Emergency Call for Comedy Script Worksheet|
The following appeal went out to comedy writers the week before New Year's Eve.
(Please note that submissions are no longer being accepted for this activity.
Selected Scripts Page 1 -
Selected Scripts Page 2
1. CONSTRUCT A FAKE GUEST LIST
Actor Tim Russell, in his Don Pardo voice, reels off a list of notables, living and dead, whose names fit by rhyming or repetition or rhythmically.
GK: credits.....who else is on our show, Tim? TR: Anne Rice, Rise Stevens, Mother Teresa, The Mommas & Poppas, Momma Mia, Mia Farrow, Clarence Darrow, Clarence Thomas, Tom & Jerry, Jerry Rubin, Rueben James, James Brown, John Brown, John Sununu, Sonny Bono, Boney Maroney, Joni Mitchell, Minnie Minoso, Maria Montessori, Isamu Noguchi, Bob Cousy, Big Bill Broonzy, Buffalo Bob, Buffalo Bill, Bill Black, Black Bart, Dick Clark, Clint Black, Black & Decker, Black Beauty, Moody Blues, Matthew Brady, Katie Couric, Currier & Ives, Ivy Austin, Ozzie & Harriet, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Stuart Little, Little Richard, Richard Allison, Alison Janney, Jenny Jenny, Johnny B. Goode, Good Golly Miss Molly, Molly Bee, Bea Arthur, Arthur Dimmesdale, Denzel Washington, Eugene Oregon, Eugene O'Neill, E.L. Doctorow, Doctor Ruth, Doctor John, John Wesley, Leslie Stahl, Stella Stevens, Marcia Ball, Bill Murray, Mary Richards, Richard Dent, Kent Hrbek, Herbie Mann, Man Ray, Fay Wray, Ray Stevens, Steve Martin, Martin Mull, Moon Mullins, Molly Ivins, Vince Giordano, Don Williams, William McKinley, McKinley Morganfield, Morgan Fairchild, Childe Harold; Harold Wilson, Wilson Pickett, Kirby Puckett, Bucky Dent, Dennis Quaid, Quincy Jones, Joan Jett, Jethro Tull, Mel Tillis, Meg Tilly, Billy Strayhorn, Lena Horne, Marilyn Horne, Nathanael Hawthorne, Rip Torn, Lorna Doone, Tommy Tune, Tina Turner, Ted Turner, Tiny Tim, and me Tim Russell. GK: Sounds like a good show.
2. COMPOSE A MOURNFUL OATMEAL JINGLE
This is to be sung as a Gregorian chant.
GK, RD: (GREGORIAN CHANT):
Mournful Oatmeal is the cereal that works from within to bring out your innate powers of modesty
You eat it and you realize you're not as smart as your mother told people you were You can learn to say smart things and have a certificate on the wall that says you're smart but down deep inside where the oatmeal is you know that all those tests you took to get that certificate, you could never pass them today, not in your wildest dreams.
Mournful Oatmeal. No matter where you go, there you are.
3. WRITE THE TRANSLATION FOR A CAFE BOEUF FRENCH GIBBERISH SCRIPT
Maurice spouts off in French, GK translates. You supply GK’s translation.
Our show is brought to you by the Cafe Boeuf with Maurice the maitre'd your host. (FRENCH GIBBERISH) There is nothing that ruins a good meal quite like sitting next to loud people who are doing business. (GIBBERISH ENDING IN "LIMOUSINES") People who ride in limousines. (GIBBERISH) People who have way too much money. (GIBBERISH ENDING IN "EASTHAMPTON") People who spend their weekends at a community near here. (GIBBERISH ENDING WITH "CAFE BOEUF") Not at the Cafe Boeuf. (NON NON NON NON NON NON NON NON) No, no, no, no, no. (GIBBERISH ENDING IN "RESERVATION") And that is why you must make a reservation. (GIBBERISH) So we can run a Zip Code check on you. (GIBBERISH) The ruin of a good restaurant (GIBBERISH) is a clientele with way too much money. (GIBBERISH ENDING IN "LE CIRQUE") Let them go in circles. (GIBBERISH) They will never get in our front door. (GIBBERISH) The Cafe Boeuf.....faded elegance for those who can appreciate it.
4. DESCRIBE A NEW USE FOR DUCT TAPE
5. SCRIPT A BEEBOPAREEBOP RHUBARB PIE SITUATION
The pie that takes the taste of humiliation (or desperation, or failure) out of your mouth, so of course the point of the script is to get yourself into deep trouble, using quick sound effects --- a tiny epic of life going smoothly and then suddenly unraveling, and at the ultimate moment of horror and embarrassment, we cut to the commercial.
(MUSIC)You come to New York (TRAFFIC) and you get used to the pace, (TRAFFIC HORNS) the aggressive tone (TR: HEY, YOU SHOPPING OR YOU JUST STANDING THERE?), you learn how to get around (ANGRY HORNS) and how to endure the humiliations (BRONX CHEER) and the fierce winters (WIND) when the avenues turn into wind tunnels and the enervating summers (TK GASPING) when the city disappears into a cloud of warm car exhaust and gradually over the years your fortunes improve and (LIGHT SOPHISTICATED PARTY CHATTER, CLINK OF GLASSES) you find an immense 16-room apartment that, thanks to rent control, costs you $500 a month (TR: Beautiful!) and you find a producer who loves your work (KB: It's fantastic!) and an investment adviser who triples your net worth (TR: Hey, it's my job---) and you find a beautiful woman who adores you (KB: There is nobody....nobody like you, my darling) and not only that but you also find a reliable plumber (TR: Be there in fifteen minutes) --- everything is starting to go your way and right about that time (TK: I donno----) is when the city starts to get to you (TK: I need to get away---) and you decide to look for a weekend house in the country and you get in your car (CAR PULLS AWAY) and head out to the green countryside (CRICKETS UNDER), out through the rolling hills and the green woods --- (TK DEEP INHALATION) and you find a little town full of friendly people (TR AND KB FRIENDLY GIBBERISH) and just outside of town you see a For Sale sign (TK: Hey! BRAKES) and you go up to the farmhouse (FOOTSTEPS IN GRAVEL) and there's a kindly old lady (KB: Hello, dear. How about a warm corn muffin and some of my boysenberry preserve?) and she shows you around the place (KB: This way, dear. Watch out for those cow droppings. FOOTSTEPS IN GRAVEL) and it's perfect---- (CHICKENS) so peaceful....a farm....(SHEEP)...just like that model farm you got for Christmas when you were a little kid (PIG)....with a silo and windmill and a barn (COWS) and a faithful collie dog (DOG) and a demented farmhand (TR DEMENTED OLDSTER) who stands there holding his pitchfork and breathing through his mouth and then you hear (FOUR HISSES) your tires go flat, punctured, (TR DEMENTIA) and the collie dog (SNARL) is looking at you with tiny red eyes revolving and spit dripping and the farmhand comes toward you (TR: Hear me now --- if you're walking with the Lord and faithful to Him, then this snake ain't a gonna bite you, mister. SNAKE RATTLE) and the old lady is holding a deer rifle (KB: I know your type, think you're better'n anybody else. CLICK OF HAMMER), and suddenly (PHONE RING, HIGH-PITCHED) your car phone rings and (PICKUP) you pick it up and it's your plumber (TR: Hey, I tried to get in your apartment but the door wouldn't open because there seems to be a lot of water backed up behind it. What's goin on? )(SHORTNIN BREAD MUSIC) It's at times like that, you want Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie. Yes, nothing gets the taste of desperation out of your mouth like Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.
But one little thing can revive a guy,
And that is home-made rhubarb pie.
Serve it up, nice and hot.
Maybe things aren't as bad as you thought.
Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,
Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.
Mama's little baby loves rhubarb, rhubarb,
Beebopareebop Rhubarb Pie.
6. SUBMIT YOUR RESOLUTION FOR 1996
A dumb thing you did this year you will not repeat. A higher standard to which you intend to call yourself. A small improvement you will make in yourself. A large improvement. A new you.
HAVE FUN. THANKS FOR YOUR EFFORTS. DEADLINE IS SATURDAY MIDNIGHT. AND ON BEHALF OF THE OLD GUYS AT THE UNDERWOODS, THANKS! --GARRISON KEILLOR
Lovingly selected from the earliest archives of A Prairie Home Companion, this heirloom collection represents the music from earliest years of the now legendary show: 1974–1976. With songs and tunes from jazz pianist Butch Thompson, mandolin maestro Peter Ostroushko, Dakota Dave Hull and the first house band, The Powdermilk Biscuit Band (Adam Granger, Bob Douglas and Mary DuShane).