And Now A Word From Our Sponsor
Written by Albert E. Lewin
The Bradys are approached by a director at the grocery store. He casts them to star in a soap commercial, resulting in plenty of turmoil. I hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
SKIP FARNUM, director
CAMERAMAN on SKIP’S crew
MYRNA, friend of the Bradys
DELIVERY MAN who sends them boxes of soap
(The episode begins with Carol and the kids coming out of the supermarket. Bobby starts running in and out of the automatically opening doors.)
Carol: Bobby, come on.
(He catches up to the family as they head to their car while a mysterious gentlemen follows them, raising his hands up to his face while they get suspicious.)
Greg: That guy’s been following us all over the market.
Jan: Why does he keep looking at us through his hands?
Carol: Just ignore him and let’s keep going.
(They fill the station wagon with their groceries as the guy confronts them.)
Skip: Hi, there. Oh, you are it. You are really it.
Carol: We are what?
Skip: Yeah, I’ve been working for weeks, for months. Oh, this is exactly right. The whole ball of wax. (He puts his hands up once again) Oh, look, I’m a TV director. (He hands them a card) Here, read this and we’ll rap.
Carol (reading): Skip Farnum Film Enterprises. Yeah, that’s my company. We make commercials.
Skip: Yeah, TV commercials for the big tube. Look, we want you and your kids and your husband all on TV selling our groovy product Safe, the greatest little laundry soap in the world.
Carol: Us in a TV commercial?
Kids: Wow, that would be so much fun.
(They all get excited as the scene fades.)
(The next scene has the family coming home and joyfully sharing their good news with Alice.)
Marcia: Alice, (She hands her a bag) I’ll help in a minute. I’ve just got to tell Jane the fantastic news.
(Greg follows her in.)
Greg: Oh no you don’t, I got the phone first!
Alice: What fantastic news?
(Everybody comes in one person after another, then they run.)
Carol: Alice, you won’t believe it! It’s crazy! Wait till I tell Mike!
Alice: I’ll believe it, I’ll believe it, what?
Jan: Alice, did you hear about it?
Alice: Yeah, I heard all about it, except what it’s all about.
Peter: We’re going to be on television!
Alice: You’re going to be on television?
(Cindy comes in.)
Alice (to Cindy): Hey, you’re going to be on television?
Cindy: Yeah, we’re gonna do a commercial for a funny man who looks through his hands!
(She runs and Alice is stuck standing there with bags of groceries in her hands.)
Alice (to herself): Looks through his hands?
(The next scene has Farnum visiting Mike and Carol at the house.)
Carol: And you’re going to shoot the commercial right here in our house, Mr. Farnum?
Skip: Yeah, I got to lay on a little realism. You know, the natural look. (He hands them the contract) Read, enjoy, I got to go scan the pad.
(He walks off to investigate the rest of the house for the commercial. Mike and Carol look over the contract.)
Carol: Wow, look at the size of that contract for a 1 minute commercial.
Mike: Hmm, you’d think we were doing Gone With The Wind.
(Skip looks over the kitchen with his hands.)
Skip: Oh, groovy!
(He is about to enter the family room when Alice comes out.)
Skip: Who are you, pussycat?
Alice: Oh, uh, umm, I’m pussycat Alice.
Skip (checking her over): Oh, that face! Like real! It’s organic! Oh, you are definitely in the commercial.
Alice: Oh, that’s who you are, Mr. Farnum.
Skip (raising his hands): Yeah.
(Greg comes down the stairs to speak to Mike and Carol.)
Greg: Did Mr. Farnum go?
Carol: No, he’s around here somewhere scanning the pad.
Greg: Dad, I hate to be crass about a thing like this, but does that contract mention anything about loot?
Mike: We get paid, yes.
Greg: Out of sight. Is it a lot?
Mike: Well, uh, considering the amount of work we do, um, yeah, it’s out of sight.
(She starts to walk away.)
Mike: Wait a minute, mister. The money we make is going into all of our saving accounts.
Greg: Maybe we can have some of it now, for something a little special.
(Mike shakes his head no.)
Carol: Maybe just a little, Mike?
Mike: Well, maybe a little.
Greg (excited): Thanks, Dad!
(Next, Greg is up in his room with Peter and Bobby. He is looking at a guitar magazine.)
Greg: Gaze on that amplifier.
Peter: That must cost a bundle.
Greg: No, maybe a couple hundred dollars.
Bobby: You’re dreaming.
Greg: Nope, I am buying.
Peter: With what, you’re printing your own money?
Greg: The money we’ll get from doing the TV commercial! Dad said we can have a little of it now.
Peter: You call a couple hundred dollars a little?
Greg: A drop in the bucket! You make a fortune on a TV commercial.
Bobby: Wow! I can buy that neat electric train outfit.
Peter: I bet I can have a mini bike.
Greg: After this commercial, we’ll do another one. We’ll make thousands.
Bobby: Maybe more.
(Meanwhile, the girls are discussing the same issue. They go into the bathroom.)
Marcia: I’m so excited about doing this commercial.
Cindy: Me too.
Jan (looking in the mirror): What’s the matter with me? I don’t have dates any more. Could it be my (Pause) breath?
(She breathes on the mirror. Marcia does the same dramatic performance in another mirror.)
Marcia: I used to have the same trouble, now I use Dazzle. It kills everything in your mouth, including your gums.
Cindy: My trouble is, my curls won’t just stand up in the rain. They get all frizzled!
Jan: Next time, try spring! (She takes a can of hair spray) It winds your curls up so tight, it lifts you right off the ground!
(Marcia picks her up and they all start giggling. Mike is in his room, looking over the contract, while Carol is laying in bed.)
Carol (dismayed): Oh, honey, aren’t you finished yet?
Mike: I tell you, I cannot make heads or tails out of this show business legal double talk. (He gets up from the chair) I think I better have our attorney check it.
Carol: All of that just to sell a little soap?
Mike (showing her the contract): Oh yeah, but not just soap honey. Safe.
Carol: Oh, a thousand pardons, sir. Next time I mention another brand, I’ll wash my mouth out with Safe.
(Mike starts to get into bed.)
Mike: Well, to tell you the truth, I don’t know how you tell all those brands apart, you women.
Carol: Well, it isn’t easy. You know, we used to use Clear and Bright until we found out it turned our water dim and dark. And that’s when we switched.
Mike: To what?
Carol: Help! (Mike laughs) Except we found out that help didn’t help. And so that’s when we turned to Champ, the Dirt Fighter.
Mike: Oh, not Champ, the dirt fighter.
(He pretends to start fighting and Carol laughs.)
Carol: Yes, but we found out that Champ couldn’t take the Brady dirt and lost the title.
Mike: And, don’t keep me in suspense.
Carol: Well, then, that’s when we switched to Best.
Mike: When did you start using safe?
Carol: Oh, I forgot, uh, right between Champ and Best.
Mike: Hold it, honey. You mean, we switched from Safe to Best?
Carol: Yeah, because Best is best.
Mike: Well, yeah, but how are we going to get up in front of millions of people and lie?
Carol: What do you mean?
Mike: Well, look, we can’t do a commercial about Safe if you’re still using Best.
Carol (confused): What, do you mean to say that all those people who do commercials really use the products?
Mike: Well, I don’t know, but I think they should. At least I think we should because otherwise it’s a fraud.
Carol: Gee, I never really thought of it like that.
Mike: You know what?
Mike: I think I had better call up Mr. Farnum and tell him it’s off.
Carol: Oh, Mike! Oh, the kids are going to be so disappointed.
(Next, we see the boys in the backyard, upset about the bad news.)
Greg: It’s a bummer.
Peter: Yeah, we practically had all that money right in our hands.
Bobby: Why would I be a fraud? I don’t even use any kind of laundry soap.
Greg: That’s not the point. We’re all in the commercial. It’s like we’re all saying something that’s not true.
(He walks away and hands Peter his basketball.)
Peter (to Bobby): Get it?
Bobby: Gee, one minute we’re millionaires, the next minute we’re broke again.
(Carol and Alice are in the kitchen crushing green beans and discussing their loss.)
Carol: You know, Alice, I think we set a record for the shortest career in show business.
Alice: Yeah, for one brief moment there, I was Pussycat Alice. (The phone rings) Brady residence. Hi, Mr. Brady. Yeah, she’s right here.
(She gives the phone to Carol.)
Carol (on the phone): Hi, honey.
Mike (from the office): Carol, I just called Farnum to tell him the commercial was off.
Carol: I hope he wasn’t angry with us.
Mike: No, no, no, not at all. But he did tell me something important.
Mike: We never used Safe.
Carol: Honey, we went through all this last night. I told you I did…
Mike: But not this Safe, you used the old one, this is the new, improved safe. Just came on the market last week.
Carol: New and improved?
Mike: Right, and if we never used it, maybe it is better than Best.
Carol: Then we just test them both and find out.
Mike: That’s exactly what I was thinking. Then it would be perfectly fair and honest, right?
Carol: Right, and if Safe washes better than best, we do the commercial, right?
Mike: Yeah, right.
Carol: Oh, that’s great, honey. Bye. (She hangs up) Alice, round up the kids. We got a Brady wash-a-thon coming up.
(The scene fades.)
(The next scene has the family in the kitchen. They are preparing to test which soap is better.)
Carol: Okay, now, you all know what you’re supposed to do, right?
Carol: Well, kids, I never thought I’d be saying this to you, but I want you to go outside and get dirty. (The kids all go outside) Now, Alice, you’re the only one who will know which clothes you washed with which soap. And your lips are sealed, okay.
Alice: Oh, I am sealed.
(Greg and Peter are outside.)
Greg: Okay, Pete, let me have it.
Peter: My pleasure, sir.
(He squirts oil on Greg’s tee shirt.)
Greg (laughing): Okay, that ought to be enough. (Peter continues to squirt) Pete, that’s enough.
(Peter continues but Greg grabs the oil to squirt him but Peter runs away. Cindy and Bobby are mixing dirt and water to create mud.)
Bobby: Make it real mushy.
Cindy: I will.
(Peter rushes over.)
Peter: Okay, that looks good. Okay, remember, smush it all over each other. Okay, ready.
(They put their hands in the mud.)
Peter: 1,2,3, smush.
(They put the mud on Peter and his clothes. He does the same to them.)
(Marcia and Jan are using jars of paint.)
Marcia: Are you ready?
Marcia: On your mark.
Jan: Get set.
(They start putting paint on each other.)
(Next, Mike comes home form work and greets Carol in the kitchen.)
Carol: Oh, hi, honey. (They kiss) You’re just in time for the judging.
Carol: On the left is pile A, and on the right is Pile B. Which one do you think is the cleanest?
(They check both piles and reach a decision.)
Mike: Well, uh.
Mike: I’d say Pile A.
Carol: Well, then, that makes it unanimous. I’d go for Pile A.
Mike: Well, Alice, which soap is Safe? A or B?
Alice: The winner is, the envelope please (the kids hand her an envelope) The winner is (looking at the envelope) well, it says pile A, but I can’t remember whether pile A is Best or Safe.
Carol: Oh, no.
Mike: What are we gonna do about it?
Alice: Oh, no problem, Mr. Brady. Kids, put your old clothes back on and dirty up again.
(Next, we have the kids’ laundry in two separate piles again.
Mike: Well, this time I’d say Pile B.
Carol: Pile B.
Alice: Unanimous again. (She opens up another envelope) Okay, the winner is (Pause) Pile B is safe.
Carol (excited): Then we do the commercial!
(All the kids cheer.)
Alice (shouting): Tv, here we come!
(The next scene has Mie and Carol at the dining room table discussing the contract with Skip Farnum.)
Mike: There you are, Mr. Farnum. We’re all signed, sealed and delivered.
Skip: Out of sight.
(A crewman comes to tell Skip everything is set.)
Crewman: Everything checks out, Skip. No problems, easy to light.
Skip: Crazy. (to Mike and Carol) Okay, you folks study your script. We’re gonna be here bright and early Saturday morning to grind the cameras. (to the crewman) come on, man, let’s split.
(He and the crewman discuss some other things but Mike and Carol stop them.)
Carol: Mr. Farnum, excuse me. Uh, do you think we might get a chance to rehearse the script?
Mike: Yeah, because, you know, we never done this before.
Skip (to the crewman): Hey, come on, cool it, man. (to Mike and Carol) Listen, don’t worry about a thing. You just learn those lines and leave the rehearsing to me. Chow.
Crewman: Right this way, Skip.
Skip: Yeah, cool.
(He and the crewman leave. They are outside.)
Crewman: Hey, that no rehearsal bit is just great. You really got it up here, Skip. (pointing to his brain)
Skip: Man, I got it everywhere.
Crewman: And it’s a real natural family, too.
Skip: Cool, and that’s the way they’re gonna stay, too.
(Next, Mike and Carol go over the script in the living room.)
Mike: I’m getting cold feet.
Carol: Cold feet?
Mike: Yeah. Have you read this thing? That’s not going to be easy doing all this that we’re supposed to be doing.
Carol: You mean holding up a box of soap?
Mike: No, I mean holding it up and not looking like we’re (Pause) stupid.
Carol: I wonder.
Carol: You know Laura’s cousin is an actress, Myrna Carter?
Mike: Yeah, Myrna.
Carol: No, she calls herself (pronounced Meerna).
Carol: Well, she’s not important or anything like that, but, why couldn’t we call her and ask her for a few tips.
Mike (putting his finger up): Great! (He grabs the phone and hands it to her) Call her. Come on, call her.
(The next scene has Myrna over giving them some acting lessons, while Mike and Carol rehearse their lines in the family room.)
Mike: Hi, honey, here’s that box of Safe you wanted from the market.
Carol: Thanks dear, and just in time. I was down to that last cupful of Safe.
Mike: So was the market. Safe really outsells all other brands.
Carol: That’s because Safe cleans all things better always. I just couldn’t do without safe. It’s the only brand I feel safe with.
(Myrna has a little laugh, then she makes a statement.)
Myrna: No, no. Kids, I’m sorry, but it’s all wrong.
Carol: Oh, Myrna, I’m so glad I called you. Would you please tell us what to do?
Mike: Yeah, what’s wrong?
Myrna: Well, you know, you’re just reading it. No one’s going to believe it, you know what I mean? Um, you’re not motivated.
Mike: How do you mean?
Myrna: Uh, well, I mean, Like what’s your attitude when you say your lines? What are you thinking? How do you, how do you feel? You know about what you’re saying.
Carol: I never thought of all that.
Mike: I didn’t either. That’s important?
Myrna: Important? Oh, wow, like, motivation is everything. I mean, it’s what gives the meaning and the emotion of acting, you know?
Carol: Could we try it again?
Myrna: Oh, sure, sure, sure, sure. (She takes Mike by the arm) What you’re saying. Michael, Michael, uh, Michael, you think about it this way. You think about all the guys at your office and how they’ve been telling you how great your shirts look. Mike, how clean. and that makes you proud, Mike, how proud, because you know it’s because of Safe. You see, Mike, that’s the motivation like the attitude, right?
Mike: Yeah, right, yeah.
Myrna: Okay, okay, so you think about being at the office.
Mike: Yeah, yeah.
Myrna: And Carol: Carol, you’re thinking, you’re thinking, wow, he brought me a box of that stuff. And that makes you happy because your husband is proud of the way you wash his shirts. You see?
Carol: Okay, I’ll try.
Myrna: Good, good, good. And remember, lots of energy. Keep it up there. Because acting is bigger than life.
Mike: Listen, Myrna. (She and Carol pronounce it as Meerna) I don’t think I can do this.
Myrna: Oh, no, no, no, you’re doing fine. You’re getting it, you really are. Hey Mike, Mike, the seed is there. all you have to do is let it grow, you know? Let it grow, right? Okay, now let’s try it again. And remember, up there, energy and bigger than life, okay?
(Alice hears from the kitchen.)
Myrna: Come on.
(Mike repeats the line with more energy.)
Mike: Hi honey, here’s that box of Safe you wanted from the office, at the market.
Carol (loudly): Thanks, dear, and just in time! I was down to my last cupful of Safe!
Mike: So was the market. Boy, it really outsells all other brands.
Myrna (excited): Good, good, good, that’s really good. Only a little bit bigger, though. Because you gotta, gotta grab that audience. You know what I mean?
Myrna: Yes. One more time now.
Mike: Give me my safe.
(Carol gives him the box as he repeats his line and Alice hears from the kitchen.)
Alice: Hmm, motivation, huh. Bigger than life, hmm? I think I’m going to try some of that myself.
(The next day, Skip, his cameraman and the rest of his crew are over at the house, ready to shoot the commercial.)
Skip (to the crewman): Parents, kids, housekeeper.
Crewman: Housekeeper, yeah.
Skip: In that order. Parents, kids, housekeeper. Groovy, okay, good. (He goes over to Mike and Carol, who are entering the kitchen) Okay, now go team. I want you to listen to what I’m laying down. Now, love (Carol), you’re over there at the counter, see, and you’re making with the greenery. (to Mike) Then pops, you come flipping in, and you lay this box of flakes on the little lady, and then you have a rap session, and then we cut. Dig?
Mike: I think so.
Carol: Excuse me, Mr. Farnum, but, when do we get to rehearse?
Skip: Oh, we’re not going to rehearse. Oh, don’t worry. Now trust me, pussycat, it’s just going to be great. Just going to be great. (He moves her to the stove) Now just trust me. Groovy, groovy. (to Mike) Oh, my rock. (to the crew) Come on, let’s make film. (He goes over to the camera) Let me check the shot. (The camera shows Mike holding the box of safe. He adjusts it from upside down to right side up.) Yeah, groovy. Okay, let’s crack one up. (He lets the cameraman back in there) Okay kids, right in there. Rolling. Speed. Action.
(Mike comes in and says his lines.)
Mike: Hi, honey, here’s that box of safe you wanted from the market.
Carol: And just in time. I was down to my last cupful of Safe.
Skip: Cut! Stop, stop! What was that? I mean, where’s that Mrs. America that I dug in the parking lot? and you, pops, my rock. Man, you look like you flew in from a feather factory.
Mike: I was motivating. I was thinking of the boys in the office.
Skip: What boys in the office?
Mike: The ones who keep telling me how clean my shirts are.
Carol: Yeah, and I was thinking, wow, he brought me a box of that stuff.
Skip: Oh, you’re putting me on, right?
Mike: Well, I was working on an attitude.
Carol: Me too.
Skip: Attitude? Well I’ll give you an attitude, relax. Look. come in here for one minute, will you? Just go in there (the living room) and cool it, all right. Now just unwind, just sit down and unwind, and I’ll get back to you in a minute. (He gives a frustrated look and goes back to the crew) Hey, man, are the kids ready?
Crewman: The kids are ready, Skip.
Skip: All right, let’s move it, now. In a hurry. Are the kids ready?
(The kids shout that they’re ready.)
Skip: All right, let’s move it. (to the crewman) What happens when you put a camera on a bunch of squares? They flip out.
Crewman: Just cool it. It’s going to be fine.
Skip: Yeah, okay, okay, Okay, great, great. Okay kids, be ready now. All right, rolling! Speed! Action!
(The kids all come out in their dirty, grimy clothes. Skip checks each one of them over.)
Skip: Cut, cut, cut! Kids! What’s with all this dirt?
Greg: We were supposed to be out playing, Mr. Farnum.
Skip: In a swamp?
Marcia: Well, we made ourselves extra dirty on purpose.
Peter: Yeah, because we know Safe cleans anything.
Bobby: We were motivated.
Skip (upset): Motivated? Oh, man. (He looks up) Nobody up there digs me. (to the kids) Come on, out, out. Get out now, now. Get yourself cleaned up. Now dirty, okay, but blech, no. Out, come on, come on, come on. Let’s go, let’s go, out. (He pushes them out the kitchen door.) Hey, man, the housekeeper. Is the housekeeper ready?
Crewman: Housekeeper’s ready, Skip.
Skip: All right, let’s move it back. Come on, move it. Is the housekeeper ready? Come on, let’s go, let’s go. It’s costing bread. Don’t you understand? Okay, all right, okay, okay, okay, okay. All right housekeeper. Be ready, now, be ready.
Alice (calling from the other room): Ready.
Skip: Rolling, speed, action.
(Alice comes out of the next room with make-up, a new hairdo and a party dress. She is carrying a bunch of clean towels and sheets.)
Skip (upset): Oh, no, no, cut, stop.
(He comes up to Alice.)
Alice: Did I do something wrong?
Skip: What was that? The dance of the good fairy? And what’s with that spaghetti?
Alice: Look, I was motivating.
Skip (angry): Motivating!
Alice: Well, I figured that Safe washed clothes so fast I had time to go to the beauty parlor.
(Skip goes into an angry fit.)
Skip: Okay, now I’m motivating. Everybody, everybody, come in here, please. Everybody come in here. (The kids and Mike and Carol come in) I want you all to know this whole gig is off. Kaput. I mean, this whole thing is a washout. (The family gives disappointing looks) My nice, natural family is just a bunch of ding-a-lings.
Mike: We were only trying to be helpful, Mr. Farnum. We took some acting lessons.
Carol: We just wanted to be bigger than life.
Skip: Yeah, well, you’ll be bigger, but not in in my life. Now, come on, get out. Out of my house, all of you.
Mike: This is my house.
Skip: Hmm, oh, come on, man, let’s split. Wrap it up. (He and his start to leave but they stop as he speaks to him) Hey, wait a minute. You know, this whole scene reminds me of that horrible actress we worked with.
Crewman: Myrna Carter.
Skip: That’s the nut, Myrna Carter.
Crewman: No, Myrna (pronouncing as Meerna).
Skip: Meerna, Myrna, I don’t care. She blew my mind back there.
(They leave the house as the scene fades.)
(The final scene comes with Carol and Alice on the patio. Alice is gardening while Carol reads a letter.)
Carol: Alice, would you come here a minute, please? I still don’t understand this special delivery letter I got.
Alice: It must be quite a letter, I think you’ve read it at least six times this morning.
Carol: Well, would you sit down and listen to this? (Alice sits) In compliance with our contractual agreement, Skip Farnum Film Enterprises will meet its obligation of payment. As to manner of payment, We refer you to Section 12, Article C, Paragraph 42 of Contract. Now, what do you suppose that means by manner of payment?
Alice: Sorry, Hungarian goulash I understand, legal goulash I don’t.
Carol: Well, I guess we’ll just have to wait for Mr. Brady to get home. Maybe he’ll know.
(Suddenly, a delivery truck shows up.)
Carol: What in the world?
Deliveryman: One of you, Mrs. Brady?
Carol: I’m Mrs. Brady.
Deliveryman: I have a delivery for you.
Carol: I don’t remember ordering anything.
Alice: Maybe Mr. Brady did.
(They walk over to the truck.)
Carol: Excuse me.
Deliveryman: Sign here.
(He hands her a pad with a paper to sign.)
Carol: What am I signing for?
Deliveryman: (bringing order down): It’s from Farnum Film Enterprises. Safe laundry soap.
Alice (laughing): Guess what they meant by manner of payment.
Carol: 48 boxes of soap?
Deliveryman: Down, Harry. (to Carol) 48 boxes? Lady, you got 2,000 boxes coming. (He brings it over to the house) Where do you want them?
(Carol looks morosely at all the boxes in the truck.)
Alice: Where do you want them, lady?
Carol: Oh, Alice.
(She tries to ponder what to do with it all and the scene fades.)