Break a Leg
It's the end of another performance at the Harlequin Theatre and Edwin Blackgaard has bigger problems than the pathetic number of people who turned out for the show. They're in financial trouble as usual and their array of "public events" (free performances in the park, at the Harlequin) hasn't motivated the citizens of Odyssey to embrace their theater. Shakespeare has a sure-fire plan-a bike race for the youth of Odyssey. Edwin dismisses the idea as terribly unprofessional, but is persuaded when only one person attends his next show. Weeks later, Shakespeare is trying to balance his schedule of busily preparing for the race and waiting on Edwin hand and foot. The two of them leave to get the registration forms for the race and to correct a poster of the race (Edwin's picture isn't big enough).
Meanwhile, on the other side of town, a school day has ended. Alex Jefferson tells his cousin Cal Jordan about a bike race in McAlister Park this coming Saturday. Cal is excited because he doesn't like his bike. Alex challenges Cal to a preliminary race and the two of them take off across town. Meanwhile, Shakespeare and Edwin are approaching Mr. Gantry's Printing. Just as they round the corner, Cal turns onto the sidewalk for a shortcut. Then he sees Shakespeare ahead! He can't stop! There is a grueling crash as the two of them collide.
Later at the hospital, a doctor tells Shakespeare he'll have to be on crutches for six weeks. Edwin is panic-stricken; he had expected Shakespeare to do all the work for the bike race. Back at the Harlequin, Edwin tries to do things for himself-make tea, mop the floor, even call local radio stations, but the results are nothing short of painful. Cal arrives at the Theater to apologize to Shakespeare, but Edwin puts him to work showing him how to use a stopwatch and asking if he's any good with microwave ovens.
The day of the race arrives. Cryin' Bryan Dern is sarcastically announcing the proceedings as Edwin haltingly conducts the throngs of kids through signing their registration slips. Cal is there to cheer for Alex, but he's still very disappointed about his bike. Finally, the race begins, but Dern cuts to a station break. We're back and the race is almost over. Alex narrowly beats David Straussberg for the prize! When Cal comes over to "congratulate" him, Alex says he has a problem - he has two bikes now. Then he sees the solution-Cal can have his old bike! Cal is shocked, but thanks Alex for the gift.
Hours later, Edwin arrives back at the Theater and presents Shakespeare with a gift - a nameplate for vice-president! Shakespeare is amazed, but Edwin tells him there is one condition-he must get better soon!
- Why did Cal want to win the race so much?
- Why was the race important to Edwin?
- Edwin said that without Shakespeare, he felt like he'd lost his right hand. What do you think he meant?
- It's important to appreciate everything you have. Can you think of anything that God has given you that you haven't been thankful for?
- How can you start appreciating it?
Heard in episode
|Alex Jefferson||Travis Tedford|
|Bart Rathbone||Walker Edmiston|
|Bryan Dern||Corey Burton|
|Cal Jordan||Adam Pavlakovich|
|Edwin Blackgaard||Earl Boen|
|Dr. Franklin||Corey Burton|
|Marty (c)||Dave Arnold|
|Walter Shakespeare||Corey Burton|
Mentioned in episode
|Mr. Gantry||Walter Shakespeare|
|Melvin Steward||Edwin Blackgaard|
|Rachel Jefferson||Alex Jefferson|
|David Straussberg||Bryan Dern|
|Mr. Jefferson||Alex Jefferson|
VERSION DIFFERENCE: [view] Five minutes were cut from the broadcast version of this show that were put back in for the album. These include a scene where Edwin tries his best to make some tea (and causes a major mess in the kitchen) and a scene where Edwin brings tea up to a resting Shakespeare. The opening two scenes between Edwin and Shakespeare are also extended.
- This episode marks the second 1-on-1 bike race on the program that begins with a character bragging about taking an early lead and ends in an injury-causing crash—the first episode being #337: “W-O-R-R-Y”, with Sam Johnson and Erica Clark.
- This is also the second episode in which Edwin slips on a freshly-waxed floor—the first being #359: “The Merchant of Odyssey”.
- Bryan Dern's quote in this episode about wanting someone to knock him out was previously heard in #313: “Top This!” as he is forced to play polka music on the air.
- A Stingray bike would also be a prize in #600: “The Nudge”.
- This episode's cast and characters are all male, a frequent occurrence in Edwin-centric episodes.
- The lines Edwin performs in the opening scene come from Othello.
- When Bart calls Edwin in this episode, a few of Bart's lines from #359: “The Merchant of Odyssey” (some of which repeat) can be heard playing as Bart talks on the phone.
Walter Shakespeare: Perhaps if we promote the theater in more innovative ways, people will come to our productions.
Edwin Blackgaard: Innovative? Say you're not thinking about those tacky little pins with our names printed along the edge or a pot holder with my face on it. I have no desire to have hot pans pressed against my face, Shakespeare!
Edwin Blackgaard: I'd have to have my brain replaced with a broccoli sprout to agree to such a thing!