[FADE IN on Eddie Murphy as a show-biz agent sitting at a desk and talking on the telephone.]
Richie: Look, Im talking about more this year, Im talking about pride, all right? Im talking about the Miss Black Teenage America Contest. [pauses] Well, its gonna be a quality show, man, Don Cornelius is hosting! [pauses] Listen to who we got to be the judges: Ike Turner, Eartha Kitt, Willie Tyler and Lester… [pauses] You know, the dude with the puppet! [pauses] Look, all this show needs now is the incredible musical talents of Wilson Pickett, and- [pauses] What you mean, Wilson Pickett is busy? This is a quality job! [pauses] Well, at least tell the wicked Pickett to think about it, all right? [pauses] Do that for me, okay?
[knocking at the door]
Richie: All right. Someones at my door, I gotta call you back. [puts down phone] Uh, come in!
[Joe Piscopo enters, dressed in a suit and wearing a nerdy pair of dark-rimmed glasses. He talks in a nasal voice.]
Byrne: Richie, how are ya?
Byrne: The wife?
Byrne: Oh, good, good! Good to see ya. Hey, hey, guy robs a bank, right? Wants to go into hiding. He signs with the William Morris Agency–hes never heard from again! Its true! Its true!
Richie: Whod you get for me, Byrne?
Byrne: Who did I get for you? Did I get you Willie Tyler?
Byrne: Did I get you Lester?
Byrne: I got you a singer.
Byrne: Think biggest black singer alive.
Richie: You got Michael Jackson, man?
Byrne: No, no, no.
Richie: Marvin Gaye?
Byrne: Think blind.
Richie: You got Ray Charles?!
Byrne: Think braids.
Richie: STEVIE WONDER!!
Byrne: No, no, no!
Richie: You got me Stevie Wonder? Man, you really outdid yourself this time!
Byrne: No, no, no, I got you someone even better!
Richie: Better than Stevie Wonder?
Byrne: [grinning] Alan, the Stevie Wonder Experience! Its wonderful! The kid tours the country in a show called Stevemania! Its a big hit with the college kids!
Richie: I dont want a Steve Wonder imitation.
Byrne: No, no, no, hes better than Stevie! I wanna introduce him to you. [calls through door] Alan!
Alan’s Voice: [offscreen] Yeah?
Byrne: Alan, come here. I want you meet Richie over here.
[Stevie Wonder walks in as Alan, with a portable keyboard in his hands. Byrne leads him over to Richie, and Richie and Alan shake hands.]
Byrne: Here we go, how you doin’, this is Alan right here. Alan, meet Ritchie, right here, your next employer.
Richie: [dubiously] How you doin’, man.
Alan: [with a huge grin and a nasal voice] Hello, Id just like to say, its gonna be a great pleasure appearing on a Miss Black Teenage America program.
Richie: This guy is a dork. He aint nothin like Stevie Wonder!
Byrne: No, no, no! Thats because hes here! But on stage, with the music, the lights, the whole kit and kaboodle, he becomes Stevie Wonder! Its true!
Richie: Im not interested.
Byrne: Its true!
Richie: Im not interested.
Alan: [to Joe] Listen, I get the feeling that he doesnt want me on his show. [grins widely]
Byrne: No, no, no. Alan, Alan, please, please, Alan, its a definite do-able! Make, make your magic, sing for the man! Sing for the man a little bit.
[Stevie Wonder plays a brief chord on the keyboard and grins.]
Alan: Heres one of my favorites. People say I sound just like Stevie, with one exception: you can understand every single word!
[Stevie starts playing the chords to Superstitious, then sings in a harsh, nasal voice. Joe bobs his head back and forth and smiles.]
Alan: Very supersitious, writings on the wall… VERY SUPERSTITIOUS!!! Letters start to fall…
Richie: Alan! It sucks, man.
Byrne: [sheepish] Its true, Alan, it does suck. Uh, do the good one.
[Stevie looks hurt and struggles to maintain his composure.]
Alan: Okay. Heres another one. [clears through loudly]
[In exactly the same manner, he starts bellowing out Living for the City. He sings the first entire verse out of rhythm while Joe again bobs his head back and forth and smiles.]
Richie: Thats the worst Stevie Wonder impression Ive ever seen in my life.
Alan: [grinning] Whats the matter with it?
[The crowd roars with laughter as Stevie grins at Eddie, who breaks down and laughs helplessly for several seconds along with the audience.]
Alan: I can funk! I can funk! I can funk…
Richie: Yeah, yeah, but this, whats youre doing is ridiculous. Its nothing like, I know Stevie Wonder, man, and hes like, you have to mellow out, you see, youre too tense. Loosen up. You have to see me do a Stevie Wonder impression…
[Eddie Murphy takes a pair of sunglasses out of his breast pocket. Crowd roars as Eddie puts them on.]
Richie: You gotta smile a lot, like this, you see, you gotta smile. [grins]
Alan: [grins with his mouth wide open] You mean like this?
Alan: Like this?
Richie: Yeah, but you aint really got it yet. Then you gotta move your neck around. Stevie moves his neck around. Move your neck like somebodys chokin ya, like this. Like that, see.
[Stevie puts his hands gently around Eddies neck as Eddie moves it back and forth a la Stevie.]
Alan: [grinning] If you dont like my show, Im gonna choke you.
[Stevie moves his head back and forth stiffly.]
Alan: Is this how he does it, like this?
Alan: Like that?
Richie: You gotta loosen up, you gotta move you hands, like this. See? Listen to me. Watch this.
Richie: [clapping and singing like Stevie Wonder] My Cherie Amour, lovely as a summer day…
Alan: [nasal-voiced] My Cherie Amour…
Richie: No, no, no, better, with more feeling.
[Stevie grunts as he tries too hard to sing like Stevie]
Alan: [nasal-voiced] My Cherie Amour…
Richie: You dont even know the words!
Alan: Lovely as a summer day!
Richie: No, listen to me, listen, listen. [clapping and singing like Stevie Wonder] My Cherie Amour, distant as the Milky Way…
[The crowd roars, and then Stevie starts singing the song for real. He claps and sings the rest of the first verse beautifully, and the crowd claps along and roars even louder. Everyone smiles, and Joe pats Stevie on the shoulder. Finally, Eddie takes off his glasses and shakes his head.]
Richie: It still sucks, man.
Byrne: No, no, no! Richie, that was Stevie Wonder! I was standing here! He became Stevie Wonder! Look, Im not married to this guy! Ive got another fellow, you would swear he is Smokey Robinson!
Richie: Im not interested.
Byrne: Its true! Its true!
Stevie: I do a great Anita Bryant!
Byrne: No, no, no, no, no. John Davidson, big with the black audience!
Alan: [jumping up and down like a girl] Oh, I can do, I can do John Davidson!
Announcer: The Kannon AE-1. So advanced, so simple, even Stevie Wonder can use it. [ shows Stevie feeling around before picking up camera ] Watch as Stevie photographs top tennis star John Newcombe.
[ Stevie takes some pictures – one of John’s right shoulder, of John slanted, one with John completely out of the picture, and one of the right side of John’s head. John goes up to Stevie, and Stevie takes two more pictures: an out-of-focus shot of John’s head, and one of John’s arm. ]
Stevie Wonder: [ hands camera to John ] Here, John, you try!
[ John takes four pictures of Stevie on the court, each one with Stevietrying unsuccessfully to hit the ball with a tennis racket ] [ last scene shows John and Stevie taking pictures together ]
Announcer: The Kannon AE-1.
Stevie Wonder: [ putting his hand on the lens of John’s camera ] So simple, anyone can use it!
Mommy…..Susan St. James Numpkin…..Eddie Murphy Fish…..Mary Gross Mike Rudell…..Tim Kazurinsky Burt…..Brad Hall
[Mommy holds a baby. Lullaby music plays in the background.]
Mommy: Okay, Charlie! Mommy’s gonna read you a little fairy tale! [opens book] Let’s see, where’s a really good one… Here’s one.Once upon a time, there lived a poor peasant named Numpkin, and one day poor Numpkin’s wife sent him down to the sea to catch a fish for their dinner, because they were so very, very hungry…
[Wipe to Numpkin with a fishing pole approaching a dock by the sea.]
Numpkin: Oh, I hope I catch a fish, otherwise my wife Bubbles will hit me with a spoon!
[Numpkin casts his line from the dock.]
Numpkin: Ooo, a nibble!
[Numpkin catches a fish.]
Numpkin: What an enormous fish! Such a fish could feed an entire village! Or give Bubbles a little snack…
[Fish spits water at Numpkin.]
Numpkin: You’re a nasty fish, ain’t ya!
Fish: Please good sir, do not eat me, I am a magical fish!
Numpkin: Zeus, it speaks!
Fish: Spare me, and I will give you three wishes!
Numpkin: Three wishes…
[Numpkin sits on the dock next to the fish.]
Fish: Yes, anything you desire in all the world can be yours! Interested?
Numpkin: Goodness, yes! I want a gold coach with a racing stripe with leopard interior and six black horses with… wait a minute, there’s a catch here, right? The same thing happened to my friend Potemkin, and I remember he was a woodcutter and he met this magical bush and the bush said he could have all these wishes and he wished for this giant goat, and the goat was a hundred feet high and it ate all his crops, then it dropped a big one on his wife! What you’re trying to do is teach me some lesson about greed, isn’t it?
Fish: No, no, oh please!
Numpkin: Alright fish, but you wait here for a second alright.
[Numpkin runs off.]
Fish: Strange peasant he that hesitates to accept my bounty. Perhaps I’ve overwhelmed the poor gentle soul with my generosity.
[Numpkin returns with Mike Rodell.]
Numpkin: Hey fish, this is my attorney Mike Rodell. He’s gonna be negotiating these wishes for me.
Fish: Say what?
Numpkin: You heard what I said. I ain’t no fool, I’m gonna cover my behind legally on this thing right here. Alright.
Mike Rudell: Alright then, let’s handle some of these contractual parameters here, OK. Regarding these proferred wishes: can my client opt to utilize one or more of these wishes to wish for more wishes?
Fish: Uh, no, not really…
Mike Rudell: Well, let’s get that in writing then, eh?
Numpkin: I want a cow!
Mike Rudell: Let me handle this, Numpkin. Suppose my client does wish for a cow. Could you legally, then, give him a cow that gives sour milk, or does the term “cow” prima facie denote a healthy bovine in all…
[Wipe to Mommy.]
Mommy: And they negotiated and they negotiated for weeks and weeks, until they had the most mutually acceptable contract in all the land. Finally, the great day came when Numpkin the peasant, hereafter referred to as the party of the first part, and the magical fish, hereafter referred to as the party of the second part, and Numpkin’s attorneys, Michael Rudell of the firm Flang, Rudell, and LeBuff, gathered together to sign their fine document.
[Wipe to the dock.]
Mike Rudell: Okay, I think we’ve got it here… let’s just look at the main clauses one more time, okay… pursuant to the three wishes, blah blah blah blah blah, okay, wish number one…
Numpkin: Look man, I just want my damn cow, alright!
Mike Rudell: Just sit tight, Numpkin, huh. The party of the second part agrees to supply the party of the first part with one Guernsey heifer guaranteed to be the largest in all the land, but not so large as to be physically unwieldy.
Numpkin: And I want the sucker to give more milk than any other cow in the land.
Burt: Now, now, now, just a minute Numpkin! Now with that wording, Mike, correct me if I’m wrong, the cow could theoretically produce so much milk so as to float the entire village away and flood his hut.
Mike Rudell: Good point, Burt. We want a clause limiting the milk to a reasonable quantity.
Burt: Good move.
Fish: Fine! Damn!
Mike Rudell: To continue: wish number two. The party of the first part wishes to meet the king’s daughter. The above mentioned daughter at this time will be dressed in a leather corset revealing not less than 90% of the total area of her virginal pink flesh.
Numpkin: Don’t forget the boots and the chain drawers!
Mike Rudell: Yeah, you got it right away. Furthermore, the wife of the party of the first part, hereafter referred to as “Bubbles”, will not as a consequence of this wish hit the party of the first part with a spoon or any other kitchen implement.
Numpkin: Yeah, that bitch is crazy!
Mike Rudell: Well then, let’s just sign this, shall we?
Fish: Wait a minute, what’s the third wish?
Numpkin: Oh, the third wish is that you pay my lawyer, cause this dude is milking me dry.
Mike Rudell: Uh, that is correct. My fee is four wishes.
Fish: Four wishes! But I only gave him three, and he hauled me out of the sea!
Mike Rudell: You’ll pay me four, sister, or I’ll haul you to an appellate court, put the cow in escrow, and sell you to Mrs. Paul, alright?
Burt: Great move, Mike!
Mike Rudell: Thank you Numpkin…
Fish: I accept! I accept!
[Wipe to Mommy.]
Mommy: And the moral of the story is, it doesn’t pay to be greedy without competent legal … uh… representation. THE END, Charlie.
[ open on title superimposed over stained glass windows, as organ music plays ]
Announcer: Welcome to “Five Minutes to Reflect.”
[ zoom out, then down to reveal the rabbi Morton Karloff flipping through his prayer text ]
Announcer: Tonight’s guest speaker is the rabbi Morton Karloff, of Temple Beth Myerson.
Rabbi Morton Karloff: Good evening. You know, many people have asked me the question: “Rabbi, tell me what is the origin of the Five Books of Moses.” Well. I myself have — [ removes his glasses, which separates his side curls from the rest of his hair ] — shrugged my shoulders many times at the thought. Why not four books, or – or six books, or – or ten books? [ replaces his glasses and side curls ] Well.. the simple fact is that the Five Books of moses were just to be the first five books in a projected series that was going to be issued monthly, under the tile “The Testement of the month Club.” Now, as you all know, according to the Jewish calendar, this is the year 5743, which means that, had we been publishing one book per month, right now we’d be up to Volume 68,708.
But what were th other books to have been written about? Well, basically, home repair. Volume 6 through 29 were tentatively titled “Hebraic Household Hints.” The sixth volume, for example, was to be devoted entirely to drywall. Volume 7 through 10 were on small appliance repair, plumbling, and heating. And Volume 11 was on vertical and, uh.. vertical blind and track lighting installation, I believe.
Now, these books never appeared,which explains why, to this day, the Jewish people are not very handy. But was the entire rest of the Bible to have consisted only of handyman’s tips? Well, hardly. no, there were a great many more subjects that were to have been covered. Military tactics, uh.. the correct way of cooking meat, so it isn’t dry and tasteless. And how to decorate a suburban living room like a Hawaiian hotel lobby. One book alone – “Sex Hints for the Teenaged Daughter” – might have changed the entire course of history, had it been issued as was planned in 1726.
But the most frequently-asked question is: “On Rasheed’s philosophy of skylight leaks, what was the –“
[ the organ music pots up ]
Rabbi Morton Karloff: What is the music coming in for now? That’s too early, I had five minutes to reflect. [ looks at his watch ] That’s, uh – that’s four minutes and ten seconds, I’ve been keeping time. No, you’re not cutting now – I have five minutes to reflect! No! He said five minutes on me, not four minutes on me!
[ the camera pans upward to the stained glass window ]
Rabbi Morton Karloff: Now he’s moving up! Why is he moving up?! What is he – he’s going to the window again! It’s not – what is this, a window commercial? Come back here! Hey!
[ Rabbi morton Karloff waves his hand as the camera rises past him and holds on the stained glass window ]
Rabbi Morton Karloff V/O: Hey, this isn’t “Four Minutes to Reflect!!” Hey, come here!
[ Rabbi Morton Karloff stands up his pulpit so he can reappear in the frame ]
Rabbi Morton Karloff: What is this, “Four Minutes to Reflect and a One-Minute Window Commercial?!” The Episcopalian yesterday got the whole thing!!
Announcer: Be with us again tomorrow night for —
Rabbi Morton Karloff: Now the announcer is coming in, come on!!
Announcer: — “Five minutes to Reflect.”
Rabbi Morton Karloff: The Born-Again three days ago got ten minutes!!