04x05 - Stefan King

Adult Adam: Back in the '80s, Stephen King was the master of horror. The man seemed to write a new book every week, and I devoured them all. But my favorite... "Misery," a story about a woman who kept a writer captive till he wrote her the story of her dreams.

Schmoop-a-loop.

Don't forget we're going underpants shopping tomorrow.

I remember you saying that.

I don't remember agreeing to it.

I suppose you're too old for Underoos now?

Yes! I'm in a high school!

God, this is a nightmare I can't escape from.

[Sighs] Guess I'll have to put these in my scrapbook now.

Stephen King made me want to write horror stories, too. I just hadn't found anything horrific to write about.

Let me see.

What... is... scary?

Kissy monster attack!

And if my writer's block weren't bad enough, I had this to deal with, too.

Whoo! That was good for me.

Okay, meatloaf burgers in 20.

[Chuckles]

Nom nom nom nom nom!

[Chuckles]

Ohh! [Laughs]

Wait. That was it. I already lived in my own Stephen King horror tale, and I was gonna write about the scariest monster of them all...

Kissy monster returns!

...my horrifying smother.

Feeds on chubby cheeks!

♪ I'm twisted up inside ♪
♪ But nonetheless, I feel the need to say ♪
♪ I don't know the future ♪
♪ But the past keeps getting clearer every day ♪

It was October 29th, 1980-something, and, unfortunately for Erica, the Halloween dance was fast approaching.

Me and Evy came up with the perfect couple's costume.

I'm gonna be Seymour from "Little Shop of Horrors."

And I'll be Audrey II, the man-eating plant.

Fits.

Excuse me, now?

I hope it fits... the costume.

And, uh, who exactly are you taking to the dance, Erica?

I've got... someone lined up. It...

Lainey's hot cousin Nate.

What? Nate didn't tell me you were goin...

Yeah, he doesn't tell you everything.

Oh. Yeah.

He did say you're in a very serious relationship.

It's not that serious.

I mean, we could break up anytime, so I can date other people.

Totally.

'Cause you have trouble committing?

Nope. I'm very open to that.

Just... with the right person, which it's not right now.

Point is, I have a date. Okay. Bye.

Yep, my sister had resorted to making up a date, and no one was more pleased than my brother.

Oh... ho... ho... ho... ho!

How the mighty have fallen.

Okay, I can't deal with whatever this is, so get out.

This is me rejoicing in your social failures.

I know you have no date this Halloween, most romantic of all holidays.

Okay, I get it... You're here to bust balls, but please, I need you to cut me some slack.

Did you ever cut me slack during the last 16 years?

Before I had Lainey, you tortured me for being the world's biggest loser.

Come on. I wasn't that bad.

You made a puppet out of a tube sock and told everyone it was my girlfriend.

[Chuckles] Soxanne.

You wrote an op-ed in the school paper about what a loser I was.

I changed your name! No one knew that Gary Boldberg was you.

You spread a rumor about me dating the lunch lady!

Doris is just a friend!

Okay, fine! I've done a few evil things.

But that doesn't mean I deserve comeuppance. Please!

Oh, no!

I've been waiting my whole life for this moment to come in here and call you the sad sack.

Oh, my God. You're right.

I'm you. I'm the Barry.

"I'm the Barry"? What... What the hell does that mean?

You know... the mopey loser, the Barry!

Okay, that is not what being the Barry means.

I don't want to be the Barry, but that's exactly what I am!

This is my moment of triumph!

Don't feel sorry for yourself for being me!

But I really do feel like a hopeless Barry, while you're happily living your life like anything but a Barry.

Okay, I am happy, but I'm not the Barry.

[Slurps]

I mean, I am the Barry, but in a good way!

Gah! Just shut up!

As Barry wasn't getting his revenge, I was about to find out that my mom had read my horror story

based solely on her.

Hey.

Don't "hey" me, mister. I found your little story.

Oh. Okay.

Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead or big-haired and blond is purely coincidental.

I just don't understand how you could do this.

Why would you hide something so... amazing from your mother?

You actually liked it?

Liked it?

This is as good, if not better, than Stefan King himself.

Stephen King. And you've read his stuff?

Not a word. But I'll tell you something.

He'd better look out for Adam F. Goldberg.

Love the middle initial... very authorly.

It's only there 'cause there's another Adam Goldberg in school.

He's in 11th grade and has a beard.

Ooh! What if we send this story to Mr. King?

Maybe he could get it published.

I-I would love that, but it's just a first draft.

If he's gonna read it, it has to be perfect.

You keep working on it, and we'll keep it under wraps until then.

Great news, everyone.

I've picked the new book for book club.

Ooh! Who's it by?

Only the greatest American novelist.

Hemingway?

Hemingway?

Pfft! Yuck! [Chuckles]

My little Adam.

Beverly, we usually do classics or award winners.

The point of book club is to enrich our minds.

Put a sock in it, Elaine.

Last week, you picked that suck-ass "Joy Luck Club."

Bevy, that book was a heart-wrenching masterpiece.

Okay, what are you even doing here?

This is a book club for ladies.

That's exactly why I'm here.

Albert Solomon, book lover.

Dad, stop trying to take over book club.

Okay, everyone.

Read my boopie's book.

I guess reading one little short story... won't hurt.

Yay! [Laughs]

I'm so glad you already love it.

Yay!

Yay!!

As my mom was helping me get my big break, my sister was about to get one of her own.

[Car door closes, engine starts]

Are you okay, Geoff?

Oh, my gosh, did you break up?

If so, that is sad.

No. Uh, Evy's Gam-Gam's in the hospital.

She can't go to the Halloween dance.

That is also sad.

Hey! I have a fun idea.

Why don't you two do a couple's costume together?

As friends.

Yes. Just a couple of friends.

We can even do "Little Shop of Horrors," like you wanted.

I... thought you had a date.

Lainey's cousin?

Uh, no, his grandma's sick, too.

She must have caught the same bug as Evy's grandma.

I don't think you can catch slipping in a tub.

Well, we're not doctors.

I don't know. I mean, Evy was the one making them, and I don't even know how...

Bup-bup. Don't you worry.

I am going to make a Broadway-quality costume with my own two hands.

Boom! Look what I rented with my own two hands.

You are so gonna take Evy's man while she's tending to her ailing Gam-Gam.

Don't say it like that, 'cause you make it sound like I'm the bad guy here.

Eh, it's dicey, but you're my best friend. I'm on your side.

That day, Erica wasn't the only one with delusions of grandeur.

Okay, blah-di-blah. Enough small talk.

All your weeks were the same.

Nothing important happened in your lives.

All right, down to business.

Who here loved Adam's story?

Beverly, it was good... really good.

I knew it! My baby's the next Stefan King.

Just... Just one tiny, little thing.

Um... did you happen to notice anything familiar?

What? What are you getting at?

Uh... Albert, you want to field this?

Fine. I'll take the hit.

Listen, Bevy, it's clear the soul-sucking monster in the story is you.

Mmmm...

I don't see it.

It's name is Veeberly, has blond hair, and wears colorful sweaters.

Mmmm... not connecting the dots.

Just look at the cover.

It's clearly your head on a spider-like creature's torso.

Mmmmmm...

Beverly, it's you!

Wait, does everybody here think I'm a monster?

No! No, no, no! We don't think that.

Just your child.

He's the one that called you... let me get the words...

"a vicious she-spider whose strength comes from her children's blood and Jazzercize."

Well, that... that's not Adam's final version.

He still has many, many changes to make.

I get it.

Once, my son said that my chicken was a little dry.

Oh, your chicken was dry!

Get out.

I love you, but get your ass out of here.

Book club is over.

[Door slams]

Oh, good. They're gone [Grunts]

Can you believe they think Adam's short story is about me?

Here, let me take a look.

"It was blond and angry and was rude to waiters."

No, this tracks.

That could be anybody.

"The colorful sweaters and neon leggings hid the darkness in her heart."

Why am I even discussing this?

I've got shrimp Parm to make for dinner.

"She lured her victims with promises of cheesy seafood casserole."

Yes, we all know... clearly, it's me!

As my mom was finding out she was my monster, Erica was about to get a fright of her own.

Hey. Hi. [Chuckling] Hello.

Y-You're back.

Great news... Evy's Gam-Gam made a full recovery.

Oh, that's just so great!

'Cause now we're... not going to the dance together.

Or...[Chuckles] how's this work?

Um, I think it works like I'll go with my girlfriend but see you there?

For sure! I'm going with Nate again.

His grandma's doing better, too. [Chuckles]

Vitamins... am I right? [Laughs]

Anyway, I'll catch you there.

Okay.

Thanks for agreeing to go with him as friends.

So sweet of you.

Also. I'm onto you, homewrecker.

Wha...

I lied about Gam-Gam doing better.

She's in a medically induced coma.

But I'm staying here to make sure you don't lay your mitts on my man.

Evy, I have no idea why you...

Oh, sweet Erica.

I get what he sees in you.

The olive skin, chestnut auburn hair, easy smile.

Thank you?

You had your chance with my Geoff last year.

But you blew it.

Blew... it.

Oh, Evy.

Sure, you're smart and confident.

But it won't be enough.

[Laughs nervously]

Don't you drag the back of your hand down my cheek in a soft but threatening manner.

Only I do that.

Well, it seems like I'm doing it right now.

Only the woman with the upper hand does that.

Shh! We both know who that is.

Shh!

Don't you shush my lips with your finger!

I am the one who shushes!

Shhhh!

Shhhh!

Shhhh!

Shhhh!

Enough!

This is a fight you can't win, missy, 'cause I already won.

Ugh. We watched this whole thing, and they're not gonna wrestle at all.

This school sucks.

Totally.

Let's go smash some pumpkins. [Chuckles]


It was Halloween night, and I was gonna be the scariest kid on the block. Little did I know, something scarier was right behind me.

Going somewhere, love bug?

I thought I'd go trick-or-treating... you know, for old times' sake.

Of course.

But first, you have some rewriting to do.

See, I showed your story to my book club.

They had some concerns.

Not me, of course... them.

Like what?

The main character, the Veeberly, they think she should be more lovable.

What?!

And kind. And snuggly.

Snuggly? For a horror story?

That makes no sense.

I don't know... I'm not a writer, but do that exactly.

Type-y, type-y.

Oh, my God!

You figured out the story was loosely based on you.

"Loosely"?

On page 2, you accidentally wrote "Beverly" instead of "Veeberly."

It's just a story. It's no big deal.

Well, I'm glad you feel that way, 'cause you're gonna change it all and make me a great mama.

My friends think my own son sees me as a monster.

Do you know how much that hurts me?

You realize what you're doing to me, right?

You're "Misery-ing" me.

That's not a word.

You're trapping me in my room and forcing me to make changes to my story, just like the crazy lady in Stephen King's book.

Squishy, you can leave whenever you want... once you fix the story.

Now, stop with the cockadoodie attitude and get to work!

Yay.

As I was being forced to keep working, Erica had completely given up.

Hey, sport. How you feeling?

Awful. Never felt so much like a Barry in my entire life.

You do know he's my boyfriend and I love him, right?

[Muffled] I know.

Well, I've got some news that'll cheer you up.

My cousin Nate has agreed to take you to the dance.

Hot Nate? Really?

Hey, Eri... No.

It's Nate. Hi... Hi, Nate.

Lainey, can I see you in the hall for sec?

Uh-huh.

Okay.

[Chuckles]

[Whispering] You're going!

No. That's not happening.

You're gonna...

No. No. Good luck.

[Normal voice] Um, Nate just realized that he had a Halloween night dental appointment... that he can't reschedule.

There is no Halloween night dental appointment, is there?

No. He kind of saw you and left.

Say I'm the Barry.

You're the Barry.

Oh, heard my name!

It better be in reference to someone with exceptional talent, who can rap and break-dance.

Okay, that's enough. Erica, get up.

No one is gonna be the Barry tonight.

Hey!

You're doing a couple's costume with your sister... end of story.

No way!

We already agreed to go as Harry and the Hendersons.

We're supposed to be "When Harry Met Sally..."

Yeah. You're Sally Henderson.

I can't do a couple's costume with my stupid brother.

What if people find out?

He'll be completely hidden inside the costume.

No one will know.

Barry: You said this costume was awesome.

I'm a stupid flower. Get it off me!

Calm down. Remember why you're doing this.

Ugh! Because you're making me!

No, 'cause you love your sister.

Wait... That's why? Then no!

I'm no one's puppet!

You kind of are.

Lainey, this is the worst idea you've had since you said yes to dating Barry.

I will fight you!

Well, come on!

You just messed with the wrong [bleep].

Both of you, shut up! This is happening!

No way! I'm supposed to be mocking her pain, like she did with me.

Maybe I'll just do a little victory dance.

And it goes a little something like this!

Ooh! Take it! Take it!

Sweetie, the costume's only making your dance adorable.

Damn it. Everything I do in this costume fights my agenda.

Okay, we're pulling the plug. Someone get me my Cool Whip.

Stop it! Both of you need to suck it up and be there for each other.

Fine! I'll do it!

But only 'cause I love you, baby.

I love you, too.

Come here. Give me some sugar.

Get away from me!

All: Trick or treat.

Look at you guys... I turned on the sprinklers, and you still made it through.

Yeah. Happy Halloween.

Psst. Where's Ma?

She's taking Pops home.

Perfect. I can hit a few houses.

Whatever you do, do not tell Mom that...

Oh, wow. You're just walking away, don't care at all.

My captor was gone for the evening. Or so I thought.

Balls! Balls!

Ohh!

Ohh! Stupid clown shoes!

Just like "Misery," she'd come home early.

Come on, come on, come on!

Every moment counted! I hadn't just written a Stephen King Story... I was living it!

[Suspenseful music plays]

Hey, pumpkin.

How's it going?

Just... writing and making the world come alive.

I know you've been out, mister man.

No, I-I was right here the whole time.

My photo cube was moved, darling.

I always proudly display it with your picture facing out.

Because you're my little baby star.

But all I saw was this.

Photo cube.

This conversation is over.

Time to get to work.

Oh, God. Don't break my ankles.

Ankles?

I'm making you a pumpkin pie.

I got to smash up the insides.

Oh.

That's very thoughtful.

And you can have some once you fix the story.

Boop!

As I remained captive, Erica was trying to capture Geoff's heart.

Dude, sick costumes. Those put ours to shame.

Oh, it's not a competition.

It really isn't.

But if it was, I'd win.

Kind of feels like I've won.

Have you?

Who's in the plant?

Oh, it's Nate, Lainey's hot cousin.

He doesn't speak.

Are we at the dance yet?!

He doesn't speak.

Hey, cuz, why don't you shut up and come over to the punch bowl?

Lunch? Great! I'm hungry!

See you on the dance floor?

For sure.

So fun.

Erica's plan was going perfectly.

Which way am I going?!

No, no, B-Barry.

Barry, no...

This plant is hard to steer!

Barry, no! [Screams]

Did I fall? I think I just fell.

Ohh!

Ew!

Erica's date is her brother!

[Laughter]

I...

Wow.

That is rough.

It was Halloween night, and I had finished rewriting my story.

How's Adam's masterpiece?

Phew.

Oh, my God.

You're sighing deeply because you love it!

Well, the story sure is different now.

In a good way, right?

The Veeberly isn't a mom-ster at all now.

Yes, she's made of pure love, and her sole mission in life is not to fail as a mother.

That's why her children let her move in with them!

Beverly, this is wrong on so many levels.

Did you even see the new cover Adam made?

"Schmoopie Loves Mommy"... that's a very off-putting title.

Mmmm... not seeing a problem here.

In Adam's first story, Veeberly was a complex, three-dimensional character.

What are you saying?

You inspired Adam... you.

It's the whole reason his writing worked.

You mean... I'm his muse?

Oh. No.

I'm his muse!

Actually, Stephen King is his...

My baby loves me and honors me with his words.

Not at all.

I have to make this right.

No, Veeberly...

I-I mean Beverly.

Ah, damn it.

Erica?

Go away.

It's really not as bad as you think.

Please... Just leave me alone.

Man, she really is the Barry.

No offense.

No, she's the me.

I've never seen her like this. I can always cheer her up.

Well, maybe there's someone else who can.

Hey. [Sighs]

Barry said you could use a friend.

And Seymour always knows how to cheer up his Audrey, right?

Not this time.

Come on. I've known you since, like, kindergarten.

There's always one thing that can cheer you up, no matter what.

[Slow music plays]

I'm not singing, Geoff.

That's okay. I'll start.

What? You think I won't?

I will. I'm not afraid.

♪ Lift up your head ♪
♪ Wash off your mascara ♪

You're really doing this, huh?

♪ Here, take my Kleenex ♪
♪ Wipe that lipstick away ♪

Oh, no.

♪ Show me your face ♪
♪ Clean as the morning ♪
♪ I know things were bad ♪
♪ But now they're okay ♪

Come on. I know you want to sing. I can see it.

♪ Suddenly Seymour ♪
♪ Is standing beside you ♪

Don't leave me hanging.

♪ Don't need no makeup ♪

You? Never.

[Chuckles]

♪ Don't have to pretend ♪

All together now.

♪ Suddenly Seymour ♪
♪ Is here to provide you ♪
♪ With sweet understanding ♪
♪ Seymour's your friend ♪

Thanks for being such a good friend.

Always.

You feeling better?

Kinda.

Geoff said you sent him in to cheer me up.

You know... I tortured you for years, and you really had every right to throw it back in my face.

I just didn't like seeing you be the Barry.

You got in a plant for me.

You... were there for me.

If that's being a Barry, then I'm okay with that.

Know what a Barry would do right now?

Get back on that dance floor and have an awesome night.

You don't have to move the computer back down here.

You can keep it in your room if you want.

Not so sure writing's for me.

Well, I am.

You got Stephen King's actual address?

I know a few yentas in Maine.

Eh, I'm not so sure Stevie King's gonna love "Schmoopie Loves Mommy."

Oh, God, no! I'm sending him the Veeberly.

But I thought you hate it.

Oh, I do.

[Chuckling] So much.

But... you keep writing about me, about this family.

It may not all be true, but... it's pretty darn good.

Thanks, Mama.

Sometimes we put on disguises, but, fortunately, the people who love us always know what's going on on the inside and are always willing to help us get back out there. Turns out the best stories are the ones that come from a real place... the ones that come from home.

My name is Stephen King.

My best book was Stephen King's "Skeleton Crew."

"It's great," says one auth... says one writer.

It's great!

[Sighs]

My name's Stephen King.

Most people know me for my suspenseful, chilling...

Beverly! Where's my Sports Illustrated?!

Don't make me read a shampoo bottle!

"Cujo."

"Big friendly dog chases a rabbit into an underground cave... a sleeping evil crueler than death itself."

Oh, this ought to hold me for about 9 to 16 minutes.

Yeah.

[Suspenseful music plays]

[Music intensifies]