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Full Outline - Rocko's Modern Life M.

Olson "I HAVE NO SON" (Half-hour episode)


Synopsis: Rocko, Heffer & Filburt are big fans of a hit cartoon show called MEET THE FATHEADS, about a nasty couple strangely like Ed and Bev... Rocko finds out that the creator of MTF is Ed and Bev's only child, Ralph. Ed disowned Ralph and has vowed never to see him again. Missing his own Dad, Rocko wants to reunite Ed and Ralph. But when Rocko succeeds, his good deed backfires: Ralph loses his "edge" - and MTF becomes the most boring show on TV!

Rocko's living room. Rocko, Heffer and Filburt are watching TV in anticipation. (Maybe a parody of the Nickelodeon logo on a promo tease: "Up next, kids, it's Meet the Fatheads!") It's almost time for their favorite animated show, MTF. Filburt especially is a fanatical fan, wearing an MTF T-shirt, bow-tie, underwear, spats, backpack and hernia truss, while slurping from an MTF slurp-jug; Heffer says he's ordered the MTF colostomy bag for his Grampa, etc. Move in on the TV screen as the show begins - possibly animated in a different style than the rest of our show, perhaps very angular and frenetic. The theme song and opening titles appear, maybe with canned laffs at the gags: "Meet the Fatheads! They're ugly, they're rude, you don't wanna see 'em nude," etc. Maybe Filburt sings along. Today's episode begins, "The Fatheads in Space!" The show stars Ted and Ev Fathead, a loud, nasty couple that strangely resemble Ed and Bev Bighead. Ted and Ev are loud, violent and extremely disgusting. Possible MTFgag scene: Ted and Ev (a grotesque couple who despise each other) float outside in their space suits while Ted repairs their rocket. Ev bitches relentlessly at Ted, who's fed up. He threatens to rip off her air hose when a meteor suddenly whizzes by and seems to decapitate Ev. Ed laughs triumphantly that he's finally free, free! However, one strand of flesh still connects her head (stuck to the meteor) to her neck. The strand stretches to its maximum tensor, then snaps her head back onto her body!THWOP! Back together again, Ev angrily rips Ted's air hose off - and she laughs as his body expands like a balloon via air pressure and explodes. (In short, they're violent, disgusting and pummel each other.)

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Cut to Filburt rolling on the floor laughing, clutching his stomach-shell, pounding the carpet with his fists, tears streaming down his face. It's the funniest show he's ever seen. Push through Rocko's window to Ed and Bev's house. The same show is on, but to them, it's not funny. Close on Ed's fist crushing the arm of his chair. Bev is miserable. Ed screams, ripping his hair out, "TURN IT OFF! I CANNOT BEAR TO WATCH ANY MORE!" Wipe to Rocko's after the show. Filburt the fanatic is recounting his favorite disgusting moments from the show. Rocko's been leafing through MTF Magazine and sees that the show's creator, Ralph Bighead, is from O'Town: "Hmmm. I wonder if he's related to the Bighead's next door..." Wipe to the Bigheads. Ed is pacing in a fury as Bev, strangely vulnerable, trembles. Ed: "That's it! He's humiliated me for the last time! I NEVER WANT TO HEAR THE NAME RALPH BIGHEAD IN THIS HOUSE EVER AGAIN!" There's a knock at the door and Rocko peeks him meekly: ""Excuse me, uh, but are you related to Ralph Bighead...?" Bev bursts into sobs: "He's our only son...!" Ed silences her with a gesture: "I have no son!" Ralph slams the door, flattening Rocko's face. Outside, we hear Ed stomping away up the stairs and doors slamming. The front door creaks open. Bev, sniffling into a hankie, peels Rocko off the door and quietly invites him in. On the sofa, Bev takes a photo album from a secret hiding place and shows Rocko photos of Ralph as a child. Each photo "comes alive" as she narrates how "cute" he was -- while showing Ralph as a completely demented child. (Note: Tthe photos don't show Ralph's face, just hands, hints of his body; we'll reveal R. later. Bev: "He was camera shy as a boy...") Possible gag photos which come alive: Ralph "having fun" as his hand ties rats' tails together; his hand at a funeral drawing "glasses" and Elvis sideburns on Grampa's corpse; his hand at an art museum defacing a famous painting with infantile doodles, etc. The last photo means a lot to Bev: it's Ralph's hand flipping big flies like hamburgers on a barbecue grill. As the scene animates, Ralph burns his finger: "Ooow! Owch!" Ed rushes into the scene as a concerned Daddy and kisses Ralph's throbbing finger sappily.

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Back to melancholy Bev. During these photos, Bev explains that they tried to stop Ralph from defacing things with his ugly drawings, but he refused to stop, and disgraced the family by going into... cartooning! Ed disowned his son. Ralph ran away from home and ended up in Hollywood - where he created MTF. Bev: "Next weekend is our 30th wedding anniversary... but our only son won't be there!" She sobs. "If only Ed and Ralph could be father & son again..." Rocko misses his own Dad and hates to see Ed and Ralph in such a nasty feud. Now we hear Ed stomping down the stairs. Bev hustles Rocko out: "Don't tell Ed I told you that my life is a living hell!" Outside, Rocko is determined to help them: and Ralph back together." "I've got to get Ed

Wipe to Rocko inviting Ed and Bev to a cookout in his backyard in honor of their 30th anniversary. Ed accepts grumblingly because there's free food and dessert. Rocko wants to invite Ralph in person to convince him to come. Filburt shows Rocko a map where Ralph works: "Hollywood!" Travel montage. Planes, trains, buses. A dumpy bus drops Rocko off at BIGHEAD ANIMATION STUDIOS. Rocko stands in awe outside the splendid, magical-looking edifice. Huge sculptures and cut-outs of the Fatheads stand in fountains amid a luxurious garden. It's dazzling. Rocko enters the building. Inside, the studio is as shabby and depressing as the outside is magnificent. Flies buzz around the filthy lobby. Rocko walks up to an icky receptionist, who's obviously on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Echoing spookily down the long dark hall is a crazed man's voice (Ralph's) screaming: "NO, YOU IDIOT! NO! NO! NO!" The receptionist jumps at each scream. Rocko meekly asks to see Ralph Bighead. She trembles wide-eyed, almost hysterical at the mention of his name: "Do y-y-you have... an ap-p-p-pointment?" Rocko: "Uh, no, but, y'see, it's about his parents." She shrieks, clamps a hand over Rocko's mouth and over her own, and whispers psychotically: "Don't mention his parents! I beg of you!" Cut to Rocko walking down the scary hallway to Ralph's office, as he hears Ralph's screams getting louder; each scream is muffled and followed by a door slam. Nervous workers pass by him; the closer he gets to Ralph's office, the more jittery they get.

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Rocko approaches an ultra-nervous secretary at her desk and asks for Ralph. She trembles even more wildly at the name and points a shaky finger at a line of people waiting at Ralph's door. Rocko gets in line. He watches tall people holding papers go in one at a time. Inside, Ralph shrieks: "No, no, no, you idiot!" Then the door opens; the same person staggers out, now bent over and totally frazzled -- with REJECT stamped on the papers. Wipe to Rocko, finally next in line. He nervously enters.

Inside Ralph's office. His chair, turned away, spins toward Rocko, revealing a tiny, nerdy frogman - Ralph! Ralph (an ominous whisper): "And you are...?" As an inside gag, it's Joe's voice as Ralph, speaking terse lines in a quiet, deadpan, Steven Wrighttype delivery. As Rocko babbles nervously, saying he's a big fan etc., Ralph's secretary creeps in to get a drawing approved. Ralph instantly transforms from tiny and quiet to a screaming monster: "No, you idiot! This is terrible! Execrable! Hideous!" He pounds a REJECT stamp on the drawing and she leaves trembling. Ralph instantly pops back to his quiet self (to Rocko): "You were saying...?" Rocko gulps and meekly invites Ralph to the anniversary cookout Ralph just stares and says nothing. After an uncomfortable pause, Rocko fidgets nervously and says that he's sure Ralph would, uh, like to see his parents again... Psychotically quiet, Ralph states flatly that he loathes parents and that Rocko is insane to invite him. his

Rocko sighs, disappointed. Turning to leave, he babbles that he wishes Ralph could see how unhappy his parents are. At this, Ralph perks up: "Unhappy?" Rocko: And miserable!" Ralph perks up more: "Miserable?" Rocko: "Yes, if only you could see them, now that their lives are utterly meaningless..." Ralph: "I'm there." Wipe to Rocko's fabulous cookout: Rocko, Heffer and Filburt, decked out in MTF clothes etc., are getting the grill stoked as a limo screeches up to the curb. Tiny Ralph slithers out. Filburt and a dozen hard-core MTF fans (who have been eagerly awaiting his arrival) crowd around Ralph to get autographs. Ed and Bev arrive. Ed's impressed that such a big crowd showed up for their anniversary. Then the crowd parts in front of Ed, revealing ... Ralph! STINGER! Close on Ed, shocked to the bone.

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Bev screams, "My baby!" She's about to run to Ralph, but Ed stops her with the same gesture as before: "He's not our son! Would a son humiliate his parents in a crummy, lousy cartoon?!" Ed insults Ralph's cartoon, which makes Ralph's temper explode. Ed and Ralph get into a brief, pithy screaming match, insulting each other. They're about to come to blows, but Bev holds back Ed and Rocko holds back Ralph. Ralph shakes Rocko off and looks at Ed with anger and sadness: "Some father...!" Ed seethes back: "Some son...!" Upset, Ralph turns to leave in disgust, accidentally bumps into the barbecue grill and burns his finger: "Ouch! Oow!" He screams and grabs his throbbing finger. Cut to Ed, who's also started walking away, hearing his son scream. His parental instinct kicks in! Without thinking, he rushes to his son and grabs his hand paternally. (It's a replay of the scene we saw in Bev's photo album.) Suddenly close, they look up in each other's eyes in an instant of unexpected intimacy, Ed holding Ralph's hand. Ed softens and whispers, "Son...?" Ralph softens and says, "Dad...?" As tense music builds, we cut back and forth, closer and closer on Ed and Ralph's faces. It's an ultra-tense moment, building suspensefully in a parody of a Sergio Leone shootout scene. Finally the music crescendos and stops! In the silence, Ralph says deadpan: "You wanna play... [longest beat in history] ... catch...?" Close on Ed. A single, tiny tear forms in one eye and slowly drips down his cheeks. His eyes get watery. Same with Ralph. In truth, they're both the biggest sentimental saps in history. They throw their arms wide and hug, blubbering like babies. "Dad!" "My son!" The camera rises and spins on them from above. Butterflies and birds swoop around them. Everybody at the cookout starts weeping and hugging and leaning on each other just to stand up. Mrs. Bighead, gurgling with tears, hugs Rocko so hard she almost kills him. Finally, father and son have been reunited. As Ed and Ralph hug, a Montovani splash of muzak intones as we dissolve to: "Softfocus" slo-mo shots of Ed and Ralph prancing hand in hand through a beautiful sunny meadow filled with butterflies. They each flick their tongues into the air in slo-mo and gulp down the butterflies.

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Cut to Bev and Ed waving 'bye to Ralph as he takes off in his limo. Dissolve to Title card: 13 WEEKS LATER.

Cut to Rocko , Heffer and Filburt gathered together in Rocko's living room as in the opening of our story. They're waiting to watch the premiere episode of the 2nd season of MEET THE FATHEADS. Filburt is ecstatic! Finally, the show begins. Move in on the TV screen. But something's... different. The opening has been changed! It's sappy and (ugh!) cute! show begins -- and it's terrible! Sappy, boring, execrable! The

Filburt and Heffer's eyes shoot daggers at Rocko. "Yeah, nice goin', Rock... Sheesh! This sucks eggs!" Filburt is devastated: "How could you?! You've destroyed my favorite show!" Filburt breaks down weeping. Rocko sighs. He looks out the window to see Ed and Bev watching the same show and also weeping. Wipe to the Bighead's living room. Yes, they are also weeping -but weeping with joy. They have Ralph's photo over the TV. The new MTF show makes them the sweetest parents in the world! Cut back to Rocko as Filburt weeps on his shoulder. Move in on the sappy ending of MTF, now the sappiest, lousiest show in history, as we-Iris out.

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