(A well dressed office man is seated at a desk at the extreme right of the stage. Quickly the lights come up and the man instantly YELLS-)

Man: NEXT!!! (from the extreme left of the stage BOB enters, walks across the stage and sits in a chair before the desk) WELL?!?! What’s your name?!?

Bob: Bob.

Man: Make it Ray and you’ve got the job.

Bob: Really?

Man: No. I was kidding. I don’t even know which job you’re applying for anyway.

Bob: Oh. I’m, a comedy writer.

Man: Yeah? Are you good?

Bob: Well… I have an extensive resume.

Man: SO!?? I’m not interested in a resume. In comedy, experience doesn’t mean quality. My brother has done stand up comedy in hundreds of bars but nobody thinks he’s funny. The only thing that means comedy IS comedy. You’re stuff has to be able to make me fall off my chair laughing. Will it?

Bob: That all depends on the armrests.

Man: WHAT?!?

Bob: The armrests…on your chair. It would be much easier for you to fall off a stool than the chair you’re on now.

Man: I’m not laughing.

Bob: Right. Well, how can I prove to you that I am the best for the job? I have a number of scripts here if you’d like to read-

Man: No. Humour on paper is flat. It often looks funnier on paper than it actually is when it’s performed LIVE! I’d say you should come back here with some LIVE comedy routines and we’ll talk. That is all Ray. Good day.

Bob: Bob

Man: Right. Change that would you?

Bob: (removing a box from his brief case) I have a video tape here of some of my work.

Man: Listen. Don’t you understand? I want LIVE! Did I mention video tapes once? Video tapes are lousy! You probable got your local cable company to do a demo for you. That is not exactly HIGH QUALITY. It’s definitely not going to impress me.  It has to be LIVE or nothing. Thank you Bob. I have no more time for you.  NEXT!!!

Bob: Wait! I didn’t want to do this… but… well… you don’t really leave me any choice.

Man: What are you talking about?

Bob: I’m desperate. You want it LIVE. I’ll deliver. I have a cast of twenty waiting outside in your hall, ready to perform. Can I let them in?

Man: (Shocked and confused) WHAT!?!?

Bob: They all know their lines and are willing to run through my entire script. We’ve rehearsed all month.

Man: Wait a minute. Let me get this straight. You’re telling me you have an entire cast-

Bob: And crew.

Man: -and crew outside that door waiting to perform your material LIVE to me, just so you can land this job?

Bob: That sums it up rather well. Can I let them in now?

Man: HERE?!? How many did you say there were?

Bob: About twenty cast, and another 10 crew members, and then there is the audience.

Man: AUDIENCE?!

Bob: Well of course. What did you expect. It was either that or canned laughter. You want some live response don’t you. I’m sure you would not have been satisfied with anything less than a complete studio audience.

Man: Yes but.

Bob: I thought you’d be pleased. It adds to the excitement of LIVE comedy.

Man: I suppose. How many are in the audience?

Bob: About 280. (or whatever size the theatre is)

Man: WHAT?!?! What do you think this office is? A STAGE?!?! How am I going to fit two hundred plus people in here?!?!

Bob: Don’t worry. I’ve arranged for that too. I had a work crew install the chairs last night. I’m quite surprised you didn’t notice them yourself. (Points to the audience)

Man: (looks) OH MY GOD !!!! How long have they been there?

Bob: Only a few minutes. And don’t worry about the mess. I wouldn’t let them bring any food inside. I’ll clean everything up and take out the chairs when I get the job.

Man: And if you don’t get the job?

Bob: Then you’ve got 280 chairs to unscrew and a bunch of programs to clean up.

Man: Programs?!?

Bob: You surprise me. Do you mean to say you didn’t expect programs. What kind of a show would it be without that? Here’s yours. (hands it to him)

Man: Hmmmm. (reads it briefly) Any big name stars?

Bob: Hey! These are my friends. They aren’t getting paid to do this. It’s just doing me a favour.

Man: But have they acted before? I mean, they aren’t going to make your stuff look bad are they? That is to say, if it really isn’t bad anyway.

Bob: Oh no. You can be assured that I did hold auditions. Many of these people have acted many times previously… and as I said, we have rehearsed considerably.

Man: Well. You’ve obviously put me on the spot. I hardly want to disappoint 280 people. Let them in.

Bob: Thank you sir. I appreciate it greatly.

Man: I hope it’s funny.

Bob: So do I. So do I.

(BLACKOUT)

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