The Breakup
NewsRadio episode






Paul Simms


Peter Bonerz


Joe Furey

Production Code


Original Airdate

October 31, 1995


Rat Funeral



"The Breakup" is the fourth episode of the second season of NewsRadio, and the eleventh episode overall.

Synopsis Edit

Bill reveals that it is Catherine's 36th birthday on the air, to her anger. She then makes it her mission to try to find out his birthday in order to return the favor.

Lisa is not speaking to Dave while in the office, relaying messages through Beth to ask for the return of her apartment keys. He admits to Beth that they had an argument and he called her a bitch. Matthew picks up on the tension between Dave and Lisa, but misinterprets it as sexual tension. Bill also begins to pry. Dave asks Beth for her assistance in covering for the situation.

Beth later learns from Lisa that she and Dave went to see a movie the previous night, but he ran into Joe and had to watch the rest of the movie with him, as well as going to a bar afterwards. He finally called her back at two in the morning, angry. Beth suggests that it would be much easier if they came clean about their relationship, but Lisa still refuses.

Dave confides to Jimmy in the men's room about the argument. Jimmy believes that Lisa will want to see him suffer in some way. The tension continues during lunch break. Beth attempts to cover with lies, but starts to crack under the pressure. She later admits to Dave and Lisa in the break room that she already told the rest of the staff the previous week, and they're only pretending not to know anything.

Catherine tries to make amends with Bill, but only as part of a plot to steal his wallet to find the birthdate on his driver's license. He quickly sees through the plan and mentions that he doesn't keep his license in his wallet. Dave and Lisa apologize to the staff about keeping their relationship secret, but they all plead ignorance. Beth admits she lied in order to get the two to come clean. Dave feels better about the situation, but Lisa is still uncomfortable. They head off to lunch together, but face ridicule from the others.

Jimmy meets with Dave and Lisa, asking which one of them will quit, based on the increased scrutiny they will face; he gives them a couple months before it gets to them. They ask the staff to respect their privacy, and Beth points out that they are going through a rough patch. As Jimmy predicted, Lisa brings up the name that Dave called her. Dave tries to play down the situation, but the rest of the staff are shocked.

Matthew, still obsessed with Catherine's birthday, offers her a present: He obtained a copy of Bill's birth certificate. At the bar after work, the staff react to seeing Dave and Lisa as a couple, but start to downplay their interest until after they leave. Catherine blurts out Bill's real first name to his face, much to his shock.


Catherine: ''"If you ever broadcast my age over the air again I will beat you to death with your own microphone."

-Catherine, to Bill

"I'm starting to feel like I work for Kaiser Soze!"


Beth: "Let me tell you something: the time better get right real soon because I'm gonna crack, and I'm gonna blurt your little secret out to the whole staff."

Dave: "No..."

Lisa: "You won't..."

Beth: "Oh, yes I did."

Dave: "No, you mean 'Yes, I will.'"

Lisa: "Yeah, first person singular, future tense."

Beth: "No, I mean, 'Yes I did,' past tense, last week, they're just pretending not to know. Third person plural. Period. Class dismissed."

"I just keep wondering, did you guys ever do it on my desk?"

-Matthew, to Dave and Lisa

Joe (to Dave and Lisa): "Look, I don't know about anybody else, but I don't really care what you guys do."

Catherine: "We do have our own lives."

Bill: "Today we just needed a chance to, you know..."

Matthew: "...Shake out the silliness!"

Bill: "Please don't finish my sentences for me."

Joe: "Why do you think he called her a name like that?"

Bill: "Maybe she called him a name first."

Catherine: "Even if she did, there are certain lines you just don't cross."

Bill: "It's just a word. Words can't hurt."

Catherine: "Well, what if I were to call you a name?"

Bill: "Go ahead, who cares!"

Catherine: "Okay, Evelyn!"

Bill: "First of all, it's pronounced Eee-velyn."

Credits Edit

Main Cast Edit

Dave Foley as Dave Nelson

Stephen Root as Jimmy James

Andy Dick as Matthew Brock

Maura Tierney as Lisa Miller

Vicki Lewis as Beth

Joe Rogan as Joe Garelli

Khandi Alexander as Catherine Duke

Phil Hartman as Bill McNeal

Production Info Edit

Production Code: 206

Original Airdate: October 31, 1995

Trivia Edit

In-Universe Edit

Catherine's birthday is November 15; she turns 36 in this episode. This is the second time in the series that her birthday is celebrated, having also just been celebrated in "Inappropriate."

Bill apparently has previously consulted a therapist who specializes in rage management.

Matthew claims that his birthday occurred the previous week, but no one remembered. This would put his birthday in early November, contradicting info given in "The Injury."

Bill's birthday is June 19, and his real first name is Evelyn (the first syllable is pronounced with a long "E").