The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (2017) s05e02 Episode Script

It's a Man, Man, Man, Man World

Amongst the many
overnight success stories
in show business lore,
Midge Maisel's stands out from the rest.
Her journey from the Gaslight Café
in New York's Greenwich Village
to worldwide fame and notoriety
is the stuff of legend.
Often press-shy,
she agreed to sit down with
me and talk about her life.
Hey, you look a little nervous. Are you?
Well, there's that body in my trunk.
I've been meaning to dump it,
but the day got away from me.
It's been quite a ride.
Grammy winner, Emmy winner,
the French Order of
the Arts and Letters.
Does the phrase "living legend" apply?
Geez, Mike, I'm not dead yet.
Wait, am I? Call an ambulance.
Where'd this passion
to perform come from?
What drives Midge Maisel?
I just love what I do.
I love talking to people,
present company excepted,
I'm kidding.
I like money, I'm not ashamed of that.
And boy, oh, boy, do I
love the sound of laughs.
[MIKE] And what she does
is make people laugh.
At age 30,
18 consecutive sold-out
nights at the Copacabana.
Numerous tours in the U.S., Canada,
and parts of Europe
all sell out in minutes.
There's the requisite
celebrity friendships.
Her shows with Bob Hope
and their many trips to Vietnam
were a favorite of the troops.
Midge, you look wonderful.
I love that gown. Is
that a Schiaparelli?
Oh, I'm sorry, Bob, but I've
forgotten where I bought it.
- You mind if I look at the label?
What does it say?
"Off limits."
[MIDGE] That's negotiable.
- [MIKE] As her audience grew older,
her inclination to shock grew bolder,
culminating in the now infamous
- 1971 show at Carnegie Hall.
[MIDGE] How does a
[BLEEP] lady like that
have the [BLEEP] to [BLEEP]
show up looking like that?
Is anyone aware of the
[BLEEP] First Amendment?
Still applies.
[MIKE] What could have been a
career-ending night of infamy
turned out to be
as so many things do in
Midge Maisel's life
the beginning of a brand-new chapter,
with a brand-new audience of young fans
through her audacious
college campus tours.
On top of all that,
she raised two children,
a son, Ethan, and a
daughter, Dr. Esther Maisel.
What was it like having
Midge Maisel as your mother?
It was an incredible childhood,
filled with laughter and warmth.
She's a wonderful mother.
The other kids must've been jealous.
Oddly, yes.
[MIKE] And then there were the men.
Men. Men and Midge Maisel.
So many men.
You sound like my accountant.
Four marriages, plus several,
or should I say multiple,
other relationships.
- What gives?
- [MIDGE] I don't know.
Lucky in life, unlucky in love.
I thought I'd marry once. Joke's on me.
[MIKE] And then there's the relationship
that lasted longer than
all the others combined.
You were client number
one of the powerful
entertainment manager Susie
Myerson, is that right?
That's right.
You know her current
client list: Liza Minnelli,
George Carlin, Barbra Streisand.
Just about everybody in Hollywood.
Everybody except you.
A 25-year friendship gone bust.
- What happened?
- What happened, Mike,
is that two people in show business
tried to have a friendship.
Shall I read what she recently
said about you in Variety?
Don't bother, I've already
had it tattooed on my [BLEEP].
- [MIKE] And then there were her clothes.
And you're putting all
these up for auction?
Every last button and bow.
In a way, these are my friends.
My first night at the Gaslight.
Yup, the story is true.
My B. Altman switchboard
dress. Those were fun times.
Oh, a classic.
What I wore the night of the
great tarmac dump of 1960.
Night five of my first Copa run.
What I wore to Woodstock
I didn't perform, but I sure got muddy.
Guest hosting Johnny Carson,
my cameo in Mad, Mad World.
Oh, and this.
The outfit I wore on my first
day as a writer for Gordon Ford.
My sitting outfit.
I put a lot of thought into this one.
And where do the proceeds go?
The Weissman/Maisel
Children's Foundation,
for childhood education,
health, hunger, housing.
Children are my best teachers.
Through them, I've learned
to love, to laugh, to listen.
So everything I do,
I do for the children.
Hit the lights, ladies.
[MIKE] And so comedy superstar
Midge Maisel soldiers on,
through success and
adversity, doing everything,
in her words, "For the children."
[MIDGE] Eat, damn it,
you little bastard!
[ROSE] Miriam!
He has to eat to survive.
- [ETHAN] Not hungry!
- Deaf ears!
- Your fault.
- What is?
- The kids.
- We didn't force you to have kids.
No, but you created the environment:
the dolls, the books
about being a mommy,
the-the quarter-scale toy
kitchen you rigged up for me
with the gas broiler
and the little fridge
that plugged into a working socket.
I was very proud of that
until you were electrocuted.
And now I'm gonna need
some extra babysitting help.
This new job is five days a week.
Miriam, tell us again how
you're gonna be a writer
on The Gordon Ford Show.
I don't understand.
There's nothing more to tell.
He offered me a job writing on the show,
and I said yes.
So, he just walks around the city
asking strangers if they want
to be writers on his show?
He sounds unstable.
No, I'm sure he has people
who normally do that,
but this time it came directly from him.
But what's there to even write?
Doesn't he just make
it all up on the spot?
His whole opening monologue
is written for him.
Oh, I thought he was
just naturally funny.
This is shattering my illusions.
Sorry, I should have broken
it to you more gently.
- And you're sure it was him?
- Am I
Because I read about this woman,
she was walking down Sixth Avenue,
and who does she bump
into but Winston Churchill.
He tells her he needs
to get back to England
because his daughter's
sick, but he lost his wallet.
That's the worst.
So, she gives him
everything she had, $40.
Well, later on, the same man is caught
walking around Union Square
with his pants at his ankles,
yelling at seagulls.
So it wasn't Winston Churchill?
That's my point.
Maybe it wasn't Gordon
Ford who hired you.
It was Gordon Ford, okay?
I got hired by Gordon Ford,
his pants were up,
and I accepted the job.
Now let's discuss the kids.
Oh, I'm happy to do
all I can, Miss Miriam.
I hope you know that.
It's become a great joy in
my life, watching the kids.
And when I can't watch them, well
I love picking Ethan up after school,
and Esther loves to come along.
She rides on my shoulders
and tells me, "Giddyap, Janusz!"
And that's when I giddyap
and go like the wind.
I'm happy to stay and play with them
whenever you need me, even at night.
They're fantastic.
My life was hard: the war, the bombings.
So much suffering.
But, uh, spending time
with your children
They make me think about
having my own children.
For the first time in my life.
Well, thank you.
Both of you. I really appreciate it.
- Who is that?
- Don't you know?
He always has a screwdriver with him.
I thought he was a handyman.
I didn't hire a handyman.
He seems very familiar
with the children.
And Zelda.
He's been here off and on for weeks,
and none of us know who he is?
Whoever he is, sounds like he's free.
[SHIRLEY] Do not leave the salt out!
[MOISHE] Since when do
we not leave the salt out?
The salt is always out!
[SHIRLEY] I put it away always,
so the rats don't get in it.
[MOISHE] It's not sugar, it's salt
- [SHIRLEY] You stopped her on the street!
[MOISHE] She stopped me! She's a yenta!
She walks up and down the street
waiting to stop and schmooze!
[SHIRLEY] Moishe
Maisel, I have never said
an unkind word about you to anyone!
- [SHIRLEY] Tell me when I did!
[MOISHE] Just last year at Disneyland!
That jab about my tuchus!
[SHIRLEY] What I said
to Donald Duck that day
- is between me and Donald
[ARCHIE] Buddy, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry.
How'd you know it was me?
I've been dreading the call
ever since I left you there.
- How do you feel?
- [SIGHS] Like a tank hit me.
You went on a bender
last night, epic in scale.
- Give me the headlines.
- You walked in smashed.
- You were hitting on girls right in front of their dates.
- And one of them beat me up?
No, then you went onstage
and insulted the band.
And the band beat me up?
No. Then you did a little stand-up,
and when I turned my
back, you disappeared.
How you got back up those
stairs, I don't know,
but you were bleeding buckets.
I took you to the emergency room.
They patched you up and released you,
but you couldn't go home, not alone.
Your ribs are cracked,
you've got stitches.
So I brought you there.
- Please forgive me.
- You're forgiven.
[SHIRLEY] I talked to Grumpy
and Sneezy that day, too!
[MOISHE] Oh, so you turned
all the Disney characters
- against me, very nice!
- Actually, you may not be forgiven just yet.
Jury's out.
Anything I can do?
Nah. I got an idea.
I'll talk to you later.
[SHIRLEY] In your dreams!
[MOISHE] You think Cinderella
wasn't looking me up and down?
Oh, yes, she was!
Hello! We're here!
[SHIRLEY] Who's here? Who is here?
[MOISHE] Somebody's here!
Hi, Grandma. Hi, Grandpa.
- Were we expecting you?
- It's the kids.
When I asked how they
wanted to spend their Sunday,
they said with Grandma
and Grandpa Maisel.
How sweet.
Come give Grandpa a big
hug there, kids. Come on.
No, Grandma first. Come to Grandma.
- I had dibs. No, come on, come on, bubele.
- Come on, come on.
Zaydee's waiting.
Grandpa has feelings, too.
[SHIRLEY] No, you're gonna hurt
my feelings and break my heart.
And his knees are hurting quite badly.
- My knees are hurting, too.
- You don't want to damage Grandpa's knees.
- Do you? I've got candy.
- My back's not so good either.
- Grandpa's knees are fine.
- And football injuries.
- And my heart can break, too
- [MOISHE] You don't want to break my heart.
- It's weak already.
- Oh, look, there he is.
Our little patient.
- Hi.
- Hi.
Don't be scared, he's gonna be fine.
Your father was hit by a very small car,
but already he's so much
better. Look, he's walking.
And did you grow?
- These aren't my pajamas.
- [MIDGE] Okay.
I'm fine, guys. Really.
It looks worse than it is.
Hey, why don't you two
go into the living room
- and dig out your toys?
- I'll come with. Let's go, kids.
- Yeah, I'll be right in.
- [ETHAN] I didn't want to come here today.
- [MOISHE] Go get your toys
- Ma, where are my clothes?
At the dry cleaner's. They
were all dirty and bloody.
They'll be back in
six, eight hours tops.
But what are these? They're not Ethan's.
They're not my old ones.
I keep a supply of little boy pajamas
on hand at all times,
like everyone else.
- No one else does that.
Hey, Shirley, better
get into the living room
- before the kids run out of hugs.
- Oh, yeah.
Kids, Grandma's coming.
Save me some hugs.
- [GROANS] It's a long story.
Love to hear it. Come on.
Don't pull so hard.
Midge, you're pulling the stitches.
I got into a scuffle.
That's your long story?
That wasn't even a haiku.
It was at the club.
You got into a fight at
the club? Where was Archie?
- I talked to Mei.
- Mei? Mei did not do this.
Joel? What about Mei?
There is no Mei, okay?
No Mei?
You broke up? But what about the baby?
There's no Mei and there's no baby.
There. You happy?
No baby? I
No baby.
She's moving. Moved.
She's already in Chicago.
- It's over.
- I'm sorry.
- No. [GROANS]
- Sorry.
I was afraid something
like this would happen.
- Like what?
- I
- She wasn't ready.
- How do you know?
I just had a feeling after
we talked at the hospital.
- At the hospital?
- When we discussed the kids and how it would work
- You mean with Pop?
- she just didn't seem to be on the same page as you.
- Are you kidding me?
- No.
And you didn't think to
maybe give me a heads-up
that my whole fucking life was
about to come crashing down?
It was just a feeling
I had, an intuition.
You never should have spoken
to her in the first place.
- Joel
- This is what could've pushed her over the edge.
Made her do what she did.
- Hey, that's not fair. She chose.
- With your help!
I'm gonna wait till you
get better to smack you
because now won't be fun.
I did nothing to push Mei away.
I've got eight hours
till my clothes are back.
I'm gonna go lie down.
- I could swing by your place and
- I'm good.
- Are you fucking kidding me?
Okay, so, I thought I'd picked out
the perfect first day
outfit for Gordon Ford.
I mean, I spent hours thinking about it,
sorting through multiple
color combinations,
but around 5:00 this
morning, something struck me.
Was it a blunt object?
- What?
- Go on.
This isn't a standing job.
It's a sitting job.
Huh. Explain.
B. Altman, I stood at the counter.
That was a standing job.
Doing stand-up comedy,
that's a standing job.
I know how to dress for that, but this,
working at Gordon Ford,
this is a sitting job,
predominantly, so the
skirt can't be straight.
I mean, it can be straight
if there's a slit in it,
but not a side slit, no.
If I shift in my seat, even a little,
they'll get an eyeful.
A back slit is okay, like a
like a tasteful vent extension,
but again, that's more
for ease of walking.
So that brings us back to
flare. It needs to flare.
And it needs to flare in
a way that will accommodate
a variety of different
sitting positions.
Interesting. Really interesting.
- And that's why you called?
- Yep.
So, to review, you called me at
in the morning, after hours of thought
and excessive consideration
about color combinations,
because you suddenly realized
that this job would involve sitting?
- Yeah.
- But before that,
you thought that the job was to stand
in front of Gordon Ford
for eight straight hours
and pitch jokes? That
is just fucking dumb.
I don't know what the job is.
New rule, for you
and the entire demented
moronic fucking Weissman clan,
no one, and I mean no one, is
allowed to ring my goddamn phone
before 10:30 in the
morning for any reason.
Here's a fresh cup, Miss Susie.
Unless It's Zelda.
'Cause I know if Zelda calls me,
she will make up for it
with something delicious.
- [ZELDA] Thank you, Miss Susie.
- Mm-hmm.
[WHISPERS] I have some
major household dish for you.
Is it dumb? Because
really, if it's dumb,
I am throwing you out
that goddamn window.
Zelda has a boyfriend.
A new one? What happened to Janusz?
No, it is Janusz. How
do you know about Janusz?
She's been with him
for, like, four months.
I run into them on the
nights they hit the Village.
He's an excellent dancer.
How are you just finding out about this?
- He just changed the hardware in the bathroom.
- That was him?
You didn't notice a guy
who looks like Mr. Clean
who's got a boner for Zelda
hanging out in your apartment?
Guess I'm not as
observant as I should be.
And you're an observational comic.
I mean, really, there's
something missing in you.
Oh, shoot. Drinks after work.
Not only do I need an
outfit for sitting at work,
but it has to be appropriate
for drinks with the gang.
Okay. This is not a cocktail party.
It's a job. Here.
with this and this.
- And this.
- Wow. That's great.
And you can sit in it and everything?
I want to be sure
that you can sit in it.
- It's got enough flare?
- It's perfect.
- Going back to bed.
- Thank you, Susie.
Fuck you, Midge.


- No!
- Who is she talking to?
Sorry, I'm-I'm talking to him.
[MAN] Subway weirdo.
I said no. I don't want to talk to you.
Please wait. I I never
got a chance to explain.
Tell it to your espresso machine.
Oh, Midge, come on.
Excuse me, excuse me. Bad man behind me.
I have no phone number
for you, no address.
- I had no way to contact you.
- Good.
I didn't want you to contact me.
Chanel? Really nice.
I went to the park
every morning for weeks.
You never showed.
That's because I never
went back to the park.
I brought flowers
every day to apologize.
I hope you brought 'em home to the wife.
It's a shame to waste flowers.
- Ah, that is nice.
- Mm-hmm.
Hey. Excuse me. Excuse me.
Two minutes. That's all I ask. Look.
- Two minutes!
Okay, that was fun and all,
but I just need to tell you
[SIGHS] Unbelievable.
Excuse me. Coming through.
- Make a hole, damn it.
- Rude!
You're the ones lined up
like the offensive line
- of the Princeton Tigers.
- Hey!
- Oh, my God.
I'd never done that, I swear.
Done what? Stalked a
woman on the subway?
Brought a woman back to my place.
- You mean you and your wife's place.
- It's not what you think.
I'm sorry, but we talked and talked,
and you never said you were married.
- I'm not!
- So who was that, your sister?
Was your sister unhappy you
were sleeping with another woman?
- 'Cause that's a problem, too.
- You know, I'd really rather
that all of New York
not hear about this.
You're the one who started it.
Why are you going uptown now?
You were going downtown.
This is downtown.
Damn it.
Damn it. Midge? You here?
- Midge?
- Excuse me. Is there a problem?
I'm sorry, I was just
looking for a friend of mine.
Officer, that's the man who
assaulted me on the staircase.
- Assaulted you? When?
- I didn't assault anyone.
He cursed at us and called us offensive.
- What the heck?
- They were blocking the staircase.
- Two minutes.
- Jesus H. Christ.
Then you never have to
see me again, I promise.
Tell him it's okay.
It's okay.
I messed up really bad.
I put you in an awful situation.
Awful? It was more than awful.
It was every synonym
for awful, you choose.
I'll work on one tonight.
- So, that was my wife.
- And not your sister.
But we were separated and living apart.
That was my place.
She got our old house.
So, why'd she waltz in like that?
To drop off the dog,
which she's supposed
to do with prior notice.
- And now we're getting divorced.
- You and the dog?
The marriage was over
long before I met you.
Look, Midge, meeting
you, the talks we had,
it was a lifesaver for me.
But I'm not here to
get you to reconsider.
I just want to apologize.
- How is the dog?
- She took the dog.
- What?
- And changed his name.
That's rotten.
Did I ruin Riverside Park
for you? Tell me I didn't.
Just temporarily. I'm back in it now.
Good, 'cause it's a great park.
It is.
Well, maybe we'll run into each
other there again, sometime.
Maybe's good.
I'll take maybe.
Bye, Midge.
Goodbye, Sylvio.
- I'm rooting for you, son.
- Something due any day ♪
I will know right away ♪
Soon as it shows ♪
It may come cannonballing
down through the sky ♪
Gleam in its eye, bright as a rose ♪
- It's only just out of reach ♪
Down the block ♪
- On a beach, under a tree ♪
The air is ♪
Humming ♪
- And something great ♪
- And something great ♪
And something great ♪
And something great ♪
And you say Gordon hired you?
Gordon doesn't hire people personally.
I know it's unusual, but
he came to my strip club,
uh, my club,
- where I perform.
- Oh, I get it.
No, you don't. I'm a
stand-up. A comedian.
So, you're here to be on the show?
You have to be booked to be on the show.
You can't just walk in off the street
and ask to be booked on the show.
I didn't just walk in
off the street. Oh, wait.
He knows me. Mike! Mike! Mike!
Mike! Mike! Mike! Mike! Mike!
Mike! Mike! Midge Maisel.
Let her in.
You and I haven't officially met.
Look, Mike,
I know you and Susie
got off to a rocky start.
Rocky start. [CHUCKLES]
You're very funny.
But now I'm here, and don't
you think it would be best to
Do you know it has no smell?
What? What doesn't?
My tree.
Because it's a piece of shit tree
that I grabbed in haste to get away
from your little troll of
a manager. My apartment has
no Christmassy smell
'cause the goddamn tree
is a piece of shit, lifeless tree.
You are gonna learn to like me.
Boy, you two, peas in a pod.
It may take a month, two months tops.
Hell, give me six months,
and you and I are
bowling and drinking beer.
Look, I got to go, but would
you deliver a message to Susie?
I will pass it on.
You're late, by the way.
Those are the writers? Is that
Is that where I'm supposed to go?
- That's the writers' room. Go.
- Thanks.
- Oop.
- [MEL] You don't think he could direct
- a drama, Alvin?
- [ALVIN] Mel was on Caesar with me.
I have no problem with Mel
Brooks. I like Mel Brooks.
Mel Brooks is funny.
- But?
- Here it comes.
- He likes air.
- [OTHERS] Oh!
[ALVIN] Oh, does he like air.
He comes in a room like a
Hoover, and he sucks it all up.
Ask Simon. Ask Gelbart. Hell, ask Sid.
The green-eyed monster doth
mock the meat it feeds on.
Geez, Cess, Shakespeare before noon?
My only request, dear Alvin,
please stop taking your
hatred for Mel Brooks
out on me just because we share a name.
- I don't hate Mel Brooks.
- Me neither.
Am I in the right place?
- No.
- Don't think so.
This is the writers' room, right?
- Pretty much. - Who's asking?
- We're writers in a room.
Well, I'm your new writer.
George mentioned some
girl was starting with us.
He didn't say when.
Well, I'm some girl,
and today is the day. Who's George?
- You'll know him when you see him.
- Mothballs.
- Boat shoes.
- I have boat shoes.
I wouldn't have minded being
consulted about a new hire,
but I'm just the head writer,
so what do I know? Milly?
- Midge.
- Midge?
Never trust people whose names
don't rhyme with anything.
Smidge. Bridge. Fridge.
That's Ralph, Mel, Adam, Cecil,
- and I'm Alvin. Sit.
- [MIDGE] Great.
Got my sitting outfit on.
- [MEL] Your what?
- It's a flared skirt
for sitting instead of standing.
I mean, you can stand
in it, but it looks good
when you're sitting, too.
Got that versatility, like pants.
[ALVIN] So, Gordon's in a foul mood.
- Again?
- What in that man's charmed life is so terrible?
- [ALVIN] He's given up smoking.
- Oh, Jesus.
- Oh, come on.
- Oh, for God's sake.
[ALVIN] And he doesn't want anyone else
smoking in the office.
If he gets divorced, does
everyone else have to, too?
[MEL] Can I finish
this one at least? No?
Guess cancer will have to wait.
[CECIL] First they
came for the cigarettes,
and I did not speak out.
So, let's get going here, boys.
- Give me a good mix, 20 in one.
- Uh
- What Wait, where
- Um, Alvin, what's 20 in one?
Yeah, I know Bernstein's tonight.
I read the memo.
No, I'm not gonna hand him a
bunch of dumb Maestro jokes.
Come on, Alex. Just give
him a goddamn cigarette.
Hi. Hey.
Any idea what 20 in one is?
- Nope.
The Gordon Ford Show.
Yes, he's quit smoking.
Well, we're spreading the word now,
we weren't keeping it from you.
Yes, we all have to quit smoking.
Oh, hi, Midge. Susie, it's Midge.
She sounds a little weird.
How's it going, champ?
Panic. I'm in a panic. Oh, boy.
- Take a deep breath.
- I'm hyperventilating.
your head between your legs.
Who is that? Dinah?
- Or have a cigarette.
- [SUSIE] What is wrong with you?
- Why didn't you tell me
about 20 in one?
I don't know. What is 20 in one?
The head writer just sent
us off to do 20 in one.
It's 20 jokes in one hour,
and that was eight minutes ago,
so I've got I'm so freaked
out, I can't even do the math.
You've got 52 minutes to write 20 jokes.
Quick math here, that's a
joke every 2.6 minutes. Ha.
- Finally using math.
- Not helping.
And I'm assuming they need
to be broadcast quality jokes.
Each one a winner.
Dinah, why are you on the phone?
I got her on to listen and learn.
It's how all the big agencies do it.
You're now down to a
joke every 2.5 minutes.
You're not supposed to talk, Dinah.
I don't toss jokes off like that.
They take time. I mold them,
massage them, and now I'm just blanking,
and the clock is ticking.
Well, let's prime the pump
here, get the juices flowing.
How about this? Uh, Washington
Square Park isn't square,
it's a rectangle, so they
should change the name
to Washington Rectangle Park.
- Oh, that's cute.
- That's a terrible joke.
Yeah, well I'm not the
fucking joke writer. You are.
No, I'm not. I told you that.
Well, you've got the job,
so fake it till you make it.
I should check my notebook.
See if anything inspires me.
All that matters is that
Gordon Ford thinks you're funny.
How's it going with
him? You two bonding?
I haven't seen him. I think
he's in a different part
of the building. And was I
supposed to have an office?
Because I don't seem to have an office.
I didn't think about that.
Barely even have a chair,
and I-I have no idea
where the ladies' room is,
and everyone seems
to be talking in code,
and Mike Carr wanted me
to pass this on to you.
[SUSIE] I assume you're flipping me off.
Both fingers. I got to go.
Got to start thinking
writing. Goodbye.
- [WOMAN] Gordon Ford Show.
I really loved him.
He's the one I miss.
How did your second husband die?
Well, it was the darndest thing.
It was winter, and he was
walking down the street
- when he slipped on ice.
- Oh, my God.
It gets worse. The street was on a hill,
and he slid all the
way down where these men
- were running a wood chipper.
- Oh, my God.
It gets worse. Rose,
where are you going?
Oh, no. Oh, my God.
- What happened?
- A fire happened, lady.
Now, please, back away.
- But how?
- Could be electrical,
could be arson, we don't know yet.
This is too much.
This is too damn much.
What is, Rose? What's too damn much?
My tearoom.
[WOMAN] Mr. Carr, Florence on 2.
[ADAM] I think that was just 59 minutes.
Shut up. All right, Mel, you look smug
and self-satisfied. Start us off.
[MEL] "Last week marked the
Broadway debut of Camelot
and the off-Broadway
debut of Cam-A-Little."
- Put it in the maybes.
- Adam?
- Uh
"It's that time of year,
kids are writing letters to Santa."
He doesn't like Santa jokes.
Can I finish?
"Isn't the faith of a child amazing?
To believe that Santa Claus
will come down your chimney
with presents, even after
seeing him hungover at Macy's."
- He doesn't like Santa jokes.
- Shit.
- [ALVIN] Ralphy?
- Skipping over my Santa jokes.
Uh, "So, you may have
heard that NASA is planning
to send a chimp into space.
They wanted to send a
chump, but Jerry Lewis
and my producer George refused to go."
Run it by George, see if it bothers him.
They need to cut to
a shot of him. Cecil?
- I miss Nixon.
- And?
- Oh, that's it, that's all I got.
Astounding professionalism,
Cess. I'll get back to you.
New girl?
Oh, uh that's me.
Only one with girl parts in the room.
Don't make assumptions.
"There's an old saying,
- if you ever need someone to "
Over hill, over dale ♪
As we hit the dusty trail ♪
And the caissons ♪
Go rolling along ♪
When someone hits the john,
we do this to cover the sound.
- Got it.
And the caissons go rolling along ♪
Then it's hi, hi, hee, in the ♪
- Field artillery ♪
- [ALVIN] Where were we?
- The girl.
- That's me.
- [ALVIN] Go ahead.
Okay. "So, there's an old saying "
Over hill, over dale ♪
As we hit the dusty trail ♪
And the caissons ♪
Go rolling along ♪
- Amanuensis!
- [WRITERS] Amanuensis!
- Coming!
Type 'em up and get 'em to Gordon.
- Got it.
- That's lunch.
- Where you going?
- Chinese.
- Pass.
- So, Alvin, none of my jokes got into
Over hill, over dale, we will ♪
- Hit the dusty trail ♪
- This is my office.
Right, sorry.
A new town ♪
Is a blue town ♪
A "who do you know" and ♪
"Show me what you can do" town ♪
There's no red carpet at your feet ♪
If you're not tough ♪
They'll try to beat you down ♪
In a new blue town ♪
New blue town ♪
- [ABE] Hello, Terrence.
- Gesundheit.
Thank you. You should probably
be getting to your lunch.
Oh, dear, I lost track of the time.
- Gesundheit.
I'd go, but this damn cold.
Maury downstairs has
a really bad cold, too.
Anything specific you want
me to discuss with her, or
It's just a "get to know you" lunch.
She'll talk up some things
she wants to bring to New York,
bend your ear a little bit.
She liked your review, too.
- Gesundheit.
- Thank you.
- Which one?
That comedy she transferred
from the West End.
A Pudding for Nigel.
Oh, that was wonderful.
I did pick at it a little bit.
And she made changes
based on your criticism.
Said they made it so much
Let's go with "better."
Penelope is a true Brit.
Her father owns six newspapers,
her mother is a baroness,
they're very chummy with the Royals.
- Wow.
- She'll tell you stories.
- Great stories. It'll be fun.
- I'll report back.
And the Voice pays for
lunch. We take no favors.
- [ABE] Got it.
I was going to say "better."
We figured.
[MIKE] Francie.
Double, triple, quadruple-check this.
If they crap out again,
we find a new car service.
- How was your morning?
- [SIGHS] Really?
Just trying to break the ice.
I gave Susie your message.
Well, there he is, spectacularly late,
as always. Harassing the staff.
- Oh, he's in fine form.
- [MIDGE] Who is that?
That is George Toledano,
venerated producer of
The Gordon Ford Show.
Oh. I've been hearing about him.
Would you mind introducing us?
I want him to die.
- So, I should introduce myself?
- A long,
painful death. I want him to fall off
that stupid tiny
dinghy he calls a yacht,
but I don't want him to drown.
I want him to float
on a splintery piece of driftwood.
That asinine, condescending,
George. How are you today?
Mikey, my boy. How's
it going, old sport?
Oh, you know, George,
same old, same old.
I don't believe I've met
this sight for sore eyes.
I'm a new writer, sir. Midge Maisel.
I heard we had a lady
writer coming aboard.
Nice to meet you. And call me George.
You can call me George, too.
[LAUGHS] Funny. I like that.
You must know Madelyn Pugh.
I don't think so.
Wrote for I Love Lucy? Funny lady.
How about, uh, Nancy Clark?
Writes for The Ann Sothern Show.
Oh, she doesn't know
every lady writer, George.
- Nice to have you here.
- Thank you.
- Nice boat shoes.
- Ooh.
You certainly beautify the place.
I can cancel those new plants I ordered.
He gets kissy at parties,
so watch yourself.
- Thanks for the warning.
- [GORDON] Goddamn it.
[GORDON] Goddamn writers
handing me this crap.
Can we just toss cigarettes at him?
- Lit?
- That's a fire hazard.
Back to the drawing board, fellas.
[ALVIN] Let's assemble.
[GEORGE] They'll get us there, Gordy.
- They always do.
- Unbelievable.
- Wow.
God. [SIGHS]
So, what's the deal?
He wants them shorter and not topical.
Now he tells us.
[ADAM] Wasted the whole morning.
[ALVIN] Until the bell, guys. 20 in one.
[MEL] I need coffee.
- [ALVIN] Trudy, coffee run.
Everything shut down during the
war. The arts were decimated.
Were you there the whole time?
I was in London during the Blitz.
I saw the German Luftwaffe
flying through the air.
My grandmother's house
in Mayfair was bombed.
- My God.
- She lived,
but we thought the world had ended.
Then, in '44, Larry
did Richard the Third.
- Larry?
- Olivier.
- Ah.
- I sat in the front row,
and, I don't know, my faith
in mankind was restored.
- I knew that we could beat Hitler.
- That's wonderful.
Then I slept with Larry.
That's better than sleeping with Hitler.
I know it sounds silly, but that
helped restore my faith, too.
- Mm.
- Our île flottante,
- and it's on the house.
- Darling boy, thank you.
- L'addition, s'il vous plait?
- Right away.
Abraham, I'll leave you with this,
Harold Pinter.
I'm bringing The Birthday
Party here in spring,
- and I want you to see it.
- I'd love to.
He's not for everybody, but
I think he's a mad genius,
and he's only 30, such
a young, virile age.
The Nobel is in his future.
- I'll be there.
- Music to my ears.
Oh, dear, it's so much
later than I thought.
Ah, this is on the Voice.
So kind.
I should bring my wife
here. She'd love this place.
She's such a Francophile.
- My husband is French.
- Ah.
They should meet. Now, I'm
so sorry, I have to dash.
More île flottante pour moi.
[LAUGHS] If I had known I'd be
dining with such a charming man,
I'd have scheduled time to linger.
Next time I won't make that mistake.
this wallet
is so old.
I really need
change it out.
I'm trying to
remember how old it is.
Maybe seven, eight years.
You don't think to change
your wallet till you get one
as a gift, but if you
don't get one as a gift,
you never change your wallet.
- How are you liking it?
- Liking what?
The, uh, dessert?
Ah, it's it's
ve-ve-very-very good, very fine. Here.
- Ah. Merci.
- Here.
You are silly.
At times, yes, but at other times
I'm more dramatic,
like Olivier, or not Olivier,
I'm nothing like Olivier.
I'm more like
Buster Keaton,
just a big, old,
sad, floppy clown boy.
Till next time.
They've been gone a long time.
That's a good sign, right?
Not necessarily. Last Tuesday?
We almost didn't make it to air.
- Should I get my typewriter?
- Do not get your typewriter.
- What are we waiting for?
- The verdict from rehearsal.
[MEL] Here they come. Duck and cover.
- Ah, hell.
- Goddamn it, Teddy.
- I love you guys, too.
- What happened?
He's the cue card guy. Means
the monologue's not locked.
- Should I get my typewriter?
- Do not get your typewriter.
- What's left?
- Zip.
- He threw the entire thing out.
- [ADAM] Holy shit.
It's one hour to show.
Should've gotten my typewriter.
I know it's disappointing, gang,
but ours is not to reason why,
ours is but to write new jokes or die.
Now, I've got to go say
hello to Angie Dickinson.
Poor me. [LAUGHS]
Okay, guys, lightning round.
Old, new, whatever you got.
Oh, shit.
- Trudy, hustle.
- [TRUDY] I'm already in.
Gordon wants 'em topical.
You said before he
wanted 'em not topical.
Gordon is large, he
contains multitudes. Ralphy?
Uh, topical, topical
Uh, "Emily Post died,
so now no one knows
the proper etiquette to
send their condolences."
- [ALVIN] Not bad. Get it down. Cess?
Uh, "I went to the premiere
of a French film the other day.
It's called Le Hau-hau-hau-hau-hauuu."
- "Translates roughly into English as
Le Hau-hau-hau-hau-hauuu."
Not bad. We should follow
it up with something. Mel?
"Ben-Hur, if he's a him,
what's with the Hur?"
- [ALVIN] Pass. Adam?
- [ADAM] Uh, "Some sad news,
Clark Gable passed away.
He's survived by his wife,
his children and his mustache."
He loved Gable. Put it in. Who else?
Uh, well, I worked on some
new stuff during rehearsal.
- You what?
- [GROANS] Jesus.
- I worked on some new stuff.
- [MEL] She jinxed it.
- You jinxed it.
- Jinxed what?
We never work on new
stuff during rehearsal,
- ever.
- What? Why?
It guarantees that Gordon's
gonna throw everything out.
I'm sorry, Gordon somehow knew
I was sitting in a bathroom
stall jotting down jokes?
That's why he threw out the
script? Is he omniscient?
If anyone is
Let the girl pitch. Go on, Midge.
Thank you, Alvin.
"The Unsinkable Molly Brown
is a new show on Broadway.
I heard that the ushers are seating
women and children first."
She was on the Titanic.
He nixed a Molly Brown joke last week.
- Mine.
- [ALVIN] Got another?
Yeah, um
"There's gonna be a baby in
the White House, little JFK Jr.
It'll be a clean transition.
White House staff already learned
how to change diapers with Eisenhower."
"A" for effort. Cess?
- Oh, now wait a minute.
- Yeah?
I'm sorry, but that last one was funny.
- No, it wasn't.
- Yes, it was.
- No one laughed.
- I think the audience would,
and it's topical, he wants topical.
A joke is not funny
just because you say it's funny.
No, it's not funny
because I say it's funny.
It's funny because it's funny.
- And you know funny?
- Yeah, I know funny.
Great. Alvin, put my Ben-Hur joke in
because I know funny,
and I think it's funny.
- Mel
- Your Ben-Hur joke was not funny.
- Oh, really?
- Or topical or fresh.
Wasn't even funny when I heard
Jack Paar do it two weeks ago.
- [OTHERS] Oh!
- Alvin.
We have no time for
this. Sorry. Cess, go.
Okay, uh
"There's a commercial
for dishwashing soap.
- Any of you see it?"
- I bet she did.
[WOMAN] Hi, yes, he's
expecting your call.
Abe, how was your meeting? [SNEEZES]
Cover your goddamn mouth, Terrence.
- [TERRENCE] That was harsh.
- Gabe, Gabe.
- Abe, you okay?
- I've got a question,
and be honest because
I don't know all the intricacies
of New York theater customs
Is this sexual?
So many thoughts
running through my mind right now, Abe.
- You're wondering why I'm asking.
- Very much.
At my lunch with Penelope,
it was all going so smoothly.
We talked about theater
and criticism and the war.
Then she did this with her hand,
- and it felt
- Sexual?
- Yes.
- That's because it is.
I knew it.
So, it was a sexualized gesture.
One of the oldest.
- You can remove your hand now.
I don't get it.
I don't get it. It was lunch.
[GABE] So?
Nothing sexual happens
before 7:00 in the evening,
6:30 at the earliest.
Never at 1:42 in the
afternoon on a Monday.
I am learning a lot about you today.
I've been racking my brain,
trying to think if I said
something that gave her
the wrong impression.
Was I too kind to A Pudding for Nigel?
Is that all it takes?
That, and a hearty Bordeaux.
How did you know we had wine?
Because you smell like wine.
Oh, my God, we had wine.
You know, she's never made
a pass at me. Terrence,
has Penelope ever made a pass at you?
Uh-uh. She knows I'm a homosexual.
- What? Since when?
- Since birth, probably.
- But you're married.
- Oh, I left my wife years ago.
I live with Maury now.
From accounting? With the cold.
Terrence, we need to talk more.
Gabe, what do I tell my wife?
- Your wife?
- Yes, my wife.
- Abe, nothing happened.
- Nothing happened,
but something happened.
But nothing happened.
She'll know. She'll sense it.
Abe, do not tell her about Penelope.
About you and me just
now, yes, but not her,
and I promise never to put
you in that position again.
You are too tempting.
- It's all in the past.
- Maybe.
It's in the past. Say it with me.
[BOTH] It's in the past.
- Wasn't Maury married?
- He lived with his sister.
That was his sister? I
am so out of the loop.
- He's on the move!
- He's on the move.
- He's on the move.
- He's on the move.
- Where's Adam?
- [MEL] Yeah, where is Adam?
- It's showtime.
I was saying hi to my parents.
- [MEL] What are you, 14?
[STAGE MANAGER] Keep the aisles clear.
And if you do have to
leave, please do so quietly.
Emergency exit doors are
on both sides in the back.
Other than that, make a lot of noise
- when it comes to showing Gordon you are happy to be here.
- Do we have a monologue?
- No idea.
[STAGE MANAGER] You sound like
a great audience, guys. Feel free
to laugh at anything you find funny,
and applaud when we light the sign.
Whoa. Whoa.
We didn't even light the sign.
- You're already disobeying orders.
We got a great show
tonight. See you in a minute.
Okay, so let's do Clark Gable,
Emily Post, the NASA joke,
the automat joke that
we dropped on Friday
put that next to last and did
the Dennis the Red Menace thing
- make it past the censors?
- They didn't flag it.
We're basically saying
the kid's a communist.
They didn't flag it.
Put it in. And I'll throw in a riff
about the hat on the lady in the
second row. She wore that thing
- to be noticed.
- You got it, boss.
- Teddy?
- I thrive on this.
Good man.
The cavalry comes through again.
[MIDGE] Wow.
Right down to the wire.
He keeps us on our toes.
[STAGE MANAGER] Places, everyone.
- Places, everyone.
Sorry about before.
I checked with a friend, Paar
did do that joke. Fuck me.
Hey, Teddy, you posing
for the Kama Sutra?
- [TEDDY] Up yours, Mel.
- Ladies and gentlemen,
it's The Gordon Ford Show!
Tonight's guests: Angie Dickinson,
Steve Lawrence, and
novelist Ray Bradbury.
Now here's your host,
Gordon Ford!
Thanks, everyone. Thanks for coming out.
It's getting festive here
in New York, isn't it?
With all the twinkling lights
and window displays and chestnuts
roasting over an open trash can fire.
- He doesn't like us in his eyeline.
[GORDON] It's a generous time of year.
- My mom looks so old.
- [GORDON] A guy picked the wallet
right out of my pocket, gave
it back to me gift-wrapped.
I mean it, it had a ribbon
on it and everything.
George, you've had your pocket picked.
Did you ever get that original
copy of the Magna Carta back?
I told you not to carry
that thing around like that.
- More fool me.
Of course, you've all
heard the sad news,
- the great Clark Gable has passed away.
[GORDON] He's survived
by his wife, his children,
and his mustache.
Now, ma'am, is that a hat,
or is your hair on fire?
[GORDON] 'Cause we can
help you. We have firemen
standing right outside.
They can rush right in here,
hose you down real
quick, free of charge.
How's Chaim? How's my baby boy?
he's just the greatest
little man on the planet.
You should have seen the other day,
he was playing with a basketball,
but he's so tiny,
he rolled right over the top of it
and did a complete somersault.
[CHUCKLES] I wish I'd seen that.
The ball landed on top of
him. He never let go of it.
It was too cute.
Noah, listen, I'm
calling with a question,
then I'll let you go.
- Sure.
- Could you order a quick raid on an enemy?
- Pardon?
- I know the CIA
is very busy. I wouldn't
ask if it wasn't important.
Mom, what? I'm an analyst.
I've told you a million times.
I wouldn't need to know the details.
I respect your privacy.
What enemy? What are you talking about?
It's this, uh, shall we say,
"coterie" I'm dealing with.
I'm talking something fast,
unexpected, but severe.
A very fast, hard attack.
Well, short answer, Ma,
I cannot order a raid.
Well, can I speak to someone
in the raid department, then?
You could just give me the number.
We don't have a raid department.
Ma, who the hell is this
"coterie" you want to raid?
Just some women.
They meet occasionally in Coney Island,
and I just thought, if
I knew they were there
at a specific time, you could
firebomb it or something.
Ma, I'm at work.
Perfect, can you ask a colleague?
They sometimes monitor these calls, Ma.
We cannot talk about this.
Oh. Well, should I call back later?
We could use a code word.
- How about "flower girl"?
- No!
Well, then should we
meet in the park at dusk?
I read about spies doing that.
I really can't continue
this conversation.
Oh, your father's home.
Abe, would you like to say hi to Noah?
Pop, what the hell is going on with
- Abe?
- Hi.
Are you all right?
Oh, I'm fine. Thank you.
How was your day? Did you
make some good matches at the tearoom?
Oh, yes. Yes, I, um,
went to the tearoom.
How was the tea?
It was very nice.
Corinne and I went there,
and it was exactly as it always is.
- Very nice.
- That's nice.
Mm. Did you have a nice day?
Just a typical, nice Monday.
Yeah, ate dessert at my desk,
typed some, the usual.
What did you have for dessert?
Did I say dessert? Lunch.
I ate lunch.
You want to go out to dinner?
Rose, that's awful.
I wasn't gonna tell you because
I didn't want to worry you.
But it was just so upsetting,
watching the place burn like that.
And the smell, oolong and ash.
You know you can
always tell me anything.
The tearoom was my office.
I met all my clients there.
I don't know what I'm
gonna do without it.
The whole place smelled
like a wedding cake.
Abe. What is this?
A fondly intentioned
sexualized gesture.
Well, it is past 7:00.
Am I supposed to do something in return?
I think it's optional.
- I told you there'd be drinks.
- [SUSIE] But it's okay
because your outfit
was made for sitting,
and you sit in a bar, right?
The flare can accommodate that?
You know, I'm tired of people mocking me
for thinking about how a dress
works in different situations.
So, Toots Shor's is their hangout, huh?
They come here because Gordon doesn't.
He got into some fight with Toots
and won't set foot in the place.
- They call it their sanctuary.
- I got to start working
that place. It's a good place.
- the job is weird.
- How so?
They don't think I'm funny.
Well, they don't have to,
so long as Gordon thinks you're funny.
The day felt like a week,
and we have to do it
all over again tomorrow
and then the next day and the next.
Well, you better not fucking
call me about tomorrow's outfit.
I won't.
Now go mingle. Make some friends.
Be confident. You love an audience.
Think of those guys as your audience.
- Use 'em.
- I'll try.
- Bye.
- Bye.
[MEL] rushes ahead of
me at the front of the line,
buys the same can of tuna every day,
89 cents.
She's counting out pennies.
I lost my place, one, two "
- I'm going nuts.
Harvard did teach me manners, after all.
Along with very useful Greek
and how to hit a shuttlecock.
There's not a bomb
underneath it, is there?
Are you kidding me? Are
you fucking kidding me?
[RALPH] He made peace with Toots?
[ALVIN] Not to my knowledge.
I personally heard him call Toots
a fat fuck not two weeks ago.
They almost came to blows that time.
They had to be separated.
- What changed?
- [GORDON] Hey, all.
- Good show tonight.
- [OTHERS] Hey.
Tough journey, but we got it there.
That's what Alvin's wife
said on their wedding night.
[LAUGHS] Actually, she did.
- Wow.
- So, Gordon, you like the automat joke?
- Mm, it wasn't my favorite.
- Good, it was Adam's.
- There's the guy.
It got a laugh. Means it's funny.
I'll tell you what's funny.
Mike got me an advanced copy
of "The 2,000 Year Old
Man," that Mel Brooks thing.
- Oh.
- Hilarious.
Really, really funny.
One of the funniest
I never said Mel Brooks wasn't funny.
But that bit would be
nothing without Carl Reiner.
Right, 'cause without Carl, it
would be Mel awkwardly waiting
half a minute in silence and
then reciting the punch line.
Yeah, that would stink.
I give up.
How are these guys treating you?
She lied.
They're a very good group of writers,
and I am thrilled to
be here. Learning a lot.
Pleasure's ours.
They give you any
problems, you come to me.
All right, fellas,
I'm gonna grab a drink.
- Next round's on me.
- Thanks.
- You're too kind.
- Thanks, boss.
That's nice of you, boss.
What changed? That changed.
Everything was the same today,
except for the X factor.
We just solved for "X."
"X"? I'm not "X."
- Look at that.
- Good to see you back, Gordie.
- Ah, you're looking good, Toots.
- I always look good.
I'm gonna miss this place.
We can go back to that Irish pub.
I can't sit through that
tin whistle leprechaun music
anymore, I'll go crazy.
You can come back here.
There's that place on 59th.
I swear you can come back here.
What about PJ Clarke's?
They measure their pours.
I'm not "X."
[MIDGE] So, I started this new job,
and it's not fun.
Not that every job is
supposed to be fun. I mean,
when a nurse is inserting a catheter,
she's not standing there thinking,
"This looked so much
more fun in the brochure."
And it's all men. Mm-hmm.
So, I'm sitting in this
room with a bunch of men,
and none of them are being nice
or showing me the ropes,
and so far none of them seem
to want to sleep with me.
It's the least they could do.
Who raised these men, not wolves?
Hey, did you hear there's gonna
be a baby in the White House?
Little JFK Jr.
It'll be a clean transition.
White House staff already learned how
to change diapers with Eisenhower.
I knew that was funny.
Laughing because ♪
It's right to laugh ♪
Dress up at night ♪
In the right dress ♪
You can't change me into
something that I'm not ♪
I like too much the rain ♪
The power of my brain ♪
The sunshine and the open ♪
Road ♪
Ahead of ♪
Me ♪
I'll hear your line ♪
Some other time ♪
When miming ♪
Performance rhyme ♪
The way you feel ♪
It is so phony and unreal ♪
I like too much the rain ♪
The power of my brain ♪
The sunshine and the open ♪
Road ♪
Ahead of ♪
Me ♪
Antique white lace ♪
A plastic face ♪
A tinfoil place ♪
An empty space ♪
You're so hung up on yourself ♪
And nothing else ♪
I like too much the rain ♪
The power of my brain ♪
The sunshine and the open ♪
Road ♪
Ahead of me ♪
I like too much the rain ♪
The power of my brain ♪
The sunshine and the open ♪
Road ♪
Ahead of me ♪
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