ALF (1986–1990): Season 1, Episode 14 - A Little Bit of Soap - full transcript

ALF and Kate's mom are arguing about TV. Kate's mom thinks ALF's favorite soap opera, Midwest General, is sleaze, and shows him her favorite, One World to Hope For, which ALF thinks is boring. Angered, ALF argues that he could wri...

Say, why are you pounding nails
in our front door?

To keep the sign from falling.
Don't you know anything about gravity?

Give me the hammer.

Thanks for offering,
but the job's already done.

Morning. Morning, Dad.

Have you practiced the poem?

- Yes, ALF, but I...
- "But" nothing. Let's hear it.

-Goodbye, Grandma
-Goodbye, Grandma

-Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
-Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

-Goodbye, Grandma
-Goodbye, Grandma

-Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye
-Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye

Hmm. Maybe another
"goodbye" in there.

- Oh... What's this stuff in this bag?
- I prepared a little flight kit.

Nothing special,
just a few travel necessities.

I emphasize the word "travel."

Magazines, Kleenex...

uh, breath mints, antacids,
and moist towelettes.

If she stops for anything,
she might miss her plane.

How very thoughtful of you.

And, of course, the bag will
come in handy in case of turbulence.

Or if they show Howard the Duck.

Guess what.

I'm not leaving.

- Why not?
- ALF, don't be rude.

Why not, Dorothy?

I could just kill Estelle.

She's decided to spend a few more days
with her daughter.

Now, where does that leave me
and all my plans?

Honestly, I hate doing this...

but, well, I'm gonna have to stay here
a little while longer.

You know, there's a nice motel
down the street.

Just a thought.

Margo says she doesn't know
who's been sabotaging the oil rigs.

She thinks it might be Jeremy...

because of the fake-bracelet incident
with Nina on Devil's Island.

But don't forget,
Gomez had a motive too.

True. He never did get over
losing that short-story contest.

- Well...
- What are you watching?

Right now, your rear end.

I can't believe you're actually watching
Midwest General.

- What's wrong with Midwest General?
- Total sleaze.

- All you see is violence, revenge, murder.
- That's not true.

Gomez just entered
a short-story contest.

- Hey. What do you think you're doing?
- Turning on a good soap opera.

One World to Hope For.

That's not a soap opera,
that's a sleeping pill.

- Quiet. I wanna see what's happening.
- I'll tell you what's happening:

The same thing that was happening
a year ago.

- The show needs a plot transplant.
- Shh.

Butch, I really want you to know...

how proud we are
of what you did in that farmhouse.

But, Mom, that was almost a year ago.

No kidding.

Maybe so, Butch.

But when you put down that rake
and told us you were our son, ha-ha...

that's not a moment
we'll soon forget.

- The very next day, I conceived Alison.
- Then I was wrong.

It was two years ago.


- Give me that back.
- What do you see in this thing?

I see love, compassion, warmth,
concern for humanity.

Incidentally, when are you leaving?

- Soon. I'm leaving soon.
- You were supposed to leave last week.

You can see my bags are packed,
ready to go.

I'm leaving when I'm leaving.

Well, I'm glad we narrowed it down.

No wonder you can't appreciate
One World to Hope For.

You see, the people on this show,
they care about each other.

That's because
they share a common bond:

Bad scripts.
Lucky could write better than that.

I could write better than that.

You...? Write?
When would you find time?

If you're not stuffing your snout,
you're watching television.

- ALF.
- What?

You know what.

- I wanna see the x-rays.
- No.

Let me guess:
arguing about the television again.

Well, Kate, you know how much I love
One World to Hope For.

The orange bathmat here
won't let me watch.

Orange bathmat?

- Listen here, you Bronx giraffe.
- ALF.

My mother is a guest in this house.
I want you to treat her like one.

Well, thank you, Kate.

Guest? Isn't there a statute of limitations
on that word?

- ALF.
- Kate, the woman doesn't respond...

to subtle hints.

ALF, my mother is welcome to stay here
as long as she wants.

However long that may be.

As a matter of fact, Mom, why don't I,
uh, put your suitcases in the closet?

Oh, sure, honey,
if you feel they're in the way.

Dust off the cobwebs first.

You feel like going out?

Yeah. Let's party.

Gee, I wish you wouldn't
let her get to you.

You know where she is right now?

She is at the market
buying a decent tile cleaner.

"Decent tile cleaner.”

She'll be gone in a couple of weeks.

Sure. First she said a few more days,
then she said another week...

now she says two more weeks.

She didn't know
Estelle was gonna sprain her ankle.

What is a woman Estelle's age
doing on a skateboard?

And why does Mother
have to wait for her anyway?

She's a grown woman.
She can fly by herself.

"She's a grown woman."

You gonna put that bag down, honey?
You're gonna cut off your oxygen.

That's what I'm trying to do.

We've gotta try
and pin her down, Kate.

Good idea. I'll get the pins.

We'll handle this.

- "We'll handle this."
- That's right. She's my mother.

Is the word "mother" capitalized?

Say, what are you writing down
over there, anyway?

Who, me?

No, the man in the moon.

Oh, Fred. I don't know.
He never writes, he never calls.

Hurry up. The show's about to start.

I can't believe you're actually forcing me
to watch One World to Hope For.

Well, this is a very special episode.

Now, sit in the middle here, Dottiekins.
Best seat in the house.

Yesterday, you said the fireplace
was the best seat in the house.

That was yesterday.

- Look, there's ALF's name.
- "Written by ALF Shumway"?

- You wrote a TV script?
- Yes, I wrote it.

All you have to do is write a script,
and they'll put it on the air?

- Well, you have to send it in first.
- Oh, it's starting.

- It's your mother, isn't it?
- Yes.

She's been here forever.

Well, what is she talking about?

That character
doesn't even have a mother.

She's driving me crazy.
Do you know where she is right now?

At the market...

buying a decent tile cleaner.

Put the bag down, Monica.
You'll cut off your oxygen.

That's what I'm trying to do.

I have to stir the cheese.

Sit still, Kate. The cheese can wait.

Why don't you just pin her down
and ask her when she's gonna leave?

Good idea. I'll get the pins.

She's here.

My mother's here.

Back with the tile cleaner.

- Hello, Mother.
- Hello, Dorothy.

Her name is Dorothy?

Yeah. But that's not
the right tile cleaner.

Why are you staring at me like that?

You look like
you wanna ask me something.

- Well, actually, I do.
- So go on, ask me.

- When are you gonna leave already?
- Leave? You want me to leave?

No, I want the man in the moon
to leave. Yes, I want you to leave.

I want you to go home
and live with your friend Crazy Miriam.

Mom, wait.

Thanks a hell of a lot.

Worked for me.

How can I write dialogue
if nobody's gonna talk?

Come on, people. I've got a deadline.

You've got a poison pen,
is what you've got.

Turning our private conversations
into a public spectacle.

- How insensitive can you get?
- Hey, would you mind if I taped this?

There will be no tape recording
and no writing.

Kate, that's dangerously close
to censorship.

You are dangerously close
to being evicted.

Point made.
Look, uh, I realize what I did was wrong.

But I'm gonna make it up to you
in this new script.

Well, I'm glad somebody cares
about my feelings.

Oh, Mom, I care about your feelings.
I'm sorry that I hurt you.

It's okay.

Listen, maybe I should leave.

I'll call Estelle. I'll go home today.

I thought Estelle had a sprained leg.


It wasn't her leg. It was her ankle.

And I made it up.

- What?
- Well, I made it up.

I made up the whole story
about her ankle...

because, uh, I didn't want you
to know...

that I couldn't stand
my best friend anymore.

I mean, she was impossible
to live with, so I left.

Wait a minute, wait a minute.

Are you telling me
that you moved out of Estelle's house?


Well, you can't stay here.

How would you like
to become a sweater?

"Have Dorothy burst into flames."

Mom, why didn't you tell me
about you and Estelle before?

Well, you would just feel sorry for me,
and you'd ask me to stay.

Good, good. Work it out.

I don't have to feel sorry for you
to ask you to stay in my house.

Are you asking me to stay?

I'll get the phone.

Yeah, then leave it off the hook,
will you? We're on a roll.




Yes. Yes.

It's for you. The head writer on
One World to Hope For...

wants to know where the script is.
Says they're shooting it tomorrow.

Oh, good. And I don't have squat.

Hello, Trish, doll.

Yeah. Yeah. Oh, I know I said
that I'd have it in your hands today.

But I had to make a few changes.

- Yeah. Oh, it's a much better script now.
- I thought you didn't have squat.

Uh, Trish, quick thought:

How do you feel
about having a cat on the show?

A speaking part.

Yeah, you're right. Too sitcomy.

Well, anyway, here's the new ending
I decided to go with.

See, I think we need to put more warmth
and likability into these characters.

ALF. ALF, are you all right?

Oh, yeah, everything's fine.


Why do you have those clothespins
attached to your head?

It's a form of acupressure.

On Melmac,
we use it to relieve writer's block.

- Still having trouble with the script, eh?
- Ugh... Read it yourself.

"Scene one, interior, living root."

Interior, living root?

It's a typo. I mean, give me a break.

- I've only got eight fingers.
- I'm sorry. Uh...

"Monica enters.
She says, 'Good morning.""

Well, what's wrong with that?

Willie, there's no one else
in the room with her.

I've got the woman talking to chairs.

I'll never have this finished
by tomorrow.

- Listen, you ought to try to relax, ALF.
- Relax? Sure, relax.

I've got a deadline.

I mean, I promised to put likability
and warmth into these characters.

You know,
I had a case of writer's block once.

I was writing a term paper
for my Art History class.

Or was it
my Comparative Religion class?

What, are you dictating
your autobiography?

- I'm trying to help here.
- Well, you're not.

Look, why don't you just start writing?

Write anything
that comes into your head.

Just put down the first thing
that pops into your head.


- "I have writer's block."
- Monica wouldn't say that. See?

- Monica wouldn't say that.
- Don't panic here, ALF. Don't panic.

- Don't be so nervous.
- Nervous? I've had 50 cups of coffee.

I'm so wired,
I had to strap myself to this chair.

Is that my belt?

If you're not gonna help,
go back in the house.

I can't go back in the house.
There are two women in there...

who aren't speaking to each other,
or to me, or to you.

In fact, ALF,
you've written us into this mess.

- Now you've got to write us out.
- All right. All right. I will.

Put on another pot of coffee.

And get some more clothespins.

You're all gonna love this episode,
I promise.

This script is so full of love,
compassion and understanding...

that you'll throw up.

That good?

Hi. I'm sorry I'm late.

- Did I miss anything?
- Just lunch.

Honey, there are some blintzes
on a plate near the stove.

Those were for him?

We still have the plate.

I don't eat stoneware,
unlike some people.

Look, look. There's the mother.
How about that, huh?

They even dressed her nicer.

Good morning.

Mother, does this mean
you're speaking to me again?

Monica, you're my daughter,
not some alien from another planet.

I wrote that as a joke. They left it in.

Mothers and daughters are bound to
have their little quarrels and conflicts.

It's part of this whole wonderful thing
we call life.

You're right, it is nauseating.

I think that it's sweet.

I mean;, it lets us know...

that just because a person says
a few unkind things about someone...

it doesn't mean
that they don't love them.

So by the same token,
I hope you'll be able to forgive me...

when I tell you what an ungrateful,
self-centered little tramp you are.

Self-centered little tramp?

Why, just who do you think
you're talking to...

you bossy, loudmouthed freeloader?


- Freeloader?
- They changed my script.

Calm down, Monica.
She's not worth it.

Ha! That's not what you said
when you left my bedroom last night.

They changed his script.

She's lying. I never went
anywhere near her bedroom.

She's done nothing but lie
since she walked into this house...

and told us she'd only be here
a few days.

I am not going to sit here
and eat toast and listen to this.

- ALF, how could you?
- I'm telling you, I didn't.

They were hugging and kissing
in my script.

I had nothing about toast.

And did you see that centerpiece?

I mean, who's doing props over there?
Rip Taylor?

Well, I am sick of having
this entire visit shoved in my face.

- Where are the famous suitcases?
- Mom, I don't want you to go.

Well, once again, you've brought
harmony to our household.

That's not what I wrote.

Here. Here.
This is what I wrote. Read it.

There's not one word of violence
in there.

And I cut out all the sex too.

- Sex?
- What sex?

- Who had sex?
- It's gone, I said.

You know,
I think ALF is telling the truth.

Thank you.

I mean, about the fight, anyway.
There's no fight in here.

But you do use a lot of "you knows."

I know.

Well, I'm just gonna pack
the rest of my things.

Come back here.
You're not going anywhere.

I mean, not until
you read the scene I really wrote.

You could at least give me that.

Well, you just give me one good reason
why I should.

Okay, I'll give you one reason:


Now, come on. Turn to page 18.
Let's all read it out loud.

Kate, you'll be Monica.
Dorothy, why don't you be Dorothy?

"Mom, it's not that
I don't want you to live here.

It's just that I'm a married woman.

I have a life of my own, you know?"

This is so silly.

Come on, come on. Just read it.

"You're right.
It was wrong of me to impose.

But, you know, I just couldn't help it.
I tried, but, you know, I couldn't."

- You do use a lot of "you knows."
- If they bother you, drop them.

Say, doesn't the father have any lines?

Willie, sometimes less is more.


"You feel a little lost since Dad died,
don't you?"

"It's not easy living alone.

That's why I moved in with Miriam,
crazy as she is.

It was someone to talk to, you know?"

Now, that one works.

"I like to be with people.

I like to take care of them.

Maybe I go too far sometimes.
That's because I care too much."

"Miriam asked you to move out,
didn't she?"


Estelle asked you to move out?

That's why your mom came here.

She didn't wanna be alone again.

- How did you know?
- Writer's intuition.

I also called Estelle.

And by the way, you're right,
she is crazy.

Estelle told me
that I was bossy and meddlesome...

and she couldn't stand another day
living with me.

I don't care what Estelle said.

You're my mother, and I love you.

I don't know what to say.

Right there. Middle of the page.

- What?
- The script.


"You know what, Monica?
My best friend didn't kick me out.

My best friend...

is right here."

Oh, Mom.

No. No, no.

First you open the champagne,
then you hug.

Nobody reads stage directions.

- She's a baby. Dating?
- I know. It's a little bit...

- Hi, honey.
- Oh, hi, guys.

- Willie.
- Hi.

- Willie, are you all right?
- Yeah.

Yeah. Say, Dorothy...

are you sure you don't want me
to store these in the attic?

No, Willie.

Listen, I plan to find a place of my own
as soon as possible.

You know, you're more than welcome
to stay here as long as you like.

No, I know that, kids,
but ALF is right.

I've gotta try...
Wait a minute, how'd he phrase that?

I've got to start
to make a life of my own.

ALF told you that?

Well, not exactly.
It's in his new script.

New script?

ALF, would you come out here?
We'd like to talk to you for a minute.

Make it quick, Kate.
Things have just started to flow again.

ALF, um, I thought
that you gave up script writing.

I thought you were so upset
with the rewrites...

you were never gonna write again.

- I wasn't.
- So, what happened?

The check came.