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Ed Cutlip - Gym

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(Ep 1 - "Pilot")

men

Well, people. A lot of you probably think...this is gym class. Huh?
I was overwhelmed by a sudden panic. Things hadn't been going that well so far but if this wasn't gym class I was in bigger trouble than I thought.
Well it's not. People, it's physical education class. Through those doors they educate your minds. In here, I educate you bodies. I'm an educator, OK? A body educator.
Of course, we didn't realize it at the time, but this guy had the biggest inferiority complex since Napoleon.
People, when you leave this class, you're gonna have smart bodies. Smart - (he thumps his stomach) - smart bodies.
He went on educating our bodies for about half an hour. By the time he'd finished I was ready to let my leg take a math test.
One more thing people, before you do your laps. The jock strap: "A", what is it? and "B", what can it do for you? Arnold.
jock This was it. I felt like a fighter pilot under heavy enemy fire.
Well, the jock strap, sir, is a particular...type of strap that's...constructed of a strap type material which is utilized exclusively...for the purposes...of...jocks.
(Sound effect of diving airplane. Kevin bites his lip, while Mr. Cutlip looks off in thought as the sound gets louder. Mr. Cutlip glances away. The boys flinch at the sound of the airplane crashing.)




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(Ep 2 - "Swingers")

(The boys sit excitedly on the floor, watching Mr. Cutlip write on the blackboard. He has just finished writing "THE FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM" across the top.)
The female...reproductive system!
Among the many great historical milestones of nineteen-sixty eight perhaps the greatest was the advent of sex education in the schools.
Now if I hear any giggling, if I see any smirking, this class is over. Do you read me people? Over! Now the female reproductive organs look like this...
(Mr. Cutlip turns to draw. He starts, then refers to a drawing on paper. He turns away from the board to reveal his drawing.)
drawing Unfortunately it looked more like a cow's head to me.
Now, who can tell me what these are? Yes.
The ears?
Apparently I was not alone!
The ovaries. The ears would be up here.
Uh, why don't you draw the whole lady? So we know where everything goes.
Alright.
Suddenly it became very clear why Mr. Cutlip had never been married.
(Mr. Cutlip adds the woman's hair.)
Any man who saw women that way would have no reason to.
Now, the ovaries of course are the site of ovulation!
As Mr. Cutlip went on, one fact became increasingly evident. Sex, in the hands of public educators, is not a pretty thing.
...approximately every twenty eight days. And that, in a nutshell, is the story of ovulation. Questions! Yes!
When do we start football?
Alright, I am going to hand out your textbooks right now, "Health and Human Sexuality".
(To Paul): Textbooks?
For Wednesday, people, you will read chapters one and Two. Do not read ahead. Repeat - do not...read...ahead!

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(Ep 15 - "Loosiers")


People...
Of course, we in the free world need not worry about a totalitarian military, because all our totalitarians are busy teaching junior high school.
When you look back on your lives...I want you to remember today...as the day that we turned you little boys...into young men.
(Mr. Cutlip sets a large bag down. Kevin turns to Paul.)
He's got a dufflebag. I think it's basketball. (Smiles.)
Unfortunately for Mr. Cutlip, our spirits were not yet completely crushed.
If you boys want to keep talking, we can spend the rest of the morning running laps! (Frowns.)
(Mr. Cutlip palms a basketball and waves it in front of himself.)
Would anyone like to tell me what this is?
(A boy raises his hand.)
Cutlip's lap-dog, Joey Harris. The kid had no self-respect.
A basketball, sir?
It's much more than a basketball, Harris. People...
(Mr. Cutlip bounces the ball once, then holds it out again.)
I've got the whole world in my hands. I don't care if you're black, white, red, or yellow. I'm only interested in seeing one player...on the basketball court. And that player's name...is Charlie Hustle. Capiche?
Capiche. At that stage we would have agreed to nuclear war to get on the court and play.
But I can talk and talk strategy. There's only one way...to learn basketball. Diagrams.
(Mr. Cutlip moves to the blackboard with a basketball play diagrammed on it.)
Once again, Mr. Cutlip had fulfilled the sacred oath of the public educator - to take an inherently fun activity, and sap it...of every ounce of pleasure.
So - I want to see heads up offense, and I want to see hands up defense. OK? Questions...
(Shot of the bored boys.)
Good. OK...
(Mr. Cutlip looks at his clipboard.)
Let's see, four captains...Norklen, Simeonee, Rygot, O'Hara. The rest of you boys stand up on the line.
But just in case there was a little fun left in basketball...
OK! Let's pick teams.
We would now be turned loose, on each other.
(Kevin gets picked about halfway through. Paul is picked next to last.)
*

(In Mr. Cutlip's office.)
What's on your mind, son?
Direct and to the point. Just take the bull by the horns.
I'm here to talk about gym class, sir.
Physical education, son.
Oh. Yeah, right. Physical education. I mean, you're a really great teacher and all...but, anyways, about basketball and everything. I mean, it's really great, and, the diagrams are really great...and I'm really gonna try hard, and -
That's the important thing. Never...be satisfied.
(Mr. Cutlip holds out a small bag.)
Jellybean?
But...it's the way we pick teams, sir. (Frowns.)
What about it?
Well, uh...
Come on - just spit it out. You're right in here. Just say it. Simply, plainly, honestly...
I just don't think it's fair, sir. (Frowns.)
What?
I just don't think it's fair.
"Fair?"
(Kevin nods. Mr. Cutlip looks toward the ceiling.)
It was an amazing thing to watch Mr. Cutlip's reaction to that word. "Fair". It was if that simple utterance was cutting through layers of dead wood.
(Mr. Cutlip sneezes.)
fair Then again, maybe not.
Let me get this straight. You're gonna sit there and tell me...that I'm being unfair?
No, I mean, I mean...
Life is not fair, Arnold! The world...isn't fair!
OK...he's getting dangerous...
I have a steel plate...
(He taps his head.)
In my head! (Frowns.)
(He stands up.)
Do you think that's fair?! (Frowns.)
No...no, I don't!
I've been teaching this class since before you were toilet-trained. But if you don't think it's fair...(frowns)...I'll tell ya what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna make some changes. And mister...you better like 'em!
(Cut to gym class. Mr. Cutlip paces.)
Oh, God. That was it. "The look". You remember that look. The one that made it perfectly clear without a word being exchanged, that your teacher...had it in for you.
It has been brought to my...attention...that certain inequities exist in my modus operandi. So today, just to be...
(He turns toward the boys.)
Fair...I thought we might make a few adjustments. We're going to have four new captains. Stetson, Patkus, Grimly, and...
(He looks at his clipboard and frowns, then looks up.)
Arnold. OK, captains - front and center.
Well, I had to hand it to the guy. He'd figured out how to take a situation that had reached rock-bottom...and make it far worse. He'd made me a captain - the perfect torture.
I got Rygot.
I like Simeonee.
Uh, I got Norklen.
As if it wasn't bad enough watching the other kids pick Paul last, now...I was gonna have to do it myself.
I'll take...Pfeiffer! (Smiles.)
(Mr. Cutlip looks surprised.)
Like a flash, it hit me. I'd buck the system. I'd stand up for the little guy. I'd win back the best friend I ever had.
(Paul walks forward and the class laughs.)
Or, say...
Thanks, Kevin - thanks a lot!
Completely humiliate the best friend I'd ever had.
(Mr. Cutlip blows his whistle.)
Alright, Stetson, come on - we don't have all day...
Uh...I'll take Jenkins.
Uh...I'll take Snyder.
Chiapa.
Come on, Arnold! Time's wasting!
Suddenly, the scope of what I was about to do came into focus.
I'll take...Harris!
And so, one-by-one, I picked all the worst kids in the class. Yeah, it was crazy. But sometimes, a guy just knows what a guy's gotta do. And this was one of those times. And when I was done, I looked at them. I looked at my team, and thought - "Good...God. What have I done?"
Just...aim for the basket.
(They play a while, badly, as Mr. Cutlip watches and smiles.)
*

jellybean (Later in the game, Paul insists on getting the ball. Kevin tosses it to him, and they resume playing.)
And then it happened. It was the miracle. It was the impossible.
(Paul takes a hook shot.)
It was the dream come true.
(The ball hits Mr. Cutlip on the head. Mr. Cutlip spits out a jellybean and coughs, then walks to his office. The kids laugh.)
In that instant, that brief ping of rubber against steel, basketball...became fun again.


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(Ep 21 - "Square Dance")


(In the gym.)
Alright - over here! Form up in two lines.
(The boys form a squad.)
What's this all about?
Beats me.
Today people, and all this week, we'll be studying Unit Seven...
(He holds up a book.)
Of your physical education curriculum handbook.
(Mr. Cutlip walks toward the blackboard.)
Unit Seven. It smacked of romance. Far away places.
(Mr. Cutlip pauses next to the blackboard, which has a basketball diagram on it.)
Unit seven.
(He flips the board over, showing the steps for dancing.)
Square dancing.
(All): Square dancing?!
What is it? What can it do for you?
Is this dorky, or what? (Smiles.)
Definitely dorky. (Nods.)
I mean, come on! Square dancing? What, in case we ever crash-landed in the Ozarks.
(Mr. Cutlip blows his whistle. A group of girls walk through the doors.)
On the other hand...
(Paul and Kevin smile at each other.)
It might have its finer aspects.
(The girls giggle as they approach, and form a group. Paul and Kevin smile at each other.)
Yep. Nothin' wrong with a little square dancin'.
Alright - listen up. Now that the ladies have joined us...we're going to assign partners for the week.
(Mr. Cutlip looks at a clipboard.)
Finlan...and Bryce. Step to the center.
This was critical. We were being matched for a week. In seventh-grade terms, that translates to about eleven years.
Kasimir, and...Reeve.
God, I hope I don't get a loser.
I know what you mean.
Pfeiffer, and...Gambowski.
(Paul makes a fist and smiles.)
Yes!
(Kevin smiles and sighs. Heidi Gambowski rolls her eyes.)
OK - so Paul had hit the jackpot. I wasn't worried. Still plenty of fillies left in this pasture.
Arnold...
Here we go! Lucky, lucky, lucky...
And...Farquhar.
And suddenly, my life was over.
(A girl steps forward from the back row. She is wearing dark socks and shoes, glasses, and has three pigtails.)
I'd just been partnered with Margaret Farquhar. The flagship for seventh-grade weirdness. Some people march to the beat of a different drummer...Margaret brought her own percussion section.
(Margaret raises her hand.)
Yes?
cutlip Are we going to do-si-do?
We'll get to that.
(Margaret raises her hand. Mr. Cutlip frowns.)
Yes?
Why is it called do-si-do?
Because that's what it's called. Arnold!
Is that clockwise, or the other way around?
(Some kids giggle.)
Did I ask for questions? (Frowns.) I always ask for questions.
That was Margaret. She could get on the nerves of any teacher. Including Gandhi.
Arnold! Step to the center. Now!
(Randy and another boy push Kevin forward.)
Go get 'em, tiger!
Alright. First things first.
(Mr. Cutlip looks at the book.)
The bow...and curtsy.
(Mr. Cutlip nods at the girls gym teacher. They bow and curtsy, and Mr. Cutlip knocks his cap on her clipboard. Margaret bows and smiles at Kevin. Kevin frowns slightly.)
It was gonna be a long week.
*

(Mr. Cutlip calls while "Turkey in the Straw" plays.)
All join hands, circle left.
Promenade the hall, now don't be shy.
Grab your lady and pass on by.
(Heidi and Paul approach and pass the camera. Kevin and Margaret follow. Kevin looks stiff and uneasy.)
What do mothers know? Let them spend a morning on the slippery slopes of seventh-grade society.
Girls to the center, form a star.
Suddenly, I'd felt singled out.
Boys to the center, same as before.
A marked man.
(Kevin, Randy and others form the star.)
Havin' fun? (Smiles.)
In your dreams. (Frowns.)
Looks like love to me!
Are you kidding! (Frowns.) She makes me want to -
(Sound of a bell, and Kevin pauses and looks off as Norma's voice from the previous kitchen scene plays.)
-Kevin...I expect more of you than that.
(Kevin and Margaret approach and look at each other.)
So, summing up all the humanity I could muster...
Now bow to your partners.
(Margaret smiles as they bow.)
Class dismissed.
I fulfilled my moral responsibility.
(Margaret smiles slightly at Kevin. Kevin waves a little.)
Seeya, Margaret.
(Kevin walks away. Margaret looks after him a moment, then follows the girls out.)
And that was that.
*

(In the locker room.)
Paul, do me a favor?
Sure! Name it.
Let me dance with Heidi today.
Not on your life!
Well, I was on my own. There was only one way to put the brakes on with Margaret.
(Kevin stands next to Margaret and looks away.)
Hi! (Smiles.)
Snub her.
(Kevin continues too look off. Margaret looks forward. Mr. Cutlip calls while "Turkey in the Straw" plays.)
Now take your lady by the...hand.
Oh, I-I sprained my wrist.
(Kevin and Margaret walk forward.)
Heh-heh-heh. Why hadn't I thought of this before?
All join hands, circle left.
(Margaret puts her hand out. Kevin covers his mouth and coughs. They walk around the circle.)
Yep. It was workin'. Like a charm!
(Fade to "later".)
Circle left around the ring.
Braid parade, you're going the right way.
(Mr. Cutlip frowns and has trouble reading the book.)
Braid parade, you're...going the other way.
This...was gonna be tricky.
(Kevin kneels down and ties his shoelace. Margaret pauses and looks at him, then folds her arms, as the others promenade around.)
Alright! Let's try again tomorrow!
(Margaret has her arms folded, and looks at Kevin for a moment, then walks past him.)
Success!
(Kevin smiles.)
She'd finally gotten the message.

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(Ep 23 - "How I'm Spending My summer Vacation")


Men! We've worked together, we've played together. I'd like to think we've learned together. It hasn't been easy...
(To Kevin): This is gonna be a long one.
I've had to push...I've had to yell. Sometimes I've had to double-knot my hard shoes and kick you square in the fanny! Heh-heh. But it's been worth it. Thirty-eight weeks ago you arrived here a rag-tag bunch of softies. Now you're leaving...a hard-boiled cadre of young athletes. That's something to be proud of. This summer, when you're...(nods his head)...out there, think back on the guy who made it all possible.
ed (Mr. Cutlip points his finger straight out at the class, then jerks his thumb at himself.)
Ed Cutlip. Human being, a man, an educator. Sure, maybe he didn't have a Master's degree. But he was fair...
(Mr. Cutlip looks down as he starts to get choked up.)
What's he doing?
(Mr. Cutlip covers his eyes and starts crying and choking. He turns away from the class.)
Oh my God. Was it possible? Cutlip was falling apart before our very eyes. It was horrible. Like watching a bug die on a window sill. Someone had to stop this.
"Boooo-uuhhhhh!!"
(The boys back away from a boy on one end who is throwing up.)
And someone did. Joey Putnam. It was his last act of seventh grade...
(Mr. Cutlip blows his whistle.)
But it was his finest.
Wynan. (Frowns.) Get a mop. The rest of you - sixty laps. That's six-oh! - and no shirking. Let's go. Let's go!
(He claps his hands five times.)

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(Ep 25 - "Math Class")


(In the hallway.)
ropes We weren't the lowest men on the totem pole anymore. We were men...among seventh-grade boys. More importantly, we were men among seventh-grade girls. In social-studies, we talked about Woodstock.
(Cut to gym class. Mr. Cutlip stands next to hanging ropes.)
Men...these...are ropes.
In gym, we were introduced to the obvious.
(Mr. Cutlip reaches up and tugs on the ropes. He frowns and puts his hand in his mouth and pops a blister.)


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(Ep 32 - "Math Class Squared")


(Mr. Cutlip stands with his hands on his hips, frowning at the kids who sit on the floor.)
Morality...is a luxury in combat, men. And "fair"...is for fairy tales. The laws of survival...
(Mr. Cutlip starts to pace and itemize on his fingers.)
fingers Cunning...wits...kill...
(Mr. Cutlip holds out his thumb and four fingers.)
Or be killed.
(He frowns and tucks his pinkie finger back, then puts his hands on his hips.)
Gentlemen...
(He bends over, then stands up holding a large red ball.)
I give you...dodge-ball.
(Mr. Cutlip winds up and throws the ball forward forcefully. Shots of the boys playing. Two boys in profile each throw a ball simultaneously. They step back, revealing Mr. Cutlip.)
Bingo - direct hit.
Of course, in junior high school, you're never too far from the outer edge of civilization.
(Kevin backs up next to McCormick and a couple other boys.)
Hey, Arnold!
McCormick.
You didn't happen to overhear our conversation today in the library, did you?
Why? Worried about something?
Nah, I know you'd never rat on us.
(Mr. Cutlip holds his clipboard as a boy throws the ball.)
Jungle tactics, men. Show no mercy.
I was just gonna say, uh...(gestures)...if you want in...
(Kevin frowns.)
Was he joking?
No...not interested.
Have it your way!
(Mr. Cutlip holds his clipboard, watching the boys in the near foreground.)
Come on, let's see a little offense.
(McCormick runs forward and throws a ball as Mr. Cutlip watches.)
Very nice, McCormick.
(Paul winds up and throws a ball, hitting Mr. Cutlip on the side of the face, spinning his hat sideways. He frowns and straightens his hat.)
You're never going to get away with it, you know that?
Why is that?
'Cause you know Collins - he'll figure it out. And he'll eat you for breakfast! (Frowns.)
(McCormick puts a hand on his chest.)
Wow, what was I thinking? It was a dumb idea. You're right, Kevin.
Come on, focus - concentration...commitment!
All I'm saying is that Collins -
Come on, Arnold. Don't be a dunce. Collins isn't God. He's a middle-aged algebra teacher in a bad suit.
Oh, yeah? Well, this guy was in for a surprise.
Alright - it's your funeral. (Smiles.)
We'll see.
(McCormick ducks as a ball flies past him.)
Yeah - we'd see. At least he couldn't say I hadn't warned him.
(Kevin rests his hands on his knees and looks at McCormick.)
Now it was up to him if he wanted to get -
(A ball hits Kevin on the top of the head, and he falls down. Mr. Cutlip frowns.)
You're out, Arnold!
(Mr. Cutlip picks up his whistle and blows it.)

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(Ep 36 - "She, My Friend, and I")


muscle (Kevin is trying to get Paul to ask someone out, after Carla dumped him.)
In wrestling, men...the most important muscle to utilize...is right here.
(He points to his head, then jumps up.)
How about Allison Heath? I saw her watching you in English.
Too dumb.
OK...Angela Lands. She's smart.
Her head's too...ovalish.
OK - Johnson, Oasley - on the mat!
(He slaps the mat with his hand.)
Jill Simons! She's pretty without her glasses.
She reminds me of a banana. (Frowns.)
So...we narrowed it down to no stupid, oval-headed, or fruit-shaped women.
(Mr. Cutlip blows his whistle at the wrestling boys.)
Concentrate!
Come on, Paul! Are you gonna put down every girl in this class?
Well, no...(Smiles.) Not everyone.
Who did I leave off? (frowns.)
I'd rather not say. (Smiles.)
Why? Why, do you like her?
Maybe...(shrugs)...a little...
This is perfect - you gotta go out with her.
(Paul shakes his head.)
I'm not gonna ask her out.
Paul, who is it? (Smiles.)
(Paul smiles and sighs.)
Winnie Cooper.
(Kevin looks off. Sound of a falling bomb. Fade to a nuclear explosion.)
*

(Another day. Paul has already gone out with Winnie - after Kevin set them up. Now Kevin is upset. In gym, Mr. Cutlip presses a boy down on the mat in demonstration.)
The element of surprise, men. The key...to any take-down. Plan your moves...know what you have to do. (Stands.) As you were.
(He taps the boy with his foot and walks to the edge of the mat.)
Gallo, Dobby. You're next.
OK - I'd planned my move, and I knew what I had to do.
Paul? Your remember what we talked about the other day? About Winnie?
Sure...what part?
Well, the part where you said - all I had to do was say the word...and then, you'd forget about the whole thing.
Oh...(Looks off.)
So, would you? (Frowns.)
Well, that depends. Are we talking hypothetically?
Yeah - whatever.
(Mr. Cutlip blows his whistle.)
This was it. Here was Paul's chance to show where he really stood.
I don't know...a few days ago, I would have said "yes".
Oh, so now you're saying "no". (Frowns.)
No, that's not what I'm not saying. I'm just saying -
Pfeiffer! Arnold! On the mat!
(He slams his clipboard on the pommel-horse and frowns. Kevin and Paul stand up.)
If you're saying "no", why don't you just admit it?!
Why don't you come out and admit that you like her?
Because I don't!
Good! Because I do!
That's enough! Let's see if you can exercise something other than your lips!
(Paul hands his glasses to a boy.)
Here.
(Kevin frowns at Paul and takes a step closer.)
And there you had it.
(Paul takes a step forward.)
Reasonable men - agreeing to disagree.
Alright men, remember, now...speed...balance...science. And...wrestle! (Gestures.)
circle (Kevin and Paul run up to each other, then fall to the ground and skirmish. Mr. Cutlip frowns and watches.)
Hey! Men! Men! (Sighs.) Boys - that's not...wrestling!
Give!
Give!
Give!
I'm not givin'...
(Mr. Cutlip tentatively tries to separate them.)

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(Ep 48 - "Ninth-Grade Man")

I needed help. I had to take action, seek answers.
Come in.
Yep, this is what I needed. A man of wisdom, a man of vision. A man...who taught gym.
Ah, Arnold.
Mr. Cutlip?
What can I do for you?
I uh...I came to see the guidance counselor. Is he in?
Mrs. Dalla Betta is the regular guidance man. I'm just filling in. Temporarily. Till December. Can it wait?
Uh, well...umm...
Relax, Arnold. Take a load off. Have a seat. Right. I understand your hesitation. You're thinking, "Ed Cutlip, a crack physical education instructor. What's a man of action like him...doing in a swivel chair?" Am I right?
Well...
Unusual? Maybe. Unexpected? Certainly. But think of it this way, Arnold, there might be more in this old bean...than meets the eye. Maybe I can even help.
cutlip The way he said it, for one moment, I actually wondered if he could help.
Peanut?
No. No, thanks.
Come on, son. What is it?
It's ninth grade.
Ah.
It's not turning out the way I thought it would. I-I don't have a locker...and my classes are all wrong and...
I see!
You do?
It's a complex problem. But there's a simple solution.
There is?
Maybe I had him wrong. Maybe there was more to Ed Cutlip than met the eye.
So, what do we do now?
Laps!

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(Ep 49 - "The Journey")

(Mr. Cutlip walks in front of the boys, holding a volleyball.)
Men, listen up! Today, we're going to educate your hearts, your minds...and your bodies.
(Kevin and Paul exchange glances.)
Uh-oh. (Frowns.)
You'll need cat-like reflexes...
(He turns quickly toward one boy and fakes tossing the ball toward him.)
Nerves of steel. Most of all...intestinal fortitude. "I" - "E"...
(Mr. Cutlip holds the ball at arms-length in front of his face, then throws it suddenly at his chin.)
Guts.
Along around ninth grade, one thing was clear. In the battle of growing up, junior high school was basic training.
It's time to separate the men from the boys, men. The object...survival. The game...
(Mr. Cutlip dramaticaly pulls blue tarp off a gymnastic balance beam. He hooks his hands in his front pockets.)
Deathball.
(He straightens his hat.)
Any volunteers?
(A series of boys walks across the beam and get knocked off. Eventually, Mr. Cutlip gets hit in the cheek with a ball.)
Not that any of us had actually enlisted in this army.
(Mr. Cutlip catches an errant ball and angrily throws it back toward someone off-screen.)
Still, we'd learned one thing. We'd learned how to survive.
Who's next? (Frowns.)

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(Ep 54 - "The Sixth Man")


(In gym, Mr. Cutlip blows his whistle.)
Men. (Frowns.)
(Mr. Cutlip walks in front of a blackboard that has the word "OPPORTUNITY" written on it.)
Let's talk about...opportunity. The opportunity...
(He knocks dramatically three times on the end of the blackboard.)
To be part of something big. Really big. Bigger than all of us. Gentlemen...basketball try-outs begin this afternoon.
(Mr. Cutlip flips the blackboard over. It reads "Signups". The boys sigh and moan. Mr. Cutlip tosses a piece of chalk up and catches it, then smiles and steps forward slightly.)
Who'd like to play?
Now ordinarily, the chance to play varsity ball...is something any kid would jump at.
(Mr. Cutlip smiles excitedly and raises both arms.)
Hands!
In any other school...
Anyone.
In any other town...for any other coach...
(Kevin leans toward Tommy Kisling.)
He must be dreamin'.
Yeah, no way I'm playing for that joker.
Kisling.
(Mr. Cutlip looks at Tommy and walks toward the blackboard.)
How about you? (Smiles.)
But in the world...
(Mr. Cutlip writes Tommy's name on the blackboard.)
According to Ed Cutlip...volunteers weren't born.
What about you, Hill?
They were made.
(Mr. Cutlip turns away from the board and looks toward a particular boys. He smiles and holds out his hand toward him.)
Martinson. Steele.
(Mr. Cutlip writes on the board.)
Made ya wonder if this was how they picked teams in Russia.
Who else?
(Kevin ducks down noisily. Paul turns around.)
What are you doing?
Shhhh!
Call it wisdom...call it cowardice. All I knew was...I was gonna dodge this bullet.
Pfeiffer.
(Paul turns forward slightly surprised.)
Unfortunately...the bullet hit Paul.
(Paul raise his eyebrows.)
Me?
(Cut to the locker room. Kevin and Paul are sitting on the bench.)
Why me?
I don't know...(gestures)...maybe he thought you were someone else.
Huh?
Poor guy. He'd become a victim of the system.
But don't worry - there's gotta be some way we can get you out of this.
(Mr. Cutlip approaches.)
Ah. Men.
Uh...hi, Coach!
So, Pfeiffer...see you at try-outs this afternoon, hmmm?
(Paul looks uncertain.)
OK. It was clear this kid needed help.
Ah...he can't make it. He's busy with...basoon lessons...after school. (Smiles.)
Huh? (Frowns.)
Hmmm. Didn't know you were a basoon man.
I'm not. I'll be there, Coach. (Nods.)
(Mr. Cutlip walks behind them and slaps Paul's shoulder as he exits.)
Atta fella.
*

(At basketball practice. Mr. Cutlip blows his whistle and holds a clipboard as he watches the players.)
Millman! (Frowns.) Let's show a little hustle, huh?! Shake a leg!
(Kevin enters behind Mr. Cutlip.)
It was time to appeal to a higher power. To use the term loosely.
Thompson! You want a tea party - go to Boston!
(Mr. Cutlip chuckles and looks at his clipboard.)
Mr. Cutlip?
(Mr. Cutlip turns toward Kevin.)
Arnold.
(Mr. Cutlip looks toward the boys.)
I was wondering if we could talk for a second.
(Mr. Cutlip turns toward Kevin.)
See...it's about Paul. Paul Pfeiffer?
Ah.
(Mr. Cutlip looks at his clipboard.)
Pfeiffer...(Frowns.) He's not in any kind of trouble, is he? Drugs? Theft? Armed robbery?
Uh...
(Mr. Cutlip turns toward the boys.)
Good. Glad to hear it.
And...so much for small-talk.
It's just...I'm his best friend...and, uh...(smiles)...he actually thinks you might put him on the team. (Snorts.)
Oh, he does, does he?
Yeah. And...frankly...I think you might be leading him on.
(Mr. Cutlip turns slowly toward Kevin.)
That so? (Frowns.)
Well, yeah. I mean...(gestures)...I play tons of B-ball with him in my backyard, so, I should know. I beat 'em every time. (Smiles.) Ya know?
Course, in some way...I knew I was betraying my best friend. But...
(Mr. Cutlip turns toward the boys.)
Facts were facts.
This isn't your backyard, son!
Huh?
cutlip Pfeiffer...(Nods.) Look at 'em. (Points.)
So I looked at Paul. He still looked like the guy I'd beaten seven-hundred ninety times in a row. The only thing is...he didn't play like him.
(Mr. Cutlip claps his hands.)
Looking sharp there, Pfeiffer!
It was astonishing. This was the man who'd launched a million air-balls in my backyard? I felt like I was watching a total stranger. Some kid I'd never even met. So, I did the only thing I could think of.
That a boy, Paul! (Smiles.)
(Kevin claps his hands.)
Way to go!
(Paul pauses and looks toward Kevin a little bewildered. One boy passes the ball to Paul who drops it, chases after it, and kicks it out of bounds.)
And there ya had it. One word from me...and suddenly, Paul was Paul again.
(Mr. Cutlip frowns heavily, then shaking his head and rubbing the end of his nose with the back of his fist. Paul lobs a long pass.)
Air ball!
(One boy dribbles toward Paul. Paul begins to cover him, then stumbles backward and falls down.)
Oh!
Come on, Pfeiffer! (Gestures.) You're playin' like a girl! (Frowns.)
(Mr. Cutlip blows his whistle.)
Pankus! Get in there for Pfeiffer! Alright - let's hustle it up, now! Hill!
(Kevin walks toward the door.)
After that, there didn't seem to be much reason to stick around any longer. I mean, hey...
Martinson! The game is basketball! Look it up in the dictionary, will ya?! Come on!

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(Ep 55 - "A Very Cutlip Christmas")


When you're a kid, it's simple. Christmas is magic. It's a time of miracles, when reindeer can fly, and Frosty never melts. Then you get older. Somehow, things change. The magic begins to fade. Until something happens that reminds you, at Christmas time...
(A sports whistle blows.)
Miracles still can be found.
(Cut to gym.)
Happy Holidays, men.
Sometimes in the most unexpected places.
(Mr. Cutlip holds up a book.)
In my grasp, is a message from Richard Milhouse Nixon. Gentleman, our Chief Executive has entrusted me, as a physical educator, to make sure you men are performing at, or above, the national average.
(He slaps his hand against the book.)
The President's All-American Physical Fitness Challenge.
(The class groans.)
I guess I don't have to tell you this is an awesome responsibility. Do I. Arnold?
Uh, yes sir. You don't. Have to tell us.
I didn't think so.
(Mr. Cutlip begins writing on the chalkboard.)
By December of 1970, it was pretty clear Christmas meant nothing to Coach Cutlip. While most human beings were brimming with Yuletide cheer, he was brimming with...
(Mr. Cutlip goes down the list he has written on the chalkboard.)
Chin-ups. Sit-ups. The shuttle run. Various calisthenics. And, of course...the rope climb.
(More groans from the class.)
Face it. The guy was Scrooge in a baseball cap.
(Mr. Cutlip sneezes and sniffs.)
Scoozie. OK now, who wants to start?
(He blows his whistle.)
*

(In the locker room, the kids are talking negatively about Mr. Cutlip as he enters.)
Men. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking...you let me down. Well, don't give it a second thought. There's always maņana. (Exits.)
Bottom line - the guy was completely out of touch with humanity.
*

(At the mall, Kevin and Norma have split up for a few minutes. Kevin sees Santa Claus in "Santa's Kingdom". Children are lined up, waiting to sit on his lap. Kevin approaches.)
Now this was more like it. In its own tacky way, seeing those kids waiting at that Christmas mall display, made me remember what I'd been missing.
(Kevin sits on a nearby bench with his back to Santa.)
Step right up here, young man! Up on Santa...Ho, ho, ho!
(Kevin looks at Santa again.)
Maybe it was Santa's hearty laugh. Maybe I was waxing nostalgic for my simpler youth.
Ho, ho, ho, ho! So, Bobby, tell me, what would you like from Santa for Christmas, huh?
Whatever it was, for the first time in years, Saint Nick actually seemed familiar to me.
What's that? A bike? Slow down, Bobby. Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho.
Like a long-lost uncle, who I couldn't quite place.
(Kevin turns away from Santa, as Santa sneezes.)
Scoozie. (Sniffs.)
(Kevin whirls around to look at Santa again.)
(To himself): Cutlip?
Well every young man should have -
(He stops speaking suddenly as he notices Kevin. He abruptly stands up, still holding the boy, and stares back at Kevin.)
It was horrible, worse than horrible. The whiskers, the bells, the hat?
(Mr. Cutlip quickly retreats through a door into the castle behind his throne, carrying the boy with him.)
Kind of a Christmas nightmare come true.
(Mr. Cutlip reappears, sets the boy down, and retreats into the castle again. His arm reaches back through the door to hang a sign reading: "Santa will be back in 5 minutes.")
First time I'd ever seen a teacher outside of school, and he had a pillow strapped to his stomach.
*

(The school bell rings as Kevin is comes down the staircase into the hallway.)
The next morning I tried to block the terrible image from my head. I prayed I'd imagined the whole thing.
(Mr. Cutlip bumps into him walking the other way. They both stop.)
Uh, hi.
Morning, Arnold.
(Mr. Cutlip starts to walk away.)
Mr. Cutlip?
(Mr. Cutlip pauses.)
How are you doing today?
Not bad.
I tried to read his expression. Had he seen me? Had I really seen him?
Yourself?
Uh, great. Great.
Any adventures since last time I saw you, Arnold?
No. Well, I did go shopping at the Brightlin Mall.
Brightlin Mall?
Uh-huh.
Never been there myself. Don't get out that far.
Oh.
(The school bell rings.)
See you in gym class, Arnold.
Uh, yeah, I'll be there.
Fine.
(Mr. Cutlip and Kevin walk away from each other.)
And then it was over. I'd been mistaken. Suddenly I felt full of holiday cheer again.
(Kevin stops and turns toward Mr. Cutlip.)
Merry Christmas, sir!
(Mr. Cutlip stops in front of the staircase, then slowly turns around. Jingle bells begin to ring, and, before Kevin's eyes, Mr. Cutlip turns into Santa Claus, then back into himself again. He nods to Kevin, then walks up the stairs.)
There are few things in life I'll always regret. This was one of those things.
(Cut to gym.)
Listen up, men. Starting today, some of you are gonna have to work a little harder.
As I sat on that cold parquet floor, I felt as if I were on death row.
We begin...
(He slaps his clipboard.)
With the shuttle run.
I knew too much, and I was gonna have to pay the price.
Cornell, you're running first. Then, Porter, you're up next. And, let's see...Arnold.
Yes, sir?
(Mr. Cutlip gestures for Kevin to approach him. Kevin stands and walks toward Mr. Cutlip.)
He'd been saving me for last. Who knew what kind of torture he had in store for me. Grueling sit-ups, excruciating push-ups.
time (Mr. Cutlip holds up a stopwatch.)
How 'bout you keep time?
Sure.
(Mr. Cutlip hands Kevin the stopwatch.)
OK, the rest of you guys, up and at 'em.
(He claps Kevin on the shoulder, walks away, and begins barking orders at the rest of the class.)
And that's when I realized, knowledge was power. All of a sudden, Christmas had come early. It was wonderful.
(Kevin turns toward some of the class members. They are looking at him with disgust.)
Unfortunately, not everyone shared my holiday spirit.
(Kevin smiles at his classmates.)
Come on, everybody, down this end of the gym! Let's go! (Blows his whistle.) Let's go! Move it!
(He blows his whistle again.)
*

(In the hallway, the other kids are giving Kevin a hard time about being Cutlip's pet. Mr. Cutlip comes up behind Kevin, carrying his clipboard in one hand and a small bag in the other.)
Pistachio, Arnold? Red ones.
(He shakes the bag. Kevin looks at the guys.)
Uh...
(He turns to Mr. Cutlip.)
Sure.
Keep the whole bag.
(He hands the bag to Kevin, then walks away. Doug looks at Kevin.)
One of us, huh?
(Randy, Doug, and Tommy walk away. Doug takes the bag from Kevin as he passes by.)
Seemed pretty clear something had to be done.
Mr. Cutlip?
(Kevin chases after Mr. Cutlip, who is humming "Deck the Halls" to himself as he walks.)
Mr. Cutlip?
(Mr. Cutlip stops abruptly, and turns around slowly.)
Can I talk to you? It's important.
(Mr. Cutlip looks around furtively, then walks over to a janitor's closet and opens the door.)
In here.
(Mr. Cutlip and Kevin enter the dark closet.)
Shoot.
(Mr. Cutlip begins pacing back and forth.)
Well, I think we might have a little misunderstanding.
No misunderstanding. Not at all.
Well, I just want you to know that, even though I saw you as -
(Mr. Cutlip stops sharply and turns toward Kevin.)
Well...you know.
(Mr. Cutlip turns on the light.)
I appreciate you coming to me, Arnold.
You do?
Because I wanted to give you these. Passes. To get out of gym.
(He hands them to Kevin.)
You're excused from the President's Challenge.
Yeah, Mr. Cutlip -
Call me Ed. (Smiles.)
Listen, sir, I really don't want to get out of gym.
Playing hardball, huh?
(He snatches the passes from Kevin's hand.)
What?
I'm on to your game now. I've played a little ball in my life, too.
(He rips up the passes.)
Capisce?
(He walks toward the door.)
Uh, Mr. Cutlip, I -
(Mr. Cutlip turns back to Kevin and holds up his hand.)
Say no more, Arnold.
(The school bell rings.)
Looks like it's class time for both of us. (Exits.)
Things were spiraling out of control. There was no telling what a volatile guy like Cutlip might do next.
(Mr. Cutlip comes back into the closet, retrieves his clipboard from on top of the lockers, turns off the light, and leaves again without saying a word.)
*

(A female hall monitor walks up to Kevin, holding a slip of paper.)
You Kevin Arnold?
(She hands Kevin the paper, then walks away. Kevin looks at the piece of paper. It reads: "Mr. Arnold come to my office immediatly Ed Cutlip." The word "immediatly" is misspelled on the note.)
There it was, my summons to destiny. It was time to face...
(Cut to Mr. Cutlip's office. He is sitting at his desk, wringing his hands nervously.)
My executioner.
(Kevin knocks on the door, then enters. Mr. Cutlip stands up.)
Sit down, Arnold. (Gestures.) I have something for you.
(He sits down, reaching into a desk drawer.)
OK. (Sits.)
He was probably reaching for a weapon, a gun.
(Mr. Cutlip holds put a package.)
Fruitcake. I picked it up at the mall. Twenty percent employees' discount.
A fruitcake?
(Mr. Cutlip sets the fruitcake on the desk.)
Just one of the many reasons I took the job...as...Santa. You know, Arnold, to a man who has devoted his life to public education, the opportunity to buy wholesale is nothing to laugh at. (Chuckles.)
(Kevin smiles but says nothing.)
But I don't need to tell you that, do I?
No. I don't think so. May I go now? (Gestures.)
There's another reason.
There is?
(Mr. Cutlip picks up a framed picture from his desk and shows it to Kevin.)
Esther Cutlip. My mother. The woman is a saint.
Uh-huh.
I found myself hoping for the school bell to ring, the sound of the buses pulling up, anything to get out of there.
If it weren't for my support, there's no telling the catatonic state the woman might fall into.
That's nice, sir.
(Mr. Cutlip sets the picture back on his desk.)
Tell me something, Arnold. You ever been inside a Santa outfit?
Oh my God, we were crossing a line teachers and students were never supposed to cross. It was horrifying.
It's hot, and it's sweaty -
(Kevin jumps to his feet, and speaks in an aggravated tone.)
Look, Mr. Cutlip? I don't really want to know what it's like. Your discounts, your fruitcake, your mother, that's none of my business, OK? I'm not gonna tell anyone about you being Santa so let's just forget it. OK? It's forgotten. Please.
(He starts to walk out the door.)
Arnold.
(Kevin pauses.)
Kids like me when I'm Santa.
And right then, for the first time as I looked at the man, I actually saw a human being. Not a great human being, maybe not even a good human being, but a very lonely human being.
Your secret's safe with me, Mr. Cutlip.
*

(Later, Kevin let it slip that Mr. Cutlip worked at the mall. He has gotten Norma to take him to the mall to buy a tie. Kevin wants to warn Mr. Cutlip some kids are going to look for him. Kevin ses the kids coming, and hurries to Santa's Village and is stopped by an elf.)
Hey, hey, hey! You gotta wait your turn.
Yeah, but this is important, I know him!
That's what they all say.
(A boy is sitting on Mr. Cutlip's lap.)
You're a fine boy. Santa's going to give you whatever you want. Ho, ho, ho!
(He sets the boy down.)
Mommy! Anything I want!
Arnold.
(He gestures for Kevin to approach.)
What are you doing here?
Well...I -
You're not going to sit on my lap, are you?
No.
Good. You'd be too old. You realize that.
Yeah. Mr. Cutlip, I -
Ssh! (Whispers.) Call me Santa!
(He looks away from Kevin, toward the children who are waiting in line.)
I came to say I'm sorry.
(Mr. Cutlip is still looking away.)
Sorry?
cutlip55 Yeah. There's a bunch of guys from class coming to look for you.
(Mr. Cutlip turn quickly toward Kevin with concern.)
I kinda let it slip about you working at the mall.
You didn't.
So you probably should hide out in your shack until this whole thing blows over.
(Mr. Cutlip looks around, trying to decide what to do, then freezes. Kevin looks, too, and they both see the students approaching Santa's Kingdom.)
Here they came, the hounds to the kill. There was only one option: head for the chimney.
No can do, Arnold.
What?
Let them come if they must. (Stands.) I am who I am.
I'll always remember that look on his face. He was at once heroic and stupid.
Move along, Arnold.
(Kevin walks away from Mr. Cutlip, and out of the Kingdom.)
There was nothing more I could do. The die was cast. It was Santa's Last Stand.
(Randy spots Kevin.)
It's Arnold! Come on!
Look, guys...
Where is he, Kev?
Might as well tell us.
Forget it!
Fine, we're just gonna have to find him ourselves. C'mon, guys, split up.
(All the students walk away except Doug, Tommy, and Randy, who stand facing Kevin. Mr. Cutlip is still standing in the background, behind Kevin.)
I stood there, helpless, outnumbered. And that's when it happened. Doug Porter looked first, directly into the eyes of the man who had taught him gym for three long years. Then Tommy Kisling looked, too, and Randy Mitchell. Those three skeptics gazed straight at that white beard, dead into the eyes of Coach Cutlip not thirty feet away. But all that they saw...was Santa Claus.
C'mon, guys. Let's keep looking.
(The guys walk away. Kevin looks back at Mr. Cutlip and smiles.)
It was a miracle. He stood there like some patron saint of all the lonely people holidays sometimes forget.
(Mr. Cutlip looks around, then sits down on his throne.)
All right. Who's next to see Santa?
(A girl approaches.)
Step right up here, young lady...
And for that brief moment of Christmas magic, Ed Cutlip got his chance to be what he always wanted.
Your brother's here? Well, bring him up at the same time. I'll talk to both of you at the same time. What a fine-looking family you come from...
(Kevin stands watching Mr. Cutlip, who continues talking to the children in the background. The train passes by with its bell ringing, and blows its whistle.)
And I never gave him away.
Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!

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(Ep 68 - "Graduation")

(Mr. Cutlip approaches to the beat of marching drums, then stops, and puts his hands behind his back.)
Men! I have good news. And...I have bad news. (Nods.)
Ed Cutlip - the man, the educator, the cliche.
(Mr. Cutlip starts to pace.)
The good news is, after three years of long hours, backbreaking work...and total dedication - on my part...you men are ready to move on.
(He turns the other direction.)
The bad news is...
(He takes a few steps, then pauses in front of the squad.)
I won't be going with you. (Nods.) I'll be...
(Mr. Cutlip looks down as he unfolds a letter and holds it up with both hands.)
Here. At the Northeast College of the Great Plains, Indianapolis Campus, Indianapolis, Indiana.
(He looks toward the letter, then the guys.)
Post office box two-four-eight. Beginning in August, I'll be assuming the position as Assistant Athletic Director. The "big time", people.
(He looks off and smiles, accompanied by the sound of trumpet fanfare.)
But before I go...
(He looks at the guys.)
I'd like to leave you with a thought. One to carry with you years from now when you'll look back and think...(smiles)...of Coach Cutlip.
(He looks emotionally toward the ceiling and raises his hands slowly as some "heavenly" organ music plays.)
amen Free at last. (Gestures.) Free at last...
(He turns around, still looking up.)
Thank God, Almighty - free...at last.
We were witnessing the passing of an era.
(He closes his eyes and shakes his fists.)
Amen!

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11/27/14 17:11