Wednesday, July 22, 2015

THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW -- Part 3

Carl Reiner coined the expression "Hey Mae!" for act breaks.  A husband is in the living room watching and the act break is so exciting he yells out, "Hey, Mae, you gotta get in here and see this!"  Hopefully my spec DICK VAN DYKE SHOW act break was a "Hey, Mae."  Or at least a "Mae, if you got nothing better to do, come check this out."   Act two begins today.   Act one began on Monday.

FADE IN:

INT. BEDROOM - LATER THAT NIGHT

ROB IS IN BED, FLAT ON HIS BACK, STARING UP AT THE CEILING.
O.S. WE HEAR ALAN SNORING. LOUDLY. LAURA ENTERS IN A
BATHROBE.

LAURA
You’re not sleeping?

ROB
No one in New Rochelle is sleeping.
No one in New Mexico is sleeping.

LAURA
I just spent two hours cleaning the
kitchen. He said he’s going to make
French Toast in the morning. (IMAGINE
THE HORROR) French toast, Rob!

ROB
Well, he is a great cook. (OFF HER
LOOK) Right. We need to kill him.

RITCHIE ENTERS.

RITCHIE
I can’t sleep.

ROB
I’m sorry, honey. Mr. Brady is a
little loud.

RITCHIE
We’re playing tetherball in the
morning. I have to be sharp.

LAURA
Well, just try to ignore him. You
know a good way to get back to sleep?
Close your eyes and begin counting
sheep.

RITCHIE
I hate sheep.

ROB
Well, pick something you like.

RITCHIE
Money. I can count all the money Mr.
Brady gave me.

RITCHIE EXITS.

LAURA
Great. On top of everything else,
he’s corrupting our son.

ROB
Honey, I agree this is a bad
situation. But what can we do? He’s
my boss. I can’t throw out my boss.

LAURA
You don’t have to.

ROB
What do you mean? Uh oh. I don’t
like that look.

LAURA
Millie.

ROB
What? (REALIZING) Oh no.

LAURA
Millie stops by and two seconds later
the news is up on Telstar.

ROB
That would be wrong.

LAURA
French. Toast.

ROB
But he’s really trying, honey. He’s
going out of his way, he’s being
gracious, accommodating. You can’t
believe the pain he must be going
through to keep up that facade. When I
was choking earlier -- and he
expressed concern -- I almost felt
sorry for the man.

LAURA
Well, we have to do something. He’s
going to drown out the Civil Defense
siren.

ROB
It’s one night... that’s almost over.
Let it be. You’ll sleep better.

LAURA
(RE SNORING) How?

ROB
Good point. Let’s just close our eyes
and... I don’t know, count Ritchie’s
money.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. BEDROOM - NEXT MORNING

MUTED COMMOTION IN THE LIVING ROOM WAKES UP LAURA. ROB IS
NOT THERE. SHE CHECKS THE CLOCK. 8:00. STILL A LITTLE GROGGY,
SHE GETS UP, DONS HER BATHROBE AND ENTERS:

RESET TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

LAURA ENTERS TO FIND ALAN RECREATING ROB’S CHOKING FIT. ROB
IS THERE ALONG WITH BUDDY AND SALLY. LAURA IS NOT THRILLED.
NOTE: THERE IS STILL A PILLOW AND BEDDING ON THE COUCH.

SALLY
That was very funny, Alan.

ALAN
When Rob was choking for real it was
hysterical. Let’s put it in the show.

SALLY
Great. Real chicken bone or stunt
double?

BUDDY
(NOTICING LAURA) Hey, it’s Laura the
white nose reindeer.

SALLY
(SWATTING HIM) Not nice.

BUDDY
I was joking. (TO LAURA) Sorry about
your face.

LAURA PRESSES ON, TRYING VERY HARD TO BE PLEASANT.

LAURA
What’s going on here?

ROB
Oh, hi honey. Didn’t want to wake
you. There are still reporters
hanging around the office so Alan
thought we could work here.

LAURA
All of you?

ROB
Well, it’s just Buddy and Sally. And
you like Buddy and Sally.

LAURA
I love Buddy and Sally. But at night.

ALAN
I’m sorry, Laura. This is all my
fault. I guess we could have done
this session over the phone.

LAURA
No, no, it’s fine. You have a show to
do. I’ll just get out of the way. I
don’t want to stick my nose where it
doesn’t belong.

BUDDY
(UNDER HIS BREATH) Too late.

SALLY SMACKS HIM AGAIN.

ALAN
Laura, you’re wonderful. It’s a dirty
crime there’s no award show to
celebrate what you do.

LAURA
Well, thank you... and whatever
academy that might be.

ALAN
And I’ll tell the choreographer and
dancers not to come.

LAURA
What?

RITCHIE ENTERS.

RITCHIE
(TO ALAN) What do cats eat for
breakfast?

BUDDY
Mice Krispies.

RITCHIE
Phooey.

RITCHIE RUNS BACK TO HIS ROOM. ROB CROSSES TO LAURA AND
TAKES HER ASIDE.

ROB
We’ll only be a couple of hours.

ALAN
Hey, Laura. If you’re hungry. I made
french toast.

ROB
(OFF LAURA’S LOOK) Don’t call Millie.

RITCHIE RE-ENTERS AND RUNS TO ALAN.

RITCHIE
What did the big bucket say to the
little bucket?

BUDDY
You look a little pail.

RITCHIE
(FRUSTRATED) Mr. Brady was supposed to
say I don’t know! You keep ruining
it!

LAURA
Ritchie, honey, get ready for school.

RITCHIE RUNS BACK TO HIS ROOM ALMOST IN TEARS. BUDDY IS
PERPLEXED.

ALAN
I’ve been giving him a dollar for
every joke he tells.

BUDDY
Well give me the dollar. I wrote that
joke forty years ago.

LAURA
(SOTTO) I’m calling.

ROB
(SOTTO) Don’t call.

LAURA CROSSES INTO:

RESET TO:

INT.KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

LAURA ENTERS AND ONCE AGAIN IT’S A DISASTER AREA. SHE HAS
HOURS OF CLEAN UP. SHE FLOPS DOWN INTO A CHAIR IN THE
BREAKFAST AREA. THE PHONE BECKONS. SHE INCHES TOWARDS IT.
SHE’S TORN. SHE’S ABOUT TO GRAB IT WHEN ROB ENTERS.

ROB
Honey, come out here. There’s
something you gotta see.

LAURA
What? Alan had his moose head brought
over so he’d feel more at home?

HE GENTLY TAKES HER BY THE ARM.

ROB
No. Better.

THEY CROSS INTO:

RESET TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM - CONTINUOUS

THEY ENTER AND ROB LEADS HER TO THE FRONT WINDOW.

LAURA
What is it?

ROB
Alan got you a little surprise.

ROB PARTS THE BLINDS. LAURA PEERS OUT THE WINDOW.

LAURA
Ohmygod! A new car?!

ALAN
My little way of saying thank you and
don’t call Millie. I could hear you
before.

LAURA
Oh Alan, I don’t know whether to be
thrilled or ashamed.

ALAN
Thrilled. Be that. And guilty.

LAURA HUGS HIM.

LAURA
Thank you so much. You really didn’t
have to.

ALAN
Yes, I know.

BUDDY
(TO SALLY, RE CAR) Hey, that bow is
the same color as yours.

SALLY
Yep, that’s my new look -- “Buick
Skylark.”

ROB
Uh oh! Close the blinds!

LAURA DOES.

LAURA
What’s the matter?

ROB
(IN HUSHED TONES) Millie. She’s
coming down the street. Darn.

LAURA
I didn’t call.

ROB
Everybody, let’s get out of sight.

THEY ALL SCRAMBLE TO THE KITCHEN.

ROB (CONT’D)
(TO LAURA) Not you.

LAURA
Fine. But I didn’t call.

ROB
Don’t say anything to her.

LAURA
I won’t.

ALAN
(A REMINDER) Guilt.

EVERYONE BUT LAURA ENTERS THE KITCHEN JUST AS THE DOORBELL
RINGS. SHE TAKES A DEEP BREATH TO COMPOSE HERSELF THEN
ANSWERS THE DOOR.

Tomorrow the finale.  Hopefully you can sleep tonight. 

32 comments:

Anthony Host said...

This script has been simply fantastic! It makes me also want to go back to revisit The Dick Van Dyke show again....you captured the vibe perfectly.

Mike Barer said...

Wouldn't a motel room be cheaper than a car?

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Not a criticism of this script, but a general comment: the space-time warp of New York City as seen by writers based in LA always amuses me, and I've thought about it often watching the Dick Van Dyke Show. I grew up in Westchester County. It takes an hour to get to New Rochelle from Manhattan. I'm always amazed at how easily the show gets everyone to assemble at Rob's house. The Manhattanites of my acquaintance treat leaving the city as a dangerous expedition to be undertaken only in mid-summer with many precautions. And really: they don't need to because of course everyone else comes - and wants to - to Manhattan anyway. (You see this attitude in London, too.)

wg

Jim S said...

Ken,

You've done a great job of capturing the voices of each character. I love the fact that Buddy knows the punchlines to those Dixie Cup jokes and I appreciate the fact that you gave Richie something to do.

As has been pointed out before, the stripper references are a little too modern. Back in 1965, she would have been an exotic dancer and I question whether a lot of people back then would have known that one tips an exotic dancer with $1 bills frequently. But the "funeral broke up early" line is a killer.

I am going to guess that Millie sees the sheets on the couch and assumes Rob and Laura are having troubles and hi-jinx ensue when Rob and Laura try to convince her the marriage is fine without spilling the beans.

But this is a good script with great dialogue that flows from each character. Well done.

RockGolf said...

I don't know what I'm more interested in reading now: the finale of the show or the notes from Bill Persky (and maybe even Carl Reiner)!

And to whoever commented on Mr. Reiner a couple of days, the guy's still sharp as a tack. He's writing his 4th memoir, tentatively titled Things I Forgot To Remember. His insights, if they happen, will still be sharp.

Howard Hoffman said...

Wendy...don't forget, this is around 1962 when travel at 7am in NYC wasn't a nightmare...and in this case, Buddy and Sally were traveling against the rush. Many, many episodes of the show had the gang assemble at the Petrie's house for myriad events. Doing so at Alan Brady's insistence is not at all out of the realm of urgency. And I'm really too deep into this fantastic series, aren't I?

Unknown said...

I would watch it. But how do you buy a car and have it delivered early in the morning, before you make your bed/couch? Wouldn't the racket of destroying a kitchen to make french toast wake her up earlier?
This is just a TV show, no animals have been hurt creating a spec script.

CarsonT said...

I'm annoyed that you stopped where you did (which means I'm hooked!) Buddy ruining Ritchie's punchlines is exactly what we would see him do. Seeing Alan's influence on Ritchie is both funny and alarming - and don't listen to the commenter making noises about Manhattanites not wanting to venture out of the city. If Alan Brady told them to meet him on the slopes in Killington, VT for a meeting at 6 am. They would be there in snow suits.

I can't wait for the last part of the script. This is really great!

Elf said...

OK, I have a confession to make. I'm 49 and was never a regular viewer of DVD. I've seen a few dozen over the years and always found it enjoyable, but not something I ever needed to go out of my way for. Maybe I was just at the wrong age to appreciate the show and by the time I would have been old enough, there were other things vying for attention.

So, my question as I'm reading through this script is: What's the big deal about Millie? I know little about the character other than she's the neighbor, so why would Rob be so adverse to her learning of Alan crashing at the Petrie's?

benson said...

@Rock Golf,

To add to what you said, I follow Mr. Reiner on Twitter. (Yes, he tweets actively) And he's also) currently working on a book about the genesis of the DVD show. And tweets regularly and proudly about his kids and grandkids, and Mel Brooks.

Ken,

I was going to wait til the last portion of the script was posted, but since I'm here already. I love this. Like most everyone, I can hear the character's voice. What quibbles I have, I think of this as a first draft, and needing a few truly minor adjustments. (Ritchie is sometimes Ritchie, and sometimes sounds like a TV kid. Also, subject matter and some dialogue seems, at times, too "risque" for 1961-65 American TV)

But thank you. This has been a lot of fun.

Michael said...

I'm not critiquing here. Simply put, Ken really has caught the vibe. I'm fascinated to see how it all comes out because it's so hard for Alan Brady not to be Alan Brady, which means that he's being so nice!

MacGilroy said...

Friday Question: Like many people, my wife and I have been enjoying rewatching MASH on Netflix. My question is, "What the heck happened in Season 8?" It is much darker and focuses on the horrors of the war more so than earlier seasons. It was always there, but in this season it seems to be front and center. Was it a deliberate change in tone? Was it new exec producers? New writers? Did Alan Alda have an influence in pushing that direction? The dream episode he wrote and directed is a perfect example of this. Not complaining, the shows are great, we're just curious.

Kosmo13 said...

"LAURA
No, no, it’s fine. You have a show to
do. I’ll just get out of the way. I
don’t want to stick my nose where it
doesn’t belong."

Has "pathological Miss Snoopynose" finally learned her lesson? I'm looking forward to finding out in the concluding scenes.

John G said...

Alan Brady never once wrote with the gang.

With all due respect, Alan Brady is written entirely too far off character in this script.

H Johnson said...

I laughed out load at the Buddy line about "give me the dollar, I wrote that joke forty years ago." Funny. You really have the characters down. I an hear the voices in my head. Good job.

Makes me a bit sad that this script can't be made now. Nostalgia hurts.

Aloha

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

Super fun! It all rings true to the show and characters. Can't wait 'till tomorrow.

Pat Reeder said...

I'm really enjoying this and wish it could be produced. Have you thought about also running it past Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore or Rose Marie, who is still sharp at 91? I'd love to hear her comments. She even has a website at http://missrosemarie.com

Jason said...

Elf, I don't really know the show well either (though I can hear the voices pretty clearly when reading the script, except for Alan's). But in part 1 Ken established Millie as an expert gossip, and Alan's hiding from the press.

Steve Pepoon said...

To those who say this is rough around the edges, keep in mind that this is a writer's first draft. After it's turned in, the writing staff on a typical show spends two full days punching it up and tweaking it. Then once rehearsals start, notes come in from studio and network execs, as well as concerns from the director and the cast. All this (hopefully) polishes the episode to the best it can be. I don't know if this exact process happened on DVDS but I doubt it went from the original writer to the stage untouched.

Kosmo13 said...

"All this (hopefully) polishes the episode to the best it can be. I don't know if this exact process happened on DVDS but I doubt it went from the original writer to the stage untouched."

In one of the audio commentaries on the DVDS DVD set, Rose Marie says that the scripts were constantly being revised and the dialogue changed right up until seconds before taping. She said some guest stars had trouble rolling with the constant flow of alterations, while others did their best to adapt to change upon change.

Mike Barer said...

I think this project is a stroke of brilliance. When you announced this, I had no idea that I would read each segment and actually find it entertaining. Now, I know many commenters are raising questions of logic, but I believe artistic license was frequently used in writing during that period.

Rod said...

Friday Question-- I read an interview with Jenji Kohan, the creator and showrunner for "Orange is the New Black" and it mentions that she runs her writers room in Los Angeles, but the show is filmed in New York. Have you ever heard of this? Do you see this as a difficult way to do business? Or is there really a need for the writers and showrunner to actually be on the set while they are filming?

Gerry said...

This is so fantastically true to the original I can see the whole thing in my head. Great stuff, Ken. Buddy and Sally are letter perfect.

CamrioKid said...

maybe Alan should just hand Buddy $1.00 for the punchlines - with no dialogue - same effect but with implied backstory that this happens all the time...

Johnny Walker said...

Looking forward to sitting down and reading the entire episode when it's done!

MikeK.Pa. said...

The interplay between Ritchie and Buddy is priceless - and spot-on.
Buddy had to be the jokester and his ego would not let a little kid get a laugh he could.

Charles H. Bryan said...

And this was a great way to get Buddy and Sally back into the story. I'm surprised that Mel didn't show up.

A Friday question: Ken, you could have picked any show from any time period. Was there a special challenge in writing a show from the early 60s? One that wouldn't be present in ahsow from the 80s or 90s? (Leaving aside some minor -- and they are minor -- anachronisms. I'm mentally substituting "chorus girls" for strippers, although there wouldn't be all of those dollar bills. Poor strippers -- monetary inflation has not been kind.)

Ted said...

Like many others have said, I can really hear those unique voices coming back to life. Ken, if you wrote a book full of these new episodes, I'd buy it.

Roger Owen Green said...

Oddly enough, it was a Rob line about counting Ritchie's money that made me LOL, because I could hear it in DVD's voice.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Howard Hoffman: my father commuted to lower Manhattan from Yonkers in 1962. In rush hour, that took him nearly an hour in the morning. He usually came home late - 7:30 or so - to try to miss the worst of the traffic. I said up front I wasn't referring specifically to this script but the show in general, so while I understand that Buddy and Sally would be going contraflow, that really wasn't my point. (Manhattan to New Rochelle is 33 minutes on the train from Grand Central, but longer by car.) But if you really want to see absurd space-time warpage in NYC, see GOSSIP GIRL. Highly entitled people literally travel from Manhattan to Brooklyn (hah!) to deliver one line and then turn around and go back again, as if it were next door.

wg

Breadbaker said...

I echo the love of Buddy's dollar line. I have to admit, it was my first thought when he gave the punchline to Ritchie's first joke, and you timed and paid it off perfectly. The great thing about characters like Buddy and Sally is that they are predictable but their timing (and Morey's and Rose's) is so perfect, you don't care that you could almost guess their punch lines. That, I think, is Ken's definition of character-driven comedy.

Johnny Walker said...

Again, great stuff. It's so nice to enjoy a new episode!

It's interesting because I think Rob and Laura usually agree on what needs to be done. Plus I'm not sure that Laura could be so spiteful as to throw Alan to the wolves for messing up her kitchen.

One logic question: How did Alan figure out the reference to Millie meant giving him up to the press? Pretty sharp guy!

Anyways, it doesn't matter. I'm loving it!