Knots Landing Scene of the Day: ‘You Are Disgusting!’

Joan Van Ark, Knots Landing, New Beginnings, Val Ewing


In “New Beginnings,” a fourth-season “Knots Landing” episode, Valene (Joan Van Ark) is seated behind the counter in a bookstore, signing a copy of her book for a customer (Rita Crafts).

VAL: There you go. [Slides the book across the counter]

CUSTOMER: I’ll bet you’re glad this day’s almost over.

VAL: [Smiles] Oh, no. Not really. I enjoy meeting people who buy my book.

CUSTOMER: Thank you.

The customer walks away as a man slides an open book in front of Val.

VAL: OK, how would you like that signed, sir?

She looks up and sees it’s J.R. (Larry Hagman).

J.R.: “To my favorite brother-in-law in the whole wide world.”

VAL: What are you doing here?

J.R.: Well, aren’t you going to sign it? I bought it fair and square, with the promise that you’d autograph it for me.

VAL: [Whispers] You are disgusting!

J.R.: [Looks around with mock concern] Come on, darlin’. Your public’s waiting. [She scribbles on the page, closes the book, slides it toward him and looks away.] Oh, thanks. [Examining her signature] Oh, that’s just wonderful. I’m going to stick this in my special collection of memorabilia. Right next to the knitting needles of Madame Defarge.

VAL: Leave me alone, J.R.

J.R.: Well, honey, what’s the rush? You know, it’s not often I get a chance to talk to a real, live celebrity. [Chuckles] You know, everybody said I’d hate what you wrote about us, but I don’t. I really don’t. And it’s nice having a best-selling authoress in the family. Especially since I own her publishing company.

VAL: You what?

J.R.: That’s right. Lock, stock and all the profits. I’m glad to keep it in the family. Oh, golly. I forgot. You’re on your way out of the family, aren’t you?

VAL: Well, you know what they say. Behind every cloud there’s a silver lining. Now would you please step aside because I’ve got paying customers to attend to. [Takes a book from someone else and smiles]

J.R.: Oh, of course. I’m looking forward to your new book. And just remember: I have first rights.

VAL: Yes, thank you.

As he walks away, the first customer approaches him.

CUSTOMER: Aren’t you J.R.?

J.R.: Yeah, that’s right.

CUSTOMER: Oh, would you sign this for me, please? [Hands him her book and a pen]

J.R.: Well, sure. [Looks at Val and shrugs] There you go.

CUSTOMER: Oh, thank you so much.

J.R.: My pleasure. [Chuckles]