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Tuesday, May 01, 2007
The Humor Institute of El Paso - Death
This is kind of a wierd one. It started out from seeing Stranger than Fiction staring Emma Thompson and Will Ferrel. It was a fun enjoyable movie, that if you stop to think about forces you to consider death. That thing we are all going to do later on. So I started writing this, in response. I hit upon using the Humor Institute of El Paso (previously used to mock Ann Coulter, here, here, here and here. And the sketch largely wrote itself, being very old timey. I particularly enjoy the Joan of Arc sketch, which I find oddly comforting in a way. Gracie, referenced several times in the sketch, is intended to be Gracie Allen, partner to George Burns back in the day. I love the idea of Gracie Allen and Joan of Arc being friends. Also the first bit where she says "Yeah what was I thinking, was a reference to their lunch menu, not to her death. Finally the final line is the last words of a famous hollywood actor - any guesses who?

Narrator: (standing outside of institute, some sort of stripmall, preferably) "Good evening, I'm (insert name here) and I am speaking from the Humor Institute of El Paso. I am pleased to present another in a continuing series of films that attempts to answer the question; what is humor? What is funny? Tonight's subject? Death."

Man on the street: (film cuts to people asking the question) "What's so funny about Death?"

Other Man on the Street: "Why does death show up so often in comedies?"

Woman on the street: "Are comedians just morbid?"

Narrator: (Walking through cemetery) "Tonight we hope to answer these questions. But what is death after all? Is it a skeleton in a black robe, carrying a scythe?" (Shot of skeleton in a black robe, carrying a scythe, who waves expectantly at the camera) "Yes, this is one view of death. But death the personification has always struggled at comedy. He had his best venue in radio days, where his deeply timbered voice was perfect for a certain kind of dignified insanity. (still of Death in front of a microphone) "The onset of television, however, killed his comedic aspirations. He had a brief talk show in the 50s, but was cancelled very quickly. To this date it is considered the second worst talk show in television history, right after The Chevy Chase show."
(Clip from Death's Talk Show, black and white, minimalist set)

Death: (Walks out to applause) "Good evening lady and gentleman. Boy have we got a killer show tonight" (pauses for laughter, no laughter) "So earlier today I'm at the dentist. Doing my job, when this guy who's soul I'm there to collect starts foaming at the mouth. Literally foaming at the mouth. And I, like a dope, have to get involved. I lean in and all of a sudden I have foam all down my black robe. And it's the good black robe, you know. Not the nicest looking but the comfy one. So I says to the guy, I says "look pal. I wanted the news, not the weather." (Pauses for laughter, no laughter).

Narrator: "The show was a consistent failure, and his walk-on roles in several cheap comedies failed to win him any kind of audience." (More stills here, preferably one where he's photoshopped in behind Abbot and Costello). "Roles got harder and harder for this morbid comedian. He hit rock bottom in the 1960s, when he tried out for the part of Death in Woody Allen's Death Knocks." (Still of Death in a black turtleneck and grey suit) " Woody Allen described his performance as shticky, and the noted director went with a younger and more nimble comedian. Death hung up his cloak for good. Well, his comedic cloak; Death continues to perform his duty as a harvester of souls. "

Death: (Camera finds him sitting on a couch) "Do I miss the old days? Yeah, sure I do. I loved performing. But you have to accept that times change. Tastes change. I'm not going to do what I see so many other comedians doing and blame the audience for my failure to connect. The sad truth is that Careers die, just like anything else."

Narrator: "So the personification of Death, is, on the whole, not funny. But what about the experience of death?"

(Scene changes to be outside a haunted style house)

Narrator: "This is Glouscter Manor. Built in 1823 it has been haunted since 1824 when the architect, Mr. Neville Olster, was killed and buried in the basement."

Ghost: (dressed in old timey clothes) "It's really embarrassing actually. In my old business you had to be careful about how much gouging the customer is willing to handle. I misjudged the Earl of Bloodhoven, and he gutted me. Oh well, live and learn."

Narrator: "So what is it like being dead."

Ghost: "Oh it's bullocks - cooped up in this house all the time. And of course get a constant stream of looky-loos wandering through. And not proper ladies like yourself, but nasty sorts. Kids and mods and punks and what not. I try to keep up on the modern ideas, but it's very hard cooped up in this house."

Narrator: "Is it painful being dead?"

Ghost: "No more so than being alive I guess. That bit about being able to walk through walls is bullocks though. Nobody can walk through walls."

Narrator: "You can't walk through walls?"

Ghost: "You have to teleport to the other side. It's very tiring." (Thinks) "Oh and you can't drink when your dead. I miss drinking."

Narrator: "Do you see a lot of comedic possibilities in being a ghost?"

Ghost: "Oh yeah - great for practical jokers. You can do anything and not get caught. Terry over in the old Chricton place is great at that. Weeping tapestries and flying books and what not. I'm more into puns. Puns are just as good dead as they are alive."

Narrator: (voice over with Camera still on Olster) "Mr. Olster is correct of course, Puns are not funny, dead or alive." (in a green field with a blue sky) "Of course there are a variety of death experiences. We were also able to obtain an interview with Joan of Arc, who ascended to heaven in the year 1431."

Joan of Arc: (laughing, in a field - very green grass and blue skies very pretty looking, like a microsoft desktop) "Yeah what was I thinking? Oh - you want me to talk about heaven? Heaven's not bad. I mean the weather is great, and there's plenty of grass to run around in. Oh and it's clothing optional."

Narrator: "That can't be right."

Joan of Arc: "Oh yes, we are all in a state of innocense you see. Clothing means nothing to me. I rarely wear any - but they said this was going to be shown on national television so I had better put some on. I was going to borrow a tee from Gracie, but they said this peasant garb would be better? Where'd you get this anyway, a renaissance festival?"

Narrator: "Are you really Joan of Arc?"

Joan of Arc: "Yeah, kind of a disappointment I know. Look, I've been dead for 540 years. Did you really think I'd be exactly the same as when I died?" (Laughs) "Your lucky you didn't get Mary. She's what Gracie calls a firecracker, these days."

Narrator: "So do you enjoy heaven?"

Joan of Arc: "Yeah Heaven's pretty great. I mean this is kind of the sticks, but even this is great, isn't it? You get into the heavenly city and it's amazing." (Laughs) "It's heaven you know. What do you think it's like?"

Narrator: "But is being dead funny?"

Joan of Arc: (thinks) "I don't know - I suppose you think when you die that change is over. But even up here in heaven people grow and change. Since being in heaven I've learned to laugh. I never really laughed while alive." (Thinks) "But others become far more serious. Cleopatra, for example, is practically a nun these days. Sweet girl though." (Thinks some more) "Given enough time everything becomes possible. Even comedy. And we got all the time in the world up here."

Narrator: (Switching back to the set) "And images of Death? Most are the opposite of funny, although a few deaths are funny in an ironic way. And of course there are occasional cases of slapstick deaths, particularly in the films, that can be quite funny. But what of the reality of Death?"

Narrator: (camera pushes in to the face) "The reality of Death is this. Most people die before they are ready. Most people die when they still have things they want to do. Many people die alone, others die knowing those they love will suffer for their lose. Most death involves great pain, and after death we do not know what comes next. And it's going to happen to each one of us. I will die someday and so will you and there's no way to avoid it. You'd better believe that the reality of Death is funny."

Narrator: "Because each laugh is a way of cheating death. It's a way of telling the universe "Yeah I'm going to be dead for a hell of a lot longer than I am alive, but right here and right now I am alive. And I am alive enough to laugh in the face of Death. Laughing is a bit like being insane and a lot like being alive. And every laugh as a bit of light and joy in a dark and uncaring universe."

Narrator: (Camera switches to his or her other side as he or she turns) "And that's it for this week. From the Humor Institute of El Paso, I'm (insert name here), saying "I should never have switched from Scotch to Martinis."
posted by Bryant @ 3:13 PM  
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
When Johnny Comes Marching Home
This one has had a difficult birthing; all I am going to say about it is be careful not to assume that either of these characters is saying things I agree with.

A dirt with a fence next to it. Johnny in a soldiers uniform comes marching along it, sitting on the fence is Billy.

Billy - (looking up and seeing Johnny looking all proud of himself says flatly) "Hurrah. Hurrah"

Johnny - (bright and sunshiny) "Hey Billy. You hear to lead me into the reception?"

Billy - "Nah Johnny. I am the reception." (Seeing his face) "You want me to Hurrah again?"

Johnny - "What are you talking about? I'm marching home."

Billy - (A little but not much more enthusiastic) "Hurrah Hurrah"

Johnny - "Where are the men and boys and ladies? The song says they will all turn out."

Billy - "Well we've been waiting a good long time Johnny. Nobody knew the war would go on for so long."

Johnny - "But it's such a great song. It should have reminded you."

Billy - "Oh yeah sure it did. I always liked the bit about how we'll all be gay when Johnny comes marching home again."

Johnny - "You don't look very gay."

Billy - (hopping off the fence) "I'm bursting with gayness. That's my job. I'm the designated hurrah-er"

Johnny - "What?"

Billy - "Well it's like this Johnny. We are all goddamned sick of that song. It was great back in the day, but now it just doesn't suit our needs. But the town felt we owed it to you to live up to it. So I get five pennies and a chicken every week to sit here and watch for you to come back."

Johnny - "So you can go and get the rest of the town?"

Billy - "Well early on, sure. But now they think that it's enough just to have me hurrah."

Johnny - "What?"

Billy - "Well there's the big corn dance next week, and frankly everybody is busy learning and playing the songs of Stephen Foster."

Johnny - "You are confusing me. Isn't this way supposed to be strewn with roses by the village lads and lasses."

Billy - "Um. They blew away?"

Johnny - "What? There's hardly a breeze."

Billy - "Honesty forces me to point out that they spread the roses a year and a half ago."

Johnny - "Well that's a waste isn't it. And what about my three times three."

Billy - "What?"

Johnny - "The song. You are supposed to give me three times three. It's in the third verse."

Billy - "I guess we never made it that far."

Johnny - "It's in the song. Listen." (Sings third verse of When Johnny Comes Marching Home).
Get ready for the Jubilee,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We'll give the hero three times three,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The laurel wreath is ready now
To place upon his loyal brow
And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.
Billy - "I never heard that part."

Johnny - "Well were's my three times three."

Billy - "I don't know what that is - I don't know how to give that to you. Three times three what?"

Johnny - "Lasses?"

Billy - "If I had nine lasses I could probably give you one or two. To borrow. Alas, the life of a designated hurrah-er has not afforded me much time to court the lasses."

Johnny - "I've been away for three years. I nearly starved outside of Atlanta."

Billy - "Sounds rough."

Johnny - "I deserve more than just a few hurrahs."

Billy - (shrugs) "Yeah, probably."

Johnny - "I deserve a hero's return."

Billy - "You weren't a hero, Johnny. You were a soldier."

Johnny - "I was a hero."

Billy - "In order to be a hero people have to see you being heroic."

Johnny - "That's not true."

Billy - "Sure it is. Being a hero means being someone other people look up to you. But Johnny we just don't want to hear about you starving outside of Atlanta. Frankly it sounds depressing."

Johnny - "But that's why I went. I wanted to be a hero."

Billy - "Well that was stupid. You should have stayed here and got a cat out of a tree or something."

Johnny - "But . . . what do I do."

Billy - "Get a job or start a farm or something I guess. Don't bother trying to become the designated hurrah-er. I got that job sewed up." (Looks at Johnny kindly) "Come on. Let's get you back into town."

Johnny - (following Billy, saying plaintively) "Well what about my laurel wreath."

Billy - (shaking his head as they walk off stage) "Sorry mate. You were lucky to get the hurrahs."
posted by Bryant @ 4:05 PM  
Thursday, April 12, 2007
This is a humble sketch; brief, basically one joke, in and out. I wanted to make it longer, but couldn't make it longer without stretching the rather simple (and probably banal) idea long enough that the joke would get lost.

- (dude walks into the room, whistling or humming, guy looks up annoyed) "What are you so happy about?"

Dude - (sits down on the couch) "I got the world's greatest idea today. Gonna make me a mint!"

Guy - "Oh?" (Smirks)

Dude - "Get this. Footless Shoe Stores."

Guy - "Footless."

Dude - "Right."

Guy - "Shoe Stores."

Dude - "Right. It's brilliant."

Guy - "Targeting a pretty small demographic there, aren't you?"

Dude - "What do you mean?"

Guy - "Well the percentage of footless people who need shoes has to be . . . well, none?"

Dude - "It's not for footless people. It's for people who have less on their feet."

Guy - "Oh."

Dude - "It'd be stupid to sell shoes to footless people."

Guy - "I guess I can't argue with that."

Dude - "I want to sell shoes to people who have less on their feet. Maybe I should go with Feetless Shoe Stores."

Guy - "Wouldn't you have the same problem?"

Dude - "Nah - nobody talks about feetless people. It's not even a real word."

Guy - "But it sounds just like footless - people are going to assume."

Dude - "See you are thinking that way because you already have the term footless in your brain - you are connecting the two - but the two really have nothing in common."

Guy - "I don't know - footless, feetless. They sound the same thing."

Dude - "But they aren't. They are totally different. Footless means guys who have no feet. Feetless means guys who have less on their feet."

Guy - "I don't think that's how it works."

Dude - "Look I just made the word feetless up. It can mean whatever I want it to mean!"

Guy - "It doesn't work that way. Footless and feetless even look the same - you put it up on a billboard people driving up are going to see the round e's and assume they are o's"

Dude - "I won't put it on a billboard; who said anything about billboards."

Guy - "And anyway I don't see how this is gong to be a million dollar idea. There's already footlocker and payless and a million shoe stores."

Dude - "This is totally different. I'm going to have a cappuccino machine."

Guy - "Oh - for the customers?"

Dude - "No."

Guy - "Than why would you want a cappuccino machine."

Dude - "Have you ever had a cappuccino? They're delicious. Best coffee in the world."

Guy - "I guess what I'm having a hard time seeing is how you having a cappuccino is going to make this shoe store successful."

Dude - "I'll be happy right. A happy employee is a productive employee."

Guy - "Yeah but you'll be the employer."

Dude - "What?"

Guy - "It'll be your shoe shop right? You'll be running it - as the boss."

Dude - "Well it's probably the same."

Guy - "I don't think so. Nobody ever says a happy employer is a productive employer."

Dude - "I don't see why it wouldn't be the same."

Guy - "The only way it's the same is if the boss is ripping off the company. But everybody is happy ripping off the company. Those guys at Enron were practically ecstatic until they went to jail."

Dude - "Well those guys just got greedy. When I rip off the company I'll be much more discrete than those guys."

Guy - "So you are planning on ripping the shoe store off."

Dude - "Well yeah. But not much. I won't get too greedy."

Guy - "And who's going to own the shoe store again?"

Dude - "I am."

Guy - "Well it is comforting, I suppose, to know that you don't intend to steal that much from yourself. I guess that cappuccino machine really will come in handy."

Dude - (satisfied smile) "Yeah. Wait, why?"

Guy - "Well when you are ripping yourself off you won't want to drive yourself out of business and lose the cappuccino machine."

Dude - "I'm not going to rip myself out."

Guy - "Think it through for a moment."

Dude - "Oh. Well I haven't worked out all the kinks yet. But don't forget about my killer name."

Guy - "Yeah. All the feetless guys in town will come in. You'll corner the market."

Dude - (slumps down on the couch) "Damn. I really wanted a cappuccino machine."
posted by Bryant @ 3:43 PM  
Friday, April 06, 2007
Your Host

That's also a picture of my car.
posted by Bryant @ 12:21 PM  
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Costume Shop Sketch
I'm not entirely confident in this sketch; I don't think I nailed it. But there are some funny lines.

(Back doors in a costume shop. Joe is sitting reading the paper, Mike walks in.)

Joe: (looks up) "Sup?"

Mike: (Walks over to costume rack, and fiddles with it) "Josephine called in sick."

Joe: (looking back at his paper) "That sucks. Wasn't it her night to do the street corner thing?"

Mike: "Yep Looks like we will need a back up."

Joe: (very intently looking at his paper) "Who's doing it?"

Mike: "Take a guess."

Joe: (folding down paper aggressively) "Come on man. I did it Tuesday. I hate wearing a costume."

Mike: "It brings customers. We need customers."

Joe: "Sammy said that somebody threw a beer bottle at her on Saturday."

Mike: "So drunken frat boys are nothing new, and she shouldn't have been out there that late. I told her that it's over when the sun starts going down."

Joe: "Yeah yeah yeah. You also say we gotta stay out there till we get 25 sign ups."

Mike: "So do that before the sun goes down."

Joe: "So what am I wearing?"

Mike: (turns around with a snow white costume (or something else suitably girly)), "Well this is what Josephine was going to wear."

Joe: (I shouldn't have to tell you to put in a reaction beat here) "Oh hell no."

Mike: "It's a big seller. Girls of all ages want to be princesses."

Joe: "You think seeing me in that costume is going to inspire them?"

Mike: "Look we are in the illusion business. The type of people who buy costumes, they are imaginative. A girl sees you in this and she'll imagine herself in it."

Joe: "There's not enough imagination in the world."

Mike: "Sure there is."

Joe: "What about the Gorilla suit?"

Mike: "You hate the Gorilla suit. You are always complaining about how itchy it is."

Joe: "I"d rather be itchy than wear that."

Mike: "You'd rather be an itchy gorilla than a woman? (pause) What's wrong with women?"

Joe: "Nothings wrong with women. Women are great."

Mike: "You just think it would be embarrassing to be one?"

Joe: "I just . . . I wouldn't make a very good one."

Mike: "You think that Sammy looks good in the Wall Street costume?"

Joe: (thinks a moment) "Damn good actually. She's got that whole Dietrich in pinstripes thing going for her."

Mike: "Bad example. What about when Joe wears the gorilla suit."

Joe: "Nobody looks good in a gorilla suit."

Mike: "I don't know. Maybe Trump would look good in one."

Joe: (laughing) "Could only be an improvement in his case. But he's exception that proves the rule."

Mike: "Well Joe dresses up as a cowboy sometimes too. There aren't any girl cowboys."

Joe: "I saw Gunslinger."

Mike: "The exception that proves the rule."

Joe: "Hey I just said that."

Mike: "Nevertheless."

Joe: "Look it's just different. A Lady Cowboy looks sexy. A Guy Princess looks like a dink. That's just the way it is."

Mike: "So? Anyway, like I said, people who buy costumes will imagine themselves in them, not see you."

Joe: "No they won't. The image of a guy in that costume is too overwhelming." (Looking at the costume) "Can I even fit in this?"

Mike: "Sure. It's mad of some super stretchy space age fabric."

Joe: "We sure have a lot of stuff from the space age considering we've never been there."

Mike: "You've been looking at the internet again, haven't you?"

Joe: "There's this guy who says the Moon Landing was faked in an abandoned Orange Warehouse in central Florida. Had pictures of everything?"

Mike: "Pictures eh? What did it look like."

Joe: "Well an orange warehouse. He didn't get inside."

Mike: (shakes head) "Whatever. This is your job today. Get out there and princess it up."

Joe: "Look this isn't going to sell costumes."

Mike: "You'll get eyeballs. Eyeballs are important"

Joe: "I don't want eyeballs when I'm wearing this outfit."

Mike: "Eyeballs are always good. There's no such thing as bad publicity."

Joe: "You got any other cliches you want to spring on me? I guess I'm lucky you aren't ripping off my lines."

Mike: "Look it's true."

Joe: "A penny earned is a penny saved, maybe?"

Mike:"It goes the other way."

Joe: "What a coincidence. I'm going the other way too!"

Mike: "Oh no you're not. You have a job to do Mister."

Joe: "And yet somehow here I go. I guess a stitch in Time really does make nine."

Mike: "What does that that have to do with anything; you're not making any sense."

Joe: (walking out) "And yet you can't teach an old dog new trips."

Mike: "I didn't want to have to do this, but you know we got a camera in here right?"

Joe: (turns around) "What?"

Mike: (folds arms) "Let's just say I don't have any worries about the costume fitting you."

Joe: "Damn. That's just cold."

Mike: "What was that, Princess?"

Joe: (takes the costume) "Not a word."

Mike: "Of course not, beautiful." (Walks out).

Joe: (shakes head). "Damn Video Cameras." (Looks around) "Hey, wait, there aren't any video cameras!" (Exits speedily).
posted by Bryant @ 4:14 PM  
Monday, March 26, 2007
Building Contractors
This is a wierd sketch and one I'm not sure I'm 100% comfortable with. It's got some very funny lines, but I'm not exactly sure who I think I'm making fun of here. Still I love the suggestion that God watches sparrows fall because he's got obsessive-compulsive condition.

Two guys sitting on a girder eating lunch

Luis - "So Frankie you wanna go bowling this Sunday?"

Frankie - "Nah Im going to church."

Luis - "Hey hey hey I never figured you for no church boy."

Frankie - "Well I'm thinking ahead Luis. You seen those pictures of heaven?"

Luis - "Yeah . . . yeah all cloudy and stuff? With harps. I've seen those pictures. At Sunday School I think."

Frankie - "Yeah but you don't see nothing but clouds."

Luis - "So - why you wanna go there?"

Frankie - "Use your head, Luis. Think about how much those people would like a bunch of duplexes. Some of them nice duplexes we did out in Sherman Oaks."

Luis - "I don't know Frankie - people seem to like the clouds."

Frankie - "Geez Luis. People lived in caves for thousands of years - didn't mean they like it."

Luis - "Well they look comfy to me - anyway it's not like you have to worry about rain in heaven. Cause you are on top of the clouds."

Frankie - "And I suppose that's the sort of thing them heaven folks enjoy, having their feet get all wet every time it starts to rain."

Luis - (pause) - "You gotta point there."

Frankie - "That's right so I get up there and start building a bunch of duplexes and the sky's the limit."

Luis (thinking) - "You know sometimes you see pillars there."

Frankie - "Pillars"

Luis - "Like columns - like they have down at the courthouse."

Frankie - "Yeah but they aren't holding anything up are they?"

Luis - "I don't know. I don't think so."

Frankie - "That's what you call a triumph of form over function."

Luis - "What?"

Frankie - "It means it looks good but isn't good for anything - it doesn't do anything."

Luis - "Ah. Like Ramone."

Frankie - (laughing) "Yeah. Just like Ramone. But Ramone being useless is Ramone's fault. Them columns is God's fault."

Luis - "Ah you shouldn't be talking about God that way if you want to go to heaven."

Frankie - "I'm straight with people Frankie. I'm gonna be straight with God."

Luis - "Yeah, but you aren't trying to get into heaven with most people."

Frankie - "Hell you think God isn't used to people brown nosing him all day? He's probably sick of it. He'd probably prefer people to be honest with him. Give him some constructive criticism."

Luis - "I don't know if God is really all that into being criticized."

Frankie - "What?"

Luis - "Anyway, what if he don't like this - I mean what if he likes the clouds?"

Frankie - "Oh I'm sure we can work something out. God's very busy making butterflies flap their wings and watching sparrows fall."

Luis - "Watching Sparrows fall?"

Frankie - "Yeah every time a sparrow falls, Gods gotta watch it. It's like he has obsessive compulsive disease."

Luis - "Oh like Joey's kid."

Frankie - "Yeah - but there's a lot of damn sparrows out there - so that keeps him pretty busy I bet. That's why he hasn't remembered he invented the two by four and could build something better than clouds. So I'll remind him."

Luis - "Maybe he won't like being reminded."

Frankie - "You kidding - he'll probably be grateful. He might even make me, like, associate God or something."

Luis - "Associate God Frankie?"

Frankie - "I can very regal when I want to be."

Luis - "Yeah. I guess you got all the angles worked."

Frankie - "Hey you gotta be smart in this business."

Luis - "So you are going to Church to get to heaven so you can make money up there?""

Frankie - "Yep. Well I don't know if they have money up there."

Luis - "Well maybe you could tell God about that too, while you are reminding him about the two by four."

Frankie - "I don't know. I think God knows about money."

Luis - "Yeah?"

Frankie -"Well the Pastor was talking about how Jesus got pissed at the money changers in the temple. I'll bet when he went up to heaven he told God all about money."

Luis - "Tough break for you."

Frankie - "Yeah, particularly since Jesus seemed like he was kind of down on money. Still he did let a tax collector in as one of his disciples."

Luis - "Really?"

Frankie - "Yeah the tax guy was in his office taking money, Jesus walked up and said to follow him and the tax man just went."

Luis - "Maybe he had a tough costumer? When I worked at the DMV last winter, there were times when if the devil himself had walked in I would have gone with him. Stupid customers."

Frankie - "Bite your tongue Frankie. You never know when the Devil might take you up on that. Anyway we gotta get back to work."

Luis - "Come on Frankie, ten more minutes."

Frankie - (Shakes his head) "Nah, now that I'm trying to get on God's good side, I gotta be a stickler! The pastor said that God don't like slackers." (Frankie walks off).

Luis (thinks a moment) "Eh. God's probably watching sparrows anyway."
posted by Bryant @ 4:45 PM  
Thursday, December 07, 2006
This was a fun one to write for the most part, and like the Lemur Sketch, it's very Monty Python like in my head. In particular I picture the first Teller as being a lot like that British Girl in those gum commercials - unflappable. There is an old timey sensibility to the whole thing I guess with the female bank tellers and stereotypical bank president. The kernel of this sketch (the idea of a reverse Bank Robber, was suggested by Mike a friend of mine and a very funny fellow. He could play the robber quite well. Enjoy.

(A Bank Scene; two tellers, a bank president behind his desk, sleeping security guard and two customers, and the robber in line - he's wearing a trench coat).

Teller - "And 5 makes 25. Have a nice day Ms. Applegate." (The customer turns around and walks out.) "Next please"

Robber - (steps forward, and leans in) "I'm carrying a gun. I have some money I want to give you."

Teller - (confused) "Is this a robbery?"

Robber - "Call it whatever you like. I have a gun that says your taking this money see." (Puts a bag of money on the counter.)

Teller - "This is very irregular."

Robber - "Well Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson say that you'd better make it regular."

Teller - "Smith and Wesson? Do they still make guns?"

Robber - (pulls gun out of his pocket) "Look right here on the barrel."

Teller - "Well I'll be damned. You learn something everyday I guess."

Teller 2 - "A gun. He has a gun."

Teller - "It's alright Millie - he was just showing me the markings on his firearm. Did you know that Smith and Wesson still make guns?"

Teller 2 - "Do tell. Can I see?"

Robber (holds up the gun) - "Now are you going to take my money or do I have to get rough?"

Teller - "Well do you have a deposit slip?"

Robber - "Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson say I don't need a ransom slip."

Teller - "You already used that one."

Robber - "What?"

Teller - "You can't use the same threat twice - it loses it's meaning."

Robber - "That's . . . that's just an old wives tale."

Teller - "No it's true. You need another threat. Something like" (mimes being a robber) "Give me some money or I'll give you a bullet."

Teller 2 - "No that wouldn't fit - because he's saying he doesn't need a deposit slip. Maybe something like I don't need no stinking Deposit slip." (Slips into silly Mexican accent for last bit).

Teller - "Oh I like that one. That's from a film I think."

Teller 2 - "Probably. How about that Mr. Robber man?"

Robber - "Yeah that works. I don't need no stinking deposit slip."

Teller - "Well without a deposit slip I don't know which account to put it in."

Robber - "I don't got no account. I just want you to take my stinking money."

Teller - "Careful there. No repetition. But sir, without an account how will know to give you your money back?"

Robber - "I have a very memorable face."

Teller - "Oh I'm sure you do. That's quite a bonus in the robbery line isn't it?"

Robber - (thinking a moment) "It helps to have an edge."

Teller - "At any rate, sir, we see hundreds of people each day. You face might be very memorable, but I don't want you to take the chance that we could forget."

Robber - "I don't want an account. I'm like a ninja - I don't want to leave any trace of my existence."

Teller - (sighs) "Yes you are exactly like a ninja who attacks in broad daylight with no mask on. I'm afraid I'll have to get my manager to handle your case sir. One second." (Turns and walks back to the managers desk they confer a moment. He stands up and comes to the counter).

Manager - "So what seems to be the problem, Mr. Robertson?"

Robber - "My names not Robertson."

Manager - (to Teller) "You said his name was Robertson."

Teller - "No I said he was a Robber man, or that's what Millie was calling him"

Manager - (back to Robber) "Robberman, eh? That's a Dutch name unless I miss my guess. I have quite a knack for languages. At any rate, Ms. Coalfield is right. It's our policy not to hold money except in our accounts."

Robber - "Well Mr. Smith and Mr. Wesson say you'd better change that policy."

Teller 2 - "Hey!"

Teller - "No it's ok Millie. Because he's using it on a new person."

Teller 2 - "But we can still hear it."

Teller - "Yes but we aren't the targets of his intimidation attempt. Mr. Brownfield is."

Teller 2 - "I still think it's lazy."

Robber - "Well it's very hard coming up with new material."

Teller 2 - "You should have been working on this before you came in here. Have some stuff worked up."

Manager - "Excuse me. Are you threatening us."

Robber - "Yes. I have a gun."

Teller - "He does Mr. Brownfield. He showed it to Millie and me before."

Manager - "And you want to give us money?"

Robber - "Yes. This sack of money. Take it!"

Manager - (confused) "Will you want it back later?"

Robber - "Maybe. Maybe not. Chew on that Mr. Brownfield."

Manager - "OK. Well I think we can take your money."

Teller - "But how will we deposit it on our system."

Manager - "Use account number 4122933."

Teller - "Mr. Brownfield. Are you sure you want us to use that account."

Manager - "Yes I think so. That way we have it our records and Mr. Robberman can get it whenever he wants."

Teller - "But that's your account."

Manager - "Well that way I can keep an eye on it"

Teller - "Oh yes. Good thinking sir."

Manager - "I thought you would understand."

Robber - "What? Are you gonna take my money or am I going to have to get physical."

Teller - "There's no call for that Mr. Robberman we are certainly intimidated enough - we are going to take your money, and we aren't even going to give you a deposit slip."

Robber - "You'd better not." (Pushes bag of money across counter) "Now I'll just be on my way, and don't try following me." (Backs out sneakily then runs away).

Teller - (opens the bag, laughs) "There might be less paperwork than I thought there would be." (Dumping bag out on the counter - it's monopoly money).

Manager - "Son of a . . ."

Teller - "Sir! This is a family sketch!"

Manager - "Oh . . . yeah. Throw that . . . money in the vault, and we'll forget the whole thing ever happened." (walks back to desk and puts his head down, Teller 1 picks up the money laughing to herself )
posted by Bryant @ 12:48 PM  

This website does three things

1. I will on a weekly or bi-weekly basis present comedic sketches I have written. Your mileage may vary.

2. I will also be cooking and reporting on recipes I make from the many cookbooks I have. I will be starting with a book of appetizer recipes and moving up from that. I will be reporting here rather than cooking.

3. I also think I will write the occasional feature on comedy or on things I find funny.

If I can I will also provide a weekend radio station of sorts. We'll have to see how that goes.

The title of this blog comes from a song by Simple Minds called "70 Cities as Love Brings the Fall." It is off of an album called Sons and Fascination. Ironically Sons and Fascination was doubled packed with an album called Sister Feelings Call, and I thought, making this site, that the song was from that album. I was, as it turns out, mistaken. The color scheme for this website is taken from Sister Feelings Call, though, and since I think it's a better scheme I don't plan on changing it.

About Me

Name: Bryant
Home: Nowhereville, Denial, United States
About Me: Ask me no questions, I'll tell you no lies. Well that's not strictly true.
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There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot. - Steven Wright

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