Tuesday, July 21, 2015

THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW -- Part 2

Part 1 was yesterday.   For those just jumping on for the first time, I wrote a spec DICK VAN DYKE SHOW for the blog and got feedback from the actual DICK VAN DYKE SHOW writing staff.  I'll share that next week. 

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

DOORBELL RINGS. LAURA, STILL BANDAGED, CROSSES TO IT.

LAURA
Go away!

DOORBELL RINGS AGAIN. ANNOYED, SHE OPENS THE DOOR.

LAURA (CONT’D)
I said...

ALAN BRADY IS THERE.

LAURA (CONT’D)
AAAAAAA!

ALAN
Thank you. Twenty-eight years in show
business and it was worth it all for
that warm greeting.

LAURA
Alan, I’m so sorry. I wasn’t
expecting you.

ALAN
What happened to your nose? You look
like a stork.

LAURA
Rob and I were in a little fender
bender. (QUICKLY) That wasn’t my
fault.

ALAN
Well, glad it was nothing more
serious.

ROB ENTERS WITH ALAN’S BAG, EVEN THOUGH HE’S THE ONE IN A
NECK BRACE.

ROB
Hi, honey. Ow! I brought a little
surprise.

ALAN
Rob, why didn’t you wear that neck
brace in the office?

ROB
I... huh?

LAURA
(THROUGH CLENCHED TEETH) Why is Alan
here, darling? That is a surprise.

ROB
I tried to call but the line was
always busy.

LAURA
Oh, right. I took it off the hook.
Millie told the entire Eastern
Seaboard and I think Poland. The
phone hasn’t stopped ringing.

ALAN
Welcome to the club.

ROB
That’s why Alan is here. There’s been
a little misunderstanding. The press
is making a big deal of it. He was
seen with two strippers at a funeral.

LAURA
Oh my. They didn’t pop out of the
coffin, did they?

ALAN
No, but that’s good. Laura, you have a
lovely house here. But I’m sure I’ve
told you that.

LAURA
Yes, thank you.

ALAN
(LOOKING AROUND) Then I have been here
before.

ROB
I told Alan he could stay with us for
a night or two until this mess blows
over. And I knew it’d be okay with
you because... well, because you love
me.

LAURA
Of course, darling. (TO ALAN) We’re
happy to have you... Please, make
yourself at home. I’ll fix some hor
d’oeuvres. Rob, could you join me in
the kitchen for a second?

ROB
(KNOWING WHAT’S COMING) Do I have to,
sweetheart?

LAURA
Yes, you do, darling.

ROB
(TO ALAN) Back in a sec.

THEY CROSS INTO:

RESET TO:

INT.KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

THE SECOND THE DOOR IS CLOSED.

ROB
Remember, I’m injured.

LAURA
Are you out of your mind?

ROB
I was stuck, honey. I was going to
use the haggis excuse but Buddy beat
me to it.

LAURA
He’s going to raise havoc. We’ll be
waiting on him hand and foot. And you
say it’s only for a night, but it’ll
be like that movie -- you know the one
about the man who came to dinner and
stayed for a week? I forget the title.

ROB
“The Man Who Came to Dinner.”

LAURA
Something like that, yeah. He’ll be
here for a week. And by the time he
leaves we’ll be walking around like
the undead -- there was a movie about
that too.

ROB
Yes. “The Undead.”

LAURA
Rob, this is no time to impress me
with your vast knowledge of cinema.

ROB
Look, honey, you won’t have to do this
alone. I’ll be pitching in... as long
as I don’t have to lift or bend or
turn or lean.

LAURA
So that leaves what -- greeter?

ALAN ENTERS.

ALAN
Laura, Rob, out of the kitchen. I’m
cooking dinner tonight. It’s the
least I can do. And to answer your
next question -- yes, unbelievably, I
can cook. I sing, I dance, I saute.
You two go in the living room and
relax, and I’ll whip something up.

LAURA
Are you sure, Alan?

ALAN
Absolutely. “Don’t cook tonight, call
Alan Brady.” That’s why I need
writers. But not kitchen help.
Shooo. Both of you.

ALAN PUSHES THEM OUT AS WE:

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT

ROB, LAURA, AND ALAN ARE FINISHING UP DINNER.

LAURA
Alan, this Coq au Vin is absolutely
out of this world.

ALAN
Thank you, Laura. The key is to add
the Cognac after thirteen minutes of
stirring, and then put all the bacon,
and any juices collected into the pot.

LAURA
My Coq au Vin is a little simpler.
More of a Smothered Chicken.

ROB STARTS TO COUGH VIOLENTLY.

LAURA (CONT’D)
What’s wrong?

ROB
Bone. AAAAA!

THE COUGHING LEADS TO QUICK JERKS OF THE HEAD WHICH LEADS TO
SPASMING. ALAN AND LAURA RALLY TO HELP, AD LIBBING, “EASY”
“CAN I GET YOU SOME WATER?” ETC.

ROB (CONT’D)
(COUGH) Ow! (COUGH, COUGH) Gaaa!
(COUGH) Ow!(TRYING TO COVER FOR ALAN’S
BENEFIT) Yum. AAAA! (COUGH)

THE COUGHS GET LOUDER UNTIL HE FINALLY DISLODGES THE BONE.
THEN:

ROB (CONT’D)
Still... I love it.

LAURA
Are you okay?

ROB
Fine. Just a little embarrassed.
Alan, this really is terrific. It
just melts in your mouth... when it
doesn’t get stuck in your throat

ALAN
Fortunately, there are no bones in the
cherry pie I made so you should be
safe for dessert.

ROB
You baked a pie?

ALAN
Yeah. If I didn’t make it as an
entertainer my back-up career was
going to be “wife.”

RITCHIE ENTERS FROM HIS ROOM.

RITCHIE
Hey, Mr. Brady. What do you call a
bagel that can fly?

LAURA
Ritchie, honey, don’t bother Mr.
Brady.

ALAN
No, no. It’s no bother. What do you
call a bagel that can fly?

RITCHIE
A “plane” bagel.

ALAN LAUGHS AND REACHES FOR HIS WALLET.

ALAN
Hilarious. Here.

HE GIVES RITCHIE A DOLLAR BILL.

RITCHIE
Wow! A whole dollar! Thank you, Mr.
Brady. (CROSSES TO HIS ROOM) I’m rich!

RITCHIE EXITS.

ROB
Alan, you really didn’t need to do
that.

ALAN
When I was a kid I used to tell jokes
to my uncle and he would give me a
penny a joke. That’s how I discovered
my true calling. I’ve been chasing
money ever since.

LAURA
Still. That was a penny and this was
a dollar.

ALAN
If I had known about agents back then
I would have gotten dollars too.
Besides, I’ve got a wad of singles.
The funeral broke up early.

RITCHIE RE-ENTERS.

RITCHIE
Hey, Mr. Brady, how does a train eat?

ALAN
I don’t know.

RITCHIE
It goes chew chew chew.

ALAN
(POLITE LAUGH, THEN) You’re killing
me, kid.

HE HANDS HIM ANOTHER DOLLAR FROM HIS WALLET.

RITCHIE
Thank you, Mr. Brady.

RITCHIE RETURNS TO HIS ROOM.

ALAN
Yeah, just like me, God love him.
Although, honestly, I was much
funnier.

LAURA
I guess we should discuss sleeping
arrangements.

ROB
Right. You can have our room, Alan.
And we’ll take the fold out couch.

ALAN
Don’t be silly. I’ll take the couch.
Many’s the night I slept on couches in
nightclub dressing rooms. (WISTFUL)
Ah, those were the days (THEN) which I
can say now because I made it out of
those stink holes. But a night or two
will be nostalgic.

LAURA
Alan, I have to say, it’s a real treat
having you here. Not that I thought
it wouldn’t be (CORRECTING) knew it
wouldn’t be -- but it’s been even
better than I thought -- knew, even
though I knew it couldn’t be better
than what I thought, but it is so what
do I know?

ALAN
Laura, that’s the nicest gibberish
anyone has ever said to me. (BEFORE
SHE CAN SPEAK) I know what you meant.
Thank you. Let me get the dishes.

LAURA
No no. At least let me do that.

SHE GRABS HIS PLATE AND ROB’S AND EXITS INTO...

RESET TO:

INT. KITCHEN -CONTINUOUS

LAURA ENTERS TO FIND THE KITCHEN IS A DISASTER AREA. EVERY
POT, EVERY SKILLET, EVERY BOWL IS OUT AND DIRTY. MAYBE ALAN
ISN’T SUCH A GREAT HOUSE GUEST AFTER ALL. AS SHE SURVEYS THE
WRECKAGE:

FADE OUT.

COMMERCIAL

Note:  In their script format, at the act break they wrote in "COMMERCIAL."    Act two begins tomorrow.  Hope you're enjoying this.  

44 comments:

Mike Barer said...

Very good!

Oat Willie said...

Stick in one of those "live" ones they used to do, like Dick and Laura plugging Camels or Autolite spark plugs in their living room set.

Rockgolf said...

ALAN:
Besides, I’ve got a wad of singles.
The funeral broke up early.


In the context of what's already happened, that, sir, is a brilliant line.

Howard Hoffman said...

Going to the kitchen for a Yukon Club Ginger Ale for myself and some Ken-L-Ration for the dog, and then I'll settle in for Act Two. This is great....like The Lost Episode.

404 said...

My only thing is that I was disappointed with how Alan finally noticed the neck brace. In Act I it felt like that was building up to something (otherwise why bother to mention Alan's not noticing), so it seemed to me like it would build up to some sort of payoff. And then . . . anticlimax. At least., for me.

CarsonT said...

Still loving it. The payoff for Alan's uncharacteristicly generous behavior worked beautifully. Great visual. I can't remember if they had a guest room when Stacey spent the night or if he had Ritchie's room (great episode BTW. Love Jerry Van Dyke), but a sofa bed will open the door for more laughs.

Can't wait for Act II.

Roger Owen Green said...

I like it, though I think "Czechoslovakia" would be funnier than "Poland."

Peter said...

"Yeah, just like me, God love him. Although, honestly, I was much funnier."

Best line!

I've enjoyed both parts and speak as someone who's never even seen the Dick Van Dyke Show. I'll check out some of the episodes on youtube.

Mike said...

I'm quite enjoying it, and it is very easy to hear the characters say the lines in my head as you are staying true to their spirit. Reads true.

Bob Zirunkel said...

The pitiable part of me that liked it when my neighbor's BMW blew a head gasket and loved it when my brother-in-law's stock portfolio crashed is really enjoying this.
A unique exercise shared freely by an Emmy award winner quickly becomes less a display of the professional writing process and more an exhibition of the inanity of internet commenting.
And to my fellow mediocrities who might rightly accuse me of sucking up to Ken, I prostate myself before you.

Diane D. said...

Superb! I can't wait to see what's coming next! My favorite line from Part 2 was Laura's gibberish and Alan's response--hilarious!

To the majority of yesterday's commenters: Are you kidding me?

Kosmo13 said...

Richie sometimes conveniently ceases to exist temporarily in episodes where a guest room is needed, as he did when Chad & Jeremy spent the week hiding out at Rob and Laura's house. Ritchie's chosen not to use that superpower in this episode.

Anonymous said...

I think the door right by the closet in living room set was designated as the "Den" and Stacey slept there. If I remember correctly.

Pam, St. Louis

GS in SF said...

I found this one funnier than the last one (and the last post had its moments). Is that because you needed to set up the story in the first post, or did you start to feel the flow better as you went along? Is that common for you personally -- to find the jokes are easier to come in the second act and is that on purpose because the first act is one of set up? Other writers you know?

The line about the dollar bills from the funeral had me laughing the most. Great call back to the earlier scene.

Kirk said...

Very funny, and true to the characters, but strippers jumping out of a coffin at a funeral? Would that line have gotten past Standards and Practices in 1961-1966? Which brings up another question, does this take place during 1961-1966, or is this a 21st century update I'm reading?

tim said...

It all rings true - except in the early 60s, I think Ritchie would have said "Hi" instead of "Hey"

Canda said...

Excellent. No false beats. Great character jokes, like not noticing Alan's neck brace, and the dollar at the funeral. Loved the movie run, as well. Actually, I think "Canada", rather than Poland seems more from Laura's world.

You mentioned receiving notes from Bill Persky. Whatever notes he gave, you have followed very well.

This seems more rooted in the 1960s. I DON'T think strippers jumping out of a coffin would have been a red flag for the
censors for this show. This was considered a hip show, and the censors allowed a little more leeway.

Your script is proving the point you always make about what's missing in many of today's sitcoms. You are writing great
humor based firmly in character.

thomas tucker said...

Excellent! In fact, I think I actually saw this episode.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Tight, bright and outta sight!

I loved the nod to Chicken Delight...and everything else.

Just like the original. It will be fun to read what Mr. Persky and maybe Mr. Reiner will say.

Great job, Beav!

Artie Breyfogle said...

A SOLID "A" for today's work, Sir...

Loved the dollars line about the funeral...And Alan's character is so dialed in...I can just hear Carl Reiner saying those lines...

Alright, I'll sit through the commercial break and get ready for the next act...Waiting each day takes me back to the early 60's sitting on our cul de sac in Northridge and waiting for the Helms Bakery truck...

Gives ya that warm glow deep, deep inside...Or that's the heartburn from the coffee this AM...Getting old IS a bitch...

Michael said...

It was true of the first part that I could hear their voices, and I could hear them even better here. And, yes, the line about the singles goes into the record books.

Donald Benson said...

Great stuff.

Popping out of a coffin is a great line, since popping out of a cake was still A Thing. But the dollars left over from the funeral, while a great joke, still seems post-60s. Maybe "I got a bunch of singles from the funeral. I sold autographs during the eulogy."
Or "I didn't tip the pallbearers this time." Or "They passed the plate for his favorite charity and I took change."

Victor Velasco said...

Yes, enjoying this a lot. "Don't cook tonight..." by coincidence I drove by the site of a long gone Chicken Delight yesterday

Greg Ehrbar said...

I love it. "They didn’t pop out of the
coffin, did they?"

And the part about Richie and the dollar-a-jokes?

I can almost hear their voices as I read. Can't wait for more.

i could be a bob said...

Ken,
Very bummed that I missed out on Under Andrea at the Whitefire. I thought I'd have a chance to see it in the last few weeks but work interfered. Curious if you tweaked stuff like you did with A or B? How was this experience and will you do more plays?

Mike Barer said...

About the bagel thing, if this is going by 1965 lifestyles, would "plain Bagel" be a term that would be used and did the "goyim" even know about bagels?

Unknown said...

This scene was done during DVD. Buddy stayed over and wanted to help with breakfast. He tried to make eggs Benedict. It failed, blamed laura for old eggs, but then ran to work and left the kitchen to be cleaned by laura, where every pot, pan, fork was dirty. I hope you are not going to keep Laura and Dick up all night with cello playing, and a dog howling.
But great lines about strippers coming out a coffin and all the singles.

YEKIMI said...

The part with Alan making dinner rings untrue. Seems to me everytime I watched episodes that he was in he came across as an egotistical bastard who wanted everyone to wait on him hand and foot. Why would he change his stripes just because he was spending the night?

And on the other hand....the captchas were bad enough, then I have to prove I'm not a robot....now I have to correctly identify pictures of certain items to post a response. Maybe Blogspot wants to make it so difficult to comment that everyone will give up in frustration.

Anonymous said...

Unknown, I thought the same thing. The kitchen fiasco already played with Buddy as the house guest.

I'm just having a very difficult time imagining Alan Brady acting this cordial in any situation.

Tim said...

Ken,

What does "reset" mean?

One of the things I'm enjoying seeing about this is how you write stage directions and such. Questions about that tend to pop up here from time to time and it's very instructive to see them written out "in practice."

I think it's interesting that you almost never give any direction to the actors about how to deliver their lines. That came up a lot in a screenwriting class I took. People tended to overload their scripts with directions to the actors on how their lines were to be delivered. The rhythm, what words to emphasis, the mood the actors' delivery should convey. Newbie mistake, I guess.

Enjoying the script. Nice of you to post it for us. I hope that all the people who have completely missed the point of what you're trying to do here doesn't discourage you. Lots of people who seem to think the point was for them to sharpen up their network executive nitpicking note writing skills.

Anonymous said...

The issue is not how well an Emmy Award-winning comedy writer can write comedy. We all know the answer. I think it's about The Dick Van Dyke Show itself. For some of us it's our most beloved comedy of all time and when things don't jibe to those of us who have practically every line memorized, it can stick out like a sore thumb. Almost every "note" in the commentary is with regard to content, not style. Ken knocked the style out of the park.

Rashad Khan said...

I think Ken deliberately wrote Alan Brady against character so that we would catch it and that Mr. Persky and Mr. Reiner would catch it as well. Same goes for all the anachronisms and other stuff we debated yesterday. I mean, it's either that, or I'm still unclear as to the point of this whole exercise.

MikeK.Pa. said...

Agree with Rockgolf on the wad of singles line. Making the funeral backstory pay off over and over again without forcing it.

Gary said...

I am truly enjoying this! It's so easy to visualize the scenes and hear the characters saying the lines.

So here's my chance to play comedy writer (my only remaining fantasy, now that I've given up on Joey Heatherton): Suppose after Laura tried to compliment Alan with all her gibberish, Alan awkwardly thanks her, pauses, then gives HER a dollar too?

Good punch-up, or is it too established that Alan only pays for jokes?

Rashad Khan said...

Also: the payoff of Alan Brady's finally noticing Rob and Laura's injuries might seem anticlimactic because -- again -- that's precisely Ken's point. Too often, writers will introduce stuff into their scripts -- such as the lead and his wife having an offscreen car accident and being forced to wear bandages and braces -- that isn't crucial to the story and goes absolutely nowhere. But, then again, maybe the accident and Alan's staying at the Petries' will tie together somehow...? IOW, I think Ken Levine has deliberately written a flawed spec script.

Charles H. Bryan said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Alan did the cooking to guarantee that he had a meal that he liked (or hired a caterer to sneak it in the back door), or to set the Petrie up for some larger favor, or maybe both.

Ken, I'm enjoying it. Thanks again! And I'm interested to read some more reactions from those who never saw the show. Are they getting a good sense of the show and the characters?

Ted Kilvington said...

In the spirit of pointing out anachronisms with the script, I would just like to note that from 1961-1966 it was not common practice to post spec scripts on the Internet.

Hamid said...

Well, Ken, I think we all knew your DICK VAN DYKE SHOW spec would be good. I think the real test, though, will be whether or not you can write a good spec for GILLIGAN'S ISLAND or THE MUNSTERS.

John said...

Looking back from a 2015 standpoint, the shows that featured Alan probably have the best connection to modern comedy, because Alan's casually cynical jerk fits in with the more pointed type of comedy that became common in the 1970s. The dollar bill line and the strippers out of the coffin hit home because they could still be used today, while the networks would likely think a lot of the other parts of DVD were too gentle or slow-paced (though I do agree Standards and Practices probably would have had a conniption about the word 'strippers'. You'd probably end up having to change it to 'dancing girls' in the show).

And, since we're halfway home on the script, this seems appropriate here.

Ted said...

Alan Brady isn't an every-episode character - we only know a few things about him. Ken absolutely has the right to tell us something new - Alan can cook!

Anonymous said...

Telstar!

Stephen said...

Those who think Alan was written against character are missing the joke: The set up is that like Laura and Rob, we expect Alan to act like a self-centered jerk and are surprised when he seemingly acts thoughfully by making dinner. The payoff is when it turns out he left every dish in the kitchen for Laura to clean up. He was being his usual arrogant self the whole time: cooking was his way of stroking his own ego and getting a lot of praise, but he never bothered to think about whether he was actually being a help or just making a big mess. This is so true to the way people like Alan act I could almost cry.

Breadbaker said...

Blogger Ted Kilvington said...
In the spirit of pointing out anachronisms with the script, I would just like to note that from 1961-1966 it was not common practice to post spec scripts on the Internet.

Ted Kilvington, do you have a link to prove that? ;)

Seriously, though, I thought the lines for Ritchie were all just perfect for his voice.

Johnny Walker said...

Brilliant stuff. Alan is hilarious! I loved the line about the dollar bills, and Richie's run with him.

Can I be critical? (Ignore me if not.) The story seems to be fairly linear: Alan coming to the Petrie's house was always going to end in trouble, so the only surprise was that he can cook well. Also, when I was ripping my Dick Van Dyke Show Blu-rays into iTunes I noticed one thing: The crux of the story is always talked about halfway through an episode (which I guess is this point). Any episode, at 11 to 13 mins in, the characters will discussing the central plot point (Laura's mad a Rob, but he doesn't know why; The family is fed up at having to look after Buddy's dog; Laura thinks Rob doesn't treat Sally like a 'girl'; or the closest episode to this one: Laura is complaining about how having Buddy stay with them is disrupting their lives too much).

Ok, I skipped ahead and I see you put this after the act break... Maybe that's where it always was. Never mind!

I do think it might have been nice to have Rob come in and react to the devastation, too. Surely good for a line?

ROB BACKS INTO THE KITCHEN CARRYING PLATES

ROB
No problem, Alan. I'll just help Laura with
TURN AROUND TO SEE THE KITCHEN
Dresden

Or something a lot less offensive, anyway.