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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Monday (10/4/10) 8:47am - ... wherein Peter posts the script for the Starboat 24-hour sketch show.

This past Saturday, I was part of a sketch-comedy group that wrote and produced a half-hour[1] sketch show at Coldtowne Theater, as part of their 24-hour Sketch Brawl.

On Friday night, they gave us four writing prompts (basically to ensure that we weren't using pre-written mateial):
Theme:  fear
Satirical Topic:  activism
Prop:  mac & cheese
Quote:  "The angels come to visit us and we only know them when they are gone."

Then at 11:30pm-ish, we put on our show.  I've posted the script below.  We got the show on video, so maybe that will wind up online eventually, too.

__________
[1] ... more like twenty minutes, it turned out.


=====================

               GOD'S DECREE
                           
               [TECH:  BEGIN WITH LIGHTS DOWN.]

                                   NARRATOR
                         We bring you, dear audience, to the
                         fields of heaven, where the angels
                         mill about, with little notion that
                         this is no ordinary day.
               [TECH:  LIGHTS UP.]

               Angels mill about.  Jeff sits off to the side.

               God (Paul) never appears; speaks as voiceover.

                                   GOD
                         Angels?  Angels?

                                   CEEJ
                         Jeff.  Hey Jeff!

               Jeff looks up.

                                   GOD
                         I need to send you on a mission.

               Angels respond happily.

                                   PETER
                         Do we get to adjust Planck's
                         Constant?

                                   JEFF
                         Can we color some nebulas?

               Ceej crosses his fingers.

                                   CEEJ
                         Meteor shower.  Meteor shower.
                         Meteor shower.

                                   ASHLEY
                         Space kittens!

                                   GOD
                         You're going down to Earth.

               Everyone moans.

                                   GOD
                         To convince the humans --

               Everyone moans louder.

                                   GOD
                         That they've got to make peace on
                         Earth.

               Everyone moans louder.

                                   GOD
                         And goodwill to men.

                                   PETER
                             (sotto voce)
                         Motherfuckers.

                                   GOD
                         SO I HAVE SPOKEN.

               Long pause.

                                   ASHLEY
                         They kill kittens down there.

               Everyone ad libs complaints for a while.

                                   GOD
                         Oh yeah, two other things.

               Everyone moans.

                                   GOD
                         First:  this really should be no
                         big whoop.

               Everyone mutters complaints.

                                   GOD
                         So... secondly, this doesn't work,
                         I'm really gonna have to move
                         forward with... the Apocalypse this
                         time.

                                   ASHLEY
                         Yay!

                                   CEEJ
                         No.  Bad thing.

                                   GOD
                         SO I HAVE SPOKEN.  PERIOD.

                                   CEEJ
                         We'd better make an effort this
                         time.  Don't want an Apocalypse.

                                   ASHLEY
                         Apocalypse!  Like a party with fire
                         dancing!

                                   CEEJ
                         It's people on fire.  They're not
                         dancing --

                                   ASHLEY
                         C'mon guys.  What could possibly go
                         wrong?

=====================

               FOX NEWS FEAR ROOM

                                   CEEJ
                         "The angels come to visit us and we
                         only know them when they are gone." 
                         George Eliot was French when she
                         wrote that.  And the French are
                         Socialists.  And that's Communism
                         my friends.  So are we to look to
                         Godless Communism for wisdom on the
                         better angels of our nature.
                             (turns)
                         Abraham Lincoln said that.
                             (beat)
                         Joining us today on Fox News Fear
                         Room is an angel sent down from
                         heaven to...to do what exactly?

                                   ASHLEY
                         Well, to bring peace on earth. 
                         He's actually sending all of us
                         down.  This is god's final--

                                   CEEJ
                         Look, I know my bible.  And the
                         only angel ever sent down to earth
                         by God was Satan.  You all must be
                         an army of devils.

                                   ASHLEY
                         Now, hold on--

                                   CEEJ
                         Just like George Eliot, Marie
                         Antoinette was French...and she
                         said, "Let them eat cake."  Well,
                         sir, I am an American and I've
                         earned my cake.

                                   ASHLEY
                         This doesn't have anything to with
                         nationalities--

                                   CEEJ
                         I don't see Jesus.  I don't see
                         God.  Sounds more like God and
                         Jesus DON'T want you around.
                         And that scares me, my good man.

                                   ASHLEY
                         Why does God have to be here to
                         prove we're his angels?  Look at
                         us.  We got halos and wings and--

                                   CEEJ
                         --And Hitler had a mustache.

               Ashley continues to mouth words, but her mic is cut off.

                                   CEEJ
                         Look folks, the final word in the
                         Fox News Fear Room is this: there
                         are angels among us. Nobody's
                         arguing that.  But what is their
                         true purpose?  Doesn't it make
                         sense that a God who loves us would
                         tell us that he's sending his
                         angels down from Heaven to help us. 
                         I don't see a burning bush.  No
                         seas have parted.  This is the work
                         of Satan my friends.  And it is the
                         duty of all us good Christian
                         soldiers to destroy every last
                         angel on earth.  Coming up next on
                         FOX -- the five ethnic groups that
                         are secretly helping the angels
                         undermine America.

=====================

               FUCKIN' MAC AND CHEESE

               Jeff sits on a bench.

               Peter wanders around the room.

                                   PETER
                         So that was the whole thing -- a
                         real-live angel, on the news.  I
                         mean it wasn't any PETERny Fox, but
                         it was alright.

               Jeff makes agreeable noises.

                                   PETER
                         I mean, I wouldn't watch it
                         religiously -- ha! -- but it's nice
                         to see something breaking on that
                         network, and -- hey, we've got some
                         extra mac and cheese.  Do you want
                         some?

               At the mention of "mac and cheese", Jeff's smile slowly
               changes to a combination of fury and disgust.

               Peter continues talking away about Fox news (ad lib).

               Peter leaves the stage, still talking (and still audible).

               Jeff very deliberately drums his fingers on the bench.

               Peter returns -- not noticing Jeff's mood -- and puts a bowl
               of mac and cheese in front of Jeff.

               Jeff almost bangs his fist on the bench, but stops himself at
               the last minute.

               Peter keeps talking, wandering around the room.

                                   PETER
                         Oh wow -- 6pm.  Got a lab to get
                         to.  Bye Jeff!

               Peter exits as Jeff stands up, quaking with rage.

                                   JEFF
                         Fuckin' mac and cheese!

=====================

               MAC AND CHEESE COMMERCIAL

               [TECH:  LIGHTS DOWN]

               [TECH:  PLAY THE COMMERCIAL ON THE DVD PROVIDED.]

               [TECH:  LIGHTS UP]

=====================

               BUSINESS SANDWICH

               Jeff gives a business presentation to various seated
               underlings (Peter, Ashley, Ceej, Paul).

                                   JEFF
                         << ad libbed speech about
                         profitability >>

               Ashley enters and hands Jeff a sandwich.

                                   JEFF
                         << continues ad libbed speech >>

               Jeff notices the sandwich is really good.

                                   JEFF
                         Bottom line is, we've got goals for
                         the third quarter.

               Jeff looks at the sandwich.

                                   JEFF
                         If these goals could be as good as
                         this sandwich.  Somebody taste this
                         sandwich.

                                   UNDERLING #1
                         What?

               Jeff waves the sandwich in the face of one of his underlings.

                                   JEFF
                         Here!  Here!  Taste our third
                         quarter earnings!

                                   UNDERLING #2
                         I just don't get how it's a
                         sandwich.

                                   JEFF
                         It's simple:  our earnings should
                         be as good as this sandwich!

                                   UNDERLING #1
                         I'm an MBA, I didn't go to culinary
                         school!

                                   JEFF
                         No, I'm talking about how fucking
                         good this sandwich is.

               At this point, Jeff is practically forcing the sandwich down
               people's throats.

                                   UNDERLING #2
                         Are the pimentos a metaphor for our
                         Milwaukee office?

                                   JEFF
                         No, Harvard, it's not a metaphor.

                                   UNDERLING #1
                         I actually brought a sandwich of my
                         own for lunch; should I go and get
                         it.

                                   JEFF
                         What the fuck?  No!

                                   UNDERLING #2
                         Should we sell sandwiches?!

               Jeff smacks the underling, hard.

                                   JEFF
                         Jesus Christ!

                                   UNDERLING #1
                         I'm getting out of here!

               The underlings skeedaddle.

               Jeff sits down and devours the last of the sandwich.

                                   JEFF
                         Mmmm!  Mmmm!  Mmmm!  Mmmm!

=====================

               ACTIVISTS OR ZOMBIES?

               [TECH:  LIGHTS DOWN]

               [TECH:  MAKE SURE THE MICS, IF AVAILABLE, ARE ON]

                                   CEEJ
                         For more information we go to our
                         FOX reporter in the field, Peter
                         Rogers.  Peter, what do you see?

               [TECH:  PLAY "PROTEST" AUDIO (ON PROVIDED CD)]

                                   PETER
                         Mike, I'm looking at several
                         hundred people who have gathered
                         together here in Washington D. C.
                         to make their pro-angels message
                         heard.

                                   CEEJ
                         This is an angel rally?

                                   PETER
                         Yes, Mike.
                             (beat)
                         It's either that, or the first
                         major manifestation of a zombie
                         outbreak.  Details are not 100%
                         certain as of yet.  They are either
                         marching or lurching down
                         Pennsylvania Avenue, and they are
                         shouting things that could be short
                         pithy slogans, or could just be the
                         single word "Brains", moaned
                         repeatedly.

                                   CEEJ
                         So it's an angel rally, or --

                                   PETER
                         -- or a zombie attack.  We can't be
                         sure.  I can tell you definitively
                         that these activists are carrying
                         protest signs.
                             (beat)
                         Or, they are crude battering
                         weapons, designed to crush our
                         skulls, exposing our tasty,
                         delicious brains.  Again, we just
                         can't know.

                                   CEEJ
                         That sounds terrifying --

                                   PETER
                         Terrifying or mildly interesting,
                         Mike.  I can tell you that as they
                         walk or shuffle past, the air
                         redolent of patchouli or perhaps
                         rotting flesh, other citizens are
                         joining their cause.  Whether that
                         cause is the defense of angels as
                         forces for good, or the ceaseless
                         hunger to feed on the living, is
                         not known to me at this time.

                                   CEEJ
                         Well, sounds --

                                   PETER
                         Hold on!  Hold on Ceej.  There's
                         been a confrontation with police
                         officers!

                                   CEEJ
                         Oh my.

                                   PETER
                         Yes, they're -- there's been some
                         altercation at the front of the
                         formation, and police are
                         dispersing the crowd with rubber
                         bullets.
                             (beat)
                         Or, of course, they're desperately
                         unloading live ammunition into the
                         oncoming horde, but foolishly
                         failing to destroy the brain or
                         remove the head.  One of those is
                         definitely happening.

                                   CEEJ
                         Where are you now, Peter?

                                   PETER
                         I am currently hiding, Mike,
                         because I am terrified, as any
                         sensible human being would be.

                                   CEEJ
                         Any advice for our viewers?

                                   PETER
                         Yes, Ceej:  this is a time to
                         consider how we can peacefully but
                         forcefully make ourselves heard in
                         representative government.

                                   CEEJ
                         Wise words.  That was Peter --

                                   PETER
                         Or, we should take this as a clear
                         sign that we should lay hands on
                         our most powerful firearms and take
                         to the streets en masse.  Shoot on
                         sight, Ceej, because you can't be
                         too careful.

                                   CEEJ
                         Peter Rogers, in Washington D. C. 
                         And next up:  activists?  Who's
                         going to volunteer to keep them
                         from ruining America?

               [TECH:  LIGHTS UP]

=====================

               HOW DO YOU KILL AN ANGEL?

               Peter, Ceej, Ashley, and Jeff sit in the living room. 
               General boredom, though Peter seems a bit perturbed.

                                   CEEJ
                         I wonder if Mac and Cheese really
                         could survive Armageddon.

               Beat.

                                   ASHLEY
                         I guess that old fallout shelter
                         would come in handy.

               Beat.

                                   PETER
                         Fuck this!  We're fighting back!  I
                         want to know how to kill an angel!

               This energizes the room.

                                   ASHLEY
                         Yeah!

                                   CEEJ
                         Hell yeah!

               In this sketch, Jeff speaks with an Indian accent.

                                   JEFF
                         Fuck to the yes.

                                   PETER
                         They're inflitrating!  They're
                         coming!  How are we gonna defend
                         ourselves?

                                   CEEJ
                         Guns!

                                   PETER
                         Guns don't do anything.  They'd
                         just stop the bullets, like Hugo
                         Weaving in The Matrix.

                                   JEFF
                         And then the angel would laugh at
                         you, and then rape your dog.

                                   ASHLEY
                         Mr. Collie-Pants?

                                   JEFF
                         The angel would not even care that
                         Mr. Collie-Pants was not human.

                                   CEEJ
                         Okay, what about a knife?

                                   PETER
                         Nooooo...

                                   JEFF
                         The angel would then seize your
                         knife hand and then use it to force
                         the knife repeatedly into your own
                         ball-sack, while asking you, "Why
                         do you stab yourself?  Why do you
                         stab yourself in the scrotal area?"

                                   PETER
                         We've gotta think bigger.

                                   CEEJ
                         Wooden stake!

                                   PETER
                         Vampires.

                                   ASHLEY
                         Okay, what abou--

                                   PETER
                         Wolfman.

                                   ASHLEY
                         How did you even --

                                   CEEJ
                         Okay, we trick him into saying his
                         own name backwards.

               Beat.

               Ashley checks something on a laptop computer.

                                   JEFF
                         I believe that is how you banish
                         Mr. Miks-yez-pit-lik into his home
                         dimension in the DC Comics
                         universe.

                                   CEEJ
                         That doesn't mean it wouldn't work!

                                   ASHLEY
                         Guys, I've got a web page called
                         "To Kill an Angel."

                                   PETER
                         Perfect!

                                   ASHLEY
                         We have to locate an autistic child
                         named "Skip" before trained ninja
                         assassins can --

                                   JEFF
                         That is a Charlie's Angels episode.

                                   ASHLEY
                         Dammit!

               Ceej sees something downstage.

                                   CEEJ
                         Wait on the TV -- that's...

               Peter leaves the stage and grabs a guitar.

                                   ASHLEY
                         It's Johnny Fox!

                                   JEFF
                         Fox's favorite folk singer for six
                         years running!

               Peter comes onstage with a guitar.

=====================

               SONG:  HERE'S HOW YOU KILL AN ANGEL!

               [TECH:  LIGHTING CHANGE, IF POSSIBLE]

                                   PETER
                         How do you kill an angel?
                         How do you make an angel die?
                         How do you kill an angel?
                         'cos the time for killing angels  
                           is coming nigh.
                         Do you drop them in a piranha pond?
                         Or a gunshot wound straight
                           to the head?
                         Do you squirt some acid in
                           their face?
                         No none of those will
                           leave them dead!
                         How do you kill an angel?
                         How do you make an angel die?
                         How do you kill an angel?
                         'cos the time for killing angels  
                           is coming nigh.
                         You burn their lungs
                           so they can't sing
                         You burn their wings
                           so they can't fly
                         You douse them up with kerosene
                         You light a match and
                           watch them fry
                         When do you kill an angel?
                         When do you make an angel die?
                         When do you kill an angel?
                         Don't you even bother asking why.
                         When you see them float down
                           from the stars.
                         When you see them land
                           upon the ground.
                         When you see them walking
                           through the grass. 
                         That's when you burn
                           those bastards down!
                         That's how you kill an angel.
                         That's how you make an angel die.
                         That's how you kill an angel.
                         Watch all the flames,
                           they're burning high!

=====================

               MASS ANGEL GENOCIDE

               During the song, four angels (Jeff, Ceej, Paul) enter.

               They wear orange and red streamers.

               They mime being immolated in slow motion.

               The song ends, and Peter continues playing chords.

                                   JEFF
                         I just wanted to paint a nebula!

                                   CEEJ
                         I just wanted to make a meteor
                         shower!

                                   PAUL
                         I just wanted a businessman to have
                         a delicious sandwich!

               Immolation continues.

               Ashley enters.

                                   ASHLEY
                         Hey!  It's a fire-dance party!

                                   CEEJ
                         No!  We're burning!

               She runs offstage, grabs a boombox, comes back on stage, hits
               "Play."

               "Everybody Dance Now" plays.

               Ashley dances around.

               The other angels continue burning.

               [TECH:  SLOW FADE DOWN ON THE LIGHTS.]

               END OF SHOW

=====================

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