Mail Order Hero
Written by Martin Ragaway
Bobby tells his friends he knows Joe Namath. Now they want him to introduce them when he comes into town for an upcoming game. I hope you enjoy the script.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
HERB KELLER, Joe’s agent
ERIC, Bobby’s friend
TOM, another friend
BURT, another friend
(The episode begins with Bobby sleeping. He dreams that he and Joe Namath are playing football in the backyard.)
Bobby: Okay Joe, we only have time for one more play. We need 6 big ones to win. This is it, Joe.
Joe: You mean, the bomb?
Bobby (nodding): The bomb.
Joe: Okay, on two. Ready? (Bobby goes to throw him a pass) 98, 77, 203, 207, 74, 2.
(Bobby throws the ball to Joe and then runs. The guys on the other team try to stop him, but Bobby gets past them. Joe throws the ball to Bobby, who jumps 6 feet in the air to catch it. He then makes a touchdown.)
Joe (screaming): Hey, Bobby, all right. Nice going, Bobby! (He runs over and picks Bobby up in a bear hug) Hey, Bobby, al right! I don’t know how I got along without you!
Bobby: Neither do I!
(Bobby’s dream ends and he is smiling in his sleep. The scene fades.)
(The next scene has Bobby and his friends playing football in the back yard.)
Burt: You know something, my Dad’s cousin was on the same plane with Hank Aaron all the way from Chicago.
Tom: That’s nothing. I know someone who knows Lee Trevino’s caddy.
Eric: That’s nothing either. My Dad rode on the same elevator with Wilt Chamberlain. and he stood right next to him.
Bobby: Right next to him?
Eric: Sure. My dad’s shoulder was rubbing up right against Wilt Chamberlain’s knee. (to Bobby): Hey, you don’t know anybody important, do you?
Bobby: Sure I do.
Bobby: Well, I don’t like to brag. Let’s play some more.
Bobby: Joe Namath.
Burt: The New York Jets quarterback?
Tom: You know Joe Namath?
Bobby: Sure, I know him alot.
Burt: How much is a lot?
Bobby: Well, he always has dinner at our house, whenever he’s in town.
Tom: Could we meet him sometime?
Burt: Could we, please?
Bobby: Sure, next time he’s in town, why not. (Cindy comes outside with the garbage) Time to wash up for dinner, right, Cindy?
Cindy: Dinner’s not for another two hours.
Bobby: Well, I like to avoid the rush, you know. 6 kids, 1 bathroom.
Eric: Hey, listen, you must be really excited about next week, huh.
Eric: Well, Joe Namath and the Jets are playing an exhibition game here in town.
Bobby: Next week?
Bobby: Oh, that’s right.
Burt: Wow, we’ll get to meet Joe Namath.
Tom: I’m gonna go tell my Dad.
(They all say good-bye to Bobby and run off.)
Bobby: Yeah, bye.
(He starts to hear what was said in his head. We take you to Greg’s room in the attic, where he and Peter are studying.)
Greg: This is a good composition, Pete. How come you got a C-?
Peter: Read the last line.
Greg (reading): If George Washington never told a lie, how come he got so far in politics?
(They both laugh. Bobby comes upstairs.)
Bobby: Hey, listen guys, how would you like to have Joe Namath over for dinner.
Peter: Hey, that be fantastic.
Greg: When is he coming?
Bobby: Well, that depends.
Peter: On what?
Bobby: On, either one of you know him?
Greg: Have you flipped? What makes you think we know Joe Namath?
Bobby: Well, you guys are older and you have more time to meet people. I’m desperate.
Greg: Okay Bobby, come on, give. What happened?
Bobby: Well, all the guys were bragging about knowing superstars.
Peter: And you were stupid enough to say you know Joe Namath?
Bobby: I was even stupider. I told them he has dinner at our house, when he’s in town.
Greg: Which will be next week at that expedition game.
Bobby: Yeah, what do you think I ought to do?
Peter: Well, if you ever thought about running away and joining the circus, now would be a good time.
Greg: Look, you only got two choices, Bobby. Either you tell the truth, or you produce Joe Namath. (Pause) Well, I’d tell the truth before it gets any worse.
Peter: Right, Honesty is the best policy, especially when nothing else works.
Bobby: Yeah, I guess I had better go phone the guys.
(Bobby leaves. Cindy is downstairs on the telephone.)
Cindy (into the phone): That’s awful, that’s awful, that’s really awful. (Bobby comes down the stairs) Listen, I got to go now, Barbara. Bye. (She hangs up.) (to Bobby) Do you want to hear about a big problem?
Bobby: I got my own problem.
Cindy: This is your own problem.
Bobby: About Joe Namath?
Cindy: Yes. Barbara’s brother Eric and his friends told all their friends about him coming over for dinner here.
Bobby: This time tomorrow it’ll be all over school.
Cindy: I don’t think it’ll take that long.
(She goes up the stairs.)
Bobby (to himself): My entire life is ruined, and I’m not even in high school yet.
(Next, Bobby is in the den explaining his problem to Mike and Carol.)
Mike: Well, how could you say a thing like that?
Bobby: Well, I just opened my mouth and it came out before I can stop it.
Carol: We don’t even Joe Namath. Do we, Mike?
Mike: No, we don’t. It looks like you bent the truth a little bit there.
Bobby: Bent it? I made it into a pretzel.
Carol: Well, Bobby, how do you intend to straighten it out?
Bobby: I was planning to phone the guys and explain.
Mike: Well, that’s a step in the right direction.
Bobby: But it’s too late. It’s all over town by now.
Mike: Well, Bob, I wish I knew the man but I don’t.
Bobby: Well, thanks anyway.
(He leaves the den.)
Mike (to Carol): Honey, he has got to learn, that when you bluff, somebody is gonna call you on it.
Carol: Mike, honey, we could try to help him, couldn’t we?
Carol: Why don’t we invite Joe Namath to dinner.
Mike: That’s an excellent suggestion but one minor flaw. We don’t know the man.
Carol: I’ll bet if you really try, you can think of somebody who does know him.
Mike: Well, let’s see. (Pause) Say, Howard Cosell knows him.
Carol: There, you see, there’s your answer.
Mike: I don’t know Howard Cosell. (Pause) Well, I don’t.
(We take you to the living room. Bobby gets on the phone.)
Bobby: Hello. Nissan stadium. May I speak to Joe Namath, please? Can I leave a message for him when he gets in? Tell him to call Bobby Brady at 555-6161. It’s very important, thanks.
(He hangs up. We next take you to the family room. Jan is practicing first aid on Alice. She is wrapping body wrap around her, which is used for multiple body fractures, with Marcia looking on.)
Alice: When you get to my head, leave a little peek hole so I can find my way back to the pyramid.
Marcia: Anybody who needs that much bandaging isn’t worth saving.
Jan: The manual says, in the case of a double compound fracture in both arms, the victim must be completely immobilized.
Alice: Will you do me a favor the next time you ask me to volunteer for something? Immobilize my big mouth before I can answer.
Marcia: Well, I got to do my homework.
Alice: Come back soon. Visiting hours are from 7 to 9.
Jan: I ran out of bandages. Promise you’ll stay put, okay.
Alice: Cross my heart. If I could reach it.
(At this moment, the phone rings. Alice trieds her best to answer it. It’s Bobby’s friend, Eric.)
Eric (from the other line): Hello, hello, hello, hello, hello, is anybody there? Hello.
(Alice finally gets to the phone.)
Alice: Brady residence.
Eric: Could I please speak to Bobby?
Alice: Hold the phone. (she calls) Bobby! Telephone!
Bobby (running in): Is it Joe? What are you doing down there, Alice? (the floor)
Alice: Hit and run Florence Nightingale.
Bobby (grabbing the phone): Hello, this is Bobby Brady speaking.
Eric: Hello, this is Eric. I just heard on the radio that Joe Namath got into town today. Has he called you yet?
Bobby: No, but I got a call in for him.
Eric: Be sure to let us know when we get to meet him.
Bobby: Oh, sure. But listen, Joe might be trying to call me right now. So I better get off the phone. Bye. (He hangs up and starts to leave) See you later, Alice.
Alice: Bobby, help me up!
Bobby: Well, I don’t think i can lift you, Alice.
Alice: Then don’t life me, unwrap me.
(He starts to set Alice free. Meanwhile, the girls are upstairs in their room and Jan is continuing her first aid assignment.)
Jan: Oh, Cindy, can I borrow your foot?
Cindy: Sure, which one?
Jan: It doesn’t matter. I’m getting real good at this.
Marcia: Wow, what a guy.
Marcia: Mike Connors. He’s far out. Listen to what he did. There was a sick little girl in the hospital who wrote to him saying how much she wanted to meet him. And he went 1,200 miles out of his way just to visit her for 5 minutes.
Jan: Just because she was sick?
(Jan gives an expression of admiration.)
Cindy: Just because she was sick, huh.
(Later that night, Cindy acts on the idea that gave her. She gets up and writes a letter to Joe Namath.)
Cindy: Dear Mr. Namath, my name is Bobby Brady and I’m 12 years old. I am writing to you because I am very, very sick. One thing I would like more than anything in the whole world is to meet you in person.
(The scene fades away.)
(The next scene has Marcia and Jan leaving for school. They approach Carol in the kitchen.)
Jan: Mom, don’t forget my first aid meeting today is at 3:30.
Carol: Oh, I won’t. I’ll be happy to drive you there, but in no way am I gonna be the victim.
Jan: Marcia volunteered to do it.
Marcia: Some volunteer. She wrapped a bandage around my mouth so I couldn’t say no.
Carol (handing them their lunch): Hurry up, or you’re gonna be late.
Marcia: Bub bye.
Carol: See you later. Have a good day.
(Bobby is upstairs in his room. Mike comes in to see him.)
Mike: Say, the risk of sounding like a parent, would you mind telling me why you’re not on your way to school, young man?
Bobby: I feel kind of sick, Dad.
Mike (feeling his head): You don’t have a temperature.
Bobby: Well, sometimes it doesn’t always show. You know I might have a slight case of malaria.
Mike: Would you like to hear my diagnosis? The word is chicken.
Bobby: Like in pox?
Mike: No, just plain chicken. I think you’re afraid to face the boys at school.
Bobby: Some of those guys don’t even think I know Joe Namath, Dad.
Mike: You don’t.
Bobby: Well, I might, someday.
Mike: Well, I think you better get up off of there and head to school. Okay?
Bobby: No, but I’ll do it.
(Meanwhile, Joe goes to see Herb, his manager. He comes into his office.)
Joe: Hello, Herb. Any messages?
Herb: Right on the desk as usual. The way this mail is coming in, looks like you’re gonna need your own zip code.
Joe: Well, don’t knock it, buddy. If it ever stops coming, I’ll need a very large crying towel.
Herb: By the way, Joe, there is a letter that came in I think you ought to read right now.
Joe: What does it say, Herb? Go ahead, read it.
Herb (reading): Dear Mr. Namath, my name is Bobby Brady and I’m 12 years old. I am writing to you because I am very, very sick.
Joe: Say, Bobby Brady, I got a phone message here from him, let me see this. (He reads the rest of the letter) Wow, poor kid. This sounds serious. Why don’t you get him on the phone and see if we can stop over after practice.
Herb: Right, Joe.
Joe: Gee, I hope it’s not too late.
(Back at home, Alice has just made some brownies. She is putting them on a plate as Bobby and Cindy come in.)
Alice: Guess what, folks. I got your favorite goodies, brownies, right out of the oven.
Bobby: No thanks, Alice, I’m not hungry.
Alice (to Cindy): He turned down brownies? That’s like Bob Hope turning down laughs.
Cindy: The kids at school gave him a bad time.
Alice: Oh, poor kid. He had to tell them he didn’t know Joe Namath.
Cindy: No, they gave him such a bad time, he just couldn’t tell them. (The phone rings and Cindy answers) Hello.
Herb (on the other line): Is this the home of Bobby Brady?
Cindy: Yes. This is his sister, Cindy.
Herb: I’m Herb Keller. Publicity manager for the exhibition football game.
Cindy (excited): You mean the one with Joe Namath? (She gets very thrilled) You got the letter, huh!
Herb: Yes. How is your brother feeling?
Cindy: Oh, awful. He just turned down his favorite dessert, brownies!
Herb: That’s too bad. His letter almost broke Joe’s heart.
Cindy (extremely pleased): That’s wonderful! (she realizes her mistake) I mean, that’s very sad.
(She smiles after her statement.)
Herb: Joe would like to drop by today about 5:30 to see Bobby. Will that be all right?
Cindy: That would be super!
Herb: Good, see you then, Cindy. Bye.
(She hangs up and runs upstairs to tell Bobby.)
Alice: Hey, hey, hey, what was that all about?
Cindy: Wrong number.
(Cut to Bobby’s room. He is sitting at his desk, totally depressed.)
Cindy (running in): Bobby, he’s coming here, he’s coming here!
Bobby: Who is?
Cindy: Joe Namath. Himself, in person!
Bobby: Terrible joke, Cindy.
Cindy: I’m not joking. I wrote a letter and I signed your name to it. So, he’s coming here, this afternoon!
Bobby (suddenly excited): Wow! (he gets up) Hey, wait till I tell Eric, Burt and Tom.
(Cindy stops him.)
Cindy: Wait. Now, the bad news.
Bobby: What bad news?
Cindy: You got to get sick.
Bobby: What? Why?
Cindy: Well, the letter I wrote him kind of gave him the idea that you were very, very sick.
Bobby: Well, what did you write?
Cindy: That you were very, very sick. So you better get sick.
(Downstairs, Alice goes to answer the door. It is none other than Joe Namath. Herb is with him as well.)
(Alice gets ecstatic and is at a loss for words.)
Alice: It’s you, it’s him. You’re Joe Namath!
Joe: Right, right. This is Herb Keller.
Herb: Hello. (She says hi back) Can we come in?
Alice (nodding): Oh, uh, uh, uh, yeah. Please do.
Joe: How’s Bobby feeling.
Alice: Just terrible. But this is gonna be the greatest medicine in the world for him. Just make yourself comfortable and I’ll go get him.
Joe: Can he walk? I mean, you don’t have to carry him or anything, do you?
Alice: Carry him, no.
Herb: Can we go up to his room?
Alice: Uh, uh, sure, if you’d rather. Bobby is going to be tickled to death. (Joe and Herb look at each other surprisingly, while Cindy notices from upstairs) He’ll be so excited, Mr. Namath. He’s just up the stairs, the first door on the right.
Joe: Thank you.
(Cindy runs in to tell Bobby, who is sitting on his bed in his pajamas.)
Cindy: He’s here, he’s here! Get into bed!
(Bobby gets in bed and lays down. Cindy sits next to him. Joe and Herb enter the room.)
Joe: Hello, Bobby.
Bobby (weakly): Hi, Mr. Namath.
Hey, call me Joe.
Bobby: Thanks for coming, Joe. (Cindy nudges him) Oh, this is my sister, Cindy.
Joe: Hello, Cindy.
Cindy: Hi, Joe.
Joe: This is my friend, Herb Keller.
Joe (to Bobby): So you sound a lot better than you did in your letter.
Bobby: I do?
(He realizes then starts to moan in pain. Joe and Herb look at each other suspiciously.)
Cindy: One minute he’s fine and the next, he’s awful.
(Downstairs, the phone rings and Alice answers.)
Alice: Brady residence.
(It’s Mike calling from his office.)
Mike: Alice, is Bobby there?
Alice: Yes, but I think he’s pretty busy right now.
Mike: Just tell him I’ve got good news for him.
Alice: Me too, Mr. Brady.
Mike: I finally found somebody who knows somebody who knows Joe Namath.
Alice: Me too, Mr. Brady.
Mike: Really, who?
Mike: How do you know Joe Namath?
Alice: He just walked in our front door!
Mike: Look, I’ll be right home.
(He hangs up. Meanwhile, Joe is still visiting with Bobby.)
Joe: Is there anything special I can do for you, Bobby?
Bobby: Could you come over for dinner one night, Joe?
Joe: No, I’m afraid not. I have to hop a plane right after the game.
Herb: How about an autographed photo, Bobby. I brought one along for you.
Bobby: (suddenly excited): That would be great!
Cindy: You better lie down. You look weaker.
Joe: What would you like me to say on it, Bobby?
Bobby: To my great friend, Bobby Brady.
Joe (writing down): To my great friend, Bobby Brady.
Bobby: At his house I always have dinner when I’m in town.
Herb (to Joe): You do?
Joe: Whatever he says, Herb.
Bobby: I’m sorry I won’t get a chance to meet some of his friends, (Joe repeats meet some of his friends while writing it down) like Eddie Clark, Tommy Hamner, Todd Crew, Burt Stevens.
Cindy: Give him a chance to catch up.
Joe: There, I’m caught up. Go ahead, Bobby.
Bobby: And especially Eric Cauffer, who refuses to believe I’m really good friends with Bobby Brady.
(Joe writes it all down.)
Joe: That’s all.
Bobby: That’s all. Now you can write whatever you want.
(Carol comes home with Jan and Marcia with good news.)
Carol: Well, Alice, she passed her first aid test with flying bandages.
Jan: I got ten points on my very first try.
Marcia: Now she’s moving up to stretcher bandages.
Alice: Today’s a day for great news, have I got some for you.
(She motions to her to see Joe, who is going down the stairs with Herb.)
Joe: Hi. (Carol is star struck and then Joe notices the stretcher Jan and Marcia are holding) We barely made it before the stretcher got here.
Alice: Mrs. Brady, this is Joe Namath and Mr. Keller.
(They shake hands.)
Carol: What a pleasure.
Joe: How are you doing?
(Marcia and Jan come to meet him.)
Alice: This is Marcia and Jan Brady.
Marcia and Jan: Hi.
Carol: It was so nice of you to come over here just to see Bobby.
Joe: Well, it was the least we could do, Mrs. Brady.
Carol: You know, you got here in the nick of time. Bobby was just about at the end of his rope.
(Joe and Herb look at each other. Mike comes home.)
Mike: Hi, everybody.
Carol: Oh, Mike, (to Joe) this is my husband, Mike. This is Mr. Namath and Mr. Keller.
(He shakes hands with them both.)
Mike: Very nice to meet you. How do you do, Mr. Keller.
Joe: You really have quite a son there, Mr. Brady.
Herb: This whole thing must be pretty upsetting.
Mike: Well, when you have six kids, something like this is bound to happen to one of them.
Joe: Excuse me, you don’t seem to be taking this very seriously.
Carol: Oh, there’s no reason to get upset over a problem like this.
Mike: How did you find out about this?
Joe: I got this letter form Bobby.
(He hands Mike the letter.)
Carol: Hey, that’s Cindy’s handwriting.
Mike (reading): It says, Dear Mr. Namath, my name is Bobby Brady and I’m 12 years old. I am writing to you because I am very, very, (Pause) very, very sick? (He gets upset over reading Bobby is sick, as does Carol.) Mr. Namath, I’m afraid we owe you an apology. I think the kids are trying to put something over on you.
Joe: You mean Bobby’s not sick?
Carol: Well, he might be when we get through talking to him.
Alice: He and Cindy must have cooked this up between them, Mr. Namath.
Marcia: You see, Bobby told all his friends that he knew you.
Jan: He even told them you had dinner over here.
(Bobby and Cindy come downstairs. Bobby is in his robe.)
Bobby: Mr. Namath, Cindy and I have been talking it over. And we think you should know something. You see, I’m not really sick. I’m sorry.
Cindy: I’m sorry, too. I wrote the letter. He just moaned and groaned.
Bobby: I guess it wasn’t a very nice thing to do. (They all look at him) You can have your picture back.
Joe: Well, you looked pretty healthy when I talked to you upstairs, Bobby. In fact, I’m glad you’re not sick. And, it’s pretty flattering to have someone want to see me as badly as you wanted to.
Mike: Flattering, maybe, but I think you two are going to be penalized for illegal procedure.
Bobby: But, can I still keep the picture.
Joe: You bet you can. And as long as I’m here, why don’t we go throw a few passes together.
Bobby: Wow, that be great.
(Bobby and Joe are outside playing.)
Joe: Okay, Bobby, here comes the bomb. (Bobby runs) Hike. (Bobby catches it and the family and his friends cheer.) Good catch, Bobby, good catch. Now listen, I gotta get going.
Bobby: Boy, Joe, this is something I will never forget.
Joe: Well, neither will I. I really enjoyed it, and it was nice meeting all of you. (Marcia hands him his jacket) It was a pleasure, thank you. (He and Mike shake hands) Mr. Brady, you got quite a family.
Carol: Bubby, Joe, thank you very much.
Joe: Thank you.
(Bobby goes to his friends.)
Bobby: Listen, guys, i got to tell you something. You see, I never met Joe Namath until today.
(They refuse to believe him.)
Eric: Come on, Bobby, knock it off.
Burt: You don’t expect us to believe that.
Tom: I’m gonna tell my Dad.
(They all run off in disbelief. Mike and Carol laugh and Bobby shrugs. The scene fades.)
(The final scene has Mike and Carol watching the game at home.)
Mike: It was nice of Joe Namath to send us all those tickets to the game today.
Carol: Yes, and it was certainly nice of you to give our tickets to Bobby’s friends. But why?
Mike: Well, I had ulterior motives.
Mike: Sure. You have to fight a thousand cars for a parking space. You have to stand in line for hot dogs. Push your weight through all those crowds.
Mike: So, this way, with all the kids out of the house, you and I can be alone. (He puts his arms around her) You get the picture?
Carol: Ohhhh. Well, who am I to fight a great idea? Yeah, this is much better.
Mike: This way when the game is on television, we won’t have any interruptions.
(Carol picks up a cushion on the couch and hits him in the face with it.)