Saturday, September 22, 2018

If I wrote the Superman legend


A rocket hurtles out of the sky and lands with a crash, a plume of smoke trailing behind it.

A 1998 Kia comes down the road. Inside are Yetta and Morris, a middle-aged Jewish couple.

YETTA: Morris, stop the car!


YETTA: What do you mean why? Didn’t you just see that?

MORRIS: Let’s not get involved.

YETTA: Stop the car or so help me I’m taping over BAYWATCH.

MORRIS: Alright. Alright. I’ll stop the car. Leave it to you to want to examine every little object that falls out of the sky.

YETTA:  You know that's a terrible show, right?

MORRIS: Look, I stopped the car, okay?!

YETTA:  Let's have a look.

She gets out of the car.

MORRIS: What?  We're getting out of the car?  Aren’t we trespassing?

YETTA: Oh shut up.

He follows her across the field.

MORRIS: Who knows? Someone may come and think we did this.

They arrive at the scene.

YETTA: It’s some sort of rocket.

MORRIS: Great. You happy now? It’s a rocket. Let’s go.

YETTA: Aren’t you even curious as to how it got here?

MORRIS: No. It’s a rocket. Who shoots rockets? Kids. Skinheads.  For all we know there’s a Hitler Youth group in Smallville and it's der Fuehrer Air Power Day.

YETTA: That’s ridiculous.

MORRIS: You haven't been to the Dairy Queen lately.

YETTA: (examining closer) Wait a minute. Morris, I think there’s a baby inside.

MORRIS: Okay. Now we’re leaving for sure.

YETTA: I swear I'm erasing all eight episodes of BAYWATCH. 

MORRIS:  Well then just kill me!

YETTA: Who do think would do such a thing?

MORRIS: I told you, the skinheads.  There's probably a new chapter -- Hitler Toddlers.

YETTA: Well, we’ve got to get the poor thing out.

MORRIS: I’ll call the Auto Club.

YETTA: We can’t wait forty-five minutes. Give me a hand. We’ve got to get it out ourselves.

MORRIS: What? Us? Are you crazy? That thing is hot. What if I order a pizza? They’ll be here in thirty minutes or less. Let the pizza boy open the rocket.  I'll  tip him.

YETTA: I should have married Saul Gazin.

MORRIS: Oh, again with the "Saul Gazin". Mr. Perfect. He’d get the baby out. He probably has oven mitts right there in his glove compartment just for an emergency like this.

YETTA: My mother and the entire congregation was right about you.

She takes off her sweater, wraps it around her hand for protection and begins pulling at the latch. Out of guilt he wraps his jacket around his hand and joins in.

MORRIS: Move away. I’ll do this.

YETTA:  Thank you. You're such a prince.

He yanks and pulls and strains.

MORRIS: If my back goes out, good luck getting the Nazis to pay for my medical bills.

YETTA: Maybe if you exercised more than once every fifteen years.

MORRIS: Do YOU want to do this?

YETTA: No. Fine. Keep going.

MORRIS: Stop nagging. I’ve never broken into a rocket before.

YETTA: Sorry… but you really do have no muscle tone.

Finally, the latch opens.

MORRIS: There!

YETTA: Oh thank God!

She sweeps the baby up into her arms.

YETTA: He is so cute.

MORRIS: He? Then that rules out China.

YETTA: Why would anyone do this to a precious little baby?

MORRIS: You’re looking for answers? In this crazy world? Why can't they solve the Middle East?  How could a thing like the Exxon Valdez oil spill happen?  How is George Bush running for president? I think the real question here is what are we going to do with him? Does Protective Services have a UFO division?

YETTA: Morris, why don’t we keep him?

MORRIS: What?!

YETTA: We always wanted a baby.

MORRIS: Yetta, that’s insane. We also want a time share in Hawaii. 

YETTA: We talked about adopting. Y’know, after learning that your sperm count was low.

MORRIS: You gotta bring that up, don’tcha? I bet Saul Gazin could repopulate the world!

YETTA: I’m just saying.

MORRIS: Look, you can pull the cable out of the wall.   I’m not keeping this child.

YETTA: Don’t you see what this is? It’s a sign from God, Morris. It’s like when Bithiah found baby Moses floating on the Nile and raised him. Change boat to guided missile and it’s the same thing. Morris, this child – I just get the sense he’s… special in some way. And there’s a reason we found him. These things are not by accident. If that had landed five minutes earlier maybe Martha and Jonathan Kent would have found him and fifteen years from now he’d be selling dope.

MORRIS: (softening) Well… I always did want a son to take over the Woolworth store. But what if his real parents do come after him? What if we see a milk carton and there is the baby or a picture of the rocket?

YETTA: Then we’ll call Protective Services.

MORRIS: This is so nuts.

YETTA: Morris, I won’t ask you for another thing for months.  Not even a new garbage disposal that if you have a nose you know we need desperately. 

He considers, then finally:

MORRIS: Alright. We’ll take him.

YETTA: Seriously?

MORRIS: Yes, because my life isn't stressful enough.

YETTA: Oh, darling. I’m so happy.

MORRIS: What do we name him?  And if the answer is "Saul" then the deal's off.

YETTA: How about Zvee? After my grandfather.

MORRIS: A perfect name for a kid growing up in Kansas.   Zvee Sugarman.

YETTA: I love you.

MORRIS: Yeah yeah. Let’s go eat.


E. Yarber said...

Of course Superman WAS created by a couple of Jewish cartoonists. If memory serves me, in the first draft Clark Kent didn't lose his powers to Kryptonite, but was rendered helpless by a cheeseburger with a milkshake.

Alan said...

Ha Ha funny. I wish many times that you wrote for 'Family Guy'.

You would have come up with great cutaways for Superman. And your Jewish Superman would have been perfect for that show.

Here are some funny Superman gags where he is a pervert, a bisexual killing people, scared of wearing condoms, abandoning a pregnant girlfriend etc...

Michael said...

MORRIS: He? Then that rules out China.

That's stereotyping Ken.

They don't kill girl babies anymore in China.

AltSung said...

It goes without saying that I'd actually pay to see this Superman than anything Zack Snyder directs...

Btw, then a fantastic version of Superman set in the early 1900s, titled It's Superman. Totally worth the read. By Tom DeHaven, I believe.

Matt said...

Great work Ken!

Far superior than the crappy Nolan-Snyder 'no underwear' Man of the Steel.

If Nolan was gonna direct your script then Morris would be played by Michael Caine.
Yes he is old but, Nolan will just keep shoving Caine forcibly down our throat in every movie of his.

E. Yarber said...

How could you circumcise Superman?

Dave Creek said...

How do you circumcise Superman? You have to wait until he grows up a bit, then he does it himself with his heat vision. Now that's commitment!

Tzvi Superstein said...

Zvee’s supercircumcision would present no problem. Simply hire a mohel with a Morgen clamp fitted with blades of kryptonite.

Jeff Maxwell said...


Okay, next one, same scene with an ICE agent and his wife?

VP81955 said...

Oh, and Woolworth's expired in the U.S. in 1997.

Janet Ybarra said...

A Kryptonian scalpel?

Pete Grossman said...

"Leave it to you to want to examine every little object that falls out of the sky." and the wrap up "Let's go eat." Perfect! Thank you!

Mike Doran said...

Some years back, DC Comics, which likes to fool around with "alternative history", presented a graphic novel called Red Son.
It's the classic Superman origin, set in period, with one major change: instead of Kansas, the space bassinet lands in the Russian Steppes, and Superman (or the Cyrillic equivalent) grows up the be the Great Hero of the USSR.
When that one Superman came out - the one with Frank Langella as Perry White - there was a Fox News Foofaraw about Langella/White rephrasing the "Truth, Justice …" line.
Sean Hannity had one of his sillier hissy-fits; you'd have thought Langella had used four-letter words.
Seeing Hannity carry on about this, I recalled Red Son, which came out not long before.
I imagine that one would cause Old Sean to tear out some of his hair on-camera, Greasy Kid Stuff and all...

Buttermilk Sky said...

Considering how CERTAIN PEOPLE reacted to the prospect of a black James Bond, I can't wait to hear what they think of a Jewish Superman.

Mike Bloodworth said...

I have a very strong feeling that "Saul Gazin" is an inside reference to someone from your past. A high school rival, maybe? What I don't know however, is if its a "shout out" or a "diss." Next, how about a Jewish BATMAN trying to climb the "Bat-rope?" BTW if SUPERMAN is raised Jewish, how observant would he be? In other words, if Brainiac tried to destroy the earth on a Saturday would SUPERMAN say, "Sorry. I can't save the world today. Its the Sabbath."

Steve Lanzi (formerly known as qdpsteve) said...

Not bad Ken, but I gotta ask: what's a middle-aged Jewish couple doing driving around the backfields of Kansas?? Then again, it *was* 18 years ago...

"My new cell phone swore to me there was a fantastic deli around here! I shoulda known better than to trust Google Maps beta!!"

Mr. Mxyshuggenah said...

"What If Superman Were Raised By Jewish Parents?" from MAD Magazine #325 (1994)

There's truly nothing new under the red sun.

thirteen said...

Jewish superheroes. Hmm. Not many. Ben Grimm of the Fantastic Four. Colossal Boy of the Legion of Super-Heroes. Harley Quinn, the Joker's former squeeze who's now on the side of the law. Kate Kane, the modern Batwoman, who's also Bruce Wayne's cousin. (Kate is the daughter of Bruce's uncle, Jacob Kane, his mother Martha's brother. I think this may mean that Bruce's mother is also Jewish and, therefore, Bruce would be as well, even if he doesn't practice. (He does appear to be circumcised in the recent "Batman: Damned." Hey, it was in all the papers.)

DBenson said...

The very old Saturday Night Live did a skit of Superman -- Uberman, I think they dubbed him -- being raised a Nazi. He saves Hitler with his X-ray vision. Something like this followed:
LOIS: "Gee, Uberman. Does that mean you can see through my clothes?"
UBERMAN: "Yes." (points at Jimmy Olsen) "And I can see through his, too. He's Jewish!"
JIMMY: (being dragged away) "No! I'm not! I had it done for hygienic reasons!"

Stuart said...

Am I the only one who remembers this? I know you did a Superman blog post a few years back.

The Green Goyim said...

Jewish superheroes. Hmm. Not many.

More than you think. Aquaman can telepathically communicate with lox. "Spiderman" is clearly a Jewish surname. And Batman's been hanging onto that giant penny for 60 years.

Pierce Horvath said...

My girlfriend and I absolutely love this script! For kicks, we did a table read of sorts and couldn't stop laughing. I hope more like this is on the way!

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Stuart: No, you are not. Ken: I believe you were going to label reposts as such?


Mike Barer said...

What an active imagination!