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Classic Scene #63: A Night At The Opera

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DRIFTWOOD: Now pay particular attention to this first clause because it’s most important. It says, “The party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the party of the first part”. How do you like that? That’s pretty neat, eh?

FIORELLO: No, it’s no good.

DRIFTWOOD: What’s the matter with it?

FIORELLO: I don’t know, let’s hear it again.

DRIFTWOOD: Says, “The party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the party of the first part.”

FIORELLO: Sounds a little better this time.

DRIFTWOOD: Well, it grows on ya – would you like to hear it once more?

FIORELLO: No, just the first part.

DRIFTWOOD: What do you mean? The party of the first part?

FIORELLO: No, the first part of the party of the first part.

DRIFTWOOD: All right, it says, “The first part of the party of the first part shall be known in this contract as the first part of the part of the first part...” Look, why should we quarrel about a thing like this, we’ll take it right out, huh?

FIORELLO: Yeah. It’s too long anyhow. (They rip off the top of the contract) Now what have we got left?

DRIFTWOOD: Well I got about a foot and a half. Now it says, “The party of the second part shall be known in this contract as the party of the second part.”

FIORELLO: Well, I don’t know about that...

DRIFTWOOD: Now what’s the matter?

FIORELLO: I don’t like the second party either.

DRIFTWOOD: Well, you should have come to the first party, we didn’t get home till around four in the morning. I was blind for three days.

FIORELLO: Hey look, why can’t the first part of the second party be the second part of the first party – then you got something!

DRIFTWOOD: Look, rather than go through all that again. What do you say?

FIORELLO: Fine. (They rip off some more of the contract)

DRIFTWOOD: Now I’ve got something here you’re bound to like, you’ll be crazy about it.

FIORELLO: No, I don’t like it.

DRIFTWOOD: You don’t like what?

FIORELLO: Whatever it is, I don’t like it.

DRIFTWOOD: Well, don’t let’s break up an old friendship over a thing like that. Ready?

FIORELLO: Okay (They rip off some more). Now, the next part I don’t think you’re gonna like.

DRIFTWOOD: Well, your word’s good enough for me. (They both tear another clause off their contracts) Now then, is my word good enough for you?

FIORELLO: I should say not.

DRIFTWOOD: Well that takes out two more clauses. (They rip out two more sections) Now. “The party of the eighth part..”

FIORELLO: Naw, that’s no good. (They rip off another piece)

DRIFTWOOD: “The party of the ninth part..."

FIORELLO: Naw, that’s no good. (They rip off yet more. He compares the length of the contracts) Hey, how is it my contrast is skinnier than yours?

DRIFTWOOD: Well I don’t know, you must have been out on the tail last night. But anyhow we’re all set now, aren’t we?

FIORELLO: Oh yeah, sure.

DRIFTWOOD: Now just you put your name down there and the deal is legal. (He hands Fiorello a pen)

FIORELLO: I forgot to tell you (handing it back) I can’t write.

DRIFTWOOD: Oh that’s all right, there’s no ink in the pen anyhow, But listen, it’s a contract isn’t it? We’ve got a contract no matter how small it is.

FIORELLO: Hey, wait, wait. What does this thing say here?

DRIFTWOOD: Oh that’s the usual clause, that’s in every contract, just says, “If any of the parties participating in this contract are shown not to be in their right mind, the entire agreement is automatically nullified.”

FIORELLO: Well, I don’t know...

DRIFTWOOD: It’s all right. That’s in every contract. That’s what they call a sanity clause.

FIORELLO: Ha ha ha ha! You can’t fool me, there ain’t no Sanity Claus!