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Created by Anthony Forkush Written by James Bozian And Anthony Forkush
Copywrite 1992/Tony Productions
YOU THINK YOU’VE GOT PROBLEMS? Pilot Episode Mr. Depression We hear a Jazzy type rap beat over the following rapid fire voice over: V.O. I don’t know, I mean how many times am I gonna have to do this, you know. How many times?! I just…I just can’t seem to do it. You know what I mean? I mean, it’s not like I haven’t tried, damn it. I’ve tried, you know that right? (pause) You’ve seen me try. On and on it goes. Where the hell does it end? These stupid dreams of mine. When are they gonna stand up? It’s like my life just seems to go pop, right? I can’t stand it. Where’s the important stuff? How many times have I talked about the important stuff? (pause) I’m in that bed every second now, you know, lookin’ up at that face. That face with the “white hat”. It looks back and it says, “excuse me, but you better make amends, because it’s over”. But, see, that’s where it gets really weird, you know. Because, believe it or not, I’ve died over sixteen times already. EXT. PARK BENCH – DAY TONY is sitting on a park bench throwing peanuts to pigeons. He’s dressed very nicely and seems to be enjoying himself. As the pigeons peck away, a PRETTY BOOKISH WOMAN sits down on the other end of the bench with a book that she starts to read. Tony notices her. He makes a play to speak to her but, terrified, does nothing. After a few deep breaths, he goes for it. TONY Nice day, isn’t it? The woman ignores him and continues reading her book. (pause) You know, pigeons are really cool birds. I mean people don’t really understand them. Most people call them “rats that fly”. (he laughs). I mean, that’s the most ridiculous thing because a pigeon… The woman, obviously irritated, gets up and leaves the bench. Tony doesn’t see her go and continues talking. TONY …you know, the brown one was sick, but I’ve been feeding him and he’s getting better. So many of my friends, they don’t get the sense of a pigeons life because… He notices that she has left.
TONY See ya later. A few moments go by and A PRETTY GIRL enters and sits down. She is a very cultured Latina, and is dressed in beautiful traditional Aztec garb, beads and braided hair. Tony looks at her and is very intrigued. TONY (Sheepishly) It’s funny. I noticed your t shirt. There’s this great World Music group from Paraguay (he over enunciates his Spanish) called Grupo De Caetilla. They’re playing down on the boardwalk if you’re interested. Tony smiles and wink winks at her, hoping she’ll want to go. She looks at him but says nothing. TONY I’m sorry. Yo hablo espanol este minimal, un poquito. Comprende? She looks at him perplexed. We hear a male voice call out from off. O.S. MALE VOICE Justine! Justine! JUSTINE Barry, I’m over here, silly. Justine’s boyfriend, an attractive alpha male enters, and sits down with his girlfriend next to Tony on the bench, as though he isn’t even there. They are all squeezed tightly together. Barry and Justine look longingly into each other’s eyes and begin passionately kissing with Tony in the middle, caught between them. The camera pans from the kissing couple to a CLOSE UP of Tony’s face. TONY This life is so strange. So weird. And I guess it’s painful. Sometimes, I feel like I’m not even here, I’m not really me. I feel like I’m the host of a children’s fun show and my names is Mr. Depression. The screen dissolves, dreamlike, and comes up on the bright and gaudy set of “Mr. Depression ”, a half hour live children’s tv show. We hear theme music and see FUFF THE CLOWN dancing and singing. SONG: “It’s time to scream, time to cry, Time to wonder why oh why. It’s time for a session with Mr. Depression So come on boys and girls!” FUFF (In his screechiest voice) Hello boys and girls! I’m Fuff. The clowwwwwwnnnnnnn! (in a super ridiculous long note being held). Thanks for tuning in! YAY! Without further delay, let’s hear some happy clappy hands for your favorite host, and mine, MR. DEPRESSION!! YAY!!!
Angle on Tony as MR. DEPRESSION. He is staring off into space, catastrophically depressed and almost semi-catatonic, unshaven, unkempt and dressed in a ratty bathrobe. He looks off into space, pensive while smoking a cigarette. He does not respond at all. FUFF (Improvising nervously) Mr. Depression, it’s SHOWTIME!!! Hello hello time. Hello there – Mr. Depression – Yoo hoo! (Fuff dumps the clown voice for a second) Hey, Tony – Tony. What the hell. Come on, man! Mr. Depression comes out of it and puts out his cigarette. Mr. D Yeah, okay. I’m sorry. (Starts to speak but falters). Jeez, I can’t remember what I’m supposed to do. Fuff, what do I do? Do I sing here? That whole song about sad things? FUFF Are you sad today, Mr. Depression? Mr. D. Shrugs his shoulder and nods, yes. FUFF (to the camera) Awww. Awww. Why are you sad, Mr. Depression? (Fuff looks offstage to the director for help). Mr. D. Well, I’m alone. I’m lonely. I’m all alone in the world. No sense of purpose. I’m not moving forward. My life is stagnant. You know what I mean, Fuff? FUFF Uh huh, I sure do. That’s sad. You’re sad! Well, you know Mr. Depression, it’s time to introduce the boys and girls who are gonna be on our show. Mr. D Do I have to do that? Can you do that please? FUFF (sing songy) Nuh uh – uh uh uh. Mr. D grumbles and picks up a sheet of paper. Fuff blows an intro on kazoo.
Mr. D. Okay. Let’s have happy clappyhands for our first Kiddie Kadet, Jimmy. JIMMY (10, fat) enters to Bozo the Clown type music and jumps up and down. So does Fuff. Mr. D Jimmy is from Fort Lauderdale and his favorite food is spaghetti. Hey, kid. JIMMY Hi! How are you? Mr. D. I’m not so good. Jimmy, I need to ask you a question and I’m going to answer it myself but I want to hear from you first. What was the most emotionally crippling thing you’ve ever experienced? Jimmy has no idea what Mr. D. means but tries to answer it. Mr. D (Interrupting Jimmy) Now don’t worry, you don’t have to answer right now. For me it was a week and a half ago. It was a time of sorrow, self doubt and a devastating lack of self reliance. See, Jimmy, it’s intimacy, see into me. Mr. D. sings. SONG: INTIMACY “Intimacy, see into me. There’s so much sorrow, Gotta make it to tomorrow”. Mr. D. bows his head and everyone claps. JIMMY That was great, Mr. Depression! Mr. D. Yeah, I know, I know but what does it get me? Okay let’s move on. Here’s Suzy from Long Beach, California. Fuff kazoos and everyone claps as SUZY (9, pigtails) enters. FUFF (Sing songy) Suzy, Suzy so much fun. Suzy, Suzy, you’re the one. Bip bidi boop boop We like you!
SUZY Hi, Mr. Depression! Mr. D Hey, kid. How’s the world been treating you? (Suzy begins to answer. Mr. D interrupts her) For me there’s a lot of painful consternation. SUZY Excuse me, Mr. Depression? MR. D I was just going to tell you a story about pain. SUZY Will you sing a song for me like you did for Jimmy? MR. D (Tenderly) I’d love to. SONG: YESTERDAY’S DREAM “Yesterday’s dream, darlings of tomorrow, Poor little boy, His world is hollow.” Mr. D bows his head as everyone claps. SUZY Mr. D, I bought you a gift. MR. D You did what? SUZY I got you a gift. She gives him a ratty piece of Playdough. Mr. D. starts to break down and cry. CLOSE UP on Mr. D as he looks into the camera. MR D I – I – I’m hanging on. I’m trying. I need some tissue. Fuff, can I have some tissue?
Fuff is off to the side smoking a cigarette. He stomps it out and runs back in. FUFF Awww. You need some tissue? He grabs some tissue and breaks into a dance. FUFF (Sung in a funky way) We shake it, we got it, we shake it, we got it, we shake it, we got it got it, GOOD! The kids break into a dance and join in ALL We shake it, we got it, we shake it, we got it, we shake it, we got it got it, GOOD! Mr. D dabs his eyes. FUFF Mr. D, there’s more kids to introduce. MR. D Where? FUFF Here’s the new kids, YAY!! Fuff blows his kazoo and a boy and a girl enter, already grotesquely adult developed for their ages. They dance and sing. BOTH KIDS (Sung together) Good time Charlie, good time Charlie, juggle those three balls, juggle those two balls, shoobie doop boopie doo!! MR. D What beautiful children. GIRL My name is Polly and I’ve been watching your show for a long time! Watch this! She does an instant tantrum where she stomps on the ground and raspberries the camera. MR D That’s a beautiful purge of pent frustration and wonderfully stupid.
The boy moves over and puts his arm around Mr. D’s shoulder. Mr. D freezes. BOY Hi, I’m Vincent and I think you’re the coolest of the cools. MR D. You’re hurting me. You’re hurting me. He slides Vincent’s arm off his shoulder. Polly moves to Mr. D. POLLY I want huggies, Mr. D. Mr. D notices her tremendous cleavage. MR. D NO! No huggies today. We keep physical contact to a minimum. Just move over with the rest of the children. There you go. That makes me happy. I’m happy. It’s a hard happiness though and yet a scattered one. A sort of jaded miasma of clunky happiness..nes. Okay, what’s next, Fuff? FUFF It’s time for Mr. D to look at his STOMACH!! Fuff puts a chair in the middle of the floor. Mr. D sits in it and lifts his shirt, kneading his flab. MR. D Bellies like this, they don’t go away. You have to work. Mr D. puts lipstick around the belly button hole and makes it talk MR. D Oooh, hello there, ooh, how are you? Oooh. Oooh. Deedle dee deedle doo. Ooh. (starts crying) I can’t do this anymore. FUFF Mr. Depression. Surprise! It’s time for junior gymnastics!! The camera pans to Fuff as he goes berserk on a gym mat.
FUFF (singing) Floppy. Slappy. Happy jumpin finger snappy Angry. Grumpy. Super hard left hook punchy! Fuff punches himself in the face, knocking himself to the ground. All the kids run over to help. JIMMY Are you okay, Fuff? FUFF BACK OFF, MAN. I’M SERIOUS!! MR D Alright, Fuff. Enough. Kids, kids, one at a time do a trick or flop around, whatever. Who’s first? SUZY I’m first, Mr. Depression, watch me! Suzy does a trick and everyone claps. Jimmy goes next. Everyone claps. VINCENT I wanna go. Please, please please! MR D. Okay, go ahead. Vincent does a lame cartwheel and goes into a furious wrestling stance. Fuff is interested. FUFF Oh, boy. It’s wrastlin’ time! Fuff goes to Vincent and throws him into a headlock. VINCENT No, no! Ow, ow! Stop, it hurts. Suddenly, Vincent lays Fuff out with a reverse body slam. He pins Fuff to the ground.
OKAY, UNCLE, UNCLE, ENOUGH!! JIMMY Yay for Vincent! MR. D. Polly, I think you’re next. POLLY Me, me, ME!! I wanna do fun things. I wanna spin, spin, spin! She spins until she gets dizzy and grabs hold of Mr. D before she falls. Mr. Depression is petrified by her huge breasts. He freezes. She starts to slide down his body. MR D. (Quietly tense and terse) Could you…stand please. Step away from me, please. His mouth clicks and he breathes irregularly as he deals with her sexuality. He peeks at her again and looks away in horror. MR D Alright, that’s enough gymnastics for today. (Sings) “It’s Snack Time then Nap Time”. Fuff goes to a table and picks up a tray with four bowls on it. He brings them to Mr. D. MR D. You’ve got your four basic food groups, and those are good. But you’ve also got “Fudgie Sludgies”! SONG: FUDGIE SLUDGIES “You’ll be climbing up the walls, You’ll be diving to the ground, Fudgie Sludgies have it all, You can eat them all year round.” MR D. That’s right, kids, “Fudgie Sludgies”, our number one sponsor. He hands the kids the bowl and they start to eat. JIMMY Hey, this is just cereal ! MR. D
No, Jimmy. This not just cereal. This is guk. And guk is good, you know. It’s chewy , chocolaty goodness packed in fudge filled blup. It’s delicious. The kids are repulsed by it. Mr. D is instantly crippled by the realization that they kids are unhappy. He starts to eat all of the bowls of Fudgie Sludgies. He starts to rub his chest. His breathing is labored. MR. D. What’s the matter? There’s something wrong? There is. Why won’t you eat my cereal? You have to be strong than me!! He clutches his head and starts crying and wailing. MR. D. Fuff, help me!! Fuff is tense and clenches his teeth. FUFF (Under his breath) Shut up. Just shut up !!! Mr. D does a long, mother courage, silent scream. The kids go to comfort him. SUZY Mr. D, is there anything we can do? JIMMY Yeah, cause we care. Mr. D is overwhelmed by their support. He fights his tears and staggers against the wall. MR. D. I am so blessed. He looks to the kids. MR. D. I know now that I need you. He looks at the camera. MR. D. I need all of you. He suddenly starts laughing with joy. He feels free for a moment. He sings. SONG: LIFE IS
“Life is, an emotional roller coaster. Life is bread, poppin’ out the toaster. It’s funny how life is, So full of ups and downs. It’s funny how life is, It goes round and round and round and round and round” (He sings the last part like David Clayton Thomas). MR. D. I feel better. But it’s a bitter better. A floundering facetious… ARNIE THE BALLOON MAN stalks onto the set. FUFF Uh oh, it’s Arnie the Balloon Man. Oh boy! Who let Arnie into the studio? MR. D. What are you doing here, Arnie? ARNIE What do you mean? I work here!! I know it and you know it !!! Come here kids. Stand in line, NOW!! The kids are worried but they obey. Fuff and Mr. D are too pathetic to do anything. Arnie starts to blow up a balloon. He looks at Jimmy. ARNIE What’s your favorite animal? JIMMY Um…let’s see… ARNIE A dog. You like dogs. He twists the balloon into something that looks nothing like a dog. He holds it out for Jimmy. JIMMY But that’s not a dog. ARNIE Look kid, it’s a dog. Bark bark woof. Okay? Jimmy looks sad. ARNIE
Alright. Jesus! He rubs the balloon on his head vigorously. ARNIE There, it’s not a dog but at least it sticks to your shoulder, doesn’t it? Now get the hell out of here. POLLY Don’t you talk to him like that! ARNIE Shut up! Shut your fat mouth. VINCENT You’re a mean man. ARNIE You shut up! Both of you shut up. This is my part of the show. Who’s next? Suzy reluctantly steps up. SUZY I am, I guess. I like squirrels. ARNIE Good. Here. He twists the balloon into the same thing he gave Jimmy. ARNIE Now, what is that? She looks around, scared. SUZY It’s a squirrel? ARNIE Good, that’s right. I like these kids. He pulls out a flask and knocks back a huge chug. ARNIE
Kids – I drink – a lot, okay. I’m telling you this because I don’t ever want you to end up like me! MR. D What have you been doing since you worked on the show? ARNIE What do you mean, what have I been doing? Does SSDI mean anything to you? Rite Aid ice cream for din din? He blows up a balloon and twists it furiously. He holds it out to Mr. D. ARNIE What do you think this is? MR. D. A poodle? ARNIE No, you idiot. How the hell did you get your own show? He starts to pulsate the balloon. ARNIE IT’S MY HEART!!! He seethes with anger. MR. D. I’m not sure what you want. You’re really aggressive, you know. But I know how that feels. You know what I do when I feel like that? I sing. SONG: I KNOW “Rubber balloon hearts, feel like they’re gonna burst. You need a good shower and shave, Oy, I know how it hurts. So pull off that frown, And stay here a while, Just fall one the ground, Where no one’s on trial, And SMILE!”
Oh, god you make me vomit. I’m sick of your drivel. I’m sick of this world! You see this?! He holds his hand in the shape of a gun. ARNIE You know what this is? SUZY Your fingers? ARNIE NO, IT’S A GUN!! EVERYONE AGAINST THE WALL!! Everyone looks confused. Mr. D walks up to Arnie. MR. D. You’re more pathetic than me. Arnie screams in horror and runs away. Everyone rejoices. VINCENT Yay, Mr. D!! SUZY You saved us! ALL Hip hip hooray!!! The kids all go to hug and touch him and Mr. D curls into a convulsing, fetal ball on the floor. MR. D No, no, get AWAY!! NO, NO!!! That’s the end of the SHOW!! Until next week. God help me and please give me food! FOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!! BACK TO: EXT. PARK BENCH AFTERNOON Tony reflects on the scenario he’s just finished imagining. TONY Wow, poor Mr. Depression. Thank goodness that’s not my life. I’m a stud. I’m slim. I do exercises. I eat right. Good music. Friends. And neat things. A sturdy young gentleman enters and sits down on the bench next to Tony. Tony glances over.
TONY Hi. The gentleman is staring at him. TONY Do I know you? The gentleman produces a badge. GENTLEMAN I don’t want to make a scene here. My name is Detective Jim Jacobs. I want you to understand that I’m going to be arresting you. We can make this quick and easy, or slow and ugly. I don’t want to embarrass you in public. TONY What are you arresting me for? ! JACOBS You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford one, an attorney will be appointed to you at no cost. Do you understand these rights? TONY Yes, but what are you arresting me for? JACOBS Pandering and Public Indecency. Jacobs pulls handcuffs off his belt. TONY But, I’m just… JACOBS I need your hands behind your back. Tony is stunned but complies. Once the cuffs are on, Jacobs grabs him fiercely around the back of the neck and leads him out. ROLL CREDITS