A Long Way To Go For One Joke

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October 4, 2013 by T. Gregory Argall

Shooting script, IVS public service announcement.

MEDIUM CLOSE UP: ABE VIGODA addresses the camera, looking solemn and dour, because really, that’s the only expression he has left.

VIGODA: Hello. I’m Abe Vigoda, on behalf of the Institute of Celebrity Ailments. There is an affliction that affects one in every fifty mid-level celebrities, a terrible condition that everyone acknowledges but no one talks about. I should warn you that some of the footage we are going to show you may be disturbing to some. The first documented case of this horrible condition was in the early 1960’s.

CUT TO: Archive film of FLIPPER the dolphin skipping backwards across the water on his tail.

FLIPPER: Eee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-ee-eee.

VIGODA: (voice over) By the 1970’s the disease had started to infect human performers as well.

CUT TO: Archive footage from “Welcome Back, Kotter” of RON PALILLO as Arnold Horshack, his hand raised urgently in the air.

PALILLO: Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Oh! Mr. Kotter!

CUT TO: Archive footage from “Happy Days” of HENRY WINKLER as The Fonz.

WINKLER: Aaaaaaaaaay.

CUT TO: ABE VIGODA looking sternly at the camera.

VIGODA: I am speaking, of course, about Irritable Vowel Syndrome. By the mid-1980’s this dread disease had become part of the television landscape.

CUT TO: Archive footage from “Who’s The Boss?” of TONY DANZA as Tony Micelli, looking confused.

DANZA: Aay, ooh. Ooh, aay.

VIGODA: (voice over) When IVS made the jump from television to movies, it began to infect its way further up the ladder of celebrity, often striking mid-word.

CUT TO: Archive footage of WILLIAM SHATNER as Captain Kirk, throwing his head back to scream angrily.

SHATNER: Khaaaaaaaaaaaan!

VIGODA: (voice over) The effects of this tragic disease still echo today.

CUT TO: Archive footage of ZACHARY QUINTO as Spock, throwing his head back to scream angrily.

QUINTO: Khaaaaaaaaaaaan!

CUT TO: ABE VIGODA, still addressing the camera, as stagehands prop him up with planks of wood.

VIGODA: IVS still affects many actors today. It strikes without warning and cannot be easily controlled. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone both still suffer from random public vowel movements. But with your help and your donations we can fight this disease, funding research and one day, hopefully, find a cure.
If you don’t believe that Irritable Vowel Syndrome is dangerous, that it destroys lives, then try having a conversation with Bobcat Goldthwait without ripping your own ears from your head.

CUT TO: Archive footage of BOBCAT GOLDTHWAIT just talking.

GOLDTHWAIT: Aaaoooeeaaiouuuaaaeeiouaeaoooaaaaaa.




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