SCP-5123
rating: +84+x

Item #: SCP-5123

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: Arrangements have been made under the guise of technical issues to move all of NBC's programming to another channel in order to isolate SCP-5123. An external hard drive has been programmed to record all iterations of SCP-5123 as soon as they air, after which a D-Class will watch the episode on a television set and take notes on any unusual changes in the latest iteration.

carter

Joe Carter. Context unknown.

Description: SCP-5123 is the television show Late Nights with Joe Carter, a late night talk show starring the eponymous Joe Carter on NBC at 11:30 P.M. ET every Sunday night since 1963. To date, only one episode of SCP-5123 has ever been seen, with variations ranging from slight dialogue changes to altered guests and sequences occurring upon each subsequent airing.

The episode opens with a live band playing as Carter takes the stage, giving a brief monologue concerning current events, mostly focusing around the "recent" presidential victory of Lyndon B. Johnson. After a few remarks at an off-screen camera operator referred to as Dave that result in studio audience laughter, Carter introduces his guest Larry Mackenzie and takes a seat behind his desk.

Larry Mackenzie, who has been portrayed by a different person each airing, will sit down and begin discussing their new book A Look Behind The Paper, an account of their time as a reporter within the White House press corps during the Truman administration. Mackenzie and Carter will also interject at times with anecdotal humor about Johnson adjusting to presidential life.

The mood of Mackenzie appears to vary between iterations. While the majority appear comfortable on the show, some iterations will act uneasy, stuttering dialogue, forgetting their lines, or acting confused about their present surroundings. Carter will attempt to assist their way through the interview, but will appear somewhat irritated if Mackenzie goes off-script.

After three commercial breaks of a black soundless screen ranging from 5-7 minutes each, Carter will give an ending monologue to wrap up the show and advertise next week's show, mentioning a popular 1960's American celebrity1 that will appear on the upcoming episode. After the band closes out with an instrumental cover of My Way2, the show will end and be replaced by the channel's usual scheduling.

It should be noted that no television show by the name of Late Nights with Joe Carter has been recalled by NBC studio executives to have been hosted under their company. Similarly, no person matching Joe Carter's description or Larry Mackenzie's name and career has been found to have ever existed.

A single pristine photo of Joe Carter was found in the basement of the 30 Rockefeller Plaza3 in New York within a storage closet that had not been used for a number of years. On the backside of the photograph was a handwritten note.

Harry:

Not terrible, I’ll give you that. But you think anyone would pick Carter over Carson? Tell him to give us a call. We’re pricy, but worth it.

Addendum: On 20/12/2020, D-2343 noticed an unusual deviation in the latest iteration of SCP-5123.

VIDEO LOG


AIR DATE: 19/12/2020

ITERATION: 1203rd


[EXTRANEOUS DIALOGUE REMOVED]

Carter: Dave, I'm gonna need you to keep your cameras sharp for this next fella, we don't want the ladies at home to be missing out.

Indistinct dialogue can be heard in the background, which causes laughter.

Carter: For those of you wondering why I haven't fired him yet, that's why. Always good for a laugh. Come on, look at him!

The audience laughs again.

Carter: I kid, I kid. He's a good man, got a lovely family. Anyways, let's introduce another good man. You know him from the New York Times, everyone give it up for Larry Mackenzie!

The audience applauds as Larry Mackenzie shuffles onto stage, appearing this time as an African-American man in his early thirties. He looks around with quick, darting eyes as Carter greets him and shows him to his seat.

Carter: Great to finally get you here, Larry. How's retired life been treating you?

SCP-5123-1 does not answer for several seconds. He appears to be breathing heavily. A cough from the audience alerts him.

SCP-5123-1: It's uh, good Joe. I suppose it's like my, my honeymoon.

Carter: Really? How's that?

SCP-5123-1: It's smooth sailing now, but oh boy, wait until you get home.

The audience and Carter both laugh. SCP-5123-1 nervously looks over at the camera and mouths something indistinct.

Carter: So, this book of yours, 'A Look Behind The Paper'. Picked it up the moment it came out, read every page. Loved it. So I suppose my question is, why wait until now to cover a, what, nearly 40 year long career?

SCP-5123-1: Well in my line of work, you tend to see everything as a story. I thought about writing a book before, get some of my thoughts down onto some paper, but what's a story without a good ending? The day I was talking to Reba, my wife-

SCP-5123-1 pauses.

SCP-5123-1: Reba? Yes. No. No, that's not right…

Carter smiles, leaning closer towards SCP-5123-1. There is whispered murmuring from the audience.

Carter: You alright? Sounds like it's been a long day.

SCP-5123-1: Uh, yes! Yes, it's been a long day. I don't know why I said that, Reba's my wife. Uh… where was I?

Carter: Let's move on. So, what do you think made you want to be a reporter?

SCP-5123-1: Well you know, my… father? He, uh, worked as a newsprinter back in the day. Sometimes he'd bring me to work, have me check over the first few prints before copies really started hitting the tray. Guess there was just something about the feel of a paper in my hand.

Carter: Too bad you couldn't get a job as a paper reader, huh?

Carter laughs again, as does the audience. SCP-5123-1 smiles, but it does not reach his eyes.

Carter: So, lemme get this straight: you decided to retire right around when Johnson won the election? Worried he'd chuck you out of the press pool for writing about budget cuts?

SCP-5123-1: No, not as funny as that. It felt like a natural ending to my career, I suppose. The Congo and Bolivia, and the civil rights act- it's not my world anymore. Time to make way for a new generation, that's… Uh, that's what I would say. Hmm… that's. that's not right. The hell?

Additional murmuring from the audience can be heard.

Carter: Something wrong, Larry? Looking a little-

SCP-5123-1: My name's not Larry. It's Larry Lloyd- Jason Lloyd. I'm a programmer in California. Where the hell am I?

The audience's speech starts to rise in volume again. The entire studio except for SCP-5123-1 falls silent when Carter's left eye appears to ripple. His smile vanishes.

Carter: Larry.

SCP-5123-1: I fucking told you, my name's Jason. Now bring me back home or I swear-

Carter's left eye ripples again. Seeing this, SCP-5123-1 falls to his knees.

SCP-5123-1: No no no no, I'm sorry, I'm sorry. My name's Larry Mackenzie, just like you said. I'm a reporter at the New York Times my wife's name is Reba and I have two children and I'm so sorry-

Carter rises from his desk, clapping his hands.

Carter: Well folks, my producer's giving me the sign it's time for our first commercial break. We'll return to our wonderful guest right after these messages.

Carter's eye ripples again. SCP-5123-1 screams.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

The camera is panning over the studio as Carter returns to the stage. Several members of the audience and band are wiping their eyes.

Carter: Welcome back to Late Nights with Joe Carter, everyone. Now before the break, we were discussing my good friend Larry Mackenzie's new book, A Look Behind The Paper.

The camera cuts to SCP-5123-1, who is now a mid-twenties caucasian woman. Large sweat stains are visible under her arms.

SCP-5123-1: G-g-glad to be here, Joe.

Carter smiles. A dark discolouration can be seen on his sleeve.

Carter: Perfect. Now, I believe you were about to tell us about what made you decide to hang up your hat, right?

[END LOG]

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