FIRST DRAFT SCRIPT: (February 6, 1990)
PEGGY TURNS 300
Kelly and Bud are at the dining table doing their homework. Both are trying to think very, very
BUD [to Kelly] What's the first derivative of kinetic energy with respect to velocity?
KELLY [to Bud] I don't know. What goes quack?
Bud rolls his eyes.
BUD I don't know.
They both go back to mumbling and scratching their heads. Peggy comes downstairs wearing an
evening gown. She clears her throat for attention. The kids ignore her.
PEGGY Hey! Would you put away your stupid homework for a second and look at Mommy? She's going
out with her man tonight.
KELLY So we'll be eating here with Daddy?
PEGGY No, you dolt. I'm going out with your Father. At least he cared enough to remember my
birthday, which is more than I can say about two certain people who sprang painfully...
[looks at Kelly] ...and in some cases backwards from my loins.
BUD We would've gotten you something, but last year you said, "If I ever start looking as old
as Mrs. McKelvey across the street, I never want to have a birthday again".
PEGGY Mrs. McKelvey is fifty.
Bud and Kelly stare at her and shrug.
PEGGY Just wait 'till I find out when your birthdays are.
KELLY Mine's in February. I'm an Aquarium.
BUD And an empty one. [then, to Peggy] Where's Dad taking you?
PEGGY I don't know. He just said to wear something special. [gleefully] Oh, I hope dinner and
dancing at The Beef Trough. That's our place, you know.
The kids stare at her. Al enters.
AL Peg, you look fabulous.
Peggy looks flattered.
AL You're gonna knock 'em dead at the bowling alley.
PEGGY The bowling alley? You're taking me bowling for my birthday?
AL This is your birthday? Hey, kids, Mom sits in the front seat tonight. What are you kids
BUD Homework. Got finals coming up.
AL Well, put it away. This is something important. Now, as we all know, my good friend,
Puggy Weaver is moving out of the neighborhood. So tonight is my last chance to break his
alley record in front of his fat, sweating, pork-like face. I've been training for weeks.
Avoiding anything that could hurt me. Red wine, red meat, red heads.
PEGGY And those energy draining showers.
AL Behind every successful man is a woman who didn't marry me. Now, you, my children, have
the important task of recording my victory for posterity. Too many great Bundy moments
have been lost for lack of a camera.
PEGGY Well, we had a camera on our honeymoon, Al, but you kept beating the flash.
AL Well, if you recall I was doing fine until you came in the room. Let's go. Let's go.
They start gathering their stuff.
Jim's Bowlarama - night.
Bud and Kelly enter, Bud with a camcorder, Kelly with an instamatic. They turn and face the
BUD Ready, Dad.
Al and Peggy enter.
AL I'm entering. Widen, widen. Did you get your Mother in the picture?
BUD Yeah, Dad.
Al exits, then re-enters alone and walks towards Puggy's plaque.
AL Hi! I'm Al Bundy at Jim's Bowlarama. Feelin' good. Feelin' spry. What have we here? A
plaque which denotes the highest game in Bowlarama history. A plaque which will soon read
"Al Bundy". [to camera] Yep, Al Bundy, Al Bundy, brave, courageous and bold. Long live
his fame and long live his glory and long may his story be told. [to Kelly] Still picture
Kelly faces Al and takes a picture. The flash goes off. She stands there blinking.
KELLY [blinded] Daddy. Help. I'm blind.
AL [ignoring her] Let's bowl.
They walk off leaving Kelly blinking at the lights.
Jim's Bowlarama - a few moments later
Puggy is putting away his bowling ball. A couple of guys gathered around him. Al, Peggy and Bud
enter. Kelly, still blinded, follows, bumping into walls.
Puggy sniffs the air.
PUGGY Did something die in here? [sees Al] Oh, Bundy.
AL Oh, Puggy. I didn't recognize you with your fist out of your nose. Well, Pug. I hear
you're leaving town. So, I guess you'll be packing up the wife, kids, and the three
hundred pound hooker you see every Friday after work. But before you go I came to give
you a little going away present. Al "The King" Bundy will now break your record. Peg,
Peggy starts to unzip her dress.
AL The bag, Peg.
Peggy unzips the bag and hands him the ball. Al picks up his ball. He examines it.
AL Spot on my bowl... Peg?
Peggy comes over to see what Al wants. He wipes the spot off on Peggy's dress.
PEGGY [to camera] Yup. The bestest birthday ever.
AL [to Bud] Start tape. Frame one, the Bundy legend.
The ball knocks down all the pins.
KELLY It's gonna be a long evening, Mom. Should I order a couple of beers... for you and some
ice cream with Gummy Bears for me?
Al bowls again.
The pins fall down.
PUGGY It's a long way to two hundred and fifty-six, Bundy.
AL Not for your wife, Puggy.
PEGGY Al, I'm bored.
AL [mad] Peg, this is a bowling alley. Surely, you can find something to do.
PEGGY I just can't decide. Let's see... tennis, bacarrat, chamber music. Say, those two
gentlemen scratching their behinds might be having a poetry reading.
AL Peg, go bowl.
PEGGY Oh, that would really look great. There's nothing more pathetic than a woman who bowls by
We see Marcy stepping up to a lane. She takes a ball.
MARCY [to ball] Well, here we are again.
PEGGY [crossing] Marcy?
MARCY [excitedly] Peggy!
Marcy hugs Peggy enthusiastically.
MARCY This is not as pitiful as it seems. Actually, I was told this was a good place to meet
guys. And it is. Why, just last week I met a man who had a High School diploma. Ah, the
single life for me.
PEGGY Yeah, this is where you find the good ones. I mean, there's nothing wrong with dating a
doctor or a lawyer, but when it's time to settle down -
Two big bellied men walk by with beers. One scratches his belly. The other takes a huge bite of
a sub-sandwich, meat hanging from his mouth.
PEGGY - you can't beat a bowler.
MARCY They are the lowest.
Marcy pushes up to one of the guys.
MARCY Hey. I thought you were washing your hair tonight.
Jim's Bowlarama - a few minutes later
Al is talking into Bud's camera
AL Frame eight. With grim determination, Bundy picks up his ball. All he needs is two more
strikes and eight little pins and a certain porkpie's record is history. Oh, there is no
joy in Pug-ville. Mighty Bundy shall strike out.
PUGGY Just bowl, shoemeister.
Al gets poised to roll his next ball. Peggy runs over.
PEGGY Oh, Al, I just rolled four strikes in a row!
Al doesn't even look at her.
AL Shut up.
Peggy returns to her lane. Al rolls his ball.
The pins all fall.
PEGGY Oh Al, this is so exciting. I've never made four strikes in a row before. You've gotta
AL [tries to stay calm] Peg, please. I know I've said I don't care a million times, but this
time, I don't care. I really don't care.
PEGGY Okay, okay. I'll be quiet.
Al starts to roll, then right in the middle of his approach...
Al stiffens as he rolls. He hits seven pins.
PUGGY [smug] Uh, oh. A two-four-ten split. You'll have to pick 'em all up and bowl a strike
if you want to break my record.
AL What did you want, Peg?
PEGGY [timidly] I just wanted to wish you good luck.
AL Away woman.
Peggy slinks off. Al takes his ball and bowls. He makes the spare. He turns to Peggy.
AL Yes! Eat Sixteen pounds of death, Puggy. One more strike to go.
Al picks up his ball.
PEGGY [o.s.] Steer-ike.
Al sighs miserably. He faces the pins.
AL Bud, you ready?
BUD Ready, Dad.
Kelly flashes the camera the wrong way and blinds herself. Al sighs.
AL Good girl.
AL [hopefully] Stee-stee-stee-rike!
Puggy looks defeated. The guys rush over to congratulate Al.
AL I've got the record. It's mine, two fifty-seven. I've got it on tape. My life was not for
Al bursts into tears and sinks to his knees a la James Brown.
AL I'm so happy. Nothing can ruin this moment.
PEGGY [o.s.] Steer-ike.
BOWLER1 Hey! The broad in the gown just bowled six strikes in a row.
Everyone leaves Al still in his "James Brown" pose. They cross to where Peggy's bowling.
Al is watching the hubbub surrounding Peggy's lane. He wanders over to Peggy. Marcy is keeping
MARCY You've got six strikes in a row, Peggy. Gee, I wonder what the Bowlarama record is?
AL [slightly nervous] Uh, Peg. I'm done. We can go home now.
MARCY She can't go now. She's bowling a once in a lifetime game.
BUD Yeah, Dad. Look. Three more strikes and your record is history.
KELLY [rubbing it in] Dad, would you sweat this way, please?
Kelly points the camera at him the wrong way, and blinds herself again with the flash. She
PEGGY Oh Al, wouldn't it be great if I broke your record?
AL Oh, man. That would be the icing on the tombstone.
She picks up her ball and prepares to bowl. Bud comes over to Al, holds up the video camera and
points it at him.
BUD So, Dad. Any tips for tomorrow's losers?
During the following Bud films Al.
AL I hope someone's filming you during the reading of my will. Look, I'm not worried. Bud,
your mother has a sixty average. Just like in High School. There's no way she can
possibly continue to...
AL ... throw strikes. Y'see, Bud, the thing about bowling is, anybody can make a lucky shot,
but over the long run, the game is set up so only the truly skilled can...
AL [indicates camera] Get that stupid thing outta my face.
KELLY Hey, Daddy. Mom is one ball away from breaking your record. But I guess it's just a minor
thing in the rich tapestry of your life.
Kelly chews her gum obnoxiously.
AL Take my picture, Kelly.
Kelly goes to take his picture.
AL No, honey. Turn it around.
She does so and blinds herself again. She staggers away.
AL Good girl. Uh, Peg, come here.
Peggy crosses to Al.
AL I've been thinking. This is no place to spend your birthday. We should be doing something
special. You're all dressed up. What say we go home, I'll take my shirt off and let you
rub my back.
PEGGY I can't, honey. Didn't you hear? I got eight strikes in a row. Wait here. I have to go
break your record. What a great birthday.
She starts off.
BUD A little hemlock on the rocks, Dad?
AL Not yet, son. I've got a secret weapon. Watch. [to Peggy] Hey, Peg. If you bowl a strike
you'll make me the happiest man on Earth. I've got money riding on ya. Do it, honey. Do
it for me, Peg.
Peggy looks adoringly at Al. He winks at Bud.
AL [to Bud, smug] Gutterball.
Peggy bowls. We see a strike.
MARCY Strike! A new alley record!
The crowd goes wild.
BUD Not much left to say but goodbye eh, Dad?
AL Ah, it's no big thing. Doesn't matter. Whatever she bowls, I'll just come back and beat
her. I'll bowl every night of my life until that record is mine. How bad could it be? I
mean, what's she bowlin'? Two sixty?
BUD Two seventy, Dad.
AL [mopping his brow] Not impossible. Not impossible.
PEGGY Oh, Al. I need you.
Al crosses to her.
PEGGY Marcy says three more strikes and I'll have a perfect game. A perfect game, Al. I'm so
nervous. What if I make a mess of it, like you did on our honeymoon? Help me, honey.
AL All right, everybody. We have a woman working on a perfect game here. She's a little
nervous. Now I want quiet. That means no comments about her shaking hands, her draining
strength, or how her outdated dress hardly fits anymore, on this, yet another birthday.
Go ahead honey. Bowl.
Peggy prepares to bowl.
AL Remember, everybody. Absolute quiet.
As she bowls he yells loudly to scare her. She jumps. The ball flies out of her hand. It bounces
on the alley. It strikes. The crowd goes wild.
KELLY Strike! Strike!
Marcy grabs Al by the collar and walks him to the seats.
MARCY You, sir, are Satan's toejam. I'm on to you. Trying to sabotage your wife. Is there no
limit to how low you'll go?
AL Well, I wouldn't kiss you on a bet.
MARCY Can't you let this woman have one night of joy? She has so little. She's married to you.
You've seen her children. And now, for one fleeting moment, she has a chance to bask in
the sun, instead of... [indicates Al's underarms] ...reeling from the moons. Now, go
Al goes to Peggy.
AL Peg. [beat] Our children were killed in an avalanche.
Marcy pulls him away.
MARCY Bowl, Peggy. Bowl like the wind. We're all behind you.
Al sits with Bud.
AL Well, can't beat a three hundred game, I guess. What the hell, I never really liked
bowling anyway. The twenty years of practice were just getting me ready for what I really
like to do. Lying on a lawn chair in the backyard, letting the buzzards pick at my eyes.
BUD She won't do it, Dad. The chances of her bowling a perfect game are a million to one.
Even pros don't bowl...
Al sighs deeply. Marcy runs over and yells happily in his face.
MARCY One more! One more and she's got it. God, you must feel low.
She kisses him on the cheek. She rushes to Peggy. Al motions to the kids to come sit with him.
AL Kelly, come here. Kids, do you know what you're witnessing here?
BUD A perfect game?
AL Nope. The Bundy Curse. That's what keeps us from being happy. There's no point in
fighting it. It's what separates us from the ordinary losers. They can have their
moments. But not us. Never us.
KELLY But Mom's having a major moment now, and she's a Bundy.
AL No, she's not really a Bundy. She's just Bundy by marriage. She's part of the Curse. But
we are the blood Bundys. We are truly doomed.
Al solemnly puts his hand out. They put theirs on top. They sigh deeply as they solemnly "whoa
PEGGY Well, Al. This is it. This one's for you, honey.
AL I know, Peg. I know.
She bowls. They watch. We see she knocks down nine pins. Everyone is frozen in shock but Al.
He jumps up and down with glee, weeps with joy.
AL I can bowl again.
Then we see him look down the alley. We see the pin start to shake.
AL [softly] No.
We see the pin go down. Peggy shrieks with joy. The whole alley goes nuts, surrounding her. Al
walks over to the seats, lies down, puts his hands between his legs and curls up in a fetal
The Bundy living room - later
Al is watching TV. He looks happy.
We see a newscaster at the scene at a brick wall.
GARRETT Hi, Garrett Glaser, for News Wrap-Up. A tragedy was narrowly averted today, when a man
returning home from a bowling alley, where his wife just bowled a perfect game, raced
into a burning building, saved a family of ten and the family dog, Winkie.
We see Al is the hero.
GARRETT Mr. Bundy, what made you do it?
AL Well, Garrett. I guess I've always been a winner. And winners are always there at the
GARRETT Mr. Bundy. People around here are talking about running you for Mayor.
AL [cocky] Well, I'm not sayin' I won't run. But if I do, order the beer and get your
bribes ready, cause as I said, I am a winner.
The newscaster looks at Al admiringly. We hear the crowd chant "Bundy, Bundy". Al waves
Back at the house
We see Peggy, Kelly and Bud on the landing. Peggy holds a huge bowling trophy.
KELLY Why is Daddy watching a blank screen?
We see Al, smiling, watching nothing.
PEGGY I don't know, but he seems pretty happy.
BUD He just may have snapped, Mom.
PEGGY Well, it's not like you need a brain to sell shoes. Now, come help Mommy put her big
trophy in front of Daddy's little ones. Goodnight, honey.
Al continues to stare at the TV. He mimes changing the station as if he held the remote control.
We see the TV change channels. We see Roy Firestone on the set of "Sportslook".
ROY Hi, I'm Roy Firestone, and our guest tonight on Sportslook personally re-wrote the record
book on both offense and defense. Meet future Hall Of Famer, Al, "Icky" Bundy.
We see Al in the guest chair. He is wearing a football jersey.
ROY Al, I can't help but notice you're wearing your football uniform, even though the season
has been over for three months.
AL Well, Roy, it fits good and the chicks love it.
Al and Roy laugh, then Roy leans in.
ROY Let's get serious. Tell us about your wife's three hundred game. Did that affect you at
AL It might have affected me if I didn't have anything else in my life. But, between the
NFL, the endorsements, being knighted by the Queen of England, what the Hell, let the
little lady have her own little moment in the sun.
ROY Al, one word to describe yourself. What would it be?
AL [little smile] Winner.
Roy turns to the camera.
ROY Al Bundy. Husband, Father, football player, bull fighter, aviator, and inventor of the
seven day underwear. Truly, the complete man.
We see Al, on the couch, totally, utterly, and completely mad.
Scribed by Nitzan Gilkis
would you like to contribute a script?
home on the range