Father Of The Year
Written by Skip Webster
Marcia secretly enters Mike in a Father of the Year contest. However, when she gets caught sneaking out to mail it, Mike gets the wrong idea and grounds her from a ski trip they had just planned. Will he find out what it was about before the trip? Let’s find out. Hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
HAMILTON SAMUELS, EDITOR AT DAILY CHRONICLE
(The episode begins with Mike leaving, as he’s due for an important business meeting. He gets to the front door when Carol stops him.)
Carol: Mike, Mike. Honey, your notes for the speech.
Mike: Oh, thanks honey.
(He kisses her and turns to go. Marcia runs up to him.)
Mike: Sweetheart, it’s getting late.
Marcia: But I need help.
Mike: In the Morning.
Marcia: It will only a few minutes.
Mike: Honey, I’m due at a meeting.
Carol: Marcia, I’ll help you.
Marcia: Mother, it’s math.
Mike: Early in the morning. (Mike goes to leave but Marcia gives him a desperate pleading look) Carol, phone Charlie and tell him I’m gonna be a little bit late for the meeting. Something important came up.
(He goes to help Marcia as the scene fades.)
(The next scene has Marcia finishing her homework in the family room. Carol comes in.)
Carol: How’s the homework coming?
Marcia: All done. Thanks to Daddy.
Carol: Good. (Marcia kisses Carol’s cheek) What was that for?
Marcia: For marrying him. All those important men, he kept them waiting, just on account of me.
Carol: Well, your Daddy’s pretty special.
Marcia: Very special.
(Carol goes to throw away some old newspapers.)
Marcia: I’ll throw them out, Mom.
Carol: Thanks darling. After that, bed.
(Marcia notices an ad in the paper announcing the Father of the Year essay contest. She rips it out and reads it.)
(Later that evening, Cindy wakes up and notices Marcia is not in the room. She gets out of bed and wakes up Jan.)
Cindy: Jan, Wake up.
Jan (waking up): Cindy, what’s wrong?
Cindy: Where’s Marcia?
Marcia: In bed, where you should be.
Cindy: No she isn’t, look.
(She points to Marcia’s bed and they see she’s not in it.)
Jan: Well, where can she be?
Cindy: I don’t know.
Jan: Maybe we better go look for her.
(They go downstairs into the kitchen, where Carol and Alice are ironing.)
Carol (sternly): What are you two doing up?
Jan: We wanted a drink of water.
Carol: Isn’t the upstairs faucet working?
Jan: Sure, but the kitchen one’s much groovier.
Cindy: It’s wetter.
(Jan takes her glass of water, then looks inside the family room, to see if Marcia was in there.)
Alice: Did you lose something?
Jan: No, I just wanted to see if anybody was, you know, still up.
Carol: Like who?
Jan: Beats me. Come on, Cindy.
(Jan puts her glass down.)
Carol: Hey, you forgot your water.
Jan: Oh, I’m not thirsty anymore.
Cindy: Me neither.
(Marcia is in Mike’s den writing her essay.)
Marcia (to herself): My dad should be Father of the year for dozens of reasons. (She decides to put white-out over dozens. Jan and Cindy are now in the living room.)
Jan: She’s not in the family room.
Cindy: We better tell Mommy.
Jan: Hey look, there’s a light on in Dad’s den.
Cindy: Marcia wouldn’t go in there.
Jan: Maybe she did.
(Marcia wrote hundreds over dozens.)
Marcia: Hundreds. That’s better.
(Mike comes home at this time. Jan and Cindy find Marcia in the den.)
Cindy: You’re not supposed to play in here.
Jan: Boy, you’re really gonna get it. What you writing?
Marcia: It’s private. That’s why I came in here.
Jan: Oh, come on. What is it?
Cindy: I bet it’s a love letter.
Jan: Yeah, to that creep Felix Brown. Come on, let me see it.
(Mike walks in through the back door and sees Carol and Alice.)
Carol: Oh hi, honey. (They kiss) How did your speech go?
Mike: Oh, I was merely brilliant.
Carol: Well, we all have our off nights.
Alice: That’s right, Mr. Brady. Better luck next time.
Mike: As a matter of fact, I was asked to give the same speech at the CIA.
Alice: The CIA.
Mike: It’s not what you think. It’s the Creative Institute of Architects.
Carol: I hope you saved your notes.
Mike (taking them out of his coat): Yeah, they’re right here. And right now, I’m going to put them away for safe keeping.
(Mike goes to his den, where the girls are horsing around. He shuts the door loud behind him.)
Mike: What are you girls doing out of bed?
Cindy: Jan and me were in bed.
Mike: Jan and I.
Jan: We just came down to find Marcia.
Mike: Marcia, what are you doing in my den.
Cindy: Writing a love letter.
Mike: A love letter?
Marcia: Well, sort of.
Jan: To a creep.
Marcia: It is not.
Mike: Jan, you and Cindy go to bed. I’ll handle this. (they both laugh as they exit the den) Skedaddle, hurry up. (He turns to Marcia) Marcia, did you have your mother’s permission to stay up this late?
Marcia: No, sir.
Mike: Did you have permission to be in my den?
Marcia: It was the only place I could find that was private. I’m sorry I made you angry.
(She starts to walk out.)
Mike: Hey. (She stops) Remember our slogan around here? A wise man forgets his anger.
Marcia: Before he lies down to sleep.
Mike: You give me a good night kiss, and we’ll talk about it in the morning. Okay?
(She walks out of the den and he notices the top of the white-out jar is off and it spilled all over his paperwork.)
Mike (to himself): A wise men forgets his anger, before he lays down to sleep.
(He concludes his quote with a grumble.)
(The next morning, Mike is getting ready for work when Marcia comes in his room expecting to be punished. She knocks on the door.)
Mike: Come in.
Mike: Yes, Marcia.
Marcia: Mother told me about your blueprints and your speech.
Mike: If you hadn’t been in my den, that never would have happened.
Marcia: I know, and I’m ready to be punished. I ruined your work.
Mike: Well, that part was an accident, sweetheart.
Marcia: But the accident was my fault! If I had put the top on the bottle, you wouldn’t have ruined all your work. Daddy, I’m really sorry.
Mike: Oh, come on now, princess. There’s another set of blueprints down at my office.
Marcia: Are you sure?
Mike: Sure, I’m positive. And I can write an even better set of notes for my speech too. Now, come on, give me a big smile. (Marcia smiles) That’s better. Come in, because court’s in session.(He closes the door) prisoner ready to plea?
Marcia: Yes, your honor.
Mike: Marcia Brady, you are charged with bedtime regulations, trespassing in my den and indirectly fouling up my papers. Guilty or not guilty?
Marcia (meekly): Guilty.
Mike: The court hereby sentences you to one day of hard labor. Well, maybe not so hard. I’ll leave a list with Alice of extra chores for you to do.
Marcia: Thanks judge, you’re out of sight.
Mike: And you’re late for school.
(Marcia leaves his room and the next scene has Mike coming home later that day.)
Mike (to Carol): Hi.
Carol: Oh, hi honey. How was your day?
Mike: Uh, okay I guess. Where’s Marcia?
Carol: Doing all those chores, I imagine.
Mike: I know one she didn’t do, sweep the leaves off the front porch.
(Jan comes out of the ben with a full trash can.)
Jan: Oh, hi, Daddy.
Mike: Hi. Jan, I told Marcia to empty the wastebaskets.
Jan: Marcia who?
Greg (coming down the stairs): Hi, Dad.
Greg; Has anybody seen Marcia?
Carol: Not recently. Why?
Greg: She was supposed to feed the dog two hours ago.
Mike: How do you know she didn’t?
Greg: Mainly because he was chewing on one of my shoes.
(Greg shows them his battered shoe. Mike and Carol look surprised while Mike and Greg go up the stairs.)
(Marcia is in her room working more on her essay.)
Marcia: And Dad doesn’t even play golf every weekend, so he can spend more time with his family. (Mike knocks on the door) Come in.
Marcia: Hi, Dad.
Mike: Marcia, did you finish those chores I gave you.
Marcia: No, sir. Not yet.
Mike: I thought I made myself very clear.
Marcia: I was working on something else first.
Marcia: No, sir. Not homework.
Mike: Well, what then?
Marcia: I’d rather not say.
Marcia: It’s personal, Daddy.
Mike: Marcia, those chores were your punishment. Unless you can explain why you ignored them, I’m afraid I’m gonna have to be more severe.
Marcia: But I can’t explain, not right now.
Mike: Very well then, I’m grounding you for one week. No playground, no friend’s house. When you come home, you’re to go straight to your room.
Marcia: But, Dad.
Mike: And no arguments about it.
(He leaves the room and Marcia gets angry and throws the essay in the garbage. That evening, Marcia ponders the error of her ways and takes the essay out of the garbage and concludes it.)
Marcia: Even when he punishes me, it’s because I deserve it. Yours sincerely, Marcia Brady. (She takes the ad out from the bottom of her desk, then realizes that night was the deadline) Deadline for entries is (Pause) Oh, no.
(She goes to the closet to get her robe and her slippers. Meanwhile, Mike and Carol are in the family room.
Carol (knitting): Boys, is there anything boys can’t wear out?
Mike (reading the paper): Snow!
Carol: Snow wears out, they call it slush.
Mike: Huh? No, honey I was just reading about the snow up in the mountains. (He gets an idea) Let’s go skiing this weekend.
Carol: Hey, that’s a great idea. The kids will love it.
Mike (suddenly realizing): Oops, I forgot. Marcia’s been grounded.
Carol: Oh, Mike. Marcia would rather ski than eat.
Mike: Well, I could suspend her sentence for the weekend. What do you think?
Carol: I think you’re an old softy.
Mike: No, no, no. I’m a young softy.
(They kiss and then Marcia sneaks out the window to mail the letter.)
(Mike and Carol go into the kids’ rooms to check on them. They find Marcia missing from the girls room. They wake up Jan.)
Carol: Jan, Jan, where’s Marcia?
Jan (waking up): I don’t know.
Marcia (climbing back up the window): Here I am, Mommy.
(Mike goes and pulls her inside.)
Carol: Marcia, what on earth?
Mike: Where were you?
Marcia: Mailing a letter.
Mike: At this hour? Down the trellis? You could have broken your neck!
Marcia: I had to mail the letter!
Marcia: I can’t say.
Mike: Marcia, I’ve given you every chance possible. Now you’ve left me with no alternative. We’re all going skiing this weekend, all except you.
Carol: Your father’s right, you’ll just have to stay with your grandparents. Now get into bed. Hurry up. (Marcia takes her robe and slippers off and gets in bed) Good night.
(Carol and Mike kiss her good night.)
Mike: Good night, and no more going out the window.
(They turn off the lights and leave the room. Marcia sits on her bad looking depressed.)
(The next scene brings us to the daily chronicle, with publisher Hamilton Samuels and his crew in his office. they are selecting the top three essays.)
Mr. Samuels: Gentlemen, as judges of this Father of the year contest, we face a very difficult decision. We have never had so many entries and we have never read such marvelous essays yet somehow, we must make a decision by tomorrow.
Mr. Fields: We have narrowed it down to those three.
Mr. Samuels: Right, but there can only be one winner. We will simply have to read these and reread them, until we can finally arrive at a selection. And one of these young people will soon be a very happy boy or girl, whatever the case may be. David Wood, Arnold Collins, Marcia Brady.
(Back at the house, Marcia is sadly looking outside the window, as the kids are giving Alice a skiing lesson.)
Jan: What’s the hay for?
Greg: It’s instead of snow.
Peter: We made it for Alice to practice.
Greg: She’s never been on skis before. (He calls to Alice) We are ready.
Alice (getting up from a chair): You are ready? (Greg and Peter help her up and she lands on a pair of skis) Okay, that’s not bad. Where are those?
Alice: Poles. (Jan gets the poles and hands them to Alice) At a girl, now, just um. (She walks with the skis and poles and almost falls) Up there.
(She points to the pile of hay.)
Greg: Okay. (Alice struggles to walk over to the pile) Maybe if you walk sideways.
Alice: All right.
(She tries walking more, makes it to the pile, but starts to slip.)
Greg: Oh, keep the straps around your wrists.
Alice: How am I going to get up there?
Greg: We can use the boxes.
(Alice walks sideways towards the boxes and climbs on them.)
Alice: Oh, boy. it’s going to be a lot higher than I thought it was.
(She climbs the boxes and gets to the top. She needs help going down.)
Alice (to Greg): You got to give me a little push or something. (She finally gets her balance) Okay, what’s next?
Peter: More knee bend.
Jan: Lean forward.
Greg: Poles ready.
Peter: Head up.
(Alice attempts to go down but falls.)
Bobby: She’ll need two more lessons.
Cindy: Maybe three.
Greg: Are you all right, Alice?
Alice: I hate to be the ugly American, but I do have a protest to register, your snow’s got splinters in it.
(Marcia gets upset and lies on her bed crying. We head back outside.)
Alice: Ooh, help me up fellas. (The kids all help her up) okay.
(The next scene is in the kitchen, with Mike and Carol having a coffee served by Alice.)
Mike: Why don’t you join us, Alice.
Carol: Yeah, come on, sit down.
Alice: My upper half wants to, but my bottom half disagrees. Thanks anyway
Mike: What’s wrong?
Carol: The children gave Alice her first skiing lesson today.
Mike: Oh, yeah, you flunked.
Alice: I prefer to think of it as having proved a scientific theory. Everything that goes up sure as heck comes down.
(Alice leaves the kitchen.)
Carol (to Mike): Seeing Alice on skis will be worth the entire trip.
Mike: Yeah, I’d rather see Marcia on skis.
Carol: Now, darling, we’d been over that several times now. Rules are rules.
Mike: Maybe we ought to bend them just this once.
Carol: I want Marcia to go just as badly as you do, but she broke the rules. It wouldn’t be fair to the other children who didn’t break the rules.
Mike: Yeah, I guess you’re right.
(Next, Jan and Cindy are heading to their room to see Marcia.)
Jan: Now remember, Cindy, let’s try to cheer up Marcia. And whatever you do, DON’T MENTION THE SKI TRIP!
(They enter the room where Marcia is on her bed moping.)
Jan: Hi, Marcia.
Marcia (sadly): Hi.
Cindy: we came to cheer you up.
Jan: Uh, you want to play some checkers.
Marcia: No thanks.
(Jan and Cindy look at each other.)
Jan: It’s real nice weather out.
Marcia: I suppose.
Cindy: Too bad you’re not going skiing.
(Marcia is about to cry and she runs into the bathroom.)
Jan (to Cindy): Do you know who has the biggest mouth in the whole wide world next to you?
(She angrily leaves the room.)
(Next, Marcia is reading the paper in the family paper and gloats when she sees that the announcement for father of the year will be the next day. She goes up to her room and sees Jan.)
Marcia: Jan, where’s Cindy?
Jan: outside in the backyard.
Jan: Look Marcia, I’m taking my camera along on the ski trip, so you get to see everything that happens even if you can’t go.
Marcia: I’m sorry I’m not going, but if you need the reason, it’s worth it.
Jan: Golly, you must have some reason.
Marcia (pulling Jan to the bed): I’ve got a real big secret, but if I don’t tell somebody soon, I’m simply going to bust.
Jan: You mean you want to tell someone?
Marcia: I don’t want to, I have to.
Jan: How about me?
Marcia: I wish I could, but can you keep a real secret? An honest to goodness, never tell a living soul secret?
Jan: You know me, Marcia.
Marcia: That’s what worries me.
Jan: Please, I can keep a secret.
Marcia: Do you swear?
Jan: I swear.
Marcia: Do you double swear?
Jan: I double swear, I triple swear, I,I, quiple swear.
Marcia: That’s quadruple swear.
Jan: Okay, I quadruple swear.
Marcia: Well, you see.. No, I don’t think I can trust you.
Jan: After I sweared and everything?
Marcia: All right, I’ll trust you. The real reason I was writing that letter, and the reason I sneaked out to mail it that night.
(Cindy comes in the room.)
Cindy: Hey, what’s going on?
Jan: Marcia’s telling me a secret, will you get out of here?
Cindy: I want to hear it too.
Marcia: Uh-uh, no way.
Cindy: I can keep a secret good as anybody.
Marcia: No you can’t. Remember when you borrowed mother’s perfume? You told her.
Cindy: She was gonna ask me anyway.
Jan: Marcia, I’m dying, I’m dying. I got to know that secret.
Marcia: Well, you girls guessed it about Felix Brown. I was writing the letter, and I had to mail it by midnight, or he wouldn’t get it in time.
Jan: In time for what?
Marcia: In time to invite me to the school dance.
(Greg enters the room.)
Greg: Have you girls seen Peter?
Marcia: We haven’t seen him.
Cindy: I sure hope he didn’t hear the secret. Did you hear the secret, Greg?
Greg: What secret?
Cindy: About Felix Brown.
Marcia: Go ahead. Tell him all about Felix Brown, see if I care.
(In the next scene, Carol goes to answer the door. It is the newspaper people coming to give Mike the award.)
Mr. Pierce: Mrs. Michael Brady?
Mr. Pierce: Lance Pierce, I phoned you earlier.
Carol: Oh, yes, you’re from the local TV station.
Mr. Pierce: KTRY, may I bring my crew in now?
Carol: Yes. Oh, I’m dying to know what the award for Mr. Brady is. Is it the Creative Institute for Architects?
Mr. Pierce: I’m sorry, we can’t say. We want that moment of surprise from the whole family on film. (He turns around) Okay, boys.
Carol: I’ll get the children ready. Mr. Brady should be home in a half hour or so.
Mr. Pierce (to the crew): Set it up right over here, just over there.
(The kids and Alice are all downstairs with Carol, awaiting Mike’s arrival.)
Alice (to the photographer): Which side do you think is my best side?
Photographer: I don’t think it makes any difference.
Greg (screaming): He’s driving in! He’s driving in!
Mr. Pierce: Everybody take your places, like I told you. The award, where’s the award. (Samuels hands him the award) Oh, thank goodness. Mr. Samuels, I’ll cue you. (to the photographer) Ready? Pick him up at the door, and pan him right over here. Everybody ready? (They all agree) Beautiful.
(Mike, unfortunately, walks in from the back door.)
Mike: What the heck is going on around here?
Carol (upset): Mike, you came in the back door.
Mr. Pierce: Why me? Why do these things always happen to me?
Mike: What is this?
Carol: It’s a surprise, dear?
Mr. Samuels: Quick, swing everything over there.
Carol (to the kids): Come on, come over here.
(Pierce and Samuels go over to Mike.)
Mr. Pierce: Okay, Mr. Samuels.
Mr. Samuels: Mr. Brady, I am Hamilton Samuels, publisher of the Daily Chronicle. And it is my pleasure to announce you have been chosen Father of the Year.
(The whole family claps.)
Mike (surprised): Father of the Year?
Mr. Samuels: We received thousands of entries, and the judges decided the best came from your daughter, Marcia.
Mike (stunned): Marcia! Was that what you were? That letter you had to mail, was that all part of this?
(Marcia smiles and nods.)
Mr. Samuels: Perhaps you’d like to see the letter she wrote. We’ve been conducting this contest for many years, and we had never read a tribute like that.
Mike (reading the letter): Even though he’s only been my dad for a short time, no father could be a realer father than Michael Brady.
(Marcia stands there smiling and he walks over to her. Marcia walks a little closer to him and they hug, as the photographer takes the picture. The scene fades out.)
(The final scene has Mike and Carol in their bedroom, getting ready for bed an dreading the article in the paper.)
Carol: Isn’t this a marvelous picture?
Mike: Yeah, not bad. Not bad.
Carol: Oh, Mike, I’m so proud of you, and I’m so proud of Marcia too.
Mike: Well, you oughtta be, she’s your daughter.
Carol: She’s who’s daughter?
Mike: Our daughter.
(They hug and kiss good night.)