78m: Kate Jackson / Delbert McClinton
Fred Silverman II
Fred Silverman.....John Belushi
Paul Gross.....Bill Murray
Voice of Receptionist.....Laraine Newman
Tom Snyder.....Dan Aykroyd
[FADE IN on Freddy and Paul standing in front of a board which displays NBC’s prime-time schedule for the coming fall.]
Paul: [taps board] Well... here’s the new schedule, just like you dictated it, Freddy.
Freddy: I like it! I like it very much.
Paul: I wanna say... a few members of the board were a little bit, uh... disturbed. [chuckles nervously] Surprised, I guess. Irv Goodman said, if he didn’t know better, he’d say you were trying to sabotage the network.
[Paul laughs awkwardly again. Freddy suavely straightens his tie.]
Freddy: Well, that’s why Irv’s in finance, and, uh, we’re in programming, Paul. [claps his shoulder]
Paul: Well, I must say that I share some of Irv’s... apprehension about it. If you’d let me play Nielsen’s advocate for a second... Uh, now, putting the “Today” show at eight o’clock at night, you know, that’s a little confusing, you know? The “Today” show made its reputation on being a morning show.
Freddy: But the “Today” show is one of our biggest shows. We NEED it in prime time. [taps board with finger]
Paul: Okay. But why did we hang on to “Little Women”? It was dead last in the ratings.
Freddy: Paul, let me give you a little lesson in creative programming. Y’know... uh, this thing that’s going on between the United States and Red China. It’s very important, you know that?
Paul: What’s it got to do with TV programming?
Freddy: “Little Women” is on nobody’s mind. But China is on everybody’s mind. So, next season, uh, we make “Little Women” into... “Little Chinese Women.”
[He stoops and holds out his hand to indicate a short person.]
Paul: [uncertainly] Well, I guess you know what you’re doing. Uh... all the NBC News contracts have been signed. Effective March 1st, David Brinkley will be replaced by Rip Taylor. [laughter] I just hope we don’t lose our credibility!
Freddy: Let’s leave credibility to Walter Cronkite and his core of holier-than-thou serious news journalists. He makes me wanna vomit!
Paul: Well, I don’t know, I don’t think Cronkite’s so bad, but... you’re the boss, Freddy!
[intercom on desk buzzes]
Receptionist: Kate Jackson to see you, Mr. Silverman.
Freddy: Oh, send her right in.
Paul: Kate Jackson. She’s the smart one, isn’t she?
Freddy: Right, yeah.
Paul: [reaches toward desk] Well, I’ll get these contracts countersigned.
[Paul picks up the folder and steps toward the door. He opens it exactly as Kate turns the knob and walks in.]
Kate: Oh! Excuse me.
Paul: Oh, hi, er...
Paul: Paul Gross. [shakes her hand] Nice to meet you.
Kate: Nice to meet you.
Paul: Say, how are things working out with that Saturday night group of crazies?
Kate: Oh, it seems to be going pretty well.
Paul: Boy, that’s a wigged-out bunch, y’know that, I don’t know whether they’re kidding me or what. [laughs]
Kate: Nice to meet you.
Paul: Nice meeting you, too. [starts to leave]
[She watches Paul exit and then steps over to Freddy.]
Freddy: [in a hushed voice] Kate, how’s everything going?
Kate: I don’t know, Freddy, it’s a little early to tell. Now, I talked to Gilda about, uh, your proposal for “Hello, Radner.”
Freddy: Good. Did you talk to, uh, Jane about “Mrs. Kojak”?
Kate: No, no I, look, could you just, could you just, uh, I don’t think she’s going to shave her head!
Freddy: Well, ask Laraine.
Kate: All right, now, look. [checks watch] I’ve gotta get back down there because I’m in another sketch right now, okay?
Freddy: Okay. See you later.
Kate: [pats his shoulder] See you later, Freddy.
[Kate dashes away. The intercom buzzes a moment later.]
Receptionist: Paul’s on the line with the scrap iron people. They made an offer for the Supertrain.
[Audience laughs while Freddy sits down behind his desk and picks up the phone. A row of video monitors behind him displays the still shot of Kate Jackson seen in the previous commercial bumper.]
Freddy: Yeah, Paul. [pause] They’ll give us fifty dollars a ton? So let’s see, that’s... twenty-two hundred dollars. Which makes a... 11-million-dollar loss. Give or take a couple thousand. [sits back] What do you MEAN, they don’t want the caboose? That’s the best part! [pause] I know, I know! Listen, I got an idea. See if the caboose can float. I mean it! Maybe somebody could... No, wait. I got it. We’ll make it a series. “Caboose Cruise.” Every week it goes somewhere else. YES, I’m serious! [pause] We can give it to McLean. We’ll call it... “Ahoy, Larry.”
Freddy: Excuse me, Paul. [into intercom] Yeah?
Receptionist: Tom Snyder here to see you, Mr. Silverman.
[The audience bursts into applause.]
Freddy: [frantically] Tell him I’m not here! I’m NOT HERE! Does he know I’m in? I--
[He bites off his words as Tom walks in with a cream-colored leisure jacket, slicked-down hair, and a cigarette in his right hand.]
Tom: [over applause] Freddy? I know you’re a busy man, and I, I know you got good reasons why you haven’t returned my calls, whatever. We’re all busy, right--there are people whose calls I don’t return. Ah, ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! [applause] Freddy, I understand through my stage manager, Shelly Schwartz, that you’re moving me to 10:00 p.m. Friday night! [extends his arms]
Freddy: That’s right, uh, it’s to get a bigger share of the audience. You’ll be premiering after a special two-hour “Hello, Larry.”
Tom: Freddy? You’ve done it again, sir. What can I say, sir? I take off my hat to ya, if I were wearing a hat, I’d take it off, I’d give it to ya. I’m sorry I go barging in like this--I’ll be seeing ya at... nine o’--ten o’clock Friday, nine o’clock Central time. [backs up to leave] From all of us on the prime-time shift, good night, sir, thanks a lot, and, I’ll, I love ya, and I’m not gonna do ya wrong!
[Tom exits to cheers and applause. Freddy rubs his forehead for a second and swivels around in his chair. The video monitors behind him display a waiting room set.]
Freddy: [into phone] Listen, Larry! Larry, I’m sorry, listen, I’ve gotta hang up. “Saturday Night Live” is coming on the screen. Uhh... uh, I haven’t seen the opening yet. I missed it. Here...
[ZOOM IN on the monitors as Freddy turns to watch.]
Submitted by: Sean