S5 E21 The Hustler

The Hustler

Written by Bill Freedman and Ben Gershman

The Bradys receive a pool table as a gift from Mike’s boss. Bobby finds he has a real knack for the game. I hope you enjoy the script.












MR. MATTHEWS, Mike’s boss


MRS. MATTHEWS, Mr. Matthews’ wife

JOE SINCLAIR , Mike’s co-worker

HANK THOMPSON , another co-worker

(The episode begins with the boys playing basketball outside, with Oliver watching. He alerts them that a truck is pulling in their driveway.)

Oliver: Hey you guys, look.

(The truck stops and one of the drivers approaches them.)

Delivery Guy: Mike Brady live here?

Greg: That’s right.

Delivery Guy: Sign here.

Greg: What am I signing for?

Delivery Guy: These two crates.

Peter: Two crates of what?

Delivery Guy: We don’t x-ray them son, we just deliver them. Right?

Oliver: If you say so?

(Alice, Carol and the girls come out.)

Carol: What in the world is all this?

Greg: The man said it’s something for Dad.

Peter: But he doesn’t know what it is.

Cindy: Do you know what it is, Mom?

Carol: I didn’t order anything that big.

Alice: That crate is big enough to hold a dinosaur.

Oliver: Not really. Most pieces of dinosaurs were well over 30 feet long.

Jan: Oliver, is there anytihng that you don’t know?

Oliver: Yeah, what’s inside those crates.

Greg: And we won’t know until we open them up.

Peter: I’ll get a crowbar and a hammer.

Carol: Oh no, Peter. Whatever is in those crates belongs to your father. He’ll open them.

Bobby: Do you mean we have to wait till Dad gets home?

Carol: Right.

(The delivery men remove them from the truck and the scene fades.)

(The next scene has Mike and the guys opening the crates.)

Carol: Come on, Mike. The suspense is killing us.

Alice: I have already eaten 1,100 calories worth of fingernails.

Marcia: Dad, don’t you have any idea what it is or who it’s from?

Mike: I’m as much in the dark as the rest of you.

Bobby: Hurry up.

Mike: Okay, stand back. It’s coming. Here, stand back. There.

(They finally get the crates off and find a pool table.)

Greg: Hey, a pool table.

Peter: Wow.

(Greg laughs.)

Mike (confused): Who’d send me a pool table?

Greg: Let’s get this open.

Carol (to Mike): Honey, are you sure you don’t know anytihng about this?

Mike: Boy, the only thing I know for sure is that I don’t know for sure.

Alice: I don’t know anything about pool, but I do know that I will be behind the 8 ball if I don’t get dinner racked up. (Carol laughs) Excuse me.

(The next day, Mike is at the office. His boss, Mr. Matthews, comes in.)

Matthews: Good morning, Mike.

Mike: Hey, good morning, Mr. Matthews.

Matthews: Well, aren’t you gonna say something?

Mike: That’s a beautiful suit. Is that new?

Matthews: No, no, no. I mean, do you like it?

Mike: Do I like what?

Matthews: The pool table I sent you.

Mike: You’re the one. Mr. Matthews, my wife and I were up half the night trying to figure up where that came from.

Matthews: You mean they didn’t enclose the note that I wrote? A little poem.

Mike: I don’t know what to say. I mean, that’s an extravagant gift.

Matthews: Well, don’t be so modest, Mike. After all, those plans you drew up for the Whitley project, they landed this company a very lucrative contract and I just wanted to show my appreciation, that’s all.

Mike: Well, that’s, that’s very generous.

Matthews: I’m glad to do it. I’m a real pool nut and I hope that you are too.

Mike: Oh, I, I, I, am. How did you guess a pool table would be such a perfect gift?

Matthews: Ah, well, just chalk it up to experience. (He starts to laugh) Chalk it to experience. (They both have a laugh) Yeah, I thought so. I hope your wife shares your enjoyment of the game.

Mike: Oh, yeah, my wife is crazy about the pool table. Really crazy.

Matthews: You know, I got mine right smack to have it in the middle of the living room. Might not be a bad place for yours.

Mike: That’s a thought.

(At home, Mike suggests this to Carol.)

Carol: The living room?

Mike: It was just a thought.

Carol: Well, I have another thought. The garage for example.

(Cut to the garage, where Greg and Peter are playing. Peter unsuccessfully takes a shot.)

Peter: This cue stick must be crooked.

Greg: Your game’s not improving, but your alibis are.

Peter: Okay, let’s see you maki it, wiseguy.

(Bobby and Oliver come by.)

Greg: Look at that angle.

Bobby: It can be made.

Greg: Yeah, sure, by a pro.

Bobby: I bet I can make it.

Peter: This is pool, not tiddlywinks.

Bobby: I play at Steve’s house all the time, and I’m real good at pool. Right, Oliver?

Oliver: Yeah, he can even beat me.

Greg (handing him the stick): Okay, champ, let’s see you make it.

Peter: Yeah, show us how it’s done, hotshot.

(Bobby takes a shot and gets the ball in the pocket, much to Greg and Peter’s surprise.)

Oliver: Nice shot, champ.

Bobby: Thanks, Oliver. (to Greg and Peter) I told you it can be made.

Peter: Beginner’s luck.

Greg: Yeah, let’s see you do it again.

Peter: Yeah.

Greg: Why, I just did it.

(Later on, Mike and Carol are in the family room.)

Carol: Mike, I sure am happy we solved that problem with the pool table.

Mike: That’s funny. I was just thinking about that pool table.

Carol: Careful, either it stays in the carport, or I stay at my mother’s.

Mike: Now that’s tempting.

(Alice comes in.)

Alice: More coffee, anybody?

Carol: Thanks, Alice.

Mike: Me too. No, what I was thinking was, we ought to do something to show our appreciation for the gift.

Carol: Like.

Mike: Well, like, inviting him over for dinner and an evening of pool on the table he gave us.

Carol: Yeah, that would be a very nice gesture.

Alice: We might whip up something special in honor of the pool table. Meatballs with numbers on them.

(Mike laughs.)

Carol: Hey, how about carrot sticks whittled down to look like little pool cues.

Mike: You girls keep working on the menu, I’ll call Mr. Matthews.

(We bring you back to Mike’s office. Mr. Matthews is in his office speaking to him.)

Matthews: I want to thank you for that invitation for dinner on Saturday, Mike.

Mike: Oh, well, it’s our pleasure.

Matthews: Yeah, but, I’m afraid we’re gonna have to take a raincheck.

Mike: Oh, gee, I’m sorry to hear that. I hope nothing’s wrong.

Matthews: Only with my memory. When I made the engagement, I forgot that my wife had made another engagement. Yeah, I sure look forward to breaking in that new pool table of yours.

Mike: Well, it’s too late to cancel Hank Thompson and his wife for dinner.

Mike: Hank Thompson? In the engineering department?

Matthews: Yeah, yeah, I’d much rather shoot pool, but…

Mike: Why don’t you just ask the Thompsons to come over to dinner, too.

Matthews: Oh, no, it’s too big an imposition. But if you insist.

Mike: I’m sure Carol wouldn’t mind. What’s 2 extra people.

Matthews: That’s so nice of you. I’ll pass the word on to Hank. Thank you, thank you.

(Back home, Carol sends Marcia and Jan to the store to buy food for the dinner.)

Carol: Okay girls, here’s the list, and some money.

Marcia (reading the list): Hmmm. It’s like you’re planning a pretty fancy meal for Mr. and Mrs. Matthews.

Carol: Well, after all, Mr. Matthews is the president of Dad’s company.

Jan: Presidents sure do eat good, don’t they.

Carol: Yes, on second thought, here, take some more money. (The phone rings) wait just a minute, girls. (She answers the phone) Hello. (It’s Mike) Oh, hi, Mike.

Mike: Carol, listen, about this dinner on Saturday, are you planning to serve soup?

Carol: Yes I am, why?

Mike: Because you better figure on adding a little more water.

Carol: Huh?

Mike: The Thompsons are coming too. Mr. Matthews forgot he had a previous engagement with the Thompsons. So I said, look, why…

Carol: You said, I’m sure Carol won’t mind.

Mike: Yeah, how did you guess?

Carol: Because that’s what you always say. Bye, honey.

(Cut to outside, we see Bobby playing pool with Oliver watching. Cindy comes by on her bicycle.)

Oliver: Sh, you’ll have to park outside.

Cindy: What for?

Bobby: Cindy, you’re disturbing my concentration.

Oliver: That’s what for.

Cindy: And why do you need concentration to play a dumb game like pool?

Bobby: You wouldn’t think it’s so dumb if you knew the finer points of the game, like I do.

Oliver: Yeah, he’s terrific.

Cindy: Yeah, well I bet both Peter and Greg can beat you.

(Greg and Peter appear.)

Bobby: Are you kidding? I can beat those bums with one hand behind my back. Right, Oliver?

Oliver: With both hands tied behind your back.

(Cindy leaves and Greg and Peter approach Bobby.)

Greg: So, we’re bums, huh. One lucky shot and suddenly, he’s an expert.

Peter: What do you say we clobber the supermouth.

Greg: How about a game, champ.

Bobby: Okay, let’s make it 9 ball. That way I can beat you guys quicker.

Peter: You care to back up your insanity with a little bet?

Bobby: Any time. Name it.

Greg: How about, the loser shines the winner’s shoes for a month.

Oliver: Hey, that’s not fair. You guys have four feet and he’s only got two.

Bobby: Don’t worry about it, Oliver. You’re both on.

Oliver: I take half his action.

Greg: We’ll let you break. Where’s the rack?

Bobby (pointing): Over there.

(Bobby hits the ball with the stick and sinks many balls.)

Oliver (to Greg and Peter): I warned you guys.

Greg (to Peter): Anybody can sink a ball on a break.

(Bobby takes another shot. He sinks another ball, then another.)

Peter: Talk about dumb luck.

Greg: Don’t worry. He’ll miss.

Oliver: Yeah, but it might not be until tomorrow.

(Bobby sinks a few more balls. He finishes with the 8 ball, then the 9 ball.)

Bobby: I’ve got two more pairs of dress shoes up in my closet. I’d like them shined, polished and returned to me before 6 o’clock. (He hands them another pair) Be careful with these, they’re suede.

Peter (protesting): We got homework to do first!

Greg: Yeah, and you should be doing yours instead of practicing pool.

Bobby: Who cares about school, I’m gonna be the pool champ of the whole world.

(Oliver takes the balls out for Bobby to practice more. That night, Bobby is dreaming that he’s a professional pool player. The crowd greets and applauds him as Oliver and Cindy bring him his stick and chalk.)

Bobby: For my first fabulous shot, I will hit the yellow ball through all the red balls, across the table and into the side pocket. (He does so) For my next shot, I will hit the two yellow balls out from the middle of the red balls, knocking the two yellow balls into that corner pocket. (He succeeds on that shot) Next, in one shot, I will knock the six yellow balls into the six different pockets at the same time. (He does this successfully, as Cindy comes to him with a blindfold) And now, I will knock the three yellow balls into three different pockets at the same time, while blindfolded.

(After he does this, the audience cheers. Money falls down from the ceiling and Bobby says repeatedly, and more excitedly, that he’s rich. He even says so after the dream ends.)

Peter (waking him up): Bobby, Bobby, wake up, wake up.

Oliver: You were dreaming.

Bobby: Next time don’t wake me up.

Peter: Why not?

Bobby: Thanks to you, I just blew a million bucks.

(The scene fades.)

(In the next scene. Mike and Carol are in bed. They hear a knock on the door.)

Mike: Come in.

(It’s Greg. He enters.)

Carol: Hi.

Greg (smiling): I just wanted to let you know I was home.

Mike: Oh, good.

Mike: Good night.

Greg: Good night.

(He turns around to leave, then stops.)

Greg: Listen, I don’t like to squeal, but did you know Bobby’s out there?

Mike: Out where.

Greg: In the car port, practicing pool.

Carol: At this hour?

(Mike checks the time on the alarm clock.)

Mike: Practicing pool?

Greg: I tried to get him to come in, but he wouldn’t pay any attention.

Mike: I’ll get his attention. See what i can do with the other end of a pool stick.

(Bobby is still outside practicing pool. Mike comes out.)

Mike: Bob.

Bobby: Oh, hi, Dad.

Mike: You know what time it is? You shouldn’t be out here.

(He takes the pool stick and puts it away.)

Bobby: I’ve got to practice if I want to be champ.

Mike: Bob, look, I think it’s great that you’re practicing so hard, and you want to be good at it, but you got plenty of time without staying up all night. You got junior high school, you got high school, you got college and the rest of your life to be a pool champion.

Bobby: But, Dad.

Mike: That’s it. Okay.

Bobby: Well, if that’s it, I guess it has to be okay.

(Next, Marcia and Jan return from the market with more food.)

Marcia: Hi.

Carol: Oh, hi, girls, thanks so much for going to the market for me again.

Marcia: Oh, that’s okay. Old Mr. Schwartz was happy to see us.

Jan: He told us to tell you you’re his favorite customer. I think he loves you.

(Carol laughs.)

Marcia: We’ll put them away.

(Cut to Mike’s office. Mr. Matthews comes in to see him.)

Matthews: Mike, about that dinner at your house on Saturday night.

Mike: Oh, no problem, Mr. Matthews. I talked to Carol, boy, she’s delighted to have the Thompsons over too.

Matthews: Yeah, well, thank your little woman for me. But, I think we’ll have to call it off after all.

Mike: I’m sorry. What happened?

Matthews: Well, it turns out that Hank Thompson, who invited me and my wife, he also invited joe Sinclair, the fellow in blueprints, invited him and his wife.

Mike: Oh, I see.

Matthews: Sorry about that. Unless, of course.

Mike: What’s that?

Matthews: No, no, no, it’d be too big an imposition. Just forget about it.

Mike: What is?

Matthews: Asking the Sinclairs to join us for dinner. No, no, no, it’s out of the question, Mike. Just forget it. I mean it. I’m dying to see that pool table, but, too much work for Carol. So, forget it.

Mike: Mr. Matthews (He gives him a look of curiosity) Tell Thompson to bring over the Sinclairs, too.

Matthews: No, I don’t want to hear anytihng about it. Forget it.

Mike: No, please, I insist.

Matthews: You insist?

Mike: I insist.

Matthews: Oh, wonderful. Thank you.

(He leaves the office. Back at home, Carol picks up the phone.)

Carol: Hello. Oh, Mike. (She gives an irritated look) Don’t tell me, don’t tell me, you had to go and tell me. Yeah, it’ll have to be all right, I guess. Okay, bye. (She hangs up and without looking at Marcia and Jan) Girls.

Marcia: Don’t tell me. Back to the market again.

Jan: I think Mr. Schultz is gonna propose to you.

(Next, the girls, Peter and Oliver are leaving.)

Marcia: Good bye.

Carol: Bye, kids. Have a good time at the movies. Marcia, you drive carefully.

Marcia: I will.

Jan: Good bye, Mom.

Cindy: Bye.

Peter: Are you sure Bobby can’t come with us?

Carol: Honey, you heard your father. Bobby has a lot of homework to catch up on. (Oliver tries reaching for the salad they prepared) Uh, uh, uh, uh, you had your dinner. (They leave with the girls) Alice, (she hands her a cloth) thank you, these Swedish meatballs smell absolutley delicious.

Alice: I got the recipe from Mrs. Gonzalez.

Carol: Swedish meatballs from Mrs. Gonzalez? (She tastes it) Well, never lost a thing in a translation. (the doorbell rings) I’ll get it, Alice.

9Mr. Matthews, his wife and the other guests arrive. Mike and Carol greet them.)

Mike: (to Mr. Matthews): Hi, boss.

Matthews: Hi there, big fella. (to everyone else) Matthews is the name and pool is the game. Where is it, Mike?

Mike: It’s out back in the carport.

Matthews: The carport?

Mike: Well, we haven’t decided where to put it yet. Besides, out there all the neighbors can envy us.

(They laugh.)

Matthews: That’s a good idea. How about a little pool tournament before dinner, men?

Carol: I got some hors d’oeuvres ready, okay.

Matthews: Ladies go right ahead. Mike, will you lead the way.

Mrs. Matthews: Harry, can’t pool wait?

Matthews: I’m sure Carol doesn’t mind.

Carol (a little sarcastic): No, not at all.

Mike: Come on, fellas, we can have hors d’oeuvres outside.

Matthews (to his wife): Excuse me, Frances.

(We take you outside to the garage. Mr. Matthews is playing a game with Hank Thompson.)

Joe: It’s his shot, Mike. The boss hates to lose and he’s not as good as he thinks it is.

Mike: Don’t worry. He can beat me using an umbrella as a pool cue. Open.

(Matthews sinks a ball and almost sinks the white ball, but is lucky he doesn’t.)

Matthews: Okay, beat the kid and give me the dime.

Hank: He’s too good for me, fellas.

Matthews: All right, all right. Who’s the next victim.

Joe: I guess that’s me, Mr. Matthews.

(Next, we see Mr. Matthews and Joe Sinclair playing.)

Matthews: Start digging up that dime, Joe.

(Mr. Matthews wins the game against him. Joe takes a dime out of his pocket.)

Matthews: There you go.

Joe: Looks like there’s no beating him, fellas.

Matthews: Maybe Minnesota Fats won a lucky night. Next pigeon, please.

Mike: Well, I’m up.

(Mike goes to sink the 9 ball, but misses.)

Matthews: Good try, Mike. Step aside and watch the master drop it. (He goes to shoot and Bobby comes by.) Watch this one and weep. (He successfully sinks the ball) The winner and still company champion.

Hank: Great, boss.

Joe: Great.

(He applauds. Mike notices Bobby.)

Mike: Oh, gentlemen, my son, Bob. Bob, that’s Mr. Thompson.

Hank: How are you?

Bobby: Nice to meet you.

(He shakes his hand.)

Mike: And Mr. Sinclair.

Joe: Hi, Bob.

(They shake hands.)

Mike; And you remember Mr. Matthews.

Bobby: Yeah.

Mathews: Hello, Bobby. (He shakes his hand) Good to see you.

Bobby (to Mike): I’m done with my homework. Can I watch?

Matthews: Yeah, let him watch, Mike. I’ll show him some of the finer parts of the game. How do you like the pool table, son?

Bobby: It’s great, and I’m real good at it, too.

Matthews: That’s what I like in a boy. Self-confidence.

Bobby: I can beat all my friends, and my older brothers, and everybody.

Matthews: Is that so? Well, how about taking me on. I’ve run out of competition around here.

Bobby: I don’t think my Dad wants me to play.

Mike: Oh. (Mr. Matthews urges him) It’s all right with me.

Bobby: Thanks, Dad. (He gets a stick) Can we play 9 ball, Mr. Matthews?

Matthews: 9 ball? Hey, the kid knows the jargon. Well, you take it easy. Will you, son. Say, to make it interesting, how about a little bit. Say, a pack of chewing gum.

Bobby: Dad.

Mike: If you got enough left in your allowance.

Matthews: Okay, it’s a bet. Go ahead. It’s your break.

(Joe Sinclair racks up the balls for him. Bobby sinks many balls on his break.)

Matthews: That surely was a fine break, kid.

Bobby (calling): 1 ball in the corner pocket. (Bobby easily sinks the ball) 2 ball in the side pocket.

Matthews (repeating): 2 ball in the side pocket.

(Bobby successfully sinks the ball in the pocket. Mr. Matthews takes off his jacket.)

Bobby: 3 ball in the side pocket.

Matthews: 3 ball in the side pocket.

(Bobby sinks that ball.)

Bobby: Boy, this is fun.

Matthews: Yeah, yeah, this is fun.

Joe: Mike, if that was my kid, I’d break his arm.

Mike: Just luck.

(Next, Bobby and Mr. Matthews are playing their last game as Carol and Mrs. Matthews come out.)

Matthews (calling): 8 ball in the corner pocket.

(She shoots for it but misses.)

Carol: Sorry to break this up gentlemen but dinner is ready.

Matthews: Can’t it wait? This is an important match.

Mrs. Matthews: Harry, you can play after dinner.

Bobby: That’s okay. I can get these last two shots easy. 8 and 9 in the corner pocket. 8 first. (He hits the 8 ball, then the 9 ball. They go in the pocket) Thanks, Mr. Matthews, I really enjoyed it.

Matthews: Yeah, how many packs of gum do I owe you?

Bobby: Gee, I don’t know. Do you, Dad?

Mike: Oh, forget it, Mr. Matthews.

Matthews: No, I made a bet. I wanna pay up. Mike: Well, you bet on every shot, and you kept doubling. Right, Hank.

Hank: Right.

Mike: Well, that’s 256 packs of gum you owe Bobby.

Bobby: Well, your credit’s good. Good night, everybody.

Carol: Good night.

(Hank and Joe go inside.)

Joe: Let’s get washed up.

Hank: Yeah, right. Let’s see what our wives are up to.

Carol: See you inside.

Mrs. Matthews: You mean that little boy beat you at pool?

Mr. Matthews: Well, I had an off night. Besides, who can concentrate with all these crickets chirping?

Carol: Mr. Matthews, I think Bobby’s beating you was really just pure luck. Right, Mike.

Mike: Oh, sure, just a fluke.

Matthews: Who am I kidding? I was terrible, the kid was great. (to his wife) Frances, I want you to telephone first thing in the morning. Find a worthwhile charity to donate my pool table to.

Mrs. Matthews: Thank goodness. Maybe now I can get my piano back in the living room. Mike: Mr. Matthews, with your permission, I have an idea. Let us donate this table to a worthy charity.

Carol: As much as we like it, and appreciate the gift, we just don’t have the room for it.

Matthews: You know, maybe if I practice, and got some pointers from the kid.

Mrs. Matthews: Oh, that piano would’ve looked so perfect next to the piano.

Matthews: But I almost beat the boy. What are we waiting for, Frances? Let’s eat.

(They go outside to join the others.)

Carol: Well, honey, do you think we’ll get along without it.

Mike: We’ll just have to muddle though. Now I can get my car in the garage.

(The scene fades.)

(The final scene has yet another delivery for the Bradys with the same driver. Alice and Carol come out.)

Carol (upset): Oh, no. not again.

Alice: We just got rid of a pool table.

Delivery Guy: Mrs. Brady.

Carol: Right.

Delivery Guy: Sign here.

Carol: Can’t you take those back?

Delivery Guy: Afraid not. (to his partner) Brady package.

(He hands her a small package.)

Carol: Is this it?

Alice: It’s not one of those big cartons?

Delivery Guy: Nope. have a nice day. (to his partner) Let’s go!

(Carol notices something on the package.)

Carol: Alice, here’s a note.

(She laughs.)

Alice: what is it?

Carol: Dear Bobby, here are the 256 packages of gum you won in our pool game. Good chewing. Harry Matthews. (to Alice) Now, that’s really nice.


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