Wes: Ah, this is not going to be a very good show tonight. And I think you should change the channel. Change the channel, go on, right now... or better yet, turn off the TV, okay? No, I know it seems like this is supposed to be funny, but tomorrow you’re gonna find out that it wasn’t and by that time I’ll have been fired. No, this is… this is not… this is not a sketch. This show used to be cutting edge political and social satire, but it’s gotten lobotomized by a candy-ass broadcast network hell-bent on doing nothing that might challenge their audience. We’re about to do a sketch that you’ve seen already about 500 times. Yeah, no one’s gonna confuse George Bush with George Plimpton. Yeah, we get it. We’re all being lobotomized by this country’s most influential industry that’s just throwing in the towel on any endeavor to do anything that doesn’t include the courting of 12 year old boys. And not even the smart 12 year olds. The stupid ones. The idiots. Which there are plenty, thanks in no small measure to this network, so why don’t you just change the channel? Turn off your TVs, do it right now, go ahead.... A struggle between art and commerce. Well, there’s always been a struggle between art and commerce. And now I’m telling you art is getting its ass kicked. And it’s making us mean, and it’s making us bitchy. It’s making us cheap punks. That’s not who we are! People are having contests to see how much they can be like Donald Trump?... We’re eating worms for money. Who wants to screw my sister? Guys are getting killed in a war that’s got theme music and a logo? That remote in your hand is a crack pipe. [monitors] Oh yeah, every once in a while we pretend to be appalled.... Pornographers! It’s not even good pornography. They’re just this side of snuff films. And friends, that’s what’s next because that’s all that’s left. And the two things that make them scared gutless are the FCC and every psycho religious cult that gets positively horny at the very mention of a boycott. These are the people they’re afraid of – this prissy, feckless, off-the-charts, greed-filled whorehouse of a network. And you’re watching this thoroughly unpatriotic Mother-
Harriet: You know what, rook? When you start making a contribution to this show, you can talk to me any way you want. But you had two lines tonight and you stepped on one of them. So until you either accept Jesus Christ as your personal savior or make somebody laugh, why don’t you talk to somebody else?
[Matt and Danny have been offered the job of leading the show.]
Matt: Are you people using the confidential information that Danny failed a drug test to force him into taking over Studio 60 to deflect attention from what happened on the air tonight?
Matt: [turning to everyone] Ironically, I'm the one who's high as a paper kite right now. But legitimately. I had back surgery on Tuesday. L-5/S-1, if that means anything to you. Stop talking now? You bet.
Danny: I have no reason to trust you and every reason not to.
Danny: You work in television.
Jack: [to Jordan] You saw how fast I fired Wes Mendell? Screw this up and I'll fire you faster. I'm not like every other heterosexual man in show business, Jordan. I don't find you charming. And you've earned the loyalty of absolutely no one. So you go ahead and take your first steps towards making us classy again. We've been waiting for you.
Reporter: Jordan, can you describe the reaction of NBS executives Friday night when Wes described the network as "a candy-assed network" and "a greed-filled whorehouse of a network"?
Jordan: Pleased and proud, as you can imagine. Until we realized he wasn't talking about Fox, he was talking about us.
[The press questions the team about Danny's drug history.]
Reporter: Jordan, did you know about this when you hired him?
Jordan: I can't remember, I was high at the time.
[Matt addresses his writing team.]
Matt: One of the things this show does is decide what's cool, and I've just decided it's no longer cool for grown men to dress as if they're in junior high school. We're going to act, dress, talk, write and behave professionally.
[Harriet bursts through the door.]
Harriet: You are an adolescent, oversexed, whore-monger with the sensitivity of a head of cabbage!
Matt: And all that will begin in just a few minutes.
[Jack approaches Jordan in the studio as the new show is about to air, quoting fictional newsman Lou Grant.]
Jordan: And they might this time, but I'm not going down in the first round. And if the ratings go up, the sponsors who dropped out, we'll welcome them back in — at 120% of the cost of the original ad buy. We're going to be the first network to charge a coward fee.
Harriet: You know, where I grew up, if this had happened, there'd be a town meeting, and everybody'd be there. And the guy would have to sit and listen while Reverend Tillinghouse gave a sermon on honesty and character.
Simon: That's exactly what would happen where I grew up, except we'd've driven by the guy's house and shot him with a GAT-9.
Harriet: See, there's more that unites us than divides us.
Danny: Things happen around here. People blowing smoke out of their office windows at night?!
Jordan: Tell me no one is getting high in this building, Danny.
[Harriet gives Matt a gift — a baseball bat which a player had given to her.]
Matt: He wrote his phone number on here. You didn't see it?
Harriet: That's his phone number?
Matt: What did you think it was?
Harriet: I just thought it was his uniform number. You know, they sign their name, and then write the number…
Matt: Yeah, they do… do that. You thought his uniform number was 3 billion, 106 million, 786 thousand, 5 hun— he was asking you out.
Ron: The guy hadn't gotten anything on the air in a long time and was scared for his job. We talked to him and in no uncertain terms, he screwed up huge and he knows it. But I'm not gonna end his career over it. Cause I know how he feels. That's why we misled you and told you it was written by the room. People aren't even going for funny anymore, Matt. They're just trying for your respect. Anyway, we told Danny. We'll step down if you want, but we're not giving him up.
Matt: Well, now you've got my respect.
Harriet: Look skipper, if I wanted to make you jealous trust me you'd be jealous.
Tom: [to rehearsal audience] Danny Tripp has just gone upstairs to Matt Albie's office, where the two of them will very quickly decide what makes it into the show tonight. We call this "the Friday-night slaughter". This is where you find out if you have the chance to be the next Bill Murray, or the next Domino's Pizza delivery guy.
Harriet: Well, everyone here's a big fan of yours, Martha.
Martha: Really? How would I be referred to in your parents' house?
Harriet: The Devil's whore from Washington.
Martha: Yeah... I'm really the Devil's whore from Bethesda.
Harriet: I'm crazy about him, and I'll tell you why.
Jeannie: He's a professional athlete and has the body of one?
Harriet: No. It's because he's the anti-Matt. Darren is the anti-Matt! He's not snide, he's not smug, he's not superior — he goes to church! — he works with his hands…
Jeannie: Well, he's not a rancher. He's a middle-reliever for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Harriet: I'm saying he is, by and large, unburdened by….what?
Harriet: He thinks.
Jeannie: About what?
Harriet: I'm looking forward to discovering that tonight.
[Tom is dismayed about his parents' imminent visit to the studio.]
Tom: I'm gonna show them around the studio, and when we say goodnight, I swear to God, my father's gonna ask me if I need any money, and it is going to take everything I've got not to point out to him I could buy his house four times and turn it into my ping-pong room.
Matt: Half the shows in prime time start with two strippers getting choked to death after a lap dance, and that's fine with me but if it's also fine with Jesus then I don't see the need to tiptoe around his name.
Matt: It's one thing to be asked to respect someone else's religion, it's another to be asked to respect their taboos. In my religion it's disrespectful to God not to keep your head covered. You don't see me insisting that the cast of CSI:Miami wear yarmulkas.
Danny: That'd be an unusual creative direction for CSI:Miami.
Jack: [about Jordan] She delights in tweaking the religious community every bit as much as Matt does…
Danny: That is not true. No one delights in tweaking the religious community nearly as much as Matt does.
Harriet: [about an interview] I said the Bible says it's a sin. It also says judge not lest ye be judged, and that it was something for smarter people than me to decide.
Matt: "Ye" is a word you don't hear a lot.
Harriet: How do you manage to see every piece of my press?
Matt: We have a press department, I get a daily press packet. They highlight what they want me to see - this one got a highlight, an arrow and a sticker!
Harriet: Well, as I said, they left out the second sentence.
Matt: Yeah, can I ask you something? Does your ass hurt from straddling the fence like that all the time?
Harriet: I don't even know what the sides are in the culture war.
Matt: Well, your side hates my side because you think we think you're stupid, and my side hates your side because we think you're stupid.
Darius: Sometimes I hear people call another people "sir". There doesn't seem to be a pattern as to when and who, and I don't wanna be impolite, but I don't wanna look like an idiot either, so... who gets called "sir"?
Lucy: I'm working on a sketch right now.
Lucy: There are no rules to it. It'll come naturally, like calling a conductor "maestro" when he is in the vicinity of the podium. You know, we get to Friday night, the more we hear Matt and Danny called "sir". Cal, too, department heads, anybody who deserves it. It's not a big deal.
Darius: Ok. [pause] Is this is a "white people" thing or what?
Lucy: I'm not white, Darius, I'm English.
Darius: [laughs] Put that line in the damn sketch.
Harriet: Shut up, you live off Mulholland, there are other streets in the country where marriage is still important.
Matt: It's important off of Mulholland too, but let me ask you something how is my marriage, your marriage, or anyone else's marriage even marginally affected by the gay couple two doors down from them also getting married, and if it does, how is that their problem?
Harriet: [to Matt] You know what? When George Michael does some guy in a bathroom, or Woody Allen marries his daughter, or a child molester gets an Oscar nomination, it doesn't really give Hollywood a lot of moral authority on sexual behavior.
[Cal tears into Ricky and Ron about the just-ending show running 37 seconds short.]
Cal: Danny had to have Jessica Simpson fill. Nice girl, nice performer — don't want her to extemporize on our air. She had time to thank her pets, and then she asked us all to pray for peace in the Midwest.
Ron: [laughing] I'm sure she meant the Middle East.
[Matt runs through his own show criticisms with Danny.]
Danny: I'll tell ya, considering me and half the cast spend most of the day in Pahrump, Nevada, I thought it was a pretty good show.
Danny: Not now, but you will soon, 'cause this says you gonna have to make a journey of 1200 miles to bury your eggs in the warm mud.
Danny: Wait, that can't be you.
Jordan: (snickering) No.
Danny: It's an Alaskan King Crab that does that.
[In the examining room, Danny snipes about the father of Jordan's baby.]
Jordan: This is the time for a lecture?
Danny: No, that was about twelve weeks ago. By the way, did you and the last honest man on the planet get loaded on Jägermeister and forgot that there's like five hundred different kinds of birth control?
Doctor: Have you told anyone?
Jordan: Just my assistant, Kevin. That's it.
Doctor: And… Mr. Tripp?
Jordan: I had to tell him.
Danny: She wanted to.
Jordan: I was semi-conscious. I had to make sure he wasn't gonna force a B-12 injection on me.
Doctor: You've just described the beginning of every great love story.
Jack: You have to understand that pro-family groups support us in this time of war, just as long as they don't have to see of hear what fighting a war looks or sounds like.
[Matt plops down a tiny mounted pine on the writers' conference table.]
Matt: All Christmas trees are dead,they've been cut down.
Danny: I've been married twice before, and I'm a recovering cocaine addict, and I know that's no woman's dream of a man — or of a father. Nonetheless, I believe I'm falling in love with you. If you wanna run I understand. But you better get a good head start, 'cause I'm coming for you, Jordan.
[A squirrel-cheeked Jordan stares at him, speechless.]
Danny: You should go ahead and chew that sandwich now.
Danny: You know, a movie poster, a one-sheet. "I think we'll do the Green Lantern — I can see the one-sheet now. Don't worry that we don't have a story — we're gonna make all our money before word-of-mouth can kill us, anyway." We elect Presidents the same way. "He's got a big name, he'll raise money, he'll get the nomination! We'll teach him how to be President later!"
Jordan: (on the phone with Danny) Hi, this is Jordan McDeere. I'm the President of NBS west coast entertainment.
Danny: Yes ma'am.
Jordan: I'm concerned that not enough of your cameras are aimed at her chest.
Danny: Well, I got all four of them working. But this is just dress. If you want I can bring in some IMAX equipment tonight.
Jordan: This is what you like, huh?
Danny: Me? Uh...no, and I'll tell you why. Because she's TOO sexy.
Jordan: My hormones are like a Los Alamos experiment right now.
Danny: What does that mean?
Jordan: Get the cameras off her chest!!
Matt: I went down there to pitch her a sketch about a Christian Radio Host, and it turns out, she's a Christian.
Luke: I'm a Christian.
Matt: Yeah, but she's like...ya know...a member!
Matt: What were the odds of that? I'd say the last two places I'd expect to find a member of the Christian right are the corridors of Studio 60 and a synagogue.
Luke: Did you offend her?
Matt: I couldn't have offended her more if I re-crucified her savior, it was stunning!
Tom: It's gotta be soon, right?
Tom: I'm feeling the good vibe
Tom: I'll tell you this, if it doesn't make it to air, it sure wasn't your fault
Dylan: It sure wasn't your fault
Tom: You owned it
Dylan: You owned it
Tom: You got a receipt for it my man.
Dylan: You're Tom Jeter. No more need to be said.
Tom: You could've picked up the pace a little
Dylan: Yeah. Maybe a little less mugging from you.
Tom:(forcefully) No. No. This is what they want. To turn us against each other.
Dylan: You never mug man.
Tom: Your pacing is genius.
(Tom sees Andy approaching)
Tom: Here comes Andy. He'll make us feel better.
(They both start walking towards Andy)
Tom: Hey Andy!
(Andy gives them a nod of recognition as they approach him)
Andy: You graceless homicidal bastards. I think if you go check the stage you'll find jokes lying on the floor where you left them to die.
Tom: (pointing to Dylan) It was his pacing.
Andy: Should someone have indicated to you on a map where Canada was? Because your Canadian accent...
Tom: Too much?
Andy: It was Mexican.
Tom: This is the longest they've ever taken to decide.
Andy: In the old days, if your sketch didn't make it on the air, they used to send you downstairs naked, to sell lemon drinks shrouded only in your failure. And you'd have to explain to the patrons why you weren't good enough.
Dylan: There used to be a naked lemon drink salesman?
Matt: You know, I remember a few days after the mega phone thing at ground zero I was at the Writers' Guild and people were talking about what a seminal moment that was, and while people were talking about what a great leader he had become in that moment I was thinking, "Gee, what I saw was a guy getting an alley-oop pass from a heckler." A guy from off camera shouted, 'we can't hear you' and Bush shouted back, 'well I can hear you and soon the people that knocked these towers down will hear all of us.' Not a bad come back, but, it didn't strike me as a Saint Crispin's Day speech or anything. But I didn't say anything because I was scared and I've been scared for 5 weeks and that's too long for a grown man.
Matt: How is it possible that at a time when the entire country is completely in line, including the two of us, that... how is it possible that people are so offended by a thoroughly benign sketch?! Is true patriotism really that fragile that it can be threatened by a late night comedy show?!
Danny: What are you doing?
Harriet: Cheering you up with a little Holly Hunter.
Harriet: It's what I'm here for.
Danny: How is it no one's ever hit you in the head with a potato?