An Angel Walks Into A Bar... by Paul Zeidman | Script Revolution

An Angel Walks Into A Bar...

After literally dying onstage, a caustic comedian must fix three of the many lives he ruined when he was alive, or be eternally condemned to his own personal Hell.

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105pp

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Synopsis/Details: 

Stand-up comedian Stu Bloomberg is selfish, slovenly, and downright obnoxious to everybody. He gets the chance to do his act for a talent scout from a national TV show, but drops dead as soon as he steps onstage.

Stu finds himself in the otherworldly Room 13, where he meets Bev. She explains that he’s dead, but qualifies for the Last Chance Program, which gives him the opportunity to make things right for three people he wronged when he was alive. If he succeeds, he gets to go through the pearly gates. If not, it’s straight down to the other place (represented as a never-ending timeshare presentation).

Up first - Lenny, a pizza delivery guy who got fired due to Stu complaining. He has a job interview, and Stu’s efforts to get him there keep backfiring. Stu struggles but manages to instill a little self-confidence in Lenny. He gets the job. Stu starts to grasp the concept of helping others because it’s the right thing to do.

Next - Vicki, shy and quiet. Stu was one of many links in the chain of events that led up to her fiance’s fatal car crash. Bev shows Stu that all of our actions, no matter how big or small, have consequences. After Vicki gets laid off, Stu influences her to come out of her shell and go after her dream of being a song-and-dance gal (with a little help from a seasoned party entertainer).

Stu’s final and biggest assignment - his brother Matt. Twenty years ago, they had a promising comedy act together, but Stu struck out on his own. HIs confidence shattered, Matt gave up stand-up altogether and became a mail carrier. Stu wants to help his brother recapture that deeply buried ambition and drive.

Stu tries reminding Matt of how much he used to enjoy doing comedy, but Matt just won’t take the bait. Matt eventually gives in and goes to a comedy club. The owner is an old friend and invites Matt to open mike night. Matt agrees, much to Stu’s delight.

Frustrated by writer’s block, Matt goes to the cemetery, where he confesses to Stu’s grave that he feels like a big failure. Desperate to help his brother, Stu appears and apologizes for being such a jerk and has always believed in his brother. Matt, however, is hearing none of it and rejects Stu’s apology, leading to a heated argument. Stu is just about to insult Matt when Bev stops him and reveals the truth about herself: she let one of her earliest cases die because she thought he was a jerk. She doesn’t want Stu to self-sabotage himself like that.

Stu offers to do anything to help Matt, who wants him to go away. Stu reluctantly agrees, and finds himself in Hell. Bev appears, says he’s not totally done yet. They go to the comedy club where a very nervous Matt goes onstage and immediately bombs. Stu jumps onstage (still non-existent to everybody) and confesses to always having admired his brother’s talent and skill. Matt transitions from rusty amateur to seasoned pro, and gets lots of laughs and applause. The owner invites him to come back next week. After the show ends, Stu and Matt make eye contact. Matt silently says “thanks”.

Having performed the ultimate unselfish act, Stu successfully passes the Last Chance Program and gets to go through the pearly gates.

Submitted: June 11, 2021
Last Updated: June 15, 2021

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Paul Zeidman's picture

The Writer: Paul Zeidman

Hi there. I'm an award-winning screenwriter based in San Francisco. While open to working in any genre, I'm always up for creating a ripping yarn that grabs the viewer and takes them on a rollercoaster ride of thrills and excitement. I love to craft a story that simultaneously showcases a character's emotional journey set amidst high-octane action sequences, along with a couple of jokes thrown in for good measure. I'm also a notoriously meticulous script editor and proofreader, with the ability to spot a rogue comma or misspelled word at a hundred paces (give or take 99 paces). When not writing, rewriting, or reading scripts, I enjoy watching movies, reading comic books, running somewhat... Go to bio
Manager: seeking representation

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