Recess (1997) s01e12 Episode Script

Kids in the Mist/The Voice

[bell ringing]
[children cheering]
Why are we here again?
Van Buren's birthday.
That means we have to listen
to old golden throat himself.
-[microphone feedback]
-O say, can you see ♪
-By the dawn's ♪
[voice trembling]
Dawn's early light ♪
-What so proud-- ♪
He swallowed a bee!
This is a catastrophe!
A catastrophe, I say!
What are the odds
of a bee stinging Brandon
in the vocal chords?
He won't be able to sing for months.
So what are we gonna do now?
The PTA Spring Fling is in two weeks.
I told superintendent Skinner
he'd hear the most magnificent
national anthem in the district.
Perhaps Randall could fill in.
Are you kidding? Our Yorkshire Terrier
sings better than Randall,
and we put her to sleep years ago.
No, it's got to be some kid
who can sing like Brandon.
But who? Who?
[male voice] Nobody knows
The trouble I've seen ♪
Where's that coming from?
Nobody knows my sorrow ♪
Hey, nobody knows ♪
It's coming from there!
the trouble I've seen ♪
No, no ♪
[toilet flushing]
No ♪
What did I do?
Candy, son?
Uh thank you, sir.
Now, son, you have a lovely singing voice,
and we were hoping you'd use that voice
to do us a little favor.
-Like what?
just sing a little song
at the spring fling.
No, see, I sound really bad.
Nonsense. You have
a wonderful voice, a magnificent voice.
No, really, I can't sing at all.
-Sure, you can. Belt it out, son.
Sing, darn it, sing!
[off-key] Nobody knows the trouble-- ♪
All right, all right, enough already.
You think he's faking it?
No one can fake a voice that bad.
I know he can sing. I heard him myself.
[Finster] Perhaps we just have
to drag it out of him.
[Prickly] Yes, but how?
Wait a minute!
I heard about a music teacher
over at Spiro T. Agnew middle school.
Word is, she can get any kid to sing.
And I mean, any kid.
Great. Get her.
So Finster makes a call,
and now they're sending over
this wacko music teacher
who tortures kids until they sing.
Oh, it's horrible, you guys.
Just horrible.
But I don't get it. You sing great.
I heard you once in the bathroom.
Oh, sure. In the bathroom.
Anybody can sing in the bathroom.
But when I'm out here in front of people,
I'm almost as bad as Spinelli.
Watch it, pal,
or you'll be hitting a new octave.
But they're not going
to make a fool out of me,
no matter who this music teacher is.
No matter how mean, no matter how nasty.
They're not going to get me to sing.
Not no way, not no how.
[woman] Excuse me.
Which one of you kids is Mikey?
Uh, I am.
Nice to meet you, Mikey.
I'm Miss Salamone.
I'm going to be your music teacher.
We'll hold her off
if you want to make a run for it.
Shall we go to the music room?
Yep, he's a tough nut to crack, all right.
OK, Mikey. I'm going to play
and you just sing along.
No, I can't sing.
Oh, Mikey, anyone can sing.
Singing is
the most natural thing in the world.
It's like breathing, only for the soul.
Breathing for the soul. Wow.
Come on. Sit down next to me
and let's give it a try.
Do you know
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"?
[off-key] Twinkle, twinkle
Little star ♪
Um, OK. That was very original.
No, it was horrible. It was rotten.
The only place I sound any good
is in the bathroom.
The bathroom, huh?
[Mikey] I don't know, Miss Salamone.
I really don't think
you're supposed to be here.
Trust me, Mikey. Now ready?
Twinkle, twinkle, little star ♪
How I wonder what you are ♪
I told you I was bad.
No, not at all.
In fact, let's try
something a little more challenging.
Ave Maria ♪
Maiden mild ♪
It's like breathing for the soul.
Ah, ha, ha, yes, it's true ♪
Little brown jug, how I love you ♪
La, la, la, la, la, la ♪
La, la-la, la, la, la, la, la ♪
Ha, ha, ha, yes, it's true ♪
Little brown jug, how I love you ♪
I thought we'd try
something different today, Mikey.
Singing with this blindfold will help you
visualize the chords.
OK, Miss Salamone.
Daisy, Daisy ♪
Give me your answer, do ♪
I'm half crazy ♪
All for the love of you ♪
Wonderful, Mikey.
Now take off your blindfold.
Hey, I sang without the bathroom stuff!
That's right, Mikey!
You did it all on your own!
-Oh, I'm so proud of you!
[boy] Sign this for me, Mikey!
[all chattering]
Me, me, me!
Gee, Mikey, you're quite the celebrity.
You know, all these years
I never thought I was good at anything.
But now, thanks to Miss Salamone,
I realize I do have a talent.
She must be one great teacher.
She is, you guys.
She's kind, and beautiful,
and smart, and I love her.
Perhaps we were mistaken, Mikey, but
we thought you just said
you loved Miss Salamone.
I do, and she loves me, too.
Come on, man. You're only nine.
Yeah, and she's old. Really old.
She's got to be at least 24.
Oh, you guys just don't get it.
I love Miss Salamone, and she loves me.
And I'll prove it to you.
[Salamone] Oh, Antonio, of course I will.
Mikey, there you are.
Antonio, this is the boy
I was telling you about.
Mikey, this is Antonio, my boyfriend.
Uh fiancé.
I mean fiancé.
Antonio just returned from Costa Rica.
He sings opera
for royal Hungarian cruise lines.
Hello, Mikey
I'm glad to meet you ♪
We're going to be married.
Was it something I sang?
[Gus] Anybody heard from Mikey?
When I called his house this morning,
his mother said he went to school,
but nobody's seen him.
He'll show up. This is his big day.
I don't know, you guys.
He seemed pretty upset.
Oh, where is that two-timing,
double-crossing little kid?
We've looked everywhere, sir.
Superintendent Skinner's
gonna be here any minute.
Where is that kid? Where?
[Salamone] Mikey.
Ah! A girl!
[toilet flushing]
Mikey, is that you?
[Mikey] Go away.
But we've been looking all over for you.
Everybody's worried.
Even you?
Of course even me!
Mikey, don't you want
to come out and sing?
Why? Just so principal Prickly
can keep his job?
Mikey, that's ridiculous.
He's the only reason you're here.
And all this time I thought you liked me.
I do like you, Mikey.
What about Antonio?
Oh, you thought
Mikey, you're so sweet.
Not sweet enough, I guess.
Mikey, I've taught
a lot of kids over the years.
Some good, some not so good.
But of all of them,
you will always be my favorite.
Of course. You're a wonderful person.
You're poetic, and kind, and sensitive.
But you're nine years old,
Mikey, and I'm
Well, I'm not.
We could work it out.
I know you're not going
to believe this, Mikey,
but someday you're going to meet
someone your own age,
and she's going to be
the luckiest girl in the world.
Well, I'm still not gonna sing.
You don't have to, Mikey,
but I wish you would.
Not for principal Prickly,
not for me, but for yourself.
-Did you find him?
-Yes, I did.
Great. Where is he?
I'm not going to tell you,
principal Prickly.
-I'm sorry,
but is something
Mikey has to figure out on his own.
Oh, you're all against me!
Principal Prickly,
the superintendent's here!
What am I going to do?
What am I going to do?
We'll have to start the program
without the national anthem.
No national anthem?
He's going to be furious.
That's OK, Prickly.
You can do it. You're a big man.
Just go out there and explain that
No, don't make me do it. Please! Please!
[Mikey] Sorry, I'm late.
It's you!
Oh, bless your simple, childish heart.
Now get out there and sing, boy. Sing!
Yes, sir.
Look, it's Mikey!
I told you he'd make it.
I'd like to sing this, Miss Salamone.
OK, Mikey.
[clears throat]
I'm supposed to sing the national anthem,
but something important's happened,
and, well
I think the nation will forgive me.
Eh? What?
Instead, I'd like to sing a song
I've always known,
but never really understood.
Until now.
[Salamone starts playing]
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen ♪
Nobody knows my sorrow ♪
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen ♪
No, no, no ♪
Oh, I have seen a vision of light ♪
I have seen a vision ♪
But then, one day
That vision was gone ♪
Gone ♪
Gone ♪
Gone ♪
'Cause nobody knows ♪
The trouble I've seen ♪
No, no ♪
No ♪
[everyone cheering]
Bravo! Bravo!
Fare thee well, Salamone.
I'll not forget thee.
So long, Mikey. See you in middle school.
[Dr. Quilty] The fact is,
principal Prickly,
children are not like you or me.
They need guidance, motivation, direction,
and we are the ones to give it to them.
Yeah, yeah. Whatever.
Hey, you ever seen one of these
windup skulls? They're pretty neat.
You see, I'm an expert
in child psychology.
I've got three degrees
from various Ivy League schools.
I've written half a dozen books
on the subject,
two of which were nearly published,
but I've never actually interacted
with my subjects in the field.
-Lucky you.
-Until now.
Can I have my skull toy back?
I'm going to get
a couple of grad students,
sneak out onto the playground,
and videotape my subjects
in their natural habitat.
Just like Jane Goodall and the chimps.
OK, it's been very nice meeting you,
but I've got an appointment,
and those bikini waxers
don't like to be kept waiting.
You don't understand!
I've got sponsorship from the university,
the department of education,
the school district--
The school district?
You mean the superintendent
knows about this?
Knows about it?
-He thinks it's genius.
-He does, eh?
[woman] And that's not all.
The principal of the subject school
will be featured in an interview,
his kernels of wisdom highlighting
my video presentation.
Superintendent Skinner will see
the kernels of my wisdom?
When I'm done, we'll have a screening.
The superintendent will be there,
my department chair,
Dr. Fitzenberg, will be there,
and you will be the star,
principal Prickly.
So, what do you say?
What do I say? When can you start?
I'm open! Feed me the biscuit!
Feed me the
Hey, who's that?
OK, now. Remember: if any of the subjects
realize what we're doing,
the integrity of the whole project
goes right out the window.
Oh! Hello, youngsters.
Don't pay any attention to us.
Just go on with your social interactions.
Go on, participate, participate.
[kids] Oh, man.
OK, taping.
Phase one:
I will attempt to communicate
with the subjects.
What's up, homeys?
Mind if I hang with your posse?
Hey, those are
some rad shoes you got there.
They're just tennies.
[bell ringing]
Mental note: look up "tennies."
Oh, man. Get a load of this.
Thanks to my camouflage,
I have become
an integral part of their environment.
With their simple minds,
the children will never even notice
my presence.
-[boy] Hi, lady.
-[girl] Hi, lady.
[boy 2] Excuse me, lady. Nice hat.
Mental note: more camouflage.
[Vince] Free ball!
[Dr. Quilty] Mental note: less camouflage.
What the
"Dear Dr. Quilty:
too much work for no cash money.
Call us if you decide to pay.
PS: Hope this won't affect our grade."
Lousy, rotten grad students!
Who needs them anyway?
I can handle this myself! I am a PhD!
-Hey, lady, you OK?
OK? Do I look OK?
I'm a loser, a failure!
All these years of studying children,
and reading about children,
and writing about children!
I don't even like children!
No offense.
None taken.
It's just that I thought,
maybe if I made this video,
I'd finally get some recognition.
But nothing's worked out
the way I planned.
If you wanted to videotape us that bad,
why didn't you just ask us?
Ask you?
Listen, lady, we'll make you a deal.
You promise to get off our playground
and quit bugging us,
and we'll help you make your video.
You'd do that for me?
Well, gee, I had no idea
you children could be so reasonable.
[metal creaking]
-[both] Ow!
[all laughing]
[all chanting] Candy! Candy! Candy!
[Dr. Quilty] I don't know
how to express my gratitude.
If it weren't for you children,
I'd still be gluing
clumps of grass to my back.
Actually, it was
a rather enjoyable undertaking.
Well, I'm sure
the final result will ensure
that a lot of important changes
get made around here.
So, when do we get
to see this final result?
Well, since you children
helped me so much,
why don't we set up a screening?
Say, sometime around November?
-[all] November!
-Of next year.
But that's so long from now.
Yes, well, these things take time.
Anyway, I have a meeting tomorrow,
so I won't see you until Monday.
Again, thanks. It's been
a most interesting experience.
Ciao, bambini.
Of next year?
-How lame can you get?
-Hey, wait a minute.
She said she had to show it Monday, right?
Well, yeah.
Then she has to have
some of it done by now, right?
Hey, yeah.
All we've got to do is
get in there and check it out.
Move aside. I've got an idea.
Little trick my cousin Gordy showed me.
It's got to be around here somewhere.
What's this?
[Spinelli] This is so exciting!
I wish we had some popcorn.
[Dr. Quilty] This is recess.
The average student spends
nearly 8000 minutes,
more than 150 hours,
nearly three work weeks
of every school year,
on the playground.
But do any of us know what our children
are really doing out there?
After years of painstaking research,
I have discovered the truth.
Recess: it's a place
where dangerous antics rule the day.
Where children are taught
to steal bases and balls.
Where the smartest,
most intelligent child,
is chased like a wild animal.
[Dr. Quilty] Respected expert,
principal Peter Prickly, has this to say:
It's a waste of time, that's what it is.
Kids today should be spending
more time in the classroom,
learning to compete in a global economy,
and less time on the playground
acting like like children.
[Dr. Quilty] Perhaps
this great man is right.
Today's society stands at a crossroads.
Do today's kids have time for recess,
or should we get rid
of this archaic institution?
You be the judge.
I feel so betrayed.
Man, if those bigwigs downtown see this,
they'll cancel recess forever.
We've go to do something, you guys.
Yeah, but what?
We gotta fix this thing. That's what.
Eh? T.J., what are you talking about?
Come on! Who knows recess
better than we do?
A little editing, some new footage.
Yeah. Then we'll just switch
the old movie with the new one,
and nobody will be the wiser.
-[T.J.] Yeah, that's a great--
-[all chattering]
I have two issues:
One, is it not wrong
to tamper with someone else's work?
And, two, should we
up it to VHS or 3/4 inch?
-Or should we--
-[Gretchen] Old video out
new video in.
[maniacal laughter]
I think I may have swallowed my retainer.
[T.J.] We did it!
It may not be great,
but it's closer to the truth
than what Quilty came up with.
Come on, we better
get out of here before--
[voices approaching]
Somebody's coming.
Quick, hide!
[Prickly] Right this way,
superintendent Skinner, sir.
[Prickly blabbering]
-[Skinner] OK, Prickly. That's enough.
-[Prickly] Yes, sir.
Well, I thought you'd like to see
where we set up Dr. Quilty
as a sort of her field camp.
The janitor's room?
That was real generous of you, Prickly.
Oh, thank you, sir. I think.
[Quilty] Good morning, gentlemen.
Principal Prickly, superintendent Skinner,
this is the head of my department,
Hello, Fred.
Doris, it's been a long time.
[clears throat]
Perhaps we should begin.
Yes, why don't we all sit down?
[Quilty] I can't wait
to show you how well I've done.
I think I'm really
on the verge of some major--
Just show us the tape, Quilty.
Yes, ma'am. Right away.
[Dr. Quilty] This is recess.
The average student spends
nearly 8000 minutes,
more than 150 hours,
nearly three work weeks
of every school year,
on the playground.
But do any of us know what our children
are really doing out there?
After years of painstaking research,
I have discovered the truth.
Recess: it's a place
where dangerous antics rule the day.
[Quilty] What the
-Hey! This isn't my--
[Quilty] Where children are taught
to steal bases and balls.
[man laughing]
Where the smartest,
most intelligent child,
is chased like a wild animal.
Respected expert,
principal Peter Prickly, has this to say:
Oh, here comes my part.
[snorting and squealing]
[T.J.] But what do the real experts say?
Recess is a place
where you can swing so high,
you can see over the tops of houses.
Where you can slide so fast,
you can't even walk afterwards.
A place where hanging with your friends
really means hanging with your friends.
The average kid spends
1150 hours in school every year,
more than 180 hours doing homework,
156 hours doing chores,
and only 40 minutes a day
on the playground.
Sure, we want to learn
to become good adults,
but we're only kids for a little while.
So just give us a break. Please?
[Dr. Quilty] Today, society stands
at a crossroads.
Do today's kids have time for recess?
You be the judge.
What are you trying to do to me?
I-I don't know what to say.
It's some sort of mistake.
-In all my years as an educator
-I-I know, doctor--
I have never, ever seen
such a spectacle. It's
[Quilty] You don't have to say it.
-Pardon me?
You heard her. It was brilliant.
Especially your part, Prickly.
Most sense you've made in years.
Where did you ever get the idea
of giving cameras to children?
Well, I was--
All this time I thought
you were a pompous idiot, Quilty,
But now that I see this
well, let me just say
that you're going to be studying
children for a long time.
A very long time.
-Oh, but I didn't--
-Come on, Fred.
Let's take my new head
of children's research out to lunch.
I'd be delighted, Doris.
Oh, by the way. I'm looking
for a new middle-school principal.
Any ideas?
Sir, I have an idea, sir.
-[Skinner] Shut up, Prickly.
-Yes, sir.
Well, guys. We did it.
We beat the experts at their own game.
Yep, they won't be
coming around here anymore.
Well, all except one.
Come on. Yeah, just take the camera
-Aha, and hold it like this, see?
-[grunting and spewing]
No, no, no. Just take it like this and--
Ow! Quit that!
What are you doing?
No, come on. Just leave me alone!
Why me? Why me?!
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