Spec Sitcom Script of the Damned

Author’s Note: Inspired by an AV Club Newswire regarding possible relaunch of terrible sitcom Full House. So that tells you how long ago I wrote this. 

 

We open on the interior of home in San Francisco. Everything is clean, pristine, pure yet there’s a tint of yellow stain. Like decay from days past. The rot of nostalgia. It is here, in the living room we find two of our characters: an uptight neat freak named Danny and a mannequin brought to life by drugs named Joey. They’re busy cleaning the house in preparations for the return of Danny’s daughter Stephanie, who had been in rehab for a crippling drug addiction. 

Joey 

Uh, Danny, should we hide the carpet fresh? 

 

::Canned audience chuckling:: 

 

Danny 

Yeah. Just put it in the safe with the rest of the household cleaners and cold medicine. Don’t want to take a chance and have Stephanie mistake it for cocaine. 
::Uproarious canned laughter:: 
::Jesse slides down bannister of stairs, crashes head-first into wall, puts hole in wall:: 

Jesse 

Have mercy! 

Joey 

[Pop-eye voice] Well Boy George, looks like you tumbled for YOU! 

 

::Canned laughter swells to wall of sound, it is deafening to the point that ear drums will burst:: 

 

Jesse 

Dammit, Joey! That’s such a fucking terrible joke! It doesn’t make sense! How the fuck am I Boy George? What does Pop-Eye have to do with it? Are you seriously stupid or is it just your Canadian brain is clogged on Tim Hortons donut glaze?! 

 

Joey 

You say hurtful things and I think you don’t want to be friends anymore.  

 

Jesse 

But we’re not friends! 

::Eyes narrow, raises hands to his head, as if to remove it:: 

Danny, how the hell did you ever meet this loser? 

 

Danny 

I met him outside a comedy club. He was giving handjobs for mic time. 

 

::Studio audience whoops and hollers like a bunch of deranged monkeys:: 

 

::Danny examines hole in the wall:: 

 

Danny 

That’s an impressive bit of damage. How is it you haven’t sustained any yourself? 

 

Jesse 

Examine the ‘do! Totally firm from all the hair gel and hair spray. This baby is like my own personal helmet that leaves me looking stylish for all the ladies. 

 

::Strikes a Fonzie pose. Do you kids know who Fonzie is? He was a degenerate scum who rode a motorcycle and terrorized Milwaukee in the 1950s:: 

 

Danny 

Maybe I was wrong. It appears you might have a slight concussion. 

 

::Studio audience is cued to laugh otherwise they will be shot:: 

 

Joey 

So, are we going to address the elephant in the room when Steph arrives? 

 

Danny 

You mean that kilo of cocaine in my bedroom?  I thought I told you to never bring that up? 

 

Joey 

No. I mean…”Michelle.” 

 

::Joey does airquotes as he says “Michelle” but he is terrible at airquotes and instead does his “Cut. It. Out” gesture. Fucking Joey.:: 

 

Jesse 

Why…why are you doing that gesture? 

 

Joey 

Well, because “Michelle” is – 

 

::Joey is interrupted by a convenient ring at the door. Danny rushes over to open the door to reveal his daughter, Stephanie. She’s just as he remembers her, except older, with skin blemishes and scar tissue that didn’t heal properly after years of drug abuse.:: 

 

Danny 

Stephanie? 

 

Stephanie 

Who else would I be, dad? 

 

Danny 

A dead junkie at my doorstep? Come on in and give your old man a hug! 

 

::Joey and Jesse also run over to embrace Stephanie in a group hug that is so sugary, it will give you diabetes, cause your kidneys to fail, and you will die from your pancreas creating too much insulin. You’ve just fucking died. Congratulations.:: 

 

::Studio audience awes as though they’re watching to puppies fight over a bone. Fucking fish in a barrel, man:: 

 

Danny 

Come, sit down on the couch. How was your flight in? 

 

Stephanie 

It was okay. It was peaceful. Except for this one kid who kept crying. Reminded me of Michelle. 

 

Danny 

Steph, I think now is the time to tell you something. You’re older and clean, so this might be best to reveal now. There was no Michelle. You made her up. 

 

Stephanie 

[Shocked] What? 

 

Jesse 

It’s true. 

 

Stephanie 

How can this be? I mean, we all knew she was there! She’s real! I…I don’t… 

 

Joey 

Maybe Dr. Freud would be of some help. 

[Affects German accent] You see, vhen you vere a child, you developed strange behaviors due to your deep sense of isolation. You felt alienated and vanted not only attention for yourself, but to share zat attention mit ein other. 

 

Jesse 

You’re such a fucking putz. I think I’m gonna slice your throat in your sleep tonight. Finally put an end to you. 

 

::Studio audience tries to muster laughter, but, they’re dead. Face it; they had been using canned laughter and the track just died::
 
Danny 

It’s true, honey. See, when you were young, your mother died and you became withdrawn for such a long time after that, we were worried. But then, you created this imaginary friend. A younger sister you named Michelle. For the longest time, we just went with it. We let you have your fun, but then it got stranger and stranger. Especially as you got older and the scenarios became more elaborate and disassociated from reality even further. 

 

Stephanie 

But I remember things so vividly. 

 

Danny 

Well, you were also a heavy drug user, so, that influenced a lot.  

 

Stephanie 

What about the horse? What about when she fell off the horse? That was real! 

 

Danny 

No. You were watching a special on Christopher Reeve. 

 

::Studio audience manages a genuine laugh:: 

 

Stephanie 

So… [Begins to sob]…I was just a delusional child who received no counseling and fell into addiction because my dad didn’t want to disrupt my childhood?  

How ru- 

 

::She only manages to get to syllables out before Danny slaps her in the face:: 

 

Danny 

No! You don’t get to say that! That is just the worst catchphrase! You know what’s rude? Being an ungrateful bitch for 15 years, then disappearing onto the streets of San Francisco trying to find your next fix, abandoning your family and not caring whether or not we’re worried about your fucking safety! So if anyone gets to say “How rude” it’s going to be me! How rude of you to come into my home and accuse me of being a terrible father because I wanted you to live a happy life safe in your own fucking delusion! Because you lost your mother! Guess, what, newsflash! You killed your mother! 

 

::There is a stunned silence as Stephanie looks up at her father, her mouth open, her eyes widening. Jesse and Joey stand in shock as they cannot muster any words at Danny’s announcement. Danny’s eyes narrow, a grin widens, his nose seems pointed, and he leans in towards Stephanie. He begins to breathe heavily. His fingers wiggle until he balls them into fists. He has become the devil:: 

 

Danny 

You going to cry? Go ahead. Fucking cry, baby. Cry hard for me. Cry some juicy tears. Salty tears for old wounds, darling. This is my house. I’m the lord, here. What I say is gospel. You cross that gospel, you get crucified, honey. Ain’t no saviors other than the one between my legs. I’m Jesus in the bedroom. You pray for me to come. [snaps fingers, fire appears in the palm of his hand] 

Darkness is coming, sweet child. The light burns in your heart, but it don’t shine the way to salvation. Bible ain’t nothing but a list of grievances against your creator. I’m your creator. This house is my church, my altar, my shrine, my den of manifestation! [Now hovers above the couch, looking down upon Stephanie] 

You are insignificant. I am true righteousness! [Danny extends his arms, flicks his wrists, and shoots flames down upon Stephanie] 

 

Stephanie 

Dad! No! 

 

::Stephanie runs around the living room, screaming, attempting to hide from Danny’s demon wrath. She cowers behind Jesse and Joey.:: 

Jesse 

Now, Danny! Have mer- 

 

Danny 

[Deep distorted demon voice] You shall die! 

[Shoots fireball blast upon Jesse’s head – goes up in flames] 

You lost your wife to Jerry O’Connell! Jerry fucking O’Connell! 

 

Joey 

Was that called  for, Danny?  

 

Danny 

You’re only famous because of a song about your movie theater habits! 

 

Joey 

[Pop-Eye voice] Well blow me down! Toot-toot! 

 

There is no studio audience. They’re dead. Danny continues his demon rage, laying waste to the house. The walls catch fire and melt like candle wax, revealing true flesh beneath the plaster. Blood seeps and stains the carpets. The walls soon char black and smoke rises high, choking the room of air. Stephanie cowers in a prone fetal position, crying her last gasps of air. 

We zoom out to reveal Stephanie in a solid white “quiet room.” She is muttering to herself. We cut to a scene of a man in slacks, dress shirt, and tie, holding a clipboard talking to another man. 

 

Man with clipboard 

She’s been like this for at least the last week. We at first thought it was a side effect of the withdrawal, but we now believe to be a psychological issue. Possibly schizophrenia. It’s possible it has been there all along and she has been self-medicating all these years to keep it at bay. I’m glad you were finally able to make it all this way to see your daughter. 

Danny 

Well, it’s been rough, especially for the rest of the family. She made it difficult for us, but, I know she had been in pain. I’m glad she’s receiving help and we have an idea of what’s troubling her. I always thought it was her mother’s death. Thank you, doctor. 

Doctor 

No problem at all. I do have one question, however. She’s also been convinced that this “Michelle” is a figment of her imagination. We haven’t been able to confirm, because, well, addicts aren’t reliable narrators. Would you be able to shed light on this? 

Danny 

Yes. Michelle was her younger sister. She died after a tragic horse-back-riding accident. It occurred around the same time Stephanie began using drugs, well, at least when we noticed she had been using. 

 

The doctor pulls out a pen and makes a note on his clipboard. 

 

Doctor 

Thank you, Danny. [extends hand to shake Danny’s] 

We’ll be in touch. You have my information.  

Danny 

Thank you, doc. I will. 

 

The doctor walks away, leaving Danny alone to stand in front of the quiet room, watching Stephanie writhe in the corner, drooling and twitching. He peers through the window of the door. We zoom in on close-up of his face. It is sullen. We cut to the hallway, Danny turns around to reveal black eyes and a wide grin and as he lets out a menacing laugh. 

End Scene