Mr. Mayor (2021) s02e04 Episode Script

The Illusion of Choice

I'm Chet Danville, host of "Mayor Chat".
And the station told me I have to quote, "Help us justify why you still have a show," so it's time for a hip new segment I call "Chet on the Sidewalk.
" Angelenos are thought to be kooks who don't follow politics.
Let's put that to a test with a new game my wife told me to call "What's Your Mayor's Name?" Sir, for a dollar, what's your mayor's name? I don't really follow politics.
I have a very rich internal world.
You seem politically informed.
- For a dollar - "Yes" on Prop Four.
"No" on Five-B.
"Maybe" on Prop a Million.
- The sun is a hoax! - Oh, dear me.
Sir, what is your mayor's name? Oh, uh, I know this.
It's it's, uh I don't know why I am panicking.
The Mayor of Los Angeles, - what is his name? - Yeah! Well that's gonna be our whole day.
What is it? It starts with an "N.
" Neville.
Kentelman? Dan Kentelman? This is an emergency.
People don't even know who I am.
So what? This isn't about you.
It's about the four million human beings and six-hundred-million possums that live in Los Angeles.
Public image is important, Arpi, and I should know Everyone, come quick! He's gonna tell a story about the billboard industry! Well I'm not now.
And it was gonna be a good one, too.
Look, I can't do my job if nobody knows who I am, right? I mean, I could be on TV making an emergency announcement, and everyone would just think I'm the hot new doctor on "Chicago Med.
" We need to get my face out there! That sounds like vanity talking.
No, Arpi, vanity sounds like, "Hello and welcome to my castle of mirrors! "With this amulet, I shall stay young forever! Mua-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!" Well, Mr.
Mayor, my first thought would be to use a social nudging program - to raise awareness.
- Nudging, of course.
I'll listen while you explain that to Arpi.
It's social psychology.
The idea that small suggestions can cause big changes in behavior.
For example, painting a fly on a urinal.
Oh, I give those little guys the business.
That's exactly it, sir.
You think you're making a choice when really you're being nudged to make less of a mess, which, in turn, reduces cleaning costs.
It's the illusion of choice.
Ugh, I can't tell if this is fascist gobbledygook or corporate doublespeak.
But, hey, why choose, right? I'm just saying it works.
Look, I've actually been using nudging around the office.
Mikaela is the only one who uses the vanilla creamer, so I just slapped a little sticker of Jim Carrey on the shelf behind it and Smoking! James, let's nudge some people.
Neil Bremer! Your name is Neil Bremer.
Thank goodness! Gosh, that camera, it messed me up, man.
So, Jayden, what am I looking at here? This is where the bad chairs go! Fire! Fire! Okay, I can explain.
I'm a sleepwalker.
Ever since I went to a show at the Magic Castle and I heckled a hypnotist Jayden, that's not the part that we're wondering about.
You can't sleep here, sir.
This is a city office.
You're just lucky I was there to save your life.
Of course, I'll go to Neverland with you! Oh, hey, hey, hey! Oh, Peter! Ugh! Oh, that was you? - Oh, I think I - Kissed me? - Yeah.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- Thank you, Officer Gutierrez.
We assure you this will not happen again.
Jayden, how many nights have you done this? Um, like four weeks, I think.
Oh, my God! I thought you lived with your mom.
I did, okay? But she raised the rent to $1,400 and 20 kisses a month.
And both prices are too steep, okay? I'm not made of kisses.
- So rent an apartment.
- Or go on a reality show.
Everything is so expensive! And "Big Brother" said my application was too sad.
It's an LA tale as old as time.
Don't sneak up on people like that.
Not sneaking.
Just tiny.
And Jayden has joined the ranks of our city's working unhoused.
It's an all too common problem exacerbated by stagnant wages and a housing shortage.
Perhaps one of my friends will take me in.
- No, no, no.
- Oh, hell no.
We'll help you find an apartment.
Okay, what are you looking for? One bedroom, five baths, walking distance to a Peruvian bakery.
I like a low ceiling 'cause I like to jump up and see if I can touch it.
Must allow large lizards, in case I get one.
Every room needs a floor drain.
I spill.
A lot.
Okay, you're not making this any easier, buddy.
Yeah, that's what my mom said.
The problem, low public awareness of Mayor Bremer.
The goal, get his face out there.
The solution.
Would you look at that.
It's a trash can.
This is nudging.
You know, you put a target on a trash can, it makes people use it.
Belgium had a lot of success with trash cans with Smurf faces on them.
Heady company, sir.
Arpi, care to give it a try? I've got peanut shells in my pocket.
Yeah, I can see people liking that.
It's great, James.
But I couldn't help but notice you have two more of these things with the sheets on them.
As much as I love that, I probably shouldn't make a decision without seeing the options.
- Couldn't agree more.
- Okay.
Well, these are all the same.
Uh, no, actually, the cans themselves are different greens.
We've got mint green, jade green, and jasper green.
We wanted to make sure we got your input on that before we roll out the pilot program.
And this "pilot program," that would mean how many of these things? We'd start with a couple dozen just in and around City Hall.
That way we can all watch them at work! Smart! Pick a color, sir.
Not that it matters really how they look, right? This awareness campaign's for the good of the city, not anyone's ego.
I, uh, I really like the jasper.
- Oh, this one's jasper, sir.
- I love it.
- Oh, my God.
- Did you see it? I got an apartment match! Okay, it went on the market two minutes ago, and it's five minutes away.
You have a chance if you leave now and you run every light.
I don't know, it doesn't have the floor drains.
In this market, you won't find better.
I'm gonna do a Scooby Doo start so I get there extra fast.
So after that, you're attending the LA River cleanup, where they'd love for you to drink just a little cup of water.
What? No.
Hey, easy! Easy! Oh, you took that like a champ, sir.
It's not me.
It's just a trash can.
Oh, hey, are you kidding me, pal? That gets its own bucket? The important thing is that my face is getting out there.
See? Even future voters like that little oh, jeez! The smell just hit me.
Oh, what are they feeding that baby? Get in, quick.
Open the door.
Ugh, someone else got the apartment? No, it's still available.
- So you didn't like it? - No.
It's perfect.
Multiple skylights, one bedroom, four bathrooms.
Legend has it the original architect had dementia so he just kept adding toilets.
And I hope you don't mind, but I keep a monitor lizard in the courtyard.
I have never minded anything less! - I'll take it.
- Oh, wonderful! What's your astrological sign? What? Oh, um, Gemini.
Ah! Go! You mustn't be here! The landlord will only rent to a Scorpio.
And I'm a Obvious Pisces.
Ugh, better luck next time, Jayden.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
What? Not only is this discrimination, it's dumb discrimination based on a pseudoscience.
So you agree, it's a science.
Jayden, this landlord is illegally discriminating against you based on astrological sign.
No, we are going back there.
I hope you're happy.
Americans overvalue happiness.
I hope I'm useful.
What's up? I hate the trash cans, okay? I hate that they have me on them.
I saw two pigeons making love on my face, Arpi! On my face! If you don't like the trash cans, just cancel the program.
I can't do that.
James says I'm trending.
Teens have invented a game where they throw hot dogs in my mouth.
James says it's not sexual but I don't believe him.
I don't get why you let the pilot program go ahead in the first place.
Why even pick a trash can? Because all the choices were trash cans, Arpi! I had to pick Oh, the illusion of choice.
See, he nudged me.
James nudged me! Huh, I guess he did.
So nudge him back.
Trick him into thinking we shouldn't do the trash cans at all.
Trick James, the Master of Nudge? Oh, please.
James just slapped a fresh coat of paint on the oldest trick in the book.
Nudging is the same as "Great idea, sir.
" It's when I say an idea, wait for my superior to bring it up again later, and then compliment them like it's their idea.
I also like "Yeah, yeah, yeah.
" That's what you say to sound like you're agreeing.
But if it's all you say, the person you're talking to has to start filling the silence, negotiating with his own idea until he talks himself out of it.
Yeah, I do that every time Orly asks for a rabbit.
Oh, hey, what if we use our old-school nudging to get James to cancel the trash can program? Great idea, sir! I know.
Thank you.
Thanks for the last-minute showing.
No problem at all.
I'm an Aquarius, so I love meeting new souls.
I'm a Libra! So the old "scales of balance.
" It's why I'm the hero of my own story - but also a victim.
- And I should mention, we're only renting to a Scorpio.
The complex has been really out of balance, and I'm just looking to restore that fearless energy to our collective.
I love that.
Interesting you say that, though, because the Fair Housing Act of 1968 says Says that I can't discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, familial history, or disability.
Everything else is fair game.
People who wear beads can go to law school.
I didn't.
But I could.
- Huh.
- Yeah.
Thankfully, the apartment's not for her.
It's for Jayden, who is 100% Scorpio.
Because of the moon.
Ain't nothing but a moon thang! Jai ho, that's fantastic news.
I'll go get a pen and an application from our Virgo! What are you doing? Jayden doesn't have the raw animosity to convincingly pass as a Scorpio.
Wait, are Scorpios mean? Guys, I'm Jayden.
- I'm stone-cold Hufflepuff.
- You can do this, Jayden.
Just, like, everyone you talk to is the person who canceled "Ducktales.
" Expressing anger already.
Classic Scorpio.
You think you're so smart, it's embarrassing! You need to start thinking about what I want to do with my Saturdays, not steal my joy like some sort of corporate Magica de Spell.
A true son of Mars! Welcome to the building.
The laundry is in the basement, and the dryers do not work.
Ass! As a thank you, I got doughnuts.
What are you doing? You're a Scorpio now! Scorpios don't bring doughnuts.
They take doughnuts, or comment that other people - shouldn't be eating doughnuts! - I thought I was only supposed to be a Scorpio at the apartment.
No, Jayden, this is the zodiac that we're talking about.
And Tommy can roll his eyes all that he wants Oh, I can? Thank you! Oh, brother! You're attempting to be the opposite of everything that the stars have dictated for your nature.
You can't go back and forth.
I don't want this to break you.
Okay, um, put these on.
The only people who wear sunglasses indoors are cool and mean.
Or grammies after cataract surgery.
You stop thinking like a Jayden! If you want this apartment, you gotta be the Scorpio.
'Sup, Leslie? What's it like having a mom that's not as pretty as my mom? - You take that back.
- No.
- You wanted to see me, sir? - Yeah.
James, we're thrilled with the trash can project.
It's a great first try.
"First try?" It's a home run.
But, of course, I'm sure there's room for improvement.
Why don't the team and I take a look first.
See what we can improve before the citywide rollout.
Great idea, James.
Race you to the top, dog breath! Deal with it, dog breaths! Suck eggs, person breath! Scorpio! Scorpio! Scorpio! I don't think I did a good job explaining to him what a Scorpio is.
What, Nora? What? This is the same exact trash can! Actually, sir, it's not.
Yes, the original trash cans were pretty sticky on social.
But how exactly were they trending? "LA trash mouth.
" "Garbage clown.
" - "Hotdog slut.
" - That is definitely sexual.
- You think I don't know that? - Now that is awareness, yes.
But it's not the message we're looking for, which is why we've updated to 2.
Hi, I'm Mayor Neil Bremer.
Thank you for your trash.
Boy, that that is something.
The original cans had a fatal flaw.
They didn't identify you as the mayor.
So we've corrected that error with ten fun phrases the team put together using existing soundbites.
I'll finish it if you won't! I'm Mayor Neil Bremer.
And it's all eco-friendly.
The speakers are solar-powered and the electronics are all recycled from that dump that's all Furbys from 1998.
Your trash but my treasure! I'm Mayor Neil Bremer.
- It's pretty great, huh? - Oh, yeah.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
But yeah.
Yeah? Permission to go citywide, sir? Is there another choice? Oh, sorry.
I was talking to the can.
Let's do this, LA! I'm Mayor Neil Bremer.
- Jayden? - Oh, sorry.
Do you ever get the feeling that your real personality is at the bottom of a deep pit, and your fake personality you've built keeps building the walls of the pit higher, and you can't get out? Only in high school and college.
- Okay.
- Ugh, I told you, forcing Jayden to be a Scorpio was going to be too much.
He's clearly losing himself.
Yeah, I didn't mind switching to black underpants and calling everybody "dog breath," but this Scorpio duty is just too hard.
Wait, what's Scorpio duty? It's when the building Scorpio has to do the tasks that the Aquarius landlord can't.
All right, my Scorpio king, I need you to evict the lady in 2A.
You might want to do it while her son is at preschool.
Also, tell her I'll be keeping her security deposit because her wheelchair ruined the carpet.
I would do it, but I'm coo! You know? No, she can't make you evict other tenants.
She's not making me, because as a Scorpio, I should love to do it.
And if I don't love to do it, then I'm apparently not a Scorpio! This is insane.
There has to be a law somewhere against this.
No, Tommy, just let it go.
There's a ton of laws about building code, but no law about being an LA weirdo.
You're right, there are a ton of laws about building code.
And I'm gonna read every one until I find out which one she's breaking.
Because Aquarians hate rules! To the City Hall Library! Which is now completely online! That's a big one! Nice shot! - But my treas hey, I'll eat - Hey, hey! - What do you two think you're doing? - Dude, have you seen these? Yummy! I'll eat Your.
Mayor Bremer.
Trash? Dude, you can make it say, like, whatever! - It's called trash mouthing - Hey, you know what? Oh, snap, you're Mayor Bremer! Oh, my God! Hotdog Slut! When clean LA Nice shot! Yummy, yummy! I'm Mayor Neil Bremer! We gotta go.
Yummy! Okay, sir, James told me you were on board with the branded garbage cans, but Wait, is this on a porn site? "Mayor on mayor" is a real kink? I mean, no judgment.
Mean boy, coming through! The cans are obviously not working, Mikaela.
They just attract hooligans.
You know what I saw when I watched that video, pal? A clean street.
Oh! Jayden's right.
That block is usually covered in trash.
I'm pretending to be a Scorpio for reasons you don't need to know, but guess what? I don't care that you're butt-hurt about people throwing garbage at your face! They're using the trash cans, man! I'm so tired of being like this.
Excuse me, Leaf? Jayden, did you get that Scorpio duty done - like we had communicated about? - Uh, no, not yet.
Okay, Jayden, I mean, let's do it before her water breaks, okay? Tell her, Jayden.
Jayden is not here right now.
Okay, Jayden's not a Scorpio, he's a Pisces.
Oh, wow.
This is a violation of your lease and I need you to tell yourself to move out.
You will lose your deposit.
Ugh, I hate doing this! - This is why I need a Scorpio! - Oh, yeah, such a bummer.
I just find it so interesting that, as an Aquarius, you'd be such a stickler for a rule like this.
Oh, well, rules protect our vibe, you know? Mm, yeah, but I noticed you don't follow the rule about having fire extinguishers in every public hallway.
And what you have labeled as an organic algae garden is most definitely black mold.
Your aura is so vibrant right now.
I need to capture this.
Let me go get my watercolors.
Great, and while you do that, I'm gonna go ahead and just write down every building code violation that I observe, as an official representative of the City of Los Angeles.
For real? Oh, he's 100% Taurus about this.
I'm really a Pisces! Yeah, we told her already, buddy.
- Oh.
- Listen, you can discriminate based on astrological signs all you want but I can shut down your entire building.
Okay, fine! I'm just a crappy LA landlord.
My name is Arlene, and I own a gun, okay? I don't even believe in astrology.
Then why do you live like this? I realized that when tenants come to me with complaints, I can just start babbling about how I need to know the exact time they were born so I can chart if we're compatible, and then they'd go away, and I never fix the AC.
How long have you been doing this? Since 1990 when I discovered the character Leaf in my Sunday show at The Groundlings.
"SNL" may have passed on old Arlene, but she still found a way to make a living from her characters.
I also own a biker bar in WeHo as Big Butch Betty Bodean.
- Oh, no.
- No.
It was a different time in comedy.
So how much do you want to go away? I'm willing to look the other way on this if you fix all these violations and you let Jayden stay.
At 500 less a month.
And I get to feed your lizard whenever I want to.
Deal! Whoa! Sorry.
That was the last of the Scorpio leaving my body.
Okay, here's what we do with the trash cans.
I have some friends in the Teamsters Union and they know how to make things disappear.
Remember that guy who was gonna host "Jeopardy"? We're not getting rid of them, Arpi.
I just approved the citywide rollout.
Seriously? But but Those stupid trash cans are humiliating, yes, but they're actually keeping the streets cleaner.
And I didn't see it until a very weird Jayden pointed it out.
Because your face is fun to throw trash at, of course! I concede one point to the I-Team.
All righty then! Well, sir, I'm glad you realized that a city of four million people is actually bigger than your ego.
Well, thank you, Arpi.
That means it means a lot to me.
I am sorry, sir.
I saw your open mouth and it was a reflex.
I'm gonna buy you a can of shelled nuts.
Yes, you are.
Nudging works.
What a great.

Previous EpisodeNext Episode