Sports Night (1998) s02e12 Episode Script

The Sweet Smell of Air

Kim: Five minutes to air.
First team in the studio,|please.
Five minutes.
Casey: Let's go.
-- Good news.
|-- What? From now on,|I am not Dan.
I'm not Danny.
I'm Daniel.
Let's go.
When I joined the union, there|already was a Daniel Rydell.
Come on.
|Let's go do the show.
Guess what happened.
What, the guy died? -- The guy died.
|-- Excellent.
-- I'm Daniel.
|-- Nice to meet you.
-- Jeremy --|-- Hang on.
We're going to call you back|first thing in the morning.
-- Jeremy|-- Listen to this.
I'm Daniel now.
Can we go? That was a woman whose name I can't remember now.
-- Was it Daniel?|-- No.
-- Good.
|-- She's a publicist at|a cosmetics company, and do we want five minutes on the air this Thursday|with M.
? -- Jordan wants to do|an interview?|-- Yeah.
-- Yeah.
|-- Here? -- Well, why was it a publicist|from a cosmetics company?|-- Because -- Ah, don't tell me.
|-- Yeah.
-- He's got a cologne|coming out.
|-- Yeah.
Michael Jordan|has a second cologne? It's called Jordan.
How do you suppose|he thought up the name? -- Who cares?|They called us.
|-- They did.
-- You gotta be happy|about that.
|-- I am.
They could've called Fox,|they could've called ESPN -- -- They called us.
|-- Right.
Oh, let's go do the show.
I think you should|get happy.
-- I am happy.
|-- You don't look happy.
I'm happy, I just have|other concerns.
Natalie, what do you think|of Daniel Rydell? -- Are you referring to|yourself in the third person?|-- No.
-- 'Cause|it's awfully annoying.
|-- I know it is.
Also when they change|the pronunciation of|their name in midstream.
"Don't call me Tony 'Dorsitt.
'|call me Tony Dor-sett.
" No, this is -- And like getting the world|to call Prince by one pretentious name|in a lifetime wasn't enough, I gotta learn to draw|the symbol for boron.
-- No, this is --|-- What's on your mind? -- Nothing.
|-- Four minutes to air.
This is turning out|to be a good day.
That's right.
We landed an interview|with M.
Yes, and Sam Donovan|gets in tonight.
-- You've taken a liking|to him, haven't you?|-- Sam Donovan? -- Yeah.
|-- Yes, I have.
Because he drives|Dana crazy? Ah, there are many reasons|why I like the man.
But mostly because He drives Dana crazy.
-- So what are your concerns?|-- What concerns? You said before that you|were happy, but you had|some concerns.
Uh, I have to go to Charlie's|class tomorrow and do|a presentation.
-- Of what?|-- Anything.
I have to|demonstrate something.
-- You know what|you're going to do?|-- No.
And please don't tell me it|doesn't matter what I do,|that I'm his father, and that he'll be impressed|with me no matter what.
He's 10, Casey.
He's gonna be|mortified by you no matter what.
Thanks for the pep talk,|Danny.
-- Daniel.
|-- Shut up.
Dave: Two minutes to VTR.
|-- Three minutes live.
Chris: Stand by animation|one through five.
Will:|Loading sound 5 and 5A.
Elliot:|Standing by in Boston.
-- He's got a second cologne?|-- Yes.
I wonder what it's like.
The publicist faxed me|the press kit, and apparently|the new fragrance, Iike the redefined|Michael himself, is about newness, playfulness,|and unpretentious elegance.
-- Sounds good.
|-- I'm gonna get me a jug.
-- Hey.
|-- Where have you been? -- Is he here?|-- Dana -- Is he here?!|-- Not yet.
-- Let's start the show.
|-- We're not on|for another 90 seconds.
-- I don't care.
|Start the show.
|-- I don't really think|we can do that.
-- Really?|-- Yeah.
-- You might be right.
|-- I think I am.
He's gonna mess|with the rundown.
-- Dana.
|-- He is.
You're letting him|make you crazy.
I'm not letting him|make me crazy, Natalie.
I haven't given him|permission or anything.
|He does it all by himself.
We've got an exclusive|interview with Michael Jordan.
-- Is that supposed|to make me feel better?|-- Yeah.
He breezes on in from whatever|city he's just breezed out of, and then he, you know,|breezes on in, always right before the show, when he always tweaks|the top of the rundown.
He's kind of got you|psyched out.
He does not|have me psyched out.
-- Hey, Sam.
|-- Hey, Sam.
|-- Hey, Sam.
|-- Hey, Sam.
-- Hello, Sam.
|-- Hello.
-- Welcome back.
|-- Thank you.
-- Welcome back from England.
|-- Thank you.
Where they really need|a ratings consultant in the dog-eat-dog world|of the BBC.
Kim: 60 seconds live.
How's the rundown? The rundown's fine.
It looks good.
It is good.
It looks good.
-- What do you want|to change?|-- I don't want|to change anything.
-- Liar!|Natalie: Dana! The rundown's fine.
Yes, you say that, and then, at the last second,|you change the top just to see everybody|scramble around.
I don't think|that is what I do.
Well, not this time, it's not,|my British friend.
-- I'm from Philadelphia.
|-- Yes! You seem a little|psyched out, Dana.
Maybe you want Natalie|to run the show.
-- Maybe that's not|a bad id--|-- Excuse me! I am not psyched out, nor am I buying into your|little game, King George.
You're not tweaking|the top of the rundown.
I am.
-- Dana|-- Yes, I, too, am versed|in the tactics of the mind, Sir Thomas, and I'm making|a preemptive strike.
-- 30 seconds live.
|-- Flip the 30s and the 40s,|drop the paint, over-the-shoulder|in the 2 block, and move lverson|to the wood.
Dana -- Do it! [ All talking at once ] -- Thank you.
|-- And that's a "Z"|and not an "S" We're frozen|on the slow roll! Okay.
See? Okay! That was exactly|what you wanted me to do, wasn't it? Natalie: Dana? Go back.
Go back! Go back! [ All talking at once ] You're having a really|good time, aren't you? Yeah, it's good|to be back.
Dave: In 32 Casey: Good evening.
|From New York City, I'm Casey McCall|alongside Dan Rydell.
Dan? No, I'm good with my hands.
|I could build something|for the class.
You're not good|with your hands.
It's 1 1 :00 now.
The class|doesn't start till 2:00.
Do you think three hours|is long enough for me to get|good with my hands? I read Beowulf|in three hours.
How could you read Beowulf|in three hours? I didn't read it, really,|but I saw the movie.
Uh, but there's no movie|of Beowulf.
What the hell movie|did I see? You're not helping.
-- Do you know how|to bake bread?|-- No.
They probably don't, either.
|You could probably fake it.
Wouldn't I have to produce|some bread at the end? You sprinkle some flour,|you pound some dough.
"Hey, look over there!" You pull a loaf of Wonder|out from under the desk.
[ Sighs ]|Leave me alone.
"Jordan by Michael reflects|Michael's transition "from inimitable|basketball legend to dashing on-the-go|businessman.
" The press kits from JSM? "His Carolina home is the muse|for his latest fragrance.
"The fresh pine aroma|of the Carolina back country gives this product|an evanescent excitement.
" They know we're|a sports show, right? Let's start preparing|some questions.
"Hey, Michael, when you were|growing up in North Carolina, "did you ever just [Sniffs]|breathe the air and think, 'One day, I'm gonna|bottle this and make|250 million bucks'?" [ Chuckles ]|Basketball questions.
-- I want to start him off --|-- Hang on.
There aren't gonna be|any basketball questions.
-- What?|Jeremy: She's right.
Are you reading this? -- The last page?|This was not meant for us.
|-- Yeah.
-- What are you two|talking about?|-- The last page|in the press kit.
It's not meant for us.
|It's not meant for the press.
|It got in here by accident.
It was written by a publicist|for Michael's people.
"We must be cautious or the|media will spin the interview "onto an entirely different|topic -- "sports -- "and ignore our product.
"Let's do our best|to steer the conversation back to cologne.
" Hmm.
Well, now.
"We suggest you use your celebrated media savvy|to achieve our goal.
" -- We're gonna talking about|perfume for five minutes?|-- Cologne.
-- Is there a difference?|-- No.
-- Then what are we|talking about?|-- It's gonna be fine.
It's not gonna be fine.
|We're gonna be talking about|perfume for five minutes.
-- Cologne.
|-- Guys -- We're gonna talk|about basketball.
|-- It says -- We're interviewers, Dana.
|We conduct the interview.
Do you think we're gonna get|outfoxed by Michael Jordan? Of course you're gonna get|outfoxed by Michael Jordan.
|He's Michael Jordan.
We have media skills|we can utilize, right? Sure.
Really? "Stick to the topics|that appeal to you -- your sense of fashion,|keen eye for style" We'll bring him back|to basketball.
"your sensuality, your love|of literature and the arts.
" Forget basketball.
|Let him talk about sensuality|and books he's read.
It's worth|2 1/2 share points.
Well, tallyho, Sam.
|I didn't know you were with us.
-- I'm here if you need me.
|-- Thanks.
We don't need you.
Too late.
|Set up a practice interview.
One of you be Michael and|try to throw Dan and Casey off.
-- A practice interview?|-- Yeah.
-- A practice interview?|-- Yeah.
-- You honestly think|that's gonna help?|-- Yeah.
Don't you? Yes.
We're done.
Hang on.
|Can I just say something? I have to go|to Charlie's class tomorrow and do some sort|of presentation, and it turns out I really have|no demonstrable skills.
Any of you have an idea? Well, your head's|a perfect rectangle.
-- Maybe that'll|impress the kids.
|-- [ Dan snickers ] Okay, you guys think on it.
I'll be in my office|if you come up with anything.
Back at 4:00.
[ Knocks ]|-- Hi.
|-- Hi.
Dana, listen to this.
This is fantastic.
"Bioengineering might one day|create living creatures adapted to survival|in space.
" -- Okay.
|-- Space birds.
-- Okay.
|-- Don't you want to know how|they're gonna fly without air? O-kay.
It says here they're going|to fly on sunlight.
So, we got|this Michael Jordan offer -- For farther out, where|the sunlight grows weaker, they're gonna bioengineer|a squid.
A squid? Yes, swimming not in water,|but in space, "drawing volatile fuels|from Jovian moons to power their gentle but|efficient propulsion systems.
" Uh, Michael Jordan -- "Their utility could be|comparable to that of horses and mules|in the winning of the West.
" -- Okay.
|-- I can see myself out there, sitting alone by the fire, a space squid|my only companion.
Isaac -- -- Michael Jordan.
|-- Yes.
They want|to talk about cologne.
In the press kit, they accidentally included|coaching notes for Michael on how to bring the interview|back to the cologne.
-- Heh!|-- Yeah.
Do we book the interview? Absolutely.
-- lsaac|-- Absolutely.
And talk about perfume? Cologne.
-- There's no difference.
|-- Michael's Michael.
Let him talk|about what he wants.
You really want to use|"Sports Night" for|a 5-minute infomercial? With Michael? Sure.
-- lsaac|-- You know,|just 10 years ago, it would have been hard|to imagine a black man|selling cologne.
I'm not sure|it's a huge step forward.
I'll take|any step forward.
Dana? Yeah? They're talking about|bioengineering animals and terraforming Mars.
When I started reporting|Gemini missions, just watching|a Titan rocket lift off was a sight to see.
Now they're gonna|colonize the solar system.
Are you obsessing|about this? Yes.
Why? Because I won't|be alive to see it.
Space squid And there's a drawing.
This is gonna be incredible.
Well here I go.
What do you got? Uh, I came up with several|interesting things -- I think will, you know,|captivate their young minds.
|-- What do you got? It's not one particular thing|so much as an overview -- Casey, what do you got? Wonder Bread was ridiculous,|Danny.
They'd see through|that in a second.
-- You'll be fine.
|-- [ Sighs ]|I am killing my child.
Say, you know who looks|good today? -- Who?|-- Sally.
I'll see you later.
What did you say? Sally looks good today.
-- Why did you say that?|-- 'Cause she does.
-- You don't like Sally.
|-- I kind of do.
-- You can't.
|-- Why not? 'Cause my life is very confusing|right now.
So is yours.
|And you can't like Sally.
I didn't say I liked Sally.
|I said she looked good today.
Then you said|you liked her.
Beowulf wasn't a movie? You know, I have to go and|pretend to bake bread now.
Casey, remember, it's all|in the misdirection, okay?|"Hey, look over there!" Got it.
[ T elephone ringing ] [ Keyboard keys clacking ] [ Knock on door ] Yes.
-- You don't know me.
|-- No.
My name's Sally Sasser.
|I'm executive producer|of "West Coast Update.
" -- I thought it was time|I came by and said hello.
|-- Hi.
-- You've been doing|an impressive job here.
|-- Thank you.
-- Ratings are up|two-tenths.
|-- Yes.
I don't know|what you've heard about me, but I'm here|to set the record straight and have the opportunity|for a fresh start.
I haven't heard|anything about you.
-- Sure you have.
|-- No, I haven't.
-- I was the one sleeping|with Gordon.
|-- Who's Gordon? -- Dana's fiancé.
|-- I didn't know that|Dana was engaged.
-- She's not anymore.
|-- 'Cause you were sleeping|with her fiancé? Yes, but really it was because|I was sleeping with Casey, and Gordon knew that she|was more upset that I was|sleeping with Casey than she was that I was|sleeping with Gordon.
Were you able|to follow all that? No, but that's just because|I wasn't paying attention.
Anyway, I wasn't sure|what you'd heard.
I hadn't heard anything.
There's a sense that|I'm after Dana's job.
-- Is that true?|-- Absolutely not.
-- Really?|-- Yes.
-- Dana's job's better|than yours, isn't it?|-- Yes.
More people watch the 1 1 :00|than the 2:00 A.
-- She's got|more responsibility.
|-- Yes.
-- Makes more money.
|-- Yes.
Why aren't you|after Dana's job? Well, I'd like her job,|but I'm not after -- My point is I don't sleep my way|up the ladder, and I just wasn't sure|what you'd heard.
I hadn't heard anything.
I don't sleep my way|up the ladder.
-- Really?|-- Yes.
That's too bad.
-- Sam|-- Susie.
-- Sally.
|-- Okay.
This meeting's not going|that well, is it? No.
The good news is,|an hour from now, I'm not gonna remember|who you are.
-- [ Chuckles ]|-- Good.
Anything else? -- Nope.
|-- Okay.
[ Keyboard keys clacking ] All right.
Let's go.
|You ready, Dan? -- Daniel.
|-- Yes.
Are you ready? -- Yes.
|-- Who's gonna be Michael? -- lam!|-- Why you? -- Why not me?|-- You're nothing|like Michael.
-- And the two of you have|a lot in common?|-- We're both men.
Gender didn't seem to|bother you when you got|to be Dorothy Hamill.
This is retribution.
-- Damn straight, baby.
|I love Dorothy Hamill.
|-- Natalie I used to do triple salchows|in my bedroom.
I sewed the little costumes.
I skated every day|after school.
I was in a little group|called the -- [ Thump, thump, thump ] Hi.
Are we ready? Yes.
-- Yes.
|-- Let's go.
Mess with me,|I sting like a bee.
-- Can we please|-- Michael, welcome.
Good to have you|on the show.
-- [ Deep voice ]|Thanks, Dan.
|-- Daniel.
|-- [ Groans ] First things first, Mike.
|[ Telephone ringing ] How are you|enjoying retirement? Well, as you know, Daniel,|I'm only retired|from basketball.
My many business interests|keep me busy, -- including my new cologne.
|-- Hello? -- Excuse me, Dana.
|-- Yeah? -- It's Sam.
He wants|to see you in his office.
|-- I'm busy.
Let's go.
-- Which I should say --|-- He says he needs you now.
Please tell him I'm busy and that I will|see him later.
Michael, when you watch|the Bulls on TV, do you -- He says this isn't|a request.
-- It isn't a request?|-- No.
It's a command? I suppose that's|the implication.
Would you tell him|this is the 21st century, and we are not|in Taming of the Shrew? -- Continue.
|-- Michael, when you watch|the Bulls on TV, do you sit -- He says he doesn't understand|the reference, but that -- He doesn't understand|the reference? He said he didn't.
Whoo! Excuse me.
[ Sighs ] Look, I didn't know|you wanted it that bad.
-- I'm sorry --|-- Sorry don't feed|the bulldog, Dottie.
Taming of the Shrew --|the wedding scene.
-- Dana|-- Petruchio makes a bet|with his friends.
They send for their wives and bet which one will come|fastest at their command.
See, you don't|know everything.
It's a beautiful scene,|by the way, with a glorious speech|from Kate.
"Such small payment|for so great a debt.
" "Too little payment|for so great a debt.
" I thought you said you|didn't know the reference.
I just needed you to get|your ass in here.
Listen -- I'm looking for ways|to kill you, you know.
Dana, I have been|through alcohol, marriage,|and network television.
If you want to kill me,|you're gonna need|some Kryptonite.
What do you want? -- You can stop practicing|interview tactics.
|-- What happened? They want|editorial approval.
Editorial approval? Yeah.
What are you|talking about? This is a taped interview|on a news show.
They want final cut? Yeah.
This is a news show.
That is --|in a million years, would Fox or ESPN|give editorial approval? No.
That's why|they came to us.
Let's talk to lsaac.
You don't care, do you? Ratings are ratings,|no matter how bogus|the ill-gotten gains.
I don't believe|I said that, Dana.
Let's talk to lsaac.
By the way, I met a girl|named Susie today.
It sounds like she's|the preferred vacation spot for all the men you date.
[ Knocks ]|lsaac.
I got another one --|the Europa probe.
They melt a hole|in the ice cap of Europa, which is a Jupiter moon.
They melt a hole down|to the liquid water and send a submarine|to search for signs of life that are|almost surely there.
We gotta land a ship|on Europa first, don't we? You don't think|we can land on Europa? It's a sheet of ice|400 million miles away.
I don't give a damn.
|I covered NASA for eight years.
You draw an "X"|anywhere in the universe,|and these guys will land on it.
-- The thing is --|-- lsaac, Michael's people|want editorial approval.
What are you|talking about? It's a condition|of the interview.
This is a news show.
We don't give|editorial approval.
That's right.
-- They're insisting?|-- Yeah.
Well, Dana, if we did it|just this once -- -- lsaac.
|-- An exception.
-- We can't|-- An exception for Michael.
They didn't go to Fox,|and they didn't go to ESPN.
Because they thought|we were desperate enough|for the ratings to do it? Yeah.
Are we, Sam? Then tell them Isaac Jaffee|says to go to hell.
[ Chuckles ] Thank you.
Uh, Dana? Don't tell them|to go to hell.
Tell them|that we're professionals and that we want to be|the best at what we do.
If anybody|can understand that, it'll be Michael.
Right on the "X.
" Natalie:|He's gonna bake the bread? Dan: He's not actually|gonna bake it.
I doubt they have a suitable|oven in the classroom.
He's just gonna pretend|to bake it.
Jeremy: I'm looking forward|to the day when I have kids and I do a demonstration|in their class.
What would you do? Whatever|I was in the mood for.
I could make a nuclear reactor|if I could get my hands on|some decent plutonium.
-- Sure.
|-- I can accelerate|the aging process of a pumpkin.
-- Really?|-- Yeah.
|Pretty simple, actually.
-- Hmm.
|-- I'm back.
|Dan: Hey.
I'm back,|and I'm triumphant! Natalie:|They bought the bread? Misdirection, Natalie.
-- I didn't do the bread.
|-- What'd you do? I did what I do, Dan.
I did what I do.
You screwed up your romantic|life in front of fifth graders? -- [ Laughter ]|-- No.
I got there early, and I'm standing out on the|playground during recess, and I'm trying to think|what I can come up with|at the last minute, but I can't concentrate on that|because all around me kids|are playing games.
There's some kickball|going on over there, dodge ball over here,|hopscotch in the corner, and like a flood,|like a surge, I'm suddenly filled|with this sense of, "l know what the hell|I'm doing.
" And when recess was over, we go back|into the classroom And you called|the highlights.
I called the highlights.
|It was fantastic.
I did interviews|with the kids,|I did injury reports.
I had a girl named Phoebe|do a demonstration of jacks -- shy little girl, barely|speaks above a whisper because she's so afraid she's|gonna say something stupid, but when I got her|talking about foursies, she was like Muhammad Ali.
Nice, Casey.
Beats an aging pumpkin.
-- What?|-- Don't worry about it.
-- Hi.
We can go back|about our business.
|-- Hi.
What do you mean? It's not going to happen.
|Let's get back to work.
Too many strings, huh? Yeah.
-- Was it tough on lsaac?|-- Yeah.
Is Sam pissed? No.
He -- Turns out he was on my side|on this one.
Still drives me crazy.
Anyway, uh, I will be|back in my office.
See ya.
See ya.
-- So|-- Yes? -- You had a good day.
|-- Yes, yes.
But as the adrenaline of the|afternoon begins to drain away, some other things begin|to come into focus.
Like what? Well, I finally broke up|with Dana, who l|never went out with.
Dana broke up with Gordon|because Sally slept with me, and you said|you like Sally.
And maybe Sam drives Dana|a little too crazy? Yeah.
I have some concerns.
Well, it wouldn't be a day|unless you had some concerns.
Yeah, I suppose.
-- Let's go write our show.
|-- All right.