NewsRadio

"No Green Jello"

by Kristian Idol










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

                            
                            
                            

                            ACT ONE

                            SCENE A



   INT. BULLPEN/CONFERENCE TABLE - MORNING

   DAVE BEGINS AN IMPORTANT DAY.

                              DAVE

                  Okay, this is a critical meeting, so 

                  let's get started...

                              LISA

                  Did the numbers come in?

                              DAVE

                  Yes, Lisa, but first --

                              BILL

                  Can I ask a question, Chief?

                              DAVE

                  Only if it's very important, Bill.

                              BILL

                  Oh, it is.  Why would a man shave his 

                  forearms?

                              DAVE

                  What??

                              MATTHEW

                  It was just an experiment, Bill, leave 

                  me alone.  Is The Book here or not?

                              JOE

                  Dude, you shaved your arms?

                              BETH

                  His whole body.  (OFF LOOKS)  He told 

                  me!

                              BILL

                  You must look like some mewling 

                  newborn puppy - oh, I'm sorry, how 

                  would we know the difference?

                              MATTHEW

                  Bodybuilders do it to make their 

                  muscles stand out, thank you very 

                  much.

                              BETH

                  You da man, Matthew!

   MATTHEW FLEXES HIS ARMS AND GROWLS.

                              DAVE

                  Okay, Mr. Universe, just leave the 

                  posing bikini at home.  Please.  More 

                  significantly: yes, last quarter's 

                  ratings came in.

   HE PLOPS A FEW PRINTOUTS ON THE DESK.

                              DAVE (CONT'D)

                  Here's The Book.  Everyone, please 

                  turn to page thirteen.

   THEY EXCITEDLY FLIP PAGES.

                              DAVE (CONT'D)

                  Lisa, tell me the first number in the 

                  fifth column.

                              LISA

                  (READING)  Um... "All Stations Weekly 

                  Average Number of Listeners: 316,812"!

                              DAVE

                  And Matthew, the number next to it?

                              MATTHEW

                  WNYX Average... three!  Aaahh!!

   MATTHEW FLINGS OUT OF HIS CHAIR AS IF ELECTROCUTED.

                              DAVE

                  Relax, Matthew, that's our ranking.

                              MATTHEW

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

                  sugar.  I'm not sure I like this new 

                  caffeinated granola...

                              DAVE

                  We've slipped a spot, gang, and before 

                  Mr. James comes calling, we need 

                  killer stories to tell him about.  

                  Jobs are made or broken by this.

                              BETH

                  Especially yours.

                              DAVE

                  Especially all of ours.  Fortunately, 

                  the drop in listenership wasn't that 

                  great, so I know we can get it back. 

                  But I'll be looking at the way we work 

                  together as well - there may be some 

                  long-term changes.

                              JOE

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

                  the difference between second and 

                  third?

                              BILL

                  One hundred four thousand listeners 

                  weekly, plus or minus a standard 

                  deviation.

                              DAVE

                  I'm impressed, Bill.

                              BILL

                  Celebrity knows its audience. 

                              MATTHEW

                  (SARCASTIC)  What does that have to do 

                  with you?

                              BILL

                  Well, my smooth little co-worker, one 

                  ratings point is worth several millions 

                  of dollars to the station, but more 

                  importantly, thousands of dollars in 

                  income to yours truly, so let's listen 

                  carefully to our boss' plans to get us 

                  back to second, shall we?

                              DAVE

                  No master plan, Bill, we just need to 

                  work harder.

                              BILL

                  Congratulations, Dave, it's that kind 

                  of thinking that got us into third.

                              DAVE

                  "Yo' mama."  Is that still hip?  

                  (OTHERS SHAKE HEADS)  Damn.  Oh well.  

                  Lastly, I need someone to clean out 

                  the refrigerator - I found this in 

                  there.

   HE HOLDS UP AN OBLONG, FURRY OBJECT.

                              LISA

                  What was a bedroom slipper doing in 

                  the fridge?

                              DAVE

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

                  dog.

                              STAFF

                  Eww! / Yuck! / Whoa!

                              MATTHEW

                  Well, I guess I should get my little 

                  "science project" out of there.

                              JOE

                  Hey, Matthew almost made a joke.

                              LISA

                  No, really, it's his graduate school 

                  science project from '91.

   EVERYONE GRIMACES.

                              DAVE

                  Okay, that's it.  Clean the fridge, 

                  great story angles to me by the end of 

                  the day.  And stop teasing Matthew, 

                  Bill.

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

                              MATTHEW

                  Oww!!

                              DAVE

                  Now what?

                              BILL

                  That was my fault, Chief.  Matthew 

                  missed a hair.

   MATTHEW RUBS HIS NECK.

                                                      CUT TO:
   
   
   
   
   
   
  
  
  
   

                            ACT ONE

                            SCENE B



   INT. DAVE'S OFFICE - LATER

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

                              JIMMY

                  We're in third, Dave.

                              DAVE

                  I know, sir.

                              JIMMY

                  That's not good, Dave.

                              DAVE

                  Yes, I know, sir.

                              JIMMY

                  Third place doesn't get me as many 

                  dates as second.

                              DAVE

                  You get dates because of our ratings?

                              JIMMY

                  Not as many as before!  Are you 

                  listening to me?

                              DAVE

                  Yes, I understand.  We're working on 

                  it right now.

   JIMMY HOLDS UP A SMALL DOOHICKEY.

                              JIMMY

                  Know what this is?

                              DAVE

                  It looks like a promotional keychain 

                  of some sort.

                              JIMMY

                  With...?

                              DAVE

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

                              JIMMY

                  A WNYX keychain with a prophylactic 

                  molded right into it.  See, Dave, I 

                  don't get this.  Who would want a 

                  condom that you can't use?

   BETH WALKS IN.

                              JIMMY (CONT'D)

                  "I'd love to have sex with ya, 

                  darlin', but I can't get the rubber 

                  out of the damn plastic!!"

                              BETH

                  Uh, I can come back later...

                              DAVE

                  No, Beth... what did you want?

                              BETH

                  Mr. James, there's a man claiming to 

                  be Clint Eastwood on line one?

                              JIMMY

                  Thanks, Beth, I'll call him back.  

                  Lemme ask ya something, hon.  (HOLDS 

                  UP CHAIN)  You ever use a thing like 

                  this?

                              BETH

                  Sure.  Finding a hammer at two in 

                  the morning is a bitch, though.

   SHE LEAVES.  JIMMY STARES AT THE CONDOM.

                              DAVE

                  You like that little keychain, don't you.

                              JIMMY

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

                  Marketing could come up with, and that 

                  scares the hell outta me.

                              DAVE

                  Well, we're busy looking for new angles 

                  on issues from crime to education.

                              JIMMY

                  (FAKES SNORING)  Forget the news, son.  

                  I want you to come up with something 

                  snappy like they do on TV - a jingle, or 

                  a doodad like this.  Just make it better 

                  than  (READS)  "Drive Safely".

                              DAVE

                  You want the News Department to create 

                  a promo?

                              JIMMY

                  Ever seen that purple dinosaur, 

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

                  Now that's clever.  That guy's nearly 

                  a billionaire!

                              DAVE

                  The dinosaur??

                              JIMMY

                  The creator, Dave.  You sniffing the 

                  White-Out again?

                              DAVE

                  One time!  Look, Mr. James, these 

                  people aren't exactly known for their 

                  creativity...

                              JIMMY

                  Apparently, neither was Marketing.

                              DAVE

                  Was?

                              JIMMY

                  I canned 'em all.  Remember, Dave: 

                  Success is a journey, not just a 

                  destination.

                              DAVE

                  What does that mean?

                              JIMMY

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

                  book...  How about, "My company will 

                  lose millions over this ratings thing 

                  and that ticks me off"?

                              DAVE

                  We'll get the numbers back up, 

                  whatever it takes.

                              JIMMY

                  Maybe a bonus would stir things up...

                              DAVE

                  It might make it worth the distraction 

                  from our real jobs.  Reporting news?

   JIMMY IS STARING INTO SPACE.

                              JIMMY

                  Paradise Island in the Bahamas.

                              DAVE

                  You'll send someone to the Bahamas?

                              JIMMY

                  No, Dave, I was just thinking where 

                  the hell I wish I was instead of 

                  dealing with this ratings mess.  Well, 

                  good luck, you'll figure something 

                  out.  (HE TURNS TO LEAVE)  By Friday.

                              DAVE

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

                  all just stick to our respective 

                  duties?

                              JIMMY

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

                  position, Dave?

                              DAVE

                  Well, you're the station owner, of 

                  course...

                              JIMMY

                  And what is my job description 

                  exactly?

                              DAVE

                  You tell us what to do.

                              JIMMY

                  That there sort of answers your 

                  question, now doesn't it!  I already 

                  have to find a new marketing 

                  department, Dave, don't make me look 

                  for another News Director.

   HE EXITS SINGING.

                              JIMMY (CONT'D)

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

                  happy fa-mi-ly...."

                                                      CUT TO:
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

                            ACT ONE

                            SCENE C



   INT. BULLPEN - A MINUTE LATER

   DAVE ENTERS FROM HIS OFFICE.

                              DAVE

                  Okay, everyone, slight change of 

                  plans.  Mr. James wants to get the 

                  numbers back up by using fun 

                  promotional ideas.  I need some really 

                  clever stuff by tomorrow.

                              BILL

                  I didn't spend twenty years in radio to 

                  be  (FINGER QUOTES) "creative".

                              DAVE

                  Bill, sometimes we simply have to do 

                  what our boss says.  Know what I mean?

                              BILL

                  Well, if I have to actually work with 

                  somebody, I want hazard pay.

                              LISA

                  I heard Mr. James say something about 

                  the Bahamas...

                              MATTHEW

                  A prize??

                              DAVE

                  No --

                              BETH

                  Oh, neato-coolo!  I got a million 

                  ideas!

                              JOE

                  All right!  Let's stop working and sit 

                  around making up stuff!

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


   INT. DAVE'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

   HE SITS AND BEGINS PAPERWORK.  BILL ENTERS.

                              BILL

                  Dave, what do I do here?

                              DAVE

                  Besides frustrate your boss with 

                  interruptions?

                              BILL

                  My title, Dave, my job title.

                              DAVE

                  Okay...  Announcer.  Reporter.  

                  Announcer-reporter.  Reporting --

                              BILL

                  I believe the words you're searching 

                  for are "Broadcast Journalist".  And 

                  as the "talent" here at the station, 

                  and I mean that in all forms of the 

                  word --

                              DAVE

                  Your point, Bill??

                              BILL

                  I hate the contest.

                              DAVE

                  It's not really a contest - I just 

                  need a fun promotional concept.

                              BILL

                  Well, serious news announcers do not 

                  do "fun" things.

                              DAVE

                  I guess you're not counting the time 

                  you put jalapeño sauce in Matthew's 

                  cologne bottle, then?

                              BILL

                  That's different -- that's war.  This 

                  business was created by and for 

                  intelligent, literate adults.

   BETH ENTERS EXCITED.

                              BETH

                  Okay, Poppa Bear says to Momma Bear  

                  (GRUFF VOICE)  "Who's been listening 

                  to my radio station??"  And Baby Bear 

                  says --

   BILL FIRMLY PUSHES HER BACK OUT.

                              BILL

                  We have to focus on what news is 

                  really about:  Death!  Destruction!  

                  Mayhem!

                              DAVE

                  I think that's a little extreme...

                              BILL

                  Not at all.  We simply scare the hell 

                  out of the listeners, and the numbers 

                  will go back up.

                              DAVE

                  If Mr. James wants a jingle, we have 

                  to give it to him, Bill.

                              BILL

                  Jingle, schmingle.  This is about you 

                  not standing up to Jimmy.

                              DAVE

                  That's enough.  Tell you what, Bill -

                  I want you and Matthew to decide on a 

                  promo together.  Maybe that will

                  teach you something about playing nice

                  with the other children.

                              BILL

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

                  They'll carry Matthew out on a 

                  stretcher!

                              DAVE

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

   HE RETURNS TO HIS PAPERWORK.

                              BILL

                  The writing is on the wall, Dave 

                  Nelson.  This will tear the staff 

                  apart!

                              DAVE

                  Bill --

   MATTHEW RUNS IN WEARING A TOY HARDHAT, COMPLETE WITH 

   WAILING SIREN AND FLASHER ON TOP.

                              MATTHEW

                  (SINGING)  Look out!  It's an 

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

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

                                                      CUT TO:
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

                            ACT ONE

                            SCENE D



   INT. BULLPEN - LATER

   MATTHEW SITS NEXT TO A TOTALLY DISGRUNTLED BILL.

                              MATTHEW

                  Something with little people.  I like 

                  little people.

                              BILL

                  You mean dwarves?

                              MATTHEW

                  The correct term is "little people", 

                  Bill, don't be so insensitive.

                              BILL

                  How about "Pitch a Midget Day"?  No?  

                  Okay...  "Guess Their Weight in 

                  Ounces".

   DAVE ENTERS AND CROSSES TO GET COFFEE.

                              BETH

                  I think we should give cab drivers 

                  turbans that say "WNYX".

                              LISA

                  Yeah, but people would just think it 

                  was their name.

                              BILL

                  "The WNYX Midget Marathon."  A lot of 

                  little guys running around...

   BETH SCOFFS.

                              MATTHEW

                  Okay then, Miss Fancy Frock, what's 

                  your idea?

                              BETH

                  I still like "Chicks dig guys who 

                  listen to the news.  In bed."

   DAVE INTERJECTS.

                              DAVE

                  Look, maybe this isn't the best idea 

                  right now.  Why doesn't one of you 

                  clean out the refrigerator instead?

                              LISA

                  Really.  Something got up and crawled 

                  away this morning.  (SMALL LAUGHS)  

                  I'm not joking, something just crawled 

                  out of the breakroom.

   THEY LOOK AT THE FLOOR NERVOUSLY.

                              JIMMY

                  (ENTERING FROM BREAKROOM)  I'm not 

                  sure I appreciate that, Lisa.

   BETH'S PHONE RINGS.

                              JIMMY (CONT'D)

                  So, how are my kids doing?

                              BETH

                  Mr. James, it's that guy claiming to 

                  be Clint Eastwood again?

                              DAVE

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

                  should have a workable idea by 

                  tomorrow.  (INTO PHONE)  Listen, pal --

                              JIMMY

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

                  the prize?

   WHOOSH!  CLICK!  BETH HANGS DAVE UP.

                              BETH

                  I thought we could design some neat 

                  t-shirts.

                              JIMMY

                  Nope!

                              LISA

                  A concert in the park, something 

                  classical?

                              JIMMY

                  Nope!

                              BILL

                  "Even circus geeks need news."

                              JIMMY

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

                  keep tryin'!

   HE PULLS DAVE ASIDE FROWNING.

                              JIMMY (CONT'D)

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

                  I don't want to have to do any 

                  housecleaning.

                              DAVE

                  You'd fire one of my people over this??

                              JIMMY

                  No, I meant housecleaning.  Have you 

                  seen that refrigerator?  Hoo-boy!  

                  Firing people 'cause they can't think 

                  up a promo -- man, you are one cold 

                  bastard!

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

                              BETH

                  Mr. James?  (RE: PHONE)  He swears 

                  he's Clint Eastwood.  Boy, does he 

                  swear.

                              JIMMY

                  I'll get that in here.

   HE LEADS DAVE INTO:


   INT. DAVE'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

   AND ANSWERS THE PHONE.

                              JIMMY

                  Squint!  How the hell are ya, you ol' 

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

                  Okay, then, dinner on Saturday.  

                  Later, Squint!

   HE HANGS UP. 

                              DAVE

                  That was really Clint Eastwood?

                              JIMMY

                  Yep.

                              DAVE

                  And he's a friend of yours?

                              JIMMY

                  Well, ol' Squint - he hates it when I 

                  call him that, "Squint" - Squint and I 

                  took acting lessons together back in 

                  Berkeley.  Man, what a jokester - he 

                  and I once stole the teacher's dress...

                              DAVE

                  You and Clint Eastwood stole a woman's 

                  clothing.

                              JIMMY

                  Didn't say anything about a woman, 

                  Dave.  Yeah, ol' Pinch-Face is gonna 

                  run for Mayor of New York City, how 

                  'bout that?

                              DAVE

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

                  exactly the kind of story we need!  

                  Has he told anyone else yet?

                              JIMMY

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

                  have us all killed.

                              DAVE

                  Oh, come on.

                              JIMMY

                  I'm serious.  Remember that hurricane 

                  that almost blew Dan Rather's face off? 

                  That was Squint.

                              DAVE

                  Eastwood had something to do with 

                  Hurricane Opal?

                              JIMMY

                  All I'll say is, the man has 

                  connections.

   DAVE STARES AT HIS BOSS.

                              JIMMY (CONT'D)

                  Ever hear of Mike Ovitz?

   DAVE IS BAFFLED.

                              JIMMY (CONT'D)

                  Big banana at Disney?

                              DAVE

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

                  I'm pulling my hair out because I may 

                  get fired from my job, where I'm 

                  trying my damndest to get a talented 

                  yet fiercely individualistic staff to 

                  work together, and you want me to sit 

                  on one of the hottest stories of the 

                  year because a Hollywood celebrity and 

                  a Disney executive control the 

                  weather?

                              JIMMY

                  (SHEEPISH)  Sounds weird when you say it.

                              DAVE

                  I can't tell my people that!  Look, 

                  Mr. James, this breaking story is our 

                  ticket back to second.  Not some 

                  clever little doodad.

                              JIMMY

                  Have no fear, Dave.  I have every 

                  confidence that you and your fine crew 

                  will work together to create an 

                  absolutely great piece of promotional 

                  radio.

   HE OPENS THE DOOR.


   INT. BULLPEN - CONTINUOUS

                              BETH

                  Your idea sucks!

                              MATTHEW

                  Oh yeah, well you suck.

                              JOE

                  Not as much as you, King Suck!

                              LISA

                  I can't even tell you how much this 

                  all sucks!

   DAVE WILTS.  BILL APPROACHES WEARING A BLACK ARMBAND.

                              BILL

                  This black cloth symbolizes my mourning 

                  for the complete and utter death of 

                  this station's professionalism.

                              DAVE

                  Bill...

                              BILL

                  And now I'm going to hold my breath 

                  until you put a stop to this.

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

                              JIMMY

                  Looks like you got some work to do, 

                  sailor!

   

                            END OF ACT ONE
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

                            ACT TWO

                            SCENE E



   INT. DAVE'S OFFICE - LATE AFTERNOON

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

                              DAVE

                  Beth, hold my calls for 10 minutes.

                              BETH (O.S.)

                  (OVER PHONE)  Backrub break?

                              DAVE

                  Just do it.

                              BETH (O.S.)

                  Sorry, Dave.  Nike came up with that 

                  first.

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

                              JOE

                  So, Boss, I'll empty the refrigerator 

                  if you go with my promo idea.

                              DAVE

                  Joe, no news station in their right 

                  mind would hold a "kegger".

                              JOE

                  Hey, eight or nine beers and you can 

                  get anyone to listen to us.

   UNDER DAVE'S GLARE, JOE SHRUGS AND LEAVES.

                              DAVE

                  This is awful.  I can't believe I have 

                  to rely on them for something so 

                  important.

                              LISA

                  Do you think we can come up with 

                  something that'll make Mr. James 

                  happy?

                              DAVE

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

                  getting enough pressure from him 

                  without having to count on people who 

                  can't remember to throw out food from 

                  the Kennedy Administration.

   BILL ENTERS, A SMALL BANDAGE ON HIS FOREHEAD.

                              BILL

                  Chief?

                              DAVE

                  How's your head, Bill?  Getting enough 

                  oxygen now?

                              BILL

                  Fine.  I'm actually rather glad it was 

                  Matthew who broke my fall.

                              DAVE

                  Bill, I'm still very busy...

                              BILL

                  Yes, the backrub was my main clue.

   LISA STEPS AWAY.

                              BILL (CONT'D)

                  This has to stop, Dave.  Matthew wants 

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

                  will not be party to any such behavior.

                              LISA

                  Shoot!  I thought of that first!

                              BILL

                  I had to write it down, it terrified 

                  me so.  (READING NOTE)  "Tippy the 

                  Kitty loves Bill McNeal."  Cats don't 

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

                              DAVE

                  Perhaps they don't appreciate your 

                  aloofness.

                              BILL

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

                  lose my shi--... cool.

                              DAVE

                  Well, lose your "shkool" somewhere 

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

                  maybe I'll put him in the booth.  

                  Permanently.

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

                              BILL

                  This never goes out of this room.  

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

                              LISA

                  You're pretty fun, Bill.

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

                              LISA (CONT'D)

                  Well?

                              BILL

                  That was before some bone-headed 

                  advertising idea introduced me to the 

                  joy of Vitamin P.

   QUIZZICAL LOOKS.

                              BILL (CONT'D)

                  Prozac, guys, try to keep up.  And I 

                  thought I was the uncreative one...

   HE SCANS THE ROOM.

                              BILL (CONT'D)

                  Okay...  Twenty-three years ago, at 

                  KLAK 97.1, I was a novice who was just 

                  learning how to put the "over" in 

                  "voice-over".  The owner thought it 

                  would be cute to use dogs in a 

                  promotional event.

                              DAVE

                  What happened?

                              BILL

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

                  to mix 97 Miniature Dachshunds and a 

                  truckload of green Jello.

                              LISA

                  Oh my God, were any of the poor little 

                  dogs hurt?

                              BILL

                  No, Lisa, thanks to the quick thinking 

                  of yours truly.  I am sure, however, 

                  that in the recorded history of this 

                  planet, Bill McNeal is the only man to 

                  have sucked cold gelatin from the 

                  pointed little noses of wiener-dogs!

   DAVE AND LISA CAN ONLY STARE, STUPEFIED.

                              DAVE

                  Bill, as the News Director of this 

                  radio station, and your boss...  

                  (BEAT)  I have absolutely no idea what 

                  to say.

                              BILL

                  I will not work on some "yippee-

                  skippee" project with Matthew any 

                  longer.  And if WNYX is marketed as

                  "The Wacky Fun News Station", Dave,

                  I will quit.  Understand?

                              DAVE

                  Oh, Bill, you don't mean that.

                              BILL

                  Oh, I mean it.  You either find an 

                  important news story to get us out of 

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

                  little silhouette running away from 

                  the Bill-shaped hole in the wall.

                              DAVE

                  Honestly, sometimes getting you people 

                  to work together is like... (REALIZES, 

                  SMIRKS)  nailing Jello to a tree.

   LISA STIFLES A GUILTY GIGGLE.

                              BILL

                  Please!!  No animals, no wacky fun, 

                  and no green Jello!!

   DAVE SURRENDERS A SIGH.

                              DAVE

                  Okay, I give up.  Bill, can you keep 

                  a secret?

                              LISA

                  That story wasn't enough proof?

                              DAVE

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

                  Clint Eastwood is about to announce 

                  his candidacy for Mayor of New York.

                              LISA

                  That's great, a big story!

                              BILL

                  Dirty Harry's gonna kick some Big Apple 

                  ass?

                              DAVE

                  Yes.  But Mr. James has requested that 

                  we wait and come up with a promo 

                  first.  So, if you just keep quiet a 

                  little longer, we'll all get through 

                  this alive, okay?

                              BILL

                  As God is my witness, Dave, I will 

                  never, ever betray your confidence.  

                  But I have a very important question.

                              DAVE

                  Yes?

                              BILL

                  What if I were to mention it briefly?

                              DAVE

                  Don't.

                              BILL

                  A broad hint?

                              DAVE

                  Bill, if you don't keep this under 

                  wraps, I'll tell Matthew you secretly 

                  want to be his lifetime dog-walker.

   BILL STIFFENS.

                              BILL

                  You win this round, Boy Wonder, but I 

                  shall be vindicated...  (BEAT)  Now, 

                  can you get someone to clean out that 

                  damn refrigerator?  Doesn't anybody 

                  actually work around here?

   HE EXITS INTO:


   INT. BULLPEN - CONTINUOUS

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

                              MATTHEW

                  Hey, Bill, wanna learn how to do this?

   BILL RIPS IT IN HALF AND QUICKLY ENTERS THE BOOTH.

                              BILL

                  We interrupt this newscast to bring 

                  you an extremely urgent bulletin that 

                  affects all New Yorkers...

   DAVE POKES HIS HEAD OUT, GLARING.

                              BILL

                  But I'm not telling.  Details 

                  tomorrow!

                                                      CUT TO:
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

                            ACT TWO

                            SCENE F



   INT. DAVE'S OFFICE - NEXT DAY

   STRESSED DAVE AT WORK, BILL STROLLS IN SMUGLY.

                              BILL

                  You know, I just realized something...  

                  If Jimmy finds out that you broke your 

                  promise, you'll be back in Cheese-town 

                  reporting on the latest cow-tipping...

   DAVE STANDS.

                              DAVE

                  Don't even think it...

                              BILL

                  And it occurs to me that my reputation 

                  as a journalist far outweighs anything 

                  you can dish out...

                              DAVE

                  Don't play hardball with me, Bill - 

                  you will lose.

                              BILL

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

   THEY SQUARE OFF LIKE PRIZE FIGHTERS.

                              DAVE

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

                              BILL

                  Take your best shot, Bossie.

   IT'S A STANDOFF...

   JIMMY ENTERS.

                              JIMMY

                  William, my man!  Got any sexy promo 

                  slogans for me?

                              BILL

                  Oh, I've got something sexy for you to 

                  hear, Jimmy...

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

                              DAVE

                  Bill, can you give this to Matthew, 

                  please?

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

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

                              JIMMY

                  Speak up, Bill.

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

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

                              JIMMY

                  That's one hell of a management 

                  technique, son.  (BEAT)  Maybe that's 

                  what caused the huge jump in the 

                  evening drive-time numbers last 

                  night...

                              DAVE

                  The numbers are going up?

                              JIMMY

                  Unless Squint controls Arbitron, too.

                              DAVE

                  Wow, Oliver Stone's got nothing on you, 

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

                  them about Eastwood and get on with our 

                  jobs.  They're already working together 

                  across departments, and combined with 

                  real news we'll be back in second place 

                  before you know it.

                              JIMMY

                  "Working across departments", eh?  Is 

                  that what you call the circus act I 

                  just witnessed?

                              DAVE

                  With all due respect, sir, what about 

                  simple honesty?

   LISA ENTERS FLIPPING THROUGH A SHEAF OF PAPERS.

                              LISA

                  I called up some files about Clint 

                  running for Carmel...

   SHE SEES JIMMY.

                              LISA (CONT'D)

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

                  caramels... Clinton running for 

                  caramels, he loves that candy, you 

                  know!

   JIMMY LOOKS ASKANCE AT DAVE.

                              JIMMY

                  Looks like the "simple" outweighed the 

                  "honesty".

   HE SHAKES HIS HEAD AS HE EXITS, DAVE FOLLOWING.


   INT. BULLPEN - CONTINUOUS

   BILL WORKS THE AIRWAVES.

                              BILL

                  And now for that big, big political 

                  news...

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

                              BILL (CONT'D)

                  Which is so big it won't even fit 

                  through the door of the broadcast 

                  booth!  Tune in tomorrow...  Say, 

                  where's my crowbar?

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

                              JIMMY

                  (TO THE ROOM)  Listen up, people, I 

                  have an announcement.

   WORK STOPS.

                              JIMMY (CONT'D)

                  In just one day, the numbers are 

                  quickly increasing.  Whatever you're 

                  doing, keep it up!

                              DAVE

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

                              JIMMY

                  But I still need that promo - tomorrow 

                  morning, eight a.m. sharp!

   HE STARTS TO LEAVE.

                              JIMMY (CONT'D)

                  Thrill me!

   HE'S GONE.  DAVE LOOKS BEATEN.

                              DAVE

                  I wonder if my Mom'll let me move back 

                  in for a while...

   HE EXITS TO HIS OFFICE.

                              MATTHEW

                  What would make our numbers go up in 

                  one day?  (BEAT)  I guess sometimes 

                  life just says, "Good work, Matthew".

                              BETH

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

                              JOE

                  Hey, let's go to the bar tonight and 

                  you guys can come up with an idea 

                  there.

                              MATTHEW

                  Nothing wrong with a few "brewskis" to 

                  get creative...

   A THOUGHTFUL PAUSE.

                              JOE

                  Chug!  Chug!  Chug!

   THE STAFF JOINS IN.

                              STAFF

                  CHUG!  CHUG!  CHUG!

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

                              STAFF

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

                                                      CUT TO:
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
  
   
   

                            ACT TWO

                            SCENE G



   INT. ELEVATOR LOBBY - NEXT MORNING

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


   INT. BULLPEN - CONTINUOUS

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

                              DAVE

                  Beth?

                              BETH

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

                  yell!

                              DAVE

                  (SOFTLY)  Sorry.  Beth, can you --

                              BETH

                  Man alive, keep it down!

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


   INT. DAVE'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

   DAVE ENTERS AND PICKS UP THE PHONE.

                              DAVE

                  Beth?

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

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

                              DAVE

                  (LOUDLY)  THANK YOU!!

   THEY GRIMACE.  DAVE TWISTS THE KNIFE.

                              DAVE

                  LISA SAID THAT --

   THEY FLINCH AGAIN.  DAVE TONES IT DOWN.

                              DAVE

                  Lisa has informed me you've come up 

                  with a pretty good promo idea.  

                  Something tells me the fact that it 

                  was spawned by three dozen tequila 

                  shots should concern me... but go 

                  ahead.

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

                              STAFF

                  (HUMMING)  "Mmmmmmmmnmnnggkhkhhmmm..."  

                  (COUGH, GAG)

                              DAVE

                  Wait!  This isn't going to be a 

                  selection from "A Chorus Line", is it?

                              LISA

                  No, Dave...

                              DAVE

                  Because I'm not sure I can handle 

                  Matthew's high kicks this morning.

                              MATTHEW

                  I didn't know the lamp was an antique, 

                  Dave.  Gosh, one misplaced arabesque 

                  and he gets all bent out of shape.

                              DAVE

                  Okay, go ahead.

   LISA BLOWS THE PIPE AGAIN.  MORE GROANS.

                              DAVE

                  Hold on.  Matthew, are you okay?

                              MATTHEW

                  (LOOKING AT HANDS)  Have I always had 

                  eleven fingers?

                              DAVE

                  Yes.  Lisa?

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

                              JIMMY

                  Hey, gang!

   LISA BLASTS A RESOUNDING SCREECH!!  MATTHEW NEARLY 
   FAINTS.

                              DAVE

                  Good morning, sir.  I was just about 

                  to preview your new ad campaign...

                              JIMMY

                  Super-duper!  Wait a minute.  Is this 

                  gonna be a scene from Chorus Line?  

                  'Cause I had to dock Matthew's 

                  paycheck for that Chinese endtable...

                              MATTHEW

                  No, sir.

                              JIMMY

                  Lay it on me, guys.

   EVERYONE TAKES A DEEP BREATH.  LISA BLOWS THE NOTE.

                              STAFF

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

                              BILL

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

                              STAFF

                  It's a secret...

                              BILL

                  "WNYX.  No secret here: we tell everything."

                              STAFF

                  "Shhhhhh..."

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

                              DAVE

                  Sir?

                              JIMMY

                  You guys make this up together?

   THEY ALL NOD.

                              JIMMY (CONT'D)

                  You gonna quit, Bill?

                              BILL

                  Not if I can get the hell outta here.  

                  Say, to a beach?

                              JIMMY

                  Okay, then, I'll tell Marketing.  

                  Oh, damn, that's right.

   HE TURNS TO LEAVE.

                              BETH

                  Um, Mr. James?  The tiny, sober part 

                  of my brain wants to ask: does that 

                  mean there's no prize?

                              JIMMY

                  Oh, yeah.  Keychains all around!  See ya.

                              DAVE

                  Hold on, sir.  Isn't there another 

                  very important announcement you'd like 

                  to make?

   THEY LOOK EXPECTANTLY AT JIMMY.  HE HESITATES, THEN:

                              JIMMY

                  That fridge is really a mess, Judas 

                  priest!

                              DAVE

                  And?

                              JIMMY

                  My birthday's comin' up?

                              BILL

                  Oh, for God's sake!  Clint Eastwood is 

                  running for Mayor of New York!!

                              DAVE

                  Thank you, Bill, I'm sure that was 

                  orgasmic.

   BILL IS PANTING RATHER HAPPILY.

                              JIMMY

                  Dave, the emotion you create is 

                  inspiring.

                              DAVE

                  It was the wiener-dogs, sir.  (OFF 

                  JIMMY'S LOOK)  I'll explain later.

                              MATTHEW

                  I like Clint Eastwood.  Even though 

                  he's definitely not a little person.

                              BETH

                  I think he could use a little 

                  moisturizer on his face...

                              JIMMY

                  Yeah, poor Squint never recovered from 

                  that hot-tub gag.  But that's another 

                  story.  Good-bye, children, drive 

                  safely!

                                                      CUT TO:
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   

                            ACT TWO

                            SCENE H



   INT. BREAKROOM

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

   DAVE ENTERS AND LOOKS IN THE REFRIGERATOR.

                              DAVE

                  Oh, my God!!

                              MATTHEW

                  (SMUG)  Is there a problem, Dave?

                              DAVE

                  It's clean!

                              BILL

                  Matthew and I came in early and 

                  scrubbed it out.

                              MATTHEW

                  Bill wore an apron!

                              DAVE

                  Cute.

                              MATTHEW

                  Not as cute as when he stuck the 

                  dishwashing glove on his head and 

                  inflated it with his nose.

   DAVE LOOKS AT BILL.

                              BILL

                  I'm a wacky fun guy.

                              DAVE

                  Howie Mandel lives.  Well, I wanted to 

                  personally thank you two for putting 

                  aside your differences to come up with 

                  a great slogan.  Well, as least, one 

                  that doesn't make us all vomit.  Hmm, 

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

                              MATTHEW

                  You're welcome.  I was the one who 

                  realized that Bill wasn't telling the 

                  whole truth.

                              BILL

                  But, ultimately it was my voice-over.

                              MATTHEW

                  Yes, but it was my original concept.

                              BILL

                  Which I made soar with MY vocal 

                  tonalities!

                              DAVE

                  Okay, okay!  Guys?  Thank you.  

                  Honestly, thank you from the bottom of 

                  my very busy heart.

   DAVE LEAVES.  BILL DOWNS A FINAL GULP OF COFFEE.

                              BILL

                  Just remember, Matthew, who they call 

                  "Talent".

   HE STARTS TO WALK OUT.

                              MATTHEW

                  Sure thing, Bill.  Hey, want some of 

                  this green Jello?

   BILL'S EYES GO WIDE, BUT HE RECOVERS.

                              BILL

                  No thanks, Matthew, I've already had 

                  some.  (BEAT)  Two months ago, it used 

                  to be milk.

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

   

                            END OF SHOW







Screenplay created with Final Draft, which is a darn fine product. Buy a hard copy of this script at Planet MegaMall.