‘Spies Like Us’ and the Two Best Pages of Screenwriting Ever

Is there a doctor in the tent?
By  · Published on July 6th, 2017

Is there a doctor in the tent?

This is the shortest video I’ve ever covered – just 18 seconds long – and it’s also one of the funniest. It’s entitled “The 2 Best Pages of Screenwriting Ever,” and it comes from our old friend Vashi Nedomansky. The pages in question are from Spies Like Us­, you know, the John Landis flick starring Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd as a pair of bumbling government employees who think they’re secret agents, but really they’re pawns of the CIA. The story is by Aykroyd and Dave Thomas (Doug McKenzie from Strange Brew) and the script was hammered out by Aykroyd, and Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel (both Parenthood, City Slickers, A League of Their Own). Besides being a send up of Bond-esque, Cold-War-era action flicks, the film also hearkens back to the Bob Hope-Bing Crosby Road movies with witty patter, quick banter, and slapstick flourishes that teeter on the edge of childish goofiness but never go quite that far. It is, I believe, one of the most underrated comedies of the 80s, and these two particular pages best encapsulate the film’s brand of humor, which lands somewhere between deadpan and farcical.

I won’t spoil the scene, just know that Nedomansky has provided it and scans of the script pages side-by-side so you don’t miss a word. Not that there are too many words to miss. I’ve said enough, enjoy.

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