S2 E20 Lights Out

untitled nightmares

Lights Out

Written by Bruce Howard

Cindy refuses to sleep with the lights out for fear of nightmares after seeing a magic trick. Hope you enjoy the script.











SALESMAN at magic shop

WARREN, contestant at Peter’s talent show

JUDGE at talent show

(The episode begins in the girls’ room, where they are all sleeping. Cindy wakes up and turns the lights on, awakening her sisters.)

Marcia: What’s the big idea?

Cindy: I can’t sleep with the lights off.

(Marcia gets up to turn the lights off. Cindy goes to turn them back on.)

Jan: Cindy, will you cut it out? (She gets out of bed) How are we supposed to sleep with the lights on?

(She turns them off again. Cindy turns them on.)

Cindy: If you go to sleep, you can’t see them on.

Marcia: If you go to sleep, you won’t see them off.

(Jan again turns off the lights, but Cindy turns them back on.)

Cindy (whining): I want them on!

Jan: Off!

Cindy: On!

(Mike comes in the room.)

Mike: Do you girls know what time it is? What are you doing up? Off with the lights, go to bed.

Cindy: But Daddy.

Mike: Good night.

(He turns the lights out but Cindy turns them back on.)

Marcia: She won’t sleep with the lights out.

Mike: That’s not like you. What do you want the lights on for?

Cindy: I just do.

Mike: Why?

Cindy: I’m (Pause) scared.

Mike: Honey, what are you scared of?

Cindy: I better not tell you, it’ll get me too scared.

(The scene fades.)

lights out

(The next scene has Cindy in Carol and Mike’s room.)

Cindy: Please, can I sleep with you tonight?

Carol: Cindy, honey, what are you so afraid of?

Cindy: If I tell you, can I sleep with you tonight?

Mike: Cindy, you girls have your own room.

Cindy: Please, just this once.

Carol: All right, just this once.

Cindy: Thank you.

Carol: Come on, here.

(She crawls into bed with them.)

Mike: Listen, what were you so frightened of?

Cindy: It was something I saw?

Carol: What?

Cindy: A magician at Jeremy’s birthday party.

Mike: What happened?

Cindy: He put a lady into a big box and made her disappear.

Carol (laughing): Oh, well, honey, the lady didn’t really disappear. That’s just part of the trick.

Mike: Sure. First you see her, then she disappears, then you see her again.

Cindy: I didn’t see her again.

Carol: But you had to, honey. That’s part of the trick.

Cindy: When she disappeared, I ran out. (She yawns) But I feel much safer now.

Carol: Oh, good. (whispering to Mike) I think she’s going to be all right now. Good night, sweetheart.

She and Mike kiss and turn out the lights.)

Cindy (waking up): It’s dark again!

Carol: Cindy.

Cindy: Please turn the light on.

(Carol turns it back on.)

Mike: Cindy, there is nothing to be afraid of in the dark.

Cindy: But that’s when I think about the lady.

Carol: But darling, that’s just your imagination. Now come on, lie down. Mommy will show you. Now close your eyes. (Cindy shuts her eyes) That’s it. Now I want you to think of something real pleasant. (Cindy smiles) That’s my girl. I bet you’re not seeing that lady disappear now, are you? (Cindy shakes her head no) No, of course not. (Mike smiles his approval) Good night, sweetheart.

(They turn the light s out one last time.)

Cindy (waking up): I’m thinking again.

(The next day, Mike comes home early from work.)

Mike (coming in the door): Hello, I’m home. (Alice comes out to greet him) Hi, Alice.

Alice: Hi Mr. Brady, what are you doing home so early?

Mike (tired): I couldn’t keep my eyes open at the office, I was up half the night with Cindy.

Alice: I got, some of this morning’s coffee left over. That might wake you up.

Mike: Yeah, I’m gonna look in the icebox.

(They go into the kitchen and Mike grabs an apple. Peter comes in from school.)

Peter: Hi, Dad. Hi, Alice.

Mike and Alice: Hi, Peter.

Peter: Guess what. Our school is putting on an all-time vaudeville show and I signed up for it.

Mike: Hey, terrific.

Peter: Of course you have to try out for it first.

Alice: What kind of act are you gonna do?

Peter: A magic act, like the guy did at Jeremy’s party. That was neat.

Mike: Hmm, I don’t know about that. Maybe we’ve had enough magic around here lately.

Peter: But Dad, I’ve got to have an act.

Alice: Sure, what’s a vaudeville performer without an act? On second thought, it hasn’t stopped some I’ve seen.

(Mike laughs.)

Mike: Hey, now that I think about it, doing magic might help Cindy. The more she sees of tricks and how they work, why, the less she’ll have reason to be afraid.

Alice: That’s a good idea, Mr. Brady.

Peter (excited): You mean I can be a magician?

Mike: Yep.

Alice: I hereby christen thee Peter the Great.

Mike: Well, I think I’ll catch your act later, Peter the Great.

(Mike walks away.)

Peter (to Alice): Boy, wait till I tell everybody.

(Greg and Bobby come in.)

Greg: Tell us what?

Peter: I’m going to be a magician at an all-time vaudeville show. At least I’m gonna try out for it.

Bobby: Neat-o.

Greg: That’s great. I know a couple of tricks can show you how to do.

Alice: I can sew you a fancy cape, Peter.

Bobby: I can help too?

Peter (agitated): How?

Bobby: I can tell you if the trick stinks.

(Alice starts clapping to him with her spatula. The next scene has Mike and Peter down at the magic shop.)

Salesman: You came to the right place mister. Now what kind of tricks did you want to do?

Mike: Well, they’re not for me. They’re for my son here.

Salesman: Oh?

Peter: I’m going to be a magician in a vaudeville show.

Salesman: Good for you, kid. You know, vaudeville ain’t dead. it ain’t feeling too good, but it ain’t dead.

Mike: I think we’d like to see some easy tricks. You know, nothing too difficult.

Salesman: No problem. I have a wonderful trick that any 6 year-old can do. The Chinese linking rings. (He hands them to Peter) Here, separate them, kid.

(Peter tries but fails.)

Peter: I can’t do it.

Salesman: You can’t do it. How old are you?

Peter: 12.

Salesman: No wonder you can’t separate them, you have to be six. Now watch. (He demonstrates the trick) I say the magic words, abracadabra. And slowly the rings separate.

Peter: Wow, how did you do that?

Mike: That’s very good.

Salesman: Good? Sensational. You ain’t seen nothing yet. Now, here’s a trick that the kid can do and stop the show with it. That’s show-biz talk. A simple little trick with a bottle and two empty tubes. You notice that the tube fits right over the bottle, and so does this one (tube). Remember the bottle is here. I say the magic words, abracadabra, and, voila, the bottle has changed places.

Peter: Gee, that’s out of sight.

Mike (taking some money out): I think you made a sale. We’ll take both those tricks.

Salesman: Alrighty. How about something spectacular. You know, like the disappearing cabinet.

Mike: Sounds like it might make too much of my money disappear.

Salesman (laughing): That’s funny, that’s very funny. You’re a riot. Tell you what, sir. (He takes a book out) this book has the blueprints and the illustrations, and you can build your own disappearing cabinet. It’s easy to do and lots of fun.

Peter: Gee, something spectacular like this can be the highlight of my act.

Salesman: You’re right, kid. Every act has got to have a highlight.

Mike: We’ll take the book.

Peter: Thanks, Dad.

Salesman (taking out a wand): Of course, nothing works without this. Every magician has got to have a magic wand. (He hands it to him and it turns into a flower) There you are, kid.

(Back at home, Peter is showing off his magic to Mike, Carol, Alice and Cindy.)

Peter: And now, ladies and gentlemen, my jumping bottle trick. (They all cheer him on) I propose to make the bottle jump from this tube to this tube. Now you see it, and now, abracadabra, Cindy, lift the container.

Carol: Oh, go on, honey, there’s nothing to be afraid of. It’s fun.

(Cindy gets up and lifts the container. Peter lifts the other container with the bottle inside it.)

Peter: The bottle has jumped.

Cindy: Gee, did I do that?

Peter: Of course not. I did. (to the others) You can applaud if you’d like.

(They all clap.)

Alice: Very good, Peter.

Peter: Not good, sensational. You ain’t seen nothing yet.

Mike (to Alice): That’s show-biz talk.

Cindy: Can I help you with another trick, Peter?

Carol: Hey, you know, Peter, she’d make a real cute assistant for you.

Mike: Hey, that’s a good idea.

Alice: Oh, sure. Every magician ought to have a pretty assistant who dresses up the act.

Peter: Yeah, that’s right. Cindy, do you want to be my assistant.

Cindy: Okay, but first, will you tell me how the trick works?

Peter: Well, first you take the…

(He whispers in her ear.)

Alice: Hey, what about us?

Cindy: Sorry, it’s a secret for us magicians.

(Peter nods and tells her the rest of the secret.)

(Next, he is in the girls’ room demonstrating a trick to Marcia and Jan.)

Peter: I would like to show you my famous disappearing banana trick. (to Cindy) Assistant, the banana, please. (She hands him the banana and he puts it in a box) I say the magic words, abracadabra, and (The banana disappears)

(Marcia and Jan clap.)

Marcia: Wow. that’s really good, Peter.

Cindy: Oh, I get it. the banana…

(He shushes her.)

Peter: You ain’t seen nothing yet. (He does another trick with some handkerchiefs) Assistant, the handkerchiefs, please. (She hands them to him) 1,2, and 1 makes 3. I say the magic words, abracadabra, and, they’re gone.

Marcia: Where did they go?

Peter: They didn’t go anywhere. Assistant.

(Cindy pulls them out.)

Cindy: 1,2, and 1 makes three.

(Marcia and Jan clap.)

Marcia: That is so great.

Jan: That is great.

(Next, Carol and Alice are sewing capes in the family room. Cindy and Peter come in.)

Peter: Are they done yet, Mom?

Carol: Oh, hi kids. Yeah, you’re just in time for a preview. (She shows Peter his cape, with Peter the Great written on it) Here, what do you think? Huh?

Peter: Boy, they’re neat.

Alice: And Cindy, this is yours. How do you like it? Hmm? (She shows her a blank cape and Cindy looks upset) What’s the matter?

Cindy: Isn’t there something missing?

(Alice realizes her mistake and then puts and Cindy on it.)

Alice: All right, is this better?

(She shows her.)

Cindy: Much better.

Carol (laughing): Thank goodness.

(Peter is up in his room trying the cape on, with Bobby watching.)

Bobby: Gee, that looks super.

Peter: Think I oughtta get a mustache to make me look more mysterious.

Greg (coming in the room): Hi, I got something for you.

Peter: What’s that?

Greg: A top hat.

Peter: Wow, that’s great.

Bobby: Where did you get it?

Greg: Randy Baldwin and his father had it in an old trunk. I thought you could use it in your act.

Peter: I sure can.

(He tries it on.)

Greg: It really is a magician’s hat. made your whole head disappear. (Bobby takes it and tries it on) Almost makes your whole body disappear.

(Next, Peter tries to get Cindy to go inside the disappearing cabinet to see how it works.)

Peter: But Cindy, you got to get inside the cabinet so I can make you disappear.

Cindy: I don’t wanna.

Jan: There’s nothing to be afraid of.

Cindy: I’m not afraid.

Jan: She’s afraid all right.

Peter: But there’s nothing to it (calling) Bobby!

Bobby (getting off the swing): Yeah?

(He runs over to Peter.)

Peter: You want to get inside the disappearing cabinet?

Bobby: Sure.

(He gets in.)

Peter: Okay, watch. Now you see him. (He closes the cabinet) I say the magic words, abracadabra, disappear. (He opens it and Bobby’s gone) And he’s gone.

Cindy (frightened): Bring him back, Peter. Bring him back.

Peter: Okay, okay. (He shuts the cabinet) I say the magic words, abracadabra, return from beyond.

(He opens the cabinet but Bobby fails to come back.)

Cindy: Where is he?

Peter: Bobby, did you hear me? Bobby!

Cindy (upset): You made him disappear just like that lady, and he’s never coming back. (She runs away) Mommy, Mommy! Peter made Bobby disappear! Mommy!

Jan (to Peter): Now look what you’ve done. Cindy’s more scared than ever.

Peter (looking around): Bobby, come on!

(The scene fades.)

images magician

(The next scene has Mike coming home. Jan comes and greets him.)

Jan: Hi, Dad.

Mike: Hi, sweetheart.

Jan: I’m glad you’re home.

Mike: Yeah, me too. (He gets out of his car) I spent all morning in the sand traps. Might as well have gone to the beach.

Jan: Cindy’s all upset again. She’s up in our room and Mom’s with her.

Mike: What happened?

Jan: Bobby disappeared.

Mike: Disappeared?

Jan: Peter made him disappear in the cabinet, and Bobby didn’t come back. I guess Bobby’s playing some kind of a joke.

Mike: Well, not a very funny joke. I’m gonna have a talk with that young man.

Jan: But he’s not here. We’re looking for him.

(Marcia comes out with Peter.)

Marcia: Then what happened?

Peter: I just said the magic words, abracadabra.

Mike: Hey, Peter.

Peter: Yeah, Dad.

Peter (to Marcia): That’s all I did. I just said the magic words.

Mike: Okay, now, what happened?

Peter: I don’t know. I don’t know where he went.

Jan: Me either, Dad. It was weird. All of a sudden he was there and then…

(Bobby finally emerges.)

Bobby: Here I am.

Peter (angry): Bobby, where have you been?

Mike: You want to give us a little explanation?

Bobby: Well, after I got out the secret door, I sneaked out the back of the garage for a joke.

Peter (upset): Some joke.

Bobby: I fooled you, huh?

Mike: You may have fooled us, but you scared Cindy.

Bobby: I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to do that, honest.

Mike: Well, I think Cindy would like to hear your apology. Now, move.

(He grabs Bobby by the neck and makes him go upstairs to see Cindy.)

Peter (to himself): I wonder if Houdini started out like this.

(Cindy is in her room with Carol comforting her.)

Bobby: Cindy, it’s me, Bobby.

Cindy: Bobby!

(She gives him a big hug.)

Bobby: I was only playing a joke. I’m sorry I scared you.

Cindy: I thought you really disappeared.

Bobby: Well, I didn’t. You can let go now.

Cindy (letting go): I’m glad you’re back.

(She kisses him.)

Bobby: What did you have to do that for?

(He wipes the kiss off and leaves. Mike hits him on the back with a magazine he’s carrying.)

Carol: Now do you understand there wasn’t anything to be afraid of?

Cindy: Uh-huh, but I don’t want to be Peter’s magic assistant anymore.

Mike: Hey, he’s counting on you for his tryout tomorrow afternoon, honey.

Cindy: Jan knows what to do. She can take my place.

Carol: But Cindy, I told you there’s no reason to be afraid.

Cindy: I’m not afraid. But if it’s okay, tonight I think I’ll sleep with the lights on again.

(That evening, Peter is doing another performance for the family, with Jan as his assistant.)

Jan: And now, ladies and gentlemen, introducing Peter the Great!

(They all clap as he comes down the stairs in his magician outfit.)

Peter: Ladies and gentlemen, my assistant will hand me a pair of ordinary Chinese linking rings. (She hands him the rings) Observe. The linking rings are linked.

(He attempts to separate them.)

Greg: And they’re still linked.

(They all laugh.)

Peter: Abracadabra.

(He unlinks them and the family cheers and applauds. Jan hands him a pitcher of milk.

Peter: Observe, nothing in my hand.

Carol: Except a little dirt.

(Everyone laughs.)

Peter: I’m gonna pour this milk in my fist.

Alice: Look out for the carpet, Peter.

Peter (pouring): Going, going, (He raises his hand, which has no milk on it) Gone.

(Everyone claps. Cindy comes down the stairs.)

Cindy: Good night, everybody. I’m going to sleep now.

Carol: Cindy, honey, don’t you want to stay and watch Peter rehearse for his tryout tomorrow?

Mike: He’s really good, honey.

Cindy: No thanks.

(She goes upstairs to bed.)

Carol: Boy, that magic has really got her bugged.

(The next day at school, a student named Warren comes out to play his accordion. He has a slight problem getting it out and setting it up. He also seems hesitant to play.)

Judge: Anytime you’re ready, Warren?

(Warren starts to play as Peter awaits his turn backstage with Mike.)

Mike: Calm down, Peter. We got everything here.

Peter: Everything but Jan, and I’m on right after Warren.

Mike: Well, she’ll be here. Your mother’s gone to the gym to get her.

Peter: Boy, my stomach sure feels funny.

Mike (laughing): You’ve got butterflies.

Peter: Mine feel more like bats.

Mike: You wanted to be in show business.

(Meanwhile, Jan is the nurse’s office. She calls home and speaks to Cindy.)

Jan: Hi, Cindy, Jan. Is Mom or Dad there?

Cindy: Uh uh. They took Peter’s magic stuff over to the school.

Jan: Oh, I’m in the nurse’s office. I twisted my ankle in gym class.

Cindy: Gee, I’m sorry.

Jan: Well, I guess I better call over to the auditorium and tell Dad I can’t help Peter.

Cindy: But if you don’t help him, he won’t win.

Jan: Oh, I’m sorry. But how can I do it on one foot? Bye.

Cindy: Bye.

(She hangs up and starts to ponder. Meanwhile, Warren is still playing his accordion, and Mike is on the phone with Jan.)

Mike: Are you sure it’s not serious, Jan?

Jan: It’s just a little sprain.

Mike: That’s good, honey. Your mother went to gym class, I’m sure they’ll send her right over.

Jan: But what about Peter, Dad? I can walk a little bit.

Mike: Jan, you stay off that ankle, okay?

Jan: Okay.

Mike: Okay, bye, sweetheart.

(He hangs up.)

Peter (annoyed): Oh, great, there goes my act.

Mike: Well, it’s not as though your sister planned it this way, Peter.

Peter: I know, and I’m sorry she hurt herself.

Mike: You worked very hard for this tryout and there’s no reason you can’t go out there and perform by yourself.

Peter: Maybe one or two tricks, but who’s going to get in the disappearing cabinet? That’s the highlight of my whole act.

Mike: Well, leave that out, and just do the best you can, huh?

Peter: Right now, I wish I could disappear.

(Peter heads toward the stage as Warren finishes his act.)

Judge (unimpressed): That was very nice, Warren. thank you.

(Warren bows and puts his accordion away, then exits the stage.)

Judge: Next on the list is Peter Brady and his magic act. (calling) Are you ready, Peter?

Peter: Yes, sir.

Mike: Now, just do the best you can.

(Peter moves his act to the stage. Takes his hat off and bows.)

Peter: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. (Mike continues to encourage him) The first act I’d like to do for you is a very good trick I know you’d like. Only I can’t do it because I don’t have my assistant. But I’ve got an even better trick, though. It’s really terrific, with a rope, a rabbit and a canary. But I can’t do that one either without my assistant. And I also can’t do my best trick of all, the disappearing lady. I’m real sorry I can’t do it for you. You’d have really liked that one. But I’ll have to do some of my other tricks, because like I said, I don’t have my assistant.

(Cindy and Alice show up behind the stage.)

Cindy: Yes you do, Peter?

(Peter looks back in surprise.)

Cindy (to Mike): Jan called home, so I came to help Peter.

Peter: He could sure use some help.

Alice: She’s all set to go, I took the wings off her fairy princess costume.

Mike: Listen Cindy, are you positive you want to do this?

Cindy: I’m positive. I’m still a little scared, but I’m positive.

(Alice puts her cape on her and Cindy goes out to join Peter.)

Cindy: I’m ready Peter the Great. You can make me disappear now.

Peter: Thanks, Cindy. (to the judges) Ladies and gentlemen, my assistant and sister. (They clap) And now for the highlight of my act, a trick that will amaze you. (He takes Cindy aside to the cabinet) You sure you’re okay?

Cindy: I think so.

(She goes inside the cabinet and closes her eyes. Peter shuts it and takes his wand.)

Peter: And now I say the magic words, abracadabra, disappear. (He opens the drape and she is no longer inside) And she’s gone.

(The judges clap.)

Judge: Good.

Peter: And now I say the magic words again, abracadabra, return from beyond.

(He opens the drape again and Cindy is back inside. The judges clap, along with Mike and Alice.)

Judge: Excellent.

Peter (to Cindy): Are you still okay?

Cindy: Let’s do it again.

(Mike gives them the okay signal from behind the stage.)

Peter: Ladies and gentlemen, if it’s all right with you, my assistant wants to do this trick again.

Judge (clapping): By all means.

Peter: I say the magic words, abracadabra, disappear.

(He does the trick once again as the scene fades out.)


(The final scene has Mike coming home from work.)

Mike: I’m home.

(Carol comes out to greet him.)

Carol: Oh, hi, honey.

(They kiss.)

Mike (putting his hand out): For you.

Carol: What?

Mike (taking something from his other hand): A flower.

(Carol laughs.)

Mike: Say listen, you know that mink you were hinting about for our last anniversary?

Carol: Yeah.

Mike: Have another flower.

Carol: Oh, Mike, that’s a terrible joke to play on me.

(She hits him with the flower as Mike runs toward the kitchen.)

untitled disappearing cabinet


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s