Discover

Peter Graves.....Phil Hartman
Dr. Charles Claproth.....Jon Lovitz



[ scene: a laboratory, several floors up in a New York high-rise ]

Peter Graves: Hello! I'm Peter Graves. Welcome to the world of "Discover". This is Dr. Charles Claproth, Professor of Physics here at New York University.

Dr. Charles Claproth: [ listlessly ] Hello.

Peter Graves: Doctor, what are we looking at? [ points to a suspended model in front of them ]

Dr. Charles Claproth: Peter, this is a model of a water molecule.

Peter Graves: And what is a molecule?

Dr. Charles Claproth: A molecule is the smallest portion of a substance which still retains the characteristics of that substance.

Peter Graves: Aaalll right, so, this model is not actual size, then?

Dr. Charles Claproth: No Peter, it is not. Molecules are very small.

Peter Graves: About how small are they, Doctor?

Dr. Charles Claproth: Well, there are as many molecules in a teaspoon of water, as there are teaspoons of water in the Atlantic Ocean.> Peter Graves: Aaalll right, so molecules are very, very small, then.

Dr. Charles Claproth: Yes.

Peter Graves: But you said they were just, very small.

Dr. Charles Claproth: Yes.

Peter Graves: So, you were wrong.

Dr. Charles Claproth: [ grimacing ] Yes. Let's take a look at some elements, shall we?

Peter Graves: Aaalll right. [ they move to the next pedestal, displaying a metal ] Doctor, what are elements?

Dr. Charles Claproth: Peter, elements are the substances which cannot be separated into two or more substances.

Peter Graves: Like, say, a pencil?

Dr. Charles Claproth: No, like this, pure gold.

Peter Graves: Oh. [ picks up the gold ] So this is gold?

Dr. Charles Claproth: Yes.

Peter Graves: It's heavy.

Dr. Charles Claproth: Yes. It's also one of the most malleable substances. This cubic inch of gold can be drawn into a continuous wire over forty miles long, or, pounded into a film covering 1,400 square feet.

Peter Graves: So gold is long and thin like, say, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Dr. Charles Claproth: Well.. in a way.

Peter Graves: Amazing. [ puts the gold in his pocket and starts to move on ]

Dr. Charles Claproth: Hey!

Peter Graves: [ turns around ] Yes?

Dr. Charles Claproth: Please put that back. It's property of the university.

Peter Graves: Aaalll right. [ returns the gold to the pedestal, then they move on to the next pedestal holding a larger block of metal ] What is this, doctor?

Dr. Charles Claproth: This is osmium. It is one of the heaviest and densest elements on Earth. This cubic foot weighs 1,400 pounds.

Peter Graves: May I try to lift it?

Dr. Charles Claproth: Oh, don't bother, no man could.

[ Peter grabs the block on both sides and applies force, but it doesn't move ]

Peter Graves: Well, it's heavy all right. [ lets go of the block, but the pedestal collapses in two, and the osmium falls through the floor, and continues to fall through subsequent floors. Sounds of water gushing from toilets and fearful screams are heard from below as Dr. Claproth watches in fear ]

Dr. Charles Claproth: [ sighing ] It's probably in the basement.

Peter Graves: The pedestal was too weak to hold the osmium, wasn't it, doctor?

Dr. Charles Claproth: Yes.

Peter Graves: Did you design these pedestals, doctor?

Dr. Charles Claproth: [ angry ] Yes!

Peter Graves: Aaalll right. [ walks to the next pedestal, which holds a glowing metal encased by a bell jar ] And what is this element, Doctor?

Dr. Charles Claproth: This is californium. This is the world's most expensive element. It is sold by the Atomic Energy Commission for $1,000 per microgram. That's $530 billion per pound.

Peter Graves: Let's take a look. [ removes the jar, sounding an alarm ]

Dr. Charles Claproth: No, no! You fool! Californium is a highly radioactive isotope! It's lethal! It's..

Peter Graves: [ replaces the jar - the alarm stops ] Aaalll right. [ moves to the next pedestal ] And what's this, doctor?

Dr. Charles Claproth: [ hopelessly ] It's sodium! It's just sodium! Oh! What difference does it make? We're dead men! [ puts his head on Peter's shoulder and starts to sob ]

Peter Graves: [ to camera, still calm ] Alll right. Then I guess I won't be here next week for another episode of.. "Discover".

[fade out.]


Thanks to Rob Holtman for this transcript.


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