Alex, Inc. (2018) s01e10 Episode Script

The Rube Goldberg Contraption

1 ALEX: Starting my own podcast company has been the most exciting, rewarding, and difficult thing I've ever done, but the nice thing is I can always come home to the warm embrace of my family.
Don't come in here! There is no reason to be naked in the living room, Ben.
And don't throw last year's Valentine's Day in my face.
No, Dad.
I-I don't want you to trigger my Rube Goldberg contraption.
But, hey, Ben, check out this guitar pick a guy on the subway gave me for joining his sing-along.
Joke's on him, though.
You couldn't pay me not to sing "We Are the World.
" I was Cyndi Lauper.
Thanks, Dad, but I'm over guitar.
What? Since when? I don't remember, but a long time ago.
Easily a week.
- What's up, guys? - Oh, look who it is.
Is that the beautiful Rooni Schuman from the yet-to-be popular podcast "Gone Guy"? Oh, actually, I was at Starbucks earlier today, and the woman behind me was like, "I know that voice.
Are you Rooni from 'Gone Guy'?" It was so exciting.
Eh, I'm sure that happens to you all the time.
All the time.
[Clears throat] Attention, family.
Soraya, the marble, please.
I don't know where it is.
[Sighs] You had one job! So, Ben's over guitar now? How did I miss that? Am I working too much? No, it's Ben.
It's hard to keep up.
One day he's vegan, the next day he's smoking his own jerky.
You know what this means.
I'm gonna have to really up my game for Career Day, remind Ben how totally awesome I am.
Ah, yes, the true meaning of Career Day.
Found the marble.
Yeah, well, the momentum's still gone.
It's fine.
I'll make it work.
[Sighs] Hold onto your butts.
Okay, now, what's the best place to watch this? I want to make sure I'm in the perfect position to appreciate the whole thing.
Wait! Not there! Soraya, get the frozen peas.
Daddy's concussed.
Okay, first order of business time to check the weekly podcast rankings.
- Oh, God.
- I say we downgrade this ritual to once a year and spare ourselves the agony.
Every Tuesday, the ratings came out, and sometimes it felt like no one knew our podcast was even there.
But this was the day everything changed.
Oh, my God.
This can't be right.
Our Family's Business is number one.
Hundred? No.
We're number one.
We're first! We're the most downloaded podcast in the country! Look! I can't believe this.
We got discovered by the show "Shark Tank"! They tweeted, "Check out Our Family's Business.
Alex Schuman puts it all on the line to go after the American dream.
" Yeah, we did! We did it! We did it! We did it! Okay.
Remember what we said.
Count to two in your head, then release.
Nailed it.
N-No, you can't come back for seconds.
We're so excited, too.
This is the most Hundreds of thousands of people had suddenly taken notice of our podcast, and, most important of all, so had our main investor.
You guys, Sacca is going crazy about these numbers.
He says we have to run with this.
He says he'll give us as much money as we need to deliver five new shows by the end of the year.
Yay! But, wait, how are we gonna pull off five new podcasts? Sacca said he'd send us all the help we need in the form of Serena Bans! Oh, my God.
- Are you kidding me right now? - No.
- Serena Bans? - Yeah.
The most famous podcast producer on the planet? - Yeah.
- First of all, there's no such thing as a famous podcast producer.
Second, never heard of her.
Are you serious? You've never heard of Incredibilia, The VonTrieger Conundrum, Anaesthesia, Hosted by Arnaud and Celine Juh? - Are you having a stroke? - Not yet.
I cannot believe that Serena and I are gonna be colleagues.
And dare I say friends.
Best friends? Anything can happen.
Guys, it's really happening.
Our dreams are coming true.
I think we should hug again! I don't have time for one of your hugs.
I agree.
Back to work.
Girl, the last episode of your podcast was a-mazing.
Thank you.
They have been so much fun to make.
I think about them all day long, usually when I'm supposed to be working.
Hey, Rooni, can I have a word? Oh, sure.
How's the podcast coming? Oh, um, yeah, it's okay.
But I want to reassure you that it will not get in the way of my work here.
Well, I can reassure you that it already has.
Maybe instead of focusing on podcasting, you can focus on these.
Wow, that's a lot of cases.
I e-mailed them to you, too, but I felt like dropping them on your desk was more dramatic.
Have fun.
Huh? Oh, my God! I'm so proud of you! Thank you.
I'm so excited.
Put your dinner shoes on.
I'm taking you and the kids out for steak.
Kids! So, what, he wants five podcasts by the end of the year? That's That's Wow! It is "wow" and it's totally overwhelming, but he's sending us this amazing producer named Serena Bans.
She hasn't even started yet, and she's all over it.
- [Cellphone dings] - Probably her texting me now.
- Yeah.
- [Cellphone chimes] And now she's e-mailing me.
[Telephone rings] - We still have a landline? - [Answer machine beeps] Hey, you've reached the Schumans.
- We still have an answering machine? - Leave a message.
I sure hope so.
I just bought a 12-pack of tapes for it.
- [Beep] - Listen, babe, I'm really glad that you got her because my boss says I have to start focusing more on my real job, which means I can't help out as much on "Gone Guy.
" Really? Babe, it's going so well.
I know.
I'm sorry.
What's up, Dad? Oh! Hey, guys, wash your little faces.
We're going out to dinner.
We're celebrating.
I can't.
Emma's moms are out front.
I'm doing dinner at their place.
They're making Sloppy Janes.
Well, that's too bad.
What about you, Ben? No, I got to take a rain check, too.
I'm going over to Greg's place and we're editing my Rube Goldberg video.
Oh, hey! Make sure you don't let Greg near any Cheez Whiz while you're over there.
[Both laugh] - Right? - [Chuckles] [Laughs] No Cheez Whiz for Greg! We know how that goes.
Good one, Mom.
I got to tell Greg you said that.
Well, tell Greg I said hi.
- Who the hell is Greg? - You know, Greg.
Ben's friend.
If Ben had a friend named Greg, I think I would know it.
Guys, this is Serena Bans.
These are my amazing partners, Eddie LaGuzza and Deirdre Riordan.
Longtime admirer, first time meeting you.
I feel like I know you both already.
I did some light Googling and Oh, God, it was sorority rush, and I had no idea that shaving a goat's privates was a misdemeanor.
I did not get to that page.
Like I said, welcome.
Uh, when you Google me, you may have noticed I have a lot of Miata parts for sale.
Not sure what your Miata needs may or may not be, but just know I'm your guy.
Anyway Serena, I thought we'd ease you in today, help you get your bearings.
Oh, no easing necessary.
Let's dig in.
Okay, full disclosure I was kind of hoping we could spend the afternoon brainstorming ideas for my son's Career Day.
Every year, I do a bit of an interactive presentation.
The kids all look forward to it.
It's super special.
Sorry, dude, but maybe you shouldn't have been so damn successful.
Your investors want five new podcasts, which, based on my experience, really means 15, which means we should prepare at least 20, which means we got work to do.
You're right.
Like I always say, "Screw the kids.
" Let's dive in.
She made us work all day, but on my way home, I came up with a great idea for Career Day.
Ben, your father's done it again.
Just jiggle the handle, Dad.
No, it's not that.
On the train home, it came to me.
Eureka! Career Day: The Podcast.
At Ben's School.
- Dad - You guessed it.
I'm gonna do a live Career Day podcast where I go around and I interview all the different kids in your class about what they want to be when they grow up, and everyone's participating.
This guy's doing sound effects, and this little girl, you know, she's on a banjo or a lute, and we're jamming.
It's like Burning Man at an elementary school.
Burning Boy.
Learning Man.
I'll have something on the day.
- Yeah, t-that's really great, Dad.
- Right.
But, uh, I already asked Mom to do Career Day.
Mom? Whose Mom? My mom.
Your wife? Rooni Schuman? [Muffled] What's up, guys? Her? I was afraid my career was driving a wedge between Ben and me.
[Slow Western music plays] And fear makes you see everyone as the enemy.
So I guess congratulations are in order.
I had just naively assumed that Ben would choose me for Career Day, as he has year after year after precious year.
Yeah, I was kind of surprised he asked me.
Hey, babe, can you turn some lights on, please? He's obviously punishing me for being so busy with work.
I get it.
I'm not a fool.
Or he wanted to learn more about my career as a public servant.
Okay, well, I'm really looking forward to it.
I just wish I was a little less swamped at work.
- Seriously, could you get a light? - I want to warn you.
There are certain kids in the class that can get a little testy with the parents who have more "inside the box" jobs, like lawyer.
You know, it's hard to keep habeas corpus from turning into habeas snore-pus.
- Alex.
- Hmm? If Career Day is that important to you, you can have it.
Ha! No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.
I'm too busy.
I just have to mourn the fact that my son and I are are drifting apart.
Okay? Let it happen.
Maybe dust off some records and crank "Cat's in the Cradle.
" Aah! It's that golf ball from his Rube Goldberg machine.
You know what? I'll get the light.
Another reminder of a thing Ben and I don't have in common anymore.
I have an idea! How do you like these sandwiches? I got them at a super-fancy sandwich place where you're only allowed to order in Dutch.
You've got the "vleesliefhebber on plat brood.
" Uh, it's fine.
It's lunch.
So, Serena, what'd you do last night? Honestly, last night, I worked and watched the Rangers game.
You're a Rangers fan? Me too.
How 'bout that hat trick? I thought Mark Messier was back out there.
Man, when I was a kid, Messier was my hero.
Mine was Janet Reno.
I was bit of a Jan-nut.
[Chuckles] Actually, I took one of his slap shots right here.
You got hit by "The Messiah"? I really did.
I got hit by the messiah, too.
At least that's what that minister in that revival tent said before he pushed my face into the ground.
We have so much in common.
I wish I got hit by a puck.
Best thing that ever happened to me was getting food poisoning at a hot dog cart.
[Chuckles] They gave me free dogs for a year.
I only got sick two more times.
[Laughs] You know what? The hell with these fancy sandwiches.
Let's go get some dogs.
Oh, you read my mind.
[Sighs] Okay, yeah, no, cool.
I'll just be here! Ben's golf ball had given me the perfect idea for how to rebuild our bond.
Oh, hey, Ben.
How are you, pal? I've actually gotten into a little bit of a Rube Goldberg phase myself.
Can I interest you in a glass of soda? Wait! Before you answer! Godspeed, little guy.
You got this.
Okay, well, imagine that had gone down the track, and then it goes over the dominos.
Well, imagine that dropped the ball in the bucket.
And then string, string, string Well, then that triggers the these apples.
Well, I needed more apples to go in the colander, but you get the idea.
And then over at the blower - [Clicking] - Stupid batteries on this thing.
[Whirring] - [Blower turns off] - Dad, you don't need to keep doing that.
I'm not really into Rube Goldberg anymore.
Greg and I are inventing our own languages now.
So snap, snap, fizzle, blurp.
Fligglestorp! Mom's definitely gonna be mad.
At work, I was trying to focus, but all I could think about was my crumbling relationship - with my son.
- Al, get this.
Just talked to Theo from SoundCloud.
They said they'd host all the new podcasts for free.
We just got to give them a shout-out.
That's great, Ed.
I thought you'd be excited.
I've been working this guy for months.
Why don't you go tell your new best friend Serena? And while you're at it, maybe she wants to see that hat trick that you apparently know how to do but have never shown me.
Is it just a top hat that flattens? Because, if so, yawn.
I've seen it.
What are you talking about? Serena's supposed to be my friend.
We both love podcasts.
We both make podcasts.
What does she even see in you? You're the only person in this incubator who still uses a Rolodex.
It's like, what are you, from 19 whatever year it was that they used those? Whoa, this is starting to feel personal.
Excuse me if I like having someone in the office who can talk about sports.
Between you and Alex, it's all "Les Mis" and dry shampoo.
Well, not everybody puts a gallon of hair product in every morning.
You know, Deirdre, I don't think you deserve a place in here any longer.
[Gasps] Let me just quickly access your contact info.
Okay, I know you're in here somewhere.
Ah! Oh! - [Ringing] - [Sighs] - Hello.
- Hey, you're not gonna believe this, but my boss is making me go down to the courthouse now.
I don't know if I'm gonna be able to make it to Career Day.
Did I also mention that I hate this place? Really? That's fantastic! - Thank you? - No, I'm sorry, babe, but this is exactly the opportunity I need to fix things with Ben.
I got to do a big gesture.
Honey, I think you're being a little manic about this Career Day thing.
You know, I was gonna do a podcast about his classmates.
Instead, I'm gonna do a Ben-ography.
What? No.
That sounds weird.
You know what else sounded weird? "Coming to America.
" And that turned out to be a great movie.
I might still be able to get down there.
Got to go.
Byeee! Hi, everybody.
Sorry I'm late.
Dad, what are you doing here? Well, some parents care more about their career than their kids, but not this guy.
I'll take it from here.
Thank you.
- Hi, kiddies.
- Oh, man.
I'm Alex Schuman, Ben's papa.
All right, kids, well, as some of you may know, I've recently made a very big career change.
I used to be in radio, and now I'm a podcaster.
Does anyone know what a podcast is? It's radio on the Internet.
My mom listens to them, and they're totally boring.
Oh, well I guess I don't need this card.
Nailed this one, too.
Here we go.
And what is podcasting most like? Uh that was you, again.
Anyway, because of that change, I've had a little less time to be with the very important people in my life, so we are gonna do a live podcast right here, and the subject is gonna be my best friend, Ben Schuman.
I call it a Ben-ography.
- What? - Yeah, what? Can a man Excuse me, young man.
I didn't catch your name.
- Greg.
- Oh, Greg! Dad, what are you doing? I'm so glad you asked.
On with the Ben-ography.
My relationship with your favorite madman began 12 years ago when he came into my life naked and afraid as a bouncing baby boy.
[Laughter] Dad, I'm naked in that! Everybody has a tushy, Ben.
- Even Mr.
- Mm-hmm.
But, fine, if it makes you uncomfortable, I'll skip to my next thing.
Here's Ben starring in his first-grade production of "Little Orphan Annie.
" Now, I know what you're thinking.
Dad, this is humiliating.
I'm out of here.
Wait! Ben! Wha Ben, where are you going? Ben?! Dude, what did you do in there? Never seen kids more excited to listen to a presentation on a career in Orthodontics.
In retrospect, bringing a nude photo of a minor into a classroom was probably a misstep.
It's definitely different than what I had planned.
I was gonna have them ask me what the truth was, and then I was scream at them, "You can't handle the truth!" Kind of looking forward to that for weeks.
Yeah, they would have loved that.
You know what I've been thinking about? When I saw those crazy numbers and Sacca called to offer us more money, I mean, that was beyond my wildest expectations.
But now that it's actually happened, I kind of wish it hadn't.
- Mo' money, mo' problems.
- True dat.
I mean, my life is so crazy right now.
Everyone's arguing at work.
I just publicly humiliated Ben.
The only time I ever see you is when you're picking me up off the ground, either emotionally or literally.
Well, on the bright side, you do fall a lot, both emotionally and literally.
What if I were to tell Sacca that we're not ready to expand yet? Would you think I was a coward? For choosing your family and friends over your career? I'd say that's pretty brave.
- [Door opens] - [Kids chanting] Dr.
Gibbs! Dr.
Gibbs! Dr.
Gibbs! Whoa, what a rush! Those kids were re-ceptive! Time for an encore.
- Dr.
Gibbs! - You thought I was done?! Think again, ya little bastards! - Dr.
Gibbs! - He's so passionate about teeth.
Hey, can I talk to you? Really? It's happening.
What is the deal with these guys? What? What guys? Alex and Eddie.
Alex is never here, and Eddie I mean, is that guy serious with his Rolodex and his pinky ring? Yeah, he claims that ring has special powers.
I guess I can give Alex a pass because he's obviously talented, but Eddie's not a podcast person.
I'm just not sure that I want to let some guy's cousin jeopardize the prime of my career.
Plus, I have no need for Miata parts.
Nobody does.
That's the problem.
Look, I get it.
I used to think that Eddie was a lunkhead gumming up the works, but he's really good at his job.
Plus, he teaches me old-timey sayings like "lunkhead" and "gumming up the works.
" He's 1/3 of this company.
We couldn't do it without him.
And I wouldn't want to.
He's my friend.
Well, your friend is not qualified.
I'm sorry, but he's got to go.
Well, maybe you're unqualified and you got to go.
Excuse me? If you can't recognize the value that Eddie brings to this company, then that makes me think that you're not good at your job.
Maybe you need to take the prime of your career and blow it out your French horn! I'm sorry.
Are you firing me? - I am! - Can you do that? I'm not sure! She can if another partner agrees with her.
Well, ultimately, it's up to Alex, I'm sorry to say.
Oh, good.
You guys are all here.
Serena, I am so sorry, but I don't think I'm gonna take Chris Sacca's money.
I just don't think we're ready to expand that fast.
Is that okay with you guys? Very okay.
Uh, does a goat quiver when you shave its privates? Sorry, Serena.
It's fine.
Honestly, I'll have another job in like two minutes.
[Dialing, ringing] Good job.
We did it.
Back to idle.
When I got home that night, Soraya said she was taking us out to celebrate my "job thing.
" Plus I still had to make things right with Ben.
Person who showed my whole class my butt cheeks.
You weren't naked in every picture, Ben.
In some, you were wearing your Little Orphan Annie dress.
You're right.
I should be apologizing to you.
Guys, I'm very excited you wanted to go to dinner tonight, but unfortunately, there's nothing really to celebrate.
I decided it isn't worth having a big company if you all feel neglected.
Ben didn't even invite me to his Career Day this year.
Wait, that's why you had a meltdown in front of my whole class? Dad, I don't feel neglected at all.
The only reason I didn't invite you to Career Day was because I didn't want to make you feel like you had to go when you had so much else going on.
Really? But, bud, I will always have time for you.
But didn't you also invite me because you were a little bit interested in my career? - No.
- Okay.
Look, Mom, your job's cool, but Dad's is amazing.
He's building something that's all his own.
That's what I want to do, too.
Me too.
That's why Emma and I opened a lemonade stand.
Sweetie, you started your own business? Oh, we didn't order those.
She did.
It's okay, Dad.
Business is booming.
Well, don't worry.
I brought my earnings, too.
- Good.
- What do you think, Al? Think the kids might be ready for you to go for it.
- Come on, Dad.
- You could be huge! Well there's really only one way I'd be able to do it.
What? What? Good morning, you two.
What's all this stuff? A garage sale? How much for the ladder? I've been having second thoughts about my second thoughts about expanding the business.
I mean, we've worked so hard, and our goal was always to expand.
Maybe we should give it a try.
You know me, I'm all for it, but Serena was Sacca's choice.
He's not gonna give us the money unless we get someone else he trusts in here and someone we trust.
Not sure if that person exists.
But, Eddie, what if she does? May I draw your attention to my balls? [Modern English's "I Melt With You" plays] - I'll stop the world and melt with you - Ta-da! For the record, I just wanted to walk through the door.
You guys, it worked! - You've seen the difference - Why do you sound so surprised? - And it's getting better all the time - Way to go, Dad.
Wait a second.
You're gonna come work with us? If you'll have me.
Really? Oh, my gosh! We are gonna become best friends! [Squeals] - Boop! - Ooh.
You just booped me.
Yeah, we'll talk about that later.
- The future's open wide - Okay.
Isn't this exciting? She quit her job! [Indistinct chatter] Like I said, starting your own company is hard, but the best part is that you create a new family.
The problem is, sometimes you have to choose one family over the other.
Not anymore.
I'll stop the world and melt with you