GAG REFLEX ANTHOLOGY

 

written by

Janet "Pleasant Valley Sun" Day

Kris "Easy Cheese" Keef

Steven "The Hammer" Lord

Dale "Blow Me" Roe

Eric "Loose Vowels" Schwartz

 

 

 

1 MONTAGE - OUTSIDE THEATER - NIGHT 1

 

Cut from couples and single people all stating: "It was better

than CATS."

 

Eventually the edits become fast and furious until it becomes a

succession of : "CATS"

 

CUT TO:

 

 

 

PLACE KATZ SCENE HERE

 

 

He pops a videotape into his VCR.

 

Zoom in on screen as

 

CREDITS BEGIN.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

OPENING CREDITS

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

 

BLACK SCREEN

 

KATZ (V.O)

While there is nothing like

a solo artist who can command

an audience, there is something

special about the chemistry

created by artists coming

together. There have been many

great groups throughout history.

 

CUT TO:

 

STILL PICTURE (COMPOSITE)

 

The picture contains Ralph Waldo Emerson, Ricki Lake and Arnold

Palmer.

 

KATZ (V.O)

(continuing)

Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

 

CUT TO:

 

 

 

 

 

 

STILL PICTURE (COMPOSITE)

 

Sean Penn and Edward Teller

 

KATZ (V.O)

(continuing)

Penn & Teller.

 

CUT TO:

 

STILL PICTURE (COMPOSITE)

 

Joe Louis and Martin Sheen.

 

KATZ (V.O.)

(continuing)

Martin and Lewis.

 

CUT TO:

 

STILL PICTURE (COMPOSITE)

 

Bob Shapiro, F.Lee Baily, Johnny Cochran, & Barry Sheck

 

KATZ (V.O)

(Continuing)

And of course...

 

CAPTION IN:

 

"THE VIOLENT FEMMES"

 

KATZ (V.O)

(continuing)

...The Violent Femmes.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

 

INT. INTERVIEW - STEVE - CLOSE SHOT

 

 

STEVE

We knew right from the start

that the name of the group

was the key. The most important

thing. Having a good name is

half the battle. You know. So

we test marketed names, we ran

focus groups, uh...oh we developed

a short list which we used...uh...

to develop a survey. There was

nothing left to chance.

 

Steve sips coffee.

 

KATZ (V.O.)

Many names were tried..

 

 

Steve puts the cup down and folds his hands.

 

He sighs and smiles.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

 

CAPTION IN:

 

MONTAGE OF GROUP NAME LOGO HEADS

"Spock's Minions"

"Four Guys & Two Chicks"

 

KATZ (V.O.)

Some were deemed too esoteric...

 

 

CAPTION IN:

"Laugh, Dammit!"

"Testicular Cancer Comedy Theater"

"Jerry's Kids"

 

 

KATZ (V.O.)

Some demanded too much of the audience...

 

CAPTION IN:

"Boils"

"Up With People!"

"...(the group formerly known as Boils)"

 

KATZ (V.O.)

Others were victims of bad timing...

 

CAPTION IN:

"Slapstick!"

 

KATZ (V.0.)

And others just weren't funny...

 

FADE TO BLACK

 

KATZ (V.0.)

And some just didn't pull in the crowds.

 

 

FADE IN:

 

INT. COMEDY CLUB - NIGHT - HOME VIDEO SHOT

Steve paces.

 

The others are seated on the stage in front of an empty house.

 

They all glare at Steve.

 

 

 

 

 

STEVE

I don't get it. I thought

this was the cleverest name

yet. I don't know why nobody

came.

 

 

KRIS

Was "Hello Larry" on tonight?

 

ERIC

Was our name on the marquee?

 

DALE

(eyes locked on Steve)

Sure was. Big as life.

 

CUT TO:

 

EXT. ESTABLISHING SHOT - OUTSIDE CLUB - MARQUEE

 

Marquee reads;

 

TONIGHT!

 

"CLOSED FOR REPAIRS!"

CUT TO:

 

 

 

INT. DALE - INTERVIEW - CLOSE SHOT

 

DALE

Steve's full of crap.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. STEVE

 

STEVE

Oh...you wouldn't believe

the time, the effort, the

people involved....

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. DALE

 

DALE

Don't believe a word that

idiot says.

 

CUT TO:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INT. STEVE

 

STEVE

The craftsmanship...I can

honestly say that the

search for our name...

..was..the...greatest show

business effort since the

search...um...for Scarlett

O'Hara.

 

Steve leans back.

 

INSERT

 

GRAINY BLACK AND WHITE CLOSE UP - STEVE'S EYES

 

BACK TO SCENE

 

STEVE

(Continuing)

I'm serious.

CUT TO:

INT. DALE

 

DALE

He said what?! Look! We

had no name, we had auditions

coming up, I needed something

for the letter head. Steve was

drunk...and he puked all over

my dog. I said, "Nice gag reflex

stupid." Voila! our name was born.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. STEVE

 

INTERVIEWER (O.C.)

Um...Dale said you puked on his

dog.

 

Steve averts his eyes from the camera.

 

INSERT

 

EXTREME CLOSE UP - SWEAT ON STEVE'S BROW

 

BACK TO SCENE

 

STEVE

That's...kind of a demographic

study.

 

CAMERA moves off him.

 

INTERVIEWER (O.C.)

Uh huh.

 

STEVE (O.S.)

Well, it's input. It's

just really...subtle.

 

FADE TO BLACK

CAPTION IN:

 

"GAG REFLEX"

 

 

KATZ (V.O.)

Once the name was in place,

Steve and Dale had to build

a cast of talented people.

It was time for auditions...

CAPTION OUT.

FADE IN

 

DALE - INTERVIEW

 

DALE

...For the auditions we really

wanted people to be comfortable.

I mean, the whole "you can't see

us but we can see you thing" really

unnerves people. So we wanted to try

a variety of venues for the auditions...

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

BASEMENT REC-ROOM - NIGHT (HOME VIDEO)

 

Steve, Dale and several EXTRAS sit around a table.

 

DALE

Okay. We'd like you to fill out

these questionnaires. One I need

serious answers for, the other...

 

STEVE

...just run with it.

 

CUT TO:

 

STEVE - INTERVIEW

 

STEVE

Um... the first audition

didn't go....well.

 

CUT TO:

 

REC -ROOM

 

CLOSE SHOT (SHAKY CAM)- VAPID YOUNG ACTRESS

 

Leans in to Dale.

 

 

ACTRESS

What'd you mean...um...

run with it?

 

DALE

Just be goofy. Have fun

with it.

 

ACTRESS

Fun? Do you want me to

have fun or do you want

me to run with it?

 

Dale stares at her.

 

CUT TO:

 

WILLIAM "TOAST" PETERSON

 

faces camera.

 

TOAST

I have dedicated my life

to extrapolating, through the

arts the complicated and

(chuckles breathlessly)

sometimes zany world of

macro-economics.

(laughs vigorously)

CUT TO:

 

STEVE AND DALE

 

sit crumpled on a sofa . They exchange glances.

 

CUT TO:

 

DALE AND VAPID YOUNG ACTRESS

 

ACTRESS

Goofy... Do you want a

kind of falling on your

knees, drooling on your

clown shoes goofy. Or more

of a.... cerebral...Chekhov

goofy?

 

DALE

Goofy...goofy. You know...

GOOFY!

 

ACTRESS

Oh! You mean a Kafka-derivative

anarchy relying heavily on the

adrenalin induced bipolar battle

between the Ego, the super Ego

and the Id. Cool.

 

 

DALE

Whatever. Just make it under

two minutes.

 

CUT TO:

 

 

JOEY CALGON

 

JOEY

Okay I got dis sketch. Okay

Any VD clinic. Your run of the

mill kind. This guy in a turban

stttrrrrrolllls in covered in

lesions. You with me? Get it

lesions. So the day nurse says

"..the hell happened to you?"

And LESION MAN says "Hey! I had

to wear da turban. I lost my hat."

Get it?! I think LESION MAN's a

keeper. He should be in every show.

CUT TO:

 

DALE AND STEVE

 

SAD MUSIC PLAYS

 

Dale has his face in his hands. A soggy tissue pokes out between

his fingers.

 

Steve comforts him.

 

STEVE

It's okay. Just keep it together.

DALE

I... can't. I can't

 

STEVE

We'll find somebody. I swear.

I need you here! Now! Man.

Don't crumble on me dude.

 

ERIC (O.S.)

Is this auditions for Gag Reflex?

 

NEEDLE SCRATCHES ACROSS RECORD

 

Steve and Dale whip their heads in the direction of the voice.

 

ERIC

 

Eric stands with a guitar around his neck.

 

ERIC

I have a strong comic background.

I write. I sing. I act. And I work for

free.

CUT TO:

 

COUCH - A SECOND LATER

 

Eric sits confused on the couch. Steve is shoving a cigar in

Eric's mouth. Dale is taking Eric's shoes off and giving him a

foot massage.

 

STEVE

Can I get you a refreshment.

Coke? Coffee? Mineral water?

Some oooorrrooonnngggg tea

perhaps?

 

DALE

You don't think lesions are funny

do you?

 

CUT TO:

 

 

KATZ OFFICE - (ALA A&E BIOGRAPHY LEAD OUT)

 

Katz walks around the desk and sits on the near edge.

 

KATZ

It took a lot of effort but

after finding Eric Schwartz

the group really began to

gel. Steve and Dale's dreams

were becoming reality. They

soon picked up Janet Day and

Kris Keef . When we return,

the first shows and the

explosion of Gagmania that

followed.

 

FADE TO BLACK

 

 

A FEW MOMENTS OF BLACKNESS

 

 

AND THEN..... PLACE "THAT FREAKIN' AUSSIE" HERE

 

 

FADE TO BLACK

BLACKNESS

 

ERIC (V.O)

What I love about Reflex is

the exciting...maelstrom of

influences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FADE IN

 

 

ERIC - INTERVIEW

 

ERIC

(continuing)

I mean... going all the way

back to Gracie Allen with Kris,

to much more contemporary

character based humor, like

SNL or SCTV with Janet. We are,

in essence, a hybrid , a splicing

of comedy genes, if you will.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. ERIC'S APARTMENT .

 

Eric sits, several large books open. He reads vigorously and jots

down some notes.

 

ERIC (V.O.)

Before you can even think

about being funny...you have to

study and know what funny is.

I've actually had people say to me

"Hey. This isn't brain surgery y'know."

And I answer back to them; "You're

right. It's harder. I mean all a

brain surgeon does is cut his way in.

We can't do that. We've got to get

in there...um...through sheer will and

stage presence and language.

 

CUT TO:

ERIC - INTERVIEW

 

Eric leans back.

 

ERIC

That's harder.

 

CUT TO:

 

 

JANET - INTERVIEW

 

JANET

...no it's basic. I mean...

this isn't brain surgery.

 

INTERVIEWER

Now, Eric said that he feels

that what Reflex does is harder

than brain surgery.

 

Janet leans up and cuts off the interviewer.

 

 

JANET

(emphatically)

You gotta understand. Eric's

...a geek. A comedy GEEK. He's

good. But, a..a...geek.

 

CUT TO:

 

KRIS - INTERVIEW

 

KRIS

Oh... I wouldn't call him

a ...geek. PER SE. He's

well .... um....

 

CUT TO:

 

DALE INTERVIEW

 

DALE

Of course he's a geek. What is

this, a debate? Like there's two

sides to this? He's a classic

comedy geek. Don't ever watch Monty

Python with him - he says every line

two seconds before they do.

 

CUT TO:

 

STEVE - INTERVIEW

 

 

STEVE

See, this is where I often disagree

with everyone else ... I see him

more as a comedy dweeb.

 

CUT TO:

 

 

 

KRIS - INTERVIEW

 

KRIS

Well, he's, um ... gee ... he's

nice, you know?

 

 

CUT TO:

 

 

ERIC - INTERVIEW

 

 

ERIC

You have to understand, there is

a certain amount of jealousy here,

not unlike what Kovacs or Berle or

Hope or even Lewis went through in

their careers. I expect it. I

understand it. Also, in character

study, geek works.

 

 

CUT TO:

 

 

KRIS - INTERVIEW

 

 

KRIS

Who's kidding who he's a geek.

GEEK!

 

 

CUT TO:

 

FREEZE FRAME OF ERIC

TITLE "GEEK!" APPEARS

OVER HIS FACE

 

FADE OUT

 

FADE IN

 

JANET - INTERVIEW

 

JANET

Everyone assumes Doris is my

mother, or someone I knew in my

life. I would like to set that

straight. She came to me in a dream...

 

INTERVIEWER

A dream. That's something ...

 

JANET

Oh, yeah! She appeared in a dream.

Unlike anything I've ever seen or

known. And a voice came to me, and said,

"Be Doris." So I did.

 

 

CUT TO:

 

FADE IN SCHLOCKMAN CONNECTION

FILM CLIP

 

 

CUT TO:

 

DALE - INTERVIEW

 

DALE

Ah, yes, the Schlockman dream

story ... it's a Gag Reflex

legend now.

 

CUT TO:

 

 

ERIC - INTERVIEW

 

ERIC

See, I'm skeptical about dream-related

comedy, although you do find a basis

for it in British surrealist comedy ...

 

CUT TO:

 

JANET PARENTS INTERVIEW

 

TITLE: "DELORES AND MILTON DAY. JANET'S PARENTS"

 

IRVING

Is this about that comdey

thing she does? Better known

as the big waste of time?

 

 

DORIS

I'll tell it. She had a promising

future as a stenographer. Marry a

rich man I told her. Are there

rich men in comedy? What about

this Jim Carrey? He makes an ass

of himself in public.

(Turns to Irving)

You do that! Where's my butler?

Where's my BMW, tubby?!

 

 

IRVING

Where's my gun.

 

CUT TO:

 

JANET - INTERVIEW

 

JANET

They say that what you dream

comes from your life. But Doris

was so far from anything that

I had experienced that the only

explaination I have is that Doris

was a vision...

 

FADE IN : "DRIVING MISS CRAZY "

 

SILENT AND SLOW MOTION

 

JANET

(slight echo)

...a divine vision.

 

SLOW FADE

 

 

BLACKNESS

 

KRIS' MOM (V.O.)

Kris always seemed destined for

the stage...

 

FADE IN:

 

KRIS' MOM - INTERVIEW

 

KRIS'S MOM

She was forever on our porch

at night...(chuckles) singing

at the top of her lungs. Just

nonsense like it was opera. That's

how she met the man who was going

to be her husband. Poor Jerry was

the paperboy. He was so shy.

 

CUT TO:

 

HOME VIDEO - LITTLE KRIS

 

Little Kris belts out some jibberish opera.

 

Zoom in on bushes across street.

 

Little Jerry stares eerily from the grassy knoll. (bushes)

 

CUT TO:

 

KRIS'S MOM - INTERVIEW

 

KRIS' MOM

It went on like that for quite

a while until finally he had the

nerve to speak to her.

 

CUT TO:

 

HOME VIDEO - PRESENT DAY

 

Present day Kris on the same porch belting out the same jibberish

opera.

 

Zoom in on bushes across the street.

 

Adult Jerry, unshaven, stares eeriely from the bushes. (grassy

knoll)

 

CLOSE SHOT - KRIS, DREAMY EYED, SINGING WITH ABANDON

CUT TO:

MEDIUM SHOT - JERRY SLOUCHING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET

 

CUT TO:

 

 

 

 

MEDIUM SHOT - KRIS' GAZE FALLS ON JERRY. SHE ABRUPTLY STOPS

SINGING.

 

CUT TO:

 

MEDIUM SHOT - JERRY STANDS AT THE EDGE OF THE YARD

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

ESTABLISHING SHOT - THEIR EYES LOCKED

 

MUSIC SWELLS

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

MEDIUM SHOT - JERRY AND KRIS , STANDING SHOULDER TO SHOULDER

STARING INTO THE VOID. (AMERICAN GOTHIC) (grassy knoll)

 

KRIS' MOM (V.O.)

They were a match made in

heaven...

CUT TO:

 

KRIS' MOM - INTERVIEW

 

KRIS' MOM

The doctors say that next

week Jerry may talk.

 

INTERVIEWER

What exactly does this have

to do with Gag Reflex?

 

KRIS' MOM

Well...nothing.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

SKETCH CLIP MONTAGE

 

 

 

KATZ (V.O.)

The groundwork was in place.

The momentum was building.

And the cast was in tip top

shape. The early audiences

took to the Reflex brand of

humor with abandon.

They began drawing bigger

and bigger houses until

they began to suffer under

the weight of their own

popularity.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

 

 

STEVE - INTERVIEW

 

STEVE

It was starting to get...

unwieldy. There's one story

in particular that I'll never

forget.. It was after a club

show in Algonquin. Dale was having

a rum and coke after the show.

Just trying to relax you know...

 

 

CUT TO:

 

KRIS - INTERVIEW

 

KRIS

(continuing story)

This... Gag-nut... all decked

out in the Tour shirt and cap

almost jumps Dale at the bar

and threatens his life.

 

CUT TO:

 

ERIC - INTERVIEW

 

ERIC

This guy was nuts. He told

Dale some garbage about them

making people laugh in the

afterlife. And then he

pulls out this knife. Not unlike

what happened to Peter Sellers

on December 14 19...

 

CUT TO:

 

JANET - INTERVIEW

 

JANET

Luckily, Dale being quick tells

the guy that he's actually Jason

Alexander and the guy backed off and

apologized.

 

 

CUT TO:

 

STILL BLACK AND WHITE PICTURE

 

ANDREW BRADLEY HYNDE stands with a rifle and a Gag Reflex poster.

Remarkably similar to the damning photo of Lee Harvey Oswald.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KATZ (V.O.)

The would-be assassin was

Andrew Bradley Hynde. A glass

blower from Woodfield. He

was later arrested and convicted

of aggravated double parking. He died in

prison sometime later.

 

THE PICTURE FADES AND IS REPLACED WITH A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

FEATURING A GROUP PHOTO OF RELFEX AND THE HEADLINE:

 

"BREATHER FOR REFLEX AS NUTBALL CACKS IT"

 

KATZ (V.O)

(continuing)

Reflex breahted a sigh of relief

but they began to realize that

the carefree days of Reflex were

over.

 

FADE OUT

 

FADE IN:

 

ERIC - INTERVIEW

 

ERIC

I think that we all started to

see that we had to look more

at the impact that our humor

made.

 

CUT TO:

 

DALE - INTERVIEW

 

DALE

We realized we could still

do what we'd always done

but we had to be careful.

I think that's about the time

Steve's zipper problem started

to creep up again.

CUT TO:

STEVE - INTERVIEW

 

STEVE

It happens when things get

too stressful. I wish people

wouldn't make such a THING

out of it. It's no big deal.

Really.

 

CUT TO:

 

 

 

 

 

STEVE'S PARENTS - INTERVIEW

 

DAD

He always was a bit of a

"dud" but... I started

thinking "what's wrong with

this kid? He can't work a zipper?"

 

MOM

It was like his head was so

full of other things that

he lost that part of his thinking.

 

DAD

He couldn't put on a pair of nice

slacks without injuring himself.

And not the way you're thinking.

I mean, sprained wrists, pulled

hamstrings...

 

 

MOM

One time he was looking for his

keys in a motorcyle jacket,

you know the kind with all the

zippers, he wound up being

in the hospital for three weeks

for a ruptured Pancreas.

 

CUT TO:

 

JANET INTERVIEW

 

JANET

I didn't think twice when

Steve started showing up

to rehearsals in sweats

and biker shorts. It wasn't

until a few months later that

I finally figured out what was

going on.

 

CUT TO:

 

 

BACKSTAGE

 

Janet stands in a evening gown.

 

She stands with her back to Steve.

 

 

 

JANET

I'm on soon, Steve can you zip

me up?

 

QUICK ZOOM - STEVE

 

Sweat beads on Steve's brown.

 

He shakes.

 

CUT TO:

 

ON STAGE

 

Dale and Kris deliver lines.

 

DALE

(delivering line)

No! It can't be that simple.

 

KRIS

Honey when she gets here don't

mention that I....

 

THERE IS A DEAFENING CRASH OFF STAGE.

 

Dale and Kris snap there heads in the direction of the sound.

 

CUT TO:

 

BACKSTAGE - EXTREMELY SHAKY CAMERA

 

Chaos has broken out.

 

The scene is reminiscent of the Robert Kennedy Assassination.

 

Steve is prone on the ground.

 

ERIC

He's down!

 

DALE

Back off! Give him some air!

 

KRIS

Oh God! The humanity!

 

CUT TO:

 

STEVE - INTERVIEW

 

STEVE

I only sustained a dislocated

shoulder...but there for a few

minutes I thought I was a goner.

 

INTERVIEWER

How are you handling zippers

now?

 

STEVE

Fine. Great. Look.

(Steve zips and unzips his

fly repeatedly with precision)

It took a lot of counselling.

But I pulled through.

(beat)

The...uh crisis...not my ...

y'know...zipper.

CUT TO:

 

SKETCH CLIP

 

KRIS (V.O.)

Things went along pretty

well after that until

Eric starting getting weird.

I mean more weird than usual.

 

CUT TO:

 

SLOW - MO SHOT - ERIC WALKING FROM HIS CAR TOWARD APARTMENT BUILDING.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

KATZ OFFICE

 

KATZ

When we come back. Reflex

deals with some very dark

personal issues. And what

lies in the future of

Gag Reflex.

 

FADE TO BLACK

 

PLACE

"THE GRIP"

HERE

 

FADE TO BLACK

 

STEVE (V.O.)

Y'know I'm not the only

one with problems. Eric

started getting pretty

freaky. Ask him!

 

FADE IN

 

KRIS - INTERVIEW

 

KRIS

(continuing)

He just wasn't pumping out

the material. I mean, what

he was brining in was good

but he was pushing himself

too hard.

CUT TO:

 

DALE'S HOUSE - REHEARSAL

 

Everyone mills about.

 

Eric enters followed by MICHAEL MULANEY. Mulaney wears sunglasses

and a long dark trenchcoat. He says nothing.

 

JANET (V.O.)

He felt like something was

wrong and he was unbalanced.

So he started bringing this

guy named ... oh ...um.. Michael

...Michael Mulaney to

rehearsals. How could I forget

Michael Mulaney?

 

Eric begins to introduce Mulaney to everyone.

 

ERIC

Guys. This is my spiritual

comedy guide. Michael Mulaney.

He helping me to center and

find my groove again.

 

Dale and Janet exchange glances.

 

ERIC

I know you guys don't like

outsiders at rehearsal but

I need this. I gotta feel my

way back to my comic spirit.

My humorous muse is waning

so Mike is going to help me

find it. So I can get back

to writing that great toilet

humor.

CUT TO:

 

LATER

 

The group rehearses a scene. Eric runs his fingers through his

hair.

 

He breaks character and steps away.

 

ERIC

No. no.

 

He turns and looks at Mulaney who stares at him blankly.

 

Eric turns back excited.

 

ERIC

Okay I got it.

 

CUT TO:

 

ERIC - INTERVIEW

 

ERIC

That was a really strange time.

M&M was good for me but... I

realize the mistake I made now.

I owe a lot of that to Dale.

 

CUT TO:

 

DALE - INTERVIEW

 

DALE

Well I sat Eric down and told

him ... well I don't remember

what I told him. But what it

boiled down to was that he should

cut the crap and be FUNNY! Then things

got REALLY weird.

 

CUT TO:

 

STILL PICTURE

 

Dale, Eric and Kris in a candid shot.

 

Eric is dressed exactly like Dale.

 

KRIS (V.O)

Eric became obsessed with Dale.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

 

KRIS - INTERVIEW

 

KRIS

It was really creepy after

a while. It was like having

two Dales around. It started

becoming really scary. I don't

think Dale really noticed...

CUT TO:

 

DALE - INTERVIEW

 

DALE

I just thought Eric's taste

was becoming impeccable.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

GENERATED BACKROUND AND SMALL SUBSCREEN OF POLICE TAPE.

 

TITLE READS : "Actual 911 call"

 

The dialogue comes over a telephone and is accompanied by

subtitles.

 

DALE'S VOICE

This is Dale Roe at 32 Longbeach.

My son Cooper is missing.

 

OPERATOR

All right sir, calm down.

 

 

 

 

DALE' VOICE

Hold on! What Rhonda?!

Oh my god! Someone stuffed

our dog Chelsea into a crock

pot and let it simmer all day!

Sweet Jesus!

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

DALE AND RHONDA - INTERVIEW

 

Dale holds Rhonda's hand.

 

 

 

RHONDA

I was in a panic. But when

Eric walked in and told us

that he had taken Cooper

to the park I was relieved.

 

CUT TO:

 

INT. DALE'S LIVING ROOM

 

Eric walks in holding Cooper's hand.

 

DALE

...the hell?!

 

ERIC

Hey man, thanks for

stopping by.

 

Eric stops by Rhonda and kisses her on the cheek.

 

ERIC

Hi hon.

 

DALE

What are you doing?!

ERIC

You want a beer or something?

I'm gonna take a quick shower.

Make yourself at home.

 

Eric begins to undress.

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

ERIC - INTERVIEW

 

Eric looks sadly at his hands.

 

ERIC

I don't remember much of it.

But...I can't believe I did

it.

 

FADE TO BLACK

 

FADE IN

 

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE WITH ERIC'S PICTURE

AND THE HEADLINE:

 

"COMEDY GEEK HOSPITALIZED FOR NERVOUS EXHAUSTION"

 

FADE TO BLACK

 

FADE IN:

 

DALE AND STEVE INTERVIEW

 

 

 

 

STEVE

...I mean of all the

influential african americans

in the past thirty years...the

one that gets glossed over the most

is Quincy Jones. I mean, the man has

done it all. Writing. Producing. But

because he's behind the scenes no one

remembers him. He's personally helped

hundreds of musicians hone their skills

and he's influenced thousands more. THAT

is testimony to what a great man he is.

And rich...the man is literally tripping

over his own wealth.

 

Steve looks at Dale.

 

Dale stares at Steve for a moment.

 

DALE

...the hell are you talking about?!?!?

 

STEVE

I thought it sounded like an interview

thing. Like ...you know kind of a Ken

Burns thing.

 

DALE

Why don't you shut your piehole!

 

Dale looks at the camera.

 

DALE

(continuing)

When we lost Eric for that period

it almost killed us. Stu was like a

breath of fresh air. He was our salvation,

our redeemer, really. He pumped new life

into us ...

 

 

 

STEVE

Yeah ... too bad he died so violently. Tough

break.

 

 

 

Dale looks annoyed at Steve

 

STEVE

(continuing)

What? It happened ...

DISSOLVE TO:

 

 

PICTURE

 

The New Gag Reflex line up includes STU.

DISSOLVE TO:

 

PICTURE

 

Stu and Steve performing the "BURGIE BELTER SKETCH".

 

KATZ (V.O)

The comedian known only as

"Stu" joined Reflex in a

moment of group desperation.

With Eric locked away in the

booby hatch Stu burst onto the

Reflex stage with an energy unrivaled

before or since.

 

MONTAGE OF REFLEX AND STU PICTURES

 

JANET (V.O.)

It was incredible. Those shows

with Stu were probably the best

we've ever done. The audience

took to him beautifully. On the

surface we all had a lot of fun

with Stu. But there was a lot of

resentment at the way he came in

and started to...well...let's

just say he was difficult.

 

CUT TO:

 

KRIS - INTERVIEW

 

KRIS

After the novelty of

a new member wore off the

fighting started. I'll never

forget the night that Stu

showed up to our show at the

Holiday Star totally bombed.

We had to do it readers theater

style. Everyone was livid.

And the next day....

(Kris looks away.)

 

CUT TO:

 

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

 

slides into view at an angle.

 

The caption reads;

 

"REFLEX PROP FOUND AT MURDER SCENE"

 

The sub-headline reads:

 

Goofy Giant Spider extracted from Stu's body. Reflex called in for questioning."

 

DISSOLVE TO:

 

ERIC - INTERVIEW

 

ERIC

When they finally let me have

paper in my room I read about

when they dragged the group

in. I was just thanking

god I was in the hospital. That's

a hell of an alibi. I didn't even

have access to "Spiderback. Steve

always kept it at his house.

 

CUT TO:

 

STEVE - INTERVIEW

 

STEVE

The ...guy...was arrogant. Somebody

needed to lean on the guy. ..Not me!

I don't mean me. I mean think of it.

Someone goes to face the guy and they

take the spider to intimidate the guy.

Not me. SOMEBODY....Should I talk to my

lawyer?

 

CUT TO:

 

JANET - INTERVIEW

 

JANET

The pathologist said that there

had been a struggle. What probably

happened was that someone took the

spider to intimidate the guy and..

you know, things got out of hand.

The thing's gone off when I've been

cleaning it....Ask Dale he built the damn

thing.

 

CUT TO:

 

 

DALE - INTERVIEW

 

DALE

Anyone who would off another

human being with a prop that

dopey looking ...that's

an animal. Imagine this being

your last memory of earth.

 

Dale holds up the spider.

 

DALE

I...mean...this exact replica.

Obviously the actual spider

was impounded by the authorities.

 

CUT TO:

 

KRIS - INTERVIEW

 

KRIS

I can't even lift the spider.

I suppose I could if I HAD to.

Like in one of those "life

threatening " situations where

people gain superhuman strength.

Or when some guy is

(gets suddenly violent)

REALLY PISSING YOU OFF! And All you

want to do is ram a giant prop

down his....but I digress.

I was doing flash cards with Jerry

that night anyway

 

CUT TO:

 

MONTAGE OF REFLEX MUG SHOTS

 

 

KATZ (V.O.)

(doing Robert Stack)

Stu's death remained a mystery.

All group members had airtight

alibis. And as it happened the

police didn't really care about

a comedian with only one name

anyway.

CUT TO:

 

NEWSPAPER ARTICLE:

 

Caption reads:

 

CORONER'S JURY RULES STU'S DEATH "ARACHNIDENTAL"

 

FADE TO BLACK:

 

 

 

SOUND OF REFLEX TALKING AMONGST THEMSELVES.

 

 

FADE IN:

 

INT. DAY - DALE'S HOUSE

 

"FLY ON THE WALL" as Reflex gets ready for rehearsal.

 

Steve and Dale stand talking about music.

 

Kris plays with Dale's dog.

 

Janet talks to Rhonda while Cooper sits on Rhonda's lap.

 

DAN sits blankly on the couch.

 

CUT TO:

 

OUTSIDE

 

Eric pulls up in his car. He grabs a back pack from the seat

next to him and locks up his car.

 

He pauses for a second before he heads into the house.

 

CUT TO:

 

INSIDE

 

Everybody's head turns as there is a KNOCK at the door.

 

Dale and Steve smile at each other.

 

Eric slinks in shyly.

 

ERIC

Hello?

 

There is a warm greeting from the group.

 

Hugs and hand shakes abound.

 

DISSOLVE TO

 

KRIS AND STEVE

 

INTERVIEWER

So what's going on now?

 

STEVE

Well this is the first

rehearsal for our new

show.

 

INTERVIEWER

Are you all excited.

 

 

 

KRIS

(Smiling )

I don't know about anyone

else but this is my favorite

part of all of it. You know?

 

STEVE

This time especially because

it's like a comeback.

 

CUT TO:

 

GROUP READING NEW SCENES

 

INTERVIEWER (V.O.)

How's Eric doing?

 

KRIS (V.O)

It's like he was never

gone.

 

FADE UP SCENE SOUND

 

Dale reads a new sketch.

DALE

(reading)

...so then the day nurse

says..."The hell happened

to you?" and Lesion Man

says, "I had to wear the

turban, I lost my hat!"

 

The group rolls with laughter.

 

CUT TO:

 

DALE

 

DALE

...It's like coming home

again, you know. It's

been a lot of fun.

 

CUT TO:

 

KITCHEN

 

Janet and Kris make coffee. They talk and laugh.

 

CUT TO:

 

JANET

 

JANET

I think what has kept us going

through all of it is that we're

more than just comedians. We're

friends too. If I didn't need to

eat I'd probably just do it for that.

 

CUT TO:

 

STEVE - INTERVIEW

 

STEVE

Probably the most important

thing this time around is we

have a full time technical

director.

 

CUT TO:

 

 

 

 

DAN sits with Dale and Steve. He sits and stares blank from

behind dark glasses.

 

DALE

Steve, tell Dan that I want

a cool blue spot at the

end of Proxy.

 

Steve tells Dan this by performing sign language in the palm

of Dan's hand. (Like THE MIRACLE WORKER.)

 

CUT TO:

 

DAN - HALLWAY

 

He makes his way from the bathroom.

 

DALE (V.O.)

A lot of people have asked

us why we took on a visually

and hearing impaired individual

as our light and sound guy.

It's a question I've asked myself

many times. But the truth is the

guy has GREAT instincts.

 

Dan walks into a wall and collapses unconscious to the floor.

 

CUT TO:

 

LIVING ROOM

 

The group howls with laughter as Dale and Steve rehearse the

"ROYALE WITH CHEESE" sketch.

 

Except Dan who sits silently and doesn't move until Kris slaps

him on the back in a fit of laughter.

CUT TO:

 

 

 

 

 

 

LATER

 

Eric and Dale sit delivering lines.

 

ERIC

...just a few questions.

Do you have any latent

tendencies, compulsions ...

...uh

(to Steve)

....line?

 

Dale blows his stack.

 

DALE

Dammit Eric! OBSESSIONS!

I can't believe...

 

ERIC

Sorry. Sorry.

 

DALE

I mean Jesus...

 

They stop in silence. There eyes locked.

 

They both move into a warm hug.

 

ERIC

Awwww I'm sorry.

 

DALE

No, man, I'm sorry.

 

They pat each other loudly on the back.

 

CUT TO:

 

ERIC INTERVIEW

 

ERIC

You know, when you're

in the middle of it all

you tend to forget why

you do what you do, and

why do it with the people

you do it with. All of that

came back to me today.

(a tear sprints down his cheek.)

I couldn't have asked for

a nicer reception.

 

He smiles a tear filled smile.

 

FADE TO BLACK

 

 

 

 

 

FADE IN:

 

GROUP INTERVIEW

 

INTERVIEWER

So what's next?

 

They all look at each other and chuckle.

 

ERIC

The sky's the limit.

 

JANET

We love doing this. We

work hard at it. We want

to do it forever. You know.

This isn't...

 

KRIS

...a hobby. Or a waste

of time.

 

STEVE

I wish you guys could

talk to my wife.

 

They all laugh.

 

STEVE

(continuing)

I kid. She indulges me a lot.

I probably couldn't do it

without her.

 

DALE

I think what I like the most

about the group is our versatility.

We write, we act, we can tailor our

material to any audience ...

 

JANET

... we sing, we have a large repertoire

of sketches, songs, characters...

 

 

KRIS

... we have material for all age groups

and both sexes ...

 

ERIC

... put succinctly, we have a blend of

thinking-man's humor and a more base

type of slapstick, almost reminiscent

of Chaplin, Keaton and the early Firesign

Theater ...

 

Everyone, including Dan, yells, "GEEK!"

 

ERIC looks at everyone, then laughs himself

 

ERIC

All right, all right, so I'm a geek.

All those comedy groupies don't seem

to mind!

 

JANET

You mean the comically challenged?

 

STEVE

The point is, we like to work, and we

like to work many different venues. We're

available for clubs, television, theaters,

charity shows, benefit shows, seminars and

...

 

KRIS

Daddy-daughter dinner dances ...

 

Everyone looks at her

 

_*(KRIS

Well, c'mon ... it'd be fun!

 

Everyone kind of waves her off.

 

CUT TO:

 

INTERVIEWS

 

INTERVIEWER

What would you most like

people to know about Gag

Reflex? What makes you keep

going?

 

DALE

Sometimes a dream can be

so strong that it drives

you on, even in the face

of such strong adversity.

 

INTERVIEWER

No. That's no good....

 

CUT

 

INTERVIEWER

Take two...

 

DALE

Quite honestly not a week

goes by that I don't think

about quitting. So I guess

indecision keeps me going.

 

CUT

 

 

 

DALE

(getting pissed)

The rush of euphoria I get

when Steve blows a line.

 

CUT

 

DALE

Bar chicks.

 

CUT

 

DALE

(to Interviewer)

Why don't you answer it

you seem to know everything

smart boy!

 

CUT

DALE

We have a great dental plan.

 

CUT

 

DALE

(shivers)

ooooh the chills I get

knowing I'll be on cable

access.

 

CUT

 

Dale's eyes are closed.

 

His eyes slowly open and he glares at the camera

 

CUT

 

DALE

Ask somebody else I'm

sick of this bull....

 

CUT

 

JANET

I really would rather

not be associated with

these guys.

 

CUT

 

Dan sits and stares into space.

 

CUT

 

KRIS

I'm sorry what was the

question?

 

CUT

 

KATZ

If...uh... A&E's looking

in I'm available for

war documentaries or

maybe...American Justice.

 

CUT

 

 

 

 

MICHAEL MULANEY

Can I get Kris's number?

 

CUT

 

TOAST

Got any cheese?

 

CUT

 

DORIS

These garters are chaffin'

the hell out of my thighs.

 

CUT

 

JOEY CALGON

I want Lesion man to go

down in history with

the best of 'em.

 

CUT

 

STEVE

We brought joy and laughter

to a chosen few...who..

you know...weren't smart

enough to get away.

 

CUT

 

ERIC

Awesome buns and great hair.

 

CUT

 

DALE

I want to be remembered for

being able to insult you..

(points at the audience)

...and get away with it.

 

Dale smiles.

 

FADE TO BLACK

 

 

 

FADE UP SONG: "QUARK ROCK"

 

ROLL CREDITS

 

DURING CREDITS:

 

A CLOCK COUNTS DOWN:

 

"NEW GAG REFLEX VIDEO IN ..."

 

FADE TO BLACK

 

FADE UP ON NEW REFLEX VIDEO

 

WE ARE GAG!

 

We've had ourselves some tough times

We'd get up just to fall

Sometimes it seems without bad luck

We'd have no luck at all

But no matter how tough things get

No matter how low they sag

We'll keep getting back up

'Cause we are Gag.

 

(CHORUS)

We are Gag,

We are Gag

Putting America on a laughing jag

And if you don't laugh 'till you're crying,

It means we just are not trying,

But we'll be back,

'Cause we are Gag.

 

Well we lost Charles and Diana

Michael and Lisa, his girl

But we still have Demi and Bruno

And Madonna and the World

Some things they last forever

And others seem to lag

But we promise to keep going

'Cause we are Gag.

 

(CHORUS)

We are Gag,

We are Gag

Putting America on a laughing jag

And if you don't walk away chuckling

Then hard enough down we're not buckling

It's in the bag

'Cause we are Gag!

(REPEAT CHORUS)

And if you don't laugh 'till you're spittin'

It's don't matter, we aren't quittin'

Cause we are Gag.

 

Many great ones have been silenced

Goodbye to them, we bid

But the only time we'll be quiet

Is when it's time to close the lid

Yeah, we'll work to keep you laughing

'Till we're in that body bag

And our last breaths heaving punchlines

'Cause we are Gag.

 

(REPEAT CHORUS)

And if you don't laugh till you're cackin'

That means we are slackin'

But we'll be back

'Cause we are Gag!

 

(REPEAT CHORUS AND FADE OUT)