Episode 56 - "The Candidate"

(Clip of Richard Nixon speaking at a podium. The "National Emblem" march plays.)

NIXON: Never before in this campaign was there such an atmosphere of hatred.

(Black-and-white clip of people holding political signs "GIVE US ROOSEVELT".)

Everybody know politics is a dirty business.

(Clip of a woman standing next to a sign reading "AMERICA NEEDS EISENHOWER")

(Clip of four women approaching carrying large photos of Harry S. Truman in front of them.)

Yet our greatest national heroes...

(Clip of Dwight D. Eisenhower smiling with his arms raised.)

Have always been politicians.

(Clip of people waving signs at a political rally.)

Maybe there's a reason for that.

(Clip of a crowd of people carrying "TAFT" signs.)

Maybe it takes a certain kind of person to get down in the mud.

(Clips of people waving "Nixon/Agnew" signs.)

And come out with the bricks of statecraft.

(Clip of a sign reading "HUMPHREY".)

(Shot of the painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware river. The camera pushes in.)

After all, in America, they say any kid can grow up to be president. What they don't say...is how.

("National Emblem" ends.)

Cut to


(Shot of a small circular ribbon reading "Becky Slater". Some marching drum music plays. The camera pans across a large banner reading "Vote for Becky Slater".)

In nineteen-seventy, politics was alive and well at RFK junior high.

(The camera pans down to Becky, who walks toward a small group of students.)

BECKY: OK, everybody.

(She hands a box to another girl.)

BECKY: Fan out.

(The group disperses.)

Becky Slater's campaign for student council president had all the earmarks of a political juggernaut.

(A girl puts some campaign buttons on ther table where Paul and Kevin, and Doug and Randy are sitting.)


(The girl pats Randy on the shoulder as she exits.)

(Close shot of the button that says "BECKY SLATER FOR PRESIDENT" as Randy picks it up.)

Not to mention people who could draw straight.

(Shot of Paul and Kevin as Paul hold up a button.)

PAUL: This is a disgrace. (Frowns.)

KEVIN: Paul.

PAUL: An outrage! (Gestures.) The nominations haven't even closed yet, and she's giving out buttons.

KEVIN: Paul, calm down.

PAUL: An election with just one candidate - how could this happen?!

(Shot of Doug and Randy.)

RANDY: Simple. It's Becky Slater. Nobody's stupid enough to run against her.

PAUL (V/O): This is a democracy.

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: We should have a choice.

Poor Paul. A lone Jeffersonian in a sea of teenage apathy.

(Shot of Doug and Randy looking uninterested.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

Me, I was more of a realist.

KEVIN: Paul, it's just a stupid election. No one really cares who wins. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Paul looking at Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: Well, I refuse to accept that.

(He looks at Randy and Doug off-screen.)

PAUL: I'm not gonna vote for her.

(Shot of Doug and Randy.)

RANDY: Me neither. (Frowns.) I'm gonna vote for...

(Close shot of Paul looking at Randy off-screen.)

(Shot of Doug and Randy.)

RANDY: Donald Duck. (Nods.)

(Shot past Randy of Paul and Kevin as Doug laughs.)

PAUL: Very funny.

(Paul stands and walks off, followed by Kevin.)

KEVIN: If you hate it so much, why don't you do something about it?

PAUL: Like what?

KEVIN: Like, run against her.

PAUL: Are you nuts? I'd get creamed.

KEVIN: Hey...

(Paul turns to Kevin.)

(Shot past Paul of Kevin looking at him.)

KEVIN: Your either part of the solution, or you're part of the problem. Right?

Whatever that meant.

(Shot past Kevin of Paul looking at him.)

PAUL: OK, then...(Nods.) Maybe I will do something.

(Paul turns away.)

(Wider shot of both as they approach the return window.)

KEVIN: Fine!

(Paul leaves his tray and walks past the camera.)

After all, if Paul wanted to rage against the system, that was his business.

(Kevin leaves his tray and turns to follow Paul.)

Me, I had other things besides politics to worry about.

(A girl hands Kevin a "Becky button" and walks off. Kevin looks at the button and frowns.)

More important things...

(Kevin tosses the button in the trash and walks past the camera.)

Like, say...

GIRL (V/O): Vote for Becky...

Cut to

Shop Class

(Close shot of Kevin wearing a shop apron, and...)

Hammering nails into boards.

(Kevin inspects his work, the carries the object across the shop. A boy approaches and talks over the general noise.)

BOY: Hey, what's that?

(Kevin steps forward.)

KEVIN: What?

(The boy takes the object. Kevin follows him.)

BOY: Is that a lamp, or an ashtray?

KEVIN: Uh...a lamp.

Actually, it was a towel rack, but...why quibble.

(The boy hands it to Kevin who sets it on a work bench.)

BOY: Looks more like an ashtray to me.

(Kevin sets another piece of wood on the bench.)

KEVIN: Thanks.

BOY: Any time.

(Kevin sits on a stool and looks after the departing boy.)

Maybe I wasn't exactly God's gift to wood.

(Kevin starts sanding his towel rack. The camera pushes in slowly.)

That was OK by me.

(Kevin looks off, then sands some more.)

Like I said, I was a realist.

(A kid walks by carrying a large chess or checkers board. Sound of feedback from the PA. Kevin looks up.)

GIRL on PA (V/O): Your attention please for a a student announcement.

(Close shot of a speaker on the wall.)

GIRL on PA (V/O): The following are nominees for student council president.

(Closer shot of Kevin looking off and smiling slightly, then sanding some more. The camera pushes in slowly.)

Yep, not for me the grandiose dreams of public office.

GIRL on PA (V/O): Rebecca Slater.

(Kevin looks off.)

After all, some were born to greatness, and others...

(Kevin starts sanding again.)

GIRL on PA (V/O): And Kevin Arnold.

(Shot of the speaker as the camera zooms in.)

(Shot of Kevin as a buzzing sound is heard and some blue light is reflected behind him.)

Had just been sold down the river by their best friends.

Fade to


(Shot from Kevin's viewpoint of Paul getting a book and closing his locker in the distance.)

(Close shot of Kevin holding his arm out and pointing at Paul off-screen.)


(Shot from Kevin's viewpoint of Paul looking over his shoulder, then running around the hallway corner.)

(Close shot of Kevin hurrying past the camera.)

(Shot of Kevin running down the hallway.)

Cut to

The Busses

(Shot of Paul walking beside the busses as Kevin catches up to him and grabs his elbow.)

KEVIN: Are you crazy!

PAUL: Now, Kev, look...(Gestures.)

KEVIN: How could you do this to me?!

PAUL: Easy. I just walked up to the administration office and signed you...

(Kevin pauses in front of Paul and pushes on Paul's chest.)

KEVIN: Yeah. (Waves.) Well just walk right back and unsign me!

(Shot past Kevin of Paul looking at him.)

PAUL: I can't do that. the nominations have already been announced.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin looking at him.)

KEVIN: Alright.

(Kevin steps past Paul toward the camera.)

KEVIN: Then I'll do it myself!

(Paul grabs Kevin's shirt.)

PAUL: You're gonna miss the bus. Let's just talk about this first.

KEVIN: Alright.

(Shot of both as they face the bus door.)

KEVIN (V/O): So talk.

Cut to
The Bus

(Shot down the aisle of Kevin approaching, followed by Paul.)

PAUL: Kevin, I've given this a lot of thought, and I think you could be a really good student council president.

(Kevin glances over his shoulder.)

KEVIN: Yeah, right.

(Paul puts his hand on Kevin's shoulder.)

PAUL: Come on....(Shrugs.) You're a regular guy...honorable, ethical, responsible...Just think about it.

(Paul walks past Kevin and the camera. Kevin looks after him off-screen.)

It was the heart-felt support of an old and dear friend. So, of course...

(The camera pans with Kevin as he walks downt the aisle.)

There was only one possible response.

(Kevin pauses at Paul's seat.)

KEVIN: Paul, get off it...

(Shot past Paul as Kevin sits next to him.)


(Paul looks off.)

PAUL: Oh, come on!

(He looks at Kevin.)

PAUL: Give me one good reason...

(Shot past Kevin of Paul looking at him.)

PAUL: Not to run.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin looking off.)

Clearly, it was time to instruct the guy in the basics of ninth-grade political philosophy.

(Kevin glances at Paul and frowns.)

KEVIN: Because, I'd make a complete fool out of myself.

(He shakes his head.)

KEVIN: And I'd be the laughing-stock of the school. OK? (Nods.)

(Shot past Kevin of Paul looking off.)

PAUL: OK, then, if that's the way you feel...

(Shot past Paul of Kevin looking at him.)

KEVIN: That's the way I feel. (Nods.)

(Shot past Paul of Kevin, both looking forward.)

PAUL: OK, then...

(Shot from the aisle of Kevin looking forward and Paul looking out the window.)

And, that was that.

Cut to

Int Day - Pizza Barn

(Kevin approaches Paul and Winnie who are sitting at a table.)

WINNIE: Kevin, you didn't tell me you were running for election! (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen. "Wipeout" starts.)

(Close shot of Paul looking Kevin off-screen. )

PAUL: Hey, I just mentioned it.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: Yeah, well, forget it. (Nods.)

(He looks at Winnie off-screen.)

KEVIN: I'm resigning tomorrow.

(Close shot of Winnie looking at Kevin off-screen.)

WINNIE: Oh, that's too bad.

(Shot of all three as Kevin hands out pizza slices.)

WINNIE: I think you'd make a wonderful student-council president. (Smiles.)

KEVIN: Look, Winnie -

(Kevin sets the pizza tray on the table, then sits down.

WINNIE: Well, why not? We believe in you...

(Close shot of Paul looking at Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: That's what I've been telling him.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

Great. The support of a trusted friend wasn't bad enough...

(Close shot of Paul looking at Kevin off-screen.)


(Close shot of Winnie looking at Kevin off-screen.)

I had the love of a good woman to go with it.

(Close shot of Kevin frowning and looking down.)

This was getting intolerable.

(He looks at Winnie off-screen and gestures.)

KEVIN: Once and for all...it's a bad idea.

(Close shot of Winnie looking at Kevin off-screen.)

KEVIN (V/O): I mean...

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: Give me one good reason why I should put myself through something like that. (Nods.)

(Kevin glances off.)

(Wider shot of all three as Becky approaches from behind them and stands next to Kevin.)

BECKY: Kevin?

KEVIN: Uh, Becky...

BECKY: I just came over to offer my congratulations.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Becky off-screen.)

KEVIN: Well, actually -

(Close shot of Becky looking at Kevin off-screen.)

BECKY: I must say, I'm looking forward to running against you.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Becky off-screen.)

KEVIN: You are?

(Close shot of Becky looking at Kevin off-screen.)

BECKY: This is gonna be fun.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Becky off-screen.)

KEVIN: What do you mean by that?

(Shot past Kevin of Becky as she leans very close to him.)

BECKY: I'm gonna chop you up into little pieces, Kevin. I'm gonna destroy you.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Becky off-screen.)


(Close shot of Winnie looking at Kevin off-screen.)

BECKY (V/O): Think of it this way...

(Close shot of Becky looking at Kevin off-screen.)

BECKY: I always knew you were a loser. Now, everybody else will, too. Good luck! (Smiles.)

(Becky turns and walks away.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Becky off-screen.)

And right then, I had my first taste of what motivates all really successful politicians...

(Wide shot of all as Becky nears the doorway in the background.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Becky off-screen.)


(Kevin looks at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: What would I have to do?

(Close shot of Paul looking at Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: Leave everything to me. (Smiles.) I'll organize a campaign meeting.

(Close shot of Winnie smiling at Kevin off-screen.)

WINNIE: Isn't this exciting?

(Close shot of Paul smiling at Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: We'll get the best minds at school behind you. (Nods.)

Cut to

Int - Arnold Basement

(Clip of the "Three Stooges" as the thems song "Three Blind Mice" plays. Moe jabs Shemp in the eye.)

(Shot of Randy, Doug, and Tommy sitting on the sofa, imitating the Three Stooges. Randy reaches for some potato chips (?) that Doug is holding in a bowl on his lap.)

(Clip of the TV and Three Stooges.)

(Shot of Randy, Doug, and Tommy. Randy holds one hand next to Doug, then playfully slaps him with his other hand. They eat more snacks and look toward the TV as Paul and Kevin walk behind them. The camera pans across as Kevin gestures. Paul holds a large rolled up paper.)

KEVIN: These are the best minds in junior high school?

PAUL: It was short notice. Besides...(gestures)...these guys are absolutely loyal.

Made you wonder if Millard Fillmore started out this way.

(Wayne descends the stairs and stops behind Kevin and Paul, and separates them slightly. He nods to the off-screen guys on the sofa.)

WAYNE: Well, well, well...who do we have here? "Losers anonymous"?

(Shot of the row of guys and the TV. Paul walks to the TV and turns it off.)

(Shot of Randy, Doug and Tommy looking at Paul off-screen.)

DOUG: Hey, that was my favorite part.

(Shot of the row of guys, and Paul who moves the piano bench out.)

PAUL: Nevermind. Let's call this meeting to order.

(He sits on the bench.)

PAUL: We're here to elect Kevin Arnold to be student council president. Any suggestions?

(Close shot of Randy putting a handful of food in his mouth and looking at Paul off-screen, then Tommy off-screen.)


(Close shot of Tommy looking at Paul off-screen as he frowns and chews.)

It was time for the brain-trust to spring...

(Close shot of Doug looking forward absent-mindedly and chewing.)

Into action.

WAYNE (V/O): Wait a minute - I got it.

(Doug turns toward Wayne off-screen.)

(Shot of Kevin and Wayne. Kevin looks at Wayne who pauses and gestures dramatically.)

WAYNE: How about..."Vote...(gestures)...for a scrote". (Laughs.)

KEVIN: Wayne - get out.

(Wayne exits.)

Nothing like your basic grass-roots support.

(Kevin looks after Wayne off-screen.)

DOUG (V/O): Hey, Kev?

(Close shot of Doug looking at Kevin off-screen.)

DOUG: Do you have any more potato chips upstairs?

(Close shot of Tommy looking at Kevin off-screen.)

TOMMY: And a couple more sodas, too.

(Shot of Kevin frowning slightly.)

DOUG (V/O): And could you grab some Ring Dings while you're up?

(Kevin rolls his eyes and steps forward.)


(Shot of Paul as Kevin approaches him and gestures.)

KEVIN: I've heard enough. This meeting's officially over.

(Shot of Randy, Doug and Tommy looking at Kevin off-screen.)

RANDY: Hey, it was just an idea...

TOMMY: Yeah, look, if you don't want our help...

(The guys start to rise.)

DOUG: I heard the had fried chicken at Becky's meeting...

And it might have all ended right there.

(Shot down the row of guys as Paul reaches for his rolled paper in the background.)


PAUL: Wait.

(He stands up.)

PAUL: Guys. Let's take a look at this.

(Paul unrolls the paper and puts it on the coffee table.)

That's when it happened.

(The guys form a circle around the paper. Some horn "heraldry" music plays.)

(Shot straight up of the guys looking at the camera.)

PAUL: It's simple, direct, and to the point, but I think it might work...

(Everyone smiles.)

It was beautiful.

(Shot of the poster which reads "Kevin Arnold - The Right Man For The Job".)

A four-color, Roman-faced testament to hope...and service...and nobility. Plus, it was the first time I had ever seen my name on anything bigger than a report card.

DOUG: Wow.

(The other guys back away, leaving Kevin looking at the poster and smiling.)

And in that moment...I did what every politician since time began has done...I believed my own press.

KEVIN: Cool...(Nods.)

Cut to

Ext Day - The Quad

(Close shot of the poster affixed to the front of a table that Randy and Tommy carry a few feet and set down. "Yankee Doodle" plays.)

(Kevin and Paul try to interest passing students.)

KEVIN: How ya doin'?

PAUL: Have a campaign button.

KEVIN: Kevin Arnold - hope you'll vote...

So began my campaign for student council president.

(Doug steps forward.)

DOUG: Anybody want a button?

Fact is, it was fun getting out and pressing the flesh.

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking at each other.)

Not that there was a lot of flesh interested in being pressed.

(Paul approaches one boy in particular.)

PAUL: Excuse me. Would you like to meet Kevin Arnold, candidate for president?

(The boys smiles slightly.)

BOY: Hey...

(He puts his hand out.)

BOY: Nice to meet you, Kevin.

(Wider shot of both as they shake hands.)

PAUL: No, no, I meant - over there. (Points.)

(Paul smiles and leads the smiling boy forward.)

BOY: Oh, yeah.

(Kevin approaches them.)


(Shot past the boy of Kevin as they shake hands and Kevin smiles.)

KEVIN: I'm running for president. (Smiles.)

(Shot of Paul and the boy.)

BOY: Far out. What are you gonna do if you win?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)


(Close shot of Paul looking at Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at the boy off-screen.)

Hadn't had time to consider that.

KEVIN: I have a few ideas! (Smiles.)

(Close shot of the boy looking at Kevin off-screen.)

BOY: Great! Like what? (Smiles.)

(Shot past the boy of Kevin looking slightly worried and looking toward Paul off-screen.)

So, I tried to put myself in his shoes.

(Close shot of the boy smiling at Kevin off-screen.)

How would he like his life to be better?

(Shot past the boy of Kevin glancing off.)

KEVIN: Well, I've...

(Kevin looks at he boy.)

KEVIN: Always thought we should have a student suggestion box. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of the boy smiling at Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of Paul smiling exagerratedly at the boy.)

PAUL: Now, there's an idea. (Nods.)

(Paul looks at Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of the boy smiling at Kevin off-screen.)

BOY: Wow!

(Shot past the boy of Kevin looking at him.)

KEVIN: Yeah, and the wax they use on the floor? It shouldn't be so slippery. (Frowns.)

(A girl approaches and pauses behind Kevin.)

KEVIN: And, and we should have better locks on our lockers. (Smiles.)

(A boy approaches and pauses behind Kevin. "Battle Hymn of the Republic" plays slowly.)

KEVIN: And, uh...

(Kevin looks behind him and sees more kids approaching.)

KEVIN: The lunches should be longer.

(He looks back to the first boy.)

KEVIN: And the periods should be shorter.

(Close shot of Paul smiling at Kevin off-screen.)

KEVIN (V/O): And, we should have less homework.

(Close shot of the boy smiling at Kevin off-screen.)

KEVIN (V/O): And better food in the cafeteria.

(Shot past the boy of Kevin as he looks over his shoulder.)

KEVIN: And nicer teachers.

(He looks at the boy again.)

KEVIN: And a new football field and better grass.

And suddenly, the ideas were just pouring out of me.

(Kevin looks over his shoulder.)

KEVIN: And better...

Almost as if I had been born for this.

(He looks at the boy again.)

KEVIN: And a new scoreboard.

(Shot of Kevin, Paul and the smiling boy.)

Yep, maybe Paul had been right.

(Shot past the boy of Kevin.)

I was the best man...

KEVIN: Better food...

For the job.

(Kevin looks to the kids behind him.)

Maybe I could actually win this race.

(Kevin looks at the boy again.)

With ideas, concepts...

(The boy looks off.)

Forward-looking thoughtfulness.

(Close shot of a tray of Rice Crispy treats as one is being cut, with a loud sound effect.)

(Shot of the boy looking off and smiling more.)

KEVIN (V/O): ...vending machines with better stuff in 'em...

(Another close shot of the tray of Rice Crispy treats as another one is cut, with a loud sound effect.)

KEVIN (V/O): ...cuter teachers...

(Shot of the boy looking back to Kevin off-screen.)

(Shot past the boy of Kevin looking at him.)
KEVIN: And they should be nicer, and...

(Another close shot of the Rice Crispy treats being cut, with a loud sound effect.)

(Shot of the boy looking off.)

BOY: Cool. (Smiles.) Free food.

(The boy smiles and walks past Paul, who frowns slightly.)

GIRL (V/O): Vote for Becky!

(Shot past Kevin of Becky's group in the distance as he turns toward them.)

GIRL: Becky's your friend!

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Becky's group off-screen.)

It was then that I learned my first lesson on the campaign trail.

(Shot of Becky and a supporter as Becky shakes another girl's hand and smiles.)

Ideas and concepts are nothing, compared to...

(Close shot of the tray of...)

Freshly baked Rice Crispy treats.

(A hand removes one from the tray.)

(Wider shot of a boy taking a Rice Krispy treat from the girl holding the tray. He turns toward some others also eating Becky's snacks.)

Fade to

The Busses

(Shot of the side of a bus. "National Emblem" plays again. The camera pans up to Tommy putting a sign in the bus window which reads "VOTE FOR KEVIN ARNOLD - HE'S JUST LIKE YOU".)

(Shot of Kevin and Paul talking animatedly.)

By the end of the week, one thing was clear...

(Shot of the bus as it pulls away.)

In the great darkhorse campaign of nineteen-seventy...

(The bus across the street had a large professional-looking banner running nearly the full length reading "VOTE FOR BECKY SLATER". The camera zooms in on it.)

My darkhorse was running dead last.

Cut to

School Hallway (Shot of Kevin, Paul and Doug. Kevin is holding out some buttons, and Doug has a tray of Rice Crispy treats. Music continues.)

Not that we didn't try anything to get them to notice us...

(Kids pass by uninterested.)

It's just that while we were trying...

(Shot of a 2 x 3 foot sign hanging from the ceiling of the hallway which reads "CHEERLEADERS FOR SLATER". The camera pans down to some cheerleaders sitting on a table, greeting other kids.)

They were noticing something else.

("National Emblem" ends, replaced by some "cheer" music.)

(Shot of Becky looking at Kevin off-screen and smiling slightly.)

Cut to


(The camera rolls down a row of cheerleaders.)

CHEERLEADERS: Gimme a "B"...Gimme an "E"...Gimme a "C"..."K"..."Y". What d'ya get? Becky Slater!

(High wide shot of the cafeteria. Six cheerleaders are lined up across the background.)


We'd been out-manned, out-gunned, out-cheerleadered.

(Shot of Kevin and Paul at the table.)

Out-Slatered. Not that we were ready to throw in the towel.

(Shot of Randy and Doug.)

RANDY: That's it. (Gestures.) I give up.

(Shot of Kevin and Paul.)

PAUL: What?! (Frowns.)

(Shot of Randy and Doug.)

DOUG: He's right. She's got better posters than us, better volunteers than us...

(Close shot of Paul looking somberly at Doug off-screen.)

DOUG (V/O): And better snacks than us.

PAUL: So? (Shrugs.) We're not doing so badly.

(Close shot of Kevin turning toward Paul off-screen.)

(Close shot of Paul turning toward Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: Considering.

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: Considering what?

(Shot of Kevin and Paul.)

PAUL: I-I just think we have to be patient, that's all. (Nods.) Sooner or later, people will start to notice us.

GIRL (V/O): Excuse me.

(Kevin looks up toward the girl off-screen.)

(Shot of the girl looking at Kevin off-screen.)

GIRL: You're Kevin Arnold, aren't you?

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking at the girl off-screen.)

GIRL (V/O): The one who's running for student-council?

(Kevin looks at Paul and nods.)

KEVIN: Yeah!

(Kevin looks at the girl off-screen.)

KEVIN: Yeah, kinda.

(Shot of the girl looking at Kevin off-screen.)

GIRL: Well, I just want you to know...

(Close shot of Kevin lookling at the girl off-screen.)

(Shot of the girl looking at Kevin off-screen.)

GIRL: You left these...

(Wide shot of the four boys and the girl standing next to Kevin.)

GIRL: On the bus.

(The girl flops Kevin's posters on the table and turns away, smiling slightly.)

(Close shot of Kevin and Paul. Kevin picks up the posters and looks at Paul, then puts the posters on the empty chair.)

PAUL: OK, so Rome wasn't built in day. I still think you're the right man for the job.

KEVIN: Paul, please, don't give me that. (Gestures.) There's no way we're gonna win this thing!

Facts were facts.

(Shot of Randy and Doug. Randy shakes his head slightly.)

It was time to face the truth. Take my medicine...

(Close shot of Kevin.)

Like a man.

BECKY (V/O): Kevin?

(Kevin looks toward Becky off-screen.)

(Shot of Becky as she approaches and looks at Kevin off-screen, smiling slightly.)

And the doctor was in.

BECKY: I just dropped over to see how things were going.

(Wide shot of the four guys, and Becky standing next to Kevin.)

KEVIN: Well...

PAUL: I'll handle this. (Gestures.) For your information, Becky, our campaign is going quite well.

(Close shot of Becky looking at Paul off-screen.)

BECKY: Really?! That's odd. I didn't realize Kevin was still...

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Becky off-screen.)

BECKY (V/O): In the race.

KEVIN: Look...(Gestures.)

PAUL (V/O): Hey, we're doing OK!

(Wide shot of all five people.)

KEVIN: Guys! (Gestures.)

BECKY: Maybe you'd like me...

(Becky smoothes her skirt and sits down on the chair with Kevin's posters on it.)

BECKY: To throw some votes your way.

(Close shot of Becky looking at Kevin off-screen.)

BECKY: Just to make it exciting.

(Close shot of Paul looking at Becky off-screen.)

PAUL: He doesn't need your votes. (Frowns.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

PAUL (V/O): Thank you very much.

(Kevin looks back toward Becky off-screen.)

BECKY (V/O): Well...

(Close shot of Becky looking at Kevin off-screen.)

BECKY: Don't say I didn't offer.

(Becky stands up and turns around. A poster is stuck to her dress.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Randy off-screen, and then down.)

And that was that.

(Close shot of Paul looking toward Becky off-screen.)

It was hopeless. This race was over.

(Paul starts to laugh, as do others.)

(Close shot of Becky walking away. The sign on her dress reads "KEVIN ARNOLD - THE RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB".)

(Shot of Randy and Doug looking toward Becky off-screen and laughing. Others join in loudly.)

(Close shot of Kevin smiling slightly.)

(Close shot of Becky's skirt as she turns around.)


(The camera pans up slightly to Becky, who look around and frowns.)

Maybe it wasn't.

(Shot from Becky's perspective of a boy laughing and pointing at her. The camera pans quickly to the next table of kids who laugh and point at the camera.)

(Shot of Becky looking around, confused.)

(Wide shot of Becky in the center of the cafeteria as kids continue to laugh.)

(Close shot of Becky sighing and glancing around.)

Cut to


(Shot of Mr. Altman near the door as the bell rings.)

MR. ALTMAN: Alright, take your seats, please.

(Shot of Kevin as he sits down.)

Maybe I felt a little guilty about what had happened. But not much.

MR. ALTMAN (V/O): Today...

(Shot of Mr. Altman as he slowly walks toward the blackboard, holding a book.)

MR. ALTMAN: We continue our survey of the Hundred Years War.

(Shot of Kevin, and Becky one row over and one seat back looking toward Mr. Altman off-screen.)

Besides, maybe now we could get down to a real campaign.

(Kevin turns and looks at Becky.)

Based on real issues.

(Kevin turns forward again.)

(Shot of Mr. Altman looking down at the open book.)

Real ideas.

(Mr. Altman reaches up and quickly pulls down a map. On it is a black-and-white photo of Wayne, with the caption "I am Kevin Arnold's brother". "Respect" starts and plays thoughout.)

(Closer shot of the photo.)

(Shot of Kevin and others looking at the photo off-screen. Kids start to laugh. Kevin looks over his shoulder.)

(Close shot of Becky looking at Kevin smugly.)

(Shot of Kevin and Becky as Kevin turns toward the photo off-screen.)

(Close shot of the photo.)

Cut to

Int. Day - Pizza Barn

(Close shot of Kevin's hand picking up a piece of pizza. A large plastic spider dangles from a string. Kevin frowns and pulls the string, which is attached to a "Becky button" hidden under the pizza topping.)

And so began the great grudge match of nineteen-seventy.

(Close shot behind Becky as she moves down the cafeteria line.)

Over the next few days, no trick...

(Becky slows up and looks over her shoulder.)

Was too cheap.

(The camera pans across another girl to the menu board which reads "TODAY'S SPECIAL - SLATER ON A SHINGLE".)

(Close shot of Becky looking at the sign off-screen and clenching her jaw.)

No insult too outrageous.

(Shot of a poster on the wall whihch reads "SLATER'S A TRAITOR", and has a drawing of a stick-figure girl being hung by a rope.)

Pretty soon, though, things stated to get...

(Shot of another poster on the custodian's door. It reads "ELECT THE PIG!! ARNOLD!" and has a drawing of a pigs head ("Oink!") on it.)


(Shot of a poster attached across three lockers which reads "BECKY'S THE BEST", with "BEST" crossed out and "THE PEST!" written under it.)

And as sabotage led to reprisal...

(Shot of the announcement sigh outside school. It reads "B.S EQUALS B.O.")

I came to understand the true meaning...

(Closer shot of the sign.)

Of politics in America.

(Shot of Kevin, Doug and others laughing and pointing at the sign off-screen.)

It wasn't about winning an election.

(Paul approaches and frowns at the sign off-screen, then looks at Kevin.)

(Shot of Paul, Kevin, Doug, and Randy as Becky barges her way past Randy and takes a few more steps, then pauses and looks at the sign off-screen.)

It was about destroying your opponent.

Fade to

Science Class

(Close shot of a box of stinkbombs. A hand opens the lid. The music fades quickly.)

KEVIN (V/O): Stinkbombs?

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking at Doug off-screen.)

DOUG (V/O): For tomorrow.

(Shot of Doug and Randy.)

DOUG: At the campaign speeches.

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking at Doug off-screen.)

KEVIN: What are you gonna do with stinkbombs? (Frowns.)

(Shot of Doug and Randy.)

RANDY: Simple. When Becky gets up to speak...(points)...we set those babies off. (Nods.)

DOUG: Kapowee!

As for my brain-trust...

(Shot of all four. Randy is looking toward other students.)


They finally found their calling.

(The guys walk toward their desks. Paul takes the box from Doug.)

PAUL: You guys are out of your minds, you know that?

(Doug takes the box back.)

DOUG: Hey, be careful!

(They all sit down.)

(Close shot of Paul looking at Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: Look, you don't need this kind of help to win. What you need is a good speech.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.
PAUL (V/O): Have you written one yet?

(Kevin looks down.)

KEVIN: Well...

(Close shot of Kevin's notebook. The page has "SPEECH BY KEVIN ARNOLD" written on it. Underneath that are drawn several military tanks and jets.)

Fact is, I'd been a little preoccupied with form to worry about substance.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: I'm working on it. (Smiles.)

(Close shot of Paul looking at Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: Write the speech, Kev.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

KEVIN: Don't worry. (Gestures.) I will.

TOMMY (V/O): Except, as it happens...

(Kevin looks toward Tommy.)

(Close shot of Tommy looking at Kevin off-screen.)

TOMMY: You won't need to.

(Wider shot of Tommy, Kevin and Paul as Tommy pulls a paper from his pocket.)

TOMMY: Why write your own...

(Close shot of Tommy looking around, then at Kevin off-screen.)

TOMMY: When you can have Becky's?

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Tommy off-screen as Tommy flops the paper onto Kevin's desk. Kevin picks it up and looks at it.)

TOMMY (V/O): See, Amy Broadwell copied it from Becky's notebook, and, you know...

(Close shot of Tommy looking at Kevin off-screen.)

TOMMY: Since you speak first, I figured it's your chance to steal her fire.

(Shot of Paul and Kevin looking at Tommy off-screen.)

And there it was.

(Kevin looks at Paul and smiles slightly.)

The essence of politics.

(Kevin looks at the speech.)

Morally reprehensible.

(Close shot of the page as it is moved, revealing the second page.)

And a guaranteed winner.

(Shot of Paul and Kevin looking at Tommy off-screen.)

PAUL: Wait a minute. Amy Broadwell gave this to you. Just like that? (Snaps fingers.)

(Close shot of Tommy looking at Kevin and Paul off-screen.)

TOMMY: Well, I had to promise her a little something. You know. For after the election.

(Shot of Paul and Kevin looking at Tommy off-screen.)

PAUL: Well, what kind of something.

(Shot of Paul and Kevin looking at Tommy off-screen.)

TOMMY: Hall monitor.

(Close shot of Paul frowning at Kevin off-screen.)

PAUL: We gotta talk!

Cut to

Boys Restroom

(Shot of Kevin and Paul entering the boys restroom as the bell rings.)

Guess I knew what he was gonna say.

PAUL: You're not gonna actually use that, are you?

KEVIN: Well...(Gestures.)

(Paul snatches the paper from Kevin.)

PAUL: Good. I knew I could count on you.

(Kevin turns to face Paul.)

PAUL: That's why I nominated you in the first place.

(Paul holds up the speech.)

PAUL: Do I make myself clear?

(Kevin hesitates, then sighs.)

KEVIN: Sure.

(Paul turns and puts the speech in the trashcan, then exits.)

And there ya had it. Paul as usual...

(Kevin moves to the sink.)

Was right.

(A few notes of "revelation" music plays.)

On the other hand...

(A low cello note plays.)

What did Paul know about it?

(Kevin smiles and turns toward the trashcan. "Revelation music" plays again, and Kevin hesitates and frowns.)

On the other hand, it was up to me to do the right thing.

(Kevin turns back to the sink and sighs heavily. A cello plays.)

On the other hand, in politics, who's to say what's right and what's wrong?

(Kevin smiles and turns from the sink again. "Yankee Doodle" plays as Kevin walks to the trashcan, reaches in, and removes the speech.)

There was no turning back.

Fade to


(Shot of a large sign hanging above the stage. It reads "R.F.K. JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL - 1970 - STUDENT COUNCIL", with "ELECTIONS" diagonally on both sides. There is feedback from the PA as the camera pans down slightly. A large US flag has "1970" in large silver letters on it. The camera pans down to Mrs. Ritvo at the podium. Seated about 10 feet on one side of her are Becky and another girl, and on the other side, Kevin and Paul wearing suit and tie.)

MRS. RITVO: Welcome everyone, to the student council..."Meet the candidates" assembly.

And so, after three weeks of virtual war...it had come down to this.

(Close shot of Mrs. Ritvo.)

MRS. RITVO: Today, we'll be hearing the views of our two nominees.

(Close shot of Kevin in his suit and tie, looking at Mrs. Ritvo off-screen.)

MRS. RITVO (V/O): Remember...

(Kevin looks toward Becky off-screen.)

(Close shot of Becky smirking slightly at Kevin off-screen.)

MRS. RITVO: This is your opportunity...

(Shot past Mrs. Ritvo of the audience. Tommy, Randy and Doug are a few rows back in the center.)

MRS. RITVO: To weigh the issues...before you make your final decision.

(Shot of Kevin and Paul looking toward Mrs. Ritvo off-screen.)

Maybe I should have been nervous, but I wasn't.

MRS. RITVO: It should never be taken lightly.

(Kevin unfolds Becky's speech.)

After all, I had victory in the palm of my hand.

MRS. RITVO: ...handed down to us through generations of Americans...

Becky's speech.

(Kevin smiles as he looks at the second page.)

My ace-in-the-hole.

(Paul looks at the speech.)

MRS. RITVO: So I hope we all bear in mind our profound responsibility...

(Shot past Kevin of Paul looking at him.)

PAUL: So you're really gonna do it. (Nods.)

(Shot past Paul of Kevin frowning.)

KEVIN: Hey. Mind your own business, alright?

(Kevin folds up the speech.)

PAUL: If you say so.

(Close shot of Mrs. Ritvo.)

MRS. RITVO: Now, to introduce our first candidate, his campaign manager, Paul Pfeiffer.

(Mrs. Ritvo turns toward Paul off-screen.)

(Shot past Paul of Kevin as they look at each other as polite applause starts. Paul rises.)

Mr. Holier-than-thou.

(Wide shot of the stage as Paul approaches the podium. Mrs. Ritvo has taken another chair.)

Who cared what he thought? What was he gonna do about it?

(Close shot of Kevin looking over his shoulder toward Mrs. Ritvo.)

Except, of course...

(Kevin looks toward Paul off-screen.)

Bust me in public.

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of Paul looking at him, then looking forward.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

(Paul clears his throat.)

PAUL (V/O): Students, faculty...

(Shot of Paul at the podium.)

PAUL: Let me tell ya about Kevin Arnold.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

Here it came.

(Shot of Paul at the podium.)

PAUL: He may not be the most popular kid in school...

(Close shot of Kevin looking down.)

PAUL (V/O): Not the smartest...or the most athletic...

(Shot of Paul at the podium.)

PAUL: But he's honest.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at Paul off-screen.)

PAUL (V/O): And true.

(Shot of Paul at the podium.)

PAUL: He's every man.

(Close shot of Kevin looking down.)

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: The kid without a name who sits behind you in class. The guy down the lunch line who hates green beans, too.

The funny thing is...

(The camera pans over to Kevin as Paul looks at him.)

Even though the was standing in front of hundreds of kids...

(Kevin looks toward Paul.)

I knew he was talking to me.

(Close shot of Paul.)

PAUL: Kevin Arnold, is someone you can count on to do the right thing. Kevin Arnold...someone who I believe in.

(Shot from the side of Paul as he turns toward Kevin off-screen. Polite applause starts.)

(Shot of Kevin looking toward the audience off-screen.)

(Shot from Kevin's perspective of the audience as Doug and a few others stand up and applaud. Some Snuffy music plays throughout.)

(Wide shot of the podium as Kevin approaches Paul at the podium.)

(Close shot past Kevin of Paul looking at him.)

PAUL: Good luck.

(Shot past Paul of Kevin as Paul walks off, and Kevin moves to the podium.)

(Shot past Kevin of the audience.)

(Shot of Kevin at the podium.)

As I stood at that podium...a lot of things raced through my mind. Things like...

(Close shot of Randy and Doug.)

What it takes to win.

(Doug nudges Randy, and they both smile. Doug shows the box of stinkbombs to Kevin, and smiles.)

(Shot of Kevin at the podium. He looks toward Becky off-screen.)

And what it feels like to lose.

(Close shot of Becky looking at Kevin off-screen.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking down.)

But as I looked at that speech...

(Shot of the speech.)

I realized what I had become.

(Close shot of Kevin looking down.)

Someone I hardly even knew.

(Shot of the audience.)

(Close shot of Kevin hesitating.)

And I knew what I had to do.

(He clears his throat and fumbles with the microphone. Music ends.)

KEVIN: Students...faculty...

(Kevin looks toward Paul.)

(Shot of Paul looking at Kevin off-screen.)

(Shot of Becky and her friend looking at each other and smiling slightly.)

(Wide shot of the stage.)

(Close shot of Kevin at the podium.)
KEVIN: I hereby resign from the race.

(Shot of the audience stirring and ooh-ahhing.)

Guess it kinda took everybody by surprise.

(Close shot of Paul frowning.)


(Close shot of Becky looking slightly confused.)

Becky...and, unfortunately...

(Shot of Randy jostling Doug's arm, and Doug drops the box of stinkbombs.)

Doug Porter.

(Close shot of the box hitting the floor and one vial flying out. Some smoke emerges, accompanied by dramatic music.)

(Shot of Randy and Doug frowning at each other.)

(Close shot of the smoking box of stinkbombs.)

(Shot of the audience, as the camera zooms in quickly on Tommy as he stands up.)

TOMMY: Stinkbomb!

(Wide shot of the audience as they stand up and some people scream. They move toward the aisles.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking surprised.)

Which only proved what I'd known all along.

(Shot of Becky and her friend standing up and looking worried.)

(Shot of Paul looking worried and scrambling from his seat.)

(Close shot of Kevin looking toward Paul off-screen.)

Simply stated...

(Close shot of Mrs. Ritvo looking at Kevin off-screen.)

(Shot of Kevin at the podium.)


(Shot of the audience clearing the seats.)


Fade to
(Clip of Richard Nixon standing outdoors in front of a microphone, addressing an unseen audience.)

NIXON: Like all campaigns it's hard-fought, uh, and I know how hard it is for the candidate to lose...(nods)...and it's very hard for his family. Uh, I think they will come out, however, stronger men as a result of the loss, if they just don't let the loss get them down.

Cut to

Int. School Hallway

(Shot of Kevin coming out of a door into the empty unlit hallway and approaching the camera as some Snuffy guitar plays.)

I never regretted running for president of the student council...

(A janitor is mopping the hall in the background as the camera pans with Kevin.)

Or the three weeks of detention that followed. In fact...

(Kevin pauses in front of a bulletin board.)

(Close shot of the sign on the bulleting board which lists the election results.)

In many ways, I was a better man for it.

(The camera pans down the list - Becky Slater 267, Paul Pfeiffer 12, Kevin Arnold 1, Daffy Duck 60.)

Even though I lost to a duck.

(Close shot of Kevin looking at the board off screen, then turning away.)

(Wider shot of the board an Kevin as he walks down the hall.)

(Cut to wide shot of the hall and open double-doors to the street. A banner reading "Becky Slater for Presidetn reaches from side to side aqbove the doors.)

In any event...

(Kevin enters the side of the frame and walks through the doorway.)

It was time to leave politics to the politicians. Let the ship of state sail on. At least they wouldn't have Kevin Arnold to kick around anymore.

Fade to


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01/27/04 18:20