House Seats


The Big One Oh!

Charley Maplewood has never been one for parties—that would require friends, which he doesn’t have. Well, unless you count his monster friends, but they’re only imaginary. But now that he’s turning ten—the big one-oh—he decides to throw a birthday party for himself, complete with a “House of Horrors” theme. Of course things don’t work out as he plans.

AIRED: January 19, 2020 | 1:07:50


Man #1: Can we come a little bit stage right?

Man #2: Places, everyone.

"The Big One-Oh!" Music by Doug Besterman,

lyrics by Dean Pitchford,

libretto by Timothy Allen McDonald,

based on the novel "The Big One-Oh!"

by Dean Pitchford.

Lights up on a tableau of a birthday party gone wrong.

[ Dramatic piano music plays ]




My name is Charley Maplewood, and I'm 10 -- 10 years old.

Today, it's a monumental moment in the life of a kid, right?

But, as you can see, I've made a big, rotten,

stinking mess of everything, but I can explain.

It all started one month ago.

I was just coming home from my new school...

Ruff! Ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff!

Hey, boy! This is my dog, Boing Boing!

[ Panting ]

Squirrel? Squirrel?


And it was on that very afternoon,

a package arrived from my dad.

I swear, if it weren't for that package,

none of this would've ever happened.

Charley Maplewood!

That's Mrs. Cleveland.

She's Fresno's biggest snoop.

Charley, is your daddy overseas?

Oh, well, my dad is in Scotland, so...

Oh, well, that's overseas,

so you're going to want to check your mailbox.

Charley pulls a large puffy envelope from the mailbox.

Oh, wow! Itis from my dad!

I can tell because the stamps are from Scotland.

Charley opens the envelope to find a festively-wrapped parcel.

[ Upbeat music plays ]

♪ Happy, happy, happy, happy, happy birthday, Charley! ♪

My birthday isn't for another four weeks, but that's Dad.

Even when he and mom were still married,

he could never remember the exact day.

Dad always sends me the same present --

two issues of "Monsters and Maniacs."

Of course, I already have these

because I own every single issue every published, and...

Wait, what?

You've never heard of "Monsters and Maniacs"?!

They're only the greatest comic books

in the history of the world!

What's it about?

It's all about...

Well, doesn't the title say it all?

♪ If you're hungry for a story 'bout a madman with an axe ♪

♪ Here you go, "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

♪ If you're hoping for survival when the zombie mob attacks ♪

♪ Get to know "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

♪ They've got vampires and demons and goblins galore ♪

♪ They got psychos and serpents and, whoa, so much more ♪

♪ They got, uh...

♪ They got, um...

♪ You know what? Why don't I just show you? ♪

Okay, check this out.

Issue number 113.

The king of the zombies is dead...

-...and living under my bed! -...and living under my bed!

Or how about issue number 85?

On my planet...

-I would eat you for lunch. -...I would eat you for lunch.

Oh, and my favorite -- issue number 136!

It came from the swamp...

Both: ...and it left with my children!

♪ You want bogeymen with big fangs ♪

♪ Eating babies just for snacks? ♪

♪ Well, hello, "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

♪ Want to hear a pirate screaming ♪

♪ When his precious peg leg cracks? ♪

♪ Yo-ho-ho! "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

You're probably wondering who these guys are.

♪ "Monsters and Maniacs," "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

Meet my monsters!

♪ "Monsters and Maniacs," "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

You can see them, right?

Well, can you?

Oh -- Oh, good.

So do I, but it's funny.

Nobody else does.

[ Screaming hysterically ]

That guy with the flaming test-tubes is not in the comics.

That's Garry Quarky.

[ Winces ]

He's real.

Garry lives next door, where he does some sort of experiments.

When he moved in, Mom made him chocolate chip cookies.

Whoo! Hot! Hot! Hot!

Hot! Hot, hot! Hot, hot!

Whoo! Cookies!

Um, ow!

Hot! Hot, hot!

Hot. So hot!

But he never said, "Thank you."

What an odd, odd man.

Now, where was I?

♪ "Monsters and Maniacs," "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

Oh, yeah. Thanks.


♪ When you move into a neighborhood ♪

♪ Where you don't have a friend ♪

♪ Then you read "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

♪ When your classmates all avoid you ♪

♪ In the new school you attend

♪ Then you need "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

♪ But when I get home at the end of the day ♪

♪ They're happy to see me and ready to play ♪

♪ And knowing they're there, I know I'll be okay ♪

♪ With my "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

♪ "Monsters and Maniacs"

"Monsters ♪

♪ And Maniacs"


[ Applause ]

Boing Boing enters and snuffles at the card at Charley's feet.

Ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff!

Oh, look! Dad sent a card.


♪ Oh, good heavens, you're going to be 11! ♪

10, Dad. I'm going to be 10!

That's when I read the 10 words that started this whole mess.

"What are you going to do for your big day?"

My big day?

I'm going to be 10 years old!

[ Sighs ]

Which means that I'm going up from single digits...

♪ One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine! ♪

...all the way to double digits.

♪ Ten!

♪ And then... ♪ And then...

♪ And then... ♪ And then...

♪ I am never, ever, ever going back again ♪

All: Whoa.

So, what am I going to do for my big day?

Hmm. I never gave it a thought till now.

♪ I don't need confetti or the beating of a drum ♪

♪ All I really need is some sort of celebration ♪

♪ I don't need loud singing

♪ I'd be fine if people hum

♪ All I'm hoping for is some sort of celebration ♪

Did somebody say, "party"?

♪ Sure, a party might be nice 'cause you never turn 10 twice ♪

♪ But who am I kidding? That'll never happen ♪

♪ See, I don't have a swimming pool ♪

♪ Or an interesting backyard

♪ So keeping people entertained ♪

♪ Would be hard ♪ Hard


♪ I started out in diapers

♪ Now look how far I've come

♪ And isn't that worth some sort of celebration? ♪

♪ I'd like more than a cupcake, less than a parade ♪

♪ I'd just like to make some memories ♪

♪ Before I leave fourth grade

♪ And maybe that sounds dumb

♪ And maybe that's okay

♪ Hey, all I want

♪ All I want

♪ All I want is

♪ Some sort of celebration

[ Applause ]

Oh, Mom will be home soon!

I'd better start dinner.

Charley stretches a hairnet over his head.


Haven't you seen a hairnet before?

It keeps your hair from getting in the food!

Because hair in your hummus is not good foods.


My dad is a cook.

He taught me a lot before he moved out.

Mom enters, carrying groceries.

-Hey, Mom! -Hi, honey.

Um [chuckles nervously] Mom, can I ask you something?

Ask away!

What have you got planned for my big day?

Your big day?

Yeah, my birthday?

Oh, honey!

Your birthday is not for a month.

We've got plenty of time.

Um, but -- but Dad sent me a birthday card,

and he wants to know what I'm doing for my big day,

and I don't know what to tell him!

Lorena enters, wearing a fast-food uniform.

Why's Dad sending you a birthday card this early?

My sister Lorena is 16.

She's at that age where everything either sucks...

Man, Dad totally sucks with dates.

...or it's so "lame."

He is so lame.

♪ So, so, so lame

♪ So lame

Your father is not lame, Lorena.

He's just...calendar-challenged.

[ Scoffs, sniffs ]

What are you making, sloppy joes?

-It's lamb curry with spinach! -Ugh!

Why is there never anything good to eat in this house?

♪ So, so, so lame

♪ So lame

Why are you cooking dinner?

Lorena, didn't I ask you to give your brother a message?

I'm not your secretary.

I'm sorry, honey, but I've got a date!

Vince is taking me for Szechuan.

Ugh. Vince is Vince Champagne.

Seriously, that's his real name.

Mom's been dating Vince for a couple months now.

He's always shaking my hand and shouting.

"That all you got, Charley?! Come on, Chuck!

Vince Champagne demands a man's handshake!"

Ugh! He drives me bonkers!

Lorena, you had a big party for your 10th birthday.

You mean, at our old house, when the sprinklers went off,

and me and my girlfriends got soaking wet?

♪ So, so, so lame

♪ So lame

Where are you going?

I took the dinner shift at The Chickadee.

Fast food waits for no one.

Well, your brother wants a party!

Ha! Who wouldhe invite?

Well, that's up to him.

Charley doesn't have any friends, and you know why?

Because he's...

♪ So, so, so lame

♪ So lame

So long.

[ Applause ]

Charley, you've got friends, right?

Doesn't everyone?

I couldn't lie and say I had friends because I didn't.

I guess the last person who was kind of my friend was my dad.

♪ Hey, buddy, chop me a carrot ♪

♪ Hey, buddy, turn up the stew ♪

♪ Whoa, buddy, I've had good help ♪

♪ But nobody as good as you ♪

In the kitchen, Dad called me buddy,

except when we were making Mexican food.

Then he'd call me...

♪ Mi amigo!

[ Laughs ] That's because, in Spanish,

mi amigo means "my friend."

Oh! So there you go!

I did have a friend.

Dad was a real chef.

I mean, that was his job, and he was real good at it.

How good?

♪ Delicious

♪ Everything my dad made was delicious ♪

♪ And after we ate, he'd let me lick the dishes ♪

♪ Mmm, mmm, mmm

♪ Delicious

[ Sighs ]

♪ Dad could make French toast ♪

Got your French toast.

♪ He could make French fries ♪

Here you go!

♪ Not to mention pot roast ♪

Your favorite.

♪ And potpies

Chicken or beef?

♪ And every time he'd say

♪ Hey, buddy, tell me what this needs ♪

♪ I'd taste

♪ Then I'd pause Well?

♪ Then I'd shout "Nothing! It needs nothing!" ♪

♪ Because it was delicious ♪

♪ Hey, buddy, chop me a carrot ♪

♪ Everything my dad made was delicious ♪

♪ Hey, buddy, turn up the stew ♪

♪ And after we ate, he'd let me lick the dishes ♪

♪ Oh, buddy, I've had good help, but ♪

♪ Mmm, mmm, mmm ♪ Mmm, mmm, mmm

♪ Delicious

♪ But nobody as good as you ♪

♪ Delicious

Another great meal, Charley.

Aside from "Monsters and Maniacs,"

I'd say...

♪ The most fun I ever had

♪ Was cooking with my dad


[ Applause ]

Oh, but we were talking about friends, weren't we?

No, I don't have any.

Hey! Hey! Hey!

Except you guys.

But back in my old school,

I had friends that weren't monsters.

Maybe it's time I figured out how to make some new ones.

You've got to start by making a list. Here.

Oh, right!

My "Monsters and Maniacs" super-secret notebook.

It's where I keep notes on every issue I own.

I'll add my birthday planning list right here,

starting with item number one.

Item number one -- make friends!

How hard could that be?

Charley hands the birthday notebook to Monster Two,

and they leave for school.

For the next few days,

I started checking out my classmates

to figure out which of them I could call a friend.

Oh, Donna Pointer!

She's too beautiful for words, isn't she?

Uh-huh. Wait, last month,

she borrowed a pencil for me for a spelling test,

and when she returned it, she smiled and said...!

She called me "you."

Does that make her a friend?

♪ Who's coming over for my pool party? ♪

♪ Anybody up for a movie Friday night? ♪

♪ Show of hands! How 'bout a sleepover? ♪

♪ Sounds like fun, right?

Sure does!

Oh, hey, you!

Hey, you?

I know, right?


♪ If they don't know your name, ♪

♪ Can you call this person a friend? ♪ Really?

♪ If they don't know my name ♪ If they don't know

♪ Can I call this person a friend? ♪ ♪ Can you call this person a friend? ♪

I'll put down, "maybe."

That's Darryl Eggbert, the smartest kid in fourth grade!

Did you know that cow flatulence is responsible

for 25 percent of methane gas in our atmosphere?

See what I mean?

He always seems to have a nosebleed.

♪ What if I forget the combination to my locker? ♪

♪ That's never happened, but it could ♪

♪ What if I've run out of time

And don't complete my math quiz? ♪

♪ Oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, that's not good! ♪

♪ So many questions, not enough answers ♪

♪ And my brain just keeps on going ♪

♪ "Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!" ♪

-Hey, Darryl? -What, Charley? What?!

He got the name right.

-Yay? -What is it?

I've got a history quiz in 6 minutes!

Okay. Would you say that you and I are friends?

Are we friends? Friends?

What is it with all these questions?

♪ My therapist keeps wondering

♪ How come I don't ever breathe much ♪

♪ I've never tried it, maybe I should ♪

♪ Oh, so many questions, not enough answers ♪

♪ And my brain just keeps on going ♪

♪ "Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!" ♪

♪ "Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!" ♪

♪ Whoop!

[ Sighs ]

[ Laughter ]

♪ If they can't stop to talk ♪

♪ Can't stop to talk

♪ Can I call this person a friend? ♪ ♪ Can you call this person a friend? ♪

Put down, "We'll see."


That's Leland, but he tells everyone to call him...

Cougar! The name is Cougar.

Yeah! If you know what's good for you, you'll call him Cougar!

And Scotty, she's like his sidekick.

They're West Fresno Elementary School's resident tough guys,

but I've never seen them actually hurt anybody.

♪ Okay, who wants a fat lip? ♪

♪ Hey, you! You want a fat lip? ♪

♪ Oopsie! [stamps foot] Have a nice trip! ♪

[ Chuckles ] Get it, Scotty?

♪ Ha-ha, good one!

♪ Have a nice trip!

Believe it or not, we often have conversations.

♪ Hey, Charley

♪ How 'bout coughin' up your lunch money? ♪

-My what? -♪ Lunch money

♪ And don't go tryin' nothin' funny! ♪

[ Sighs ] Guys, we go through this every day.

You ask me for my lunch money,

and I tell you I've got a meal plan, remember?

But since we're always running into each other like this,

let me ask you, does that make us friends?

Scotty? Cougar?

Don't call him Cougar!


Jennifer Mobley.

Jennifer thinks that because she's new at this school, too,

and likes the same comic books as me, that we're soul mates.


His name is Leland,

and he's just going to have to live with it.

It's Cougar! Get used to it!

Calling a skunk a kitten doesn't stop it from stinking!

-Ha! -Huh?

W-W-Who's stinking?


You know what?

Out of my way!

Out of my way!

Yeah, don't make him say it twice!

But he already did.

Did what?

He already said "Out of my way" twice!

What kind of threat is, "Don't make him say it twice,"

if he already said it twice?

Charley, have you seen the latest issue?!

♪ There's this scientist who kidnaps kids ♪

♪ And ties them up in sacks ♪

♪ It's in here, "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

Jennifer, I don't have time for this...

♪ Then he drops them one by one into a boiling vat of wax ♪

♪ It's all here, "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

♪ "Monsters and Maniacs"

♪ "Monsters and Maniacs," "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

♪ "Monsters and Maniacs"

♪ Who's coming over for my pool party? ♪ ♪ "Monsters and Maniacs"

♪ "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪ Anybody up for a movie Friday night? ♪

♪ "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪ Okay, who wants a fat lip? ♪

♪ Hey, you, you want a fat lip? ♪ ♪ "Monsters and Maniacs," "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪

♪ "Monsters and Maniacs" ♪ "Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!" ♪

[ All singing over each other ]

[ Chuckles ]

[ Laughs ]

♪ If I can't say for sure, can I call this person a friend? ♪

♪ Yeah, if you can't say for sure ♪

♪ If I can't say

♪ Can I call this person a friend? ♪ Can you call this person a friend?

♪ Charley, can I be frank?

♪ For now, let's leave this... ♪



Come on. Let's go home.

[ Applause ]

Boing Boing enters and runs circles around Charley,

carrying something in his mouth.

-Boing Boing, good boy! -Plah!

Hey, hey! Doggy, give me that back.

What you got there, Boing Boing?

Is that...a human foot?!

-Aah! -Wait, wait, wait! Ah.

Wait, wait, wait. It's okay.

It's okay. See? Not really a foot.

No, no, no.

Uh, but that looks like real blood!


Wow, thanks! [ Laughs, snorts ]

It's acrylic, acrylic paint.

I left it out to dry, but then your dog...

He found it, and then he...

Uh, and then he...

[ Sighs ] Grr!

Grr! Grr! [ Laughs ]

And then he, uh -- uh...


-H-He ran away? -Yes! [ Laughs ]

Ran away to you, to here, and...

What, this?

Oh [ Laughs, snorts ] I made it.

It's only, um, uh...

Sproing! [ Chuckles ]

See? Poof!

[ High-pitched ] Squishy!

Um, no pain, okay?

Okay, bye.

You know, I may not have any friends at school,

but at least I'm not bizarro like my neighbor, Garry.


But holding a bloody foot,

even if it was fake, wasn't the only creepy thing

I would have to deal with that day.

When I got home, I found Vince sitting on the couch

like a stain you can't get rid of.

Hey, Chuck. Put her there.

Uh, it's Charley.

What? Is that all you got?

Vince Champagne demands a man's handshake!

Oh, Charley, I was telling Vince

about your upcoming big birthday,

and that's when he reminded me that...

Check it out, my card!

"Vince Champagne, party planner.

Every perfect party starts with Champagne."

You get it?

I don't think you can serve champagne to fourth graders.

What? Ha! Hmm? No. Course not!

but there are all kinds of things you can do,

and I should know.

It's my business. [ Chuckles ]

Uh, I got to get dinner started.

Charley crosses to the kitchen.

You just got to remember the three basics

of a good birthday party.

Ooh, the three basics!

Charley, are you hearing this?

Monster One puts Charley's hairnet on him.

Yeah, you're going to want to write these down.

Let's get this party popping with Vince Champagne's

rule number one.

♪ Before you blow up one balloon ♪

♪ Before you make the punch

♪ You need some friends


♪ And you can just invite a few ♪

♪ Or maybe quite a bunch

♪ But you'll need friends

You got that? Friends, see?

♪ A perfect party has lots of moving parts ♪

♪ And this is how it starts

♪ A perfect party

♪ Requires planning

♪ A perfect party

♪ Takes a month of prep at least ♪

-A month? -♪ But if you listen carefully

♪ I guarantee that yours will be ♪

♪ A perfect party

♪ A perfect party

Oh, this is exciting, isn't it, Charley?

Hey, Mom, do we have any onions?

In the bowl on the counter.

Rule number two!

♪ To make a party really pop

♪ You need a change of pace

♪ You need a theme

♪ We need a theme

♪ It could be clowns or cowboys ♪

♪ Or it could be outer space

♪ But choose a theme

You'll need a theme!

♪ A perfect party needs lots and lots of thought ♪

♪ So let's see what you've got

♪ Yes, let's see what you've got ♪

♪ A perfect party is never boring ♪

♪ A perfect party can create another world ♪

♪ And if you put your faith in me ♪

♪ I guarantee that yours will be ♪

♪ A perfect party

♪ A perfect party

♪ A perfect party

♪ A perfect party

Oh, these onions are strong.

And, finally, rule number three!

♪ So once you've got your friends behind you ♪

♪ Once you've got your theme in mind

♪ You've only got a final decision to make ♪

♪ What's the ending to the story? ♪

♪ Every party's crowning glory

♪ Why, of course, I'm talking 'bout ♪

♪ A great big gorgeous birthday cake ♪

Of course, a birthday cake!

♪ Birthday cake! Birthday cake! ♪

♪ Yay! Birthday cake! ♪

♪ A perfect party

♪ Birthday cake

♪ It's such a mystery

♪ A perfect party can have people yelling, "Wow!" ♪

♪ Birthday cake

♪ And once I teach him all I know ♪

♪ Your kid and I can probably throw ♪

♪ A perfect party

♪ A perfect party

♪ A perfect party

♪ A perfect party

[ Applause ]

[ Speaking indistinctly ]

[ Groaning ]



What the -- Is he crying?

-No, I'm -- -Are you crying?

-I'm chopping onions. -Wait, is that a hairnet?

Why is he wearing a hairnet?

He takes his cooking very seriously.

The kid cooks?!

That's not normal.

Are you saying my son isn't normal?

A 9 year-old kid in a hairnet crying and cooking is strange.

So now he's strange!

People might think he's some kind of...

Some kind of what?

Some kind of a freak!

A freak?! A freak?! A freak?!


My son is no--

I think you can find your way out.

A-- Wh--

Ah. Okay.

Vince did find his way out, and guess what?

He never found his way back again.

A door slams.

[ Sighs ]

I didn't really like Vince, but I guess Mom did.

I felt responsible for their fighting,

but I didn't know how to apologize,

so I just served dinner.

This looks delicious.

Mom, I'm sorry if I...

No, I'm sorry.

Your sister had to work tonight.

She'd love this.

Beef stew, right?

It's veal osso buco with shallots

and a red wine reduction.

That was my next guess.

So, what about a Star Wars theme for your party?

I could hire an actor in a Chewbacca suit, and...

Mom, I don't need an actor in a Chewbacca suit.

Won't your friends be disappointed?

I think they have things to do.

Well, what if I call their parents and...


I don't really have any friends.

[ Chuckles nervously ]

Well, maybe a party is a good way to make some.

I don't know.

Think about it.

I'll clean up. Boing Boing could use a walk.

Okay. Come on, boy.


As Boing Boing and I roamed the street,

I made some important decisions.

Number one, the hairnet had to go.

Number two, I was not a freak.


And, number three, I didn't have any friends

to invite, so that's it.

I had to tell Mom that I didn't want a birthday party.


And then, something happened that changed my life forever.

I'm not kidding!

Garry's girlfriend stomps on, carrying a suitcase.

Stacy, please don't go!


I can't take it anymore.

I'll change!

I need detailed step-by-step instructions, but I can change!

You're a grown man with no social skiz --

skills, no sense of fashion and not a single friend!

Face it, Garry, you're a freak!

A freak?!

That word, twice in one night,

used to describe me and the guy next door

who has no social skills and no friends...

just like me.

If that's my future, I needed to make some changes and fast.

Mom? Mom? Mom!

What is it, Charley?

I have got to have a birthday party.

Uh, okay.

The next day at school,

since making friends didn't go so well,

I moved on to birthday task number two -- find a theme.

Oh, hey, Donna.


So you heard of any good birthday themes lately?

I'm asking for a friend.

Birthday themes, well, last weekend, I...

My last birthday had the best theme ever.


So there I was about to turn 9.

That's when my mom saw an ad for the tour

of "The Lion King."

♪ Why did the chicken

♪ Cross the highway?

♪ Ah-ooh

♪ Ah-ooh

And that was it.

We planned an entire theater birthday party.

♪ Jelly beans and bubblegum bananas ♪

It's for eight.

♪ Jelly beans and bubblegum bananas ♪

A backstage tour.

♪ All the creatures out in the savannas ♪

All they eat are bubblegum bananas

Everything was going according to plan, and the show started...

but then you know that part where Simba

watches his father get trampled to death by the water buffaloes?

♪ Ohh

♪ Beware

♪ Beware the charging buffalos

I guess.

Well, Jeffrey Stovall started sobbing --

not just crying -- sobbing.

♪ Sobbing, sobbing

♪ Oh, that kid is sobbing

It was catching like the flu.

One by one, all my friends started weeping,

and they wouldn't stop, so we left in intermission.

And mom was driving us home when things got even worse.


♪ Way worse

♪ Way worse

Mom sped by a motorcycle cop and got pulled over.

Then she started crying,

but before the policeman could give my mom the ticket,

Jeffrey Stovall

leaned out the window

and threw up on the policeman's boots!

♪ Puking on the boots of the policeman ♪

♪ Jeffrey puking, bleh, on the policeman ♪

[ Chuckling ] No!


And Jeffrey's vomiting

had the same effect on all of us

that his crying did in the theater.

You don't mean... Oh, yeah.

Everyone one was puking right and left!

♪ All the children puking in the back seat ♪

♪ One by one, they're puking in the back seat ♪

When the policeman saw all these kids blowing chunks,

he took pity on my mom

and gave us a police escort home.

♪ Mmm


So that was my backstage birthday --

the best party ever!

Why were you asking?

♪ Ah-ooh

Huh? Why? Oh, no reason.

♪ Ahhhhmmmmm

[ Applause ]

Charley heads home.


[ Chuckles ] Oh, hey, boy.

As I walked home that afternoon,

three thoughts kept tumbling around in my brain.

I still had no friends... Ruff. theme... Ruff, ruff.

...and at this rate, I was never even going to

need a birthday cake.

Bark, bark.

Which is why I didn't notice Garry coming home

with all of his groceries.

Charley turns and crashes into Garry.

Ooh! Oh, oh. No. Oh!

Uh, are you, you know, okay?

I'm fine.

Let me help you pick up your potato chips...

your gazillion bags of potato chips.

Oh, yeah.

See, my girlfriend [stifled sob]

Stacey [stifled sob]

Stacey [stifled sob]

used to shop and cook,

but now she's [stifled sob]


She's gone?

[ Sobs ]

Garry, I got to ask.

Are potato chips all you plan to eat?

I mean, where's your protein?

It's like basic nutrition. You have to --

Wait, wait, wait, wait!

I -- I... I don't cook.

Boing Boing: Woof?

Let me ask you, are you tall enough to reach the sink?


Then you can cook.

Let's start with your refrigerator.

I found some TV dinners in Garry's freezer.

He said Stacey must have put them there.

And these TV dinners,

what if they run out at the grocery store?

Oh, they won't.

They're making new ones all of time.

Garry was so grateful for this information,

he offered to show me his workshop.


Garry's workshop is revealed.

It's basically every issue

of "Monsters and Maniacs" come to life.

Body parts and monsters fill the room.



You made all this?


They're called special effects, like in horror pictures,

like for Hollywood but not for ♪ Hollywood Hollywood.

I work cheap.


It's like stepping into an issue of "Monsters and Maniacs"!

"M and M"?

I have every issue.

So do I!

And they don't scare you?


My dad and me used to read them together.

In the beginning, I used to get -- Aah!

But then dad told me...

It's only a comic book, Charley.

And over time, I realized he was right.

In a world where bad things can happen,

"Monsters and Maniacs" is one less thing to be scared of.

Hmm, smart man.

So this is what you do?

I'm building all of this stuff

for Fresno Community Theater's new show

"The Headless Horseman: The Musical."

Well, it's more of an audition.

If they like my work, they said they'd hire me full-time.

Whoa. You scare people for a living?!

When I want to do that,

I tiptoe into my sister's room,!

Aah! Charley!

You are...

♪ So, so, so lame

♪ So lame

[ Chuckles ]

The old boo, eh?

Well, that's, um, a start,

but this...

and this, it's...

♪ It's better than a boo

♪ It's better than an ice cube down your spine ♪

♪ It's better than a cockroach ♪

♪ Slipped in someone's bowl of stew ♪

[ Slurps ] Eww.

♪ You want to make somebody jump ♪

♪ Jump higher than a kangaroo

♪ That's what I do

♪ And what I do, ha! It's better than a boo ♪

♪ Do-be-do, do-be-do, do-be-do-be-do ♪

♪ Do-be-do-be-do-be-do

How do you make them?

♪ Do-be-do, do-be-do, do-be-do-be-do ♪

I'll show you.

♪ Do-be-do-be-do-be-do

And then Garry made an exact replica of my hand!



What's it made of?

Uh, latex.

It comes in a jar like marshmallow fluff,

but you got to be careful because before latex dries,

it's flammable.

Look, Boing Boing, I have three hands!

Awr! Awr! Awr! Awr!

Awr! Awr! Awr! Awr! Awr! Awr! Awr!


♪ It's better than a boo

♪ Do-be-do, do-be-do, do-be-do-be-do ♪

♪ It's better than a pair of candy fangs ♪

♪ It's better than slippin' a friend of plastic pile of poo ♪


♪ You want to make somebody jump ♪

♪ Jump higher than a kangaroo

♪ That's what I do

♪ That's what you do

♪ And what I do ♪ And what you do

♪ It's better than a boo

♪ Do-be-do, do-be-do, do-be-do-be-do ♪

♪ Do-be-do-be-do-be-do

♪ You know in scary movies when the big, "Whaa!" comes? ♪

♪ We all scream together

♪ Then we laugh

Yeah, we always laugh, don't we?

♪ Well in those giddy moments

♪ Don't you feel we're all connected ♪

♪ Like a family?

Like we're a team together.


♪ And that can only happen

♪ When we scream together

When we scream together.

That's my theme!

What theme?

My birthday party theme.

The Charley Maplewood

House of Horrors birthday celebration.

♪ It's better than a boo

♪ It's better than a boo

♪ It's better than a buzzer in your hand ♪

♪ It's better than slippin' a spider into someone's shoe ♪

Way better!

♪ It is insane what you can do

♪ With a tube of glue and a jar of goo ♪

♪ It's better than cowboys

♪ Better than "Star Wars" and clowns ♪

♪ And "Lion King"

♪ It's better than a "Yow!"

♪ It's better than a growl

♪ What I do I better

♪ Oh, it's way, way, way better ♪

♪ Yep, it's better

♪ It's better than a boo

♪ Do-be-do, do-be-do, do-be-do-be-do ♪

♪ Do-be-do, do-be-do, do-be-do-be-do ♪

♪ Do-be-do, do-be-do, do-be-do-be-do ♪

Hey, Charley, maybe I could help you with your party?

You would do that?

♪ It's better than a boo!

-Ha! -Ha!

[ Applause ]

[ Laughs ]

Charley Maplewood.

Mom, what are you doing here?

I could ask you the same question.

Boing Boing ran into the house like he'd seen a ghost,

and he wouldn't stop whining until I followed him here.

Boing Boing: [ Whimpers ]

Where are we?

It's -- it's my workshop.

Is that a severed head?

It's just an effect.

That's what Garry does, special effects.

This is no environment for someone your age.

We are leaving now!

Narrator: Mom takes Charley's hand,

but Charley slips her the fake one.


It's just a fake version of my hand!

Garry made it out of latex. Isn't it great?

Good day, Mr. Quarky.

Come along, Charley, now!

But -- but, Mom, Garry helped me find my theme.

I don't care.

And besides, he's my friend,

and you said I should make some friends.

I meant people your own age.

I don't want you going over there anymore.

Do you understand?

No. I -- I don't.

He's -- He's way better than that Vince Champagne,

and he was your friend!


Do you want a birthday party?

Do you?

You know, you haven't sent out invitations yet.

I could call the whole thing off just like that.

-Oh, but I -- -No buts.

Do you want a birthday party?


Then you are not to talk to that man again.



Narrator: Mom exits as Charley's monsters enter.

Mom is right.

It would be easy to cancel a party

that nobody has ever heard of.

What are you gonna do?

[ Gasps ] I have to invite people.

Let's make invitations!


♪ Birthday cake

♪ Birthday cake

♪ Yay! Birthday cake

I only had four pieces of construction paper

left over from an art project,

but I figured four guests was a number mom couldn't object to.

♪ Ta-da!

Cool invites.

Narrator: Mom knocks on Charley's bedroom door.


This fell out of your backpack.

It's the card your dad sent.

He thinks you're going to be 11.

Yeah, and he always gets the date wrong.

That doesn't mean he doesn't love you.

I know.

Because I promise, he does.

I know.

Looks like somebody needs cheering up.

Nah. I'm okay.

Maybe someone needs a certain lullaby.

Mom, we haven't sung that in -- in months.


You always feel better after your bedtime song.

Come on.

♪ Turn on your night-light

♪ and...

♪ And turn down your bed

♪ Fluff up your pillow and...

♪ And lay down your head

♪ Don't go tossing and turning ♪

♪ Try counting sheep instead



I'm going to be 10 really soon,

and 10 is a little old for a lullaby, don't you think?

I hadn't thought about it.


Well, it is.

So can we skip it for now?

You mean "for good."

For now.

For now.

[ Chuckles ]

[ Applause ]

The next day at school, I was a man on a mission!

-Hey, Donna. -Oh,

I'm throwing a party.

-Oh? -And guess what?

♪ You are invited

♪ You, Donna, to the Charley Maplewood... ♪

Oh, Charley! Right. [ Chuckles ]

♪ The Charley Maplewood House of Horrors ♪

♪ Birthday celebration

That sounds weird.

-Really? -I mean, like, good weird.

Count me in.


Here you go, Darryl.

Ah, what is this?

♪ You are invited to the Charley Maplewood ♪

♪ The Charley Maplewood House of Horrors ♪

♪ Birthday celebration

Uh, and just do you know, horrors has three R's.

Oh, right. So?

I need to arrange someone to feed my iguana.

So that's a yes?


I'll make it happen.


I only had two invitations left,

so I needed to be very choosy about who was going to get them.

Then this happened.

Oh, look at this.

♪ We are invited

Imagine that.

♪ To the Charley Maplewood

♪ The Charley Maplewood House of Horrors ♪

♪ Birthday celebration

Count us in!

♪ You are invited

Then it hit me.

What if I had invited all the wrong people?

♪ To the Charley Maplewood

House of Horrors birthday party?

♪ The Charley Maplewood House of Horrors ♪

I was scared already!

♪ Birthday celebration

Charley is having a party?

[ Applause ]

[ Chuckles ]

Oh, are those the invitations?

Oh, you're so lucky.

I -- I haven't gotten mine yet,

but I'm sure that it's only

because I haven't seen Charley all day.

Maybe it's because I move around a lot.

I should just stay in one place,

and he's sure to come by with my invitation.



[ Sighs ]

So it's one thing to have a theme,

but it's another thing to make it happen!

I was counting on Garry to help me,

oh, but I promised my mom I wouldn't talk to him anymore.

[ Piano mimics doorbell tones ]

Saved by the bell.

Good day, Charley Maplewood.

The new FedEx lady left this package

just sitting on your neighbor Garry's porch.

It's marked flammable,

so it shouldn't be out in the sun.

Will you hold it till he gets home?

I left him a note.

But I'm not really supposed to talk --

Here you go.

Mrs. Cleveland hands him a box.

-Caution. -Latex.


Extremely flammable.

That's it!

We'll make our own special effects.

Huh? Huh? Huh?

Body parts, hands and feet and eyeballs and stuff.

Garry showed me how to do it.

[ Gasps ]

♪ Body parts, body parts

Yay, body parts

♪ Body parts, body parts, yay ♪

Body parts

♪ Ta-da!

Narrator: The monsters present Charley with latex hands and feet.

Charley, what are you doing?

I'm making effects

for my House of Horrors birthday celebration!

That's your theme?


♪ So, so, so lame

♪ So Hey. Are we done here?


Oh, these body parts are awesome!

But they're going to take forever to dry.

Space heater, garage.

The space heater in the garage!

Of course. Let's go!

[ Piano mimics doorbell tones ]


[ Piano mimics doorbell tones ]


[ Piano mimics doorbell tones ]

I'll get it!

Uh, hi.

Um, I just ran into, uh, Mrs., uh, Cleveland,

and she said, uh, you know,

there's a fiew, fiew, fiew, here.

My big audition for the community theater

is next Saturday so I...

Tell him that the package got lost.

-You tell him. -I can't.

Mom forbid me from talking to him.

Oh, oh. Hey, Garry.

Um, the package got lost.

But I need that latex for my audition.

[ Suspenseful music plays ]

Uh, does anyone smell smoke?

I think it's coming from the garage.

[ Gasps ] Look!

That room, you know, where your car lives!

It's on fire!

Narrator: Garry rushes off carrying a fire extinguisher

and exits into the garage.



What is going on?!

Lame-o here just set the garage on fire.

Well, I can explain.

Narrator: Garry re-enters holding a singed latex hand.

This is what started the fire?

You took my box of latex, the box you said was lost.

Don't you want to know why?

No. I don't.

I needed that latex for my audition, Charley.

You knew that.

I had no idea what Charley was up to.

If there's anything I --

I thought we were friends.

G-Garry, I can --

Charley, we don't have the money to fix this.

What about dork face's birthday?

It's next Saturday.

I'll call everyone's parents and tell them the party is off.



I -- I should tell them myself.

See that you do.


The school bell rings.

The party is off.

-What?! -No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

-No! -Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

I kind of messed up, and now my mom is pretty mad,

and she says I have to uninvite everybody.

You promised us a party, dude.

Wait, everybody.

I don't think that he's thought this through.

[ Chuckles ] Charley, this is your 10th birthday!

She's right. This is your big "one-oh."

My big "one-oh"!

I hadn't realized.

You never realize until it happens to you.

But we -- we've all been there, and --

and trust me, this is big.


♪ Oh, The Mississippi is mighty ♪

♪ The Grand Canyon is pretty grand ♪

♪ But this, whoa!

♪ This is big

♪ The Great Pyramids, impressive ♪

♪ Rising up from all that sand ♪

♪ But this, oh!

♪ This is big

♪ This is big

♪ This is big

♪ This is the big one

♪ This is the big "one-oh"

♪ There's no way you want to miss ♪

♪ No way you want to miss this ♪

♪ Because this

♪ This is big

I bought a new T-shirt to wear at your party.

Donot make me regret that!

Yeah. Don't make him regret that T-shirt.

♪ Look, a full moon can get so full ♪

♪ I can't hide it with my hands ♪

♪ But this

♪ This is big

♪ They say the universe is massive ♪

♪ Yeah, but you don't understand ♪

♪ That this, geez

♪ This is big

♪ This is big

♪ This is big

♪ This is the big one

♪ This is the big "one-oh"

♪ It's that one day in your life ♪

There's no way you want to miss ♪

♪ Because this

♪ This is big

♪ On a scale of one to 10, Halloween is a solid 8 ♪

♪ And Christmas

♪ I give Christmas 9.5

♪ But there's only one day

♪ When every kid gives thanks to be alive ♪

♪ And that one day deserves a perfect 10 ♪

♪ A perfect 10

♪ This is

♪ This is big

♪ This is big

♪ This is the big one

♪ This is the big "one-oh"!

♪ It's that one day in a lifetime ♪

♪ That you do not want to miss! ♪

♪ Because this

♪ This is

♪ This is mind-blowing

♪ Eye-popping

♪ Pulse-racing

♪ Jaw-dropping

♪ Yes, sirree

♪ That what this is

♪ This is big

♪ This is big

♪ This is big

[ Applause ]

Are you talking about Charley's

House of Horrors birthday party?

We sure are. Because we all got our invitations.

Yeah. Where's yours, Jennifer?

Oh, maybe it got lost in the mail.

Or maybe she's not invited.

Um, about that, I only had four invitations,

and they sort of got snapped up before I --

I could...

Oh, boy, House of Horrors, here we come!

And do not even think about canceling, dude.

Oh! The big "one-oh," Charley!

Mm, I believe I coined that phrase.

Uh, I know.

I was supposed to tell them the party canceled,

so I promised myself I'd tell them tomorrow.

Then this happened.

Narrator: Lights come up on Jennifer seated on a bus-stop bench.

Oh, hey, Jennifer.

Did you come to laugh some more?

There's -- There's nothing funny.

Look, my party might not even happen, and --

and even if it does, it's not going to be scary.

You know what my favorite part of a birthday party is?

It's when they turn off all the lights

and bring in the cake with all the candles burning,

and everyone sings, and then you get to make a wish.

[ Chuckling ] It's just a wish.


Birthday wishes are special.

They only happen once a year on your birthday.

They're so important that even grown-ups make them.

You have to think about them, dream about them.

Me, I wish for important things.

Like what?


♪ Every airplane needs a captain ♪

♪ Every submarine does, too

♪ That could be me

I've always thought...

♪ "Gee, that could be me"

♪ Every astronaut in orbit has important jobs to do ♪

♪ That could be me

I mean, why not?! [ Chuckles ]

♪ That could be me

♪ In my mind, there's no mountain ♪

♪ That's too high to climb

♪ There is no river that's uncrossable ♪

♪ And though I might get discouraged ♪

♪ From time to time

♪ I still believe that anything is possible ♪


♪ There are people people wave to ♪

♪ Who they're always glad to see ♪

♪ Someday, you know

♪ That could be me

♪ Someday, whoa, oh


♪ That could be me



Do you want to come to my birthday party?

I'd like that, Charley. [ Chuckles ]

[ Applause ]

I know. I know!

I'm supposed to be uninviting guests,

but now, thanks to Jennifer, I really have to throw a party!

Hello, Charley.

Oh, Garry.

Uh, did you, uh, make more stuff for your big audition?

I made what I could.

Someone used up a lot of my latex.


When do you show your stuff to the people at the theater?

Tomorrow afternoon.

Oh, same as my party.

You know you're invited?

Thanks, but I'm busy.

Besides, your mom doesn't want me around.

Oh, she won't be there.

What? She has to work.

And she's still letting you have a party?

She doesn't know.

You're throwing your own birthday party?

Not your big one oh?

If I don't, who will?

Hey, Garry,

I'm really sorry about taking your latex.

And they're gonna love your effects 'cause...

♪ What you do is better

♪ Oh, it's way, way, way better ♪


♪ It's better

♪ It's better than a boo ♪

Narrator: The next morning, Charley is asleep in his bed.

Happy birthday, Charley!


Blow out the candle before it melts all over this cupcake.

What'd you wish for?

I'm not ready to make a wish.

Mom: That's okay.

We'll have a proper cake with all 10 candles tonight.

And for dinner, how about sushi?

Charley: Oh, we don't have to...

Oh, don't be silly.

You're only 10 once.

I'll try to get off early.

Hey, lame-o.

These balloons came for you.

And there's a card.

"Dear Charley, sorry about the mix-up.

Your mom reminded me about the right date.

Have a great 10th birthday.

Love, Dad."

He finally got it right. He didn't get it right.

Mom told him.

At least you got balloons.

Big deal!

After all the crap you pulled,

you should be happy you got anything.

I don't want balloons, or sushi, or anything!

Whoa, little dude. What's wrong?

A birthday is when you're special, and --

and -- and it's your day, and people come to see you!


So, everybody's leaving, or -- or they're already gone!

Who's leaving? Garry!

I made him mad, and he went away,

and Mom is not here, and Dad doesn't remember

unless somebody tells him to.

They're all gone!


I'm here.


♪ I might not get your weirdness ♪

♪ You might not get my style ♪

♪ But when I think about all we have got ♪

♪ I smile

♪ We've got the same father ♪

♪ We've got the same mother ♪

♪ We've got the same last name ♪

Oh, yeah, we do.

♪ And we've got each other ♪

Now you.

♪ We've got the same ♪ We're what we've got

♪ Father We've got the same ♪

♪ And that's quite a lot ♪ Mother

Both: ♪ We've got the same last name

♪ So guess what we've got ♪

♪ We've got each other

♪ We've got each other

♪ We've got each other

Can I tell you something?


In a few hours,

five kids from school are going to show up here,

expecting a House of Horrors birthday party,

complete with a red velvet cake.

You're throwing a party?

Without Mom's permission?



That is so...


Lorena, what am I gonna do?

We are gonna throw the most terrifying birthday party

those kids have ever seen!

I tried to make the house look scary

by putting up last year's Halloween decorations

and turning out all the lights.

Oh, and I put Lorena in charge of the cake.

All she has to do is follow the directions on the box,

so what could possibly go wrong?

This cake doesn't look right.

What did you do?

Well, since we were short on time,

I cooked it in the microwave.

You baked a cake in the microwave?

[ Tones chime ]


Charley, get the door.

I'm gonna add some candles to this sorry-looking mess.

Scottie: Yo, Charley!

I'm so ready to be scared!

Jennifer: Me, too. Bring on the zombie apocalypse!

Why is it so dark in here?

Will there be adult supervision at this party?

Man, this party is DOA --

dumb like a hammer.

Narrator: Scotty flicks a light switch on and off.


I'm the ghost of Charley Maplewood's

birthday party!



Um, what's that?

Narrator: The kids see a ghost.

N -- nice try, Charley.

That's obviously your sister, Lorena.

Who wants cake?

Narrator: The ghost has vanished.

This isn't funny

I'm very afraid right now.

Very, very afraid

What was that

There's something -- or someone -- behind us.

Narrator: The ghost slowly rises behind them

[ All scream ]


So, you see, I didn't make a rotten,

stinking mess of everything.

But then, this happened.

The ghost removes its sheet.

It's okay. It's okay!

It's just me.


The other ghost removes its sheet.

And me!


Both: Happy birthday, Charley!

♪ You know in scary movies, when the big "wah!" comes ♪

♪ We all scream together ♪

♪ Then, we laugh

♪ Well, in those giddy moments, ♪

♪ Don't you feel we're all connected ♪

♪ Like a family

♪ Like we're a team together ♪

All:♪ And that can only happen when we scream together ♪

Alright, everybody.

Let's all scream together.

One, two, three.

[ All scream ]

[ All laugh ]

Charley: Oh, I love you, Mom.

I love you, too.


How did you know about my party?

Well, after you had the guts to apologize to me,

I called your mom, and told her everything.

And when I heard about that, I just knew we had to throw you

the scariest birthday party ever!

So, I'm not in trouble?

I did not say that.

Hey, Charley. I made you something.

Narrator: Garry presents Charley

with a very impressive horror-themed birthday cake.

You made that?

You betcha.

After all, if you can reach the sink, you can cook, right?




Charley, blow out the candles, and make a wish.

Garry got the job at the community theater.

And guess what?

He asked me to be his assistant.

Wait till you see our headless horseman.

Mom and Garry have been spending a lot of time together,

doing silly adult things, like going to dinner,

and seeing movies that don't even have monsters in them.

And me?

Well, according to my birthday party notebook,

the perfect party needed a cake -- check --

a theme -- done -- and friends.

You guys have been great,

and you'll always be waiting for me in the comic books --

which is really cool -- but because of you,

now I have friends that aren't monsters.


Hey, what about us?

You two are still monsters.

Always have been.

Always will be.

Both: Ah-oo!

All: ♪ On a scale of one to 10

Halloween is a solid eight

And Christmas,

I give Christmas 9.5

Charley: ♪ But there's only one day when every kid ♪

♪ Gives thanks to be alive ♪

All: ♪ And that one day deserves a perfect 10 ♪

-♪ A perfect 10 -♪ 10

♪ This is big

♪ This is big -♪ This is big

-♪ This is big -♪ It's the big one

♪ This is a big "one-oh"

♪ It's that one day in our lifetime ♪

♪ No one ever wants to miss ♪

-♪ Because this -[ Vocalizing ]

♪ This is

♪ This is mind-blowing, eye-popping, ♪

♪ Pulse-racing, jaw-dropping ♪

♪ Yes, siree, that's what this is ♪

♪ That's what this is

♪ This is big

♪ This is big

♪ This is

♪ Biiiiiiiiiiiiig

[ Applause ]





-♪ This is -♪ Big

-♪ This is big -♪ This is big

♪ It's the big one

♪ This is the big "one-oh"

♪ It's that one day in our lifetime ♪

♪ No one ever wants to miss ♪

-♪ Because this -[ Vocalizing ]

♪ This is

♪ This is mind-blowing, eye-popping, ♪

♪ Pulse-racing, jaw-dropping ♪

♪ Yes, siree, that's what this is ♪

♪ That's what this is

♪ This is big

♪ This is big

♪ This is

♪ Biiiiiiiiiiiiig


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