The Dennis Miller Show

guest Dean Stockwell

April 22, 1992

transcribed by Ann

 

(For the sartorially inclined, Dean appeared to be wearing the same jacket and tie he wore at the Creation Convention. My apologies for any errors in this transcript, I was working from a third-generation tape with variable sound quality. However, I'd like to thank my dear friend CJ and her mysterious benefactor for sharing the original tape with me.)

 

Dennis:

My first guest stars in the hit TV series Quantum Leap, also apropos of today is an active environmentalist. Please welcome Dean Stockwell. Dean, I hope you don't mind if I pass on the showbiz gibberish for a second, I don't like to get between a man and his cause. I know you're an environmentalist.

 

Dean:

(interjects) It's Earth Day.

 

Dennis:

So let's talk about the environment a little. You were kinda an environmentalist before it became vogue. (Dean's taken a couple of sensometers out of pocket and gives one to Dennis Miller) What is this now?

 

Dean:

This is a

 

Dennis:

(interrupts, reading the label on the sensometer) Ultraviolet sensometer.

 

Dean:

Yeah, this is a little sensometer, by Optiware in Syracuse, New York (shows it to the audience) and you take this out in the sunlight and hold it up and it will register how many UVB rays are coming through. And my wife and I always have these, we give them out to friends, we take the kids out and hold this up and if it turns grey, and then medium and then dark grey, they don't go out in the sun.

 

Dennis:

Really?

 

Dean:

Yeah. And this this is nice, it's real, you can feel it, because the thing with the ozone layer, which is what I'm concerned with, is that it's so abstract, because it's up in the stratosphere and people don't have it next to them, and it's not a reality. But something like this measures it and you know it's real.

 

Dennis:

(interrupting) And nasty plastic (laughs). Does it biodegrade?

 

Dean:

I don't know if it biodegrades. (Dennis Miller's laughing over the rest of Dean's sentence so I can't hear it)

 

Dennis:

(holds up the little card Dean's given him) I'm just a little apprehensive about these taking over our planet, you know? But it is plastic, isn't it?

 

Dean:

Yeah, it's plastic. We've got a lot of plastic in the world, too. Get rid of all the plastic. (Dean's patience gene starts kicking in here)

 

Dennis:

No, we can't. Though some people take this too far. I saw a thing on some news show where people literally feel they're like allergic to the world, have you seen these poor bastards, they go out . . . they live in homes . . . they won't ever go out I guess

 

Dean:

(interjecting) Well, I mean, that's taking something really very psychological and to extremes. But there's no getting away from the fact that we have an extreme situation and with the ozone layer that's one example and maybe the most critical example that we've got.

 

Dennis:

Okay, paint me a reasonably cataclysmic picture of what happens if we don't rectify the ozone situation in the next generation

 

Dean:

(starting to explain) Well, the worst

 

Dennis:

(interrupting) You just can't go outside any more?

 

Dean:

(interrupting) the worst-case scenario no, it can get heavier than that. Already we have a great increase in skin cancers and cataracts and a reduction in immune systems from the UVB's that are coming through because of the reduction in the ozone layer. Now, the worst-case scenario is the damage that can be done to the plankton, the photo-plankton, which lives on the surface of the ocean of the world and is the first step in the food chain of the planet.

 

Dennis:

Okay, that goes. And what goes next?

 

Dean:

That goes, well, then the first step in the food chain is gone for the entire ocean. The ocean goes next and you can take it from there.

 

Dennis:

Yeah.

 

Dean:

So it's pretty fast.

 

Dennis:

And we're all real thin.

 

Dean:

We're all real thin. In deep trouble. And another thing with it, it's . . . it's . . . a lot of people think it's a controversial issue. But it isn't any more. The evidence is in and the people distributing the evidence are NASA, it's not some weird fringe group and it's not even a group of private institutions or scientists, this is NASA evidence that shows

 

Dennis:

I'm not sure I believe the general population believes it's controversial, I think they believe . . . I just think they get

 

Dean:

(interrupting) There are groups that try to promote the idea that it's controversial, in order to inhibit action being taken, yeah . . . .

 

Dennis:

Well, I think people believe but they get hit with some much now, it just seems that everything . . . .

 

Dean:

(interrupting) Sorry! Can't help it. And it is so much. We've been so negligent for so long, we've got so much, we've got all these problems but we've gotta deal with them. Y'know, life ain't easy any more, and it's . . . the problem is it's gonna be harder and harder for the children, and for their children. I went out in the sun when I was a kid, it was a main part of my childhood and a beauty of my childhood, and my children have to stay out of it as much as possible.

 

Dennis:

So we've gotta start now.

 

Dean:

Yeah.

 

Dennis:

Okay. We'll come back, we're gonna talk a little bit more, about showbiz after this break, with Dean Stockwell. We'll be right back folks.

 

(Camera zooms back in after commercial break)

 

Dennis:

(off camera) I'm doing the best I can.

 

Dean:

I know that (unintelligible) (points to camera) It says we're back with Dean Stockwell right there.

 

Dennis:

We're back with Dean Stockwell. Okay now, tell us what . . . no, I . . . you don't wanna talk about showbiz. Talk about this.

 

Dean:

Okay.

 

Dennis:

We're buttin' heads. I wanna talk about Quantum.

 

Dean:

It's Earth Day, all right? We know Quantum Leap is a wonderful show, I love it and I'm proud of it. I would be derelict if I didn't mention what to people, the people in the audience, the television audience what you as individuals can do about this problem with the ozone layer and people don't know, so I gotta tell 'em.

 

Everybody has a car, just about. Everybody's got a refrigerator. In the car, in your own car, there are these things, CFC's, that go up and break up the ozone layer. Its in Freon, that's one of the main culprits is Freon, also in your refrigerator. You've gotta make sure when you get work done on the engine or on the AC of the car, that the garage that you take it to has a recycling machine.

 

We've got a picture of that if you want to look at it, it's a real machine. It recycles the Freon and doesn't vent it. In 1995 it's gonna be against the law to vent any more but till then more and more goes up, more and more goes up. And in 1993 everyone will have to have one of these machines that services cars and refrigerators to recycle. But it's not 1993 yet, so you have to make sure where you take your car has one of these machines.

 

Dennis:

Does it only come in blue?

 

Dean:

No, this is a red one. Wasn't that a red one? (Picture of the machine on screen it's blue)

 

Dennis:

Yeah, that's a red one.

 

Dean:

Yeah, that's a red one. (It's still blue)

 

Dennis:

My eyes have burned out from the ozone hole. (laughs)

 

Dean:

(ignoring that) And we have an outfit called S.O.S. Save Our Skies that works with Citizens For A Better Environment, where people can get grants up to $500 to help them buy one of these machines before they have to by law in 1993 and before then the people in the television audience, through your Lions club, Kiwana's Club, this and that, you can get together and raise the money to buy one of these machines for your landfills, so that the cars and refrigerators dumped there don't release the CFC's. We can't release this stuff any more. We'll put the address for Citizens for A Better Environment up on the screen, there.

 

Dennis:

Now this is a pretty direct, man-to-the-people plea here, but what's your show do about it? Does your show adhere to these principles or do you butt heads with those people all the time?

 

Dean:

Well, I've been butting heads.

 

Dennis:

Why? What goes on there that you don't agree with?

 

Dean:

Well, it's not that . . . it's not what I don't agree with. It's just they've found difficulty in writing a Quantum Leap script centering on environmental issues. I have been striving for three-and-a-half years to get a show exclusively centered around an environmental issue. I hope next season, 'cause we're picked up for another twenty-two, that they will finally come through, and they have said they would. The best I've been able to do up to now is put in ad lib's here and there about this and that and I've succeeded in doing that.

 

Dennis:

I can't believe it. Just sort of take a walk. Just don't show up one day, y'know . . . I . . . er . . . see right up there (indicates audience) in aisle 3 I have a little landfill of my own up there, you see a lot of people look very disgruntled, they're right near my landfill. But . . . er . . . alright, so we have that address one last time, it's Dean Stockwell, environmental champion. And could we put that address up one last time (reads address). I guess we can talk about the show some other time. Yeah, I like the show; I'd like to talk about that, too. Next time you come on, can we talk about that?

 

Dean:

I'd love to. Sure, great.

 

Dennis:

Yeah?

 

Dean:

Alright.

 

Dennis:

Stockwell, you're an animal (shakes hands).

 

Dean:

Alright.

 

Dennis:

Alright, brother. Take care.

 

(Dean waves to audience)

 

Dennis:

We'll be back with comedian Carl le Beau (?) right after this.

 

The End

 

 

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