102 “The Cold Open” (Second Episode)

The Cold Open

“The Cold Open”
Matthew Perry as Matt Albie, Bradley Whitford as Danny Tripp
– NBC Photo: Scott Garfield
Monday, September 25, 2006
Written by:
Aaron Sorkin
Directed by:
Thomas Schlamme
Musical guest
John Mauceri
Dialogue, Quotes, and Script Scenes:
Some of the guys are hanging out in Matt’s office and he is complaining and we see a brainstorming session:
“I don’t have a cold open and unless we find bin Laden between now and Friday night, we’re going to have people’s attention for the open. It needs to be too many things.”
Danny asks, “What does it need to be?”
“Self-deprecating. An acknowledgment and an acceptance.”
“A message from the producers?”
“It should be on a grand scale.”
“What’s a grand scale?”
“A song. A big song, a musical number.”
“All right.”
“It should pay respect to where we are — this studio, this city.”
“Keep talking.”
“I’m trying.”
Finally one of the other three guys in the room gets into the conversation when Tom suggests, “We take this show seriously but we don’t take ourselves seriously?”
“That’s right.” Matt says.
Tom continues, “We screwed up but we won’t do it again.”
Then Cal jumps in with, “Yeah. We’ll be model citizens.”
Matt starts mumbling, “We’ll be a model– we’ll be a model. — you know who did the best frat humor of all time?”
Tom guesses, “Rudy Vallee.”
Cal says it’s, “Groucho Marx.”
But Danny knows the answer Matt wants: “It was W.S. Gilbert.”
Matt then does a take off on a Gilbert line from Pirates of Penzance, “We’ll be the very model of a modern network TV show.”
Which leads Simon to add, “We hope that you don’t mind that our producer was caught doing blow.”
Matt and Danny turn toward Simon. Cal chuckles. Danny says, emphatically, “Yes.”
After which Matt shouts, “Yes!” Then he turns and asks, “What do we have that says legacy of television?”
We also have the complete lyrics for their Gilbert and Sullivan parody on our “Show Within the Show” page.
Just before they go on the air, Danny calls to verify that everything is fine back in the Control Booth. He asks Cal,
“How’s it looking back there?”
“We’ve got a problem.”
“We blew a circuit and there was a small fire. The fire’s out but I’m only gonna have one camera for a while.”
“What the hell are you talkin’ about?! Why didn’t I–”
“Nah, I’m just kidding we’re all set.”
“You scared the hell out of me.”
“It’s a comedy show Dude — welcome back and 30 seconds.”
Description from NBC:
Matt (Matthew Perry) and Danny (Bradley Whitford) have five days to put together their first show, which is receiving enormous media attention and Harriet (Sarah Paulson) tries her best to work with Matt, with whom she’s recently broken up. In the meantime, Jordan (Amanda Peet) puts her new job on the line by facing down pressure due to a controversial sketch. Steven Weber, D.L. Hughley, Nathan Corddry and Timothy Busfield also star.
From TV Guide:
“Matt and Danny are under a tremendous amount of pressure, with only five days to put together their first show. Making matters even more stressful are increased tensions between Matt and his ex-girlfriend Harriet, whom he still feels strongly about. Also, Jordan finds herself battling a religious group (and her bosses) over a controversial sketch…before it has even aired.”

Amanda Peet as Jordan McDeere, Matthew Perry as Matt Albie, Bradley Whitford as Danny Tripp
– NBC Photo: Scott Garfield