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The Talent Agency

Authors note: this is set in the mid '90's, but please overlook any inconsistencies or anachronisms unless they're really glaring. If I was writing this for money I'd be sure to get everything right





By: Ricardo




[show opens with JERRY performing stand up]


JERRY: So I'm watching a game show, and they're giving away a new car. And they'reshowing it off. And the announcer is listing its selling points - AM/FM, anti-lock brakes, driver's side airbag - and then he says, "California Emission".[pause for effect] I'm thinking that if I'm that contestant, I want no part of this. Emission standards? Have you seen downtown Los Angeles on TV? The whole citylooks like it's built on a foundation of dry ice. That smog is so thick, we should updateour analogy on poor outdoor visibility: Instead of, "Fog like pea soup", we could say, "Fog like Santa Monica boulevard".


[audience react]


JERRY: I always like it when a friend wants to go into business with me. You know, a friend getsan idea, needs a little capital, a little bit to get the ball rolling. That's real good. It'salways a close friend from school. You know, the guy who started food fights, played mailbox baseball, peeked into women's locker rooms, and played pranks on peoplewhich involved laxatives. This is, of course, the very person I want handling my money.






[upon return from commercial, brief external of office building. Inside, we find GEORGE in a job interview]


GEORGE: I think, Mr. Jamison, you will find that I am professional, conscientious, and determined. It's the only way I know.


JAMISON: And product knowledge?


GEORGE: I've always had more than a passing interest in latex.


JAMISON: Very impressive.


GEORGE: (with sycophantic laugh) I do impress, it's true. You'll find I am adroit at impressing.


JAMISON One question: What do you do when (voice trails off in volume)?


GEORGE: (sheepishly) Beg your pardon?


JAMISON: (annoyed) Not paying attention?


GEORGE: (with small smile on his face, nervously wonders what to do next)




[quick external of Monk's cafe. Inside, GEORGE and JERRY are in the usual booth]


JERRY: I'm not sure I understand.


GEORGE: He says a couple of words, you can hear him fine. But he launches into a sentence, andhis voice trails off! (GEORGE'S voice crescendos angrily) It gets quieter, softer, unintelligible!


JERRY: What I wouldn't give for that right now.


[enter ELAINE]


JERRY: Hey Elaine.


ELAINE: Hello Jerome. George.


GEORGE: Elaine, you would not believe what a nightmare of an interview I had.


ELAINE: At the latex place?


GEORGE: Yeah. The nutbag who interviewed me trails off!


ELAINE: Trails off?


JERRY: You know, voice gets quieter at the end of a sentence, can't hear the whole thing?


ELAINE: [to JERRY] Like Dennis?


JERRY: [look of realization] Yeah, like Dennis! I had forgotten about him.


GEORGE: Who's Dennis?


JERRY: He used to serve in Elaine's concubine.


[ELAINE shoots him a look; enter KRAMER]


KRAMER: Who wants in on the investment opportunity of a lifetime?


GEORGE: Count me out. I don't have a job yet.


JERRY: Count me out. I have a modicum of common sense.


KRAMER: Well, how ‘bout you, Elaine?


ELAINE: [regretfully] All right. Tell me about it.


JERRY: I am witness to the fact that you in fact asked for this.


KRAMER: I'm starting a talent agency. 


ELAINE: Really?


KRAMER: It's called "Cosmo Kramer Live Entertainment, incorporated". We offer the very finest in stand-up comedy, music, magic, or novelty acts.


ELAINE: This is actually a very mainstream idea, Kramer! And it sounds like you've put some thought into this!


GEORGE: Do you have any clients yet?


KRAMER: Yeah well, I've got a guy, a novelty act.


GEORGE: Yeah? What does he do?


KRAMER: He can blow up three balloon animals at the same time. One, in his mouth, and the other two in his nostrils.


[quick shot of ELAINE looking uncertain about her involvement]


JERRY: [in same shot as ELAINE] Someone get that man a TV series!


KRAMER: Look, Elaine, just think it over, will you? I gotta go. I'm going to go see if Newmanwants in on this venture.


[KRAMER leaves]


GEORGE: [intrigued] Elaine, what did you say Dennis' last name was?


ELAINE: I didn't.


GEORGE: [exasperated] Would you?


ELAINE: Jamison.


GEORGE: [astonished] That's him! That's the guy I interviewed with!!




JERRY: I don't believe this!


GEORGE: Elaine...y-you could help me!




GEORGE: Come in with me. Decipher his language. Translate.


ELAINE: I don't think that's possible.


GEORGE: Why not!? You didn't understand him, either?


ELAINE: No, it's not that, I...


JERRY: Our little heartbreaker didn't break up too well with the Human Fade-Out.


ELAINE: I'm sorry, George. I can't help you.


GEORGE: [rising to leave] Oh, you can help. And you don't even have to go into his office.


[GEORGE leaves]


JERRY: I hope I'm gone by the time he gets back. [quick sip of coffee]


ELAINE: So, Jerry. Got a new girlfriend?


JERRY: Sure am. Having a blast.




JERRY: Nothing. That's it.


[ELAINE looks confused]




[external of NEWMAN'S apartment door. Now inside, where NEWMAN and GEORGE conference]


NEWMAN: So Elaine can't accompany you, and now you think I can be of service. Please go on.


GEORGE: Well, I was thinking that you may know where to go to get some surveillanceequipment - you know, glasses with cameras, microphones. I wanted to go to the second interview with the stuff on. That way, if I don't understand him, Elaine can help me from afar. (becoming more intense) I want that job!


NEWMAN: And why do you suppose a humble postal servant like myself would be able to assist with such...shady dealings? I am a virtuous man, a paragon of righteousness! At my verycore lies a wellspring of such purity that-


GEORGE: (in the style of JERRY) Oh, cut the crap, Newman! We both know you're more crooked than a bag of pretzels! Why don't you just cut to the chase?


NEWMAN: (pauses) Very well, Costanza. This seems like a risk-reward situation: I take all of the risk, you take all of the reward. Sweeten the pot, and do it fast, or this negotiation endsnow.


GEORGE: (in deliberate fashion) I mentioned before that Elaine would be involved in my operation.


NEWMAN: (excitedly) Elaine? Keep talking!


GEORGE: (still deliberate) She, of course, would be monitoring my conversation from a permanent base. Probably would need to be there for a good hour, hour and a half. If you were toprocure the necessary goods, I could see to it that she sets up shop right here.


NEWMAN: OK, Costanza, you've got a deal. I can get the stuff you need - at cost. Will save you a bundle.


GEORGE: You disappoint me, postman. I can talk to people, other people, who can get me the goods "at cost". None of them, though, would gain from having a beautiful, exotic, lustful woman like Elaine inside the cozy confines of their home.


[NEWMAN'S desire is plainly evident during GEORGE'S speech]


GEORGE: Alas, I myself am not smitten by the enchanting, feminine powers of one Elaine Benes. Her melodious voice falls flat on my deaf ears. Her captivating eyes don't hold me fast. Her silky hair could never-


NEWMAN: (clearly rattled by GEORGE'S descriptive) Don't think that your feeble attempt at amind game will overcome me, Costanza! No deal!


GEORGE: That's fine. I gotta go anyway. I think Elaine and I are gonna meet later anyway. No reason, really, just gonna see her whenever I feel like it, like I do practically every day. Maybe I'll have her over. Yeah, that would be nice. Just her and me, shooting the breeze, killing time. I'm starting to take for granted all of the time we spend together. But you wouldn't relate to any of this, now would you, Newman? [checks watch] Oh, look at the time. I've been reminiscing about all of my Elaine moments that I've lost track of time. I must be off now. Good day, sir.


[GEORGE turns to leave. NEWMAN darts to the door, barring GEORGE'S way]


NEWMAN: (spent) ALL RIGHT!! ALL RIGHT! We'll do it your way!! Come back same time tomorrow and I'll have what you need! At HALF of cost! In exchange, Elaine needs to be here for two hours!


GEORGE: (pauses to keep NEWMAN in suspense a while longer; then while shaking his hand, smiles broadly and says) You just made us both very happy today, Mr. Newman!


NEWMAN: Godless devourer of souls!




[to JERRY'S apartment. JERRY calls his parents, MORTY and HELEN]


JERRY: Hi Mom, hi Dad.


HELEN: Jerry! How is everything?


JERRY: Good, good.


MORTY: You sure about that, Son? You got enough money?


JERRY: I've got quite enough money. I'm good!


HELEN: Are you eating enough? How much do you weigh?


JERRY: One hundred three.




JERRY: I was kidding! Lighten up, you two! I'm doing fine! I have no problems to speak of!


HELEN: Then why the phone call?


MORTY: Do you have some gambling debts?


[door buzzer rings]


JERRY: Hang on a second. (uses door buzzer) Who?


GEORGE: George.


JERRY: Up. (back on phone) Look, I've gotta go, I have company. I just don't know why the two of you are so concerned today.


MORTY: Well, you called us, son.


HELEN: This isn't like you.


[enter GEORGE]


JERRY: Sorry I alarmed you. I'll call you later. (hangs up)


GEORGE: What was that about?


JERRY: Oh, my parents are all over me just because I called them.


GEORGE: (concerned) You aren't having any problems, are you?


JERRY: Why do you ask?


GEORGE: Just a little strange, you calling them up out of the blue like that.


JERRY: (annoyed) Just because I call my parents doesn't mean I'm facing a crisis!


GEORGE: Sorry I brought it up. Hey, in all the excitement earlier, I forgot to ask - how's Laura?


JERRY: Laura's great. We have a good time together.


GEORGE: I feel a but coming on.


JERRY: Oh no. No but.


GEORGE: No but?


JERRY: Not one but.


GEORGE: You mean to tell me that there is not one thing, one idiosyncrasy, one quirk, not a single odd bit of behavior, that distinguishes her in a detrimental way?


JERRY: (pauses long enough to consider the question) No. Nothing.


GEORGE: Then think harder! Concentrate! Does she write with her left hand, but use her fork in her right? Does she whistle or hum when she's putting away groceries? Does she stroke her chin when she's thinking about something? Something like that, that's what we'relooking for!


JERRY: (pauses again) I'm sorry, George. Nothing comes to mind.


GEORGE: I'd hoped to come up here and discuss my latest idea about Jamison. But, obviously the whole notion of using spy gadgets to get a job is far too unethical for a man of yourstanding!


[GEORGE gets up and leaves the apartment. JERRY calls down the hall after him]


JERRY: No! Wait George! Tell me your whole evil plan!




[to ELAINE'S apartment. KRAMER is with her]


KRAMER: So tell me, Elaine. Have you arrived at a decision about Cosmo's Live Entertainment? 


ELAINE: Tell me more about this balloon guy.


KRAMER: Oh, he's the real deal. For example, in his grand finale, he blows all three balloons and makes a snake out of it. With the three different colors, it looks like one of those Coralsnakes. You know, "Red touch yellow, thanks little fellow"


ELAINE: Actually, the saying goes, "red touch yellow, kill a fellow". The Coral is very lethal.


KRAMER: Red touch yellow, KILL a fellow? Fascinating.


ELAINE: Do you have anyone else lined up? Any more...conventional acts?


KRAMER: We're arranging to get some hot young talent into the hot young clubs. It's youngexperience all the way around.


ELAINE: Are you interested in getting established acts? You know, like Jerry or Kenny Banya?


KRAMER: Not at all! These type of performers, talented they might be, they've been pigeonholed into a certain audience, a certain club! We at Cosmo Kramer are looking for hot young talent to make their own name! Get a fresh start! Get a-


ELAINE: Get a contract that gives the agent above ten percent.


KRAMER: Giddyup!


ELAINE: Well, (pause) heaven help me, but I'm interested. I'll just need to see one of your clients in action before I commit any money to you.


KRAMER: Absolutely!


ELAINE: Sounds good. Hey, did Newman go in with you?


KRAMER: Oh, let's just say we're in negotiation right now.




[JERRY'S apartment - nighttime. JERRY‘S on the phone again]


JERRY: Yes. Two hundred dollars. [enter KRAMER] I'd like two hundred. First thing in the morning. Thanks. (hangs up) Hey, Cos.


KRAMER: Putting a little action on the football games, huh? You're in the life! It's gotcha!


JERRY: No. Not at all. I just decided to donate a little.


KRAMER: Donate?


JERRY: You know - to a charity?


KRAMER: (looks shaken) Well. How interesting. I was surprised you were in this evening.


JERRY: Well, Laura just wanted to stay in tonight, and I wasn't going to try and persuade her otherwise.


KRAMER: (pauses) You know, something's going on with you.


JERRY: What are you talking about?


KRAMER: Don't you see what's happening here?




KRAMER: Nowadays you're cutting back on the wisecracks, giving money to charity, keeping mum about your new girlfriend, being considerate to others -


JERRY: So what's going on here, Sigmund?


KRAMER: You're maturing! You're acting your age! Next thing you know, you're in a house in thesuburbs, you're in a 9 to 5, you've got the 2.5 kids!


JERRY: (defensive) And what's so bad about that?


KRAMER: Look here, buddy - this is your life, you can do with it what you will! But if that's the road you want to travel, don't expect me to be behind the wheel!


[KRAMER leaves, but returns quickly]


KRAMER: Got any pickles?


JERRY: Check the fridge.






[outside of NEWMAN'S apartment with GEORGE and ELAINE]


GEORGE: (nervously) How do I look?


ELAINE: Scrumptious!


GEORGE: I'm not going on a date! I'm interviewing!


ELAINE: You look fine! Just be yourself, and remember - I'll be right with you.


GEORGE: And these spy glasses don't look dumb?


ELAINE: (her expression gives away that they look dumb) Remember - I'll be right with you.


GEORGE: Listen, Elaine, I want you to know I really appreciate this.


ELAINE: Yeah, well don't get used to it. I'm getting your foot in the door. After that, you're onyour own.


GEORGE: All I need is a foot! Just give me a foot, and I take it from there!


ELAINE: I just don't know why we had to this at Newman's!


GEORGE: That was part of the deal, sweetheart! I'm really sorry. But it's just two hours!Remember - I'll be with you the whole time.


ELAINE: All right. I think I'm ready.


GEORGE: Good. Cause I gotta go.


ELAINE: Break a leg!


GEORGE: You too!


[ELAINE swallows nervously, collects herself, knocks at NEWMAN'S door. he answers]


NEWMAN: [looking as seductive as he is capable of] Elaine. How wonderfully delightful to see you.


[ELAINE smiles nervously]




[JERRY is obviously dreaming, as he is older, with salt and pepper hair and mustache. He is in a nice house, wearing a cardigan sweater and brown slacks. He is sitting at a computer terminal when enter anolder LAURA]


LAURA: Honey, I've made lunch.


JERRY: Just a minute, sweetie. I've got to finish this report for the firm before three o'clock today.


LAURA: OK, but don't let the food get cold!


JERRY: Well, what did you make, Laura?


LAURA: My special meatloaf.


JERRY: (With Ward Cleaver enthusiasm) Well, the report can wait!


[both walk into the kitchen. LAURA begins to serve a plate]


JERRY: Say, Laura, when are the boys coming down from college?


LAURA: Should be after mid-terms, hon.


JERRY: Splendid! Grand! I can't wait for them to come down for a round of golf!


LAURA: (handing Jerry the plate) Here you are, honey. Now save some room for desert.


JERRY: Well, what's cooking, good looking?


LAURA: Pumpkin pie - your favorite!


[JERRY wakes up, sits up with a yell, frightened]


JERRY: I hate pumpkin pie!




[NEWMAN'S apartment]


NEWMAN: So, my lovely - is everything OK?


ELAINE: (shaky) Just fine.


NEWMAN: Wonderful. I have to step out for a brief spell. Will you need anything?


ELAINE: Not a thing! Just do what you have to do, take all the time you need!


NEWMAN: It pains me to leave. But I have urgent business. [leaves]


ELAINE: (frantically, into the microphone) George. George!!


[ELAINE checks the screen. The picture is stationary]


ELAINE: He's asleep.


[ELAINE looks at screen again. The picture doesn't change]


ELAINE: [screaming into microphone] GEORGE!!!


[GEORGE falls out of chair, KRAMER style]




[NEWMAN arrives at KRAMER'S apartment, knocks. KRAMER answers]


KRAMER: What are you doing here? I thought you'd be sweet talking Elaine right about now.


NEWMAN: I'm getting nowhere fast, Kramer! I'm all out of ideas! She has a spell on me. It's all Ican do to even say anything at all!


KRAMER: Well, you'd better be ready for her during your set tonight. She's gonna be there.


NEWMAN: What!?


KRAMER: You gotta be a professional, Newman!


NEWMAN: Well, why does she have to be there?


KRAMER: She's a potential investor. This is all part of the deal!


NEWMAN: This deal's getting worse all the time!




[back to ELAINE and GEORGE]


ELAINE: I feel creepy here, George!


GEORGE: Would you...don't worry about it! It'll be over soon!


ELAINE: There's like a...smell in here.


GEORGE: What's a smell? Every place has some kind of smell.


ELAINE: Yeah... And, he's been doting on me all morning!


GEORGE: Doting is good! I'd like more doting! The only person who ever doted on me was my mother!


ELAINE: Really?


GEORGE: Yeah. I was sick this one time, when I was nine, she coated my chest in Vaporub andfed me turkey broth for two weeks!


ELAINE: Ugh. So how much longer I got?


GEORGE: (checks watch) I don't hour, I think!


ELAINE: Ohhh!!




[in Monk's with JERRY and LAURA]


JERRY: So what are you having?


LAURA: Well, I ate a bit earlier. I'm just gonna skip to desert.


JERRY: What are you gonna have?


LAURA: Maybe a slice of pumpkin pie.


[JERRY looks stunned]




[back to NEWMAN'S apartment with he and ELAINE]


NEWMAN: And that, my dear, is the sorting process. Granted, I didn't go into detail, but you get the idea.


ELAINE: Amazing...listen, Newman, I'd better see how George is doing. Why don't you put on some coffee?


NEWMAN: Anything you request of me, my dear.


[ELAINE leaves the living room to go to the "spy station". She whispers loudly into the microphone]


ELAINE: George! George!! I can't do this anymore! The deal's off!


GEORGE: Wha...what!? Elaine!?


[ELAINE beats a frantic exit from NEWMAN'S]


NEWMAN: Wh-where are you...Elaine? (hisses) Costanza!






[back to Monk's]


LAURA: I think it would be great to do that kind of window treatment. But, you know, that's Martha Stewart for you! She makes it look good. I mean, could I? I don't know!


JERRY: Listen, Laura, I think maybe-


LAURA: Jerry, you know, I think that this is great. The two of us. It's such a mature relationship. There's no dizzying highs, no murky depths, no ridiculous quirks getting in our way. You're comfortable with me, I'm comfortable with you. It's just so...comfortable.


JERRY: I can't do this anymore.




[back to NEWMAN'S]


GEORGE: Elaine? Are you there? I'm about to meet with Jamison! I need you!!


NEWMAN: And I need her here, too. But you chased her away, forced her to flee! You vile charlatan!


GEORGE: Newman?


NEWMAN: I think I'll meet my agent, Cosmo Kramer, a little early. I have a job to prepare for -something I'm sure you're none too familiar with. Ta ta! [leaves]


GEORGE: (hisses) Newman!




[at a comedy club. JERRY, ELAINE, GEORGE, AND KRAMER are at a table together]


GEORGE: So Newman leaves the microphone next to his stereo speakers. There's some polkaplaying over and over and over. Between trying to hear Jamison and tuning out the polka, I just lost it.


JERRY: So what did you do?


GEORGE: I ripped out the earpiece!


KRAMER: I guessed that really put the kibosh on you, eh Georgie?


GEORGE: Nope. I got the job.




GEORGE: He yelled at me. He said, "Your hearing aid must be giving you trouble, huh?"


JERRY: And of course, you feigned deafness and asked him to repeat himself.


GEORGE: I gotta admit, you got me pegged!


KRAMER: Hey Jerry, why isn't Laura with you?


JERRY: Oh, I broke it off today.


GEORGE: What? Why?


JERRY: She eats pumpkin pie.


ELAINE: That's nit-picky, even for you.


JERRY: That wasn't all.


GEORGE: Was I right? Does she hum when she puts away groceries?


JERRY: No. It's just, I was calling my parents for no reason, I was donating money, I was no longer making fun of others. I haven't had a bowl of cereal in over two weeks.


ELAINE: Wow. You were acting quite the adult.


JERRY: Yeah. I didn't like who I was becoming.


ANNOUNCER: And now, making his debut performance, please give a warm Laugh Pint welcome to - Newman!


[NEWMAN strides confidently to the microphone]


ELAINE: Him? This is your fresh young face?


KRAMER: Elaine, be fair. Newman has a very amusing perspective on life.


ELAINE: If I'd have known, I wouldn't have come here tonight!


JERRY: If I'd have known, I would have worn a vest packed with thirty pounds of C4!


GEORGE: Oh, come on! Maybe he's good. Who knows?


NEWMAN: Thank you, Laugh Pint, thank you! Say, who here likes baseball?


GEORGE: (shouting) I love baseball!


[GEORGE was the only person in the room that answered the question. He looks embarrassed]


GEORGE: ...sorry.


[NEWMAN, reacting to GEORGE, looks in his direction. He sees ELAINE with the group. NEWMANbecomes flustered at the sight of her and becomes unglued]


NEWMAN: (haltingly, with stuttering) Uh...because, I don't know, but to me it's gotten kind of boring lately. Er, the - players spend so much time calling time, and - (straining to remember) scratching...


[it's deathly quiet in the club)


NEWMAN: I went to a, uh, mall, the other day. Can you believe that parking? It's like a used car lot out there! [body language asks for audience react; none comes]


ELAINE: Sorry, Kramer. I can't invest in this. [leaves]


KRAMER: Boy. He's really flaming out up there.


JERRY: (very casually) Oh, that's a shame.


[last still of the show with "Executive Producer" credit]




[closing credits. GEORGE arrives at his desk and checks his MACHINE]


MACHINE: You have four messages.


[MACHINE beeps]




[GEORGE grimaces. MACHINE beeps]




[GEORGE rolls his eyes. MACHINE beeps]


KRAMER: Hey, buddy. Cosmo. Hey, you know, you're kind of a funny guy. Why don't you try a little stand-up? I can get you a gig at the-


[GEORGE presses a button, stopping the message. He looks disgusted. MACHINE beeps for new message]


NEWMAN: George? This is Newman. I confess that I was less than scintillating in my debut, but I wish to rectify myself at the Laugh-O-Rama Thursday night. [GEORGE slowly leaves his desk whileNEWMAN'S message plays on] You know, I've got a really good bit about internet fanfics. I mean, what's the deal? These shows aren't on TV anymore, yet people just continue to write for them! Wouldn'tyou have to be a moron to waste your time like that?



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