76r: Julian Bond / Tom Waits, Brick
Dr. X, Family Counsellor
Dr. X ... Dan Aykroyd
Announcer ... Don Pardo
Mark ... John Belushi
Harry ... Bill Murray
Colleen ... Gilda Radner
[A man, in suit and tie, wears an eerie metallic mask
with dark eyeholes, stars and odd rectangular slits
cut out of it -- sort of a hockey mask from Hell. With
framed diplomas hanging on the wall behind him, he
sits at a desk and addresses the camera.]
Dr. X: Hello. I'm Dr. X, Family Counsellor. Family
counseling is a specialized service. My role as a
professional counselor is to provide a warm, safe
atmosphere of trust so that the family can discuss
their problems freely in a comfortable environment.
Tonight, please join me as I counsel the "M" family.
[Dissolve to a card that reads: DR. X Family
Counsellor. We hear grandiose soap opera music and the
sound of a beating heart.]
Announcer: And now another case from the files of Dr.
X, Family Counsellor.
[Dissolve to Dr. X's office. A human skeleton stands
by a window where sunlight streams in. Dr. X now leans
on the front edge of his desk. The "M" family are
seated around him: Mark, an obnoxious young boy who
chews gum and wears a baseball cap; Harry, the uptight
father, in a business suit; Colleen, the
conservatively-dressed mother, who stares into space.]
Dr. X: Hello, Mark. [puts a hand on Mark's shoulder
whereupon it is casually revealed that Dr. X's right
arm is, in fact, a bulky prosthetic device] Hello,
Harry. Hello, Colleen. I'm glad that all of you could
come here today. This is a place to grow, to solve
problems. And we can only do this by talking and
communicating. I want each of you to feel free to say
anything at all that comes into your mind.
Mark: Where'd ya get that mask?!
Dr. X: [to Harry] It's all right. [to Mark] Mask? I
guess you mean this mask, Mark. Well, uh, everyone has
an image or a false front in life, Mark. Um, everyone
wears a mask.
Mark: Yeah, sure. But not a silver mask with holes in
it like that one!
Harry: [angry] Mark! [Harry bolts out of his seat and
attacks Mark, shouting and strangling his son; Dr. X
pulls Harry away and forces him back to his chair]
Mark: Leave me alone!
Dr. X: All right. Let him have his own space, Harry.
That might be part of the problem. He needs breathing
space. [matter-of-fact, to Mark] Mark, fair enough.
It's a question. I'll answer it. I'll tell you where I
got the mask. Remember that massive spill of lethal
radioactive materials near Beatty, Nevada in 1956?
Well, Mark-- [starts screaming horribly; Mark and
Harry reach out to comfort him]
Mark: Hey! Dr. X! Take it easy!
Dr. X: [sudden calm sing-song] Oh, nothing ...
[recovers] I'll be all right. Released a little of my
own trauma there. Thank you. [back to business as if
nothing had happened] Harry, what do you see as the
source of the problem in your family now?
Harry: Well, it's this kid. [points to Mark] He's my
son. He's rude -- you heard him. He's a rotten kid.
Besides, he never listens to his mother. Right,
Colleen? [Colleen, who has barely moved, continues to
stare into space]
Dr. X: Harry, the boy might just need some elbow room,
freedom to express himself. [playfully rubs Mark's
baseball cap with his prosthetic device] You know,
Mark: Hey! Where'd ya get that arm?!
Harry: Hey! You fool! [bolts out of his seat,
shouting, and punches Mark; Dr. X once again,
intervenes and guides Harry back to his chair]
Mark: [making fists at Harry] Try it! Try it! Try it!
Harry: [yells at Mark] You wanna try the old man?
[sits down] You wanna try the old man?
Dr. X: All right. Harry! [calmly, to Mark] I guess you
mean this arm. Well, Mark, fair enough. I'll tell you.
Remember in 1958 when the Air Force tried to cover up
that bad rocket sled accident? Well, Mark, I happened
to be the WAAAAAH!-- [screams horribly and cries; Mark
and Harry try to comfort him]
Mark: Dr. X! What's wrong? What's wrong, Dr. X?
Dr. X: [sudden calm sing-song] Oh, nothing ....
[recovers, acts as if nothing's happened] Harry,
you've got a-- Well, Colleen, you've chosen to remain
silent here. [Colleen still stares into space] Mark
and Harry have said things. I'd like to know how you
Harry: She's fine. [puts an arm around her] Aren't
you, honey? [kisses her head; she's unresponsive but
he holds her and touches her affectionately]
Dr. X: Well, she's not saying a word, Harry.
Harry: She's good. She's fine. She's just fine,
Dr. X: I think she's catatonic, Harry. You've gotta
face up! Now, you came here pretending that it was
Mark who needed the treatment when in fact your wife
needs the counseling and treatment. My colleague, Dr.
R. D. Laing, might say that you and Mark are "in
collusion." You're reinforcing the false reality that
Colleen is normal and non-catatonic.
Harry: Come on. She's just shy, Doctor.
Dr. X: Harry! Harry, wake up and smell the coffee! The
woman's vegged out! She's null and void! It's - it's -
it's simple: Jack marries Jill, Jill has Joey, Jill is
a veg, Jack won't admit it, Joey plays along. What do
you think, Mark? [playfully touches Mark's cap with
his prosthetic device]
Mark: She vegged out! How do you eat with that mask
Dr. X: Back off, Mark. I use tubes. And liquid
protein! [again screams horribly; again Mark and Harry
try to comfort him]
Mark: Hey! Dr. X! What's wrong? Lighten up!
Dr. X: [calm sing-song] Oh, nothing ...
Mark: Hey, can you drive a stick shift with that arm?
[Harry threatens to attack Mark again but Dr. X waves
Dr. X: Mark--
Mark: You know, Dr. X--
Dr. X: I happen to own a Lamborghini Miura, a very
expensive five speed automobile. Yes, I can drive a
Mark: You're a freak, you know that?
Dr. X: Thank you.
Mark: But, you know, you're weird, you know? You've
been through some heavy stuff, man, you know? I'd like
to hang out with you if I can.
Dr. X: Mark, you could come here and work at the
clinic with me if you wanted to. Would that be all
Harry: Ho ho, if you think you can do something with
this kid, take him. I'd love to get him off my hands.
Dr. X: All right. I think that's a - a - a good
work-out of the problem here. [Mark claps his hands
happily, Harry sarcastically waves goodbye to Mark] If
Mark starts work, then he can, uh-- I'll give him some
elbow room, some free space and he can just relax ...
Mark: Oh, great!
Dr. X: You can go and start work in the lab right now.
[points to a nearby door] Go ahead and, uh, Glinda
will give you a lab coat.
Mark: [rises, heads for door] Thanks a lot, Doc! See
ya later, folks! Nice workin' with ya!
[As Mark exits out the door, we hear a strange buzzing
sound coming from the lab.]
Dr. X: [to Harry] We have to work these problems out.
And, uh ...
[From behind the closed lab door, we hear the strange
buzzing, Mark screaming, a dog barking, more buzzing.]
Harry: [after glancing at Colleen] Hey, X, what's
going on in there?
Dr. X: [calm sing-song] Ohhhhhh, nothinnnng ...
[We hear an offscreen voice say, "Start your crane" as
Dr. X retreats behind his desk and we hear again his
theme music combined with the sound of a beating
heart. A superimposition reads: DR. X Family
Announcer: Join us next week for another case with Dr.
X, Family Counsellor.
[Dr. X awkwardly tries to pick up a phone from his
desk with his fake hand and Mark puts his arm around
Colleen as we crane and pan up off the set to reveal
the applauding audience and zoom in on one
bespectacled woman who peers down at the actors below.
A superimposition reads: KNOWS WORDS TO "HOLLYWOOD
SQUARES" THEME MUSIC. A friend, sitting two seats
over, taps her on the arm. The woman looks over and
then up, registering great surprise -- "Oh!" -- claps
her hands to her mouth and then laughs.]