The One Where One Has To Leave

Written by: Michael Escritt

Disclaimer: The characters and their stories belong to Bright, Kaufman, and Crane and NBC and Warner
Brothers. I mean no infringement and make no profit.

Note: The last episode we've had over here in England to date is The One With Joey's Big Break, so I apologize if any references seem nonsensical. Enjoy.

Scene One.

Int. An dimly lit out of town coffeehouse (Not Central Perk). None of the gang are here, just two suited business men in a side booth.

Man 1: I'm telling you what I saw. The company could use a guy like him.

Man 2: But you only saw him for two minutes. How can you be sure he's got what it takes?

Man 1: Trust me, trust me. I know.

Man 2: Yeah, well I'm telling you: screw up this time and it's...

Man 1: I know.

Man 2: I just want to make sure that you know what you're doing.

Man 1: Oh, come on! How many times....

Man 2: Ok, ok. Just so long as you know. You gonna make the call?

Man 1: Yeah I... Oh man, [he starts searching his pockets] have you got his number?

Man 2: Hey, it's right here on the counter. Don't panic, ok? Try to sound relaxed and professional.

Man 1: Relaxed....Professional. Got it.

[Man 1 takes out his phone from a bag under the table and begins dialling.]

Man 1: It's ringing.......Hello, this is...

[Time lapse to same, after call.]

Man 2: So is he gonna do it?

Man 1: Yeah. Says he'll come around on Monday for us to check him out.

Man 2: Great! You've done a good job. I'm proud of you. I just pray to God that he isn't gonna be another Jimmy.

Man 1: Oh God, not Jimmy. Didn't I tell you about Jimmy? Didn't we agree that the whole Jimmy incident was to be completely forgotten? Didn't you say you'd never bring up the whole messy Jimmy situation ever again?!

Man 2: [Pause] I was just saying...

Man 1: Yeah, well, just don't, ok?

Man 2: Alright, fine.

Man 1: Look, I'm sorry, but I just wish you'd trust me one time. I know that this guy is the guy for the job.

Man 2: Ok, ok. Monday it is, then.

Man 1: I've got a good feeling about this one.

[As they continue talking, we switch to an overhead view of their booth. We zoom down on the photo in the middle of the table, revealing it to be of Chandler.]

* * *

Scene Two.

Int. Monica & Rachel's Apartment. All but Joey are there. Chandler is flying around the place in blind panic.

Chandler: What can I do? What am I going to do? I don't have any training....I - I so can't do this!

Phoebe: Then why did you say that you would? It's not like he was forcing you or anything.

Ross: You know it isn't that hard once you just get past the initial fear and...

Chandler [Snapping]: What do you know?!

Rachel: Chandler, it's not that big a thing.

Chandler: ...Coming from the person who's scariest experience was getting yelled at for getting the regular and decaff coffee pots mixed.

Rachel: When I found out Barry wasn't the one, I didn't try to put away feelings, I came out with it. That took plenty of damn courage Mister!

Chandler (sarcastically): No, you did the brave thing and ran away from that church as fast as you could!

[Disgusted, Rachel does the fist-smash signal and stalks out.]

Ross [proud]: I always knew that would catch on.

Monica: Ok honey, just calm down. Everything's gonna be alright.

Chandler: How do you know that, huh? I mean, your saying these things, you don't have any proof.

Monica: So what if you bomb!

Chandler: Well thank you very much for your support!

Monica: You know what I mean! So what if you aren't cut out to be a comedian? For the last five and a half years you've been going on about how much you hate your job at the bank....

Chandler: Bank?

[Monica looks blank.]

Chandler: Oh my God! You still don't know what I do?

[All stare down at the floor.]

Chandler: DATA-PROCESSING! The processing of numbers and/or data! Is it really that hard to remember?!

Monica: Whatever. So you've been telling us how much you hate it for the last five and a half years and an agent calls you up and offers to take you away from it all, and you're ready to let an opportunity like this just pass you by?

* * *

Scene Three.

[Int. Audition's office. The two men from scene one are sat on either side of a desk awaiting Chandler's arrival.]

Man 2: Did you call him again to confirm.

Man 1: Nah. It's ok, he'll come.

Man 2: You didn't call to confirm? We always call to confirm! We have to make the confirmation call!

Man 1: What, do you want me to do it now?

Man 2: You can't do it now.

Man 1: I can. I will, if it means that much to you.

Man 2: Ok, that's it. Let me tell you a little something about this company. We've being running for over 50 years. This company has always being run the exact same way. Would you look at all these?

[He indicates framed pictures on the wall behind the desk of famous comedians.]

Man 2: A stand-up hall of fame. And you know what everyone of these has in common?

They've all being with us for their entire careers. They all have true faith in our company, and they all got the confirmation call!

[Man 1 throws his hands up in defeat.]

[Long pause.]

Man 2: You see what I mean though, how do we even know if he's coming.

Man 1: It's ok, he'll come.

Man 2: This is nearly as bad as Jimmy.

* * *

Scene Four.

Int. Chandler and Joey's. Joey is sat watching TV. Chandler and Ross enter.

Ross: Ok, so what's the big news?

Chandler: I got the job!

Ross & Joey: Alright!

Chandler: Yeah, I just told a few jokes off the top of my head and he asked me some stuff about myself and... he told me I was a natural!

Joey: He told you you were unnatural?

Chandler: A natural.

Joey: Right.

Chandler: ...And that he would try and get me a gig as a support act!

Ross: Good going, just one thing....

Chandler: What?

Ross: You don't have an act.

Chandler: Exactly! And this is the best part... I'm going off for training with some of the best in the business!

Joey & Ross: Oh my God! No way!

Chandler: Yep! Two glorious months of California sun!

Joey (trying to hide that he's upset): Your...your going to California?

Chandler: Yes indeedy my friends. Then a month in a hotel writing some new material, then, hopefully, on the road!

[Time lapse- now all are here.]

Monica: So what about us? You know, you and me.

Chandler: I'm not going to be gone forever, it's just a few months. You can come visit!

Monica: Yeah, I guess.

Chandler: I'll call you every day.

Monica: Yeah.

Ross: It's gonna be pretty dull without you here.

Rachel (still annoyed): So when do you leave?

Chandler: Saturday morning.

Phoebe: Wow. [She picks up a notepad from the table and starts writing something.]

* * *


Note: In reality, this scene would have to be shot without a studio audience, to distinguish their non-existent laughter from that of those in the comedy club in Chandler's dream.

Int. Chandler's bedroom. He is asleep. The view ripples, establishing that we are now watching his dream:

Int. Comedy Club, night. Chandler is on stage in a suit, performing his new routine.

Chandler: So I had to use a bus the other day. I hate buses. What is it with public transport? I've been to London, great city, but seriously, the London buses? It's beyond me how a bus can become a tourist attraction. We do it though, we flock there from all over the world and we say, "Hey, we've come all this way... no forget the tower, no, no, not the Palace...Westminster Abbey? No, not today. Wait! You know what! Let's ride the bus today!"

[Chandler laughs. The audience however, do not. He clears his throat, mops his brow, and continues. The audience, once again, remain silent throughout.]

Chandler continued: Anyway, as I said, I had to use the bus the other day. It was packed, they were falling out of the windows... but, me, a ninety-something year old woman and a guy with an AC/DC t-shirt and hair down to his ankles, all had a seat spare next to us. We come to a stop, and an overweight woman got on. I'm sorry, she was large. I knew there wasn't going to be room for both of us on this seat, but I also thought that she would, without a doubt, sit next to me. [Chandler is sweating, and looking increasingly worried at the lack of laughter.] So I'm sat there praying, "No, don't sit here, not here, not here, not here." And you know what? She didn't sit next to me. She sat next to AC/DC man. Straight past me, and next to a hairy stinking leather clad heavy metal moron. And though I didn't want her to sit next to me I was thinking, "What? You'd rather sit next to him than me? What is it, is there something wrong with my hair, is there lettuce in my teeth, what is it?"

[The audience begins 'boo'ing and pelting Chandler with bottles and coins. Chandler looks scared to death. The camera goes in to slow motion as we see a smashed bottle heading directly towards Chandler.]

We return to: Int. Chandler's bedroom. He awakes.

Chandler: Oh my God!

* * *


Int. Monica & Rachel's. Balloons and streamers are strewn around the room. All the gang are here plus people from Chandler's work, Gunther, and several extras- it is Chandler's farewell party. Music: I Will Wait, Hootie & The Blowfish.

Rachel (who now seems to have forgiven Chandler for his earlier comments): So you're really going huh?

Chandler: Yeah, well. There comes a time and all that... you know I'll be back...and anyway,...[He stops, noticing Joey staring into space.] Are you ok Joey?

[We zoom in on Joey's sad eyes, then:

Montage of several Joey and Chandler scenes from past (real) shows, backed by R.E.M.'s Country Feedback, ending on the scene from the end of 'The One Where Eddie Moves In' where Joey is sat looking up to the sky through his false ever-raining window, originally backed by 'All By Myself'. We fade out, and back in to the party scene.]

Chandler continued: Joey?

Joey (coming back down to Earth): Oh, what?

Chandler: I said 'Are you ok with this?'

Joey: Yeah. Oh yeah. I mean, why, why wouldn't I be ok with it?

Chandler: Well, I don't know, it just seems like we've lived together for such a long time...

Joey: Mmm, well it is going to feel kind of weird not having you around the place. I've never really lived by myself before.

Chandler: Well, there was the one time, when you got the Days Of Our Lives gig....

Joey: Yeah, there was that.....

Chandler: Hey, I'll call you as soon as I get there. And between you and me, I've been thinking about seeing if you can all get over before the work starts, have a little vacation thing.

Joey (brightening): Whoa, really? Oh, that'll be great.

Chandler: Ok, but don't tell anyone yet...

Joey: Oh no, just between you and me.

* * *


The next day. Int. Airport. The gang are all saying goodbye to Chandler before he leaves. Phoebe is carrying three sheets of notepaper, those that she was writing on earlier.

Phoebe: So I wrote you a poem, you know, to read on the plane.

[She hands it to him.]

Chandler: Really, that's very nice.

[Joey signals to Chandler.]

Chandler: Oh, yeah. Can I just have a minute alone with Joey?

All: Ok.

[They move out into the background.]

Joey: So....this is it huh?

Chandler: Yep, I guess so.

Joey (remembering something): Oh! I had these cards made...

[He hands some business cards to Chandler.]

Joey continued: ...they're from Estelle. You know, any Hollywood guys you meet, maybe you can drop a few hints, you know?

Chandler: Yeah, sure.

[They hug.]

Joey: Good luck man.

Chandler: Thanks.

[The rest of the gang return.]

Monica: I'll miss you Chandler.

Chandler: I'll miss you too.

[They hug.]

Announcer V.O.: This is the last call for boarding flight 25472 to.....

Chandler: Well I guess that's my call.

All: Good luck, goodbye, have a good trip etc.

Chandler: Bye.

[He heads down the tunnel. The gang leave. Seeing that they are gone, he comes back out and heads to a garbage can. Sheepishly, he drops in the cards and poem, and then leaves for real. We see that Phoebe has been watching from around the corner. She looks shocked.]