The King of Comedy

 
	FADE IN:

1	EXT:  MIDTOWN MANHATTAN STREETS - DAY
 
	Behind the opening credits, we watch a montage of RUPERT 
	PUPKIN making his daily rounds as a messenger delivering 
	manila envelopes and packages to various New York offices, 
	always courteous and polite in his demeanor, PUPKIN is an 
	attractive-looking young man just past thirty and dressed 
	in a stylish blue suit, broad tie and wide-collared shirt. 
	His shoes are neatly polished, his hair carefully groomed. 
	As the montage continues, we see that he has finished his 
	deliveries and is walking rapidly towards his destination. 
	It turns out to be a television theater north of Times 
	Square whose marquee announces THE JERRY LANGFORD SHOW. 
	It is dusk and the show is about to break.  There is a 
	very small crowd already positioned at the stage door -- 
	a few young girls, a few curious passers-by who have 
	stopped to see who will emerge.  Three professional 
	autograph hunters are clustered together:
 
	MAE, a lady in her sixties, wears a red velvet dress, a 
	lace hat and much too much rouge.
 
	SIDNEY is in his mid-twenties, tall, badly-complexioned,
	slicked hair but otherwise neatly dressed.  He carries
 	a brown lunch bag.
 
 	CELESTE is an enormously fat woman in her mid-thirties. 
	She wears a large cape to conceal her obesity.
 
	A middle-aged MAN, dressed in a corduroy suit, emerges 
	from the backstage door which is guarded by a large,
 	white-haired POLICEMAN.  The non-professionals in the
 	crowd just peer at the MAN but MAE immediately steps in 
	front of him with her autograph book raised.
 
				MAE 
			(to the MAN) 
		Are you somebody?
 
				MAN 
		No, honey, I'm just a working stiff.
 
	The MAN keep walking and MAE returns to her cohorts 
	just as PUPKIN arrives.
 
				MAE 
		Hi, Rupert.
 
				CELESTE
			(coolly)
		Hello, Rupert.
 
				SIDNEY
		Who did you get?
 
				PUPKIN
			(distractedly)
		Nobody.
 
	PUPKIN carefully places himself near the door, a step or 
	two away from the other professionals.
 
				MAE 
			(to SIDNEY)
		I got Mr. Raf Vallone outside 21.
 
				CELESTE
			(to SIDNEY about PUPKIN)
		He'd never tell you anyway, Sidney.
 
				MAE 
		Then I got him again at the 
		Pierre at four o'clock.
 
				SIDNEY
		Be a dear, Mae.  I don't happen
		to have Mr. Vallone.
 
				MAE 
		You know what I want for him.
 
				SIDNEY 
		But I have only six Barbra's left. 
		You know how difficult she is to 
		work with.
 
				MAE 
		I don't have her even once.
 
				CELESTE
			(to MAE) 
		Maybe Rupert would help you.
 
 	PUPKIN shoots a hostile glance back at CELESTE.
 
				SIDNEY
		Would you do that, Rupert?  You don't
		feel about Barbra the way I do.
 
				MAE
 		I'll give you Mr. Burt Reynolds too.
 
				CELESTE
			(needling RUPERT)
		Look, Sidney, Rupert doesn't do 
		that sort of thing.
 
				SIDNEY 
		How about it, Rupert?  I'll give
		you whoever you want.
 
	SIDNEY starts pulling little white cards out of his paper 
	bag and reading them off.
 
				SIDNEY 
		Rodney Dangerfield ... Richard 
		Harris ... Liza Minelli ... and 
		she's not so easy to work with 
		either ... Louise Lasser!
 
				CELESTE
		You're wasting your time.
 
	PUPKIN has been trying to remain apart from the other 
	three.  Finally he turns to SIDNEY.
 
 				PUPKIN 
		Look, Sidney.  I'm just not 
		interested.  This isn't my
		whole life, you know.
 
				CELESTE
		What's that supposed to mean --
		that it's my whole life, or 
		Sidney's or Mae's?
 
				MAE 
		It is so my whole life.
 
				CELESTE
		Shut up, Mae.  What about your 
		mother?  Isn't she part of 
		your life?
 
				MAE 
		It's her whole life too.
 
	The show breaks.  The doors swing open and people pour out.
	The crowd around the backstage door swells.
 
				POLICEMAN 
			(to the crowd)
		If you want Jerry's autograph, give
		me your piece of paper and I'll 
		send it backstage.
 
	A number of people in the crowd hand in pieces of paper. 
	PUPKIN is standing next to a young couple, about college 
	age.  The YOUNG GIRL has just sent in her paper.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to the GIRL)
		What are you going to do with 
		Jerry's autograph?
 
				YOUNG GIRL 
		I don't know.  Maybe I'll sell it.
 
				BOYFRIEND
		I'll tell you what she's going to 
		do with it.  She's going to pin
		it on her bulletin board and
		have an orgasm.
 
	The YOUNG GIRL laughs unself-consciously.
 
						CUT TO:
 
	LANGFORD's limousine waits directly in front of the stage
	door.  MAE has engaged the CHAUFFEUR who stands at the
	door of the car in conversation.
 
				CHAUFFEUR
			(wearily)
		No, Mae.
 
				MAE 
		I don't mean now.
 
				CHAUFFEUR
		No, Mae.
 
				MAE 
		I'll get right out.
 
	The CHAUFFEUR, smiling, shakes his head.
 
						CUT TO:
 
	A plain-looking GIRL in a black raincoat and black, floppy 
	hat stands on the street side of the limousine, 
	carefully watching MAE and the CHAUFFEUR talk.
 
						CUT TO:
 
				MAE
		But I've never been in one.
 
	We hear a cry as a celebrity emerges from the backstage
	door.  MAE turns and goes back towards the door.
 
						CUT TO:

	The POLICEMAN is handing out the autographs.  Suddenly 
	LANGFORD emerges, flanked by three PAGES, husky young men 
	in their early twenties dressed in theater uniforms. 
	There is screaming and some yelling of LANGFORD's name. 
	LANGFORD pays no attention.  Smiling nervously, he makes 
	his way towards the limousine.  The CHAUFFEUR stands at 
	the rear of the car, holding the door.  LANGFORD enters 
	the car and then suddenly springs back.  The GIRL in the 
	black raincoat and black hat has hidden herself in the 
	back seat of the limousine.  The three PAGES, who have 
	already turned and headed back toward the theater, hear
	the commotion and swing around.  The GIRL, who we shall 
	come to know as MARSHA, hides herself in the far end of 
	the limo, so two of the PAGES go around to the far side 
	of the car and start pulling her out while the third PAGE 
	moves into the limo from the street side.  She fights 
	like a wildcat, but the PAGES slowly manage to drag her 
	out.  During the struggle, LANGFORD stands amid the crowd,
	a bit shaken.  PUPKIN stands next to him, staring at him.
	When finally catches LANGFORD's eye, PUPKIN smiles 
	pleasantly.
 
  				PUPKIN 
			(to LANGFORD who 
			barely listens)
		How the hell did that girl get in 
		there?  Jesus, they certainly 
		don't give you very good protection, 
		do they?
 
	LANGFORD says nothing, glancing nervously at PUPKIN.
 
				PUPKIN
		Look at you here.  Who the hell 
		is watching you?  Any one of
		these freaks could just walk 
		right up to you and do whatever 
		he wants.
 
	A couple YOUNG GIRLS are pressing against LANGFORD.
 
				FIRST GIRL 
		Oh, Jerry.  How can we get to 
		talk to you?
 
				PUPKIN
		Just a minute.  This is crazy.
 
	PUPKIN straightens up for action.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(yelling at the crowd) 
		Okay!  Stand back!
 
	PUPKIN wades through the crowd towards the limousine, 
	pushing SIDNEY and MAE among others out of the way. 
	LANGFORD follows in the path PUPKIN is clearing.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Didn't you hear me?!?  Come on, 
		people, have a heart.
 
	The PAGES have succeeded in pulling the GIRL out of the 
	far door of the limo just as PUPKIN and LANGFORD arrive 
	at the near door.  The CHAUFFEUR has been blocked by the 
	crowd from opening the door so PUPKIN opens it.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Stand back!  (To LANGFORD)  Go ahead, 
		Jerry.
 
	LANGFORD slips in quickly.  He looks up at PUPKIN who is
	holding the door, smiling pleasantly.
 
				LANGFORD 
		Thanks.  Thanks very much.
 
	PUPKIN stares at LANGFORD for a moment and then slides
	into the limo next to him, closing the door behind him.
 
2	INT:  LIMO - NIGHT
 
				PUPKIN 
		I hate to bother you like this, Jerry, 
		but could I speak to you for a minute.
 
				LANGFORD
		I'd like to but ...
 
				PUPKIN 
		I know you're a busy man.  I promise not 
		to take very long, really.  But I need 
		your advice.
 
	PUPKIN looks down at his hand which has been badly
	scratched.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You don't have a handkerchief, do you?
		Jesus, these people will kill you for a 
		cufflink.
 
 	LANGFORD hands him a monogrammed handkerchief, then checks
	his watch.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Thanks.  If you have to be somewhere, I 
		don't mind talking as we drive.  You can 
		drop me off anywhere.
 
				LANGFORD 
		Sorry, but I've got a strict rule never to ...
 
				PUPKIN 
		I put myself on the line for you, Jerry.
 
	Reluctantly, LANGFORD signals with his head to his 
	CHAUFFEUR to start moving.  As the car moves through New 
	York traffic, PUPKIN and LANGFORD talk.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Thanks, Jerry.  I'm grateful for this chance 
		to talk to you ... I hope I'm not boring you.
 
				LANGFORD
		I'll let you know.
 
				PUPKIN
		Really?  Fine.  I'm Rupert Pupkin, Jerry. 
		I know that the name itself doesn't mean 
		very much to you but it means an awful lot 
		to me, believe me.  Maybe you've seen me 
		outside your show and wondered who I am. 
		Well, right now, I'm in communications but, 
		by nature, I'm a stand-up comedian.  I know 
		what you're thinking -- 'oh no.  Not another 
		one.'  And I wouldn't take up even one minute
		of your time if I wasn't absolutely convinced
		of my talent.  I'm really good, Jerry,
		believe me, I'm dynamite.  Now you're probably 
		wondering if I'm so good why haven't you 
		caught my act somewhere, right?
 
				LANGFORD 
		Well ...
 
				PUPKIN 
		Well, up to now, I've been biding my time, 
		developing my act slowly and carefully so 
		that when my big break finally comes, I'm 
		ready -- like you were that night Paar got 
		sick and you sat in for him. I was there
		that night, in the theater. That was the
 		most important night of my life, until 
		tonight, of course.
 
	PUPKIN fishes a cigarette case out of his jacket pocket, 
	flips it open and offers one to LANGFORD.
 
				LANGFORD
		No thanks.  I don't smoke.
 
	PUPKIN returns the pack to his pocket.
 
				PUPKIN
		Me neither.  I just carry them as a 
		courtesy.  How about a cough drop?
 
				LANGFORD 
			(smiling indulgently) 
		No thanks.  I don't cough.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I try not to but sometimes, you know 
		... Am I making any sense?
 
				LANGFORD
			(smiling)
		Go on.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Well, that night you did Paar, I walked 
		out of the theater like I was in a dream. 
		All of a sudden, I knew what I wanted. 
		I started catching your guest appearances 
		on Sullivan and taping them and, when you 
		got your own show, it got to be a kind of 
		regular thing.  I studied how you built 
		to your one-liners, nice and relaxed like 
		you were chatting, and how you delivered 
		the jokes without leaning too much on 
		them, without saying "here's the punchline, 
		folks."  And I watched the way you played 
		off dead audiences, how you let those long 
		silences build until people couldn't 
		stand it and then the way you got them 
		off the hook with that slow smile.  You 
		were my college of comedy, Jerry, like
		a kind of teacher, a friend.  I know it
		sounds crazy, but when you watch someone 
		every night ... But that's all in the 
		past.  What I'm trying to say is this.
		I'm ready now.  I've finished the course. 
		And I'm thinking as we sit here talking 
		"Is this it? Is this that one big break?" 
		Is it, Jerry?
 
	There is a long pause.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Jerry? 

				LANGFORD 
		Look ... er ... what was the name?

				PUPKIN 
		I'm Rupert, Jerry.
 
				LANGFORD 
		Look, Rupert.  I know what you're saying. 
		But things don't work that way.  You can't
		just walk onto a network show without any 
		experience.  You've got to start at the 
		bottom ...
 
				PUPKIN 
		But that's where I am!
 
				LANGFORD 
		You've got to work your way up, learn your 
		trade in front of live audiences, start 
		playing the little clubs.
 
				PUPKIN
		But that can take years, Jerry!  Look at 
		me.  I'm already 31 years old!  People my 
		age are way ahead of me.  I've got some 
		catching up to do and I need your help. 
		What do you say, Jerry?  All I'm asking
		you to do is listen to my act.  That's all. 
		Is that asking too much?
 
				LANGFORD 
		I get calls from agents every day. 
		All they want ...
 
				PUPKIN
		I tried getting an agent.  I did, Jerry. 
		But you know how it is.  You can't get an
		agent unless you're working and you can't 
		get work unless you've got an agent ...
		or unless you know somebody.  And the 
		only person I know is you, Jerry.
 
	There is a long pause.
 
				LANGFORD
		Look, why don't you call my office.
 
				PUPKIN
		Could I?!?  Oh, I knew you'd say that, 
		Jerry.  You don't know how many times I've
		had this conversation in my head.  And this 
		is the way it always turns out.  That's why 
		I had to sort of invite myself into the car 
		tonight.  I know it's kind of presumptuous 
		and I really appreciate the time you've 
		given me.  But breaks like this don't just 
		happen.  You have to make your own breaks.

	The limousine starts slowing down as it pulls up before 
	U.N. Plaza.  It stops.  LANGFORD gets out.  PUPKIN follows.
 
3	EXT:  U.N. PLAZA APARTMENTS - NIGHT
 
 	LANGFORD turn to PUPKIN, looking to get rid of him as 
	cleanly and gracefully as possible.  LANGFORD extends
	his hand.  PUPKIN goes to shake it but his hand is wrapped 
	in the handkerchief.  He extends his left hand.  LANGFORD 
	shakes it awkwardly.
 
				LANGFORD 
		Nice meeting you, Rupert.  I hope it all 
		works out for you.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Thanks, Jerry.  I don't know how to repay
		you.  I'm a little short on cash this 
		evening, but, if you don't mind some good, 
		hearty food, I'd be honored to take you 
		to dinner.
 
				LANGFORD 
		Thanks, but some people are waiting for me.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Oh, I understand.  Well, then, maybe I could 
		repay you with a joke.
 
	LANGFORD is starting to walk into the building.
 
				PUPKIN
		Wait a minute.  How's this?  The first night 
		you do your show from the coast, you open 
		this way. "Good evening, ladies and 
		gentlemen, it's great to be back here in 
		Southern California where you can wake up 
		in the morning and listen to the birds 
		coughing ... "
 
				LANGFORD 
			(nodding but unsmiling) 
		Not bad.  Maybe.
 
	PUPKIN calls after LANGFORD who heads for the entrance 
	to his building.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Consider it a gift.  Hey, Jerry!
		How about lunch?  My treat!
 
				LANGFORD 
			(turning back before 
			he enters the building)
		Call my office.
 
	PUPKIN waves with his bandaged hand, notices LANGFORD's
	handkerchief and unwraps it.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to the handkerchief)
		Thanks, Jerry.
 
	The CAMERA MOVES IN for a CLOSE-UP of PUPKIN in a kind of daze.
 
						FADE TO:
 
4	INT:  SARDI'S RESTAURANT - DAY
 
	PUPKIN and LANGFORD stand at the edge of the foyer, waiting 
	for the Maitre d' to seat them. VINCENT, the owner, spots 
	them and hurries over.
 
				VINCENT
		I'm sorry, Mr. Langford.  (To PUPKIN,
		angrily)  How did you get in?
 
				LANGFORD 
		That's alright, Vincent.  Mr. Pupkin's a
		friend of mine.
 
				VINCENT
			(puzzled)
		Oh, I see.
 
				PUPKIN
		That's alright.  Now if you'd be good enough
		to find us a nice table.

	PUPKIN pushes a five dollar bill into VINCENT's hand.
 
				VINCENT 
		Certainly.  This way, please. 

	VINCENT leads PUPKIN and LANGFORD to the "bullpen," a 
	select spot in a corner of the restaurant.
 
				VINCENT
		Here you are.  Enjoy your lunch, gentlemen.
 
				LANGFORD
		Is Eddie here today, Vincent?
 
				VINCENT 
		I'll send him over.
 
	A WAITER arrives and hands them the menu.
 
				WAITER 
		Our specialty today is Rizzofino Dolce Acqua 
		a la Marinara con Spezi.  Very good.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Sounds like a new opera.
 
				LANGFORD 
		Fine.  What comes with it?
 
				WAITER 
		Me.
 
	The three laugh.
 
				PUPKIN
		Fine.  For two.
 
 				WAITER
 		Very good.
 
 	The WAITER leaves.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You look tired, Jerry.
 
				LANGFORD 
		It shows, does it?  It's all these problems
		with the show.  That and the custody suit.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I was sorry to read about that, Jerry.
		Charlene never should have gotten the 
		kids.  If there's anything I can do.
 
				LANGFORD 
		I appreciate it, Rube.  Just talking about
		it a little with you helps.
 
	Eddie arrives.  He is a small, slightly-bald man with 
	greying hair and a goatee.  He wears a foulard under an 
	open-necked shirt.  He carries a long sketch pad.  He
	immediately sets up a small easel and starts sketching.
 
				PUPKIN
		Hasn't Eddie already done you?
 
				LANGFORD 
		Never mind. You were saying ...
 
				PUPKIN 
		Well, I've been giving a lot of thought
		to your situation, Jerry, ever since I 
		saw you starting to lose ground in the 
		ratings.  And I think I know what the 
		problem is.  Too many of the same faces.
 
				LANGFORD 
		Yeah?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Sure, people are getting tired of these 
		people who live off game shows and talk 
		shows and can't really do anything. They've 
		seen 'em and heard 'em till they can't
		stand it anymore.
 
				LANGFORD
		You know, maybe you're right, Rube.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'm sure I am.  When a show runs out of
		surprises, it loses its audience.
 
	A YOUNG GIRL stands before PUPKIN and LANGFORD.  She hands
 	PUPKIN her autograph book.
 
				PUPKIN 
		What's your name, dear?
 
				GIRL
		Dolores.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(writing) 
		To Dolores, who sensed greatness. 
		Rupert Pupkin.
 
				GIRL
			(reading it) 
		Thanks, Mr. Pupkin.
 
	The GIRL leaves.

				PUPKIN 
		You see what I mean?  What you need on the 
		show is some unknown quantity, some brilliant 
		talent making his television debut.  Imagine 
		the suspense.  Who is this young guy?  How
		will he do with the eyes of all America on 
		him?  Something like that has got to help.
 
				LANGFORD 
		And that's where you come in.
 
				PUPKIN  
		Why not?  Believe me, Jerry, I'd give you 
		the credit you deserve and I'll stick with 
		you.  Anytime you need me, I'll be there, 
		doing a few minutes at Guild scale.
 
				LANGFORD 
		I'd be grateful, Rube.  I really would.
 
				EDDIE
		All finished, Mr. Langford.
 
	EDDIE turns the caricature so PUPKIN and LANGFORD can see
	it.  It's a picture of the two of them, facing each other
	and smiling.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Oh, Jerry, you sneaky ...
 
				LANGFORD
		Looks good, Eddie.
 
	The WAITER arrives with a bottle of champagne.
 
				PUPKIN 
		What's this?

				WAITER 
		Compliments of Mr. Sardi.
 
	EDDIE hangs the picture of LANGFORD and PUPKIN on the wall 
	behind them among the hundreds of other caricatures --
	from Bankhead to Sid Caesar to Bette Davis.  The CAMERA 
	PANS over these.  We hear the champagne pop.
 
				PUPKIN'S VOICE 
		How does your afternoon look?
 
				LANGFORD'S VOICE 
		What have you got in mind?
 
				PUPKIN'S VOICE 
		Well, we've still got time to catch 
		the Cubs and the Mets out at Shea.
 
				LANGFORD'S VOICE
		Why not?  But first, a toast. To you,
		Rube and your success.
 
				PUPKIN'S VOICE
		Thanks, Jerry.
 
 						FADE TO:

5	EXT:  U.N. PLAZA - NIGHT

				PUPKIN
 		Thanks, Jerry.
 
	PUPKIN takes LANGFORD's handkerchief and folds it 
	reverentially, tucking it carefully into his breast pocket. 
	He claps his hands together a few times for joy and 
	dashes into the street to hail a cab.

						CUT TO:

6	INT:  LANGFORD'S APARTMENT
 
	LANGFORD enters his apartment.  It is tasteful, modern,
	spacious and empty.  A floodlight shines on a single
	setting at the end of a long dinner table.  He walks over 
	to a large aquarium and sprinkles some food for the fish.
 
				LANGFORD
			(to the fish) 
		Say hello to Jerry.
 
	On a shelf above the aquarium stand three pictures, one of 
	two boys, roughly eight and eleven, flanked by a shot of 
	each boy alone.  LANGFORD walks to the end of the table 
	where a covered dish and a New York Post await him.  He
 	lifts the covered dish which reveals a large, cold salmon.
 
				LANGFORD
			(to the fish) 
		Say hello to Jerry.
 
 	LANGFORD begins poking at the fish with his fork.  The
	phone rings.  He answers it.
 
				LANGFORD
		Yeah.
 
				GIRL'S VOICE 
		It's Marsha, Jerry. Did you get my note?
		I left it on the back seat.  Did you get it?
		I dropped it there before they pulled me 
		out.  Those guys hurt me, Jerry.  (pause) 
		Jerry?
 
				LANGFORD 
			(icily)
		Who gave you this number?
 
				MARSHA'S VOICE 
		Don't be angry with me, Jerry.  I didn't 
		know what else to do; I've been trying
		you every five minutes, I miss you,
		baby ... Jerry?

	LANGFORD hangs up the phone and then takes it off the receiver.
 
				LANGFORD
		Say goodbye to Jerry.
 
	He shakes his head wearily, returns to his dinner and turns 
	to the inside pages of the New York Post.
 
						CUT TO:
 
7	EXT:  LEXINGTON AVENUE IN THE SIXTIES - NIGHT
 
	A cab pulls up in front of an all-night florist shop. 
	PUPKIN dashes out of the cab and into the florist's. 
	The cab waits.
 
						CUT TO:
 
8	EXT:  LEXINGTON AVENUE IN THE SIXTIES - NIGHT
 
	PUPKIN dashes out of the florist's clutching a single red 
	rose.  He hops back into the cab which starts moving.
 
						CUT TO:

9	EXT:  A STREET OFF BROADWAY - NIGHT  

	The cab pulls up in front of Gil's Steaks and Chops, a 
	restaurant of little distinction that has a few checkered 
	tableclothed tables in the rear and a long bar at the
	front.  PUPKIN stares through the window of the bar at
	RITA, the bargirl, an attractive, somewhat shopworn blonde 
	in her late twenties.  PUPKIN enters.
 
						CUT TO:
 
10	INT:  BAR-RESTAURANT 

	PUPKIN goes to the near end of the sparsely-populated bar.
 
				PUPKIN
		Miss!
 
	RITA comes over.  PUPKIN smiles knowingly. 
 
				PUPKIN  
		A beer please, Miss.  Something imported.
 
				RITA
		Heineken's alright?
 
				PUPKIN
		Fine.

	RITA serves him a Heineken's.  She stares at him, searching
	his face.
 
				PUPKIN 
		How have you been, Rita?
 
	She stares again.
 
				RITA
		You're not Rupert Pupkin!
 
	PUPKIN smiles broadly.
 
				RITA 
		How the hell did you find me?
 
				PUPKIN
 		Sally Gardner, I met her after a matinee.
		Aren't you glad to see me?
 
				RITA
		Sure, sure.  How is old Sally?
 
				PUPKIN
		The same, I guess.  You know, two kids,
		a nice husband, living in Clifton.
 
				RITA
		It figures.
 
				PUPKIN
		A lot of the kids in our class have 
		moved back.
 
				RITA
		What are you doing here?
 
				PUPKIN 
		I just thought I'd say hello.  Here,
		I brought you a little something.
 
				RITA 
			(recognizing his style) 
		Oh, yeah, Mr. Romance.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Don't forget to put in an aspirin.
		It lasts longer.
 
	RITA fills a glass of water and puts in the rose.
 
				RITA 
		Nothing's gonna keep it alive in this place.

				PUPKIN 
		How have you been, dear, sweet Rita?
 
				RITA
		I don't have an aspirin.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Maybe a Rolaids would work. 
 
	PUPKIN pulls out a pack of Rolaids and hands one to RITA 
	who smiles vaguely and drops it into the glass.
 
				RITA
		Well, what are you up to these days, 
		Rupert?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Didn't you know you'd see me again?
 
				RITA 
		You still going to the movies?
 
				PUPKIN 
		You're looking as beautiful as ever.
 
				RITA
		Oh, yeah.  I was a real knockout.
 
				PUPKIN
		I thought so.
 
				RITA
		Well, here I am.  Local cheerleader 
		makes good.
 
				PUPKIN
		I voted for you for Most Beautiful.
 
				RITA
		Yeah?
 
				PUPKIN 
		I didn't have the nerve to tell you then, 
		but I guess it's alright now.
 
				RITA
		Well, nothing terrible's gonna happen, 
		if that's what you mean.
 
	There is an awkward pause.  PUPKIN stares admiringly at 
	RITA.
 
				RITA 
		Well, how are things with you, Rupert?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Great!  Everything's starting to break.
 
				RITA
		Is that right?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Yeah.  As a matter of fact, that's why
		I'm here.  I've known about this place
		for a long time.  I just didn't want 
		to make my move until I had something  
		to offer you.  Everything's a question 
		of timing.
 
	RITA stares at PUPKIN as he rattles on.
 
				PUPKIN
		What's the matter?
 
	RITA shakes her head in disbelief and chuckles.
 
				RITA
		Jesus Christ, Rupert Pupkin!
 
				PUPKIN 
			(smiling) 
		The two of us are often confused.  He's
		the one with the famous father.
 
	PUPKIN waits for a laugh. RITA just keeps shaking her 
	head.  PUPKIN looks around.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(critically) 
		You like this place?

	RITA shrugs.

				RITA
		Why, you got something better?
 
				PUPKIN
		Maybe.
 
				RITA
		What?
 
				PUPKIN
		What are you doing tonight? 

				RITA
		Tonight?

	RITA starts laughing.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(smiling reluctantly)
		What's so funny?
 
				RITA
			(still laughing)
		You call me up all junior and senior year. 
		Night after night after night, right?  And 
		every time I'm wondering 'when is this guy
		going to stop talking and ask me out?'
		Well, now I know the answer.  August
		twelfth, nineteen seventy-six.  It only 
		took you ten, eleven years to work up to it.
 
				PUPKIN 
		If I had asked you out?  Would you 
		have gone?
 
				RITA
		Oh, no.
 
				PUPKIN
		Why not? 

	RITA starts laughing again.
 
				RITA
		Because I thought you were a jerk!
 
				PUPKIN 
		You see!  I was right!  But that guy isn't 
		me anymore.  I look at my picture in the 
		yearbook and I don't even recognize myself.
		I'm not the same guy, Rita.
 
	A bull-necked MAN in his early forties enters.  He waves 
	a brief hello to RITA as he walks by.  RITA smiles and 
	the MAN takes a seat at the far end of the bar.
 
				MAN 
		Rita!
 
				RITA 
			(to PUPKIN)
		Excuse me a minute, honey.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'm not honey!  I'm Rupert.
 
	RITA goes to the far end of the bar and serves the MAN a 
	beer.  They chat briefly as PUPKIN watches uneasily. 
	Finally PUPKIN downs his beer and raises his glass.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Miss!  Miss!
 
	The MAN gets RITA's attention for PUPKIN.  RITA returns
	to PUPKIN and serves him another beer.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'm in the mood to celebrate tonight.
		Why don't we go to this nice restaurant
		I know, talk over and times, get to 
		know each other all over again.
 
				RITA 
		And then?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Well, tomorrow night I thought we'd 
		go out again, talk some more, get to 
		know each other even better.
 
				RITA 
		How much?
 
				PUPKIN
		How much what?
 
				RITA
		How much do we have to get to know 
		each other?
 
				PUPKIN 
		I don't understand.
 
				RITA
			(emphatically)
		How much do we have to get to know each 
		other before we start talking about
		that job?
 
				PUPKIN
		I'm not talking about any job.
 
				RITA
		Then what's this big offer you were 
		talking about?
 
				PUPKIN
		You'll see.  Right now I'm asking you
		for a date.  How about it?
 
				RITA
		I'm sorry, Rupert.  But I'm busy.
 
				PUPKIN
		Busy?

				RITA
		Yeah.  Busy.
 
				PUPKIN 
		But this is the biggest night of my life.
 
				RITA 
		I've already got a date.
 
	The MAN at the end of the bar raises his glass.
 
				MAN 
		Rita!
 
	RITA goes to the far end of the bar.  She pours him another
	beer and settles against the bar, resuming her chat with
	him.  PUPKIN looks for a moment and downs his beer.  He 
	raises his glass.

				PUPKIN 
		Miss!  Miss!
 
	RITA returns to him.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Is that your date?
 
				RITA
		None of your business.
 
				PUPKIN 
		What do you want to go out with him for?
 
				RITA
		He's a good friend of mine.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Tell him you're busy.
 
				RITA
		What's so important about tonight?
 
				PUPKIN
		Everything!  You don't understand.
 
				RITA
		No.  I don't.  It's been really nice
		seeing you, Rupert.  Thanks for dropping
		in.  But I've got some work to do.
 
	RITA leaves PUPKIN and returns to the far end of the bar
 	where she once again resumes talking with the MAN.  PUPKIN 
	sits for a moment, gets up slowly and heads for the john.
 
11	INT:  THE JOHN - NIGHT
 
	He enters the john and goes to the farthest of the three 
	urinals.  A moment later, the MAN enters.  He goes to the 
	nearest of the three urinals.  The two men stare at the 
	wall before them but the obvious tension between them 
	renders them both incapable of relieving themselves. 
	PUPKIN glances over at the MAN's face, then immediately 
	turns back to the wall as the MAN turns to look at him. 
	The MAN glances quickly at PUPKIN and then returns to
	staring at the wall.  PUPKIN sneaks a furtive glance at
	the MAN's penis.  The MAN sneaks a furtive glance at
	PUPKIN's penis.
 
						CUT TO:

12	INT:  THE BAR - NIGHT
 
	PUPKIN emerges from the john, followed a moment later by 
	the MAN.  They resume their seats at each end of the bar. 
	A third MAN has come in and is seated midway between PUPKIN 
	and the MAN.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Miss! 

	RITA walks over reluctantly.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Listen to me for a second.
 
				RITA 
		I have work to do, Rupert.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Just listen.  I'm at the start of 
		something really big.  I don't want
		to talk about it here but it's going 
		to happen soon and it's going to be 
		great -- for both of us.
 
				RITA 
		No kidding?

				PUPKIN 
		So see that guy some other night.
 
				MAN 
		Rita!

	RITA turns to go.
 
				PUPKIN 
		But I haven't finished!
 
	RITA returns to the MAN and pours him another beer.  PUPKIN 
	sits for a few moments, then downs his beer quickly.  Again,
	he raises his glass.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Miss!  Miss!
 
	The MAN leans over the bar and tells RITA something.  She 
	opens a bottle of beer and hands it to the MAN who slides
	it down the bar towards PUPKIN.  As the beer reaches the
	middle of the bar, the THIRD MAN seated midway between
	PUPKIN and the MAN raises his beer glass to take a sip just 
	as the sliding beer bottle passes under his hand.  The
	bottle stops right in front of PUPKIN who takes it and
	slides it back with equal force.  At this moment, the THIRD
	MAN in the middle has finished his sip and has just placed
	the THIRD MAN's glass on the counter.  The beer bottle 
	collides with the THIRD MAN's glass, creating a mess.  RITA
	glares at PUPKIN as does the THIRD MAN.  PUPKIN shrugs an 
	apology and RITA cleans up the mess.
 
				RITA
			(to the THIRD MAN) 
		I'll get you another one.
 
	As RITA cleans up the mess and pours a fresh beer, the MAN 
	walks down the bar towards PUPKIN.  He leans over him and 
	puts a supposedly friendly paw on his shoulder.  PUPKIN 
	glances distastefully at the MAN's hand on him.
 
				MAN 
			(to PUPKIN)
		Look, friend.  I'm trying to have a 
		nice civilized conversation with the 
		young lady.  Be a good little lad, 
		huh, and give us a break.
 
	PUPKIN looks up at the MAN who pats him on the back in a
	gesture of fraudulent friendship and menace.  PUPKIN burps.
	With an effort, the MAN controls his temper and returns to 
	his seat at the end of the bar.  PUPKIN instantly raises 
	his glass.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Miss!  Miss!
 
	The MAN advances towards PUPKIN with another bottle of 
	beer.  PUPKIN watches passively as the MAN pours half the 
	bottle into PUPKIN's breast pocket and slams the half-empty 
	bottle on the counter.  The MAN walks down to the end of 
	the counter where a smiling RITA is waiting.
 
	PUPKIN again gulps his beer down.  RITA and the MAN stare
	at PUPKIN expecting him to raise his glass and call for
	another beer.  PUPKIN just sits there.  After a few
	moments, RITA and the MAN resume their conversation, but 
	they keep glancing over at PUPKIN, expecting him to
	interrupt them with a call for beer at any moment.  PUPKIN 
	continues to sit there.  Just as RITA and the MAN have
	settled back into their conversation, PUPKIN falls like a 
	stone from the barstool onto the floor.  He lies 
	motionless.  RITA and the MAN look at PUPKIN for a moment 
	while the handful of other patrons glance at him and return 
	to their drinks.  RITA leaves the bar and goes to the rear
	of the restaurant, disappearing into the kitchen.  As she
	does, the MAN walks over to where PUPKIN is lying inert 
	and prods him cruelly with his foot.
 
				MAN 
		C'mon, schmuck, wake up so I can 
		kick your ass outta here.
 
	The MAN turns to the kitchen to see if RITA is returning. 
	As he does, PUPKIN carefully opens one eye, grabs a free 
	chair from a nearby cocktail table, rises and bangs the MAN 
	smartly over the head.  The MAN falls, out cold.  PUPKIN
	straightens up quickly as the other patrons look on with
	interest.  PUPKIN brushes off his suit, which is blue, just
	like the MAN's, and stands above the MAN just as the MAN
	stood above him, his back to kitchen.  RITA emerges from
	the kitchen with the owner, MR. NICHOLS and a large black 
	COOK.
 
				RITA
			(to NICHOLS)
		He was making trouble one minute 
		and the next he was on the floor.
 
	RITA automatically reaches out as she talks for what she 
	thinks is the MAN's arm.  Instead, PUPKIN turns around 
	smiling, leaving her too startled to speak.  NICHOLS and 
	the COOK lift the MAN to his feet.
 
				COOK
		Okay, buddy, here we go.
 
	NICHOLS and the COOK lead the MAN, who is still groggy, out 
	of the bar as RITA continues to stare at PUPKIN with a 
	mixture of curiosity and amusement.
 
				RITA
		Okay, Tarzan.  Where do we eat tonight?

						CUT TO:
 
13	INT:  CHINESE RESTAURANT ON UPPER WEST SIDE - NIGHT
 
	We are in the kitchen watching two dishes being chopped, 
	shredded and boiled in deep fat.  The activity is frantic. 
	WE FOLLOW the two dishes as a WAITER carries them from the 
	kitchen to a booth where PUPKIN and RITA are talking.  It 
	is a painfully plain restaurant, shaped in a rectangle,
	with booths lining either side and a row of little tables 
	in between.  At the back is the kitchen and two phone
	booths, facing each other.  An old Chinese WOMAN mans the
	cash register by the door.  The WAITER sets the dishes down
	before RITA and PUPKIN and clears an enormous plate of 
	spare rib bones from RITA's place.  RITA hands the WAITER 
	her empty cocktail glass.  RITA and PUPKIN are facing one 
	another.
 
				RITA
		Another one, Chan.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to WAITER) 
		Chopsticks, please.
 
 	The WAITER nods and leaves.
 
				RITA
		So all this time you've been thinking 
		about me, huh?
 
				PUPKIN
		That's right, Rita.
 
				RITA
		What kinds of things were you thinking?
 
	PUPKIN drops his eyes shyly.  RITA starts laughing.
 
				RITA
		Oh, ho! Those kinds of things!  Shame
		on you, Rupert.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Rita, I assure you there was ...
 
				RITA
		Rupert Pupkin is an unclean person!
 
				PUPKIN
		Come on, Rita.  People will hear.
 
				RITA
			(in a whisper)
		Rupert Pupkin is an unclean person.  Oh,
		come on, Rupert.  Relax.  Have a little fun.
 
	WAITER arrives with RITA's drink and chopsticks and a beer 
	for PUPKIN.
 
				PUPKIN
		This is a very important evening to me, 
		Rita.
 
				RITA
		Did you know your nose wiggled when 
		you talked?
 
				PUPKIN
		It does?
 
				RITA
		Yeah. Just the tip.  Like a rabbit.
		(pause) Hey, are we gonna eat or
		what?  I'm starving.
 
	PUPKIN serves RITA.
 
				RITA
		It always looks like they put worms 
		in this stuff.
 
				PUPKIN
		Just taste.

	RITA tastes.
 
				RITA 
		Well, I guess it won't kill me.
 
				PUPKIN
		This is supposed to be the finest 
		Cantonese cuisine in the city.
 
				RITA 
		Yeah?  Then what happened to the
		tablecloths?
 
	PUPKIN drops his eyes.
 
				RITA
		Oh, don't worry about it.  This is 
		fine.  (She takes a long drink)  I'm 
		having a good time.  So you've been 
		devoted to me, huh?
 
				PUPKIN 
		I used to see you at the Garden 
		every year.
 
				RITA
		Oh, the Follies.  That was the right 
		name for 'em.  How did you know which 
		one was me?  We all looked like chickens. 
		What I mean is, we all looked like the
		same chicken.  I thought it was gonna be 
		Rita Keane in the Ice Follies and I 
		wind up looking like Henny Penny.
 
	RITA chuckles to herself.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You just didn't get the breaks.
 
				RITA 
		Breaks, bullshit!  My parents didn't 
		have the money for the right coach.
		But what difference does it make?
 
	She starts laughing to herself.
 
				RITA
		I remember once we were down in 
		Atlanta and the ice machine broke 
		down.  We did three hours of slush.
		Everyone was falling on their faces 
		and hopping up with their arms open 
		for a bow like the whole thing was 
		planned.  And the people ate it up.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I liked the show.
 
				RITA
		Yeah?  The Follies?  You really must
		have been carrying the torch.  What
		did you think when I got married? 
		You knew I got married?
 
				PUPKIN 
		I knew it wouldn't last.
 
				RITA
		You think I should have married you, 
		instead, huh?
 
				PUPKIN
		Peter Drysdale!  Really, Rita! 
 
				RITA
		If he'd only been hit by a train. 
		He was worth a helluva lot more dead 
		than alive, I can tell you that.
 
	RITA raises her glass to the WAITER who is standing nearby,
 	talking with another WAITER.  As she does, a nice-looking 
	young MAN sitting in the middle aisle raises his glass of 
	beer to her and drinks it, as a kind of toast.  RITA
	smiles briefly and her eyes return to PUPKIN. The YOUNG
	MAN is seated behind PUPKIN, facing RITA.  The WAITER comes 
	over and collects the glass.  Throughout the rest of the 
	scene, a subtle flirtation continues between RITA and the
	YOUNG MAN.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Are you seeing anyone?
 
 	RITA starts for a moment, thinking PUPKIN has caught her 
	looking at the YOUNG MAN.
 
				RITA 
		What do you mean?
 
				PUPKIN 
		I want to know about the competition, 
		that's all.
 
				RITA
		Well, tomorrow night, I've got a date 
		with Joe Namath -- you know Joe.  And 
		Thursday --- let's see --
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'm serious, Rita.
 
				RITA
			(imitating him) 
		I'm serious, Rita. (In her own voice) 
		Sure I see people.  I'm not a nun, Rupert. 
		I see a lot of people.
 
				PUPKIN
		Anyone special?
 
				RITA
			(chuckling)
		You mean am I "going steady"?  Rupert,
		I'm thirty-one years old!
 
				PUPKIN 
		What about that guy tonight?
 
				RITA
		Him? 

				PUPKIN 
		Why him? 
 
				RITA
		What am I supposed to do, huh?  Sit 
		home watching TV?  He's just some guy. 
		He's got his own aluminum siding
		business.  He comes into the city
		sometimes, that's all.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You don't go out with him for his 
		money?!?
 
				RITA
		Oh, horrors!  Look, Rupert, what do
		you think they pay me in that dump? 
		Ninety-five bucks.  And you don't get 
		the world's greatest tippers in there
		either.  Somebody has to take care of
		me.
 
				PUPKIN 
		That's what I want to talk to you 
		about, Rita.
 
	The WAITER arrives with RITA's drink.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Who's your favorite movie star?
 
				RITA
 		You are, Rupert.  Especially your nose.
 
				PUPKIN
		Just tell me.
 
				RITA
		Is this some kind of game?  Are you
		going to tell me something about my 
		character?
 
				PUPKIN 
		You'll see.  Give me his name.
 
				RITA
		I can't think of anybody.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You've got to have one, Rita. Everybody 
		does.
 
				RITA
		Okay.  Okay.  Let's see.  (pause)
		Marilyn Monroe.

	PUPKIN slowly pulls out a leather-bound book from his 
	inside jacket pocket.
 
				RITA 
		Oh, Rupert!  Are we going to exchange 
		phone numbers!?
 
	PUPKIN expertly flips to a middle page in the book and, 
	keeping the book open, his finger pointing under a name, 
	he turns the book to RITA.
 
				RITA
		That's her name.
 
 				PUPKIN
		Her name!  She signed this herself,
		especially for me.
 
	RITA starts flipping through the book, curious about the 
	other names.  She isn't paying any attention to what PUPKIN 
	is saying.
 
				PUPKIN 
		She wasn't a great actress but she had 
		a real gift for comedy. She died
		tragically, you know, alone, like so
		many of the world's most beautiful 
		women.  I'm going to see that doesn't 
		happen to you, Rita.
 
				RITA
		Who's this one?
 
	PUPKIN checks the book.
 
				PUPKIN
		Burt Reynolds.
 
				RITA
		Oh yeah, the guy with no clothes. 
		Who's this?
 
				PUPKIN
		Mel Brooks.
 
				RITA
		And this?
 
 				PUPKIN
		Carol Burnett.
 
				RITA
		No kidding.  How about this?
 
				PUPKIN
		Glenda Jackson.
 
				RITA
		Never heard of her.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(pointing to other names) 
		And that's Woody Allen and there's 
		Ernie Kovacs -- he's dead -- and that 
		one's Lauren Bacall.
 
				RITA
		You don't really know any of these 
		people?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Take a look at this.
 
	PUPKIN flips to one of the back pages and shows a name to 
	RITA.
 
				RITA
			(squinting) 
		I can't make it out.
 
				PUPKIN
		Try.
 
				RITA
		This is really weird handwriting!
 
	Exasperated, PUPKIN follows the name in question with his 
	index finger.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Rooooper ....
 
				RITA
			(guessing)
		Redford!
 
				PUPKIN 
		That's Robert Redford.
 
				RITA
		It is?
 
				PUPKIN
		No!  It's ... it's Rupert Pupkin
 
	PUPKIN tears out the page and hands it to her shyly.  RITA
	just stares at it and back at PUPKIN.
 
				PUPKIN
		Don't lose it.  It's going to be worth 
		something in a couple of weeks.
 
	RITA start laughing.
 
				PUPKIN 
		That's what I've been trying to tell 
		you.  Things are really breaking for 
		me.  I'm ticketed for stardom.
 
	RITA laughs harder, despite efforts to be serious.
 
				PUPKIN
		Only a couple of hours ago, I was
		talking to Jerry Langford, the Jerry
		Langford.  Stop it, Rita!
                              
	RITA pulls herself together for a moment.
 
				PUPKIN 
		We were talking about my doing my act 
		on his show.
 
				RITA 
			(suppressing a smile) 
		Your act?
 
				PUPKIN
		Get that guy you knew from Clifton out 
		of your head right now.  You're looking 
		at Rupert Pupkin, Rita.  Rupert Pupkin, 
		the new King of Comedy.
 
	RITA starts laughing hysterically, in spite of herself.
 
				RITA
			(getting a grip on herself)
		I'm sorry.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Why not me, Rita?  A guy can always 
		get what he wants if he's willing to 
		pay the price.  All it takes is a 
		little talent and sacrifice and the 
		right break.  If you've got a friend 
		in the right place, that's all it 
		takes.  And that's exactly what I 
		have going for me right now.  After 
		all, crazier things have happened.
 
	RITA listens silently for a moment, then begins to giggle. 
	As PUPKIN resumes speaking, we CUT between RITA and the 
	YOUNG MAN.  Their flirtation picks up steam.  The YOUNG MAN
	raises his eyebrows as if to ask, "Are you interested in
	me?"  She smiles.  All the while, PUPKIN rattles on.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You just don't realize what a shot on 
		the Langford Show can mean.  That's
		coast to coast, national TV, a bigger 
		audience than the greatest comedians
		used to play to in a lifetime.  A shot
		like that means a free ticket on the 
		comedy circuit -- Flip Wilson one week, 
		Cosby the next, then Sonny and Cher or 
		Carol Burnett.  And you've always got 
		those other talk shows to fall back on 
		-- Carson, Griffin.  And all that leads
		straight in one direction, Rita --
		Hollywood!  That's when we really start 
		living.  How does this sound to you --
		a beach house in Malibu, right on the 
		ocean.  You'll get a beautiful tan,
		believe me.  And we'd keep a suite at 
		the Sherry.  That's the only place to
		stay when you're big.  We could get 
		something on a top floor and look down 
		on all our old friends in Clifton and 
		just laugh.  How does that sound to you?
 
				RITA 
		It sounds wonderful, Rupert, and I 
		really hope you get what you want. 
		But it's getting late and I'm a working 
		girl.  You know what I mean?
 
	The telephone at the back of the restaurant starts ringing. 
	A WAITER in the background moves slowly to answer it.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You going to spend the rest of your 
		life in that place? Is that what you 
		really want, talking about nothing with
		nothings?  I thought you wanted something
		a little better than that and that's what 
		I'm offering.  Every King needs a Queen, 
		Rita.  I want you to be mine.  What do 
		you say?
 
				RITA
		You really want to help me out?  You
		see this. (She points to her lower 
		back molar)  A hundred seventy-five 
		bucks.  If you could spare fifty, say, 
		until next Monday, that would keep 
		three people really happy -- me, my 
		landlord and my dentist.
 
	During RITA's speech, the WAITER has been working his way 
	from the phone booth towards the front of the restaurant.
 
				WAITER 
		Telephone for you, Miss.
 
				RITA
			(looking puzzled) 
		Me?  Nobody knows I'm here.  You didn't
		tell anybody, did you?
 
				PUPKIN
		No.
 
				RITA
			(getting up) 
		What the hell's going on?
 
	CAMERA FOLLOWS RITA, who walks to the back of the 
	restaurant and picks up the dangling receiver in one of 
	the two facing booths, the other of which is occupied.
 
14	INT:  THE PHONE BOOTH - NIGHT
 
				RITA
 		Hello?
 
 				MAN'S VOICE
		Hi.

				RITA 
		Who is this?
 
				MAN'S VOICE
 		Who do you think it is?  I've been 
		staring at you all evening.
 
				RITA
		Where are you?
 
	The YOUNG MAN taps forcefully with his index finger on the 
	glass door of his booth.  RITA, hearing the noise, turns 
	around and finds herself staring at the YOUNG MAN.  She 
	smiles.
 
 						CUT TO:

15 	INT:  THE RESTAURANT - NIGHT
 
	PUPKIN at the table looking over the check.  He gets out a
	ten dollar bill.  RITA emerges from the booth in nervous 
	high spirits.
 
				RITA
			(with repressed gaiety)
		You know who that was -- the bar.  I
		have to go back to work.
 
				PUPKIN 
		How did they know you were here?
 
				RITA
			(gathering her things) 
		I guess I must have told them.  They 
		need someone right away.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(accusingly) 
		You don't even care, do you?
 
				RITA 
		Oh, no.  I do.  Really!
 
				PUPKIN 
		It's not the bar, Rita.  Don't tell 
		me it's the bar.
 
				RITA
		Don't be angry.  It has nothing to
		do with you.  I had a nice dinner,
		really.  It was great seeing you
		again.
 
	PUPKIN stare at her icily.
 
				RITA
		Come on.  Let's see a smile.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Why don't we finish the evening up 
		at the bar together?  End the evening 
		where it began?
 
				RITA
		After what happened there?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Well, I could at least drop you off!
 
				RITA 
			(hurriedly making up her face) 
		That's okay.  Really.  I can manage. 
		Why don't you just go to a movie or 
		something?  Don't let me spoil your 
		evening.
 
				PUPKIN 
		But that wouldn't be right.
 
	RITA gets up and stands before PUPKIN.
 
				RITA 
			(firmly) 
		Look, Rupert.  It's been a lot of fun, 
		really.  I'll see you sometime, huh?
 
				PUPKIN 
		But Rita!
 
	RITA starts moving towards the door.
 
				RITA
		Come on, Rupert.  I'm in a hurry.
 
	RITA marches out with PUPKIN trailing behind.  He throws 
	the check and the ten dollar bill at the CASHIER.
 
16	EXT.  THE STREET - NIGHT 
 
 	CAMERA FOLLOWS PUPKIN as he streaks out the door and jumps 
	into the adjacent doorway, immediately peering down the 
	street.  He spies the YOUNG MAN and RITA walking about 
	three quarters of a block down and follows them, keeping
	out of sight.  They turn occasionally to see if he's 
	around, then stop turning.  They go around the corner and
	disappear into a large apartment building.  PUPKIN rushes 
	after them, positioning himself across from the building. 
	He searches the windows for some clue as to where they 
	have gone.  Finally a set of lights go on on the fourth 
	floor and a MAN's shadow is seen closing two sets of 
	blinds.

 						CUT TO:
 
17 	INT:  THE APARTMENT BUILDING FOYER - NIGHT
 
 	PUPKIN enters the building and finds himself in a small 
	entranceway.  The door to the lobby is locked.  Next to
	the door, on the wall, are listed the tenants, their
	apartment numbers and a button next to each name.  There is 
	an intercom speaker.  There are eight apartments listed on 
	the fourth floor, running from 4A to 4H.  PUPKIN looks them 
	over, takes a deep breath and pushes 4A.
 
						CUT TO:
 
18	INT:  YOUNG MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
 
	It is an extremely well-furnished studio apartment with all 
	the requirements of a contemporary bachelor pad -- an 
	imitation bearskin rug, nice bookshelves including an 
	elaborate stereo system, recessed lighting, including a
	soft spotlight on the Queen-sized bed with its pseudo-satin 
	cover.  The YOUNG MAN and RITA stand in the middle of the 
	room.  RITA looks about uneasily.  No intercom buzzer sounds.
 
				YOUNG MAN
		Welcome to the pleasure dome.
 
				RITA
		You don't kid around, do you?
 
				YOUNG MAN
			(smiling) 
		I do alright.  What's your libation?

				RITA
		Huh?
 
				YOUNG MAN
		Your potion.  Your drink.
 
				RITA 
		Bourbon and soda.  Make it light.
 
	The YOUNG MAN goes to his chic little bar and starts fixing 
	RITA a strong bourbon and soda.  He also fixes himself a
	strong scotch and water.  As he works, they talk. 
 
				YOUNG MAN
		You from the South?
 
				RITA 
		Me?
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		That's what Southern people drink. 
		Lots of bourbon.
 
				RITA
		What do people from Jersey drink?
 
				YOUNG MAN
		I make it a point to study things 
		like that.  It's important to know 
		people's backgrounds, their tastes, 
		their culture.  It gives you a little 
		head start.
 
	The YOUNG MAN turns from the bar and hands RITA her drink.
 
                           YOUNG MAN
		I'm Chet.  Whom do I have the
		pleasure of serving?

				RITA
		I'm Mary.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		Pleased to meat you, Mary. (He lifts 
		his glass)  To our evening.

 						CUT TO:
 
19	INT:  THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT 

	PUPKIN stands before the intercom.
 
				WOMAN'S VOICE
		Who?

				PUPKIN
		Rita Keane.  I want to talk to her.

				WOMAN'S VOICE
		Rita Keane?
 
				PUPKIN 
		That's right.  Oh, never mind.  I 
		must have the wrong apartment.
 
 				WOMAN'S VOICE
		There's no Rita here.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I know.  I know.  I'm sorry to bother
 		you.

				WOMAN'S VOICE 
		You must have the wrong apartment.
 
				PUPKIN
		I'm sorry.
 
	PUPKIN pushes 4B.
 
 						CUT TO:

20	INT:  YOUNG MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
 
	RITA is seated on the couch.  The YOUNG MAN is putting a
	record on the phonograph.  Once again, the intercom doesn't
 	sound.  PUPKIN has drawn another blank.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		Leisure is America's fastest growing 
		industry.  Did you know that?  Think 
		about it.  Short work weeks, more 
		vacation.  People need something to 
		do with all that time and that's where 
		I come in.  Leisure Villages, Inc.  
		We buy land an hour or so outside 
		your metropolitan centers.  We set 
		up the bungalows, dig some lakes, lay 
		out a golf course, you know, fix the 
		whole place up so it's usable.  Then 
		young, personable guys like me show
		the people around.  It the guy seems
		tight, we point out the investment 
		factor.  If he's a swinger, well, 
		the bungalows are very private.  If 
		he's a sports nut, we talk up skiing 
		and fishing and tennis.
 
 	The phonograph starts playing Burt Bachrach.
 
				YOUNG MAN
		What's your work, Mary?
 
	The YOUNG MAN walks back to her and stands over her.
 
				RITA
		Me.  I fly for National.
 
				YOUNG MAN
			(delighted)
		No kidding?
 
				RITA
		What's that smell?
 
				YOUNG MAN
		Sandalwood incense.  It seemed very 
		you.
 
						CUT TO:
 
21	INT:  THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT 

	PUPKIN yells into the intercom.
 
				PUPKIN
		I said I'm sorry!
 
 	We hear the intercom at the other end click off.  PUPKIN
	pauses a moment and pushes 4C.
 
						CUT TO:
 
22	INT:  YOUNG MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
 
	RITA and the YOUNG MAN are seated on the couch.  Still no 
	buzzer.  As the YOUNG MAN talks, RITA is staring at a 
	woman's shoe lying underneath a small table that holds a
	lamp.
 
				YOUNG MAN
		Did you know that you have remarkable
		hair?
 
				RITA
		Yeah?  You know what?  I feel like
		going to a movie.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		Now?
 
				RITA
		Sure.  Why not?  It's only twenty of 
		ten.  We can make a ten o'clock show.
 
	The YOUNG MAN takes her hands and looks deep into her eyes.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		Why don't we make our own movie?
 
				RITA
		No.  I don't think so.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		Don't be so uptight.  Give it a chance.
 
				RITA
		I want to go to the movies, that's all.

				YOUNG MAN 
		We can go to the movies later.
 
 	RITA pulls her hands away.
 
				RITA
		Let's stop playing games, okay. 
		I'm not a kid.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		You have something against pleasure?
 
				RITA
		I'm just not interested in being 
		tonight's ritual sacrifice, okay?
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		Shall I freshen up your drink?
 
	RITA shakes her head.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
			(growing irritated) 
		What exactly did you think we were 
		going to do up here?
 
 						CUT TO:

23 	INT:  THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT 

	PUPKIN pushes 4D and waits.
 
				MAN'S VOICE 
			Yeah?
 
						CUT TO:
 
24	INT:  YOUNG MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
 
	The YOUNG MAN is practically sitting on RITA's lap.  He 
	has RITA backed up against the end of the couch.
 
 				YOUNG MAN 
		Look, if you've got sexual problems
		let's talk about them.  It helps
		clear the air.
 
				RITA
		There's nothing wrong with me.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		Then it's me?
 
				RITA
		I don't even know you.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		Then find out.  Sex is a great way 
		of breaking down barriers.
 
				RITA
		I don't think so.
 
				YOUNG MAN
		I'm sure this could lead to something 
		beautiful.
 
	The YOUNG MAN kisses RITA roughly.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		Passive resistance, huh?
 
				RITA
		Let's just write this thing off as 
		a big mistake.  What do you say?
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		What's wrong with me?
 
				RITA
		Nothing.  I just want to go home.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		I can see I'm not turning you on.
 
				RITA 
			(smiles) 
		You noticed that, huh?

 				YOUNG MAN 
		Come on.  What's wrong with me?
 
				RITA
		You really want to know?
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		Yeah.
 
				RITA
		How can I put it?  Well, it's like 
		you've got your fly open and your 
		tongue hanging out.
 
 						CUT TO:

25	INT: THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT 

	PUPKIN, growing more frantic, pushes 4E.
 
 						CUT TO:
 
26	INT:  YOUNG' MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

	The YOUNG MAN is all over RITA.  No buzzer sounds.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		I'm really a very sensitive person.
 
				RITA
		Come on.  Get offa me.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		Sometimes I write poetry.
 
	RITA pulls herself away.
 
				RITA
		No!
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		So you wanna play hard to get, huh?
 
	The YOUNG MAN grabs her.
  
						CUT TO:

27 	INT:  THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT
 
	PUPKIN, even more desperate, pushes 4F.
 
				OLD LADY'S VOICE
		 Que es, por favor?
 
						CUT TO:

28	INT:  YOUNG MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
 
	The YOUNG MAN is strong-arming RITA who is beginning to 
	get frightened.

				RITA
		Come on.  Let's talk this over.
 
				YOUNG MAN
		I admire you very much.  I respect
		you, Mary.
 
				RITA
			(her eyes beginning to fill
			with terror)
		You're hurting me.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		I'm only doing what you want.
 
				RITA
			(pleading, on the verge 
			of tears)
		Oh, please.
 
						CUT TO:

29 	INT:  THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT 

	PUPKIN, frantic, pushes 4G.

						CUT TO:

30 	INT:  THE YOUNG MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
 
	The YOUNG MAN has RITA securely pinned and is starting to 
	undo her blouse.  She is desperate.
 
				YOUNG MAN 
		Afterwards, you'll thank me.
 
 	The buzzer sounds with great force.  It is one, long, 
	protracted blast that breaks the YOUNG MAN's concentration.
	RITA takes advantage of the distraction to grab her bag 
	and rush out as the buzzer continues to sound.
 
						CUT TO:
 
31	INT:  THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT
 
	PUPKIN still has his finger on 4G as RITA rushes out the 
	EXIT door next to the elevator and comes rushing towards 
	him.  She is numb and emotionally exhausted.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Rita!
 
				RITA
			(in desperation) 
		What do you want?
 
	RITA keeps walking out of the entranceway and onto the 
	street.  PUPKIN is at her side.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Don't be angry with me.  I was worried
		about you, that's all.
 
				RITA
		Just go home and leave me alone.
 
	PUPKIN take off his jacket and puts if around RITA's 
	shoulders.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(quietly) 
		Here.  You'll need this.  It's getting
		chilly.

				RITA
		I'm so bad.  I'm such a dummy.
 
				PUPKIN  
		Don't say that, Rita.  Everyone
		does crazy things.
 
				RITA
		Not all the time.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'll get us a cab.
 
	PUPKIN rushes into the street and hails a cab.
 
						CUT TO:
 
32	EXT:  WEST 56th STREET BETWEEN EIGHTH AND NINTH AVENUES - 
	NIGHT
 
	WE SEE the taxi pull up in front of one of those middle-
	class tenements -- a fairly well-preserved six-story 
	building with a fire escape running up the front.  PUPKIN 
	helps RITA out of the taxi.  A dime bounces at PUPKIN's
	feet.
 
				CAB DRIVER'S VOICE
		Stuff it, big spender!
 
	PUPKIN pays no attention.  He walks RITA to her front 
	stoop.
 
				RITA 
		Well, I guess you're entitled to come 
		up for coffee.
 
				PUPKIN 
		That's okay, Rita.  You're tired and 
		I know I'm not always the easiest guy
		to be with.
 
	There is a pause.
 
				RITA
			(puzzled) 
		What do you want, Rupert?
 
				PUPKIN 
			(softly) 
		You don't understand anything, do you? 
		I love you, Rita.  I want to change 
		your life ... if you'll only give me a 
		chance.
 
	RITA just shakes her head sadly.

				PUPKIN 
		Look, what if I arranged it so you
		could meet Jerry?  You'd have to
		believe me if you heard it from him.

				RITA
		There's no ...  

				PUPKIN 
		I'll arrange that, Rita.  We'll all 
		go out to dinner some night or maybe 
		out to his place, on a weekend.  You'll 
		see.  The trouble with you is you've
		got no faith.  Now go to bed and get a
		good rest and I'll see you in a couple 
		of days.
 
	PUPKIN gives RITA a very gentle, sweet kiss on the
	forehead.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(gently) 
		Now run along in.
 
	RITA just stares at him.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Go on.
 
	RITA turns slowly and goes in.  She looks back.  PUPKIN is 
 	gone.
 
						FADE TO:
 
33	EXT:  MADISON AVENUE AND 48th STREET - DAY
 
	PUPKIN carries a large manila folder into 424 Madison.  As 
	usual, he is impeccably dressed.
 
						CUT TO:
 
34	INT:  OFFICES OF KOERNER-LIBERMAN TRAVEL - DAY
 
 	It is a large corner office, broken up by glass dividers.  
	A RECEPTIONIST sits at a desk facing the door.  PUPKIN enters.
 
				RECEPTIONIST 
		Yes.
 
	PUPKIN hands the RECEPTIONIST the package.
 
				PUPKIN
		I need somebody to sign.  You can sign
		anything you want -- Cary Grant, Art 
		Carney, I don't care.

	The RECEPTIONIST signs.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Would you mind very much if I used 
		your phone?  It's local.
 
				RECEPTIONIST 
		Don't be, long.  Dial nine.
 
	PUPKIN takes out a little piece of paper from his suit 
	pocket and dials a number.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(tense, nervous)
		May I speak to Jerry Langford, please? 
		Thanks ... Jerry Langford, please. 
		Rupert Pupkin ... Jerry knows.  I'm
		calling at his request ... I see. 
		That's alright.  I'll call him again.
 
				RECEPTIONIST
 		That's not Jerry Langford, the ...
 
				PUPKIN 
			(smiling proudly)
		That's right.  Thanks for your phone.
 
						CUT TO:
 
35	EXT:  TIMES SQUARE - DAY
 
	PUPKIN approaches Times Square phone booth. He rests a 
	few folders on a trash basket just outside the booth.  He
	enters the booth and dials.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Jerry Langford, please ... May I speak 
		to Jerry Langford, please ... Rupert 
		Pupkin, I called earlier ... I see. 
		How long do you expect that'll last? 
		Oh, fine.  I'm at (PUPKIN checks the 
		number on the phone) CH 4-1482 ... I'll 
		be here for another half hour, forty-
		five minutes.  Please be sure he gets 
		my message.  Thanks.
 
	PUPKIN hangs up.
 
						CUT TO:

36 	EXT:  TIMES SQUARE - DAY
 
	A SHOT of the clock on the Allied Chemical Building.  It 
	reads 10:10.  A nearby record store starts blasting music 
	into the street through a loudspeaker.  The music serves 
	as background for a montage in which we CUT BETWEEN the 
	clock, which moves in bites towards 11:30 to Broadway as
	it looks to PUPKIN in the booth -- that cavalcade of
	hustlers, whores, housewives, kids, weirdos and working 
	people; and SHOTS of various people waiting to use the 
	phone -- their impatience, anger, disgust. Each time one 
	of them arrives, PUPKIN pretends to thumb through the phone 
	book and dial a number.  WE WATCH him chatting with 
	animation until the waiting party leaves.  Then WE SEE him
	push the coin return to retrieve his dime. Finally, PUPKIN
	takes a last look at the clock.   WE SEE that it reads
	11:30.  He leaves the booth and goes to the trash basket.
	His packages have been swiped.
 
						CUT TO:
 
37	EXT:  AN UPPER BROADWAY HIGH-RISE OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
 
	WE SEE PUPKIN enter.  He is watched by a plain girl of 
	about twenty in a black raincoat and a floppy black hat 
	whom we recognize as MARSHA.
 
						CUT TO:
 
38	INT:  A CORRIDOR IN THE HIGH-RISE OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
 
	PUPKIN emerges from the elevator and walks down the 
	corridor looking for the door the Jerry Langford Show 
	offices.  He finally finds it and enters.
 
						CUT TO:
 
39	INT:  THE RECEPTION AREA OF THE JERRY LANGFORD SHOW 
	OFFICES - DAY
 
	A bored, plump, middle-aged RECEPTIONIST sits behind a
	large desk that holds a phone receiver connected to a
	small switchboard.  PUPKIN presents himself.
 
				RECEPTIONIST 
		Yes sir?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Mr. Langford, please.
 
				RECEPTIONIST 
		Your name?
 
				PUPKIN
		Pupkin.  Rupert Pupkin.
 
	The RECEPTIONIST puts a call through.  Wide-eyed, PUPKIN 
	observes the blow-ups of Langford talking with various 
	celebrities.
 
 						FADE TO:
 
40 	INT:  A TELEVISION STUDIO - DAY
 
	LANGFORD is seated at his desk on stage and PUPKIN is his 
	guest.  WE SEE television cameras and in the background, 
	the control room.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You know the secret of dieting, Jerry?
		Grapefruit.  It's good for you.  It's
		filling.  And it's low in calories.
 
				LANGFORD 
			(to the camera)
		Take note of that, you ladies.
 
				PUPKIN 
		As a matter of fact, yesterday I went 
		to the outdoor market near where I 
		live and I bought twenty grapefruit. 
		The grocer looked at me and said, 
		"What are you gonna do with all those?"
		So I bent over and told him (in a 
		confidential tone) "I'm gonna take 'em
		back to Florida and set 'em free!"
 
	LANGFORD and the AUDIENCE laugh heartily.

  						FADE TO:

41	INT:  THE RECEPTION AREA -- DAY
 
				RECEPTIONIST 
			(holding the phone and 
			talking to PUPKIN)
		I'm sorry, Mr. Pupkin, but Mr. Langford's 
		secretary has no record of any appointment.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Pardon me?
 
				RECEPTIONIST
		Mr. Langford's secretary has no 
		record of any appointment.
 
				PUPKIN
		Well, technically speaking, I don't 
		actually have an appointment.  Jerry 
		asked me to call him today and when 
		I couldn't get through, I thought ...
 
	As PUPKIN talks, a VISITOR has entered and stands behind 
	him waiting for the RECEPTIONIST's attention.
 
				RECEPTIONIST
		I see.  (Into the phone)  He says Mr. 
		Langford asked him to call. (To 
		PUPKIN)  Mr. Langford's secretary wants 
		to know what this is in reference to.
 
	The RECEPTIONIST glances past PUPKIN to the VISITOR
	waiting.
 
				RECEPTIONIST 
			(to PUPKIN) 
		Would you mind talking to her yourself?
 
	The RECEPTIONIST hands the phone to PUPKIN and occupies 
	herself with the VISITOR.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Hello? ... Jerry and I discussed 
		my being on the show last night and 
		he told me to call ... No. I don't
		mind. 
 
	PUPKIN hands the phone back to the RECEPTIONIST.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'm supposed to wait.
 
	The RECEPTIONIST listens to the phone for a moment and then 
	hangs up.  The VISITOR has just disappeared into the back 
	offices.  PUPKIN stands there, smiling politely at the 
	RECEPTIONIST who returns a professional smile.
 
				PUPKIN
		Who was that gentleman?  (PUPKIN
		indicates with a glance to the 
		entrance to the back offices that 
		he is referring to the VISITOR)
 
				RECEPTIONIST
		Mr. Gangemi.
 
	PUPKIN draws a complete blank but wants to appear 
	knowledgeable.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Oh, I see.  Mr. Gangemi.
 
				RECEPTIONIST 
		He takes care of our air conditioning.
 
	CATHY LONG emerges from the back offices.  She is a tall, 
	modishly-dressed, attractive woman in her early thirties.
 
				CATHY LONG
		Uh ... Mr. Pupkin?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Yes?
 
				CATHY LONG
		I'm Cathy Long.
 
 				PUPKIN
		I'm Mr. Pupkin.
 
 				CATHY LONG
		Can I help you?
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'm sorry, but you are?
 
				CATHY LONG
		I'm Bert Thomas' assistant.

				PUPKIN 
		Bert Thomas?
 
				CATHY LONG
		He's our executive producer.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Oh, yes.  I'm sure he is.  But, you 
		see, I've already talked directly 
		with Jerry about my being on the show 
		and he told me to get in touch with 
		him.  I'm just here to follow up on
		that.
 
				CATHY LONG 
		What do you do, Mr. Pupkin?
 
				PUPKIN
		Stand-up comedy.
 
				CATHY LONG
		Fine.  Where are you working?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Well, right now I'm developing new 
		material.
 
				CATHY LONG
		I see.  Well, as soon as you start 
		performing again, let us know where 
		you are and I'll send my assistant 
		down to check you out.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Sure.  Sure.  But that's not necessary, 
		Miss Long.  Jerry and I already went 
		over all this.
 
				CATHY LONG
		Does Jerry know your work?

				PUPKIN 
			(nodding)
		Yes.  I don't think he does.
 
				CATHY LONG 
		You don't happen to have a tape or a 
		demo that we might listen to?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Oh, sure.  I've got lots of tapes.
		That's no problem.
 
				CATHY LONG
		Good.  Why don't you just send one
		to us and I assure you we'll listen
		to it promptly.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Great.  I'll do that.  I can see 
		that'd be a lot easier for Jerry. 
		Thanks a lot, Miss Long.
 
				CATHY LONG 
		Don't mention it, Mr. Pupkin.  Now, 
		if you'd excuse me ...
 
				PUPKIN
		Sure.  Sure.  Thanks again.
 
	CATHY LONG leaves.  PUPKIN, left standing there, smiles at 
	the RECEPTIONIST who returns another professional smile.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to the RECEPTIONIST)
		Thanks.
 
						CUT TO:
 
42	EXT:  THE UPPER-BROADWAY HIGH-RISE OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
 
	PUPKIN comes out of the building elated.  He is immediately 
	confronted by MARSHA.  PUPKIN continues to walk as MARSHA 
	skips beside him.
 
				MARSHA 
		I've got to speak to you for a minute.
		I'm Marsha.
 
				PUPKIN
		Yeah.  I know.
 
				MARSHA 
		Look.  Did Jerry say anything about
		me last night?
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'm really in a hurry, Marsha ...
 
				MARSHA 
		Was he angry? ... In the car last night, 
		I saw you.  Did he talk about me?
 
				PUPKIN  
		I thought that was you.  That was
		some stunt.
 
				MARSHA
		What did he say?
 
				PUPKIN  
		We didn't talk about you.
 
				MARSHA
		You know Jerry?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Yeah.
 
	MARSHA thrusts an envelope into PUPKIN's hands.
 
				MARSHA 
		Give him this for me.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Why don't you ...
 
				MARSHA  
		Because I can't!  Please.  I need 
		your help.  You'll be my friend forever. 
		Come on.  I'll buy you something.
		What do you want?
 
	She takes a great messy bunch of bills out of her raincoat 
	pockets and jams them into PUPKIN's hands.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I don't want this.
 
				MARSHA
		Take it.  I can get all I want.
 
	PUPKIN shrugs and pockets the money.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Okay.  I'll try.
 
				MARSHA
			(turning cold)
		Don't try.  Do it.  Remember.  We
		just made a deal.
 
	PUPKIN stares at the envelope.
 
				MARSHA 
		And don't open it.  It's private.
 
				PUPKIN
		Okay.  Okay.
 
				MARSHA 
		How soon can you get it to him?
 
				PUPKIN
		I don't know.  Couple a days. 
 
				MARSHA
			(menacingly) 
		You'd better.
 
	MARSHA turns and walks in the direction from which they 
	came.  CAMERA FOLLOWS PUPKIN who walks on for a block or
	so, then opens the envelope.  It contains a set of
	apartment keys, a scrap of hand-knitted woolen cloth and a 
	note in lipstick that reads:  "I've made you a sweater, 
	honey.  Come try it on.  I miss you.  Love, M.  74 East
	83rd Street, Apartment 2B!"  He takes out the money MARSHA
	gave him.  There are wads of tens, twenties and fifties 
	with a sprinkling of fives and ones.
 
						CUT TO:
 
44	EXT:  A TIMES SQUARE HOTEL - DAY
 
	The hotel is just one step up from a flophouse. WE SEE
	PUPKIN enter.

 						CUT TO:

45 	INT:  PUPKIN'S ROOM - DAY
 
	PUPKIN enters.  WE SEE that it is a small room, furnished 
	by the hotel in the plainest way.  Nicely-done home-made 
	collages of show business figures decorate the drab green 
	walls.  The room is neat and clean.  PUPKIN goes directly
	to a plain table which holds two tape recorders -- one a
	small cassette the other a large table tape recorder.  He
	picks up the microphone of the larger one and speaks into
	it.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Testing.  Testing.  Testing.
 
	In the following montage, we hear in the background the 
	replay of his "testing, testing testing" and various 
	other noises -- a bit of his voice taped, a burst of 
	laughter, the squeal of a tape recorder sent fast-forward, 
	a sudden burst of applause, a scrap of theme music.  At the
	same time, the CAMERA PANS about the room.   We look 
	at the collages which include all the obvious show business
	figures, with a heavy emphasis on comedians from Chaplin
	and Keaton to Sid Caesar and Woody Allen.  The collages
	also include  such varied figures as Jimmy Carter, Julia 
	Childs, Tom Seaver, David Brinkley, Muhammad Ali, Clifford
	Irving, Walter Cronkite and Mark Spitz.  There is a special 
	Kennedy section -- John F. and Bobby framed in black, 
	Jackie in mourning and a picture of Teddy.  There is also a
	trio of assassins -- Sirhan, Oswald and James Earl Ray. 
	There is also a talk show collage with a photo of Langford 
	in the center like a sun surrounded by Snyder, Walters, 
	Carson and Griffin.  One bookshelf holds a veritable 
	library of comedy -- joke books, biographies of comedians,
	treasuries of American humor.  Another shelf holds scores
	of tapes in their own little boxes, each one neatly marked, 
	i.e., "LANGFORD MONOLOGUES:   7/5/72 to 9/9/72."  "MISC. 
	MONOLOGUES 6/13/68 to 8/1/69."
 
						CUT TO:
 
	PUPKIN sitting before the tape recorder lost in thought. 
	Finally, he starts the larger recorder and lifts the mike.
 
				PUPKIN 
		First, Miss Long.  Thanks very much 
		for your help at the office and for 
		passing this along to Jerry.  I 
		appreciate it more than you know.
 
	PUPKIN stops the tape recorder and thinks again for a few
	beats.  He then starts the large recorder.
 
				PUPKIN
		Now, Jerry.  Before I begin, I just 
		want to thank you for listening to 
		this material and for the opportunity
		that you've given me.  You know, lots
		of people think that guys like you, 
		you know, people who have made it, 
		lose their feeling for struggling 
		young talent such as myself.  But 
		now I know from experience that those 
		people are just cynics, embittered 
		by their own failure.  I know, Jerry, 
		that you're as human as the rest of us,
		if not more so.  (pause)  Oh well, I
		guess there's no point going on about 
		it.  You know how I feel.  So let's get
		on with the show.   The best of Rupert
		Pupkin!  I've sketched out this little 
		introduction in order to save you a
		little time.  So close your eyes and
		imagine it's exactly six o'clock.
		You're standing in the wings and we 
		hear Rick Ross and the Orchestra strike 
		up your theme song.
  
	PUPKIN pushes a button on the cassette and we hear the 
	theme song of the Jerry Langford Show, followed by the 
	voice of BERT CANTER, the announcer.
 
				BERT CANTER'S VOICE 
		And now, direct from New York, it's 
		the Jerry Langford Show!  Tonight, 
		with Jerry's special guest ...
 
 	PUPKIN deftly shuts off the cassette and substitutes his
	own voice for that of CANTER's.  The large tape recorder
	keeps rolling.
 
				PUPKIN 
		... the comedy find of the year making 
		his television debut, Rupert Pupkin, the 
		King of Comedy!
 
	PUPKIN rapidly races the cassette tape forward, then pushes 
	down the "play" button.  We hear a burst of thundering
	applause.  PUPKIN lets the applause run for a while and
	then shuts it off.  The large recorder keeps rolling.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Now you come on, Jerry, and do your 
		monologue.  Then, when the time comes, 
		this is how I see you introducing me. 
		You'll say something like this. 
		"Ladies and Gentlemen we're going to 
		do something a little bit different 
		tonight.  It isn't often that you can 
		call someone a sure thing in the 
		entertainment business.  After all, 
		the verdict is always in your hands. 
		But I think after you've met my next 
		guest, that you'll agree with me that 
		he's destined for greatness.  So, 
		now, will you please give your warmest 
		welcome to the newest King of Comedy, 
		Rupert Pupkin!!!"
 
	PUPKIN pushes the cassette and we hear another enormous 
	burst of applause.  PUPKIN lets it run, listening intently. 
	He stands up and faces a wall of his room, still holding
	the microphone.  WE SEE that the wall is covered by a huge
	blow-up of an audience laughing and applauding.

						CUT TO:

45	INT:  THE LANGFORD TELEVISION STUDIO - NIGHT
 
	WE SEE a real audience laughing and applauding. 

						CUT TO:
 
	PUPKIN strides triumphantly onto the stage, nodding to 
	acknowledge the applause.  He stops center stage as the
	television cameras maneuver about him.
 
						CUT TO:
 
 	A SHOT of the "APPLAUSE" sign flashing, then stopping.
	Still, the applause goes on.
 
						CUT TO:
 
	PUPKIN raises his hands to quiet the audience.  After a few 
	moments the applause dies down, except for a pair of hands 
	in the center of the orchestra.  PUPKIN peers out to see 
	who is still applauding.
 
						CUT TO:

	RITA, in the middle of the audience, applauds 
	enthusiastically.

 						CUT TO:

 	PUPKIN on stage.  PUPKIN gives RITA a special smile and
	nod.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Will somebody tell that lovely lady 
		that the applause sign is off.
 
 	The audience laughs.
 
						CUT TO:
 
46	INT:  PUPKIN'S ROOM - DAY 

	PUPKIN stands facing the "audience" still holding the mike.
 
				PUPKIN 
		That's a possible introduction, Jerry. 
		Now let's move on to my act.
 
						CUT TO:
 
47	INT:  THE RECEPTION AREA OF THE LANGFORD SHOW - DAY
 
	PUPKIN is pacing.  He is wearing another suit, this one a 
	broad-lapelled-grey.  He is freshly shaved, is hair neatly
	combed, his shoes carrying a bright shine.  He clutches a
	small flat box, neatly wrapped with the words 'FOR JERRY 
	LANGFORD" written clearly across the top in large print.
	CATHY LONG emerges from one of the back corridors into the 
	reception area.
 
				CATHY LONG 
		Yes?
 
				PUPKIN 
			(suddenly a bit shy) 
		I didn't want to take any chances 
		with this ... uh ... Miss Long, so I
		... uh ... thought I'd just bring it
		here myself.
 
	He hands CATHY LONG the package as though it contained 
	nitroglycerine.
 
				CATHY LONG 
		We talked about this this morning, 
		did we, Mr. ... ?
 
				PUPKIN
		Pupkin.  Rupert Pupkin.
 
				CATHY LONG
		Oh, yes.  It's been some day.  (pause) 
		Well, I certainly appreciate your 
		bringing this over, Mr. Pupkin, and 
		we'll listen to it as soon as possible.
 
				PUPKIN  
		Fine.  Er ... you don't have any idea
		how soon that might be?
 
				CATHY LONG
		Well, you can try checking with us 
		tomorrow.  We might know something 
		by then.  Otherwise, it'll have to 
		be Monday.
 
				PUPKIN
		What if I just sort of waited around 
		here today, just in case?  I'll stay 
		out of the way.
 
				CATHY LONG
		You'd just be wasting your time, 
		Mr. Pupkin.  We won't know anything 
		until tomorrow at the earliest.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Oh, I wouldn't consider it a waste of 
		time at all.  I'd be glad to do it.
 
				CATHY LONG
		Look, why don't you try us tomorrow.
		Okay?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Tomorrow? ...  Right.  I'll do that.
		Thanks a lot, Miss Long.  And thank
		Jerry.
 
	CATHY LONG smiles at PUPKIN and goes, leaving PUPKIN
	staring at a picture of LANGFORD on the wall.  WE FIX on
	LANGFORD a moment and PULL BACK to see LANGFORD in what 
	PUPKIN would imagine his office to be.
 
48	INT:  AN OFFICE - DAY
 
	A large, corner office furnished in royal red, with high 
	ceilings and a huge desk.  Potted palms and hydrangeas rest
	on a marble floor.  LANGFORD is moving about restlessly, 
	clutching PUPKIN's tape in one hand and waving it about.
	PUPKIN is seated on a comfortable couch.
 
				LANGFORD
		Dynamite!  This is dynamite!
 
				PUPKIN 
			(shyly) 
		You think so, Jerry?
 
				LANGFORD
		Look, I've been at this for fifteen 
		years, Rupert, and I haven't come up 
		with anything like this -- not me, 
		not any of my writers.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(smiling with obvious 
			pleasure) 
		Well, I'm glad you like it, Jerry.
 
				LANGFORD 
		Tell me something, Rube.  (pause) 
		How do you do it?  I'm not asking
		to use the material myself.  I just 
		want to know how you  (LANGFORD waves
		his arms in a gesture of frustration) 
		how you do it.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Well, I don't know if I can explain
		it, really.
 
				LANGFORD
		Come on.  Try, Rube.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Well, it just sort of comes.  I think
		about my life, see, mainly about the 
		worst parts, all the awful things, and 
		I just try to see them in a funny light. 
		That's all.
 
				LANGFORD 
			(eagerly)
		Is that what you do?  The worst parts,
		and then you look at them in a funny
		light?  Is that what you do?
 
				PUPKIN
		More or less.  It's hard to describe
		how its happens.
 
				LANGFORD
		But that's just it, Rube.  It doesn't
		happen for me.  Why do you think the
		show is in so much trouble?  By the
		time I've done my monologue, everyone
		has switched to Carson.  Maybe if you
		did a little writing ... ?
  
				PUPKIN 
		Sure, Jerry, I'd do anything I could 
		to help out.
 
				LANGFORD 
		You would?  Great.  Why don't you 
		come out to my place this weekend 
		and we'll hash it out.  I'm having 
		a few of my friends but we should be 
		able to get a little work in.
 
				PUPKIN
		Would you mind if I brought someone?
 
				LANGFORD
			(smiling)
		A girl, Rube?
 
				PUPKIN 
		A very special girl, Jerry.
 
				LANGFORD
		I'd love to meet her.
 
49	THE HIGH-RISE OFFICE BUILDING ON UPPER BROADWAY - DAY
 
	PUPKIN emerges, lost in thought. Suddenly he notices
	MARSHA waiting nearby.  She doesn't see PUPKIN.  He sneaks
	off.
 
						CUT TO:
 
50	EXT:  U.N. PLAZA - DAY
 
	It is a bright morning.  LANGFORD, attempting to camouflage
	himself by wearing a cap over his eyes and his trench coat 
	collar turned up, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses, 
	walks out of the building.  A DOORMAN is standing by the 
	door.
 
				DOORMAN 
		Cab, Jerry?
 
				LANGFORD 
		That's alright, thanks.
 
	WE FOLLOW LANGFORD as he walks.  Some people don't notice.
	Others stare but leave him alone, a few commenting to their 
	companions and pointing at him.  A CAB DRIVER pulls 
	alongside.
 
				DRIVER 
		Hey, Jerry.  My brother can sing 
		and juggle at the same time.  How 
		about puttin' him on your show?
 
	LANGFORD keeps walking.
 
				DRIVER 
		How about it, Jerry?
 
				LANGFORD 
		Sorry, I'm off duty.
 
						CUT TO:

51 	EXT.  A MANHATTAN STREET - DAY
 
	LANGFORD stands at the corner, next to a middle-aged 
	COUPLE.
 
				WOMAN
		You're Jerry!!
 
	LANGFORD pulls his cap a little more tightly around his 
	eyes.
 
				WOMAN 
		You know something.   (She giggles) 
		I undress in front of you every night 
		and Larry here doesn't mind at all.
 
				LARRY
		I can't get anything started with her 
		until you're off the air.  Your show 
		is ruining my sex life, Jerry.
 
				LANGFORD 
		Well then, you'll just have to put 
		on a better show than I do.
 
						CUT TO:

52	EXT:  BROADWAY, A FEW BLOCKS SOUTH OF LANGFORD'S OFFICES -
	DAY
 
	WE WATCH LANGFORD continue to walk, feeling what it is to 
	be a celebrity out in public.  After a few beats, we
 
						CUT TO:

53	EXT:  BROADWAY - DAY
 
	WE SEE MARSHA trailing LANGFORD.  LANGFORD notices her and
	starts walking quickly.  MARSHA walks quickly.  LANGFORD
	starts jogging.  MARSHA starts jogging.  Finally, LANGFORD
 	breaks into a sprint.  MARSHA runs after him.  LANGFORD
	disappears into his office building.  MARSHA arrives
	several seconds later.
 
				MARSHA
		Jerry!  God damnit!
 
	Just as MARSHA turns around, PUPKIN, unaware of her, walks 
	cheerfully into the building.
 
						CUT TO:
 
54	INT:  RECEPTION AREA OF JERRY LANGFORD SHOW OFFICES - DAY 

	PUPKIN enters.  The same middle-aged, plump RECEPTIONIST
	is seated behind the desk.
 
				RECEPTIONIST 
		Yes, sir?  (recognizing him)  Oh, hi.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Hi.  How are you?
 
				RECEPTIONIST 
		Not bad.

				PUPKIN 
		I'm fine. 

				RECEPTIONIST 
		Can I help you?
 
				PUPKIN
		I'd like to see Jerry, please.
 
 				RECEPTIONIST 
		You are ... ?

				PUPKIN
		Mr. Pupkin.
 
				RECEPTIONIST
		Just a minute.
 
	The RECEPTIONIST dials a number.
 
				RECEPTIONIST
		Mr. Pupkin is here ... That's right
		... (to PUPKIN) She'll be with you
		in a minute.
 
				PUPKIN
		Who?
 
				RECEPTIONIST
		Miss Long.
 
				PUPKIN
		But I wanted to see Jerry.
 
				RECEPTIONIST
		Mr. Langford's not in.  Miss Long
		will take care of you.
 
				PUPKIN
		Alright.
 
	PUPKIN paces for a few beats.  He smiles at the 
	RECEPTIONIST.  A beat later, CATHY LONG comes out, 
	carrying the tape in its box.
 
				CATHY LONG
		Mr. Pupkin?
 
				PUPKIN
		How are you today?
 
               		CATHY LONG 
		Fine, Mr. Pupkin.  Thank you for 
		your tape.  We listened to it with 
		great interest.  And, frankly, Mr. Pupkin, 
		we saw a lot of good things in what
		you're doing.  We feel you have good
		potential.  Very good potential.
 
				PUPKIN
			(smiling)
		Thanks.
 
				CATHY LONG
		That's why I'll be honest with you,  
		Mr. Pupkin ...
 
				PUPKIN
		Yes?
 
				CATHY LONG
		We just don't think you're ready yet.
 
				PUPKIN
			(baffled)
		Not ready?
 
				CATHY LONG
		Well, we just don't feel right now
		that you're right for Jerry.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(rapidly, half-listening)
		Right for Jerry.  Sure.
 
				CATHY LONG 
		Some of the material ... some of the
		one-liners, for instance ...
 
				PUPKIN 
		Yes?
 
				CATHY LONG
		... were not very strong.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You didn't care for some of the jokes,
		is that it?
 
				CATHY LONG
		That"s right.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Good.  Good.  I can take care of 
		that right way.  Thanks.  Just tell 
		me the ones you think should go. 
		That would be a big help.  (to the 
		RECEPTIONIST)  This is great.  (to 
		CATHY LONG)  Which ones?
 
				CATHY LONG
		Well, it's not just that, Mr. Pupkin.
		You see, Jerry likes to panel his 
		guests, you know, chat with them 
		afterwards.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Sure.  Sure.
 
				CATHY LONG 
		And frankly, we just don't feel you've 
		got very much to talk about right now.
 
				PUPKIN 
		But I've got my whole life to talk 
		about!
 
				CATHY LONG 
		Which is interesting to you, I'm sure 
		and to your wife ... and to a few
		friends.  But we feel that you should
		keep developing your act.  Test it in 
		some live situations.  There are a 
		number of clubs in the city you can 
		try.  And after a reasonable period, 
		get in touch with us again and we'll 
		be glad to send someone down to check 
		out your progress.
 
	PUPKIN stares at her for a few moments as the tension grows.
 
				PUPKIN 
		May I ask you a question, Miss Long?
 
				CATHY LONG 
		Of course.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Are you speaking for Jerry?
 
				CATHY LONG 
		Let's put it this way, Mr. Pupkin. 
		Mr. Langford has complete faith in 
		our judgment.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'm sorry to have to say this, Miss 
		Long, and I certainly don't want you
		to take it personally, but I have to
		tell you that I don't ... I don't 
		have faith in your judgment.
 
				CATHY LONG 
		Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, 
		Mr. Pupkin.  But I'm afraid there's 
		nothing that can be done about that.
 
				PUPKIN 
		No ... No ... I'm afraid I'll have
		to disagree with you again.
 
				CATHY LONG 
			(with strained politeness)
		That's your privilege, Mr. Pupkin. 
		Now, if you'll excuse me, please, I
		have some things to do.  I'm sorry 
		the news isn't better.
 
	CATHY LONG turns to go. 

		 		PUPKIN
		Miss Long? 

	CATHY LONG turns back.
 
				PUPKIN 
		When are you expecting Jerry in?
 
				CATHY LONG
		He won't be in until very late this 
		afternoon.
 
				PUPKIN 
		That's fine.  Thank you.
 
	CATHY LONG stares at PUPKIN for a moment, glances at the
	RECEPTIONIST and then goes.  PUPKIN takes a seat in the 
	reception area.  He smiles once more at the RECEPTIONIST. 
	The RECEPTIONIST drops her eyes.  A few beats go by.  CATHY 
	LONG passes by the entranceway and glances at PUPKIN. 
	PUPKIN continues sitting there.
 
				RECEPTIONIST 
		Is there anyone else you would 
		like to see?
 
 				PUPKIN
		That's alright.  I'm happy just 
		waiting.
 
	A few beats pass in silence.
 
				RECEPTIONIST 
		Well, would you mind waiting outside, 
		please, Mr. Pupkin?  This is a reception 
		area, not a waiting room.
 
 				PUPKIN
		I understand.
 
	PUPKIN remains seated.  A few more moments pass.  Several 
	OFFICE PERSONNEL pass by the entranceway and glance at 
	PUPKIN.  After a few more beats, a large, plainly-dressed 
	MAN in his mid-fifties emerges from the back offices.  He 
	goes over to PUPKIN, who stands.
 
				OFFICIAL 
		Mr. Pupkin?  I'm Raymond Wirtz, in 
		charge of security for the Langford 
		organization.
 
	WIRTZ puts his arm on PUPKIN's shoulder and, as the 
	following dialogue unfolds leads him out the door, down 
	the corridor and into the elevator.
 
				WIRTZ
		Now I think you understand that we 
		have certain rules here that are 
		essential to the smooth functioning 
		of our operation.
  
 				PUPKIN
		Sure.  Sure.
 
				WIRTZ
		And that without these rules, we really 
		wouldn't be able to function at our
		best.  You follow my point?
 
	PUPKIN nods.

				WIRTZ 
		Now one of these rules is that only 
		authorized personnel and those having 
		official business with our organization 
		are permitted on our premises.  And 
		that's why I'm asking you, Mr. Pupkin, 
		to cooperate with us.
 
	They have reached the elevator and WIRTZ has pushed the 
	button.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You want me to leave the building.
 
				WIRTZ 
		That's right.  It's nothing personal, 
		Mr. Pupkin.  Just doing my job.
 
	The elevator arrives.  WIRTZ signals with his head that
	PUPKIN should enter.  PUPKIN gets in.
 
				WIRTZ 
		Have a pleasant day.
 
						CUT TO:
 
55	EXT:  STREET OUTSIDE THE LANGFORD BUILDING - DAY
 
	PUPKIN comes out and takes up a position outside the door, 
	preparing to wait for LANGFORD.  MARSHA sees him and comes 
	over to him.
 
				MARSHA 
		Well, did you give it to him?
 
				PUPKIN
			(out of a daze) 
		Huh?
 
				MARSHA 
		Did you get my letter to him?
 
				PUPKIN 
		He's not in there.
 
				MARSHA 
		Look, if you don't want to give it
		him, okay.  I'll get somebody
		else.  But don't try to con me.
 
				PUPKIN
		I told you I'd try and I will.  I'm
		going to wait for him right here.
 
				MARSHA 
		Give me the envelope, huh?
 
				PUPKIN
		Sure, but ...
 
				MARSHA 
		I saw him go in myself!
 
				PUPKIN
		Who?

				MARSHA 
		Jerry!

				PUPKIN 
		But they said he wasn't in.
 
				MARSHA 
		Just give me the envelope.
 
				PUPKIN 
		When did he go in?
 
				MARSHA
		Ten minutes ago!  That's when.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You sure?
 
				MARSHA 
		Look, I saw him my ...
 
				PUPKIN 
		And he hasn't come out?
 
				MARSHA 
		I've been standing right here.  Now
		how about it?
 
	PUPKIN turns and goes back into the building.  MARSHA yells
	after him.
 
				MARSHA 
		I'm staying right here!
 
						CUT TO: 

56	INT:  RECEPTION AREA OF THE JERRY LANGFORD OFFICES 

	PUPKIN enters briskly and goes up to the RECEPTIONIST.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(with authority)
		Tell Jerry Langford I'm here, please.
 
				RECEPTIONIST
		I'm sorry, sir.  Mr. Langford's not in.  
 
				PUPKIN
		I happen to know he is.  So would you
		please tell him I'm here.
 
				RECEPTIONIST 
		I'm sorry.  He's not in.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You're putting your job on the line, 
		lady.
 
	The RECEPTIONIST starts making a call inside.  PUPKIN
	glances at her and walks right in to the inner corridors.
	He starts peering into the open doors of the offices that 
	line the corridor.  The whole place is like a gigantic
	maze.  OFFICE PERSONNEL pass by him, taking no notice of
 	him.  He continues wandering around desperately, completely
	lost.  A few beat later, he spots WIRTZ leading a pair of
	SECURITY GUARDS.  PUPKIN keeps peering into offices quickly
	as he flees.  The GUARDS and WIRTZ finally catch up to
	PUPKIN at the steno pool and, after a brief chase around 
	the pool, they catch PUPKIN and subdue him.  They start
	dragging him out past the eyes of the OFFICE PERSONNEL.
 
				PUPKIN
			(calling as he is dragged) 
		Jerry!  Jerry!  (to WIRTZ)  You're 
		going the have a hell of a lot of
		explaining to do!  (calling)  Jerry!
 
				WIRTZ
		You had your warning, Mr. Krupkin.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Jerry!  Help me.  Jerry!

 						CUT TO:

 	A CLOSE-UP of PUPKIN as he is dragged out.
 
				PUPKIN
			(screaming)
		Jerry!
 
						CUT TO:
 
57	EXT:  LANGFORD BUILDING LOBBY AND EXIT - DAY
 
	WE WATCH the SECURITY GUARDS and WIRTZ pitch PUPKIN out
	into the street.
 
				WIRTZ
		If we see your face again, Mr. Pupkin, 
		we'll call the police.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Start looking for a new job!
 
	MARSHA comes straight up to PUPKIN who is brushing himself 
	off.  His eyes are glazed and distant.
 
				MARSHA 
		Well?

				PUPKIN
		Huh?  

				MARSHA
		Does he have it?
 
				PUPKIN 
			(abstractedly)
		Don't worry.  I'll get it to him.
 
				MARSHA
		Yeah?  When?
 
	There is a pause.
 
				PUPKIN
		This weekend.  He asked me to go out
		there, to his house.
 
						CUT TO:
 
58	THE BAR-RESTAURANT WHERE RITA WORKS - DAY
 
	PUPKIN enters the bar-restaurant.  Through the window WE 
	SEE him talking to RITA.  He is voluble, animated.  She 
	looks skeptical, with a wry smile on her face.  Finally WE
	WATCH him extract an answer from her.  She shrugs, smiles
	and says yes.  He comes walking out the door, his hounded
	expression softened by a smile.
 
						CUT TO:
 
59	INT:  THE FITTING AREA OF A MEN'S STORE - DAY
 
	WE WATCH PUPKIN getting fitted in a new suit, attended by 
	a SALESMAN and a TAILOR.
 
						CUT TO:

60	INT:  LUGGAGE SHOP - DAY
 
	WE WATCH PUPKIN buy a suitcase.
 
						CUT TO:

61	INT:  CARTIER'S JEWELERS - DAY

	WE WATCH PUPKIN perusing the beautiful diamond, sapphire,
	and emerald rings and we take a few moments to PAN OVER
	these beautiful jewels as he sees them.  Finally, he picks
	out a splendid ring with a single, middle-sized sapphire 
	and hands a surprised SALESLADY the money in cash.
 
						CUT TO:

62	INT:  SUBURBAN TRAIN - DAY 
 
	PUPKIN and RITA are seated side by side.  Since it is
	Saturday morning, the train is sparsely populated.  A
	CONDUCTOR has just finished taking PUPKIN's tickets.  RITA 
	is edgy.  PUPKIN is strangely calm and a little remote.
	He is wearing his new suit.
 
				RITA
		What are we going to do?
 
				PUPKIN
			(patiently) 
		Look, I told you, I've got some work
		to discuss with him.  That's all.

				RITA
		But what about me?
 
				PUPKIN
		You're with me.

				RITA
		That's fine, but while you two are 
		talking, what am I going to do?
 
				PUPKIN 
		You can chat with the other guests.
 
				RITA
		I'm sure they'll be thrilled hearing 
		about the wonderful world of draft beer. 
		(pause)  Let's tell 'em I'm a model, 
		okay?
 
				PUPKIN 
		What?
 
				RITA 
		If they ask what I do, let's just say 
		I model.  You don't mind pretending 
		just a little, do you?
 
				PUPKIN
		If it make you feel better.
 
	There is a pause.

				RITA 
		This is a gas!  Too bad nobody'll 
		believe it.  (pause)  After you guys 
		are done working, what happens?  Are 
		we going out someplace, or what?
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'm sure Jerry has something arranged.
 
	There is another pause.
 
				RITA 
		What do these people do for fun?
		Do they party or do freaky things 
		or just get drunk or ... I mean, 
		What do they do?

				PUPKIN
		I guess they just sit around and talk
		and enjoy each other's company, like
		anybody else.
 
				RITA
		Talk?!?  What can you talk about
		for three or four hours?!
 
				PUPKIN 
		What do you mean?  They've got plenty 
		to talk about.  They do things.  All 
		kinds of interesting things happen 
		to them and then they talk about them. 
		What do you think Jerry's show is all 
		about?
 
				RITA
		Yeah, a cocktail party with no drinks.
		That's what all those shows are.  At 
		least they help you get to sleep.

	There is a pause.

				RITA 
			(glumly) 
		Boy, this is going to be some great
		weekend.   I thought we were gonna 
		have some fun.
 
				PUPKIN
			(smiling)
		Just take it easy, Rita.  Everything's
		going to be fine.
 
	WE MOVE IN for a CLOSE-UP of PUPKIN who is fading out.
 
						FADE TO:
 
63	EXT:  A NEO-CLASSICAL MANSION 

	It is a large white house with colonial columns set in the 
	middle of a palatial estate whose rolling lawns are 
	punctuated with fine old trees.  We circle around to the 
	back where LANGFORD, a handful of his FRIENDS (which can be
	familiar television celebrities) and PUPKIN and RITA are 
	just finishing a lavish lunch on the patio.  A pair of 
	SERVANTS are clearing the table and serving the coffee and 
	desert as the scene unfolds.  As we arrive, we hear a loud 
	burst of laughter.  PUPKIN is regaling the COMPANY with 
	stories.
 
				PUPKIN
		Oh, you have no idea how bad it's
		gotten in New York.  Now the muggers
		are so efficient that, each time 
		they jump you, they take your name 
		and address and put you on a mailing 
		list.  (the COMPANY chuckles)  And 
		once you're on the list, you're in
		real trouble, like this friend of 
		mine who was mugged thirty-two times 
		on his way home from work.  (a little
		laughter from the COMPANY)
 
	A SERVANT places the desert, a little, elegant tart, in
	front of PUPKIN and RITA.
 
				PUPKIN
			(to SERVANT)
		Thanks.
 
	The SERVANT smiles.  As PUPKIN continues his story, he 
	glances occasionally at RITA who has begun to nibble at her 
	tart.  PUPKIN also glances conspiratorially at LANGFORD 
	who smiles back.
 
				PUPKIN 
		So what my friend does is get himself 
		a dog, one of those huge German 
		Shepherds.  One night, he's walking 
		the dog in Central Park when he hears 
		this voice behind him.  (in a German 
		accent)  Okay, Harry, drop your 
		vallet and keep your hantz over your 
		head or I bite your little fanny off.
 
	The COMPANY breaks up.
 
				ONE GUEST
			(to LANGFORD) 
		Looks like you've found yourself a 
		winner, Jerry.
 
				LANGFORD 
			(looking at PUPKIN) 
		He's the one who found himself
		a winner.

	RITA looks up, smiles and blushes.  The rest of the COMPANY 
	smiles benignly and grows attentive as RITA returns to 
	eating her tart.  Suddenly she bites down on something 
	hard.  She fishes it out of her mouth and looks at it.  The 
	COMPANY giggles.  It is the ring PUPKIN purchased at 
	Cartier's.  The COMPANY applauds lightly and laughs.
	LANGFORD lifts his wine glass.
 
				LANGFORD
		To Rita and Rupert -- a short engagement 
		and a long, happy marriage.
 
	The COMPANY drinks with murmurs of "Hear!  Hear!"  RITA
	and PUPKIN beam.  RITA looks lovingly at PUPKIN. 

				A SECOND GUEST
			(the PUPKIN) 
		Have you set a date?
 
				PUPKIN 
			(looking pointedly at LANGFORD)
		Oh, yes.
 
				A THIRD GUEST 
		I hope we're all invited.
 
				PUPKIN
		Everyone's invited.

						CUT TO:

64	INT:  THE LANGFORD TELEVISION STUDIO
 
	The theater is packed.  World Series bunting hangs from the
	balcony and the front of the stage.  We hear RICK ROSS and 
	the ORCHESTRA strike up Mendelssohn's Wedding March.   Down 
	one aisle walks RITA, accompanied by the MAN whom PUPKIN
	hit over the head at the bar.  Down the other aisle marches
	PUPKIN, accompanied by LANGFORD.  The AUDIENCE cheers 
	wildly.  The two COUPLES walk to the stage where a white-
	haired OFFICIAL awaits them.  BERT CANTER stands at his 
	side.  PUPKIN and RITA disengage from their ESCORTS and 
	stand before the OFFICIAL.  The music stops and the 
	AUDIENCE grows quiet.
 
				OFFICIAL 
		We are met here in these extraordinary 
		circumstances to join this man and this 
		woman in holy wedlock.  But, before we 
		begin, let me voice a personal word 
		of thanks to you, Rupert and to you, 
		Rita, for choosing me to perform this 
		prestigious ceremony.  Because we are 
		on prime time, I am going to discard 
		my customary remarks in favor of a 
		few personal reflections.   When I was 
		principal at Clifton High and these 
		two were students, I had very little 
		faith that Rupert here would amount 
		to very much.  But like his teachers 
		and his fellow students, I underestimated 
		this fine young man.   Some say that 
		this misjudgment is directly tied to my 
		recent dismissal as head of the Clifton 
		School System.  But let me take this
		opportunity to set the record straight. 
		Knowing that Rupert and Rita here were 
		most certainly destined for a great 
		career and a lifetime of happiness, 
		I voluntarily stepped down.  I would 
		only here add my own wishes to those
		of millions of viewers for their
		continued health, wealth and 
		boundless success.
 
	The OFFICIAL looks quickly past RITA and PUPKIN.
 
				OFFICIAL 
		We'll be back to marry them in a minute, 
		right after this word.

						FADE TO:

65 	INT:  THE TRAIN - DAY
 
	PUPKIN and RITA are seated as they were.  We hear the 
	CONDUCTOR calling.
 
				CONDUCTOR'S VOICE 
		Greenwich.  Greenwich next stop.
		Greenwich.
 
	PUPKIN and RITA grab their small suitcases and quickly move 
	down the aisle towards the door.

						CUT TO:

66	INT:  A SUBURBAN TAXI - DAY
 
	RITA is peering out the window.  PUPKIN is still lost in
	thought.
 
				RITA
		Look at that one.  How'd you like to
		live in that?!?!  Or that one!  What 
		do you figure these run?
 
	The taxi stops in front of a walled lot behind which is 
	visible a handsome English stucco home.
 
				PUPKIN
			(to DRIVER) 
		What's this?
 
				DRIVER
		This is it.
 
				RITA
		It's gorgeous!
 
	PUPKIN is genuinely puzzled.
 
				PUPKIN
			(to DRIVER)
		You sure?
 
				DRIVER 
		Look, friend, I wouldn't want to 
		tell you how many times I made this 
		trip.   (pause)   That'll be three 
		seventy-five.
 
	PUPKIN, still puzzled, hands him a five dollar bill.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(abstractedly)
		Keep it.
 
	The DRIVER gets out and puts PUPKIN and RITA's bags,
	which he had stacked on the front seat, onto the sidewalk.
 
				DRIVER 
		Thanks.  If you need a ride back, 
		just ask the guy for Wayne.  That's me.
 
	The CAMERA PULLS BACK as PUPKIN opens the gate and he and 
	RITA walk up the drive.

						CUT TO:

67	EXT:  LANGFORD'S HOUSE - DAY
 
	PUPKIN and RITA stand before the front door.  PUPKIN rings,
	After a few beats, the door is opened by an Indonesian 
	HOUSEBOY.  PUPKIN walks in right past him, RITA following 
	behind.
 
						CUT TO:

68	INT:  LANGFORD'S HOUSE - DAY 

	PUPKIN hands the HOUSEBOY the two suitcases as he talks.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You must be Jonno.  I'm Rupert Pupkin 
		and this is Rita Keane.  Mr. Langford's
		expecting us.
 
	Jonno nods politely but uncertainly.
 
				JONNO
			(uncertain)
		Mr. Langford asked you to come?
 
				PUPKIN
		That's right.  Would you mind 
		taking those up?  Jerry and I have 
		some work that may oblige me to 
		stay overnight.
 
				JONNO 
		But Mr. Langford's not here.
 
				PUPKIN
		Out playing golf, right?
 
				JONNO
			(still puzzled and unsure)
		That's right.
 
				PUPKIN
		Maybe he'll finally break a hundred.
 
				JONNO
		Maybe it's better if you came back ...
 
				PUPKIN 
			(interrupting)
		That's alright.  We don't mind waiting.
 
	PUPKIN walks from the foyer into the living-room, leaving 
	JONNO staring after him holding the bags.  RITA walks into 
	the living room after PUPKIN.
 
				RITA
			(worried) 
		The table's only set for one.
 
				PUPKIN 
		That's from breakfast.  Relax, will
		you?

						CUT TO:
 
69	INT:  LANGFORD'S KITCHEN - DAY
 
	JONNO is on the phone.  A black lady COOK stands at his
	side.
 
				JONNO
			(into the phone)
		Let me talk to Jerry Langford please 
		... I know he is ... It's important.

 						CUT TO:

70 	INT:  LANGFORD'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

	It is a handsomely furnished room, done in old American
	antiques and other tasteful pieces.  There is a grand piano
	heavy with pictures in one corner and wall-to-wall 
	bookshelves that are mostly full and mixed with a balance
	of classics and modern popular reading.  The whole room
	marks LANGFORD as a man of discernment.  The shelves also
	house a fine stereo and a small, discreet bar.  RITA and 
	PUPKIN walk in like strangers in paradise, awed by the 
	obvious elegance and expense the room reflects.
 
				PUPKIN
			(as though he owned it) 
		How do you like it?
 
				RITA
			(admiringly) 
		I could live here.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(smiling proudly) 
		It's the only way to live.
 
	RITA stands in the center of the room, ill at ease, while 
	PUPKIN strolls about comfortably, picking up an ashtray 
	here, a cigarette case there, inspecting the artifacts for 
	inscriptions, clues, hints about LANGFORD's character and 
	life.
 
				RITA
		How come he isn't here?
 
				PUPKIN 
		You heard the guy.  He's out playing
	 	golf.
 
				RITA
		Didn't you tell him when we'd get here?

	PUPKIN continues to move about the room, fielding RITA's 
	suspicious inquiries effortlessly.
 
				PUPKIN
		We didn't have time to iron out the
		details.  Now just relax.  We're
 		the first guests, that's all.
 
				RITA
			(interrupting)
		That Jonno character hadn't even 
		heard of us!
 
				PUPKIN 
			(a little irritated) 
		It probably slipped Jerry's mind.
		He has better things to think about 
		than what he tells his houseboy.
 
				RITA
		It's just not time way I expected it, 
		that's all.
 
	There is a pause.  PUPKIN continues his investigation.  He 
	has moved to the grand piano in the rear of the room.
 
				RITA
		What do we do now?
 
 	PUPKIN is looking at a picture of an American Gothic couple 
	standing in front of a wood-frame house.  As he comments on 
	the pictures, the CAMERA PANS over them.  They form a kind 
	of slide-show of LANGFORD's life.
 
				PUPKIN
		These are Jerry's parents.  His father
		runs the Post office in Wolverine -- 
		that's in North Dakota.
 
	PUPKIN then fixes on a picture of an eleven-year-old boy 
	standing next to a puppet stage with a puppet (obviously 
	held by the boy) staring at its master.
 
				PUPKIN 
		This one was in Newsweek.  He started 
		giving these puppet shows when he was 
		still in grade school. 

	WE SEE a picture of a very young LANGFORD seated before a 
	microphone with some celebrity.
 
				PUPKIN 
		And this is from his quiz show in 
		St. Louis.  Can you believe it?

				RITA 
		Sure I can.
 
				PUPKIN 
		That was the name of the show.
 
	WE MOVE to a picture of LANGFORD smiling at JACK PAAR.
 
				PUPKIN
		And here's when he wrote for Jack 
		Paar.  He made a hundred and fifty 
		a week and look at him now.
 
	Another picture of LANGFORD with a group of women sitting 
	in a studio.
 
				PUPKIN
		And this is his morning show.
 
	A picture of LANGFORD standing in a park with his two boys, 
	eleven and eight.
 
				PUPKIN
		And his kids.  He's divorced. 
 
	RITA, who has been only half-listening, has picked up a 
	small, beautifully enameled cigarette box.
 
				RITA
		Look at this.  I love these kind of
		things.  Look at the work.   I've got
		this thing about boxes.
 
	RITA puts it down reluctantly, picks it up, then puts it 
	down again.

						CUT TO:

71	INT:  THE KITCHEN - DAY
 
	JONNO is holding the phone, waiting.  The COOK stands,
	looking at him.
 
				JONNO
		Mr. Langford? ... I'm sorry to 
		disturb you ...

						CUT TO:

72 	INT:  THE LIVING ROOM - DAY
  
	RITA has just finished fixing herself a drink.  She takes a 
	large sip and starts pacing around.  PUPKIN is seated.
 
				RITA
		How much longer are we gonna have 
		to wait?
 
				PUPKIN
		I don't know.  Until he gets back.
 
				RITA.
		Do we have to just sit here?
 
				PUPKIN 
		He should be back pretty soon.
 
				RITA
		Doesn't he have any music or anything? 
		Let's get a little life into this place. 
		It's like a funeral parlor.
 
	She walks over to the stereo and opens the cupboard beneath
	it, revealing rows and rows of records.
 
				RITA 
		This is more like it.
 
	She pulls out a record.
 
 				PUPKIN
		Come on, Rita.
 
				RITA
		Come on, yourself.
 
	She puts the record on.  Frank Sinatra starts singing "They
	Can't Take That Away From Me."  She takes a big sip of her
	drink, puts it down and comes over to PUPKIN.
 
				RITA
		How about a little spin, handsome?
 
				PUPKIN 
			(pulling back)
		Here?
 
	RITA snuggles into PUPKIN and starts dancing him around. 
	He resists feebly.
 
				RITA
		Come on, Rupert.  I came up here for
		a good time.
 
	PUPKIN gives in and starts dancing with her in the style of 
	the 1950's, elbow out, arm up, box step.  After a few
	moments, PUPKIN closes his eyes.  He has reached a moment
	of perfect bliss, his dream girl in is arms.  They dance 
	silently as we hear Sinatra singing.
 
				SINATRA'S VOICE 
		The way you wore your hat,
		The way we danced till three,
		The memory of all that --
		Oh no, they can't take that away from me, 
		No ... they can't take that away ...
		from ... me.
 
	The orchestra plays.
 
				RITA
		You never could dance, could you?
 
				PUPKIN 
		How would you know?
 
				RITA
		Oh I danced with you a couple of 
		times -- at the Sigma U party.
 
				PUPKIN 
		You were there with Tommy Winston.
 
				RITA
		You didn't ask me.
 
				PUPKIN
		That's the one time I did ask you 
		and you went with him anyway.
 
				RITA
		Well, I couldn't go with you!
 
				PUPKIN
		Why not?
 
				RITA
		Be serious, Rupert.

						CUT TO:

73	INT:  THE DINING ROOM - DAY
 
	JONNO stands a few feet from the kitchen door, staring at 
	RITA and PUPKIN dancing in the living room, an unbelieving, 
	anxious expression on his face.
 
						CUT TO:
 
74	INT:  THE LIVING ROOM - DAY
 
	The music has stopped momentarily and PUPKIN and RITA 
	disengage.  PUPKIN looks lovingly at RITA.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Well, it's all ended happily and
		that's what counts.
 
	RITA grows jumpy under his gaze.  She looks around.
 
				RITA 
		I wonder what the rest of this 
		place looks like?
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'm sure it's all very nice.
 
				RITA 
			(gaily) 
		Well, there's only one way to find out.
 
	RITA scampers over to the stairs and pauses on the first 
	step.
 
				RITA 
		You coming or not?
 
	RITA bounds up the stairs.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Rita!

	CAMERA FOLLOWS PUPKIN up the stairs.

 						CUT TO:

75 	INT:  UPSTAIRS - DAY 

	There is no sign of RITA.
 
				PUPKIN
		Where are you?
 
	There is no answer.  CAMERA FOLLOWS PUPKIN from room to
	room.  They are all guest rooms, neat, pretty, clean.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Come on, Rita.  This isn't funny.
 
	Finally, PUPKIN opens the door to another room.
 
 						CUT TO:

76 	INT:  A BEDROOM - DAY

	It is clearly LANGFORD's bedroom with a few clothes strewn
	about, and other signs of being lived in.  RITA lies on the
	bed.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(shocked) 
		What are you doing, Rita?
 
				RITA
		I love it!  All those millions of 
		women out there dying to change 
		places with me right now.
 
				PUPKIN
		Come on.  We shouldn't be here.
 
				RITA
		Relax, will you.  Let me have a 
		little fun, for Christ's sake.
 
	RITA gets off the bed and runs into the john.
 
 						CUT TO:

77 	INT:  A LAVISH BATHROOM - DAY

				RITA
		Look at this.  It's nicer than my
		whole apartment.
 
	PUPKIN enters the large, beautifully done bathroom.  RITA 
	examines her face in the mirror.
 
				PUPKIN
			(urgently)
		Let's go, Rita.
 
				RITA
		Boy, I really need some sun.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Rita, this is Jerry's ...
 
				RITA
		Lay off, will you, Rupert.
 
				PUPKIN 
		But we have no right ...
 
	RITA picks up a can of shave cream and squirts a large 
	dollop in PUPKIN's face.  WE COME IN for a CLOSE UP of 
	PUPKIN's face, buried under shaving cream.
 
				PUPKIN 
		That wasn't funny, Rita.
 
	RITA hands him a towel.
 
				RITA 
		Here. 

	She looks around.
 
				RITA
		Now for something that smells nice.
 
	She swings open the cabinet with a flourish.  The door
	swings open violently and the mirror shatters against
	something as pills and bottles tumble into the sink. 
	PUPKIN and RITA stand there, staring at each other.  RITA
	begins to laugh, but her laugh is cut short by the slam of
	the downstairs door.

						CUT TO:

78	INT:  THE FOYER
 
 	LANGFORD has entered, drawn and businesslike.  JONNO and
	the COOK have moved out to greet him.
 
				LANGFORD 
			(looking around) 
		Where are they?
 
				JONNO
		I was going to call the police but 
		then I thought to myself 'what if 
		they are Mr. Langford's friends?'
 
	We hear some whispers and scuffling at the top of the 
	stairs.  LANGFORD, JONNO and the COOK look up.  PUPKIN 
	comes bounding down the stairs jauntily with RITA following 
	cautiously behind.  PUPKIN has large traces of shaving 
	cream behind his ears and on his neck.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Hi, Jerry.  We were just freshening up.
 
	PUPKIN stops at the base of the stairs, turns around, and
	waves RITA down.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to RITA) 
		Come on, Rita.  No need to be shy.
 
	PUPKIN smiles conspiratorially at LANGFORD.  RITA comes
	slowly down.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Jerry, I'd like you to meet Rita 
		Keane.  Rita, say hello to Jerry!
 
				RITA
			(tentatively) 
		Pleased to meet you.
 
	LANGFORD nods imperceptibly, his face tense, his eyes 
	alert.  RITA, reading her frigid reception, looks to 
	PUPKIN who walks blithely past LANGFORD into the living 
	room, toward the bar.
 
				PUPKIN
		What's your pleasure?
 
	PUPKIN glances at the small mess he has left on the bar and 
	turns back to LANGFORD who has moved into the living room 
	with JONNO and the COOK a few steps behind.  PUPKIN flashes 
	LANGFORD an apologetic smile.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to LANGFORD)
		We've already taken the liberty, so
		to speak.  Rita was a little nervous.
		It isn't every day she meets someone 
		like you.
 
				LANGFORD 
		What's going on here?
 
				PUPKIN
		We've been sitting around, waiting. 
		That's all.  How was your golf game?
 
				JONNO 
		I told them you weren't here.
 
				COOK
		That's right.
 
				PUPKIN 
		He did, Jerry.  He was very helpful. 
		We had to take an early train.  There 
		was nothing else until after one.
		(pause)  I brought the material.  
		It's upstairs, in my bags.  (pause) 
		Where is everybody?
 
				LANGFORD 
		Who?
 
				PUPKIN 
		The other guests!  (in a confidential 
		tone)  We're getting a little hungry,
		to tell you the truth.
 
				LANGFORD
 			(as though confirming 
			what PUPKIN said)
		You are.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(backing off)
		But we don't mind waiting, do we,
		Rita?
 
	RITA says nothing.  She has sensed something terribly 
	wrong and is slowly backing away from PUPKIN.
 
				LANGFORD
		You know, I could have you arrested, 
		both of you.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(seizing the idea)
		You know you could!  And there'd be 
		absolutely no way we could prove we 
		belonged here.  I never thought of that.
 
				LANGFORD
		Well, you should have before you ...
 
				PUPKIN 
			(still fixed on the idea) 
		Maybe we could work up a routine 
		about that, about a guy who throws
		all his friends in jail.  Let's talk
		about that.
 
				LANGFORD
			(sharply)
		Let's not. 
 
				PUPKIN 
		Sure, Jerry.  Whatever you ...
 
				LANGFORD 
			(exasperated) 
		Look, if you've got something for
		me to sign, let's have it and get 
		it over with so I can get back ...
 
				PUPKIN 
			(interrupting)
		That wouldn't be right, Jerry. 
		Not in your own house!
 
				LANGFORD
			(summoning his last 
			bit of patience)
		I have a lot of work to get to.
		(to JONNO)  How did they get here?
 
				PUPKIN 
		We took a taxi, Jerry ... But don't 
		worry about us.  You go ahead and 
		do your work and we'll just take a 
		stroll around until lunch is ready.
 
				LANGFORD 
		You're a little thick, aren't you?
 
				PUPKIN 
			(smiling as though complimented)
		Well, maybe a ...
 
				RITA
		What's he's saying, Rupert, is that he 
		wants us out.
 
				PUPKIN
		Don't listen to her, Jerry.  She 
		doesn't understand anything about us.
 
				RITA
		Don't get me into this.
 
				LANGFORD
			(to JONNO) 
		Call the station.
 
	JONNO goes back into the foyer, followed by the COOK.
 
				LANGFORD 
		There'll be a cab here in a few 
		minutes.  Now if you'll just wait
		at the gate ...
 
				PUPKIN 
		Look, Jerry, if I've said anything
		out of line, let's chalk it up to 
		inexperience, okay?  I'll just go
		upstairs and get my tape and we can 
		start working.  It shouldn't take 
		long and then you'll have the rest of 
		the afternoon to yourself.
 
				LANGFORD 
		I've told you just as clearly as I 
		can.  I want you out of here and I 
		want you out now.  Scram, beat it,
		vamoose, out!  Is that plain enough!
 
	RITA deftly pockets the enamel box.
 
				PUPKIN 
		But what about my material?  When 
		are we going to go over it?
 
				RITA
		Come on, Rupert, the man wants us 
		to go.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Tell her she's wrong, Jerry!
 
				RITA
		Look, Mr. Langford.  I didn't know
		anything about all this.  I hardly 
		know this guy.  I haven't seen him
		in years.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Rita!

				RITA
 		So if there's anything I can do, any 
		way I can make this up to you.
 
				PUPKIN 
		She's nothing, Jerry.  She's just 
		some girl who works in a bar. 
		Don't let her spoil things.
 
	LANGFORD starts herding RITA and PUPKIN towards the door.
 
				LANGFORD 
		Come on.  Let's go.
 
				PUPKIN 
		All I'm asking is fifteen minutes. 
		That's all.  Just long enough to 
		listen to my act.  Is that asking 
		too much -- fifteen minutes of your 
		day against my whole life?
 
				LANGFORD 
		I'll call the police if I have to.

	LANGFORD realizes he is being hard.  He stops for a moment. 
 
				LANGFORD
		I have my own life, that's all.
 
				PUPKIN 
		But what about me, Jerry?  What about
		my life?  I made plans -- based on 
 		what you said.  You can't just turn
		your back on me.

				LANGFORD 
		I'm not telling you again.
 
	There is a long pause as the truth finally sinks in.  PUPKIN 
	just stares at LANGFORD with disbelief that turns to anger.
 
				PUPKIN 
		So this is the way it works when
		you're big, huh?  You just play with
		people.  Is that part of the kick,
		Jerry?  (pause)  I can see I was all 
		wrong about you.  All wrong.
 
	RITA starts tugging at PUPKIN.
 
				RITA
		Come on, Rupert.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to RITA) 
		Shut up!  (to LANGFORD)  You weren't
		my friend at all, were you?  You were
		just playing some kind of game with me.
		Well, that's not going to stop me, 
		Jerry.  I'm just going to work a 
		little bit harder, that's all, use a
		little bit more enterprise.  And not
		count on anybody.  That's where I
		made my mistake.  I can see that now.
 
	PUPKIN picks up the pair of small suitcases.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(glaring at LANGFORD)
		Come on, Rita.  We're wasting our time. 

						CUT TO:
 
79	EXT.  LANGFORD'S FRONT DOOR - DAY
 
	PUPKIN strides out with RITA following.  She casts LANGFORD
	an apologetic glance as she goes.  The door slams behind
	them.  They walk down the path silently for a few moments 
	as the CAMERA PULLS UP, following them in an OVERHEAD SHOT.
	We hear them start talking as they make their way towards 
	the gate.
 
				RITA
			(baffled and angry) 
		What did you think was going to 
		happen?  You think he'd just ... ? 
		What's the matter with you?  (pause)
		You can't just walk into a guy's
		house!  And what about me?  What 
		did you ...
 
				PUPKIN
			(interrupting in a calm 
			but firm voice)
		Shut up, Rita.  I'm thinking.

						CUT TO:

80	EXT:  OUTSIDE THE U.N. PLAZA - DAY
 
						CUT TO:

81	INT:  A NEW MERCEDES BENZ - DAY 

	MARSHA sits at the wheel of this lavishly appointed sedan,
	her face made up as though she were going to a fancy party.
 	PUPKIN sits on the other side of the front seat.  His ex-
	pression has changed somewhat from the PUPKIN we have seen. 
	He is less wide-eyed, less innocent, tougher. 
 
				MARSHA 
			(whining) 
		How much longer?!?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Do you want him or not?
 
	There is a pause.
 
				MARSHA 
		You sure he's in there?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Certain.
 
				MARSHA 
			(with obvious delight) 
		My parents are going to be furious!
 
	PUPKIN pulls a toy revolver from his jacket pocket and looks 
	it over.  MARSHA glances at it.
 
				MARSHA
		It looks real.
 
				PUPKIN 
		That's the whole point. (gesturing
		with his head towards the entrance
		of the building which is some 50 yards
		away)  Pay attention.
 
	MARSHA looks towards the entrance.  A few beats pass.
 
				MARSHA 
		What if he doesn't come down?
 
				PUPKIN
		He will.
 
				MARSHA 
		But what if he doesn't?
 
				PUPKIN 
		We'll come back tomorrow.
 
				MARSHA 
		And wait again?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Look, you're going to have him all 
		to yourself.  What else do you want?
 
	A MAN resembling LANGFORD walks out the entrance.
 
				PUPKIN
		Is that him?!?
 
				MARSHA 
		No.

				PUPKIN
		You sure? 
 
				MARSHA
		Sure I'm sure. That looks too much
		like him.
 
				PUPKIN 
		What do you mean?
 
				MARSHA
		When it's him it doesn't look like him.
 
				PUPKIN
		Keep watching.
 
	PUPKIN closes his eyes and rests for a moment.
 
				MARSHA
		That's him.
 
	PUPKIN's eyes snap open.  WE SEE LANGFORD, concealed in his 
	trench coat, dark glasses and tightly pulled cap start walking 
	east.
 
				MARSHA 
		What should I do?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Wait a second and follow him.
 
						CUT TO:
 
82	EXT:  A STREET GOING EAST - DAY
 
	LANGFORD is walking innocently towards his offices.  The 
	Mercedes prowls a quarter of a block behind.
 
						CUT TO:

83	INT:  THE MERCEDES - DAY
 
				MARSHA
		What about here?
 
				PUPKIN
		Too busy.  Keep going.
 
						CUT TO:
 
84	EXT:  ANOTHER EASTBOUND STREET - DAY
 
	LANGFORD continues walking.  The street is practically 
	empty.
 
						CUT TO:

85 	INT:  MERCEDES - DAY
 
				PUPKIN 
		Go past him and stop.
 
						CUT TO:
 
86	EXT:  THE SAME EASTBOUND STREET - DAY
 
	WE STAY with LANGFORD as he walks.   WE SEE the Mercedes 
	pull past him.  Suddenly PUPKIN is IN THE FRAME, walking
	side by side with LANGFORD.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Just keep walking or I'll kill 
		you right here.
 
	LANGFORD looks at PUPKIN in terror.  He falters a bit, out
	of fear.
 
				PUPKIN
		I said keep walking.  This is a gun  
		in my pocket and I've got nothing 
		to lose.
 
				LANGFORD 
			(who keeps walking) 
		What do you want?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Just keep walking and don't talk 
		to anybody.  I'll tell you what
		to do.
 
	A MAN coming the other way stops and stares at LANGFORD 
	out of curiosity.  PUPKIN and LANGFORD keep walking.  They 
	get to where the Mercedes is waiting.  PUPKIN jabs LANGFORD
	in the ribs with the gun.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Get in!
 
				LANGFORD 
		Look, this is ...
 
				PUPKIN 
			(interrupting) 
		Just shut up and get in.
 
	LANGFORD gets in the front seat.  PUPKIN follows. 
 
						CUT TO:
 
87	INT:  THE MERCEDES - DAY 

	LANGFORD moves to the middle of the front seat.
 
				MARSHA
 		Hi, Jerry.

	LANGFORD looks over and recognizes MARSHA.  A CLOSE UP
	records his reaction of sheer terror.
 
						CUT TO:

88	EXT:  A BROWNSTONE-LINED STREET IN THE EAST EIGHTIES - DAY
 
	WE SEE LANGFORD get out of the Mercedes which is parked in
	front of a fire hydrant.  LANGFORD follows MARSHA into a 
	brownstone.  PUPKIN walks behind LANGFORD.
 
						CUT TO:

89	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY
 
	PUPKIN, LANGFORD and MARSHA enter.  It is an absolutely 
	stunning studio apartment, furnished lavishly by Marsha's 
	parents for their daughter in antique furniture suitable
	for a woman of fifty.  MARSHA has imprinted her own stamp
	on the apartment in two ways:  First, the place is abso-
	lutely chaotic.  Secondly, there are a number of blow-up 
	pictures on the wall.  A picture of LANGFORD sits on the 
	bureau.  There is a big brass bed with an ornate brass 
	frame at the foot.  LANGFORD stares at MARSHA and PUPKIN.
	PUPKIN closes the blinds and turns on the lights.  MARSHA 
	trains the gun on LANGFORD.  PUPKIN finishes his work and 
	takes the gun back.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I didn't like being so rough out
		there, Jerry.  But I wanted you to 
		know that I meant business.  I didn't 
		want anything happening to you over 
		some misunderstanding.
 
	LANGFORD just stares at him, frozen with fear.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Now I know you're wondering what 
		this is all about.  Actually you've
		got nothing to worry about.  You
		just do what I tell you and by, say, 
		midnight, you'll be safe and out of 
		here.  Of course if you try anything 
		clever, I'll kill you -- or Marsha 
		will.  She knows how to use this too.
 
				LANGFORD 
		You realize what you're saying.
 
				PUPKIN
		Come on, Jerry.  This isn't a spur 
		of the moment thing.  Give me a little
		credit, will you.
 
	PUPKIN looks over to a small phone table with a chair next
	to it.  He motions to it with his head.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to LANGFORD)
		Sit down.

	LANGFORD docilely sits by the phone.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Now, you're going to call your 
		office and tell them this:  that 
		unless a man who identifies himself as 
		the King is allowed on the show 
		tonight as the first guest, they'll
		never see you alive again.
 
				LANGFORD
		What?
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'll say it again ... 

						CUT TO:

90	INT:  BERT THOMAS' OFFICE  - DAY
 
	It is a large office in two pieces.  A SECRETARY sits in
	the smaller part next to the door of the larger section.
	Her phone is ringing.  She answers.
 
				THOMAS' SECRETARY
		Bert Thomas! ... He's in a meeting,
		Mr. Langford  ... I see.
 
						CUT TO:

91	INT:  A CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY
 
	THOMAS, a young, trim executive in his late thirties, in 
	modish dress, sits at the table with several other PEOPLE, 
	including CATHY LONG.  They are sipping coffee from con-
	tainers.  There are memos and lists and other papers on
	the table.  The SECRETARY stands at the doorway.  THOMAS
	and the others are looking up at her.
 
				SECRETARY 
		He says it's urgent.
 
				THOMAS 
			(smiling) 
		Yeah?  Well, tell him I'll call him 
		back.  (to the others)  It's that 
		Martino kid, the impressionist.
 
						CUT TO:
 
92	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT -- DAY
 
	LANGFORD sits by the phone with PUPKIN a few steps away, 
	holding the gun and MARSHA looking on.  LANGFORD looks 
	desperate.
 
				PUPKIN
		Then try again!
 
						CUT TO:
 
93	INT:  BERT THOMAS' OFFICE - DAY 

	An irked BERT THOMAS wearily picks up the phone.
 
				THOMAS
		Yeah? ... Okay, Martino, let's 
		stop the bullshit ... what? ...
		Okay, I'm listening.
 
	WE WATCH THOMAS' expression as it turns from skepticism 
	to concern bordering on alarm.
 
				THOMAS 
		Give me that again? ... Wait a 
		minute.  What do we call our second
		cameraman?
 
						CUT TO:
 
94	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY

	The scene is as before, only now LANGFORD is sweating a bit.
 
				LANGFORD
			(into the phone)
		Helen Keller.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(warning)
		No tricks, Jerry.

						CUT TO:

95	INT:  BERT THOMAS' OFFICE - DAY 

	THOMAS is still at the phone.
 
				THOMAS 
		Don't do anything, Jerry.  Stay right
		there.  Tell him we'll do anything he
 		wants.  Tell him to cool it.  Are you
		okay? ... Look, tell him to call us 
		about five, okay.  We'll let him know 
		what to do.  And don't do anything 
		stupid.
 
	THOMAS puts down the phone.
 
				THOMAS 
			(calls to his SECRETARY)
		Vivien!
 
	THOMAS' SECRETARY appears at the doorway.
 
				THOMAS 
		Get me the number of the F.B.I. right 
		away.  And get me Crockett's office. 
		And keep your mouth shut about this.
 
						CUT TO:

96	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY
 
	LANGFORD is standing awkwardly in the middle of the room,
	wearing a sweater that matches the patch of cloth we saw 
	in the envelope MARSHA gave PUPKIN.  PUPKIN is still
	training his pistol on LANGFORD and MARSHA is appraising 
	the fit.

				MARSHA 
			(to PUPKIN) 
		What do you think?
 
				PUPKIN
		Looks fine.
 
				MARSHA 
			(to LANGFORD)
		I had to guess on the sleeves.
		(to PUPKIN)  He gets to keep it, 
		doesn't he?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Sure, if he isn't dead.

						CUT TO:

97	INT:  THOMAS' OFFICE - DAY 

	THOMAS is on the phone.
 
				THOMAS 
			(panicky) 
		I know he's in a meeting and I don't 
		care.  I've got to talk to him!  ...
		No, he can not call me back.  Don't 
		you understand?  This is an emergency
 		... NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!
 
						CUT TO:

98	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY
 
	LANGFORD is seated on a chair whose back is pressed right
	up against the high, ornate brass bedstead at the foot of
	the bed.  MARSHA trains the gun on LANGFORD now.  PUPKIN 
	is unpacking a suitcase.  He takes out a handsome blue suit, 
	ruffled shirt, a bow tie, black shoes, underwear, socks, 
	shaving equipment, soap, a hairbrush, a clothesbrush, a 
	small shoe shine kit, aftershave lotion, deodorant and a 
	dozen or so rolls of inch-and-a-half wide adhesive tape.
	He removes this stuff from a suitcase that is barely big 
	enough to hold it -- so the mere packing of all this para-
	phernalia into such a small space represents something of an
	achievement.  As he takes the stuff out, he talks to 
	LANGFORD, his back turned to him.
 
				PUPKIN
		This wasn't an easy decision for 
		me, Jerry, believe me.  For one 
		thing, I knew it meant we could never 
		be friends again and that hurt me. 
		It's hard to lose a friend, even one
		who has let you down.  You always 
		hope you can patch things up.  You
		know, a guy like me doesn't make 
		friends that easily.
 
	PUPKIN pauses a moment, then turns to LANGFORD, his voice 
	filled with emotion.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Why didn't you just listen to the 
		tape when I asked you?  Then I 
		wouldn't have to be doing all this. 
		Was it really too much to expect --
		a few minutes of your time to listen 
		to something I'd worked on my whole
		life?
 
	LANGFORD's eyes shift rapidly.  He is obviously calculating
	how to deal with PUPKIN.
 
				LANGFORD 
			(with disarming charm) 
		Hey, if that's what's bothering you, 
		let's go over to my office and listen 
		to that tape right now.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Are you crazy, Jerry?  Do you know 
		what would happen to me?
 
	MARSHA listens to this exchange a bit nervously.  Gesturing
	to her gun, she says:
 
				MARSHA 
		Am I going to have to hold this 
		thing all day?
 
	PUPKIN sees she has lowered it practically to her side.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to MARSHA) 
		Just keep it on him.  (to LANGFORD) 
		You know, Jerry.  Friendship is a two-
		way street.  All that time I was
		worrying about you and your ratings 
		and everything, you couldn't have 
		cared less about me.
 
	LANGFORD thinks rapidly for a beat or two.
 
				LANGFORD
		You're right.  You know that?  I 
		was thoughtless.  It's just that
		when you're doing a big show, it's 
		hard to tell who your friends really 
		are.  I was wrong.  I apologize. 
		Why don't we just shake hands and 
		forget the whole thing?
 
				PUPKIN 
			(suspiciously) 
		That's easy to say, Jerry.
 
				LANGFORD 
		But I mean it.  I'll tell them that
		the whole thing was a joke and then 
		we can go to my office and listen to
		that tape.  Come on.  What do you say?
 
	LANGFORD rises with his hand extended toward PUPKIN.
 
				MARSHA 
			(to LANGFORD, sharply)
		Sit down!
 
	LANGFORD looks to PUPKIN.
 
				MARSHA 
		I said sit!
 
	LANGFORD reluctantly sits down.
 
				PUPKIN
			(to MARSHA) 
		What's the matter?  You heard 
		what he said.
 
				MARSHA 
		All of a sudden, with a gun on him, 
		he wants to make up and be friends. 
		And, once he's out the door, what 
		happens then?
 
				PUPKIN 
		What happens then, Jerry?
 
				MARSHA 
		You get to his office and they 
		jump you, that's what happens, Rupert.

				PUPKIN
		She's right, Jerry.
 
				LANGFORD
		Not if I tell them not to.  This is
		Jerry, Rupert, I give you my word.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to MARSHA) 
		He gives me his word.
 
				MARSHA
		Yeah?  And what else?  Come on,
		Rupert, I'm sick of waiting.
 
				PUPKIN 
		And what else, Jerry?
 
				LANGFORD
		Come on, Rupert.  My word's good
		enough, isn't it.
 
	PUPKIN stares at LANGFORD for a few beats.  Then he shakes
	his head sadly and says in a very quiet, discouraged voice.
 
				PUPKIN 
		No, Jerry.  It's not.  (to MARSHA) 
		Keep the gun up!
 
	PUPKIN comes over to LANGFORD with a few rolls of adhesive
	tape in his hand.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'm sorry to do it this way, Jerry,
		but I'm no good at knots.  Just put 
		your arms up and out, okay?
 
	LANGFORD spreads his arms back against the brass bedstead.  
	As PUPKIN goes to tape them, LANGFORD tries to grab him,
	but, with sudden, demonic force, PUPKIN pins him against
	the bedstead.  They are practically nose to nose.
 
				PUPKIN
		Oh, no, Jerry.  None of that.  Now 
		hold still.
 
						CUT TO:
 
99	INT:  A LARGE EXECUTIVE OFFICE - DAY
 
	We are in the office of WILSON CROCKETT, president of the
	National Broadcasting Network.  CROCKETT sits behind his
	desk, facing a group which includes several other NETWORK 
	EXECUTIVES, BERT THOMAS, CATHY LONG, F.B.I. INSPECTOR 
	PATTEN, and his assistant, GIARDELLO.  They are in the
	midst of debate.
 
				PATTEN 
		Look, I tell you, the bureau is doing 
		everything possible to locate Mr.
		Langford.  Right now our men are out
		checking out every radical group in 
		this city.
 
				AN EXECUTIVE
		Radical?
 
				PATTEN 
		They're willing to sacrifice their 
		leader in order to get their message 
		across, aren't they?  You've got to 
		figure that this is a desperate outfit.
		I don't know who they are anymore than 
		you do.  But I do know I've got to 
		stop them.  Otherwise, what you're 
		seeing here is just the first of a 
		whole wave of these kinds of kidnappings.
 
				THOMAS 
			(upset) 
		Does this mean we're not supposed to 
		put him on?!?
 
				PATTEN 
		Who am I addressing, please?
 
				CROCKETT
		That's Bert Thomas.  He produces the
		show.
 
				PATTEN 
		I'm only saying, Mr. Thomas, that we 
		can't allow this to reach the public. 
		When the kidnappers call in, of course 
		you're going to be cooperative. 
		Promise them anything they want. 
		After all, this King character is 
		going to have to show up sooner or 
		later.  And once we get our hands 
		on him, he'll tell us where Mr. Langford 
		is.
 
	PATTEN grinds his fist into his palm.

 						CUT TO:

100	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY 

	WE SEE PUPKIN in the shower, shampooing.

  						CUT TO:

101	INT:  THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE

	The scene is as before.
 
				PATTEN 
		Sure.	 Let him go on if you have
		to.  It's just a taping.  You can
		always erase him afterwards, can't 
		you?  (pause)  All I'm saying is this:
		don't put him on the air.
 
				THOMAS 
		That's fine, Inspector, but let's say 
		he finishes his bit and you've worked 
		him over ...
 
				PATTEN 
		Questioned him, Mr. Thomas.
 
	There is light laughter.
 
				THOMAS 
		Okay, questioned him and he still 
		won't talk.  We get to eleven thirty 
		and what do we do?  Do we air him or 
		what?
 
 	There is a heavy pause.
 
				PATTEN
		I would say no.
 
				THOMAS 
		But they might kill Jerry!
 
				CROCKETT
			(breaking in) 
		Okay, Burt.  (to PATTEN)  Thank you, 
		Inspector.  We appreciate your position 
		and we'll do all we can to cooperate 
		with you.   But I have to tell you 
		right now that, if it comes down to 
		it, we're not taking any chances with
		Mr. Langford's life.
 
				PATTEN
		I understand but ...
 
				CROCKETT 
			(interrupting) 
		If your men haven't been able to 
		locate Mr. Langford by air time, 
		we're going to have to put this King 
		guy on, no matter what he's said. 
		After all, Inspector, what's ten or 
		fifteen minutes of talk show time 
		against a man's life?
 
						CUT TO:
 
102	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY
 
	WE SEE PUPKIN in his new suit and ruffled shirt, impeccably 
	groomed, standing next to the bed.  He is talking to 
	LANGFORD but we don't see anyone but PUPKIN.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Open. (pause)  Bite ... Good.
 
 	He is wrapping LANGFORD's mouth shut but all we see is that 
	he is doing something.
 
 				PUPKIN
		Can you breathe?  Both ways?  In
		and out?
 
	WE PULL BACK TO SEE LANGFORD nodding.  He is strapped to 
	the bed with tape and encased like a mummy, only his eyes 
	and nose showing.  PUPKIN has wrapped him in tape from tip
	to toe.  MARSHA emerges from the kitchen stirring something.
 
				PUPKIN
			(to MARSHA) 
		You've got until around midnight. 
		Have a good time.  (to LANGFORD)
		So long, Jerry!  Wish me luck.
 
	PUPKIN leaves.

 						CUT TO:

103 	INT:  BERT THOMAS' OFFICE - DAY

	The phone rings.  BERT THOMAS' SECRETARY answers.
 
				THOMAS' SECRETARY
		Bert Thomas!  Who's calling please?
		(her voice grows tense)  Yes, Mr. King. 
 
						CUT TO:
 
104	INT:  BERT THOMAS' DESK - DAY
 
	THOMAS sits by his phone.  There is a large machine,
	looking like a large tape recorder, attached to the phone	
 	and monitoring the call.  GIARDELLO is at a second phone
	and starts placing a call.  PATTEN stands next to THOMAS.
	There are two other PLAINCLOTHESMEN in the room, CROCKETT
	and CATHY LONG.

				PATTEN 
			(quietly to THOMAS) 
		Keep him talking.
 
	THOMAS nods and picks up the phone.
 
				THOMAS 
		Yes? ... Yes, Mr, King.  We understand. 
		Everything's been arranged.  Now if 
		you'll just tell me a little about the 
		nature of your material, so that 
		we can ...

 						CUT TO:
 
105	EXT:  UPPER EAST SIDE MANHATTAN STREET - DAY
 
	PUPKIN stands in a public phonebooth on a streetcorner.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(into the phone)
		I'll tell you everything you need to 
		know at the studio this evening,
		Mr. Thomas.  I appreciate your co- 
		operation.  Goodbye.  

	PUPKIN steps out of the booth and starts walking downtown.
 
 						CUT TO:

106	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY
 
	Late afternoon.  MARSHA is setting the dining room table
	for two.  She talks as she works.
 
				MARSHA 
		I've got so much to tell you I just
		don't know what to begin with.  Are
		you okay?
 
	LANGFORD mumbles incoherently through his gag and tape.
 
				MARSHA 
		Good.  Tell me if you're not. 
		I guess you're wondering why I do 
		stuff like this.  I think it's 
		because I'm a Leo, but my shrink says
		I'm pathologically rebellious and 
		self-destructive.  You don't think 
		I'm self-destructive, do you?
 
	LANGFORD, mummified, again mumbles and struggles a bit in 
	his bonds.
 
				MARSHA 
		I knew you wouldn't.  That's 'cause 
		you're the only person in the world 
		who really understands me.
 
 						CUT TO:

107 	INT:  CROCKETT'S OFFICE - DAY
 
	CROCKETT sits behind his desk.   With him are BERT THOMAS, 
	CATHY LONG and three other EXECUTIVES.
 
				CROCKETT 
		Can Randall* sub for Jerry?
 
	[*Tony Randall is one of any number of substitute hosts.]
 
				THOMAS 
		His agent's calling us back but it looks 
		good.  I only told him Jerry's sick.
 
				CROCKETT
		Well, if worse comes to worse, Canter
		can always carry it.  (to CATHY LONG)
		Let me see your list.
 
	CATHY LONG hands CROCKETT a blue piece of paper.  He 
	glances over it quickly.
 
				CROCKETT
		Any one of these a writer?
 
				THOMAS 
			(pointing to a name on 
			the list)
		McCabe.  The Vanishing Siberian Tiger.
 
				CROCKETT
		He's out.
 
				CATHY LONG
		What if we don't run this King guy?
		Who'll fill the time?

				CROCKETT
		We'll stretch the other guests.  But
		I think we're going to wind up running 
		him.  For one thing, we've got to think
		about Jerry.
 
				FIRST EXECUTIVE
		And from a news point of view, we've 
		got a responsibility to air this story.
 
				CROCKETT 
		Exactly, Lou.  (pause)  I mean, who 
		would you rather watch -- some tiger 
		expert or a live kidnapper.
 
				A SECOND EXECUTIVE 
		But nobody's going to know he's a 
		kidnapper.  They'll think we've gone 
		crazy.
 
				CROCKETT 
		Then they'll read about it in the papers 
		tomorrow and, believe me, tomorrow night, 
		everyone in America will be watching
		Jerry talk about his experience.  And
		he can put this King guy on rerun.
 
				THOMAS 
		You're going to put him on twice?

				A THIRD EXECUTIVE 
		What if his stuff's unusable?
 
				SECOND EXECUTIVE 
		And remember what Patten said about ...
 
				CROCKETT 
		Hold on.  (pause)  We can always edit 
		the guy.  And, as for a wave of these 
		things, I just don't buy the idea 
		that there are that many people out 
		there crazy enough to spend their 
		lives in prison for a few minutes 
		on television.
 
 						CUT TO:

108	EXT:  MADISON AVENUE IN THE SIXTIES - DAY

	PUPKIN walks purposefully down the street.
 
						CUT TO: 

109	EXT:  OUTSIDE THE JERRY LANGFORD SHOW THEATER - DAY
 
	The street is quiet.  Suddenly three cars pull up and some
	dozen PLAINCLOTHESMEN get out.  Two wait outside the 
	theater; the ten others disappear inside through the
	backstage entrance.
 
						CUT TO:
 
110	EXT:  MIDTOWN MANHATTAN STREET - DAY 

	PUPKIN is now walking cross-town, towards the theater.
 
						CUT TO:

111	EXT:  LANGFORD THEATER -- DAY
 
	A line of some 100 PEOPLE has gathered outside the theater. 
	A sign at the bottom of the poster showing Langford reads 
	"Tonight's Guest Host: Tony Randall."

 						CUT TO:

112	INT:  THE TELEVISION STUDIO
 
	From the POV of the stage, WE WATCH six PLAINCLOTHESMEN 
	descend into the orchestra and take widely scattered aisle 
	seats.  When the last has taken his seat we ...
 
						CUT TO:

113	EXT:  THE LANGFORD THEATER - DAY 
 
	Depending on the season, it is either dusk or late 
	afternoon.  The USHERS swing the doors open and the 
	TICKETHOLDERS file in.

 						CUT TO:

114  	EXT:  A MIDTOWN MANHATTAN STREET - DUSK
 
	PUPKIN is crossing Broadway, a few blocks from the theater.
 
 						CUT TO:

115	INT:  STUDIO
 
	At the center of the stage, a pretty MODEL used solely to 
	test color quality sits in Langford's chair as several 
	MEMBERS of the Tactical Patrol Force admire her 
	considerable cleavage.  A number of TECHNICIANS go about 
	their work.  CAMERAMEN move to and from their stations.
 
						CUT TO:
 
116	INT:  CORRIDOR LEADING FROM THE BACKSTAGE DOOR TO THE STAGE
 
	Four PLAINCLOTHESMEN are gathered behind the stage door.  
	They watch ZSA ZSA GABOR (or some other sexy talk show 
	celebrity) enter and then return to talking among
	themselves.
 
                                               CUT TO:
 
117	EXT:  THE TELEVISION THEATER - DAY TO EARLY EVENING
 
	The situation appears normal.  Only the regular backstage 
	door GUARD, a big, grey-haired man, stands at the door.
	Nearby two other young MEN, in colorless suits, stand 
	talking.  We WATCH CLARENCE MCCABE, a writer, his plain 
	WIFE and her PARENTS arrive in front of the theater, locate 
	the backstage entrance and present themselves before the 
	GUARD.
 
				MCCABE 
			(a bit pompously) 
		Good evening, officer.  This is the
		backstage door I take it?
 
				GUARD
		Your name please?
 
				MCCABE 
		Clarence McCabe, the writer.  And 
		this is Mrs. McCabe and her parents, 
		Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Solters of Cleveland.
 
				GUARD 
			(checking his list)
		I'm sorry, sir.  I don't see you here.
 
				MCCABE 
		I'm on the show tonight, officer.
 
				GUARD 
		Well, you're not here.
 
				MCCABE 
			(getting a bit agitated) 
		Look, Cathy Long gave me instructions
		to present myself at a quarter to six.
		May I see her please?
 
				GUARD
		I'm under strictest orders tonight 
		to admit only authorized personnel.
 
				MCCABE 
			(huffy) 
		This is absurd.  (to the others) 
		Wait right here.
 
	MCCABE marches past the GUARD and rushes to the backstage 
	door.  He opens it.  The GUARD trails behind.
 
				GUARD
		Stop him!
 
						CUT TO:
 
118	INT:  THE BACKSTAGE CORRIDOR - EVENING
 
	The four PLAINCLOTHESMEN jump MCCABE and start pulling him 
	downstairs.
 
				MCCABE 
		Hey!
 
						CUT TO:

119	EXT:  OUTSIDE THE THEATER - EVENING
 
	PUPKIN arrives at the backstage door.  Seeing no one, he
	walks in.
 
						CUT TO:

120	INT:  A ROOM IN THE BASEMENT OF THE THEATER - EVENING
 
	MCCABE has just been hustled before PATTEN.
 
				PATTEN 
		Are you the King?
 
	MCCABE looks baffled.
 
						CUT TO:

121	INT:  BACKSTAGE - EVENING
 
	PUPKIN is looking for a familiar face.  He approaches a
	CAMERAMAN.

				PUPKIN 
			(getting CAMERAMAN's attention)
		Excuse me.
 
	The CAMERAMAN looks up.
  
				PUPKIN
		I'm the King.
 
				CAMERAMAN 
		Yeah?
 
 						CUT TO:

122	INT:  THE BASEMENT ROOM - EVENING 

	PATTEN is sitting behind a desk.  MCCABE is standing before  
	him, still securely held by four PLAINCLOTHESMEN.
 
				PATTEN
		Don't talk to me about tigers!
 
						CUT TO:
 
123	INT:  BACKSTAGE - EVENING.

	PUPKIN approaches the STAGE MANAGER.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to STAGE MANAGER)
		I'm the King.
 
				STAGE MANAGER 
			(smiling) 
		What can I do for you, your highness?
 
	CATHY LONG passes by.  She spots PUPKIN, and walks swiftly
	over.  

				CATHY LONG
 			What are you doing here, Mr. Pupkin?!?!
 
						CUT TO:

124	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
 
	The lights are dimmed.  Music is playing on the phonograph. 
	Two candles burn on the elegantly-set dinner table.  MARSHA 
	stands in the middle of the room, in front of LANGFORD. 
	She is singing.  LANGFORD is still encased in tape.
 
				MARSHA 
			(singing to the music) 
		"I'm gonna love you, 
		Like no one's ever loved you, 
		Come rain or come shine, 
		Happy together, unhappy together, 
		And won't it be fine."
 
						CUT TO:

125	INT:  THE BASEMENT ROOM - NIGHT
 
	Now PUPKIN stands before PATTEN, held by PLAINCLOTHESMEN 
	who frisk him and hand PATTEN the autograph book.  
	GIARDELLO stands next to PATTEN.
 
				PATTEN 
			(to the PLAINCLOTHESMEN) 
		I hope you brought me the right guy
		this time.  (to PUPKIN)  Where's Jerry
		Langford?
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to GIARDELLO) 
		Are you on the show?
 
				PATTEN
		No, Mr. King.  That's my assistant,
		Mr. Giardello.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I want to see someone on the show.
 
				PATTEN 
		Well, you tell us where Mr. Langford 
		is and we'll let you see anyone you 
		want.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Just get me someone from the show.
 
	PATTEN starts browsing through the autograph book.
 
				PATTEN 
		Come on, Mr. King.  Let's not fool
		around.  (looking up from the book) 
		Should we know about any of these 
		people?
 
				PUPKIN 
			(gesturing to the book) 
		That's Orson Bean.
 
				PATTEN 
		I see.  (to GIARDELLO)  Check these
		out.
 
	GIARDELLO starts looking through the autograph book.
 
				PATTEN 
		Now are you going to talk to us, 
		or not?
 
				PUPKIN
		Sure I'll talk.  Just get me someone
		from the show.
 
				PATTEN 
			(to GIARDELLO)
		Get that Thomas guy in here.
 
	GIARDELLO leaves.
 
				PATTEN 
		We haven't much time, Mr. King.
 
	PUPKIN looks towards the door.
 
				PATTEN
		Let's start with your name.
 
				PUPKIN
		Rupert Pupkin.
 
				PATTEN
		That's your real name?
 
				PUPKIN
		Yes sir.
 
				PATTEN
		You an American?
 
				PUPKIN
		Yes.
 
				PATTEN 
		Then why do you people do these things?
 
	THOMAS enters.  He scrutinizes PUPKIN.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Are you on the show?
 
				THOMAS 
		Yes.  I'm Bert Thomas.
 
 	PUPKIN pulls thin piece of neatly typewritten paper from 
	his inside jacket and hands it to THOMAS.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Here's the introduction to my act.
		Please make sure Mr. Randall follows 
		it exactly as I've written it.
 
	PATTEN nods to THOMAS who takes the paper and reads it as 
	he leaves.

				PATTEN 
		Okay.  How about helping us, Mr. King?
 
				PUPKIN 
		What about make-up?  I need make-up.
 
				PATTEN 
			(to PLAINCLOTHESMEN) 
		Put some color in his cheeks.
 
						CUT TO:
 
126	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
 
	MARSHA has finished a half bottle of wine.  She is eating 
	a beautifully decorated piece of stuffed capon and talking
	through her tears.
 
				MARSHA 
			(crying)
		It was the second lead!  I'd never 
		gotten a part in my life and here I 
		get the second lead.  And what does 
		Daddy say?
 
	SHOT of LANGFORD still bound from tip to toe.
 
				MARSHA
		Not "Marsha, that's wonderful" or 
		"we're proud of you" or anything.
		Oh no.  He starts lecturing me on
		how I should have tried out for
		Emily!  Now do you understand, Jerry!
 
	MARSHA gets hold of herself.  She swallows a couple of
	pills and swills them down with some wine.
 
				MARSHA
			(calmer)
		My doctor says I shouldn't get excited.
 
	MARSHA picks at another piece of capon.
 
				MARSHA 
		This is the best I ever made it.
		You want some?
 
 	LANGFORD, the mummy, nods.  MARSHA picks up the plate 
	across from her, fills it with food, and pulls a chair up 
	next to LANGFORD.  She undoes the tape around his mouth 
	and picks a sock out of his mouth.
 
				MARSHA 
		Now open.  Marsha's going to feed her
		Jerry.
 
						CUT TO:

127	INT:  BACKSTAGE - NIGHT
 
	Two young GIRLS are working on big cue cards copying from 
	the piece of paper PUPKIN has given THOMAS.  TONY RANDALL 
	stands next to THOMAS.  The two of them watch.  RANDALL is 
	going over the lines.
 
						CUT TO:

128	INT:  THE BASEMENT ROOM - NIGHT
 
	PUPKIN has obviously been worked over.  He is sweating.
 
				PATTEN 
		How about it, King?
 
				PUPKIN 
		If I'm not on that show, Jerry Langford 
		is dead, I promise you.

	PATTEN nods to his PLAINCLOTHESMEN again who start working 
	PUPKIN over.
 
						CUT TO:
 
129	INT:  THE TELEVISION STUDIO - NIGHT
 
	The beginning of the taping is seconds away.  Everyone is 
	in his place.  The STAGE MANAGER is counting down from five 
	on his fingers.  At zero, he points across to RICK ROSS, 
	the orchestra leader, who strikes up the familiar Langford 
	Show theme song.
 
						CUT TO:

130	INT:  THE CONTROL ROOM - NIGHT
 
	Four TECHNICAL ENGINEERS are seated along a large console 
	containing a multitude of small television screens.  One 
	screen shows the spotlight falling where Randall will 
	enter.  Another shows the logo of the Langford Show. 
	Another shows nothing in particular.  Behind the 
	TECHNICIANS, stand CROCKETT and the EXECUTIVES we have 
	seen in the previous scenes.  A TECHNICIAN is giving 
	instructions to the CAMERAMAN.
 
				TECHNICIAN
		Hold on two.  Hold.  Hold.  Come on, 
		Keller.  Get it framed!

						CUT TO:
 
131	INT:  THE TELEVISION STUDIO - NIGHT
 
	The theme song is playing.  BERT CANTER stands off-camera 
	at one side of the stage before a microphone.
 
				CANTER 
		Now!  Direct from New York!  It's the 
		Jerry Langford Show with guest host 
		Tony Randall and his special guests 
		-- Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz, pundit 
		Gore Vidal, the one and only Zsa Zsa 
		Gabor and another of Jerry's taped 
		exclusives, an interview with Prince
		Ranier of Monaco.  As always, Rick
		Ross and the Orchestra and me, Bert
		Canter.  And now ... say hello to 
		Tony!!!!!!
 
						CUT TO:
 
	An APPLAUSE sign flashes like crazy.  The AUDIENCE cheers 
	wildly.  In the back, we notice a handful of TACTICAL 
	PATROLMEN scattered about.  RANDALL strides on stage 
	briskly, accepting the cheers of the crowd with his arms 
	raised.  He nods and then his eyes fix on those hastily 
	written outsized cue cards.  He reads them with a mixture 
	of professionalism and wry distance, wanting to disown the 
	words without seeming silly.
 
				RANDALL 
		Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
		Thank you.  Thank you very much.  I 
		have some sad news for you.  Earlier 
		today, my writing staff was executed 
		in Central Park by the network firing 
		squad so there'll be no sensational 
		Randall monologue this evening.
 
	The AUDIENCE cheers derisively.
 
				RANDALL 
		No embarrassing displays of emotion, 
		please.  (the AUDIENCE laughs)  Instead, 
		we're going to do something a little 
		bit different this evening -- a lot
		different if you ask me.  We're going
		to give you a glimpse into the future.
		It isn't often that you can call 
		someone a sure thing in the entertainment 
		business.  After all, the verdict is 
		always in your hands.  But I think 
		tonight, after you've met my first 
		guest, you'll agree with me that he's 
		destined for greatness -- in one way 
		or another.  So will you please give 
		your warmest greeting to the newest 
		King of Comedy, Rupert Pupkin!!!!
 
	The music plays.  The APPLAUSE sign flashes.  The AUDIENCE 
	applauds heartily -- and nobody appears to fill the 
	spotlight at the edge of the wings.  The spotlight holds 
	for what seems like an eternity.
 
						CUT TO:

132   INT:  CONTROL ROOM - NIGHT
 
				TECHNICIAN 
		Just hold.  Three.  Pick up the
		audience.
 
						CUT TO:

133	INT:  THE STAGE - NIGHT
 
	Finally after what seems like an eternity, PUPKIN emerges, 
	straightening his jacket a bit and trying to crane the 
	kinks out of his neck.  He is a bit tense but very high 
	and in full command.  As he delivers his monologue, PUPKIN 
	is more confident, comfortable and self-assured than we 
	have ever seen him.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Good evening, ladies and gentleman.
		Let me introduce myself.  My name is 
		Rupert Pupkin.  I was born in Clifton, 
		New Jersey, which was not, at that 
		time, a federal offense.  (laughter) 
		Is there anyone here from Clifton? 
		(silence)  Good.  We can all relax.
		Now, I'd like to begin by saying that 
		my parents were too poor to afford me 
		a childhood but the fact is nobody is
		allowed to be really poor in Clifton.
		Once you fall below eleven thousand 
		you're exiled to Passaic.  My parents 
		did, in fact, put down the first two 
		payments on my childhood.  Then they 
		tried to return me to the hospital 
		as defective.   But, like everyone else
		I grew up in large part thanks to my 
		mother.  If she was only here today
		I'd say, "Hey, mom.  What are you 
		doing here?  You've been dead for 
		nine years?"  (laughter)  You should
		have seen my mother.  She was wonderful
		-- blonde, beautiful, intelligent, 
		alcoholic.  (laughter)  We used to 
		drink milk together after school. 
		Mine was homogenized.  Hers was loaded. 
		(laughter)  Once she was picked up for 
		speeding.  They clocked her doing fifty
		-- in our garage.  (laughter)  When
		they tested her they found that her 
		alcohol was two per cent blood.  They 
		took away her license and she died 
		shortly afterwards.  We used to joke 
		together Mom and me, until the tears 
		would stream down her face and she'd
		throw up.  (laughter)  And who would
		clean it up?  Not Dad.  He was too 
		busy down at O'Grady's throwing up on 
		his own.  In fact, until I was sixteen, 
		I thought throwing up was a sign of
		maturity.  While the other kids were
		off in the woods sneaking cigarettes, I 
		was hiding behind the house with my 
		fingers down my throat.  (laughter)  
		I never got anywhere until one day, 
		my father caught me.  Just as he was 
		giving me a final kick in the stomach,
		for luck, I managed to heave all 
		over his new shoes.  "That's it,"  
		I thought.  "I've made it.  I'm 
		finally a man!"  (laughter)  As it 
		turned out, that was the only time my 
		father ever paid any real attention 
		to me.  He was usually too busy out 
		in the park playing ball with my 
		sister, Rose.  And, today thanks to 
		those many hours of practice, my 
		sister Rose has grown into a fine man. 
		(laughter)  Me, I wasn't especially 
		interested in athletics.  The only 
		exercise I ever got was when the 
		other kids picked on me.  They used 
		to beat me up once a week, usually
		Tuesday.  After a while, the school
		worked it into the curriculum.  And, 
		if you knocked me out, you got extra 
		credit.  (laughter)  Except there was 
		this one kid who was afraid of me.  I 
		kept telling him, "Hit me!  Hit me!
		What's the matter with you?  Don't you
		want graduate?"  As for me, I was 
		the only kid in the history of the 
		school to graduate in traction.  The 
		school nurse tucked my diploma into 
		my sling.  But my only real interest, 
		right from the beginning, was show 
		business.  Even as a young man, I 
		began at the very top, collecting 
		autographs.  (laughter)
 
						CUT TO:
 
134	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
 
	Dinner is over.  MARSHA is sitting next to LANGFORD.  As 
	LANGFORD speaks, it is obvious that he is turning on the 
	charm for strategic reasons.
 
				LANGFORD
		That was a wonderful dinner, Marsha. 
		I want you to know how much I enjoyed
		it.
 
				MARSHA 
		We can do it again.
 
				LANGFORD 
		I'd like to show you my gratitude.
		But it's a little difficult, like this.
 
	LANGFORD indicates his bonds.
 
				MARSHA.
			(in a tone of intimacy)
		Let's say I took all this off.  What 
		would you do to me?  Tell me.
 
						CUT TO:

135	INT:  THE TELEVISION STUDIO -- NIGHT
 
	We break in on a great burst of laughter.  PUPKIN is just
	finishing his monologue.
 
				PUPKIN 
		A lot of you are probably wondering 
		why Jerry couldn't make it this 
		evening.  Well, he's tied up --
		and I'm the one who tied him.  
		(laughter)  You think I'm joking, 
		but that's the only way I could break 
		into show business -- by hijacking 
		Jerry Langford.  (laughter)  I'm 
		not kidding.  Right now, Jerry 
		Langford is strapped to a bedstead 
		somewhere in the middle of this city. 
		(laughter)  Go ahead.  Laugh.  But 
		the fact is ... I'm here.  Tomorrow 
		you'll know I wasn't kidding and 
		you'll think I was crazy. But I 
		figured it this way: better to be 
		King for a Night than Schmuck for 
		a Lifetime!!!  (laughter)  Good 
		night ladies and gentlemen.  God 
		bless you.
 
	The AUDIENCE applauds heartily.  The music plays.  And TONY
	RANDALL salutes PUPKIN with a wave of his hand.  PUPKIN 
	goes off stage after soaking up the applause.
 
						CUT TO:

136	INT:  THE WINGS - NIGHT
 
	A group of PLAINCLOTHESMEN seize PUPKIN and march him 
	briskly through the backstage corridor towards the 
	backstage door.
 
						CUT TO:

137	EXT:  THE BACKSTAGE DOOR - NIGHT
 
	A handful of PEOPLE are waiting, among them the autograph
	hunters, MAE, CELESTE and SIDNEY.  MAE, out of a reflex of
	thirty years, immediately extends her autograph book 
	towards PUPKIN, then, recognizing him, immediately pulls
	it back.
 
				MAE
			(to PUPKIN) 
		Who did you get?
 
	PUPKIN says nothing as he is hustled into a limousine.
	SIDNEY and CELESTE look on.  MAE trails after PUPKIN and 
	the PLAINCLOTHESMEN.
 
				MAE 
			(to PLAINCLOTHESMAN) 
		Could I have a ride?
 
	The PLAINCLOTHESMAN says nothing and starts getting in the
	limo. 
 
				MAE 
		I've never been in one.
 
	The limo pulls away.
 
						CUT TO:
 
138	INT:  INSPECTOR PATTEN'S DOWNTOWN OFFICE - NIGHT
 
	PUPKIN stands among a crowd of PLAINCLOTHESMEN who have 
	obviously been working him over.  PATTEN sits behind his 
	desk.  GIARDELLO is at his side.  The clock on the wall
	reads 10:20.
 
				PATTEN 
		Okay, Pupkin.  We'll start all over 
		again.  Where is Langford?  You know, 
		we're going to find him sooner or later.
 
				PUPKIN
		I'm trying to tell you, Inspector. 
		You let me walk out of here, right? 
		And as soon as I'm seen my act on
		the show -- as soon as I'm sure they've
		really put it on -- I'll tell you where 
		Jerry is and you'll get him back safe 
		and sound.
 
				PATTEN
		Fine, Pupkin.  Then why don't you watch
		the show here with us?  That way we're
		all happy.  (to GIARDELLO)  What channel?
 
				GIARDELLO
		Seven.
 
				PATTEN 
		We get that one in fine.  So what do
		you say, Pupkin?
 
				PUPKIN 
		Look, I'll say it again.  You let
		me go now.
 
	PATTEN motions to the PLAINCLOTHESMEN wearily with his 
	head.  They drag PUPKIN off.  PATTEN looks up at the clock.

						CUT TO:

139	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
 
	MARSHA is frantically attempting to unwrap LANGFORD.  With 
	each pull of the tape, LANGFORD yelps.  There is a small 
	tangle of unwrapped tape collecting around LANGFORD's feet 
	and sticking to MARSHA's clothes.
 
				LANGFORD
		Watch my hair!
 
				MARSHA
		I'm sorry, baby.
 
	We hear the sound of tape ripping.

				LANGFORD
		Ow!
 
				MARSHA
		I'm sorry.
 
						CUT TO:

140	INT:  PATTEN'S OFFICE - NIGHT 

	PUPKIN is hustled before PATTEN again.
 
				A PLAINCLOTHESMAN
		Still nothing.
 
	PUPKIN glances at the clock.  It is 11:05. 
 
				PUPKIN 
		I've got to get out of here.

				PATTEN 
		You're not going anywhere, Pupkin.
		Now, where is he?
 
				PUPKIN
		I'm telling you, Inspector, if I don't 
		see that show where I want to see it, 
		Jerry Langford is dead.  My people 
		have instructions to execute him 
		unless they hear from me by midnight.
 
	PATTEN glances apprehensively at GIARDELLO.
 
				PATTEN 
		Just where is it you want to watch 
		this show?
 
						CUT TO:
 
141	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

	LANGFORD is half unwrapped now.  The place is covered with
	yard after yard of tape.   MARSHA is working frantically to
	finish unwrapping LANGFORD who is helping now that his arms 
	are free.
 
				LANGFORD 
		Ow!  God damnit!  Not so fast!
 
				MARSHA 
			(working frantically) 
		We haven't all night, baby.
 
	MARSHA rips the tape off LANGFORD.
 
				LANGFORD 
		OW!!!!
 
				MARSHA 
		Oh, I love you, baby.  I love you
		so much.

						CUT TO:
 
142	EXT:  BROADWAY - NIGHT

	A limo drives down Broadway, followed by an unmarked car.
 
						CUT TO:

143	INT:  THE LIMO - NIGHT
 
	PATTEN and GIARDELLO sit up front, with the DRIVER.  PUPKIN 
	sits in the back between two PLAINCLOTHESMEN.  The limo 
	pulls up in front of the bar-restaurant where RITA works. 
	PATTEN turns around in the front seat to address PUPKIN.
 
				PATTEN 
		Here we, are, Pupkin.  I don't know 
		what this is all about, but as soon 
		as you've seen yourself, you're going 
		to talk to us or I promise you, 
		you'll never see daylight again.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I'll need a couple of minutes, Inspector.
 
				PATTEN 
		What?!?
 
				PUPKIN 
		After it's over, I want a couple of
		minutes.  And I'll need ten dollars.
		Does anyone of you gentlemen have my 
		wallet?
 
				PATTEN 
		Don't push me, Pupkin.
 
				PUPKIN 
		A condemned man's last request, 
		Inspector.
 
				PATTEN 
		Well, I'll tell you right away, the 
		answer is no, Pupkin.
 
				PUPKIN 
		It's not much of a ransom, Inspector ...
 
				PATTEN 
			(losing his temper) 
		Look, I'm drawing the line, that's
		all!  No ten dollars and that's it.
		(emphatically)  No -- ten -- dollars!!!!
		You understand?!?
 
				PUPKIN 
			(in mollifying tones)
		Sure.  Sure, Inspector.  No ten dollars ...

				PATTEN
			(appeased)
		Okay.
 
				PUPKIN
		... and no Jerry Langford.

	There is a pause as PATTEN stifles himself.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Come on, it's getting late, Inspector.
 
				PATTEN 
			(exploding to one of his MEN)
		Go ahead.  Give him his goddamned ten
		dollars!  Give him twenty!  I don't 
		care.  Just get him out of here!
 
	One of the PLAINCLOTHESMEN in the back opens the door and 
	PUPKIN and the other PLAINCLOTHESMAN get out.  The unmarked 
	car has pulled up behind the limo and other PLAINCLOTHESMEN 
	stand next to it.  PUPKIN and the two PLAINCLOTHESMEN start 
	walking the ten yards or so to the bar-restaurant.
 
						CUT TO:
 
144	INT:  THE BAR-RESTAURANT - NIGHT
 
	PUPKIN marches in flanked by the PLAINCLOTHESMEN.  The
	clock over the bar reads 11:30.  RITA looks up from talking
	with a CUSTOMER and sees PUPKIN.  She says nothing.  She 
	just looks at him.  There are five CUSTOMERS at the bar.  A 
	working class COUPLE in their late fifties are half-stewed, 
	the man telling the woman that her friend, Maud, isn't 
	really her friend because she wants $150 for a used 
	refrigerator.  A few seats down, two MEN in their mid-
	forties, in wind-breakers are locked in an intense but
	inaudible conversation.  And, close to the television set
	which hangs over the far end of the bar sits a MOUSY MAN
	with glasses, who looks like an accountant.  He is sipping
	a beer, his eyes fixed on the set where the CBS late movie 
	is just showing its logo.  PUPKIN marches up to the bar.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(urgently to RITA)
		Turn on Langford.  Seven.
 
				MOUSY MAN
		Hey!  I'm watching this.
 
	RITA keeps staring at PUPKIN.
 
				PUPKIN
		Just turn it.  Come on. 
 
				MOUSY MAN
		I was here first, mister.  You can't 
		just walk in like this.  It isn't 
		fair. 
 
	RITA glances at the MAN.  PUPKIN can't wait.  He vaults
	onto the bar and turns the set to the Langford Show, just
	as, on screen, he walks from the wings onto the stage to 
	the applause of the studio audience.  Perched atop the bar,
	standing next to the image of himself, PUPKIN looks down at 
	RITA, a smile of pride and triumph on his face.
 
						CUT TO:
 
145  	MONTAGE -- NIGHT
 
	PUPKIN walking onto television screens in various homes 
	across America -- in a chic New York living room, in a 
	suburban bedroom, in the parlor of an Indiana farmhouse, 
	in a kitchen where a COUPLE is in the middle of a raging 
	domestic quarrel, in an otherwise dark bedroom where a 
	COUPLE is in the throes of lovemaking, in a bar, a station 
	house, in a television store window display.
 
						CUT TO:
 
146   INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT
 
	MARSHA has just removed her dress and stands in her bra and 
	panties as LANGFORD unwraps the last tape from about his
	ankles.  The room is swimming in tape, like an enormous
	boa constrictor gone mad.  MARSHA moves towards LANGFORD, 
	her arms open.
 
				MARSHA 
		Oh, baby.  Baby.
 
	LANGFORD frees his ankles of tape just in time to side-step
	MARSHA and moves quickly to the dining room table where he 
	grabs the gun.  He trains it on her.
 
				LANGFORD 
		Stop!

	MARSHA moves toward him.  He pulls the trigger, releasing 
	a plastic pellet that hits MARSHA in the stomach, stinging her.
 
				MARSHA
		Ow!
 
	LANGFORD glances down in horror at the gun which he now 
	realizes is a toy and looks up in horror to see MARSHA, 
	bigger than life, bearing down on him.
 
				MARSHA 
		Don't be afraid of Marsha, baby.
 
						CUT TO:

147	INT:  BAR-RESTAURANT - NIGHT
 
 	The CUSTOMERS are watching the conclusion of Pupkin's 
	monologue, along with the PLAINCLOTHESMEN and PUPKIN.  WE 
	COME IN a split second after a joke.  The CUSTOMERS laugh, 
	with the exception of the MOUSY MAN who is waiting, in bad
	humor, for Pupkin's act to finish.  The PLAINCLOTHESMEN
	laugh reluctantly.  PUPKIN, no longer standing on the bar, 
	but back down with the others, watches with fascination.  
	RITA watches grimly, occasionally glancing at PUPKIN.
 
				PUPKIN on TV 
		But I figured it this way: better to 
		be King for a Night than Schmuck for 
		a Lifetime.  (audience and CUSTOMERS 
		laugh)   Good night, ladies and 
		gentlemen, and God bless you.
 
	The television audience applauds and the CUSTOMERS applaud 
	and cheer in good humor except for the MOUSY MAN.  The 
	HALF-STEWED MAN leans across his WOMAN to yell at PUPKIN 
	as the two FRIENDS in windbreakers congratulate PUPKIN at 
	the same time.  There is a brief moment of carnival 
	excitement.
 
		HALF-STEWED MAN			FIRST FRIEND
	Hey, that's pretty good.		(to PUPKIN)
	Schmuck for a Lifetime! 	How do you think up all
	(to the WOMAN)  You know 	that stuff?
	who he's talkin' about? 
	Your brother!
						SECOND FRIEND 
		HALF-STEWED WOMAN 	It's a trick, that's
	What about your 		all.  Larry can do it 
	brother?			as good as him.
 
		HALF-STEWED MAN 		MOUSY MAN 
	What about him?			Is it over now?
 
		HALF-STEWED WOMAN 		FIRST FRIEND 
	He's another one.		He's funnier than Larry.
					Larry just makes a lot 
		HALF-STEWED MAN 	of faces.
	(getting a little angry) 
	I told you to shut up about 		MOUSY MAN 
	my brother.  (to PUPKIN) 	Well, if nobody
	She doesn't know nuthin'.	minds ...
 
	PUPKIN takes all this praise and excitement with a shy 
	smile of satisfaction, glancing at RITA from time to time 
	for her reaction.  She merely stares at PUPKIN with a sad
	expression on her face.
 
				PUPKIN
		Come on, Rita.  Don't spoil the party. 
		(to the CUSTOMERS)  Drinks all around
		on me.
 
				HALF-STEWED MAN 
			(in a loud voice, to HALF-
			STEWED WOMAN)
		What about the hundred and fifty? 
		We never saw a penny outta your 
		brother.
 
				HALF-STEWED WOMAN
		That's because my brother is a family
		man, not like Phil.
 
	The argument between the HALF-STEWED MAN and his WOMAN 
	continues at the end of the bar.  The two FRIENDS have 
	resumed their intense conversation.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to the two FRIENDS) 
		What'll you have?
 
				FIRST FRIEND 
		I'm okay.  Thanks, pal.
 
				SECOND FRIEND
		Me, too.
 
	The MOUSY MAN has climbed up on the bar and has turned the 
	TV back to the late movie.  He sits enthralled by a scene 
	of violence courtesy of Tony Curtis as the Boston 
	Strangler.  PUPKIN looks down the bar at the STEWED COUPLE
	to offer them drinks, but they are lost in an argument 
	over the relative merits of their brothers.  PUPKIN turns
	to the PLAINCLOTHESMEN.
 
				PUPKIN 
		I don't suppose you're allowed anything. 
		(to RITA)  I guess nobody's in a 
		celebrating mood.  How about you? 
		You want something?
 
				FIRST PLAINCLOTHESMAN 
		It's getting time, Pupkin.
 
				PUPKIN
		In a second.
 
				RITA
			(in a sad, serious voice
			to PUPKIN)
		That was true, wasn't it? ... about
		the kidnapping.

	PUPKIN nods and shrugs.
 
				PUPKIN 
		Now you can say you knew me.  That's
		something, anyway.

				FIRST PLAINCLOTHESMAN
		Come on, Pupkin.
 
				PUPKIN 
			(to RITA, in a quiet,
			tender voice) 
		I guess I've got go.  Take care of 
		yourself, will you.  And when you're
		bored -- you know, when you're brushing 
		your teeth or something, give me a 
		thought, okay?
 
				RITA 
		Okay.
 
	The PLAINCLOTHESMEN lead PUPKIN out of the bar.  The two
	FRIENDS are still buried in their intense, private
	conversation.  The PLAINCLOTHESMEN and PUPKIN walk past
	the HALF-STEWED COUPLE.
 
				HALF-STEWED WOMAN
		It's okay to talk about my sister, 
		but we can't say nuthin' about Phil,
		is that it?
 
				HALF-STEWED MAN 
			(to PUPKIN) 
		She's just had one too many.
 
	The PLAINCLOTHESMEN lead PUPKIN onto the street.

148	EXT:  THE BAR - NIGHT
 
	As they walk the few steps to the car, the FIRST 
	PLAINCLOTHESMAN turns to PUPKIN.
 
				FIRST PLAINCLOTHESMAN 
		I just don't get it, Pupkin.  You're 
		gonna spend eight years in the can --
		"minimum" -- and for what?
  
				SECOND PLAINCLOTHESMAN
		Yeah, Pupkin.  You threw it all away.
 
				PUPKIN
			(vaguely)
		We'll see.
 
	WE CLOSE IN on PUPKIN, smiling.
 
						FADE TO:
 
149	INT:  THE JERRY LANGFORD SHOW STUDIO - NIGHT
 
	The STAGE MANAGER is counting down.  At zero, he points to
	RICK ROSS who launches the orchestra into the Langford Show 
	theme song.  BERT CANTER, standing stage right, speaks into 
	the mike.
 
				CANTER
		And now!  Direct from New York!
		The Jerry Langford Show, starring 
		Jerry's special guest, out on bail, 
		Rupert Pupkin, the kidnapping King 
		of Comedy!!!!
 
	The AUDIENCE applauds mightily and the FINAL CREDITS roll. 
	As they roll, the music to the Langford Show continues and 
	WE WATCH a MONTAGE that shows PUPKIN progressively taping 
	LANGFORD to the back of a brass bedstead on stage as the
	two of them talk and laugh.  By the end of the MONTAGE,
	LANGFORD is once again mummified and PUPKIN, having 
	finished, bows and smiles.  WE CLOSE on a FREEZE-FRAME 
	CLOSE UP of PUPKIN in ecstasy.
 
						FADE OUT.
 
 






December 15, 1976 draft
Screenplay by Paul D. Zimmerman

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