Due to the ongoing WGA strike, the desperate networks are dusting off the moldering nuggets lying around their vaults and rushing them to air. How else to explain the relaunch of last spring’s failed sitcom starring Paul Wolfowitz (first shown here at HuffPo last May)?
Scene opens in the Georgetown townhouse of PAUL WOLFOWITZ and his girlfriend SHAHA RIZA. It is morning. Wolfowitz enters living room from kitchen, straightening his tie, holding a briefcase. Shaha follows after him dutifully, holding his cup of coffee for him.
SHAHA: There’s nothing wrong about a man your age changing jobs every six months, dear. It’s called trading up.
WOLFIE: It’s my first day. I just want to make a good impression with the other guys on the International Security Advisory Board.
SHAHA: Don’t worry, Wolfie. Your reputation is way ahead of you. Besides, the first day on the job always gives you jitters.
Enter WOLFIE’s no-account brother LARRY from kitchen, in a ratty bathrobe, eating a large sweet roll. Audience goes wild.
LARRY: With all the jobs you’ve had and lost, I’d think you’d be used to it by now.
WOLFIE: That means a lot, coming from the top mattress-tester in the country.
LARRY: Where were you working last time?
WOLFIE: (putting on overcoat) The American Enterprise Institute.
LARRY: Didn’t they make those old cheesy monster movies, like It Conquered the World?
WOLFIE: No, they didn’t make cheesy monster movies! it was a think tank.
LARRY: Hey, I was in a think tank once.
SHAHA: No, Larry, you were in a drunk tank.
LARRY: The difference being…..?
Wild audience laughter.
WOLFIE: I don’t have time for this. I’m going to be late.
SHAHA: Here’s your coffee, dear, I know you’re going to knock ‘em dead!
WOLFIE: (with pained expression) No, dear, the International Security Advisory Board is supposed to STOP people from being knocked dead.
SHAHA: (trying for positive spin) Well, you work best when you’re confounding people’s expectations, dear. (gives him kiss on cheek)
LARRY: I’ll say. Who’d’ve bet that the guy who drove the country into Iraq could ever get a job with the government again? I know I wouldn’t.
WOLFIE gives his brother a dirty look and exits.
SHAHA: Why’d you have to say that?
LARRY: It was the truth. I bet against him getting hired again, at 3 to 2. Who could lose a bet like that?
SHAHA: Oh, Larry!
LARRY: Yeah. Too bad. By the way, you’ll have to find a new place to hide your “mad money”. Someplace where no one ever goes.
SHAHA: (crosses arms angrily) You got a suggestion?
LARRY: (beat) Your IUD?
Dissolve. New scene begins in a wood-paneled conference room in the State Department. Various members of the ISAB are getting ready to take their seats. The CHAIRMAN sits at the head.
CHAIRMAN: If everyone’s ready, we’ll get started.
The members all sit. One chair is conspicuously empty.
COMMITTEE MEMBER: It looks like we’re short one.
CHAIRMAN: (hastily) Never mind, let’s just get this going before….
Wolfie barges through door, with splashing coffee cup and briefcase.
WOLFIE: WHEW! Wait a minute! Ha ha! Here I am! (Starts to get settled at table) What a disaster. I went to the wrong building.
CHAIRMAN: (sighs dejectedly) Well, since you managed to find the room anyway, let’s begin. (sotto voce) When is faulty intelligence ever going to work FOR us?
COMMITTEE MEMBER: Say, aren’t you Paul Wolfowitz?
WOLFIE: (proud to be recognized) Yes.
COMMITTEE MEMBER: And you got appointed to the International Secutiry Advisory Board?
COMMITTEE MEMBER: You know what we do here, right?
WOLFIE: (growing uncomfortable) Yeah.
COMMITTEE MEMBER: That we sort of…that is to say…we try ….how can I put this? We try to stop wars from happening?
COMMITTEE MEMBER: So, who’d you have to sleep with to get this job?
WOLFIE: Please! It’s who I slept with who cost me my LAST job!
Quick cut back to the townhouse. SHAHA and LARRY are huddled around the telephone on the table.
SHAHA: I don’t know about this.
LARRY: Believe me, this will work. You want to boost Wolfie’s confidence, right? All you have to do is call the meeting on the speaker phone and pretend you’re Condi Rice. Mention his name, give him a couple of “How ya doin’s?” and hang up. Piece of cake.
SHAHA: Isn’t there a law against pretending to be the Secretary of State?
LARRY: If there was, there’s others they’d come after before you.
Quick cut to the board room.
COMMITTEE MEMBER: (to WOLFIE) May I borrow a pen?
WOLFIE: Certainly. (He reaches into his briefcase and pulls out a huge fistful of identical pens.)
COMMITTEE MEMBER: (reads inscription on pen) “Official Property of the World Bank.”
WOLFIE: (sheepishly) Part of my severance package, heh.
The speaker phone near the chairman turns on.
MALE VOICE: I’m sorry to interrupt, sir, but I have Secretary Rice on the phone.
CHAIRMAN: By all means, put her on.
SECRETARY’S VOICE: Good morning, everyone.
ALL: Good morning, Madame Secretary.
SECRETARY’S VOICE: I just wanted to call and wish all of you on the International Security Advisory board the best of luck in advising … on security….in an international way.
CHAIRMAN: (somewhat confused) Thank you.
SECRETARY’S VOICE: Through all your efforts, our dangerous world will be made a better one…without …so much danger.
Quick cut to the townhouse, with SHAHA bending close to the speakerphone, and LARRY next to her. She’s very nervous speaking off the cuff.
SHAHA: I especially would like to welcome Paul Wolfowitz to the committee. Your international work for this administration, while costing many lives, will ultimately save many lives because, if there’s anyone who knows about the spread of global conflict, it’s you.
LARRY: Ask him if he can get us some pens from there.
SHAHA: That’s about all I have to say, I guess….
Quick cut to boardroom.
SECRETARY’S VOICE: …so I’ll get back to doing the diplomacy thing around here. Gotta call Israel or something, I bet.
LARRY’S VOICE: Ask about the free pens!
SECRETARY’S VOICE: Be quiet, Larry! I’ll just take the last chance to say thank you for your service, and good luck.
CHAIRMAN: Thank you, Madame Secretary.
SECRETARY’S VOICE: And good luck to you, Wolfie sweetums. Kiss Kiss!
Speakerphone hangs up. There is an uncomfortable silence in the room, as Wolfie tries to sink down in his seat.
CHAIRMAN: Well, at least we learned one thing.
WOLFIE: What’s that?
CHAIRMAN: The Secretary isn’t a lesbian.
Wolfie tries to sink down further in his chair, closes his eyes in pain.
Music up. Audience applauds. Roll credits.