Original Airdate 4/15/2004
Written by Sally Bradford
Directed by James Burrows
Transcript by Rob Durfee
Eric McCormack (Will Truman)
Debra Messing (Grace Adler)
Sean Hayes (Jack McFarland)
Megan Mullally (Karen Walker)
Laura Kightlinger (Nurse Sheila)
Amy Crofoot (Female Student)
SCENE I: Will's Apartment
[Saturday morning. JACK is asleep on the couch. WILL tries to wake him up.]
WILL: Jack, wake up.
[WILL TAPS JACK ON THE LEG. JACK DOESN'T MOVE.]
WILL: Jack? Oh, no, I think there's a tickle bug in the couch.
[WILL WALKS UP TO JACK AND BEGINS TICKLING HIM.]
JACK: Not a tickle bug! Not a tickle bug! [LAUGHS] Not a tickle bug!
[JACK SWATS WILL AWAY.]
JACK: What's going on? Why am I in your apartment? What did you do to me? [SIGHS] Oh, God. Please tell me I put up at least a token show of resistance.
WILL: Relax, we all went out clubbing last night. You had two light beers, got the hiccups, and made us carry you home.
JACK: All I remember is a strange man putting his hand down my khakis.
WILL: Yeah, that was you.
JACK: [TO HIS HAND] Oh, hi. [TO WILL] Wow, I can't remember the last time I was out that late.
WILL: I know. It was wild. I fell into bed without even flossing.
JACK: We're kind of like rock stars.
[KAREN EXITS FROM THE GUEST BEDROOM.]
KAREN: Well, morning boys. I see we paired off last night. Ooh-hooh. That Grace is a tigress. Girl sure knows how to put a smile in a lady's pants. Heh-heh-heh...
WILL: Karen, Grace passed out the minute she hit the pillow. Nothing happened between you two.
KAREN: Well... That's not what it says on your bathroom wall.
WILL: Which reminds me, stop writing on my bathroom wall. It took me three weeks to scrub off "I heart Mescaline."
JACK: Hey, now, I'm hearing a lot of words... and none of them are "Jack." Remember, this weekend's all about me. I'm the one graduating from nursing school tomorrow.
WILL: You're right. And we're very proud of you. But I've been meaning to ask you, it's been five months. How on Earth are you graduating already?!
JACK: Oh, I had 16 credits from my vacation in Mexico. Yeah, I clouded over the first few days, so I decided to take a few courses from the local medical school. I don't know what they were, because I don't speak Spanish. But, uh, they were handing those credits out like candy. I think some of them even may have been candy.
WILL: Well, thanks for clearing that up. And remind me the next time I have to go to the emergency room, we're going to Canada.
KAREN: Well, poodle, I haven't forgotten that your graduation is tomorrow. That's why I have planned a whole day of beauty for you. Hmm-mm. They'll be manies and pedies, gentlemen's facials, and when you least expect it... a colonic.
JACK: Oh, don't forget. I have to make time to write my speech. I was voted most popular, so I get to speak at the ceremony.
WILL: That's some school you're graduating from. Take credits from a Cancun vacation, most popular gives the speech. Stay one more week, maybe you'll get your pilot's license.
[JACK PULLS OUT THE GRADUATION INVITATION FROM HIS POCKET.]
JACK: Look, you guys. Look it. My name's even on the invitation. See, [READING] "Commencement address by most popular student nurse, Jack McFarland." That's me!
KAREN: Uh, poodle, do you notice anything strange about this invitation?
JACK: Oh, my God, they spelled my name wrong!
WILL: No, they didn't.
JACK: Oh. Heh-heh. Then what?
WILL: Well, it says the ceremony's on Saturday, not Sunday. Today is Saturday.
JACK: Oh, my God, I must've read it wrong. Oh, no. Oh, my God!
[JACK PANICS AND BEGINS RUNNING AROUND LIKE A CRAZY PERSON.]
JACK: Oh, my God, oh, my God!
[JACK RUNS OUT OF THE APARTMENT.]
WILL: God, I haven't seen him run like that since he wore Capezios in the Bronx.
SCENE II: Will's Apartment
[JACK is sitting in a chair as WILL fixes his hair.]
JACK: Hurry up, Will! I know it's a challenge. You're probably not used to working with this much hair.
WILL: Yeah, well, we'd be a lot further ahead if you hadn't insisted we try the "Rachel" first.
[KAREN EXITS FROM THE GUEST BEDROOM.]
KAREN: Uh... Will, I tried to wake Grace, but she's sleeping like a log. And there's ants on her, and she's lying in a shallow pool of water.
WILL: Forget about her. We'll wake her later. She only needs like three minutes anyway. Two swipes of Right Guard and a stick of Trident, she's good to go for any occasion.
[WILL WALKS BACK INTO HIS BEDROOM.]
KAREN: Okay, Jackie. Let's suit up. I stole this out of Will's closet.
[KAREN HELPS JACK PUT ON A SUIT COAT.]
KAREN: Why does he have a Peter Pan outfit in there?
JACK: We went to Sandy Duncan's yard sale.
JACK: Yeah, I picked up a "Hogan Family" crew jacket for just ten bucks.
KAREN: [LAUGHS] Fags are a hoot.
[JACK BUTTONS THE JACKET. IT'S A LITTLE TOO SMALL.]
JACK: Hmm, this fits a little snug. But that's impossible. Will's like three times my size. Here, I'll just do one button. Maybe that'll help. Darn it! It's still too tight! What's going on?!
KAREN: Poodle, it's nothing to worry about. It's probably just monthly bloat.
JACK: [NODS] Okay.
KAREN: I just got mine, and now you're getting yours. You know, when gals hang around together as much as we do... they tend to sync up.
JACK: [WHEW] At least there's a reason for it.
[WILL ENTERS THE LIVING ROOM.]
WILL: [TO JACK] Hey, is that my jacket? Looks a little tight on you.
JACK: Hey, why you frontin'? I could fit two of me in one of your Marlon Brando size jackets. [POINTS HIS FINGER AT WILL] Nonsense.
[JACK EXITS INTO THE BATHROOM.]
KAREN: [TO WILL] Oh, gosh. I'm proud of our little boy. Graduating from school. Could I be honest with you, Will? I've always thought that Jack was an idiot.
WILL: Well, now that idiot will hold other people's lives in the palm of his hand.
KAREN: Will, can I kiss you?
WILL: All right.
[KAREN KISSES WILL ON THE LIPS AND GIGGLES.]
[JACK ENTERS FROM THE BATHROOM.]
WILL: Hey, lookin' good. Pants look a little tight, though.
JACK: [HOLDING BREATH] No, they're not. And stop trying to project your morbid obesity onto me.
WILL: Okay. Guess I've been wearing them wrong. You know, buttoning and zipping them all these years.
KAREN: All right, we're dressed, we're coiffed. You had your surprise colonic.
JACK: And you were right, Karen. I did not see that coming.
WILL: Nor I.
KAREN: Now all you need is your speech.
JACK: Oh, my God, I forgot to write my speech! [PANICKING] Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oh--!
WILL: Jack, Jack. Jack, Jack, Jack, Jack, Jack. It's okay. You can do this. Just talk about why you got into nursing.
JACK: I don't know why. I just kind of stumbled into it. I'm not like you. You've always wanted to be a lawyer. Ever since you were an angry, argumentative baby in pin-striped diapers.
WILL: That's not true. I actually started out as a playwright, and then I went into law.
JACK: Playwright?! [SCOFFS] You talkin' about that stupid little play you wrote about being pimply and closeted?
WILL: For your information, that "stupid little play" was my coming out story, Bye-Bisexual. That play was genius. You--you-- My playwrighting professor, Craig, even said so. He told me that I was a great writer, and any man would be lucky to have me. He even took me to a wine bar and then back to his apartment to discuss it. [REALIZES] Wait.
KAREN: So you wrote a bad play, and you were molested. Welcome to the theater.
JACK: Can we get back to my speech, please? I only have an hour.
WILL: You know, I think I may still have a copy of Bye-Bisexual in a satin box with all of Craig's letters.
[WILL RUNS OFF TO HIS BEDROOM.]
JACK: So, Karen, what should be in my speech? I want it to be memorable. It should have a catch phrase like "I have a dream" or "Whoomp, there it is."
KAREN: Well... Why don't you write about how you wanted to become a nurse because you love helping people.
[JACK AND KAREN LAUGH HYSTERICALLY.]
JACK: Good one, Karen. Come on, Karen. Be serious. How does anybody know why they do what they do?
KAREN: [SIGHS] Well, Jackie, let me tell you my story. Maybe it'll inspire you. Now... God didn't give me the ability to play the piano, or paint a picture, or have compassion. [SIGHS] But... he did give me the ability to crack a walnut with my hoo-ha.
KAREN: Hmm-mm. Here, let me show you.
[KAREN REACHES FOR A WALNUT FROM THE BOWL ON THE COFFEE TABLE. WILL RUNS IN WITH HIS PLAY.]
WILL: Got it! Boy, are you guys in for a treat. Listen to this poetry, even in the opening stage direction.
WILL: [READING] "Darkness, a sliver of light finds its way upon the stage and lands on a dark chair. Because it is somewhat dark, we cannot see the whole chair. More light appears and inhabits the entire chair. Now we can see it. A dark chair on a dark stage with some light. Dim." [TO JACK AND KAREN] Huh?
KAREN: Jackie, could you beat me over the head with that candlestick until I black out and die?
WILL: You wouldn't know good writing if it slapped you in the face.
KAREN: Jackie, once I'm dead, could you see to it that I'm slapped in the face?
WILL: Come on, it gets better after the, uh, first five pages of stage directions. Here, here, here. [READING] "Chad, evasively: I don't know why I don't have a girlfriend, Dad. I-I guess I just haven't met the right--dot, dot, dot--person yet. But when I meet that--beat--person, I'll introduce you to--beat--them." Then he addresses the audience. [READING] "There is no them. Them is he. I'm gay! Why can't I tell anyone?" God, this is awful.
JACK: I know, it should've been called Bye-Bye Talent.
KAREN: That's a good one.
WILL: I can't believe this. All these years, I really thought I had talent. It's--it's one of the main reasons I feel superior to people.
JACK: Hey, don't be so hard on yourself. You were only 18. That's like the ninth grade. Hey, I bet if you tried writing now, with all your life experience and maturity, you'd be a hell of a lot better.
WILL: I don't know.
JACK: Sure you would. Hey. Why don't you take a crack at writing my speech, huh? Yeah, I bet when I read it, if people are moved, you'll know you really do have something.
WILL: That's not a bad idea. I could write it in the limo.
KAREN: Yeah, honey, why don't you go grab your lucky pen?
WILL: How do you know I have a lucky pen?
KAREN: Your kind always does.
[WILL WALKS BACK INTO HIS BEDROOM.]
JACK: [TO KAREN] Ha ha! Did you see that, Karen? Did you see how I tricked Will into doing my speech by pretending to care about his writing?
KAREN: I did. Honey, I was proud of you.
JACK: Hey, can I be honest with you, Karen? I've always thought Will was an idiot.
KAREN: Oh, my God, honey! I just said the same thing about you a minute ago.
JACK: [GASPS] Hello! Reason we're friends!
SCENE III: Karen's Limousine
[JACK, WILL, AND KAREN ARE SITTING IN THE LIMOUSINE DRIVING TO THE GRADUATION CEREMONY. KAREN IS FILING HER NAILS. WILL HAS A PAD OF PAPER AND A PEN AND IS TRYING TO HELP JACK WRITE HIS SPEECH.]
WILL: Speech, speech. So, uh, Jack, what was the inciting incident that got you into nursing?
JACK: Well... I met a cute guy in a nurse's outfit and followed him into the bathroom.
WILL: Okay, inquisitive. [WRITING] "Always had an inquisitive nature." Go on.
JACK: And then I looked over the stall and said "good for you."
WILL: "Always had an appreciation of anatomy." Now, were there any nurses that influenced you growing up?
JACK: That would probably have to be Diahann Carroll on "Julia." She inspired me to be a beautiful, elegant black woman. And a nurse.
KAREN: You know, I worked with Diahann on my two-episode arc of "Dynasty."
KAREN: Yeah, couldn't remember her blocking.
WILL: Okay, how 'bout something like this? [READING] "Welcome. Picture this. A child in front of a television set fascinated by nurses saving lives. Picture this. The child grown older now. Inquisitive. Now, picture this--"
KAREN: Honey, picture this. This emery board going into your eye.
[A BIT LATER.]
WILL: All right, let me read what I have so far. [READING] "I wasn't always a nurse, you know. I was an actor, then a cater waiter, then an actor, then a cater waiter, then a singer, then an actor, then a cater waiter." What do you think?
JACK: Will, I don't know if this helps you or not. But while I was in nursing school, I was a cater waiter.
WILL: Ooh, okay. How 'bout this? "It's like I was born to serve others."
KAREN: Honey, you're on to something.
JACK: Ooh, I like it too. Just add the word "chicken" on the end of the sentence.
KAREN: [LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW] Hey, it's Rosario. Driver, pull over.
[THE LIMOUSINE COMES TO A STOP. THE DOOR OPENS AND ROSARIO GETS IN. THE LIMO BEGINS TO DRIVE OFF.]
KAREN: Hi, honey. You look good. I like those knee-highs. Are they opaque?
[ROSARIO IS WEARING BLACK KNEE-HIGHS.]
ROSARIO: Forget it. You're not getting my hoagie.
KAREN: Then nobody does.
[KAREN SNATCHES THE BAG OUT OF ROSARIO'S HAND AND THROWS IT OUT THE WINDOW.]
JACK: [TO ROSARIO] Uh, did you get my wrist corsage?
ROSARIO: Yes, I did.
[ROSARIO PULLS A CORSAGE OUT OF HER PURSE AND GIVES IT TO JACK.]
JACK: Okay. Oh, thank you. God, could you imagine if I graduate without any flowers on my wrist? I'd be the laughing stock of all the nurses in all the land.
WILL: Okay. I think I got it. You ready?
ROSARIO: What's going on?
KAREN: Oh. Let me get you up to speed. I own you. And what we're doing is none of your business.
ROSARIO: Lady, don't be surprised if your martinis smell of Clorox tonight.
WILL: Hey, hey, hey, guys. Come on. Okay, now, when you step up to the podium, make sure you have everybody's attention. Then you begin. [READING] "Friends, parents, and classmates, today I'd like to talk to you about what it means to follow your heart... "
WILL: [READING] "And it's no coincidence that nurses, like angels, wear white."
WILL: What do you think?
JACK: It's really good.
WILL: Yeah? Wh--what about you guys?
KAREN: Will, can I kiss you again?
SCENE IV: The Student Nurse Graduation Ceremony
[JACK, WILL, KAREN AND ROSARIO ARE SITTING AMONG THE AUDIENCE.]
[A NURSE IS AT THE PODIUM SINGING "HURT SO GOOD" BY JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP.]
WOMAN: Hurt so good. Come on, baby, make it hurt so good. Sometimes love don't feel like it should. You make it, ugh, ugh, hurt so good.
[cheers and applause]
WILL: [TO JACK] This school is accredited, right?
JACK: Oh, my God, I'm next. I'm so nervous. I wish I had a prop. Does anybody have a parasol and two spoiled English children?
KAREN: Honey, you don't need any props. Just open with an insensitive racial remark. They love it.
WILL: No! No props, no remarks. Just trust the words. Do it like you did it in the limo. People will love you. Here, I've put marks where you should hold for laughs or tears.
[WILL GIVES THE SPEECH TO JACK.]
JACK: There's a mark in every line.
WILL: Thank you, thank you.
[KAREN PICKS UP HER VIDEO CAMERA AND PANS AROUND THE ROOM.]
KAREN: Ooh, nice looking crowd. Hello there. [GIGGLES]
[KAREN PANS TO ROSARIO.]
KAREN: Aah! Stampede! [LAUGHS]
ROSARIO: [FAKE LAUGH] Ha ha. The first time I heard that, I laughed so hard I fell off my dinosaur.
[NURSE SHEILA HAS TAKEN THE PODIUM.]
SHEILA: I wasn't supposed to introduce the next person, but Audrey bailed. She said it was a family emergency, but to me, that's code for vag problems. I think I speak for all of us...
WILL: Ooh, my God, I just realized we forgot to wake up Grace. Should I call her?
KAREN: Honey, if you were at home missing this, would you want someone to call you?
WILL: I know. But I want her to hear my speech.
KAREN: Well, you can read it to her later, honey, when you're moisturizing her.
SHEILA: If you want to just talk...
WILL: You're right.
SHEILA: So I gave him a shove out the window. It wasn't like I was trying to kill him. Anyway, I think it's time to turn over the podium to this year's most popular student nurse, Jack McFarland.
[EVERYONE CLAPS. KAREN AND WILL CHEER.]
[JACK STANDS UP, WALKS TO THE PODIUM AND HUGS SHEILA.]
[ROSARIO OPENS A CANDY WRAPPER, MAKING NOISE. WILL GRABS THE CANDY OUT OF HER HAND.]
WILL: Hey, ssh!
JACK: [READING] Friends, parents, and classmates, today I would like to talk to you about what it means to follow your heart. They say dreams are like soap. If you don't hold on tight, they'll slip away.
[JACK PAUSES. NO ONE LAUGHS, EXCEPT FOR WILL. JACK MAKES A MOTION TO QUIET EVERYONE DOWN.]
JACK: [READING] A man who has let go of his dream is like a child who has let go of his balloon.
KAREN: I thought dreams were like soap.
WILL: Dreams can be more than one thing.
JACK: We are all here today because we refused to let go. I've always dreamed of the day when I would become... a nurse. [PAUSES]
WILL: Pausing... Good.
JACK: [UNCOMFORTABLY] Ever since I was a child, I knew this is what I was meant to be... [PAUSES]
WILL: [QUIETLY TO JACK] That's not a pause. That's where your voice breaks with emotion.
JACK: [SIGHS] You know what? I can't do this. These aren't my words.
WILL: [QUIETLY TO JACK] No, don't give me credit now. Do it later with a champagne toast.
JACK: This is wrong. I didn't write this speech. And you know why? Because I couldn't think of any reasons why I wanted to be a nurse, because it wasn't my dream. I wanted to be an actor. But I let it slip away from me like... a soapy balloon. But standing here in front of all of you right now, reading words I don't believe and don't really understand makes me realize... I still want to be an actor.
WILL: I had no idea he felt like that.
JACK: I love acting! I love the attention and the applause. When you're a nurse, the patient gets all the attention. No. This is not what I want. I'm sorry. I cannot live a lie.
[JACK RIPS UP THE SPEECH AND TOSSES IT ON THE FLOOR.]
WILL: No! We didn't make a copy!
[WILL DIVES ONTO THE FLOOR TO PICK UP THE PIECES.]
KAREN: I'll say it again... fags really are a hoot. [LAUGHS.]
SCENE V: The Student Nurse Graduation Ceremony
[AFTER THE CEREMONY. ALMOST EVERYONE IS GONE. KAREN AND JACK ARE TALKING. JACK IS HOLDING HIS DIPLOMA.]
KAREN: Honey, you did the right thing.
JACK: [SIGHS] I hope so.
KAREN: You did. And I could not be prouder. Hey, you're gonna be a big star.
KAREN: You're gonna make it big. And I'm glad that you took this diploma, 'cause you're gonna need it when you fall flat on your ass. Hey, you're gonna make it big. And when you don't, you'll have a degree. So, you go out there and you be an actor. Until... you're a nurse.
JACK: Thanks, Kare. You know, now that I've made this decision, I like a weight has been lifted off of me. I think this suit actually fits.
KAREN: No, it doesn't.
JACK: I said it fits!
KAREN: [BACKING DOWN] Ok.
JACK: Change of subject! Will. I feel terrible. I know he wanted so badly to hear his speech performed.
KAREN: Honey, she'll be fine. She doesn't care about that speech. All she cares about is you. That's right. You're what's important to her. As long as you're happy, she's happy.
JACK: Where is she anyway?
[JACK AND KAREN LOOK AROUND. WILL IS IN THE BACK OF THE ROOM READING THE SPEECH TO NURSE SHEILA.]
WILL: And never forget: Dreams are like feathers... if you have enough, you can fly.
SHEILA: Wow. Maybe I will get back into porn.