Starring: Mindy Kaling, Emma Thompson, Kaling, Hugh Dancy, Reid Scott, Denis O’Hare, Paul Walter Hauser, John Lithgow, Amy Ryan
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Comedy drama directed by Nisha Ganatra and written by Mindy Kaling. The story centers on Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson), a pioneer and legendary host on the late-night talk-show circuit. When she’s accused of being a “woman who hates women,” she hires Molly (Mindy Kaling), the one woman in Katherine’s all-male writers’ room. However, Molly might be too little too late, as the formidable Katherine also faces the reality of low ratings and a network that wants to replace her. Molly, wanting to prove she’s not simply a diversity hire who’s disrupting the comfort of the brotherhood, is determined to help Katherine by revitalizing her show and career, and possibly effect even bigger change at the same time.
Best Quotes (Total Quotes: 71)
Gabe Eichler: I’m in a single income household, and Jen and I just had our second baby, Taylor.
[show Katherine a photo of the baby on his phone]
Gabe Eichler: Adorable, huh?
Katherine Newbury: She takes after you.
Gabe Eichler: Yeah. Thanks. So there’s just a lot of expenses at home right now, and I think it’s time for a raise.
Katherine Newbury: I see. This is actually very exciting to me.
Gabe Eichler: Really? Great.
Katherine Newbury: Because what you’re describing is the most clear-cut example of the classic sexist argument for the advancement of men in the workplace. You’re asking for a raise not because of any work related contribution you’ve made, but simply because you have a family. And that’s why, in the 1950s, family men were promoted over the women they worked with. I’ve never encountered it, actually, in such a clean, teachable way.
Gabe Eichler: I don’t think that’s at all what’s happening.
Katherine Newbury: I can’t give you a raise, Gabe. It’s like giving a raise to a drug addict.
Gabe Eichler: What?
Katherine Newbury: Well, your situations are virtually identical. A drug addict makes certain decisions outside of work for their sense of self and comfort, and then the addiction demands more time, more energy, more money, just like a child.
Gabe Eichler: My child’s like a drug problem?
Katherine Newbury: Exactly. You want special treatment. I’m sure you can see how unfair that would be to a single man or woman.
Gabe Eichler: There are no women on this staff.
Gabe Eichler: And the reason there aren’t any women is because you hate women.
Gabe Eichler: So you can sit there spouting all this pseudo-feminist bullsh*t, but we all know what’s going on here.
Katherine Newbury: We need to hire a woman. You’re fired, obviously.
[Gabe gets up to leave]
Gabe Eichler: Just so you know, this show sucks, and has for years. Everybody’s here for the paycheck.
Katherine Newbury: That would mean so much more coming from someone with a job.
Katherine Newbury: Bradley, I don’t hate women.
Brad: I don’t think you think you hate women.
Katherine Newbury: What does that mean?
Brad: I think you might have a problem with women.
Katherine Newbury: I love Mary Tyler Moore. I love Gilda Radner.
Brad: They’re both dead. I think you have a problem with living female writers on your staff. You never want to renew their contracts.
Katherine Newbury: Well, find me one worth keeping.
Brad: Would a gay guy work?
Katherine Newbury: No!
[standing on the sidewalk looking at a billboard sign of Katherine advertising her show]
Molly Patel: I have spread my dreams under your feet. Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
[just then a guy accidentally throws a garbage bag which hits her in the face]
Molly Patel: God!
Brad: So you worked at Chemical Plant. Is that a cable show?
Molly Patel: No, it’s a place. It’s a chemical plant. I still work there, actually.
Brad: How did you even hear about this job? Your submission came from Margaret Yang at Human Resources.
Molly Patel: At the chemical plant where I work, there is a corkboard, you know, where people hang notices for bikes, futons, missing cats. And one day, I saw a notice for a company sponsored essay contest where the prize was, you could meet any executive you want.
Brad: An essay contest?
Molly Patel: Yes.
Brad: To meet an executive, like the head of the chemical plant?
Molly Patel: Yes, I think that’s what you could have picked, traditionally.
Brad: But you didn’t?
Molly Patel: No. I picked Vernon Gleason, the chief operating officer for all of Mainline Chemical, which owns my plant, but also owns Comtech, which owns this network, which owns Tonight with Katherine Newbury.
Brad: So you went to our parent’s parent company in order to make this interview?
Molly Patel: Yep.
Brad: And you have no experience in comedy?
Molly Patel: No. No, I’m obsessed with comedy. No, I’ve seen every episode of this show. Brad: I’ve read every book written about it. I do a little standup.
[we see Molly working at a chemical plant telling a joke over the speakers]
Molly Patel: If you have a problem, ask a chemist. She’ll always have the solution.
[back at the interview]
Molly Patel: Which kills with people who know about chemistry. And I’m actually emceeing a benefit in the city pretty soon. It’s kind of cool.
[hands Brad a poster]
Brad: “Cancer Isn’t Funny. A Night of Comedy in Support of Lung Cancer.” Jesus Christ.
Molly Patel: I also wanted to add, that I live with my aunt and uncle and eleven year-old cousin in Queens. I have no friends, no boyfriend. I am a monk. This job would be my entire life. Brad: Would you consider yourself a litigious person?
Molly Patel: Litigious?
Brad: A TV writers room is, it’s not very PC. It can be a pretty masculine environment.
Molly Patel: Oh. I saw most of the writers. I’m not overly worried about masculinity.
Brad: Uh, you’re hired, for thirteen weeks. And if it doesn’t work out, which it probably won’t, you’ll be gone.
Molly Patel: I can’t believe this! I thought this was going very badly.
Brad: It did, and then it didn’t.
[Molly is crying after being hired as part of Katherine’s writing staff]
Receptionist: Are you okay?
Molly Patel: I’m so happy, I feel sick.
Caroline Morton: Where did that catchphrase come from? “I hope I earned the privilege of your time”?
Katherine Newbury: It came from me. Sign of respect for my audience.
Caroline Morton: Your audience. Your tiny, proper, catchphrase-loving audience. It’s cute. I like it.
Katherine Newbury: That’s a little insulting, isn’t it?
Caroline Morton: Do you know what’s insulting? Waiting a week for one of your employees to call you back.
Katherine Newbury: I apologize. I was away, accepting an award for comedy. Comedy is the three and a half minute chunks of filler on TV between the commercials you sell.
Caroline Morton: I came to tell you this year is your last.
Katherine Newbury: What?
Caroline Morton: This season is your last.
Katherine Newbury: You’re canceling the show?
Caroline Morton: No, I’m canceling you. This show is irrelevant. The ratings reflect that. Do you want to know who Jimmy Fallon had on last Tuesday when you had Doris Kearns Goodwin? Robert Downey Jr. They washed a sheepdog together. It was f*cking glorious.
Katherine Newbury: I’m sorry, Caroline. Should I have played giant Connect Four with her, or perhaps sung a karaoke song on the back of a tandem bicycle? It’s Doris Kearns Goodwin. She’s a national treasure.
Caroline Morton: Agreed. I only wish she’d been an Avenger, instead of writing books about Abraham Lincoln.
Katherine Newbury: She could be an Avenger if she tried.
Caroline Morton: Your ratings have been in a steady decline the past ten years, and you won’t even try to appeal to a mainstream audience. The worst part is, you seem proud of it, as if it’s beneath you to put forth any effort. It’s so English. I’m sure that attitude scores you points at dinner parties, but unfortun…
Katherine Newbury: I don’t go to dinner parties. Who are you replacing me with?
Caroline Morton: Well, we haven’t decided yet, but we will. I hope I earned the privilege of your time.
Katherine Newbury: After all the years, the decades I’ve put into that show, can you believe it?
Walter Lovell: As a matter of fact, I can.
Katherine Newbury: They’re all a bunch of idiots. I mean, this is the cyclical nature of late night TV. There are going to be highs, and there are going to be slumps.
Walter Lovell: This particular slump has lasted for over a decade.
Katherine Newbury: What?
Walter Lovell: The show hasn’t been good for years.
Katherine Newbury: Wow. I’m glad your candor’s still intact.
Katherine Newbury: Sorry. But if you felt this way, why, for God’s sake, didn’t you say something?
Walter Lovell: I thought you knew and didn’t care.
Katherine Newbury: No.
Walter Lovell: Are you sure?
Katherine Newbury: Walter, I have invested in precisely two things my entire life, you and this show. I won’t lose it now! I can’t!
Walter Lovell: Then you have to fight again. Something you haven’t had to do for a long, long time. They want to replace you. But they can’t replace you if everyone loves you.
Burditt: Hi, Katherine.
Katherine Newbury: Oh, Burditt. Thank God. How’s your baby?
Burditt: She’s twenty-seven. Her baby’s doing well. She just started preschool. She’s, uh…
Katherine Newbury: Never mind. I don’t want to know. I don’t know why I asked actually.
[Molly enters the meeting room]
Katherine Newbury: Who are you?
Molly Patel: Uh, I’m Molly. I’m a new writer.
Brad: Uh, the new female writer.
Katherine Newbury: Yeah, I can see that, Brad. What are those?
Molly Patel: These are cupcakes. They’re my way of saying thank you for this amazing opportun…
Katherine Newbury: You’re late.
Molly Patel: Late? I thought I was almost two hours early.
Katherine Newbury: Does it look like you’re early?
Charlie Fain: Uh, Brad told her we start at ten.
Katherine Newbury: Oh. Well, get in here then.
Molly Patel: Should I…
Katherine Newbury: What? You want to sit down?
Molly Patel: Okay. Yeah.
[as Molly goes to take a seat]
Mancuso: Oh, that’s where Mendelsohn sits. He’s in the bathroom, so.
Molly Patel: Okay.
[Molly goes to take another empty seat]
Tom Campbell: And that’s McCrary’s seat.
Katherine Newbury: Could you sit down, please?
Molly Patel: I want to. I’m trying.
Katherine Newbury: Could you try harder?
Molly Patel: Uh, yes.
[she starts emptying out the trashcan]
Molly Patel: Oh, okay. I’ll just use, uh, this trash can. There’s, you know, there’s hardly any trash in it at all.
[as she uses the trash can to sit next to Charlie]
Molly Patel: Excuse me. Thank you.
Charlie Fain: Yeah.
Molly Patel: Ooh, it’s kind of comfortable. Better than a chair.
Katherine Newbury: You’re Eight.
Molly Patel: What?
Katherine Newbury: Your name is Eight.
Molly Patel: I’m Molly.
Katherine Newbury: None of this matters. Why would anyone care what your name is? Do none of you understand what is at stake here? I am being replaced as host of this show, because of declining ratings and general lack of quality.
Charlie Fain: Wait, what?
Mancuso: The show is great.
[referring to her show]
Katherine Newbury: What do you think?
Molly Patel: Oh, I think it’s horrible. It’s terrible. It’s the worst. It’s, I hate it.
Katherine Newbury: Please stop saying synonyms for “bad”. Tell me what you think.
Molly Patel: If I’m being completely honest, and also acknowledging how much of a fan I am of the show and all of your work, I think there is room for a little bit of improvement.
Tom Campbell: Oh, well, sorry the show doesn’t appeal to the heightened sensibilities of you and your friends at the factory.
Molly Patel: It’s a chemical plant, not a factory.
Tom Campbell: Whatever.
Katherine Newbury: Seven’s right. It’s not the smartest thing in the world to come in on your first day and criticize a room full of people who’ve been doing this for years. But I asked your opinion, and honestly, I do not disagree with you. I’ve been hearing a lot of this recently. Last night, from the person I know most in the world, and today, from this person sitting on a trash can, whom I know the least. But taking both into account, the show is bad, I don’t know why, and I think it’s your fault.
Katherine Newbury: Oh, you must be McCary.
McCary: Oh, wow.
Katherine Newbury: How’s your girlfriend?
McCary: Good. Really good. Yeah, she just got this new job, so she’s a little emotional. She misses me.
Katherine Newbury: Well, she’s going to be seeing a lot more of you now, because you’re fired.
Katherine Newbury: Could you see him out?
[to her writers]
Katherine Newbury: Now, this is what’s going to happen. From this moment forth, none of you has a life. You have no wives, no girlfriends, no kids. You have only this. You live this show. You breathe this show. When you masturbate, you think about this show. You’re finally going to earn those big, fat paychecks that have been paying for your divorces and gym memberships you clearly never use. Think about why the show is bad, and come up with ways to fix it.
Katherine Newbury: And, Eight, sit on a chair tomorrow, for God’s sake!
Molly Patel: So, can I take the fired man’s seat?
Charlie Fain: Maybe Little Miss Chemical Plant can help us.
Tom Campbell: Please, don’t even joke about that. You know what, Reynolds? Give me one of your Xanaxes.
Reynolds: No, I need all my Xannies now that I’m in the poorhouse.
[reading Molly’s online profile]
Mancuso: Molly Patel, the quality control specialist.
Tom Campbell: Oh, my God.
Mancuso: Hobbies include ruining our lives.
Tom Campbell: I don’t think she’s worked a day in television. You know, I think she’s a pathological liar.
Mancuso: I wish I was a woman of color so I could just get any job I want with zero qualifications.
Reynolds: We talked about this. You can’t say that.
[referring to the photo]
Molly Patel: This is nice. Who’s that?
Burditt: That’s the guy whose desk you’re taking. He was fired last week. He was my best friend.
Molly Patel: So, you must be pretty new too. You don’t have any stuff.
Burditt: Oh, I’ve been here twenty-seven years. In case I get fired, I don’t want to get too comfortable.
Walter Lovell: So, are you going to tell me about your day?
Katherine Newbury: It was a bit like trying to mount a prison production of Hamlet. But at least prisoners get sunlight and exercise once a day.
Walter Lovell: [laughs] That sounds very promising. You always worked best with a captive audience.
[talking on the phone whilst at the food truck]
Tom Campbell: Right now it is a hostile environment in which to be an educated white male. I mean, it’s staggering how unfair it is, okay? Staggering. Yeah, they completely overlooked my brother.
[referring to Molly]
Tom Campbell: She’s like a diversity hire or something. Man, she’ll be here thirteen weeks. She’s like a single mom or something.
[Tom looks back to see Molly back in the line of the food truck]
Tom Campbell: Hey.
Molly Patel: I’m not a single mom, by the way. I just look like one. And I guess I dress like one.
Tom Campbell: No, I wasn’t talking about you.
Molly Patel: Then who were you talking about?
Tom Campbell: Uh, my cleaning lady.
Molly Patel: Your brother lost a job to your housekeeper?
Tom Campbell: Yep.
Molly Patel: Whatever. Just so you know, I’d rather be a diversity hire than a nepotism hire. Because at least I had to beat out every minority and woman to get here. You just had to be born.
[Molly turns and starts to walk off]
Tom Campbell: Hey, you know, one of my grandparents was an immigrant.
Katherine Newbury: Where’s John Phillips? I want to hear his pitches.
Katherine Newbury: What?
Tom Campbell: Uh, John died in 2012.
Katherine Newbury: John’s dead? Are you kidding me?
Brad: About the death of our coworker? No.
Katherine Newbury: Oh, that’s terrible. He was so funny.
[Molly puts up her hand at the meeting]
Katherine Newbury: Eight, what?
Molly Patel: First of all, I’m very sorry for your loss. He sounded like an incredible person. Second, I’m really honored to be presenting my ideas here today.
Katherine Newbury: Oh, God, I wish I was John Phillips.
Molly Patel: So, I thought I would take a step back and see what wasn’t working. This is what I do at quality control at the chemical plant, and I thought I would do that here. The headline of my analysis is complacency. And I noticed that there’s three major areas where there could be a lot of improvement. The first is your overall unwillingness to do high-concept recurring bits, you know, where you have to physically leave the studio. Those are the ones that can go viral if executed well. The second is your total lack of presence on social media. You seem to have contempt for it, which feels ill-advised because most of your audience is watching on their phones. The third, I think people get very excited when you share your beliefs. So, what you just said about the Miss America pageant, that was awesome. When you reveal those kind of strong opinions, it’s when you really come alive as a performer.
Katherine Newbury: That’s when I come alive as a performer?
Molly Patel: Yeah.
Katherine Newbury: So what’s the solution?
Molly Patel: Oh, I don’t have one.
Katherine Newbury: Just to be clear, you don’t have any new ideas or jokes?
Molly Patel: No
Katherine Newbury: Okay, I’ve been doing this job for nearly thirty years, and I know what works. And I’ll tell you what doesn’t work. An absurdly confident newcomer coming in, criticizing my show, and giving me her assessment of my comic persona, without doing the hard work of presenting me with solutions. This room is a ship. I am the captain, and you have barely earned the right to be an oar! Do I make myself clear, Eight?
Katherine Newbury: I have not changed. The audience has changed. They don’t want smart comedy. They want Kevin Hart on a Slip ‘N Slide, so let’s just give them what they want. Who’s the most tacky famous person out there?
Charlie Fain: A reality star?
Reynolds: No, a YouTube celebrity.
[after the writers meeting, Molly is crying under her desk]
Molly Patel: I don’t know. Maybe I should just move back to Pennsylvania.
Burditt: Can I give you some advice?
Burditt: You need to shut the f*ck up.
Molly Patel: Excuse me?
Burditt: If you hear something you don’t agree with, you have to resist the urge to give your opinion.
Molly Patel: I will not be marginalized by the iron fist of white privilege that pervades this work environment.
Burditt: I am not trying to silence your strong female Indian woman of color spirit, hashtag Me Too, Trans Is Beautiful, blah, blah, blah. You’re still a new writer with no experience. You need to stop giving advice and write something. You’re a writer, so write.
Molly Patel: Okay.
Burditt: Come on. You get more work done on top of the desk than under it. It’s going to be alright.
Molly Patel: Thank you.
Molly Patel: I have some jokes for the monologue.
Tom Campbell: Uh, well, you don’t write the monologue.
Molly Patel: Yeah, but I wrote some jokes for it.
Tom Campbell: And I have some ideas for Katherine’s hair, but that’s not my job.
Katherine Newbury: Seven, shut up. Eight, for God’s sake, go.
Molly Patel: I shouldn’t do this in an English accent, should I?
Katherine Newbury: No.
Molly Patel: [tells her joke] Three Republican senators are proposing a bill to yet again defund Planned Parenthood. As always, the men most obsessed with women’s s*x lives are the ones getting laid the least. I never thought I’d say this, but thank God I’m going through menopause.
Katherine Newbury: Good Lord, Eight.
Molly Patel: Well, you’re the only late night talk show host who can make that joke. Plus, you’re pro-choice, aren’t you?
Katherine Newbury: I am.
[referring to Molly’s jokes for Katherine’s monologue]
Katherine Newbury: What do you think, Seven?
Tom Campbell: My philosophy is that the show is generally better without the specter of abortion in it. But, you know, that’s just me.
Reynolds: I think it’s audacious.
Mancuso: Do people really want to hear about menopause? Because I don’t.
Charlie Fain: I don’t know, I kind of liked it.
Brad: No, no, it is too political. We don’t do that.
Katherine Newbury: We haven’t done that in a while.
Brad: Okay, so we’ll start with fracking, and we work our way up to abortion.
Burditt: People would talk about it, for sure. And you believe it.
Katherine Newbury: It’s a bit long. Trim it and put it in the monologue.
Molly Patel: Okay.
Brad: [to Katherine] Be careful of showing who you are. Once you turn that switch on, you can never turn it off again.
Molly Patel: I’ve never been relaxed a day in my life.
Charlie Fain: No, I know, you’re the hardest worker I’ve ever met, besides Tom. Which is probably why he’s so threatened by you.
Molly Patel: Well, he shouldn’t be. Katherine cut my joke. It was so embarrassing. I told my mom to watch.
Charlie Fain: Oh, God. Oh, no, no, no, no. No. You never tell your parents to watch the show. That’s like guaranteeing that they cut your joke. Also, um, get ready for this. Like, you’ll spend all day writing fifty jokes, and they’ll cut all of them, and you will have achieved as much as if you just stayed at home and called in sick.
Molly Patel: Okay.
Molly Patel: So let me get this straight.
Charlie Fain: Mm-hmm.
Molly Patel: Never use the women’s restroom.
Charlie Fain: Mm-hmm.
Molly Patel: Never tell your parents to watch the show. Don’t decorate your office. And be fine being completely obsolete. So just don’t enjoy your job.
Charlie Fain: Uh, exactly. Yeah.
Molly Patel: Look, I know what everyone thinks of me. But just because I was lucky enough to get this job, it doesn’t mean I’m stupid enough to lose it. So, if you think you can sleep with me because you’re not going to see me after three months, you’re mistaken.
Charlie Fain: Who said anything about sleeping together?
[we see Molly and Charlie kissing]
[after they’ve kissed]
Molly Patel: Thank you. I had a nice time.
[Molly pulls away and starts walking away]
Charlie Fain: Thank you? Wait, woh, woh. Wait, wait. Where are you going? Come over.
Molly Patel: Oh. No. No. Thank you. Thank you. I just don’t think it’s a good idea.
Charlie Fain: Uh, yeah, no, sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We can do this dance.
Molly Patel: Dance?
Charlie Fain: Yeah. You won’t sleep with me now, but you will in three weeks. That’s, I get it. It’s a feminist thing.
Molly Patel: Are you kidding? Has this ever worked before?
[Charlie shrugs his shoulders]
Female Reporter: You have said, “The only true meritocracy is in comedy.”
Katherine Newbury: Indeed, yes. I mean, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, what you look like, how much money your parents have. Funny is funny, and that’s meritocracy.
Female Reporter: As long as you’re white, male and from an elite college, right? Because that’s all your writing staff is comprised of.
Molly Patel: I write on the show. And I definitely didn’t go to a fancy college.
Female Reporter: Tell me, does Katherine know your name? I heard she refers to the writers by number.
Molly Patel: I am called Eight. Because Katherine said she couldn’t be bothered to learn everyone’s name, so she just pointed at the writers, and shouted numbers, and named me Eight. Yeah, she also keeps us in cages and doesn’t feed us.
[the crowd laughs]
Molly Patel: But she does let us go to the bathroom once a day. No, of course she knows our names. My name is Molly. You have some bad information.
Robin: Yes, you do. This is, of course, Molly.
Female Reporter: How would you describe Molly?
Katherine Newbury: Molly? Molly, Molly is…
Female Reporter: She said I was the vibrant splash of color on the gray canvas of our writing staff. I was really touched. And then she said something to me that I will never forget.
Katherine Newbury: Mm-hmm.
Female Reporter: She said to me that, despite our very different backgrounds, that I reminded her of a younger her.
Katherine Newbury: Younger me.
Female Reporter: Isn’t that wonderful? I mean, whoosh!
[mimics her mind exploding]
Female Reporter: Huge.
[at a work party]
Walter Lovell: I think it’s going beautifully.
Katherine Newbury: Mm-hmm.
Walter Lovell: You haven’t killed anybody yet.
Katherine Newbury: Nope. But it’s still early.
[after her initial monologue for Molly’s cancer benefit show failed with the audience]
Katherine Newbury: Well, sh*t, guys. I don’t know. I just don’t know. I guess that’s why they’re taking my show away from me. Yeah. Yeah, that’s happening. They’re taking my show away, and the thing is, if they take my show away, I do not know what I am going to do. I am a woman in my fifties in Hollywood. I don’t know what I’m going to do. In Hollywood, what am I going to do?
Katherine Newbury: You know what? I’ve got it. I could play Sean Penn’s grandmother in the movie where he is married to Emma Stone, his childhood sweetheart.
[the audience start to laugh]
[continuing her monologue]
Katherine Newbury: It’s so unfair. I mean, Tom Cruise is the same age as me. We’re the same age. He gets to fight the Mummy. I am the Mummy! You know what? No, no, no. I’m too old to play the Mummy. They’d get Anne Hathaway in to play the Mummy, and put like Mummy makeup on her. I’m probably going to have to have a facelift just to do voice work. I’m going to have to have like Botox and lip filler just to play the voice of a wise old tree in a Pixar movie. You know when you’re watching an awards show, and they play people off with music? You know, when they’ve gone on for too long? I feel like that’s what they’re doing to my life right now. They’re just, “Get off. Time to die. Just f*ck off. Take that old face and just go. Go sit. Go sit in the dark somewhere. You remind us all of our ex-wives. Yeah. The older ones.”
[the audience laughs and start to applaud]
Brad: She’s coming back. She’s coming back! Come on. Come on, you guys.
[as Katherine is making her way into the office all the writers scramble to get into the meeting room]
Katherine Newbury: What exactly is wrong with my bits?
Molly Patel: To be honest, you’re a little old and a little white.
Katherine Newbury: Okay. Those are facts. What the f*ck can I do about that?
[on her show]
Katherine Newbury: So recently, someone accused me of being, quote, “A little bit old and a little bit white.” To which I responded, “I’m very old and very white.” I never do things halfway. But what can a person like me do about that? If I try and fix it, I can come across as trying to be some sort of white savior. Then I decided I was okay with that. So let me introduce you to a new series on Tonight, “Katherine Newbury, White Savior.”
Molly Patel: You were knighted? You’re Dame Katherine Newbury?
Katherine Newbury: Mm-hmm. Knight sounds so much better than Dame though, doesn’t it? Knight is Lancelot and romance. Dame is just the old bag who takes too long in the grocery checkout line.
[referring to Tom]
Molly Patel: Must be nice to inherit a job from your father.
Katherine Newbury: You know, he’s not terrible just because he’s privileged. If his very worst qualities are elitism and snobbery, that’s not really all that bad, is it?
Molly Patel: Yeah, well, he thinks I’m a diversity hire.
Katherine Newbury: You are a diversity hire.
[Molly looks at her with surprise]
Katherine Newbury: What? You think no one ever accused me of sleeping my way to the top? I mean, the point is, you’re here. And if you want people to see you as something other than a diversity hire, you have to make them. It’s not fair, but it never is for women.
Molly Patel: I want you to know that you have changed my life forever.
Katherine Newbury: No, look…
Molly Patel: And I want…
Katherine Newbury: No. I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but your earnestness can be very hard to be around.
Molly Patel: God, why can’t I express my admiration for you?
Katherine Newbury: Because successful people hate their own admirers, and we’re suspicious of people who compliment us.
Molly Patel: That’s horrible. How do you have any friends?
Katherine Newbury: I don’t think I have any.
[Katherine is watching Daniel doing stand-up on TV]
Daniel Tennant: I was watching Game of Thrones, and I’m watching it with my girlfriend, right? And she’s like, “Oh, my God. This is so unfair. All the women are nude. But like none of the men are nude.” So I whipped out my nuts, and she’s like, “Oh, my God, balls!” And I’m like, “Hypocrite much?”
Molly Patel: [to Katherine] This is your show. It’s an expression of who you are. Is handing the show over to Daniel Tennant who you are?
Molly Patel: Do I remind you of a girlfriend that dumped you or something?
Tom Campbell: Oh, yes, yeah. I had a long string of failed relationships with semi-talented women, who overdress for work.
Molly Patel: It must be so hard for you.
Tom Campbell: What?
Molly Patel: That we have the same job.
Tom Campbell: Not the same job, Molly. You write jokes for the monologue. I’m the head monologue writer.
Molly Patel: Whatever, Seven.
[Molly turns and walks away backstage as Tom watches her]
Tom Campbell: Walking into a dead end, that’s a great finish.
[we see Molly turn to go a different way]
Tom Campbell: Nope, go that… Yep, yep. No, no, you showed me. Walking into a closet. That’s great.
[Katherine is interviewing Daniel on her show]
Katherine Newbury: Now, there are some rumors out there that you might be replacing me.
Daniel Tennant: Uh, well, uh, you’re a legend, okay? I would be beyond honored.
Katherine Newbury: Thank you. The thing is, I don’t want to go.
[the crowd laughs]
Daniel Tennant: I get it. I mean, who would want to leave here, right? Your name’s on the drum. Hey, give it up for Katherine Newbury, y’all. Make some noise!
[the crowd applauds and cheers]
Katherine Newbury: Thank you for the noise.
Katherine Newbury: I find myself in a genuinely strange position though, because I truly do not want to go.
[to the audience]
Katherine Newbury: Do you want me to go?
Daniel Tennant: We all wish she could stay, right? I mean…
[the audience applauds]
Katherine Newbury: You really wish I could stay?
Daniel Tennant: Sure. Yeah.
Katherine Newbury: You really mean it?
Daniel Tennant: [awkwardly] Yeah. Yes.
Katherine Newbury: Well, you know what, Daniel? I’ll stay.
[the audience applauds]
Katherine Newbury: But only because you really, really want me to. Thank you, Daniel.
[the audience start chanting her name]
Katherine Newbury: You’re welcome, America. If you agree with me, why don’t you show me some love on Twitter? We’ll see you back here shortly.
[referring to having an affair with Charlie]
Katherine Newbury: It happened three years ago. Walter had just been diagnosed, and he was so depressed, and angry, and I got angry with him for being angry. And Charlie was so warm, and funny, and persistent, and gorgeous. It’s hard when there’s someone that gorgeous just knocking about. Just a couple of months, but I’ve regretted it every single second since.
Molly Patel: You know what? It actually, it doesn’t matter, because I’ve been working on the monologue, and I think we have an opportunity to really say something here.
Katherine Newbury: I’m not addressing it.
Molly Patel: What?
Katherine Newbury: No, we’ll go dark for a week, and then I’ll come back on, and I won’t mention it. And then, in a month, I’ll be gone.
Molly Patel: You’ll be gone? Why are you doing that?
Katherine Newbury: Because of my complete and utter humiliation in the eyes of the American public, maybe?
Molly Patel: No. You’re being demonized, Katherine, and it’s not fair.
Katherine Newbury: It is fair. I should be demonized. I’m Katherine Newbury. I stand for excellence without compromise. I f*cked up. I don’t deserve the show.
Molly Patel: I think that you’re wrong.
Katherine Newbury: You, with over two months experience in television.
Molly Patel: I get it. You are ashamed of what you did, and you don’t want to face it, but everybody makes mistakes. You need to talk about it.
Katherine Newbury: I need to talk about it? You know what’s so fascinating about your generation is your obsession with catharsis. It’s so narcissistic. In fact, we might as well just go ahead and call it catharcissism. Where, for some reason, just because you confess something publicly, you automatically get redemption. Well, I’m not going to play that trick. I owe it to him, and I owe it to me. And that’s what’s called backbone. That’s what’s known as grit.
Molly Patel: You want to talk to me about grit? I don’t have any friends. I don’t come from a rich family. I didn’t have a man whisk me away when I was twenty years-old and tell me that I was beautiful and a genius. And guess what, I’m probably not a genius. And this show, this is all I have. So f*ck you for giving it up. You are selfish, and you are scared, and you have deluded yourself into thinking that is somehow the moral high ground, but it’s not.
Katherine Newbury: Well, you don’t have to worry about that anymore, because you no longer work for me. You’re fired. You know, it’s funny. You know everything about me, and I don’t even think about you. Bye-bye.
[to Katherine; after finding out about Katherine’s affair with Charlie]
Walter Lovell: When I left my wife and family for a beautiful young English girl, they told me there would be karma. That I would pay for it. And then, years passed, and nothing happened. And I thought, “Well, I’m the luckiest bastard alive.” I guess I was wrong.
Walter Lovell: It’s hard enough for me to live with a disease, that’s probably going to kill me, without knowing that the woman I love decided one night, instead of staying at home with her invalid husband, she would rather f*ck a comedian.
Katherine Newbury: I want to say, it didn’t mean anything, but it meant everything, because it hurt you.
Walter Lovell: Yes, it did.
Katherine Newbury: I know.
Walter Lovell: The thing is, you can’t just take away one terrible thing you did, any more than you can take away the million beautiful things that we had together. That’s a million to one. If you can live with that ratio for another few years, then so can I.
[with tears in her eyes, Katherine goes over to Walter and they embrace each other]
Walter Lovell: But I’m not here as your husband. I’m here as a man who has advised you your entire adult life. Are you sure that you’re making the right decision about the show?
Katherine Newbury: If it’s over in one year, or ten years, what’s the difference? It’ll be over. And what did I leave behind? No friends, or children, no…
Walter Lovell: You didn’t want them. You wanted excellence, which almost no one gets in their lifetime. Just be sure you’re ready before you give it up.
Katherine Newbury: I don’t know what to say to them.
[Katherine starts sobbing]
Walter Lovell: When the time comes, Katie, you’ll know.
[doing the monologue on her show]
Katherine Newbury: What a boring few weeks it’s been. Although, it’s kind of refreshing for a woman to be the perpetrator in a Hollywood s*x scandal for once, isn’t it? I am, of course, referring to the multiple reports that came out this week, saying that I had been unfaithful to my husband with one of my writers. Spoiler alert, it’s true.
[continuing her monologue]
Katherine Newbury: I’ve learned an interesting term, slut-shaming. My supporters have said that if I were a man, I wouldn’t be subject to this kind of scrutiny. Well, here’s what I think. If it were a man doing this, it would be reprehensible, but guess what, it’s a woman doing it, and it’s still reprehensible. And none of this would even matter if I were not so hard on everyone, with such high standards that I’ve defined my career by it.
Katherine Newbury: Um, the fact of the matter is that, my husband is my family. I have no one else in my life, so when this happened, I felt worse than I have ever felt. And I am clinically depressed, so that’s saying something. And I thought, “I don’t deserve these things anymore. Him or the show.” But it doesn’t matter if I deserve you or not. I need you. And I’ve let you down. I’ve taken you for granted for years, underestimating you, and thinking that you wouldn’t notice. But you did. And the other thing I’ve learned is that this show is the source of my energy. It’s, um, the reason I get up in the morning. It’s my life. It’s my blood. Yes, and entertaining you has been the joy of my life. Yeah. Dear God, I hope I’ve earned the privilege of your time.
[the audience cheers and applauds her]
Caroline Morton: You know, I got into this business because I love television, and I want to make relevant television. And I know, when I say “relevant”, you think I mean “pandering” or “lowest common denominator”. I’ve dreamed of this day.
Katherine Newbury: Caroline, please, I beg you…
Caroline Morton: You’ve been so abrupt. But as I watched you out there, I realized I want to hear your take on the world, on everything, and so does everyone else. So the show is yours. But I’m watching you, Katherine. Just give a damn.
[she goes to leave, but turns back to shocked Katherine]
Caroline Morton: It’s pretty f*cking surprising, isn’t it?
[Katherine knocks on Molly’s apartment door]
Katherine Newbury: Molly, open up. It’s me.
Molly Patel: No.
Katherine Newbury: I have just driven to this horrid little corner of Brooklyn, and climbed up six flights of stairs to talk to you. Now open the bloody door.
[Molly opens the door]
Molly Patel: What do you want? I’m very busy right now.
Katherine Newbury: Why on earth do you live in Coney Island?
Molly Patel: Huh. Maybe it’s the Ukrainian food scene, or perhaps it’s the endless subway commute. Not all of us can live in a townhouse on Gramercy Park, Katherine.
Katherine Newbury: Point taken.
Katherine Newbury: I heard you got an offer from Seth Meyers. I don’t think you should take it.
Molly Patel: Really? Because I was considering it. Mostly because I don’t have a job. Also, he didn’t call me a racial quota whose existence was completely inconsequential to him.
[hands Katherine a glass of water]
Molly Patel: Here.
Katherine Newbury: You remember that. Sh*t.
Molly Patel: Yeah.
Katherine Newbury: Look, I’m sorry. I’m sorry. The thing is, when you hate yourself, the only thing that makes you feel better is to get other people to feel the same way as you do.
[referring to the water]
Katherine Newbury: Is this filtered?
[Molly shakes her head]
Katherine Newbury: I didn’t mean what I said.
Molly Patel: Thank you, for saying that, and for coming here.
Molly Patel: Do you like the color of my wall?
Katherine Newbury: No.
Molly Patel: You know what, I’m not going to go back and work for you, because that was a very toxic work environment.
Katherine Newbury: I need you, Molly. I need your pushiness and lack of boundaries. I need the annoying way you light up every time I walk into the room. It makes me feel like I’m not a fraud. But mostly, I need your talent.
Molly Patel: You love me.
Katherine Newbury: No, I didn’t say that. I, no.
Molly Patel: I mean, not in those words, but you…
Katherine Newbury: No, I didn’t say it in any of those words. But you have made an impression on me. A very big impression.
Katherine Newbury: Please, Molly, come back. It won’t be the show you left, but I need you to help me change it.
Molly Patel: If I do…
Katherine Newbury: Hm.
Molly Patel: No more tantrums.
Katherine Newbury: Hm.
Molly Patel: No more hiring people who all look the same.
Katherine Newbury: Okay.
Molly Patel: No humiliating people. And no withering looks.
[Katherine gives her a look]
Molly Patel: Like that one.
Katherine Newbury: That’s my face.
Molly Patel: Can you try smiling?
[Katherine tries to smile]
Molly Patel: Okay, forget it. Forget it. Okay. Yes.
Katherine Newbury: Oh, yes? Well, good.
Katherine Newbury: Well, I guess I better go if I want to get to the bottom of the stairs this century.
[give back Molly the glass of water]
Katherine Newbury: Thank you. Alright.
[turns to Molly before she leaves]
Katherine Newbury: God, I hate Brooklyn.
Total Quotes: 71
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