Microphone Plays‎ > ‎

Thanksgiving Day

Father Knows Best

Thanksgiving Day 

Nov 23 1950



CAST:

ANNOUNCER

2ND ANNCR (1 line)

NBC ANNCR (1 line)


JIM, father

MARGARET, mother

BETTY, teenage daughter

BUD, teenage son

KATHY, youngest daughter; age nine

PRINCIPAL




KATHY: Mo-ther? Is Maxwell House the best coffee in the whole world? 


MARGARET: Well, your father says so, and your father knows best.


MUSIC: FANCY HARP GLISSANDO INTO THEME (IRVING BERLIN'S "LET'S HAVE ANOTHER CUP O' COFFEE") ... THEN IN BG


ANNOUNCER: Yes, it's FATHER KNOWS BEST, transcribed in Hollywood, starring Robert Young as Father -- a half-hour visit with your neighbors the Andersons, brought to you by Maxwell House, America's favorite brand of coffee. Look for that familiar blue Maxwell House tin featured in stores everywhere at lower prices -- the lowest prices in months. Enjoy coffee that's always good - to the last drop.


MUSIC: UP FOR TAG ... THEN IN BG--


SOUND: APPLAUSE


MUSIC: UP FOR INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER:

"Heap high the board with plenteous cheer and gather to the feast, 

And toast the sturdy Pilgrim band whose courage never ceased." 

You know, the Pilgrims started the custom of Thanksgiving, but there are others whose trials and tribulations on an average Thanksgiving Day bear inspection and a certain amount of sympathy. Take, for example, the Andersons who live in Springfield in a white frame house on Maple Street. They count their blessings and give their thanks, but with three children in the house, even a simple rite like Thanksgiving can be a pretty complicated affair. Like this-- 


BETTY: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Mother?! 


MARGARET: We're in the den, Betty. 


BETTY: (CALLS, FROM OFF) Is it all right if I borrow your earrings?! 


JIM: Betty! If you have anything to ask your mother, come down here and ask her. 


BETTY: (OFF, EXASPERATED) Jumpin' creepers.


JIM: (TO MARGARET) Sounds like she was reared in a barn. Stands up there screaming her head off-- 


MARGARET: (INTERRUPTS) Jim?


JIM: Hm? 


MARGARET: Kathy is waiting to read her poem.


JIM: Oh. Oh, I'm sorry, Kathy. (BEAT) Go ahead.


KATHY: Yes, daddy.


MARGARET: (BEAT) Go ahead, dear. 


JIM: (PAUSE, TO KATHY) Well, now what are you waiting for? 


KATHY: I have to be introduced. ...


JIM: Pardon me. (AN INTRODUCTION) "Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of the competition in the fourth grade -- Miss Kathleen Anderson." (TO KATHY) Is that better?


KATHY: Now you have to applaud. 


JIM: Okay, we applaud.


SOUND: JIM AND MARGARET CLAP


KATHY: Thank you!


JIM: What a ham. ... Has to get her applause before she reads the poem. 


MARGARET: Jim-- 


JIM: Doesn't want to take any chances.


MARGARET: (TO KATHY) All right, dear. Any time you're ready.


KATHY: Yes, mommy. (READS) "Thanksgiving Day by Kathleen Joy Anderson, fourth grade. Thanksgiving is a lucky day--"


JIM: (INTERRUPTS) Uh-- Uh, wait a minute. What was that name?


KATHY: The name?


JIM: Your name. Say it again. 


KATHY: (A LITTLE NERVOUS) Kathleen Joy Anderson. 


JIM: Where did the "Joy" come from? Your name is Kathleen Louise Anderson. 


KATHY: But I don't like Louise. 


JIM: You what? 


MARGARET: Jim, Kathy and I talked it all over--


JIM: (INTERRUPTS) My mother's name is Louise -- and if it's good enough for my mother, it's good enough for her. 


MARGARET: It's only a middle name, dear, and if she doesn't like it-- 


JIM: (INTERRUPTS) Why shouldn't she like it? What's wrong with it?


MARGARET: Nothing, Jim, but it's her name. 


JIM: You're darn right it's her name. She's not going to change it. ... (TO KATHY) Now go ahead. 


KATHY: (A PLEA) Mommy? 


MARGARET: (APOLOGETIC) Go ahead, dear.


KATHY: (DISAPPOINTED) Gee whiz. 


JIM: My grandmother and her mother were named Louise. ... No reason why she should want to change it. (BEAT, TO KATHY) Well? 


KATHY: What? 


JIM: (IMPATIENT) Read the poem.


KATHY: (UNHAPPY) Yes, daddy. (READS) "Thanksgiving Day by Kathleen-- (UNENTHUSIASTIC) --Louise Anderson--" 


JIM: That's more like it.


KATHY: (READS) "--fourth grade." 


JIM: That's much better. 


MARGARET: Jim, please


JIM: All right. Kathy, go ahead. 


KATHY: (READS, WITH GREAT PLEASURE) 

"Thanksgiving is a lucky day for all the girls and boys.

It isn't just like Christmas when your parents give you toys.

It isn't even like Easter when you get an Easter Bunny.

Or even like your birthday when your uncle sends you money."


JIM: (INCREDULOUS) What?! ...


MARGARET: (ADMONISHES) Jim-- 


JIM: When did her uncle ever send her money? ... Or anything else? 


MARGARET: (ENCOURAGING, TO KATHY) Kathy-- 


JIM: (INTERRUPTS) She's nine years old, he's never sent her a button. ... (WITH DISGUST) Gives her money! He's so tight, he can't even sit down. ... 


MARGARET: (MILDLY ANNOYED) Jim Anderson, I know you don't like him, but he's been very good to my sister, and if Kathy needs him for her poem-- 


JIM: (INTERRUPTS, QUIET DISAPPROVAL) Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and your brother-in-law. ... Boy, is that a combination.


MARGARET: Go ahead, Kathleen. 


KATHY: Yes, mommy. (READS) "Thanksgiving Day by Kathleen--"


JIM: (INTERRUPTS) Uh-- Not from the beginning, Kathy. Start where you left off. 


KATHY: I don't remember where I was.


JIM: (DRY) Your uncle was giving you money. ...


KATHY: Oh.


JIM: (VERY DRY) That's something we can all remember. ... 


KATHY: Yes, daddy. 


JIM: This isn't a poem, it's a fairy tale. ...


MARGARET: Jim, if you say one more word--


JIM: (INTERRUPTS, CONTRITE) I'm sorry. Go ahead, Kathy. 


KATHY: Is it all right if I start up near Christmas?


JIM: (VERY IMPATIENT) Start anywhere you like, but start


KATHY: (PLEASED) Okay. (READS) "Thanksgiving Day by Kathleen ... Louise Anderson, fourth grade."


JIM: (GROANS, TO HIMSELF) Oh, dear.


KATHY: (READS, WITH GREAT PLEASURE) 

"Thanksgiving is a lucky day for all the girls and boys.

It isn't just like Christmas when your parents give you toys.

It isn't even like Easter when you get an Easter Bunny.

(WITH TREPIDATION)

Or even like your birthday when your uncle gives you money." ...


JIM: (A LITTLE DEFENSIVE) I didn't say a word.


MARGARET: (TO KATHY) Go ahead, dear. 


KATHY: (READS) 

"It isn't like the Fourth of July or Decoration Day,

Or summer vacation or Halloween--" 


JIM: (INTERRUPTS) Kathy, when are you going to stop telling us what it isn't like and tell us what it is like? 


MARGARET: How can she when you keep interrupting?


JIM: It's supposed to be a poem about Thanksgiving, isn't it? And what has she said? It isn't like Christmas, it isn't like the Fourth of July. Who said it was? ...


MARGARET: Jim, the poem has already won the contest. We're just supposed to listen. 


JIM: But as long as-- 


MARGARET: (INTERRUPTS, FIRMLY) We're just supposed to listen. (ENCOURAGING, TO KATHY) Go ahead, dear. 


KATHY: You mean from the beginning?


JIM: No, no, no. ... Start after that funny part where your uncle gives you money. ...


KATHY: Okay. (READS, QUIETLY) 

"It isn't like the Fourth of July or Decoration Day, 

Or summer vacation or Halloween when all the kids can play.

(SUDDENLY LOUD) 

No!" 


JIM: (STARTLED EXCLAMATION)


MARGARET: (WARNING) Jim!


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, STARTLED JIM KNOCKS AN ASHTRAY ONTO THE FLOOR


MARGARET: (UNHAPPY) Ohhh.


JIM: Good grief. Scare a man half out of his wits. 


BETTY: (APPROACHES) Mother, is it all right if I borrow your earrings? 


MARGARET: (UNHAPPY, TO JIM) Look what you've done. Ashes all over the floor. 


JIM: Well, I'll clean it up, Margaret. Don't worry about it. 


BETTY: What happened?


JIM: (DEFENSIVE) Nothing happened. I knocked over the ashtray, that's all. Go ahead, Kathy. 


KATHY: (READS) "Thanksgiving is a different day--


BETTY: (INTERRUPTS) Excuse me, Kathy, I have to speak to mother.


JIM: Let her finish the poem, Betty. 


BETTY: Father, I told Janie Liggett I'd be there early. She's counting on me. 


KATHY: You don't have to read a poem over the radio. 


BETTY: Oh, no! You mean she's gonna read that horrible thing in public? (MIMICS KATHY) "Thanksgiving is a lucky day." 


KATHY: I didn't see you winning any free turkey dinner. 


BETTY: I didn't have to. The Liggetts are gonna have three turkeys. 


JIM: (A LITTLE INDIGNANT) Wait a minute, the way you kids talk, you'd think we'd never had a turkey in this house! ...


MARGARET: (ADMONISHES) Jim-- 


JIM: I've got a good mind to keep you all home.


BETTY: (DISBELIEF) Father! 


MARGARET: Jim, it isn't a question of turkey. Kathy's principal told you--


JIM: (INTERRUPTS) Why couldn't they have their dinner some other day? 


MARGARET: But Thanksgiving dinner was the prize, dear, for all eight grades. It's become a major event. 


JIM: (WITH MILD DISGUST) And the Liggetts. If somebody looks cross-eyed, Janie Liggett has a party. 


BETTY: Father, you said-- 


JIM: (INTERRUPTS) I know what I said. And it'll be a relief to get you all out of the house. Your mother won't have to spend all day cooking a dinner you'll wolf down in twenty minutes. 


MARGARET: (GENTLE ADMONISHMENT) Jim--


JIM: We'll have a little peace around here. Even if it is Thanksgiving. 


KATHY: (READS) "Thanksgiving is a different day, the day I like the best--" 


BETTY: (INTERRUPTS) Kathy, I haven't asked about the earrings. 


MARGARET: Which earrings, Betty?


BETTY: The ones with the rhinestones.


MARGARET: Oh, dear, those are much too old for you.


BETTY: Oh, no, they aren't, mother -- really they aren't. 


KATHY: (READS) "Thanksgiving is a different day--" ...


JIM: Er, just a minute, Kathy. Betty, if your mother says they're too old for you--


BETTY: (INTERRUPTS) But they aren't, father! I tried them on and--


MARGARET: (INTERRUPTS) Don't you think something less formal would be more suitable?


BETTY: But, mother-- 


MARGARET: (INTERRUPTS) After all, rhinestones in the afternoon--


BETTY: (BEAT, LOW) Not good, huh? 


MARGARET: Not good at all. 


BETTY: (BEAT) How 'bout the little pearl ones? 


MARGARET: Oh, much better. 


BETTY: May I? 


MARGARET: (WARMLY, YES) Mm hm. Of course, dear. 


BETTY: Oh, thank you, mother! You're an angel! (MOVING OFF) Go ahead, Kathy! 


JIM: Maybe I ought to get the vacuum cleaner; the whole rug's a mess. ...


MARGARET: Just leave it, Jim. I'll clean it later. 


JIM: It'll only take me a second. 


MARGARET: (QUIETLY FIRM) Jim! (QUIETLY ENCOURAGING) All right, Kathy. 


KATHY: (VERY UNCERTAIN) Now? ...


JIM: Yes! Get it over with -- please


KATHY: (READS)

"Thanksgiving is a different day, the day I like the best. 

It's even better than Sunday, which is called the day of rest."


SOUND: THUMP! AND CRASH! OF BIG SUITCASE AND BUD'S RUNNING STEPS COMING DOWN THE STAIRS


KATHY: (READS, A LITTLE LOUDER) "Thanksgiving is my favorite day--"


BUD: (OFF) So long, everybody! 


MARGARET: Oh, goodbye, dear. Now, have a nice time. 


JIM: (A LITTLE ANNOYED) Bud?! What are you doing with my suitcase? 


BUD: (OFF) What? 


KATHY: (READS, WITH DETERMINATION) "Thanksgiving is my favorite day--" ...


JIM: Come in here and bring the suitcase!


BUD: (APPROACHES) Gosh, I'm not gonna hurt it, dad.


JIM: Did anybody say you could borrow my suitcase?


BUD: No, dad. 


JIM: Then why are you taking it? 


BUD: Well, I have to carry them in something.


JIM: Carry what?


BUD: The football letters. They're gonna give 'em out at the dinner and the coach said--


JIM: (INTERRUPTS) Put it back where you got it.


BUD: But the coach said I could eat with the team-- 


JIM: (INTERRUPTS) I said, put it back. 


BUD: (DISCOURAGED) Holy cow. ...


KATHY: (READS, WITH DETERMINATION) "Thanksgiving is my favorite day--" ...


MARGARET: Jim, he isn't going to hurt anything. 


JIM: That's not the point. He has no right to take things without asking for them. 


BUD: But you were busy, dad. I tried to ask you this morning, remember? I said, "Dad--?" and you said you thought it was going to be wonderful for you and mom to have Thanksgiving dinner in a restaurant for a change, and I said, "Dad--?" and you said you thought everybody made too much of a fuss about Thanksgiving anyway, and I said, "Dad--?" and you said--


JIM: (INTERRUPTS) Bud?


BUD: Hm? ...


JIM: (BEAT, SOUR) Take the suitcase. ... 


BUD: (HAPPY) Oh, boy!


JIM: And next time, ask for it. 


BUD: I tried to, dad. I said--


JIM: (INTERRUPTS, EXASPERATED) Bud! ... 


BUD: Okay, dad. 


BETTY: (OFF) Goodbye now! 


MARGARET: Oh, is Billy here, dear? 


BETTY: (OFF) He's parked out front.


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS, OFF


MARGARET: Well, have a good time! 


JIM: Don't eat too much turkey! 


BETTY: (OFF) I won't! See you later!


MARGARET: Goodbye, dear!


JIM: Goodbye, Betty!


BUD &

KATHY: Bye!


SOUND: FRONT DOOR CLOSES, OFF


KATHY: (READS) "Thanksgiving is my favorite day--" ...


JIM: Just a minute, Kathy. Bud, are you driving downtown with Joe Phillips? 


BUD: Yes, dad. 


JIM: Why don't you drop Kathy off at the school? 


BUD: Okay. Come on, Kathy. 


KATHY: (DISBELIEF) I haven't finished my poem! 


JIM: Well, why haven't you? I haven't heard anything else for the past hour. 


KATHY: I tried to read it and first you said that Uncle Richard-- 


BUD: (INTERRUPTS) Come on, Kathy, will ya? I'm late. 


KATHY: (EXPLODES, STARTS RANTING) Nobody ever lets me do anything! Just 'cause I'm the littlest one in the family--! 


JIM: Kathy, read the poem. 


KATHY: (STILL RANTING) --everybody thinks they can pick on me! 


JIM: Kathy-- 


MARGARET: (GENTLY, HELPFUL) "Thanksgiving is my favorite day," dear. That's where you left off.


KATHY: (STILL RANTING) --and they don't have any right to--! (ABRUPTLY STARTS READING, WITH ENORMOUS PLEASURE) 

"Thanksgiving is my favorite day, though the skies are gray and murky,

'Cause that's the day when I get to eat - the drumstick of a turkey." ...


JIM: (BEAT) Well?


KATHY: That's the end. ...


BUD: (UNIMPRESSED) Some poem. 


MARGARET: (GENTLY ADMONISHES) Bud-- (SWEETLY) It's a very lovely poem, Kathy. 


KATHY: Thank you, mommy. 


JIM: (QUIET DISBELIEF) You mean that won the competition? 


MARGARET: (CHIDES) Jim! ...


JIM: (CAREFULLY, RELUCTANTLY) Well, er-- I'm not surprised. It's, er, very good. A little, er, sentimental perhaps, but - very good.


KATHY: Thank you, daddy. 


BUD: Get your coat, Kathy, and let's go.


KATHY: Mr. Bryant said he'd bring me home, mommy. 


MARGARET: That's fine, dear. 


KATHY: (MOVING OFF) And don't forget to listen to the broadcast. 


JIM: We won't. And behave yourself. 


BUD: (IMPATIENT, OFF) Come on, will ya?


KATHY: (OFF) Well, stop pulling me! Why do you always have to pull me?! 


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS, OFF


BUD: (OFF) Thanks for the suitcase, dad! 


JIM: That's all right! Have a nice time, Bud. You, too, Kathy! 


KATHY: (OFF) Goodbye!


MARGARET: Be a good girl, Kathleen! 


KATHY: (OFF) I will! 


BUD: (OFF) So long!


MARGARET: Goodbye, dear! 


SOUND: FRONT DOOR CLOSES, OFF


JIM: (BEAT) Well!


MARGARET: (EXHALES WEARILY) I'm completely exhausted. I don't know where they get all that energy. 


JIM: Margaret? Did she really win the competition with that poem? 


MARGARET: (AMUSED) She's only in the fourth grade, Jim. That's very good for the fourth grade. 


JIM: When I was nine, I could write poems like that standing on my head.


MARGARET: Well, if you've ever seen Kathy study, you'd know that that's probably the way she wrote it. ... 


JIM: (CHUCKLES, BEAT) Margaret? 


MARGARET: Yes, dear?


JIM: Have you noticed how quiet it is? 


MARGARET: (AMUSED) Yes, dear. 


JIM: Hasn't been this quiet for weeks. Has it? 


MARGARET: No, dear.


JIM: Well, it does ya good to get away from the kids for a while. Gives you a chance to relax, take things easy, read your paper and, er, things. 


MARGARET: Yes, dear. 


JIM: Get the kids out of the house and it makes all the difference in the world. Get a little peace and quiet. Don't you? 


MARGARET: Yes, dear. 


JIM: All that excitement and shouting and running up and down stairs -- absolutely unnecessary. Isn't it? 


MARGARET: I suppose so, dear. 


JIM: (BEAT) Margaret? 


MARGARET: Yes, dear? 


JIM: I'm lonesome. ...


MARGARET: (AMUSED, COMFORTING) Yes, dear.


MUSIC: FIRST ACT CURTAIN ... INCLUDES A SENTIMENTAL VIOLIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


ANNOUNCER: Well, father has a right to feel lonesome. After all, Thanksgiving is a family day. But whether or not the family can gather to join in the festivities, we all have many things to be thankful for. We Maxwell House people, for instance. We're happy that our coffee is America's favorite brand -- happy that, in so many homes, Thanksgiving dinner means a pot of Maxwell House coffee brewing on the stove as well as the turkey in the oven and the pumpkin pies cooling on the shelf. We take a lot of pride in our coffee -- and we want you to know you can count on Maxwell House, every cup you pour. We'll keep it always "good to the last drop" on Thanksgiving Day and every day in the year.


MUSIC: TRANSITION


SOUND: ON THE RADIO, POLITE FILTERED APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE ... VOICES OF PRINCIPAL AND KATHY ON FILTER


PRINCIPAL: That was very good, Barbara. Very good, indeed. Now our next winner is a rugged individualist, indeed.


MARGARET: (CALLS) Jim, it's Kathy! 


JIM: (OFF) I'll be right in!


PRINCIPAL: She put her thoughts on Thanksgiving into verse and will now read the poem which won for her the competition in the fourth grade. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Kathleen Anderson. 


SOUND: POLITE APPLAUSE ... THEN IN BG


JIM: (APPROACHES) Is it Kathy? Has she started yet?


MARGARET: Jim, be quiet.


JIM: Well, I just wanted to know. 


MARGARET: Sh!


SOUND: APPLAUSE STOPS


KATHY: (READS) Thanksgiving Day by Kathleen Joy (GULP!) Louise Anderson. ... 


JIM: (MIXED FEELINGS) Hmm.


KATHY: (READS) Fourth grade. Thanksgiving is a lucky day for all the girls and boys. It isn't just like Christmas when your-- (SUDDENLY STOPS AND FALTERS NERVOUSLY) --parents give you toys. 


JIM: (BEAT) Well, why doesn't she go on? 


MARGARET: Jim, please


PRINCIPAL: Go ahead, Kathleen. 


JIM: It isn't as if she had to remember anything. She's got it right in front of her. 


MARGARET: Oh, but, dear, she's probably very nervous.


JIM: Well she can read, can't she? 


PRINCIPAL: Kathleen, we're waiting.


KATHY: (SNIFFLES, TEARFUL) I wanta go home! ... (WEEPS EXTRAVAGANTLY, IN BG)


JIM: Ye gods, now what's gotten into her?


MARGARET: Oh, the poor little thing. 


KATHY: (MOVES OFF, WEEPING EXTRAVAGANTLY)


PRINCIPAL: (AFTER KATHY EXITS, VERY SMOOTH) Miss Anderson just remembered a previous engagement. ... Well, perhaps we'll have better luck with our next little guest, the winner of the competition in the fifth grade-- 


SOUND: RADIO SWITCHED OFF


JIM: You see, Margaret? I told you she shouldn't have gone. 


MARGARET: Oh, my poor baby. 


JIM: I've never heard anything like that in my entire life.


MARGARET: She was frightened, Jim, that's all. 


JIM: Frightened? Of what? You can't shut her up when she's in the house! ... Soon as she's supposed to talk, she makes a noise that sounds like Georgie Jessel. ... I tell you-- (STOPS SHORT, MORE SYMPATHETIC) Margaret?


MARGARET: Yes, Jim? 


JIM: Do you think we ought to go down and get her?


MARGARET: Oh, I don't think so. 


JIM: Poor kid's probably crying her heart out. 


MARGARET: She'll get over it. And don't forget, they promised her two drumsticks. 


JIM: I don't know, she didn't sound very hungry. ...


MARGARET: (SWEETLY) Do I? 


JIM: What? 


MARGARET: You promised me a Thanksgiving dinner at the Town House, remember? 


JIM: Ah, yes, I did, didn't I?


MARGARET: (LIGHTLY) I'll get my hat and coat. Or, er, would you rather have me sue you for breach of promise? 


JIM: (UNCOMFORTABLE) Margaret--? 


MARGARET: (MORE SERIOUS) Jim, there isn't anything wrong, is there? 


JIM: Oh, no, honey, everything's fine. It's just that-- Well-- 


MARGARET: Yes? 


JIM: I've been doing a lot of thinking and, er-- Er, would you mind very much if we didn't go out? 


MARGARET: (SURPRISED) Why, Jim! 


JIM: I know I promised you dinner, but-- Well, I'd just rather eat here.


MARGARET: But there isn't anything to eat.


JIM: Sure there is. I saw a whole heap of hamburger in the icebox. 


MARGARET: Hamburger on Thanksgiving Day? 


JIM: Margaret, to tell you the truth, this, er, doesn't seem much like Thanksgiving -- not like the kind of Thanksgiving we used to know.


MARGARET: (HALF-JOKING) Well, it's finally happened. After only eighteen years, you're tired of me.


JIM: (SHORT LAUGH) Oh, you know what I mean, don't you, honey? 


MARGARET: (CHUCKLES, LIGHTLY) I think so. 


JIM: Thanksgiving has always been a - a special sort of a day for me. Even when I was a boy. It was more than just a holiday; it was a time when the whole family got together and had fun. We used to go out into the country to my grandmother's.


MARGARET: We did, too -- go to my grandmother's, I mean. 


JIM: The whole family used to be there: my uncle Rob and his wife and their eight children, and my uncle Will and his wife and their ten children-- 


MARGARET: (CHUCKLES) That must have been cozy.


JIM: Oh, it was. We ate in shifts! ... My grandmother always swore she was feeding half of the neighbors' kids. ... Ah, but it was fun. 


MARGARET: Did you play games after dinner? 


JIM: Heck, no. We were so stuffed we couldn't move. 


MARGARET: Oh, you were a bunch of sissies. We used to play "Going to Jerusalem" or musical chairs or charades.


JIM: That's pretty hard to do with just two people, isn't it? 


MARGARET: (QUIETLY) Jim, there's one thing we mustn't forget. This is a new generation. It's a different sort of generation, with new ideas and a new sense of values. Times have changed.


JIM: Hmm, I guess they have. Let's, er-- Let's go into the kitchen and see what we can throw together.


MARGARET: (EXHALES, WARMLY) You're an old sentimentalist, Jim Anderson, that's what you are. 


JIM: (CHUCKLES)


MARGARET: And I love you. 


JIM: I love you, too. You know, maybe if the kids get home early, we can all go to a movie or something. How'd you like that? 


MARGARET: Oh, I wouldn't count on it, dear. Betty said not to expect her before midnight, and Bud's dinner won't start until six. 


JIM: Well, Kathy isn't going to stay out all night, is she?


MARGARET: Well, no. 


JIM: Okay, then we'll take Kathy to the movies. 


MARGARET: Well, we'll see, dear. It all depends on-- 


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, JIM AND MARGARET WALK TO KITCHEN DOOR, WHICH OPENS ... HAMBURGERS GRILLED, IN BG


MARGARET: (SURPRISED) Bud?! 


BUD: (A BIT MELANCHOLY) Hiya, mom. Hi, dad. 


JIM: What are you doing here? 


BUD: Fixing a hamburger. Want one? 


JIM: What happened to the dinner? 


BUD: What dinner? 


JIM: At the training table, with the football team.


BUD: Oh, that dinner. 


JIM: (BEAT) Well? 


BUD: I don't know, I guess I just wasn't hungry. 


JIM: Weren't hungry? You?! ... 


MARGARET: (WORRIED) Jim, I'm going to call Dr. Simmons. 


JIM: Er, wait a minute, Margaret. Bud, if you aren't hungry, why the hamburger? 


BUD: The hamburger?


JIM: Pardon me, the three hamburgers. 


BUD: Oh. Well, I - I guess I got hungry. 


MARGARET: Oh, Bud, if you don't feel well, please tell us.


BUD: But I do feel well, mom. I feel fine.


JIM: Look, Bud, if you don't want to tell us the truth-- 


BUD: But I am telling you the truth. I didn't like the dinner, that's all. Bunch of big goofs sittin' around talkin' about football. What good is that?


MARGARET: Since when don't you like to talk about football? 


SOUND: FRONT DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES, OFF


JIM: (TO MARGARET) Just a second, honey. (CALLS) Kathy?! 


BETTY: (CALLS, FROM OFF, ALSO A BIT MELANCHOLY) It's me, father! 


BUD: What's she doing home?


MARGARET: What on earth is--?


JIM: (CALLS) Uh, we're in the kitchen, Betty!


BETTY: (OFF) I'll be right in! 


MARGARET: (UNHAPPY) Oh, dear. Just when everything was going so well. 


JIM: Margaret, why do you immediately assume that something is wrong? Maybe the Liggetts decided not to have a party, or maybe Betty had the wrong day. Lots of things could have happened.


MARGARET: The party was today; I know it was.


JIM: Well, maybe it hasn't started yet. 


BETTY: (APPROACHES) What's everybody doing in the kitchen? (SURPRISED) Oh, hi, Bud. What are you doing here?


BUD: Oh, nothin' much. Want a hamburger? 


BETTY: Okay. 


JIM: Never mind the hamburgers, Bud. We've got things to discuss that are much more important.


BUD: Than hamburgers? ... 


MARGARET: (TO BETTY) Do you feel all right, dear?


BETTY: Sure. Why? 


JIM: You told your mother you wouldn't be home until midnight.


BETTY: Oh. Well, I-- Well, I wasn't going to, but I came up with the most awful headache. 


MARGARET: (WORRIED) Jim--? 


JIM: You just said you felt fine. 


BETTY: I do. Oh, I mean, I do except for this headache. 


MARGARET: Jim, I'm going to call Mrs. Liggett and ask her-- 


BETTY: (INTERRUPTS) Mother, you know if there was anything wrong, I'd tell you. I always have, haven't I? 


MARGARET: Yes, dear, you have, but--


SOUND: DURING ABOVE, FRONT DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES, OFF


JIM: Er, just a minute, Margaret. (CALLS) Kathy?!


KATHY: (OFF, VERY MELANCHOLY) Yes, daddy? 


JIM: (CALLS) We're in the kitchen. Come on in! 


KATHY: (OFF) Yes, daddy.


JIM: See, Margaret? I told you we should have gone down for her.


MARGARET: Well, I had no way of knowing--


BETTY: What's the matter with Kathy? 


JIM: Your sister. Reads the first line of her poem and bursts into tears.


BUD: No kiddin'? 


BETTY: (SYMPATHETIC) The poor little thing. 


KATHY: (READY TO CRY AGAIN) Hello. ... 


MARGARET: (VERY SYMPATHETIC) Oh, angel.


JIM: Hello, sweetheart. Come on over here and tell your daddy all your troubles. 


KATHY: I don't have any troubles, daddy. (SNIFFLE) I'm just not happy.


JIM: Well, it isn't anything to cry about, is it? 


MARGARET: It was a lovely poem, darling, even if you didn't read it. 


BUD: And don't you worry, knothead -- if anybody makes fun of ya, ... I'll poke 'em right in the nose. 


MARGARET: (HALF-AMUSED, ADMONISHES) Oh, Bud-- 


KATHY: I don't care if they do make fun of me. I didn't want to read my poem. Not to them.


MARGARET: Why, Kathy, they're your friends. 


KATHY: (TEARFUL) I don't want them. It's Thanksgiving and I wanted my mommy and my daddy and my sister and my brother. (WEEPS) I was lonesome. (WEEPS QUIETLY, IN BG)


MARGARET: Kathy darling-- 


JIM: She's all right, Margaret. Just - leave her alone.


BETTY: (READY TO CRY) Mother? 


MARGARET: Yes, Betty? 


BETTY: (TEARFUL) I was lonesome, too! ...


JIM: Oh, now wait a minute-- 


MARGARET: (SNIFFLES, TEARFUL) Oh, Jim-- 


JIM: Margaret, not you, too? ... 


MARGARET: Yes, me, too. 


JIM: Good grief.


MARGARET: (BIG SNIFFLE) ...


JIM: We sound like the third act of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." ... What's the matter with you, Bud?


BUD: Nothin'. I just feel like blowing my nose, that's all. ...


JIM: Well, blow it.


BUD: (BLOWS HIS NOSE) ...


JIM: Now get busy with the hamburgers.


BUD: Okay, dad. 


JIM: (UPBEAT) How 'bout a little food for the hungry Andersons? 


SOUND: MORE BURGERS GRILLED, IN BG ... THE FAMILY'S MOOD SLOWLY LIGHTENS


BETTY: I'm starving. 


MARGARET: Hamburgers -- it's a fine thing to serve for a Thanksgiving dinner, isn't it? 


JIM: It sounds fine to me.


KATHY: I don't care what part of the hamburger I get ... as long as it's the drumstick. ...


JIM: (CHUCKLES) Atta girl, Kathy. Well, what are we waiting for? Let's sit down and be comfortable.


SOUND: CHAIRS SCRAPE AS FAMILY SITS AT KITCHEN TABLE DURING FOLLOWING--


MARGARET: Well, I'll take over, Bud. 


BUD: I'm doin' fine, mom. 


MARGARET: Oh, Bud, really-- 


JIM: Now, don't argue with the chef, Margaret. Just sit down and relax.


MARGARET: Well, if you insist. 


BUD: Four hamburgers, comin' up! 


BETTY: (CRACKING WISE) Well, that'll take care of me, but what are they gonna eat? 


JIM: (CHUCKLES)


MARGARET: (CHUCKLES) Betty--!


KATHY: (ALSO AMUSED) Oh, you big pig! 


JIM: Margaret? Kids? Before we dig into these juicy Thanksgiving burgers, may I say something? 


(OVERLAPPING LINES)

MARGARET: Go ahead, dear. 

KATHY: Sure, daddy.

BUD: Well, sure, dad.

BETTY: Go ahead, father.


JIM: This has been, I think, the happiest Thanksgiving day of my entire life. And if you don't mind, I'd like to say a special grace. 


MUSIC: SNEAKS IN BEHIND JIM ... HARP AND ORCHESTRA ... QUIETLY STIRRING ... BUILDS TO CURTAIN, IN BG


JIM: (BEAT, SIMPLY) O Lord, we give thee thanks from the bottom of our humble hearts for the blessings thou has seen fit to bestow upon us. We thank thee for the food that graces our table, and the roof that covers our head. We thank thee for the privilege of living as free men in a country which respects our freedom and our personal rights to worship, and think and speak, as we choose. But most of all, dear Lord, we thank thee for making us a family. For giving us sincerity and understanding. We thank thee for giving us the most cherished gift a family may know: the gift of love for one another. Amen.


MUSIC: UP FOR A WARM AND BEAUTIFUL CURTAIN, WHICH ENDS WITH THE ORCHESTRA QUIETLY DROPPING OUT, LEAVING THE SOLO HARP TO FINISH GENTLY ... THEN ORCHESTRA RETURNS, MORE SPRIGHTLY, FOR THE NEXT MORNING, BEHIND ANNOUNCER--


ANNOUNCER: It's morning now -- and in the Anderson breakfast nook, life has eased back into its accustomed groove. Thanksgiving Day is over, but the Andersons-- Well, they go on forever. Like this-- 


KATHY: Why can't I wear lipstick? Claudia McHugh does and she's only twelve.


MARGARET: Here's your coffee, dear. 


JIM: Thank you.


KATHY: Well? 


JIM: Well, what? 


KATHY: Well, why can't I? 


JIM: (SIMPLY) Because I said you couldn't. And eat your breakfast.


KATHY: Gee whiz. 


SOUND: NOISY THUMPETY-THUMP! OF BUD BARRELING DOWN THE STAIRS


JIM: Oh, Margaret, we've got to do something about that boy. He's beginning to shake the house. ...


MARGARET: I'll speak to him, dear. 


JIM: If he can't take it easy on the stairs, don't feed him so much. ... One of these days, he's gonna go right through.


BUD: Hiya, dad. Good morning, mom. 


JIM: Hi. Sit down and eat your breakfast.


MARGARET: Good morning, dear.


KATHY: (TO BUD) You didn't say anything to me. 


BUD: Hiya, squirt. ...


KATHY: (PLEASED, OVERLY SWEET) Good morning. 


BETTY: (APPROACHES, FURIOUS) Mother, do you know what Bud did? He used my good cologne on his hair! 


JIM: (PLEASANT) Good morning, Betty.


BUD: I used two drops. 


BETTY: You used practically the whole bottle! 


BUD: I did not. 


JIM: (PLEASANT) Good morning, Betty. 


BETTY: Mother, if I can't have a little privacy with my own things--! 


JIM: (SHARPLY) Betty! 


BETTY: (TAKEN ABACK) What? 


JIM: (PLEASANT) Good morning.


BETTY: (NO LONGER FURIOUS) Good morning, father. 


JIM: (BEAT) That's better. Sit down, eat your breakfast. 


BETTY: (RESTRAINED EXASPERATION) Jumpin' creepers. ...


JIM: You know, Margaret, there's one thing I'm really going to enjoy about our Thanksgiving Day dinner yesterday.


MARGARET: What's that, dear? 


JIM: We're probably the only family in Springfield that won't be eating leftover turkey for the next month. ... 


MARGARET: (AMUSED) Yes, dear. 


JIM: What are we going to have for dinner tonight?


MARGARET: (POINTED) Leftover hamburgers. ...


MUSIC: CURTAIN


SOUND: APPLAUSE


2ND ANNCR: So you don't think your family will ever be hungry again? Well, you just wait till tomorrow morning. The kids will be banging their spoons for breakfast the same as ever. So be ready with steaming bowls of hot Post Wheat Meal -- and tell the youngsters it's Hopalong Cassidy's favorite hot cereal. Yes, hot Post Wheat Meal, with solid whole wheat nourishment and rich nutlike flavor that Hopalong sure goes for. Hot Post Wheat Meal! You'll see! You'll all agree! It's the best hot cereal you ever ate.


MUSIC: THEME ... THEN IN BG


ANNOUNCER: These days stores everywhere are featuring lower prices on Maxwell House Coffee -- the lowest prices in months. Bring home one of those familiar blue tins tomorrow and enjoy coffee that's always good to the last drop. Join us again next week when we'll be back with FATHER KNOWS BEST, starring Robert Young as Jim Anderson, with Roy Bargy and the Maxwell House Orchestra, and yours truly Bill Forman. So until next Thursday, good night and good luck from the makers of Maxwell House. FATHER KNOWS BEST was transcribed in Hollywood and written by Ed James. Now stay tuned in for DRAGNET, which follows immediately over most of these stations.


SOUND: APPLAUSE 


MUSIC: OUT


SOUND: APPLAUSE FADES OUT FOR--


NBC ANNCR: Exciting DRAGNET is next, then WE THE PEOPLE, on NBC.


MUSIC: NBC CHIMES

Comments