Episode 203 : “New Boss, Same as the Old Boss”
Fade In: int. white house — day
Kellyanne enters in a rush.
Kellyanne: So sorry I’m late! You would not believe how hard it is to get here through all of those awful protesters. I mean, I guess it’s a First Amendment thing, but –
She stops. She notices the empty desk next to hers.
Kellyanne: Uh oh.
She crosses over to Mr. Bannon’s office, takes a deep breath, smooths her dress, breathes into her hand to check her breath, and is about to knock on the door when Donald Trump enters from the Oval Office.
Donald Trump: Hi guys! (STOPS, SEES KELLYANNE) Gals. Gal. Hi gal!
Kellyanne: Good morning, sir!
Donald Trump: Super cute outfit! (THEN, SEEING EMPTY DESK) What’s with the empty desk?
Kellyanne: I don’t know, sir. We were supposed to have a communications director here last week. You know, to replace the one you –
Donald Trump: What do you call that kind of sleeve? Is it a ruffle? Is it a Dolman sleeve? I think it’s very attractive.
Kellyanne: Thank you, sir. But as I was saying, the comms director. I really think we need to get someone into that job as soon as possible. I’m going to ask Mr. Bannon if we can maybe move a little faster on –
Donald Trump: Mr. Bannon? Steve Bannon?
Donald Trump: Oh boy. Look, I have some bad news, Kellyanne. I think you’d better sit down.
Kellyanne: Sir? You’re scaring me.
Donald Trump: It’s just that . . . it’s just that . . .
General John Kelly enters.
Donald Trump: Tell her, John!
John Kelly: Mr. Bannon has been relieved of his duties. Let’s all get back to work.
Kellyanne: But . . . but . . .
John Kelly: Kellyanne, you and I don’t know each other well. While I was in uniform, fighting for this country, you were . . . you were . . . you were where, again?
Kellyanne: Working for Frank Luntz?
John Kelly: Right. The guy with the hair?
Kellyanne: Well, that’s sort of hard to answer. It’s more like the guy –
Donald Trump: With the weird hair! Am I right? (OFF THEIR LOOKS) Hey, I get the irony, okay? Hey, is Luntz Jewish? Or is he just Jew-ish? I ask because I’m getting more flak for the whole Charlottesville thing and I want to maybe ask some actual Jews if they’re okay with what I said about those Nazi guys down there not being so bad.
John Kelly: Sir, you’re dismissed for the moment.
Donald Trump: Seriously? Terrific. I’ve been collecting some really fun Confederate-statue memes and I want to tweet them while I take my morning –
John Kelly: Sir, please hand over your device.
Donald Trump: Hey, that’s what she said!
Donald Trump: Get it?
John Kelly extends his hand. Trump reluctantly hands him his smartphone.
Donald Trump: Great. So now what am I going to do when I’m in the –
John Kelly hands over a sheaf of papers.
Donald Trump: As my daughter says, Oy!
He exits. A beat. Trump re-enters.
Donald Trump: That’s funny, right? I should use that at one of my rallies, right?
John Kelly: Mr. President –
Donald Trump: Got it. I’m gone.
He exits quickly.
Kellyanne: He’s not at his best in the mornings. When you get to know him better –
Kelly holds up his hand.
John Kelly: I don’t plan on doing that. Now. Mrs. Conway, I will be frank with you. This is not a ship-shape operation, and if there’s one thing General John Kelly, USMC, expects and demands, it’s a ship-shape operation. Do you know why I took this job, Mrs. Conway?
Kellyanne: Um, the convenient parking?
John Kelly: Is that some kind of witty remark, ma’am? Some kind of humoristical joke designed to create a warm rapport between you and your new boss?
John Kelly: Well, then, I regret to inform you, ma’am, that those kinds of satirical asides do not work on me. I have spent most of my life trying to rid myself of any trace of a sense of humor, and I’m proud to say that I’ve succeeded at that mission. We have work to do here, Mrs. Conway. This administration is a chaotic mess. The chain of command is broken. And our commanding officer is, if I may speak frankly, probably unfit for his duty. Our mission, ma’am, is to do what we can to right this sinking ship, corral and contain the irrational and self-destructive impulses of our commander, and achieve clarity and effectiveness in the work that we do. And I believe, one hundred and ten percent, that we can do that.
Kellyanne: Are you sure you don’t have a sense of humor? Because what you just said is pretty freakin’ funny.
John Kelly: Drop and give me fifty, Mrs. Conway.
Kellyanne: You can’t be serious.
John Kelly: You want to make it a hundred?
Kellyanne looks around, then gingerly, in her heels, starts doing pushups.
End of act one