The play happens in various locations
around and about the home and hometown
of RICHARD FEATHER, 38, his lovely
wife, GERRY, also in that age range,
and their two charming children, Dick,
Jr., known primarily as REX, 11, and
TINA, known exclusively as TINA, 17.
The play also happens, on a couple of
occasions, in the New York office of
FORREST JAMES, a television celebrity
of the tabloid talk show ilk, 38.
The play will bounce around from
location to location, so, in most
cases, it's not necessary to go into
any great detail from setting to
AT RISE, the Feathers, sans Tina, are
glued to the television set in their
living room, watching the "Over My Dead
Body" show, starring Forrest James.
Actually, the only one who's glued is
Richard, who seems to be in a kind of
daze over what he's watching. Gerry
pays scant attention, and is probably
doing something else, like knitting, as
the show proceeds. Rex is also pre
occupied, with a hand-held video game,
but will focus on the television when
Forrest gets particularly rambunctious.
(The portions of the James show, as
recorded here, may be presented in this
play as audio only, or, if it's
possible and if the producers prefer,
the James show can be put on videotape
and broadcast via monitors to the
theatre audience so they can share more
intimately Richard's agony.)
And now, back to "Over My Dead Body," with Forrest James.
(also on television)
And we're back, talking with Doris Addison, newspaper
columnist and representative of the New York City chapter of
the National Organization for Women, informally known as NOW,
which of course rhymes with...
Mr. James, I've had quite enough of your...
Hold it, Toots! Uncle Forrest has the floor! This is my
show and it's my turn now to tell you what I really think of
you and your whiny female newspaper column!
There is a huge ROAR OF APPROVAL from
the James studio audience. Richard,
holding the remote, can't take it
anymore, and mutes the volume.
I just love the mute button.
I can't believe you know this guy, Dad.
I don't know him. I knew him. There's a big difference,
Rex! How many times do I have to tell you, my name is Rex!
Call him Rex, dear. You know it's what he wants.
Rex. Why not Fido?
(restores the volume)
Read my lips, Ms. Addison. You want equality with males at
your newspaper? Great. Do them a favor, though, willya?
Buy a pair of long pants and a jock strap and throw away your
Lady Schick, because if you want the guys in Re-write to
treat you like one of the boys, you're going to have to stop
shaking your tight little butt in their faces every time you
waddle to the water cooler!
Another huge ROAR OF APPROVAL from the
James studio audience. Richard mutes
the volume again.
Gerry, put your hand on my head.
(does this, no questions asked)
I just wanted you to feel my mind boggling.
You shouldn't watch if it upsets you.
I'm not upset. I'm catatonic.
Is that like constipation?
Never mind, dear.
Mr. James, what about your family?
What about my family?
I assume you were born of woman.
Hey, I never said your kind wasn't good for something!
Big audience reaction.
Do you even have a family, Mr. James?
What kind of snide, smartass, female remark is that? Of
course I have a family.
He has no family.
He was raised by a pack of nuns.
Prove it! Put your family on the air and allow me to
interview them about your homelife!
Over my dead body!!!!
Huge audience reaction.
I don't see a wedding ring.
My private life ain't no business of yours, lady!
It's everybody's business, Mr. James. Isn't your ultimate
goal to strip the American Public of all pretense?
I decide who gets stripped on my show!
I challenge you, Forrest James!
No! Don't challenge him!
I defy you to produce your family on national television! I
defy you to let me ask them if they love you!
(to studio audience)
I don't think he can do it! How about you? Do you think he
can put his family on television? Or is he just an
overblown, overfed, obnoxious male coward!!!
Another audience reaction.
He's all of those things, but don't cross him!
What's the matter, Forrest? Can't shake your relatives out
of the trees?
Huge audience reaction.
All right! All right! That is enough! You people want to
meet my family, you'll meet my family! Next week, we're pre
empted by the People's Pick Awards, but the following week-
May 17th--we will take the show to my hometown, the bosom of
my youth, where my family still lives, and you will meet my
people face to face, and you will know that my people love me
as much as you love me! This, I promise you! Two weeks from
tonight--Forrest James goes home! Until then, good night,
Over My Dead Body!
The show's MUSIC plays as Richard
remotes the television off and turns to
I'm a dead man.