“Monkee vs. Machine” Script

Teaser

INT. THE PAD

MIKE [on the phone]:
Hello? Oh. Oh, yes, sir, the rent. Well, we—wait—hello?

DAVY:
The landlord.

MIKE:
Plaster’s falling down, plumbing don’t work, we’re two days late on the rent, and he calls up and growls at us.

DAVY:
Hey, man. There’s loads of jobs here; we can get work. Listen to this: “Wanted, keeper at city zoo. Apply meal time at the lion’s cage. If the lion likes you, the job’s yours.”

MIKE:
Hey, here’s one. Says, “Must have your own bicycle. Um. Boy to deliver… pianos?”

DAVY:
Deliver pianos?

MICKY:
A toy factory. “Needs unskilled help in non-essential job requiring no training or no experience.”

MIKE:
Hey, Peter! You don’t have any training, and you sure don’t have any experience; you’re the only one qualified.

MIKE:
Probably the only one in the city with those qualifications. At least, the only one that can read the ad.

PETER:
Just think, they put the ad in the paper to reach me. Ha ha.

MIKE:
That’s right.

PETER:
Why didn’t they phone?

MICKY:
Never mind. What difference does it make? Listen, you gotta go out there and get that job for the old team, boy. Up we go.

MIKE:
All you gotta do is stay very cool, and remember these three little words: Don’t argue.

PETER:
That’s two words.

MIKE:
You’re starting already.

INT. TOY FACTORY - RECEPTION

PETER:
I have an appointment with the personnel director.

SECRETARY:
Of course. Right this way.

PETER:
Where is he?

SECRETARY:
You’re looking at him.

INT. TOY FACTORY - INTEVIEW ROOM

DJ-61:
Take a seat, please.

“(Theme From) The Monkees”

Act One

INT. TOY FACTORY - INTEVIEW ROOM

DJ-61:
Take a seat, please. To preclude the variable factor inherent in the human equation, we have instituted this new electronic personnel procedure acquiring… your name, please.

PETER:
What?

DJ-61:
Thank you. Last name, What. And your first name, Mr. What?

PETER:
N—it’s not what.

DJ-61:
Notwhat. Mr. Notwhat What.

PETER:
Wait a minute. That’s not my name at all. My name is—

DJ-61:
Occupation?

PETER:
—Peter, you dig? Pete.

DJ-61:
You dig peat. Occupation, peat digger. And your mother’s maiden name?

PETER:
Thompson.

DJ-61:
Mother’s name: Thompson. Sex, please.

PETER:
Female, of course.

DJ-61:
Alright, Mrs. Notwhat.

PETER:
No, my mother is female.

DJ-61:
What do you do in your spare time, Mrs. Notwhat?

PETER:
Listen, I’m a man.

DJ-61:
In your spare time, you are a man.

PETER:
Oh, no, no. That’s not it at all. You’ve—first of all, you’ve got my name wrong.

DJ-61:
Correction, name misspelled. Please give correct letter.

PETER:
Well, I—

DJ-61:
Correct letter is I. Name is not Notwhat but Nitwit.

PETER:
Oh, brother!

DJ-61:
Brother is also a Nitwit.

PETER:
Now, just a minute!

DJ-61:
That will do, Nitwit. Test complete. Interview ended. Application rejected.

PETER:
Hey, give me a chance.

SECRETARY:
I’m sorry; you’re rejected.

PETER:
Why do I have to talk to a machine? Why couldn’t I talk to a human being?

DJ-61:
Because, Nitwit, a machine avoids the human error. The human error. The human error.

INT. THE PAD

PETER:
No experience and no training necessary, and I couldn’t even get that job. That machine was ten times smarter than me.

MIKE:
Look, man, it’s okay. Besides, you got something the machine don’t have.

PETER:
Hm?

MIKE:
You’ve got friends.

MICKY:
Hey, you got some friends, Pete? Bring ’em over someday!

MIKE:
Now, tell me exactly what happened from the start. You—the machine puts you down, right? And so you started getting flustered.

PETER:
Oh, wow.

MIKE:
Okay, tell me step by step by step what happened.

PETER:
Well, I was in this room alone with this machine, and then the machine started asking me questions, like—

INT. TOY FACTORY - INTEVIEW ROOM

DJ-61:
What is your name?

MIKE:
Nesmith. What’s yours?

DJ-61:
What?

MIKE:
Thank you, Mr. What, and what’s your first name?

DJ-61:
It’s not “What”.

MIKE:
Mr. Notwhat What. And what is your occupation?

DJ-61:
Name is not “Notwhat”. I am computer DJ-sixty-one.

MIKE:
Oh, you’re a DJ. Look, I bet you got a great record collection. Tell me about your mother and father.

DJ-61:
My mother was a duplicating machine.

MIKE:
Sex? Oh, I bet you’re a real swinger when you’re turned on. What a dirty old man.

DJ-61:
Wait, I am not programmed for these questions.

MIKE:
Oh, you want a different program? Well, okay, look, um.

DAGGART:
What’s happened here? Wha—wha—wha. What’s happened to DJ-sixty-one? Stop it! Stop that! Nasty, nasty! ??? Speak to me! Speak to me! I.Q. one ninety-eight? Incredible. Never registered this high before. My boy, you’re a genius. You’ve confounded the most intricate machine in America, do you realize that? Marvelous. I want you to meet our president.

INT. TOY FACTORY - OFFICE

MIKE:
Good morning, Mr. President. Uh, I just want to say that I fully support your war on poverty, and I hope you continue—

DAGGART:
No, no. Nesmith, this is our company president, J.B. Guggins, son of our late founder.

GUGGINS:
Good morning, Nesmith. I’m always happy to meet young blood. Now, just remember one thing. The, uh, the man, uh, who goes fartherest in this company is the man who is, uh, capable of making, uh, uh, decisions. I’ll be happy to consider your application?

DAGGART:
No, no, J.B., I think he should start immediately.

GUGGINS:
I think he should start immediately.

DAGGART:
Yes, I thought he might work as a personal assistant.

GUGGINS:
Good, I need a personal assistant; I’m terribly overworked.

DAGGART:
No, I meant as, uh, as my personal assistant.

GUGGINS:
He should be your personal assistant. I never do anything around here anyhow. I just play with the toys. Look at the frogs and stuff.

DAGGART:
Uh, J.B.

GUGGINS:
Oh, yes, anything, what?

DAGGART:
I thought I’d show him around.

GUGGINS:
Uh, oh, yes, oh, right, uh, show him around.

DAGGART:
Extraordinary.

INT. TOY FACTORY - COMPUTER ROOM

DAGGART:
J.B. inherited the firm from his father. No ambition. No leadership.

INT. TOY FACTORY - COMPUTER ROOM

DAGGART:
Oh, look at this. Wonderful, wonderful. Alright. Yes. Steady, big fellow. Alright, machines. Can I have your attention, please? I’d like you to meet Mr. Nesmith. Uh, that’s, uh, Harold there. And this is Irving over here. Look at these lights. Marvelous. Clyde. Ha ha. ??? Over here, is, uh, Petula. Petula, Mr. Nesmith. Ah! Don’t do that. This is modern toy making, my boy.

HARPER:
Excuse me, Mr. Daggart.

DAGGART:
Not now, Harper.

HARPER:
But this will only take a minute.

DAGGART:
Harper: used to design all our toys. Totally useless. I’d fire him like that, but J.B. promised him his job for life.

MIKE:
Oh.

DAGGART:
What’re you gonna do?

MIKE:
Wow, you’re all heart. Huh.

DAGGART:
Alright, Harper.

HARPER:
It’s this new toy I have developed. You see, sir, it can assume any shape. Now it’s a spiral, and, and now a curve.

DAGGART:
You can turn it into anything but money, eh, Harper? Heh heh heh heh.

HARPER:
But Mr. Taggart—

DAGGART:
Let me make one thing perfectly clear, Harper. Henceforth, all toys in this company will be designed by computers. Is that perfectly clear? No others will be considered.

HARPER:
But I don’t understand. I gave my whole life to my toys.

DAGGART:
Your toys are a part of yesterday, Harper. And, uh, so are you.

HARPER:
Mister? You give your whole life for a company, and then they, they just toss you aside.

MIKE:
Look, uh, I’m sorry, huh?

INT. THE PAD

DAVY:
Hey, man, be happy; you got the job.

MIKE:
Oh, yeah, I got the job, alright. I’m also part of the new blood.

MICKY:
Groovy! We pay the rent. Besides, what better place is there to work than a toy factory?

PETER:
Yeah, play with the kids and all.

DAVY:
Ha ha ha.

“Saturday’s Child”

Act Two

INT. THE PAD

MICKY:
You’re still bugged, huh, babe?

MIKE:
Look, we gotta think of a plan to help Pop Harper keep his job.

DAVY:
It should be child’s play.

MIKE:
Child’s play! That’s right! Daggart is having a panel of little kids come in tomorrow to test all the toys.

DAVY:
So?

MICKY:
So…

MIKE:
You got it, babe. Alright, repeat after me: goo.

DAVY, MICKY, PETER:
Goo.

MIKE:
Ga.

DAVY, MICKY, PETER:
Ga.

MIKE:
Goo.

DAVY, MICKY, PETER:
Goo.

MIKE:
Ga.

DAVY, MICKY, PETER:
Ga.

MIKE:
Goo.

DAVY, MICKY, PETER:
Goo.

MIKE:
Ga.

DAVY, MICKY, PETER:
Ga.

INT. TOY FACTORY - TESTING ROOM

DAGGART:
The little runts are late. Ah, good morning, J.B.

GUGGINS:
Good morning.

DAGGART:
Yes, the tests, uh, are due to start any moment now.

GUGGINS:
Well, I think I’ll just watch from right over here. Ah.

DAGGART:
I think you should watch from behind the panel. Oh! Here, you’ve got a chair on you. I think you should watch from behind the panel.

GUGGINS:
I think, uh, I should watch from inside the, uh, panel.

DAGGART:
Alright. Now, then, uh, Nesmith? Here they come. Uh, you know what to do.

MIKE:
Oh. Come on, in. Sit over here, and, uh, you can sit there, and you just sit right over, and, fine, that’s just. ???

DAGGART:
Right, Nesmith. Are we all here now?

MIKE:
Um, no, sir, there’s supposed to be one more. Oh, here, uh, here they are. It’s fine.

DAGGART:
Oh, no. Pardon me, madam. Uh, we’re only accepting children between the ages of eight and eleven.

PETER:
He is between the ages of eight and eleven; he’s thirteen.

DAGGART:
Spirited child. Alright, mothers. All the mothers outside. Mothers out. There we go. No, no. No. Over here. Come over here. Ah. Wonderful boy. Alright, J.B. Now then. These tests will demonstrate, uh, the attention span of the toys. Let’s see how well they hold the child’s, uh, attention. Alright, let’s play the game. Let’s see how well they score. Come on. Play. Play with the toys. Ah. Play, play with the little missile launcher. No, son. Ah, pardon me. Stay, stay right there. Stay where you are. Uh, hello, here, it’s an educational toy. Teach you to kill. Here. Here. Here now. Here. Don’t do that. Don’t do that. Here. Give me that. Give me that yo-yo.

KIDS:
Hey!

GUGGINS:
What’s going on out there?

MIKE:
Out where? Oh.

GUGGINS:
Out there.

DAGGART:
You bent my slide rule!

INT. TOY FACTORY - TESTING ROOM

DAGGART:
Now, this afternoon, J.B., we’re going to demonstrate the durability of our new toys. Are they all here, Nesmith?

MIKE:
Oh, yes, sir. They just coming in now.

DAGGART:
Yep. Alright, let’s go. Did you, uh, get rid of the one with the yo-yo?

MIKE:
Oh, yes, sir. This is a replacement here.

DAGGART:
Well, this, uh, this looks like an improvement. Not that much of an improvement. Alright. Right over here. Alright, lad. Sit right down there. Yes. Wonderful. Alright. Let’s start the test here. Here we have a dear little four and twenty blackbirds baked in a plastic pie toy. Wonderful. See how nice that works, blackbird-wise? This toy cannot be bruised, bashed, broken, or scratched in any form. Wonderful. Now, let’s all play with our pies. Play with the pie. Turn the little cranks. That’s a good lad. Heh. There, isn’t that wonderful? ??? Come on. Alright, let’s just stop all this playing around now and play with the pie. Yes, perfect, wonderful. Yeah, is that fun? Funsies, fun time. La la-la la, la-la la. Wonderful. Don’t do that. Oh, my heart.

MICKY:
My mommy won’t let me play with toys that, that burn or bash or scratch or, or go boom.

INT. TOY FACTORY - TESTING ROOM

DAGGART:
Alright. Let’s begin the assembly test now. Wait a minute. What about this boy here? Nesmith. I think I’ll watch from the control room. Yes, well. Now, we’ll, uh, set the timer here and see how long it takes the little rascals to assemble the toys.

MIKE:
Alright, this is very simple. You got to put A in slot B, and C in slot C, and you make a bridge, okay? Everybody go to it now, quick. Put it up there. ??? That’s good. Just stick it right on there.

DAGGART:
That’s alright, that’s splendid. That’s splendid, children.

MIKE:
???

PETER:
Uh, hey, no, you, you put the, the slots in, they go in like this, and then they, they twist, and they—

DAGGART:
That’s not splendid.

PETER:
It goes in this way, and then you turn it around, and—

DAGGART:
Oh!

PETER:
Is it alright if we force it?

DAGGART:
No, forcing is out! Now.

PETER:
Hey, that’s mine!

DAGGART:
Slot B goes in slot B, it’s very simple.

PETER:
No, it don’t. It doesn’t go in—

DAGGART:
Yes, it does.

PETER:
No, hey, hey, those are mine! Come on, give me those!

DAGGART:
These are computer toys! They’re very simple! Stop it!

PETER:
Mister!

INT. TOY FACTORY - OFFICE

DAGGART:
The machines, uh, planned for these, uh, results, actually.

GUGGINS:
Planned?

DAGGART:
Oh, yes. What happens when a toy, uh, won’t, uh, hold a child’s interest?

GUGGINS:
Well, the, the parents go out and buy him a new one?

DAGGART:
Right. And what happens when a toy won’t assemble or is destroyed?

GUGGINS:
Why, they, they buy another one.

DAGGART:
Right. It’s planned obsolescence, Guggins. Designed to triple our sales.

GUGGINS:
Why, uh, that’s pretty good.

DAGGART:
Pretty good? It’s marvelous!

GUGGINS:
It’s marvelous!

MIKE:
Wait a minute! Hey there, excuse me. Listen, Mr. Guggins, I think you’ve forgotten a very important part of toy building, and that’s the fact that you need to build in some happiness. I mean, after all, happiness is a pretty important product. Now, I wanna show you a toy. Come on, quick.

HARPER:
You see, sir, you twist it any which way, and, uh.

DAGGART:
Wait a minute! I think a smell a small, furry rodent.

INT. TOY FACTORY - TESTING ROOM

DAGGART:
Uh, excuse me, madam. Pardon me, madam.

MICKY:
Ah! I never speak to strangers! Ah, my husband’s insanely jealous. Come on, junior, we have to go now.

DAGGART:
I believe I’ve seen your son somewhere before.

MICKY:
Oh, no, now, impossible. Heh. No, he’s never permitted to cross the street.

DAGGART:
He looks rather mature for ten.

MICKY:
No, no, no, no. Actually, he’s just a little infant, yes. I have to help him with his reading. Every morning before he goes to school, I read to him. Come on.

PETER:
While I’m shaving.

DAGGART:
What? Ha! Fraud! Conspiracy!

MRS. ZUCKERMAN:
Come on, sonny. Come on home. What is going on here?

DAGGART:
I’ll tell you what’s going on here, mister. A vast conspiracy! Terribly sorry, madam.

INT. TOY FACTORY - OFFICE

GUGGINS:
By George, anybody who wants to fire you is gonna have to talk to me first.

DAGGART:
I want him fired.

GUGGINS:
I’m glad you talked to me first.

DAGGART:
Alright, you’re fired. All of you get out. Out.

INT. THE PAD

HARPER:
Don’t worry. It, it’s just no good. Get rid of it.

MIKE:
Well, now, wait a minute. It’s a nice toy, you—

HARPER:
Please, please, I don’t want to see it again. Just get rid of it.

MICKY:
This thing has really been a drag.

MIKE:
Hey, Davy. Let me see the paper; I wanna look at the want ads.

DAVY:
Hey, Pop. How many of these things did you make?

HARPER:
Uh, just one.

DAVY:
Well, where did this one come from? I just threw one out the door.

MICKY:
Hey, I threw one out too.

MIKE:
Well, that means that the thing come back by itself.

INT. TOY FACTORY - OFFICE

GUGGINS:
A toy you can’t throw away.

DAGGART:
It’s useless, totally useless.

MIKE:
It’s useless, huh? Well, alright, then you get rid of it, if it’s so useless.

DAGGART:
You bet I’ll get rid of it.

GUGGINS:
Hey, it comes back! I think they may have something there.

DAGGART:
I say they don’t.

GUGGINS:
And I say they may have something there!

MIKE:
Just think of it, Mr. Guggins. You can sell a million of these things, and then you got a million happy kids.

DAGGART:
Pshaw, happiness!

HARPER:
Yes, happiness. But you’re not that concerned about happiness, are you, Mr. Daggart?

PETER:
You tell him, Pop.

GUGGINS:
Daggart, you’re through!

DAGGART:
Through? You think you can stand before the march of the machine? You, an indecisive jellyfish? You’ll change your mind.

GUGGINS:
No, I won’t.

DAGGART:
Bah. Humbug!

GUGGINS:
Harper.

HARPER:
Yes, sir?

GUGGINS:
I’m gonna appoint you the general manager of the company.

HARPER:
Yes, sir!

GUGGINS:
Now, we’ve, uh, we’ve got to get to work on this, uh, this wonk-o, this, uh, drinky, this, uh, we’ve got to think of a name of it. Nesmith?

MIKE:
Well.

PETER:
It’s chilly in here.

MIKE:
I guess we could call it a Monkee-rang. I mean, it always comes back. Catch it, Pete.

Tag

INT. THE PAD

MICKY:
So where did you get the machine?

MIKE:
Well, uh, Mr. Guggins gave it to me to help me straighten out our careers.

MICKY:
Huh.

PETER:
What’s to straighten out? We’re musicians.

MIKE:
Oh, well, I mean, that’s cool. Except, uh, I figured if we outta get a little extra money to pay the rent, and so I got the machine here.

DJ-69:
DJ-sixty-nine believes the Monkees should seek employment as…

“Last Train to Clarksville”