie, there aren't 

                      really any pirates in "Casablanca".

                                  JACKIE

                      Well, just write one in.  This is 

                      television, Harper, the most creative 

                      medium in the entire world - make him 

                      a wacky neighbor.

       HE PUTS THE HAT BACK ON.

                                  JACKIE (CONT'D)

                      But I'm done helpin' you guys out, I'm 

                      gonna go steal some buried treasure!

                                  BOBBY

                      Buried treasure, huh, Jackie?

                                  JACKIE

                      Yeah, well, either that or some Ho-Hos 

                      from the commissary.

       JACKIE EXITS.  JERRY RUBS HIS HANDS TOGETHER AS HE 
       WALKS TO HIS DESK.

                                  JERRY

                      Okay, final stretch.  We have to pick 

                      one idea right now and go with it.  

                      What about "Casablanca"? 

                                  BOBBY

                      Do you want to explain to Jackie that 

                      there were no Nazis on Columbus' ships?

                                  JERRY

                      Jackie's Cafe Caribbean?

       THEY SHAKE THEIR HEADS.

                                  JERRY & BOBBY

                      Nah.

       JERRY PICKS UP A PAD.

                                  JERRY

                      (READING)  Number two:  Grant's 

                      pre-coma "Citizen Kane" idea.

       BOBBY CLUTCHES HIS CHEST AS IF DYING.

                                  BOBBY

                      Roastbeef...  Roooast beeeef!

                                  JERRY

                      Very clever.

                                  BOBBY

                      Oh, don't forget Fred Astaire and 

                      Ginger Thomas.

       JERRY THINKS FOR A MOMENT, THEN STARTS SCRIBBLING.

                                  JERRY

                      Could happen.

                                  BOBBY

                      'Course, we'd have to teach Jackie to 

                      dance.

                                  JERRY

                      Right.  Teaching Jackie to dance is 

                      like teaching a pig to sing - it 

                      wastes your time and annoys the pig.

                                  BOBBY

                      (FRUSTRATED)  Which one are we talking 

                      about again?

       JERRY DOESN'T NOTICE BOBBY'S CRACK.  OR THAT BOBBY 
       IS LOSING HIS PATIENCE.

                                  JERRY

                      Casablanca... Kane... Astaire.  

                      Hmmm...  Citizen, 'blanca... dancing 

                      pigs.  (BEAT)  Let's go with "Citizen 

                      Kane".

                                  BOBBY

                      Fine.  A twenty-three minute study of 

                      megalomania - says "Jackie" to me.

                                  JERRY

                      Okay, c'mon, just the high points.  

                      (QUICKLY, PARAPHRASING OFF PAD)  After 

                      a particularly large meal of pork, 

                      Jackie falls asleep and dreams of 

                      owning the biggest and best butcher 

                      shop in the world.  Because of his 

                      drive to rigorously follow the 

                      Standard of Weights and Measures, 

                      Helen divorces him, and--

       BOBBY WAVES HIS HAND, TRYING TO HURRY JERRY ALONG.

                                  BOBBY

                      Yeah, blah, blah, blah...

                                  JERRY

                      (PUT OUT)  No "blah, blah, blah", this 

                      is where we're stuck, filling in the 

                      "blah, blah"s.  If we don't get rid of 

                      some of the "blah, blah, blah"s, it's 

                      our blah, blah jobs!

       BOBBY WALKS UP TO JERRY.

                                  BOBBY

                      Well, you're the head writer, you 

                      write the "blah, blah, blah"s, then.

                                  JERRY

                      I will, because your "blah, blah, 

                      blah"s are too... blah!

       BOBBY STEPS CLOSER.

                                  BOBBY

                      Oh yeah, well, blaaah, blaah.

       LAURA WALKS IN.  THE GUYS ARE NOSE-TO-NOSE.

                        JERRY 			    BOBBY

                   Blah, BLAH, blah,		Blah, blah, BLAH,  

                   BLAH, blah, BLAH!!		blah, BLAH, BLAH!!

       LAURA CAN'T FIGURE THIS ONE OUT FOR THE LIFE OF HER.

                                  LAURA

                      Jerry?

                                  JERRY

                      Oh... I'm sorry, Laura, I was just 

                      having a disagreement with Blahby.

       JERRY AND BOBBY BURST INTO A FIT OF HYSTERICAL 
       GIGGLES.  LAURA CAN ONLY STAND THERE AMAZED.  BOBBY 
       RECOVERS FIRST.

                                  BOBBY

                      Hey, that's Mister Blahby to you, pal.

       MORE CHORTLING AND SNORTING.  JERRY AND BOBBY GASP 
       AND WIPE TEARS FROM THEIR EYES...

                                  LAURA

                      So, have you comedians finished your 

                      outline yet?

       THEIR FACES INSTANTLY CHANGE TO UTTER DEADPAN.

                                  LAURA (CONT'D)

                      Uh-huh.  Well, I was going to come in 

                      here and yell at you, Jerry, for 

                      treating me so rudely earlier, but 

                      maybe this will be more effective...

       SHE WALKS TOWARDS THE DOOR.

                                  LAURA (CONT'D)

                      I've nearly finished my outline; it 

                      only took me thirty minutes.  And the 

                      book was very helpful.  Ta ta!

       JERRY STALKS AFTER HER, HANDS OUTWARD IN A 
       STRANGLING POSITION.  SHE EXITS.

                                  JERRY

                      First Roseanne beats us up, now Laura - 

                      estrogen is taking over Hollywood!

                                  BOBBY

                      Maybe she's an idiot savant, like a 

                      Rainwoman, or something.

                                  JERRY

                      Hey!

                                  BOBBY

                      Oh, sorry, Jer.  All that joyful 

                      laughing threw off my rhythm.

       A FEW MOMENTS PASS.

                                  JERRY

                      But you know, you're right again.  We 

                      have to think sort of like a child...  

                      Back to that brash naiveté we had 

                      before we were professionals, that 

                      total lack of knowledge...

                                  BOBBY

                      Should I call Jackie?

                                  JERRY

                      Not that far back.  Let me think...  

                      (BEAT)  Okay, okay...  One of the 

                      earliest techniques I learned was the 

                      "opposite theory".  Like, what if 

                      Jackie is not a successful butcher, or 

                      Jackie is not happy with the family. 

                                  BOBBY

                      Oh, you mean, like, Jackie is funny, 

                      or Jackie is a friend.

                                  JERRY

                      Now that's good writin'!  Let's do it.

                                  BOBBY

                      Countdown?

       JERRY LOOKS AT HIS WATCH.

                                  JERRY

                      T-minus sixteen minutes and twenty 

                      seconds.

                                  WATCH (V.O.)

                      (BEEP!)  I love you, Jerry!

                                  JERRY

                      Oops!

                                  BOBBY

                      Jer, you've got to end this thing with 

                      the Time-and-Temperature lady.

                                  JERRY

                      (REALIZING)  You know, this is crazy.  

                      No-one can write a story outline in 

                      sixteen minutes.

                                  BOBBY

                      Fifteen minutes fifty.

                                  JERRY

                      Hey, so's your old man.  We can't let 

                      him push us around like this anymore, 

                      Bobby - this could be our last dance.

                                  BOBBY

                      Literally as well as figuratively.

                                  JERRY

                      What should I do?

                                  BOBBY

                      I'm his friend, I can use guilt to 

                      keep my job.  But you've gotta beg and 

                      grovel.  And plead.  And whimper. 

                                  JERRY

                      Well, I'm going to do whatever I can 

                      to get some more time out of Jackie.  

                      You keep writing.

       JERRY STRIDES OUT, MAN WITH A MISSION.  A MOMENT, 
       THEN...

                                  BOBBY

                      Godspeed, Caped Crusader.

       AND WE:

                                                           DISSOLVE TO:









                                ACT TWO

                                SCENE E



       INT. JACKIE'S DRESSING ROOM - A FEW MINUTES LATER

       JACKIE CUPS A BOWLING BALL IN EACH HAND, UP BY HIS 
       CHEST.  JERRY WALKS IN AS JACKIE LOOKS PROUDLY AT 
       HIS PLASTIC MAMMARIES.

                                  JACKIE

                      Yeah, that's about right.

       HE TOSSES ONE TO JERRY (OOF!) AND DROPS THE OTHER 
       ON THE COUCH AS HE SITS DOWN.

                                  JACKIE

                      Hey, Harper!  I decided that Columbus 

                      idea sucks.  That pirate hat didn't 

                      get me one date!

                                  JERRY

                      I'm sorry to hear that, Jackie.

                                  JACKIE

                      Well, you oughta be.  Some skinny guy 

                      from Set Design kept asking me if I 

                      wanted to sword fight!  What did he 

                      mean by that?

       JERRY OPENS HIS MOUTH, BUT HE'S AT A LOSS.  HE SCREWS 
       UP HIS COURAGE.

                                  JERRY

                      Actually, Jackie, we've decided 

                      against "Casablanca" and opted for 

                      "Citizen Kane".

                                  JACKIE

                      Never heard of it.  Does it got any 

                      hookers in it?

                                  JERRY

                      It's a family show, remember, Jackie?

                                  JACKIE

                      So, we'll have a whole family of 

                      hookers!  Like the "Brady Bunch", only 

                      the maid will be real hot.  I'll call 

                      Casting!

       JACKIE LEAPS UP OFF THE COUCH AND PICKS UP THE 
       PHONE, BUT JERRY RUNS OVER AND GRABS IT.  THEY 
       STRUGGLE BRIEFLY.

                                  JERRY

                      Jackie!  "Citizen Kane" is the story 

                      of a very rich and powerful man!

       THEY STOP PULLING AT THE PHONE, BUT EACH KEEPS HIS 
       HOLD ON IT.

                                  JACKIE

                      Hey, like me!

                                  JERRY

                      (QUIETLY)  That's right - a very rich 

                      and powerful...  and handsome man.

       JACKIE RELEASES HIS GRIP AS JERRY BEGINS TO SOUND 
       LIKE A FATHER TELLING A BEDTIME STORY.

                                  JERRY (CONT'D)

                      ...who once upon a time had a...  

                      bowling ball, which he liked very, 

                      very much.

       JACKIE PICKS A HO-HO OUT OF A BOX ON HIS COFFEE 
       TABLE, BITES INTO IT, AND SITS BACK DOWN ON HIS 
       COUCH.

                                  JACKIE

                      (CHILD-LIKE)  Is there a princess, 

                      Harper?

                                  JERRY

                      Yeah, sure, why not?

       HE STARTS TO SIT AND LANDS SQUARELY ON THE BOWLING 
       BALL.  HE PUSHES IT ASIDE.

                                  JERRY (CONT'D)

                      We'll put her in Act One.

                                  JACKIE

                      Good, 'cause then the powerful guy can 

                      boink her.

       JERRY HAS GROWN TIRED OF REINING JACKIE IN.

                                  JERRY

                      This is television, Jackie!  No 

                      boinking allowed!  Besides, it 

                      wouldn't work in the story.

                                  JACKIE

                      Story?!  What does story have to do 

                      with TV?  How about, I have an affair 

                      with the fabulous babe, and Helen does 

                      this "Fatal Attraction" thing, 'cause 

                      I'm a rich and powerful butcher...

                                  JERRY

                      Jackie...

       JACKIE JUMPS UP OFF THE COUCH AGAIN.

                                  JACKIE

                      Yeah, and then Timmy comes surfin' in  

                      (HE IMITATES)  on a giant wave to save 

                      Mr. Brady's maid, but she's really a guy.

                                  JERRY

                      Jackie...

                                  JACKIE

                      And then, and then...  Clint Eastwood 

                      paints the whole butcher shop red, and 

                      we shoot it out, and I nail him in the 

                      shoulder...

       JACKIE GRABS HIS SHOULDER AND STUMBLES AROUND, 
       KNOCKING OVER AT LEAST ONE PIECE OF FURNITURE.

                                  JERRY

                      JACKIE!!

                                  JACKIE

                      And then Steven Segal...  the tennis 

                      pro, who's really Clint's long-lost 

                      brother, parachutes in and kicks the 

                      crap out of Timmy 'cause he had an 

                      affair with the Brady maid to get her 

                      to give me the illegal meat kick-backs!

       JERRY SEETHES - BARELY HOLDING IT IN.

                                  JERRY

                      Fine.  Done.  But we need more...

                      (RETHINKING, DEEP BREATH)  In order to 

                      execute your  (GNASH)  brilliant 

                      ideas, Jackie, we need another day to 

                      finish the outline.

                                  JACKIE

                      No way, Harper.  Laura showed me a 

                      great outline she wrote in, like, ten 

                      minutes.

       JERRY LOOKS LIKE HIS FACE IS GOING TO CATCH ON FIRE.

                                  JERRY

                      NO!!

                                  JACKIE

                      C'mon, Harper, this writing stuff is 

                      easier than my first girlfriend.  I 

                      just wrote half of it for ya!  And my 

                      ideas were as good as anything you've 

                      done this year.

       MORE HEAT...

                                  JERRY

                      No, no!!  Jackie, this is, this is...  

                      (SEARCHING)  This is just STUPID!!

       JACKIE CHANGES FROM DAY INTO NIGHT.  HE GRABS 
       JERRY'S SHIRT.

                                  JACKIE

                      Don't you ever call me stupid again,

                      Harper, you hear me?  Ever!!  That's what

                      my father used to do.  And you ain't him!

       FOR A MOMENT JACKIE LOOKS LIKE HE MAY ACTUALLY HIT JERRY.  
       HE RELEASES HIM AND POINTS A FINGER IN HIS FACE. 

                                  JACKIE (CONT'D)

                      You writers just get me an outline 

                      before I finish that box of Ho-Hos or 

                      I'll replace you with Laura and her 

                      dog-friend Petey!

       LOOK OUT!

                                  JERRY

                      (YELLING)  Yes, sir, Mr. Thomas!!

       JERRY STORMS OUT, SLAMMING THE DOOR.  JACKIE 
       SHRUGS, TURNS ON THE TV AND SITS DOWN.  HE EXAMINES 
       HIS NEXT HO-HO CAREFULLY.

                                  JACKIE

                      I like that.  "Yes, sir, Mr. Thomas". 

                      I think I'll get all the writers to 

                      say that.  (RE: TV)  Ah, Jeez, will ya 

                      look at this?

       ROSEANNE ARGUES WITH DARLENE.

                                  JACKIE

                      All she ever does is yell at her kids.  

                      How can somebody so mean be so 

                      popular?

       AND WE:

                                                           DISSOLVE TO:









                                ACT TWO

                                SCENE F



       INT. JERRY'S OFFICE - A FEW MINUTES LATER

       JERRY BURSTS IN, RANTING.  HE'S LOSING IT.

                                  JERRY

                      That's it!  I give up!  I can't live 

                      like this anymore!  I can't!  I can't 

                      keep trying to beat these deadlines 

                      under the constant pressure of losing 

                      my job, if we even have a job next 

                      week, and try to maintain a 

                      relationship with Laura at the same 

                      time!  I'm going absolutely nuts!  I'm 

                      getting ulcers on my brain stem!!

                                  BOBBY

                      How much time is left?

       JERRY PRESSES THE WATCH.

                                  JERRY

                      Nine minutes and--

                                  WATCH (V.O.)

                      (BEEP!)  I love you, Jerry!

                                  JERRY

                      Ack!

       JERRY FIDDLES WITH THE WATCH, BUT IT KEEPS BEEPING 
       AND SQUEAKING AS HE GROWS EVER MORE MANIC.

                                  WATCH (V.O.)

                      (BEEP!)  I love you, Jerry!  (BOOP, 

                      BEEP!)  I love you, Jerry!  I love 

                      you, Jerry!  (BEEP! BOOP!)  I love 

                      you, I love you, I love--

       JERRY SCREAMS AND RIPS THE WATCH FROM HIS WRIST, 
       FLINGING IT TO THE FLOOR AND STOMPING IT TO BITS.

                                  JERRY

                      I know!  I know!  I know!!  I KNOW!!!

       BOBBY IS STUNNED.  HE WHISTLES "TWILIGHT ZONE" 
       AGAIN QUIETLY.
       
       JERRY COLLAPSES ON THE COUCH, EXHAUSTED.


       AND THE SCENE LOOKS RATHER LIKE THE OPENING:  BOBBY 
       SITS QUIETLY, JERRY IS PANTING, AND GRANT IS 
       APPARENTLY HUMMING "RIDE OF THE VALKYRIES".

       LAURA WALKS IN, CARRYING A FEW SHEETS OF PAPER.

                                  LAURA

                      I'm done with my story outline.  Would 

                      you like to see it?

       BOBBY HANDS JERRY A PENCIL.

                                  BOBBY

                      Take the wooden stake, place it over 

                      her beating heart...

       BUT JERRY HAS NO WILL TO FIGHT.  IT'S OVER.  HE HAS 
       BEEN VANQUISHED.

       HE TAKES THE PAPERS AND BEGINS SKIMMING THEM.

                                  JERRY

                      This is...  This is great.

                                  LAURA

                      Do you really think so?

                                  JERRY

                      (READING)  Helen gives Jackie a watch 

                      for his birthday, but he ignores her 

                      because he's trying to organize a big 

                      sale, so she helps him with the ad 

                      campaign.  It's wonderful!

                                  LAURA

                      Well, write what you know, I guess.

                                  BOBBY

                      It's fresh.  A new vision.  Singularly 

                      unique.

                                  JERRY

                      Singularly on time.  Thank you, Laura!

       JERRY JUMPS UP AND GIVES HER A BIG HUG.  BOBBY HUGS 
       THE BOTH OF THEM.

       JERRY TOSSES THE OUTLINE ON TOP OF A FAT SCRIPT ON 
       THE ROUND TABLE.  GRANT LEAPS UP, GRABBING THE BOOK-
       LIKE SCRIPT.

                                  GRANT

                      No!!  That's "Citizen Kane"!  You 

                      can't put a Jackie Thomas script on 

                      top of "Citizen Kane"!  It's like 

                      matter and anti-matter!  Anathema!  

                      Antithesis!  Polar opposites!                      

       GRANT CLUTCHES "CITIZEN" TO HIS BREAST.

                                  GRANT (CONT'D)

                      (QUIETLY, EARNESTLY)  There'll be a 

                      colossal explosion and it'll be the 

                      end of the world as we know it.

                                  BOBBY

                      It is...  alive.

                                  JERRY

                      Grant, are you all right?

                                  LAURA

                      You better sit back down.

       THEY CAREFULLY HELP THE CONFUSED YOUNG MAN BACK 
       INTO HIS CHAIR.

                                  GRANT

                      What happened?  (BEAT)  I remember a 

                      long tunnel with a bright light at the 

                      end...  And the faint smell of... 

                      pizza.

       JERRY SQUEEZES GRANT'S SHOULDER WARMLY.  BOBBY BOWS 
       HIS HEAD AND GIVES GRANT A SIDEWAYS HUG.

                                  BOBBY

                      At least it wasn't burritos.

                                  GRANT

                      Say, does anybody know what time it is?

       JERRY AND BOBBY'S EYES GET HUGE, AND WE:

                                                           FADE OUT



                                END OF ACT TWO
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                
                                

                                TAG



       FADE IN:


       INT. JERRY'S OFFICE - LATER

       THE WRITERS ARE GATHERED AROUND A LUCID GRANT ON 
       THE COUCH.

                                  GRANT

                      You were there, Jackie, and Jerry, and 

                      you, Bobby.

                                  BOBBY

                      And Toto, too?

                                  GRANT

                      Is that what you're calling Laura now?

       LAURA FROWNS.

                                  JERRY

                      Anything else?

                                  GRANT

                      There was a big pirate behind the 

                      curtain...

                                  JACKIE

                      Hey, don't tell nobody 'bout that 

                      feather, okay?

                                  JERRY

                      It's pretty amazing what stress will 

                      do to a man.

                                  LAURA

                      (POINTEDLY)  Isn't it, Jerry.

                                  JERRY

                      I'm sorry, Laura, I went a little 

                      bonkers.  I actually write pretty well 

                      when I'm not thinking of you.

       SHE GIVES HIM A PLAYFUL PUNCH.

                                  JACKIE

                      Yeah, I was a dink, too, Harper.  

                      I think those Ho-Hos raise my 

                      blood sugar or something.

                                  GRANT

                      At least you didn't, um...  

                      didn't, uh...

       HE'S TRYING TO THINK OF THE WORD.

                                  GRANT (CONT'D)

                      ...didn't...

       JACKIE SMACKS HIM UPSIDE THE BACK OF HIS HEAD.

                                  GRANT (CONT'D)

                      Blank out!  Didn't blank out.

                                  JERRY

                      Now there's a technique we didn't try, 

                      Bobby.

                                  BOBBY

                      Actually, Grant, I think you had the 

                      best time of all.

                                  JERRY

                      I'll second that.  And with Laura's 

                      outline and a complete staff, we may 

                      all make it back.

                                  LAURA

                      I'm just glad that we're all friends 

                      enough to not let the little 

                      disagreements upset us.

       EVERYONE REFLECTS.  JERRY PULLS LAURA AWAY FROM THE 
       GANG.

                                  JERRY

                      And I want you to know that no matter 

                      how hard I work, no matter how 

                      stressed out I get, no matter what I 

                      say or do, I still care for you very 

                      deeply.

       LAURA HOLDS JERRY'S FACE IN HER HANDS.

                                  LAURA

                      Awww, thanks.  I love you, Jerry!!

                                                           CUT TO:

       BLACK.

                                  JERRY (O.S.)

                      Aaagh!!


                      

                                END OF SHOW
                                
                                
                                
                                


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