Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Burns & Allen
Show: Gracie Takes Up Crime-Solving
Date: Mar 06 1947

CAST:
GRACIE ALLEN, daffy wife
GEORGE BURNS, long-suffering husband
BILL GOODWIN, egotistical announcer
MEREDITH WILLSON, bookish bandleader
MR. POSTMAN, a miserable, wimpy, henpecked man
MINISTER (1 line)
WOMAN (1 scream)
DRUNK (1 line)
BARTENDER
DEALER, of used cars
POLICEMAN (3 lines)
ANNOUNCER (1 line)
NBC ANNCR (1 line)

The Tall Man Team:
1ST MAN
2ND MAN
WOMAN
1ST COP
2ND COP
3RD COP
4TH COP
RUDY, deadpan detective
TRUDY, Rudy's languorous wife

GRACIE:

Another cup of Maxwell House Coffee, George?

GEORGE:

Sure. Pour me a cup, Gracie.

GRACIE:

You know, Maxwell House is always good to the last--

MFX:

DESCENDING TRILL

GRACIE:

--drop.

MFX:

DING!

GEORGE:

And that drop's good, too.

MFX:

KNIFE CHORD ... THEN BUILDS IN BG

GOODWIN:

Yes, it's Maxwell House Coffee Time starring George Burns and Gracie Allen!

SFX:

APPLAUSE

MFX:

UP FOR THEME ... "THE LOVE NEST" ... THEN IN BG

GOODWIN:

With yours truly Bill Goodwin, the music of Meredith Willson and his orchestra, our happy postman Mel Blanc, and Lurene Tuttle, Elliott Lewis and Lou Merrill. For your Thursday night comedy enjoyment, it's George and Gracie. And for your everyday coffee-drinking enjoyment, it's Maxwell House -- the coffee that gives you so much more for so little more that it's bought and enjoyed by more people than any other brand of coffee in the world. Yes, Maxwell House -- the coffee that's always good to the last drop.

MFX:

TO A FINISH

GOODWIN:

It's evening in the Burns home. George is in the den working while Gracie is huddled in front of the living room radio, listening to her favorite crime program.

1ST MAN:

You killed the plumber!

2ND MAN:

No, I didn't!

1ST MAN:

Yes, you did! Take that!

SFX:

GUNSHOT!

2ND MAN:

(EXAGGERATED GROAN)

SFX:

BODY FALLS TO FLOOR

WOMAN:

(SCREAMS)

SFX:

POUNDING ON DOOR

1ST COP:

Open up! It's the police!

1ST MAN:

Come and get me, coppers!

SFX:

DOOR SMASHED!

1ST MAN:

Four of ya, huh?! Take that!

SFX:

FOUR GUNSHOTS!

1ST COP:

Oh!

2ND COP:

Uh!

3RD COP:

Ugh!

4TH COP:

Oooh!

SFX:

FOUR BODIES FALL TO FLOOR, CONSECUTIVELY

WOMAN:

You're a mad dog! You killed the plumber!

1ST MAN:

No, I didn't!

WOMAN:

Yes, you did! Take that!

1ST MAN:

(EXAGGERATED GROAN) I'm stabbed!

SFX:

BODY FALLS TO FLOOR

WOMAN:

(LAUGHS TRIUMPHANTLY)

1ST MAN:

The - the laugh is on you! That wine you drank was poison!

WOMAN:

(EXAGGERATED SWOON)

SFX:

BODY FALLS TO FLOOR

GRACIE:

(UNIMPRESSED) Well, I guess it can't be exciting every week. ...

GEORGE:

Gracie, would you turn the radio off for a minute?

SFX:

RADIO SWITCHED OFF

GEORGE:

I want you to hear a joke I just wrote for our program. I say to you, "Good news, Gracie. I won today at Santa Anita" and--

GRACIE:

(LAUGHS MERRILY) Oh, that's very cute, George. One of the funniest jokes you ever wrote. ... Now let me turn the radio back on.

GEORGE:

Wait a minute. That's not the whole joke.

GRACIE:

Well, it's all I have time for. I'm listening to my favorite mystery program, "The Tall Man."

GEORGE:

"The Tall Man"?

GRACIE:

Yeah, it's all about a private detective named Rudy and his wife Trudy.

GEORGE:

Rudy and Trudy?

GRACIE:

Oh, such a lovable couple. Every week, they go out for a walk and fall over a dead body. ...

GEORGE:

Sounds lovable.

GRACIE:

I'll turn it back on so you can hear it.

SFX:

RADIO SWITCHED ON

GRACIE:

Rudy and Trudy are about to solve "The Case of the Punctured Plumber." Oh, I'm dying to find out who punctured him! ...

NOTE:

RUDY AND TRUDY SPEAK SLOWLY AND SEXILY AS IF THEY WERE MAKING LOVE, NOT DISCUSSING MURDER ... THIS IS INCREASINGLY EXAGGERATED AS THE SCENE UNFOLDS

RUDY:

Well, I'm ready to name the murderer, Trudy.

GRACIE:

(TO GEORGE) That's Rudy.

TRUDY:

Are you really, Rudy?

GRACIE:

(TO GEORGE) That's Trudy.

GEORGE:

Thanks. I'd never have figured that out. ...

RUDY:

It was very simple, Trudy. As you remember, when we fell over the plumber's body, his crooked partner, Joseph Jones, was standing beside him with a smoking revolver in his hand.

GRACIE:

Yeah! He's the one! He did it!

TRUDY:

Is he the murderer, Rudy?

RUDY:

No, he's innocent. ...

GRACIE:

Shucks!

RUDY:

We then noticed, Trudy, that his jealous ex-wife, Sarah Smith, was kneeling on his chest with a dagger between her teeth.

GRACIE:

Mmm! She's the one! She did it!

GEORGE:

She did it, huh?

GRACIE:

Yeah, yeah.

TRUDY:

Is she the murderer, Rudy?

RUDY:

(BEAT) No, she's innocent. ...

GRACIE:

Ohhhh, pooh!

RUDY:

We also discovered, Trudy, that his insane nephew, Ben Brown, was lurking at his feet with a shotgun and several hand grenades.

GRACIE:

(SHARPLY INHALES) He's the one! He did it!

GEORGE:

It must be him, yeah.

TRUDY:

Is he the murderer, Rudy? ...

RUDY:

No, he's innocent. ...

GRACIE:

Oh, darn it!

TRUDY:

Then who did puncture the plumber, Rudy?

RUDY:

The murderer was Ebeneezer McGonigle.

TRUDY:

Oh, darling. You're so clever.

RUDY:

Thank you, sweetheart. ... Well we'd better get home. And get some rest.

TRUDY:

Yes. Let's.

GEORGE:

Turn it off! It's driving me crazy! ... [APPLAUSE FOR RUDY & TRUDY]

GRACIE:

Well, they fooled me again. I'd never have guessed that Ebeneezer McGonigle was the murderer.

GEORGE:

Who was Ebeneezer McGonigle?

GRACIE:

Well, I don't know. That's the first time his name was mentioned. ...

GEORGE:

I thought it was Sam Krogny myself.

GRACIE:

Oh, I wouldn't miss "The Tall Man" for anything.

GEORGE:

Yes, it's a great show. Now, about the joke I wrote. I say, "Good news--"

GRACIE:

Oh, dear, I'm tired of jokes, George. Why don't we have adventures like the Tall Man and his wife and do them on the air?

GEORGE:

Forget it.

GRACIE:

You could be the Short Man. ...

GEORGE:

Gracie--

GRACIE:

Or the Bow-Legged Man. ...

GEORGE:

Gracie--

GRACIE:

Or the Middle-Aged-Spread Man. ...

GEORGE:

We're not going to be detectives!

GRACIE:

Oh, but they lead such exciting lives. They just walk down the street and stumble over corpses. Come on, George -- let's walk down the street.

GEORGE:

Gracie, those things only happen on radio mystery programs.

GRACIE:

I don't believe it. Aw, please -- let's go for a walk.

GEORGE:

All right. I'll go for a walk.

GRACIE:

Good!

GEORGE:

But I don't expect to wind up in a mystery. I'm only going because I need some fresh air. Now listen to my joke! I say to you, "Good news, Gracie. I won today at Santa Anita" and you say, "Really? What jockey was riding you?"

GRACIE:

You do need some fresh air, dear. ...

GEORGE:

(DRY) Yes, we'll take a long walk.

MFX:

MOCK MYSTERIOSO BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG

GRACIE:

Oh, I'm so excited, George. I just know we'll run into something sinister any minute now.

GEORGE:

Yes, yes, yes, yes.

GRACIE:

A gang of gangsters. Or a band of bandits. Or a hood of hoodlums.

GEORGE:

Sure, sure, sure, sure.

GRACIE:

(IN TERROR) GEORGE!

MFX:

UP FOR A HUGE ACCENT ... THEN OUT

GEORGE:

Huh? What is it?

GRACIE:

(LOW) Look at that man coming towards us. Look at the way he slinks along. Ohhhhh, I know he's a desperate criminal.

GEORGE:

Gracie, are you--?

GRACIE:

He's coming right up to us. We'll capture him red-handed!

MINISTER:

(VERY MILD) Excuse me, I'm the new minister. ... Could you direct me to the parsonage?

GEORGE:

(VERY DRY) Two blocks down. (TO GRACIE) Come along, Sherlock. ...

MFX:

MOCK MYSTERIOSO ... IN BG

GEORGE:

Well, you solved the Case of the Sinister Minister.

GRACIE:

(MILDLY ANNOYED) Ohhh, all right. I was mistaken about him. But I still say we'll have a terrific adventure.

GEORGE:

Oh, sure. Something is bound to happen.

GRACIE:

(BEAT, SLOWLY) I think I smell an opium den. ...

GEORGE:

You smell tobacco. We just passed a cigar store. ...

GRACIE:

Oh. Is that where you buy your cigars?

GEORGE:

That's right.

GRACIE:

Then I don't smell tobacco. ...

GEORGE:

Gracie, would you just forget this idea? Let's - let's--

GRACIE:

(IN TERROR) GEORGE!

MFX:

UP FOR A HUGE ACCENT ... THEN OUT

GEORGE:

Now what?

GRACIE:

Oh, I knew it! Look! There's a dead man lying on the sidewalk. He's been shot.

GEORGE:

By golly, it is a man. Let's see what's wrong with him.

DRUNK:

(BIG HICCOUGH, THEN SINGS DRUNKENLY) Sweet Adeline! ... [APPLAUSE FOR THE DRUNK]

GEORGE:

Some dead man. And you thought he was shot.

GRACIE:

Well, he's half-shot. ...

GEORGE:

Come along, Philo Vance.

MFX:

MOCK MYSTERIOSO BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG

GRACIE:

Well, I'm not discouraged, George. I'm positive we'll discover a crime.

GEORGE:

Yes, yes, yes.

GRACIE:

We'll capture a bank robber or a murderer or a--

WOMAN:

(LOUD, BLOODCURDLING SCREAM)

MFX:

UP FOR A HUGE ACCENT ... THEN OUT

GRACIE:

(STAMMERS) Did you hear that woman scream?

GEORGE:

(STAMMERS) Yes! It came from that parked car!

GRACIE:

Oh, quick! Open the door!

SFX:

CAR DOOR OPENS

GOODWIN:

(PERFECTLY CALM) Yes? What do you want?

GEORGE:

It's Bill Goodwin!

GOODWIN:

Oh. Oh, hello, Burnses! Um, meet my girl Frances.

GRACIE:

Bill, was that your girl who gave that terrible, agonized scream?!

GOODWIN:

Oh, yeah. Yeah, I told her she couldn't see me again till tomorrow. ... They all scream when I tell 'em that.

GEORGE:

Oh, brother.

GOODWIN:

Hey, what are you two doing out roaming the streets this time of night?

GRACIE:

Well, I've been looking for a corpse.

GOODWIN:

Looks like you found one. ...

GEORGE:

Eh, let's go, Gracie. So long, funny man.

GOODWIN:

So long, bogey man. ...

SFX:

CAR DOOR SHUTS

MFX:

MOCK MYSTERIOSO BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG

GRACIE:

I can't understand why we haven't found any crimes. By now, the Tall Man program would have had two murders and three commercials.

GEORGE:

Let's go home, huh?

GRACIE:

No, no, no -- not yet. Gee, it's dark along here.

GEORGE:

Yeah, it is kinda dark.

GRACIE:

Perfect spot for a murder.

GEORGE:

Yeah, nice little spot.

GRACIE:

(IN TERROR) GEORGE!

MFX:

UP FOR A HUGE ACCENT ... THEN OUT

GRACIE:

Look! Look at that figure coming toward us though the shadows! It looks like an ape! Oooh, I'm scared!

GEORGE:

(NERVOUSLY) Well, th-th-th-th-that-- (BEAT, REPEATS HIS LINE) Well, th-th-th-th-that--

GRACIE:

Oh, George! George, he's coming closer! Oh, I can hear his footsteps.

SFX:

FOOTSTEPS APPROACH ... VERY SLOWLY, BUILDING SUSPENSE ... THEN OUT

POSTMAN:

(HIGH-PITCHED, NASAL) Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. Burns! ...

GRACIE:

Ooooh, it's you, Mr. Postman! We thought we saw an ape!

POSTMAN:

No, my wife's not with me. ... I went to the movie alone tonight.

GRACIE:

Would you like to go walking with us, Mr. Postman? We're out looking for crime and adventure.

POSTMAN:

Oh, no, thanks. I had my fill of it in the movie. Humphrey Bogart shot people like crazy. Bang! Bang! Crunch. Bang! Bang! Bang! Crunch.

GEORGE:

Crunch?

POSTMAN:

The fella next to me was eating popcorn. ...

GRACIE:

I wish I could take criminals like Humphrey Bogart does. They try to run away from him, but he always shoots them in the end. ...

POSTMAN:

Yes, he's wonderful. Well, I'd better be limping home. I drove my old wreck of a car to the movies, but when I wanted to drive it home it was missing.

GEORGE:

Well, that's a tough break, Mr. Postman.

POSTMAN:

Yes, now I'll be late getting home and Bertha will scold.

GEORGE:

Yes, she'll be angry.

GRACIE:

Well, you speak up to her.

POSTMAN:

I always speak up to her. She stands six feet, three. ... Well, good night, Mr. and Mrs. Burns, and remember -- (MISERABLY) keep smiling! ... [APPLAUSE FOR MR. POSTMAN]

GEORGE:

Uh, Gracie, what do you say we go home?

GRACIE:

(NO) Mm mmmm. Not until I find a crime to solve. Oh, there must be some-- I've got it! The postman said his old wreck of a car was missing. I'll catch the crook who stole it! (CALLS) Oh, Mr. Postman?!

POSTMAN:

(OFF) Yes, Mrs. Burns?

GRACIE:

Could you give me a description of that old wreck of yours?

POSTMAN:

(CLOSER) Yes. As I told you, she stands six feet, three-- ...

GRACIE:

No, no, no, no. Not your wife. Your car -- the one that's missing.

POSTMAN:

Oh. It's a blue 1928 Essex --- with whitewall fenders. ...

GEORGE:

Don't you mean "whitewall tires"?

POSTMAN:

No. Our garage has white walls and when my wife drives--

GEORGE:

Say no more; I know what you mean. ...

POSTMAN:

Well, goodbye again. See you tomorrow.

GEORGE:

(MISERABLY) Yes.

GRACIE:

Oh, George-- George, there's our crime. We'll solve the Case of the Missing 1928 Essex. Mmm, too bad it wasn't a new Studebaker.

GEORGE:

Why?

GRACIE:

Well, if it was a-- No. No. Let people point at us. Let 'em say we're freaks. We haven't done a Studebaker joke and we're not gonna do it now! ...

SFX:

APPLAUSE

MFX:

ORCHESTRA PLAYS "RED RIVER VALLEY" ... CONTINUES IN BG

GOODWIN:

"The Red River Valley"! Ridin' the range in Texas, the lonesome cowboy once sang the cowboy blues and a great American folk song was born.

MEREDITH:

Which is how great folk music happens, Bill. From those wind-swept Texas prairies where the Red River runs, it traveled the country over -- a cowboy's lament that was sung from the hills of New England to these Pacific shores.

GOODWIN:

Yes, Meredith, and the song has lived on to become part of our folklore and traditions -- a familiar and welcome part of our American scene. And in much the same way, over the years, Maxwell House Coffee has become a welcome part of the American scene. Coffee here in America is nothing less than a national drink. And more people buy and enjoy Maxwell House than any other brand of coffee at any price. It's Maxwell House wherever you go.

Explaining this nationwide popularity, of course, is flavor -- that good-to-the-last-drop Maxwell House flavor that results from the masterful blending of these carefully-selected Latin American coffees. Manizales for mellowness--

MFX:

WOODWINDS ... FIRST PHRASE OF "RED RIVER VALLEY" CHORUS

GOODWIN:

Medellins for richness--

MFX:

PIANO ... SECOND PHRASE OF "RED RIVER VALLEY"

GOODWIN:

Other choice coffees for vigor--

MFX:

STRINGS ... THIRD PHRASE OF "RED RIVER VALLEY"

GOODWIN:

And Bucaramangas for full body--

MFX:

ORCHESTRA ... FOURTH PHRASE OF "RED RIVER VALLEY" ... THEN IN BG

GOODWIN:

Adding up to great coffee at the very peak of perfection. Why not enjoy the best in coffee-drinking pleasure? You can -- for just a fraction of a penny more per cup than you'd pay for the cheapest coffee sold. Just say, Maxwell House, always good to the last--

MFX:

DESCENDING TRILL

GOODWIN:

--drop.

MFX:

DING! ... THEN "RED RIVER VALLEY" ... TO A FINISH

SFX:

APPLAUSE

GOODWIN:

Well, last night, the postman told Gracie his 1928 Essex was missing and Gracie, inspired by her favorite crime program, "The Tall Man," was up at dawn this morning to solve the crime.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS AND SHUTS

GRACIE:

Well, I'm back, George. I've been to the scene of the crime and I found out who stole the postman's car.

GEORGE:

Who?

GRACIE:

The James gang!

GEORGE:

The James gang?

GRACIE:

Yes.

GEORGE:

They've been gone for seventy-five years.

GRACIE:

Oh. Well, maybe they're laying low till the heat's off. ...

GEORGE:

Forget it. The postman's car was not stolen by Jesse and Frank James.

GRACIE:

Who's talking about Jesse and Frank James? I'm talking about the new James gang -- Harry and Betty. ...

GEORGE:

Harry James and Betty Grable?!

GRACIE:

Mm hm. If that surprises you, wait till I tell you who's in their gang! Clark Gable, Norma Shearer, Wallace Beery and Shirley Temple.

GEORGE:

(SKEPTICAL) They stole the postman's 1928 Essex?

GRACIE:

Mm, I've got 'em dead to rights. They left footprints at the scene of the crime.

GEORGE:

Footprints?

GRACIE:

Yeah. In their haste, they stepped in some wet cement.

GEORGE:

Where - where was the postman's car parked?

GRACIE:

Outside a movie theater.

GEORGE:

Then you found those footprints in the cement in front of--?

GEORGE & GRACIE:

Grauman's Chinese--

GRACIE:

Yeah, uh huh. ...

GEORGE:

Those people are movie stars. They put their foot--

GRACIE:

Well, sure, they're movie stars. That's all part of their car-stealing racket!

GEORGE:

Huh?

GRACIE:

First they make a movie, then that lures people into the theater.

GEORGE:

Yeah.

GRACIE:

And while the people are in the theater -- boom! --

GEORGE & GRACIE:

They steal cars. ...

GEORGE:

Gracie--

GRACIE:

What a sweet little racket! When I give this story to the police, somebody's gonna get put away! ... [APPLAUSE FOR THE JOKE]

GEORGE:

(DRY, OFF THE AUDIENCE REACTION) I think the audience guessed it. ... That's you they're gonna put away.

GRACIE:

Me?

GEORGE:

Yes. Gracie, those footprints have been in front of Grauman's Chinese for years. Now, give up and let the police handle this.

GRACIE:

Would the Tall Man and his wife give up? No. They'd go down to the underworld and start looking for bench robins.

GEORGE:

(BEAT) Bench robins?

GRACIE:

(GUESSING) Chair sparrows?

GEORGE:

Do you mean stool pigeons?

GRACIE:

Yeah, yeah, stool pigeons. ... That's it. Well, come on, let's go.

GEORGE:

Uh, I'm not going to the underworld.

GRACIE:

Oh, that's what the Tall Man and his wife would do. Either that or some weird and unbelievable character would walk in their door.

GEORGE:

That won't happen either.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

MEREDITH:

Good morning, all.

GEORGE:

I take it back. ... Hello, Meredith.

GRACIE:

Meredith, would you like to help me solve a crime?

MEREDITH:

Indeed I would, Gracie. I've always had a flair for detective work. As a mere lad back in Mason City, Iowa, I solved a most astounding and baffling mystery.

GRACIE:

Oh? What was it?

MEREDITH:

Squash came up in our turnip patch.

GRACIE:

And you found out why?

MEREDITH:

Yes, by dint of shrewd questioning, I learned that squash had been planted there. ...

GEORGE:

They should have made you chief of police.

GRACIE:

Well, all right, Meredith, you are now my assistant. Together, we'll find out who stole the postman's 1928 Essex.

GEORGE:

Look, Gracie, I've got to go to the office. Now, play detective if you must, but promise me you'll stay away from the underworld.

GRACIE:

Yeah, I promise, dear.

GEORGE:

Good. See you later.

SFX:

DOOR CLOSES

GRACIE:

Well, Meredith, as soon as he's out of sight, we'll start for the underworld.

MEREDITH:

But you gave George a promise.

GRACIE:

Yeah, I know, but I'm gonna break it because I love him.

MEREDITH:

Because you love him?

GRACIE:

Well, yeah, if I ever kept a promise, he'd drop dead. ... Let's go, Meredith.

MFX:

BRIDGE

GRACIE:

Well, Meredith, we're in the toughest saloon in the underworld. Are ya ready to start detectin'?

MEREDITH:

Ready, Chief.

GRACIE:

Now, our job is to locate a stolen 1928 Essex. So we'll pretend to be a pair of crooks from out of town.

SFX:

GRACIE BANGS ON TOP OF BAR

GRACIE:

(TOUGH) Hey, you, bartender! Give us a couple of lowballs. ...

MEREDITH:

(PATHETIC ATTEMPT TO SOUND TOUGH) Yeah.

BARTENDER:

You mean highballs.

GRACIE:

I mean lowballs. We only got time for a short drink. ... Now, get a move on, and stop flappin' yer trap.

BARTENDER:

You're pretty tough, ain't ya, baby?

MEREDITH:

(STILL UNCONVINCINGLY TOUGH) Yeah. ...

GRACIE:

You bet I'm tough. Ever hear of Al-catraz?

BARTENDER:

Sure.

GRACIE:

I'm his sister, Gracie Catraz. ...

MEREDITH:

Yeah. And I'm her moll. ...

BARTENDER:

I never seen you before.

GRACIE:

I been in stir. The cops caught me and put me in Sing Sing.

BARTENDER:

Sing Sing is a prison for men.

GRACIE:

(THINKS QUICKLY) Yeah, were they embarrassed. ...

BARTENDER:

Yeah, I'll bet they were.

MEREDITH:

Yeah! ...

GRACIE:

Me and my moll's out here to pull off a big job and we need a getaway car.

BARTENDER:

A getaway car, huh?

GRACIE:

Yeah.

BARTENDER:

What kind you want?

GRACIE:

A 1928 Essex. ...

BARTENDER:

Who do you want to get away from, Stepin Fetchit? ...

MEREDITH:

Yeah! ...

GRACIE:

Aw, come on, come on. Know anybody who's stolen a 1928 Essex?

BARTENDER:

Sure.

GRACIE:

Where is he?

BARTENDER:

In Glendale.

GRACIE:

He lives there?

BARTENDER:

No, he stole the Essex last year, started for New York, and that's as far as he's gotten. ...

GRACIE:

Ohhhh, a wise guy, huh?

BARTENDER:

Go on, beat it. You're a couple of phonies.

MEREDITH:

Yeah!!! ...

GRACIE:

Nobody talks like that to Gracie Catraz! Take him for a ride, Meredith.

MEREDITH:

(HIS OLD BOOKISH SELF) Come along, sir. Griffith Park is lovely this time of year. ...

BARTENDER:

Aw, get out o' here!

MFX:

BRIDGE

GRACIE:

Well, George, we didn't find the postman's car. If you stole a 1928 Essex, where would you go?

GEORGE:

To a psychiatrist. ...

GRACIE:

Oh, why don't you help me detect, George?

GEORGE:

No, no, leave crime to the mystery programs.

SFX:

DOORBELL BUZZES

GEORGE:

Uh, come in.

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

GOODWIN:

Hi, Burnses!

GEORGE & GRACIE:

Hello, Bill!

GOODWIN:

What's new?

GEORGE:

Well, Gracie wants to be a detective, like "The Tall Man."

GRACIE:

Yeah, Bill, but of course, I can't call George "The Tall Man." I'll change "Tall" to "Broad."

GOODWIN:

What'll you change "Man" to? ...

GEORGE:

Look, comedian, why don't you revive vaudeville?

GOODWIN:

Impossible, George. When you kill something, it's dead. ...

GRACIE:

Now, Bill, don't tease George. I'm serious about this detective work. The postman's car was stolen and I'm on the trail of the crooks.

GOODWIN:

Really, Gracie?

GRACIE:

Yeah.

GOODWIN:

You know, I used to do a little amateur detecting. Maybe I can help you.

GRACIE:

Wonderful!

GOODWIN:

Now, first, you've got to be able to identify the criminal type.

GRACIE:

Uh huh.

GOODWIN:

Now, the man who stole the postman's car will have a low, receding forehead.

GRACIE:

Yes.

GOODWIN:

Shifty, close-set eyes.

GRACIE:

Yeah.

GOODWIN:

A weak chin. Large protruding ears.

GRACIE:

Yeah, yeah-- (ABRUPTLY) George Burns! Did you take that car?! ...

GEORGE:

Gracie--!

GRACIE:

Come on, confess!

GEORGE:

Now, look--

GOODWIN:

Give him the third degree, Gracie! Beat him with your hose!

GRACIE:

What?! And ruin my good nylons?! ...

GEORGE:

Okay, kiddies, break this up!

GOODWIN:

Hey, what kind of a car was it, Gracie?

GRACIE:

A blue 1928 Essex.

GOODWIN:

What? A blue 1928 Essex?

GRACIE:

Mm hm.

GOODWIN:

Hey, I saw that car just this morning.

GRACIE:

Ooh, where, Bill?

GOODWIN:

Sitting on a used car lot.

GRACIE:

Well, come on, let's grab it! Which lot? Madman Muntz?

GOODWIN:

No. No, besides, haven't you heard? Muntz isn't mad any more.

GRACIE:

Why not?

GOODWIN:

I told him about Maxwell House Coffee. He's happy now. ...

GRACIE:

Oh! Happy now?

GOODWIN:

Happy man. Can you blame him? Maxwell House is rich, delicious, and mellow. That famous Maxwell House flavor, you know, is the result of careful selection and blending of premium Latin American coffees, radiant-roasted to perfection. It's no wonder more people buy and enjoy Maxwell House than any other brand of coffee in the world.

GRACIE:

Bill, where did you see the car? Was it the Smiling Irishman's lot?

GOODWIN:

No.

GRACIE:

The Scowling Scotchman?

GOODWIN:

No.

GEORGE:

How 'bout the Chuckling Chinaman? ...

GOODWIN:

Now, wait, let me think. I was on my way to get breakfast when I saw the Essex.

GRACIE:

Was it okay?

GOODWIN:

Delicious; had Maxwell House Coffee. ... Gosh, Gracie, Maxwell House is the very best in coffee-drinking pleasure yet it costs but a fraction of a penny more per cup than the cheapest coffee you can buy. That's why Maxwell House is the choice of so many millions of Americans today. They know today's coffee buy is Maxwell House, the coffee that's always good to the last drop.

GRACIE:

Oh, Bill, please try to remember the used car lot where you saw the Essex. If George and I solve this case, it means a new career. It means George can give up telling jokes and singing.

GOODWIN:

That did it! It was the Frowning Frenchman! ...

GRACIE:

Ah, thanks, Bill. I'll go right over.

GEORGE:

Wait a minute, I'd better go along to keep you out of trouble.

MFX:

BRIDGE

GEORGE:

Well, this is the place, Gracie -- the Frowning Frenchman's used car lot.

GRACIE:

Yep, and there's the postman's Essex.

DEALER:

Ah, good day, good people! Interested in buying a car, I presume.

GRACIE:

Oh, yes, yes. I want a car that would be suitable for my husband here.

DEALER:

How 'bout a sports model?

GRACIE:

Look at him.

DEALER:

My mistake. ...

GRACIE:

We'll take that 1928 Essex.

DEALER:

Just the car for him. And it's a steal.

GRACIE:

Yeah, we know that.

DEALER:

Only two thousand dollars.

GEORGE:

Two thousand dollars?

DEALER:

Well, of course, that's without the extras.

GRACIE:

Oh? What are the extras?

DEALER:

The wheels, the body, and the motor. ...

GRACIE:

Oh. I suppose they would come in handy. Um, may we drive the car around the block to see how we like it?

DEALER:

Why, yes. Here's the key. (MOVING OFF) I'll go into my office and figure up the total cost.

GRACIE:

Quick, George. While he's in the office, we'll grab the car.

GEORGE:

Okay.

SFX:

CAR DOORS OPEN AND CLOSE

GRACIE:

Start the motor.

SFX:

MOTOR GROANS HORRIBLY TWICE ... BUT DOES NOT START

GEORGE:

Darn it. Nothing happens.

GRACIE:

Oh, we've got to escape before he comes back. Get out and push!

GEORGE:

Push?! But it's fourteen blocks to our house!

GRACIE:

Well, it's the only way, George. Roll up your sleeves. I'll help you.

GEORGE:

You'll help me push?

GRACIE:

No, I'll help you roll up your sleeves. ...

GEORGE:

Okay, okay. You steer.

MFX:

"VOLGA BOATMEN" ACCENT

GEORGE:

(GRUNTS WITH EFFORT) Uh!

MFX:

"VOLGA BOATMEN" ACCENT

GEORGE:

Oh, gee! I'm ready to fold up. How far have we gone now?

GRACIE:

Six blocks!

GEORGE:

It's funny. We're going downhill and the car is harder to push than when we started.

GRACIE:

Well, I didn't want to leave you behind so I put the brakes on. ...

GEORGE:

Gracie--!

GRACIE:

(QUICKLY) Keep pushing, dear.

MFX:

"VOLGA BOATMEN" ACCENT

GEORGE:

(GRUNTS WITH EFFORT) Ugh!

MFX:

"VOLGA BOATMEN" ACCENT

GEORGE:

Oh, no fooling, I can't take much more of this. How soon do we get to our house?

GRACIE:

Oh, we've already passed it.

GEORGE:

Passed it?!

GRACIE:

Well, yes, as long as we were out, I thought I'd go by the market and shop for dinner. ...

GEORGE:

Gracie--!

GRACIE:

(QUICKLY) Keep pushing, dear.

MFX:

"VOLGA BOATMEN" ACCENT

GEORGE:

(GRUNTS WITH EFFORT) Ugh!

MFX:

"VOLGA BOATMEN" TURNS INTO "THE LOVE NEST" ... THEN OUT

GEORGE:

Well, home at last! I wouldn't do that again for a million dollars.

GRACIE:

Oh, I'm proud of you, George. By pushing that car, you foiled a dangerous criminal. You're a real gang buster.

GEORGE:

I don't think a gang is all I busted. ...

GRACIE:

Well, it's all over. We've solved the Case of the Postman's Missing Essex. I telephoned him as soon as we got here and told him to come right over.

GEORGE:

Will he be surprised when he sees the car in our garage!

GRACIE:

Mmm hmm, he certainly will.

SFX:

DOORBELL BUZZES

GEORGE & GRACIE:

Come in!

SFX:

DOOR OPENS

POSTMAN:

Hello, Mrs. Burns!

GRACIE:

My goodness, I just called you five minutes ago. How did you get here so fast?

POSTMAN:

I drove over in my car.

GRACIE:

You got a new car?

POSTMAN:

No, the same old Essex. See? There it is in front of the house.

GRACIE:

But last night you told us it was missing!

POSTMAN:

It was, but a mechanic cleaned the spark plugs and now it runs fine. ... [APPLAUSE FOR THE JOKE]

GEORGE:

You - you mean to say that your car wasn't stolen?

POSTMAN:

Oh, no.

GEORGE:

Then the Essex in our garage really belonged to the used car man! I'll probably wind up in jail!

GRACIE:

Oh, no, you won't.

SFX:

POLICE SIREN APPROACHES ... POLICE CAR PULLS UP OUTSIDE AND BRAKES TO A STOP

GRACIE:

Wrong, wasn't I? ...

POLICEMAN:

(HEAVY IRISH ACCENT) All right, don't nobody move! Which one of youse drove the Essex up in front of this house?!

POSTMAN:

I did, officer.

POLICEMAN:

Come along to jail, ya car thief!

POSTMAN:

But, officer, you don't understand--

POLICEMAN:

I said, come along!

GRACIE:

Goodbye, Mr. Postman!

GEORGE & GRACIE:

Remember, keep smiling!

MFX:

THEME ... "THE LOVE NEST" ... FOR A FINISH ... THEN IN BG

SFX:

APPLAUSE

GOODWIN:

Join us again next week when we'll all be back -- George Burns; Gracie Allen; Meredith Willson and his orchestra; yours truly Bill Goodwin. "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" is written by Paul Henning and Keith Fowler. Till next Thursday, good night and good luck from the makers of Maxwell House, America's Number One preferred brand of coffee, always good to the last drop. Now stay tuned in for NOAH WEBSTER SAYS which follows immediately over most of these stations.

MFX:

OUT

ANNOUNCER:

Hate to face that morning race? Get a flying start with Instant Maxwell House Coffee. It's instant, it's new -- it's good to the last drop, too. Yes, trust Maxwell House to make a better instant coffee. True coffee flavor -- true coffee aroma -- because it's all coffee, made from America's favorite, the famous Maxwell House blend. And thrifty?! A jar of Instant Maxwell House makes fully as much as a pound of regular coffee. Ask for Instant Maxwell House -- good to the last drop.

GRACIE:

Good night, folks.

GEORGE:

Good night.

MFX:

THEME ... "THE LOVE NEST" ... THEN IN BG

SFX:

APPLAUSE

NBC ANNCR:

This is NBC, the National Broadcasting Company.

MFX:

NBC CHIMES