93f: Rosie O'Donnell / James Taylor
The Tramp ... Norm MacDonald
The Old Man ... Bernie Friedman
The Employer ... Tom Schiller
[ MAIN TITLE: SCHILLER'S REEL
A short video made to resemble a black and white
silent film, complete with scratches, blemishes and
abrupt edits, as if we were watching an ancient print
from the 1930s that has seen a lot of wear and had to
be patched and spliced together. All the film's
action is set to a soundtrack that consists entirely
of MUSIC from Charlie Chaplin's 1936 film MODERN
FADE IN on a view of two river-spanning New York City
bridges silhouetted in the sunrise.
SUPER: NORM MacDONALD in "WILL WORK FOR FOOD"
PAN OVER to another view of the nearest
SUPER: with BERNIE FRIEDMAN and TOM SCHILLER
CUT TO a young TRAMP sleeping on the ground under the
bridge, partially protected by a cardboard box, his
head resting on a rolled-up blanket. (The MUSIC is the
Puccini-like Chaplin melody that later became famous
as the song "Smile.") Steam rises from a nearby grate.
Hubcaps, tin cans and other garbage are littered all
around. The Tramp awakens with a yawn and sits up,
eyes blinking in the sunlight. He is unshaven and
dresses as a homeless man might have dressed during
the Great Depression, with a thin dirty overcoat and a
ragged cap. He rubs his eyes, strokes his chin
thoughtfully, and looks around.
CUT TO a second tramp, an OLD MAN, standing nearby,
amidst the trash and with the river as a backdrop. He
rubs his hands for warmth as the Tramp, carrying a
blanket, rises and joins him. The Old Man glances at
the Tramp and shakes his head sorrowfully. The Tramp
places his blanket around the Old Man's shoulders.
After an abrupt edit, the Tramp hangs a crudely-made
cardboard sign on himself that reads: "WILL WORK FOR
FOOD" -- the two tramps peer down at the pathetic sign
for a moment and then exchange resigned glances. The
Old Man watches sadly as his younger friend trudges
UNDER THE BRIDGE
The Tramp looks grim and haggard as he stands by the
side of the road, holding his "WILL WORK FOR FOOD"
sign steady in the wind.
DISSOLVE TO the Tramp in the same position, some time
later. He shifts his weight on his feet several times
while glancing around, embarrassed and uncomfortable.
He fixes his eyes dejectedly on the ground for a
moment. To his surprise, when he looks up, an
automobile is pulling to a stop beside him. A glimmer
of hope in his face, he moves to the car and bends
over to speak to the bearded driver (his future
EMPLOYER) through the passenger window. The
barely-glimpsed Employer makes an offer to the Tramp
who nods in agreement. The Employer jerks a thumb
toward the back seat as the Tramp removes his sign and
drops it on the roadside. With a grin, the Tramp
hurries into the back seat and closes the door behind
him. The car pulls away.
DISSOLVE TO a LONG SHOT of the swanky, awning-covered
front door of a luxury apartment house. The Tramp and
his Employer arrive. The Employer graciously allows
the Tramp to go first as they enter the
INT. THE EMPLOYER'S APARTMENT
The officious Employer, seen clearly for the first
time, is a thin, gray-haired, bespectacled man with an
oversized beard that droops far below his chin (like
an old silent movie villain). He wears a business suit
and politely offers the Tramp a chair at a wooden
table in the middle of the room. The Tramp, still
wearing his cap but having shed his overcoat, wears a
dusty vest over an old white shirt. He nods gratefully
and sits as his Employer pulls the chair out for him.
The Employer bids the Tramp to wait and exits into an
adjacent kitchen as the Tramp adjusts his cap, rubs
his hands, licks his lips, and grins happily at the
thought of food. To the sound of heralding trumpets,
the Employer returns a long moment later carrying, not
food, but a huge stack of papers which he places on
the table next to the instantly disappointed Tramp.
The Employer shows the Tramp an ink pad and a rubber
stamp -- and demonstrates how to use them. The Tramp
reluctantly begins rubber stamping the entire stack of
papers, one sheet at a time. The Employer monitors the
Tramp's work for a moment, then exits into the
kitchen. The Tramp continues to stamp away as the film
speeds up to FAST MOTION (accompanied by the uptempo
music Chaplin used for his film's fast-moving assembly
This leads directly into a FAST MOTION MONTAGE of the
Tramp doing various kinds of work all around the
The Tramp, a little annoyed, straightens a framed
picture on the wall as the unsatisfied Employer
directs him to turn it first one way and then
The Tramp sits at the newspaper-covered table and
shines shoes as the Employer arrives with an armful of
footwear and begins stacking it next to him.
Aerial view of the Tramp, seated at the table which is
covered with a pile of bills and receipts, pecking
away at a calculator.
The Tramp, hot iron in hand, wipes his brow as he
slaves away over an ironing board. The Employer,
draped with folded clothes, stands nearby urging him
The Tramp, on a ladder, paints the apartment's ceiling
A brief shot of the Tramp wiping his brow as he
continues to rubber stamp the huge stack of
The Tramp runs a vacuum cleaner over the floor while
his Employer, hunched over, points to where he should
The Tramp, squinting in the sunlight, dusts some
Venetian blinds with a feather duster.
CLOSE-UP of the Tramp, a jeweler's loupe in one eye,
repairing a wristwatch. The Employer impatiently
reaches in, takes the watch and replaces it with
another, to the Tramp's annoyance.
The Tramp, seated at the table in front of an
old-fashioned typewriter, pecks away uncertainly as
his Employer paces in the background, giving
The Tramp, sitting on the floor, hammers some woodwork
as his Employer stands by, supervising.
The Tramp cleans a set of dentures with a
Another brief shot of the Tramp dusting the
Another brief shot of the Tramp at the typewriter as
his Employer pulls a sheet out of the machine.
A brief shot of the Tramp as he finishes rubber
stamping the stack of papers.
Another brief shot of the Tramp cleaning the dentures
as his irate Employer, a handkerchief clutched to his
mouth, bursts in from the kitchen, shakes an angry
fist at him, points to his own mouth, checks his watch
impatiently, etc. The Tramp gives him a quick look and
goes right on brushing.
The MONTAGE ENDS as the music tempo and the film speed
return to near-normal with a CLOSE SHOT of a tiny
model ship being raised in a glass bottle.
PULL BACK to reveal that it is the Tramp, seated at
the table, who has righted the ship. Beside him, his
satisfied Employer pats him happily on the shoulder.
The Tramp grins, then points to his own mouth and rubs
his stomach to indicate that he is hungry. The
Employer looks quizzical, raises a finger to urge
patience, then with another supportive pat on the
shoulder, heads into the kitchen, pausing briefly at
the door to glance back at the Tramp with a sinister
look. The Tramp again rubs his hands expectantly and
licks his lips, taking a handkerchief from his pocket
and tucking it into his collar like a bib. More lip
licking and hand rubbing.
After a CUT, the Employer returns wearing chef's hat
and apron. He opens the kitchen door with a flourish
and wheels in a fancy covered dinner tray.
CLOSE-UP: The cover is lifted (to the sound of a
cymbal crash) and we ZOOM IN to reveal: a lone,
dried-up hot dog in a cheap bun atop a folded napkin.
No condiments or anything -- just a crappy little hot
dog and a bun. We linger on this image for a moment as
the MUSIC comments wryly.
EXT. UNDER THE BRIDGE - NIGHT
A string of automobile headlights cruise down the
street. We hear the "Smile" theme once more as the
Employer's car pulls up to the side of the road and
the Tramp, again wearing his overcoat, emerges from
the back seat, shuts the door behind him, then stands
aside and watches the car pull away. He raises an
angry clenched fist at the departing car but then
changes the gesture to a dismissive wave. Alone now,
he peers off in the direction of the river.
CUT TO the Old Man, still rubbing his hands for warmth
as he stands before a large metal trash barrel that
glows with a burning fire. The river is behind him and
the lights of another bridge are visible in the
distance. He warmly greets the Tramp who, shaking his
head in disgust, joins him at the barrel. After a
pause, the Tramp taps the Old Man on the arm, glances
around, reaches into an inside coat pocket, and pulls
out a small white object. Grinning broadly, he shows
it to the Old Man.
CUT TO CLOSE-UP: it's the hot dog and bun, wrapped in
CUT BACK TO FULL SCENE: The smiling Tramp offers the
food to the Old Man who takes it happily. But the Old
Man's face falls as he pauses and stares at the food
for a moment. Realizing he hasn't earned it, he
quickly offers it back to the Tramp. With a great show
of unconcern, the Tramp insists the Old Man eat it,
taps his own stomach to indicate that he's had plenty
already, and grandly waves off the offer. He then
pulls out a toothpick and starts picking his teeth.
The Old Man thinks it over and says "thank you." The
Tramp stops picking his teeth and watches, a little
forlornly, as the Old Man takes a huge bite out of the
puny hot dog, chews it, and grins with obvious
pleasure. The Tramp returns the toothpick to his mouth
and peers into the fire with downcast eyes. The two
men stand in the firelight and say nothing as we FADE
OUT -- to the accompaniment of Chaplin's sad but
END TITLE: The End / A SCHILLERVISION PICTURE
The crowd in Studio 8H applauds as the title card
fades out. A moment later, we fade in on a hot dog of
a different sort: G. E. Smith, who casually strums his
guitar with a grin as, behind him, the SNL Band swings
through a gentle jazz tune on its way to a commercial.