Dwight & Jack: A Conversation



Jack Nicholson called Dwight Howard to talk him into staying with the Los Angeles Lakers next season. This is the transcript of that phone call. 


Jack Nicholson: Dwight? That you?

Dwight Howard: (giggles) Hi Jack!

JN: There he is! Hey, buddy. So, what’s goin on? What’s this I hear about you not wanting to sign with us?

DH: Oh, I don’t know. I just didn’t have a super fun time last year. Kobe yells a lot and I don’t trust Coach Mike that much.

JN: Look. I know it was a rough one. Believe me. I know. I had to sit court side and watch the massacres. Hell, Lou was trying to talk me into Clips tickets the other day, but Billy Crystal freaks me out and I’m a Laker through and through, so I won’t do it, but you stringing us along like this isn’t helping matters.

DH: I’m sorry, Jack. I should probably tell you that I’m not coming back then.

JN: What’s that?

DH: I’m not coming back. I’m going to Houston.

JN: Dwight, I gotta say, I think you’re making a mistake.

DH: Oh, it’s already done, Jack. So I can’t back out of it or anything. That wouldn’t be right.

JN: Why did they tell me to call you then? They told me you’d said if I called then maybe that’d convince you to stay.

DH: (laughs) I know! I told them that. It was super funny, Jack. We’d just never got a chance to talk much last year and with me leaving I don’t know that we’ll get to again.

JN: (expletive)

DH: Whoa, Jack. Is there someone else in the room?

JN: (expletive) no.

DH: Then why are you tal…ohhhhh. You were calling me that?

JN: Yea, I was. I’m bout to call you more things, though, so don’t hang up. Did you ever see my movie One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest?

DH: What’s it called?

JN: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

DH: Is that the one with the chimney sweep from Mary Poppins in it?

JN: No, that’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

DH: Oh. Well, then no. I haven’t seen it.

JN: It’s basically about a guy that gets put in a mental hospital and the affect it has on him and the affect he has on the patients.

DH: Oh, are you talking about Chicken Run? Because that’s a good movie.

JN: No. I’m not talking about (expletive)-in Chicken Run.

DH: Then do you mean Rock-A-Doodle?

JN: Rock-A-Doodle?

DH: Oh, you haven’t seen it? It’s this great mo…

JN: (interrupts) I didn’t actually want to know, man. (Expletive). I’m trying to tell you about (expletive)-in movie if you’d shut the (expletive) up and listen.

DH: Fine, Jack. If you want to be mean about this then…

JN: Dude. Shut the (expletive) up. Seriously. (Expletive) it. In the movie there’s this character called Chief that almost never talks. He’s super big. In one of the scenes we play basketball. I keep feeding Chief and Chief is putting on a clinic in the low-post. Truly dominating. Out if nowhere, too. There was no reason to believe Chief was any kind of athletic or intelligent up till that point. He was a monster, though. That’s what I thought we’d get with you. But (expletive) was I wrong?

DH: So there are no birds in the movie?

JN: What?

DH: I was IMDB’ing the movie while you were talking and I’m not seeing any birds in the movie.

JN: Are you for real right now?

DH: I like movies with birds in them, but I’m not seeing any birds in this movie you’re talking about. Is it like Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole?

JN: There aren’t any birds in it, man. Why you think there’s birds in it?

DH: There’s a bird in the title.

JN: It’s a metaphor, kid.

DH: A metaphor?

JN: Yea.

DH: Oh. Well, people who speak in metaphors should shampoo my crotch.

(Dwight hangs up)

(Jack sits in the dead silence for a bit. First confused, then steaming with anger. He realizes he’s been had by one of his own iconic lines. He picks up his phone and hurls it through the kitchen. It hits Lou Adler in the dick while he’s trying to make a grilled cheese.)

Lou Adler: Easy, Jackie. Be the bear, not the fish.

(Jack goes to the bathroom, sits on the toilet seat, and cries.)

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