1985

Target Earth


85k: Jay Leno / The Neville Brothers

Target Earth

Major … Randy Quaid
1st Alien … Jay Leno
2nd Alien … Robert Downey, Jr.
1st Scientist … Dennis Miller
2nd Scientist … Nora Dunn


[Pompous 1950s-era movie music. SUPER: TARGET EARTH inwhite block letters over a shot of the Earth seen fromouter space. Dissolve to stock footage of flyingsaucer from 1950s science fiction movie. SUPER:SOMEWHERE OVER OREGON – Cut to stock footage of asaucer landing behind a hill (from the 1951 filmInvaders from Mars). Spinning newspaper, thefront page headline of THE LEDGER reads: SPACESHIPLANDS IN OREGON; MILITARY RUSHES TO SITE – Dissolve toa major addressing a group of uniformed soldiers nextto an impressive-looking futuristicspaceship.]

Major: All right, men! I want all weapons keptout of sight. We’ll use ’em if we have to but myorders are to establish friendly contact.

Soldier: [leans forward and clears his throat]Uh – uh, Major.

[The major turns to see the spaceship’s gangplank/dooropen and descend with appropriately ominous noise,music and smoke effects. Two intimidating space aliensin silver space suits walk slowly down the gangplankto address the men. At all times, the aliens actobnoxiously superior to the Earth men, virtuallysneering at them throughout.]

1st Alien: Who among you is the leader of thisplanet?

Major: I’m in charge here. I report directly toour leaders.

1st Alien: Bring them this message. Tell themthat we come from a distant galaxy, from a planet farmore advanced than your own.

Major: What shall I say is the purpose of yourvisit?

2nd Alien: [holding a book under his arm]Miserable Earth creature! It is not for you to knowour plans. [rubs the book affectionately]

1st Alien: [raises a hand] Tell the leaders ofyour backward planet to gather in this spot inone Earth week. On that time, we will reveal ourintentions.

2nd Alien: In the meantime, bring them thisbook. It is a documentation of our achievements as acivilization. Achievements far beyond your punycomprehension.

1st Alien: Tell them to study it well. But tellthem also we want it back — when they arefinished.

2nd Alien: Yes.

Major: I’ll tell ’em.

2nd Alien: It is a very valuablebook.

Major: [takes the book, looks at it] Iunderstand.

1st Alien: It is impossible to replace.

2nd Alien: So don’t get itdirty!

1st Alien: We’ll meet again in this spot in oneweek. [pointedly, to the major] And you will have whatwith you?

Major: The book?

1st Alien: Right.

[The aliens nod. Satisfied, they retreat back into thespaceship. Dissolve to an image of the U.S. CapitolBuilding. SUPER: WASHINGTON D.C. Dissolve to agovernment science office with a photos of outer spaceimages and a smiling Ronald Reagan hanging on thewall. Two plainclothes scientists peer at the aliens’book.]

1st Scientist: I know it seems hard to believebut I think this is on the level.

[The second scientist nods in agreement. The majorenters and confers with them.]

Major: Okay, what have you found out?

1st Scientist: What this is is sort of acombination almanac/encyclopedia for the planetMitron.

2nd Scientist: It gives a pretty completerundown on their entire civilization.

Major: All right, give it to me straight. Justwhat are we up against here?

1st Scientist: Major, as far as I can tell, weare dealing with a civilization here that is far -less – advanced – than our own.

2nd Scientist: I don’t know what they told youabout the planet Mitron but it’s about three hundredyears behind the planet Earth.

Major: But surely they must have much to teachus!

2nd Scientist: No.

1st Scientist: Not really.

2nd Scientist: Nothing.

1st Scientist: [shakes head sadly, shows themajor the book] Look, look. Leading occupation: sheepherding. Principle manufactured product: oil lamps. Icould go on and on.

2nd Scientist: I know why they were soconcerned about the book — it’s hand-lettered. Theyhaven’t even invented movable type yet.

Major: [exhales deeply] And if you could haveseen the way they acted! … [smacks his fist into hishand] Boy, this makes me mad! … What about thespaceship?

2nd Scientist: Well, there’s no way in theworld they could have built it. Our guess is — theyfound it.

Major: [upset] Oooh!

[Dissolve back to the spaceship. SUPER: ONE WEEK LATER- The aliens descend the gangplank and confer with themajor and his men. The major patiently holds thealiens’ book. The aliens are as haughty, sneering andobnoxious as before.]

1st Alien: Greetings, contemptible Earthcreatures. It is time you have learned of our plansfor your miserable planet. Gort?

2nd Alien: Yes. As those of you who have seenour book may know, one of the great wonders of Mitronis our sophisticated network of dirt roads.

1st Alien: However, every spring, the samething happens. The rains come and our roads become asea of mud. It is very hard on ourstagecoaches.

[The major glances back at his men. They can barelykeep from laughing.]

2nd Alien: In order to properly maintain theseroads, we need two things: more dirt — and slaves. Wehave chosen you, Earth creatures, to be thoseslaves.

1st Alien: We know how you must feel.Obviously, we do not expect you to be pleased uponhearing that you are to be enslaved but at least youmust admire our frankness.

2nd Alien: It would have been easy for ussimply to lie to you and tell you we had come infriendship. But we thought by telling you the truth,we may be able to win your respect, if not youraffection.

Major: Excuse–

[One of the soldiers bursts into applause. The majorand the other men look at him, annoyed. Embarrassed,he stops clapping and lowers his head.]

Major: [to the aliens] Excuse me. But, um, theleaders of our planet are most curious about yourspaceship. How did you build it?

1st Alien: [quickly] We did too buildit!

Major: No one said that you didn’t buildit.

2nd Alien: [defensively] We didn’t just findit! We built it ourselves, miserable Earthcreature!

1st Alien: [to the major] So, what is youranswer? Do you agree to come quietly and be our slavesor do you face the awesome power of ourmuskets?

[The second alien holds up a long, old-fashionedmusket. The major forcefully pushes the book into thefirst alien’s chest and takes a small submachine gunthat is handed to him by one of the soldiers.]

Major: [holds up the submachine gun] This isour answer.

2nd Alien: [laughs at the major’s small gun] Haha ha!

1st Alien: So, puny Earth creature, is that aweapon?

2nd Alien: Ah! But does it fire round leadballs, like these? [shows the major a handful ofmusket balls]

Major: Yes, it does. It fires two hundred roundlead balls per minute.

[The major steps forward and fires the machine gunnoisily into the air. The major returns to theastonished aliens who slowly retreat up the gangplankwhile still trying to maintain their false impressionof superiority.]

1st Alien: So, Earthlings, we will return toconquer you. Right now, we are leaving. … Butwe will come back later when it pleases us.

2nd Alien: Yes. Yours is one of –several planets we are considering conquering.We may decide not to but the choice is ours. Untilthen, don’t go anywhere.

1st Alien: Yeah, and – and don’t leave thisplanet!

[The major and his men watch as the gangplank/doorrises and shuts with an ominous bang. Engine noisesand smoke emerge from the bottom of the ship. Dissolveto stock footage of flying saucer taking off anddeparting, accompanied by pompous ’50s movie music.SUPER: THE END ?]

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