Season 9

Episode 908: “Jump!”

Episode 908: “Jump!”
Original Air Date:November 2, 2002
Written by::Brian Bird
Directed by:John Dye
Produced by:

Martha Williamson
Jon Andersen
R.J. Visciglia, Jr.

Guest Cast:
Buzz Daniel Baldwin
Scott Dan Byrd
Sgt. Richardson Holmes Osborne
Su Kim Angela Oh
Tony Reno Wilson

Buzz Wescott dominates the drive-time airwaves throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. His radio show is number one and about to go national. All he needs to get where he wants to be is that little something extra. Of course, that little something is going to push him in a direction he never anticipated.

With the ratings high, and the usual amount of idiot callers, Buzz is just settling into his routine of pre-made insults and mock outrage, when something happens. He is informed by his producer, Su Kim, and his call screener, Monica, that his guests for the hour have cancelled. It seems that the Siamese twins he had booked are stuck in traffic due to the ill-timed suicidal impulse of a depressed teen.

Scott Hardwick, is fifteen, and reeling after the suicide death of his best friend. Having just arrived home from the funeral, while his parents are away on a cruise, he has stepped out onto the ledge of his apartment building to contemplate jumping. This decision has led to a gigantic traffic jam, as people stop their cars to look up at him.

Buzz is inspired. After talking with a classmate of Scott’s he plans to take his show to the next level. He decides to call Scott and put him on the air. By this time, Sgt. Richardson and his partner, Gloria, have already arrived on the scene. They answer the phone and pass it out to Scott. It is only after Scott picks up, do they realize that the man on the phone who claimed to be his father, is actually Buzz Wescott. Amazingly though, Buzz actually begins to get through to him. Scott is a fan of Buzz’s and once they begin to speak, a connection develops. It seems that Buzz has a real chance to help the boy. But first he has to cut to commercial.

During the commercial break, Buzz takes a call from his lawyer, who tells him that his request for joint custody of his children has been denied. Buzz is shattered, he had his hopes up and now he has nothing. He goes back on the air and tells Scott to get on with, that he’s holding up traffic. Soon the people listening in the traffic jam begin to take up the cry. As Scott reels from Buzz’s parting words, the chant of “Jump!” filters up to him from the street. Now he is shattered.

After Buzz storms out of the studio, Monica confronts him with the truth of what he has become. A man who alienated himself from his family for success, and now for just a little more, he’s willing to alienate a boy in need. Buzz has lost his compassion and now, thousands of people are screaming for that boy to kill himself. Buzz breaks up. He had no idea it would go so far, he had no idea how bad he’d become. He rushes back to the studio and tries to call Scott back, but can’t get through. So instead he goes back on the air, and unburdens his soul, to Scott and to everyone listening. He begs Scott to take another look at things, to not be dissuaded by idiots like him. He can only hope that Scott is listening. And he is. With the help of Gloria and Sgt. Richardson, he comes in off of the ledge.


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