What's So Bad About Feeling Good? is a 1968 comedy film, in which a virus which simply makes people feel happy is introduced to New York City by a Toucan called Amigo, and treated as a public health threat by the authorities, while some of the previously most dreary "victims" of the virus work to spread it to others.
- In the evening the cares of the day were exchanged for the pleasures and relaxations of Broadway, then, when the day people went to bed, Greenwich Village came to life … Yes it was a typical night in the village too, but in the East Village, just a few blocks away, there was an entirely different class of people — real artists — writers, composers, who were making a true contribution to the new culture. We were the intellectuals, the elite. We weren't eccentrics like the others. We dressed comfortably and casually, and spoke the language as educated people do. Not the jargon of the immature rebels. We weren't searching for the truth, we'd found it. A couple of years ago, I was just like the rest of you conformists.
- I was once a sad optimistic
Now only grim, realistic,
Turning off to the games people play
I find peace of mind in the theory
That true existence is dreary
Because life was meant to be blue, black and gray.
All the time.
- "Blue, Black and Grey" by Jerry Keller and Dave Blume
- The virus produces a sense of euphoria, a feeling of well-being. No symptoms but a sudden change in behavior patterns. Highly contagious. Avoid contact.
- Reading the Health Department bulletin about the virus spread by the Toucan.
- Aida and I teamed up. We were "The Bubble Sisters" and every bubble Aida blew was filled with greetings from Amigo. [Singing]
- Cause I'm bubbling over,
I'm bubbling over,
I'm bubbling over
A kiss, maybe more,
There's no need for keeping score,
'Cause I'm bubbling over,
I'm bubbling over,
I'm bubbling over
- "I'm Bubbling Over" by Jerry Keller and Dave Blume
- Cause I'm bubbling over,
- The city was under attack by land, sea and air. Two days later you wouldn't have known the place. Over one million New Yorkers had joined the club.
- Amigo: [in a speech balloon] Oh Boy! Grapes.
- Pete: What the hell is that?
- Liz: Get a load o' that beak!
- Pete: Come on, you. Hey! Hey! Those are my grapes.
- Liz: Oh, let him eat 'em. He's probably hungry.
- Pete: Oh sure. Make a pet out of him, get emotionally involved. That what you want?
- Liz: [indignant] I don't care if you have him for breakfast.
- Dr. Shapiro: What this particular virus evidently does is cause changes in our behavior patterns. People infected become euphoric, have a sense of well-being.
- The Mayor: Well, I'm not going to order the Police Commissioner to call out twenty-eight thousand cops to find some bird that makes people feel good.
- Dr. Shapiro: But we have no way of knowing what it may lead to. People could feel so good they'd quit their jobs, fly kites in Times Square, block traffic, uh... stop voting...
- The Mayor: Stop voting? [picks up the phone] Get me the Police Commissioner!
- Pete: Come 'ere! Come 'ere. Look. In this cruddy pile o' junk — a flower. The odds against survival must've been a million to one. But it made it. Couple of drops of rain, and some sun...
- Liz: Pete, what's wrong? What's the matter with you?
- Pete: I don't know. Ever since I got up I've been feeling kind of strange. I don't think I can explain it to you, but every thing seems different. Hey listen.
- Liz: To what? The traffic?
- Pete: Kids laughing.
- Liz: You know why they're laughing? 'Cause they're not old enough to read the newspaper. You take a look at the front page and then try laughing. The world's a stinking, hopeless mess! Oh, Pete, you're sick. Sometimes a high fever can make you feel this way.
- Pete: I feel GREAT!
- Liz: That's what I mean.
- Liz: Read this, It's a Health Department bulletin it explains the whole thing. That's what happened to you, you got it from that bird that flew in this morning. The police are trying to catch him.
- Pete: Hey, how bout that. Change in behavior. That's me!
- Liz [nods]: Mm, hmm.
- Pete: Very contagious.
- Liz: Uh, huh, huh, ha.
- Pete: One little kiss and you'll have it too.
- Liz: I don't want it.
- Pete [moving towards her]: Just one little kiss and you'll like yourself in the morning.
- Liz [backing away]: I don't want it, Pete.
- Pete [impersonating Hans Hinklemeyer]: We have in my country a custom, when one is rejected, one goes with a kiss. To show there's no hard feelings. Please? A little kiss like I would give my own sister Brunhild.
- Liz: Well, uh… [she puckers, and he kisses her passionately, she breaks away] That's the way you kiss your sister?
- Pete: Well, you see we have a slightly incestuous relationship.
- Village neighbors [Singing theme song]:
In this cold and heartless city
Isn't the village a pretty place
Aglow in the morning sun?
Though the world may not be perfect yet,
Still the only way we're gonna get any better is if we try.
Look at the fun we've been missing
Things like huggin' and kissin'
So let's enjoy it the way we should.
Tell me what's so bad,
Tell me what's so bad
About feeling good?
Always thought that life was just a drag
Now this daisy's got a brand new bag
Hey world take a good look at me.
Though I'm flying high as a kite,
What turns me on is the sight of life,
The grooviest trip of all
Best kick I've ever had,
So tell me what's so bad about feeling good?
- Village neighbors [Singing theme song]: So don't forget to carry a smile
And maybe after a while it will all turn out the way it should
So tell me what's so bad about feeling good?
- The Mayor: Have you found out anymore of the effect of the virus?
- Dr. Shapiro: Well, it frees people from hostile feelings.
- The Mayor: You mean like tranquilizers?
- Dr. Shapiro: No, they merely suppress and diminish hostility. The virus seems to do away with it entirely. People become uh, friendly, more hopeful, stop brooding.
- Aide: Mister Mayor, eighty-two percent not only stop brooding, they stop smoking. Ninety-three percent stop drinking.
- The Mayor: What's wrong with that?
- Aide: In terms of dollars and cents, it's disastrous. Our city is facing a drastic loss in income from sales tax.
- The Mayor: That's ridiculous. Forty-seven people? A drop in the bucket.
- Aide: But if this goes unchecked for a month, by mathematical progression, half of New York will have the virus. You know what that means? It means a loss in cigarette and liquor taxes more than one hundred and eighty million dollars.
- The Mayor: [hoarsely] A hundred and eighty million... Brady, what are you sitting there for? Get that bird!
- Pete: Just a minute. I'd like to say something.
- Reporter: Why, yes sir.
- Pete: Well, I've got it.
- Liz: So have I!
- Reporter [nervously]: You've got, got what?
- Pete & Liz: The virus!
- Pete: And its the greatest thing that ever happened.
- Liz: It makes you feel WONDERFUL!
- Pete: Forget about what the mayor said, forget about those masks.
- Liz: Find a crowd and BREATHE DEEP!
- J. Gardner Monroe: Do you realize what would happen if this got to Washington? Republicans agreeing with Democrats and vice versa. This bird could destroy our two party system. The very foundation of our great democracy. This bird…
- Conrad: Could be the salvation of America. This bird has given us what the world needs more than anything else: Hope.
- Dr. Witter: I believe no more than 50% are infected. The rest are just being swept along.
- J. Gardner Monroe: Well if they haven't got it, then why aren't they acting like normal cynical people?
- Dr. Witter: People who have it aren't spreading a virus so much as a manner of behavior. They believe the world is not beyond redemption. They're happy, considerate, polite, friendly — and the others are responding in kind.
- Liz: I wonder if that's what happened to me, Pete. You know I didn't wake up that morning feeling good the way you did.
- Pete: You didn't?
- Liz: No. But then Gertrude and Conrad and the others were so cheerful, and the way you had been so nice the day before. Maybe I was immune to the virus, and it just sort of rubbed off on me.
- Pete: Virus, schmirus — long as you feel good.
- Liz: You're worried.
- Pete: It's a wonderful dream. Can't last forever.
- Aide [monitoring their conversation]: I detect a slight depression.
- Dr. Shapiro: It's too early for the chemotherapy to take affect.
- Pete: The virus is bound to wear off sometime.
- Liz: Of course it will, darling. But it's been more than a dream. It's been a new life for us. And no matter what happens we've got to remember that and cling to it.
- J. Gardner Monroe: [sarcastically] What did you put in that spray? Saccharine?
- Liz: Someone once said that if the stars came out only once in a thousand years men would look at them differently.
- J. Gardner Monroe: Are you sure this the right channel? It sounds like a soap opera to me.
- Liz: We've been warmed by the glow of kindness and laughter, touched by goodness and humanity. We've felt compassion and love. We've finally seen the glory of the stars.
- J. Gardner Monroe: [derisively] And love is what makes the world go round. Roses are red, violets are blue. If my wife talked to me like that, I'd smack her in the mouth.
- Dr. Witter: It's sentimental, yes, but that's healthy. Unfortunately most people repress tenderness, suffocate it with cynicism and …
- J. Gardner Monroe: Let me tell you something. Our glorious and dynamic country did not get that way by the glow of kindness and laughter, no sir, it was built by competition, the survival of the fittest. During the gold rush men beat each others brains out with pickaxes, and because of that, the great state of California was born. [notices Murgatroyd] What is wrong with you?
- Murgatroyd: Oh, oh. I was just trying to see, It's getting interesting. [the rest of the room watches the monitor] If they had a series like this on TV, wow.
- J. Gardner Monroe: Shapiro, I thought you said that stuff was going to make him mean and irritable.
- Dr. Shapiro: Well, a situation such as this, spray or no spray, you can hardly expect him to kick her out of bed.
- Liz: No. Don't ask me to go back. Pete, remember what we had. Remember it. Cling to it.
- Pete: You're kidding yourself. Hinklemeyer's right. You talk about goodness and kindness. Read the front page and try to find some.
- Liz: Pete, I can't go back. I couldn't live that kind of life, ever again.
- Pete: Okay, you drink your poison, and I'll drink mine.
- Police officer: Hey, lady. Don't worry, we'll get you to the hospital right away. Emergency maternity! Call in!
- Liz: Oh no, Pete, not again. [closing song begins as they run away sheltering Amigo]
- It's good for what Bugs you!!! (and what's so bad about that?)
- George Peppard - Pete
- Mary Tyler Moore - Liz
- Don Stroud - Barney
- Susan Saint James - Aida
- Dom DeLuise - J. Gardner Monroe
- Nathaniel Frey - Conrad
- John McMartin - The Mayor
- Charles Lane - Dr. Shapiro
- Jeanne Arnold - Gertrude
- George Furth - Murgatroyd
- Morty Gunty - Sgt. Gunty
- Joe Ponazecki - Officer Ponazecki
- Frank Campanella - Capt. Wallace
- Thelma Ritter - Mrs. Schwartz
- Gillian Spencer - The Sack