WRITER'S FIRST DRAFT:
SLEEPLESS IN CHICAGO
August 8, 1994
INT. BUNDY LIVING ROOM/KITCHEN - EVENING
(AL IS WATCHING TV. KELLY ENTERS FROM OUTSIDE. SHE IS WEARING A BRUNETTE WIG)
KELLY Hi, Daddy.
AL (NOT LOOKING UP) Look at that. The bad guys shoot Superman a dozen times, see the bullets
bounce off, so they throw their guns at him. What kind of morons are they. Don't they
know about negative kryptonite?
KELLY Notice anything different about me?
AL (STILL NOT LOOKING UP) No, son.
KELLY Daddy, it's Kelly.
AL Well, tell her to come in.
KELLY I'm already in. And I'm wearing a brunette wig.
(AL STARES AT THE TV)
KELLY Aren't you going to ask why?
AL (LOOKING UP) Why...
AL (V.O.) ...didn't I wear a condom.
KELLY Because I got picked to do a public service announcement to encourage reading instead of
AL You mean illiteracy?
KELLY I don't know. I couldn't read the thing. Anyway, I think I should do it as a brunette
since blondes have a reputation, albeit undeserved, for being dumb.
AL (V.O.) She can't be mine. We had a blonde-headed mailman who used to put our mail in the
bird feeder. You don't suppose...
AL Look, pumpkin, Daddy just wants to be left alone, okay? I'm watching a very important
program. It's called Superman.
KELLY (LOOKS) Is that him?
KELLY What does that big "S" stand for?
AL Straight. You can't be too careful when you dress like that. Now go away. I'm studying
this kryptonite thing. If it can stop Superman, it just might work on your mother.
KELLY You never pay attention to me. Maybe that's why I seek the cash and affection of older
(KELLY EXITS UPSTAIRS)
AL That's nice, pumpkin. (YELLING TO HER) And I do pay attention.
(BUD ENTERS FROM OUTSIDE. HE HAS A BANDAGE ON HIS HEAD)
BUD Hi, Dad.
AL Hi, Peg.
BUD It's me, Dad. I've gotta tell you about my day.
AL Wait a minute, Son. I can't hear.
(AL REACHES FOR THE REMOTE. HE TURNS THE TV UP. WE HEAR THE SUPERMAN THEME. BUD TAKES THE REMOTE
CONTROL AND TURNS THE TV OFF)
BUD I'm there at the DMV ready to give a driver's test when a fat woman pulls in who's so fat
they had to shoot her driver's license photo with the Hubble Telescope.
AL Been there. Shoe'd that.
BUD The other driving examiner runs away and hides behind a Haitian. So I get in the car with
her. Now to some folks, like Fat Frieda, a yellow light means speed up. To other people,
like the guy driving the cement mixer in front of us, it means stop. I came to staring
into the Jaws of Life. Turns out they were actually the Jaws of Frieda. But who cares, I
was freed. And after all that she still asks me to pass her.
AL (V.O.) Didn't we use to have a TV repairman who looked like him? You don't think...
AL (TO BUD) Uh, sorry, Son. I wasn't listening.
BUD You never listen to anyone.
AL That's because you turned the TV off. If I had x-ray hearing like Superman, I'd be
listening to him.
BUD You're a sick man.
(BUD EXITS UPSTAIRS)
AL (YELLING AFTER HIM) A person isn't crazy just because he watches Superman. He's only
crazy if he thinks he *is* Superman.
(AL LOOKS TO MAKE SURE BUD IS GONE, THEN STRETCHES HIS ARMS OVER HIS HEAD AND BENDS OVER LIKE
HE'S FLYING. JEFFERSON KNOCKS AND ENTERS. HE'S CARRYING A CATALOGUE)
JEFF Hey, Al...
(HE SEES AL "FLYING". AL PRETENDS HE WAS YAWNING)
AL Wife kept me up half the night.
JEFF She wanted sex, huh?
AL Yeah, I finally had to yank her plug right out of the wall. (AL TURNS THE TV ON) Oh,
look. Superman is on.
JEFF You know, I was always intrigued by his super powers. For instance, if Superman hit
himself in the head, would he knock himself out?
(BOTH GUYS THINK FOR A MOMENT. THEN)
JEFF Hey, speaking of nostalgia, I'm on my way to a memorabilia auction. You want to come with
(AL STARES AT HIM)
JEFF I mean after the show is over.
AL What kind of memorabilia?
JEFF All kinds of stuff. Marcy's birthday is coming up and I have to get her something.
AL You could get her the hell out of the neighborhood.
JEFF Naw, I'm going to buy her one of those original Barbie dolls for her birthday.
AL No. This is my night off. Peg's out playing bingo and the kids haven't come home yet.
Besides, I don't care much for memorabilia. I live in the present. Ooh! Dragnet's on.
(PEGGY ENTERS FROM THE FRONT DOOR)
PEGGY Al, guess what? I won at Bingo.
PEGGY Better. Look! A concertina!
(PEGGY TAKES OUT A CONCERTINA AND STARTS PLAYING "BLOW THE MAN DOWN")
AL (TO JEFFERSON) Well, let's go. We'll be late for that auction.
(AL AND JEFFERSON EXIT)
INT. AN AUCTION HOUSE - A FEW HOURS LATER - NIGHT
(AL AND JEFFERSON ARE SITTING NEAR THE FRONT. THE AUCTIONEER IS HOLDING A SMALL DISPLAY CASE)
AUCT I have nine hundred and fifty dollars for this piece of tile from the Space Shuttle
Columbia. Do I hear a thousand. Going. Going. Gone.
AL Nine hundred and fifty dollars for a piece of crappy tile? Who are these people?
JEFF I just hope the Barbie bidding stays low. I only brought two grand.
AL No Barbie doll is worth two thousand dollars. In fact nothing on God's Little Acre is
worth two thousand dollars.
AUCT The next item up for bid is the first issue of "Big 'UNs" in it's original wrapper.
AL (JUMPS UP) Twelve hundred dollars!
AUCT Well, I was going to open the bidding at twenty five bucks, but sold to the... shoe
(AL HANGS HIS HEAD)
JEFF Al, where are you going to get twelve hundred dollars?
AL You just said you had two grand.
JEFF That's for Marcy's birthday present.
AL But, Jefferson. The original "Big 'Uns" were forty pages. That's eighty Uns. And back
then they didn't waste space showing their faces.
JEFF But I took this money from Marcy to buy her a present.
AL Who loves you more, buddy. Me or your wife?
JEFF I hate it when you put me on the spot like that. (BEAT) Okay. Maybe I can find a Barbie
for eight hundred.
(THE MAN SITTING BEHIND THEM, A BARBIEPHILE, LEANS OVER)
BARBPH (OVERHEARING) You won't be able to get Woodstock Barbie for that. She comes with Elephant
Leg bellbottoms and a Poor Boy top. I'm prepared to go as high as ten thousand.
AL Ten grand for a Barbie? You could get a real woman for a year for that. Or a redhead for
life. Of course, Barbie is mute and can still get into her clothes.
BARBPH But this is Barbie! Aren't you Barbiephiles, too?
AL No. I'm a Big 'Uns-phile. In fact I have a "Big 'Uns" file. (TO JEFFERSON) Ten grand for
a doll. How sick is that?
AUCT Next item going up for bid. Hopsing's ponytail.
AL (EXCITEDLY TO JEFFERSON) How much money did you say you had left?
INT. BUNDY LIVING ROOM/KITCHEN - LATER THAT NIGHT
(AL AND JEFFERSON ENTER. JEFFERSON HAS A BARBIE IN A BOX. AL HAS HIS "BIG UNS." AL STARTS TO TEAR
THE WRAPPER OFF HIS MAGAZINE)
JEFF Al, you know if you break the seal the value goes way down.
AL Every married man knows that. (HE TEARS THE WRAPPER OFF) See you next week.
(AL STARTS OFF)
JEFF Wait, I need some help wrapping this. I need your finger to hold the ribbon tight.
AL My fingers are busy.
JEFF That "Big 'Uns" still technically belongs to me, you know.
AL Oh, all right. One finger. But hurry.
(THEY SIT DOWN. JEFFERSON STARTS WRAPPING)
JEFF I was lucky to get this Nurse Barbie for eight hundred. (LOOKS AT IT) Ooh, look. They put
a belly button on her.
AL That's because they want little girls to know how the human body really looks. That's why
Married Ken has no genitals.
(PEGGY ENTERS FROM UPSTAIRS. SHE HAS JEFFERSON'S CATALOGUE. AL QUICKLY HIDES HIS "BIG 'UNS" UNDER
PEGGY Hi, Honey. Here's your Barbie catalogue, Jefferson. I was just looking through it. I
can't believe how much some of Barbie's clothes cost. Why, they're almost as much as the
clothes I... see in the window but don't buy.
JEFF Yeah, Marcy's really going to love this. She's crazy about Barbie. Sometimes when we make
love she likes me to call her Barbie.
PEGGY Gee, Al just calls me "Hurry Up". (READING) Wow! Look how much they get for these
Barbie's who were mistakes. A Barbie head on Chris' body goes for eight thousand. A
Siamese twin Ken is worth fifteen thousand. And look at this one... fifty thousand
dollars for a Nurse Barbie with a belly button.
(AL AND JEFFERSON BOTH LOOK UP IN DISBELIEF. PEGGY TOSSES THE MAGAZINE DOWN)
PEGGY The things people spend money on. Well, I'm going upstairs to bed. I left my bun warmer
(PEGGY EXITS. JEFFERSON QUICKLY TAKES THE DOLL OUT OF THE BOX AND LOOKS AT IT AGAIN)
AL What should we do?
JEFF *We* say goodbye to *you* and catch a plane to Aruba.
(JEFFERSON GOES TO THE FRONT DOOR. HE OPENS IT. MARCY IS STANDING THERE. HE SLAMS THE DOOR IN HER
FACE AND LOCKS IT)
JEFF (PANICKED) What do we do?
AL *We* laugh our ass off and go read our "Big 'Uns".
MARCY (KNOCKING) Jefferson Millhouse D'Arcy. Open this door right now.
JEFF I can't give *this* Barbie to Marcy. It's too valuable.
(JEFFERSON QUICKLY CROSSES TO THE STAIRS, PUTS BARBIE BEHIND BUCK AND TAKES HIS RAWHIDE BONE. AL
OPENS THE DOOR)
AL Oh, Marcy. I thought I heard some pecking.
JEFF Sorry, honey, but I didn't want you to see your birthday present before I got the price
(JEFFERSON HANDS HER THE BONE)
MARCY Ah, a rawhide bone. And it's all wet and slimy. Thanks, honey.
JEFF Well, it isn't everyday you have a birthday.
AL Peg doesn't even have one every year.
MARCY Jefferson, if this really is my present you'll rue the day you were ever born. If you
think *this* thing is gnawed on, wait'll I...
(BUCK WALKS OVER WITH THE BARBIE IN HIS MOUTH AND DROPS IT AT HER FEET, THEN BARKS AND LEAPS
THROUGH A FIERY HOOP)
BUCK (V.O.) Now give me back my bone or I'm ripping *everybody* a new bellybutton.
MARCY Oh, Jefferson! It's an original Nurse Barbie. She's beautiful. This must've cost you a
JEFF It's about to.
MARCY I knew you wouldn't let me down. I've wanted this doll all my life ever since I was
little and my parents wouldn't let me have a doll. They bought me a Chinese backscratcher.
I put clothes on it but it wasn't the same. That's why this is so special. Thank you
honey. I'm never letting her out of my sight.
JEFF Me, neither.
(JEFFERSON EXITS. AL GETS THE "BIG 'UNS" FROM UNDER THE COUCH)
AL Me, neither.
(JUST THEN, PEGGY COMES DOWNSTAIRS, BUD AND KELLY COME FROM OUTSIDE. AL HIDES THE MAGAZINE AND
SITS FORLORNLY AS THEY ALL PLOP DOWN ON THE COUCH)
PEGGY Isn't this nice. The whole family together.
END OF ACT ONE
INT. BUNDY LIVING ROOM/KITCHEN - EVENING
(AL ENTERS FROM THE FRONT DOOR, TENTATIVELY)
AL Peg? Bud? Kelly?
(NO ANSWER. HE HOLDS OUT A DOLLAR. NO RESPONSE. HE SMILES AND TURNS ON THE RADIO. "BOLERO" COMES
ON. AL REACHES UNDER THE SOFA AND GETS HIS "BIG UNS." BUD ENTERS)
BUD Hi, Dad.
AL Of course.
BUD Well, today at the DMV I learned that windshields are made from stuff called safety glass
so no one will get hurt when I go flying through it.
AL Son, do I ever come home and bore you with stories about my day at work?
(AL PUTS HIS ARM AROUND BUD)
AL I'm sorry, son. It isn't that I don't care -- oh, sure, that's part of it. But the main
thing is I've got some important things to do.
BUD "Big 'Uns?"
AL Yes. Some even larger than your entire body. Now, you've got two choices: get out or get
the hell out.
(BUD GETS UP TO EXIT)
BUD You never pay attention to me. Is it any wonder I seek the affections of sleazy barmaids
and twenty five cent movies?
AL (TO SELF) Now I feel bad. (LOOKS AT THE COVER OF HIS MAGAZINE) Now I feel good.
(KELLY ENTERS WEARING A BLONDE WIG)
KELLY Look, Daddy. I changed my mind. I decided it is not the color of the hair but the head
it's stuck to that's important. Ergo, I've decided to do the public service announcement
proudly wearing this blonde wig.
AL But your real hair is blonde.
KELLY Ah, but they don't know that.
(AL STARES AT KELLY AS HEARS PEGGY'S V.O.)
PEGGY (V.O.) Al, do you think it's okay to sit this close to the TV while I'm pregnant.
KELLY See, if I'm wearing a blonde wig, I can dye my real hair brunette. That way I can think
like a brunette while still looking like a blonde.
AL (V.O.) Or look like a blonde while thinking like a tree.
AL An excellent idea. Now leave Daddy alone.
(AS KELLY EXITS UP THE STAIRS)
KELLY (V.O.) I don't think Daddy was listening to me. I bet he's got a "Big 'Uns" under the
couch. Oh, well the important thing to remember is I'm going up the stairs, up the
AL (TO THE HEAVENS) It's those buttons I put in the collection plate last Easter, isn't it?
JEFF I've got a problem, Al. Marcy hasn't let go of that Barbie since I gave it to her. She
even clutched it between us all night in bed.
AL Why do you let her do that?
JEFF I couldn't get it away from her.
AL I mean sleep in the same bed with you.
JEFF Look, buddy, I need you to do me a favor.
AL Can I do it reading my magazine?
AL Then forget it.
(JEFFERSON SNATCHES THE MAGAZINE AWAY)
JEFF You know, this is still my magazine until you pay for it. Of course, I might be willing
to forget the debt permanently for a certain favor.
(AL GRABS THE MAGAZINE BACK)
AL Okay. What's the favor?
JEFF I need you to sleep with Marcy.
(AL GIVES THE MAGAZINE BACK)
JEFF I don't mean *sleep* with her. Just sleep next to her so I can have time to switch that
Barbie with another Nurse Barbie. I called that Barbiephile we saw at the auction and
he's willing to give me fifty thousand and a less expensive Barbie. But I need someone to
take my place in bed for an hour while I make the trade. So how about it? Surely you've
done worse things then lie down beside Marcy for an hour.
AL Well, I killed a man once, but still... (BEAT) What about your niece? Isn't she still
staying with you?
JEFF She'll be out on a date. I'll be home long before she is.
AL And who's supposed to take *my* place in bed.
JEFF That's the easy part. All you need is something big and hairy on your side of the bed. I
thought that's why you got that dog.
BUCK (V.O.) Eat my shorts.
AL I don't know. If Peg woke up and found me gone it could ruin our otherwise sickening
JEFF Hey, who do you love more, me or your wife?
AL The truth?
JEFF The truth.
AL I love "Big 'Uns" more than both of you.
(HE TAKES IT BACK AND PUTS IT BACK UNDER THE COUCH)
INT. D'ARCY BEDROOM - NIGHT
(MARCY IS ASLEEP IN BED. JEFFERSON IS NEXT TO HER. A LADDER APPEARS AT THE WINDOW. AL CLIMBS IN.
JEFFERSON MEETS HIM AT THE WINDOW. AL LOOKS AT MARCY, THEN TAKES A SHOT FROM A BOTTLE OF SCOTCH.
HE TAKES OFF HIS SHIRT AND TRADES IT FOR JEFFERSON'S PAJAMA TOP. JEFFERSON STARTS TO PUT ON AL'S
SHIRT. HE REELS FROM THE SMELL. HE TAKES A SHOT OF SCOTCH, THEN PUTS IT ON)
AL (ANNOYED) Are you *sure* she won't wake up?
JEFF I'm positive. We just had sex three times. I did her real good.
(AL STARTS TO FAINT. JEFFERSON CATCHES HIM)
JEFF I switched Barbie with a barbell.
AL Okay, but I'm keeping my head under the covers.
JEFF I wouldn't. She sleeps in the nude.
AL (DISGUSTED) One hour, Jefferson!
JEFF One hour. By the way, she likes me to sleep with my hand on her ass. It'll keep her from
(JEFFERSON EXITS QUICKLY. AL RELUCTANTLY CLIMBS INTO BED. MARCY STIRS)
MARCY (SLEEPILY) Jefferson, where are you?
(AL REACHES OVER AND PUTS HIS HAND ON HER ASS. SHE SETTLES DOWN. PAN TO THE CLOCK. IT SAYS 11:00)
(THE CLOCK. IT NOW READS 12:00. PAN BACK TO MARCY STILL ASLEEP. AL STILL WIDE AWAKE HASN'T MOVED)
AL (V.O.) Jefferson isn't back yet. He's never coming back, you know. He's out there
somewhere with fifty thousand dollars in his pocket while I'm here in bed with his wife.
He's probably at the airport right now laughing at me. To hell with "Big 'Uns." I'm
gettin' out of here.
(AL STARTS TO GET UP. THE PHONE RINGS. MARCY ANSWERS IT SLEEPILY)
MARCY Hello? Peggy?
(AL REACTS. THE FOLLOWING IS A SERIES OF INTERCUTS BETWEEN MARCY AND PEGGY WHO IS IN HER ROBE AND
PEGGY I'm worried about Al. He's missing. (BEAT) Of course I checked all the bathrooms. He's
disappeared. I thought maybe he was with Jefferson.
MARCY (PATS AL) No. My Jefferson's right here. Al's not with him.
PEGGY Well, he's not at the Nudie Bar or the Sports Club, either. Where could he be?
MARCY Maybe he's with another woman.
(BEAT, THEN SHE LAUGHS. PEGGY ALSO LAUGHS)
PEGGY Thanks, Marcy, now I can sleep. I realize I'm being silly.
MARCY I'll let you know if we hear anything.
(MARCY HANGS UP)
MARCY That was Peggy. She thought Al was in the arms of another woman. Can you imagine Al in
the arms of anything?
MARCY (COYLY) Jefferson? Want to take me again? Oh, come on. I don't like to criticize, but you
didn't really satisfy me earlier.
(WE HEAR A KNOCK ON THE DOOR. AMBER ENTERS)
AMBER Aunt Marcy? Have you got a heating pad?
MARCY There's one in the bathroom. Are you sick, honey?
AMBER I just have the cramps. You know how it is when you have unusually heavy menstrual flow.
(AL PUTS A PILLOW OVER HIS HEAD)
MARCY I know the feeling. I've gone to the super tampons myself lately.
AL (V.O.) The things that happen when you forget to pack your cyanide pill.
AMBER Even my breasts are swollen. Want to see?
(AL RAISES THE PILLOW TO PEEK)
MARCY Not here, dear. We don't want to wake Uncle Jefferson up.
(AL HITS HIS PILLOW WITH HIS FIST IN FRUSTRATION. AMBER GETS THE HEATING PAD AND EXITS)
MARCY Jefferson, honey, wake up. I want some lovin'. (BEAT) Jefferson. (NO REPLY) I swear,
you're getting just like Al... you're even starting to smell like him. (BEAT)
Jefferson... your hand?
(AL RELUCTANTLY PUTS HIS HAND BACK ON MARCY'S ASS. MARCY GOES BACK TO SLEEP. THE CLOCK SAYS
INT. D'ARCY BEDROOM - LATER
(THE CLOCK SAYS 1:15. AL IS LYING WIDE AWAKE IN BED. MARCY'S ASLEEP NEXT TO HIM)
AL (V.O.) Damn that Jefferson. He's probably half way to Hawaii by now. He's left me here
holding the bag. Literally.
SFX: PHONE RING
(MARCY ANSWERS IT SLEEPILY)
(THE FOLLOWING IS INTERCUT BETWEEN PEGGY, ON THE COUCH IN THE BUNDY LIVING ROOM/KITCHEN AND
PEGGY Marcy, I hate to bother you again but Al still isn't home. He's never been out this late
without me... or with me. I've even called the morgue. Four other shoe salesmen committed
suicide tonight, but not Al.
MARCY It *is* odd for him to be out this late without telling you. Imagine, Al could be lying
in a gutter somewhere, bleeding and dying.
PEGGY I know. If anything's happened to Al, I don't know how I'd go on.
MARCY I know how you feel. There's noting worse for a woman than losing her husband. Are we
still on for lunch tomorrow?
PEGGY Sure, but if the check on Al's life insurance can come through that fast it's on me.
MARCY Okay. Listen, if Al isn't back in another hour, you call me back and Jefferson and I will
go out and help look for him, okay? Okay. Bye.
(MARCY HANGS UP, THEN TAKES THE PHONE OFF THE HOOK)
MARCY I wouldn't look for my dog at two o'clock in the morning. And they smell better and
slobber less. Jefferson, baby. Wanna do it?
AL Uhuh. Sleepy now.
MARCY Well, at least rub my back.
(AL REACHES OVER AND STARTS TO RUB)
MARCY That's my chest.
(AL GETS A HORRIFIED LOOK ON HIS FACE)
INT. D'ARCY BEDROOM - LATER
(THE CLOCK SPINS FROM 1:15 TO 4:15 AS WE HEAR AL HEAVING OFF STAGE IN THE BATHROOM. AL ENTERS
FROM THE BATHROOM)
AL (V.O.) I can't get back in bed with her. If I do Peg really will be a widow because it'll
be eight soon and Marcy will wake up and see me. She'll scream, jump up and I'll see her
naked and drop dead. My hand already did.
JEFF Sorry I'm late buddy. I swapped the Barbies, got the fifty thousand and was on my way
back when something hit me.
AL A car?
JEFF No, the urge to gamble.
AL You've been out gambling?
JEFF Hey, I'm not like you. I have streaks of *good* luck. And I felt one coming on tonight.
So I decided to run my fifty thou into a hundred thou.
AL Did you?
JEFF No. I lost it all. But I met some neat chicks.
(AL STARTS TO STRANGLE HIM. MARCY STIRS. JEFFERSON QUICKLY RUNS TO THE BED, AL RUNS TO THE
INT. BUNDY LIVING ROOM/KITCHEN - A FEW MINUTES LATER
(AL SNEAKS IN THE DOOR. PEGGY TURNS ON THE LIGHT. SHE IS ON THE COUCH)
PEGGY Al Bundy where have you been? And where did you get that sexy shirt?
AL Uh, it's my new bowling shirt. I've joined a gay league.
PEGGY Don't lie to me. (SHE SNIFFS HIM) You've been at Shecky's All Night Chicken Shack,
haven't you? Here I've been. Up all night worried sick. Pacing, fretting, cleaning. You
know, I should do that more often. I found a magazine under the couch that was forty
AL Oh, no.
(AL RUNS AND LOOKS UNDER THE COUCH)
AL Where is it, Peg?
PEGGY I threw it out. No, wait. I think the pizza boy took it with him when he left.
AL You gave my "Big 'Uns" away?
PEGGY Well, I had to give him some kind of a tip and Kelly was asleep. God, you look sexy in
AL I want my "Big 'Uns."
PEGGY Oh, Al. You tiger. They want you, too. Come on upstairs. They're all yours.
(SHE DRAGS HIM UPSTAIRS)
AL I said Big Uns not Old Married Uns.
END OF SHOW
Scribed by Nitzan Gilkis
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