Monday Movie Quote: SPORTS NIGHT

Ok, today’s bit is a long one. SPORTS NIGHT last two years and provided some of the best television at the time. Aaron Sorkin wrote and produced it, with a cast that included Felicity Huffman, Peter Krause, Josh Charles, Joshua Malina, Sabrina Lloyd and Robert Guillaume.

This segment appears in the first episode. Natalie is the associate producer of Sports Night, a nightly sports new and highlights show on cable network (Think Sports Center). Dana is the exec producer and is preparing to  meet Jeremy Goodwin, the candidate for a production position. Natalie has picked him and, it later turns out, has a crush on him.

Natalie (Sabrina Lloyd): Jeremy, this is Dana Whitaker.

Dana (Felicity Huffman): (shaking Jeremy’s hand) We’ve met.

Jeremy (Joshua Malina): Yes.

Dana: You have an impressive resume. Let me ask you some questions.

Natalie: (to Jeremy) You look nervous.

Jeremy: I’m okay.

Natalie: Would you like a glass of water?

Jeremy: Uh, no thanks.

Natalie: A soft drink? We have Fresca.

Dana: If you’re taking orders, I’ll have the angel-hair pasta and a nice Merlot….

Natalie: I’m just —

Dana: Can we interview the man?

Natalie: I’m just trying —

Dana: I know…

Natalie: I’m just trying to make him comfortable —

Dana: … a little professionalism is all I’m saying.

Jeremy: You know, I can come back later —

Dana: (sitting down) What are your favorite sports?

Jeremy: Uh, I beg your pardon?

Dana: Where are you strongest?

Jeremy: Oh, football.

Dana: Great, let’s talk about basketball.

Jeremy: I said football.

Dana: I heard you. Let’s talk about basketball.

Jeremy: Uh, we could talk about baseball or hockey.

Dana: Ah, you’re pretty strong in baseball and hockey, are ya?

Jeremy: Not as strong as football, but —

Dana: Great. Let’s talk about the Knicks.

Jeremy: I walked right into that one, didn’t I?

Dana: Well, I left the door wide open for ya.

Natalie(standing up) Shot of bourbon?

Jeremy: Please.

Dana: (to Natalie) Sit! I’m sorry, that was harsh, I hurt your feelings. (to Jeremy) Name three things the Knicks need to do this season to make it to the finals.

Jeremy: Um, I couldn’t get another question?

Dana: You will, but not until I hear an answer to the first one.

Jeremy: What do the Knicks…?

Dana: Three things the Knicks need to do to contend.

Jeremy: Ms. Whitaker, I would be great at this job. You’ve got to believe me when I tell you I’ve been training my whole life for it. I’ve crunched stats, I’ve broken down film, and there wasn’t a team at my high school that didn’t have me for an equipment manager. (stands and begins gesticulating passionately) I’ve read every box score in every newspaper that’s printed in English and has a sports section, and I’ve seen Sports Night every night since your first broadcast two years, two months and a week ago today. Now yes, sure, indeed, I can tell you what Ewing and Oakley are shooting from the field, and that you’re not going to stop John Starkes if he squares up to the basket, and put any defensive pressure on Charlie Ward, he’s gonna fold like a cheap card table. But if you’re asking me for genuinely sophisticated analyses — and I sense that you are — then you’ve gotta give me some time. At least twenty minutes. (sits back down) Did that make any sense?

Dana: I wasn’t really listening.

Jeremy: Oh, God!

Dana: Jeremy, Jeremy, this is television, things happen. If you want to work here, you’ve gonna have to not spontaneously wig out.

Natalie: Not until an hour before air time.

Jeremy: Right, right. (pause) The Knicks.

Dana: Name three things!

Jeremy: (now Improve their free throw percentage.

Natalie: Yes!

Jeremy: Run the floor.

Dana: Okay. One more.

Jeremy: Tell Spike Lee to sit down and shut up?

Natalie: Excellent!

Dana: (gets up and slaps Jeremy’s hand as she walks past) Well, welcome to Sports Night.

If you are not familiar with the show, do yourself a favor and pick it up.