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King of Comedy (1983)

by Paul D. Zimmerman.
December 15, 1976 draft.

More info about this movie on IMDb.com


FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY



FADE IN:

1	EXT:  MIDTOWN MANHATTAN STREETS - DAY

Behind the opening credits, we watch a montage of RUPERT 
PUPKIN making his daily rounds as a messenger delivering 
manila envelopes and packages to various New York offices, 
always courteous and polite in his demeanor, PUPKIN is an 
attractive-looking young man just past thirty and dressed 
in a stylish blue suit, broad tie and wide-collared shirt. 
His shoes are neatly polished, his hair carefully groomed. 
As the montage continues, we see that he has finished his 
deliveries and is walking rapidly towards his destination. 
It turns out to be a television theater north of Times 
Square whose marquee announces THE JERRY LANGFORD SHOW. 
It is dusk and the show is about to break.  There is a 
very small crowd already positioned at the stage door -- 
a few young girls, a few curious passers-by who have 
stopped to see who will emerge.  Three professional 
autograph hunters are clustered together:

MAE, a lady in her sixties, wears a red velvet dress, a 
lace hat and much too much rouge.

SIDNEY is in his mid-twenties, tall, badly-complexioned,
slicked hair but otherwise neatly dressed.  He carries
 a brown lunch bag.

 CELESTE is an enormously fat woman in her mid-thirties. 
She wears a large cape to conceal her obesity.

A middle-aged MAN, dressed in a corduroy suit, emerges 
from the backstage door which is guarded by a large,
 white-haired POLICEMAN.  The non-professionals in the
 crowd just peer at the MAN but MAE immediately steps in 
front of him with her autograph book raised.

			MAE 
		(to the MAN) 
	Are you somebody?

			MAN 
	No, honey, I'm just a working stiff.

The MAN keep walking and MAE returns to her cohorts 
just as PUPKIN arrives.

			MAE 
	Hi, Rupert.

			CELESTE
		(coolly)
	Hello, Rupert.

			SIDNEY
	Who did you get?

			PUPKIN
		(distractedly)
	Nobody.

PUPKIN carefully places himself near the door, a step or 
two away from the other professionals.

			MAE 
		(to SIDNEY)
	I got Mr. Raf Vallone outside 21.

			CELESTE
		(to SIDNEY about PUPKIN)
	He'd never tell you anyway, Sidney.

			MAE 
	Then I got him again at the 
	Pierre at four o'clock.

			SIDNEY
	Be a dear, Mae.  I don't happen
	to have Mr. Vallone.

			MAE 
	You know what I want for him.

			SIDNEY 
	But I have only six Barbra's left. 
	You know how difficult she is to 
	work with.

			MAE 
	I don't have her even once.

			CELESTE
		(to MAE) 
	Maybe Rupert would help you.

 PUPKIN shoots a hostile glance back at CELESTE.

			SIDNEY
	Would you do that, Rupert?  You don't
	feel about Barbra the way I do.

			MAE
 	I'll give you Mr. Burt Reynolds too.

			CELESTE
		(needling RUPERT)
	Look, Sidney, Rupert doesn't do 
	that sort of thing.

			SIDNEY 
	How about it, Rupert?  I'll give
	you whoever you want.

SIDNEY starts pulling little white cards out of his paper 
bag and reading them off.

			SIDNEY 
	Rodney Dangerfield ... Richard 
	Harris ... Liza Minelli ... and 
	she's not so easy to work with 
	either ... Louise Lasser!

			CELESTE
	You're wasting your time.

PUPKIN has been trying to remain apart from the other 
three.  Finally he turns to SIDNEY.

 			PUPKIN 
	Look, Sidney.  I'm just not 
	interested.  This isn't my
	whole life, you know.

			CELESTE
	What's that supposed to mean --
	that it's my whole life, or 
	Sidney's or Mae's?

			MAE 
	It is so my whole life.

			CELESTE
	Shut up, Mae.  What about your 
	mother?  Isn't she part of 
	your life?

			MAE 
	It's her whole life too.

The show breaks.  The doors swing open and people pour out.
The crowd around the backstage door swells.

			POLICEMAN 
		(to the crowd)
	If you want Jerry's autograph, give
	me your piece of paper and I'll 
	send it backstage.

A number of people in the crowd hand in pieces of paper. 
PUPKIN is standing next to a young couple, about college 
age.  The YOUNG GIRL has just sent in her paper.

			PUPKIN 
		(to the GIRL)
	What are you going to do with 
	Jerry's autograph?

			YOUNG GIRL 
	I don't know.  Maybe I'll sell it.

			BOYFRIEND
	I'll tell you what she's going to 
	do with it.  She's going to pin
	it on her bulletin board and
	have an orgasm.

The YOUNG GIRL laughs unself-consciously.

					CUT TO:

LANGFORD's limousine waits directly in front of the stage
door.  MAE has engaged the CHAUFFEUR who stands at the
door of the car in conversation.

			CHAUFFEUR
		(wearily)
	No, Mae.

			MAE 
	I don't mean now.

			CHAUFFEUR
	No, Mae.

			MAE 
	I'll get right out.

The CHAUFFEUR, smiling, shakes his head.

					CUT TO:

A plain-looking GIRL in a black raincoat and black, floppy 
hat stands on the street side of the limousine, 
carefully watching MAE and the CHAUFFEUR talk.

					CUT TO:

			MAE
	But I've never been in one.

We hear a cry as a celebrity emerges from the backstage
door.  MAE turns and goes back towards the door.

					CUT TO:

The POLICEMAN is handing out the autographs.  Suddenly 
LANGFORD emerges, flanked by three PAGES, husky young men 
in their early twenties dressed in theater uniforms. 
There is screaming and some yelling of LANGFORD's name. 
LANGFORD pays no attention.  Smiling nervously, he makes 
his way towards the limousine.  The CHAUFFEUR stands at 
the rear of the car, holding the door.  LANGFORD enters 
the car and then suddenly springs back.  The GIRL in the 
black raincoat and black hat has hidden herself in the 
back seat of the limousine.  The three PAGES, who have 
already turned and headed back toward the theater, hear
the commotion and swing around.  The GIRL, who we shall 
come to know as MARSHA, hides herself in the far end of 
the limo, so two of the PAGES go around to the far side 
of the car and start pulling her out while the third PAGE 
moves into the limo from the street side.  She fights 
like a wildcat, but the PAGES slowly manage to drag her 
out.  During the struggle, LANGFORD stands amid the crowd,
a bit shaken.  PUPKIN stands next to him, staring at him.
When finally catches LANGFORD's eye, PUPKIN smiles 
pleasantly.

  			PUPKIN 
		(to LANGFORD who 
		barely listens)
	How the hell did that girl get in 
	there?  Jesus, they certainly 
	don't give you very good protection, 
	do they?

LANGFORD says nothing, glancing nervously at PUPKIN.

			PUPKIN
	Look at you here.  Who the hell 
	is watching you?  Any one of
	these freaks could just walk 
	right up to you and do whatever 
	he wants.

A couple YOUNG GIRLS are pressing against LANGFORD.

			FIRST GIRL 
	Oh, Jerry.  How can we get to 
	talk to you?

			PUPKIN
	Just a minute.  This is crazy.

PUPKIN straightens up for action.

			PUPKIN 
		(yelling at the crowd) 
	Okay!  Stand back!

PUPKIN wades through the crowd towards the limousine, 
pushing SIDNEY and MAE among others out of the way. 
LANGFORD follows in the path PUPKIN is clearing.

			PUPKIN 
	Didn't you hear me?!?  Come on, 
	people, have a heart.

The PAGES have succeeded in pulling the GIRL out of the 
far door of the limo just as PUPKIN and LANGFORD arrive 
at the near door.  The CHAUFFEUR has been blocked by the 
crowd from opening the door so PUPKIN opens it.

			PUPKIN 
	Stand back!  (To LANGFORD)  Go ahead, 
	Jerry.

LANGFORD slips in quickly.  He looks up at PUPKIN who is
holding the door, smiling pleasantly.

			LANGFORD 
	Thanks.  Thanks very much.

PUPKIN stares at LANGFORD for a moment and then slides
into the limo next to him, closing the door behind him.

2	INT:  LIMO - NIGHT

			PUPKIN 
	I hate to bother you like this, Jerry, 
	but could I speak to you for a minute.

			LANGFORD
	I'd like to but ...

			PUPKIN 
	I know you're a busy man.  I promise not 
	to take very long, really.  But I need 
	your advice.

PUPKIN looks down at his hand which has been badly
scratched.

			PUPKIN 
	You don't have a handkerchief, do you?
	Jesus, these people will kill you for a 
	cufflink.

 LANGFORD hands him a monogrammed handkerchief, then checks
his watch.

			PUPKIN 
	Thanks.  If you have to be somewhere, I 
	don't mind talking as we drive.  You can 
	drop me off anywhere.

			LANGFORD 
	Sorry, but I've got a strict rule never to ...

			PUPKIN 
	I put myself on the line for you, Jerry.

Reluctantly, LANGFORD signals with his head to his 
CHAUFFEUR to start moving.  As the car moves through New 
York traffic, PUPKIN and LANGFORD talk.

			PUPKIN 
	Thanks, Jerry.  I'm grateful for this chance 
	to talk to you ... I hope I'm not boring you.

			LANGFORD
	I'll let you know.

			PUPKIN
	Really?  Fine.  I'm Rupert Pupkin, Jerry. 
	I know that the name itself doesn't mean 
	very much to you but it means an awful lot 
	to me, believe me.  Maybe you've seen me 
	outside your show and wondered who I am. 
	Well, right now, I'm in communications but, 
	by nature, I'm a stand-up comedian.  I know 
	what you're thinking -- 'oh no.  Not another 
	one.'  And I wouldn't take up even one minute
	of your time if I wasn't absolutely convinced
	of my talent.  I'm really good, Jerry,
	believe me, I'm dynamite.  Now you're probably 
	wondering if I'm so good why haven't you 
	caught my act somewhere, right?

			LANGFORD 
	Well ...

			PUPKIN 
	Well, up to now, I've been biding my time, 
	developing my act slowly and carefully so 
	that when my big break finally comes, I'm 
	ready -- like you were that night Paar got 
	sick and you sat in for him. I was there
	that night, in the theater. That was the
 	most important night of my life, until 
	tonight, of course.

PUPKIN fishes a cigarette case out of his jacket pocket, 
flips it open and offers one to LANGFORD.

			LANGFORD
	No thanks.  I don't smoke.

PUPKIN returns the pack to his pocket.

			PUPKIN
	Me neither.  I just carry them as a 
	courtesy.  How about a cough drop?

			LANGFORD 
		(smiling indulgently) 
	No thanks.  I don't cough.

			PUPKIN 
	I try not to but sometimes, you know 
	... Am I making any sense?

			LANGFORD
		(smiling)
	Go on.

			PUPKIN 
	Well, that night you did Paar, I walked 
	out of the theater like I was in a dream. 
	All of a sudden, I knew what I wanted. 
	I started catching your guest appearances 
	on Sullivan and taping them and, when you 
	got your own show, it got to be a kind of 
	regular thing.  I studied how you built 
	to your one-liners, nice and relaxed like 
	you were chatting, and how you delivered 
	the jokes without leaning too much on 
	them, without saying "here's the punchline, 
	folks."  And I watched the way you played 
	off dead audiences, how you let those long 
	silences build until people couldn't 
	stand it and then the way you got them 
	off the hook with that slow smile.  You 
	were my college of comedy, Jerry, like
	a kind of teacher, a friend.  I know it
	sounds crazy, but when you watch someone 
	every night ... But that's all in the 
	past.  What I'm trying to say is this.
	I'm ready now.  I've finished the course. 
	And I'm thinking as we sit here talking 
	"Is this it? Is this that one big break?" 
	Is it, Jerry?

There is a long pause.

			PUPKIN 
	Jerry? 

			LANGFORD 
	Look ... er ... what was the name?

			PUPKIN 
	I'm Rupert, Jerry.

			LANGFORD 
	Look, Rupert.  I know what you're saying. 
	But things don't work that way.  You can't
	just walk onto a network show without any 
	experience.  You've got to start at the 
	bottom ...

			PUPKIN 
	But that's where I am!

			LANGFORD 
	You've got to work your way up, learn your 
	trade in front of live audiences, start 
	playing the little clubs.

			PUPKIN
	But that can take years, Jerry!  Look at 
	me.  I'm already 31 years old!  People my 
	age are way ahead of me.  I've got some 
	catching up to do and I need your help. 
	What do you say, Jerry?  All I'm asking
	you to do is listen to my act.  That's all. 
	Is that asking too much?

			LANGFORD 
	I get calls from agents every day. 
	All they want ...

			PUPKIN
	I tried getting an agent.  I did, Jerry. 
	But you know how it is.  You can't get an
	agent unless you're working and you can't 
	get work unless you've got an agent ...
	or unless you know somebody.  And the 
	only person I know is you, Jerry.

There is a long pause.

			LANGFORD
	Look, why don't you call my office.

			PUPKIN
	Could I?!?  Oh, I knew you'd say that, 
	Jerry.  You don't know how many times I've
	had this conversation in my head.  And this 
	is the way it always turns out.  That's why 
	I had to sort of invite myself into the car 
	tonight.  I know it's kind of presumptuous 
	and I really appreciate the time you've 
	given me.  But breaks like this don't just 
	happen.  You have to make your own breaks.

The limousine starts slowing down as it pulls up before 
U.N. Plaza.  It stops.  LANGFORD gets out.  PUPKIN follows.

3	EXT:  U.N. PLAZA APARTMENTS - NIGHT

 LANGFORD turn to PUPKIN, looking to get rid of him as 
cleanly and gracefully as possible.  LANGFORD extends
his hand.  PUPKIN goes to shake it but his hand is wrapped 
in the handkerchief.  He extends his left hand.  LANGFORD 
shakes it awkwardly.

			LANGFORD 
	Nice meeting you, Rupert.  I hope it all 
	works out for you.

			PUPKIN 
	Thanks, Jerry.  I don't know how to repay
	you.  I'm a little short on cash this 
	evening, but, if you don't mind some good, 
	hearty food, I'd be honored to take you 
	to dinner.

			LANGFORD 
	Thanks, but some people are waiting for me.

			PUPKIN 
	Oh, I understand.  Well, then, maybe I could 
	repay you with a joke.

LANGFORD is starting to walk into the building.

			PUPKIN
	Wait a minute.  How's this?  The first night 
	you do your show from the coast, you open 
	this way. "Good evening, ladies and 
	gentlemen, it's great to be back here in 
	Southern California where you can wake up 
	in the morning and listen to the birds 
	coughing ... "

			LANGFORD 
		(nodding but unsmiling) 
	Not bad.  Maybe.

PUPKIN calls after LANGFORD who heads for the entrance 
to his building.

			PUPKIN 
	Consider it a gift.  Hey, Jerry!
	How about lunch?  My treat!

			LANGFORD 
		(turning back before 
		he enters the building)
	Call my office.

PUPKIN waves with his bandaged hand, notices LANGFORD's
handkerchief and unwraps it.

			PUPKIN 
		(to the handkerchief)
	Thanks, Jerry.

The CAMERA MOVES IN for a CLOSE-UP of PUPKIN in a kind of daze.

					FADE TO:

4	INT:  SARDI'S RESTAURANT - DAY

PUPKIN and LANGFORD stand at the edge of the foyer, waiting 
for the Maitre d' to seat them. VINCENT, the owner, spots 
them and hurries over.

			VINCENT
	I'm sorry, Mr. Langford.  (To PUPKIN,
	angrily)  How did you get in?

			LANGFORD 
	That's alright, Vincent.  Mr. Pupkin's a
	friend of mine.

			VINCENT
		(puzzled)
	Oh, I see.

			PUPKIN
	That's alright.  Now if you'd be good enough
	to find us a nice table.

PUPKIN pushes a five dollar bill into VINCENT's hand.

			VINCENT 
	Certainly.  This way, please. 

VINCENT leads PUPKIN and LANGFORD to the "bullpen," a 
select spot in a corner of the restaurant.

			VINCENT
	Here you are.  Enjoy your lunch, gentlemen.

			LANGFORD
	Is Eddie here today, Vincent?

			VINCENT 
	I'll send him over.

A WAITER arrives and hands them the menu.

			WAITER 
	Our specialty today is Rizzofino Dolce Acqua 
	a la Marinara con Spezi.  Very good.

			PUPKIN 
	Sounds like a new opera.

			LANGFORD 
	Fine.  What comes with it?

			WAITER 
	Me.

The three laugh.

			PUPKIN
	Fine.  For two.

 			WAITER
 	Very good.

 The WAITER leaves.

			PUPKIN 
	You look tired, Jerry.

			LANGFORD 
	It shows, does it?  It's all these problems
	with the show.  That and the custody suit.

			PUPKIN 
	I was sorry to read about that, Jerry.
	Charlene never should have gotten the 
	kids.  If there's anything I can do.

			LANGFORD 
	I appreciate it, Rube.  Just talking about
	it a little with you helps.

Eddie arrives.  He is a small, slightly-bald man with 
greying hair and a goatee.  He wears a foulard under an 
open-necked shirt.  He carries a long sketch pad.  He
immediately sets up a small easel and starts sketching.

			PUPKIN
	Hasn't Eddie already done you?

			LANGFORD 
	Never mind. You were saying ...

			PUPKIN 
	Well, I've been giving a lot of thought
	to your situation, Jerry, ever since I 
	saw you starting to lose ground in the 
	ratings.  And I think I know what the 
	problem is.  Too many of the same faces.

			LANGFORD 
	Yeah?

			PUPKIN 
	Sure, people are getting tired of these 
	people who live off game shows and talk 
	shows and can't really do anything. They've 
	seen 'em and heard 'em till they can't
	stand it anymore.

			LANGFORD
	You know, maybe you're right, Rube.

			PUPKIN 
	I'm sure I am.  When a show runs out of
	surprises, it loses its audience.

A YOUNG GIRL stands before PUPKIN and LANGFORD.  She hands
 PUPKIN her autograph book.

			PUPKIN 
	What's your name, dear?

			GIRL
	Dolores.

			PUPKIN 
		(writing) 
	To Dolores, who sensed greatness. 
	Rupert Pupkin.

			GIRL
		(reading it) 
	Thanks, Mr. Pupkin.

The GIRL leaves.

			PUPKIN 
	You see what I mean?  What you need on the 
	show is some unknown quantity, some brilliant 
	talent making his television debut.  Imagine 
	the suspense.  Who is this young guy?  How
	will he do with the eyes of all America on 
	him?  Something like that has got to help.

			LANGFORD 
	And that's where you come in.

			PUPKIN  
	Why not?  Believe me, Jerry, I'd give you 
	the credit you deserve and I'll stick with 
	you.  Anytime you need me, I'll be there, 
	doing a few minutes at Guild scale.

			LANGFORD 
	I'd be grateful, Rube.  I really would.

			EDDIE
	All finished, Mr. Langford.

EDDIE turns the caricature so PUPKIN and LANGFORD can see
it.  It's a picture of the two of them, facing each other
and smiling.

			PUPKIN 
	Oh, Jerry, you sneaky ...

			LANGFORD
	Looks good, Eddie.

The WAITER arrives with a bottle of champagne.

			PUPKIN 
	What's this?

			WAITER 
	Compliments of Mr. Sardi.

EDDIE hangs the picture of LANGFORD and PUPKIN on the wall 
behind them among the hundreds of other caricatures --
from Bankhead to Sid Caesar to Bette Davis.  The CAMERA 
PANS over these.  We hear the champagne pop.

			PUPKIN'S VOICE 
	How does your afternoon look?

			LANGFORD'S VOICE 
	What have you got in mind?

			PUPKIN'S VOICE 
	Well, we've still got time to catch 
	the Cubs and the Mets out at Shea.

			LANGFORD'S VOICE
	Why not?  But first, a toast. To you,
	Rube and your success.

			PUPKIN'S VOICE
	Thanks, Jerry.

 					FADE TO:

5	EXT:  U.N. PLAZA - NIGHT

			PUPKIN
 	Thanks, Jerry.

PUPKIN takes LANGFORD's handkerchief and folds it 
reverentially, tucking it carefully into his breast pocket. 
He claps his hands together a few times for joy and 
dashes into the street to hail a cab.

					CUT TO:

6	INT:  LANGFORD'S APARTMENT

LANGFORD enters his apartment.  It is tasteful, modern,
spacious and empty.  A floodlight shines on a single
setting at the end of a long dinner table.  He walks over 
to a large aquarium and sprinkles some food for the fish.

			LANGFORD
		(to the fish) 
	Say hello to Jerry.

On a shelf above the aquarium stand three pictures, one of 
two boys, roughly eight and eleven, flanked by a shot of 
each boy alone.  LANGFORD walks to the end of the table 
where a covered dish and a New York Post await him.  He
 lifts the covered dish which reveals a large, cold salmon.

			LANGFORD
		(to the fish) 
	Say hello to Jerry.

 LANGFORD begins poking at the fish with his fork.  The
phone rings.  He answers it.

			LANGFORD
	Yeah.

			GIRL'S VOICE 
	It's Marsha, Jerry. Did you get my note?
	I left it on the back seat.  Did you get it?
	I dropped it there before they pulled me 
	out.  Those guys hurt me, Jerry.  (pause) 
	Jerry?

			LANGFORD 
		(icily)
	Who gave you this number?

			MARSHA'S VOICE 
	Don't be angry with me, Jerry.  I didn't 
	know what else to do; I've been trying
	you every five minutes, I miss you,
	baby ... Jerry?

LANGFORD hangs up the phone and then takes it off the receiver.

			LANGFORD
	Say goodbye to Jerry.

He shakes his head wearily, returns to his dinner and turns 
to the inside pages of the New York Post.

					CUT TO:

7	EXT:  LEXINGTON AVENUE IN THE SIXTIES - NIGHT

A cab pulls up in front of an all-night florist shop. 
PUPKIN dashes out of the cab and into the florist's. 
The cab waits.

					CUT TO:

8	EXT:  LEXINGTON AVENUE IN THE SIXTIES - NIGHT

PUPKIN dashes out of the florist's clutching a single red 
rose.  He hops back into the cab which starts moving.

					CUT TO:

9	EXT:  A STREET OFF BROADWAY - NIGHT  

The cab pulls up in front of Gil's Steaks and Chops, a 
restaurant of little distinction that has a few checkered 
tableclothed tables in the rear and a long bar at the
front.  PUPKIN stares through the window of the bar at
RITA, the bargirl, an attractive, somewhat shopworn blonde 
in her late twenties.  PUPKIN enters.

					CUT TO:

10	INT:  BAR-RESTAURANT 

PUPKIN goes to the near end of the sparsely-populated bar.

			PUPKIN
	Miss!

RITA comes over.  PUPKIN smiles knowingly. 

			PUPKIN  
	A beer please, Miss.  Something imported.

			RITA
	Heineken's alright?

			PUPKIN
	Fine.

RITA serves him a Heineken's.  She stares at him, searching
his face.

			PUPKIN 
	How have you been, Rita?

She stares again.

			RITA
	You're not Rupert Pupkin!

PUPKIN smiles broadly.

			RITA 
	How the hell did you find me?

			PUPKIN
 	Sally Gardner, I met her after a matinee.
	Aren't you glad to see me?

			RITA
	Sure, sure.  How is old Sally?

			PUPKIN
	The same, I guess.  You know, two kids,
	a nice husband, living in Clifton.

			RITA
	It figures.

			PUPKIN
	A lot of the kids in our class have 
	moved back.

			RITA
	What are you doing here?

			PUPKIN 
	I just thought I'd say hello.  Here,
	I brought you a little something.

			RITA 
		(recognizing his style) 
	Oh, yeah, Mr. Romance.

			PUPKIN 
	Don't forget to put in an aspirin.
	It lasts longer.

RITA fills a glass of water and puts in the rose.

			RITA 
	Nothing's gonna keep it alive in this place.

			PUPKIN 
	How have you been, dear, sweet Rita?

			RITA
	I don't have an aspirin.

			PUPKIN 
	Maybe a Rolaids would work. 

PUPKIN pulls out a pack of Rolaids and hands one to RITA 
who smiles vaguely and drops it into the glass.

			RITA
	Well, what are you up to these days, 
	Rupert?

			PUPKIN 
	Didn't you know you'd see me again?

			RITA 
	You still going to the movies?

			PUPKIN 
	You're looking as beautiful as ever.

			RITA
	Oh, yeah.  I was a real knockout.

			PUPKIN
	I thought so.

			RITA
	Well, here I am.  Local cheerleader 
	makes good.

			PUPKIN
	I voted for you for Most Beautiful.

			RITA
	Yeah?

			PUPKIN 
	I didn't have the nerve to tell you then, 
	but I guess it's alright now.

			RITA
	Well, nothing terrible's gonna happen, 
	if that's what you mean.

There is an awkward pause.  PUPKIN stares admiringly at 
RITA.

			RITA 
	Well, how are things with you, Rupert?

			PUPKIN 
	Great!  Everything's starting to break.

			RITA
	Is that right?

			PUPKIN 
	Yeah.  As a matter of fact, that's why
	I'm here.  I've known about this place
	for a long time.  I just didn't want 
	to make my move until I had something  
	to offer you.  Everything's a question 
	of timing.

RITA stares at PUPKIN as he rattles on.

			PUPKIN
	What's the matter?

RITA shakes her head in disbelief and chuckles.

			RITA
	Jesus Christ, Rupert Pupkin!

			PUPKIN 
		(smiling) 
	The two of us are often confused.  He's
	the one with the famous father.

PUPKIN waits for a laugh. RITA just keeps shaking her 
head.  PUPKIN looks around.

			PUPKIN 
		(critically) 
	You like this place?

RITA shrugs.

			RITA
	Why, you got something better?

			PUPKIN
	Maybe.

			RITA
	What?

			PUPKIN
	What are you doing tonight? 

			RITA
	Tonight?

RITA starts laughing.

			PUPKIN 
		(smiling reluctantly)
	What's so funny?

			RITA
		(still laughing)
	You call me up all junior and senior year. 
	Night after night after night, right?  And 
	every time I'm wondering 'when is this guy
	going to stop talking and ask me out?'
	Well, now I know the answer.  August
	twelfth, nineteen seventy-six.  It only 
	took you ten, eleven years to work up to it.

			PUPKIN 
	If I had asked you out?  Would you 
	have gone?

			RITA
	Oh, no.

			PUPKIN
	Why not? 

RITA starts laughing again.

			RITA
	Because I thought you were a jerk!

			PUPKIN 
	You see!  I was right!  But that guy isn't 
	me anymore.  I look at my picture in the 
	yearbook and I don't even recognize myself.
	I'm not the same guy, Rita.

A bull-necked MAN in his early forties enters.  He waves 
a brief hello to RITA as he walks by.  RITA smiles and 
the MAN takes a seat at the far end of the bar.

			MAN 
	Rita!

			RITA 
		(to PUPKIN)
	Excuse me a minute, honey.

			PUPKIN 
	I'm not honey!  I'm Rupert.

RITA goes to the far end of the bar and serves the MAN a 
beer.  They chat briefly as PUPKIN watches uneasily. 
Finally PUPKIN downs his beer and raises his glass.

			PUPKIN 
	Miss!  Miss!

The MAN gets RITA's attention for PUPKIN.  RITA returns
to PUPKIN and serves him another beer.

			PUPKIN 
	I'm in the mood to celebrate tonight.
	Why don't we go to this nice restaurant
	I know, talk over and times, get to 
	know each other all over again.

			RITA 
	And then?

			PUPKIN 
	Well, tomorrow night I thought we'd 
	go out again, talk some more, get to 
	know each other even better.

			RITA 
	How much?

			PUPKIN
	How much what?

			RITA
	How much do we have to get to know 
	each other?

			PUPKIN 
	I don't understand.

			RITA
		(emphatically)
	How much do we have to get to know each 
	other before we start talking about
	that job?

			PUPKIN
	I'm not talking about any job.

			RITA
	Then what's this big offer you were 
	talking about?

			PUPKIN
	You'll see.  Right now I'm asking you
	for a date.  How about it?

			RITA
	I'm sorry, Rupert.  But I'm busy.

			PUPKIN
	Busy?

			RITA
	Yeah.  Busy.

			PUPKIN 
	But this is the biggest night of my life.

			RITA 
	I've already got a date.

The MAN at the end of the bar raises his glass.

			MAN 
	Rita!

RITA goes to the far end of the bar.  She pours him another
beer and settles against the bar, resuming her chat with
him.  PUPKIN looks for a moment and downs his beer.  He 
raises his glass.

			PUPKIN 
	Miss!  Miss!

RITA returns to him.

			PUPKIN 
	Is that your date?

			RITA
	None of your business.

			PUPKIN 
	What do you want to go out with him for?

			RITA
	He's a good friend of mine.

			PUPKIN 
	Tell him you're busy.

			RITA
	What's so important about tonight?

			PUPKIN
	Everything!  You don't understand.

			RITA
	No.  I don't.  It's been really nice
	seeing you, Rupert.  Thanks for dropping
	in.  But I've got some work to do.

RITA leaves PUPKIN and returns to the far end of the bar
 where she once again resumes talking with the MAN.  PUPKIN 
sits for a moment, gets up slowly and heads for the john.

11	INT:  THE JOHN - NIGHT

He enters the john and goes to the farthest of the three 
urinals.  A moment later, the MAN enters.  He goes to the 
nearest of the three urinals.  The two men stare at the 
wall before them but the obvious tension between them 
renders them both incapable of relieving themselves. 
PUPKIN glances over at the MAN's face, then immediately 
turns back to the wall as the MAN turns to look at him. 
The MAN glances quickly at PUPKIN and then returns to
staring at the wall.  PUPKIN sneaks a furtive glance at
the MAN's penis.  The MAN sneaks a furtive glance at
PUPKIN's penis.

					CUT TO:

12	INT:  THE BAR - NIGHT

PUPKIN emerges from the john, followed a moment later by 
the MAN.  They resume their seats at each end of the bar. 
A third MAN has come in and is seated midway between PUPKIN 
and the MAN.

			PUPKIN 
	Miss! 

RITA walks over reluctantly.

			PUPKIN 
	Listen to me for a second.

			RITA 
	I have work to do, Rupert.

			PUPKIN 
	Just listen.  I'm at the start of 
	something really big.  I don't want
	to talk about it here but it's going 
	to happen soon and it's going to be 
	great -- for both of us.

			RITA 
	No kidding?

			PUPKIN 
	So see that guy some other night.

			MAN 
	Rita!

RITA turns to go.

			PUPKIN 
	But I haven't finished!

RITA returns to the MAN and pours him another beer.  PUPKIN 
sits for a few moments, then downs his beer quickly.  Again,
he raises his glass.

			PUPKIN 
	Miss!  Miss!

The MAN leans over the bar and tells RITA something.  She 
opens a bottle of beer and hands it to the MAN who slides
it down the bar towards PUPKIN.  As the beer reaches the
middle of the bar, the THIRD MAN seated midway between
PUPKIN and the MAN raises his beer glass to take a sip just 
as the sliding beer bottle passes under his hand.  The
bottle stops right in front of PUPKIN who takes it and
slides it back with equal force.  At this moment, the THIRD
MAN in the middle has finished his sip and has just placed
the THIRD MAN's glass on the counter.  The beer bottle 
collides with the THIRD MAN's glass, creating a mess.  RITA
glares at PUPKIN as does the THIRD MAN.  PUPKIN shrugs an 
apology and RITA cleans up the mess.

			RITA
		(to the THIRD MAN) 
	I'll get you another one.

As RITA cleans up the mess and pours a fresh beer, the MAN 
walks down the bar towards PUPKIN.  He leans over him and 
puts a supposedly friendly paw on his shoulder.  PUPKIN 
glances distastefully at the MAN's hand on him.

			MAN 
		(to PUPKIN)
	Look, friend.  I'm trying to have a 
	nice civilized conversation with the 
	young lady.  Be a good little lad, 
	huh, and give us a break.

PUPKIN looks up at the MAN who pats him on the back in a
gesture of fraudulent friendship and menace.  PUPKIN burps.
With an effort, the MAN controls his temper and returns to 
his seat at the end of the bar.  PUPKIN instantly raises 
his glass.

			PUPKIN 
	Miss!  Miss!

The MAN advances towards PUPKIN with another bottle of 
beer.  PUPKIN watches passively as the MAN pours half the 
bottle into PUPKIN's breast pocket and slams the half-empty 
bottle on the counter.  The MAN walks down to the end of 
the counter where a smiling RITA is waiting.

PUPKIN again gulps his beer down.  RITA and the MAN stare
at PUPKIN expecting him to raise his glass and call for
another beer.  PUPKIN just sits there.  After a few
moments, RITA and the MAN resume their conversation, but 
they keep glancing over at PUPKIN, expecting him to
interrupt them with a call for beer at any moment.  PUPKIN 
continues to sit there.  Just as RITA and the MAN have
settled back into their conversation, PUPKIN falls like a 
stone from the barstool onto the floor.  He lies 
motionless.  RITA and the MAN look at PUPKIN for a moment 
while the handful of other patrons glance at him and return 
to their drinks.  RITA leaves the bar and goes to the rear
of the restaurant, disappearing into the kitchen.  As she
does, the MAN walks over to where PUPKIN is lying inert 
and prods him cruelly with his foot.

			MAN 
	C'mon, schmuck, wake up so I can 
	kick your ass outta here.

The MAN turns to the kitchen to see if RITA is returning. 
As he does, PUPKIN carefully opens one eye, grabs a free 
chair from a nearby cocktail table, rises and bangs the MAN 
smartly over the head.  The MAN falls, out cold.  PUPKIN
straightens up quickly as the other patrons look on with
interest.  PUPKIN brushes off his suit, which is blue, just
like the MAN's, and stands above the MAN just as the MAN
stood above him, his back to kitchen.  RITA emerges from
the kitchen with the owner, MR. NICHOLS and a large black 
COOK.

			RITA
		(to NICHOLS)
	He was making trouble one minute 
	and the next he was on the floor.

RITA automatically reaches out as she talks for what she 
thinks is the MAN's arm.  Instead, PUPKIN turns around 
smiling, leaving her too startled to speak.  NICHOLS and 
the COOK lift the MAN to his feet.

			COOK
	Okay, buddy, here we go.

NICHOLS and the COOK lead the MAN, who is still groggy, out 
of the bar as RITA continues to stare at PUPKIN with a 
mixture of curiosity and amusement.

			RITA
	Okay, Tarzan.  Where do we eat tonight?

					CUT TO:

13	INT:  CHINESE RESTAURANT ON UPPER WEST SIDE - NIGHT

We are in the kitchen watching two dishes being chopped, 
shredded and boiled in deep fat.  The activity is frantic. 
WE FOLLOW the two dishes as a WAITER carries them from the 
kitchen to a booth where PUPKIN and RITA are talking.  It 
is a painfully plain restaurant, shaped in a rectangle,
with booths lining either side and a row of little tables 
in between.  At the back is the kitchen and two phone
booths, facing each other.  An old Chinese WOMAN mans the
cash register by the door.  The WAITER sets the dishes down
before RITA and PUPKIN and clears an enormous plate of 
spare rib bones from RITA's place.  RITA hands the WAITER 
her empty cocktail glass.  RITA and PUPKIN are facing one 
another.

			RITA
	Another one, Chan.

			PUPKIN 
		(to WAITER) 
	Chopsticks, please.

 The WAITER nods and leaves.

			RITA
	So all this time you've been thinking 
	about me, huh?

			PUPKIN
	That's right, Rita.

			RITA
	What kinds of things were you thinking?

PUPKIN drops his eyes shyly.  RITA starts laughing.

			RITA
	Oh, ho! Those kinds of things!  Shame
	on you, Rupert.

			PUPKIN 
	Rita, I assure you there was ...

			RITA
	Rupert Pupkin is an unclean person!

			PUPKIN
	Come on, Rita.  People will hear.

			RITA
		(in a whisper)
	Rupert Pupkin is an unclean person.  Oh,
	come on, Rupert.  Relax.  Have a little fun.

WAITER arrives with RITA's drink and chopsticks and a beer 
for PUPKIN.

			PUPKIN
	This is a very important evening to me, 
	Rita.

			RITA
	Did you know your nose wiggled when 
	you talked?

			PUPKIN
	It does?

			RITA
	Yeah. Just the tip.  Like a rabbit.
	(pause) Hey, are we gonna eat or
	what?  I'm starving.

PUPKIN serves RITA.

			RITA
	It always looks like they put worms 
	in this stuff.

			PUPKIN
	Just taste.

RITA tastes.

			RITA 
	Well, I guess it won't kill me.

			PUPKIN
	This is supposed to be the finest 
	Cantonese cuisine in the city.

			RITA 
	Yeah?  Then what happened to the
	tablecloths?

PUPKIN drops his eyes.

			RITA
	Oh, don't worry about it.  This is 
	fine.  (She takes a long drink)  I'm 
	having a good time.  So you've been 
	devoted to me, huh?

			PUPKIN 
	I used to see you at the Garden 
	every year.

			RITA
	Oh, the Follies.  That was the right 
	name for 'em.  How did you know which 
	one was me?  We all looked like chickens. 
	What I mean is, we all looked like the
	same chicken.  I thought it was gonna be 
	Rita Keane in the Ice Follies and I 
	wind up looking like Henny Penny.

RITA chuckles to herself.

			PUPKIN 
	You just didn't get the breaks.

			RITA 
	Breaks, bullshit!  My parents didn't 
	have the money for the right coach.
	But what difference does it make?

She starts laughing to herself.

			RITA
	I remember once we were down in 
	Atlanta and the ice machine broke 
	down.  We did three hours of slush.
	Everyone was falling on their faces 
	and hopping up with their arms open 
	for a bow like the whole thing was 
	planned.  And the people ate it up.

			PUPKIN 
	I liked the show.

			RITA
	Yeah?  The Follies?  You really must
	have been carrying the torch.  What
	did you think when I got married? 
	You knew I got married?

			PUPKIN 
	I knew it wouldn't last.

			RITA
	You think I should have married you, 
	instead, huh?

			PUPKIN
	Peter Drysdale!  Really, Rita! 

			RITA
	If he'd only been hit by a train. 
	He was worth a helluva lot more dead 
	than alive, I can tell you that.

RITA raises her glass to the WAITER who is standing nearby,
 talking with another WAITER.  As she does, a nice-looking 
young MAN sitting in the middle aisle raises his glass of 
beer to her and drinks it, as a kind of toast.  RITA
smiles briefly and her eyes return to PUPKIN. The YOUNG
MAN is seated behind PUPKIN, facing RITA.  The WAITER comes 
over and collects the glass.  Throughout the rest of the 
scene, a subtle flirtation continues between RITA and the
YOUNG MAN.

			PUPKIN 
	Are you seeing anyone?

 RITA starts for a moment, thinking PUPKIN has caught her 
looking at the YOUNG MAN.

			RITA 
	What do you mean?

			PUPKIN 
	I want to know about the competition, 
	that's all.

			RITA
	Well, tomorrow night, I've got a date 
	with Joe Namath -- you know Joe.  And 
	Thursday --- let's see --

			PUPKIN 
	I'm serious, Rita.

			RITA
		(imitating him) 
	I'm serious, Rita. (In her own voice) 
	Sure I see people.  I'm not a nun, Rupert. 
	I see a lot of people.

			PUPKIN
	Anyone special?

			RITA
		(chuckling)
	You mean am I "going steady"?  Rupert,
	I'm thirty-one years old!

			PUPKIN 
	What about that guy tonight?

			RITA
	Him? 

			PUPKIN 
	Why him? 

			RITA
	What am I supposed to do, huh?  Sit 
	home watching TV?  He's just some guy. 
	He's got his own aluminum siding
	business.  He comes into the city
	sometimes, that's all.

			PUPKIN 
	You don't go out with him for his 
	money?!?

			RITA
	Oh, horrors!  Look, Rupert, what do
	you think they pay me in that dump? 
	Ninety-five bucks.  And you don't get 
	the world's greatest tippers in there
	either.  Somebody has to take care of
	me.

			PUPKIN 
	That's what I want to talk to you 
	about, Rita.

The WAITER arrives with RITA's drink.

			PUPKIN 
	Who's your favorite movie star?

			RITA
 	You are, Rupert.  Especially your nose.

			PUPKIN
	Just tell me.

			RITA
	Is this some kind of game?  Are you
	going to tell me something about my 
	character?

			PUPKIN 
	You'll see.  Give me his name.

			RITA
	I can't think of anybody.

			PUPKIN 
	You've got to have one, Rita. Everybody 
	does.

			RITA
	Okay.  Okay.  Let's see.  (pause)
	Marilyn Monroe.

PUPKIN slowly pulls out a leather-bound book from his 
inside jacket pocket.

			RITA 
	Oh, Rupert!  Are we going to exchange 
	phone numbers!?

PUPKIN expertly flips to a middle page in the book and, 
keeping the book open, his finger pointing under a name, 
he turns the book to RITA.

			RITA
	That's her name.

 			PUPKIN
	Her name!  She signed this herself,
	especially for me.

RITA starts flipping through the book, curious about the 
other names.  She isn't paying any attention to what PUPKIN 
is saying.

			PUPKIN 
	She wasn't a great actress but she had 
	a real gift for comedy. She died
	tragically, you know, alone, like so
	many of the world's most beautiful 
	women.  I'm going to see that doesn't 
	happen to you, Rita.

			RITA
	Who's this one?

PUPKIN checks the book.

			PUPKIN
	Burt Reynolds.

			RITA
	Oh yeah, the guy with no clothes. 
	Who's this?

			PUPKIN
	Mel Brooks.

			RITA
	And this?

 			PUPKIN
	Carol Burnett.

			RITA
	No kidding.  How about this?

			PUPKIN
	Glenda Jackson.

			RITA
	Never heard of her.

			PUPKIN 
		(pointing to other names) 
	And that's Woody Allen and there's 
	Ernie Kovacs -- he's dead -- and that 
	one's Lauren Bacall.

			RITA
	You don't really know any of these 
	people?

			PUPKIN 
	Take a look at this.

PUPKIN flips to one of the back pages and shows a name to 
RITA.

			RITA
		(squinting) 
	I can't make it out.

			PUPKIN
	Try.

			RITA
	This is really weird handwriting!

Exasperated, PUPKIN follows the name in question with his 
index finger.

			PUPKIN 
	Rooooper ....

			RITA
		(guessing)
	Redford!

			PUPKIN 
	That's Robert Redford.

			RITA
	It is?

			PUPKIN
	No!  It's ... it's Rupert Pupkin

PUPKIN tears out the page and hands it to her shyly.  RITA
just stares at it and back at PUPKIN.

			PUPKIN
	Don't lose it.  It's going to be worth 
	something in a couple of weeks.

RITA start laughing.

			PUPKIN 
	That's what I've been trying to tell 
	you.  Things are really breaking for 
	me.  I'm ticketed for stardom.

RITA laughs harder, despite efforts to be serious.

			PUPKIN
	Only a couple of hours ago, I was
	talking to Jerry Langford, the Jerry
	Langford.  Stop it, Rita!
                           
RITA pulls herself together for a moment.

			PUPKIN 
	We were talking about my doing my act 
	on his show.

			RITA 
		(suppressing a smile) 
	Your act?

			PUPKIN
	Get that guy you knew from Clifton out 
	of your head right now.  You're looking 
	at Rupert Pupkin, Rita.  Rupert Pupkin, 
	the new King of Comedy.

RITA starts laughing hysterically, in spite of herself.

			RITA
		(getting a grip on herself)
	I'm sorry.

			PUPKIN 
	Why not me, Rita?  A guy can always 
	get what he wants if he's willing to 
	pay the price.  All it takes is a 
	little talent and sacrifice and the 
	right break.  If you've got a friend 
	in the right place, that's all it 
	takes.  And that's exactly what I 
	have going for me right now.  After 
	all, crazier things have happened.

RITA listens silently for a moment, then begins to giggle. 
As PUPKIN resumes speaking, we CUT between RITA and the 
YOUNG MAN.  Their flirtation picks up steam.  The YOUNG MAN
raises his eyebrows as if to ask, "Are you interested in
me?"  She smiles.  All the while, PUPKIN rattles on.

			PUPKIN 
	You just don't realize what a shot on 
	the Langford Show can mean.  That's
	coast to coast, national TV, a bigger 
	audience than the greatest comedians
	used to play to in a lifetime.  A shot
	like that means a free ticket on the 
	comedy circuit -- Flip Wilson one week, 
	Cosby the next, then Sonny and Cher or 
	Carol Burnett.  And you've always got 
	those other talk shows to fall back on 
	-- Carson, Griffin.  And all that leads
	straight in one direction, Rita --
	Hollywood!  That's when we really start 
	living.  How does this sound to you --
	a beach house in Malibu, right on the 
	ocean.  You'll get a beautiful tan,
	believe me.  And we'd keep a suite at 
	the Sherry.  That's the only place to
	stay when you're big.  We could get 
	something on a top floor and look down 
	on all our old friends in Clifton and 
	just laugh.  How does that sound to you?

			RITA 
	It sounds wonderful, Rupert, and I 
	really hope you get what you want. 
	But it's getting late and I'm a working 
	girl.  You know what I mean?

The telephone at the back of the restaurant starts ringing. 
A WAITER in the background moves slowly to answer it.

			PUPKIN 
	You going to spend the rest of your 
	life in that place? Is that what you 
	really want, talking about nothing with
	nothings?  I thought you wanted something
	a little better than that and that's what 
	I'm offering.  Every King needs a Queen, 
	Rita.  I want you to be mine.  What do 
	you say?

			RITA
	You really want to help me out?  You
	see this. (She points to her lower 
	back molar)  A hundred seventy-five 
	bucks.  If you could spare fifty, say, 
	until next Monday, that would keep 
	three people really happy -- me, my 
	landlord and my dentist.

During RITA's speech, the WAITER has been working his way 
from the phone booth towards the front of the restaurant.

			WAITER 
	Telephone for you, Miss.

			RITA
		(looking puzzled) 
	Me?  Nobody knows I'm here.  You didn't
	tell anybody, did you?

			PUPKIN
	No.

			RITA
		(getting up) 
	What the hell's going on?

CAMERA FOLLOWS RITA, who walks to the back of the 
restaurant and picks up the dangling receiver in one of 
the two facing booths, the other of which is occupied.

14	INT:  THE PHONE BOOTH - NIGHT

			RITA
 	Hello?

 			MAN'S VOICE
	Hi.

			RITA 
	Who is this?

			MAN'S VOICE
 	Who do you think it is?  I've been 
	staring at you all evening.

			RITA
	Where are you?

The YOUNG MAN taps forcefully with his index finger on the 
glass door of his booth.  RITA, hearing the noise, turns 
around and finds herself staring at the YOUNG MAN.  She 
smiles.

 					CUT TO:

15 	INT:  THE RESTAURANT - NIGHT

PUPKIN at the table looking over the check.  He gets out a
ten dollar bill.  RITA emerges from the booth in nervous 
high spirits.

			RITA
		(with repressed gaiety)
	You know who that was -- the bar.  I
	have to go back to work.

			PUPKIN 
	How did they know you were here?

			RITA
		(gathering her things) 
	I guess I must have told them.  They 
	need someone right away.

			PUPKIN 
		(accusingly) 
	You don't even care, do you?

			RITA 
	Oh, no.  I do.  Really!

			PUPKIN 
	It's not the bar, Rita.  Don't tell 
	me it's the bar.

			RITA
	Don't be angry.  It has nothing to
	do with you.  I had a nice dinner,
	really.  It was great seeing you
	again.

PUPKIN stare at her icily.

			RITA
	Come on.  Let's see a smile.

			PUPKIN 
	Why don't we finish the evening up 
	at the bar together?  End the evening 
	where it began?

			RITA
	After what happened there?

			PUPKIN 
	Well, I could at least drop you off!

			RITA 
		(hurriedly making up her face) 
	That's okay.  Really.  I can manage. 
	Why don't you just go to a movie or 
	something?  Don't let me spoil your 
	evening.

			PUPKIN 
	But that wouldn't be right.

RITA gets up and stands before PUPKIN.

			RITA 
		(firmly) 
	Look, Rupert.  It's been a lot of fun, 
	really.  I'll see you sometime, huh?

			PUPKIN 
	But Rita!

RITA starts moving towards the door.

			RITA
	Come on, Rupert.  I'm in a hurry.

RITA marches out with PUPKIN trailing behind.  He throws 
the check and the ten dollar bill at the CASHIER.

16	EXT.  THE STREET - NIGHT 

 CAMERA FOLLOWS PUPKIN as he streaks out the door and jumps 
into the adjacent doorway, immediately peering down the 
street.  He spies the YOUNG MAN and RITA walking about 
three quarters of a block down and follows them, keeping
out of sight.  They turn occasionally to see if he's 
around, then stop turning.  They go around the corner and
disappear into a large apartment building.  PUPKIN rushes 
after them, positioning himself across from the building. 
He searches the windows for some clue as to where they 
have gone.  Finally a set of lights go on on the fourth 
floor and a MAN's shadow is seen closing two sets of 
blinds.

 					CUT TO:

17 	INT:  THE APARTMENT BUILDING FOYER - NIGHT

 PUPKIN enters the building and finds himself in a small 
entranceway.  The door to the lobby is locked.  Next to
the door, on the wall, are listed the tenants, their
apartment numbers and a button next to each name.  There is 
an intercom speaker.  There are eight apartments listed on 
the fourth floor, running from 4A to 4H.  PUPKIN looks them 
over, takes a deep breath and pushes 4A.

					CUT TO:

18	INT:  YOUNG MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

It is an extremely well-furnished studio apartment with all 
the requirements of a contemporary bachelor pad -- an 
imitation bearskin rug, nice bookshelves including an 
elaborate stereo system, recessed lighting, including a
soft spotlight on the Queen-sized bed with its pseudo-satin 
cover.  The YOUNG MAN and RITA stand in the middle of the 
room.  RITA looks about uneasily.  No intercom buzzer sounds.

			YOUNG MAN
	Welcome to the pleasure dome.

			RITA
	You don't kid around, do you?

			YOUNG MAN
		(smiling) 
	I do alright.  What's your libation?

			RITA
	Huh?

			YOUNG MAN
	Your potion.  Your drink.

			RITA 
	Bourbon and soda.  Make it light.

The YOUNG MAN goes to his chic little bar and starts fixing 
RITA a strong bourbon and soda.  He also fixes himself a
strong scotch and water.  As he works, they talk. 

			YOUNG MAN
	You from the South?

			RITA 
	Me?

			YOUNG MAN 
	That's what Southern people drink. 
	Lots of bourbon.

			RITA
	What do people from Jersey drink?

			YOUNG MAN
	I make it a point to study things 
	like that.  It's important to know 
	people's backgrounds, their tastes, 
	their culture.  It gives you a little 
	head start.

The YOUNG MAN turns from the bar and hands RITA her drink.

                        YOUNG MAN
	I'm Chet.  Whom do I have the
	pleasure of serving?

			RITA
	I'm Mary.

			YOUNG MAN 
	Pleased to meat you, Mary. (He lifts 
	his glass)  To our evening.

 					CUT TO:

19	INT:  THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT 

PUPKIN stands before the intercom.

			WOMAN'S VOICE
	Who?

			PUPKIN
	Rita Keane.  I want to talk to her.

			WOMAN'S VOICE
	Rita Keane?

			PUPKIN 
	That's right.  Oh, never mind.  I 
	must have the wrong apartment.

 			WOMAN'S VOICE
	There's no Rita here.

			PUPKIN 
	I know.  I know.  I'm sorry to bother
 	you.

			WOMAN'S VOICE 
	You must have the wrong apartment.

			PUPKIN
	I'm sorry.

PUPKIN pushes 4B.

 					CUT TO:

20	INT:  YOUNG MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

RITA is seated on the couch.  The YOUNG MAN is putting a
record on the phonograph.  Once again, the intercom doesn't
 sound.  PUPKIN has drawn another blank.

			YOUNG MAN 
	Leisure is America's fastest growing 
	industry.  Did you know that?  Think 
	about it.  Short work weeks, more 
	vacation.  People need something to 
	do with all that time and that's where 
	I come in.  Leisure Villages, Inc.  
	We buy land an hour or so outside 
	your metropolitan centers.  We set 
	up the bungalows, dig some lakes, lay 
	out a golf course, you know, fix the 
	whole place up so it's usable.  Then 
	young, personable guys like me show
	the people around.  It the guy seems
	tight, we point out the investment 
	factor.  If he's a swinger, well, 
	the bungalows are very private.  If 
	he's a sports nut, we talk up skiing 
	and fishing and tennis.

 The phonograph starts playing Burt Bachrach.

			YOUNG MAN
	What's your work, Mary?

The YOUNG MAN walks back to her and stands over her.

			RITA
	Me.  I fly for National.

			YOUNG MAN
		(delighted)
	No kidding?

			RITA
	What's that smell?

			YOUNG MAN
	Sandalwood incense.  It seemed very 
	you.

					CUT TO:

21	INT:  THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT 

PUPKIN yells into the intercom.

			PUPKIN
	I said I'm sorry!

 We hear the intercom at the other end click off.  PUPKIN
pauses a moment and pushes 4C.

					CUT TO:

22	INT:  YOUNG MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

RITA and the YOUNG MAN are seated on the couch.  Still no 
buzzer.  As the YOUNG MAN talks, RITA is staring at a 
woman's shoe lying underneath a small table that holds a
lamp.

			YOUNG MAN
	Did you know that you have remarkable
	hair?

			RITA
	Yeah?  You know what?  I feel like
	going to a movie.

			YOUNG MAN 
	Now?

			RITA
	Sure.  Why not?  It's only twenty of 
	ten.  We can make a ten o'clock show.

The YOUNG MAN takes her hands and looks deep into her eyes.

			YOUNG MAN 
	Why don't we make our own movie?

			RITA
	No.  I don't think so.

			YOUNG MAN 
	Don't be so uptight.  Give it a chance.

			RITA
	I want to go to the movies, that's all.

			YOUNG MAN 
	We can go to the movies later.

 RITA pulls her hands away.

			RITA
	Let's stop playing games, okay. 
	I'm not a kid.

			YOUNG MAN 
	You have something against pleasure?

			RITA
	I'm just not interested in being 
	tonight's ritual sacrifice, okay?

			YOUNG MAN 
	Shall I freshen up your drink?

RITA shakes her head.

			YOUNG MAN 
		(growing irritated) 
	What exactly did you think we were 
	going to do up here?

 					CUT TO:

23 	INT:  THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT 

PUPKIN pushes 4D and waits.

			MAN'S VOICE 
		Yeah?

					CUT TO:

24	INT:  YOUNG MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

The YOUNG MAN is practically sitting on RITA's lap.  He 
has RITA backed up against the end of the couch.

 			YOUNG MAN 
	Look, if you've got sexual problems
	let's talk about them.  It helps
	clear the air.

			RITA
	There's nothing wrong with me.

			YOUNG MAN 
	Then it's me?

			RITA
	I don't even know you.

			YOUNG MAN 
	Then find out.  Sex is a great way 
	of breaking down barriers.

			RITA
	I don't think so.

			YOUNG MAN
	I'm sure this could lead to something 
	beautiful.

The YOUNG MAN kisses RITA roughly.

			YOUNG MAN 
	Passive resistance, huh?

			RITA
	Let's just write this thing off as 
	a big mistake.  What do you say?

			YOUNG MAN 
	What's wrong with me?

			RITA
	Nothing.  I just want to go home.

			YOUNG MAN 
	I can see I'm not turning you on.

			RITA 
		(smiles) 
	You noticed that, huh?

 			YOUNG MAN 
	Come on.  What's wrong with me?

			RITA
	You really want to know?

			YOUNG MAN 
	Yeah.

			RITA
	How can I put it?  Well, it's like 
	you've got your fly open and your 
	tongue hanging out.

 					CUT TO:

25	INT: THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT 

PUPKIN, growing more frantic, pushes 4E.

 					CUT TO:

26	INT:  YOUNG' MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

The YOUNG MAN is all over RITA.  No buzzer sounds.

			YOUNG MAN 
	I'm really a very sensitive person.

			RITA
	Come on.  Get offa me.

			YOUNG MAN 
	Sometimes I write poetry.

RITA pulls herself away.

			RITA
	No!

			YOUNG MAN 
	So you wanna play hard to get, huh?

The YOUNG MAN grabs her.

					CUT TO:

27 	INT:  THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT

PUPKIN, even more desperate, pushes 4F.

			OLD LADY'S VOICE
	 Que es, por favor?

					CUT TO:

28	INT:  YOUNG MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

The YOUNG MAN is strong-arming RITA who is beginning to 
get frightened.

			RITA
	Come on.  Let's talk this over.

			YOUNG MAN
	I admire you very much.  I respect
	you, Mary.

			RITA
		(her eyes beginning to fill
		with terror)
	You're hurting me.

			YOUNG MAN 
	I'm only doing what you want.

			RITA
		(pleading, on the verge 
		of tears)
	Oh, please.

					CUT TO:

29 	INT:  THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT 

PUPKIN, frantic, pushes 4G.

					CUT TO:

30 	INT:  THE YOUNG MAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

The YOUNG MAN has RITA securely pinned and is starting to 
undo her blouse.  She is desperate.

			YOUNG MAN 
	Afterwards, you'll thank me.

 The buzzer sounds with great force.  It is one, long, 
protracted blast that breaks the YOUNG MAN's concentration.
RITA takes advantage of the distraction to grab her bag 
and rush out as the buzzer continues to sound.

					CUT TO:

31	INT:  THE ENTRANCEWAY - NIGHT

PUPKIN still has his finger on 4G as RITA rushes out the 
EXIT door next to the elevator and comes rushing towards 
him.  She is numb and emotionally exhausted.

			PUPKIN 
	Rita!

			RITA
		(in desperation) 
	What do you want?

RITA keeps walking out of the entranceway and onto the 
street.  PUPKIN is at her side.

			PUPKIN 
	Don't be angry with me.  I was worried
	about you, that's all.

			RITA
	Just go home and leave me alone.

PUPKIN take off his jacket and puts if around RITA's 
shoulders.

			PUPKIN 
		(quietly) 
	Here.  You'll need this.  It's getting
	chilly.

			RITA
	I'm so bad.  I'm such a dummy.

			PUPKIN  
	Don't say that, Rita.  Everyone
	does crazy things.

			RITA
	Not all the time.

			PUPKIN 
	I'll get us a cab.

PUPKIN rushes into the street and hails a cab.

					CUT TO:

32	EXT:  WEST 56th STREET BETWEEN EIGHTH AND NINTH AVENUES - 
NIGHT

WE SEE the taxi pull up in front of one of those middle-
class tenements -- a fairly well-preserved six-story 
building with a fire escape running up the front.  PUPKIN 
helps RITA out of the taxi.  A dime bounces at PUPKIN's
feet.

			CAB DRIVER'S VOICE
	Stuff it, big spender!

PUPKIN pays no attention.  He walks RITA to her front 
stoop.

			RITA 
	Well, I guess you're entitled to come 
	up for coffee.

			PUPKIN 
	That's okay, Rita.  You're tired and 
	I know I'm not always the easiest guy
	to be with.

There is a pause.

			RITA
		(puzzled) 
	What do you want, Rupert?

			PUPKIN 
		(softly) 
	You don't understand anything, do you? 
	I love you, Rita.  I want to change 
	your life ... if you'll only give me a 
	chance.

RITA just shakes her head sadly.

			PUPKIN 
	Look, what if I arranged it so you
	could meet Jerry?  You'd have to
	believe me if you heard it from him.

			RITA
	There's no ...  

			PUPKIN 
	I'll arrange that, Rita.  We'll all 
	go out to dinner some night or maybe 
	out to his place, on a weekend.  You'll 
	see.  The trouble with you is you've
	got no faith.  Now go to bed and get a
	good rest and I'll see you in a couple 
	of days.

PUPKIN gives RITA a very gentle, sweet kiss on the
forehead.

			PUPKIN 
		(gently) 
	Now run along in.

RITA just stares at him.

			PUPKIN 
	Go on.

RITA turns slowly and goes in.  She looks back.  PUPKIN is 
 gone.

					FADE TO:

33	EXT:  MADISON AVENUE AND 48th STREET - DAY

PUPKIN carries a large manila folder into 424 Madison.  As 
usual, he is impeccably dressed.

					CUT TO:

34	INT:  OFFICES OF KOERNER-LIBERMAN TRAVEL - DAY

 It is a large corner office, broken up by glass dividers.  
A RECEPTIONIST sits at a desk facing the door.  PUPKIN enters.

			RECEPTIONIST 
	Yes.

PUPKIN hands the RECEPTIONIST the package.

			PUPKIN
	I need somebody to sign.  You can sign
	anything you want -- Cary Grant, Art 
	Carney, I don't care.

The RECEPTIONIST signs.

			PUPKIN 
	Would you mind very much if I used 
	your phone?  It's local.

			RECEPTIONIST 
	Don't be, long.  Dial nine.

PUPKIN takes out a little piece of paper from his suit 
pocket and dials a number.

			PUPKIN 
		(tense, nervous)
	May I speak to Jerry Langford, please? 
	Thanks ... Jerry Langford, please. 
	Rupert Pupkin ... Jerry knows.  I'm
	calling at his request ... I see. 
	That's alright.  I'll call him again.

			RECEPTIONIST
 	That's not Jerry Langford, the ...

			PUPKIN 
		(smiling proudly)
	That's right.  Thanks for your phone.

					CUT TO:

35	EXT:  TIMES SQUARE - DAY

PUPKIN approaches Times Square phone booth. He rests a 
few folders on a trash basket just outside the booth.  He
enters the booth and dials.

			PUPKIN 
	Jerry Langford, please ... May I speak 
	to Jerry Langford, please ... Rupert 
	Pupkin, I called earlier ... I see. 
	How long do you expect that'll last? 
	Oh, fine.  I'm at (PUPKIN checks the 
	number on the phone) CH 4-1482 ... I'll 
	be here for another half hour, forty-
	five minutes.  Please be sure he gets 
	my message.  Thanks.

PUPKIN hangs up.

					CUT TO:

36 	EXT:  TIMES SQUARE - DAY

A SHOT of the clock on the Allied Chemical Building.  It 
reads 10:10.  A nearby record store starts blasting music 
into the street through a loudspeaker.  The music serves 
as background for a montage in which we CUT BETWEEN the 
clock, which moves in bites towards 11:30 to Broadway as
it looks to PUPKIN in the booth -- that cavalcade of
hustlers, whores, housewives, kids, weirdos and working 
people; and SHOTS of various people waiting to use the 
phone -- their impatience, anger, disgust. Each time one 
of them arrives, PUPKIN pretends to thumb through the phone 
book and dial a number.  WE WATCH him chatting with 
animation until the waiting party leaves.  Then WE SEE him
push the coin return to retrieve his dime. Finally, PUPKIN
takes a last look at the clock.   WE SEE that it reads
11:30.  He leaves the booth and goes to the trash basket.
His packages have been swiped.

					CUT TO:

37	EXT:  AN UPPER BROADWAY HIGH-RISE OFFICE BUILDING - DAY

WE SEE PUPKIN enter.  He is watched by a plain girl of 
about twenty in a black raincoat and a floppy black hat 
whom we recognize as MARSHA.

					CUT TO:

38	INT:  A CORRIDOR IN THE HIGH-RISE OFFICE BUILDING - DAY

PUPKIN emerges from the elevator and walks down the 
corridor looking for the door the Jerry Langford Show 
offices.  He finally finds it and enters.

					CUT TO:

39	INT:  THE RECEPTION AREA OF THE JERRY LANGFORD SHOW 
OFFICES - DAY

A bored, plump, middle-aged RECEPTIONIST sits behind a
large desk that holds a phone receiver connected to a
small switchboard.  PUPKIN presents himself.

			RECEPTIONIST 
	Yes sir?

			PUPKIN 
	Mr. Langford, please.

			RECEPTIONIST 
	Your name?

			PUPKIN
	Pupkin.  Rupert Pupkin.

The RECEPTIONIST puts a call through.  Wide-eyed, PUPKIN 
observes the blow-ups of Langford talking with various 
celebrities.

 					FADE TO:

40 	INT:  A TELEVISION STUDIO - DAY

LANGFORD is seated at his desk on stage and PUPKIN is his 
guest.  WE SEE television cameras and in the background, 
the control room.

			PUPKIN 
	You know the secret of dieting, Jerry?
	Grapefruit.  It's good for you.  It's
	filling.  And it's low in calories.

			LANGFORD 
		(to the camera)
	Take note of that, you ladies.

			PUPKIN 
	As a matter of fact, yesterday I went 
	to the outdoor market near where I 
	live and I bought twenty grapefruit. 
	The grocer looked at me and said, 
	"What are you gonna do with all those?"
	So I bent over and told him (in a 
	confidential tone) "I'm gonna take 'em
	back to Florida and set 'em free!"

LANGFORD and the AUDIENCE laugh heartily.

  					FADE TO:

41	INT:  THE RECEPTION AREA -- DAY

			RECEPTIONIST 
		(holding the phone and 
		talking to PUPKIN)
	I'm sorry, Mr. Pupkin, but Mr. Langford's 
	secretary has no record of any appointment.

			PUPKIN 
	Pardon me?

			RECEPTIONIST
	Mr. Langford's secretary has no 
	record of any appointment.

			PUPKIN
	Well, technically speaking, I don't 
	actually have an appointment.  Jerry 
	asked me to call him today and when 
	I couldn't get through, I thought ...

As PUPKIN talks, a VISITOR has entered and stands behind 
him waiting for the RECEPTIONIST's attention.

			RECEPTIONIST
	I see.  (Into the phone)  He says Mr. 
	Langford asked him to call. (To 
	PUPKIN)  Mr. Langford's secretary wants 
	to know what this is in reference to.

The RECEPTIONIST glances past PUPKIN to the VISITOR
waiting.

			RECEPTIONIST 
		(to PUPKIN) 
	Would you mind talking to her yourself?

The RECEPTIONIST hands the phone to PUPKIN and occupies 
herself with the VISITOR.

			PUPKIN 
	Hello? ... Jerry and I discussed 
	my being on the show last night and 
	he told me to call ... No. I don't
	mind. 

PUPKIN hands the phone back to the RECEPTIONIST.

			PUPKIN 
	I'm supposed to wait.

The RECEPTIONIST listens to the phone for a moment and then 
hangs up.  The VISITOR has just disappeared into the back 
offices.  PUPKIN stands there, smiling politely at the 
RECEPTIONIST who returns a professional smile.

			PUPKIN
	Who was that gentleman?  (PUPKIN
	indicates with a glance to the 
	entrance to the back offices that 
	he is referring to the VISITOR)

			RECEPTIONIST
	Mr. Gangemi.

PUPKIN draws a complete blank but wants to appear 
knowledgeable.

			PUPKIN 
	Oh, I see.  Mr. Gangemi.

			RECEPTIONIST 
	He takes care of our air conditioning.

CATHY LONG emerges from the back offices.  She is a tall, 
modishly-dressed, attractive woman in her early thirties.

			CATHY LONG
	Uh ... Mr. Pupkin?

			PUPKIN 
	Yes?

			CATHY LONG
	I'm Cathy Long.

 			PUPKIN
	I'm Mr. Pupkin.

 			CATHY LONG
	Can I help you?

			PUPKIN 
	I'm sorry, but you are?

			CATHY LONG
	I'm Bert Thomas' assistant.

			PUPKIN 
	Bert Thomas?

			CATHY LONG
	He's our executive producer.

			PUPKIN 
	Oh, yes.  I'm sure he is.  But, you 
	see, I've already talked directly 
	with Jerry about my being on the show 
	and he told me to get in touch with 
	him.  I'm just here to follow up on
	that.

			CATHY LONG 
	What do you do, Mr. Pupkin?

			PUPKIN
	Stand-up comedy.

			CATHY LONG
	Fine.  Where are you working?

			PUPKIN 
	Well, right now I'm developing new 
	material.

			CATHY LONG
	I see.  Well, as soon as you start 
	performing again, let us know where 
	you are and I'll send my assistant 
	down to check you out.

			PUPKIN 
	Sure.  Sure.  But that's not necessary, 
	Miss Long.  Jerry and I already went 
	over all this.

			CATHY LONG
	Does Jerry know your work?

			PUPKIN 
		(nodding)
	Yes.  I don't think he does.

			CATHY LONG 
	You don't happen to have a tape or a 
	demo that we might listen to?

			PUPKIN 
	Oh, sure.  I've got lots of tapes.
	That's no problem.

			CATHY LONG
	Good.  Why don't you just send one
	to us and I assure you we'll listen
	to it promptly.

			PUPKIN 
	Great.  I'll do that.  I can see 
	that'd be a lot easier for Jerry. 
	Thanks a lot, Miss Long.

			CATHY LONG 
	Don't mention it, Mr. Pupkin.  Now, 
	if you'd excuse me ...

			PUPKIN
	Sure.  Sure.  Thanks again.

CATHY LONG leaves.  PUPKIN, left standing there, smiles at 
the RECEPTIONIST who returns another professional smile.

			PUPKIN 
		(to the RECEPTIONIST)
	Thanks.

					CUT TO:

42	EXT:  THE UPPER-BROADWAY HIGH-RISE OFFICE BUILDING - DAY

PUPKIN comes out of the building elated.  He is immediately 
confronted by MARSHA.  PUPKIN continues to walk as MARSHA 
skips beside him.

			MARSHA 
	I've got to speak to you for a minute.
	I'm Marsha.

			PUPKIN
	Yeah.  I know.

			MARSHA 
	Look.  Did Jerry say anything about
	me last night?

			PUPKIN 
	I'm really in a hurry, Marsha ...

			MARSHA 
	Was he angry? ... In the car last night, 
	I saw you.  Did he talk about me?

			PUPKIN  
	I thought that was you.  That was
	some stunt.

			MARSHA
	What did he say?

			PUPKIN  
	We didn't talk about you.

			MARSHA
	You know Jerry?

			PUPKIN 
	Yeah.

MARSHA thrusts an envelope into PUPKIN's hands.

			MARSHA 
	Give him this for me.

			PUPKIN 
	Why don't you ...

			MARSHA  
	Because I can't!  Please.  I need 
	your help.  You'll be my friend forever. 
	Come on.  I'll buy you something.
	What do you want?

She takes a great messy bunch of bills out of her raincoat 
pockets and jams them into PUPKIN's hands.

			PUPKIN 
	I don't want this.

			MARSHA
	Take it.  I can get all I want.

PUPKIN shrugs and pockets the money.

			PUPKIN 
	Okay.  I'll try.

			MARSHA
		(turning cold)
	Don't try.  Do it.  Remember.  We
	just made a deal.

PUPKIN stares at the envelope.

			MARSHA 
	And don't open it.  It's private.

			PUPKIN
	Okay.  Okay.

			MARSHA 
	How soon can you get it to him?

			PUPKIN
	I don't know.  Couple a days. 

			MARSHA
		(menacingly) 
	You'd better.

MARSHA turns and walks in the direction from which they 
came.  CAMERA FOLLOWS PUPKIN who walks on for a block or
so, then opens the envelope.  It contains a set of
apartment keys, a scrap of hand-knitted woolen cloth and a 
note in lipstick that reads:  "I've made you a sweater, 
honey.  Come try it on.  I miss you.  Love, M.  74 East
83rd Street, Apartment 2B!"  He takes out the money MARSHA
gave him.  There are wads of tens, twenties and fifties 
with a sprinkling of fives and ones.

					CUT TO:

44	EXT:  A TIMES SQUARE HOTEL - DAY

The hotel is just one step up from a flophouse. WE SEE
PUPKIN enter.

 					CUT TO:

45 	INT:  PUPKIN'S ROOM - DAY

PUPKIN enters.  WE SEE that it is a small room, furnished 
by the hotel in the plainest way.  Nicely-done home-made 
collages of show business figures decorate the drab green 
walls.  The room is neat and clean.  PUPKIN goes directly
to a plain table which holds two tape recorders -- one a
small cassette the other a large table tape recorder.  He
picks up the microphone of the larger one and speaks into
it.

			PUPKIN 
	Testing.  Testing.  Testing.

In the following montage, we hear in the background the 
replay of his "testing, testing testing" and various 
other noises -- a bit of his voice taped, a burst of 
laughter, the squeal of a tape recorder sent fast-forward, 
a sudden burst of applause, a scrap of theme music.  At the
same time, the CAMERA PANS about the room.   We look 
at the collages which include all the obvious show business
figures, with a heavy emphasis on comedians from Chaplin
and Keaton to Sid Caesar and Woody Allen.  The collages
also include  such varied figures as Jimmy Carter, Julia 
Childs, Tom Seaver, David Brinkley, Muhammad Ali, Clifford
Irving, Walter Cronkite and Mark Spitz.  There is a special 
Kennedy section -- John F. and Bobby framed in black, 
Jackie in mourning and a picture of Teddy.  There is also a
trio of assassins -- Sirhan, Oswald and James Earl Ray. 
There is also a talk show collage with a photo of Langford 
in the center like a sun surrounded by Snyder, Walters, 
Carson and Griffin.  One bookshelf holds a veritable 
library of comedy -- joke books, biographies of comedians,
treasuries of American humor.  Another shelf holds scores
of tapes in their own little boxes, each one neatly marked, 
i.e., "LANGFORD MONOLOGUES:   7/5/72 to 9/9/72."  "MISC. 
MONOLOGUES 6/13/68 to 8/1/69."

					CUT TO:

PUPKIN sitting before the tape recorder lost in thought. 
Finally, he starts the larger recorder and lifts the mike.

			PUPKIN 
	First, Miss Long.  Thanks very much 
	for your help at the office and for 
	passing this along to Jerry.  I 
	appreciate it more than you know.

PUPKIN stops the tape recorder and thinks again for a few
beats.  He then starts the large recorder.

			PUPKIN
	Now, Jerry.  Before I begin, I just 
	want to thank you for listening to 
	this material and for the opportunity
	that you've given me.  You know, lots
	of people think that guys like you, 
	you know, people who have made it, 
	lose their feeling for struggling 
	young talent such as myself.  But 
	now I know from experience that those 
	people are just cynics, embittered 
	by their own failure.  I know, Jerry, 
	that you're as human as the rest of us,
	if not more so.  (pause)  Oh well, I
	guess there's no point going on about 
	it.  You know how I feel.  So let's get
	on with the show.   The best of Rupert
	Pupkin!  I've sketched out this little 
	introduction in order to save you a
	little time.  So close your eyes and
	imagine it's exactly six o'clock.
	You're standing in the wings and we 
	hear Rick Ross and the Orchestra strike 
	up your theme song.

PUPKIN pushes a button on the cassette and we hear the 
theme song of the Jerry Langford Show, followed by the 
voice of BERT CANTER, the announcer.

			BERT CANTER'S VOICE 
	And now, direct from New York, it's 
	the Jerry Langford Show!  Tonight, 
	with Jerry's special guest ...

 PUPKIN deftly shuts off the cassette and substitutes his
own voice for that of CANTER's.  The large tape recorder
keeps rolling.

			PUPKIN 
	... the comedy find of the year making 
	his television debut, Rupert Pupkin, the 
	King of Comedy!

PUPKIN rapidly races the cassette tape forward, then pushes 
down the "play" button.  We hear a burst of thundering
applause.  PUPKIN lets the applause run for a while and
then shuts it off.  The large recorder keeps rolling.

			PUPKIN 
	Now you come on, Jerry, and do your 
	monologue.  Then, when the time comes, 
	this is how I see you introducing me. 
	You'll say something like this. 
	"Ladies and Gentlemen we're going to 
	do something a little bit different 
	tonight.  It isn't often that you can 
	call someone a sure thing in the 
	entertainment business.  After all, 
	the verdict is always in your hands. 
	But I think after you've met my next 
	guest, that you'll agree with me that 
	he's destined for greatness.  So, 
	now, will you please give your warmest 
	welcome to the newest King of Comedy, 
	Rupert Pupkin!!!"

PUPKIN pushes the cassette and we hear another enormous 
burst of applause.  PUPKIN lets it run, listening intently. 
He stands up and faces a wall of his room, still holding
the microphone.  WE SEE that the wall is covered by a huge
blow-up of an audience laughing and applauding.

					CUT TO:

45	INT:  THE LANGFORD TELEVISION STUDIO - NIGHT

WE SEE a real audience laughing and applauding. 

					CUT TO:

PUPKIN strides triumphantly onto the stage, nodding to 
acknowledge the applause.  He stops center stage as the
television cameras maneuver about him.

					CUT TO:

 A SHOT of the "APPLAUSE" sign flashing, then stopping.
Still, the applause goes on.

					CUT TO:

PUPKIN raises his hands to quiet the audience.  After a few 
moments the applause dies down, except for a pair of hands 
in the center of the orchestra.  PUPKIN peers out to see 
who is still applauding.

					CUT TO:

RITA, in the middle of the audience, applauds 
enthusiastically.

 					CUT TO:

 PUPKIN on stage.  PUPKIN gives RITA a special smile and
nod.

			PUPKIN 
	Will somebody tell that lovely lady 
	that the applause sign is off.

 The audience laughs.

					CUT TO:

46	INT:  PUPKIN'S ROOM - DAY 

PUPKIN stands facing the "audience" still holding the mike.

			PUPKIN 
	That's a possible introduction, Jerry. 
	Now let's move on to my act.

					CUT TO:

47	INT:  THE RECEPTION AREA OF THE LANGFORD SHOW - DAY

PUPKIN is pacing.  He is wearing another suit, this one a 
broad-lapelled-grey.  He is freshly shaved, is hair neatly
combed, his shoes carrying a bright shine.  He clutches a
small flat box, neatly wrapped with the words 'FOR JERRY 
LANGFORD" written clearly across the top in large print.
CATHY LONG emerges from one of the back corridors into the 
reception area.

			CATHY LONG 
	Yes?

			PUPKIN 
		(suddenly a bit shy) 
	I didn't want to take any chances 
	with this ... uh ... Miss Long, so I
	... uh ... thought I'd just bring it
	here myself.

He hands CATHY LONG the package as though it contained 
nitroglycerine.

			CATHY LONG 
	We talked about this this morning, 
	did we, Mr. ... ?

			PUPKIN
	Pupkin.  Rupert Pupkin.

			CATHY LONG
	Oh, yes.  It's been some day.  (pause) 
	Well, I certainly appreciate your 
	bringing this over, Mr. Pupkin, and 
	we'll listen to it as soon as possible.

			PUPKIN  
	Fine.  Er ... you don't have any idea
	how soon that might be?

			CATHY LONG
	Well, you can try checking with us 
	tomorrow.  We might know something 
	by then.  Otherwise, it'll have to 
	be Monday.

			PUPKIN
	What if I just sort of waited around 
	here today, just in case?  I'll stay 
	out of the way.

			CATHY LONG
	You'd just be wasting your time, 
	Mr. Pupkin.  We won't know anything 
	until tomorrow at the earliest.

			PUPKIN 
	Oh, I wouldn't consider it a waste of 
	time at all.  I'd be glad to do it.

			CATHY LONG
	Look, why don't you try us tomorrow.
	Okay?

			PUPKIN 
	Tomorrow? ...  Right.  I'll do that.
	Thanks a lot, Miss Long.  And thank
	Jerry.

CATHY LONG smiles at PUPKIN and goes, leaving PUPKIN
staring at a picture of LANGFORD on the wall.  WE FIX on
LANGFORD a moment and PULL BACK to see LANGFORD in what 
PUPKIN would imagine his office to be.

48	INT:  AN OFFICE - DAY

A large, corner office furnished in royal red, with high 
ceilings and a huge desk.  Potted palms and hydrangeas rest
on a marble floor.  LANGFORD is moving about restlessly, 
clutching PUPKIN's tape in one hand and waving it about.
PUPKIN is seated on a comfortable couch.

			LANGFORD
	Dynamite!  This is dynamite!

			PUPKIN 
		(shyly) 
	You think so, Jerry?

			LANGFORD
	Look, I've been at this for fifteen 
	years, Rupert, and I haven't come up 
	with anything like this -- not me, 
	not any of my writers.

			PUPKIN 
		(smiling with obvious 
		pleasure) 
	Well, I'm glad you like it, Jerry.

			LANGFORD 
	Tell me something, Rube.  (pause) 
	How do you do it?  I'm not asking
	to use the material myself.  I just 
	want to know how you  (LANGFORD waves
	his arms in a gesture of frustration) 
	how you do it.

			PUPKIN 
	Well, I don't know if I can explain
	it, really.

			LANGFORD
	Come on.  Try, Rube.

			PUPKIN 
	Well, it just sort of comes.  I think
	about my life, see, mainly about the 
	worst parts, all the awful things, and 
	I just try to see them in a funny light. 
	That's all.

			LANGFORD 
		(eagerly)
	Is that what you do?  The worst parts,
	and then you look at them in a funny
	light?  Is that what you do?

			PUPKIN
	More or less.  It's hard to describe
	how its happens.

			LANGFORD
	But that's just it, Rube.  It doesn't
	happen for me.  Why do you think the
	show is in so much trouble?  By the
	time I've done my monologue, everyone
	has switched to Carson.  Maybe if you
	did a little writing ... ?

			PUPKIN 
	Sure, Jerry, I'd do anything I could 
	to help out.

			LANGFORD 
	You would?  Great.  Why don't you 
	come out to my place this weekend 
	and we'll hash it out.  I'm having 
	a few of my friends but we should be 
	able to get a little work in.

			PUPKIN
	Would you mind if I brought someone?

			LANGFORD
		(smiling)
	A girl, Rube?

			PUPKIN 
	A very special girl, Jerry.

			LANGFORD
	I'd love to meet her.

49	THE HIGH-RISE OFFICE BUILDING ON UPPER BROADWAY - DAY

PUPKIN emerges, lost in thought. Suddenly he notices
MARSHA waiting nearby.  She doesn't see PUPKIN.  He sneaks
off.

					CUT TO:

50	EXT:  U.N. PLAZA - DAY

It is a bright morning.  LANGFORD, attempting to camouflage
himself by wearing a cap over his eyes and his trench coat 
collar turned up, his eyes hidden behind dark glasses, 
walks out of the building.  A DOORMAN is standing by the 
door.

			DOORMAN 
	Cab, Jerry?

			LANGFORD 
	That's alright, thanks.

WE FOLLOW LANGFORD as he walks.  Some people don't notice.
Others stare but leave him alone, a few commenting to their 
companions and pointing at him.  A CAB DRIVER pulls 
alongside.

			DRIVER 
	Hey, Jerry.  My brother can sing 
	and juggle at the same time.  How 
	about puttin' him on your show?

LANGFORD keeps walking.

			DRIVER 
	How about it, Jerry?

			LANGFORD 
	Sorry, I'm off duty.

					CUT TO:

51 	EXT.  A MANHATTAN STREET - DAY

LANGFORD stands at the corner, next to a middle-aged 
COUPLE.

			WOMAN
	You're Jerry!!

LANGFORD pulls his cap a little more tightly around his 
eyes.

			WOMAN 
	You know something.   (She giggles) 
	I undress in front of you every night 
	and Larry here doesn't mind at all.

			LARRY
	I can't get anything started with her 
	until you're off the air.  Your show 
	is ruining my sex life, Jerry.

			LANGFORD 
	Well then, you'll just have to put 
	on a better show than I do.

					CUT TO:

52	EXT:  BROADWAY, A FEW BLOCKS SOUTH OF LANGFORD'S OFFICES -
DAY

WE WATCH LANGFORD continue to walk, feeling what it is to 
be a celebrity out in public.  After a few beats, we

					CUT TO:

53	EXT:  BROADWAY - DAY

WE SEE MARSHA trailing LANGFORD.  LANGFORD notices her and
starts walking quickly.  MARSHA walks quickly.  LANGFORD
starts jogging.  MARSHA starts jogging.  Finally, LANGFORD
 breaks into a sprint.  MARSHA runs after him.  LANGFORD
disappears into his office building.  MARSHA arrives
several seconds later.

			MARSHA
	Jerry!  God damnit!

Just as MARSHA turns around, PUPKIN, unaware of her, walks 
cheerfully into the building.

					CUT TO:

54	INT:  RECEPTION AREA OF JERRY LANGFORD SHOW OFFICES - DAY 

PUPKIN enters.  The same middle-aged, plump RECEPTIONIST
is seated behind the desk.

			RECEPTIONIST 
	Yes, sir?  (recognizing him)  Oh, hi.

			PUPKIN 
	Hi.  How are you?

			RECEPTIONIST 
	Not bad.

			PUPKIN 
	I'm fine. 

			RECEPTIONIST 
	Can I help you?

			PUPKIN
	I'd like to see Jerry, please.

 			RECEPTIONIST 
	You are ... ?

			PUPKIN
	Mr. Pupkin.

			RECEPTIONIST
	Just a minute.

The RECEPTIONIST dials a number.

			RECEPTIONIST
	Mr. Pupkin is here ... That's right
	... (to PUPKIN) She'll be with you
	in a minute.

			PUPKIN
	Who?

			RECEPTIONIST
	Miss Long.

			PUPKIN
	But I wanted to see Jerry.

			RECEPTIONIST
	Mr. Langford's not in.  Miss Long
	will take care of you.

			PUPKIN
	Alright.

PUPKIN paces for a few beats.  He smiles at the 
RECEPTIONIST.  A beat later, CATHY LONG comes out, 
carrying the tape in its box.

			CATHY LONG
	Mr. Pupkin?

			PUPKIN
	How are you today?

            		CATHY LONG 
	Fine, Mr. Pupkin.  Thank you for 
	your tape.  We listened to it with 
	great interest.  And, frankly, Mr. Pupkin, 
	we saw a lot of good things in what
	you're doing.  We feel you have good
	potential.  Very good potential.

			PUPKIN
		(smiling)
	Thanks.

			CATHY LONG
	That's why I'll be honest with you,  
	Mr. Pupkin ...

			PUPKIN
	Yes?

			CATHY LONG
	We just don't think you're ready yet.

			PUPKIN
		(baffled)
	Not ready?

			CATHY LONG
	Well, we just don't feel right now
	that you're right for Jerry.

			PUPKIN 
		(rapidly, half-listening)
	Right for Jerry.  Sure.

			CATHY LONG 
	Some of the material ... some of the
	one-liners, for instance ...

			PUPKIN 
	Yes?

			CATHY LONG
	... were not very strong.

			PUPKIN 
	You didn't care for some of the jokes,
	is that it?

			CATHY LONG
	That"s right.

			PUPKIN 
	Good.  Good.  I can take care of 
	that right way.  Thanks.  Just tell 
	me the ones you think should go. 
	That would be a big help.  (to the 
	RECEPTIONIST)  This is great.  (to 
	CATHY LONG)  Which ones?

			CATHY LONG
	Well, it's not just that, Mr. Pupkin.
	You see, Jerry likes to panel his 
	guests, you know, chat with them 
	afterwards.

			PUPKIN 
	Sure.  Sure.

			CATHY LONG 
	And frankly, we just don't feel you've 
	got very much to talk about right now.

			PUPKIN 
	But I've got my whole life to talk 
	about!

			CATHY LONG 
	Which is interesting to you, I'm sure 
	and to your wife ... and to a few
	friends.  But we feel that you should
	keep developing your act.  Test it in 
	some live situations.  There are a 
	number of clubs in the city you can 
	try.  And after a reasonable period, 
	get in touch with us again and we'll 
	be glad to send someone down to check 
	out your progress.

PUPKIN stares at her for a few moments as the tension grows.

			PUPKIN 
	May I ask you a question, Miss Long?

			CATHY LONG 
	Of course.

			PUPKIN 
	Are you speaking for Jerry?

			CATHY LONG 
	Let's put it this way, Mr. Pupkin. 
	Mr. Langford has complete faith in 
	our judgment.

			PUPKIN 
	I'm sorry to have to say this, Miss 
	Long, and I certainly don't want you
	to take it personally, but I have to
	tell you that I don't ... I don't 
	have faith in your judgment.

			CATHY LONG 
	Well, I'm sorry you feel that way, 
	Mr. Pupkin.  But I'm afraid there's 
	nothing that can be done about that.

			PUPKIN 
	No ... No ... I'm afraid I'll have
	to disagree with you again.

			CATHY LONG 
		(with strained politeness)
	That's your privilege, Mr. Pupkin. 
	Now, if you'll excuse me, please, I
	have some things to do.  I'm sorry 
	the news isn't better.

CATHY LONG turns to go. 

	 		PUPKIN
	Miss Long? 

CATHY LONG turns back.

			PUPKIN 
	When are you expecting Jerry in?

			CATHY LONG
	He won't be in until very late this 
	afternoon.

			PUPKIN 
	That's fine.  Thank you.

CATHY LONG stares at PUPKIN for a moment, glances at the
RECEPTIONIST and then goes.  PUPKIN takes a seat in the 
reception area.  He smiles once more at the RECEPTIONIST. 
The RECEPTIONIST drops her eyes.  A few beats go by.  CATHY 
LONG passes by the entranceway and glances at PUPKIN. 
PUPKIN continues sitting there.

			RECEPTIONIST 
	Is there anyone else you would 
	like to see?

 			PUPKIN
	That's alright.  I'm happy just 
	waiting.

A few beats pass in silence.

			RECEPTIONIST 
	Well, would you mind waiting outside, 
	please, Mr. Pupkin?  This is a reception 
	area, not a waiting room.

 			PUPKIN
	I understand.

PUPKIN remains seated.  A few more moments pass.  Several 
OFFICE PERSONNEL pass by the entranceway and glance at 
PUPKIN.  After a few more beats, a large, plainly-dressed 
MAN in his mid-fifties emerges from the back offices.  He 
goes over to PUPKIN, who stands.

			OFFICIAL 
	Mr. Pupkin?  I'm Raymond Wirtz, in 
	charge of security for the Langford 
	organization.

WIRTZ puts his arm on PUPKIN's shoulder and, as the 
following dialogue unfolds leads him out the door, down 
the corridor and into the elevator.

			WIRTZ
	Now I think you understand that we 
	have certain rules here that are 
	essential to the smooth functioning 
	of our operation.

 			PUPKIN
	Sure.  Sure.

			WIRTZ
	And that without these rules, we really 
	wouldn't be able to function at our
	best.  You follow my point?

PUPKIN nods.

			WIRTZ 
	Now one of these rules is that only 
	authorized personnel and those having 
	official business with our organization 
	are permitted on our premises.  And 
	that's why I'm asking you, Mr. Pupkin, 
	to cooperate with us.

They have reached the elevator and WIRTZ has pushed the 
button.

			PUPKIN 
	You want me to leave the building.

			WIRTZ 
	That's right.  It's nothing personal, 
	Mr. Pupkin.  Just doing my job.

The elevator arrives.  WIRTZ signals with his head that
PUPKIN should enter.  PUPKIN gets in.

			WIRTZ 
	Have a pleasant day.

					CUT TO:

55	EXT:  STREET OUTSIDE THE LANGFORD BUILDING - DAY

PUPKIN comes out and takes up a position outside the door, 
preparing to wait for LANGFORD.  MARSHA sees him and comes 
over to him.

			MARSHA 
	Well, did you give it to him?

			PUPKIN
		(out of a daze) 
	Huh?

			MARSHA 
	Did you get my letter to him?

			PUPKIN 
	He's not in there.

			MARSHA 
	Look, if you don't want to give it
	him, okay.  I'll get somebody
	else.  But don't try to con me.

			PUPKIN
	I told you I'd try and I will.  I'm
	going to wait for him right here.

			MARSHA 
	Give me the envelope, huh?

			PUPKIN
	Sure, but ...

			MARSHA 
	I saw him go in myself!

			PUPKIN
	Who?

			MARSHA 
	Jerry!

			PUPKIN 
	But they said he wasn't in.

			MARSHA 
	Just give me the envelope.

			PUPKIN 
	When did he go in?

			MARSHA
	Ten minutes ago!  That's when.

			PUPKIN 
	You sure?

			MARSHA 
	Look, I saw him my ...

			PUPKIN 
	And he hasn't come out?

			MARSHA 
	I've been standing right here.  Now
	how about it?

PUPKIN turns and goes back into the building.  MARSHA yells
after him.

			MARSHA 
	I'm staying right here!

					CUT TO: 

56	INT:  RECEPTION AREA OF THE JERRY LANGFORD OFFICES 

PUPKIN enters briskly and goes up to the RECEPTIONIST.

			PUPKIN 
		(with authority)
	Tell Jerry Langford I'm here, please.

			RECEPTIONIST
	I'm sorry, sir.  Mr. Langford's not in.  

			PUPKIN
	I happen to know he is.  So would you
	please tell him I'm here.

			RECEPTIONIST 
	I'm sorry.  He's not in.

			PUPKIN 
	You're putting your job on the line, 
	lady.

The RECEPTIONIST starts making a call inside.  PUPKIN
glances at her and walks right in to the inner corridors.
He starts peering into the open doors of the offices that 
line the corridor.  The whole place is like a gigantic
maze.  OFFICE PERSONNEL pass by him, taking no notice of
 him.  He continues wandering around desperately, completely
lost.  A few beat later, he spots WIRTZ leading a pair of
SECURITY GUARDS.  PUPKIN keeps peering into offices quickly
as he flees.  The GUARDS and WIRTZ finally catch up to
PUPKIN at the steno pool and, after a brief chase around 
the pool, they catch PUPKIN and subdue him.  They start
dragging him out past the eyes of the OFFICE PERSONNEL.

			PUPKIN
		(calling as he is dragged) 
	Jerry!  Jerry!  (to WIRTZ)  You're 
	going the have a hell of a lot of
	explaining to do!  (calling)  Jerry!

			WIRTZ
	You had your warning, Mr. Krupkin.

			PUPKIN 
	Jerry!  Help me.  Jerry!

 					CUT TO:

 A CLOSE-UP of PUPKIN as he is dragged out.

			PUPKIN
		(screaming)
	Jerry!

					CUT TO:

57	EXT:  LANGFORD BUILDING LOBBY AND EXIT - DAY

WE WATCH the SECURITY GUARDS and WIRTZ pitch PUPKIN out
into the street.

			WIRTZ
	If we see your face again, Mr. Pupkin, 
	we'll call the police.

			PUPKIN 
	Start looking for a new job!

MARSHA comes straight up to PUPKIN who is brushing himself 
off.  His eyes are glazed and distant.

			MARSHA 
	Well?

			PUPKIN
	Huh?  

			MARSHA
	Does he have it?

			PUPKIN 
		(abstractedly)
	Don't worry.  I'll get it to him.

			MARSHA
	Yeah?  When?

There is a pause.

			PUPKIN
	This weekend.  He asked me to go out
	there, to his house.

					CUT TO:

58	THE BAR-RESTAURANT WHERE RITA WORKS - DAY

PUPKIN enters the bar-restaurant.  Through the window WE 
SEE him talking to RITA.  He is voluble, animated.  She 
looks skeptical, with a wry smile on her face.  Finally WE
WATCH him extract an answer from her.  She shrugs, smiles
and says yes.  He comes walking out the door, his hounded
expression softened by a smile.

					CUT TO:

59	INT:  THE FITTING AREA OF A MEN'S STORE - DAY

WE WATCH PUPKIN getting fitted in a new suit, attended by 
a SALESMAN and a TAILOR.

					CUT TO:

60	INT:  LUGGAGE SHOP - DAY

WE WATCH PUPKIN buy a suitcase.

					CUT TO:

61	INT:  CARTIER'S JEWELERS - DAY

WE WATCH PUPKIN perusing the beautiful diamond, sapphire,
and emerald rings and we take a few moments to PAN OVER
these beautiful jewels as he sees them.  Finally, he picks
out a splendid ring with a single, middle-sized sapphire 
and hands a surprised SALESLADY the money in cash.

					CUT TO:

62	INT:  SUBURBAN TRAIN - DAY 

PUPKIN and RITA are seated side by side.  Since it is
Saturday morning, the train is sparsely populated.  A
CONDUCTOR has just finished taking PUPKIN's tickets.  RITA 
is edgy.  PUPKIN is strangely calm and a little remote.
He is wearing his new suit.

			RITA
	What are we going to do?

			PUPKIN
		(patiently) 
	Look, I told you, I've got some work
	to discuss with him.  That's all.

			RITA
	But what about me?

			PUPKIN
	You're with me.

			RITA
	That's fine, but while you two are 
	talking, what am I going to do?

			PUPKIN 
	You can chat with the other guests.

			RITA
	I'm sure they'll be thrilled hearing 
	about the wonderful world of draft beer. 
	(pause)  Let's tell 'em I'm a model, 
	okay?

			PUPKIN 
	What?

			RITA 
	If they ask what I do, let's just say 
	I model.  You don't mind pretending 
	just a little, do you?

			PUPKIN
	If it make you feel better.

There is a pause.

			RITA 
	This is a gas!  Too bad nobody'll 
	believe it.  (pause)  After you guys 
	are done working, what happens?  Are 
	we going out someplace, or what?

			PUPKIN 
	I'm sure Jerry has something arranged.

There is another pause.

			RITA 
	What do these people do for fun?
	Do they party or do freaky things 
	or just get drunk or ... I mean, 
	What do they do?

			PUPKIN
	I guess they just sit around and talk
	and enjoy each other's company, like
	anybody else.

			RITA
	Talk?!?  What can you talk about
	for three or four hours?!

			PUPKIN 
	What do you mean?  They've got plenty 
	to talk about.  They do things.  All 
	kinds of interesting things happen 
	to them and then they talk about them. 
	What do you think Jerry's show is all 
	about?

			RITA
	Yeah, a cocktail party with no drinks.
	That's what all those shows are.  At 
	least they help you get to sleep.

There is a pause.

			RITA 
		(glumly) 
	Boy, this is going to be some great
	weekend.   I thought we were gonna 
	have some fun.

			PUPKIN
		(smiling)
	Just take it easy, Rita.  Everything's
	going to be fine.

WE MOVE IN for a CLOSE-UP of PUPKIN who is fading out.

					FADE TO:

63	EXT:  A NEO-CLASSICAL MANSION 

It is a large white house with colonial columns set in the 
middle of a palatial estate whose rolling lawns are 
punctuated with fine old trees.  We circle around to the 
back where LANGFORD, a handful of his FRIENDS (which can be
familiar television celebrities) and PUPKIN and RITA are 
just finishing a lavish lunch on the patio.  A pair of 
SERVANTS are clearing the table and serving the coffee and 
desert as the scene unfolds.  As we arrive, we hear a loud 
burst of laughter.  PUPKIN is regaling the COMPANY with 
stories.

			PUPKIN
	Oh, you have no idea how bad it's
	gotten in New York.  Now the muggers
	are so efficient that, each time 
	they jump you, they take your name 
	and address and put you on a mailing 
	list.  (the COMPANY chuckles)  And 
	once you're on the list, you're in
	real trouble, like this friend of 
	mine who was mugged thirty-two times 
	on his way home from work.  (a little
	laughter from the COMPANY)

A SERVANT places the desert, a little, elegant tart, in
front of PUPKIN and RITA.

			PUPKIN
		(to SERVANT)
	Thanks.

The SERVANT smiles.  As PUPKIN continues his story, he 
glances occasionally at RITA who has begun to nibble at her 
tart.  PUPKIN also glances conspiratorially at LANGFORD 
who smiles back.

			PUPKIN 
	So what my friend does is get himself 
	a dog, one of those huge German 
	Shepherds.  One night, he's walking 
	the dog in Central Park when he hears 
	this voice behind him.  (in a German 
	accent)  Okay, Harry, drop your 
	vallet and keep your hantz over your 
	head or I bite your little fanny off.

The COMPANY breaks up.

			ONE GUEST
		(to LANGFORD) 
	Looks like you've found yourself a 
	winner, Jerry.

			LANGFORD 
		(looking at PUPKIN) 
	He's the one who found himself
	a winner.

RITA looks up, smiles and blushes.  The rest of the COMPANY 
smiles benignly and grows attentive as RITA returns to 
eating her tart.  Suddenly she bites down on something 
hard.  She fishes it out of her mouth and looks at it.  The 
COMPANY giggles.  It is the ring PUPKIN purchased at 
Cartier's.  The COMPANY applauds lightly and laughs.
LANGFORD lifts his wine glass.

			LANGFORD
	To Rita and Rupert -- a short engagement 
	and a long, happy marriage.

The COMPANY drinks with murmurs of "Hear!  Hear!"  RITA
and PUPKIN beam.  RITA looks lovingly at PUPKIN. 

			A SECOND GUEST
		(the PUPKIN) 
	Have you set a date?

			PUPKIN 
		(looking pointedly at LANGFORD)
	Oh, yes.

			A THIRD GUEST 
	I hope we're all invited.

			PUPKIN
	Everyone's invited.

					CUT TO:

64	INT:  THE LANGFORD TELEVISION STUDIO

The theater is packed.  World Series bunting hangs from the
balcony and the front of the stage.  We hear RICK ROSS and 
the ORCHESTRA strike up Mendelssohn's Wedding March.   Down 
one aisle walks RITA, accompanied by the MAN whom PUPKIN
hit over the head at the bar.  Down the other aisle marches
PUPKIN, accompanied by LANGFORD.  The AUDIENCE cheers 
wildly.  The two COUPLES walk to the stage where a white-
haired OFFICIAL awaits them.  BERT CANTER stands at his 
side.  PUPKIN and RITA disengage from their ESCORTS and 
stand before the OFFICIAL.  The music stops and the 
AUDIENCE grows quiet.

			OFFICIAL 
	We are met here in these extraordinary 
	circumstances to join this man and this 
	woman in holy wedlock.  But, before we 
	begin, let me voice a personal word 
	of thanks to you, Rupert and to you, 
	Rita, for choosing me to perform this 
	prestigious ceremony.  Because we are 
	on prime time, I am going to discard 
	my customary remarks in favor of a 
	few personal reflections.   When I was 
	principal at Clifton High and these 
	two were students, I had very little 
	faith that Rupert here would amount 
	to very much.  But like his teachers 
	and his fellow students, I underestimated 
	this fine young man.   Some say that 
	this misjudgment is directly tied to my 
	recent dismissal as head of the Clifton 
	School System.  But let me take this
	opportunity to set the record straight. 
	Knowing that Rupert and Rita here were 
	most certainly destined for a great 
	career and a lifetime of happiness, 
	I voluntarily stepped down.  I would 
	only here add my own wishes to those
	of millions of viewers for their
	continued health, wealth and 
	boundless success.

The OFFICIAL looks quickly past RITA and PUPKIN.

			OFFICIAL 
	We'll be back to marry them in a minute, 
	right after this word.

					FADE TO:

65 	INT:  THE TRAIN - DAY

PUPKIN and RITA are seated as they were.  We hear the 
CONDUCTOR calling.

			CONDUCTOR'S VOICE 
	Greenwich.  Greenwich next stop.
	Greenwich.

PUPKIN and RITA grab their small suitcases and quickly move 
down the aisle towards the door.

					CUT TO:

66	INT:  A SUBURBAN TAXI - DAY

RITA is peering out the window.  PUPKIN is still lost in
thought.

			RITA
	Look at that one.  How'd you like to
	live in that?!?!  Or that one!  What 
	do you figure these run?

The taxi stops in front of a walled lot behind which is 
visible a handsome English stucco home.

			PUPKIN
		(to DRIVER) 
	What's this?

			DRIVER
	This is it.

			RITA
	It's gorgeous!

PUPKIN is genuinely puzzled.

			PUPKIN
		(to DRIVER)
	You sure?

			DRIVER 
	Look, friend, I wouldn't want to 
	tell you how many times I made this 
	trip.   (pause)   That'll be three 
	seventy-five.

PUPKIN, still puzzled, hands him a five dollar bill.

			PUPKIN 
		(abstractedly)
	Keep it.

The DRIVER gets out and puts PUPKIN and RITA's bags,
which he had stacked on the front seat, onto the sidewalk.

			DRIVER 
	Thanks.  If you need a ride back, 
	just ask the guy for Wayne.  That's me.

The CAMERA PULLS BACK as PUPKIN opens the gate and he and 
RITA walk up the drive.

					CUT TO:

67	EXT:  LANGFORD'S HOUSE - DAY

PUPKIN and RITA stand before the front door.  PUPKIN rings,
After a few beats, the door is opened by an Indonesian 
HOUSEBOY.  PUPKIN walks in right past him, RITA following 
behind.

					CUT TO:

68	INT:  LANGFORD'S HOUSE - DAY 

PUPKIN hands the HOUSEBOY the two suitcases as he talks.

			PUPKIN 
	You must be Jonno.  I'm Rupert Pupkin 
	and this is Rita Keane.  Mr. Langford's
	expecting us.

Jonno nods politely but uncertainly.

			JONNO
		(uncertain)
	Mr. Langford asked you to come?

			PUPKIN
	That's right.  Would you mind 
	taking those up?  Jerry and I have 
	some work that may oblige me to 
	stay overnight.

			JONNO 
	But Mr. Langford's not here.

			PUPKIN
	Out playing golf, right?

			JONNO
		(still puzzled and unsure)
	That's right.

			PUPKIN
	Maybe he'll finally break a hundred.

			JONNO
	Maybe it's better if you came back ...

			PUPKIN 
		(interrupting)
	That's alright.  We don't mind waiting.

PUPKIN walks from the foyer into the living-room, leaving 
JONNO staring after him holding the bags.  RITA walks into 
the living room after PUPKIN.

			RITA
		(worried) 
	The table's only set for one.

			PUPKIN 
	That's from breakfast.  Relax, will
	you?

					CUT TO:

69	INT:  LANGFORD'S KITCHEN - DAY

JONNO is on the phone.  A black lady COOK stands at his
side.

			JONNO
		(into the phone)
	Let me talk to Jerry Langford please 
	... I know he is ... It's important.

 					CUT TO:

70 	INT:  LANGFORD'S LIVING ROOM - DAY

It is a handsomely furnished room, done in old American
antiques and other tasteful pieces.  There is a grand piano
heavy with pictures in one corner and wall-to-wall 
bookshelves that are mostly full and mixed with a balance
of classics and modern popular reading.  The whole room
marks LANGFORD as a man of discernment.  The shelves also
house a fine stereo and a small, discreet bar.  RITA and 
PUPKIN walk in like strangers in paradise, awed by the 
obvious elegance and expense the room reflects.

			PUPKIN
		(as though he owned it) 
	How do you like it?

			RITA
		(admiringly) 
	I could live here.

			PUPKIN 
		(smiling proudly) 
	It's the only way to live.

RITA stands in the center of the room, ill at ease, while 
PUPKIN strolls about comfortably, picking up an ashtray 
here, a cigarette case there, inspecting the artifacts for 
inscriptions, clues, hints about LANGFORD's character and 
life.

			RITA
	How come he isn't here?

			PUPKIN 
	You heard the guy.  He's out playing
 	golf.

			RITA
	Didn't you tell him when we'd get here?

PUPKIN continues to move about the room, fielding RITA's 
suspicious inquiries effortlessly.

			PUPKIN
	We didn't have time to iron out the
	details.  Now just relax.  We're
 	the first guests, that's all.

			RITA
		(interrupting)
	That Jonno character hadn't even 
	heard of us!

			PUPKIN 
		(a little irritated) 
	It probably slipped Jerry's mind.
	He has better things to think about 
	than what he tells his houseboy.

			RITA
	It's just not time way I expected it, 
	that's all.

There is a pause.  PUPKIN continues his investigation.  He 
has moved to the grand piano in the rear of the room.

			RITA
	What do we do now?

 PUPKIN is looking at a picture of an American Gothic couple 
standing in front of a wood-frame house.  As he comments on 
the pictures, the CAMERA PANS over them.  They form a kind 
of slide-show of LANGFORD's life.

			PUPKIN
	These are Jerry's parents.  His father
	runs the Post office in Wolverine -- 
	that's in North Dakota.

PUPKIN then fixes on a picture of an eleven-year-old boy 
standing next to a puppet stage with a puppet (obviously 
held by the boy) staring at its master.

			PUPKIN 
	This one was in Newsweek.  He started 
	giving these puppet shows when he was 
	still in grade school. 

WE SEE a picture of a very young LANGFORD seated before a 
microphone with some celebrity.

			PUPKIN 
	And this is from his quiz show in 
	St. Louis.  Can you believe it?

			RITA 
	Sure I can.

			PUPKIN 
	That was the name of the show.

WE MOVE to a picture of LANGFORD smiling at JACK PAAR.

			PUPKIN
	And here's when he wrote for Jack 
	Paar.  He made a hundred and fifty 
	a week and look at him now.

Another picture of LANGFORD with a group of women sitting 
in a studio.

			PUPKIN
	And this is his morning show.

A picture of LANGFORD standing in a park with his two boys, 
eleven and eight.

			PUPKIN
	And his kids.  He's divorced. 

RITA, who has been only half-listening, has picked up a 
small, beautifully enameled cigarette box.

			RITA
	Look at this.  I love these kind of
	things.  Look at the work.   I've got
	this thing about boxes.

RITA puts it down reluctantly, picks it up, then puts it 
down again.

					CUT TO:

71	INT:  THE KITCHEN - DAY

JONNO is holding the phone, waiting.  The COOK stands,
looking at him.

			JONNO
	Mr. Langford? ... I'm sorry to 
	disturb you ...

					CUT TO:

72 	INT:  THE LIVING ROOM - DAY

RITA has just finished fixing herself a drink.  She takes a 
large sip and starts pacing around.  PUPKIN is seated.

			RITA
	How much longer are we gonna have 
	to wait?

			PUPKIN
	I don't know.  Until he gets back.

			RITA.
	Do we have to just sit here?

			PUPKIN 
	He should be back pretty soon.

			RITA
	Doesn't he have any music or anything? 
	Let's get a little life into this place. 
	It's like a funeral parlor.

She walks over to the stereo and opens the cupboard beneath
it, revealing rows and rows of records.

			RITA 
	This is more like it.

She pulls out a record.

 			PUPKIN
	Come on, Rita.

			RITA
	Come on, yourself.

She puts the record on.  Frank Sinatra starts singing "They
Can't Take That Away From Me."  She takes a big sip of her
drink, puts it down and comes over to PUPKIN.

			RITA
	How about a little spin, handsome?

			PUPKIN 
		(pulling back)
	Here?

RITA snuggles into PUPKIN and starts dancing him around. 
He resists feebly.

			RITA
	Come on, Rupert.  I came up here for
	a good time.

PUPKIN gives in and starts dancing with her in the style of 
the 1950's, elbow out, arm up, box step.  After a few
moments, PUPKIN closes his eyes.  He has reached a moment
of perfect bliss, his dream girl in is arms.  They dance 
silently as we hear Sinatra singing.

			SINATRA'S VOICE 
	The way you wore your hat,
	The way we danced till three,
	The memory of all that --
	Oh no, they can't take that away from me, 
	No ... they can't take that away ...
	from ... me.

The orchestra plays.

			RITA
	You never could dance, could you?

			PUPKIN 
	How would you know?

			RITA
	Oh I danced with you a couple of 
	times -- at the Sigma U party.

			PUPKIN 
	You were there with Tommy Winston.

			RITA
	You didn't ask me.

			PUPKIN
	That's the one time I did ask you 
	and you went with him anyway.

			RITA
	Well, I couldn't go with you!

			PUPKIN
	Why not?

			RITA
	Be serious, Rupert.

					CUT TO:

73	INT:  THE DINING ROOM - DAY

JONNO stands a few feet from the kitchen door, staring at 
RITA and PUPKIN dancing in the living room, an unbelieving, 
anxious expression on his face.

					CUT TO:

74	INT:  THE LIVING ROOM - DAY

The music has stopped momentarily and PUPKIN and RITA 
disengage.  PUPKIN looks lovingly at RITA.

			PUPKIN 
	Well, it's all ended happily and
	that's what counts.

RITA grows jumpy under his gaze.  She looks around.

			RITA 
	I wonder what the rest of this 
	place looks like?

			PUPKIN 
	I'm sure it's all very nice.

			RITA 
		(gaily) 
	Well, there's only one way to find out.

RITA scampers over to the stairs and pauses on the first 
step.

			RITA 
	You coming or not?

RITA bounds up the stairs.

			PUPKIN 
	Rita!

CAMERA FOLLOWS PUPKIN up the stairs.

 					CUT TO:

75 	INT:  UPSTAIRS - DAY 

There is no sign of RITA.

			PUPKIN
	Where are you?

There is no answer.  CAMERA FOLLOWS PUPKIN from room to
room.  They are all guest rooms, neat, pretty, clean.

			PUPKIN 
	Come on, Rita.  This isn't funny.

Finally, PUPKIN opens the door to another room.

 					CUT TO:

76 	INT:  A BEDROOM - DAY

It is clearly LANGFORD's bedroom with a few clothes strewn
about, and other signs of being lived in.  RITA lies on the
bed.

			PUPKIN 
		(shocked) 
	What are you doing, Rita?

			RITA
	I love it!  All those millions of 
	women out there dying to change 
	places with me right now.

			PUPKIN
	Come on.  We shouldn't be here.

			RITA
	Relax, will you.  Let me have a 
	little fun, for Christ's sake.

RITA gets off the bed and runs into the john.

 					CUT TO:

77 	INT:  A LAVISH BATHROOM - DAY

			RITA
	Look at this.  It's nicer than my
	whole apartment.

PUPKIN enters the large, beautifully done bathroom.  RITA 
examines her face in the mirror.

			PUPKIN
		(urgently)
	Let's go, Rita.

			RITA
	Boy, I really need some sun.

			PUPKIN 
	Rita, this is Jerry's ...

			RITA
	Lay off, will you, Rupert.

			PUPKIN 
	But we have no right ...

RITA picks up a can of shave cream and squirts a large 
dollop in PUPKIN's face.  WE COME IN for a CLOSE UP of 
PUPKIN's face, buried under shaving cream.

			PUPKIN 
	That wasn't funny, Rita.

RITA hands him a towel.

			RITA 
	Here. 

She looks around.

			RITA
	Now for something that smells nice.

She swings open the cabinet with a flourish.  The door
swings open violently and the mirror shatters against
something as pills and bottles tumble into the sink. 
PUPKIN and RITA stand there, staring at each other.  RITA
begins to laugh, but her laugh is cut short by the slam of
the downstairs door.

					CUT TO:

78	INT:  THE FOYER

 LANGFORD has entered, drawn and businesslike.  JONNO and
the COOK have moved out to greet him.

			LANGFORD 
		(looking around) 
	Where are they?

			JONNO
	I was going to call the police but 
	then I thought to myself 'what if 
	they are Mr. Langford's friends?'

We hear some whispers and scuffling at the top of the 
stairs.  LANGFORD, JONNO and the COOK look up.  PUPKIN 
comes bounding down the stairs jauntily with RITA following 
cautiously behind.  PUPKIN has large traces of shaving 
cream behind his ears and on his neck.

			PUPKIN 
	Hi, Jerry.  We were just freshening up.

PUPKIN stops at the base of the stairs, turns around, and
waves RITA down.

			PUPKIN 
		(to RITA) 
	Come on, Rita.  No need to be shy.

PUPKIN smiles conspiratorially at LANGFORD.  RITA comes
slowly down.

			PUPKIN 
	Jerry, I'd like you to meet Rita 
	Keane.  Rita, say hello to Jerry!

			RITA
		(tentatively) 
	Pleased to meet you.

LANGFORD nods imperceptibly, his face tense, his eyes 
alert.  RITA, reading her frigid reception, looks to 
PUPKIN who walks blithely past LANGFORD into the living 
room, toward the bar.

			PUPKIN
	What's your pleasure?

PUPKIN glances at the small mess he has left on the bar and 
turns back to LANGFORD who has moved into the living room 
with JONNO and the COOK a few steps behind.  PUPKIN flashes 
LANGFORD an apologetic smile.

			PUPKIN 
		(to LANGFORD)
	We've already taken the liberty, so
	to speak.  Rita was a little nervous.
	It isn't every day she meets someone 
	like you.

			LANGFORD 
	What's going on here?

			PUPKIN
	We've been sitting around, waiting. 
	That's all.  How was your golf game?

			JONNO 
	I told them you weren't here.

			COOK
	That's right.

			PUPKIN 
	He did, Jerry.  He was very helpful. 
	We had to take an early train.  There 
	was nothing else until after one.
	(pause)  I brought the material.  
	It's upstairs, in my bags.  (pause) 
	Where is everybody?

			LANGFORD 
	Who?

			PUPKIN 
	The other guests!  (in a confidential 
	tone)  We're getting a little hungry,
	to tell you the truth.

			LANGFORD
 		(as though confirming 
		what PUPKIN said)
	You are.

			PUPKIN 
		(backing off)
	But we don't mind waiting, do we,
	Rita?

RITA says nothing.  She has sensed something terribly 
wrong and is slowly backing away from PUPKIN.

			LANGFORD
	You know, I could have you arrested, 
	both of you.

			PUPKIN 
		(seizing the idea)
	You know you could!  And there'd be 
	absolutely no way we could prove we 
	belonged here.  I never thought of that.

			LANGFORD
	Well, you should have before you ...

			PUPKIN 
		(still fixed on the idea) 
	Maybe we could work up a routine 
	about that, about a guy who throws
	all his friends in jail.  Let's talk
	about that.

			LANGFORD
		(sharply)
	Let's not. 

			PUPKIN 
	Sure, Jerry.  Whatever you ...

			LANGFORD 
		(exasperated) 
	Look, if you've got something for
	me to sign, let's have it and get 
	it over with so I can get back ...

			PUPKIN 
		(interrupting)
	That wouldn't be right, Jerry. 
	Not in your own house!

			LANGFORD
		(summoning his last 
		bit of patience)
	I have a lot of work to get to.
	(to JONNO)  How did they get here?

			PUPKIN 
	We took a taxi, Jerry ... But don't 
	worry about us.  You go ahead and 
	do your work and we'll just take a 
	stroll around until lunch is ready.

			LANGFORD 
	You're a little thick, aren't you?

			PUPKIN 
		(smiling as though complimented)
	Well, maybe a ...

			RITA
	What's he's saying, Rupert, is that he 
	wants us out.

			PUPKIN
	Don't listen to her, Jerry.  She 
	doesn't understand anything about us.

			RITA
	Don't get me into this.

			LANGFORD
		(to JONNO) 
	Call the station.

JONNO goes back into the foyer, followed by the COOK.

			LANGFORD 
	There'll be a cab here in a few 
	minutes.  Now if you'll just wait
	at the gate ...

			PUPKIN 
	Look, Jerry, if I've said anything
	out of line, let's chalk it up to 
	inexperience, okay?  I'll just go
	upstairs and get my tape and we can 
	start working.  It shouldn't take 
	long and then you'll have the rest of 
	the afternoon to yourself.

			LANGFORD 
	I've told you just as clearly as I 
	can.  I want you out of here and I 
	want you out now.  Scram, beat it,
	vamoose, out!  Is that plain enough!

RITA deftly pockets the enamel box.

			PUPKIN 
	But what about my material?  When 
	are we going to go over it?

			RITA
	Come on, Rupert, the man wants us 
	to go.

			PUPKIN 
	Tell her she's wrong, Jerry!

			RITA
	Look, Mr. Langford.  I didn't know
	anything about all this.  I hardly 
	know this guy.  I haven't seen him
	in years.

			PUPKIN 
	Rita!

			RITA
 	So if there's anything I can do, any 
	way I can make this up to you.

			PUPKIN 
	She's nothing, Jerry.  She's just 
	some girl who works in a bar. 
	Don't let her spoil things.

LANGFORD starts herding RITA and PUPKIN towards the door.

			LANGFORD 
	Come on.  Let's go.

			PUPKIN 
	All I'm asking is fifteen minutes. 
	That's all.  Just long enough to 
	listen to my act.  Is that asking 
	too much -- fifteen minutes of your 
	day against my whole life?

			LANGFORD 
	I'll call the police if I have to.

LANGFORD realizes he is being hard.  He stops for a moment. 

			LANGFORD
	I have my own life, that's all.

			PUPKIN 
	But what about me, Jerry?  What about
	my life?  I made plans -- based on 
 	what you said.  You can't just turn
	your back on me.

			LANGFORD 
	I'm not telling you again.

There is a long pause as the truth finally sinks in.  PUPKIN 
just stares at LANGFORD with disbelief that turns to anger.

			PUPKIN 
	So this is the way it works when
	you're big, huh?  You just play with
	people.  Is that part of the kick,
	Jerry?  (pause)  I can see I was all 
	wrong about you.  All wrong.

RITA starts tugging at PUPKIN.

			RITA
	Come on, Rupert.

			PUPKIN 
		(to RITA) 
	Shut up!  (to LANGFORD)  You weren't
	my friend at all, were you?  You were
	just playing some kind of game with me.
	Well, that's not going to stop me, 
	Jerry.  I'm just going to work a 
	little bit harder, that's all, use a
	little bit more enterprise.  And not
	count on anybody.  That's where I
	made my mistake.  I can see that now.

PUPKIN picks up the pair of small suitcases.

			PUPKIN 
		(glaring at LANGFORD)
	Come on, Rita.  We're wasting our time. 

					CUT TO:

79	EXT.  LANGFORD'S FRONT DOOR - DAY

PUPKIN strides out with RITA following.  She casts LANGFORD
an apologetic glance as she goes.  The door slams behind
them.  They walk down the path silently for a few moments 
as the CAMERA PULLS UP, following them in an OVERHEAD SHOT.
We hear them start talking as they make their way towards 
the gate.

			RITA
		(baffled and angry) 
	What did you think was going to 
	happen?  You think he'd just ... ? 
	What's the matter with you?  (pause)
	You can't just walk into a guy's
	house!  And what about me?  What 
	did you ...

			PUPKIN
		(interrupting in a calm 
		but firm voice)
	Shut up, Rita.  I'm thinking.

					CUT TO:

80	EXT:  OUTSIDE THE U.N. PLAZA - DAY

					CUT TO:

81	INT:  A NEW MERCEDES BENZ - DAY 

MARSHA sits at the wheel of this lavishly appointed sedan,
her face made up as though she were going to a fancy party.
 PUPKIN sits on the other side of the front seat.  His ex-
pression has changed somewhat from the PUPKIN we have seen. 
He is less wide-eyed, less innocent, tougher. 

			MARSHA 
		(whining) 
	How much longer?!?

			PUPKIN 
	Do you want him or not?

There is a pause.

			MARSHA 
	You sure he's in there?

			PUPKIN 
	Certain.

			MARSHA 
		(with obvious delight) 
	My parents are going to be furious!

PUPKIN pulls a toy revolver from his jacket pocket and looks 
it over.  MARSHA glances at it.

			MARSHA
	It looks real.

			PUPKIN 
	That's the whole point. (gesturing
	with his head towards the entrance
	of the building which is some 50 yards
	away)  Pay attention.

MARSHA looks towards the entrance.  A few beats pass.

			MARSHA 
	What if he doesn't come down?

			PUPKIN
	He will.

			MARSHA 
	But what if he doesn't?

			PUPKIN 
	We'll come back tomorrow.

			MARSHA 
	And wait again?

			PUPKIN 
	Look, you're going to have him all 
	to yourself.  What else do you want?

A MAN resembling LANGFORD walks out the entrance.

			PUPKIN
	Is that him?!?

			MARSHA 
	No.

			PUPKIN
	You sure? 

			MARSHA
	Sure I'm sure. That looks too much
	like him.

			PUPKIN 
	What do you mean?

			MARSHA
	When it's him it doesn't look like him.

			PUPKIN
	Keep watching.

PUPKIN closes his eyes and rests for a moment.

			MARSHA
	That's him.

PUPKIN's eyes snap open.  WE SEE LANGFORD, concealed in his 
trench coat, dark glasses and tightly pulled cap start walking 
east.

			MARSHA 
	What should I do?

			PUPKIN 
	Wait a second and follow him.

					CUT TO:

82	EXT:  A STREET GOING EAST - DAY

LANGFORD is walking innocently towards his offices.  The 
Mercedes prowls a quarter of a block behind.

					CUT TO:

83	INT:  THE MERCEDES - DAY

			MARSHA
	What about here?

			PUPKIN
	Too busy.  Keep going.

					CUT TO:

84	EXT:  ANOTHER EASTBOUND STREET - DAY

LANGFORD continues walking.  The street is practically 
empty.

					CUT TO:

85 	INT:  MERCEDES - DAY

			PUPKIN 
	Go past him and stop.

					CUT TO:

86	EXT:  THE SAME EASTBOUND STREET - DAY

WE STAY with LANGFORD as he walks.   WE SEE the Mercedes 
pull past him.  Suddenly PUPKIN is IN THE FRAME, walking
side by side with LANGFORD.

			PUPKIN 
	Just keep walking or I'll kill 
	you right here.

LANGFORD looks at PUPKIN in terror.  He falters a bit, out
of fear.

			PUPKIN
	I said keep walking.  This is a gun  
	in my pocket and I've got nothing 
	to lose.

			LANGFORD 
		(who keeps walking) 
	What do you want?

			PUPKIN 
	Just keep walking and don't talk 
	to anybody.  I'll tell you what
	to do.

A MAN coming the other way stops and stares at LANGFORD 
out of curiosity.  PUPKIN and LANGFORD keep walking.  They 
get to where the Mercedes is waiting.  PUPKIN jabs LANGFORD
in the ribs with the gun.

			PUPKIN 
	Get in!

			LANGFORD 
	Look, this is ...

			PUPKIN 
		(interrupting) 
	Just shut up and get in.

LANGFORD gets in the front seat.  PUPKIN follows. 

					CUT TO:

87	INT:  THE MERCEDES - DAY 

LANGFORD moves to the middle of the front seat.

			MARSHA
 	Hi, Jerry.

LANGFORD looks over and recognizes MARSHA.  A CLOSE UP
records his reaction of sheer terror.

					CUT TO:

88	EXT:  A BROWNSTONE-LINED STREET IN THE EAST EIGHTIES - DAY

WE SEE LANGFORD get out of the Mercedes which is parked in
front of a fire hydrant.  LANGFORD follows MARSHA into a 
brownstone.  PUPKIN walks behind LANGFORD.

					CUT TO:

89	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY

PUPKIN, LANGFORD and MARSHA enter.  It is an absolutely 
stunning studio apartment, furnished lavishly by Marsha's 
parents for their daughter in antique furniture suitable
for a woman of fifty.  MARSHA has imprinted her own stamp
on the apartment in two ways:  First, the place is abso-
lutely chaotic.  Secondly, there are a number of blow-up 
pictures on the wall.  A picture of LANGFORD sits on the 
bureau.  There is a big brass bed with an ornate brass 
frame at the foot.  LANGFORD stares at MARSHA and PUPKIN.
PUPKIN closes the blinds and turns on the lights.  MARSHA 
trains the gun on LANGFORD.  PUPKIN finishes his work and 
takes the gun back.

			PUPKIN 
	I didn't like being so rough out
	there, Jerry.  But I wanted you to 
	know that I meant business.  I didn't 
	want anything happening to you over 
	some misunderstanding.

LANGFORD just stares at him, frozen with fear.

			PUPKIN 
	Now I know you're wondering what 
	this is all about.  Actually you've
	got nothing to worry about.  You
	just do what I tell you and by, say, 
	midnight, you'll be safe and out of 
	here.  Of course if you try anything 
	clever, I'll kill you -- or Marsha 
	will.  She knows how to use this too.

			LANGFORD 
	You realize what you're saying.

			PUPKIN
	Come on, Jerry.  This isn't a spur 
	of the moment thing.  Give me a little
	credit, will you.

PUPKIN looks over to a small phone table with a chair next
to it.  He motions to it with his head.

			PUPKIN 
		(to LANGFORD)
	Sit down.

LANGFORD docilely sits by the phone.

			PUPKIN 
	Now, you're going to call your 
	office and tell them this:  that 
	unless a man who identifies himself as 
	the King is allowed on the show 
	tonight as the first guest, they'll
	never see you alive again.

			LANGFORD
	What?

			PUPKIN 
	I'll say it again ... 

					CUT TO:

90	INT:  BERT THOMAS' OFFICE  - DAY

It is a large office in two pieces.  A SECRETARY sits in
the smaller part next to the door of the larger section.
Her phone is ringing.  She answers.

			THOMAS' SECRETARY
	Bert Thomas! ... He's in a meeting,
	Mr. Langford  ... I see.

					CUT TO:

91	INT:  A CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

THOMAS, a young, trim executive in his late thirties, in 
modish dress, sits at the table with several other PEOPLE, 
including CATHY LONG.  They are sipping coffee from con-
tainers.  There are memos and lists and other papers on
the table.  The SECRETARY stands at the doorway.  THOMAS
and the others are looking up at her.

			SECRETARY 
	He says it's urgent.

			THOMAS 
		(smiling) 
	Yeah?  Well, tell him I'll call him 
	back.  (to the others)  It's that 
	Martino kid, the impressionist.

					CUT TO:

92	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT -- DAY

LANGFORD sits by the phone with PUPKIN a few steps away, 
holding the gun and MARSHA looking on.  LANGFORD looks 
desperate.

			PUPKIN
	Then try again!

					CUT TO:

93	INT:  BERT THOMAS' OFFICE - DAY 

An irked BERT THOMAS wearily picks up the phone.

			THOMAS
	Yeah? ... Okay, Martino, let's 
	stop the bullshit ... what? ...
	Okay, I'm listening.

WE WATCH THOMAS' expression as it turns from skepticism 
to concern bordering on alarm.

			THOMAS 
	Give me that again? ... Wait a 
	minute.  What do we call our second
	cameraman?

					CUT TO:

94	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY

The scene is as before, only now LANGFORD is sweating a bit.

			LANGFORD
		(into the phone)
	Helen Keller.

			PUPKIN 
		(warning)
	No tricks, Jerry.

					CUT TO:

95	INT:  BERT THOMAS' OFFICE - DAY 

THOMAS is still at the phone.

			THOMAS 
	Don't do anything, Jerry.  Stay right
	there.  Tell him we'll do anything he
 	wants.  Tell him to cool it.  Are you
	okay? ... Look, tell him to call us 
	about five, okay.  We'll let him know 
	what to do.  And don't do anything 
	stupid.

THOMAS puts down the phone.

			THOMAS 
		(calls to his SECRETARY)
	Vivien!

THOMAS' SECRETARY appears at the doorway.

			THOMAS 
	Get me the number of the F.B.I. right 
	away.  And get me Crockett's office. 
	And keep your mouth shut about this.

					CUT TO:

96	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY

LANGFORD is standing awkwardly in the middle of the room,
wearing a sweater that matches the patch of cloth we saw 
in the envelope MARSHA gave PUPKIN.  PUPKIN is still
training his pistol on LANGFORD and MARSHA is appraising 
the fit.

			MARSHA 
		(to PUPKIN) 
	What do you think?

			PUPKIN
	Looks fine.

			MARSHA 
		(to LANGFORD)
	I had to guess on the sleeves.
	(to PUPKIN)  He gets to keep it, 
	doesn't he?

			PUPKIN 
	Sure, if he isn't dead.

					CUT TO:

97	INT:  THOMAS' OFFICE - DAY 

THOMAS is on the phone.

			THOMAS 
		(panicky) 
	I know he's in a meeting and I don't 
	care.  I've got to talk to him!  ...
	No, he can not call me back.  Don't 
	you understand?  This is an emergency
 	... NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!

					CUT TO:

98	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY

LANGFORD is seated on a chair whose back is pressed right
up against the high, ornate brass bedstead at the foot of
the bed.  MARSHA trains the gun on LANGFORD now.  PUPKIN 
is unpacking a suitcase.  He takes out a handsome blue suit, 
ruffled shirt, a bow tie, black shoes, underwear, socks, 
shaving equipment, soap, a hairbrush, a clothesbrush, a 
small shoe shine kit, aftershave lotion, deodorant and a 
dozen or so rolls of inch-and-a-half wide adhesive tape.
He removes this stuff from a suitcase that is barely big 
enough to hold it -- so the mere packing of all this para-
phernalia into such a small space represents something of an
achievement.  As he takes the stuff out, he talks to 
LANGFORD, his back turned to him.

			PUPKIN
	This wasn't an easy decision for 
	me, Jerry, believe me.  For one 
	thing, I knew it meant we could never 
	be friends again and that hurt me. 
	It's hard to lose a friend, even one
	who has let you down.  You always 
	hope you can patch things up.  You
	know, a guy like me doesn't make 
	friends that easily.

PUPKIN pauses a moment, then turns to LANGFORD, his voice 
filled with emotion.

			PUPKIN 
	Why didn't you just listen to the 
	tape when I asked you?  Then I 
	wouldn't have to be doing all this. 
	Was it really too much to expect --
	a few minutes of your time to listen 
	to something I'd worked on my whole
	life?

LANGFORD's eyes shift rapidly.  He is obviously calculating
how to deal with PUPKIN.

			LANGFORD 
		(with disarming charm) 
	Hey, if that's what's bothering you, 
	let's go over to my office and listen 
	to that tape right now.

			PUPKIN 
	Are you crazy, Jerry?  Do you know 
	what would happen to me?

MARSHA listens to this exchange a bit nervously.  Gesturing
to her gun, she says:

			MARSHA 
	Am I going to have to hold this 
	thing all day?

PUPKIN sees she has lowered it practically to her side.

			PUPKIN 
		(to MARSHA) 
	Just keep it on him.  (to LANGFORD) 
	You know, Jerry.  Friendship is a two-
	way street.  All that time I was
	worrying about you and your ratings 
	and everything, you couldn't have 
	cared less about me.

LANGFORD thinks rapidly for a beat or two.

			LANGFORD
	You're right.  You know that?  I 
	was thoughtless.  It's just that
	when you're doing a big show, it's 
	hard to tell who your friends really 
	are.  I was wrong.  I apologize. 
	Why don't we just shake hands and 
	forget the whole thing?

			PUPKIN 
		(suspiciously) 
	That's easy to say, Jerry.

			LANGFORD 
	But I mean it.  I'll tell them that
	the whole thing was a joke and then 
	we can go to my office and listen to
	that tape.  Come on.  What do you say?

LANGFORD rises with his hand extended toward PUPKIN.

			MARSHA 
		(to LANGFORD, sharply)
	Sit down!

LANGFORD looks to PUPKIN.

			MARSHA 
	I said sit!

LANGFORD reluctantly sits down.

			PUPKIN
		(to MARSHA) 
	What's the matter?  You heard 
	what he said.

			MARSHA 
	All of a sudden, with a gun on him, 
	he wants to make up and be friends. 
	And, once he's out the door, what 
	happens then?

			PUPKIN 
	What happens then, Jerry?

			MARSHA 
	You get to his office and they 
	jump you, that's what happens, Rupert.

			PUPKIN
	She's right, Jerry.

			LANGFORD
	Not if I tell them not to.  This is
	Jerry, Rupert, I give you my word.

			PUPKIN 
		(to MARSHA) 
	He gives me his word.

			MARSHA
	Yeah?  And what else?  Come on,
	Rupert, I'm sick of waiting.

			PUPKIN 
	And what else, Jerry?

			LANGFORD
	Come on, Rupert.  My word's good
	enough, isn't it.

PUPKIN stares at LANGFORD for a few beats.  Then he shakes
his head sadly and says in a very quiet, discouraged voice.

			PUPKIN 
	No, Jerry.  It's not.  (to MARSHA) 
	Keep the gun up!

PUPKIN comes over to LANGFORD with a few rolls of adhesive
tape in his hand.

			PUPKIN 
	I'm sorry to do it this way, Jerry,
	but I'm no good at knots.  Just put 
	your arms up and out, okay?

LANGFORD spreads his arms back against the brass bedstead.  
As PUPKIN goes to tape them, LANGFORD tries to grab him,
but, with sudden, demonic force, PUPKIN pins him against
the bedstead.  They are practically nose to nose.

			PUPKIN
	Oh, no, Jerry.  None of that.  Now 
	hold still.

					CUT TO:

99	INT:  A LARGE EXECUTIVE OFFICE - DAY

We are in the office of WILSON CROCKETT, president of the
National Broadcasting Network.  CROCKETT sits behind his
desk, facing a group which includes several other NETWORK 
EXECUTIVES, BERT THOMAS, CATHY LONG, F.B.I. INSPECTOR 
PATTEN, and his assistant, GIARDELLO.  They are in the
midst of debate.

			PATTEN 
	Look, I tell you, the bureau is doing 
	everything possible to locate Mr.
	Langford.  Right now our men are out
	checking out every radical group in 
	this city.

			AN EXECUTIVE
	Radical?

			PATTEN 
	They're willing to sacrifice their 
	leader in order to get their message 
	across, aren't they?  You've got to 
	figure that this is a desperate outfit.
	I don't know who they are anymore than 
	you do.  But I do know I've got to 
	stop them.  Otherwise, what you're 
	seeing here is just the first of a 
	whole wave of these kinds of kidnappings.

			THOMAS 
		(upset) 
	Does this mean we're not supposed to 
	put him on?!?

			PATTEN 
	Who am I addressing, please?

			CROCKETT
	That's Bert Thomas.  He produces the
	show.

			PATTEN 
	I'm only saying, Mr. Thomas, that we 
	can't allow this to reach the public. 
	When the kidnappers call in, of course 
	you're going to be cooperative. 
	Promise them anything they want. 
	After all, this King character is 
	going to have to show up sooner or 
	later.  And once we get our hands 
	on him, he'll tell us where Mr. Langford 
	is.

PATTEN grinds his fist into his palm.

 					CUT TO:

100	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY 

WE SEE PUPKIN in the shower, shampooing.

  					CUT TO:

101	INT:  THE EXECUTIVE OFFICE

The scene is as before.

			PATTEN 
	Sure.	 Let him go on if you have
	to.  It's just a taping.  You can
	always erase him afterwards, can't 
	you?  (pause)  All I'm saying is this:
	don't put him on the air.

			THOMAS 
	That's fine, Inspector, but let's say 
	he finishes his bit and you've worked 
	him over ...

			PATTEN 
	Questioned him, Mr. Thomas.

There is light laughter.

			THOMAS 
	Okay, questioned him and he still 
	won't talk.  We get to eleven thirty 
	and what do we do?  Do we air him or 
	what?

 There is a heavy pause.

			PATTEN
	I would say no.

			THOMAS 
	But they might kill Jerry!

			CROCKETT
		(breaking in) 
	Okay, Burt.  (to PATTEN)  Thank you, 
	Inspector.  We appreciate your position 
	and we'll do all we can to cooperate 
	with you.   But I have to tell you 
	right now that, if it comes down to 
	it, we're not taking any chances with
	Mr. Langford's life.

			PATTEN
	I understand but ...

			CROCKETT 
		(interrupting) 
	If your men haven't been able to 
	locate Mr. Langford by air time, 
	we're going to have to put this King 
	guy on, no matter what he's said. 
	After all, Inspector, what's ten or 
	fifteen minutes of talk show time 
	against a man's life?

					CUT TO:

102	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY

WE SEE PUPKIN in his new suit and ruffled shirt, impeccably 
groomed, standing next to the bed.  He is talking to 
LANGFORD but we don't see anyone but PUPKIN.

			PUPKIN 
	Open. (pause)  Bite ... Good.

 He is wrapping LANGFORD's mouth shut but all we see is that 
he is doing something.

 			PUPKIN
	Can you breathe?  Both ways?  In
	and out?

WE PULL BACK TO SEE LANGFORD nodding.  He is strapped to 
the bed with tape and encased like a mummy, only his eyes 
and nose showing.  PUPKIN has wrapped him in tape from tip
to toe.  MARSHA emerges from the kitchen stirring something.

			PUPKIN
		(to MARSHA) 
	You've got until around midnight. 
	Have a good time.  (to LANGFORD)
	So long, Jerry!  Wish me luck.

PUPKIN leaves.

 					CUT TO:

103 	INT:  BERT THOMAS' OFFICE - DAY

The phone rings.  BERT THOMAS' SECRETARY answers.

			THOMAS' SECRETARY
	Bert Thomas!  Who's calling please?
	(her voice grows tense)  Yes, Mr. King. 

					CUT TO:

104	INT:  BERT THOMAS' DESK - DAY

THOMAS sits by his phone.  There is a large machine,
looking like a large tape recorder, attached to the phone	
 and monitoring the call.  GIARDELLO is at a second phone
and starts placing a call.  PATTEN stands next to THOMAS.
There are two other PLAINCLOTHESMEN in the room, CROCKETT
and CATHY LONG.

			PATTEN 
		(quietly to THOMAS) 
	Keep him talking.

THOMAS nods and picks up the phone.

			THOMAS 
	Yes? ... Yes, Mr, King.  We understand. 
	Everything's been arranged.  Now if 
	you'll just tell me a little about the 
	nature of your material, so that 
	we can ...

 					CUT TO:

105	EXT:  UPPER EAST SIDE MANHATTAN STREET - DAY

PUPKIN stands in a public phonebooth on a streetcorner.

			PUPKIN 
		(into the phone)
	I'll tell you everything you need to 
	know at the studio this evening,
	Mr. Thomas.  I appreciate your co- 
	operation.  Goodbye.  

PUPKIN steps out of the booth and starts walking downtown.

 					CUT TO:

106	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - DAY

Late afternoon.  MARSHA is setting the dining room table
for two.  She talks as she works.

			MARSHA 
	I've got so much to tell you I just
	don't know what to begin with.  Are
	you okay?

LANGFORD mumbles incoherently through his gag and tape.

			MARSHA 
	Good.  Tell me if you're not. 
	I guess you're wondering why I do 
	stuff like this.  I think it's 
	because I'm a Leo, but my shrink says
	I'm pathologically rebellious and 
	self-destructive.  You don't think 
	I'm self-destructive, do you?

LANGFORD, mummified, again mumbles and struggles a bit in 
his bonds.

			MARSHA 
	I knew you wouldn't.  That's 'cause 
	you're the only person in the world 
	who really understands me.

 					CUT TO:

107 	INT:  CROCKETT'S OFFICE - DAY

CROCKETT sits behind his desk.   With him are BERT THOMAS, 
CATHY LONG and three other EXECUTIVES.

			CROCKETT 
	Can Randall* sub for Jerry?

[*Tony Randall is one of any number of substitute hosts.]

			THOMAS 
	His agent's calling us back but it looks 
	good.  I only told him Jerry's sick.

			CROCKETT
	Well, if worse comes to worse, Canter
	can always carry it.  (to CATHY LONG)
	Let me see your list.

CATHY LONG hands CROCKETT a blue piece of paper.  He 
glances over it quickly.

			CROCKETT
	Any one of these a writer?

			THOMAS 
		(pointing to a name on 
		the list)
	McCabe.  The Vanishing Siberian Tiger.

			CROCKETT
	He's out.

			CATHY LONG
	What if we don't run this King guy?
	Who'll fill the time?

			CROCKETT
	We'll stretch the other guests.  But
	I think we're going to wind up running 
	him.  For one thing, we've got to think
	about Jerry.

			FIRST EXECUTIVE
	And from a news point of view, we've 
	got a responsibility to air this story.

			CROCKETT 
	Exactly, Lou.  (pause)  I mean, who 
	would you rather watch -- some tiger 
	expert or a live kidnapper.

			A SECOND EXECUTIVE 
	But nobody's going to know he's a 
	kidnapper.  They'll think we've gone 
	crazy.

			CROCKETT 
	Then they'll read about it in the papers 
	tomorrow and, believe me, tomorrow night, 
	everyone in America will be watching
	Jerry talk about his experience.  And
	he can put this King guy on rerun.

			THOMAS 
	You're going to put him on twice?

			A THIRD EXECUTIVE 
	What if his stuff's unusable?

			SECOND EXECUTIVE 
	And remember what Patten said about ...

			CROCKETT 
	Hold on.  (pause)  We can always edit 
	the guy.  And, as for a wave of these 
	things, I just don't buy the idea 
	that there are that many people out 
	there crazy enough to spend their 
	lives in prison for a few minutes 
	on television.

 					CUT TO:

108	EXT:  MADISON AVENUE IN THE SIXTIES - DAY

PUPKIN walks purposefully down the street.

					CUT TO: 

109	EXT:  OUTSIDE THE JERRY LANGFORD SHOW THEATER - DAY

The street is quiet.  Suddenly three cars pull up and some
dozen PLAINCLOTHESMEN get out.  Two wait outside the 
theater; the ten others disappear inside through the
backstage entrance.

					CUT TO:

110	EXT:  MIDTOWN MANHATTAN STREET - DAY 

PUPKIN is now walking cross-town, towards the theater.

					CUT TO:

111	EXT:  LANGFORD THEATER -- DAY

A line of some 100 PEOPLE has gathered outside the theater. 
A sign at the bottom of the poster showing Langford reads 
"Tonight's Guest Host: Tony Randall."

 					CUT TO:

112	INT:  THE TELEVISION STUDIO

From the POV of the stage, WE WATCH six PLAINCLOTHESMEN 
descend into the orchestra and take widely scattered aisle 
seats.  When the last has taken his seat we ...

					CUT TO:

113	EXT:  THE LANGFORD THEATER - DAY 

Depending on the season, it is either dusk or late 
afternoon.  The USHERS swing the doors open and the 
TICKETHOLDERS file in.

 					CUT TO:

114  	EXT:  A MIDTOWN MANHATTAN STREET - DUSK

PUPKIN is crossing Broadway, a few blocks from the theater.

 					CUT TO:

115	INT:  STUDIO

At the center of the stage, a pretty MODEL used solely to 
test color quality sits in Langford's chair as several 
MEMBERS of the Tactical Patrol Force admire her 
considerable cleavage.  A number of TECHNICIANS go about 
their work.  CAMERAMEN move to and from their stations.

					CUT TO:

116	INT:  CORRIDOR LEADING FROM THE BACKSTAGE DOOR TO THE STAGE

Four PLAINCLOTHESMEN are gathered behind the stage door.  
They watch ZSA ZSA GABOR (or some other sexy talk show 
celebrity) enter and then return to talking among
themselves.

                                            CUT TO:

117	EXT:  THE TELEVISION THEATER - DAY TO EARLY EVENING

The situation appears normal.  Only the regular backstage 
door GUARD, a big, grey-haired man, stands at the door.
Nearby two other young MEN, in colorless suits, stand 
talking.  We WATCH CLARENCE MCCABE, a writer, his plain 
WIFE and her PARENTS arrive in front of the theater, locate 
the backstage entrance and present themselves before the 
GUARD.

			MCCABE 
		(a bit pompously) 
	Good evening, officer.  This is the
	backstage door I take it?

			GUARD
	Your name please?

			MCCABE 
	Clarence McCabe, the writer.  And 
	this is Mrs. McCabe and her parents, 
	Mr. and Mrs. Leroy Solters of Cleveland.

			GUARD 
		(checking his list)
	I'm sorry, sir.  I don't see you here.

			MCCABE 
	I'm on the show tonight, officer.

			GUARD 
	Well, you're not here.

			MCCABE 
		(getting a bit agitated) 
	Look, Cathy Long gave me instructions
	to present myself at a quarter to six.
	May I see her please?

			GUARD
	I'm under strictest orders tonight 
	to admit only authorized personnel.

			MCCABE 
		(huffy) 
	This is absurd.  (to the others) 
	Wait right here.

MCCABE marches past the GUARD and rushes to the backstage 
door.  He opens it.  The GUARD trails behind.

			GUARD
	Stop him!

					CUT TO:

118	INT:  THE BACKSTAGE CORRIDOR - EVENING

The four PLAINCLOTHESMEN jump MCCABE and start pulling him 
downstairs.

			MCCABE 
	Hey!

					CUT TO:

119	EXT:  OUTSIDE THE THEATER - EVENING

PUPKIN arrives at the backstage door.  Seeing no one, he
walks in.

					CUT TO:

120	INT:  A ROOM IN THE BASEMENT OF THE THEATER - EVENING

MCCABE has just been hustled before PATTEN.

			PATTEN 
	Are you the King?

MCCABE looks baffled.

					CUT TO:

121	INT:  BACKSTAGE - EVENING

PUPKIN is looking for a familiar face.  He approaches a
CAMERAMAN.

			PUPKIN 
		(getting CAMERAMAN's attention)
	Excuse me.

The CAMERAMAN looks up.

			PUPKIN
	I'm the King.

			CAMERAMAN 
	Yeah?

 					CUT TO:

122	INT:  THE BASEMENT ROOM - EVENING 

PATTEN is sitting behind a desk.  MCCABE is standing before  
him, still securely held by four PLAINCLOTHESMEN.

			PATTEN
	Don't talk to me about tigers!

					CUT TO:

123	INT:  BACKSTAGE - EVENING.

PUPKIN approaches the STAGE MANAGER.

			PUPKIN 
		(to STAGE MANAGER)
	I'm the King.

			STAGE MANAGER 
		(smiling) 
	What can I do for you, your highness?

CATHY LONG passes by.  She spots PUPKIN, and walks swiftly
over.  

			CATHY LONG
 		What are you doing here, Mr. Pupkin?!?!

					CUT TO:

124	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

The lights are dimmed.  Music is playing on the phonograph. 
Two candles burn on the elegantly-set dinner table.  MARSHA 
stands in the middle of the room, in front of LANGFORD. 
She is singing.  LANGFORD is still encased in tape.

			MARSHA 
		(singing to the music) 
	"I'm gonna love you, 
	Like no one's ever loved you, 
	Come rain or come shine, 
	Happy together, unhappy together, 
	And won't it be fine."

					CUT TO:

125	INT:  THE BASEMENT ROOM - NIGHT

Now PUPKIN stands before PATTEN, held by PLAINCLOTHESMEN 
who frisk him and hand PATTEN the autograph book.  
GIARDELLO stands next to PATTEN.

			PATTEN 
		(to the PLAINCLOTHESMEN) 
	I hope you brought me the right guy
	this time.  (to PUPKIN)  Where's Jerry
	Langford?

			PUPKIN 
		(to GIARDELLO) 
	Are you on the show?

			PATTEN
	No, Mr. King.  That's my assistant,
	Mr. Giardello.

			PUPKIN 
	I want to see someone on the show.

			PATTEN 
	Well, you tell us where Mr. Langford 
	is and we'll let you see anyone you 
	want.

			PUPKIN 
	Just get me someone from the show.

PATTEN starts browsing through the autograph book.

			PATTEN 
	Come on, Mr. King.  Let's not fool
	around.  (looking up from the book) 
	Should we know about any of these 
	people?

			PUPKIN 
		(gesturing to the book) 
	That's Orson Bean.

			PATTEN 
	I see.  (to GIARDELLO)  Check these
	out.

GIARDELLO starts looking through the autograph book.

			PATTEN 
	Now are you going to talk to us, 
	or not?

			PUPKIN
	Sure I'll talk.  Just get me someone
	from the show.

			PATTEN 
		(to GIARDELLO)
	Get that Thomas guy in here.

GIARDELLO leaves.

			PATTEN 
	We haven't much time, Mr. King.

PUPKIN looks towards the door.

			PATTEN
	Let's start with your name.

			PUPKIN
	Rupert Pupkin.

			PATTEN
	That's your real name?

			PUPKIN
	Yes sir.

			PATTEN
	You an American?

			PUPKIN
	Yes.

			PATTEN 
	Then why do you people do these things?

THOMAS enters.  He scrutinizes PUPKIN.

			PUPKIN 
	Are you on the show?

			THOMAS 
	Yes.  I'm Bert Thomas.

 PUPKIN pulls thin piece of neatly typewritten paper from 
his inside jacket and hands it to THOMAS.

			PUPKIN 
	Here's the introduction to my act.
	Please make sure Mr. Randall follows 
	it exactly as I've written it.

PATTEN nods to THOMAS who takes the paper and reads it as 
he leaves.

			PATTEN 
	Okay.  How about helping us, Mr. King?

			PUPKIN 
	What about make-up?  I need make-up.

			PATTEN 
		(to PLAINCLOTHESMEN) 
	Put some color in his cheeks.

					CUT TO:

126	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

MARSHA has finished a half bottle of wine.  She is eating 
a beautifully decorated piece of stuffed capon and talking
through her tears.

			MARSHA 
		(crying)
	It was the second lead!  I'd never 
	gotten a part in my life and here I 
	get the second lead.  And what does 
	Daddy say?

SHOT of LANGFORD still bound from tip to toe.

			MARSHA
	Not "Marsha, that's wonderful" or 
	"we're proud of you" or anything.
	Oh no.  He starts lecturing me on
	how I should have tried out for
	Emily!  Now do you understand, Jerry!

MARSHA gets hold of herself.  She swallows a couple of
pills and swills them down with some wine.

			MARSHA
		(calmer)
	My doctor says I shouldn't get excited.

MARSHA picks at another piece of capon.

			MARSHA 
	This is the best I ever made it.
	You want some?

 LANGFORD, the mummy, nods.  MARSHA picks up the plate 
across from her, fills it with food, and pulls a chair up 
next to LANGFORD.  She undoes the tape around his mouth 
and picks a sock out of his mouth.

			MARSHA 
	Now open.  Marsha's going to feed her
	Jerry.

					CUT TO:

127	INT:  BACKSTAGE - NIGHT

Two young GIRLS are working on big cue cards copying from 
the piece of paper PUPKIN has given THOMAS.  TONY RANDALL 
stands next to THOMAS.  The two of them watch.  RANDALL is 
going over the lines.

					CUT TO:

128	INT:  THE BASEMENT ROOM - NIGHT

PUPKIN has obviously been worked over.  He is sweating.

			PATTEN 
	How about it, King?

			PUPKIN 
	If I'm not on that show, Jerry Langford 
	is dead, I promise you.

PATTEN nods to his PLAINCLOTHESMEN again who start working 
PUPKIN over.

					CUT TO:

129	INT:  THE TELEVISION STUDIO - NIGHT

The beginning of the taping is seconds away.  Everyone is 
in his place.  The STAGE MANAGER is counting down from five 
on his fingers.  At zero, he points across to RICK ROSS, 
the orchestra leader, who strikes up the familiar Langford 
Show theme song.

					CUT TO:

130	INT:  THE CONTROL ROOM - NIGHT

Four TECHNICAL ENGINEERS are seated along a large console 
containing a multitude of small television screens.  One 
screen shows the spotlight falling where Randall will 
enter.  Another shows the logo of the Langford Show. 
Another shows nothing in particular.  Behind the 
TECHNICIANS, stand CROCKETT and the EXECUTIVES we have 
seen in the previous scenes.  A TECHNICIAN is giving 
instructions to the CAMERAMAN.

			TECHNICIAN
	Hold on two.  Hold.  Hold.  Come on, 
	Keller.  Get it framed!

					CUT TO:

131	INT:  THE TELEVISION STUDIO - NIGHT

The theme song is playing.  BERT CANTER stands off-camera 
at one side of the stage before a microphone.

			CANTER 
	Now!  Direct from New York!  It's the 
	Jerry Langford Show with guest host 
	Tony Randall and his special guests 
	-- Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz, pundit 
	Gore Vidal, the one and only Zsa Zsa 
	Gabor and another of Jerry's taped 
	exclusives, an interview with Prince
	Ranier of Monaco.  As always, Rick
	Ross and the Orchestra and me, Bert
	Canter.  And now ... say hello to 
	Tony!!!!!!

					CUT TO:

An APPLAUSE sign flashes like crazy.  The AUDIENCE cheers 
wildly.  In the back, we notice a handful of TACTICAL 
PATROLMEN scattered about.  RANDALL strides on stage 
briskly, accepting the cheers of the crowd with his arms 
raised.  He nods and then his eyes fix on those hastily 
written outsized cue cards.  He reads them with a mixture 
of professionalism and wry distance, wanting to disown the 
words without seeming silly.

			RANDALL 
	Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
	Thank you.  Thank you very much.  I 
	have some sad news for you.  Earlier 
	today, my writing staff was executed 
	in Central Park by the network firing 
	squad so there'll be no sensational 
	Randall monologue this evening.

The AUDIENCE cheers derisively.

			RANDALL 
	No embarrassing displays of emotion, 
	please.  (the AUDIENCE laughs)  Instead, 
	we're going to do something a little 
	bit different this evening -- a lot
	different if you ask me.  We're going
	to give you a glimpse into the future.
	It isn't often that you can call 
	someone a sure thing in the entertainment 
	business.  After all, the verdict is 
	always in your hands.  But I think 
	tonight, after you've met my first 
	guest, you'll agree with me that he's 
	destined for greatness -- in one way 
	or another.  So will you please give 
	your warmest greeting to the newest 
	King of Comedy, Rupert Pupkin!!!!

The music plays.  The APPLAUSE sign flashes.  The AUDIENCE 
applauds heartily -- and nobody appears to fill the 
spotlight at the edge of the wings.  The spotlight holds 
for what seems like an eternity.

					CUT TO:

132   INT:  CONTROL ROOM - NIGHT

			TECHNICIAN 
	Just hold.  Three.  Pick up the
	audience.

					CUT TO:

133	INT:  THE STAGE - NIGHT

Finally after what seems like an eternity, PUPKIN emerges, 
straightening his jacket a bit and trying to crane the 
kinks out of his neck.  He is a bit tense but very high 
and in full command.  As he delivers his monologue, PUPKIN 
is more confident, comfortable and self-assured than we 
have ever seen him.

			PUPKIN 
	Good evening, ladies and gentleman.
	Let me introduce myself.  My name is 
	Rupert Pupkin.  I was born in Clifton, 
	New Jersey, which was not, at that 
	time, a federal offense.  (laughter) 
	Is there anyone here from Clifton? 
	(silence)  Good.  We can all relax.
	Now, I'd like to begin by saying that 
	my parents were too poor to afford me 
	a childhood but the fact is nobody is
	allowed to be really poor in Clifton.
	Once you fall below eleven thousand 
	you're exiled to Passaic.  My parents 
	did, in fact, put down the first two 
	payments on my childhood.  Then they 
	tried to return me to the hospital 
	as defective.   But, like everyone else
	I grew up in large part thanks to my 
	mother.  If she was only here today
	I'd say, "Hey, mom.  What are you 
	doing here?  You've been dead for 
	nine years?"  (laughter)  You should
	have seen my mother.  She was wonderful
	-- blonde, beautiful, intelligent, 
	alcoholic.  (laughter)  We used to 
	drink milk together after school. 
	Mine was homogenized.  Hers was loaded. 
	(laughter)  Once she was picked up for 
	speeding.  They clocked her doing fifty
	-- in our garage.  (laughter)  When
	they tested her they found that her 
	alcohol was two per cent blood.  They 
	took away her license and she died 
	shortly afterwards.  We used to joke 
	together Mom and me, until the tears 
	would stream down her face and she'd
	throw up.  (laughter)  And who would
	clean it up?  Not Dad.  He was too 
	busy down at O'Grady's throwing up on 
	his own.  In fact, until I was sixteen, 
	I thought throwing up was a sign of
	maturity.  While the other kids were
	off in the woods sneaking cigarettes, I 
	was hiding behind the house with my 
	fingers down my throat.  (laughter)  
	I never got anywhere until one day, 
	my father caught me.  Just as he was 
	giving me a final kick in the stomach,
	for luck, I managed to heave all 
	over his new shoes.  "That's it,"  
	I thought.  "I've made it.  I'm 
	finally a man!"  (laughter)  As it 
	turned out, that was the only time my 
	father ever paid any real attention 
	to me.  He was usually too busy out 
	in the park playing ball with my 
	sister, Rose.  And, today thanks to 
	those many hours of practice, my 
	sister Rose has grown into a fine man. 
	(laughter)  Me, I wasn't especially 
	interested in athletics.  The only 
	exercise I ever got was when the 
	other kids picked on me.  They used 
	to beat me up once a week, usually
	Tuesday.  After a while, the school
	worked it into the curriculum.  And, 
	if you knocked me out, you got extra 
	credit.  (laughter)  Except there was 
	this one kid who was afraid of me.  I 
	kept telling him, "Hit me!  Hit me!
	What's the matter with you?  Don't you
	want graduate?"  As for me, I was 
	the only kid in the history of the 
	school to graduate in traction.  The 
	school nurse tucked my diploma into 
	my sling.  But my only real interest, 
	right from the beginning, was show 
	business.  Even as a young man, I 
	began at the very top, collecting 
	autographs.  (laughter)

					CUT TO:

134	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

Dinner is over.  MARSHA is sitting next to LANGFORD.  As 
LANGFORD speaks, it is obvious that he is turning on the 
charm for strategic reasons.

			LANGFORD
	That was a wonderful dinner, Marsha. 
	I want you to know how much I enjoyed
	it.

			MARSHA 
	We can do it again.

			LANGFORD 
	I'd like to show you my gratitude.
	But it's a little difficult, like this.

LANGFORD indicates his bonds.

			MARSHA.
		(in a tone of intimacy)
	Let's say I took all this off.  What 
	would you do to me?  Tell me.

					CUT TO:

135	INT:  THE TELEVISION STUDIO -- NIGHT

We break in on a great burst of laughter.  PUPKIN is just
finishing his monologue.

			PUPKIN 
	A lot of you are probably wondering 
	why Jerry couldn't make it this 
	evening.  Well, he's tied up --
	and I'm the one who tied him.  
	(laughter)  You think I'm joking, 
	but that's the only way I could break 
	into show business -- by hijacking 
	Jerry Langford.  (laughter)  I'm 
	not kidding.  Right now, Jerry 
	Langford is strapped to a bedstead 
	somewhere in the middle of this city. 
	(laughter)  Go ahead.  Laugh.  But 
	the fact is ... I'm here.  Tomorrow 
	you'll know I wasn't kidding and 
	you'll think I was crazy. But I 
	figured it this way: better to be 
	King for a Night than Schmuck for 
	a Lifetime!!!  (laughter)  Good 
	night ladies and gentlemen.  God 
	bless you.

The AUDIENCE applauds heartily.  The music plays.  And TONY
RANDALL salutes PUPKIN with a wave of his hand.  PUPKIN 
goes off stage after soaking up the applause.

					CUT TO:

136	INT:  THE WINGS - NIGHT

A group of PLAINCLOTHESMEN seize PUPKIN and march him 
briskly through the backstage corridor towards the 
backstage door.

					CUT TO:

137	EXT:  THE BACKSTAGE DOOR - NIGHT

A handful of PEOPLE are waiting, among them the autograph
hunters, MAE, CELESTE and SIDNEY.  MAE, out of a reflex of
thirty years, immediately extends her autograph book 
towards PUPKIN, then, recognizing him, immediately pulls
it back.

			MAE
		(to PUPKIN) 
	Who did you get?

PUPKIN says nothing as he is hustled into a limousine.
SIDNEY and CELESTE look on.  MAE trails after PUPKIN and 
the PLAINCLOTHESMEN.

			MAE 
		(to PLAINCLOTHESMAN) 
	Could I have a ride?

The PLAINCLOTHESMAN says nothing and starts getting in the
limo. 

			MAE 
	I've never been in one.

The limo pulls away.

					CUT TO:

138	INT:  INSPECTOR PATTEN'S DOWNTOWN OFFICE - NIGHT

PUPKIN stands among a crowd of PLAINCLOTHESMEN who have 
obviously been working him over.  PATTEN sits behind his 
desk.  GIARDELLO is at his side.  The clock on the wall
reads 10:20.

			PATTEN 
	Okay, Pupkin.  We'll start all over 
	again.  Where is Langford?  You know, 
	we're going to find him sooner or later.

			PUPKIN
	I'm trying to tell you, Inspector. 
	You let me walk out of here, right? 
	And as soon as I'm seen my act on
	the show -- as soon as I'm sure they've
	really put it on -- I'll tell you where 
	Jerry is and you'll get him back safe 
	and sound.

			PATTEN
	Fine, Pupkin.  Then why don't you watch
	the show here with us?  That way we're
	all happy.  (to GIARDELLO)  What channel?

			GIARDELLO
	Seven.

			PATTEN 
	We get that one in fine.  So what do
	you say, Pupkin?

			PUPKIN 
	Look, I'll say it again.  You let
	me go now.

PATTEN motions to the PLAINCLOTHESMEN wearily with his 
head.  They drag PUPKIN off.  PATTEN looks up at the clock.

					CUT TO:

139	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

MARSHA is frantically attempting to unwrap LANGFORD.  With 
each pull of the tape, LANGFORD yelps.  There is a small 
tangle of unwrapped tape collecting around LANGFORD's feet 
and sticking to MARSHA's clothes.

			LANGFORD
	Watch my hair!

			MARSHA
	I'm sorry, baby.

We hear the sound of tape ripping.

			LANGFORD
	Ow!

			MARSHA
	I'm sorry.

					CUT TO:

140	INT:  PATTEN'S OFFICE - NIGHT 

PUPKIN is hustled before PATTEN again.

			A PLAINCLOTHESMAN
	Still nothing.

PUPKIN glances at the clock.  It is 11:05. 

			PUPKIN 
	I've got to get out of here.

			PATTEN 
	You're not going anywhere, Pupkin.
	Now, where is he?

			PUPKIN
	I'm telling you, Inspector, if I don't 
	see that show where I want to see it, 
	Jerry Langford is dead.  My people 
	have instructions to execute him 
	unless they hear from me by midnight.

PATTEN glances apprehensively at GIARDELLO.

			PATTEN 
	Just where is it you want to watch 
	this show?

					CUT TO:

141	INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT - NIGHT

LANGFORD is half unwrapped now.  The place is covered with
yard after yard of tape.   MARSHA is working frantically to
finish unwrapping LANGFORD who is helping now that his arms 
are free.

			LANGFORD 
	Ow!  God damnit!  Not so fast!

			MARSHA 
		(working frantically) 
	We haven't all night, baby.

MARSHA rips the tape off LANGFORD.

			LANGFORD 
	OW!!!!

			MARSHA 
	Oh, I love you, baby.  I love you
	so much.

					CUT TO:

142	EXT:  BROADWAY - NIGHT

A limo drives down Broadway, followed by an unmarked car.

					CUT TO:

143	INT:  THE LIMO - NIGHT

PATTEN and GIARDELLO sit up front, with the DRIVER.  PUPKIN 
sits in the back between two PLAINCLOTHESMEN.  The limo 
pulls up in front of the bar-restaurant where RITA works. 
PATTEN turns around in the front seat to address PUPKIN.

			PATTEN 
	Here we, are, Pupkin.  I don't know 
	what this is all about, but as soon 
	as you've seen yourself, you're going 
	to talk to us or I promise you, 
	you'll never see daylight again.

			PUPKIN 
	I'll need a couple of minutes, Inspector.

			PATTEN 
	What?!?

			PUPKIN 
	After it's over, I want a couple of
	minutes.  And I'll need ten dollars.
	Does anyone of you gentlemen have my 
	wallet?

			PATTEN 
	Don't push me, Pupkin.

			PUPKIN 
	A condemned man's last request, 
	Inspector.

			PATTEN 
	Well, I'll tell you right away, the 
	answer is no, Pupkin.

			PUPKIN 
	It's not much of a ransom, Inspector ...

			PATTEN 
		(losing his temper) 
	Look, I'm drawing the line, that's
	all!  No ten dollars and that's it.
	(emphatically)  No -- ten -- dollars!!!!
	You understand?!?

			PUPKIN 
		(in mollifying tones)
	Sure.  Sure, Inspector.  No ten dollars ...

			PATTEN
		(appeased)
	Okay.

			PUPKIN
	... and no Jerry Langford.

There is a pause as PATTEN stifles himself.

			PUPKIN 
	Come on, it's getting late, Inspector.

			PATTEN 
		(exploding to one of his MEN)
	Go ahead.  Give him his goddamned ten
	dollars!  Give him twenty!  I don't 
	care.  Just get him out of here!

One of the PLAINCLOTHESMEN in the back opens the door and 
PUPKIN and the other PLAINCLOTHESMAN get out.  The unmarked 
car has pulled up behind the limo and other PLAINCLOTHESMEN 
stand next to it.  PUPKIN and the two PLAINCLOTHESMEN start 
walking the ten yards or so to the bar-restaurant.

					CUT TO:

144	INT:  THE BAR-RESTAURANT - NIGHT

PUPKIN marches in flanked by the PLAINCLOTHESMEN.  The
clock over the bar reads 11:30.  RITA looks up from talking
with a CUSTOMER and sees PUPKIN.  She says nothing.  She 
just looks at him.  There are five CUSTOMERS at the bar.  A 
working class COUPLE in their late fifties are half-stewed, 
the man telling the woman that her friend, Maud, isn't 
really her friend because she wants $150 for a used 
refrigerator.  A few seats down, two MEN in their mid-
forties, in wind-breakers are locked in an intense but
inaudible conversation.  And, close to the television set
which hangs over the far end of the bar sits a MOUSY MAN
with glasses, who looks like an accountant.  He is sipping
a beer, his eyes fixed on the set where the CBS late movie 
is just showing its logo.  PUPKIN marches up to the bar.

			PUPKIN 
		(urgently to RITA)
	Turn on Langford.  Seven.

			MOUSY MAN
	Hey!  I'm watching this.

RITA keeps staring at PUPKIN.

			PUPKIN
	Just turn it.  Come on. 

			MOUSY MAN
	I was here first, mister.  You can't 
	just walk in like this.  It isn't 
	fair. 

RITA glances at the MAN.  PUPKIN can't wait.  He vaults
onto the bar and turns the set to the Langford Show, just
as, on screen, he walks from the wings onto the stage to 
the applause of the studio audience.  Perched atop the bar,
standing next to the image of himself, PUPKIN looks down at 
RITA, a smile of pride and triumph on his face.

					CUT TO:

145  	MONTAGE -- NIGHT

PUPKIN walking onto television screens in various homes 
across America -- in a chic New York living room, in a 
suburban bedroom, in the parlor of an Indiana farmhouse, 
in a kitchen where a COUPLE is in the middle of a raging 
domestic quarrel, in an otherwise dark bedroom where a 
COUPLE is in the throes of lovemaking, in a bar, a station 
house, in a television store window display.

					CUT TO:

146   INT:  MARSHA'S APARTMENT -- NIGHT

MARSHA has just removed her dress and stands in her bra and 
panties as LANGFORD unwraps the last tape from about his
ankles.  The room is swimming in tape, like an enormous
boa constrictor gone mad.  MARSHA moves towards LANGFORD, 
her arms open.

			MARSHA 
	Oh, baby.  Baby.

LANGFORD frees his ankles of tape just in time to side-step
MARSHA and moves quickly to the dining room table where he 
grabs the gun.  He trains it on her.

			LANGFORD 
	Stop!

MARSHA moves toward him.  He pulls the trigger, releasing 
a plastic pellet that hits MARSHA in the stomach, stinging her.

			MARSHA
	Ow!

LANGFORD glances down in horror at the gun which he now 
realizes is a toy and looks up in horror to see MARSHA, 
bigger than life, bearing down on him.

			MARSHA 
	Don't be afraid of Marsha, baby.

					CUT TO:

147	INT:  BAR-RESTAURANT - NIGHT

 The CUSTOMERS are watching the conclusion of Pupkin's 
monologue, along with the PLAINCLOTHESMEN and PUPKIN.  WE 
COME IN a split second after a joke.  The CUSTOMERS laugh, 
with the exception of the MOUSY MAN who is waiting, in bad
humor, for Pupkin's act to finish.  The PLAINCLOTHESMEN
laugh reluctantly.  PUPKIN, no longer standing on the bar, 
but back down with the others, watches with fascination.  
RITA watches grimly, occasionally glancing at PUPKIN.

			PUPKIN on TV 
	But I figured it this way: better to 
	be King for a Night than Schmuck for 
	a Lifetime.  (audience and CUSTOMERS 
	laugh)   Good night, ladies and 
	gentlemen, and God bless you.

The television audience applauds and the CUSTOMERS applaud 
and cheer in good humor except for the MOUSY MAN.  The 
HALF-STEWED MAN leans across his WOMAN to yell at PUPKIN 
as the two FRIENDS in windbreakers congratulate PUPKIN at 
the same time.  There is a brief moment of carnival 
excitement.

	HALF-STEWED MAN			FIRST FRIEND
Hey, that's pretty good.		(to PUPKIN)
Schmuck for a Lifetime! 	How do you think up all
(to the WOMAN)  You know 	that stuff?
who he's talkin' about? 
Your brother!
					SECOND FRIEND 
	HALF-STEWED WOMAN 	It's a trick, that's
What about your 		all.  Larry can do it 
brother?			as good as him.

	HALF-STEWED MAN 		MOUSY MAN 
What about him?			Is it over now?

	HALF-STEWED WOMAN 		FIRST FRIEND 
He's another one.		He's funnier than Larry.
				Larry just makes a lot 
	HALF-STEWED MAN 	of faces.
(getting a little angry) 
I told you to shut up about 		MOUSY MAN 
my brother.  (to PUPKIN) 	Well, if nobody
She doesn't know nuthin'.	minds ...

PUPKIN takes all this praise and excitement with a shy 
smile of satisfaction, glancing at RITA from time to time 
for her reaction.  She merely stares at PUPKIN with a sad
expression on her face.

			PUPKIN
	Come on, Rita.  Don't spoil the party. 
	(to the CUSTOMERS)  Drinks all around
	on me.

			HALF-STEWED MAN 
		(in a loud voice, to HALF-
		STEWED WOMAN)
	What about the hundred and fifty? 
	We never saw a penny outta your 
	brother.

			HALF-STEWED WOMAN
	That's because my brother is a family
	man, not like Phil.

The argument between the HALF-STEWED MAN and his WOMAN 
continues at the end of the bar.  The two FRIENDS have 
resumed their intense conversation.

			PUPKIN 
		(to the two FRIENDS) 
	What'll you have?

			FIRST FRIEND 
	I'm okay.  Thanks, pal.

			SECOND FRIEND
	Me, too.

The MOUSY MAN has climbed up on the bar and has turned the 
TV back to the late movie.  He sits enthralled by a scene 
of violence courtesy of Tony Curtis as the Boston 
Strangler.  PUPKIN looks down the bar at the STEWED COUPLE
to offer them drinks, but they are lost in an argument 
over the relative merits of their brothers.  PUPKIN turns
to the PLAINCLOTHESMEN.

			PUPKIN 
	I don't suppose you're allowed anything. 
	(to RITA)  I guess nobody's in a 
	celebrating mood.  How about you? 
	You want something?

			FIRST PLAINCLOTHESMAN 
	It's getting time, Pupkin.

			PUPKIN
	In a second.

			RITA
		(in a sad, serious voice
		to PUPKIN)
	That was true, wasn't it? ... about
	the kidnapping.

PUPKIN nods and shrugs.

			PUPKIN 
	Now you can say you knew me.  That's
	something, anyway.

			FIRST PLAINCLOTHESMAN
	Come on, Pupkin.

			PUPKIN 
		(to RITA, in a quiet,
		tender voice) 
	I guess I've got go.  Take care of 
	yourself, will you.  And when you're
	bored -- you know, when you're brushing 
	your teeth or something, give me a 
	thought, okay?

			RITA 
	Okay.

The PLAINCLOTHESMEN lead PUPKIN out of the bar.  The two
FRIENDS are still buried in their intense, private
conversation.  The PLAINCLOTHESMEN and PUPKIN walk past
the HALF-STEWED COUPLE.

			HALF-STEWED WOMAN
	It's okay to talk about my sister, 
	but we can't say nuthin' about Phil,
	is that it?

			HALF-STEWED MAN 
		(to PUPKIN) 
	She's just had one too many.

The PLAINCLOTHESMEN lead PUPKIN onto the street.

148	EXT:  THE BAR - NIGHT

As they walk the few steps to the car, the FIRST 
PLAINCLOTHESMAN turns to PUPKIN.

			FIRST PLAINCLOTHESMAN 
	I just don't get it, Pupkin.  You're 
	gonna spend eight years in the can --
	"minimum" -- and for what?

			SECOND PLAINCLOTHESMAN
	Yeah, Pupkin.  You threw it all away.

			PUPKIN
		(vaguely)
	We'll see.

WE CLOSE IN on PUPKIN, smiling.

					FADE TO:

149	INT:  THE JERRY LANGFORD SHOW STUDIO - NIGHT

The STAGE MANAGER is counting down.  At zero, he points to
RICK ROSS who launches the orchestra into the Langford Show 
theme song.  BERT CANTER, standing stage right, speaks into 
the mike.

			CANTER
	And now!  Direct from New York!
	The Jerry Langford Show, starring 
	Jerry's special guest, out on bail, 
	Rupert Pupkin, the kidnapping King 
	of Comedy!!!!

The AUDIENCE applauds mightily and the FINAL CREDITS roll. 
As they roll, the music to the Langford Show continues and 
WE WATCH a MONTAGE that shows PUPKIN progressively taping 
LANGFORD to the back of a brass bedstead on stage as the
two of them talk and laugh.  By the end of the MONTAGE,
LANGFORD is once again mummified and PUPKIN, having 
finished, bows and smiles.  WE CLOSE on a FREEZE-FRAME 
CLOSE UP of PUPKIN in ecstasy.

					FADE OUT.
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