Some stuff you can't make up. In April, Mediaweek really did report that at a Microsoft event, MSN's Gayle Troberman announced new online TV concepts. Among them: In Need of Repair, described as "a male-skewing home improvement series featuring a pair of sophomoric, mostly inept, hosts."
Troberman said the shows could be tweaked to advertisers' needs, but the first script seems destined for a major overhaul. I can't vouch for its provenance, but the informant who sent it to me claims to have fished it out of a Recycle Bin at an undisclosed location in Redmond, Washington.
Bilgey and Butthead, in overalls with "B & B Windows" emblazoned across their chests, confront an irate customer in his home. Bilgey has a whiny voice and a really bad haircut; Butthead is all bluster, no hair.
CUSTOMER: Look at this! You said you'd fix my windows!
BILGEY: Replaced 'em! All new! Innovative!
BUTTHEAD: Great job! Great job!
CUSTOMER: It's like looking through a fun-house mirror!
BILGEY: That's our slogan: New windows! More fun!
CUSTOMER: Can't you see how distorted they are?
BUTTHEAD: They're high tech. And green! Recycled!
BILGEY: They're our new Blista Windows.
BUTTHEAD: You ever wonder what happens to those plastic blister-packs that stuff comes in?
BILGEY: The ones you have to open with a knife?
BUTTHEAD: Well, that's what these windows are made of.
BILGEY: They're much safer than regular windows. Watch!
(Butthead smacks a window with a hammer; a chunk falls out.)
BILGEY: With a normal window, glass would be all over.
CUSTOMER: But now this one has a hole in it.
BUTTHEAD: No problem! These windows have a patch kit. It's free. We'll send it to you. Even tell you how to install it!
CUSTOMER: But I'm not a windows installer!
BILGEY: You are now.
CUSTOMER: Besides, I can't even open these windows.
BUTTHEAD: Safety feature! Unusable Aperture Control!
BILGEY: UAC for short! Protects you!
BUTTHEAD: If you opened them, anything could happen!
BILGEY: A squirrel might run in!
BUTTHEAD: A hamster might fall out!
BILGEY: With UAC, you're safe!
CUSTOMER: And hot. I want windows that open. And ones I can see through. Put the old ones back.
BUTTHEAD: Won't do it.
BILGEY: Can't do it.
BUTTHEAD: We don't support those dangerous old things.
CUSTOMER: You're saying I'm stuck with these?
BILGEY: Just till our new version.
BUTTHEAD: Upgrade. New. We call 'em Blasta Windows.
BILGEY: Ready by the end of the year.
(B & B exchange glances and snigger hysterically.)
CUSTOMER: What'll they cost me?
B & B (together): You don't want to know!
CUSTOMER: How long have you been doing this?
BILGEY (proudly): You're our first customer.
CUSTOMER: What did you do before?
B & B: We were in . . . the software business!
(They laugh uncontrollably as the sound track swells.)