Affirmative Action
season 1, episode 9

Directed by Bryan Gordon
Written by Larry David

Cast:
Larry David as himself
Cheryl Hines as Cheryl David
Richard Lewis as himself

Extras:
Gregg Daniel as Dr. Grambs
Sofia Milos as Richard's Girlfriend
Karen Bankhead as Denise Pendergrass
Donna Cooper as Dr. Grambs' Wife
Ted Harbert as himself
William Mesnik as Pharmacist
Robert Cesario as Maitre d'
Robert E. Collier as Party Guest
Kevin Brewerton as Party Guest
Gina Jackson as Party Guest
Monica McKinley as Party Guest

   

Larry's Kitchen
  (Larry is on the phone with Richard Lewis)
LARRY: Did I do something?
- Why do I have to meet you?
- I don't really see what the benefit is in telling me in person, as opposed to telling me on the phone. It's the same thing. Just pretend we're blind.
- What's the matter with that?
- That's what it is for then.
  (Cheryl walks in)
- My wife is home.
  (to Cheryl) Hello.
CHERYL: Hi! Who are you talking to?
LARRY: Richard Lewis.
CHERYL: Get off.
LARRY: (to Richard on the phone) I've been ordered off the phone.
- Okay, I'll meet you there in 10 minutes.
- All right, very good.
  (to Cheryl) What did the doctor say?
CHERYL: He said that I have dermatitis.
LARRY: Really?
CHERYL: Yeah. But if I get this filled, and put it on, it'll be fine. You don't have to back up. I don't think it's contagious.
LARRY: Is it contagious? How'd you get that? What is it?
CHERYL: I have no idea, it's a virus. But he said if I take this three times a day, rub it on, it'll be fine. I'm passing it over to you because I'm hoping you'll take it to the drugstore.
LARRY: I have to meet Richard Lewis first. He wants to talk to me about something. God knows, and--
CHERYL: I thought we were going to dinner.
LARRY: No, we are. So, I'll get the prescription filled, after I talk to him and can I meet you at the restaurant, because it doesn't pay...
CHERYL: Then we'll have two cars.
LARRY: But I'll have to come all the way back to get you. It's right by the restaurant.
CHERYL: I'd rather not take my car.
LARRY: Can't Rosa take you? She drives right by there.
CHERYL: Okay, that's fine.
LARRY: Okay? So, at 6:00, then? 6:00. Okay. At the Byzantine, and I'll get your thing filled.
CHERYL: Okay, thanks.
LARRY: All right.
 
Santa Monica
RICHARD: Larry, thanks for coming out.
LARRY: I know you're busy, and I'm just curious as to what you wanna tell me.
RICHARD: It's not easy for me to say this. It's been bugging me for a while and I think we're at some kind of crossroads. You don't call me. I'm always initiating.
LARRY: I ask you to do things, I ask you...
RICHARD: Whatever I do, it's always coming from my end and I feel like, if I never called you... I'd fall off the face of the earth, and we wouldn't be friends anymore. My shrink actually told me to confront you on this, and I am. That's it.
LARRY: Can I be honest with you?
RICHARD: I hope so.
LARRY: It's Sofia, it's your girlfriend.
RICHARD: Sofia?
LARRY: I don't get along with her and so I tend not to call, or get together...
RICHARD: You actually think that's fair? I mean, this is my girlfriend.
LARRY: I don't know if it's fair but that's what's stopping me. That's why I haven't been calling.
RICHARD: She's an extension of my life. It's like... I love your wife. She's embarrassed me a couple of times, even in jest, and I don't say: "I don't wanna be your friend anymore." I don't know, I just don't think a friend can just bolt from a friendship.
LARRY: Cheryl and I are going out to dinner tonight. Why don't the two of you join us?
RICHARD: Why do you wanna do that?
LARRY: 'Cause I wanna make up, start all over.
RICHARD: Really?
LARRY: Yeah.
RICHARD: You're not just doing this to... I appreciate it, but she's part of my life.
LARRY: I know, and I wanna try and be friends with her.
RICHARD: This is a very nice gesture. Tonight? Fuck, I can't. We're doing something early. Can you come over after dinner, have coffee and dessert at our place?
LARRY: Yeah, we wanna have dessert. We'll come over for dessert and coffee.
  (A friend of Richard Lewis' approaches while jogging... By the way, he's African American...)
RICHARD: Justin?
JUSTIN: Lewis.
RICHARD: How you doing? Hey, man.
JUSTIN: Good to see you, man, what's happening?
RICHARD: I'm sorry, I'm funky. Dr. Grambs, this is my friend, Larry David. This is my dermatologist.
LARRY: Really? What, for 15 years already? Even with the whole affirmative action thing?
JUSTIN: I'm sorry. I beg your pardon, what? What do you mean?
LARRY: It was a joke.
JUSTIN: What do you mean, "The whole affirmative action thing?"
LARRY: It was a joke.
RICHARD: He's like a buddy. I know him, he's a sweetheart.
JUSTIN: The implication being that I wasn't good enough to be a dermatologist?
RICHARD: No, come on, it was joke. He's a liberal, he's like you and me.
JUSTIN: (to Richard) So, if I wasn't black, he would have said the same thing, or not? Do you see my point?
LARRY: I see it in a historical sense, but not in a nice-day sense.
JUSTIN: You know, Richard, I've worked too hard and too long at this. I can't do it. I don't know what his trip is, but I can't do it. (jogs away in haste)
LARRY: I don't have any trip. No, it was joke!
RICHARD: Holy shit! What hit you?
LARRY: It was a joke.
RICHARD: I know it's a joke, but you sounded like Pat Buchanan's gym partner.
LARRY: I was just trying to be affable.
RICHARD: I'll see you tonight. Hopefully, we'll resolve, you know...
LARRY: I tend to say stupid things to black people sometimes.
RICHARD: That's, like, gonna be in the time capsule. I'll see you later on.
LARRY: I was just trying to be affable.
 
The Byzantine Restaurant
  Cheryl is in the restaurant lobby, itching and scratching...
CHERYL: I'm so glad you're here.
LARRY: I know, this place is crazy.
CHERYL: There's no tables, you couldn't get a reservation we're on a waiting list.Can you give me my prescription? I think I'm gonna go to the ladies' room, and put some on.
LARRY: What? I forgot it. I'm sorry, I was so discombobulated because-- Oh, my God, I completely humiliated...
CHERYL: What happened?
LARRY: I was with Richard Lewis and we were talking, and then he ran into his friend, this black doctor and I made some terrible joke about affirmative action. It was beyond awful.
CHERYL: I'm sure you're making it out to be more than it was.
LARRY: I'm making it out to be less, believe me. And he took it the wrong way.
CHERYL: Why would you even make a joke about that?
LARRY: I don't know, I was trying to be affable. I was trying too hard.
CHERYL: Why even joke about it?
LARRY: I made a mistake. It was a stupid thing to say. I'm a schmuck. I did a schmucky thing.
CHERYL: Did you apologize?
LARRY: Of course I apologized.
  I have to say, I'm not real happy right now, because...
  We'll have dinner and then we'll go right to the drugstore. No problem.
  The problem is... it's gonna be hours before we get there... because we're not even gonna have a seat until, like, an hour.
  Really?
  Yeah, and I'm starving.
  Let's try something here.
  What are you doing? You have a little plan?
  I got a little plan. What do you think?
  Yeah, sure.
  Men do this, right?
  I've seen men do it.
  Haven't we seen this? I've seen men do it in movies.
  Good evening, sir. Welcome to the Byzantine.
  I was curious about... How long is the wait?
  I'm afraid it looks like 45 minutes to an hour.
  45 minutes to an hour. No way to get in...
  No, we're very crowded this evening, sir.
  My wife's itching, you know...
  Right now we're very full.
  Nothing else can be done?
  Nothing that I can think of, sir.
  Things are done, right, aren't things done? I hear things are done. From time to time. Anything you can do...
  Actually, I think we can accommodate you right now. Would you like to follow me?
  Thank you. Thank you very much.
  Enjoy your dinner.
  Okay!
  I'm pretty impressed.
  Come on, give it to me!
  I'm very, very impressed. I really am.
  No big deal.
  I am extremely attracted to you right now.
  That's 'cause it's criminal.
  Is it?
  Women are attracted to criminals, and they do that all the time. You could do that. Just walk around, cut in line any time you want.
  All right. Do it all the time, and we'll never have to wait.
  Should I feel guilty about it?
  Why, because all those people are still waiting?
  I can't stop to think about it because I'm starving.
  How can a handicapped person use a non-motorized wheelchair? I don't get that. What's the point to it? To me, that's your big priority.
  Maybe he likes the exercise. I'm sure you get used to it.
  Can't he get one that has both? Motor and non-motor?
  You can do both. You want exercise or the motor, you got it.
  This way has no options. You gotta do this the whole time. If you're not in a hurry to get somewhere, why not?
  There's Ted Harbert.
  Who's Ted Harbert?
  He used to be the president of ABC. Now he runs NBC Studios. I have to go to the bathroom. I'm gonna have to walk right by that table.
  What's wrong, you don't like him?
  He just makes the worst small talk... and, it's gonna be so... I'll never get out of there.
  Just don't stop. Just keep walking and say hello.
  You have to stop. You can't just say hello, and walk on.
  You know what? Sea bass.
  There's a restaurant two doors down. I'm gonna go in there. I'm gonna go to the bathroom in there.
  You're gonna leave this restaurant to go use the bathroom somewhere else?
  Are you out of your mind?
  No, I don't wanna say hello. I don't like those hellos.
 
A Mexican Restaurant
  Men's room?
  Larry, Larry David. How you doing?
  Okay.
  Do you remember me, Denise Pendergrass? We had a meeting a few years ago? I met with you about that film project you were doing. Sour Grapes, the line producer.
  Yes, I remember. That's right.
  You know what? I'm so glad I ran into you. 'Cause we had a really nice meeting. You said my resume looked great... and you said I was qualified, and then, I didn't hear from you. All these years, I wondered what happened, 'cause I really wanted to work with you. And, what was the person's name that got that job?
  What was... Barry.
  Barry, a friend of yours?
  Friend of my wife.
  A friend of your wife. A black friend?
  No.
  This is the thing. I had a couple of margaritas, but I'm not gonna hold back. I just was wondering. Why do you have a problem giving somebody like me a job?
  What? A problem? What are you talking about? There's a lot of people interviewed for that.
  Yeah, but, you and I, we had a rapport.
  We did, but the guy knew my wife, that's all it was. I know what you're implying, but that's really awful. What you're saying is terrible.
  What I'm saying is... I watched your show, Seinfeld, for seven, eight years, and not one black person. I lived in New York for years, there's a plethora of black people there... but, somehow, Elaine or Jerry never had any black girlfriends. In their circle of friends, nobody looks like me. What is that about? Is it a black thing with Larry David?
  There's no black thing! It's a nothing!
  No, a sister like me can see through things like this. And I want you to know, that I got your number now.
  There's no number, you don't have a number! I don't have a number!
  I saw Sour Grapes, and the title was very apropos. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that I did not get that job. I just hope you have a very nice dinner. Thank you, Mr. Larry David.
 
The Byzantine Restaurant
  Where have you been?
  Sorry.
  We haven't even ordered, and I'm dying.
  I got accosted by this woman outside the men's room, at this restaurant... and she interviewed for a job on Sour...
  Hey, Ted!
  How are you?
  Good. How you doing?
  Nice seeing you.
  This is my wife, Cheryl. This is Ted Harbert.
  Hi.
  Nice to see you. How you doing? You guys just sitting down?
  Yeah. Just about to order.
  So, you been playing any golf lately?
  Yeah, playing okay?
  Yeah, so-so.
  At my club, I got a member guest next month. I've got a couple of other guys. You wanna come?
  Okay, we're all set.
  It's 10 days, make sure you take all 10 days. And watch the dairy. Okay.
  And I specifically said, "No feta cheese." Do they have to put feta cheese in? You heard me say it, right?
  I did hear you say it.
 
Pharmacy
  Hi.
  Hello.
  Just need this prescription filled out, as soon as possible.
  Sure.
  I've got dermatitis, and it's...
  We'll get it taken care of.
  Thank you.
  As soon as he finds it, we'll get this thing rolling.
  Take your time.
  What's wrong?
  I think I gave the maitre d' the prescription.
  My prescription?
  Yeah, 'cause look...
  Why would you do that?
  There's a $20 bill folded in my pocket. This was for the maitre d'. What's it doing in my pocket?
  I don't know. I gave you the prescription this afternoon.
  I know, and I folded it up, and it was in the same pocket as the $20... and I must have put my hand in my pocket and pulled out...
  Did you not look at it, Larry?
  It felt like the $20. How could that happen?
  They were folded up, they felt alike!
  Didn't he look at it?
  No, they take it and put it in their pocket. Why would I have the $20 on me? This was the $20 that was designated for the maitre d'! Let's just go back to the restaurant.
  Oh, my God!
  Why don't we just call your doctor?
  You can't call my doctor on the weekends, unless it's a life-threatening emergency. If you call his machine, it'll tell you you can't page him.
  You called up and that's what it said?
  Yeah.
  That is obscene, you know that? "Can't disturb the doctor on the weekend. "Don't call the Dr. Zeppler... "on the weekend unless it's life-threatening." "Norman, is somebody calling? "Who's calling? We're in the middle of dinner, Norman! "This better be life-threatening, or you're not gonna leave this house!" Come on, please, I'm begging you. "Norman... "unless they were burned in a fire... "I don't want you getting up from your chair. "Do you understand, Norman?"
 
The Byzantine Restaurant
  Okay, I owe you a huge apology. I'm so sorry. When I was in earlier... I thought I was giving you money, and I gave you my wife's prescription.
  I remember.
  She really needs it. Do you have it?
  You'll find it in a trash can, right through those double doors. Help yourself.
  (In the kitchen of The Byzantine Restaurant, Larry is rummaging through the garbage in search of the prescription.)
  Wait a second.
  Did you find it? Do you see it?
  No, that's not it. No, that wasn't it.
  I think I'm gonna be sick.
  You didn't happen to see a piece of paper here earlier? A little white prescription piece of paper?
  No.
  You should go through the middle of it...
  I've been looking all over, Cheryl. I can't find it! You want me to get in the can?
  If that's what it takes, Larry, I guess, yeah. How about going to an emergency room?
  No, are you kidding? We'd sit there for eight hours.
  This is a very pleasant activity. Can you lock me in a toilet after this?
  You could pick up my prescription when I ask the first time... then none of this would have happened.
  Wait a second. What about Richard's friend? He's a dermatologist. The guy I offended today.
  The black guy? He's a dermatologist?
  Yes, we're going over to Richard's anyway. I could call him and apologize. He could phone in the prescription for us.
  Yeah, let's try that.
 
Richard Lewis'
  Hi!
  Hey!
  How are you? Good to see you.
  You know what? You don't wanna get too close to me right now.
  We had a bit of a problem here.
  Relax, we'll talk it out. Sofia's on the phone. She'll be off in a second.
  We're not really gonna be able to stay.
  What do you mean?
  Because... I've got a skin problem right now. It's this dermatitis and it's spreading is the problem, Richard.
  We've been driving all night because I had a prescription... I didn't lose it, but, whatever. We don't have it anymore.
  Why don't you call your doctor?
  I can't call him on the weekends.
  It's hard to bother these people. The thing is, we don't know any doctors, or anybody who can help her. The only guy I could think of... is your friend from... The dermatologist.
  The guy from today? Justin?
  Maybe if you could just call him, and he could call in a prescription.
  I mean, you can imagine... You were like James Earl Ray today, with this guy.
  I know.
  I'll do it, I love you, I'm doing it...
  Just tell him I'll apologize. I wanna talk to him. I'm so sorry about what happened.
  This is like a nightmare call.
  I'm sorry for making you do it.
  We really appreciate it.
  Honey, hello, the Davids are here. Listen, she has a medical emergency.
  Honey, baby, I'm on the phone. I'm on the phone.
  You have to get...
  We don't even know if the guy's gonna be home or not.
  Honey, enough, darling!
  I'm on the phone. I'm sorry. I'm on the phone, just one second.
  Just hang up the phone. She has a medical emergency. She has a tremendous rash.
  You know what? Just get the number, we'll call in the car. Will you hang up the phone?
  Are you happy?
  I'm very happy.
  Good, now we're all happy. You're happy, he's happy, I'm happy. She's sick and you're not, how's that? Jesus Christ, I'm so fucking embarrassed by all this shit.
  I'm really sorry about this.
  No, don't be sorry.
  Dr. Grambs?
  Hi, I'm sorry to call you on a weekend.
  Yeah, it's Lewis.
  I just hung up with my agent on the phone, without even saying goodbye.
  This is a very important call.
  Mind your own fucking business here!
  It is my business!
  He really feels horrible about it, but his wife has this... What's it called?
  Dermatitis.
  Dermatitis, and what?
  He's funny. He didn't mean it.
  He wants to apologize profusely.
  The last thing he would mean is that...
  I need to help them. I'm lost. She's very sick, she can't reach her doctor, and she needs to get a prescription otherwise this thing's gonna spread, and I really wanna come through for them.
  Really?
  You're unbelievable.
  He says, "Come over to the house." He can't prescribe over phone. It's unethical.
  You'll do that?
  Of course, are you kidding?
  Doctor, you're really the best. What's your address? Yeah, hold on, what's the number? Okay, thanks. Thank you so much.
  Christ.
  How do you get there?
  Call the AAA. Just get better.
  Thanks so much.
  Just get better.
  Nice to see you again!
  Nice to see you, too.
 
Larry's Car
  Right turn ahead.
  Did you hear that?
  Yeah, I did hear it.
  The navigation system! I figured it out, it's working! It's telling us exactly how to go to the doctor's house! I can't wait to call my parents. They are gonna be so proud of me! When I tell my father I figured out that navigation system he's gonna flip his wig. And he's got one, too.
  Can we turn on the radio?
  He's gonna be very proud of Larry, figuring out the navigation system!
  Please.
  "Daddy, I'm not so stupid!"
  Can we turn on the radio?
  No, 'cause then we won't be able to hear the navigator.
  Right turn ahead.
 
Dr. Gramb's House
  Hi.
  Hi.
  Hi, I'm Larry David. This is my wife, Cheryl. We're a friend of Richard Lewis. He called.
  Yes. I'm Donna. My husband's in the living room. Please, come in.
  Thank you so much for having us. Sorry to disturb you at the beginning of your weekend.
  That's okay, the best laid plans always will change... so let's not worry about it. Come on in.
  I think black people have a mistrust of the medical profession... because of the vestiges of that experiment.
  Exactly.
  Absolutely.
  Please. Please, come in.
  I hope we're not disturbing anything.
  Excuse me, sweetie.
  Everybody, this is Larry David, and his wife, Cheryl.
  Hello.
  Hi.
  Hi, how you doing?
  Mrs. David, a pleasure to meet you.
  It is so nice to meet you.
  Thank you so much. We've had quite a time tonight, and I really appreciate you... It's so nice of you to do this. We appreciate it so much.
  I'm glad I could be of help. Let's go take a look at that.
  And again, I'm so sorry about... God Almighty, I can't believe I said that.
  I think I might have overreacted.
  No, I don't think so. It was completely idiotic.
  Justin, what did he say?
  We'd like to hear it.
  Larry, this is Professor Roget from Caltech Physics.
  How are you doing?
  What was said, we'd like to hear it. We'd like to know.
  Believe me, you don't wanna hear this.
  What is it, we'd love to hear it.
  Why not?
  What? You're kidding. Come on, believe me, it was nothing. You're having a nice party here. Eat. You got peanuts and cookies. Drinks. You're probably having a very stimulating conversation... until we came in, so, believe me... My advice to you, go back, because...
  I agree with him.
  Larry, you're apologizing.
  Apologizing for nothing? I wish it was something. I am apologizing for pretty much nothing. It is nothing. It's so unimportant.
  Come on, Larry, please, share with us.
  Come on, spit it out, Larry.
  It sounds interesting.
  We're very interested in hearing what you have to say.
  I'll make a deal with you folks, okay? We'll tell you what it was, and then we can move on.
  All right, Larry.
  Come on, just share it with us, Larry.
  Let us hear about it. What is it?
  I was walking along, with my friend... near the beach in Santa Monica... and Dr. Grambs comes jogging by... He's in very good shape, this man, by the way. Very good shape.
  Come on, let's not beat around the bush.
  Come on, let's go.
  I said... When he introduced me to Dr. Grambs... he told me that he's a patient of Dr. Grambs, and I said: "You let him work on you even with the whole affirmative action thing?" You know, 'cause... It was a joke. It was a bad joke. I was trying to be too affable. I went overboard in my affability.
  Are you in favor of affirmative action?
  Completely in favor of it. I don't think white people should have anything! I think we should be sleeping on the street, eating crumbs, and we should be that way... for a couple of hundred years, and I'm not even joking about that.
  Guys, he's a comedian. He makes funny lines all the time. I overreacted. And he knocked it off the top off his head. He's much better when he has a chance to write it, and look it over.
  So, maybe he's learned a lesson from all this?
  Yeah, you can say that again.
  I was about to say "sister," but I can't...
  Okay, everyone. So, Mrs. David, let me take a look at that arm, please.
  Thank you, yes, okay.
  Mr. Larry David. Twice in one evening. I'm on a roll. My friends, this is Larry David: the man who refused to hire a sister for a job for which I was clearly qualified, because he's a racist, a bona fide racist: who preferred not to work with any black people under any circumstances and gives all the good jobs to his white wife's white friends. Good evening.
 
Larry's Car
  I think you better call the doctor.
  I'm not allowed to call the doctor on the weekend.
  I don't think we have a choice. I think we have to call him. We're out of options, really.
  Honey, come on. I'm gonna call him. I'm gonna page him. Wait. So what number do I put in?
  Put in our home number. We'll be home in a minute.
  All right, he's paged. That's it.
  Great.
 
Larry's House
  It's done. What's the worst that could happen?
  I don't know.
  What's he gonna do, kill us?
  Hello? Dad, I can't talk to you right now! No, I'll call you back!
  Hello? Dr. Zeppler? Hi, it's Cheryl David. I lost the prescription you gave me earlier this afternoon... and I desperately need another one right away. A life-threatening emergency?
  You could scratch yourself to death!
  I feel like I could scratch myself to death... if it goes untreated. I mean, I don't know...
  It's the Longs Drugstore on the West Side.
  Thank you. No, I won't ever call you on the weekend again. Thank you so much.
  "Won't ever call you on the weekend." My God, what a jerk this guy is.
  At least we got it.
  Get yourself a new doctor. This guy's an idiot. I'm gonna go pick it up.
  Do you want me to go with you?
  No, go take a hot bath, and I'll be back in 12, 15 minutes.
  Okay.
 
Pharmacy
  The doctor says you just wanna get your prescriptions renewed on time, okay?
  Now, in terms of this, it's just two quick shots.
  Pay for that up front, okay?
  And good luck with that.
  Okay, Mr. Brazil. All right, I want you to...
  Excuse me, I'm sorry. My doctor called in a prescription for my wife.
  Your name?
  David. Yeah, Dr. Zeppler.
  Zeppler, yes, we got that. It's gonna be about 45 minutes to an hour, okay? Mr. Brazil.
  I mean, it's really, it's an emergency. I'm not kidding. She's scratching, she's broken out all over.
  I understand, sir. It's gonna be about 45 minutes to an hour. You see, we have a backup. Okay, just read all the indications on it. It's very important, pay for that up front. Okay, next is Guyaphone.
  Okay.
  All right, this is pretty simple, but I wanna make sure that you read all the... I haven't forgotten about you, Mr. Filpot. It's just gonna be a couple more minutes... I'm not quite ready for you. We need to get straightened out.
  I'm sorry...
  Yes.
  Is there anything that can be done about this?
  "Done"? I don't understand.
  You know, I hear things are done.
  Things are done? What is this? Are you trying to bribe me?
  No.
  You think you can bribe me? Do I look like I can be bribed?
  No, I'm paying in advance.
  Are you trying to bribe a pharmacist? Take your money! Nobody bribes a pharmacist! Get out, right now!
  I'm sorry.
  Security!
  I'll remember you, buddy!