Potato Radio by Paul Knauer | Script Revolution

Potato Radio

Type:

Status:

Page Count: 
8pp

Genre:

Budget:

Age Rating:

Logline: 
When a bored and lonely man's science project unexpectedly agitates his neighbor, he decides to use it to his advantage.
Synopsis/Details: 

Potato Radio is a pandemic-inspired light comedy with slight absurdist touches. With only two actors, never closer than 6 feet, it's written to be an easy shoot in a world of social distancing.

To be clear, Potato Radio not a "pandemic" script. It's really just a fun little story about neighbors connecting (in a very weird way) in a pandemic world.

This Script Has Been Reviewed By Shootin' The Shorts

Potato Radio
Isolated and bored, a man fashions a homemade transmitter that leads to an unexpected connection

If you’re like me, you’ve been trying to find new ways to keep yourself entertained while being stationed under the proverbial rock that we call our homes. I’ve been reading a lot of screenplays lately, but I’ve been trying to find other hobbies to break the daily, monotonous quarantine routine. For one, I was mainly watching Netflix, Amazon Prime and Shudder. Bored out of my mind, I decided to mix things up a bit and try out Hulu. Does that count as a new hobby?

Okay, I guess not. It really is hard finding something new to enjoy. If only I had the imagination that David, the main character in Paul Knauer’s quirky comedy, “Potato Radio” had.

The story opens much like my day begins – flipping through TV channels.

DAVID
Nope. Seen it. Stupid. Figured it out in the first five minutes.
Good – the first eight times. Nope.

This almost feels like a biography – MY biography.

But after aimlessly channel surfing, he finds something on TV that inspires his new hobby.

TV PROFESSOR (V.O.)
Once you’ve inserted the pennies into the potato,
simply connect the wires…

David leans forward.

TV PROFESSOR (V.O.)
Attach the bulb – and, there you have it.
A potato-powered light.

DAVID
No. Way.

His mind officially blown, he sets out to create something of his own using a potato – a radio. I’m sure you’ve probably guessed that going by the title.

After putting it all together, David’s really not sure whether or not it works. But he has fun with it, nevertheless. He even hosts his own imaginary potato-themed radio show that he thinks only he can hear.

DAVID
It’s a beautiful morning at K-P-T-O,
home to all your potato related hits.
Are you ready to do the mashed potato?

Unbeknownst to him, his annoying schlub of a next-door neighbor, Russell, seems to be hearing a voice in his head – David’s voice. Not sure if he’s sick or if he’s experiencing the effects of cabin fever after a lot of time spent alone, Russell makes a phone call.

RUSSELL
… Does the COVID make you hear voices?
(listens)
What difference does it –
(listens)
Potatoes, okay? They’re talking about potatoes.

Despite living next door to each other, the two really haven’t had many friendly interactions. In fact, David is a little fed up with Russell, who has a habit of drinking outside and then throwing the empty cans into David’s yard.

It’s not long before David realizes that Russell can somehow hear his potato radio transmissions. However, Russell doesn’t know that it’s David creating these transmissions.

So, David decides to have a little fun with Russell to teach him a lesson and get even with him for littering his yard with empty beer cans.

With a lot of writers, this could have gone into a very mean-spirited, back-and-forth direction. But Paul Knauer keeps it light-hearted and borderline whimsical without compromising the comedy. I, personally, am drawn towards horror films and thrillers. But, in these dark times, this script was a nice breath of fresh, COVID-free air. It made me feel good and left me with a smile on my face.

Review by Michael Kospiah
Submitted: June 3, 2020
Last Updated: June 3, 2020

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Paul Knauer's picture

The Writer: Paul Knauer

I’m an optioned screenwriter working out of the Kansas City area. My main focus is thrillers and slightly absurdist comedy with heart. But, I believe becoming a better writer requires the ability to push personal boundaries, so you’ll notice a thorough mix of genres in my portfolio. Born and raised in St. Louis, I’ve lived in multiple small towns around Missouri, and now Kansas. My projects often center on life in the Midwest -- highlighting the heart of the hard-working Midwest soul. My first script, a sitcom pilot titled OH, BROTHER!, placed second in the 2012 Fresh Voices Screenplay Competition and was subsequently optioned. My thriller, 60 FEET UNDER, recently received a rating of... Go to bio

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