The Next Friends

By Scott Phillips


A skit on the importance of finding true friends.


Patrick Hearn- a TV writer
Jane Frost- TV executive assistant
James Garvey- the big time TV executive


(The setting: A business meeting in Garvey's office. GARVEY and his assistant, JANE: , sit in his office with an empty chair before them. Garvey looks annoyed and impatient. He SIGHS loudly, checks his watch, and looks at Jane.)

JANE: : I'm sure he'll be here any minute. (Garvey is silent. nervously) He's probably stuck in traffic.

(Garvey turns his head away from her and rolls his eyes in disgust.) You know these writer types, they're talented, but so disorganized. (laughs uncomfortably and looks at the floor)

(More silence. Jane shifts in her chair and looks at her watch. After another second of uncomfortable silence, PATRICK: stumbles onto the scene, dropping papers from his portfolio on the floor.)

PATRICK: Hi everybody. I'm sorry-(bends to pick up papers) - I'm late, I-(picking more papers up) I was having car trouble, and I- (Patrick notices Garvey - mean face with his arms folded - and pauses.) --I'm sorry. (He walks over to Garvey and extends his hand.) Mr. Garvey, thank you so much for seeing me.

(Garvey coldly and briefly shakes his hand, but says nothing. Patrick nervously drops some more papers. Jane bends down to help pick them up. They speak as people who know each other.)

JANE: (under her breath, annoyed) What took you so long?

PATRICK: (under his breath) My printer was broken.

JANE: Well, this better be good.

(Garvey looks at his watch again. Jane and Patrick stand up. Jane takes her seat and offers Patrick to sit down.)

JANE: Patrick, please have a seat. (He sits.) Well, we're really excited to hear your ideas. As you know, NBC has been on top of the ratings on Thursday nights, and we'd like to keep it that way. With Friends in its last season, we need to find a replacement.

PATRICK: Well, Jane, Mr. Garvey, I think you're going to like what you hear. Now, I know you're doing the spin off with Joey from the Friends cast, but I think the ensemble cast is still the way to go. (Patrick squirms in his chair. Garvey waves his hand toward himself, eyeing Patrick's notes.)

JANE: Do you mind if we see the scripts?

PATRICK: (nervous, clutches his papers) Oh, well, uh-I had a little problem with my computer- that blaster worm virus, you know. So, my scripts aren't really complete. I do have some outlines and notes, though.

(Garvey sighs loudly and shakes his head side to side in disapproval. He starts to get up out of his chair. Jane puts her hand on him to sit back down.)

PATRICK: (excitedly) Mr. Garvey, please, if you just give me a chance. (brief pause) I have some good ideas. Just let me give you the pitch to sort of give you an idea of what I'm thinking.

JANE: (her eyes bug out at him, and she speaks through her clenched teeth.) You don't have anything written down?

PATRICK: Well, it's kind of all over the place. But it's all up here. (points to his forehead) You know?

(Mr. Garvey grows even more impatient, sulking in his chair, and sipping his coffee. He doesn't even look at Patrick.)

JANE: Well, you're wasting time. You'd better get to it.

PATRICK: Okay. I have to stand up for this. (He stands up, moves the chair to the side, and places all his papers and his portfolio on the chair.) Okay, my first idea. I was thinking, you know, Friends was about young singles in New York. Well, with The OC being popular now, what if we did the West Coast version of Friends? It would be about beach culture, surfing,extreme sports and dating. [Proudly:] We call it "Buds." (Garvey stares silently, with a blank expression, as Patrick waits for excitement. Jane looks on in confusion.) See, you've got this guy who's a surfer, and he's all, "Dude, the waves were killer today." And his roommate's this college nerd who's trying to study and he's all "Bro, leave me alone, I'm studying." And then the crazy party guy comes in and is all "Dudes, I met this hottie today at and we're going to a party down on the beach tonight. You dudes wanna go?" And they're all, "yeah, bro!" And the show goes on about partying and life in Southern California.

(Garvey slowly shakes his head "no". Jane looks like she just ate a lemon. Patrick looks like he just got the wind knocked out if him.)

JANE: Uh, Patrick, I don't think so. Maybe something a little more...deep.

PATRICK: (grabs some notes from the chair) Right. Well, I also thought, you know, there aren't a lot of shows that reflect the Hispanic population. [That same pride:] So, we do "Amigos." (Jane sulks in disappointment. Garvey, well, you know. Patrick pauses slightly, then takes up the energy again.) We take the popularity of Spanish soap operas, even get some of the actors. It could be about a family who owns a Mexican restaurant, called "Amigos," and throw in all the funny, wild things that happen at restaurants. (He puts his hands out and pauses for reaction; gets none.) could be like the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, except it's girl from Mexico who goes to live with a bunch of independent women, like Sex and the City. She has to adapt to city life, and man, there could be love triangles, and funny dating situations. Maybe Cheech Marin can play her dad.

(Garvey covers his head in his hands and wipes his eyes. Patrick is really nervous now.)

JANE: (trying to be positive) Well, that's got some potential. If we tweek it a little...a lot.

PATRICK: Oh, okay. Well, here's one more idea Mr. Garvey. In this business, you build on what's successful, what's working, right?

(Again no response from Garvey.)

JANE: Right. We want a sure thing.

PATRICK: Well, we "borrow" an idea from a hit show, The Sopranos. But we do a sitcom, and call it "Good Guys" kinda like Goodfellas, you know? But here's the twist. What else is popular, right here on NBC? (Slight pause. Jane looks nervous, and bugs her eyes out at him as if to say "where are you going with this?") Will and Grace! See, you've got these Italian mobsters, and one of them is gay! So, you got these tough guys walking around going "Hey, how you doin'? Fuhgetabowdit" and the gay mob guy is like (trying to be smooth) "Hey, how you doin'" But he can't let anyone know or else he'll get kicked out of the family, or even killed. So it's a big secret. Lots of comedy there, non-stop. (pauses uncomfortably. nods and smacks his lips; speaks quieter).Lots of laughs. (Pauses and takes a breath- he's been talking so much.) So, what'dya think?

(Jane looks to Garvey. He leans over to Jane and WHISPERS something into her ear. She looks intimidated and scared. She sighs. Garvey leans back to his own chair, folds his arms and stares at Patrick.)

JANE: (awkwardly trying to be positive) Patrick, thank you so much for your presentation. Let me see you to the door.

(Patrick looks nervous. Jane grabs his arm and leads him out.)

PATRICK: (looking back at Garvey) But, what do you think? Did you like any of my ideas?

(Garvey smirks and shakes his head "no.")

JANE: Shhh! (gets him far enough away from Garvey) Patrick, he hated all your ideas. I'm sorry.

PATRICK: But-what? I-one of them can work, I know it. Man, why couldn't I get the scripts written!?

JANE: It doesn't look good. He wants to go with the old writers from Family Ties.

PATRICK: Family Ties? (yelling back to Garvey) You don't know what you're doing buddy! I'll take my hits elsewhere! You'll remember this face, I'll tell you that! I'm gonna have a hit show. ABC will take me, or Fox, they'll put anything on the air!

JANE: Patrick, you'd better go.

PATRICK: (quiets down) All right. Are we still on for dinner on Tuesday?

JANE: (turns sweet and nice again) Oh, yeah, I'll see you at 7.

PATRICK: I can't believe I can't even get a show on my own girlfriends' network!

JANE: I know, I'm sorry, but it's Garvey, he just--.

PATRICK: I know. He wants to find the next Friends, he probably doesn't even have any friends. He wouldn't know a good sitcom if it hit him in the face. I know sitcoms. I know TV!

JANE: Don't worry honey, there's always the WB.

PATRICK: Sure. I'll see you later.

(He sulks and walks away. Jane goes back to Garvey.)

JANE: Don't worry, Mr. Garvey, we'll find something. I think Patrick might be right about using proven formulas from other shows. Not exactly like Friends, but follow the formula.

(For the first time, Garvey does not look so annoyed, but rather looks calm and sensitive.)

GARVEY: You know, Jane, there's more to finding friends than what you see on TV. Find a place where people are really making true friendships, take some notes, and build a story from that.

JANE: But, Mr. Garvey, that's gonna be pretty hard. What kind of place can you go to find good friendship material?

GARVEY: I don't know. But you've got to find that place. We've got a show to produce.

(Garvey gently touches her hand as he stands up and leaves. Jane just watches him walk out, then looks to the ground, thinking. Then, she has a light bulb moment and jumps up.)

JANE: Wait, Mr. Garvey! I know! I got it!

(She runs out after him.)


Copyright Scott Phillips, all rights reserved.
This play may be used without payment, provided no charge is made for admission to the performance. In return, the author would like to be told of any performance. He may be contacted at