The Drummer Boy
Written by Tom and Helen August
Peter gets teased by his football team because he’s in the glee club. Bobby, who failed to make the glee club, decides to become a drummer. Hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
DEACON JONES, pro football player
LARRY, Peter’s teammate
JIMMY, another teammate
FREDDIE, another teammate
(The episode begins with Peter, Cindy and Jan running home in excitement. Bobby trails behind but is in a morose mood. The others go in the house and scream for their Mom. She comes running down the stairs.)
Peter, Jan and Cindy: Mom! Mom! Listen! Listen!
Carol: My goodness. Okay, okay. What’s the excitement?
Peter: Really great news. Guess what.
Cindy: We’re in the glee club.
Carol (pleased): That’s wonderful!
Peter: They had tryouts today, and we were picked.
Jan: Listen to us.
(They all sing the first verse of Loch Lomond.)
Carol (clapping): Hooray for the Brady singers!
(Carol sees a depressed Bobby come in.)
Carol: Hi, Bobby.
(He sits down and looks upset.)
Carol: Why the long face?
Cindy: He didn’t get picked for the Glee club.
Peter: Billy Mingus said Bobby couldn’t carry a tune if it had a handle on it.
(Jan and Cindy laugh.)
Bobby: Oh yeah?
Jan: Sue Barry said he sounded like a frog.
(She makes a croaking sound.)
Carol: All right, Jan. That’s enough.
(Bobby is sitting in the kitchen, still depressed over his lack of voice. Carol comes in and sits down to try cheering him up.)
Carol: Would you like an apple?
Bobby: No, thanks.
Carol: How about some cookies? (Bobby shakes his head no) I’ll bet you’d like a great big dish of your favorite ice cream.
Bobby: I don’t want anything.
Carol: Aw, come on, Bobby. Cheer up, you have a very nice voice. Well, it probably just isn’t the kind of voice the glee club needs this year.
Bobby: You really like my voice?
Carol: Listen, you can sing for me anytime.
Bobby: I can?
Carol: Yes, sir.
(Bobby sings the verse of Loch Lomond, albeit off-key.)
Carol: That’s really not bad at all, Bobby.
Bobby: I sound awful.
Carol: Aw, come on, honey. Look on the bright side. You know when boys grow older their voices change. And I’ll bet when yours does, you’ll have a brand new voice.
Bobby: Yeah, it might even be worse.
(The scene fades.)
(The next scene has Mike arriving home form work. He and Carol go up to see Bobby, who is laying on his bed, moping.)
Carol: Honey, Daddy’s home.
Mike: Hello, son.
Bobby: Hi, dad.
Mike: Listen, I’m sorry about you not getting into the glee club.
Bobby: That’s okay. (He gets up) They didn’t need a rotten singer.
(He sits down by the desk.)
Mike (laughing): I’m sure you’re not as bad as all that.
Bobby: Ask Mom.
Carol: Of course he isn’t that bad.
Bobby: Yes I am. I may not sing good, but I hear good.
Carol: Oh, honey, just because you’re not a great singer doesn’t mean you aren’t musical.
Mike: Hey, maybe you should play an instrument.
Carol: That’s right, how about trying one?
Bobby: Like what?
Mike: Like, any instrument you want.
Carol: There must be one you like.
Bobby: Maybe there is.
Carol: Why don’t you ask your music class teacher about it tomorrow.
Bobby (suddenly excited): That’s what I’ll do. I’ll pick an instrument tomorrow.
Mike: Good, now go wash up for dinner. (Bobby runs into the bathroom. Mike turns to Carol) Have you heard him sing?
Carol (quietly): Yes?
Carol: That was a very good idea you had about the instrument.
Mike (laughing): He’s terrible.
(The next scene has Peter getting ready for football practice with Greg helping him.)
Greg: You think you guys can take the Blue Devils Saturday?
Peter: Take them? We’re gonna knock the horns off them. Guess who we got helping us at football practice today.
Peter: Deacon Jones.
Greg: Ah, don’t give me that. Deacon Jones is all pro. He plays with the Rams.
Peter: Yeah, but he’s a friend of our coach. They played high school football together. So Deacon is gonna give us a few tips.
Greg (amazed): Son of a gun. Deacon Jones.
(Jan comes in with Cindy.)
Jan: Let’s go, Peter.
Cindy: Come on, or we’ll be late.
Peter: Okay, I’m coming.
Greg: Don’t tell me they’re on the team, too.
Peter: Come on. We got glee club practice first then I go to football practice. See ya.
(He starts to take off.)
Peter (stopping): Yeah?
Greg: You forgot something. (Greg throws Peter his helmet) Your helmet, your left shoe and your right shoe.
(Peter collects his shoes and leaves.)
(The next scene has Carol and Bobby coming home. Alice comes out and greets them.)
Carol: Hello, Alice.
Bobby: I picked my instrument, Alice. I’ll go tell everybody.
(He runs off.)
Alice: I never saw him so excited.
Carol: It’s done wonders for his morale.
Alice: What instrument did he pick?
(She shows Alice a drum set they purchased.)
Alice (worried): Drums? (Carol nods) Well, I’m not so sure what that’s gonna do for our morale.
Carol: Well, his music teacher encouraged him. She said that he had exactly the right qualifications.
Alice: Oh, what qualifications does a kid need to play the drums?
Carol: A mother with a station wagon.
(She hits one of the drums with her hand. Next, Deacon Jones is talking to Peter’s team and giving them pointers how to play. Peter has yet to arrive from glee club.)
Jones (to two players): You’re offense, you’re defense. You got to get moving quick. You got to keep moving. You’ve got to hit, and drive through the quarterback, and then drive straight ahead, got it?
Larry: Got it, Deacon.
Coach: That’s hitting it Larry, that’s the way to hit it.
Jones: Gee, the rams could sure use you. (He turns to the coach) Hey Ted, what time is it?
Coach: Oh, that’s about it, Deacon. Afraid he’s got to go, fellows.
(The team groans in disappointment.)
Jones: I’ll be back, fellows. I’ve got to go practice with the big guys.
(The team says good-bye as Peter comes for practice.)
Peter: Coach, sorry I’m late.
Coach: It’s all right, Pete. I want you to meet Deacon Jones. Deacon, this is Peter Brady.
Jones: Hi, Peter. (They shake hands) Hey, you’ve got a pretty good grip. What position do you play?
Peter: End. Offensive end.
Jones: Gee, that’s bad news for fellows like me. Take it easy.
Peter: I will, good-bye.
(He goes over to join the rest of the team.)
Larry: You missed it, Pete. The stuff Deacon taught us was great.
Jimmy: Where were you?
Peter: I was at glee club. It took longer than I expected.
Larry: You’re kidding.
Freddie: Glee club?
Peter: Yeah, what’s the matter?
Larry: You mean you spent the whole time sitting around with a bunch of girls?
Peter: What do you mean girls? There’s guys in the glee club too.
Jimmy: They’re songbirds.
Freddie: Yeah, canaries.
Larry: Sure, football’s for boys. (He turns to the whole team) Hey guys, did you hear? We’ve got a canary on our team.
(They all laugh. Back at the house, Mike and Carol are discussing Bobby’s newfound interest in drumming.)
Mike: Well, those drums should really take Bobby’s mind off not getting in the glee club.
Carol: Yeah, and you know the kids were really very sweet. They made a big fuss over them.
Mike: Yeah, I hope he doesn’t get discouraged. You know you can’t learn to play a musical instrument in a day. It takes a lot of practice.
(Bobby starts playing and makes a ruckus.)
Carol: Like you said, it takes a lot of practice.
(Bobby continue to play, much to the parents’ dismay. Peter, Jan and Cindy are upstairs rehearsing for the glee club, singing another verse of Loch Lomond when they hear Bobby’s playing and get distracted.)
Cindy: How are we supposed to practice?
Peter: You can hear those drums all the way to Loch Lomond.
Jan: Right now I wish Bobby was in the glee club.
Peter: I wish he was in Loch Lomond.
Carol (entering the room): Hi, kids.
Jan: Hi, Mom.
Carol: How’s it going?
Jan: It isn’t, Mom. We can’t even hear ourselves sing.
Peter: I’m gonna go tell Bobby to knock it off.
Carol: Uh, uh, that’s exactly why I came up here.
Cindy: To tell Bobby to knock it off.
Carol: No, sweetheart. To remind all of you how important those drums are to Bobby. Now, he was very upset when he didn’t get into the glee club. Now he’s so happy to be doing something musical.
Jan (sarcastic): Musical?
Carol: Promise me you’ll try to be patient and understanding. Okay?
Peter: Okay, I got football practice anyway.
(Next, Carol is in the boys’ room talking to Greg and Marcia, who are trying to study.)
Carol: It really means a lot to Bobby!
Greg: We’re sure not gonna get much homework done, Mom!
Carol: Well, I know it’s hard but let’s try not to hurt his feelings, okay?
(She leaves the room. Marcia closes her books and gets up.)
Greg: Aren’t you gonna study anymore?
Marcia: Yeah, under the hair dryer, it’ll be quieter there.
(Next, Mike goes into the kitchen and sees Alice.)
Mike: Hi, Alice, what’s for dinner?
Alice: Thanks! I’m glad somebody thinks I look thinner!
Mike (to Carol): Honey, we’re gonna have to straighten this out!
Carol: Yes, dear, but we started it!
Mike: Oh yeah, we did, but…
Carol: Yeah, well, maybe a few more lessons at school.
Mike: You honestly think a few more lessons is gonna improve him?
Mike: Yeah, honestly.
Carol: Let’s go in and talk to him.
(They go in the family room, where Bobby is practicing.)
Bobby: I’m getting good, huh?
Mike: Well, actually, Bobby, uh…
Bobby: I’ll get even better with more practicing.
Carol; More practicing?
Bobby: Some guys practice eight hours a day. Listen to this.
(He turns the stereo on to play music and drums along with it. Mike turns it off after a few minutes.)
Bobby: I sure am glad you wanted me to play an instrument.
Mike (laughing): Yeah, well we did, didn’t we.
Carol: That we did.
(Bobby starts to play some more, much to their chagrin.)
Bobby: I got a groovy beat, huh?
Mike: Well Bobby, you play just fine for a beginner.
Carol: Funny, that was just what I was going to say.
Bobby: Gee, thanks.
(He plays more and upsets the parents further. They show the house, rocked with his playing.)
(The next scene has Peter at football practice.)
Peter (to Larry): Come on, let’s go.
Larry: I wouldn’t want to hurt the star of the glee club.
Peter: Cut it out, Larry. I’ve been taking it from you guys all afternoon.
Larry: Aw, he got his feelings hurt.
Peter: Freddie, how about you?
Freddie: Nah, I wouldn’t wanna ruin your beautiful voice.
Jimmy: Nah, you might sprain your ankle, then you wouldn’t be able to reach your high notes.
(They all laugh.)
Peter (leaving): All right, you guys.
Larry: We don’t need any canaries on our team.
Freddie: Maybe he can stand around and sing songs while we play.
Jimmy: That’s it, Peter can be a pom-pom girl.
(They laugh and join the rest of the team. Peter goes home, hurt and humiliated as the scene fades.)
(The next scene is back at the Brady house, Bobby is still drumming and driving the rest of the family crazy. Greg and Marcia go into Carol’s room for permission to go to the library.)
Marcia: Can we go to the library tonight?
Carol: To do your homework?
Greg: Yeah, it’s the only place we can study and get away with the drums.
Alice: You ought to try the closet, it’s not bad at all in there.
Carol: Well, all right, kids.
Marcia: See you later.
(Marcia closes the door on her way out. Carol and Alice are emptying Carol’s closet with old boxes.)
Carol: I don’t know how we manage to collect so much stuff. These empty boxes can go out, Alice.
Alice: Right. I hate to say it, Mrs.. Brady. The more I hear Bobby play, the more I’m convinced that drumsticks are for turkeys.
Carol (laughing): At least it’s better here than in the kitchen.
Alice: Anyplace is better than the kitchen. The kitchen is in the line of fire. (She collects the boxes from Carol) I’ll get rid of these.
Carol: Oh, Alice. Bobby hasn’t improved at all, has he?
Alice: Mrs. Brady, every day he plays just a little worse than the day before. And today he’s playing like tomorrow.
(She opens the door to exit as Jan and Cindy come in.)
Jan: Oh hi, Alice. (Alice passes) Mom, can we go over to Linda’s?
Cindy: To rehearse for the glee club?
Carol: The drums.
Jan: Yeah, Linda’s house is three blocks away, out of the noise belt. Can we go?
Carol: Sure kids, run along.
(Jan and Cindy run into Peter, who enters the room.)
Jan: Oh, come on, Pete. We’re going over to Linda’s.
Peter: Not me, I’m not going.
Cindy: But you have to.
Peter (adamantly): I’m not going.
Jan (to Cindy): Come on.
Carol: Peter, don’t you have to practice?
Peter: Who can think of singing with all that banging going on. I might as well quit the glee club.
(He leaves the room. Mike enters.)
Carol: Oh, Mike, complaints are coming in from all precincts. I mean, Peter might even quit the glee club because of Bobby’s drumming.
Mike: I got the solution to Peter’s problem. In fact, I have got a solution to everybody’s problem.
Carol: You have?
Mike: Did it ever strike you that a musician should have his own studio to practice in?
(The next scene has Mike and Carol moving Bobby’s drum set to the garage.)
Mike: See, you got the whole garage. Well, out here you won’t be disturbed by telephones all the time.
Carol: And your brothers and sisters won’t be in your way either.
Bobby: Yeah. It’s kind of like the music room at school.
Mike: This is kind of like your own private studio, huh.
Bobby: Boy, that’s neat-o.
(He starts playing and Mike and Carol go outside.)
Carol: have fun.
(Mike is inside his den enjoying the peace and quiet they got to have again. Carol comes in with coffee.)
Carol: Well, how about a coffee break?
Mike: Hey, good idea.
Carol: Careful, it’s hot. (He cautiously takes it) Well, how’s it going with Bobby out in his studio?
Mike: Good, at least I can concentrate without the beat-beat of the tom-tom clogging up my head-head.
Carol (laughing): Well, I think we’ve finally solved the problem.
(Peter comes in.)
Carol: Oh, Peter.
Mike: Hey, come in son.
Peter: Hey, you can practice at home now.
Mike: Yeah, it’s certainly quiet enough now.
Peter: I don’t feel very much like singing.
Mike: Huh? You mean you’re still thinking of quitting the glee club.
Peter: Tomorrow, I guess.
Carol: Well, I thought you said it was about Bobby’s drumming.
Peter: I guess it’s really not because of Bobby.
Peter: It’s because of the guys on my team.
Mike: Football team?
Peter: They think singing’s for girls, and canaries.
Carol: Well, what’s that supposed to mean, canary?
Peter: I don’t know, I guess it’s a chicken that can sing.
Carol: That’s why you’re leaving the glee club?
Peter: I guess so.
Mike: Listen, before you make that decision, I think you better give that some more thought. Don’t you quit for the wrong reason.
Peter: But they keep teasing me all the time.
Mike: Well, so what? I don’t think you’re a canary because you sing in the glee club. Huh? You make up your own mind.
Carol: Why couldn’t you play football and still be in the glee club.
Peter: Yeah, I could do both, but I think I better quit.
(He leaves the den.)
Carol: Oh, Mike, he loves the glee club.
Mike: Yeah, I know he does. (The phone rings) I’ll get it. (picking it up) Hello. Speaking. Yes, I understand, but it’s still kind of early yet. Yeah, of course. Right. Good-bye. (He hangs up) That’s one of the neighbors about Bobby’s drumming.
Carol: Oh, well, there’s always one crank in the neighborhood.
(The phone rings again.)
Mike (picking up): Hello, yeah. (He makes a gesture to Carol that it’s another complaint) Well, so much for the great outdoors.
(The next scene has Bobby back inside the house drumming away. Carol and Mike are in the living room discussing the problem.)
Mike: Carol, we’ve been patient, but now we’ve got to do something!
Carol: Look, Mike, if he can’t practice, he’ll have to give up the drums! He’ll be crushed!
Mike: It’s not going to crush him! It might dent him a little bit!
Carol: Oh, Mike! Couldn’t we just wait a little…
Mike: Carol, it’s not fair to eight other people in this house! Or the neighbors, or the city. (He starts to laugh and puts his fingers in his ears) Or the state.
(That evening, they are in their room discussing what to do next.)
Carol: I suppose you’re right.
Mike: Yeah, well, we’ll simply have to tell Bobby. It’s not fair to the rest of the family.
Carol: Okay, we’ll tell him in the morning. (Mike agrees) Good night, honey.
(She reaches over to kiss him.)
Mike: Good night, sweetheart.
(He turns out the light.)
Carol: No, let’s tell him tomorrow after school. Why ruin his whole day?
(She turns out her light.)
Mike: Oh yeah, no need to ruin his whole day. Boom, boom, boom.
Mike: I said boom, boom, boom. It’s that drumming that keeps going through my head. Just boom, boom, boom.
(Carol pats his head. The next day, Peter is at football practice and Deacon Jones is there to help out.)
Jones (to the team): Just try as hard as you can, that’s all your coach and your team can ask of you. And that’s all you can ask of yourself.
Coach: All right, let’s see how our pass defense is coming along. Peter, you play offensive end, and you, Larry, you are defensive end, let’s go.
Larry: Oh boy, I get the canary.
(The team laughs.)
Peter: Cut that out, Larry.
Larry: When the ball snaps, he’ll probably get up and sing.
(More laughter from the team.)
Jones: Don’t ever underestimate your opponent.
Larry: This guy will be a cinch, he’s a songbird.
Peter: Not anymore, I’m going to quit the glee club.
Jones (to Larry): You think this guy can’t play football because he sings?
Larry: Sure, you know, singing is for canaries. Sissy stuff.
(The coach starts to laugh.)
Jones: I sing. Am I a sissy?
Larry (surprised): You? Gosh, no Deacon.
Jones: Matter of fact, we got a group on our team. And we perform when we’re not playing football.
Peter: I didn’t know that.
Jones: If singing was sissy stuff, we’d be missing a lot of good men in sports.
Coach: That’s right. Rosey Grier, he sings, I don’t know anyone who’s brave enough to call him a sissy.
Jones: Not even me.
(Peter and Larry look like they get the message.)
Coach: Then there’s Joe Namath and there’s another pretty tough fellow named Joe Frazier.
Jones (to Peter): I don’t think you have to quit singing just because you think it’s sissy.
Peter: No, I guess not.
Coach: All right, let’s play football. Let’s have a little action here.
Jones (to Peter): Go get him, Tiger.
(They play. The next scene has Mike come in to the kitchen to greet Carol.)
Mike: Hi, honey. (He kisses her and then hears Bobby playing his drums) Don’t tell me, let me guess, Bobby’s home.
Carol: Straight to the house and straight for those drums.
Mike: I think it’s time we had our little talk with him.
Carol: I’m with you.
Peter (coming in): Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad. I better hurry or I’ll be late for practice.
Mike: Looks like you just finished.
(Bobby stops drumming and Mike repeats himself.)
Carol: I thought you quit.
Peter: Nope. Did you know there’s a lot of guys who sing that aren’t sissies? Deacon Jones, Rosey Grier, Joe Namath. Would you call them sissies, Dad?
Mike (laughing): No, not for the life of me.
Peter: Guess what. Now there’s a lot of guys on the team trying out for the glee club. I better hurry or I’ll be late.
Carol (to Mike): Well, what do you know about that?
(Bobby starts drumming again.)
Mike: Let’s go have our talk. (They start heading to the family room) I’ll try and be gentle.
(They go in the family room. Bobby stops once again.)
Carol: Hi, Bobby.
Mike: Hello, son. Bobby, listen, your mother and I would like to talk to you.
Bobby: Sure, I want to talk to you too.
Carol: You do?
Bobby: Well, I wanted to ask you, well, if, gee, I hope this doesn’t make you mad.
Mike: What is it, Bobby?
Bobby: Well, I know how much you wanted me to be a drummer. (Pause) Would you be too disappointed if I quit?
Mike: Quit the drums?
Bobby: Uh huh.
Bobby: Never mind. I’ll stick with them, I know how much you wanted me to play.
(He plays some more. Mike stops him.)
Mike: No, wait a minute. Wait a minute. If you want to give up the drums, that’s perfectly fine with us.
Bobby: Are you sure?
Carol: Positive. That is, if that’s really what you want.
Mike: That’s the point, Bob. Now, it has to be what you want. There are certain things a boy has to do, like homework or chores, but…
Carol: But you shouldn’t pretend to enjoy things just to please other people.
Mike: Ask Peter, he found out the same thing.
Bobby: I guess you’re right, and that really make sit neat-o. There’s another kid at school, George, and he wants to be a drummer.
Mike: Oh, well, I’m sure George will appreciate you giving up the drums for him.
Carol: Well, that’s really very thoughtful.
Bobby: Now I can switch with George, he’s gonna play the drums and I’m gonna play his instrument.
Mike: His instrument?
Bobby: Yeah, he loaned it to me so I could try it.
(He pulls out a bugle.)
Carol (annoyed): The bugle?
Bobby: Yeah, listen to this.
(He starts to pay and is just as bad on that as on the drums.)
Carol: I think he’s going to hurt himself.
(Mike laughs. Early the next morning, Bobby is outside playing the bugle. This awakens Mike and Carol.)
Carol: Mike, is that Bobby?
Mike: It’s not Gabriel. I think he’s trying to play reveille.
(Carol groans and tries going back to sleep. Mike gets out of bed.)
Carol: You’re not going to get up, are you?
Mike: Just long enough to tie a knot in his bugle.
(Mike leaves the room to head downstairs. Bobby is still playing off-key as the scene fades out.)
(The final scene has Mike coming home with a gift for Bobby.)
Mike (coming through the door): Hey, it’s me.
Carol: Hi, honey.
Mike: Hi, sweetheart. (He gives her a kiss.) Bobby home?
Mike (calling): Bobby!
Carol (pointing to the gift): What’s that?
Mike: It’s for Bobby. Listen, I spent half the day trying to figure this out. I finally got it.
Bobby (coming to him): You called?
Mike: Yes, son, I have something for you.
Bobby: For me?
Mike: Bobby, I know how very much you want to be in the band. And we tried the drums, we tried the bugle, but I honestly think this is going to be the answer.
Bobby (opening the package): The baton?
Carol: Bobby, that’s the most important part of the band.
Mike: You think you can learn to use that?
Bobby: Sure I can. Watch this.
(He goes around the living room twirling it.)
Mike: That won’t give us any trouble.
(Bobby went to toss the baton, and something accidentally broke.)
Bobby: Gee, I guess it’ll take a little practice.
Carol: A great idea.