Home Screenwriting Products Screenwriter Community Screenwriting Store
ScriptBuddy - Screenwriting Software for the Web

Screenwriter Community

Back to List of Published Screenplays
View/Leave Feedback

Learning Them Right- The Pilot
by Brandon and Gerald Young (young1bd@gmail.com)

Rated: PG   Genre: Comedy   User Review: ***1/2

This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



Principal Sandra Garver and Mike Birbiglia (Birbigs) are
walking down the hallway together en route to Mike's new
classroom. Principal Garver is a woman in her late fifties.
Mike is the newest member of the teaching staff at Thomas
Jefferson Middle School. He is in his mid-twenties.
                       PRINCIPAL GARVER
Mike, I hope you enjoy your tenure
here at Thomas Jefferson Middle
I hope so, too, Principal Garver.
                       PRINCIPAL GARVER
Please call me Sandra.
Okay, Sandy. Sandyra...Ugh,
Principal Garver.
                       PRINCIPAL GARVER
Just remember, these kids are used
to Mrs. Sweet, so don't let them
push you over.
Aren't they just sixth graders?
I'm like a giant to them.
                       PRINCIPAL GARVER
These kids are little devils.
It can't be that bad.
                       PRINCIPAL GARVER
Do you remember when you were in
sixth grade?
Of course, I do. When I was a
kid, I did whatever I wanted. It
was great. I know all about being
a little devil.


                       PRINCIPAL GARVER
I am not going to sugar coat
things Mike. They are a tough
bunch to keep track of. It is like
trying to keep up with the news
these days.
I hear that. Speaking of the news.
I was watching it last night and I
saw that there was a hundred and
twelve car pile up.
Principal Garver looks at Mike with a perplexed look on her
                       PRINCIPAL GARVER
A hundred and twelve?
Yes, a hundred and twelve. I can
maybe understand the first
hundred, but the last group of
twelve? They are a bunch of
morons. I mean, there's a hundred
cars crashed in front of you.
                       PRINCIPAL GARVER
Well, put your seatbelt on Mike.
Here we are.
Principal Garver opens the door and they walk into the
classroom. We cut to the opening credits.
There is a rustling inside a classroom filled with
middle-schoolers. As the door opens, the children begin to
settle down awaiting who will enter the door. The door
opens and Principal Garver walks in with the new teacher,
Mike Birbiglia. The class is silent awaiting Mrs. Garver's
introduction to the class.
                       PRINCIPAL GARVER
Good morning class. As you can
tell, Mrs. Sweet is not here
today. She is actually in the
process of giving birth to another
one of you rapscallions as we
speak. I am here to introduce you
to your new US History teacher,
Mr. Birbiglia. Hopefully, you can
make his stay here at Thomas


                       PRINCIPAL GARVER (cont'd)
Jefferson Middle School a
memorable one. So, without
further ado, I give you Mr.
Principal Garver exits the classroom as Mr. Birbiglia grabs
some chalk and writes his name on the chalkboard. Halfway
through writing, a paper-wad hits Mr. Birbiglia on his
shoulder. After hitting his shoulder, a loud screech is
heard coming from the chalkboard upon Mr. Birbiglia
finishing writing his name. The children all moan at the
annoying noise.
As Principal Garver pointed out,
my name is Mr. Birbiglia.
Upon hearing his name, the children all giggle a little.
Laugh it up now kids. It's a
funny name, I know. Before I tell
you about myself, do you have any
A young girl in the back of the class, Kassy Smith, raises
her hand in an attempt to gain Mr. Birbiglia's attention.
Yes, you in the back, do you have
a question?
Mr. Birbigapie, do you have a
A couple of girls sitting next to Kassy giggle at her
remark. Birbigs erases the 'lia' from his name and changes
it to 'apie.'
Okay, let's make a small
correction. Apparently, to the
girl in the back, my new name is
Mr. Birbigapie. Feel free to call
me that the remainder of the
school year. And to answer your
question, yes, I am single at the
moment. Now that that is out of
the way, are there any other
questions that may be pertinent to
US History?


A boy in the front of the class, Norman Fillmore, raises his
hand. Birbigs calls on him.
You in the front?
Mr. Birbiglia, you'll have to
forgive Kassy, she's the classroom
clown of the group.
Kassy objects.
Shut up, Dorkman!
Norman turns his attention to Kassy in retaliation.
You shut up, Crabby Kassy!
Norman and Kassy bicker back and forth. Eventually, the
other children join in on the bickering. The classroom
erupts in noise until Birbigs intervenes by making an even
louder screeching noise on the chalkboard. The classroom
becomes dead silent.
      (To Himself)
That's how that works.
The class becomes fixated on Mr. Birbiglia.
Once again, my name is Mr.
Birbiglia. I am here to teach you
a little bit about the history of
our nation.
A heavier-set boy, Bear, sitting in the middle of the room
raises his hand. Birbigs acknowledges his question.
Before you ask your question, what
is your name?
My name is Bear.
Kassy interjects from the back.


That's because he's fat and he
sleeps a lot.
Shut your yapper, Kassy. No, Mr.
Birbiglia, my real name is B.J. My
parents' favorite show used to be
B.J. and the Bear. Hence, Bear.
Thank you for elaborating, Bear.
You're welcome, Mr. Birbiglia.
So what's your question?
Well, on Fridays at the end of
each month, Mrs. Sweet used to
bring in goodies like cookies and
cake. Will you be doing the same?
I'm going to have to look into
Does anyone know where Mrs. Sweet
left off so we can get started
Kassy lifts her hand to the sky.
Yes, Kassy?
Mrs. Sweet said you and Mr. Cook
were college buddies and he's
helping you out by getting you
this substitute teacher position.
Is that true?
I would like to think my years of
dedication to our education system
is what got me the job, but I


                       BIRBIGS (cont'd)
guess Rob did have a little bit to
do with it.
I asked Mr. Cook about it
yesterday and he said you two did
some pretty crazy stuff together.
He told me to remind you of the
eight dollars you still owe him.
Birbigs shakes his head in dismay.
The next time you see him, tell
him I paid him back already.
Mr. Cook said you'd say that and
he told me to tell you that eight
dollars as a graduation present
doesn't count.
Mr. Cook seems to have a very
selective memory.
Norman raises his hand and waves it to get Birbig's
What's selective memory?
Well, selective memory would be
like when your parents ask you to
take out the trash and then later
at dinner they ask you why you
didn't take the trash out. You say
because you forgot. Now you didn't
actually forget. You just didn't
take the trash out because you
were too busy playing your X Box.
So Mr. Birbagapoo, you have had
selective memory the past few
years when you haven't paid Mr.
Cook back the eight dollars you
owe him?
Birbigs erases the igapie part of his name and changes it to


To make things easier on you
children I am just going to let
you all call me Mr. Birbigs. We
should really get going on with
our lesson.
Birbigs looks into his lesson book. Upon doing so, Bear
raises his hand.
Mr. Birpigs, can I go to the
And you are one to call someone a
Shut up, Blabby Kassy!
Children, children! One thing I
will not tolerate in my class is
fighting. Another thing I will not
tolerate is children going to the
bathroom on themselves. So yes
Bear you can go to the bathroom.
Bear leaves the classroom.
You know he is just going to his
locker to eat some junk food he
brought from home.
His mom doesn't let him eat those
things. She always gives him
He always bullies other kids for
their snacks. He got so many ho
hos last week that he could have
opened a 7-11.
      (Chuckles to
All right, that is not nice. I am
sure he just went to the bathroom.


There is a knock on the door and then it opens. Rob, Mike's
friend and another teacher, comes in with a big smile. He
has Bear with him. Bear has cream from a snack cake smeared
all over his face.
Look who I found at his locker
feeding his face with snack cakes.
I thought you had to go to the
      (Wiping the cream
       off with his
Oh yeah, that is where I was
going. I must have that selective
memory thing you were telling us
Well, I just wanted to deliver
this hoodlum back to you. I have a
class of my own I have to get back
to. Still want to meet up at The
Slide later?
I'll be there around five. A
little laughter might be my only
savior after a day like today. See
ya around.
All right. Latero brother.
Rob exits the classroom.
Are you and Mr. Cook going to get
a drunk? That is what my mom calls
my dad every time he comes home
      (Shying away from
       the question.)
We really need to get back on
track here. It seems that you were
last talking about Abraham
Lincoln. Norman can you tell me
what year Lincoln became the


                       BIRBIGS (cont'd)
Abraham Lincoln became the 16th
president of the United States in
Know it all.
Kassy that was very uncalled for.
There is nothing wrong with having
a lot of knowledge. Very good
Norman. Ok Kassy your turn. What
major event happened during
Lincoln's presidency?
You were born.
The children all giggle.
Close. I was actually born a
couple of years before he became
president. How bout you Bear?
Bear is licking the remainder of the cream from the snack
cake off his fingers.
Huh? Oh, I was born in 1994.
No, Bear. I asked what major
event happened during Abraham
Lincoln's presidency?
They invented the Twinkie?
Everyone giggles.
No, actually the Twinkie wasn't
invented until 1930. The answer I
was looking for was the Civil War.
The Civil War was fought between
the northern states and the
southern states over the right to
abolish slavery.


Mr. 1.21 Birbigawatts? If it was
called the "Civil" War, then why
were they fighting?
Well, McFly, you tell me.
Birbigs looks up at the clock and notices that the bell will
be ringing shortly. The classroom takes notice and begins
gathering their belongings in an effort to exit the
classroom as quickly as possible.
Settle down, class. For tomorrow,
I want you all to write a one-page
paper explaining why the Civil War
was fought.
After finishing his sentence, the bell rings. The children
all jump out of their seats and exit the room.
I'll see you all tomorrow. And
don't forget to turn in that...
All the kids have left.
As Birbigs gathers his papers and puts them in his
briefcase, the classroom door is slowly opened. In walks a
young woman, Maddy, with a pile of papers in her hands.
Maddy is in her mid-late twenties. She has been teaching
for five years. She sets them on a desk as she starts a
conversation with Mike.
So I see they stuck you with the
hellions of the school. Did you
fair well?
If by well you mean having to
break up constant fights and doing
my best imitation of being a trash
can with all the wadded up pieces
of paper that hit me then I did


Don't worry about it, they're
actually a pretty good group of
Let's hope so. I'm Mike
Birbiglia, by the way.
Mike extends his hand. Maddy accepts and extends her hand
in return.
Hello, Mike, I'm Madeline
Stallworth, but everyone calls me
Hopefully, I will get the chance
to call you.
We'll see. So Rob says you used
to do some stand-up comedy in
college. Why'd you give up on
your dreams?
It just wasn't paying the bills.
So you decided to become a
Yeah, I guess I should have stuck
with the comedy.
Maddy takes notice of what is written on the chalkboard.
It's a little thing I've had to
deal with my whole life. Most
people can't pronounce my last
name. It's really a blast when
telemarketers call me. They're
all like, "Good afternoon may I
speak with Mr.... ah man!!!
Gerbigaboo?" I'm like, "Yeah,
Gerbigaboo doesn't live here


                       BIRBIGS (cont'd)
Maddy smiles and slightly laughs.
Even automated telemarketers get
it wrong, they'll be like, "Good
afternoon, may I speak with Mr...
system error."
Meh, ok.
I'm always spelling my last name
on the phone. I'm like, "It's b as
in boy. I, r, b again." I wish my
last name was just boy. "It's b as
in boy and then the rest of the
word boy."
Now I see why you gave up on
I knew she had the beauty, but I
never knew she had the jokes. You
know there's an amateur night at
The Slide coming up if you are
interested in performing.
I might just look into that.
The two pause for a brief moment, smiling at one another.
Maddy breaks the silence.
Well, if you need a little help
sometime just let me know. I am
right next door to you.
Ok, I will do that.
Hey, real quick before I go. Some
of the other staff members and I
were discussing what descent you
came from. You don't hear the name
Birbiglia everyday you know.


Oh, I'm Italian. Well, my family's
not like real Italian. We are more
like Olive Garden Italian.
All right Mike. I'll be seeing you
Not if I see you first.
Umm, okay.
Maddy grabs her papers from the desk and exits the room.
      (Muttering to
Not if I see you first?
Mike and Rob are sitting in the teacher's lounge eating
their respective lunches. An older, black gentleman, Art,
walks in and sits down next to them.
What's going on, Honkies?
Excuse me?
Relax, it's just Art. Let me
introduce you two. Mike this is
Art. Art this is Mike.
Art and Mike shake hands.
Art's been teaching here, for
what, 100 years now?
Honky, it's only been 24 years.
24 years? Wow, that's pretty


No kidding. I mean he called us
honkies. The Jeffersons were still
in primetime when Art started
teaching. Retire already, would
I'll retire when you finally come
out of the closet.
For the last time, Art, I'm not
gay, my roommate is.
Whatever you have to tell
yourself. Don't worry, your
secret's safe with me.
Art, I have ground rules. I tell
him he has to stay on his side of
the shower, or else no more neck
Yeah, he lays down the law.
I'm like that cop from the Village
Just finish eating your sandwich.
I have some children that need to
learn. Obviously, you couldn't do
the job right, so they need me to
finish up.
This is where I would normally say
something about your wife, but I
never really thought Weezie was
all that hot.
Art gets up from his seat.
Well, Rob, since it's time I need
to get movin' on up I will let
that slide. It was nice meeting
you new guy.


It was nice meeting you, too?
Art exits the teacher's lounge.
Pretty strange guy.
He's pretty gruff on the outside,
but really a pretty good guy on
the inside. He's always buying
kids lunches and things of that
Who would ever eat a lunch that
was given to you by that guy?
Everyday the students eat lunch
that is given to them by the lunch
You've got a point there.
Maddy enters the lounge. She puts her stuff down and goes to
pour herself a cup of coffee. She realizes there isn't
enough made.
Is it really that tough to make
some more coffee when it is empty?
Some people are just lazy. It
wasn't one of you guys was it?
I think it was Art. But he just
just left. How about I just make
you some more coffee?
Actually, I think I'll just drink
water. It is not like I had a
rough night last night. My date
stood me up.
Maddy pours herself a cup of water out of the cooler.


Yeah, I'm really sorry about that.
I sort of got held up in traffic.
That's a shame. You only get one
shot with me and you blew it. Poor
you. Ok boys, I have a few more
things to take care of. I'll see
you around.
Maddy picks up her things and exits the lounge.
      (Mocks being
       stabbed in the
Yeah, poor me.
Oh Romeo, Oh Romeo, she-ith
art-ith out-ith thine league...ith
dumb-ith Romeo.
You just get ready-ith for your
next class there, Shakespeare.
Rob and Mike take a seat at the bar. The barkeep is
cleaning a glass when he walks up to the guys to see what
they want.
What'll it be today?
Can I get a Sam Adams?
I'll have a rum and Coke minus the
Okay, one Sam Adams and one Coke
coming up.
The bartender prepares their drinks.


I never did understand why you
even come up to the bar, you never
Forgive me if I'm allergic to
Yeah, it makes me dizzy and ill
the next morning.
The only thing I get allergic to
here is some of the shmucks that
come on stage thinking they are
funny. Honestly, do some of these
hacks think they can pull the wool
over our eyes with only changing a
couple of words from someone
else's bit?
The bartender comes back with two drinks in his hands.
That'll be $7.50.
Mike, pay the man.
Birbigs shakes his head and pulls out his wallet. He hands
the barkeep a ten-dollar bill.
Keep the change.
The bartender nods his head and steps away from Mike and
Now you only owe me four dollars.
I paid you already.


Giving me a graduation card with
eight dollars in it isn't exactly
what I call paying me back.
Sure it is.
Mike, graduation cards with money
in it is a parent's way of saying,
"Here is some money so you can get
out of my house as soon as you
All you did was buy me a t-shirt.
It's not like you saved my life.
With the last eight dollars in my
pocket, I bought you a t-shirt
without a stain in it, that
theoretically saved your life. Had
you not been wearing "my" t-shirt,
your social life would have ceased
to exist.
It was just a t-shirt, let it go.
Enough about that. So what's the
deal with Maddy?
I see Humpty-Dumpty has found
himself enough courage to climb
back on top of the wall.
It's been a while since I've dated
someone. I need to give it a shot
again, but it is hard to find what
I am looking for though.
What are you looking for?
I want a woman that loves me for
my money, but doesn't understand


Good luck. So why did you and
Michelle break up again?
You know, she was a little older
than me and was getting to that
age where she wanted to have kids,
so we had to break up.
That's pretty bold, man.
What? I've decided that I'm not
going to have kids until I am
absolutely sure that nothing else
good can happen in my life. I mean
I want kids; I just don't want to
meet them.
I can understand that.
We just didn't share the same
views on things. Like one day I
asked her what she feared the
most. She said, "You'll meet
someone else, you'll leave me and
I'll be all alone." Then she
asked me what I feared the most. I
said, "Bears."
They are pretty scary.
Interesting enough, the bear
doesn't actually kill the most
people in the animal kingdom, it's
actually hippos. And I just
thought they ate those little
white marbles.
I always thought hippos were
marblevoirs, too.
So what's your take on Maddy?


And for the first time in life
ladies and gentlemen. Someone has
segued out of a Hungry, Hungry
Hippos reference and into 6th
grade semantics for will she go
out with me. What do you mean my
take? Dude, she's hot.
Thanks for taking me on a voyage
to the land of astute observation,
Admiral Obvious.
Wait until I get a few of these
beers in me. That's when life's
true secrets come out.
By life's true secrets you mean
you confess to me how great of a
friend I am and how you have
always had a crush on my mother.
She always had that Mrs. Cleaver
appeal to her.
Easy Eddie Haskell.
I'll tell you man. To get Maddy
you have to be high class. I have
seen some of the guys she has
dated. You are not exactly the
caliber of man that she associates
So you're calling me white trash?
Hey, you are the guy that when
planning a one-month comedy tour
of the midwest, used mapquest to
find every Denny's along the way.
What's wrong with that? I like
being able to have a Grand Slam
Breakfast at 3 a.m. High class...
I can ride around and eat Sun


                       BIRBIGS (cont'd)
Chips in my Volvo just like the
next guy.
Cracka please. I mean high class.
I am talking limos, caviar, and
the opera.
Did you just cracka please me? How
are you going to break out the "c"
word on me like that?
Look Mikey, all I am trying to say
is that she might be a tad out of
your league.
We'll see about that Roberto.
I'm just trying to be your friend
here and save you some valuable
What else am I going to be doing
with my time? Let me outline my
day. I wake up. I drink some
coffee. And by the way. If I ever
get to the point where the best
part of waking up is Folgers in my
cup, please make it so I don't
have to ever wake up.
I'll keep that in mind.
After that I go to school and have
to play referee for a bunch of
fighting sixth graders. Not to
mention having to suffer through
all the mispronunciations of my
last name. I can't believe some
kid called me Mr. 1.21
Birbigiwatts today.


No kidding. How did a kid so young
go back to the future for that
I don't know. All I do know is
that by the end of this school
year, Miss Madeline Stallworth
will have gone on one date with
Let's just hope for your sake that
your dream comes true. I think
the act is coming on soon. By the
way, have I told you how hot your
mom is?
The emcee comes on stage to introduce the comedian who will
be coming on for open-mic.
Welcome to The Slide, your home
for comedy. Tonight's featured
comic comes to you from ****. ****
has been working stand-up for **
years now. So without further ado
I present to you: ****
**** walks up on stage and does his bit.


Back to Top of Page
Leave Feedback
From Andy Carbon Date 8/27/2007 ***
It's good, but sometimes you confuse the reader. For example, you don't know who is going for Maddy until pg. 18 or so. At first I thought it was Mike, then I thought it was Rob, then I finally figured out it was Mike. The story has potential, so keep on writing. Never give up.

From Kris Shaft Date 8/24/2007 ****
HILARIOUS! Good plot, good characters, nice dialogue, all-out-funny. So much of the so-called "comedy" on TV is not funny at all, really pitch this to somebody.

Back to Top of Page
Leave Feedback
You must be logged in to leave feedback.
Home    My Account    Products    Screenwriter Community    Screenwriter's Corner    Help
Forgot Your Password?    Privacy Policy    Copyright 2024, ScriptBuddy LLC.    Email help@scriptbuddy.com