The characters Eugene and Stanley Jerome in Neil Simon’s play, Broadway Bound, are an example of the devotion, loyalty, and commitment that siblings have for one another. Throughout the course of the play, the aspiring comedians stick together through thick and thin, struggling to work their way into show business while dealing with domestic problems at home.
In the first act of the play, Stan comes home and tells Eugene that he got them a gig writing for CBS’ radio. This is their big break. Finally, they have a chance to make something of themselves, together as a team. However, like most siblings, they constantly bicker with one another. Neil Simon is able to perfectly capture the relationship between the two brothers. In fact, he based the characters Eugene and Stanley upon his relationship with his own brother. The two brothers’ fights are what really makes the play a comedy. In one line, Eugene says “that’s not exactly talking to Abe Burrows. That’s more like the Pope waving to you at the Vatican (Act I, page 18).” Like any other siblings, the Jerome brothers joke around with one another.
Again, like real siblings, Stanley and Eugene run into problems. Stan doubts Eugene’s commitment to their career as comedy writers. saying “You’ve been writing your memoirs since you were fourteen years old and you’re still not serious about your craft (Act I, pg 39).” Eugene, instead of getting angry and giving up on his career with his brother, stays committed to their career and works hard to come up with a skit for their audition for the CBS radio show. Even though Stanley gives him a hard time, Eugene sticks with it. Even though Eugene is sarcastic and makes jokes out of everything, Stanley stays committed to his relationship with his brother.
Despite the domestic problems that they face at home, the two brothers make the best of their situation. The skit that they actually decide upon is based on their family and it was indeed a smashing success with people from their neighborhood who were listening to the broadcast on CBS radio.
Towards the end of the play, the hard work of the Jerome brothers pays off. They are given a chance to write another skit for CBS, this time for television. Had it not been for their perseverance, hard work, and determination, they may not have made it to the big leagues. “As the temperatures grew colder, Stan and I grew hotter. They doubled our salary at CBS and we were washing our hands in the same john as Arthur Godfrey” (Act II, page 108).
Although they are far from perfect, Eugene and Stanley Jerome worked hard and stuck together through thick and thin. It certainly did pay off. had it not been for their commitment, determination, and loyalty to one another and their common goal, they never would have made it in show business. Stanley says towards the end of the play “ I knew talent when I see it and I knew right away that Eugene and I had it. . . I never gave up on us. . .” (Act II, pg 109). It is this perseverance and motivation that lead them to their success ultimately.