77o: Christopher Lee / Meat Loaf
Written by: Alan Zweibel, Herb Sargent, & Gilda Radner
Mother ... Jane Curtin
Penny ... Laraine Newman
Mr. Death ... Christopher Lee
[A little girl's bedroom at bedtime. A mother comforts
her daughter, Penny.]
Mother: Your father and I will get you another dog
right away, honey. We promise.
Penny: I don't want another dog! I want Tippy! Why did
Tippy have to die?
Mother: Honey, dogs die just like people do. Just like
when Grandpa died.
Penny: You mean, Grandpa also swallowed a doorknob?
Mother: Well, no, not-- No. But - but don't worry,
honey, tomorrow we'll pick out a new dog.
Penny: Can I name him "Tippy"?
Mother: Of course you can.
Mother: Good. Now, close your eyes and get a good
night's sleep [kisses Penny on forehead] and I'll see
Penny: Good night, Mom.
[Mother shuts off light and exits. Penny gets out from
under the covers, kneels by the bed and says her
Penny: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my
soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray
the Lord my soul to take. [Unseen by Penny, a shadowy
figure moves into view behind her] God bless Mommy and
Daddy and my best friend Karen and my dead dog Tippy.
Mr. Death: That's very nice, Penny.
[Penny turns and rises to confront Mr. Death, a Grim
Reaper with a deep, cultured voice, wearing a dark
robe, and carrying a huge scythe. Penny is not scared
at all, just amazed.]
Penny: Hey! Who are you? What are you doing in my room?
Mr. Death: I'm ... sorry about Tippy and I came to apologize.
Penny: Are you the man who made Tippy die?
Mr. Death: Well, sort of. Tippy was on my list.
Penny: [upset] What list? What do you mean?
Mr. Death: Oh, please don't get too angry at me. Every
day I'm given a list of lives that ... have to end.
It's - it's not the greatest job in the world but it's
Penny: [sits at foot of bed] But you KILLED Tippy! And
that's bad! 'Cause in Sunday school we learned the Ten
Commandments. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not
steal. Thou shalt not cover up thy neighbor's wife.
Thou shalt not witness false bears. Thou shalt not--
Mr. Death: [sits next to Penny] Yes, you are
absolutely right, Penny. You are right. You are not
supposed to kill and, well, I - I don't ... kill.
Penny: What do you do?
Mr. Death: Well, when you are born, Mr. Life is there.
And when you die, Mr. Death takes over.
Penny: Well, you're mean, Mr. Death. You make people cry.
Mr. Death: Well, I can't help that, Penny. I'm ...
inevitable. Everything has to die. People, animals, flowers.
Penny: What about rocks?
Mr. Death: Rocks were never alive so they can't die.
Penny: What about dolls?
Mr. Death: Same thing.
Penny: Once, Tippy ate off one of my doll's heads and
I yelled at him and I hit him with the newspaper and
he hid under the couch and - now I'm sorry and I can't
tell him - oh! - 'cause he's not here anymore and I
hate you! Why don't you take Kenny Tuckman? He sits
behind me in school and pokes me!
Mr. Death: [pulls a scroll from his pocket] Tuckman?
[consults the scroll] Tuckman? No. I don't see him on
my list, uh, for-for quite a while. I wish that
Richard Harris and Nick Nolte were on it.
Penny: Can I see that?
Mr. Death: [pockets the scroll] Oh, no, no, no. No,
Penny! That's, uh, that's very private.
Penny: I'll bet you killed a million thousand skillion
Mr. Death: Well, I don't know if "killed" is the right
word. But I have got a big list.
Penny: My grandpa?
Mr. Death: Yes.
Penny: Senator Humphrey?
Mr. Death: Yes.
Mr. Death: No, the Romans did that.
Penny: Did you come here to get me?
Mr. Death: No.
Penny: Once, I had a baby chick -- it died. Last
summer, I caught a frog -- died. And then I had a
hamster -- died. Goldfish -- died. Turtle -- died.
Mr. Death: So I hate small animals! You can't blame me for that.
Penny: That's terrible!
Mr. Death: I told you, I just came here to apologize
about Tippy. It's the first time I've ever apologized
to anyone. I'm - I'm not used to this. So don't make
it any harder for me, please. Do you mind if I have a
drink? [pulls out a flask, unscrews it, and takes a snort]
Penny: You're drinking whiskey, aren't ya? You know,
when my dad does that, some times he feels so bad in
the morning he can't even go to work.
Mr. Death: Well, I wish I didn't have to go to work.
You think I like making little girls like you cry?
Penny: [sympathetically] Oh, Mr. Death!
Mr. Death: I wanted to be ... Mother Nature. Didn't
work out. I couldn't tell butter from margarine. So I
went into this field and I'm quite successful at it
but all the recognition, it doesn't help at all, you
know. Poets, novelists, playwrights, philosophers,
they've all written about me. Ingmar Bergman makes
movies I'll never understand. Why don't they just
accept me for, well, for what I am? I'm - I'm just a
man with a job to do. Someone has to do it. [pause]
Well, I'm off. [rises, Penny follows]
Penny: Well, where're ya goin' now, Mr. Death?
Mr. Death: I'm going to Lebanon. I have some mopping
up to do there.
Penny: Well, are you really sorry about Tippy?
Mr. Death: Yes, I am.
Penny: Well, I guess I forgive you.
Mr. Death: Thank you, Penny.
Penny: Mr. Death, will I ever see Tippy again?
Mr. Death: Oh, yes, someday. Someday I'll take you to
him but that won't be for a long time.
Mr. Death: [she's asked one question too many and he
snaps at her] I'll come and visit you on your
Mr. Death: [realizes he's said too much] Oh, just
kidding, Penny. You, uh, you better get to bed.
Penny: [climbs into bed] Okay. Well, Mr. Death, I'm
sorry I got mad at you. I know you have a hard job.
Mr. Death: [sits beside her] It's not easy. But right
now you have a job to do, young lady, and that's to go
Penny: Okay. Mr. Death, can you kiss me good night?
Mr. Death: Penny?
Mr. Death: [crisply] Don't press your luck. [rises and
[ pull out to studio wide shot, with SUPER: "coming up next... How To Break The Smoke-Enders Habit" ]
[ fade ]