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Confessions of a dangerous mind script

CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND
a screenplay by
Charlie Kaufman
CONFESSIONS OF A DANGEROUS MIND
an unauthorized biography by
Chuck Barris
third draft (revised)
May 5, 1998
MUSIC IN: OMINOUS ORCHESTRAL
TEXT, WHITE ON BLACK:
This film is a reenactment of actual
events. It is based on Mr. Barris's
private journals, public records, and
hundreds of hours of taped interviews.
EXT. NYC STREET - NIGHT
SUBTITLE: NEW YORK CITY, FALL 1981
It's raining. A cab speeds down a dark, bumpy side-street.
INT. CAB - CONTINUOUS
Looking in his rearview mirror, the cab driver checks out his
passenger: a sweaty young man in a gold blazer with a "P"
insignia over his breast pocket. Several paper bags on the
back seat hedge him in. The young man is immersed in the
scrawled list he clutches in his hand. A passing street
light momentarily illuminates the list and we glimpse a few
of the entries: double-coated waterproof fuse (500 feet);
.38 ammo (hollowpoint configuration); potato chips (Lays).
GONG SHOW
An excerpt from The Gong Show (reenacted). The video image
fills the screen. We watch a fat man recite Hamlet,
punctuating his soliloquy with loud belching noises. The
audience is booing. Eventually the man gets gonged. Chuck
Barris, age 50, hat pulled over his eyes, dances out from the
wings to comfort the agitated performer.
Why'd they do that? I wasn't done.
BARRIS (AGE 50)
I don't understand. Juice, why'd you
gong this nice man?
JAYE P. MORGAN
Not to be. That is the answer.
The studio audience laughs.
INT. TAXI CAB - NIGHT
The cab sloshes to a stop in front of a liquor store. The
young man gets out, jogs through the rain toward the
fluorescent storefront. The cab driver waits, listens to
staticky reports in a foreign language on his radio. The
meter is running. The back seat is piled high with bags.
GONG SHOW
Chuck Barris spastically dances on the screen along with Gene
Gene the Dancing Machine. Barris turns to the camera, points
We'll be right back with more stuff.
INT. TAXI CAB - NIGHT
The back of the cab is filled with even more bags and boxes.
The cab stops. The young man gets out and confers with a
shady looking guy on the corner. The young man pulls out a
big wad of cash. Money and a small package change hands.
The meter in the cab is at thirty-five dollars and change.
THE GONG SHOW
Chuck Barris is being sniffed in the crotch by a large dog.
The audience howls with glee. Suddenly the video image
explodes. Slow motion sparks and shards of glass shoot
toward the camera. We pull back to reveal we're in a
darkened, messy hotel room. We pan across the walls, past
taped-up, yellowed newspaper clippings with headlines like
"Gong Show a New Low in Television", "The Dumbing of
America", and "Chuck Barris is the Decline of Western
Civilization." We come to rest on a naked middle-aged man
crouching in the shadows in the corner, holding a gun. This
is Chuck Barris. The television continues to sputter, spark,
and smoke. There is a knock at the door.
Fuck. Shit. Piss.
Naked Barris, still holding the gun, seems panicked. He
hesitates, trying to determine his options. Should he answer
the door? Should he climb out onto the window ledge?
Finally, he creeps to the door and peeks out the peephole for
a long moment. He unlocks the door, opens it. The sweaty,
young man, a bellhop, stands there with his many bags.
He tries to appear casual as takes in the sight: a naked
Chuck Barris holding a gun, an exploded, smoking tv set in
More stuff?
Yes sir, Mr. Barris. Everything you
requested. Except I couldn't find a.
. DH-10 directional fragmentation mine.
Well, it's late.
(mumbling and bowing)
But thank you. Thank you for trying.
You are a scholar and a.
Barris trails off, gives a quick glance both ways down the
hall, then motions for the bellhop to enter. The bellhop
places the bags on a table, fishes in his pocket and pulls
out some bills.
Keep it. It's okay. Keep it. You are a
scholar and a.
Barris trails off.
Thank you, sir.
Suddenly Barris becomes agitated.
Why are you not looking at me like that?
Do I look ugly to you?
(runs to the mirror)
It's the not sleeping. I'm not sleeping,
see. I have a lot on my.
Barris trails off. There is a pause. The bellhop attempts
to make conversation.
(re: exploded tv)
Um, another Gong Show rerun, sir?
The naked Barris approaches the bellhop, drapes his arm over
the young man's shoulder and walks with him.
You know what I'd do? -- And don't tell
anybody -- I'd rub. I'd rub Alpo brand
dog food on my dick so the dogs would
stick their noses into my. dick.
Guaranteed big laugh, right? That was my
trick, my great contribution to the
world. How wouldn't I degrade myself, I
There is a silence.
I ask you!
I. I. I don't know, sir.
Suddenly Barris punches himself in the head, flops down on
the unmade bed. The bellhop glances at Barris's bare ass,
looks away.
Mr. Barris, maybe if you just don't watch
the show every night, you wouldn't have
I always pay for the damn tv's, don't I?
(turning to face him)
Don't I?!
It's -- Yes, you do, sir, and we
appreciate that -- It's just that
there've been complaints from some of the
other guests, and Mr. Andrews, the
assistant manager, requested that I --
Still? Complaints? I specifically used
the silencer this time! Specifically!
Well, the people in 917 found a bullet
lodged in their wall. And while we want
to accommodate you -- we certainly value
your patronage -- there is an issue of
Barris lets this sink in.
Yes, of course.
Barris finds his pants draped over a chair, pulls out his
wallet, holds some more money out to the bellhop.
My apologies. Buy -- 917, is it? -- buy
them a magnum of your finest champagne.
And. and your finest spackle. Oh, and
get me a bag of plastic army men while
you're out. I forgot to tell you before.
The bellhop sighs, takes the money.
Thank you for your understanding, sir.
The bellhop exists.
And some black socks! Seven black socks,
you rascule!
Barris locks the door, dumps the contents of the bags onto
the floor, fishes through the mess for a cigar, puts the
cigar in his mouth, studies himself in a full length mirror.
Bellhop Johnson was clearly repulsed by
the sight of me. And why not? I'm
(searches for simile, then
. like a prune. Covered in liver
(searches for simile)
. like an old guy. My hair is falling
out in clumps, leaving exposed patches of
white, sickly scalp. A flabby inner-tube
of fat hangs from my waist, practically
obscuring my bedraggled prick -- dark and
shriveled and dead. Still leaking urine
even though I left the toilet ages ago.
My asshole itches. Hemorrhoids abound.
George Orwell said every man has the face
he deserves by fifty. Does every man
have the asshole he deserves by fifty, as
well? Does every fifty year old asshole
have the asshole he deserves?
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
This feels real, verite. The actual Chuck Barris, smoking a
cigar, is being interviewed. He stands outside his villa in
St. Tropez, older than the middle-aged Barris depicted in the
hotel room, and talks to someone off-camera.
It was 1981. I had holed myself up in
this New York hotel. Parker Hotel.
Terrified of everything. Ashamed of my
Ashamed? What do you mean?
Barris walks through a small vegetable garden as he talks,
occasionally adjusting a stake or pulling out a weed.
When you're young, your potential is
infinite. You might do anything, really.
You might be great. You might be
Einstein. You might be Goethe. Then you
get to an age where what you might be
gives way to what you have been. You
weren't Einstein. You weren't anything.
That's a bad moment. But I remembered
something Carlyle wrote: ". there is no
life of a man, faithfully recorded, but
is a heroic poem of its sort, rhymed or
unrhymed." I realized my salvation might
be in recording my wasted life,
unflinchingly. Maybe it would serve as a
cautionary tale. Maybe it would help me
INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Barris, now in a hotel terrycloth bathrobe and a porkpie hat,
sits at a desk and types manically.
My name is Charles Prescott Barris. I
have written pop songs, I have been a
television producer. I am responsible
for polluting the airwaves with mind-
numbing, puerile entertainment. In
addition, I have murdered thirty-three
human beings. I am damned to hell.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. PHILADELPHIA STREET - DAY
It's sepia. Three year old Chuck, dressed somewhat girlishly
and sporting a blonde pageboy haircut is being posed on a
pony by a photographer. His mother stands by anxiously as
the boy totters on the animal.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in
1931, my early childhood remains
accessible to me only as a series of
elliptical, enigmatic memories.
INT. BUTCHER SHOP - DAY
A smiling butcher hands a slice of bologna to young Barris,
who puts it in his mouth.
The taste of bologna fresh from the
EXT. CEMENT YARD - DAY
A baby doll is set afire. Young Barris dances around it.
The sickly sweet smell of a burning
babydoll on a crisp autumn day.
INT. CHILDHOOD BEDROOM - DAY
Young Barris is being dressed by his mother. We're close on
the velvet material being slipped over his head.
Velvet brushing against my tender young
skin, as my mother dressed me.
EXT. SCHOOL YARD - DAY
Young Barris rolling on the ground in battle with another
boy, as a crowd of children look on.
A constant, inarticulate rage leading to
fist fight after fist fight.
INT. CHILDHOOD BEDROOM - MORNING
Young Barris watches dust motes lit by the early morning
sunlight pouring through his bedroom window.
The calm I felt watching dust suspended
in the early morning sunlight.
INT. CHILDHOOD BEDROOM - NIGHT
Young Barris sits on the floor and watches the shadow of a
man walking upstairs. The young boy is clearly terrified.
I remember fear.
INT. MASTER BEDROOM - MORNING
Toddler Barris watches his mother change clothes. He studies
her pendulous breasts. She looks down, smiles warmly.
You like the way mommy looks, Chuckie?
BARRIS (AGE 4)
I bet you would like to be a mommy some
day, wouldn't you?
Yes, mommy. Please.
C'mere, you.
His mother lifts the little boy to her breasts and presses
his face against them. He is in heaven.
INT. CHILDHOOD HOME - DAY
Four year old Chuck sits at the dining room table with
several other four year olds. They all wear party hats.
Barris's father, a milquetoast middle-aged man enters in
birthday hat, carrying a cake decorated with four lit
candles. He leads the children in "Happy Birthday Dear
Chuck" as young Chuck beams.
Chuck glances at the kitchen doorway. His mother stands
there, staring at him. She dressed in black mourning
clothes, complete with veil.
INT. NURSERY - DAY
Young Chuck peeks in as his mother sits in a rocking chair
and holds Barris's infant sister. She fusses with the bows
and frills on the baby's outfit. The light in the room is
golden and warm.
We move in on the little boy's devastated face, then follow
him as he turns and walks down the hall into darkness.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
A sixteen year old Barris lies on his back on a couch lazily
tossing a football in the air. Tuvia, a thirteen year old
girl, sits on the floor playing with a puppy. In the
background, throughout the scene, we hear the inept playing
of scales on a bass violin.
When I was sixteen I had an experience
with my little sister's friend Tuvia that
left an indelible impression.
Phoebe's no Walter Page, huh, Tuvia?
I don't know who that is.
Of course you don't.
Why are you waiting around anyway,
listening to this cacophonous cacophony,
when you could be in your own abode
disrupting the lives of your own
I don't know what anything you say means.
No. You wouldn't, would you.
Barris watches Tuvia playing with the dog. She gets on all
fours and yelps, imitating the dog. This excites the dog,
who bounces around her. Barris studies Tuvia's exposed white
underwear for a while. This excites Barris. Finally he
pulls an afghan off the back of the couch and drapes it over
his pants. We hear him unzip his fly.
Hey, Tuvia.
Tuvia sees Barris fiddling with something under the afghan.
She gets quiet.
You wanna lick it?
Tuvia snorts, goes back to playing with the dog.
No. Why should I?
Well, for one thing it tastes like
strawberry. My sister tells me you love
Yeah, well. I hate strawberries.
Honestly, a man's penis tastes exactly
like a strawberry lollipop.
Look, I know that's not true, so --
It is true. It's weird but it's true. I
just read a research paper on it.
Tuvia looks at the afghan.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Middle-aged Chuck Barris turns from the typewriter and stares
out the window at the dark night sky.
My first love.
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
Tuvia's face jerks up into frame. She spits.
Uchh. Yech. It doesn't taste anything
like strawberry, you creep.
The dog sticks his head under the afghan. Barris shoos him
Well, what does it taste like?
Tuvia gets up.
Y'know, I'm gonna tell your mother what
you just did.
If you do, I'll tell your mother you made
our dog lick your crack.
I did not!
INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Middle-aged Barris types as the camera glides over some of
the acquired detritus in his room: skin magazines, a gun and
silencer, liquor, a copy of Beyond Good and Evil, a disguise
kit, a kid's sprouted lima bean science fair project.
Perhaps my whole life turned at that
point. The repulsiveness of my sex
confirmed by the tastebuds of a ripening
Sequence of young Barris unsuccessfully attempting to pick up
girls at bars, unsuccessfully attempting to cop a feel on a
date in a movie theater, standing on a front porch
unsuccessfully attempting to kiss a girl good night, standing
outside of a movie theater in the rain, holding an umbrella
over his head and checking his watch.
BARRIS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
And so I found myself in a downward
spiral of debauchery. Endlessly chasing
pussy. My only focus in life: to get
laid, to get blown, trying to fool myself
into believing that given the right
combination of circumstances and
deception, maybe the Tuvias of the world
could desire me the way I desired them.
I only wanted to be loved.
INT BAR - NIGHT
Barris is fighting another drunken guy. He's getting
A constant, inarticulate rage led to bar
fight after bar fight.
The two men get tossed from the bar.
EXT. BAR - CONTINUOUS
The other guy gets up, brushes himself off, orients himself,
and after a moment starts beating Barris again.
EXT. HIGHWAY - DAY
SUBTITLE: New Jersey Turnpike, 1955
A bus drives along. We see from the sign above the
windshield that it is bound for New York.
INT. BUS - CONTINUOUS
Young Barris, age 24, in traveling clothes and red hunting
cap, stares out the window.
As much as I tried, I couldn't understand
my past and my present was miserable, so,
at twenty-four, I decided what I needed
was a future.
EXT. ROCKEFELLER CENTER (1955) - DAY
Young Barris, suitcase in hand, looks up at the impressive
building. People hurry by.
. I had heard that television was an
industry with a future.
Barris enters the building with resolve.
INT. NBC STUDIOS (1955) - DAY
Young Barris, age 24, dressed in an NBC blazer is leading a
group of sheep-like tourists down a hall.
Next, we'll have a look at the studio
where they produce the Today Show.
The tourists "ooooh." Another tour group comes around a
corner. This one is led by Georgia, a perky, blonde southern
girl. The two groups squeeze past each other. Chuck tries
to make eye contact with Georgia. He smiles at her, but she
ignores him.
INT. NBC COMMISSARY - DAY
Barris is at the cash register paying for his food. He looks
around for a place to sit. He spots Georgia, sitting with a
female friend, and he sits at a table behind, so as to listen
unobserved to their conversation.
That fella Raymond in payroll is kinda
cute, huh?
Cute's all well and good, Mary Ann, but
what you want is a man who's goin'
places. A go-getter on the management
Barris registers this information.
INT. NBC PERSONNEL OFFICE - DAY
Barris stands at the counter talking to a female clerk.
Management trainee application, please.
The clerk hands him an application without looking up.
How many people applying for this so far?
Let's see, including you. about two
For how many positions?
(looking up and smiling)
INT. NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY - DAY
Barris sitting with a book and copying the names of three of
the board of directors of RCA onto his application under the
heading of "Personal References."
INT. BARRIS'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Young Barris is having sex with Georgia. They finish.
Barris rolls off her and onto his back. Georgia sighs.
Tell me again.
Head of network sales at thirty. Head of
the entire network at forty.
Dead of a heart attack by fifty with all
my millions left to you.
You're wonderful. I love you, Mr. Chuck
Barris, management trainee.
She climbs on top of Barris and begins kissing him all over.
Life was sweet. For a minute.
INT. BARRIS'S APARTMENT - AFTERNOON
Georgia is looking radiant as she reads a movie magazine.
Barris enters. She runs over to kiss him.
Baby doll!
I got fired.
She pulls away, studies him for a moment, lets it sink in.
Fired? What the fuck did you get fired
I don't know, efficiency cutback. Some
bullshit. Look, it's gonna be.
Well, I'm pregnant, you fuck!
What the fuck did you get pregnant for?!
What do you mean, what the fuck did I get
pregnant for? You got me fucking
pregnant, you fuck!
Well, fuck you.
INT. BAR - NIGHT
Barris sits drunkenly at the bar. He talks to a drunken guy
next to him.
So I figured I'd skip town. I intend to
be important, y'know, I can't be saddled
with this. But then I remembered
something Carlyle said: "Do the duty
which lies nearest thee."
Dear God, why do I even bother?
Hey, fuck you, you condescending prick.
Hey, fuck you.
Hey, fuck you.
Hey, fuck you.
The guy punches Barris. A fight ensues.
INT. BARRIS'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Barris is drunk on the couch watching a tv game show, his
face swollen from the fight. Georgia enters.
Looks like I was just late.
Barris barely acknowledges this, continues to watch tv.
INT. BARRIS'S BEDROOM - EARLY MORNING
Barris and Georgia are in bed. Georgia is asleep. Barris
opens his eyes, quietly climbs out of bed.
INT. APARTMENT - DAY
Another verite-looking interview. A middle-aged blonde
woman, the actual Georgia, is talking to someone off-camera.
Sitting next to her is a Jewish-looking middle-aged man.
I woke up and he was gone. No note. No
nothing. I never saw him again. Until
that stupid tv show he did.
The Gong Show.
I know what it's called, jerk.
INT. COMMUTER TRAIN - DAY
We're close on a copy of the NY Herald Tribune. The headline
reads Clark Testifies Before "Payola" Committee. We pull
back to see young Barris, in a suit, reading the paper in a
passenger car of a moving train.
In '61 I was thirty. I had become a
minor suit at ABC. It was during the
music payola scandal.
INT. TV STUDIO - DAY
American Bandstand is taping. The studio is filled with
dancing teens. Barris sits off to one side behind an
imposing desk in the semi-darkness, suspiciously watching
Dick Clark's every move, and taking copious notes. Clark
glances over nervously.
.so my job was to commute to Philly
every day to the American Bandstand
tapings, and keep an eye on Dick Clark.
INT. OFFICE - DAY
The actual Dick Clark is being interviewed.
DICK CLARK
Chuck Barris? He spooked me. I tried to
keep on his good side becuase he was sort
of. spooky.
DICK CLARK
I dunno, there was something in his eyes.
Something dark, like unbridled ambition,
maybe. Or an inarticulate rage.
EXT. PALISADES PARK - NIGHT
Barris walks through the crowds. A dark look in his eyes as
he follows some giggling teenage girls in poodle skirts.
On weekends I used to hang around
amusement parks. Because that's where
the young girls were.
INT. BARRIS'S TENEMENT APARTMENT - NIGHT
Young Barris lies in bed masturbating.
I wrote a song about my experience.
The song "Palisades Park" begins.
Last night I took a walk after dark/to
see a place called Palisades Park/to have
some fun and see what I could see/that's
where the girls are
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. TV STUDIO
A sign above the stage reads The Dick Clark Saturday Night
Beechnut Show. Freddie Cannon is on stage singing "Palisades
Park" as a crowd of 1962 teenagers dance on the studio floor.
I got it to Freddie "Boom Boom" Cannon
through my friendship with Dick Clark.
Dick really wanted to help me out.
I took a ride on the shoop de shoop/that
girl I sat beside was awful cute/and when
we stopped she was holding hands with
me/my heart was flying/up like a rocket
ship/down like a roller coaster/fast like
a loop de loop/round like a merry go
Young Barris watches happily from behind the cameras. He
spots, Debbie, a pretty, bland young woman with headphones
and a clipboard. He sidles over to her.
I wrote this song.
Oh. Uh-huh.
It's number three on the pop charts.
Barris pulls out music magazine clipping as proof.
INT. FANCY RESTAURANT - NIGHT
Barris and Debbie are having dinner.
See, I believe there's a great future in
So I'm going to take my royalties and
create a pilot. A pilot is what they
call a test tv show.
I work in tv.
Yeah. It's gonna be a game show. I
believe there's a great future in game
That's good.
Everyone loves game shows, right?
I don't know.
Well, they do.
That's great then.
I'm on my way!
There is a long, awkward silence. They both saw away at
INT. DEBBIE'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Barris and Debbie are having sex, sort of mechanical.
They're plowing through, kind of like sawing through their
steaks. When it's over, they both just lie there.
INT. DEBBIE'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Young Barris, in his underwear, sits alone in the semi-
darkness and stares out the window. The front door unlocks
and a woman enters, backlit from the hallway. She turns on
the light. This is Penny Pacino, eighteen, a beatnik in a
black leotard and skirt and black mascara. She has red hair.
She sees Barris on the couch.
Hi. Don't be alarmed I'm with Debbie.
Yeah, I figured.
Penny walks past him, drops her keys and bag on the counter,
and enters the kitchenette. Barris watches her ass.
You hungry?
Um, no thanks.
If you have a beer.
Penny returns with two beers, hands one to Barris. She sits
in a chair across from him. They both drink.
So how was sex with Debbie? I've always
(a little taken aback)
It was good. Fine. Thanks for asking.
No problem. I just got fucked by this
drummer cat. A really righteous Negro
See, I believe in the brotherhood of man.
Last week I got fucked by an Oriental.
(beat, studies him)
What are you?
That's what I thought. I had a Jew, but
he was Sephardic. You look Ashkenazi
(pronounced Ashkuh-Natzee), I'm guessing.
Right. Ashkenazi. I haven't balled one
You're a romantic.
Eh, I just don't get into all the
bullshit between cats and chicks.
I know what you mean.
(not hearing him)
You know what I mean?
I know what you mean.
Besides, you fall in love with a cat, you
only get hurt. Right?
Don't I know it.
We could ball if you want. I seem to
like you pretty well.
Well, that would be good. But, you know,
I'm kind of here with Debbie. It doesn't
seem right.
Yeah. That's true. I didn't think of
(getting up)
Well, I'm going to bed. Nice meeting
Penny shakes his hand and heads off.
What's your name?
I'm Chuck.
Oh, you're the one who wrote that
Palisades song. I love that song. It's
such sentimental bullshit.
Penny exits into her bedroom. Barris drinks his beer.
INT. BARRIS'S TENEMENT APARTMENT - DAY
Barris and Penny are having sex on the kitchen floor. It's
INT. TENEMENT APARTMENT - LATER
Penny is taking a bath in the tub in the kitchen while Barris
broodingly cooks dinner at the stove.
. so this ape and I were looking at
each other. It was, like, across time
and evolution. Then he began to talk,
but it was a language I didn't
understand, maybe Swiss. Then he turned
into Perry Como, real square and.
what's wrong with you?
Just because we fucked, doesn't mean
there are strings now. It's okay.
Okay? I only wanted to tell you my dream
is all. Nothing more complicated than
that. Don't panic.
I'm just used to all this dating
bullshit, y'know. Now we're a couple.
Now I'm obliged to give a shit what you
Don't worry about it, I'm not into those
games either. So, anyway, this monkey
turns into Perry Como and I say --
Holy fuck!
Holy holy fuck!
(runs over, kisses her)
You just gave me an idea.
For a show! Fuck!
A show about monkeys?
In a way. About the craziest monkey of
all: Monkius Humanius! Don't you see?
About people! About sex. About romance.
About the bullshit of dating!
INT. LEONARD GOLDBERG'S OFFICE - DAY
Leonard Goldberg, ABC executive, sits behind his desk as
Barris, holding a cardboard model of a game show set,
excitedly paces the room giving a pitch.
I call it The Dating Game, Mr. Goldberg.
And that's what it's about. A pretty
girl asks three handsome guys, who she
can't see, silly questions. And based on
their answers, she picks one to date.
And we pay for the date. That's it!
That's the show! It's got everything!
EXT. ABC BUILDING - DAY
Penny leans on a signpost smoking a cigarette. Barris
emerges from the building with his cardboard set. He looks
grave. He approaches Penny.
They bought it!
Penny screams, hugs Barris.
They bought it they bought it they bought
The two dance around on the street.
They're giving me seventy-five hundred
fucking dollars to make a pilot!
Oh my God! Oh my God! We gotta go
celebrate! Let's go roller skating!
Penny kisses Barris.
I can't, Pen. I got a date.
Okay. That's cool. Call me after.
Yeha, okay. I will.
Barris walks off. We stay on Penny smoking her cigarette.
MUSIC IN: DATING GAME THEME
THE DATING GAME PILOT BEING MADE, QUICK SHOTS OF:
BARRIS TENSELY DIRECTING ACTIVITY ON THE SET.
GIGGLY BACHELORETTE ASKING QUESTION.
GAWKY BACHELORS MUGGING.
TOOTHY HOST GUFFAWING.
ACTUAL BARRIS (V.O.)
I figured I was in. All I had to do was
get the pilot made and I'd be a
millionaire. Everyone would love me.
MUSIC OUT SUDDENLY.
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
Was anyone ever so young?
INT. CHILDHOOD BEDROOM - DAY
Barris, 32, lies on his bed on his back and tosses the
football in the air. A very very very old dog lies on the
floor. Phoebe, Barris's 26 year old sister enters.
Well, he led an amazingly long life.
Still, it's hard to go on.
Y'know, you've been staring out this
window for six months now.
I'm trying to come up with new tv shows,
if you must know. Okay? That's what I'm
doing. I believe there's a real future
(holds up notebook, shakes it)
Look. Ideas. Okay?
You're thirty-two years old, and you have
no career and no prospects.
Thanks for the status report, Phoebe.
Look, I just gotta come up with the right
concept. Then, boom.
(holds up notebook again)
Which, by the way, I've almost got.
You're breaking mom's heart. You know
that, don't you?
Barris looks out the window at his emaciated mother sitting
in the yard in an old wicker-backed wheelchair and staring
off into space.
Somehow, and don't ask me why, Phoebe, my
being born broke mom's heart.
Barris watches his mother for a long moment.
Hey Phoebe, you ever see what's-her-name,
Tuvia. Your friend. Tuvia. The girl.
Oh. No. I heard something. I think she
got divorced recently or something.
Oh, yeah?
EXT. FRONT PORCH - DAY
Barris knocks on the door. There is some movement inside and
a woman answers the door. This is older Tuvia, 20's,
attractive but a little hard-edged now. She balances a baby
on her hip
OLDER TUVIA
Well, if it isn't Strawberry-dick Barris.
Hi, Tuvia.
Barris taken by the changes in Tuvia. The baby and the full,
milk-producing breasts get him excited.
OLDER TUVIA
What do you want?
I came by to apologize.
OLDER TUVIA
Okay then.
She closes the door. He knocks again. She opens the door.
OLDER TUVIA (CONT'D)
Well, if it isn't Strawberry-dick Barris.
Now what do you want?
So I'm back in town. For a while. I
thought maybe you and I could --
OLDER TUVIA
Jesus, you've got to be kidding.
Tuvia closes the door. Barris stands there for a moment,
considers knocking again, then turns and leaves.
EXT. WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK - NIGHT
We move along a park bench, past several homeless people, one
holding an old doll, others holding other sad items. We come
to Barris. He's wrapped in a horse blanket and holding the
miniature cardboard Dating Game set. An open notebook sits
on his lap. The pages are blank, except for one entry: The
Something Else Game. Barris holds a pen poised to write, but
INT. BAR - DAY
Barris is drunk and in a fight. He is losing, flailing,
swinging wildly. Jim Byrd, a middle-aged, business man-
looking guy, in tinted glasses and sideburns, watches from
the bar. Eventually Barris and the other brawler get thrown
out of the bar. Byrd takes a sip of his drink.
EXT. BAR - DAY
Barris sits on the curb, nursing his wounds. Byrd exits the
bar and casually approaches.
You're a pretty angry young fella, aren't
you? Can't fight worth a damn though.
Screw off, fag. Don't think I haven't
seen you watching me in that bar for a
week now.
Kind of a loner, I'd say. Fairly bright.
A tad anti-social. Mad at the world.
Can I buy you lunch?
Look, there's a schoolyard half a block
down. Why don't you go trolling there?
Barris gets up and starts to walk away.
I could teach you at least thirty
different ways to kill a man with a
single blow, Mr. Barris.
Might help you in future bar fights.
Just a thought.
Barris just stands there.
Oh, and there's money in it. Good money.
INT. DINER - DAY
Barris and Jim Byrd sit in a booth. Barris is wolfing a
hamburger. Byrd sips coffee.
(mouth full)
. and I figure if I can keep afloat
until I come up with my next game show
idea, then all will be copacetic.
That sounds great, Chuck. Y'know, I've
never known a television producer before.
Yeah, yeah. So what's this money deal
you were talking about?
Well, I work for a government agency, and
I can always use good, enthusiastic men
to help me carry out my directives.
What kind of work? What government
Problem solving work. For the Office of
Office of what? Never heard of it. Is
that the fucking CIA or something?
Please be discreet, Mr. Barris.
Jesus, it is the fucking CIA! Hell, I'll
be a spy! Where do I sign up? Are you
fucking with me? You're fucking with me,
aren't you?
Hardly. And you wouldn't be with the
company. You'd be a contract agent.
Independent. No official tie to any
agency. Is that understood?
As you know, I've been watching you. For
years, actually. I've only let you know
about it for the last week.
Chuck stops chewing.
I'm happy to report you fit our profile,
Mr. Barris. Are you interested in this
Long pause.
Well, what's the profile?
Are you interested in this work, Mr.
Yeah, sure, I wanna be a secret agent.
Contract agent. Whatever. Get to fuck
beautiful Eastern European women. Wear a
trenchcoat. Sounds like a kick.
The work we do is very serious. It's
essential in quelling the rise of
communism and allowing democracy to gain
its rightful foothold around the globe.
Sure. Yeah. Okay. That's good.
EXT. ABANDONED ARMY BASE - DAY
The place is ramshackle and overgrown. It looks deserted. A
barbed-wire fence surrounds it.
INT. BASE REC ROOM - DAY
A severe-looking instructor is teaching a class to an
assembled group of scary-looking men: losers, psychos,
mercenaries, Latin American thugs, and Chuck Barris.
There are several efficient methods of
killing a man, were you to find yourself
without a weapon. The edge of your hand
against the adversary's Adam's apple.
(demonstrates on mannequin)
This will crush the windpipe causing
strangulation and death.
The students take notes.
INSTRUCTOR #1 (CONT'D)
Boxing your adversary's ears with proper
force will cause his ear drums to burst
and possibly result in bleeding in the
brain. And death.
EXT. BARRACKS - NIGHT
It's dark. Byrd sits on a step, smoking a cigarette. Barris
You're training me to be a killer.
See, Chuck, I knew you were fairly
I can't kill people. My future is in
Listen, you're thirty-two years old and
you've achieved nothing. Jesus Christ
was dead and alive again by thirty-three.
Better get cracking.
I have ideas for shows.
Oh, good. Why don't you spend another
six months developing 'em while staring
out the window at mommy's house next to
poor dead Albert the dog.
How do you know all that?
I know everything about you, Chuck. For
fuck's sake, I know which hand you jerk
off with.
Barris lifts his hands, tries to remember.
Right. Leave in the morning, if you
want. But I'm here to tell you this is
honest work for good pay. You'd be
helping to make the world safer. And
your country would be grateful.
Byrd rises, stubs out his cigarette in his hand.
It'll toughen you up.
Barris sits there staring into the blackness.
INT. CLASSROOM - DAY
Another big, frightening instructor stands before the class.
Behind him is a full-sized diagram of a man which illustrates
all major arteries and organs. He is demonstrating the
proper way to grip a knife, then using the knife, he points
to various sites on the body.
Angle on Chuck Barris. He has copied the diagram of the man
in his notebook and is writing "Carotoid artery carries blood
to brain. Death in seconds." He then writes: "Game show
idea: Slice of Life. Interesting!!"
EXT. FIELD - DAY
Several canvas dummies are propped up in the field. Barris
and other students slash at the dummies with big knives.
INT. WORKSHOP - DAY
Barris and other students are assembling rifles.
EXT. MUDDY FIELD - NIGHT
Barris and other students crawl on their bellies through mud.
INT. LABORATORY - DAY
The severe instructor, in a lab coat, is mixing chemicals.
Glycerin is, of course, the best-known
nitrating agent. Now keep in mind,
nitroglycerin is extremely unstable. A
slight tap, a one degree change in
temperature and it'll blow up in your
hands. Yee-haa, let's mix us up a batch!
Instructor #1 holds up a beaker.
INSTRUCTOR #1 (CONT'D)
Everybody take your 75 ml beaker and fill
it to the 13 ml level with fuming red
nitric acid, 98% concentration.
The students nervously pour nitric acid into beakers.
INT. BUNKER - DAY
The severe instructor is demonstrating how to use an army
field telephone to torture a man. A canvas dummy is tied to
a chair as the instructor attaches wires from the telephone
to the dummy's genitals and to his mouth. The students watch
closely, take notes.
EXT. BARRACKS - DAY
The students with suitcases and in traveling clothes are
hugging and saying good-bye. The end of summer camp. A
tearful Barris heads toward one of the waiting buses. Byrd
pulls him aside, discusses something with him.
INT. PLANE - DAY
Byrd and Barris, now dressed in a suit similar to Byrd's, sit
in first class. Byrd stirs his scotch and water with his
finger as he stares at nothing out the window.
EXT. AIRSTRIP, MEXICO CITY - DAY
SUBTITLE: MEXICO CITY, 1965
A commercial airliner comes in for a landing.
INT. CAFE - DAY
Barris, Byrd, and two sleazy, sweaty men, Benitez and
Brazioni, sit in a booth in the back of the dark cafe.
Benitez opens up his brief case and pulls out a pile of
grainy photos of a man leaving a residence and a street map.
He lays them on the table.
Salvador Panagra Renda, gentlemen.
Si. In the flesh.
What have you got for me, Manny?
(re: map)
Renda leaves his apartment every day at
8:30, alone, walks east two blocks to
this news kiosk, buys a paper and heads
south four blocks to the plaza of the
Museum Nacional to read it.
Okay. Chuck, you're here at 8:25. Dress
like a tourist. Start walking north.
You should pass Renda here. Stop him and
ask him in bad Spanish where the museum
is. Make sure he doesn't understand what
(to Brazioni and Benitez)
You'll be parked here. Brazioni, you're
behind the wheel. Benitez, you're on the
street leaning into the car chatting with
Benitez. When Chuck stops Renda, you
turn to help with the directions, stick a
gun into Renda's ribs, and direct him
into the back seat. Chuck, you get in
first. Renda's between you and Benitez.
Brazioni, whaddaya got?
Brazioni opens a case to reveal three Walther P-38 pistols.
Nice. You got suppresers with those, I'm
I am not an imbecile.
Glad to hear it. Wasn't sure.
(to Byrd)
Where are you going to be, Jim?
INT. HOTEL BAR - NIGHT
Brazioni and Benitez are at a table, drunk, sweaty and loud,
flirting with some women. Byrd sits at the bar, sipping a
scotch. Barris enters, spots Byrd, sits down next to him.
(not looking up)
Hola, Chuckito. Que pasa?
YOUNG BARRIS
So what'd this guy Renda do anyway?
It's your job to follow directives, not
question their validity.
It's just.
He's a bad guy, Chuck. He's one of the
bad guys. Okay?
Bad for the U.S., right, Jim? Not bad in
an absolute sense, just bad for the U.S.
Don't fuckin' dance with me, Barris.
Renda's bad for the Tea and Biscuit Co.
He's bad for me personally. You work for
me, and Renda's bad for me. You're now
officially a patriotic citizen of the
United States of Jim Byrd.
YOUNG BARRIS
Look, this is --
Byrd grabs Barris and pulls him over to a dark corner of the
room. No one looks up. He pushes Barris against the wall.
There's no backing out now, Chuck. We've
let you in on everything. So you don't
play, you don't leave Mexico. Comprende?
YOUNG BARRIS
I was just --
I like you. I really do. And you're
gonna do fine tomorrow. And we're gonna
become great friends. And you're gonna
have a very nice little career. But
you've got to grow up. There's a war on.
YOUNG BARRIS
What war?
That's not your concern.
INT. MEXICAN HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
It's hot. There are two twin beds in the room. Byrd sleeps
soundly in one. Barris lies in the other, eyes wide open.
EXT. MEXICO CITY STREET - DAY
Renda is buying a newspaper at the kiosk. He completes the
transaction and takes a few steps with his paper. Barris
blocks his way, holding a phrase book and shaking.
Excusa me, por favor, Senor.
Renda stops.
Donde es-bla ra-ba-blala los bloteros?
Renda tries to get away from this pesky tourist. Barris
follows him, calling after him.
Ra-bla-bla-mamos las minjares?
Renda picks up his pace, as does Barris. Benitez approaches.
May I be of some assistance here?
Renda appears relieved, until he feels the gun in his back.
INT. CAR - DAY
Renda's in the back between Barris and Benitez. Brazioni
drives. Renda seems pale and nervous, as does Barris in his
gaudy tourist wear and sunglasses. The car drives slowly
through the crowded Mexico City streets. They arrive at a
jammed intersection and are suddenly confronted with a big
parade. It's Day of the Dead; the streets are filled with
dancing skeletons. It's wild and frightening. Brazioni
glances at Renda in the reaview mirror.
Day of the dead.
EXT. FIELD - DAY
The car stops in a deserted field. Barris gets out first.
His shirt is soaked through with sweat. Suddenly there's a
commotion inside the car. Renda has gotten hold of a gun.
He shoots Brazioni and Benitez. Barris panics and dives
behind the car. Renda steps cautiously outside of the car,
looking for Barris. Barris grabs Renda's foot. Renda falls,
the gun flies from his hand. Barris kicks the gun under the
car, his own gun drawn. He points the gun at Renda, who is
on his stomach. Barris doesn't shoot. He's scared, shaking
wildly. Renda looks up at Barris, trying to figure him out.
He slowly rises to his feet, turns to Barris with a pleading
look in his eyes.
Por favor. No me mates, senor. Tengo
tres bebes.
Barris sucks in a deep gulp of air. His hand shakes. He
pulls out Spansh-English dictionary.
No me mates. Tengo tres bebes.
Barris flips through the dictionary. A church bell chimes,
startling Barris. His gun goes off accidentally and the
bullet hits Renda in the face, tearing most of it away.
Renda falls, but is still alive. He screams out of where his
mouth was. A wedding party emerges from the distant church.
Oh Christ. Oh crap.
Barris tries to stop Renda from screaming by covering the
hole in Renda's face. Barris throws up, some of it landing
on Renda's pants. He wipes his own mouth with his bloody
hand and looks at the still screaming Renda. The churchgoers
are starting to squint in Barris's direction. Barris shoots
Renda again. And again and again and again and again. More
blood spatters Barris's clothing and face. The church bell
continues to chime.
INT. AIRPLANE - DAY
Barris and Byrd sit side-by-side in first class. This time
Barris has the window seat and stares out.
Beautiful country, isn't it?
YOUNG BARRIS
You did us proud, Chuck.
Barris doesn't say anything.
Renda was a bad guy. He really was.
INT. APARTMENT - EVENING
Barris enters carrying an overnight bag and some mail. He
flips on the hall light and stares at himself in a mirror.
I had changed. I could see it in my
eyes. Something dark.
Barris notices a fleck on the side of his nose. It's dried
blood. He distractedly rubs at it.
EXT. FIELD - DAY
Renda's contorted face in close-up as he is shot. Blood
spurting. Echoey church bells chime.
No me mates. Yo tengo tres bebes.
INT. APARTMENT - EVENING
Barris puts down his bag, pulls the Spanish-English
dictionary from his pocket, and tries to translate what Renda
said. It takes him a while but he does.
"Don't kill me. I am three babies." I
am three babies? What the fuck does that
Oh. "I have three babies." Oh, God.
Barris drops to the floor and throws up into a trash can.
Out of the corner of his eye, he catches a movement in the
living room. He lurches backwards, knocks over the can.
Vomit spills onto the carpet.
PENNY (O.C.)
Chuck, is that you throwing up?
In the dim light from the hallway, Barris spots Penny lying
on the couch. She is dressed as a hippy. A backpack and a
duffel lie on the floor next to her.
Jesus Christ, Penny. You scared the shit
out of me. What are you doing here?
Sorry. I just been crashing here for a
few days. Waiting for you. Where you
been, man, where you been?
Mexico. Just on a little vaca.
You drank the water, didn't you?
You're not supposed to. Montessori's
Revenge. You're not even allowed to open
your mouth or your eyes when you take a
shower. It's crazy. How come our water
is so good and their water is poison?
It's the same ocean.
I don't know.
It's weird, huh?
(beat, then proudly)
So I'm a hippy now. Look.
Penny stands in the dimness to show off her outfit.
I've been in San Francisco, and it's
amazing. Everybody loves everybody and
there's lots of colors. We're gonna
change the world, Chuck. Come back with
me and be my old man, okay? Not that
old! Ha ha ha.
Penny, I'm a little tired now, so.
Oh! You gotta hear this song!
Penny shrieks excitedly as she runs to the record player.
She turns it on, plugs in a strobe light. "Sunshine Superman"
starts up. Penny sings and dances along, directing the
lyrics at Barris. Barris looks around at his strobing
apartment. He sees Penny's mess: pot paraphenalia, anti-war
posters, a gold dove painted on the wall with a phone number
"Cause I made my mind up, you're going to
Penny, what did you do to my wall?
Oh, it's a guy who called a couple a days
ago. Gold-Bird. Isn't it pretty?
Leonard Goldberg?! You're kidding?
(dials phone anxiously)
Hello, this is Chuck Barris returning for
Pause. Barris paces. Penny sings and dances in background.
GOLDBERG (PHONE VOICE)
Hi, Chuck!
Mr. Goldberg! I'm so sorry I didn't get
back to you right away. I was out of
town. Vacationing in Mexico.
Good for you. Listen, Chuck. We've
ended up with a damn hole in our daytime
schedule. I've been reviewing some
options, and it occurred to me there
might be a place here for you and your
My baby, Mr. Goldberg?
The Dating Game.
That is your baby, isn't it, Chuck?
Yes sir, it is.
Are you still interested?
Yes sir. Very interested. Sir.
Good man. We'll need to start airing in
about six weeks. Is that do-able for you
and your people?
My people? Six weeks? Sure. Yes sir.
Great. Keep me posted.
Dial tone. Barris sits there, phone in hand, then throws up
again into the trash can. Penny stops dancing, watches.
Damn Mexicans and their water.
INT. DATING GAME SET - DAY
An episode of the show is being taped. Barris paces
nervously behind the camera.
Bachelor number two, what would I like
most about you?
I am very romantic and I would send you
flowers every day.
The studio audience "awwws."
Aww. That's sweet. Bachelor number
three, what would I like most about you?
My big cock.
The bachelorette makes a mock-horrified expression as the
studio audience erupts in laughter. Barris buries his face
in his hands.
INT. DATING GAME SET - DAY
A brunette bachelorette asks a question.
Bachelor number one, what nationality are
Well, my father is Welsh and my mother is
Hungarian, so I guess that makes me Well-
The audience goes wild. Barris pulls at his hair.
INT. DATING GAME SET - DAY
A black bachelorette asks a question.
Bachelor number three, I play the
trombone. If I blew you, what would you
sound like?
The audience screams with delight.
INT. BOARD ROOM - DAY
Leonard Goldberg, a bunch of network executives, and Barris
sit around a conference table and watch a tv. On it is The
Dating Game. A black bachelor is responding to the trombone
question. He simulates the receiving of a blow job, moaning
and writhing in his seat as the studio audience howls.
Barris has his head in his hands. Goldberg signals an
assistant, who switches off the television. The executives
look quite grim.
Chuck, quite frankly these episodes are
Look, Len, the show's spontaneous, it's
unscripted. That's it's charm. I can't
control what people say.
Be that as it may, Mr. Barris, we can't
have black men getting blow jobs on
The point isn't that he's black, Hank.
Well, I know that. That's not what I
Look, Len, nobody is indifferent to these
shows. Right? And that's good. Show
business must avoid indifference at all
Even when taste is involved?
Taste is just a word.
You don't fuck with taste, my friend!
What does that even mean? I don't even
Chuck, we cannot air this stuff. That's
it. If you can't figure out how to
retain your spontaneity without the
contestants being lewd, we're going to
have to pull the show.
INT. BAR - NIGHT
Barris is drunk and brooding. He picks a fight with a big
man who has unintentionally knocked into him at the bar.
Barris is brutal and effective, utilizing the techniques he
learned from one of the scary instructors at training camp.
This gives him an idea.
INT. DATING GAME SET - DAY
The contestants are onstage. Barris appears, warm and
Hi, folks. Before we begin taping today,
I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Peter
Jenks of the Federal Communications
The severe training camp instructor joins Barris onstage.
Thank you, Mr. Barris. I don't know if
any of you are aware of this, but it's a
federal offense to make licentious
remarks on a network television
broadcoast. The penalty for this
disgusting, un-American behavior is one
year in prison or a ten thousand dollar
fine or both. Anyone making a sick,
subversive remark tonight will be
arrested immediately. I will then
personally escort the offender to federal
prison for booking under edict number 364
of the Broadcast Act of 1963. And it's a
long drive to that prison. Just you and
me. No other witnesses --
(jumping in)
There are none. The contestants are paralyzed with fear.
Jenks is red-faced, trembling.
Okay. Have fun, everybody!'
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
The actual Barris being interviewed.
Sometimes as a younger man I stretched
the truth to get what I wanted. "Through
all the lying days of my youth/I swayed
my leaves and flowers in the sun;/Now I
may whither into the truth." Yeats. You
heard of him?
Yeah. Of course.
Sure you have.
Anyway, my little lie worked. We aired
and become a big hit. A phenomenon,
INT. BARRIS'S OFFICE, BARRIS PRODUCTIONS - DAY
SUBTITLE: BARRIS PRODUCTIONS, LOS ANGELES, 1967
This is the sixties and the office is crazily appointed.
Street signs, funny posters, faux Tiffany lamps, mobiles,
lava lamps, an inflatable sex doll, etc. Barris, 36, is
behind his desk, feet up and on the phone. He wears a t-
shirt and jeans and loafers. This is a new Barris, confident
and successful and hip and relaxed and slovenly. Outside in
the bullpen area we hear the hustle and bustle, laughing and
screaming of a busy but casual office.
(into phone)
Terrific, Rod! Yeah, I'll get back to
you on Monday. Great. Thanks. Bye.
Barris hangs up the phone. His jovial facade disappears. He
opens up his ice bucket. It's empty.
Ice! Ice! Ice! Ice! Ice!
Loretta, Barris's pretty young secretary, enters with a new
bucket of ice. She is braless and shoeless.
Jesus, Barris, take a Darvon.
Loretta drops the bucket of ice on his desk. Barris grabs
her arm, pulls her toward him, kisses her on the back of the
Hey, baby.
Loretta acts annoyed, but it's playful.
I know. Sit. Talk to me.
Loretta sighs and drops into a bean bag chair. Barris puts
some ice in a glass and pours himself a scotch.
I'm busy. We're in the middle of a
bachelorette crisis out there.
I just got a call from the network.
You got any weed?
Then I'll have a drink. Bad news?
Barris pours a drink for Loretta. She gets up, takes it off
the desk and falls back down into the bean bag.
The Tammy Grimes Show is being pulled
from Saturday night.
Oh my God!
They want to put a prime-time version of
the Dating Game on in its place.
Shit! You're kidding! That's fucking
But they say the day-time version's not
hot enough. They want me to make it more
exciting for night-time. I got forty-
eight hours.
What do you have so far?
Nothing. Bupkis. I mean, the show is
what it is. I don't have a clue. This
could be my big break, Loretta.
Yeah, I know. Don't blow it.
Loretta smiles at him, downs her drink, gets up and pads out
of the office. Barris watches her ass.
Thank you for your help.
(not looking back)
Hey, I brought the ice.
She is out the door. Barris picks up his guitar and noodles
INT. DATING GAME SET - LATER
Barris paces on the darkened set. He is trying to think. A
shadowy figure appears at the top of the bleachers and creeps
down the aisle. Barris is deep in thought and doesn't hear.
The man appears behind Barris and locks his arm around
Barris's neck. Barris is startled, choking and flailing
trying to remove the arm. He can't. Finally the man
releases Barris and tweaks his crotch. Barris turns wildly
around. It is Jim Byrd.
Boy, didn't I teach you anything?
You son of a bitch!
Barris swings at Byrd. Byrd easily blocks the punch.
You're so rusty, it's embarrassing.
You're a stupid fucking turd, you know
Can I buy you lunch?
INT. MARTONI'S - DAY
Jim is downing his bourbon and signals the waitress for
another. Barris, still pissed, sips a martini.
Ah, lighten up, hombre.
My fucking neck hurts. Okay?
Poor baby. Look, I've been put in charge
of a fairly large wet operation and I
could use your help.
Have you noticed, Jim, I've got a tv show
on the air? I don't need to kill people
for hire anymore.
I know you don't need to. But you'd like
Byrd shrugs, unconvinced. He sips his drink.
Think of it as a hobby. An avocation.
Something you do to relax. You can be an
assassination enthusiast, a murder bug.
I've got important things to think about
here. I don't have time to fuck around
with you.
Okay, I'll help you out with your little
show. Tit for tat. That's the kinda guy
I am. I've seen this Dating Game of
yours, Chuck. And I have a thought.
What, now you're a television producer?
Hey, I'm CIA operative John Q. Public
when it comes to tv and that should make
my opinion of interest to you.
Let's hear it then.
Well, what do you have now? The couple
gets sent to some stupid second-rate
Hollywood shitcan restaurant, right?
Sets you back fifty bucks? That's not
too exciting a prize to us vicarious-
living boobs out in TV-land.
Yeah, what's your point?
Up the stakes, Chuckles. Send 'em to
some exotic locale. Europe, Southeast
Asia, for example.
The network's not going to let me send
two unmarried kids on vacation together.
Send 'em with a chaperone. Some
respectable old lady with a sewn closed
Y'know, that's not half bad.
I'm telling ya. And. And sometimes you
can be the chaperone, Chuckie. Let's say
we have a job for you in Austria. You, a
successful tv producer, above suspicion,
chaperones the young couple, and while
you're there, blam! you take care of some
Company business. It's the perfect
cover. TV producer by day, CIA operative
by night.
I told you, I don't have to kill people
for money anymore.
Chuck, when I said you fit our profile,
very little of that had to do with you
needing the money. Some of it, but very
little. You liked it with Renda, Chuck.
I saw it in your eyes. You liked it but
you botched it. Don't you want to get
really good at something, Chuck?
Barris stares at Byrd.
INT. BOOTH (DATING GAME SHOW) - DAY
The director calls the shots. Barris stands in the back
watching the show in progress. On the stage is a pretty
blonde bachelorette in a short black dress and three
bachelors. Bachelors two and three are attractive and
stylishly dressed and groomed. Bachelor one is a fat, not-
too-bright looking guy in a yellow-ochre leisure suit. His
slow, unfocused delivery contrasts with the fast, sharp
chatter in the booth.
Ready one, take one. Ready three, take
three. Ready one, take one.
Number one, can you please tell me what a
girl is like who hasn't been on a date
before and how you can tell she hasn't
been on a date before?
Ready two, take two. This guy has never
been on a date.
Everyone in the booth laughs.
FAT BACHELOR
Jesus, she's gotta pick this guy. This
is just too good.
FAT BACHELOR
. I'll ask her what she likes to do and
Ready one, take one. Ready two, take
FAT BACHELOR
And if she doesn't know what she likes to
Ready three, take three. The only date
he's ever had is with his right hand.
Guys in booth laugh, except Barris.
FAT BACHELOR
. then I'll know she hasn't done it
EXT. PICCADILLY CIRCUS - DAY
SUBTITLE: LONDON, 1967
It's all mod and colorful. Chuck Barris shuffles along,
taking in the sights with the Dating Game couple. The blonde
bachelorette did indeed pick the fat guy. But it's clear she
thinks she made a mistake and pays him no attention
whatsoever, walking about twenty feet in front of him and
Barris. Barris seems bored.
INT. PUB - DAY
Barris enters the pub alone. He's dressed in a blonde wig
and moustache and glasses. It's crowded and he searches the
room for someone. He spots a pretty young woman by herself
at a table. She wears white go-go boots.
Excuse me, is this seat taken?
Barris sits across from the woman.
London is wonderful this time of year,
isn't it.
Yes it is.
Oh. Sorry.
Barris gets up, glances around, spots another pretty young
woman in white go-go boots, sitting by herself. He
Excuse me, is this seat taken?
Barris sits.
London is wonderful this time of year,
isn't it?
Especially the fog. It affords one
solitude, even in a city full of people.
I'm Chuck.
Yes, I gathered.
And you are?
Here you go, Chuck.
She hands him a manila envelope, and stands to leave.
At least give me a made-up name.
Something for me to cry out during those
dark nights of the soul.
Cry out, "Olivia!"
That's Twelfth Night.
Very good, Chuck. I'm pleasantly
surprised. You're not like the other
She smiles and leaves. Barris watches after her, then opens
the envelope and pulls out a black and white photo of a man.
EXT. WESTMINISTER ABBEY - DAY
It's raining. A bored Barris, dressed normally, waits with
the fat bachelor under an umbrella near the entrance. The
fat bachelor checks his watch.
FAT BACHELOR
I thinks he's really pretty and I want to
be her boyfriend.
EXT. CHURCH COURTYARD - NIGHT
Barris, in wig and moustache, stands in the middle of the
empty, dark courtyard.
Do you have it?
Do you have it?
Sorry. Yeah.
Barris reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out an
envelope. The Englishman takes it, opens it, pulls out a wad
of cash and counts.
Don't worry, we're not gonna cheat you.
Just the same.
The Englishman finishes counting the money, pockets it, and
hands Barris a box of Polaroid film.
Thank you. Oh, one more thing.
Barris pulls out his automatic with attached silencer and
jams it into the Englishman's mouth. The silencer breaks the
man's front teeth. The man makes a muffled grunt.
Sorry about your teeth.
The Englishman's eyes are wide with terror. Barris pulls the
trigger three times. The back of the Englishman's head
explodes. Blood and hair and brain are spattered against the
church wall. The Englishman slumps to the ground. Barris
reaches into the man's jacket, pulls out the envelope of
money, pockets it, and makes his way toward the churchyard
gate. There stands the fat bachelor, watching, confused.
After the initial shock, Barris smiles warmly.
It's Ronnie, isn't it?
The fat bachelor nods.
C'mere, Ronnie. I want to show you
something neat. It's okay.
The fat bachelor enters the courtyard.
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
I felt bad about Ronnie. But really I
did that ugly, fat, stupid kid a favor.
He was ugly and fat and stupid. More
life wouldn't have changed that for him.
No woman would ever have loved him.
That's just the brutal truth, y'know?
INT. LONDON HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Barris enters the room, shaky and scared.
INT. BATHROOM - CONTINUOUS
Barris rips open the Polaroid box, pulls out the foil paper
that protects the film, rips that open and pulls out a small
white plastic vial. Barris greases the vial with Vaseline
and sticks it up his ass.
He looks at himself in the mirror, naked and pathetic. There
is a knock at the door. He stiffens, grabs his gun and pads
out of the bathroom.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - CONTINUOUS
Barris peeks out the peephole. We see a fish-eye view of
It's Patricia, actually.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. HOTEL ROOM - LATER
Barris and Patricia sit sipping champagne. Both are drunk.
. and so then I spent a year in
Operation Chaos, inside the anti-war
movement as an agent provocateur, nudging
it toward violence in order to discred
it. That was fun. I got to wear granny
Sounds fun. So tell me, Patricia, why'd
you come up here tonight?
I don't know. You're sort of cute in a
homely way. And it's always lonely when
that civilian you're fucking calls out
the name off your fake passport.
"All the information I have about myself
is from forged documents."
Barris is thrilled and kisses her. It begins to turn hot and
heavy. Suddenly Barris pulls away.
Actually, I just gotta go into the
bathroom and take care of something.
No, baby. Leave the microfilm in.
EXT. KENNEDY AIRPORT - DAY
A plane lands.
INT. KENNEDY AIRPORT TERMINAL, CUSTOMS - DAY
Barris waits sweatily in line with a small a carry-on
suitcase. When the line moves, he walks as if perhaps he has
something up his ass. A customs agent walks past the line
with a dog. The dog sniffs Barris's ass in passing.
EXT. AIRPORT TERMINAL - DAY
Barris steps out of the terminal. A black limo pulls up.
The back door opens and Barris gets in.
INT. LIMO - CONTINUOUS
Seated in the back are Jim Byrd and Simon Oliver, 50. Oliver
is pure ivy league with a pipe. When he speaks it is with an
affected British accent. Byrd is pissy.
Hey, buddy. This is Simon Oliver.
Everything go okay? You don't look too
Mr. Barris, do not ever again jeopardize
one of my missions by killing a game show
contestant. Is that understood?
You're welcome, pal.
Do I make myself clear?
Fuck you! They're my contestants.
Lovely. Tell me, Mr. Barris, are you in
possession of my microfilm?
Yeah, I got it.
Let's have it then.
It's up my ass, Oliver. Why don't you
reach on up there and get it.
Oliver tamps his pipe. Byrd stares down at his thumbs.
I just feel I deserve some appreciation
for my efforts.
What do you think Patricia Watson was?
Barris looks at Byrd. Byrd almost imperceptibly shakes his
INT. BARRIS PRODUCTIONS - DAY
Barris, now in t-shirt and jeans, shuffles through the busy
bullpen area. Employees wave, say "hi", give Barris the
peace sign. He returns the gestures, but halfheartedly. He
seems depressed. Loretta sidles up beside him.
Well, if isn't the hitman.
Hitman! Hitman! Hitman! Hitman!
I said, well, if it isn't the hitman.
Just heard through the grapevine that ABC
is going to pick up The Newlywed Game.
You're kidding me.
Not kidding you. Day-time and prime-
Oh, fuck, Loretta. That's sensational!
Barris kisses Loretta.
Hitman! Hitman! Hitman!
Barris joins them chanting "Hitman" and dances around the
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
The Newlywed Game was based on my theory
that almost any American would sell out
their spouse for a washer-drier or a
lawnmower you can ride on. Such was my
respect for that most holy of unions. I
must've been on to something, because the
show aired for thirteen years.
EXT. MUSTANG CONVERTIBLE - DAY
Barris speeds through the curvy streets of the Hollywood
Hills. Penny Pacino, dressed as a hippy, sits in the front
SUBTITLE: HOLLYWOOD HILLS, 1969
Great wheels, man.
Yeah, I decided to start treating myself
right. You spend so much time denying
yourself things. Life's too short.
Yeah, I really gork what you're saying,
You really grok what I'm saying, man.
Not gork.
Oh. (beat)
The car screeches to a halt in front of a fancy house with a
"For Sale, Open House" sign out front.
INT. FANCY HOUSE - A FEW MINUTES LATER
The house is empty. Barris and Penny are greeted at the door
by a real estate agent.
Outa sight! Buy this one.
REAL ESTATE AGENT
Hi. Welcome, folks. If you wouldn't
mind signing-in on our sheet over th --
I'll take it.
REAL ESTATE AGENT
I'm sorry?
I'll take the house.
Penny happily kisses Barris.
REAL ESTATE AGENT
Very good, sir.
INT. EMPTY LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Barris and Penny are having sex on the floor.
So, man, are you seeing anyone?
Nobody serious. You?
No. I think we should get married.
Aw, Pen, don't start --
No, listen, it makes sense. You and I
feel exactly the same about marriage,
right? How much bullshit it is, right?
And the odds of us finding someone else
with the exact same view on it are small.
So, it makes sense.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Barris, 50, types away. He is sweaty and naked except for a
towel draped over his head.
I liked Penny. I even loved her in my
way. But the idea of tying myself down
for the rest of my life. I remember my
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. CHILDHOOD KITCHEN - NIGHT
Barris, five, sits at the dinner table with his parents. His
father, dressed in a dental smock, stares down at his plate
as he eats. His mother absently chews and stares vacantly
into space.
We need a new ice box.
The father shrugs.
INT. DATING GAME SET - DAY
The set, which holds four couples, divides in the middle to
reveal a new refrigerator.
A brand new Amana refrigerator-freezer
with automatic ice maker!
One of the couples is cheering and screaming hysterically,
happy and in love and kissing. The other couples look
disappointed and angry at their spouses.
We pull back to reveal we're watching this on a tv in:
INT. BARRIS'S OFFICE - MORNING
The office is filled to capacity with with hippy-like
employees watching The Newlywed Game. Many sit on the floor,
jammed up against each other. A few women are nursing
infants. Someone passes a joint. Barris sits behind his
desk, with a "Make Love Not War" helmet on his head, his feet
up, and a guitar in his lap.
Beautiful. Did you see that? How much
they loved each other just then? That's
what it's all about, kiddies.
Everyone agrees. Someone switches off the tv.
Okay, guys, new business. We're winning
our slots every week.
But that means we need you Bandits to get
on the contestant mill. Our supply of
dumbfucks is lagging behind our demand
for dumbfucks. And I'm gonna be
introducing three new shows in the coming
months: The Parent Game, The Game Game,
and the Dollar Ninety-Eight Beauty
Pageant, so we're gonna really need you
guys to carry your weight. Nuff said.
Any other business?
EMPLOYEE #1
Yeah. Rick took four slices of pizza at
lunch yesterday. Everyone else only got
Oooh. Is that true, Rick? Where are
Here. No, it's not true.
Any other witnesses to this alleged
EMPLOYEE #2
I saw it. He took four. I only got one.
Rick, you're dead meat, buddy.
(shoots Rick with finger)
I sentence you to. dance for us in
today's post-meeting version of "Out of
Limits" featuring the musical stylings of
the CBP Stompers.
Aw, Chuck.
Get up here, you rascule, you.
Rick heads up to Barris's desk. Everyone laughs. A few
employees have joined Barris at his desk with instruments.
They break into a raucous banjo version of "Out of Limits."
Rick dances. Everyone's laughing and clapping.
As "Out of Limits" continues, now the actual version, we see
montage of Barris shooting, stabbing, and garroting various
foreign-looking people in strange, murky locations intercut
with Barris having sex with Patricia Watson in different
bedrooms and motel rooms, Barris dancing with Patricia in
various exotic locales, and Barris on the set for his many
game shows, happily directing the bustling activity.
INT. RANCH-STYLE LIVING ROOM - DAY
The actual Jim Lange, host of The Dating Game.
JIM LANGE
Sometimes Chuck would just disappear for
weeks. I remember once we had a conflict
on the set over the right way to throw
that kiss at the end of the show,
. and Chuck was just not reachable to
resolve it.
What was the conflict?
JIM LANGE
Look, it's water under the bridge. I'm
not gonna talk about it.
INT. BARRIS'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
The previously bare room is now filled with lovely and
expensive furnishings. But Barris and Penny are again on the
floor, now playing Scrabble by candlelight. Penny lays down
some tiles: I-N-T-E-R-P-E-T
The word's interpret.
Well, do you have an extra "r" then I
I'm not going to give you a letter.
You're lucky I don't make you forfeit a
Oh. Okay.
Penny retrieves her letters and studies the board. Barris
empties the wine into Penny's glass. There wasn't much left.
I'll run to the store and get some more.
All right.
Don't cheat.
You neither.
EXT. LIQUOR STORE - NIGHT
Barris pulls up in a Jaguar XKE convertible. A pretty,
innocent-looking young woman, Monica, is emerging with a big
laundry bag from the laundromat next to the liquor store.
She glances, momentarily, at the Jaguar and at Barris.
INT. BARRIS'S LIVING ROOM - A BIT LATER
Barris enters with a bottle of wine. Penny is in the same
position on the floor.
Intrepet's a word, right?
Shit fuck piss.
Okay okay okay.
Pen, we should call it a night. I'm
kinda tired.
I got a date.
Since when?
I just met this girl.
You mean just now? Like, just now ?
Yeah. Kinda.
Well, that's rude.
Yeah, well, see ya.
Penny picks up her bag and exits in a huff.
INT. MONICA'S LIVING ROOM - LATER
It's a young woman's apartment, small and girly. The
Monica, clearly not out of her teens, enters the room and
answers the door. Barris stands there with the bottle of
Wow, this is a beautiful place you got!
Barris enters, looks around. There's another teenage girl in
pajamas in the kitchenette, mixing tuna salad.
Chuck, this is Mindy, one of my
Have a seat.
Barris sits on the couch. Monica sits next to him. Mindy is
in the background, futzing around in the kitchen area.
So. have you accepted the Lord Jesus
Christ as your savior, Chuck?
Yes, I have.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. MONICA'S LIVING ROOM - A BIT LATER
Barris, Monica, and Mindy sit on the couch watching a
religious show on television.
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
Yeah, I remember that religious girl,
sure. Monica Something. Fleming. Oh
God, she had the softest, fleeciest clam
I ever experienced. It took a little
more work than usual, but I got in there,
(smacks lips, then stares off
into space)
It was some clam. Oh Lordy. You get
old, y'know, but the taste for soft clam,
it just doesn't go away. This is the
great tragedy of getting old.
INT. BARRIS PRODUCTIONS - DAY
The room is abuzz with activity. Lots of people on the phone
talking. A potential Newlywed Game couple being interviewed.
Monica sits in the waiting area, eavesdrops on the interview
with the Newlywed Couple.
Getting married to Alan is the best thing
I've ever done. It's just so wonderful
knowing that you've got someone by your
side through everything for he rest of
your life.
The couple kisses.
'kay, Mon. He's off.
Monica enters the office.
INT. BARRIS'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
Monica enters. Barris wears a deerstalker cap.
My sweet little clamato.
Monica leans down and kisses Barris.
Barris's eye twitches.
I can't be pregnant, Chuck.
Is it mine?
Monica looks at him incredulously, flings an ashtray at him,
misses. She sits at the desk, looks glumly out the window.
I can't believe you asked me that.
I know. I'm sorry.
But you're sure, right?
I hate you so much right now.
Look, we'll take care of it.
How? Are you gonna marry me?
Well, no. Not at this point.
I'm not murdering my baby!
I can't. do that. Please.
Barris sighs. He touches Monica's hand.
INT. AIRPLANE - DAY
Barris and Monica sit in first class. Barris stares out the
window. Monica stares straight ahead.
Beautiful country, isn't it?
EXT. MEXICAN ALLEY - DAY
Barris leads a crying Monica down the garbage-strewn alley.
They find a doorway. Barris opens it.
Here we are.
I can't I can't I can't I can't.
Barris supports her and leads her into the office.
It's okay. It'll be okay.
EXT. SCULPTURE GARDEN, UCLA - DAY
Barris and Penny walk sadly through the garden.
What a waste.
Tell me about it. I figure over the
years I must've spent close to twenty
grand on these abortions: airfare,
hotels, doctors, gifts.
That's not what I meant.
And I don't even know how many of these
fetuses were mine. That's what really
kills me.
A SERIES OF SHOTS IN VARIOUS LOCALES OF MIDDLE-AGED WOMEN
WITH PAIN-ETCHED FACES, ADDRESSING THE CAMERA.
It was his.
Yeah. It was his.
It wasn't his. I lied.
Yes, it was his baby.
The godamn son of a bitch. He asked you
to ask me this?
I was screwing a lot of guys at the time.
It coulda been his.
Uh-uh. I just needed someone to pay for
it. He was a wallet with legs.
Yeah, I was just a kid. It ruined my
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
I don't really want to talk about this.
We hold on a silent Barris.
EXT. SCULPTURE GARDEN - DAY
Barris and Penny walk in silence.
So I'm assuming this means Monica is out
of the picture.
Yeah, I got baptized for nothing.
Chuck, I was thinking. I have this
plan now, now that you're free --
God, you look cute today.
I always look cute. Don't distract me.
What was I going to say?
I don't know.
You do know.
Chuck, why don't we get married? We've
known each other forever. We've fucked
each other forever. You think I'm cute,
you just said. You always come to me
when you're in trouble. And you're
almost forty, Chuck.
Barris turns violently toward Penny.
I know how old I almost am! That's it.
Don't ever ask me to marry you again!
INT. BARRIS'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Barris and Penny are having sex. It is gentle and quiet.
Penny is crying, trying to conceal it. Barris notices.
I'm sorry I yelled at you today, Pen.
I'm not crying because you yelled at me.
This is it, isn't it? This is us.
Barris studies Penny's face in the dim light.
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
The actual Barris puffs on his cigar.
I almost asked Penny to marry me right
then. But I didn't.
INT. SEEDY HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Barris sits naked on the bed, swigging from a bottle of
vodka, as a prostitute in a black dress and veil sings "Happy
Birthday" to him. When she's done, she lifts the veil, looks
Is that right?
INT. BARRIS'S OFFICE - DAY
Barris sits staring out the window. His mood is somber. On
the table beside him are many birthday cards. The anarchic
and youthful decor of the office seems to mock Barris now.
No response.
Rod Flexner's here.
Shit piss fuck, send him in.
Flexner enters. He's a suit.
Chuck! Great to see you.
What's up, Rod?
Well, the thing is, Chuck, some of your
shows aren't doing too well in the old
ratings war. The Family Game, for one.
We move into Barris's eyes.
INT. FAMILY GAME SET
The show is in progress. Suddenly shots are fired from
offstage. The host and contestants are slaughtered. It's
bloody and violent.
INT. BARRIS'S OFFICE - DAY
We're on Barris's eyes.
And How's Your Mother-in-Law is, quite
frankly, in the toilet, Chuck.
INT. HOW'S YOUR MOTHER-IN-LAW SET
A mother-in-law is being garotted with piano wire. Her neck
is sliced. Blood spurts.
INT. BARRIS'S OFFICE - DAY
Now, as you know, Dream Girl is flailing
INT. DREAM GIRL SET
Dream Girls lie bloody and flailing all over the set.
INT. BARRIS'S OFFICE - DAY
And The Game Game has no life in it at
INT. GAME GAME SET
The contestants on the set are all bloody and dead. An
applause light flashes on and off, but the audience members
are also dead.
INT. BARRIS'S OFFICE - DAY
So I've been put in the unfortunate
position of having to inform you that the
network is canceling all four of these
shows. Now don't shoot me, Chuck, I'm
just the messenger.
INT. BAR - NIGHT
Barris drinks alone. He's sullen and sauced.
They killed my babies. Just like that.
I pushed them into the world through the
birth canal of my imagination. Lovingly.
Tenderly. Where's the humanity of these
The fucking bastards.
What am I gonna do now?
(sees pretty woman)
Hey there, can I buy you a drink?
LARGE MAN
What are you blind, asshole? This lady's
Fuck you!
The large man stands to face Barris. He is very large.
Barris stands. The man swings at Barris. Barris easily
deflects the punch, grabs the man's forearm and breaks it
with a sickening crack. The man screams. Barris gets him in
a chokehold from behind. The man whimpers and gags.
Let's see, if I remember correctly, the
next move breaks your neck, which kills
you instantly or paralyzes you.
Depending on your luck.
LARGE MAN
(lets go)
Get out of here, you pussy faggot piece
of shit dog-shit shithead.
The large man hurries from the bar. Everyone in the bar,
including the large man's date, watches Barris.
(to the woman)
Hi. I'm Chuck Barris, tv producer. Have
you ever done any acting?
INT. BARRIS'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
Barris and the woman from the bar are having sex on the
couch. Penny enters.
Hey, I was just in the --
Penny sees Barris and the woman.
What is she doing here, man?
This is our house, man. Our house! It's
one thing to go elsewhere for your pussy
needs. But this is our house!
This is not our house, it's my house.
It's our house! I found it with you. I
decorated it for you! I spent six months
sitting on that fucking couch she's
fucking you on, fucking waiting for the
fucking plumbers to come! God, you are
such an asshole!
Penny throws the house key at Barris. It hits him in the
forehead. Then she turns and storms from the house. Barris
looks over at the woman. She looks confused.
I should go. This doesn't feel right.
The woman stands, grabs her purse, pulls out an 8x10 glossy
of herself and hands it to Barris, then exits. Barris stares
at the photo for a moment, then opens a drawer and puts on
top of a pile of similar photos.
EXT. PENNY'S APARTMENT BUILDING - NIGHT
Barris pulls up, gets out of his car, and heads toward the
INT. APARTMENT HALLWAY - NIGHT
Barris walks down the hall, carrying a bouquet of flowers.
He arrives at Penny's door. There is an envelope attached to
it with Barris's name on it. He opens the envelope and reads
the letter.
Dear Chuck,
I'm dead now. I hope you're happy.
The door's open.
Love always,
Barris hurriedly opens the door, enters the apartment looks
around, finds Penny face down on the floor, surrounded by
empty champagne bottles and vials of pills. He stares at her
body for a moment, feeling faint. He drops to his knees.
(face down)
Wanna see a stupid girl vomit?
INT. DINER - NIGHT
Barris and Penny sit in a booth. Penny has black coffee in
front of her. She is pale and drawn.
Why were you with that girl in our living
It's not our living room, Pen.
That's your defense? You know what it
feels like to see you with someone else?
In any living room.
You know who I am, Penny. I don't force
you to hang around.
You don't force me? Fuck. So you're
saying you have no interest in this, one
way or the other?
No, I'm not saying that.
Well, then, what are you saying, Chuck?
Do you want me around or not? Do you
even like me?
Of course I like you.
How much?
I need to know how much you like me.
I don't even know what that means, "how
much?" How can I rate a person in that
way? That's ridiculous.
You could if you felt it. If you felt
it, it would be easy to rate me. You
could spread your arms as wide as they
would go and say, "This much, Penny."
Everything's complicated, Pen. Nothing's
black and white like that.
Do you want me around or not? If you
don't, just say so, so I know. Okay?
Barris and Penny look at each other. She starts to cry.
I love you, Pen, in my way. Maybe not in
that crazy, head-over-heels thing, but
what is that, anyway? Romantic love.
Isn't that just an illusion?
But you just said you love me, right?
EXT. MOUNTAIN ROAD - NIGHT
A non-descript American car is parked on the quiet wooded
street. Barris pulls up in his Jaguar. He gets out of the
car, looks in the window of the empty American car.
BYRD (O.S.)
Over here, Strawberry-dick.
Barris looks over and makes out Byrd sitting on a rock with a
view of L.A. spread out in front of him. Barris joins him.
Jesus, how do you know these things?
We even know what she actually thought it
tasted like.
Really? I could never find that out.
What did she think?
It's a "need to know", my friend. So
tell me, what can I do you for?
I could really use an assignment, Jim.
To straighten my head.
I got something for your head.
INT. DATING GAME SET
A Dating Game couple waits anxiously for host Jim Lange to
announce their destination.
JIM LANGE
. and we're the sending the two of you
for three days and three nights to
beautiful. West Berlin!
The couple screams excitedly by reflect, but as the
destination sinks in, their perplexity becomes apparent.
EXT. WEST BERLIN STREET - DAY
Barris and the Dating Game couple walk along. It's cold and
gray and they all wear heavy coats. The couple wear cameras
around their necks. Nobody looks happy.
INT. BEER HALL - NIGHT
Barris sits in the corner of this noisy, smoky place. He has
a stein of beer and reads a paper as a group of drunken
Germans in the background sing a song. Patricia Watson
approaches and sits. Barris looks up and smiles.
(kisses him, sits)
So, here's what we got. Name's Hans
(pulls out photos)
Other side of the wall. We don't like
him very much.
Bye-bye, Colbert, bye-bye.
You'll work with a kraut named Keeler.
He's been trailing Colbert for a month
now. Knows the routine. Keeler's a
drunk, so you stay sober and take charge.
Done and done. See you after?
Prove how much you love me, baby. Kill
for me. Then I'm all yours.
INT. TUNNEL - DAY
Barris crawls through a long dirt tunnel. Telephone cables
run along the floor. An occasional bare bulb lights the way.
INT. APARTMENT BATHROOM - DAY
A middle-aged man stands in his underwear at a mirror and
shaves. The stall shower pushes away from the wall revealing
a hole. Barris steps through it, covered in dust. He nods at
the shaving man. He nods back, hands Barris a gun and a
change of clothes, and continues shaving.
EXT. APARTMENT BUILDING - MOMENTS LATER
Barris exits the apartment building in the clean clothes. We
see the East Berlin side of the wall in the background. A
car pulls up and Barris gets in.
INT. CAR, RESIDENTIAL STREET - DAY
Barris sits in the parked car with Keeler, a heavyset, silent
German man with nicotine stained fingers and teeth. He is
constantly smoking and writing in a tiny notebook. There is
a long silence.
What you writing, Sig?
I am keeping track of all the goings on
on this street.
Barris looks out the window. There is nothing going on, yet
Keeler keeps writing. More silence.
Hey, Keeler, a bird just flew by.
Yah. I know how to do my job.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. PARKED CAR - NIGHT
Barris and Keeler are still in the car. Keeler continues to
smoke and write. A well-rested, happy-looking Colbert walks
by with a group of people.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. PARKED CAR - AFTERNOON
Barris looks even more sickly. Colbert rides by happily on a
tandem bike with a lovely woman on the back. Keeler
continues to smoke and write.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. PARKED CAR - EVENING
Barris and Keeler wait in the car. Colbert emerges from his
house, alone, and walks toward the car. A drained Barris
sighs a sigh of relief, then suddenly and with unexpected
force, Keeler swings open the passenger door. The door hits
a stunned Colbert and sends him flying. Keeler races around
the car, grabs Colbert, throws him into the back seat, and
jumps on top of him. Barris watches, surprised at the
dramatic personality shift in Keeler. Keeler is strangling
Colbert. A cigarettes is dangling casually from his lips as
he does this. Keeler turns Colbert over so he's facing him,
so he can watch him die.
(calmly to Barris)
Under the seat, please.
Barris reaches under the seat, pulls out a Polaroid camera.
Please, if you don't mind, a photograph.
To remember.
Barris is stunned, scared. He takes the photo. The flash
illuminates the bulging-eyed Colbert and the calm Keeler.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - MORNING
Barris types. A knock at the door. He looks up, panicked.
Who is it?
Housekeeping, Mr. Barris.
Barris looks around. The place is a disaster. Food
wrappers, crumpled papers, liquor bottles, strewn clothing,
plastic army men set up for battle. He gets up, puts on a
hotel bathrobe and his hat, grabs his gun, checks the
peephole for a long moment, and answers the door. The
housekeeper is plump and kind-looking.
Good morning, Mrs. Reynolds.
Another rough night, huh?
(tapping his head)
The human psyche is a wondrous thing.
Yes, I know it is.
(taking gun)
We don't need this now, do we? Why don't
we just put this away?
She puts the gun in a drawer, starts to pick up. Barris
watches her, then:
Mrs. Reynolds, may I rest my head on your
bosom for a little while?
Oh, that doesn't really seem like a very
good idea, Mr. Barris.
I'm sorry. You're right. I just. I'm
just without. comfort of any sort, and
I. please forgive me.
(smiles at him)
No harm done.
Barris smacks himself in the head.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. You
are a scholar and.
It's fine, sir.
Mrs. Reynolds, what do you suppose God
thinks of someone like me?
Yes, God.
Well, Mr. Barris, your television shows
have brought laughter and joy to millions
of people. That's a very important
thing, I think, in these difficult times.
I would imagine God likes you very much.
Barris smiles a rubber-band smile.
Thank you, that's very kind.
(glances at her ample bosom)
So. I should get back to.
Yes, of course, sir. Don't mind me.
Barris resumes typing. The housekeeper cleans.
EXT. EAST BERLIN STREET - EARLY MORNING
A hollow-eyed Barris approaches the building that conceals
the tunnel entrance. Suddenly there's a commotion on the
quiet street. The shaving man is being led handcuffed out of
the building by two trench-coated men. They shove him into a
car. Barris continues to walk by, betraying no interest. He
glances casually into the entranceway of the apartment
building. Another trenchcoated man waits inside the shadows.
The car drives away. Barris stops at the end of the block,
stares at the imposing wall.
I'm really, really fucked.
Another car pulls up next to him. Picard, a serious-looking
Frenchman, sticks his head out the window.
What? Who the hell are you?
No time. Get in or die.
Barris hesitates, gets in. The car screeches off.
INT. PICARD'S CAR - CONTINUOUS
Picard drives fast. Barris eyes him suspiciously, fingers
his gun. Picard spots a Fiat in his rearview mirror.
Merde. KGB. They know who you are,
Monsieur Barris. It is their intention
to kill you very much in East Berlin.
Barris checks in the passenger side mirror.
Not to worry, my friend.
Picard speeds up dramatically, but continues to drive calmly.
Barris is agitated.
I am Paul Picard, by the way. Nice to
meet you. Do not worry, I am not KGB. I
do not want to kill you, I want you to
live a long happy life and have many
dancing grandchildren to admire.
Picard screeches around a corner, then another one. He's
lost the Fiat, for the moment.
EXT. QUIET EAST BERLIN STREET - EARLY MORNING
Picard's car stops at the curb. Picard and Barris emerge.
Picard opens the trunk. He lifts out a big folded-up clump
of rubber with a an engine mounted on it.
What the hell is that?
Your ride, Monsieur Barris.
Picard unfolds the rubber mass. He pulls a cord and it
begins to inflate. It is an airplane, a one person
No fucking way.
It's quite reliable and easy to operate.
It will get you over the wall. Or you
can stay here. In the German Democratic
Republic. I will arrange for you to get
a good factory job. No, you must fly,
like Daedalus before you, to the freedom
of the west.
Christ. What about you?
They do not catch me, monsieur. This is
my talent, to get away always. In
guerre. In amour. This is my talent,
and perhaps this is my curse.
EXT. BERLIN WALL - DAY
The fully-inflated rubber plane flies down the street,
dipping and rising erratically. The noise is deafening.
Barris lies on his stomach and steers, looking petrified. He
approaches the wall and manages to get the plane over it.
The plane is shot by a soldier. Air hisses out.
EXT. CENTRAL PARK - DAY
Barris sits on a park bench. Jim Byrd approaches, sits.
So, did you have a nice flight?
Fuck you, Jim. It was terrifying.
Seems the KGB knew exactly what you were
up to. You were there to kill Colbert,
they were there to kill you. I'm
thinking we got a mole. So much hate in
the world, Chuck.
Am I in danger still?
Jesus, yes. KGB didn't go out of
business since yesterday, so far as I
know. You're fucked, Chuck. But our main
concern should be: if they know who you
are, they know who I am.
Fuck off. What do we do?
Bow out. Lay low. That's what I'm gonna
do. You're lucky you have another career
to immerse yourself in.
INT. REHEARSAL HALL - DAY
Barris sits with a several network executive and some other
staff members watching a fat man tap dance badly and, because
of his weight, extremely loudly. It's painful for everybody
to watch. The fat man finishes.
Thank you. Thanks. That was great.
The fat smiles and exits. Barris puts his head in his hands.
I don't know, Chuck. It's looking bleak.
There's gotta be somebody in America with
some talent. Ted Mack got bookings every
The executives look at each other.
Bring in the next thing.
An assistant opens the door and a middle-aged woman in pale
blue polyester pants and Joan Crawford painted on eyebrows
enters with a guitar. She begins to sing a folk song, very
sincerely, in a very off-key monotone. It's unbearable and
depressing. Barris glances over at the executive; she's
checking her watch again. The song is endless. Barris's
eyes grow cloudy.
DISSOLVE TO:
EXT. FIELD - DAY
This is the same field where Renda was shot. Now, the
folksinging woman is in the field singing. Barris pulls out
a gun and aims it at the woman. Her eyes widen in terror,
but she keeps singing. A church bell chimes and Barris
shoots her. She flies back, spurting blood. Her guitar hits
the ground with a twang.
INT. REHEARSAL HALL - DAY
Barris snaps out of his fantasy with renewed energy The
folksinger is still droning on.
Thank you. Thank you. We'll be in
touch. That was wonderful.
Barris closes the door behind the folksinger and turns to the
We've been going about this all wrong.
Rather than killing ourselves trying to
find good acts, we just book bad ones and
kill them.
EXECUTIVE #2
Chuck, it's torture to sit through even
one of these people --
We kill 'em before they're through. As
soon as it gets unbearable, we kill 'em.
For God's sake, what are you talking
Celebrity judges ring a bell to end the
act. to kill 'em. And when you kill
something, it stops. This I know to be
INT. GONG SHOW SET - DAY
Barris and some suits watch from the booth as an octogenarian
woman on stage sings "Born Free" in an impossibly high voice.
Jamie Farr gongs the woman. The woman is angry. A vacuous
host with great hair appears next to the woman. He seems
Why'd you do that, Jamie? This is
someone's grandmother. She was really
JAMIE FARR
This is The Gong Show, not the Van
This is a human being with aspirations.
Oh, fuck me. This guy sucks. He's
bringing everyone down.
The executives eye each other.
None of the hosts are getting it, Chuck.
But we have a thought.
You host.
All the executives smile at Barris.
EXECUTIVE WOMAN (CONT'D)
You get it. And we believe your awkward,
non-professional, mumbling persona is
exactly right for the show.
I don't want to be on tv.
Listen, we can't sit through anymore of
these test shows. Do it, Chuck, or we
advise the network to pull it.
INT. BARRIS PRODUCTIONS - NIGHT
Barris switches on the lights, walks through the empty
bullpen area to his office, unlocks the door, enters.
INT. BARRIS'S OFFICE - CONTINUOUS
Barris enters, stares out the window, looks at himself in a
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Gong
Show! I'm your host, Chuck Barris!
(turns away in disgust)
Barris sits behind his desk, draws a line down a piece of
paper and writes "Pros" and "Cons" at the top of the page.
He thinks. Under "Pros" he writes "Become National
Celebrity", "Get More Attention from Stewardesses", "Even
more women will want to have sex with me". Under "Cons" he
writes: "Easier target for KGB." He gets up, paces.
Suddenly, a shot rings out. It comes through the window and
shatters the mirror. Barris dives to the floor. More
shots, crazy relentless shooting. Barris crawls on his belly
to the window, carefully reaches up and lowers the venetian
blinds just as another shot whizzes through. The blinds
explode. The shooting stops He waits on the floor, shaking
like a leaf. He pulls the list off his desk and writes under
"Pro": "I need another hit before I die."
INT. GONG SHOW SET - DAY
Center-stage is empty. The band begins to play. The studio
And now, here's the host and star of our
show, Chuck Barris!
The curtain rises. Barris appears in a tuxedo coat, denim
work shirt, cowboy boots and a hat pulled down over his eyes.
Welcome to The Gong Show. Here's an
esoteric act if there ever was one.
Ephemeral. It's an ephemeral act.
One that should get us our Emmy. Do we
have an Emmy? We don't? Well this
should get us one. Anyway, ladies and
gentlemen. Big Nose!
Big Nose leaps onto stage. He is skinny, wearing a flowered
shirt and a sarong, and playing a toy flute while dancing in
ladies platform shoes. Suddenly he drops his flute, rips off
his sarong, revealing polka-dotted boxer shorts and a yellow
leotard. He rushes to a steamer trunk, opens it, and begins
crazily pulling out endless amounts of old newspapers.
Barris watches from the wings, mesmerized. Big Nose is
gonged. Barris dances out onto stage to join him.
Why? Why? Why?
I don't know. I don't understand.
Barris glances out into the audience. Something glints. Is
it a gun. He starts to sweat. Jaye P. Morgan is saying
something about Big Nose. But we can't understand it. The
audience laughs. Barris continues to scan the audience.
Someone in headphones signals Barris from behind a camera.
(to Big Nose)
Well, win a few, lose a few.
We'll be back with more stuff. right
after this message.
Barris waits on his mark for the taping to again begin. He
watches the commotion around him with eagle eyes: technicians
and stagehands running around, the audience chanting "Chuckie
Baby", the celebrity panel joking with each other, the guys
in the booth smoking, the guys in the band laughing. Barris
turns around and around on his mark, trying to catch every
movement, looking for a gun, a suspicious character. The
chanting continues, louder and more distorted. The faces in
the audience turn grotesque. Barris sweats profusely, his
breathing becomes more and more shallow. Suddenly his eyes
roll back in his head and he drops to the stage floor,
DISSOLVE TO:
NEWSPAPER HEADLINES BEING SHOWN TO THE CAMERA:
VARIETY: GONG SHOW EM-BARRIS-MENT OF RICHES
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: KING GONG!
L.A. TIMES: BARRIS'S TALENT SHOWS
DAILY NEWS: GONG HO!
INT. HOSPITAL ROOM - DAY
We see Barris in bed, hooked up to machines The executive
woman sits by his bed showing him the headlines.
You can't quit.
I can't quit? But I get panicky, Louise,
in front of all those people.
You lack confidence, that's all.
I lack confidence?
But we'll take care of that. We'll get
you some confidence powder. Leave that
Nose candy, Chuck. Blow. Snow. Flake.
Blow, snow, flake?
Oh. Coke. Okay. Does that work?
INT. GONG SHOW SET - DAY
Barris on stage introducing an act. He is very confident.
Ladies and gentlemen, oh, this act is
amazing, your gonna love this act. I'm
telling ya. All the way from Pacoima.
The curtain rises. A young man with a square of Plexiglass
in his hands, presses his lips against the Plexiglass and
blows. It makes a farting noise and allows to the audience
to see inside his mouth.
INT. WINGS - CONTINUOUS
Barris snorts some cocaine. We hear the act and audience
"booing" and yelling "Gong him!" in the background.
INT. COFFEE SHOP - DAY
The actual Jaye P. Morgan is being interviewed.
ACTUAL JAYE P. MORGAN
Chuck was real different on stage and
off. Very tense. He was always looking
over his shoulder. Even when we were
fucking. Sort of an enigma.
INT. GONG SHOW SET - DAY
Barris dances onstage with Gene Gene the Dancing Machine.
INT. SUBURBAN LIVING ROOM - DAY
The actual Gene Gene is being interviewed.
GENE GENE
Oh yeah, a real Jekyll and Hyde.
Sometimes nice as you please. Give you
the shirt off his back. Other times he'd
rant like a crazy man. I remember once
he screamed at me that I didn't know
anything about dancing. "Nijinsky," he
yelled, "now there was a dancer!"
INT. GONG SHOW SET - DAY
A black guy with weird teeth and a speech impediment attempts
stand-up. He looks petrified.
Today I had a bad day today.
The audience yells "How bad was it?" This throws the
performer. Finally he continues.
BLACK COMEDIAN (CONT'D)
It was so bad, my wife didn't even know
how to cook.
BLACK COMEDIAN (CONT'D)
That barracuda took an egg, put it in a
pot of water, and burned the water. We
had to rush that to the hospital.
The audience boos.
BLACK COMEDIAN (CONT'D)
The booing continues. The comedian can't take it. He looks
disoriented. He turns away from the audience and puts his
head in his hands. Jamie Farr gongs him.
EXT. SWIMMING POOL - DAY
The actual Jamie Farr sits next to the pool. In the
background we see a couple of kids with enormous noses
splashing around in the water.
JAMIE FARR
Chuck used to love to discuss philosophy.
I think he was very saddened that the
public saw him as this sort of spastic
moron. I remember at the time I was
reading Wittgenstein. And Chuck was just
thrilled to have someone else in addition
to Rex Reed to talk about that stuff
INT. BARRIS'S BEDROOM - LATE NIGHT
Barris lies in bed next to Patricia. It's 12:30 AM. He's
chatting on the phone, lazily twirling the cord. Patricia
Look, Jamie, you know as well as I that
language does not exist without an
JAMIE FARR (TELEPHONE VOICE)
Certainly. Wittgenstein said as much in
Investigations. But if you read Ryle
carefully --
(looking at clock)
Can we pick up tomorrow?
JAMIE FARR
Yeah. But consider my thinking on
elementary propositions. I'm serious.
Will do. Love ya.
JAMIE FARR
Right back at ya, amigo.
Barris hangs up. Patricia kisses him. She pulls away.
I'm concerned about you. I think you
need to get back into the life. Our sex
was always amazing after you killed.
Truth is you're not that great after your
discussions with Jamie Farr.
The phone rings.
Oh, c'mon.
(picks up)
Jamie, I can't talk anymore tonight --
This is Siegfried Keeler. I need to see
Barris jerks up, surprised, alarmed. Patricia watches him.
Assassins do not fraternize. That Keeler
was calling me could mean it was my turn
to get hit.
I am in town on business, Chuck. And I
desire nothing more than your company for
dinner. I consider you one of my closest
Sure. Dinner sounds good. There's a
place called La Scala. See you there at
Barris hangs up.
Dinner sounds good with whom?
Patricia glances over at Barris. They stare at each other.
EXT. LA SCALA PARKING LOT - EVENING
Barris pulls into the parking lot. As he waits for the valet
parking attendant to get to him, he adjusts the gun strapped
to his ankle.
INT. LA SCALA - EVENING
Barris enters the crowded restaurant, looks around, spots
Keeler sitting at a table in the rear. As he makes his way
back, Barris shakes hands and says hello to several early
seventies tv celebrities scattered throughout the restaurant:
Carrol O'Connor, Joanne Worley, Flip Wilson, Ron Palillo.
Barris arrives at Keeler's table. Keeler rises and embraces
Chuck. He's already drunk. They sit.
A very fancy place.
Only the best for my friend.
The friendships one develops during
wartime are remarkably strong.
There is an awkward silence.
So how is the business of television?
Barris, pleased to have something to talk about, rambles.
Well, it's hit and miss. I've got a new
show called "Operation Entertainment"
which I believe is going to kill. It's
sort of a Bob Hope visiting the troops
thing, but it's weekly and.
Keeler is staring right through Barris.
Why do you do what you do, Chuck?
Well, I like to think that I bring joy
and laughter to millions of people. I'm
not saying that my shows are as good as
they could be. Yet. But --
Why do you kill?
Barris looks around, clears his throat.
During the second world war, I had the
pleasure of killing. Yes, pleasure. I
found it exhilirating. Afterwards, I
could find nothing else to fill me so
much with life. So I became what I am
today. I wanted the exhiliration
again. of death.
The waiter appears.
Are you gentlemen ready to order?
I'll have the shrimp scampi and a green
And for you, sir.
Um, Just give me a steak. Rare.
Thank you.
The waiter leaves. Keeler sips his drink, stares at Barris.
"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it
with thy whole might. Work while it is
called, for the night cometh wherein no
man can work."
It's amazing you should quote him. He's
I read in a book recently that killing
your first man is like making love to
your first woman. Every smell, every
nuance, you remember with a special
allure, as if the acts had occured
outside civilization, outside time. And
when the allure is gone, you are
I am condemned to live the rest of my
life outside civilization. You will be
too, my good friend.
Barris looks into Keeler's hollow eyes.
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
The actual Barris puffs on his cigar.
The next day I heard Keeler offed
EXT. L.A. HOTEL - NIGHT
Keeler falls silently in slow motion from a very high window.
ACTUAL BARRIS (V.O.)
You never really know in the world of
espionage if something labeled a suicide
actually is a suicide. But he was dead.
That I knew.
INT. MARTONI'S - NIGHT
Barris eats dinner with Penny. Barris seems depressed.
Penny is reserved.
When you called, I wasn't gonna come.
I'm glad you did, Pen.
I said to myself, enough. Enough of this
jerk already. Enough.
I could see how you would feel that way.
But I've come upon something interesting
through my delvings into human
psychology. It's called TA, Transactual
Now see, by correcting me you're
responding as "Parent" to my "Child."
"Here's the proper way to say this word,
Penny." But that's okay. As long as we
both understand that's what you're doing.
Y'know, I'm okay, you're okay. So what's
wrong, Chuck? Are you okay?
A guy I knew killed himself last night.
My God. Everyone you know kills
themselves. Or tries. Who is it this
You don't know him. A stagehand.
Why'd he do it?
He didn't like his work anymore.
Is being a stagehand really bad or
Yeah, it's pretty bad.
Patricia storms up to the table.
You were supposed to meet me at The Palm
two hours ago.
Oh fuck, I forgot.
Who is this?
I do not get stood up. Do you
Um, Penny, this is Patricia.
How did you find me?
Are you serious? That's what I do for a
Who's Patricia? What does she mean,
that's what she does for a living?
You're dead in my book, Strawberry-dick.
Strawberry dick? What's that?
There is no second chance. Get it?
(to Penny)
Nice meeting you, Penny. I've heard a
lot about you.
(to Barris, walking away)
Oh, by the by, Byrd's dead.
Patricia exits. Penny just looks down at the table.
And. and okay. I'm only gonna give
you one more chance, man. That's it.
INT. BARRIS'S ROLLS ROYCE - NIGHT
Barris snorts some coke, pulls out of the studio parking lot.
The sound of his heart beating pounds in his ears. Another
car pulls behind him. A wired Barris notices the car in his
rearview mirror. He turns. The other car turns also.
Barris speeds up. So does the other car. Barris panics; he
tries to lose the other car. A chase ensues. Finally Barris
screeches to a halt, pulls a gun from his glove compartment.
The second car screeches to a halt behind him. Barris
already out of his car and at the driver's side window of the
second car. He looks in and sees there are two petrified
teenagers, a boy and a girl, holding up their hands. Barris
pulls open the door.
Who sent you?! Who the fuck sent you?!
TEENAGE BOY
Nobody, man. We just waited for you to
leave after the show. We just think the
show is cool. We just think you're cool.
The girl is crying.
TEENAGE GIRL
Please don't kill us.
Barris points the gun at them for a long while, his hands
INT. GONG SHOW WINGS - DAY
Barris stands backstage waiting for his cue. The Unknown
Comic appears next to him, wearing a paper bag with two
eyeholes cut out over his head. Barris glances over at him.
Hey, Chuck.
Barris doesn't say anything. He studies the bag. Barris
pulls a pistol from an ankle holster, and jams it against the
Take it off.
The fucking bag. Take it off.
The Unknown Comic takes the bag off. He looks terrified.
Barris stares him down.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Chuck Barris!
Barris dances onto the stage.
INT. GONG SHOW SET - CONTINUOUS
Barris is clapping his hands together. He looks happy and
relaxed. The audience is cheering.
Here he is, the Prince of Puns, the
Wizard of Whoopee. The Unknown Comic!
The Unknown Comic appears upstage with bag on head.
Chuckie Baby, Chuckie Baby, Chuckie
What? What do you want?
What's the difference between toilet
paper and a shower curtain?
I don't know.
Here's the guy!
The audience laughs. Barris feigns annoyance and pushes the
unknown comic off the stage.
Get out of here.
(for Barris's ears only)
You're fucking crazy, man.
INT. BARRIS'S OFFICE - DAY
Barris sits behind his desk, drinking and popping pills.
Loretta pokes her head in.
Phone call from someone named Tuvia.
I'll take it! Don't hang up!
Barris picks up the phone.
TUVIA (O.S.)
Hello, is this Chuck Barris?
TUVIA (O.S.)
Oh, this is Tuvia Feldman. I don't know
if you remember me --
Of course I do.
TUVIA (O.S.)
I'm in town and I've been following your
career and I wondered if you might want
to get a drink. For old times sake.
INT. CHILDHOOD BEDROOM - DAY
Tuvia plays with the dog. White panties are revealed.
Sweet Tuvia.
EXT. FRONT PORCH - DAY
Adult Tuvia answers the door with her baby.
Ripe Tuvia.
INT. BAR - NIGHT
Barris waits in a booth, anxiously eyeing the door. A guy
Hey, Chuck, I got a talent.
Just take a second.
The guy gets down on all fours and starts barking and panting
like a dog. It is a repulsive and frightening sight, but
Barris becomes transfixed by it and cannot take his eyes off
TUVIA (O.C.)
Barris tears his eyes away from the dog guy to look at Tuvia.
She is an older middle-aged lady. Younger than Chuck, but
clearly of no interest to him. The disappointment on his
face is palpable.
It's Tuvia! Remember? Hi!
Old Tuvia.
You look great.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. BAR - LATER
Barris sits in a booth across from Tuvia. The relationship
has shifted once again. Now middle-aged Tuvia is trying to
flirt. As they talk, she touches his arm repeatedly. She
laughs at everything he says. She reapplies lipstick as they
talk. There's a quiet desperation in her eyes. Barris is
pleasant but unengaged.
Ah, Tuvia. The fantasy of Tuvia forever
cast out by the reality of Tuvia.
Finally, because of my fame and her
desperate straits, her poverty and single
parenthood, she was going to submit to
me. Finally I could've had her.
BARRIS (V.O.) (CONT'D)
I could've had what had so long eluded
me. But now she was old and I wasn't
INT. TRAIN - NIGHT
Middle-aged Tuvia staring out at the night-time landscape in
the darkened train car, her suitcase on the seat next to her.
INT. BARRIS'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
Barris is having sex with two twenty year old nymphettes The
drugs and alcohol flow freely. He seems to be enjoying
himself but there is a hollowness in his eyes.
Tuvia was old, but not me. I was the
Game Show King.
INT. GONG SHOW SET - DAY
The rabid audience members chant, "Chuckie Baby, Chuckie
Baby, Chuckie Baby."
INT. BARRIS'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Barris snorts Coke in the darkness.He scans an article
headlined: "Chuck Barris is the Decline of Western
Civilization." The phone rings, alarmingly breaking the
Paul Picard is dead.
EXT. EAST BERLIN STREET - EARLY MORNING
Barris looks down from the plane as Picard, on the ground,
runs after it.
Fly, Daedalus, fly!
INT. BARRIS'S OFFICE - NIGHT
Barris hangs up the phone. He stares off into the distance.
The phone rings again, again shattering the silence.
INT. GONG SHOW SET - DAY
Barris on stage with red stocking hat.
This is the moment we've been waiting
The contestants appear on stage.
The winner is Miss Tiny Brooks!
A model appears with a trophy and a big check and hands it to
an enormously fat woman. The other contestants appluad. two
midgets dance. The band plays. A massive amount of confetti
and balloons fall on everyone.
INT. AUDITORIUM - NIGHT
It's the Emmy Awards. Barris is in the audience, next to his
starlet date. He sweats through his tuxedo, fidgets. Ed
Asner and Caroll O'Connor are on stage presenting.
And the winner is Taxi!
The Taxi theme starts as the winners make their way to the
ED ASNER (CONT'D)
James L. Brooks, Stan Daniels, and Ed.
Weinberger, executive producers.
The starlet whispers into Barris's ear, outraged at the
I don't see why your shows are never
Barris looks sick. Jim Brooks is on stage accepting.
And I honor you, members of the academy,
for recognizing and supporting high
INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT
Barris is locked in a stall, vomiting. The door to the
bathroom opens. Someone enters. Barris peeks through the
closed stall door. It's Jim Brooks, whistling and holding
his Emmy. He places it next to the sink, unzips his fly and
pisses. An agitated Barris pulls his gun from his ankle
holster, opens the stall door a crack, and shakily aims the
gun at Brooks' back.
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
But as I stood there, I realized, I
couldn't kill Jim Brooks, the man who was
responsible for such good stuff: Mary
Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Cindy, Phyllis,
episodes of My Friend Tony. I loved
those shows as much as anybody in
INT. BATHROOM - NIGHT
Barris is crying. He turns the gun away from Brooks, almost
against his will, and sticks it in his own mouth. After a
moment, he realizes he can't do that either.
ACTUAL BARRIS (V.O.)
I couldn't kill either of us, so I let us
both live. Jim Brooks and me. The rest
is history.
Barris puts the gun away, flushes the toilet and exits the
Hey, congratulations, Jim.
Brooks turns and looks at Barris. He smiles.
Oh, hey! Thanks.
Chuck Barris. The Gong Show.
Oh, right. Hey, thanks, Chuck.
Once again you deserve it. Your shows
are the greatest. You bring so much.
quality to the medium.
Thank you. I appreciate that. I really
They smile and nod at each other awkwardly. Chuck waits for
some sort of return of the compliment. It does not come.
They continue to nod at each other.
INT. OFFICES OF GRACIE FILMS - DAY
The actual Jim Brooks is being interviewed.
ACTUAL JIM BROOKS
I don't really remember ever meeting
In the men's room at the Emmys, he says.
Brooks thinks, looks at interviewer.
ACTUAL JIM BROOKS
I'm not saying it didn't happen. I'm
just, y'know. If he remembers it, I'm
sure it happened. Really doesn't seem
like much of an anecdote though.
INT. CHATEAU MARMONT BUNGALOW - NIGHT
A big party is in progress. The place is packed. Late
seventies celebrities abound. Alan Alda is there. Burt
Reynolds, Jamie Farr, Jaye P. Morgan, Gene Gene the Dancing
Machine, Pam Dawber, Farrah Fawcett Majors and Lee Majors,
John Belushi. Chuck Barris steps out of the bathroom, drink
in hand. He wipes his nose like someone who's just snorted
coke. He wanders disconsolately and slightly wild-eyed
through the crowd. He sits in a chair. A man sitting across
from him looks at Barris. His eyes light up.
PARTY MAN #1
Hey, you're Chuck Barris!
PARTY MAN #1
I love your show!
Great. I'm just heading --
PARTY MAN #1
I have a talent I think you'd really
Party Man #1 begins farting "Jingle Bells." Barris gets up
and moves away.
PARTY MAN #1
Hey, didn't you ever hear of Le Petomane?
He was a star, buddy! These are totally
Barris settles by the fireplace. A pretty woman approaches,
PRETTY WOMAN
PRETTY WOMAN
I thought it was you.
PRETTY WOMAN
I'm glad to meet you because I wanted to
tell you that I've seen The Gong Show and
I think you are the most insidious and
despicable force in entertainment today.
PRETTY WOMAN
How dare you subject the rest of the
world to your loathsome view of humanity.
I don't think it's that loathsome.
PRETTY WOMAN
What is it then? To mock some poor,
lonely people who just crave a little
attention in their lives. To destroy
them. So everybody's not brilliantly
talented. They're still people. They
deserve respect and compassion. I mean,
who the hell are you? What the fuck have
you ever done that elevates you above the
pathetic masses? Oh, I forgot, you
created The Dating Game. Wow, right up
there with the Sistine Chapel. I guess
that's what gives you the right to.
Excuse me, I've got to --
Barris loses himself in the crowd. He hurries past a guy who
recognizes and starts chanting.
PARTY MAN #2
Chuckie Baby! Chuckie Baby! Chuckie
Barris turns and makes his way through the crowd to the door.
EXT. SUNSET BLVD - NIGHT
Barris makes his way down the crowded street. People stare,
turn their heads to gawk. We hear over and over again: "Hey,
isn't that Chuck Barris?" and "Hey, look, The Gong Show
guy!", and "Chuckie baby, Chuckie baby!" Barris smiles wanly
and nods. People shove paper and pen in his face and he
scribbles autographs without stopping. Sweat forms on his
brow. His polyester shirt is drenched.
She was right. What the hell had I done
with my life?
Among the fans on the street, Barris spots the fat bachelor
he killed in London. He sports a bullet hole in his head
Barris does a double take.
Wait, you're that guy. You're dead.
This is screwy.
FAT BACHELOR
I only want to be loved.
That's all I fucking wanted!
Barris hurries away from the fat bachelor. He begins to spot
others converging on him: the corpses of those he killed,
bloody and disfigured. Crazy, angry-looking gonged Gong Show
contestants appear in the crowd with weapons. KGB agents in
trench coats and sunglasses wield guns, Day of the Dead
skeletons dance after him. Barris breaks into a run.
Suddenly confetti and balloons pour down on him out of the
L.A. night sky. Barris dashes across the street, almost
getting hit by a car. He ducks down an alley to catch his
breath. As he leans against the wall and heaves, a middle-
aged woman appears, somewhat backlit by the street light.
Mr. Barris?
My name is Louise Wechsler and I'm here
from Tulsa with my family and.
Please, I'm not feeling well.
Just a moment of your time. I love your
show. And, well, I, sort of, have a
You can stop by the office to audition
The woman continues to approach.
Well, I'm leaving tomorrow and I was just
wondering. See, I dance a little and I
was just wondering --
There's no way out of this. Barris sighs.
Yeah, all right. Go ahead.
Barris turns to face the woman, who's very close now. She
starts to dance around, sort of ballet-like, very badly.
Barris watches. She pirouettes, arms above her head.
Very nice.
Something in her hand glints in the light. Barris
reflexively grabs her arm. It's an ice pick. The two
wrestle for it. The woman is extremely strong. Barris jams
the palm of his hand up into the woman's nose. She staggers
back, but doesn't drop the ice pick. Barris leaps at her.
The two roll on the ground. The woman pins Barris. She
straddles him and is about to stab him through the air.
Barris reaches under her skirt and grabs her crotch. The
middle-aged woman is a man. He screams in a distinctly male
voice. Barris takes the moment of distraction to grab the
ice pick and jam it up through the assailant's chin and into
his brain. The assailant slumps over.
Barris pushes the body off himself, kneels beside it, and
pulls off the wig. He gets up, shaking and heaving. He
looks at the body one more time, kicks it in the head with
all his might.
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
That was it. I just disappeared. The
network had to put The Gong Show into
reruns. It was 1981. I holed myself up
in this hotel in New York. Parker Hotel.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY
SUBTITLE: NEW YORK CITY, SPRING 1982
We see Barris from above, shivering and naked in the corner.
The manuscript pages are piled high next to the typewriter.
Barris looks up at the camera with outstretched arms,
appealing to the gods.
There is a pounding on the wall from a neighbor.
Who cares? Shut the fuck up!
There's a knock at the door. Barris crawls toward it, peeks
through the peephole.
Fuck. Shit. Piss.
Barris unlocks the door. Simon Oliver stands there.
How'd you know where I was?
Chuck, Chuck, Chuck, don't be an
orangutan. We always know where you are.
We always know what you're doing. By the
by, I'd think twice before I'd attempt to
get that tripe you're writing published.
And there's a typo on page --
Look, what do you want, Oliver? I don't
work for you anymore. I have things
Barris trails off.
I'd like you to come back for one last
No. Now get. Good-bye
I think you might be interested when I
tell you it's the mole who fingered your
friends Jim Byrd and Paul Picard. and
Keeler committed suicide.
Yes, of course he did. He threw himself
from a twentieth floor window after he
strangled himself to death with an
I'm not interested, Oliver.
As long as the mole's alive, you don't
have a chance in hell of remaining so.
Besides, killing is in your blood, old
man. You fit the profile.
Barris lunges at Oliver, pushes him against the wall.
That fucking profile again! What's the
fuck is it?! What the fuck do you
bastards know about me, that I don't?!
Indeed. Where to begin. First, let go
Barris lets go. Oliver sits in a chair, straightens his
Let's see. Well, you had a twin sister,
stillborn, strangled by your umbilical
cord. Your first hit, Chuck. Your
mother always wanted a daughter. She
blamed you for your sister's death. And,
so, until your sister Phoebe was born,
she raised you as a girl.
That's not true.
Oh, and your father the dentist? Not
really your father. Your biological
father was a man named Edmund James
Windsor. A serial killer. A fact your
mother didn't know when she had an affair
with him in 1930. If you want to look
him up, he was also known as the
Tarrytown Troll, because he had been
described by witnesses as short and ugly.
Windsor died in the electrical chair at
Ossining in 1939. We believed your self-
loathing tendencies coupled with that
extra Y chromosome and whatever else you
inherited from your father would serve us
I'm trying to think what more I can tell
you. I'm sure there's more. But you have
me at a disadvantage here, Barris. I
don't have your files in front of me.
Just leave me the hell alone!
Your mother always loved the game shows,
and you so wanted to please her. We
never expected the game show business to
work out for you. But that it did,
turned out to be in our favor. I guess
your need to be a good daughter drove you
more than we anticipated.
Barris lunges at Oliver. The two wrestle on the floor.
Barris punches him repeatedly in the face.
DISSOLVE TO:
INT. HOTEL ROOM - MORNING
Barris lies sleeping in a tangle of sheets. There's blood on
his hands. A knock at the door. Barris jumps awake, grabs
his gun. He looks around. The room is a mess, stuff knocked
over. There's been a fight. He sees his bloody hands.
Huh? What?
PENNY (O.S.)
Chuck? It's Pen.
Barris brings his gun with him to the door, looks through the
peephole, then opens the door. Penny stands there, takes in
the room, the mess, the haggard Barris.
Oh, Chuck.
Jesus, how'd you find me? Am I listed in
some guidebook or something?
You sent me your last letter on hotel
Oh. Well, it's great to see you, Pen.
You look beautiful.
Barris hugs her.
I don't really. But I appreciate the
lie. I know how you hate lying.
Boy, this place is scary looking.
(taps his head)
The human psyche.
I came to take you back to California
with me. It's a lonely state without
I don't know, Redhead.
I can't wait forever for you to ask me to
marry you, you know. Well, apparently I
can. But I really don't want to. Chuck.
I love you so much. You don't
understand. I don't even know why.
You're such a schmuck.
You don't know the half of it.
You're not gonna marry me, are you?
I don't know if I can.
Penny nods her head and leaves. Barris watches her go, then
falls to the floor and weeps.
EXT. PLANE - DAY
EXT. UNION OYSTER HOUSE, BOSTON - NIGHT
INT. UNION OYSTER HOUSE, BOSTON
Barris, dressed in a suit, sits with Patricia Watson. He
smiles across the table at her.
I can't believe you finally left your two-
hundred-dollar-a-night cave to see me.
I'm honored.
Y'know, I got a visit this morning from
Penny. She's wanted to marry me forever.
But she doesn't know who I am, what I've,
what I'm capable of.
And she can't ever know. So what does
she really love? A lie. And I started
thinking, Treesh, you are the only woman
in the world who truly knows me. I know
I've screwed you over in the past, and
I'm really sorry. I just want you to
know that you're the one I want to be
with. I love you, Treesh.
Patricia looks at him. Her hard-as-nails demeanor softens.
She smiles. Barris smiles and reaches across the table for
her hand.
EXT. WHARF - NIGHT
Barris and Patricia stand looking out at the harbor.
I hate myself for how I've lived, Treesh.
Neitzsche said, "Whoever despises oneself
still respects oneself as one who
I never thought of that. Jesus, I can't
even despise myself with any insight.
Insane asylums are filled with people who
think they're Jesus or Satan. Very few
have delusions of being the guy down the
block who works at an insurance company.
Wonder what that means.
Y'know, I wanted to be a writer once. I
wanted to write something that someday
some lesser person would quote. But I
never did. I'm the lesser person,
Treesh. I never said anything meaningful
that wasn't said by somebody else first.
I am disposable. I disposed of people
and I am disposable.
You look cold.
Barris drapes his jacket over Patricia's shoulders.
Chuck, what's gotten into you? You're
actually acting like a gentleman.
Barris kisses her. She lets him.
Well, it's late. I should get going.
I suppose you still won't tell me where
No. But I'll show you.
She takes his hand. They walk off.
INT. PATRICIA'S HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
Patricia enters followed by Barris. She turns on the light.
Patricia pours some drinks. There are a couple of chairs
near the window. Barris sits in one.
I've been thinking a lot about you
Patricia approaches Barris with the drinks, hands him one.
I've missed you.
You could've fooled me.
Well, I've mellowed.
Patricia takes Barris by the hand, leads him to the window.
Look. Boston's a beautiful city. We
could start over here. A normal person's
life. Together. Selling insurance.
That sounds right.
Patricia flops down in the chair that Barris had been sitting
in. Barris sits in the chair across from her. Patricia
raises her glass.
Patricia casually slides her hand under the chair cushion.
In one swift move, Barris pulls a gun from his ankle and
shoots Patricia three times, twice in the head, once in the
heart. The force of the bullets has tipped the chair over.
Patricia lies sprawled on the floor.
Barris stands and looks at Patricia's body. She holds a gun.
INT. QUIET CAFE - MORNING
Simon Oliver sits sipping an espresso. He has a black eye
and bruised face. Barris enters, looking haggard. He sits
and stares at Oliver.
It's done and I'm done. Agreed?
Agreed. But if you get antsy. and you
Oliver smiles and walks off. Barris sits for a moment, then
stands, walks over to a payphone and dials.
INT. CHAPEL - DAY
Barris and Penny are getting married surrounded by friends in
a small chapel.
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE
We have come here today to join together
Penny Pacino and Chuck Barris.
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE (CONT'D)
You all know Chuck Barris: the creator of
The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, The
Family Game.
Barris looks at Penny. Should he slug this guy? She gives
him a "be patient" look.
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE (CONT'D)
. The Game Game, Dream Girl of 1968,
Operation Entertainment, How's Your
Mother-in-Law? and many others. Chuck
Barris who most recently brought us such
hits as The Rah-Rah Show, Treasure Hunt,
Leave it to the Women, The Dollar-Ninety-
Eight Beauty Show, and The Gong Show.
The Chuck Barris, who I'm sure will be
back with even more shows to.
EXT. CHAPEL - DAY
Well-wishers, family, fans, photographers, reporters, and
passers-by are lined up on either side of a red carpet that
leads from the chapel to a limousine waiting at the curb.
Barris and Penny emerge from the chapel. Everyone cheers,
photos are snapped, rice and confetti are thrown, as the
happy newlyweds make their way to the limo, Barris spots a
pinky-ringed hand in the crowd holding a gun. Barris pushes
Penny toward the white limo. The driver stands there holding
the door open. Barris shoves Penny in, then screams at the
Drive, Danny! Now!
Barris jumps in the car, the driver slams the door closed,
hurries around the driver's door and gets in. The car peals
away from the cab.
INT. CAR - CONTINUOUS
An ashen Barris looks back at the crowd. Penny watches him.
What's going on?
(still looking out window)
Pen, I have something to confess.
Penny's expression shifts, turns slightly stony. She's
getting ready for something bad.
You know me as the creator of The Dating
Game, The Newlywed Game, The Family Game,
The Game Game, How's Your Mother-in-law,
Dream Girl of 1968.
Yeah, Operation Entertainment. The Rah-
Rah Show, Gong Show, The Dollar-Ninety-
Eight Beauty Show, The Ra-Rah Show.
You said that already.
Okay, but what you don't know is that
I've brutally murdered thirty-three
people for the CIA.
Penny just stares blankly at Barris, who can't look at her.
Suddenly she starts to laugh. Danny joins in. Eventually so
does Barris.
EXT. TERRACE - DAY
The actual Barris is being interviewed.
Y'know, I came up with a new game show
idea recently. It's called The Old Game.
You got three old guys with loaded guns
on stage They look back at their lives,
see who they were, what they
accomplished, how close they came to
realizing their dreams. The winner is
the one who doesn't blow his brains out.
He gets a refrigerator.
The camera holds on Barris's face as he puffs a cigar.

Source: http://www.offscreen.it/american/charliekaufman/confessions.pdf

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Date de l'assemblée vendredi 27 février 2015 10:00 Lieu de l'assemblée Halle Saint-Jacques, Bâle (entrée Brüglingerstrasse/St. Jakobs-Strasse) Type d'assemblée Assemblée générale ordinaire ISIN CH0012005267, Telekurs 1200526 Points marquants de l'ordre du jour Positions de vote Au POINT 5, le conseil propose une révision complète des statuts pour mettre en oeuvre l'ordonnance Minder. Ethos regrette la décision du conseil de proposer un seul

Pii: s0162-0134(01)00182-9

Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 84 (2001) 163–170 www.elsevier.nl / locate / jinorgbio Complexes of Ni(II) and Cu(II) with ofloxacin Crystal structure of a new Cu(II) ofloxacin complex Benigno Mac´ıas *, Mar´ıa V. Villa , Inmaculada Rubio , Alfonso Castineiras , Joaqu´ın aDepartamento de Qu´ımica Inorganica, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Salamanca, Campus Unamuno, 37007-Salamanca, Spain