The Golden Girls (1985–1992): Season 5, Episode 5 - Love Under the Big Top - full transcript

Ken Whittingham, Dorothy's lawyer boyfriend, wants to give up his law practice and become a circus clown.

♪ Thank you for being a friend

♪ Traveled down the
road and back again

♪ Your heart is true

♪ You're a pal and a confidante

♪ And if you threw a party

♪ Invited everyone you knew

♪ You would see the
biggest gift would be from me

♪ And the card
attached would say

♪ "Thank you for
being a friend" ♪

Hi, Sophia.

Boy, I tell you, there is
nothing more invigorating

than spending a
little time on a boat.

Oh, yeah? Not when
I sailed to America.

Picture it. There we were -
a tired, poor, huddled mass

eating marinara
sauce out of a can.

It was hell. And
the entertainment?

Some guy from Palermo
forgot his accordion,

so he sat around singing "0 Solo
Mio" while squeezing a monkey.


Sophia what? It was
the worst time of my life.

If it weren't for pin
the tail on the French,

we would've gone stir-crazy.

Hi, Sophia.

Rose, I was just telling Sophia
what a wonderful day we had.

Wonderful, my foot.

Blanche, you saw that dolphin.

All tangled up in
that tuna boat's net.

Thousands of them die that way
each year. We have to do something.

You are absolutely right. From
this moment on, no more tuna fish.

Blanche, you hate tuna fish.

All right. Then no
more tuna fishermen.

Hi, girls. Do these
pearls look OK with this?

Honey, pearls look
fine with everything,

from the fanciest
dress to... that.

You have another date with Ken.

Oh, Sophia, do you believe it?

And I thought my
head was spinning

from the splash of
vino in my lemonade.

Sophia, you don't put
wine in your lemonade.

No. You're right. I don't.

It was a joke. Ha-ha.

Your Ken is quite a catch,
Dorothy. For once I'm a bit jealous.

What's not to be jealous about?

The man's gorgeous.
He's got money and class.

I couldn't be happier
for you, Dorothy.

I just want to give you
a loving mother's advice:

Don't blow it!

Ma, I have no intention of
blowing this. No, Ken is perfect.

I mean, aside from being one of
Miami's most successful lawyers...

Thank you, Ma.

The man is caring.
He's sensitive.

Do you know that on weekends, he
actually puts on a clown's costume

and entertains sick kids
at the hospital? (doorbell)

I mean, what more
could I want from a man?

Get it out of the
gutter, Blanche.

Dorothy. Hi, sweetheart.
How was your day?

My ulcer didn't flare up and
I'm having dinner with you.

So I guess it's
perfect. Hi, Ken.

Hey, Kenny. What's a nice boy
like you doing with ulcers anyway?

You got a job and a girl who'll
do anything for you. Anything.

You will, won't you, Dorothy?

I'll take that as a
"Have a good time."

Don't worry, Mrs. Petrillo. I'll have
your little girl home at a reasonable hour.

Don't bother. You kids
have fun. I won't wait up.

Have her back by Tuesday.

No questions asked.

She's gonna blow it.

OK, Paul, we'll see you
at the rally on pier five.

Oh, the dolphin will
really appreciate it.

Oh, isn't this exciting?
Taking part in a protest.

Standing up as free Americans
and exercising our right to say:

"We're mad as hell and we're
not gonna take it anymore!"

I'm out of spit. Can I go now?

20 envelopes and
you're ready to quit?

Blanche, we joined the Friends
of Sea Mammals for a reason.

You are so unmotivated.

Well, when I joined this
Mammals with Blowholes thing,

I didn't expect to be carrying
picket signs on some grungy dock.

I was hoping more for a
fundraiser cocktail party

with Chinese lanterns
and Portuguese,

no, Hispanic waiters
in tight black pants.

And we hire a band
to play fish songs

in pirate suits with
muscles bulging.

Your mouth is watering
now, Blanche. Keep licking.

Hi, girls. You two
are back early.

Of course we're back
early. Ken called before.

He says he needs to talk to Dorothy
about something very important.

Dorothy! My God, Dorothy,
he's gonna pop the question.

Oh, I don't know
that. Of course you do.

What else could it be?
Honey, congratulations.

You're more excited than I
am. Well, why not, Dorothy?

Just think of it. Life with
a successful attorney.

The summer homes, the
glamorous social circles,

those impulsive
little trips to Europe

with rascally Romans
pinching your bottom.

You're a lucky girl,
Dorothy. I hate you.

This is just crazy talk.

I mean, we've only been seeing
each other for three months.

I've never even thought of
what it would be like if I were

Mrs. Kenneth Whittingham.

Has a nice ring
to it. (doorbell)

Go get 'em, pussycat.

Just remember, you
and I come as a package.



Sweetheart, I am so excited. Oh?

It's just that I've come
to a major decision.


And it's a decision
that affects both of us.


Sit down.

Close your eyes and I'll
give you a hint. Okey-dokey.


Can you guess
what my decision is?

You're becoming Irish?


I'm becoming a clown.

A full-time circus clown.

Ken, isn't this a bit sudden?

Odd and a bit sudden?

No. I've been doing it for
years at children's hospitals.

It's been the one bright
spot in my life. That and you.

Dorothy, I've been lawyering
70 hours a week since I was 25.

Can change a man.

Yeah, but you're so successful.

I'm also 60 and I'm miserable.

Ah, I went to law school so
I could fight for the little guy.

Now I'm fighting for
multinational corporations.

I'm so frazzled, I find myself
sneaking into the washroom

to make balloon giraffes.

Dorothy, I really need
for you to understand this.

I've been thinking a lot lately.

I think we're in this
for the long haul.

Dorothy, I think this is going to
be a very serious relationship.

I feel like a virgin.
Where do the noses go?

I'm sorry. I'm sorry.

What do you say? You with me?

Of course. Oh, great.

How about a celebration? I'm dining
with friends from the circus. Join me?

Might as well get
my feet wet. Oh, Ken.

There won't be, like,
a dozen tiny dogs,

hopping on hind legs,
wearing funny hats?

Oh, I wish.

Oh, come on, tell me. How
big a disaster was last night?

It wasn't a disaster, Blanche.
It was just uncomfortable.

I tried to find common ground,

something I could talk to
Ken's circus friends about.

But it turns out the
Human Cannonball

doesn't do that much reading.

Does Ken know how you feel?

He asked me how I
felt, if I had a good time,

and I had to tell him the truth.

I just didn't fit in with
the other clowns' wives.

Dorothy, I've been thinking.

It might help you get your mind
off this Ken thing for a while.

Why don't you join us
at the rally? Oh, no...

Oh, yeah, Dorothy. Oh,
do. Oh, get out of yourself.

It's for a noble cause.

Or are you so self-centered that
you'd rather wallow in self-pity?

You're right. I'll
do it. Oh, good.

Rose, Dorothy's taking my place.

There you are, pussycat.

What's this news about Ken?
He gave you a ring, didn't he?

Yeah. Three of them.

Look, Ma, I don't
know how to say this,

so I'll just give it
to you straight out.

Ken is becoming a clown.


Ma, he's tired of being a
lawyer, so he's joining the circus.

What did you do to him?

I didn't do anything.
Yeah, right.

One day the man's a lawyer, the
next he's a clown. Perfectly natural.

Ma, please! This is
hard enough as it is.

I'm sorry, sweetheart. I
just tend to get a little upset

when people ruin my life!

Sophia, I don't know what
all the hullabaloo is about.

Dating a circus clown would
be a dream come true for me.

Reach for the stars, Rose.

No, it would. Think about it.

Seeing him push those little
pigs around in a baby carriage.

Getting hit with a bucket of
confetti any time you want.

And sitting up
there in the stands,

watching him sweep that
spotlight into a little circle

and thinking, "That's my man!"

It's getting hot in here.

Why did this happen?
Just when I meet someone

that I feel I have a
future with, Ken does this.

I know I should be
more supportive,

but the fact is,
I'm embarrassed.

Don't be ridiculous, Dorothy.
You love the man for who he is.

It's not like he's driving
you around in a tiny car

with a giant key on the back.

Is he?


Hi, sweetheart. You are
driving the Lincoln tonight?


Oh, two things.

We're doubling with
Phil and Nancy tonight.

Two things you have to
remember: Call them "little people."

And they hate to be
patted on the head.

I found out the hard way.

Kenny. Come here.

What's with this clown
business? Couldn't you

be a lawyer and just
hang out with clowns?

I know it sounds a
little odd, Mrs. Petrillo,

but right now I'm just
burned out on law.

Frankly, I think I can contribute
more to the world in big red shoes

and a spinning bow tie

and carrying a little
umbrella that rains on me.

I see.

Dorothy? Here.

What did you do to him?

We may not agree
with the fishermen,

but we want this
demonstration to be peaceful.

In the tradition of...

you know, the short,
bald Indian fellow

with the glasses and the diaper.

You know, the one who
didn't eat and won an Oscar.

Your sign's drooping again.
Now, what's the matter?

It's Ken. I don't
know which end is up.

He called me this morning. He
wants me to travel with the circus.

I'm afraid we're gonna
have to call it quits.

Oh, honey, I'd think twice
before I cut that guy off.

At your age, how many chances
at the brass ring do you have left?

All creatures must
learn to coexist.

Back where I come from, they do.

That's why the brown bear and
the field mouse can share their lives

and live in harmony.

'Course, they can't mate,
or the mice would explode.

Well, you know what I mean.

I think Rose needs to
work on her metaphors.

I know you're down in the
dumps, but I'm so glad you came.

I really want us to
make a difference today.

Blanche, I am impressed. You
have really changed your tune.

It's funny how that happened.

There I was,
staying up last night,

coming up with
excuses to get out of this.

And then it occurred to
me. I said, "Water Lily..."

That's what I call
myself sometimes. Oh.

"Water Lily, you've
never done anything like

this in your life.
Now, this is important.

"For the love of mother earth
and the love of mother nature,

commit yourself to this,
Blanche Devereaux!"

Isn't that exciting?

Caught a rerun of
Flipper on cable, did you?

A particularly touching one.

Where Flipper
comes to the rescue.

It was only after that I
picked up Rose's pamphlets

and read about these
magnificent creatures.

Oh, that's beautiful.

Water Lily? Uh-huh.

All right, you dolphin people,
get away from the gate.

Watch it. What are you...

Why can't you
people see the light?

Why can't you people see that
there's another point of view?

Get away from here.
Take your hands off me!

Let her go!

Sweetheart, I came
as soon as I could.

Things got out of hand
down at the dock. I'm fine.

Don't worry. I called Ken.
He's parking the car. Oh!

Did you hear that? Did you
hear that? Ken is going to save us.

Everybody, did you hear that?
We'll be out of here in no time.

My mother called my
boyfriend, a top Miami lawyer.

Nothing to worry about.
We are in good hands.


Dorothy, sweetheart,
there you are.

My God! Ma, you didn't tell
me he was in a clown suit!

Oh, yeah.

Ken, how could you?
Sophia called me at rehearsal.

I'll change. I just wanted to
make sure you were all right.


Is counsel for the
demonstrators present?

Here, Your Honor. Oh, God.

Will the clown
approach the bench?

Dorothy, I can do this.

Can you do it
without the nose? Yes.

What the hell are
you trying to do?

I know this looks odd. But I am
a registered member of the bar.

I have a card here to prove it.

We're going to jail.

I believe you, counselor, I
believe you. Just proceed.

Thank you, Your
Honor. Make it quick.

Your Honor, this may be my very
last appearance before the bar.

Would you indulge
me just a little?

Thank you.

You know, I have been practicing
law for many, many years,

and it's always amazed
me how little my job

actually had to do with justice.

This stuff sounds a little better
when you've got lapels and a vest.

Anyway, my clients are
charged with trespass.

But the only real
crime they committed

was their overzealous championing
of the defenseless dolphin.

The dolphin, Your Honor,

that for centuries has
rescued men lost at sea,

guided ships back to port.

No, my clients
were not trespassing.

My clients were
returning the favor.

They simply wanted to protect

some of nature's best creations

from extinction.

Your Honor...

you have the opportunity today to
make a very disillusioned lawyer happy.

Please answer to a law
higher than this state's,

and dispense some
real justice here.

Please, let's have
a little quiet here.

That was a great speech.
Thank you, Your Honor.

But help me out here.

How about something
from a law book? OK.

The fracas occurred on a seaside
dock abutting navigable waters.

I don't believe that this
court has any jurisdiction.

That sounds legal to me.

Counselor, your last
day has been a good one.

Case dismissed.

I want you two
jailbirds to feel at home.

Dinner's at six. Pass it on.

Rose, honey, what is the matter?

We didn't accomplish
anything today, Blanche.

Those tuna fishermen will
be out there again tomorrow

doing the same thing.

I swear, I feel like a failure.

You can't change
the world in one day.

But just think about
what we did do.

I bet we saved a few dolphin

by keeping that
boat off the water,

and the next time you're
walking along the beach

and you see a school
swim by, why, you can think,

"Maybe I saved those gorgeous
creatures from those horrible nets."

You still think we were
a failure? You're right.

I just wish we
could save 'em all.

You wanna do more? Fine.
Let's go back down to the dock.

Really? Sure. I
know a waterfront bar

where a lot of foreign
fishermen hang out.

Do you think
they'd listen to me?

Well, sure, they will, honey.

They don't speak
English and they're horny.

Where are you going?

To demonstrate. To celebrate.

So, anything special
you want to do tonight?

Ken... There is something.

Dorothy, you know you
have the most beautiful eyes?

And a quarter in your ear.

We really have to
talk. What's the matter?

I don't know whether this is
harder to say or harder to hear.

Ken, you're a lovable man,

with a lot of lovable
qualities, but...

I don't love you.

It's this clown thing, isn't it?

I thought that's what
was bothering me.

But, Ken, if I loved you,
I'd follow you anywhere.

I'm sorry. I see.

I think we were both trying
too hard to make this work.

You on your terms, me on mine.

But I know that I am not
prepared to give up my life.

And, Ken, could you
give up the circus for me?

Could you give up the laughter?

The smiles on those
children's faces?

Do you know something,
Dorothy? I don't think I could.

Could I give up the
fat lady for you? No.

Could I give up the
elephants for you? No.

The chimps? The

Ken. I think I
have a grip on this.

I guess at our age, we
do a lot of wishful thinking.

We did come close, though.

If the circus is ever in town, I'll
leave the tent flap open for you.

I'm gonna miss you.

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