NOTE: Please forgive me if I misspell or get some words and names wrong. I was unable to find subtitles.
Jan’s Aunt Jenny
Written by Michael Morris
The Bradys find an old picture of their great aunt (Carol’s aunt) Jenny, who resembled Jan 40 years earlier. Eventually she comes to pay a visit. Hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
AUNT JENNY, Carol’s aunt and the kids’ great-aunt
(The episode begins with the Bradys cleaning out their attic. They are walking down the stairs with boxes. Then they go in the family room.)
Marcia: Mom, how come we suddenly decided to move all this old junk out of the attic?
Carol: Because we need room for all the new junk.
Mike: Listen, I think I’ve toted my last barge and lifted my last bail. Besides, I want to work on this before the kids get it.
(Mike takes an old gramophone and takes it to his den. Carol laughs as Cindy and Jan are laughing at something else.)
Marcia: What’s so funny?
Jan: This old picture, it’s so funny. Look at it.
(Carol sees it.)
Carol: that’s a picture of my great-grandmother.
Cindy: is that supposed to be a bathing suit?
Alice: That is a turn of the century full length bikini.
Carol: As a matter of fact, my great-grandmother got arrested for wearing one of those.
Marcia: What for?
Carol: Indecent exposure. Look, her knees are showing.
Alice: That naughty girl.
(Cindy finds another picture that looks a little too familiar.)
Cindy: Gee, look at this one. It’s Jan.
Jan (looking at the picture): Gee, I don’t remember taking that.
Carol: You didn’t, honey. That was a picture of my Aunt Jenny. It was taken when she was about your age. My goodness, it must have been about 40 years ago.
Alice: The resemblance is remarkable, Mrs. Brady.
Carol: It really is, isn’t it.
Cindy: It looks just like Jan.
Jan (taking another look): Gee, it’s, it’s spooky.
Carol: Well, come on everybody, up and atom. There are a lot more goodies in the attic. Come on.
(They go upstairs but Jan and Marcia stay behind momentarily.)
Jan (to Marcia): I wonder what she looks like now.
Marcia: Maybe that’s what you’ll look like.
Jan: I think I’ll send Aunt Jenny a picture of myself and ask her to send me a picture of herself.
Marcia: Good idea.
Jan: I’m gonna write her right away. I can hardly wait to see what she looks like.
(The scene fades.)
(The next scene has Alice in the kitchen and Jan comes home.)
Jan: Hi, Alice.
Alice: Hi, sweetie.
Jan: Is there any mail for me today?
Alice: Honey, you have been asking me that for 10 days, and every day I told you the same thing, no. But today I’m gonna tell you yes.
Jan: There is?
Alice: On the counter.
(Jan finds a letter on the counter and runs upstairs with it.)
Jan (excited): It’s from her, it’s from her!
Alice: It’s from who, it’s form who?
(Jan goes upstairs to her room, puts her books down and puts on her glasses. She opens the letter and starts to read.)
Jan (reading): Dear soul sister, thanks for the picture and I’ll bet we’re the first twins that were born 40 years apart. Like you wrote, it’s real spooky. Enclosed is the latest photo of me. Hope that very soon we can exchange hugs instead of pictures. Love, Jenny.
(Jan hurriedly takes out the picture of her great-aunt. She is shocked to find that Aunt Jenny is a plain, middle-aged woman. Jan looks in the mirror and sees the resemblance between her and the picture.)
Jan: Oh, no.
(Meanwhile, Mike is in his den putting the gramophone together while Bobby is in there pestering him.)
Mike: Thank you.
(Bobby grabs a screwdriver and gives it to Mike. Then he picks up the horn of the gramophone and pretends to speak into it.)
Bobby: All right, all in the room, we got the building surrounded. So you can trap your guns and come out with your hands high.
Mike: Will you stop horsing around?
Bobby: Eeh, I’m a little deef.
Mike: Cut it out and get out of here.
(Bobby runs out and then Jan comes in. )
Jan: Dad, can I talk to you for a minute about something?
Mike: Why, sure.
Jan: Well, I’m having a little problem with biology.
Mike: I’m no Luther Burbank but shoot.
Jan: Well, it’s about heredity and what makes people grow up the way they do.
Mike: You mean chronozones and genes.
Jan: I guess that’s what I mean. How do they work, Dad.
Mike: As I said I’m no expert. But the genes in your chronozones are what carry your heredity, your traits, from, generation to generation. That’s how a bean ends up looking like another bean instead of a cucumber or something.
Jan: So you mean, when you’re born, your genes already figured out what you’re gonna look like when you grow up?
Mike: Yeah, pretty much.
Jan: Well, if two people looked alike when they were children, would they look alike when they grew up?
Mike: No one knows for sure, but there’s every chance. (He gets happy because he successfully fixed the gramophone) Does that clear things up a little?
Jan: That clears things up a lot.
(Next, Jan is the bathroom examining her face in the mirror.)
Jan (bitterly): I can see the wrinkles starting already. Yuck.
(Greg and Peter bang on the door.)
Greg: Jan, are you still in there?
Jan: I’ll be out in a minute.
Greg: You’ve been saying a minute for a half hour. Now, come on, we got to wash p.
(Greg and Peter come in and notice Jan looking at herself obsessively.)
Peter: You’re gonna crack the mirror looking at the mirror so much.
Jan (offended): I don’t think that’s at all funny! Are you trying to say I’m so ugly my face can crack a mirror?
Greg: Hey, take it easy, Jan. He was just kidding.
Jan: Well I think it’s the cruelest cruelty to kid a person about her ugliness. A person can’t help how she looks!
Greg (to Peter): She’s weird.
Jan: Oh, so now she’s weird looking!
Peter: He didn’t say that.
Jan (to Greg): Did you say weird or not?
Greg: I didn’t say weird weird, I meant strange.
Jan: Strange? I can’t do anything about my face, so why tease me about it?
(Marcia comes in the bathroom from the hallway door.)
Marcia: What was that all about?
Greg: Jan’s got a thing about her face all of a sudden.
Marcia: What’s the matter with it?
Peter: I don’t know. It’s the same face she always had.
(Jan is on her bed moping and Marcia comes in to talk to her.)
Marcia: Jan, do you want to talk? (Jan shakes her head no) Come on, that’s what older sisters are for.
(Jan shows her the picture of Aunt Jenny.)
Jan: This is Aunt Jenny now. Me, 40 years from now.
Marcia: What are you talking about?
Jan: Don’t you understand? If I look like this now, I’ll look like that then.
Marcia: Who says so?
Jan: Heredity. I read all about genes and I talked to Dad about it too.
Marcia: Jan, I think you’re getting all upset about nothing.
Jan: Don’t try to make me feel better because it won’t work.
Marcia: Look, why worry about something now, that won’t happen for 40 years.
Jan: I didn’t think about it that way. No sense crying about it now, I’ll be happy while I still can. And maybe, just maybe, I won’t grow up to look like her. (She takes the picture from Marcia and looks at it again. She starts to cry) I will, I know I will.
(The next scene has Jan talking to Alice, who’s ironing in the kitchen, with Bobby in tow.)
Alice: Missionary? Why?
Jan: Well, this certain woman has nothing to look forward to in life. And she wants to dedicate herself to good causes.
Bobby: I saw a movie once about missionaries. There was this girl, she got bitten by a tsetse fly, and she got a terrible disease. And while she was lying in this crummy tent, the natives started beating on their drums. And the next thing you know, she was kidnapped by camels, and they put her in this big pot.
Jan: Oh, you’re making it up.
Bobby: I am not, it’s a true story. I saw it on the late show.
Jan (to Alice): Or this woman can join the Peace Corps, or the navy, or work for a photographer, in a dark room.
Alice: Well that’s out of left field, work in a darkroom.
Jan: Sure. In a darkroom, it doesn’t matter what a girl looks like.
(Next, Carol comes into Mike’s den with a letter from Aunt Jenny.)
Carol: Mike, I got great news.
Mike: Me too, sweetheart. If I fixed this gramophone properly, you’re about to hear Al Jolson singing in.
Mike: Yeah, what’s your news, honey?
Carol: Aunt Jenny is coming to visit us tomorrow.
Mike: Great. I look forward to meeting her. Do we have to pick her up at the airport?
Carol: No. She just said in her telegram that she’s arriving tomorrow.
(Mike puts a record in the gramophone, which plays, but then stops.)
Mike: Well, I thought I had that turntable fixed.
(Mike tries it again and Jan comes in.)
Jan: Did you want me, Mom?
Carol: Oh, honey, I got great news. Aunt Jenny’s coming to visit us tomorrow.
Jan (unhappy): Aunt Jenny?
Carol: Yes, you’re finally gonna see your lookalike face-to-face. Isn’t that wonderful news?
Jan: What’s so wonderful about it?
(Jan walks out of the den as the scene fades away.)
(The next scene has Carol and Mike discussing the matter up in Jan’s room.)
Jan: We may as well face it. There’s no hope for me. The picture proves it.
Carol: Now, Jan, maybe you don’t think Aunt Jenny’s attractive, but that’s just your opinion.
Mike: Maybe it’s just a bad picture.
Jan: That’s what I’m gonna look like. Daddy told me himself. All about heredity and jeans.
Mike: So that’s what that was all about.
Jan: And you told me when you were born your genes already figured out what you’re gonna look like when you grow up.
Mike: Jan, what a person looks like is influenced by a lot of things, not just genes. It’s environment, diet, emotions.
Carol: There’s no guarantee that you’re gonna look like Aunt Jenny or anyone else.
Jan: But can you give me a positive guarantee that I won’t end up looking like Aunt Jenny?
(The next day, Aunt Jenny arrives in a limousine, and is also escorted by a police officer on a motorcycle. This is witnessed by Mike, Carol and Alice.)
Alice: I think we’re being raided.
(They come outside and realize it’s Aunt Jenny.)
Aunt Jenny: Thanks for the escort, sonny. you know where to send my tickets to the policeman’s ball. (to the chauffeur) Stan, check the tarbons on the prisms. You got a bad knot there.
(Carol runs up to Aunt Jenny with open arms.)
Carol: Oh, Aunt Jenny!
Aunt Jenny: Carol! (They give each other a big hug) Honey, you haven’t changed at all from the pretty little girl I remember! Except that you’re prettier, and in more place.
Carol: Oh, Aunt Jenny, it’s so good to see you. Well, Aunt Jenny, this is Alice.
Aunt Jenny: Hi, Alice.
Carol: And this is my husband, Mike.
Mike (extending his hand): How do you do, Aunt Jenny?
Aunt Jenny: What kind of a how do you do is that? This is a how do you do. (She gives him a big hug) Oh, mercy. Jan wrote me that she has 5 brothers and sisters. How long have you two been married anyway?
Mike: 3 years.
Aunt Jenny: Heavy, headstrong kids.
(They go inside and Carol introduces the kids to Aunt Jenny.)
Carol: And last but not least Aunt Jenny, this is Bobby.
Aunt Jenny: Aw, how are you, Bobby.
Bobby: Hi, Aunt Jenny.
(She gives him a hug.)
Aunt Jenny: My goodness, aren’t you beautiful. Well that just leaves my lookalike. Where’s Jan?
Carol: Oh, well, she’s up in her room. I’ll go find her.
Aunt Jenny: Okay. (Carol goes to get Jan) Gather round I got some presents for you.
Marcia: That wasn’t necessary, Aunt Jenny.
Bobby: But it’s nice.
Aunt Jenny: I’m with you. Don’t look a gift aunt in the mouth. I’m gonna be in Ystad for this Christmas so better early than never.
(The kids laugh and she looks in her bag. Then she looks at Bobby.)
Aunt Jenny: I figured you might be a basketball fan.
Bobby: I sure am.
Aunt Jenny: Oh, well, here we go.
(She takes a basketball from her bag, dribbles it, then tosses it to Bobby.)
Bobby (excited): Wow, it’s autographed by Wilt Chamberlain. Do you know him?
Aunt Jenny: I’ve known him since he was no higher than that.
(She makes a gesture as to how short he was, and how much he has grown.)
Aunt Jenny: Now, let’s see. (She goes through her bag again and looks at Peter) You dig magic, Peter?
Peter: Yeah, I love it.
Aunt Jenny: Okay, put these on. (She takes out a pair of handcuffs and he puts them on her wrists) They belonged to Harry Houdini.
Peter (excited): Really?
Aunt Jenny: Harry and I played the same vaudeville circuit. I did the tap dance and the snappy pattern routine. Okay, now, concentrate, okay, hold my hands, now, 1,2, calimuzu.
(The cuffs now are on Peter’s wrists.)
Peter: Wow! How did you do that?
Aunt Jenny: I’ll tell you later. Now. let’s see what we got here. (She looks in her bag again and looks at Marcia) This is for you, love.
(She hands a shofar to Greg, who hands it to Marcia.)
Marcia: What is it?
Aunt Jenny: It’s a shofar. You only blow it on Rosh Hashanah.
(She takes it and blows on it, then hand sit back to Marcia. She notices writing on the instrument.)
Marcia: What’s written on it?
Aunt Jenny: That’s Hebrew. That’s deshona toba, which means Happy New Year! Golda Meir gave it to me.
(Carol and Jan come down the stairs to for Jan to meet aunt Jenny.)
Carol: Here’s your lookalike, Aunt Jenny.
(Aunt Jenny gets up and greets Jan.)
Aunt Jenny: Ahhh, if that doesn’t blow a person’s mind. Hello, soul-sister.
Jan: Hello, Aunt Jenny.
(Aunt Jenny gives Jan a big hug.)
Aunt Jenny: Who says time marches on? It just rolled back 40 years for me. Oh, oh, wait a minute. I got something for you. (She takes out a drawing) Here you are, a little something Pietro knocked out for me, while I was having lunch on his pad on the Rivera one day.
Jan: What is it supposed to be?
Aunt Jenny: It’s a portrait of me. (The comment is followed by a horselaugh) And I’m afraid it looks like me.
Carol: Well that certainly is a valuable gift for a young girl, Aunt Jenny.
Aunt Jenny: Oh darling, I got dozens of these covering up my walls at home.
Jan: Oh, ah, thank you, Aunt Jenny.
(Aunt Jenny observantly sees into Jan’s indifference of the gift.)
Aunt Jenny: You’re welcome.
(Later, Carol and Mike are in the den with Aunt Jenny. They are discussing Jan’s attitude toward her.)
Carol: Aunt Jenny, we’d like to explain about Jan. You see, well, she’s a little shyer than the rest of the kids. Isn’t she, Mike?
Mike: Oh yeah, that’s all it is.
Aunt Jenny: Balderdash! I got some bad vibrations in there. Now that child doesn’t dig me and I’d like to know why. (Mike and Carol hesitate to tell her) Quit beating around the bush, cause I’m an old bushwhacker.
Mike: Okay, well I guess we do owe you the truth.
Carol: Well, Aunt Jenny, it all started when Jan received your photograph in the mail.
(Aunt Jenny looks understandably shocked. We next see her and Jan up in the girls room, with Aunt Jenny showing her some clothes.)
Aunt Jenny: The groovy thing about a sari is you don’t have to wear a girdle with it. Indira Ghandi wears them all the time. (Jan smiles and hangs it up in her closet. Aunt jenny shows her something else) Now this, this is for our back country in Australia. It’s great for chasing kangaroos. (Jan gives her a weak smile, then hangs it up) Jan, why don’t we rap a little, hmm. (She hands her another dress and Jan hangs that up as well) I didn’t ask you up here just to be my lady in waiting. I, uh, I wanted you to know that I know what’s bugging you.
Aunt Jenny: And I can’t say that I blame you.
Jan: Did my parents say something to you?
Aunt Jenny: Yes (Jan starts to feel embarrassed and ashamed) But I had to drag it out of them.
Jan: I’m so embarrassed, Aunt Jenny.
Aunt Jenny: Don’t be embarrassed, love. I agree with you. I’d rather look like Raquel Welch myself. Of course, I could’ve been beautiful if I wanted to.
Jan: You could?
Aunt Jenny: Oh, plastic surgeries does wonders, with noses, and chins. They even could put in curves where there’s nothing but straight highways.
Jan: Why didn’t you do it?
Aunt Jenny: Eh, just never had the time. Besides, there’s lots of pretty faces around, but, how often do you see a puss like this?
(She hides her face behind another article of clothing. Then she laughs and Jan laughs along with her. The next scene has Aunt Jenny putting a feast on the kitchen table. Carol and Alice are in the kitchen helping her with cooking.)
Carol: Aunt Jenny, where did the words sukiyaki come from?
Aunt Jenny: Japanese farmers used to roast meat over a fire at the end of a rate. So yaki means to roast and suki means to rake.
Alice: Well, sukiyaki certainly looks better on a menu than a roasted rake. (She picks up a slice of lean meat) Say, how am I doing with these?
Aunt Jenny: Thinner, thinner, I want to be able to read a newspaper through it.
(Jan starts watching them from outside the kitchen.)
Carol: Where did you get this recipe?
Aunt Jenny: From one of Emperor Hirohito’s chefs. I ran into him at the Ginza one afternoon. I swapped him a recipe at Madame Khrushchev’s resort.
(The phone rings. Alice goes to answer.)
Alice: Hello. Yes she is, just a minute. It’s long distance for you, Aunt Jenny. it’s your secretary.
Aunt Jenny: Will you take a message, honey.
Alice: She’s tied up right now. Can I take a message? Oh, will you spell that please? Yes, I certainly will, bye. (she hangs up) Aunt Jenny, I hate to be the one to break the news, but, you now own a llama.
Aunt Jenny: Oh, that’s nice.
Carol: A llama?
Alice: Yeah, the Humane Society gave it to you in appreciation for the help you gave on your fundraising drive.
Aunt Jenny: Hey, the dessert looks groovy.
Carol: Now, Aunt Jenny. What are you gonna do with a llama?
Aunt Jenny: Oh, no problem. It can graze in the backyard with the zebra.
(The next scene has Aunt jenny giving the family a tea ceremony. They are all sitting on the living room floor. She takes a sip (slurp) of the tea.)
Aunt Jenny: I shall pass the cha nuyat, or the honorable tea. Everybody take a sip.
(She passes it to Mike, who takes a quiet sip.)
Aunt Jenny: In Japan, a sip like that would be an insult to the host. Let’s hear it, honey.(Mike takes a slurp and the kids laugh) Ah, very good. That the host will dig.
(Mike passes the cup to Carol and the phone rings.)
Mike (getting up): I’ll get it. (He gets the phone) Hello. Yes, just a minute. Aunt Jenny, it’s your secretary.
Aunt Jenny: I can’t be interrupted in the middle of a tea ceremony. Will you take the message, hon.
Mike: She would like me to take a message.
(Meanwhile, the kids are taking turns slurping the tea.)
Mike (on the phone): Yes, yea, I’ve got it. I’ll tell her. (He hangs up) Well, Aunt Jenny, you’ve been invited to a birthday party on Aries’ yacht.
Aunt Jenny: Is he kidding? I’m not cancelling my Peace Corps assignment in Bolivia for any birthday party. I’ll settle for Jackie though. She’s a real trip.
(Next, Aunt jenny is teaching the family how to use chopsticks.)
Bobby: I never ate with chopsticks.
Cindy: It’s easy, watch.
(They all use them in their own way.)
Aunt Jenny: This is the easiest way, kids. (She shows them the proper way to use chopsticks) Haven’t dropped a grain of rice in 20 years.
Peter: You must travel around the world a lot, Aunt Jenny.
Aunt Jenny: Ah, traveling is the spice of life. (She lets out a horselaugh) I will never forget the time I was in Bangkok. I was at this little nightclub and who was playing the saxophone but the king himself. Great jazz buff the king was. I was pretty good on the trumpet myself, until my lip went. So I sat in on a jazz session with him, I had such a time. Before I knew it, We were back in the palace and I was teaching the king how to blow charge. (Bobby makes the sound signaling to charge) CHARGE!
(The phone rings again.)
Carol: I’ll get it. (She gets up and answers) Hello. Just a minute, Aunt Jenny, guess who. Shall I take a message?
Aunt Jenny: Please do.
Carol (back on the phone): Hello, yes, I’ll take a message. Uh-huh, uh-huh. Yes, I certainly will tell her. Thank you, good-bye. (She hangs up) Aunt Jenny, guess what, a dozen long-stemmed roses have just been delivered to your house, along with a marriage proposal.
Aunt Jenny (laughing it off): It’s that goofy Lester again.
Marcia: Who’s Lester?
Aunt Jenny: A United States senator.
Greg: A senator.
Jan: Are you gonna marry him?
Aunt Jenny: Eh, I get lots of proposals.
Jan: Why don’t you accept one of them?
Aunt Jenny: Uh, I guess I’m too young to settle down yet. Say, is anybody going to eat my bean carrot cake. (The phone rings again and Aunt jenny gets up) I’m gonna stop this myself. (She answers) Hello. Yes it is. Well okay, why don’t you knock it off. Oh, I plum forgot! Yeah, don’t worry, don’t worry, I’ll make it. (She hangs up) Well kids, I’m sorry to not eat and run, but I got to catch the 11 o’clock plane to Paris. (They all get shocked to hear this) There’s an emergency at the American Embassy. It’s a bore but you know how sensitive the French are if you turn them down.
Jan: Oh, do you have to go?
Aunt Jenny: I’m afraid so, sweetie.
Jan: I wish you could stay.
Aunt Jenny (pleased): Now, that’s nice to hear. I really got to go, but I’ll be back.
(They give each other a big hug. All the rest of the kids help Aunt Jenny prepare to leave.)
Jan (to Carol and Mike): I think Aunt Jenny is the most wonderful woman I ever met, and I’m gonna grow up to look just like her.
Mike: Honey, like I told you, genes are funny things, there’s a good chance you might not.
Jan: But, there’s a good chance I might.
(Carol and Mike laugh and the scene fades away.)
(The final scene has Jan in the den with Mike and Carol. they are opening a package that was sent to them.)
Jan (excited): It’s from Aunt Jenny! What do you think it is?
Carol: Well, if it’s from Aunt Jenny, it can be almost anything.
(Jan finally opens the package.)
Mike: A plaster cast?
Carol: Huh, I’m surprised there’s isn’t a leg in it.
(Jan finds a note from Aunt jenny and starts to read it.)
Jan: Dear soul sister, I really goofed this time. After Paris, I tried to work off that fattening French gravy skiing in Switzerland. I just had the cast off. I had it autographed for you. My regards to the gang. Love, Jenny.
(They read all the autographs on the cast.)
Carol: My goodness. Look at this, Jean Claude Killy.
Mike: Woo, Peggy Fleming. Sir Edward Hillary.
Jan (excited): Paul Newman!
(The phone rings and Mike answers, while Jan and Carol look over the cast.)
Mike: Hello, yeah, who’s calling? Just a minute. Jan, it’s Stevie, for you.
Jan: Oh, thanks. (She takes the phone) Hello, Stevie. Saturday night. Yeah, at who’s house? I guess that would be okay. Of course, you understand I’m not ready to settle down yet. I won’t be till I’m at least 60. And even then I’m not sure. But Saturday night’s okay.