(PRESHOW) S PRESHOW L 1 GO
S PRESHOW X GO
(START OF SHOW) S 2 L 2 GO
(FREDDIE) L 3 GO
TAGE MNGR: Five minutes to air. Mr. Laurents, Mr. Heywood, Miss. Applewhite, Miss. Sherwood, this is your five minute call. Mr. Filmore, places for audience warm-up, please. We’re at five minutes to air.
APPLAUSE SIGN (SUB 24) GO
REDDIE: Hello, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to a live broadcast of WBFR Playhouse of the Air. We thank you for braving the weather this Christmas Eve, and you’ll be glad you did when you hear the story we have for you tonight – It’s a Wonderful Life.
(Applause sign flashes.)
Today’s broadcast would not be possible without the help of our sponsors. We would like to thank our programming sponsors including:
Show Sponsor – Pikeville Medical Center, Lighting Sponsor – Perry Distributors, Sound Sponsor – Appalachian Wireless, Properties and Sound Effects Sponsor Thacker & Grigsby Telephone Service & TV Service, and our Box Office Sponsor - Appalachian Wireless. Thanks to our sister station, East Kentucky Broadcasting, for caring about our community.
For our patron’s safety, we ask that you please remain seated during the show. At the end of the performance, please remain seated until the announcer informs your school when and where to exit.
Photography or Recording of any type is illegal and strictly prohibited.
For the enjoyment of all our patrons, we ask that you turn off all pagers and cell phones and attend to unruly children.
The restrooms are located just off the Theatre Lobby.
The Show will run approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes.
If your school did not receive the educational packages, please contact the Theatre at 877-CALL-JWT and it will be emailed to you.
(Receives a signal from the stage manager. Freddie X UR to the piano. Puts his clipboard down and grabs his script. The rest go and get their scripts.)
I’m getting the signal from our stage manager that we will be on the air in twenty seconds. Thank you all for coming and enjoy the broadcast.
(WE ARE LIVE) S 3 L 4 GO
STAGE MNGR: We are live in 5, 4, 3…
(The “On the Air” sign lights up.)
(MUSIC: WBFR on bells. For notes on music, see the Appendix.)
(GOOD EVENING) L 6 GO
LL: (Sing:) W-B-F-R IN NEW YORK CITY…
APPLAUSE SIGN (SUB 24) GO
REDDIE: This is WBFR Playhouse of the Air!
(Applause sign flashes.)
(MUSIC: Theme Music.)
Good evening ladies, gentlemen. Greetings from WBFR Studio A in Manhattan, New York, right here in the U.S. of A. I’m your host, Freddie Filmore, and it is my pleasure to bring you your favorite stories this and every week on WBFR Playhouse of the Air. Tonight, we bring you a real feel-good heart warmer perfect for this or any Christmas Eve, It’s a Wonderful Life. We begin our story in the little town of Bedford Falls, New York, where a number of people in the town are praying for their dear friend, a typical American named George Bailey…
MARY: Dear God, please look over my husband George.
ROSE: (Simultaneously with “George:”) George is a good boy, you know that. My son has always gone out of his way to give others a hand. Now it’s him who needs the help.
HARRY: (Simultaneously with “help:”) Help my big brother George. He’s done so much for all of us. More for me than I remember.
GOWER: (Simultaneously with “I remember:”) I remember all the times he would stay late after work and not ask a cent. The world needs more like George Bailey.
BERT: (Simultaneously with “George Bailey:”) George Bailey never thinks about himself. I wouldn’t have a roof over my head if it wasn’t for him.
VIOLET: (Simultaneously with “if it…:”) If it wasn’t for him I would have given up long ago. All I think about is myself. I must have taken the last cent he had.
(Praying continues in the background, fading under the following.)
FREDDIE: The voices carry heavenward, and Joseph, the superintendent of angels, summons Clarence, an apprentice angel…
CLARENCE: You sent for me, sir?
JOSEPH: Yes, Clarence. A man down on Earth needs our help.
CLARENCE: Splendid! Is he sick?
JOSEPH: No, worse. He’s discouraged. At exactly ten-forty-five P.M. tonight, Earth time, that man will be thinking seriously of throwing away God’s greatest gift.
CLARENCE: Oh, dear! His life! Then I’ve only a half hour to dress. What are they wearing now?
JOSEPH: You will spend that half hour getting acquainted with George Bailey.
CLARENCE. Sir, if I should accomplish this mission, might I perhaps win my wings? I’ve been waiting over two hundred years now—and people are beginning to talk.
JOSEPH: What’s that book you’ve got with you?
CLARENCE: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, sir.
JOSEPH: You do a good job with George Bailey, and we’ll see about your wings.
CLARENCE: Thank you!
JOSEPH: If you’re going to help George, you’ll want to know a little something about him. Look: See the town?
CLARENCE: Why, yes. A group of young boys, sledding down a snow-covered hill and onto the ice…
YOUNG GEORGE: Yippee!!
CLARENCE: Who’s that?
JOSEPH: That’s George Bailey when he was twelve, back in 1919. Something happens here you’ll have to remember later on.
YOUNG GEORGE: Here comes the scare-baby, my kid brother, Harry Bailey.
YOUNG HARRY: I’m not ascared!
ALL: (As BOYS, Ad lib, ala:) Come on, Harry! Attaboy, Harry!
(SFX: Ice cracks, followed by water sloshing.)
YOUNG GEORGE: Help!
CLARENCE: Harry’s fallen through the ice!
YOUNG GEORGE: I’m coming, Harry. Make a chain, gang!
CLARENCE: His brother fell through the ice and George saved him.
JOSEPH: But the icy water gave George a bad ear. It was weeks before he could return to his after school job at Old Man Gower’s drug store.
(SFX: Door with bell opens and shuts.)
YOUNG GEORGE: It’s me, Mr. Gower. George Bailey.
GOWER: You’re late.
YOUNG GEORGE: Two cents worth of shoelaces, Violet?
YOUNG VIOLET: Please, Georgie. (To MARY:) I like him.
YOUNG MARY: You like every boy.
YOUNG VIOLET: What’s wrong with that?
YOUNG GEORGE: Here you are.
YOUNG VIOLET: Bye, Georgie. See ya later, Mary.
(SFX: Door with bell opens and shuts.)
YOUNG GEORGE: Made up your mind yet, Mary?
YOUNG MARY: I’ll take chocolate.
YOUNG GEORGE: With coconuts?
YOUNG MARY: I don’t like coconuts.
YOUNG GEORGE: You don’t like coconuts! Say, brainless, don’t you know where coconuts come from? Lookit here—from Tahiti—Fiji Islands, the Coral Sea!
YOUNG MARY: Is that a new magazine? I never saw it before.
YOUNG GEORGE: Of course you never. Only us explorers can get it. I’ve been nominated for membership in the National Geographic Society. Let me get your ice cream.
(SFX: Ice cream noises.)
YOUNG MARY: Is this the ear you can’t hear on? George Bailey, I’ll love you till the day I die.
YOUNG GEORGE: I’m going exploring some day, wait and see.
(YOUNG GEORGE whistles “Buffalo Gals.”)
GOWER: George! You’re not paid to be a canary!
YOUNG MARY: Goodbye, George.
YOUNG GEORGE: Goodbye, Mary.
(SFX: Door with bell opens and shuts. Opening up telegram.)
CLARENCE: What was that piece of paper George just picked up?
JOSEPH: It’s a telegram for Mr. Gower. He found out this morning that his son died of influenza. And he’s spent the afternoon drowning his grief in whiskey.
YOUNG GEORGE: Mr. Gower, do you need anything?
(SFX: Capsules falling to the floor.)
YOUNG GEORGE: I’ll get them, sir.
GOWER: Take those capsules over to Mrs. Blaine’s.
YOUNG GEORGE: They have the diphtheria there, haven’t they?
GOWER: Aw, get going!
YOUNG GEORGE: Yes, sir… Mr. Gower…? That bottle you used…you put something wrong in those capsules.
GOWER: Who do you think you’re talking to?!
(SFX: GOWER slapping YOUNG GEORGE.)
YOUNG GEORGE: You’re hurting my sore ear.
GOWER: Did you hear what I said?! Get out of here!
YOUNG GEORGE: (Whimpering:) Mr. Gower, you don’t know what you’re doing. You put something wrong in those capsules. I know you got that telegram, and you’re upset. But look at the bottle you used, Mr. Gower. It’s poison!
YOUNG GEORGE: (Overlapping:) Don’t hit my sore ear again.
GOWER: Poison, oh George, George!
GEORGE: All I wanted was to make sure. Mr. Gower, I won’t ever tell a soul. Hope to die, I won’t.
CLARENCE: Did he ever tell anyone about those pills?
JOSEPH: Not a soul.
CLARENCE: Did he ever marry the girl? Did he ever go exploring?
JOSEPH: We’ll get there soon enough, Clarence. George grew up and wanted to go to college, but there just wasn’t the money. So he worked four years in the Building and Loan Association.
CLARENCE: Building and Loan Association?
JOSEPH: George’s father was in the Building and Loan business, along with George’s Uncle Billy…
BILLY: George, what’s the combination to the safe?
YOUNG GEORGE: We wrote it down so you wouldn’t forget it.
BILLY: That’s right… Where?
(SFX: Door [without bell] opens and shuts.)
CLARENCE: Who’s that?
JOSEPH: That’s Henry F. Potter: The richest and meanest man in all the county.
BILLY: Peter! Potter’s here.
POTTER: Mr. Bailey, Mr. Bailey, Mr. Bailey. There is nothing quite so loathsome as a family business. Now, Peter, you know what I’m here for. I’m on a very tight schedule—a family to evict at three.
PETER: Okay, then, Mr. Potter, here’s the thing: I just need a little more time. I’ll dig up that five thousand somehow.
POTTER: Have you put any pressure on those people of yours to pay their mortgages?
PETER: Times are hard, Mr. Potter. A lot of people are out of work.
POTTER: Then foreclose.
PETER: I can’t do that. These families have children.
POTTER: Are you running a business or a charity ward?
PETER: Mr. Potter, what makes you such a hard-skulled character? You have no family, no children. You can’t begin to spend all the money you’ve got.
POTTER: So I suppose I should give it to miserable failures like you and that idiot brother of yours to spend for me?
YOUNG GEORGE: You can’t call my father a failure!
PETER: All right, Son, thanks.
YOUNG GEORGE: Don’t let him say that about you, Pop.
POTTER: What kind of business are you running here?!
JOSEPH. George worked and saved enough to see him through the University. But first he was going to Europe. Old man Gower surprised him with a gift of a great big suitcase. On his way home from the store he ran into his friends Ernie, the cab driver, and Bert, the cop.
(SFX: Car horn.)
GEORGE: Hey, Ernie!
ERNIE: Hiya, George!
GEORGE: Hi, Bert.
BERT: Hey, George. What’s the suitcase for?
GEORGE: I’m a rich tourist today. How about driving me home in style?
ERNIE: Sure, your highness, hop in the cab. And, for the carriage trade, I puts on my hat.
VIOLET: Good afternoon, Mr. Bailey. Looks like you’re ready to get out of here.
GEORGE: Hello, Violet. Hey, you look good. That’s some dress.
VIOLET: Oh, this old thing? Why, I only wear it when I don’t care how I look. See you later!
(SFX: High heeled footsteps.)
ERNIE: Want to come along, Bert? We’ll show you the town.
BERT: No thanks. Think I’ll go home and see what the wife’s doing.
(CAR DOOR AND DRIVING) S 4 GO
GEORGE: Family man.
(SFX: Car horn, car door closes, car drives away.)
JOSEPH: That evening, George had dinner with his father.
(SFX: Dinner plates and silverware.)
GEORGE: Boy, my last supper in the Bailey Boarding House.
PETER: We’re sure going to miss you, George. I wish we could send Harry to college with you.
GEORGE: We have that all figured out. Harry’ll take my job at the Building and Loan for four years, then he’ll go.
PETER: He’s pretty young for that job.
GEORGE: No younger than I was.
PETER: You were born older, George. I suppose you’ve decided what you’re going to do when you get out of college.
GEORGE: What I’ve always talked about—building things…design new buildings—plan modern cities…
PETER: It’s just a hope, but you wouldn’t consider coming back to the Building and Loan, would you? I know it’s early to talk about it.
GEORGE: Oh, I couldn’t face being cooped up for the rest of my life in that shabby little office. I’m sorry Pop, I didn’t mean that remark, but this business of spending all your life trying to figure out how to save three cents on a length of pipe—I’d go crazy. I want to do something big and something important.
PETER: You know, George, I feel that in a small way we are doing something important. It’s not too much for a man to want his own roof and walls and fireplace—and we’re helping him get those things in our shabby little office.
GEORGE: I know, Dad. But most of my friends have already finished college. I just feel like if I don’t get away, I’d bust.
PETER: You’re right, son. This town’s no place to live if you aren’t willing to crawl to Potter. Get your education then get out of here.
GEORGE: I’m glad you see what I’m talking about. (Beat.) Say, maybe I’ll go say goodbye to Main Street, last night in town and all.
PETER: Have a good time, son.
VIOLET: Hello, Georgie-Porgie.
GEORGE: Hello, Vi.
VIOLET: Where are you going?
GEORGE: Oh, I’ll probably end up at the library.
VIOLET: Don’t you ever get tired of just reading about things?
GEORGE: Yes. What are you doing tonight?
VIOLET: Not a thing, Georgie.
GEORGE: Are you game, Vi? What say we make a night of it?
VIOLET: Oh, I’d love it, Georgie. What’ll we do?
GEORGE: Let’s go out in the fields and take off our shoes and walk in the grass.
GEORGE: Then we can go up to Stewart Lake. It’s beautiful up there in the moonlight, and we can swim. Then we can climb Mount Bedford, and smell the pines, and watch the sunrise against the peaks, and we’ll stay up there the whole night, and everybody’ll be talking and there’ll be a terrific scandal!
VIOLET: George! Have you gone crazy?! Walk in the grass in my bare feet?! Why it’s ten miles up there to Mount Bedford! You think just because you— Oh!
(SFX: High heels walking away.)
GEORGE: Okay, just forget about the whole thing!
(SAM and MARY are there.)
SAM: (A greeting:) Hee-haw! Forget about what, George?
GEORGE: Oh, nothing, Sam.
SAM: You remember Mary, don’t you?
MARY: Hi George.
GEORGE: Hi Mary.
SAM: You wouldn’t mind walking Mary home, would you?
GEORGE: Of course not. Is that okay with you, Mary?
MARY: Fine by me.
SAM: Great! Thanks. Hee-haw!
CLARENCE: George walked Mary home. Is that important, Joseph?
JOSEPH: I’d say it is. Because even though Mary lived only four blocks away, it took them two hours to get there.
MARY: (Singing:) BUFFALO GALS WON’T YOU
COME OUT TONIGHT,
COME OUT TONIGHT, COME OUT TONIGHT
BUFFALO GALS WON’T YOU COME OUT TONIGHT
AND DANCE BY THE LIGHT OF THE MOON
GEORGE: (Laugh.) Hot Dog, oh boy, just like an organ, gee whiz!
MARY: (With a smile.) Beautiful!
GEORGE: You know something, if it wasn’t me talking, I’d say you were the prettiest girl in town.
MARY: Well, why don’t you say it?
GEORGE: I don’t know. Maybe I will. Hey, look where we are.
MARY: Oh, the old Granville house.
GEORGE: Yeah, I got to throw a rock.
MARY: Oh, no, don’t. I love that old house.
GEORGE: Don’t you know about deserted houses? you make a wish and then throw a rock.
MARY: But George, it’s such a lovely old place. I wish I lived there.
GEORGE: I wouldn’t live there if I was a ghost. Now watch this:
(SFX: Glass breaks.)
GEORGE: Pretty good shot, huh? Broke a window!
MARY: What’s your wish, George?
GEORGE: Not one wish – a whole hatful, Mary. I’m shaking the dust of this crummy little town off my feet and I’m going to see the world. Italy, Greece, the Parthenon, the Coloseum. Then I’m coming back here and go to college and see what they know…and then I’m going to build air fields and skyscrapers a hundred stories high and bridges a mile long… Hey, what…are you gonna throw a rock too?
(SFX: Glass breaks.)
GEORGE: Hey that’s pretty good. What’d you wish for Mary?
MARY: Oh no. If I tell you, it may not come true.
GEORGE: What do you want huh, Mary? Do you want the moon? All you gotta do just say the word and I’ll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.
MARY: Okay, I’ll take it. And then what?
GEORGE: Then you could swallow it and it’d all dissolve, see? And the moonbeams’d shoot out of your fingers and toes, and the ends of your hair and the… —Am I talking too much?
COLLINS: Yes! Why don’t you kiss her instead of talking her to death?
GEORGE: Who’s that?
MARY: Old Man Collins on his front porch.
(CAR APPROACHES) S 5 GO
OLLINS: Aw, youth is wasted on the wrong people!
(SFX: A door opens and slams.)
GEORGE: Hey, mister, come back out here and I’ll show you some kissing that’ll put hair back on your head!
(SFX: Car horn, a car approaches.)
GEORGE: Uncle Billy?
BILLY: George, get in the car quick! Your father’s had a stroke!
GEORGE: I’m sorry. I’ve got to go Mary.
(SFX: Car door opens and closes, then drives off.)
JOSEPH: George’s father died that night, Clarence. So George couldn’t go to Europe. That fall, just as he was ready to leave for college, the directors of the Building and Loan held a meeting. They were going to appoint a successor…
ALL: (As BOARD MEMBERS, ad-libs underscore following scene.)
DR. CAMPBELL: I want the Board to know that George gave up his trip to Europe to help straighten things out here these past few months, and it was greatly appreciated. I think that’s all we’ll need you for, George. Good luck to you at school. I know you’re anxious to make a train.
GEORGE: Yes, I have a taxi waiting downstairs.
POTTER: Mr. Chairman, I’d like to get to my real purpose. I claim this institution is not necessary to this town. Therefore, Mr. Chairman, I make a motion to dissolve the Building and Loan.
ALL: (As BOARD MEMBERS, Crowd hubbub ad-libs.)
DR. CAMPBELL: It’s too soon after Peter Bailey’s death to discuss chloroforming the Building and Loan. His faith and devotion are responsible for this organization.
POTTER: I’ll go further than that. I’ll say Peter Bailey was the Building and Loan.
UNCLE BILLY: Oh, that’s fine, Potter, coming from you, considering that you drove him to his grave!
POTTER: Peter Bailey was not a business man. That’s what killed him. He was a man of high ideals without common sense. And what does that get us but a discontented, lazy rabble instead of a thrifty working class. All because a few starry-eyed dreamers like Peter Bailey stir them up and fill their heads with a lot of impossible hooey. Now, I say…
GEORGE: Just a minute, Mr. Potter. You’re right when you say my father was no business man. Why he ever started this Building and Loan, I’ll never know. But you can’t say anything against his character. Why, in the twenty-five years since he and Uncle Billy started this thing, he never once thought of himself. But he did help a few people get out of your slums, Mr. Potter. And just remember that this rabble you’re talking about do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath? My father didn’t think so. People were human beings to him, but to you, a warped, frustrated old man, they’re cattle! In my book he died a much richer man than you’ll ever be!
POTTER: I’m not interested in your book.
GEORGE: Well, I’ve said too much— You’re the Board, you do what you want with this thing. But remember that this town needs this measly one-horse institution if only to have some place where people can come without crawling to Potter. Come on, Uncle Billy.
POTTER: Sentimental hogwash! I want my motion…
(SFX: Door slams and meeting adlibs stop instantly.)
MATILDA: (On phone:) …they’re just coming out of the board meeting, I’ll have to call you back.
(SFX: Phone hangs up.)
MATILDA: What happened, George? All we heard was yelling.
BILLY: Boy oh boy, Matilda, you should have heard George!
GEORGE: Yeah, they’re voting us down in there.
BILLY: They’re putting us out of business. So what? I can get another job, I’m only fifty-two!
MATILDA: You’re fifty-eight.
(SFX: Door opens and slams.)
DR. CAMPBELL: George! They voted Potter down!
BILLY: Whoopee! We’re still in business!
DR. CAMPBELL: Under the one condition that you take your father’s place, George.
GEORGE: I’m going to college. Uncle Billy here, he’s your man.
DR. CAMPBELL: You can keep him on, that’s alright.
GEORGE: I’m going to school. This is my last chance.
DR. CAMPBELL: But, they’ll vote with Potter otherwise.
CLARENCE: So George Bailey didn’t go to college.
JOSEPH: That’s right Clarence, he gave his college money to his brother instead and waited four years for Harry to come back and take over the Building and Loan. Then he could still see the world.
(SFX: A train whistle.)
GEORGE: Thar she blows. Say, Uncle Billy, you know what the three most wonderful sounds on earth are?
BILLY: “Breakfast is served,” “lunch is served,” “dinner is served.”
GEORGE: Anchor chains, plane motors, and train whistles. Here’s the professor now!
HARRY: (Simultaneously with “professor:”) Well, if it isn’t George Geographic Explorer Bailey! Uncle Billy, you haven’t changed a bit!
GEORGE: Oh, am I glad to see you.
HARRY: Where’s mother?
GEORGE: She’s home cooking the fatted calf. C’mon, let’s go.
HARRY: Oh, wait! This is Ruth Dakin.
RUTH: Ruth Dakin Bailey, if you don’t mind.
HARRY: I wired you I had a surprise. Here she is. Meet the wife.
BILLY: Well, what do you know—wife!
GEORGE: Congratulations! Harry, why didn’t you tell somebody? What’s a pretty girl like you doing marrying this two-headed brother of mine?
RUTH: It’s purely mercenary. My father offered him a job.
BILLY: Oh, he gets you and a job? Harry’s cup runneth over! C’mon, Ruth. Let’s start ahead and leave the bags for the fellas.
RUTH: All right.
HARRY: George… About that job… I never said I’d take it. You’ve been holding the bag here for four years, and, I won’t let you down.
(MUSIC: Underscoring / Period song at party.)
JOSEPH: And that night, the homecoming for Harry became his wedding party. Uncle Billy familiarized himself with the spirits.
BILLY: Oh boy, oh boy. I feel so good I could spit in Potter’s eye! I think I will. What do you say? Maybe I should go home. If you’d just point me in the right direction…
GEORGE: Right down there.
BILLY: That way? Okay, old Building and Loan pal. See you later.
(SFX: Trash cans knocked over.)
BILLY: I’m all right… I’m all right!
ROSE BAILEY: George?!
GEORGE: Out here on the porch, Mother.
(SFX: Door opens and closes.)
ROSE: Well, how do you like your new sister-in-law?
GEORGE: She’s swell.
ROSE: Looks like she’ll keep Harry on his toes.
GEORGE: Yeah, keep him out of Bedford Falls, anyway.
ROSE: George, do you know Mary Hatch is back from school?
ROSE: Nice girl, Mary. The kind who will help you find all the answers.
GEORGE: Uh huh…
ROSE: Give me one good reason you shouldn’t call on her.
GEORGE: Well, Sam Wainwright. Sam’s crazy about her.
ROSE: Well, she’s not crazy about him.
GEORGE: How do you know that? Did she discuss it with you?
ROSE: Besides, Sam’s New York, and you’re here in Bedford Falls.
GEORGE: And all’s fair in love and war?
ROSE: I don’t know about war.
GEORGE: All right, Mother, I think I’ll go out and find the girl and do a little passionate necking.
ROSE: Oh, George!
GEORGE: Bye, Mrs. Bailey. By the way, do you want any books at the library?
ROSE: “The library?!” George! You go and see Mary, you hear!
(MUSIC: Transition / Underscoring.)
(SFX: Crickets chirp.)
MARY: Hello, George.
GEORGE: Hello, Mary. I just happened to be passing by.
MARY: Your mother just phoned and said you were on your way.
GEORGE: My mother just called you? How did she know? I just went for a walk and happened to be passing by… When did you get back?
MARY: Tuesday… Would you like to come in?
GEORGE: Well, I guess, since I’m here.
(SFX: Door opens, closes.)
GEORGE: Where’d you get that dress?
MARY: Do you like it?
GEORGE: It’s all right. I thought you’d go back to New York with Sam and the rest of them.
MARY: Oh, I worked there a couple of vacations, but I don’t know… I guess I was homesick.
GEORGE: Homesick for Bedford Falls?
MARY: Yes, and my family and…oh, everything.
GEORGE: I still can’t understand it though. I didn’t tell anybody I was coming here.
MARY: Would you rather leave?
GEORGE: I don’t want to be rude.
MARY: It was nice about Harry and Ruth, wasn’t it?
GEORGE: Oh…yeah, that’s all right.
MARY: Don’t you like her?
GEORGE: Well, of course I like her. She’s a peach.
MARY: It’s just marriage in general you’re not enthusiastic about?
GEORGE: No. Marriage is okay for Harry and Sam and you.
MRS. HATCH: Mary?! Who’s out there with you?!
MARY: It’s George Bailey, Mother!
MRS. HATCH: George Bailey?! What does he want?!
MARY: I don’t know. What do you want, George?
GEORGE: Me? Not a thing. I just came in to get warm.
MARY: He’s making violent love to me, Mother!
MRS. HATCH: You tell him to go right back home! Sam Wainwright promised to call from New York tonight, didn’t he?
GEORGE: Your mother needn’t—I didn’t come here for—to…to…
MARY: What did you come here for?
GEORGE: You’re supposed to be the one who has all the answers. You tell me!
MARY: Oh, why don’t you go home?!
GEORGE: That’s where I’m going!
(SFX: Telephone ring.)
MRS. HATCH: Mary! The telephone! It’s Sam!
MARY: I’ll get it. (On phone:) Hee-haw! Hello, Sam, how are you?
SAM: Aw, great. Gee, it’s good to hear your voice again.
MARY: Oh, well, that’s awfully sweet of you, Sam. There’s an old friend of yours here, George Bailey.
SAM: You mean old moss-back George? Hee-haw! Put him on.
MARY: Wait a minute, I’ll call him. George!
MRS. HATCH: He doesn’t want to speak to George, you idiot!
MARY: He asked for him. George, Sam wants to speak to you.
GEORGE: Hello, Sam.
SAM: Hey, a fine pal you are. What’re you trying to steal my girl?
GEORGE: Nobody’s trying to steal your girl…
SAM: I want to talk to both of you, tell Mary to get on the extension.
MARY: Mother’s on the extension.
MRS. HATCH: (Covering mouth as if on phone:) I am not!
(SFX: Phone receiver slamming down—other room.)
MARY: We can both hear you. George, put your head a little closer.
MARY: There, that’s better. We’re listening, Sam.
SAM: I have a big deal coming up that’s going to make us all rich. George, remember that night at Martini’s Bar when you told me about making plastics out of soybeans?
GEORGE: Huh? Yeah, soybeans...
SAM: Well, my father’s checked into it, and wants to build a factory outside of Rochester. How do you like that?
GEORGE: Why Rochester?
SAM: Why not? Can you think of anything better?
GEORGE: Why not right here in Bedford Falls? You remember that old tool and machinery works? You tell your father he can get that for a song. And all the labor he wants, too. Half the town was thrown out of work when they closed down.
SAM: That so? Well, that sounds great. Now, here’s the point, George. I may have a job for you, that is, unless you are still married to the old broken down Building and Loan… Oh, Mary?
MARY: I’m here.
SAM: Tell that guy I’m giving him a chance of a lifetime!
MARY: (To GEORGE:) He says it’s the chance of a lifetime.
GEORGE: Give me that phone.
(SFX: Phone receiver slamming down.)
Now you listen to me, Mary! I don’t want any plastics! And I don’t want any job! And I don’t want to get married—ever—to anyone! Do you understand that? I want to do what I want to do and you’re… you’re not going to… Oh, Mary…
MARY: (Weeping.) George…
GEORGE: Oh, Mary…I love you…
MARY: George, I love you, too…
(KISS, PAUSE, GO) L 7 GO
(Everyone pauses and waits for the kiss.
Jake and Sally kiss – very 40s like.)
APPLAUSE SIGN (SUB 24) GO
(The “Applause” light is illuminated. Freddie X to the piano, grabs his new script, and then X to the R mic. Jake, Sally, and Lana are around the L mic.)
FREDDIE: We will return to WBFR Playhouse of the Air’s presentation of It’s a Wonderful Life in just a few moments. But, first… Gentlemen: Does your hair resemble a dried out bird’s nest full of dandruff flakes?
LANA: (Make tweety bird calls.)
(Jake backs away.)
FREDDIE: Do you plaster your hair down like a cheap gigolo – smelling to high heaven?
(Jazzbo X in, smoothes his hair, grimaces, and backs away.)
WOMEN: (Ad-libs to the effect of:) P.U! What a stink!
FREDDIE: When girls get a gander at the tip-top of your noggin, do they go…
FREDDIE: Well, here’s a friendly hint that may just help you out in the romance department.
WOMEN: (Swooning:) Ah-h-h-h…
FREDDIE: Starting tomorrow, why not try Kremel Hair Tonic. Yessiree, you’ll be headin’ for success with Kremel-groomed hair! A success with the gals and on the job. Kremel always keeps hair looking mighty attractive – always in place. A real sex-appealer!
WOMEN: (Tiger growls, etc.)
FREDDIE: Kremel Hair Tonic – Does lots more than keep your hair handsome looking! Dave!
(Around the L mic, Jazzbo R, Lana, Sally, Jake.)
ALL: (swaying) KREMEL, THE SWANK HAIR TONIC,
(arms out) MAKES YOUR FILTHY BIRDSNEST GLEEM,
WOMEN: (lean in) A LITTLE DAB WILL DO YA,
MEN: (men lean in) DAMES WILL FLOCK RIGHT TO YA,
ALL: ALL THE PRETTY GALS WILL SCREAM.
DAVE K: AHHHH!!
ALL: (all stand up straight to the beat) WHEN YOU WEAR
KREMEL, THE SWANK HAIR TONIC
(shoulder flicks, wave goodbye) DANDRUFF WILL BE HISTORY.
MAKE IT KREMEL
(sway) THE SWANK HAIR TONIC
(All smile towards the audience.)
FREDDIE: (Gesturing towards the poster.) Buy some Kremel today – your hair will thank you.
APPLAUSE SIGN (SUB 24) GO
(Applause sign flashes. Freddie X back to L mic.)
And now, back to It’s a Wonderful Life…
(BACK TO THE SHOW) L 8 GO
(CAR DRIVING) S 6 GO
OSEPH: George and Mary were married. And following the wedding and reception, George’s old pal Ernie, the cab driver, drove the happy couple to the train station…
(SFX: Car door slam, car horn, car driving throughout scene.)
ERNIE: Where you two off to on this here now honeymoon?
GEORGE: We’re going to shoot the works! A whole week in New York, then Bermuda. The highest hotels, the oldest champagne, the richest caviar, the hottest music and the prettiest wife!
MARY: Here’s the kitty, Ernie, two thousand dollars, I feel like a bootlegger’s wife.
ERNIE: Finally getting out of Bedford Falls, huh? Then what?
GEORGE: (To MARY:) Then what, honey?
MARY: After that, who cares?!
ERNIE: (Interrupting:) Hey George, there’s something funny going on over there. Look over there at the bank! It looks like a run!
GEORGE: Pull over a minute, will you, Ernie?
MARY: George, let’s not stop, please let’s go straight to the station.
GEORGE: Wait a minute, I better see what it is. I’ll be right back.
(SFX: Door opens, crowd ruckus, door closes.)
GEORGE: What is this, Uncle Billy, a holiday? Why are the doors locked? There’s a crowd out front.
BILLY: This is a pickle, George.
GEORGE: What happened?
BILLY: The bank called our loan and I had to hand out all our cash.
GEORGE: All of it?
BILLY: Every last cent of it.
GEORGE: Holy Mackerel!
BILLY: And then I got scared, George.
(Lana knocks on the door.)
GEORGE: Open the doors, let them in.
(Lana opens the door.)
ALL: (As CROWD, ad-libs as entering.)
GEORGE: Now, just remember that this thing isn’t as black as it appears.
ED: Where’s our money, George?
GEORGE: You’re thinking of this place all wrong. The money’s not here. Your money’s in people’s houses. In the Kennedy house, and the McClaren house and a hundred others. Now, what are you going to do, foreclose on them?
CHARLIE: I got two hundred and forty-two dollars in here, and two hundred and forty-two dollars isn’t going to break anybody.
GEORGE: All right, Charlie, you’ll get your money in sixty days.
CHARLIE: Sixty days?!
GEORGE: That’s what you agreed to when you bought your shares.
MAN: I got my money! Old Man Potter’s taking over the bank. He’ll pay you fifty cents on every dollar.
ALL: (Crowd Uproar.)
GEORGE: If Potter gets a hold of your shares, he’ll own this Building and Loan. He’s got the bank, he’s got the bus line, he’s got the department stores. And now he’s after us, ’cause he wants to keep you living in his shacks and paying the kind of rent he decides to charge. Now we can get through this all right, but we’ve got to have faith in each other.
MRS. THOMPSON: My husband’s out of work. We need money.
ED: I got doctor bills to pay!
MARY: How much do you need? We’ve got two thousand dollars from the wedding.
GEORGE: Hey, Mary! (To ALL:) I got two thousand dollars here! This’ll tide us over until the bank reopens. All right, Charlie, how much do you need?
CHARLIE: Two hundred and forty-two dollars.
GEORGE: Aw, Charlie, just enough to tide you over.
CHARLIE: I’ll take two hundred and forty-two dollars.
GEORGE: Okay, Uncle Billy, give Charlie two hundred and forty-two dollars. All right, Ed, now, how much just to get by?
ED: Twenty dollars, I suppose.
GEORGE: Now we’re talking. Mrs. Thompson, how ’bout you?
MRS. THOMPSON: But it’s your own money George.
GEORGE: Never mind that, how much, Mrs. Thompson?
MRS. THOMPSON: Could I have $17.50?
GEORGE: Seven… Bless your heart. Of course you can have it. Uncle Billy, give her $17.50… Pay it back when you can. All right, who’s next…?
BILLY: Look at the clock. Look!
(SFX: Tick tock of clock.)
GEORGE: Five seconds…four seconds…three…two…one… Six o’clock we made it!
GEORGE: Lock that door, Uncle Billy! We’re still in business!
(SFX: Door slam, telephone rings.)
BILLY: (On phone:) Bailey Brothers Building and— Just a minute. George, there’s a call for you.
GEORGE: Look, will you get my wife on the phone? She’s probably over at her mother’s.
BILLY: Mrs. Bailey is on the phone.
GEORGE: I don’t want Mrs. Bailey, I want my wife. Oh! Mrs. Bailey! Oh, that’s my wife! (On phone:) Mary? Hello. Listen, dear, I’m sorry… What? Come home? What home? 320 Sycamore? Well, what…whose home is that? The Waldorf Hotel, huh?
(MUSIC: Underscoring [Romantic].)
CLARENCE: That doesn’t look like the Waldorf…
JOSEPH: Oh, no. Number 320 Sycamore was the old Granville house. The one George and Mary threw rocks at and made wishes. Mary had prepared the house, including a turkey dinner, romantic decorations and even a marriage bed.
MARY: Welcome home, Mr. Bailey.
GEORGE: Well, I’ll be…
MARY: Remember the night we broke the windows in this old house? This is what I wished for.
GEORGE: Darling, you’re wonderful.
JOSEPH: Yes sir, that’s where they spent their honeymoon, that’s where they started their lives together. Mary made the leaky old house a home, while George toiled away at the Building and Loan office.
GEORGE: Oh gee. Mary Hatch, why in the world would you ever marry a guy like me anyway?
MARY: To keep from being an old maid.
GEORGE: I was going to give you the moon, but what have I given you? Not even a new dress, not for months. You could have married Sam Wainwright. Anybody else in town.
MARY: I didn’t want to marry anybody else in town. I want my baby to look like you.
GEORGE: You didn’t even have a honeymoon. I promised you… Your what?
MARY: My baby.
GEORGE: You mean… Mary, you’re on the nest?
MARY: George Bailey lassos the stork!
(MUSIC: Transition / Underscoring.)
JOSEPH: Well, Mary had her baby—a boy.
CLARENCE: You don’t say!
JOSEPH: Then she had a girl. Night after night George would come home late from the office. Things weren’t good with the Building and Loan. Potter was bearing down hard. Then came the war. Mary had another baby by then but still had time to run the USO. Gower and Uncle Billy sold war bonds. Violet entertained the troops. Bert the cop was wounded in North Africa, got the Silver Star. Ernie, the taxi driver, parachuted into France. But Harry Bailey topped them all. A Navy flier, he shot down fifteen planes…two of them as they were about to crash into a transport full of soldiers.
CLARENCE: But what about George?
JOSEPH: Four-F on account of his ear, George fought the battle of Bedford Falls. Air raid Warden …paper drives… Scrap drives …Rubber drives… On V-E Day he wept and prayed. V-J Day he wept and prayed again.
CLARENCE: We’re getting pretty close to today aren’t we, sir?
JOSEPH: Yes, Clarence. You know now almost everything you have to know about George Bailey. Except what happened that finds him down there at this moment wanting to die. Today’s the day before Christmas, and Billy is at the bank to make a deposit when he ran into Potter.
BILLY: Well, well, well, Mr. Henry F. Potter. Come to the bank to deposit some more loot? How do you like the news in the paper, Mr. Potter? “Harry Bailey Wins Congressional Medal of Honor!”
POTTER: Let me see that newspaper.
(SFX: Newspaper thwack.)
BILLY: Here ya go. Go on and keep it! I’m off to make a deposit.
HORACE: Good morning, Mr. Bailey.
BILLY: Good morning, Horace. Here you are…deposit slip, bank book, and a very merry Christmas to you.
HORACE: You too, Mr. Bailey. You want to make a deposit?
BILLY: Well, certainly…
HORACE: Well it’s customary to bring the money with you.
BILLY: It’s gone! Where’d I put it? Where’d I put that money?!
JOSEPH: A terrible thing, Clarence. Uncle Billy couldn’t find the money because the envelope with the eight thousand dollars was folded up in that newspaper he gave to old man Potter. At the same time as Billy started looking for the deposit, Violet came to visit George at the Building and Loan.
GEORGE: Oh, hello, Vi. What’s wrong?
VIOLET: You see right through me, don’t you?
GEORGE: How much do you need?
VIOLET: I hate doing this to you, George. But I won’t be asking for any more after this.
GEORGE: You planning on robbing a bank, Vi?
VIOLET: I’m going to Manhattan.
GEORGE: What’s in Manhattan?
VIOLET: Why, everything’s in Manhattan… A new start, at least.
GEORGE: That’s a big step, Vi. What’s the matter with starting a new life right here in Bedford Falls?
VIOLET: Well, I’ll be. Never thought I’d hear that from you, George Bailey. I thought you hated this place.
GEORGE: I did. But this town has a charm of its own.
VIOLET: I’ve made a decision: There’s a midnight train tonight, and I plan to be on it.
GEORGE: It takes a lot of character to leave your home town and start all over again. Here, here’s some dough.
VIOLET: No, George, don’t…
GEORGE: What do you want to do, hock your furs, and that hat? Want to walk to New York? You know they charge for meals and rent up there just the same as they do in Bedford Falls.
VIOLET: Yeah, sure…
GEORGE: It’s a loan. That’s my business. Building and Loan. Besides, you’ll get a job. Good luck to you.
VIOLET: I’m glad I know you, George Bailey. Merry Christmas.
(Freddie opens and closes the door. - SFX: Door opens and closes.)
GEORGE: What’s the matter, Uncle Billy?
BILLY: The money! The eight thousand! I—I—
GEORGE: What, Uncle Billy? What happened to it?
BILLY: I thought I had it. I just don’t know what happened!
GEORGE: Well, the first place you look is in your coat pocket. I told you to put it there when you left.
BILLY: Oh, I’m no good to you George, I’m no good!
GEORGE: Uncle Billy, we’ve got to find that money! Think!
BILLY: I can’t think anymore, George. It hurts…
GEORGE: Where’s that money, you stupid, silly old fool? Do you realize what this means? It means bankruptcy and scandal, and prison! One of us is going to jail! Well, it’s not going to be me!
(SFX: Door opens and slams.)
(MUSIC: “Silent Night” on the piano [poorly].)
CHILDREN: Hello Daddy!
MARY: Hello, darling. Where’s your coat and hat?
GEORGE: Left them at the office.
MARY: Isn’t it wonderful about Harry? We’re famous, George. I’ll bet I had fifty calls today about the parade and banquet.
GEORGE: Must she keep playing that?
JANIE: I have to practice for the party tonight, Daddy.
PETE: Mommy says we can stay up until midnight and sing Christmas carols.
MARY: Better hurry and shave. The families will be here soon.
GEORGE: Families?! I don’t want the families over here!
TOMMY: Excuse me…
MARY: Have a hectic day?
GEORGE: Oh, yeah, another big red letter day for the Baileys.
PETE: Daddy, the Browns next door have a new car. You should see it.
GEORGE: Well, what’s the matter with our car? Isn’t it good enough for you?
PETE: Yes, Daddy.
TOMMY: Excuse me…excuse me…
GEORGE: Excuse you for what?
TOMMY: I burped.
MARY: All right, darling, you’re excused. Now go upstairs and see what little Zuzu wants.
GEORGE: What’s the matter with Zuzu?
MARY: Oh, she caught a cold coming home from school. They gave her a flower and she didn’t want to crush it so she didn’t button up her coat. The doctor says it’s nothing serious.
GEORGE: Was the doctor here?
MARY: I called him right away.
GEORGE: Is she running a temperature?
MARY: Just a teensy one.
GEORGE: Gosh, it’s this old house. I don’t know why we don’t all have pneumonia. This drafty old barn! Might as well be living in a refrigerator! Why did we have to live here in the first place and stay around this measly, crummy old town?
MARY: George, what’s wrong?
GEORGE: Everything’s wrong! You call this a happy family? Why did we have to have all these kids?
PETE: Dad, how do you spell “frankincense?”
GEORGE: I don’t know. Ask your mother.
MARY: Where are you going?
GEORGE: Up to see Zuzu.
(MUSIC: “Silent Night” on the piano, softens in distance.)
ZUZU: Hi, Daddy.
GEORGE: Well, what happened to you?
ZUZU: I won a flower.
GEORGE: Where do you think you’re going?
ZUZU: Want to give my flower a drink.
GEORGE: Here, give Daddy the flower. I’ll give it a drink.
ZUZU: Look, Daddy. Some of the petals came off. Paste it.
GEORGE: All right, now, there it is, good as new.
ZUZU: Give the flower a drink.
GEORGE: Now, will you try to get some sleep?
ZUZU: I’m not sleepy. I want to look at my flower.
GEORGE: I know, but you just go to sleep, and then you can dream about it, and it’ll be a whole garden.
ZUZU: It will?
(MUSIC: “Silent Night” on the piano, louder again.)
(SFX: Telephone rings.)
JANIE AND PETE: Telephone!
MARY: I’ll get it. (On phone:) Hello. Yes, this is Mrs. Bailey. Oh, thank you, Mrs. Welch. The doctor says she’ll be out of bed in time for her Christmas dinner.
GEORGE: Is that Zuzu’s teacher?
GEORGE: Let me speak to her. (On phone:) Hello, Mrs. Welch? This is George Bailey. Say, what kind of teacher are you anyway? What do you mean sending her home like that, half naked?
GEORGE: Is this the sort of thing we pay taxes for—to have teachers like you? Silly, stupid, careless people who send our kids home without any clothes on? (To MARY:) Aw, that stupid…
MARY: Hello, Mrs. Welch? I want to apologize for… She hung up.
GEORGE: I’ll hang her up!
MR. WELCH: (Muffled, through phone:) Who do you think you are?!
GEORGE: (On phone:) Hello? Who is this? Oh, Mr. Welch! That’s fine Mr. Welch - Gives me a chance to tell you what I really think of your wife!
GEORGE: (To MARY:) Will you let me handle this?! (On phone:) Hello? Oh, you will, huh? Okay, Mr. Welch, any time you think you’re man enough… Hello? Oh…
PETE: Daddy, how do you spell “Hallelujah?”
GEORGE: What do you think I am, a dictionary? Janie, haven’t you learned that silly tune yet? You’ve played it over and over again. Now stop it! Stop it!
(MUSIC: “Silent Night” on the piano stops.)
MARY: George! What are you doing?!
GEORGE: (Long beat, then:) I’m sorry, Mary. Janie, I didn’t mean…you go on and practice. Pete, I owe you an apology, too. What did you want to know?
PETE: Nothing, Daddy.
GEORGE: What’s the matter with everybody? Janie, go on. I told you to practice. Go on, play!
JANIE: Oh, Daddy…
MARY: George, why must you torture the children? Why don’t you…
(SFX: Door opens and slams.)
JANIE: Where’s daddy going?
(SFX: MARY dials the operator on the telephone.)
MARY: Bedford two-four-seven, please.
PETE: Is Daddy in trouble?
MARY: Yes, Pete.
JANIE: Shall I pray for him?
MARY: Yes, Janie, pray very hard.
TOMMY: Me, too?
MARY: You too, Tommy. (On phone:) Hello, Uncle Billy?
(MUSIC: Transition / Underscoring.)
POTTER: So, that’s it George. You’re short eight thousand dollars?
GEORGE: I’ll pay any sort of interest, Mr. Potter. If you still want the Building and Loan…
POTTER: You say it was lost, did you notify the police?
GEORGE: No, I haven’t. With Harry’s homecoming tomorrow…
POTTER: Why come to me? Why not go to Sam Wainwright?
GEORGE: I can’t get a hold of him. He’s in Europe.
POTTER: What kind of security would I have, George?
GEORGE: I have a fifteen thousand dollar life insurance policy.
POTTER: How much is your equity in it?
GEORGE: Five hundred dollars.
POTTER: And you want eight thousand! You used to be so cocky. You were going to go out and conquer the world! You once called me a warped, frustrated old man. What are you but a warped, frustrated young man? Crawling in here on your hands and knees for help. You’re worth more dead than you are alive!
GEORGE: I’ll do anything Mr. Potter. Please help me …
POTTER: You know what I’m going to do for you? As a stockholder of the Building and Loan, I’m calling the state examiner to get a warrant for your arrest.