Sports Night (1998) s01e09 Episode Script

The Quality of Mercy at 29K

The Olympic|gold medal-winning gymnast and high-school|sophomore said, "That after all those years|of hard work, it was a relief to finally|realize her lifelong dream.
" Good to get|that out of the way at 1 5.
Folks, if you've been watching|CSC's continuing coverage of Desmond Corey's assault|on Mount Everest, you'll want to set|your alarms tomorrow.
is expected to be sending back|the first live-video footage.
Dan and I will be here|with plenty of hot coffee, and we hope you'll join us for what we're sure is gonna be|a very exciting event.
You're watching "Sports Night"|on CSC, so stick around.
-- We're out.
|-- Two minutes back.
It's 29,000 feet.
Yes.
It's actually 29,029 feet.
And it's those last 10 yards|that'll kill you.
It's huge.
|It 8,848 meters.
It sounds more impressive|at 29,000 feet.
All right, I'm gonna stick|with 29,000 feet.
How can I best express this? How many of what kind|of thing would we have|to line up end to end? I don't think you people|are quite getting into|the spirit of the hill.
The spirit of the hill? -- The spirit of the hill.
|-- How about this? If I shot you|out of a missile silo, you'd have to go 29,000 feet in order to clear|the peak of Everest, Iand on a pile of rocks|in Tibet, and shut the hell up.
I'm just saying|it's a big mountain.
And I hear ya.
|[ Laughs ] Cold outside? Not fit for man nor beast|out there, but here I am.
Any good mail? Everybody needs money.
Well, who's everybody? Everybody -- medical research,|hospitals, schools, animal shelters,|day-care centers, boy scouts, girl scouts,|all kinds of scouts.
You got yourself|on a mailing list.
Oh, I'm on the mailing list|to end all mailing lists.
Well, who did|you give money to? I honestly can't remember,|Casey.
A couple of months ago|I wrote a check to someone.
Now I'm in the middle|of Dickensian London.
I'd love to give money|to all these people, but then|I'd have no money, and I'd need|someone's mailing list|just to pay rent.
-- It's a vicious circle.
|-- It is.
It's a never-ending circle.
-- Just keeps going|round and round.
|-- Never ends.
-- Which makes it vicious.
|-- And a circle.
-- So what do I do?|-- About what? -- You're not listening at all.
|-- I was listening a little.
|I remember the circle.
I'm inactive.
|I don't act.
I talk a pretty good game,|but in the end I just sit|there completely inactive.
-- Ah, like the trusty|basset hound.
|-- Yes.
-- Except basset hounds|don't talk a good game.
|-- Right.
-- They can't talk|at all, Danny.
|-- Do you understand|what I'm saying? -- They're dogs.
|-- I'm inactive.
Pick a letter.
|Write a check.
Which would certainly ease|my liberal guilt.
-- It's a vicious circle.
|-- Very vicious.
You know, while we've been|having this conversation, a couple of people have|probably died from something|you could have cured.
That's great, Casey --|easing of the pressure.
Let's take a look.
"The Montgomery|Symphony Orchestra.
" -- Montgomery, Alabama?|-- Who cares? What's wrong with music,|and why shouldn't Montgomery|have some? Well, there's nothing wrong|with music, and Montgomery|obviously does have some, but this is|about prioritizing.
I don't think the world is|suffering from a lack of|quality symphony orchestras.
-- Do you?|-- No.
-- Okay.
|-- But music, culture,|the arts -- these things shouldn't|be confined to just|New York and Vienna.
It's settled then.
The Montgomery Symphony|gets a charitable donation|from Dan Rydell.
Not so fast.
|What's the next one? "The American Heart|Association.
" Oh, and I suppose they're|trying to cure a disease.
Tell you what -- why don't you|have your new friends in Alabama|play them some Beethoven.
I'm gonna need|to think about this one.
Dana: We've got Kelly|from New Orleans after the Saints finish up,|and Brian in San Francisco.
Natalie, you've got something|from building security? Yes, they say with the cold|weather already here, some of our local homeless|have begun spending the night in the atrium off|the Sixth Avenue lobby.
If we see anyone, we're supposed|to call security at 1-1-6.
Wait a second.
|Shouldn't we be doing|something for them? -- Like what?|-- What do they need? -- The homeless?|-- Yeah.
They need homes.
Moving on.
Do you know|where the Corey team is? They're gonna strike camp|in just a little while and head for the Hillary Step|up the southeast face.
-- Where are they right now?|-- Camp Four, about 2,500 feet|below the summit.
-- That's where the toeholds|start getting pretty scarce.
|-- Ah, tell me about it.
Radio contact|has been coming in and out,|but as far as we know -- -- Excuse me.
|-- Hmm? -- Did you just say,|"Tell me about it"?|-- When? -- Then.
|-- Just now? Jeremy said, "Toeholds start|getting pretty scarce.
" And you said,|"Tell me about it.
" -- Yes.
|-- Implying that? -- I climb.
|-- You climb? -- I climb.
|I'm a climber.
|-- You climb at your gym.
Darn tootin' I do, and|it's a challenging ascent.
It's a wall in a gym.
It simulates|a Class lll mountain.
I hear the air gets pretty thin|up near the juice bar.
You know,|mock me if you must, but I hold in my heart|what few men possess.
A one-year membership to the Big|Apple Health and Racquet Club? The spirit of the hill.
Tell them, Casey.
[ Mockingly ]|Yeah, tell us.
There's a hill|and spirit.
Man,|did you drop the ball! [ Laughter ] Oh, like you've climbed|Kilimanjaro.
All right.
So, you all know|the drill for today? -- We got it.
|-- Yes.
|-- Yes.
-- Do you?|-- We've got it.
|-- Yes.
-- You don't, do you?|-- We do.
|-- We understand the drill.
-- We do our regular|Sunday show --|-- And she's still|gonna tell us.
We're gonna do|our regular Sunday show.
We stick around and wait|for the live feed from Everest.
We kick it to Mike and Libby|in Nepal, and we anchor the special.
That was pretty complicated.
|Can you go over that|one more time? I -- I'm not gonna be here|this afternoon.
I'm gonna be gone|for, like, four hours.
Everything's under control.
Good.
|I'll be back at 7:00.
Uh, I'll need to see|all the tape on the 1 :00 games and anything we've got|on the 4:00s.
Pitch me any features|at the 8:00 rundown, and somebody stay on top|of Oakland and Baltimore.
[ Telephones ringing ] Hey.
Oh, um, where are you|taking your niece? "The Lion King.
" -- She'll love it.
|-- Yeah, whatever.
I could really live without|a Broadway musical today.
I think it'll be|good for you.
You've|been working too hard.
It's good to|get out and see life|beyond these walls.
I got a video crew|in the Himalayas, lsaac.
How much further outside|do you want me to go? I want you to look|at something that's not|on a television screen.
-- How long ago|did you get your tickets?|-- I haven't gotten them yet.
--- Hey.
|-- You haven't|gotten them yet? I've got the box-office|number right here.
|I was just gonna call.
Dana, the show is sold out.
|You can't just get tickets.
Don't be ridiculous, lsaac.
|It's a children's show.
Ah,|call the box office.
-- Look, l|-- Call them.
[ Clears throat ] [ Dialing ] [ Ringing ] Hi, I'd like|two of your best seats for this afternoon's|matinee -- anything between|the 8th and the 12th rows|in the center, and if I end up|with an obstructed view, you're going to have a very|angry woman on your hands.
Yes.
Yes.
What's he saying? It's tough to tell.
|He's laughing pretty hard.
Now he's telling|his friends.
And, there,|he just hung up.
Screwed? Totally screwed.
[ Chuckles ]|Take them.
What's this? Two tickets|to "The Lion King.
" How --|How did you know that -- How did I know|you've been living|in this city for 3 years and would still|have no idea where|to take your niece? Yes.
Lucky guess.
These are wasted on me,|lsaac.
You should give these|to a theater lover.
You should become|a theater lover.
Uh, I've tried.
|I've really tried.
But the singing|and the dancing, -- and there's oftentimes|a hoedown.
|-- There's no hoedown.
Don't tell me there's|no hoedown, mister.
|I've been there.
Enjoy the show.
I'll enjoy it for my niece.
Enjoy it for yourself.
Nothing wrong|with a good hoedown.
Casey|Five Stars won't deliver.
What do you mean|they won't deliver? -- They won't deliver.
|-- They always deliver.
-- Well, not today.
|-- Well, why not? [ Sighs ] A water main broke|on Sixth Avenue, and they're not letting|anyone through.
-- I'm starving.
|-- I know.
-- Did you tell them|that I'm starving?|-- Yes.
-- And?|-- They really seemed to care.
[ Groans ]|Five Stars isn't delivering.
A water main busted|out front.
-- Yeah, I know.
|-- I'm starving.
Anybody with cut footage|from the 1:00s, I need them on my desk|in 15 minutes! -- Natalie,|let me ask you something.
|-- What? What do you do|with your money? -- What do I do|with my money?|-- Yeah.
Well, my portfolio|is pretty much tied up|in food and shelter, Dan.
I meant|your disposable income.
I've got some|extra money, and I don't|know what to do with it.
Wow.
|That must really suck.
Yeah, it's a tough decision,|because when you're trying -- All right,|I see what you're saying.
Thanks anyway.
AlDS.
Yeah? Every once in a while,|if I have a few extra dollars, I'll give it|to an AlDS group.
-- That's great.
|-- It's only a little bit.
-- A little is better|than nothing.
|-- I'll get you|the name and address.
The thing is, more people|die of breast cancer|every year than AlDS.
More people die|of diabetes.
About 20 times as many die|of heart disease, but the government|doesn't spend as much|money researching those.
It's not that we shouldn't|be trying to cure AlDS.
It's just we should be|trying to cure everything.
And if I'm dying of leukemia,|I might well wonder where|my red ribbon is.
Why isn't someone|throwing me a pajama|party at Barber's? Hey, just got off the phone|with Libby in Nepal.
Corey is 1,500 feet|from the summit.
Two guys have ascended|five miles into the sky.
They walked up|a wall of ice and are preparing to knock on|the door of Heaven itself.
There's really no end|to what we can do.
You know what the trick is? -- What?|-- Get in the game.
-- And how many have died|trying?|-- One in four.
Last year 15 died, and that's the most since|Hillary made it in '53.
One in four die? Yeah.
Let's get|that stat up front.
Sure.
What do they die from,|hypothermia mostly? Hypothermia,|sometimes a fractured skull.
-- From what?|-- Falling very far|and landing on a rock.
Sure.
Some of them die from something|called "cerebral edema.
" That's a high-altitude|sickness that leaves its victims|so disoriented they literally|can't save themselves.
They sit there|knowing if they don't move|they're gonna freeze to death, but they don't|do anything about it because their brain|isn't giving them|enough oxygen to care.
Huh.
You think|you'd ever try it? -- Who, me?|-- Yeah.
I'd have to get into shape.
Well,|if you got into shape.
-- I'd have to join your gym.
|-- Got a Class lll mountain.
-- Would I climb Everest?|-- Yeah.
Maybe.
If I could do it right now,|before I really had anything|to live for.
What, you don't think you have|anything to live for? Sure, but not like you.
|You've got a son|and a great career.
You've got stuff|to live for.
Not as much as I'm hoping|I'll have to live for Laterafter I've lived|a little while longer.
I see.
Guys, this is that film|I was telling you about.
-- lt'll give you a good|rundown of the equipment|for the final assault.
|-- Thanks.
Hey, stay here.
|I just want to get that other|stuff from my office.
Sure.
[ Door closes ] Hi.
-- How you doin'?|-- Pretty good.
-- Excellent.
|-- Yes.
Casey and I were just talking|about cerebral edema.
-- Cool.
|-- Yeah.
-- This is ridiculous.
|-- It's insane.
We can't behave like this|with each other.
I like you.
You like me.
|Everybody knows.
Let's just go out|and be done with it.
-- That's right.
|-- So what if|it's unprofessional.
-- Do you think|it's unprofessional?|-- I didn't say that.
-- You did say that.
|-- Yeah, but I didn't mean it.
Look, we have to have|an understanding.
At work we just work --|professionals -- no furtive glances,|no smiling at each other,|or flirting by the coffee.
-- Right?|-- Absolutely.
I think that's the trick.
|We just concentrate on the show|and leave the rest for after.
-- I agree.
|-- Good.
I think we're gonna need|a new plan.
Yes.
I'll tell you this.
Any small glimmer of|a chance that I was|gonna climb Everest has completely vanished.
[ Knock on door ]|lsaac, you got a second? Sure.
|What's on your mind? [ Sighs ] You make a lot|of charitable donations,|don't you? I try.
Who do you give|your money to? -- I used to donate money|to the Democratic Party.
|-- Not anymore? Well, you get your|heart broken enough times, you learn your lesson.
Who do you give|your money to now? I give it here|and there.
There are|plenty of good causes.
That's the problem.
Hmm.
Danny, every morning|I leave an acre and a half of the most beautiful|property in new canaan, get on a train and come to work|in a 54-story, glass high-rise.
In between I step over|bodies to get here -- So as I'm stepping|over them, I reach into my pocket and|give them whatever I've got.
You're not afraid they're|gonna spend it on booze? I'm hoping they're gonna|spend it on booze.
Look, Danny, these people --|most of them -- it's not like|they're one hot meal away from turning it around.
For most of them, the clock|has pretty much run out.
You'll be home soon enough.
What's wrong with giving them|a little novocain to get them|through the night? Dana: OhmyGod! Have you two lived? -- Dana, what|-- I don't think you've lived! I don't think you've lived|until you have seen this show! -- You liked it?|-- Liked it? -- I don't know where to start.
|-- That's wonderful.
I honestly --|I don't know where to start.
Why don't you organize your|thoughts and get back to us.
The lights went out, and this woman|with a voice like thunder -- this woman, she summons|all the animals of the jungle to appear and honor the birth|of the new lion king.
She summons the animals|with her voice, and do you know --|do you know what happens next? The animals appear? The animals appear.
I got goose bumps.
It was exactly where I was|meant to be at that moment.
I gotta go tell|everybody! -- Can I go tell everybody?|-- Go tell everybody.
-- Thank you, lsaac.
|-- You're welcome.
-- Thank you for the tickets.
|-- You're welcome.
Thank you for everything.
Thank you for opening my eyes|to possibilities that would have gone|heretofore unexplored -- in a life that,|while ultimately --|-- Go, go.
-- Kim!|-- Nobody's delivering.
Nobody's delivering? Nobody's delivering.
But we're in New York City.
Yes, I know.
|I recognize the big buildings.
What about the kitchen? They took all the food out of|the kitchen to spray for bugs.
Shouldn't there be some dead|bugs lying around I could eat? Casey, listen to|what happened to me.
-- I'm looking for dead bugs.
|-- l-I went to a show.
Please tell me you have|milk duds in your purse.
Don't you want to hear|what happened to me? Not unless you held up a deli|during intermission.
I believe in the power|of the theater.
Well, that's good.
I believe in the power|of a roast beef sandwich, so I don't really have time|to talk.
Casey It was really|quite something.
The music began,|and I just started to cry.
I don't know|where it came from.
It was like church.
I didn't know|we could do that.
[ Laughs ] Did you know|we could do that? Well, when I forget,|something usually reminds me.
I didn't know|we could do that.
And the cold front,|which seems to have blanketed|most of the Eastern seaboard, didn't seem to have an averse|affect on the Lions' offense|this afternoon.
Said Barry Sanders of his 240-yard,|3-touchdown performance, "Heck, on a lot of|those runs I was just|trying to stay warm.
" That's all for this edition|of "Sports Night, "|but don't go too far.
Casey and I will be back|at 2:00 A.
M.
to throw it|to our team in Nepal for full coverage|of the Everest summit.
By the way,|none of us here have eaten, so if you happen to be|walking by the building|with a pizza -- Dan! You've been watching|"Sports Night" on CSC.
-- We'll see you later.
|-- Good night.
-- We're out.
|-- All right, let's get to it! -- I'll be in Editing|with Casey.
|-- That's the professional|thing to do.
-- And we're professionals.
|-- You bet your sexy,|little butt we are.
I'll tell you what else.
That wasn't my last|Broadway musical, either.
I'm hooked.
|Absolutely hooked.
Chris, Will, Dave,|you guys like the theater? -- Love it.
|-- Me, too.
Will? It's not my cup of tea.
That's what I used to say.
The trick is you find the ones|without the hoedowns.
Before they'll climb|the mountain, the Sherpas perform|a prayer ceremony, or puja, in which they ask|the gods for permission|to climb so close.
Maybe we shouldn't be trying|to climb so close, Jeremy.
-- What do you mean?|-- Well One in four people have died|trying to get up there.
Yeah, but more people try|to get up there each year|than the year before.
The ancient mariners|used to think that if they sailed to the end|of the ocean, they'd fall into|a fiery pit of dragons.
Aviators thought that if|they broke the sound barrier,|their planes would blow apart.
One of these days|we might be right.
-- Well, not today.
|-- You think|they're gonna make it? If they don't,|somebody else will.
What if the gods don't give|permission to climb so close? The gods can stick it.
We're citizens|of this planet -- George Mallory,|Edmund Hillary, Magellan, Balboa, Desmond Corey,|you and I -- and I don't think|anyone should tell us|how high we can climb.
That's Mount Everest,|the highest peak on the planet.
You see a lock on the door|and a "Do Not Disturb" sign? It's five miles of ice|straight up.
-- Piece of cake.
|-- What's gotten into you? I think I'm in love|with Natalie.
Oh, that'll do it.
Now let's get|back to work.
[ Wind howling ] [ Breathless ]|Yeah.
Yeah, yeah, right --|right there.
We can, uh, --|we can see it now.
That was the voice|of Desmond Corey.
You heard him say,|"We can see it.
" I'm assuming he's referring|to the summit.
Casey.
Yeah, Dan.
It's helpful to know|that the summit of Everest is much smaller than you|probably imagined, really no bigger than the top|of a dining room table.
What can you tell us about|the flags that are behind you? These are prayer flags, Dan, Ieft by different climbers|and Sherpas.
The different flags signify|the different deities.
Mike, I understand that before|they'll attempt Everest, the Sherpas perform|a prayer ceremony in which they|ask permission to tread|so close to the gods.
Casey, that's a ceremony|called a "puja," and I promise you the climbers|take it very seriously.
What happens|if permission is denied? What if the gods deem us|not worthy enough to climb up near them? [ Wind howling ] Mike? Libby, Mike, can you hear us? Yeah, Dan.
It looks like|there's gonna be another hold.
-- Damn it!|-- Libby, they got|a problem up there? It's hard to say, Dan.
Chances are they're probably|changing their oxygen tanks and discarding|the used ones.
They'll also want to do|a final equipment inventory and a situation assessment|before the final 50 feet or so.
How much more time? How long a wait|do you suppose we're in for? Probably not more|than 1 0 minutes or so.
The window only stays open|for so long, so it's pretty much now|or never.
We'll come back.
We want them|to get this right, so while Desmond and his team|get ready for the summit, we're gonna return you|to regular programming.
-- Stay tuned to CSC.
We'll have|the summit in no time.
|-- Don't go far.
We're out.
-- Dana, are they|gonna be okay?|-- Yeah.
-- You sure?|-- Yeah, they're gonna be fine.
Then could we possibly get|a large glazed ham in here? -- A pot of beef stew?|-- We're trying.
How long does it take|to fix a water main? Why don't you go out there|and ask them? I would, but it's not fit|for man nor beast out there.
Hey, did you solve|your problem yet? -- On how to be|a guilt-free altruist?|-- Yeah.
It's easier being a miser.
-- Can I say something?|-- Sure.
You're not gonna solve|everybody's problems.
In fact, you're not gonna solve|anybody's problems.
-- So you know|what you should do?|-- What? Anything.
As much of it|and as often as you can.
-- I was right?|-- Which is surprising enough,|but no.
I just remembered there's a half|a turkey sandwich in our office! Get it! # Half a turkey sandwich # # Half a turkey # # Half a turkey # # Half a turkey # # Half a turkey sandwich # # Half a turk-- # Whoa.
How did you get up here? You're not supposed|to be up here.
Did they chase you out|from downstairs? All right, listen to me.
|You can't stay here.
There are|people working here.
You can't stay here.
Danny, Casey says -- Do you want me|to call security? No, Elliott.
|It's okay.
Are you sure? It's all right.
I'll wait outside.
Thanks.
[ Door closes ] I got a half|a turkey sandwich.
I'll tell you what.
I'm gonna sit with you|while you eat, and, uh I got to keep an eye|on this monitor here.
I don't know|if you can see, but there are two guys that are about to reach|the peak of Mount Everest.
Once they do, I got about two|minutes to get back on-air.
[ Static,|indistinct conversation ] You got a name? All right, anyway Here's your sandwich.
No, no, no,|you don't have to pay me.
|Come on.
[ Click ] Whoa! Hey!|Take it easy, man! [ lntro to "The Weight"|by The Band plays ] Thanks.
You're welcome.
# I pulled into Nazareth # # Was feelin'|'bout half-past dead # -- # I just need some place #|-- Why don't we sit|and watch this now? # Where I can lay my head # # Hey, mister,|can you tell me # -- # Where a man|might find a bed? #|-- It's happening.
We're watching.
# He just grinned|and shook my hand # # And "No!" was all he said #|Man: Six feet.
Five.
# Take a load off, Fanny # Five feet away now.
# Take a load for free # Look at what we can do.
# Take a load off, Fanny # # And # -- # And #|-- # And #|-- Four feet! This is it! # You can put the load|right on me # [ Rock music plays ]