A town of Blaine, Missouri is preparing for celebrations of its 150th anniversary. Corky St.Clair, an off-off-off-off-off-Broadway director is putting together an amateur theater show about the town's history, starring a local dentist, a couple of travel agents, a Dairy Queen waitress, and a car repairman. He invites a Broadway theater critic Mr. Guffman to see the opening night of the show.
Waiting for Guffman (1996)

A town of Blaine, Missouri is preparing for celebrations of its 150th anniversary. Corky St.Clair, an off-off-off-off-off-Broadway director is putting together an amateur theater show about the town’s history, starring a local dentist, a couple of travel agents, a Dairy Queen waitress, and a car repairman. He invites a Broadway theater critic Mr. Guffman to see the opening night of the show.

[Int. City council office.]

Mayor Welsch: First of all, I want to thank everybody for coming,

Giving up your lunch hours and all that.

Lord knows, it’s very exciting for all of us.

Council members: Happy to be here. Oh, me too.

Mayor Welsch: Absolutely. Let’s get into it. Who wants to start? I’ll be happy to start. Gwen, why don’t you start?

Qwen Fabin-Blunt: Okay.

Tucker Livingston: You don’t need the pointer?

Gwen: No.

Tucker Livingston: I’ll hold it.

Mayor Welsch: She’s fine. Gwen?

Gwen: A concern I have that I think needs addressing…is that we can’t have

The port-o-potties too far off the main route,because we have a lot of seniors.

Tucker Livingston: We’ve solved that. We’re gonna take the port-o-potties and put ’em right over here.

They’re not gonna be in the way. We’re gonna put a receptacle near arts and crafts.

Mayor Welsch: These are big bins?

Tucker Livingston: Yeah.

We’ve got barrels. We’re gonna put barrels on every corner.

Mayor Welsch: That’s the crate?

Tucker Livingston: That’s the big barrel. That’s the big barrel,’cause you got pie eating here.

Gwen: It’s a dumpster.

Mayor Welsch: If anything happens like last year, with that pie eating–

Which brings me to a point: Security.

Mayor Welsch: Oh–

Tucker Livingston: I say we put a rifle on here,a man with a rifle here and a rifle here.

Gwen: Oh, please.

Tucker Livingston: Protect the whole square.

Gwen: Is that really necessary?

Steve Stark: Yes! Remember how much we got egged last year ?

Mayor Welsch: Absolutely.

[Int. Mayor Welsch’s office,]

Mayor Welsch [to camera]: What can I tell you, we’re pleased as punch.we are so proud. Whatever we do is a first for Blaine and a first for Missouri. Whatever we do is going to be the standard against which…all other sesquicentennials — that’s the 150– will be judged. The people of Blaine are can-do people. There’s an old saying in Missouri: “if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes.” In Blaine, I honestly believe with hard work we can get that down to three or four minutes.

[Int. Blaine historical society building.]

Phil Burgess: Here in our sesquicentennial year, we’ve got a lot to talk about. There’s a lot to be proud of. And we’re very proud of it. It’s about time the world knows more about Blaine.

We’re chompin’ at the bit from this end to get it out there. It all started, uh, with Blaine Fabin. [Indicates huge historical painting son the wall.] He was hired by 30 settlers… To lead a wagon train expedition from Philadelphia to California. On the fourteenth night, word has it, they were sitting around the campfire. And Blaine said, “do you smell it? Do you smell the salt in the air?” He said, “we’re here. I’ve brought you to California. There was a big party that night. Next morning they got up. They didn’t see the ocean, because they were in Missouri. Uh, Blaine was able to convince them for a little while…that it was just low tide and thing but he had made some mistakes: Bad weather, wasn’t familiar with the proper route. But everybody was happy where they were. They said, “it’s okay we didn’t make it to California. We’ll stay here.” And that’s why I’m at this desk.

[Int. Councilwoman Gwen Fabin-Blunt’s home.]

Gwen Fabin-blunt: Well, I’m very proud to say I’m a direct descendant of Blaine Fabin. I’ve lived here all my life, uh, as did my parents and their parents, and their parents…and so on and so forth. I’m very excited about the show coming up, because it’ll be the first time I’ll have the experience…of sitting in the audience and seeing actors portray…my ancestor, the actual Blaine Fabin. Being a Fabin…is not always easy. Um, I can certainly understand how the Kennedys feel.

[Int. Corky st. Clair’s apartment.]

Corky: I had been living in New York…and working there as an actor…and director and choreographer for 25 years or so. And I really felt I needed a change. I imagined in my fantasy, I suppose, that when I came here, I would have a completely different life; uh, perhaps, um, a construction worker…or one of those guys that works on those…high-wire things that, uh — with the hard hat. You know, [indicates] that sweeping sort of hat. And, uh, with the chaps.

Uh, but that didn’t really work out. I began to realize, I guess, that the theater was still in my blood. What I had to do was make use of that. So I offered my services to the high school here. And they accepted. And I began to teach drama. And within about six months, I had formed the Blaine community players.

[Int. Pharmacy]

Steve Starks: I gotta tell you, we are very, very excited… About the big show that’s happening at the end of the festival. Everyone right now is just going crazy getting ready to audition. And, unfortunately, I won’t be able to audition. We have to stock that day and can’t get out of it. And Corky will not let me audition any other time. “That’s show business,” is what he told me, and, uh, you know, he’s the master. You gotta give him credit for that.

[Int. Blaine historical society building]

Phil Burgess: President McKinley did a whistle-stop tour…back in 1898. A little boy, Jimmy McBean, made a stool for him. And he loved it so much that he called back and said, “look, I would like to give more of these to dignitaries who are visiting.” And before you knew it, uh, Blaine is manufacturing all these footstools. And that’s how the big — that’s how we got the stool boom. Blaine became the stool capital of the world.

[Int. Corky’s apt.]

Corky: My first show was “barefoot in the park,” which was an absolute smash. But my production on the stage of “backdraft” was what really got them excited. This whole idea of “in-your-face theater”…really affected them. The conceptualization, the whole abstraction, the obtuseness of this production, to me, was what was interesting. I wanted the audience to feel the heat…from the fire, the fear. Because people don’t like fire poked, poked, in their noses. Its like when you get a cinder from barbecue on the end of your nose, and you kind of make that little face. That’s not a good thing. I wanted to have the sense memory of that. So during the show, I had someone burn newspapers…and send it through the vents in the theater. Well, they freaked out. Of course, the fire marshal came over. They shut us down for a couple of days.

[Int. Magic carpet travel agency]

Ron Albertson [on phone]: Mr. Bluestein, Montezuma’s revenge is nothing more than good, old-fashioned, american diarrhea. Adult diapers should never even enter the picture. [Pause] so you lose a few pounds.

Ron [to camera, being interviewed with Sheila by his side]: My mom used to say that Blaine is a little town with a big heart in the heart of a big country. And to me, Blaine is a kind of town…where I can have my own business, meet and marry a wonderful woman like Sheila…and be something, be somebody. Some people find it ironical that, though we run a travel agency, we’ve never been outside Blaine.

Sheila: With one exception.

Ron: Well, we’ve never been out–well, I went to Jefferson City once. It was a–

Sheila: Tell them why.

Ron: It was a medical reason.

Sheila: You can tell them.

Ron: Just minor surgery.

[Sheila looks away]

[Ext. Blaine dairy queen]

Libby Mae Brown: I’ve been workin’ here at the d.q. For about, um, eight months…seven. I don’t know. Somethin’ like that. It’s fun.

You just do the cones, make sundaes, make blizzards…and put stuff on ’em. And see a lot of people come in. A lot of people come to the d.q. Burgers, ice cream, anything, you know? Cokes. Just drive in and get a coke if you’re thirsty.

[Int. Blaine historical society building]

Phil Burgess: Everybody thinks that Roswell was the first sighting of a u.f.o. In the united states. And that’s bull-roar. We had the first sighting here in 1946. And it wasn’t just a sighting. It didn’t just fly by. They stopped, and they landed. The people in Blaine went on board the ship for a potluck dinner.

[Ext. A field displaying a large circle cut into the ground.]

Ufo expert: I’ve been coming to this landing site every day for two yrs…to measure it. And here’s the thing: The circumference and the diameter…change by a few inches, yet the radius remains the same. Which brings me back to the number five. There are five letters in the name “Blaine.” Mix the word “Blaine” up. Mix it around. Eventually you’ll get “Nebali.” Nebali, the name of the planet…in a galaxy way, way, way far away. I’ll tell you another thing: Once you step inside this circle, the weather never changes. It is always 67 degrees…with a 40% chance of rain, always.

[Int. Dr. Pearl’s dental office]

Dr. Allan pearl: I-i love to make people laugh. And I’ve been doing it since, you know, school. People ask me, “were you, uh, were — you must have been the class clown.” And I say, uh, “no, I wasn’t.” But I sat beside the class clown, and I studied him…and saw how he made people laugh. And– and so I picked some things up. And, you know, at parties and family functions, I have to say, I love, you know, breaking people up. So there’s a thing — I think I got an entertaining bug…from my grandfather, Chaim Pearlgut, who was very, very big in the, uh, Yiddish theater back in New York. He was in the very — the sardonically irreverent…”Dybbyck schmybyck, I said more ham.” And that revue, I believe, was 1914. And that revue is what made him famous. Incidentally, the song, “bubi made a kishka”…came from that revue. My-my father– bless him– brought me into the business. This was his dental practice before. And I joke with my wife that, you know, at that point, that’s when the, uh, the money started, uh, rolling in, you know. “Brave making…more wampum to buy pelts.” [Chortles.] “One happy squaw n wigwam. Happy as mongoose.” That, uh, is, of course, from Johnny Carson, who, uh– one of my heroes in a very funny bit.

[Int. Blaine high school, the auditions for “red, white and Blaine”]

Corky St. Clair and Lloyd Miller and an assistant are watching auditions.

Auditioner #1 [sings]: When I see lips waitin’ to be kissed I can’t stop, I can’t stop for that lightnin’…oh, it’s strikin’ again. Yeah. Lightnin’ strikin’ again and again and again and…

Auditioner #2: I’m gonna do a scene from the movie, raging bull.

“You fucked my wife?”


“You fucked my wife?”

“How can you ask me a question like that?

“How can you ask me? I’m your brother, and you ask me? Where do you get balls big enough to ask me that?”

[Int. Living room interview with Lloyd Miller]

Lloyd Miller: Basically, for the last 15 years, I have been the music teacher… At, uh, Blaine high. Um, and…part of my job, and a very important part, is to put on a show every year, which I have done completely by myself. This year it’s going to be different, because Corky, uh, being from New York, being a professional, uh, and having put on…some very theatrical productions here, uh, is going to be directing the show this year. And I’m going to be the musical director, which is different for me.

[Int. Audition room]

Libby in a short skirt sings: “teacher’s pet” an old Doris Day tune.

Teacher’s pet

I wanna be teacher’s pet

I wanna be

Huddled and cuddled

As close to you

As I can get

Teacher’s pride

I wanna be

Teacher’s pride

[Int. School hallway]

Dr. Pearl waits for his turn, but is distracted by another auditioner’s cleavage.

Ron: Dr. Pearl !

Allan: How are you ?

Ron: Ron Albertson.

Allan: Yes, Ron.

Ron: My wife, Sheila. You remember her from previous bills.

Allan: Yes. Hello, Sheila.

Sheila: What are you doing here ?

Allan: I’m here, uh, you know, trying out for the show.

Ron: Congratulations.

Sheila: No, really, why are you here ?

Allan: I’m try– I told my wife I’d come out for this show. And, you know, I thought I’d give it a shot, yes.

Ron: A shot, which won’t be the first shot you ever gave. Hope it doesn’t leave Corky numb. It’s like pulling teeth to get a discount from him. Hey, give some caramels to the little girl. Future customers.

[Int. Audition room]

Libby continues:

So I can be

Teacher’s pet

Long after

School is through

Teacher, teacher

I love you

[Attempting a split, Libby falls backward]

Libby: Whoa !

Cut to: Allan pearl auditioning. He clears his throat after a few attempts at finding the right pitch.

Allan: I dream

Of Jeannie

With the light brown hair

Floating like a vapor

On the soft summer air

Look out !

Camptown races

Sing this song

Doo-dah, doo-dah

Camptown racetrack

Five miles long

Oh, doo-dah-day

Goin’ to run all night

Goin’ to run all day

Bet my money

On the bobtailed nag

Somebody bet on the bay

Bay, bay, bay

Way down

Upon the Swanee River

[Cut to the Albertsons warming up outside, then back to Dr. Pearl’s audition.]

Floating like

A vapor

On the soft summer

A— [inhales] airrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Corky: Very nice. Very good.

Lloyd: Very, very–

Corky: That was very good.

Lloyd: Well, thank you, Dr. Pearl.

Allan: Thank you very much.

Corky: Thank you, and–we’ll let you know.

Allan: Thank you.

Lloyd: Thank you.

[Dr. Pearl leaves]

Corky: He’s good. He’s good.

Lloyd: He can actually sing.

Corky: Wow.

Lloyd: Very nice.

[Int. Hallway]

Man’s voice: Albertsons ?

[Ron and Sheila do a good luck routine and head into their audition.]

[Int. Audition room]

Ron: Ding dong.

Sheila: Oh, I wonder who knows I’m vacationing here at the oasis.

Ron: Am I late?

Sheila: You!

Ron: Surprised?

Sheila: How did you find me?

Ron: I have my ways.

Sheila: Would you like to come in for coffee?

You don’t need

To answer

There’s no need

To speak

[ Fingers snapping ]

I’ll be

Your belly dancer


Ron: And I will be

Your sheik

I don’t need

A harem, honey

When you’re

By my side

And you won’t need

A camel

No, no

When I take you

For a ride

Sheila: We’ll need some coffee to go with that ride, won’t we?

Ron: You’re always full of surprises.


Ron: But, say, I wonder, do we have time for that coffee ?

Sheila: What time is it?

Ron: What time is it? Haven’t you been paying attention? It’s—

Together: midnight at the oasis

Corky: Oh. Good. Thank you.


Lloyd: That was great.

Corky: Really good. Thanks a lot.

Lloyd: Thanks for coming.

Ron: [Grabs the stool they’ve been using] Should we leave the–

Corky: No, put that back.

Ron: Strike it?

Corky: Yeah.

Ron: We’ve done shows for Corky, so we know the terms already.

Corky: Thank you.

Sheila: Thank you.

Ron: Thanks so much. It was fun.

Lloyd: Thank you.

Corky: Wow.

[Int. Corky’s apt]

Corky: I’m feeling good…about where we stand now

With our cast. “I think that the elements,” as Dr. Watson said to Sherlock, “are coming together, sir.” I’m very excited about Ron and Sheila, the old standbys, the workhorses. I call them lunts of Blaine.

Allan pearl. How do these p– where do they come from? Sure, I’d seen him around. It would never have occurred to me to walk up to the… Dentist and say, you know, “are you interested in this?” But I was…

Shopping for my wife, Bonnie. I buy most of her clothes. And Mrs. Pearl… Was in the same shop. And it just was an accident. We started talking about panty hose. She was saying– whatever. That’s not the point of the story. But what the point is– was that through this accidental meeting– it’s like, you know, it’s like a Hitchcock movie, where, you know, you’re thrown into a rubber bag…and put in the trunk of a car. You find people. You find something– it– is it karma? Maybe. But we found ’em. That’s the important thing. And I got Bonnie a wonderful pantsuit.

Cut to—

[Ext. Front of a small house.]

Alien abductee: They took me off into a separate room. I seen ’em takin’ different people off, different ones off in separate rooms. And put me on a big, white table. And the guy that take me there– the one of them that took me… To examine me, I guess, he probed me. And then I was in there, I bet, more than three or four hours, in that room being probed. At one time or another, different ones of ’em come in. Four, five, six of ’em at different times. And all of ’em probed me. Not all at once, you know. Individually. Later on, years later, now even still– it’s a funny thing. It happened on a Sunday. And every Sunday, about the time…that I was taken on board that– that ship,

Uh, I find I have no feelings in my buttocks.

Cut to—

[Int. Corky’s apt, where he is working on costume designs.]

Corky: Casting a show is really only the beginning of the process. There’s also the whole design concept: What fabrics will work for the costumes, the lighting. And it really becomes a “wrasslin'” match, I guess, between me and the muse of theater… And, most of all, dance.

[Corky dances to ‘Rhythm Nation’ by Janet Jackson]

Cut to—

[Int. Blaine high gymnasium.]

[The first rehearsal. Corky and cast are doing theatre exercises.]

Corky: I’d like you to close your eyes. I’d like you to try somethin’. What are you thinkin’? What are you feelin’ right now with your eyes closed? [Corky blows into Dr. Pearl’s ear]

Allan: I feel a bree– a– you’re blowing in my ear.

Corky: Okay, all right. You jumped to a conclusion.

Allan: Oh. I’m–

Corky: See, what I’m asking for is– your first feeling was not that I was blowing on you. It was more like…”Virgin Isles” or “Bahamanian”…

Allan: Ohh.

Corky: Or “Arubian” or–

Allan: Yes.

[Int. Dr. Pearl’s home.]

Mrs. Pearl: Yeah, he’s at his rehearsal. He’s at his first rehearsal. I don’t know what they’re doin’, ’cause I never been to one. But I bet they’re introducing themselves to each other. You know, it– it’s gonna be nice to meet some of these, um, new folks, ’cause, uh, we don’t socialize with, uh, the creative types, you know. We got our scrabble club and stuff, you know, and other people with babies.

Cut to—

[Int. Gymnasium.]

[The cast are dancing while Corky plays the bongos]

Libby: The exercises all mean somethin’, even if you don’t know what. Dr. Pearl, well, he’ll come around. And he’ll learn, like, uh, Ron and Sheila and I have learned… That Corky has a vision.

[The cast laugh as Ron dances with a scarf, dancing with Libby then Sheila, then jokes about dancing with Dr. Pearl.]

[Int. Dr. Pearl’s home]

Dr. Allan pearl: I, uh– I’m walking… On air. You know, I’m– this is a sensation which is– forget it. When I became a dentist, I thought I was happy. But this is– this is making me nervous now. Because I could have wasted a lot of years.

Cut to—

[Int. Albertson home.]

Sheila: I must say, I was very shocked that Dr. Pearl had been cast. Then I thought—

Ron: Well, we’re in a glamor profession, being travel agents. He isn’t in such a glamorous– you know, one project– we have to loosen him up.

He’s a little tight, particularly when he’s around us, probably. I don’t think he’ll mind jokes.

Sheila: Ron, you’re intimidating because you have so much experience.

Ron: I can’t help it.

Sheila: Ron is going to help everyone act, ’cause I know– Ron gives me– well, in all the productions we’ve been in, and when we do scene studies at home together, Ron will have extensive hour, two-hour sessions of notes for me. And it’s so helpful–

Ron: It’s notes for both of us. No, but lately– you get most.

Sheila: He’s trying to help me change my instincts or at least ignore them.

[Int. Clifford Wooley’s mobile home.]

Corky: Listen, let me tell you why I’m here. We’re doing a show. I won’t beat around the bush. We’re doing a show that I’ve written about the 150th anniversary of Blaine. And I know you’re an old blainian.

Wooley: Yes, yes.

Corky: And you’re really right for one of the parts. It’s the narrator in the show.

Wooley: One of the actor parts? Oh, I don’t know.

Corky: I’ve heard– I think you’re being modest. I’ve heard you’ve had some history in show business.

Wooley: Well, you know, I did have a hankerin’ to be an actor… When I was a young feller when I got out of the coast guard. But I went to taxidermy school instead. Well, I took a correspondence course.

Corky: Uh-huh. I’ll tell you something, Mr. Wooley. What I’m looking for in my shows are actors…and people that are willing to work hard.

Wooley: Well, I-I am a hard worker, as you can see. [Motions at the taxidermy and hobbyist work in his home]

Corky: Oh, I love all the work you’ve done. Makes sense.

Wooley: That’s a little gun rack made out of deer hooves.

Corky: Oh, yeah. Boy, I didn’t know deers could do that, you know.

Cut to—

[Ext. The Savage auto garage]

Corky: I know this comes outta left field, but I’m looking for another actor. I was wondering if you had any interest in participating in the show. Does that appeal to you in any way?

Johnny Savage: I’m not much of an actor. I’m sorry.

Corky: Oh, I–

Johnny: I never done that— anything like that before, really.

Corky: Uh-huh. Okay, fair enough. But it might be interesting, you know. Well, what– do you get off tonight? What time do you get off tonight?

[Johnny’s father approaches]

Johnny: I get off at 8:00.

Corky: At 8:00 tonight?

Johnny: Yeah.

Corky: Really? That’s a long day.

Johnny: Yeah. Hey, dad, this is Mr.–

Corky: St. Clair.

Johnny: St. Clair. He’s a drama guy.

Corky: Yeah. And, um, at 8:00, you’re off, though?

Johnny: Right. I have to tell ya, I’m not much of an actor or singer.

Corky: Well, you know, that’s what Charles Laughton said. And look what happened.

Red Savage: Did you change the fan belt on that blue chevy?

Johnny: No, I haven’t done that yet.

Red Savage: Well, when you get done here, will you get on that?

Johnny: Yeah.

[Red walks away looking suspiciously at Corky]

Corky: Um, so how tall are you?

Johnny: Six, two.

Corky: Really? Hmm. Wow.

Cut to—

[Int. Lloyd Miller’s home. Vocal rehearsals.]

Lloyd: It’s all the same when we say, “nothing ever happens in Blaine,” could we try you two singing “Blaine,” where we really hear the “n” at the end. And you guys just go, “nothing ever happens in blay.” Don’t say the “n.” They say the “n’s.” And the same thing: “nothing ever happens. It’s all the same.” And you sing, “it’s all the say.”

Let’s try it once. Okay, Jeannie, one, two, three and–

[Elsewhere in the house Corky is coaching newcomer Johnny Savage]

Corky: I know it’s hard to jump into this, because it must seem like a new world. But we’re gonna ease you into it. If you ever have any questions, you can always call me up. I’ll give you my– I have a private number. It’s not listed. So don’t lose it, and do not give it out to anyone.

[A few minutes later, they are rehearsing a book scene]

Allan: [as Blaine Fabin] “how high a ridge, I could not tell. For the sun—

Corky: [Indicating how Dr. Pearl is incorrectly holding his thumbs in his armpits in a country bumpkin way] Okay, but– yeah, but not—

Allan: The sun has–

Corky: Yeah, not pinching your shirt. I want– I want, you see, hook in those thumbs.

Allan: Thumb?

Corky: Yeah. There you go. Yeah. Just– that’s right.

Allan: [In a higher register] “how high a ridge, I could not tell.”

Corky: See what’s happening with your voice already? It’s almost as if you’re squeezing your boobies out. It’s gonna be goin’ out to that audience. Pushing it right out.

Allan: I could try it out. [Even higher register] “how– how high a ridge I could not tell!”

[Int. Blaine high gym]

[The cast is rehearsing the “stool boom” number. The vocals are very poor and Lloyd is disturbed.]

Cast: By the fool

In the stool

By the fire of yule

It’s the rule

Stools are where

There was once a time

You’d find a chair

A chair’s for fools

Everybody wants stools

Stool boom

From the parlor

To the poolroom

Everyone knows our name

[The cast slowly drop off sensing something is wrong]

Lloyd: [Quietly to Corky] I don’t want to interfere. But… I think it would be– I think we have to work–

Corky: I can’t hear you.

Lloyd: I think we have to work on the music a little bit more.

Corky: Fine.

Lloyd: But I don’t want to make trouble. So [whispers] I don’t really want to do this in front of them. But I think–

Corky: Where do you want to do it?

Lloyd: I think we have to sit down and make a schedule…that includes some– some music time. ‘Cause I think Jeanne and I…have to work—

Corky: Why are you whispering? I’m right here, you know?

Lloyd: [loudly] Oh, I’m sorry. Do you want me to talk louder? Because I-I think that–

Corky: [sighs] now it’s too loud. You know, just talk like a normal person, okay? [Lloyd sighs] I think what they were doing was good.

Lloyd: You rehearse. You rehearse. You get it perfect.

Corky: Yes, you rehearse–

Lloyd: You know exactly what you’re doing, and then you forget about it.

Corky: Let me pinpoint you: You said, they learn it, they forget it, and that’s okay. That’s great. Well, they’ve forgotten it.

Lloyd: They never learned it. When did they learn it? When do we have the time—

Corky: But if they’re gonna forget it anyway, what difference does it make? You see? It’s like one of those–

Lloyd: No, I–

Corky: It’s like a– it’s a zen thing. It’s like, you know, you know, “how many babies fit in– in the– in the tire ?” Thing.

That whole– the old joke, you know.

Lloyd: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. No, you have a point. It’s an interesting point.

[Int: A local Chinese restaurant where the Albertsons and Pearls are eating dinner. Sheila is noticeably intoxicated.]

Ron: And how’d you find this place ?

Allan: Well, we’ve been, uh, coming here for many years.

Mrs. Pearl: Yeah, we come every Thursday.

Allan: With rehearsals, we won’t be able to now.

Mrs. Pearl: This is true.

Ron: In China, they’ll kill a monkey at the table, eat the brains right out.

Allan: We have friends, Barbara and Bruce, who went to China– I’m sure, you’re in the travel business, you’ve been there. They went to Peking, where they make the ducks. And what they say is that the food over there is not as good. You can’t get a sauce as thick and sweet over there. The food is steamed. They didn’t have a good time.

Mrs. Pearl: They should have called you.

Ron: Yeah, we’ve got some good packages. If you ever want to get to Miami Beach, we got a great package, two weeks–

Allan: Oh, really?

Ron: All expense– yeah.

Sheila: [slurred] you get everything you need. Every kind of food in Blaine. You know, you got Chinese here, and no need to go.

Ron: We’re talking about Miami now.

Mrs. Pearl: Yeah, we’d love to go.

Ron: We got a great package, a week, two weeks.

Sheila: Like there aren’t Chinese people in Miami.

Allan: Well, we should.

Ron: What does that have to do–

Sheila: Of course. “We’re talking about China now.”

Ron: We’re talking about Miami. Miami. We’re talking about Miami now.” Put some food on your stomach before you have more wine.

Sheila: [leaning to talk to Mrs. Pearl] what’s it– what’s it—[to Ron] shh. Girl talk. [To Mrs. Pearl] what’s it like to be with a circumcised man?

[All are shocked]

Ron: That is interesting.

Sheila: I’d ask more, but Ron said the whole jew thing’s–

[Ron laughs nervously]

Allan: Hmm.

Sheila: When Ron had his surgery–

Ron: All right. All right.

Sheila: I said, “hey, circumcise it while you’re at it.” I had never been with anyone else. I, well– Ron’s the only man.

Allan: What surgery did he have?

Ron: A minor corrective surgery. Can we have some coffee at this table, please?

Sheila: It’s not minor anymore.

Allan: Well, maybe we should change the subject.

Sheila: No. It’s–

Ron: I had what, you know, most guys would, uh, dream of, you know. I had to have a penis reduction surgery.

Allan: I’m sorry?

Ron: Penis reduction. There aren’t many. You’re gonna say, “I never heard of that.”

Allan: Penis reduction?

Sheila: I said, “Ron, do something.” He said, “why don’t you get one of those vagina enlargements?”

Ron: Dear! Can we have some coffee over here?

Allan: Have you tried the egg rolls? Unbelievable.

Ron: [standing] Let me ask you something. You’re a medical man.

Allan: Yes.

Ron: I want to ask you something. [Unzipping his pants] if you’d–

Allan: Oh! Oh, for heaven’s sake! No, no! No! Don’t do that.

Ron: Doctor, please–

Allan: [slipping into his Johnny Carson impression] Medicine man not go near dances with stumpy. No.

[Int. Blaine high gymnasium]

Corky: Everybody? Everybody? I have a little announcement to make. I wasn’t gonna tell you. I sent out ten letters to different producers in New York City. This is from the Oppenheimer organization. “Dear Mr. St. Clair: In response to your letter, re: Blaine, Missouri’s 150th anniversary…and the debut of your original musical, red, white and Blaine. The Oppenheimer organization is delighted to inform you that it will be sending a representative, Mr. Mort Guffman, to view the production…and enlighten us with his comments…”

Sheila: How about that?

Corky: “we thank you for the invitation.” And it says, “best regards, Samuel Oppenheimer, jr.”

Allan: Wow!

Libby: What does this mean, Corky?

Corky: What it means is, we may be goin’ to Broadway !

[All screaming, cheering]

[Int. A pool hall in Blaine.]

Libby: My aunt– I brought out her atlas that I look at a lot– this big, blue book– and opened up to “New York.” And it’s an island is really what it is. It’s this island…full of people…of different colors and different ideas. And I can’t– it sounds like a lot of fun to me. You know, we don’t see much of that…in Blaine. I’d like to maybe meet some guys and– Italian guys or– you know, I’ve watched TV and stuff.

[Int. Alberson home. Ron and Sheila are seated.]

Ron: I’m gonna be glad to do the show on Broadway. And there’ll probably be other offers. Keepin’ our fingers crossed. But I don’t know if the theater and the stage is for me. For one thing, there’s an awful lot of memorizing of lines. [To Sheila] and I think you know what I’m thinkin’. Yeah. The ultimate goal: Hollywood. Uh, even when I was a kid doin’ my impressions. “Here’s lookin’ at you, babe,” and, uh, “you don’t c-care about anyone but yourself.” [Sheila giggles] who was it?

Henry Fonda. I always telling her who I’m doin’. She always laughs and says, “now who is that?”

Sheila: Back there, there’s always the germ in my mind…that I’d end up on the silver screen.

Ron: mm-hmm. You’ve got the face for it too, darlin’.

Sheila: I want to try that “less is more” kind of acting, where when you’re talking to someone, you close your eyes. And then you look at them when you’re not talking to the person. I mean, open your eyes when you’re looking away. When you talk to the person, you go like that. Never open your eyes when talking to them.

[Int. Corky’s apartment.]

Corky: The Guffman news is really big. And, uh, I don’t truthfully think…that the cast understand how big. They don’t know the New York thing. They haven’t been through it, and I have. So it is kind of on my shoulders. And going to the big apple for the first time, you know, is such an experience, you never forget it. It stays with you for your whole life. Me, you know, right out of the navy, you know, fresh off a destroyer, uh, with a dance belt and a tube of chap stick, basically.

Not really much to call my own. And then basically being slammed down…for ten or so years. You know, off-off-off-off-Broadway. And then enough is enough, okay? I get the joke. And is that gonna happen again? I don’t know. I don’t want it to happen again. In my deepest, deepest of hearts, I do not want it to happen again. Mr. Guffman brings

With him… A reputation, something bigger than anyone in this town has ever known. And if I am to get back to New York City on my terms, I cannot deliver him…a stinky product. I really have to be presenting him…a package, a beautifully wrapped, glossy, sweet-smelling show.

[Int. Blaine city council chambers]

Corky: What I need from you, because you’re the bosses of the town, essentially– and I know that– is– this is so hard. I mean, there’s nothing easy about this. This is like when you’re gettin’ your legs waxed, and they whip that thing off real fast. That’s what this is like. I need more money.

Steve: How much do you need?

Gwen: How much?

Glenn: Steve’s right. How much are you thinkin’?

Corky: Okay. [Sighs] what I need…is $100,000.

[Pause. And then the council breaks up laughing]

Glenn: Oh, brother! Corky! You know, he is good.

Corky: Let me explain. Let me explain what– oh, man, my heart stopped for a second there. All right, let me explain what that entails.

Glenn: I bought it all the way, by the way.

Steve: He’s serious. He’s not kiddin’.

Glenn: Corky, our entire budget for the entire year…is $15,000 for everything, and that includes swimming.

Corky: I don’t have swimmin’ in my show.

Glenn: No, I mean the pool.

We have to keep up the pool. That’s everything. The entire year is $15,000.

Gwen: We have a manager–

Glenn: $100,000? Look, you’re a nice fellow. We’re glad you’re here. But if I may be blunt — what’s wrong with you!?!?!?

Corky: So what I’m understanding here, and correct me if I’m wrong,

Is that you’re not givin’ me any money. So now I’m left basically with nothin’. I’m left with zero. And which, and which, what can I do with zero? You know, what can I– I can’t do anythin’ with it. I need– this is my life here we’re talkin’ about. We’re not talkin’ about, you know, somethin’ else. We’re talkin’ about my life. You know? And it’s forcing me to do something I don’t wanna do. To leave. T-to go out and just leave…and go home and, say, make a clean cut here. And say, “no way, Corky. You’re not puttin’ up with these people.” And I’ll tell you why I can’t put up with you people. Because you’re bastard people. That’s what you are. You’re just bastard people. And I’m goin’ home, and I’m gonna bite my pillow is what I’m gonna do.

[Door slams as Corky exits.]

Cut to—

[Int. Blaine high gymnasium, same day, before a rehearsal begins.]

Sheila: Now what do you use on your skin ?

Libby: Vaseline.

Sheila: You use petroleum jelly on your skin ?

Libby: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Sheila: You are getting away with murder, Libby.

Libby: What do you mean?

Sheila: You’re young, and it’s okay, but– Libby. Have I told you about—

[Lloyd enters]

Lloyd: Hi. Libby, I have an announcement. I have to talk to you.

I’m gonna have to talk to you.

Sheila: Have I told you about–

Lloyd: Excuse me, Libby, I have to talk to you.

Libby: [almost ignoring Lloyd] All right.

Lloyd: I’m gonna round this up.

Libby: [annoyed at Lloyd] Okay. Hold on. Hold on.

Lloyd: Dr. Pearl?

Allan: Good morning.

Lloyd: Good morning. We have an announcement. We have to talk, okay?

Allan: All right.

[The group continues fraternizing, ignoring Lloyd.]

Lloyd: Gather around, please. Gather around. [More chattering] Libby, Sheila, excuse me. Ron. Thank you. Dr. Pearl. Please, be quiet. I have an announcement. We’ve gotta listen up here. Excuse me.

Ron: [raises his hand] are we gonna be vocalizing ?

Lloyd: Okay, listen up.

Ron: We will be vocalizing? Before we start, I’d like to clear my throat.

Lloyd: Good.

[Ron makes a fart noise with a balloon he has. Dr. Pearl laughs.]

Lloyd: Yes, we’ll be vocalizing. We’ll be doing a lot of– excuse me, please! Everybody, let’s be serious now just for a moment. And let’s all listen up, okay? Corky has left the show, and I am taking over. [The cast is shocked] what I want to do today is start with some music, do dancing and work on our lines. And my hope is at the end of five days…

Libby: What do you mean?

Lloyd: …we will know what we’re doing, and we will have a show.

Sheila: Corky’s left? You mean, he’s left for today or permanently?

Lloyd: Corky’s quit the show, and it’s my show.

[Ext. The staircase leading to Corky’s apartment.]

[Sheila, Ron and Libby are shouting Corky’s name.]

Ron: Here, you go up. Boy, do that twice a day. That’s good exercise.

Libby: Corky!

Ron: Most athletic injuries–

Sheila: Is he not answering? Corky, we love you!

Ron: Corky, open up!

Sheila: Corky, we love you. We want you to live.

Ron: There may be something wrong. Try the door again.

Libby: Oh, god. It’s us.

Ron: He wants to be alone right now.

Sheila: I can’t forgive myself if something was wrong.

Libby: Just shut up! Just shut up! Jesus Christ! Crazy people, my god! [She leaves]

Sheila: I know how he feels too.

[Ext. Libby’s sideyard. She is cooking a lone piece of chicken on a grill.]

Libby: I guess I can just go back to the dairy queen, you know. They said they’d take me back. I always have a place at the dairy queen.

[Int. Albertson’s living room. Sheila is bawling.]

Ron: You gotta stop cryin’. She hasn’t cried this much since the day we got married, honestly. You know, this is wonderful. Why didn’t I react like this when I was playing football for the Blaine panthers…and our quarterback went down with a dislocated knee. I should’ve said, “time-out.”

Sheila: ’cause you’re strong, ron! You’re strong. You’re just a big brick!

Ron: Oh, let’s delay the game. And my lip would tremble, and I’d say we have an injured quarterback. Let’s give up. No! You know what we did? We brought in the second-string quarterback. When he went down, we brought in the third-string quarterback. And we went on, and we whipped the pants off of Harry Truman high school. And next week, went out and mopped the floor with blessed heart of Mary. And they went on to win the state championship.

[Sheila is still crying]

[Int. A bowling alley in Blaine. Dr. Pearl is taking a break from his game.]

Allan: To tell you the truth, I haven’t even thought about it, not for — not for a second have I dwelled on the fact that the show’s over.

I don’t, uh, I don’t, uh, think about it. I try not to think about it. And therefore, i, you know, don’t, because it’s a very healthy way to deal with something that is very– ultimately, not that important in the long run. It’s not, not, uh, not important at all, you know, for me. [Clears throat]

[Int. The pearl living room, where Mrs. Pearl is speaking to the camera.]

Mrs. Pearl: I’m just so sad for Corky, you know. I mean, I think these creative people, they’re real emotional. And, um, I think the important thing about show biz people is…that you gotta have another life. And I-I know, you know, uh, he-he-he’s got a wife. I guess she’s out of town, uh, because I haven’t seen her in– I’ve never seen her, so, you know, that could be the problem. You know, maybe she’s just not supportive.

[Int. Corky’s apartment. The town council is pleading with Corky.]

Glenn: Corky, without you, there’s no show. Without the show, there’s no celebration. Without the celebration, there’s no Blaine. So, you see how it’s a domino effect. You know how dominoes do that. Without Blaine, I got news for you, there’s no Missouri. Blaine is the heart of Missouri. What happens if Missouri goes down? You tell me.

Steve: We need the magic back in the show is what we need. And it ain’t gonna happen with Lloyd. Lloyd is a music teacher, and he shops at Wal-mart. He doesn’t even support the town!

Gwen: But the person who needs you most is Blaine Fabin.

Glenn: Hear, hear.

Gwen: And I’m not just saying that because I am a Fabin. Okay, okay.

I’m saying that because I just know…that nobody can touch, um, that whole…thing. That whole thing.

Glenn: Hmm?

Tucker Livingston: You could take a nickel, and you could make it into a million dollars, because this man is a genius, and we cannot lose that.

Glenn: Look what you did with barefoot when you came to this town. Did you have any budget then? You didn’t have $100,000 then. Barefoot was a perfect show. And look what happened to that show.

Tucker: Great show.

Glenn: And what about backdraft? You took a little cellophane, and you made it into flames. You could still feel the heat.

Tucker: You know what? You’re not wrong.

Glenn: We need you to take your magic wand and wave it. And make this town special again is what we need.

[A pause]

Steve: Will you do it?

[Corky smiles]

[Int. Blaine high gymnasium.]

[Everyone is applauding and cheering except for Lloyd]

Corky: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, everyone. Please. Oh! All right. Thank you. Thank you, thank you. Okay. Let’s pretend that it

Never happened, okay? And let’s just jump into “covered wagons.” All right, let’s start from the dance part, all right? “Covered wagons.”

[Everyone cheers and goes back to work.]

[As the rehearsals continue, Corky is interviewed]

Corky: In a funny way, what the city council did was really give me a challenge. And it’s a challenge that I am going to accept. It’s like in the olden days, in the days in France, when men would slap each other

With their gloves, and say, you know, “D’Artagnan,” you know, “how dare you talk to me like that, you?” And smack him!

[Back at rehearsals the cast sings. The crew works diligently to finish the set, costumes and props.]

Cast: Stool boom

From the parlor

To the poolroom

We’re in the center

Of the stool boom

Everybody knows our name

Working, building

Never stopping

Never sleeping

Working, making

Some for selling

Some for keeping

It’s the rule

Everyone has a stool

Just relax

It’s a treat

For which a monarch asks

Hawk your jewels

[Cut to Corky talking to Dr. Pearl]

Corky: I did wanna mention one thing.

Allan: Mm-hmm.

Corky: [indicates Dr. Pearl’s glasses] Specs? 1845, You know, I think,

It’s a little problem.

Allan: Oh! Oh-oh, oh-oh. My glasses?

Corky: Yeah.

Allan: You’re saying, I ca–

Corky: I don’t think you should wear them.

Allan: Don’t wear them in the show?

Corky: It’s mostly in “covered wagons.” Because I think that that’s the one where it’s just not as believable. Of course, when you get further up in time, historically, it’s–

Allan: I-i can see a couple of problems, nothing major, and nothing that we can’t solve. Uh, one, uh, contrary to public opinion, I don’t see very well, uh, without my glasses. So, you know, I’m thinking, is that going to be a problem for me? Just…look out. And the other thing, which, uh, is also a problem, is…[Removes his glasses] I have a very lazy eye, which these prescription glasses help correct.

[The cast rehearses some more. Then Dr. Pearl addresses a problem in his Blaine Fabin scene.]

Allan: Getting off the horse is not a problem. I can get off like that.

But the, uh– where I’m having a problem is…sometimes the horse comes out, and I can’t get past the cow. So, I have to, kinda, you know, do this when I come out, “gather ’round for I have news.”

Ron: I don’t know which is more lifelike, the horse or Dr. Pearl.

[Sound of a phone ringing]

Allan: [to Ron] oh you. You, you!

Stage manager: Corky, here’s the phone. It’s Johnny.

Corky: Hello. Yeah. What do you mean? What do you mean? What do you mean? What are you saying? I understand that. No, I understand.

Believe me, I do understand. What you can do is just say, “absolutely not.” Do you understand that? I-I don’t believe that. No, I’m sorry. I do not accept that. That is not an answer. No! It’s absolutely unacceptable that you would say this now. Not today. [Shouts] no!

And that’s the– that’s the way it is? Then I just hate you, and I hate your “ass face.”

[Corky slams phone down.]

Sheila: Oh, Corky.

Ron: What’s up?

Corky: Johnny’s not in the show. His dad said he has to go back to work. He’s not in the show.

Ron: What does he think this is, school? That he can be marked absent one day?

Libby: This is the day of the show, y’all.

Sheila: Oh, my god.

Corky: Just, just–

Ron: This is very strange.

Corky: Ron, j-j-just let me think for a second, all right? I’ve just got to take a breath here…and try to figure this out, all right ?

Cut to—

[Int. Backstage. A pair of pants are being pinned on Corky.]

Corky: It’s tight. That hurts.

Agnes the costumer: Oh, I’m sorry. Okay, you know what? If you could hike it up a bit, you’d get a little more room.

Corky: Yeah, well, I am pulling them up. I’m sort of trying to commit

To one side here, dear.

Agnes: This is johnny’s costume. And johnny is a lot– you know, he’s a different body type than you are. This is–i’m worried because

This won’t– I’m about five inches away–

Corky: I understand.

Stage manager: Actors, we’re at 15 minutes. We’re at 15.

Corky: [frantic] no, no, no, we gotta move now. Come on. Come on. You’re gonna have to help me here. You gotta help me here.

Agnes: Wait. Okay.

Cut to: The orchestra warming up.

Cut to: Backstage

Allan: I’m so nervous tonight, Ron.

Ron: You’re gonna be great. You’re gonna be great. And if there’s an empty space, just say a line.

Allan: Yeah.

Ron: That’s what I like to do, even if it’s from another show.

Libby: Agnes, where’s the lilac dress?

Agnes: You mean, the purple one?

Libby: Yes, where is it?

Agnes: Honey, I told you to lay off the hot fudge sundaes. I couldn’t let the seams out.

Libby: What? It’s not here? Agnes.

Agnes: No, it is not.

Cut to: Audience taking their seats.

Cut to: Backstage where the cast is warming up.

Ron: Hark, a rider approaches.

[Nearby Clifford Wooley has spilled something on himself. Agnes is drying the wet spot with a hair dryer.]

Agnes: Oh, god! – That’s all right.

Clifford: Just– careful.

Agnes: I hope that isn’t too hot.

Clifford: No, no, it’s just fine.

Corky: [to Dr. Pearl] May I remind you, please? No glasses for the first number, all right?

Allan: Oh, no. No, no. I didn’t forget.

Stage manager: Actors, we’re at places.

Corky: Have a good show, everybody. Break a leg. Don’t worry about anything ’cause it’s gonna all roll–

Libby: He’s not here.

Corky: What?

Libby: He’s not here.

Ron: Guffman?

Sheila: Not here?

Corky: Okay, okay. No, no, no.

Allan: Should we lower the curtain?

Sheila: Corky?

Corky: Everybody, look, look, look. I’ve been through this a million times. These New York types like to come late. Believe me, I’ve never seen one of them come on time in all my years in the theater. Take a deep breath. Good. Blow it out. He’s gonna be here. Let’s just do a good show. Everybody do a good show. Hands in the middle. [Everyone puts their hands together and they cheer.]

Cut to: The stage and audience. The overture finishes, with a flourish from Lloyd. The lights come up onstage.

Clifford Wooley [narrator]: Oh, howdy! I didn’t see you sneak up on me there. But if you’d like, you’re welcome to share my campfire with me.

I was just fixin’ to get me some grub. Beans. I love beans. Big, fat, hot, juicy beans. Now don’t get me goin’ on beans, or I’ll be jabberin’ away ’til the sun comes up. But, you know, now that I’ve got your ear,

There is a story I wouldn’t mind sharin’ with ya. It’s a tall tale

That grows taller with each passing year. It’s the story of Blaine.

[Lights come up center stage and we see an old western scene.]

Ron [Daniel Potter]: Well, we’ve traveled long and far today. We must let the women and children rest.

Sheila [Rebecca Potter]: Don’t you rest on our account, Daniel Potter, we women are just as strong and resilient as you men.

Ron: I do believe ya are, Rebecca. I do believe ya are.

Sheila: California will be a sight for these weary eyes.

Ron: Mine as well, Rebecca, mine as well. But right now, we need a campfire to warm our souls…and to cook our food.

Sheila: Done.

[Corky enters, chasing Libby, looking for a kiss]

Libby: That will be quite enough of that, Billy Whitaker.

Corky: Just one kiss.

Libby: There will be plenty of time for kissin’ when we get to California.

Corky: If we get to California.

Libby: Oh, we’ll get there. Blaine Fabin will lead us there.

Ron: Hark, a rider approaches. Blaine Fabin returns.

[Allan Pearl enters on horse as Blaine Fabin]

Allan: Whoa! Hello there. Whoa! Steady. [He has some trouble dismounting the horse] gather ’round, for I have news.

Sheila: What news?

Ron: What did your keen and perceptive eyes behold?

[As Dr. Pearl turns, we see his very lazy eye.]

Allan: Just up yonder, there is a ridge. And how high a ridge, I could not tell. For the sun had set and darkness fell before I reached its pinnacle. Then a strange thing happened. My nose started twitchin’. There is a mysterious scent in the night air.

Libby: What kind of scent?

Ron: What was this mysterious scent?

Allan: It was the scent of saltwater.

All: Saltwater?

Ron and Sheila: [making a murmuring sound] Hub-hub, hub-hub, hub-hub.

Allan: Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached our destination. We have reached the pacific. Welcome to California!

[Musical number begins]

Grab your feller

By the hand

Welcome him

To the promised land

Grab your lady

By the arm

Take her out

Behind the barn

Everybody dance

[As the cast exits backstage they are thrilled with how well the number went. Back onstage…]

Clifford Wooley: Sixty years went by and the town of Blaine kept a-growin’ and a-changin’. [A man enters and is seated in the front row chair reserved for Mort Guffman.] Every time you looked around, a new house was goin’ up, a new family was movin’ in.

[Backstage we see the cast frantically making costume changes]

Clifford: McGillicutty’s orchard became the Blaine elementary school. They even laid track for that newfangled invention, the iron horse, which brought a pretty important visitor to Blaine.

[Lights back up center stage. A train whistle blows as the back of a train rolls onstage.]

Townspeople: Yea! It’s president McKinley.

Ron [wm. McKinley]: Good people of Blaine, they told me my next stop townspeople: Hurrah! Hurrah!

Ron: [an aside] I guess I need a new travel agent.

Allan [mayor]: Mr. President, in honor of our visit [corrects himself] your visit– to our town, I present you humbly with this fair key to our city.

Ron: Well, I do declare, I believe the key to the city is larger than the city itself.

Corky: Wait, Mr. President.

Ron: Well, what have we here?

Corky: It’s a footstool. I make them.

Ron: Well, isn’t that interesting? I’ll take this back to Washington with me. And every time I rest my feet, I’ll think of Blaine.

[The train rolls off, as do the actors, who wave bye to McKinley and the train. Stageright, the narrator picks up the story…]

Clifford: Now we all know that politicians aren’t used to keepin’ their word…

Cut to: Backstage, where the cast has now seen Guffman in his seat.

Libby: He’s here.

Ron: Who’s here?

Sheila and Corky: He’s here. He’s here!

Corky: I told you.

Ron: Should we start over again?

Allan: Let’s do “covered wagon” again.

Cut to: Onstage, the narrator continues]

Clifford: Well, before you know it, everyone, rich and poor alike, had to have a Blaine stool in their home. The little town never knew what hit it. Footstool factories sprouted up like, uh, like toadstools.

Everyone had a good job. Everyone was makin’ a good wage. Blaine was on the map.

[Musical number begins. The cast is in work outfits.]

Cast: By the pool

In the school

By the fires of yule

It’s the rule

There’s a stool

There’s a stool

Stools are where

Once upon a time

You’d find a chair

A chair’s for fools

Everybody wants stools

Stool boom

From the parlor

To the poolroom

We’re in the center

Of the stool boom

Everyone knows our name

Working, building

Never stopping

Never sleeping

Working, making

Some for selling

Some for keeping

You will drool

At the splendor

Of these magic stools

It’s the rule

Everyone has a stool

Just relax

It’s the treat

For which a monarch asks

Hawk your jewels

Use the money for stools

Stool boom

Just relax

And watch the sales boom

Like a fever

It’s a stool boom

And it’s spreading out

Working, building

Never stopping

Never sleeping

Working, making

Some for selling

Some for keeping

Working, building

Never stopping

Never sleeping

Working, making

Some for selling

Some for keeping

[Wiping their sweaty brows]

Phew !

[The audience erupts into applause. The lights go up. It is intermission.]

Mrs. Pearl: I can’t wait to see the second half. Allan, his dramatic work. I mean, I knew he was funny. And I knew he could, you know, move, dance, ’cause he’s, he’s that way. But I think his dramatical work is so moving that, uh, well. I mean, I called Joyce, and I said, “Joyce, bring Joshy, ’cause I gotta feed him halftime because I’m just busting.”

Phil Burgess: This is good. Boy, they’re movin’. They’re dancin’ all over the place. And the songs are very catchy. Uh, very catchy. I can’t get a few of ’em out of my head. It’s almost to annoying point,

But I think it’s good when a song is catchy…from the little experience I have in show business.

Steve stark: You know, I knew that Corky could act, and he could direct, and he could produce. But who knew that he was gonna act and sing and dance? You know, he can just do everything there is to do. And there’s only one other person in the world that can do that, and that’s Barbra Streisand. He is, uh– I don’t know– an inspiration to this town. That’s what he is. And I for one am very glad to see that johnny Savage dropped out of the show. Because a couple of years ago he came in the drugstore, and he tried to steal my stamp machine. And that kid is no good. You could tell just by his parents he’s no good. And he would not have added anything to the show. Where Corky, on the other hand–look at him. Did you see– god, I wish I was in the show!

[Act two begins with Corky as a young WWI soldier and Libby as his sweetheart.]

Libby: I hear that french girls are very pretty, that they wear the finest of clothes. I also hear that they are experts in the ways of love.

Corky: Ima, I’m going to fight for my country. To fight, and yes, perhaps, die, so that young men from here to Timbuktu can feel

The wind of freedom…blowing through their hair.

Libby: Monty, I didn’t mean to doubt you. It’s just sometimes I feel as if I don’t really know you. I would still pay—


A penny

For your thoughts

A dime for your dreams

Would a shiny

New quarter

Buy a peek

At your schemes

And when you are away

So far from my side

I will cherish

My penny’s worth

‘Til at last

I’m your bride

Corky: [sings] a penny

For your thoughts

Let’s call it a deal

I don’t have

Any secrets

You know

How I feel

Cut to: Backstage. Sheila is doing Ron’s hair.

Sheila: That’s it.

Ron: No, no, here, here. Go right there.

Sheila: Where, where?

Ron: The curl. You know where I like the curl.

Sheila: Ron, I have to get myself ready.

Ron: There it is. There it is. Nice. Now a little fluff here, and you can work on yourself.

Cut to: Onstage, Corky and Libby’s number continues. In the audience everyone is moved, especially Steve Stark who is crying.

Libby: A penny for your thoughts

It’s settled and done

Corky: I’d have offered

A million

I’d have done it

For none

Libby: I reckon we’re in love

And married we’ll be

And all for a penny

Corky: A bright copper penny

Both: The penny that

Brought you to me

[Libby and Corky end the number in the “dying swan” pose. The audience applauds. Corky and Libby run offstage.]

Corky: You were so good.

Libby: I told you you’d be able to lift me like that.

Corky: Oh, you were right.

Libby: You lifted me up!

[Back onstage, the narrator continues]

Clifford: Yes, after our brave fighting boys returned from the war, things got back to normal in Blaine, until one summer night in 1946,

When unexpected visitors put us back on the map.

[Onstage there is a green light and a humming sound]

Ron: Where are we?

Libby: How did we get here?

Sheila: Is this a dream?

[A spaceship lands/lowers upstage. The audience gasps.]

Libby: Look, what is it?

Ron: I don’t know. It looks like one of them new feed storage bins.

Corky: That ain’t no feed storage bin.

Sheila: How did it get here ?

Corky: It must’ve flew.

Libby: But it don’t have any wings.

Corky: Then I guess it just dropped from somewhere up there.

Allan: [as the martian] citizens of Blaine, do not be alarmed.

Scenes missing

Nothing ever happens on mars
meeting roy loomis

Scenes missing

Corky: …sincerely, Mort Guffman.

[Corky sits dejected. The cast attempt to enjoy their success. Corky stares into space, devastated.]

Cut to: A few months later.

[Int. A retirement home in Miami, Florida.]

Allan: You have to go where the crowds are. And you have to go…where the love is. And the love for me, right now, is in Miami, not Blaine.

Cut to: Allan performing for a group of senior citizens.

Allan: [sings] My booby made a kishka

She made it big and fat

My zeida took one look at it and said I can’t eat that

Oh, mama, mama, mama

Oh, mama, me, oh, my

Cut to: Hollywood, CA

[Int. A studio, where a commercial for a western cowboy boot is being produced. The Albertsons are donned in western gear, sitting in directors chairs.]

Ron: Well, here we are in the land of dreams. And don’t let anybody tell you dreams can’t come true.

Sheila: We’re an hour from the snow.

Ron: Uh-huh.

Sheila: We’re 20 minutes from the ocean.

Ron: Uh-huh.

Sheila: Two hours from the mexico.

Ron: Uh-huh. Five hours from Vegas.

Sheila: Uh, five hours from Las Vegas.

Ron: And we’re gonna get there one of these days.

Sheila: As soon as we get a car. We don’t have a car yet.

Ron: Who wants to add to the pollution? We consider ourselves bicoastal…if you consider the Mississippi river one of the coasts.

Voice: Extras, let’s go. Over here.

[The Albertsons get out of the director’s chairs they were sitting in and walk to their places. They are doing a commercial for a major brand of western boot.]

Ron: All right. Time to get back to work. That’s what they’re payin’ us for. Come on, kid.

Sheila: Why can’t they refer to us by name? Why can’t they say, “Ron, Sheila, over this way, please”?

Ron: Its still the same on the paycheck. Hi, how ya doin’?

Voice: All right.

Ron: You’re doin’ a great job, incidentally.

Sheila: Smile. Are you gonna smile?

Ron: I think we should have a line. I gave him some suggestions. He didn’t want to hear it.

Sheila: He’s busy. Line dancing.

Ron: We should be line dancing.

Sheila: That’s a great idea.

Voice: quiet, please.

Sheila: All right.

Ron: put your finger up like this.

Sheila: Are you smilin’?

Voice: quiet, please.

[Ext. A dairy queen in Alabama]

Libby: I was on my way to New York, and then my dad got out of prison,

Which is good. He was supposed to be in there for ten years, but, I guess, since he didn’t kill anybody…and just ruined some property…

That, um, they let him out after five. So, it’s– I’m here with my dad,

And, uh– I’ve been thinkin’ of ice cream and stuff and what I can do with it. Maybe come up with– we have a blizzard, and we have a breeze.

We have derbies, and the derbies are really old. They’ve been doin’ derbies, you know, the chocolate dipped, for, I think, 20 years or somethin’. I really wanna sort of make a healthy, low-fat or nonfat,

Uh, healthy…blizzard.

[Int. Corky’s collectible shop in NYC.]

Corky: The first thing I did when I moved back to New York city…was to look up Mr. Guffman. And he was so sweet. And I think he felt a little guilty too, because he’s offered me the chance to audition

For his new Broadway show, which is a revival of my fair lady. It’s one of my favorite shows of all time. And the role is of Henry Higgins, the somewhat stern taskmaster, but he-really-likes-her-anyway-kind-of-thing guy, who teaches Eliza how to speak correctly. And she, of course, is of the cockney persuasion and drops her h’s. And I’ve been workin’ on that at home, the whole cockney thing of, [a cockney accent] “‘ello, ‘ow are you?” “Do you want to go to ‘artford?” “Not live in this ‘ellhole” and that kind of thing. I think I’m honing in on it pretty close now. And I suppose that the “cake and eat it too” part of this whole story is…that another dream of mine has come true, which is, I’ve gotten to open this shop, where I have all my show business treasures and all my memorabilia. This is, without a doubt, one of my favorite items, uh, My Dinner with Andre action figures. And what you can do, which is so cute, is, uh, you can reenact the whole scene, you know, where the two guys talk to each other, and say, you know, “boy, I’m sure glad you’ve found a good restaurant. It’s so hard these days

To get in.” You know, “who do you know?” “Oh, I just called, made a call, spur of the moment.” [Laughing] “Oh, you. You can always get a reservation.”

You know, that’s not from the movie, but you can make up your own dialogue, which is one of the great things about action figures. I’m trying to get– it’s very rare– the one– the action figures for Das Boot, ’cause I love to do that whole, you know, kind of claustrophobic thing inside the sub, where they’re, you know—[attempts speaking German] you know, that whole German thing. I can’t speak German, but it sounds like, uh, you know, sort of bunch of barnyard animals– mach-mach-mach-mach–you know, making that noise and sweatin’. Uh, over here, these are my big heads, call’ em, starting with Anthony Michael Hall, one of the “brat packers.” In fact, there’s–in the background there–

There’s Andrew McCarthy. Over here is some new lunch boxes we’ve gotten in. They’re Remains of the Day lunch boxes. And the kids, they’re just havin’ such a good time with these. You know, kids don’t like eating lunch at school, but if they’ve got a Remains of the Day lunch box, they’re a whole lot happier.

[“Blaine Panthers Fight Song” plays]

Sheila: ♪♪ There’s not much pleasure ♪♪

Allan: ♪♪ But not much pain ♪♪

Libby: ♪♪ ’cause nothin’ ever happens ♪♪

Ron: ♪♪ Zero ever happens ♪♪

Corky: ♪♪ Bupkiss ever happens in… ♪♪

[Playing lullaby]

All: ♪♪ Blaine ♪♪


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