Written by Michael Morris
Bobby idolizes Jesse James and drives the family crazy trying to emulate him. Hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
MR. HILLARY, principal of Bobby’s school
WOMAN AT LIBRARY
MR. COLLINS, visitor to the Brady house
JESSE JAMES in Bobby’s dream
(The episode begins with Carol and Alice in the kitchen. Carol brings a tray containing a sandwich and pot of tea to Mike, who is working in his den.)
Mike: I didn’t hear you come in.
Carol: Well, I never disturb a genius at work, so I guess I’m not bothering you.
(He gives her an unhappy lock.)
Mike (sarcastically): Thank you.
Carol: So, how’s the speech coming?
Mike: I didn’t realize it would be this much research.
Carol: What’s it gonna be about?
Mike: The use of ancient architecture in modern buildings.
Carol: Huh, that ought to turn them on. (The phone rings) Hello, yes, this is Mrs. Brady. Oh, hello, Mr. Hillary. My husband happens to be at home right now as a matter of fact. Yes, we can both come over. Yes, okay, Mr. Hillary, yes, we’ll see you in a little while. Thank you, bye.
(She hangs up.)
Mike: Bad news.
Carol: He didn’t say. When the principal calls, is it ever good news?
(Cut to the kitchen, where Alice is figuring out what the family needs from the market.)
Alice (to herself): Salt, pepper, (she checks the cookie jar) Cookies! (She checks a box of cookies and sees it is nearly empty) Salt! Pepper! Cookies! (She runs to a list and writes the items down. Carol and Mike come out.)
Carol: Alice, Mr. Brady and I have to go see the principal.
Mike: We won’t be gone long.
Alice: Okay, Mr. Brady. (She is busy writing and then realizes what they said) Principal! Which principal? (to herself) Elementary school, junior high, senior high? I wonder which kid has done what to who and where.
(The scene fades.)
(The next scene has Carol and Mike in Mr. Hillary’s office, the principal at Bobby’s school.)
Hillary: My hero by Robert Brady. My hero is a very famous man, just like Robin Hood and the Three Musketeers. He was a great American and his name is (He takes his glasses off) Jesse James.
Mike (surprised): Jesse James?
Carol: The outlaw?
Hillary: It disturbs me when impressionable children like Bobby, read books and see movies that glorify men like Jesse James, make them into folk heroes. Jesse James was a cruel and vicious killer.
Carol: I’m really surprised at Bobby.
Hillary: Don’t be, Mrs. Brady. Look what’s happening today. The press writes stories about gangsters and skyjackers, they make them seem very glamorous in the eyes of the children.
Mike: Like today’s criminals will probably be tomorrow’s folk heroes.
Carol: Well, we’ll certainly discuss this with Bobby, Mr. Hillary.
Hillary: Good. Oh, Bobby’s teacher wouldn’t have brought this composition to my attention if it hadn’t been for this.
(He takes a capgun out of his drawer, which belongs to Bobby. he hands it to Mike.)
Mike: He knows better than to bring a capgun to school.
Hillary: At recess, he was playing Jesse James, pretending to hold up the other kids. It wasn’t the first time so I thought this was an area where the parents and the school ought to get together.
Carol: We really appreciate it, Mr. Hillary.
Mike: We’ll certainly have a talk with him. I’m sure he doesn’t intend to make a profession out of being an outlaw.
(He and Carol laugh. We move to the next scene, where Bobby and Cindy are playing Jesse James in the backyard.)
Bobby: One wrong move from anybody on this train, and you get it.
Cindy: Please don’t shoot me, Mr. James.
Bobby (taking his hat off): Just give me your money, lady.
(She pretends to put money in his hat.)
Cindy: Here, that’s all I have.
Bobby: Thank you, ma’am. Okay, now, everybody stay in your seats until I jump off. (He pretends to get off and get on his horse. Cindy runs up to him.) You’re supposed to be on the train.
Cindy: No, I’m not. Now, I’m the posse hunting you down.
Bobby: You’ll never get me. Nobody gets Jesse James.
(They run into the house and through the kitchen, where Alice is mopping.)
Cindy: Jesse James, you’re under arrest.
Bobby: No way, you can’t arrest me here.
Cindy: Why not?
Bobby: I just crossed the Rio Grande River. This is Mexico.
Alice: Well, vamoose, you calla heroes, because all of Mexico is gonna get mopped up.
Cindy: But I have to arrest him first.
Bobby: Forget it, deputy, even a U.S. Marshall can’t arrest you once you get into Mexico.
Cindy: Is that true, Alice?
Alice (pondering at first): As El presidente of Mexico, I give u permission to take this hombre prisoner.
Bobby: You can’t, you have to have extradition papers.
(Mike and Carol come out with Bobby’s gun.)
Mike: I got some, and I’m extraditing you into my den right now.
Carol: Move it, Jesse.
(Bobby is in the den with his parents. They are discussing the composition he wrote.)
Bobby: What’s the matter? I got a C+, that’s not to bad.
Mike: Bob, it isn’t the grade. What we’re interested in is how you happened to write it?
Bobby: I had to. It was an assignment.
Carol: Bobby, what we mean is, why did you choose Jesse James for your hero.
Bobby: Well, I guess because he’s famous.
Mike: Bobby, he’s famous because he robbed and killed a whole lot of innocent people.
Carol: Bobby, did you know that almost everything Jesse James did was against the law?
Bobby: My pal Jimmy wrote about Robin Hood. Robin Hood was against the law. Nobody got mad at Jimmy.
Carol: Honey, we’re not getting mad at you. We’re just interested in knowing why you chose to write about Jesse James, that’s all.
Mike: listen, right now, he may seem like a very colorful, western character to you. But in actual fact, he was just a criminal. Now that may be easier for you to understand when u get a little older.
Bobby: Yeah, I guess you’re right. I’ll probably just grow out of it.
(Cut to the kitchen, where Alice and Carol are making dinner and Marcia and Jan are setting the table.)
Alice: Give that about 5 more minutes, Mrs. Brady.
Carol: Good, Alice. (to Marcia and Jan) Girls, don’t forget the salad forks.
Marcia: Okay, Mom.
Jan: We won’t.
(Mike comes out.)
Mike: Ladies, can I have your attention for a minute?
(He motions to Marcia and Jan to come closer.)
Mike: I’ve almost finished my speech for the convention. I want to start it out with a joke, because, I want to do something to get their attention, so, can I try it out on you?
Carol: Sure, we’d all love to hear it.
Mike: So I come in, and I say, Mr. Chairman, ladies and gentlemen, fellow architects, honored guests. Before I launch into my subject for this evening, I would like to make a very important announcement about our progress in city planning. I hear that we’ve just torn down a freeway to make room for a slum. (They look at him like they don’t get it) That’s the joke. (Alice laughs) Well, to architects it might be funny.
Carol: Well, sure, honey, it’s just that, none of us are architects.
(That evening, the family is at the dinner table, about to have pizza. They say a prayer before eating.)
Mike: And keep us ever mindful of thy bountiful blessings. Amen.
(The rest of the family says Amen. Bobby’s capgun accidentally goes off.)
Bobby: I didn’t mean to pull the trigger.
Mike: We have told you before, no toys at the table, and especially capguns.
Bobby: I’m sorry, Dad. I won’t play with it again.
Mike: Yeah, well, just to make sure.
(He puts his hand out for Boby to give it to him.)
Peter: You and that dumb Jesse James.
Jan: What about Jesse James?
Greg: Bobby wrote an English composition about him. He’s his hero.
Cindy: I had to write about a hero once. I got an A.
Marcia: Who did you write it on?
Cindy: Joan of Arc. She saw visions, and she won battles. And later she was made a saint. She was a great woman.
Bobby: That’s okay for you. You got a lot better chance of being a woman than I have.
(Greg and Carol smile.)
Peter: Personally, I like George Washington. Now, there’s a hero.
Bobby: Fat chance I got of being father of my country.
Greg: Bobby, there are lots of great heroes that are around right now. Take Wilt Chamberlain for instance.
Mike: Yeah, now there’s a great guy for you to follow.
Bobby: Yeah, some chance I got of being 7’2″, and black.
(They all laugh.)
Carol: Just eat your pizza.
(After dinner, Mike and Carol are in the den. Mike is rehearsing his speech.)
Mike: Chairman, fellow architects, honored guests.
(Bobby comes in with a newspaper in his hand.)
Bobby: Dad, Mom, can I ask a favor?
Bobby: Well, could I stay up a little bit after my bedtime tonight?
Carol: What for?
Bobby: You see, there’s this really neat movie on television, and I’ve never seen it. Is it okay?
Carol: What’s the picture?
Bobby: Well, it’s called….. you see….
Mike: What’s it called?
Bobby (sheepishly): Jesse James on the vengeance trail.
Carol (shocked): Jesse James?
Mike (sternly): Bobby, what have we been talking about? We have had enough Jesse James around here and that’s it.
Bobby: But, Dad.
Carol: Bobby, you heard your father, that’s it.
Mike: Close the door.
(He closes it.)
Mike: Honey, Jesse James must have killed 45 people in that picture.
Carol: That was before the credits.
Mike: Imagine Bobby watching a picture like that.
Carol: Yeah, imagine.
(This gives them an idea. Later that night, Bobby watches the movie with Carol and Mike.)
Bobby: Thanks for letting me watch the show.
Mike: This is one movie about Jesse James we thought would be a good idea for you to see.
(Carol and Mike discuss the movie to each other.)
Carol: I think this is the scene where he robs the bank.
Mike: Yeah, he shoots all the customers in the back.
(They show James walking into the bank. Then he leaves the bank and gets on his horse, then rides away.)
Bobby: Wow, Jesse didn’t even use a gun!
Carol (to Mike): They skipped the whole incident!
Mike: They edited it out. (They show him riding off) They skipped another scene where they killed everybody.
Carol: Mike, I forgot what happens here.
Mike: I’m not sure I remember, but I think this is where he shoots the prospector in the back and he rides off with the daughter as a hostage.
(They show a scene with James riding off with the daughter.)
Bobby: Boy, isn’t Jesse nice to give that girl a ride?
(Carol motions to Mike to confer in the kitchen.)
Carol: They took out all the violence just as we were trying to prove a point. Jesse James will be even more of a hero to him now.
Mike: You know, maybe Bobby has the answer to this himself.
Carol: What do you mean?
Mike: Well, he said he’d probably grow out of it.
Carol: Yeah, maybe you got a point. Let’s just wait and see what happens.
(Bobby is in the family room still watching the movie.)
Bobby: Wow, look at Jesse ride.
(The scene fades.)
(The next scene has Mike in his den searching for his speech.)
Mike: Carol, Carol!
(She comes running in the den.)
Carol: I’m right here, honey.
Mike: Sorry. Look, honey, it’s my speech. I put it right here (his draft board) last night but now it’s not here.
Carol: Well, don’t get too upset. We’ll find it. It’s got to be here someplace.
Mike: I’ve been all over this house and around here for the second time.
Peter: Mom, Dad, I’ve come here to discuss a very delicate manner.
Peter: My allowance. You forgot.
Mike: I did?
Mike: Listen, I will give you an extra dollar if you find the speech I lost. It’s on paper just like this.
Peter: Hey, great.
Mike: No, no, no, we’ll look here. You look around the house.
Carol: Yeah, go pass the word around to the rest of the kids.
Peter: Do I have to?
(He hangs around.)
Peter: My allowance. (Mike takes his wallet out and gives Peter money) Thanks.
(Cut to outside, where Marcia and Jan are looking in garbage cans. Cindy comes out.)
Cindy: What are you doing?
Marcia: We’re looking for something.
Cindy: Can I look too?
Cindy: Can I ask you something?
Cindy: What am i looking for?
Jan: Dad’s speech. There’s a reward for whoever finds it. 1 dollar.
(Bobby comes by playing Jesse James.)
Bobby: All right, all you women to the rear of the bank.
Marcia: Bobby, would you leave us alone?
Jan: Just get lost.
Bobby: Nobody tells Jesse James to get lost.
Cindy: Well, we’re telling you. Get lost.
Bobby: All right, I’ll just rob me a different bank.
(Meanwhile, Peter and Greg are looking in the coat closet by the front door for Mike’s speech.)
Greg: Dad could’ve stuck his speech in his pocket and forgot it.
Peter: For a dollar, it’s worth a look.
(They search the jackets and then Bobby comes up to them.)
Peter: It’s not in this one.
Greg: Not in that one either.
Bobby: Okay, stick ’em up, both of you. Now that you got the bank vault open, just empty it out.
Greg: Will you beat it?
Bobby: You’re talking to Jesse James, partner.
Peter: Knock it off.
Bobby: Into the bank vault, both of you.
Greg: I got a better idea. You get in the bank vault, Jesse.
(They both grab Bobby and lock him in the closet. Bobby screams to let him out. Mike comes around.)
Mike: Boys, boys, what’s going on?
Greg: Great Jesse James just got captured.
Mike: Okay, joke’s over. Come on.
(They walk away while Bobby screams to let him out. The door opens and Bobby falls. Mike gets him back up.)
Mike (sternly): Now, I want this to stop! Am I coming through loud and clear?
Bobby: But, Dad, they…
Mike: No buts, no more Jesse James, Bob, and that’s an order.
Bobby: Yes, sir.
(Carol comes up to him.)
Carol: Mr. Chairman, fellow architect and Mike Brady. It gives me great pleasure to tell you that I found your speech.
Mike (relieved): Oh! Great honey, where did you find it.
Carol: In a very strange place.
Carol: Your briefcase.
Mike: My brief… (He suddenly realizes) I put it in my briefcase when I did my research in the library the other day. Oh, how dumb. Sweetheart, you are a lifesaver.
(He gives her a big kiss.)
Carol: Is that all i get?
Mike: What did you expect?
Carol (putting out her hand): A dollar.
(He takes his wallet out. We next see Mike at the library. He brings his books back.)
Mike: I’d like to check these books in, please.
Librarian: Certainly. I hope they were helpful.
Mike: Yes, they were. I finished my research.
Librarian: Good. We’re just delighted when our library can be useful.
Mike: I was interested in finding some books on Jesse James.
Librarian: Jesse James?
Mike: Yes, but I didn’t want novels. I’d like to have factual counts on his life.
Librarian: Mmm hmm. As a matter of fact, we have several good books on his life. (She points) Right over there.
(That evening, Mike is in his bedroom reading a book entitled the real Jesse James. Carol is upset because it is keeping her awake.)
Carol: Honey, can we put the light out in the old bunkhouse. The cattle drive starts early in the morning.
Mike: Mmm hmm.
Carol: Honey, this cowhand needs a little shuteye.
Mike: You know, this is a very interesting book. It was written by a fellow whose father was killed by Jesse James, and it’s got a bunch of eyewitness accounts.
Carol: Hmm, maybe Bobby ought to read it.
Mike: Yeah, I got a better idea. You know, in the flyleaf, of the biography of the author, it said when the book was written, he lived in Sundale.
Carol: That’s not far from here.
(The next day, Mr. Collins, the author of the book, comes over to visit. Mike greets him at the door.)
Mike: Mr. Collins.
Collins: Yes, sir, that’s me.
Mike: How do you do, I’m Mike Brady. (They shake hands) Come in. Thanks for coming.
Collins: Oh, I’m glad I know someone read my book. I thought I was the only one who bought a copy.
Mike: It was a very interesting book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I think you’re gonna be able to help us with our son, Bob.
Collins: I’ve been thinking over what you told me on the phone. I feel sure I can straighten out that boy of yours.
Mike: Good. (Carol comes out) Honey, I’d like you to meet Mr. Collins, (he takes his hat off and they shake hands) Mr. Collins, this is Mr. Brady.
Collins: Pleasure to meet you.
Carol: Oh, pleasure to meet you, Mr. Collins.
Mike: Excuse me, I’ll get Bob.
Carol (to Mr. Collins): Please sit down. Would you like some coffee?
Collins: Coffee, no. I still like mine cooked over an open fire and boiled until it’s miserable.
(Carol laughs. Mike comes out with Bobby.)
Mike: Bob, this is Mr. Collins., Mr. Collins, this is our son, Bob.
(They shake hands.)
Collins: Hello, son.
Mike: I think you’re gonna find this gentlemen very interesting. Did you know his father actually knew Jesse James?
Bobby (excited): He did? Wow, am I glad to meet you.
Collins: I hear Jesse is a hero of yours.
Bobby: I wrote a whole composition about him at school.
Collins: I wrote a whole book about Jesse James. Only he wasn’t a hero to me.
Bobby: He wasn’t.
(Mr. Collins shakes his head no.)
Collins: No. Jesse James killed my father.
Bobby: He did?
Collins: Shot him in the back, that’s how he usually shot them. Too cowardly to face them, I guess.
Bobby: I can’t believe that, Mr. Collins.
Carol: He’s telling you the truth, Bobby.
Collins: Son, you know the legends. I know the facts.
Mike: Mr. Collins, why don’t you tell Bob about how it was with your father.
Collins: Well, I was just a little boy at the time. My father was riding a train to California. Jesse James held it up.
Bobby: Did they have a shootout?
Collins: Well, wasn’t much of a shootout. My father with his face to the wall, hands in the air, and not wearing a gun.
Bobby: Then why did Jesse James shoot him?
Collins: Because that was the kind of man Jesse James was. A mean, dirty killer. My mother used to cry about it in her sleep. When I was old enough to understand, I used to have nightmares about it myself. Awful nightmares, about that, train robbery.
(That evening, the boys are in their room sleeping. Bobby starts hearing Mr. Collins’ voice in his head about Jesse James being a mean, dirty killer. He has a dream that he and the family are taking a train to California.)
Peter (to Cindy): Isn’t it great to be going to California?
Jan: I hear California is really beautiful.
Marcia: Sounds wonderful.
Greg: Yeah, how long until we get there.
Mike: Oh, not long, son. With these new trains, it oly takes 18 days to get to California.
Carol (laughing): And that’s all the way from Arizona.
(Jesse James rides up to the train and enters to hold it up.)
Jesse: Hands up, don’t anybody move. it’s the world famous Jesse James.
(They all scream. Bobby comes out of his seat to talk to him.)
Bobby: Jesse James. I never thought I’d get to meet you.
Jesse: I said hands up. Now everyone. throw your purses and wallets in the aisle.
Mike: Be calm everybody! Do what he says and nobody gets shot.
Bobby: Aw, Dad. He wouldn’t shoot anybody. Jesse James is a real great guy. He’s my hero. (Jesse gets down to collect all their belongings) I even wrote a composition about you, and how you’re such a great hero. I’m sorry I only got a C+.
Jesse: All right everybody. Face the window, with your backs to me.
Bobby: What do you want them to do that for, Jesse?
Jesse: So that I could shoot ’em, of course.
(They all scream.)
Bobby: But, this is my family. That’s my Dad. (Jesse shoots and Bobby gets hysterical) Oh no, he shot my Dad! (Jesse shoots at every other member of the family while Bobby starts crying and carrying on till he wakes up) Jesse, no, don’t shoot please! Stop, Jesse, no, no!
Peter (waking up): Bobby, what’s the matter?
Greg: You must’ve been having a bad dream.
Bobby: It was awful.
Peter: Tell us about it.
Bobby: It was the worst dream in the whole world.
(Cut to the parents’ room, where Mike is going over his speech one last time.)
Mike: I’m as ready as I’ll ever be with this speech. (He hears a knock on the door) Come in.
Bobby: I’m turning in my guns. I don’t ever wanna see another gun again.
Mike: Good man. I’m glad to hear it.
Bobby: You were right about Jesse James, he was a real bad guy.
Carol: That talk with Mr. Collins really got through to you, huh.
Bobby: Did it ever.
Mike: Well, you just have to be careful who you pick for a hero.
Bobby: Yeah. Next time, whoever it is, it’s gonna be a real good guy.
(The scene fades out.)
(The final scene has Mike leaving to give his speech.)
Carol: Good luck with the speech, honey, I just know it’s gonna be a big hit.
Mike: I hope so. I just wish I had a good joke to start it off with.
Carol: Hey, listen, I remember a joke that might fit.
Mike: Honey, it’s got to be about architects.
Carol: Yeah it is. It’s about this architect who designed a building that had no doors in it at all.
Mike: No doors? How do you get in?
Carol: Well, you just keep running around it and running around it until you’re all in, get it?
Mike: Good bye, honey.
(He starts walking out the door.)
Carol: Hey, wait a minute, you forgot to kiss me.
Mike: That’s right.
(He leaves and Carol stands there and puckers. He comes back in and kisses her.)
Mike: Good bye.
Carol: Good luck.