Holiday episode of "Studs' Place." The episode, "Arthritis," focuses on themes of charity and deceit. The episode begins with Studs confusion about the pile of solicitations he receives in the mail every holiday season. Studs receives $52 from his Christmas Savings Fund. He saved $1 every week for the year so he'd have money for gifts during the holiday season. He plans to buy a phonograph. Sparky, a friend of Chet's, enters the restaurant, and, coincidentally, needs $50 to get to New York City. The episode ends with a twist.
0:10Copy video clip URL Opening credits.
0:23Copy video clip URL Announcer: “Welcome to Studs’ Place. It’s just a little place in the neighborhood where the food is good, the prices are reasonable, and the people you meet there are–well, let’s drop in and just see what sort of people are around tonight.” Pan over a Christmas wreath, close in on Studs, going through a large stack of mail.
1:00Copy video clip URL Chet: “What’s got ya bugged?” Studs wonders why all the charitable organizations solicit him around Christmas time.
2:06Copy video clip URL Grace comes into the restaurant with several gifts. Grace: “What do you buy an uncle you haven’t seen in two years?” Studs: “A tie.” Grace gives Studs a stack of dollar bills from their Christmas Savings Club. They have been saving a dollar a week all year. With the money, Studs plans to buy a new phonograph.
3:24Copy video clip URL Studs shows Grace the pile of charity solicitations in the mail. Grace: “Uh, I know, it makes ya feel kind of terrible. You go out and spend all that money on Christmas presents and people need it…I don’t know. Well, Studs, ya gotta do what I do and learn to budget.”
4:09Copy video clip URL Studs begins to tell one of Aesop’s fables, “The Grasshopper and the Ant,” but Grace interjects with the moral: “One saved and one didn’t.” Grace leaves, Studs continues to go through the mail and finds a few from old friends. Chet shows his jealousy for Studs’s $52.
5:03Copy video clip URL Win walks in: “Hey, where’s that do-re-me Grace got you?” Studs: “Just feel it very tenderly.” Win tries to ask for some of the money, but Studs walks away. In their next attempt, Win and Chet ask Studs to advance their salaries a few weeks. Studs rebuffs them.
6:43Copy video clip URL Studs reads a letter from the mail: “Dear friend, Help is needed for many of the seven and a half million victims…” Studs: “Yeah, I guess that’s right.” He puts the letter in the trash can.
7:15Copy video clip URL Man walks into the restaurant. He is looking for Chet. Studs leaves the room to find Chet. Seated at a table, the man unfolds a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket, looks at it without reading it, and says: “It’s gotta work. It’s just gotta work.” Chet walks in and immediately recognizes the man, Sparky McCorkle. They embrace. Apparently, Sparky is a world-class pianist.
8:47Copy video clip URL Sparky goes through his post-war biography where he traveled from Paris to Monte Carlo (where he lost all his money), through Europe. He’s now on the road to New York City. Sparky shows Chet the crumpled piece of paper. Chet recognizes the signature on the telegram–Sparky has been commissioned to play piano for a big-shot in NYC’s music industry, Woody Herman.
10:09Copy video clip URL Sparky asks the group if they know a place he could play tonight. Sparky: “The thing is, Chet, I’m running short and I need some get-away money.” Grace harangues Sparky: “Too bad you didn’t save it when you had it!”
11:08Copy video clip URL Sparky needs about $50 for the train to NYC. Win, pensive: “There must be some way…” Win looks at Studs. Studs pulls out the $52 he saved over the year. Grace coughs loudly and, in response, Studs says: “It’s only for a week.” Studs expects Sparky to pay him back once Sparky gets to NYC.
12:26Copy video clip URL Initially, Sparky refuses to take the money. The group encourages him to take the money and Sparky agrees. Grace pulls Studs aside. Chet leaves with Studs and Grace into the kitchen. Sparky takes the money off the table and counts it. Win tries to make conversation, but Sparky is distracted by the money. Sparky pockets the money, but does not notice that Win is reading the telegram: “New York. December 14…” Sparky rips the telegram from Win’s hands. Sparky apologies, but Win realizes what’s going on: “…you might need it again.”
13:46Copy video clip URL Cut to an advertisement–a solicitation for scrap metals. “Get in the scrap.”
14:55Copy video clip URL Return to Win and Sparky at the table. Overheard is Studs on the phone making arrangements to purchase the train ticket for Sparky. Win leaves the table and looks suspiciously at Sparky. Studs and Chet find a train to NYC. They insist Sparky stays for some food. Sparky leaves into the kitchen and Grace enters the seating area. Studs and Grace argue as the camera focuses on Win, who is deliberating as to whether to tell everyone that Sparky is scamming them.
16:37Copy video clip URL Studs asks Win to sing Grace a carol. Win agrees, reluctantly. Grace: “Maybe it was the way I was brought up, but I have no patience for people who make good money but don’t have the sense to save it.” Studs: “Money is secondary to this man, don’t you understand, he’s an artist.” Win ends his song and puts his guitar back. Win still looks pensive on screen. Grace maintains that Sparky can’t even play the piano.
19:06Copy video clip URL Studs asks Sparky to play the piano for them, but Sparky refuses. Sparky tries to obfuscate the situation by asking Chet to sing him a song. Chet agrees to “warm up” the piano. When it’s Sparky’s turn to play he becomes irate and refuses: “No! A real musician can’t turn it on and off like a faucet! Who do you think I am, anyways, a player piano? Stick a nickle in and play a tune…” Sparky tries to guilt them and then apologizes. Chet leads him into the bathroom to freshen up.
22:10Copy video clip URL Sparky storms out of the bathroom: “My telegram! Where’s my telegram!? You! [To Win] Wise Guy, you spotted it from the beginning…” Win: “I didn’t tell ’em what was in the wire, Sparky.” Chet: “What was in the wire? What didn’t you tell us? Spark, what’s your story?” Sparky: “Ah, what’s the use? I can’t do this to you people, you’re too nice. Go on, read that telegram again. Read the date.” Chet: “December 14, 1947.” The telegram is several years old.
23:33Copy video clip URL Sparky explains why he didn’t accept the initial commission. He lays his hands on the table:
“Aren’t they beautiful?…but I had to catch arthritis.” Sparky gives Studs’s money back: “You’re a real bunch of people, too.”
25:03Copy video clip URL Studs gives the money back to Sparky. Sparky leaves: “Merry Christmas to ya, too.” Studs goes back to the trashcan and pulls a letter out. He reads: “Dear friend, Help is needed for many of the seven and a half million victims…of arthritis.” Studs gives his last two dollars to the arthritis charity. Grace donates a few of her dollars to the charity, too. Win sings a carol. Chet is looking over his fingers.
26:17Copy video clip URL End credits.
26:55Copy video clip URL Studs, addressing the camera: “Folks, there are seven and a half million Americans who are victims of arthritis…” He makes a pitch for the arthritis foundation and gives his thanks.
27:31Copy video clip URL End of tape.