The Wire and Fringe star presents the most useless crime-fighting show on TV.
By Patrick Cassels
INT. POLICE STATION
Obvious actors playing DETECTIVES and SCIENTISTS "work"
silently in the BG. LANCE REDDICK, sleeves rolled up, flips
through a file cabinet. He looks at CAMERA and slams the the
They're everywhere. Mall parking
lots. Off the Interstate. And the
sickest part is: you probably don't
even know it...
PHOTOS (found or PHOTOSHOPPED) of small businesses -- a
jewelery store, a local lawyer -- with pointy blue roofs,
like Ihops. The last photo DISSOLVES into an older photo of
the same building, revealing it used to be an Ihop!!!
LANCE REDDICK (CONT'D)
...Old Ihops pretending to be
different businesses. It's the
biggest God-damn scam in the
country, and I'm here to expose the
scumbags behind it, one Ihop at a
time. This is "Nice Try, Ihop"!
INTRO: Crime-solving images, ending with a shot of Reddick
leering at a current Ihop through his car window.
I'm watching you.
His peels away. The dust clears, revealing "NICE TRY, IHOP
with Lance Reddick." The logo is an Ihop in a Groucho mask.
BACK IN THE STATION. Reddick awkwardly taps with the theme
music, concentrating, waiting for his cue. The music ends.
I've played officers of the law on
shows like "The Wire" and movies
like "Crackers on the Case"...
QUICK B&W STILLS form "The Wire" and "Crackers on the Case,"
which features Reddick shrugging next to a dog in a cop hat.
LANCE REDDICK (CONT'D)
...But "Nice Try, Ihop!" ain't no
storybook Hollywood fantasy. We've
shone the light of truth on over
100 Ihops-in-Disguise-hops here on
our 4am TruTV time slot...
As he lists the show's old cases, we show a photo of Reddick
doing a doofy pose in front of each business, followed by an
EXTREME CU on Reddick delivering his catch phrase:
AT&T Store, outside Chicago.
Nice try, Ihop!
Everything Aquarium, Austin.
Nice try, Ihop!
Leslie Akhavan, DDS, Ohio.
Great veneers, but Nice try, Ihop.
Fashion Bug, Newburgh, New York.
Back on Reddick, trying to eat a blouse. He spits it out.
That's not a pancake. My mistake,
FLASHY TRANSITION. Back at the station, Reddick closes a
file cabinet again and looks at CAMERA.
Tonight's case involves this
unassuming dry cleaner in North
Dakota. Or... is it?
PHOTO of a dry cleaner in an old Ihop. FORENSIC GRAPHICS
digitize onto the photo as Reddick talks:
Note the distinctive blue shingles.
Those beige walls. The steep
incline of the roof. Familiar?
(a "they never learn" laugh)
Nice try, Ihop! We were onto these
crum-bums from the start. But I
wanted to bust them in person.
POV SECURITY CAMERA. Reddick enters a PLUMBING SHOWROOM
holding a plate of pancakes. A TURKISH OWNER approaches.
Why you bring pancakes?
Oh, I'm sorry. This isn't an Ihop?
No. No Ihop. Bathroom fixtures.
Reddick looks DIRECTLY UP INTO CAMERA. ZOOM IN.
Could've fooled me!
BACK TO ORIGINAL SCENE. Reddick is smelling some pancakes.
Damn, I love pancakes.
(looks up at CAMERA)
Caught red handed! But just who are
all these [bleep]ing rat-finks
behind the frauds? I sat down for
an interview with an assistant
manager of an
re in Saint Paul. My goal: get
inside the mind of a true
CUT TO Reddick interviewing a female sporting goods MANAGER.
Her face is blurred and voice disguised.
When you wake up in the middle of
the night, alone with your guilt,
do you hear the cries of people
hungry for a scrumptious blintz?
I, um, do sporting goods. Hockey
sticks. Cleats. Affordably priced.
(ducks from behind blur)
Are you hiding my face?
You disgust me.
Where's my dog? You said you found
him. Are you real cop--
"NICE TRY, IHOP!" slams on screen. Reddick pops into FRAME,
points at her, and flashes a huge, satisfied grin to CAMERA.
Beat. The manager pokes her head out again.
Why are you doing that?
WEIRD TRANSITIONAL SCENE. Reddick, leaning against an OPEN
filing cabinet, files a folder and looks up.
Looks like this case... is
He handcuffs himself to the open filing cabinet, as though
this completes his pun. Beat. Reddick realizes he's stuck.
FLASHY TRANSITION. BACK TO ORIGINAL SCENE.
People say I'm crazy for doing
this. I look them in the eye and
say, "Is justice crazy?" Then they
say, "No, but whatever you're doing
with this show is." Then I say,
"a-sphincter-says-what?" Then they
say, "What?" Then I say, "So you're
a sphincter?" Then they say,
I'm Lance Reddick. Good night.
Reddick drinks Ihop coffee straight from the pot.