NO FUNNY STUFF

                                                                        by Richard Nathan

Lights come up on a comedy club.  A few PATRONS are seated at chairs.  MAX, the man who runs the club, stands by the back door.  There is a knock at the door.  Behind the door (not yet visible to us) are PHIL and his date NANCY.  Max goes to the door and calls out in response to the knocking.

                                                            MAX
                                    What’s the password?

                                                            PHIL
                                                   (off-stage)
                                    Whoa.

                                                            MAX
                                   
No.  Sorry.

                                                            PHIL
                                                   (off-stage)
                                    I thought the password was “whoa.”

                                                            MAX
                                    Not if you say it like that.  You
                                    gotta say it funny.

                                                            PHIL
                                                   (off-stage, speaking
                                                    in a big, ridiculous way)
                                    WHOA!!!

Max opens the door.

                                                            MAX
                                    Come on in.

Enter Phil and Nancy.

                                                            MAX
                                    Who’s this?

                                                            PHIL
                                    My date.

                                                            MAX
                                    You sure she’s not a yak?

                                                            PHIL
                                    Trust me.

                                                            NANCY
                                    I can’t believe I’m going to actually
                                    see comedy!  For the first time!

                                                            MAX
                                    She’s never seen comedy?

                                                            PHIL
                                    She was born in 2013.  Comedy was
                                    outlawed in 2010.

                                                            MAX
                                    Yeah, but just cause it’s illegal doesn’t
                                    mean you can’t get it.

                                                            PHIL
                                    She’s never seen it.

                                                            MAX
                                    You sure she’s not a yak?

                                                            NANCY
                                    What’s a yak?

                                                            PHIL
                                    What a narc is to drugs, a yak is to
                                    comedy!

                                                            NANCY
                                    Oh!  I’m definitely not a yak!

                                                            MAX
                                    You’d better not be! 

                                                            NANCY
                                    I want to see for myself if comedy is
                                    as bad as they say it is.

                                                            PHIL
                                    You know what the government says,
                                    don’t you?  They claim comedy got so
                                    bad, it became toxic.  They say it rots
                                    your brain and turns your stomach. 
                                    They say it makes you puke til you
                                    turn green.  Especially the sitcoms.

                                                            MAX
                                    But of course that’s nonsense.

                                                            PHIL
                                    Except the part about the sitcoms. 

                                                             MAX
                                    Well, yeah, the sitcom part is true. 
                                    But the rest is nonsense! 

                                                            NANCY
                                   
I’ve heard that since comedy was
                                    outlawed, life spans have increased,
                                    I.Q.s have skyrocketed, wages in every
                                    sector of the economy have gone way up, 
                                    and we haven’t been in a war in 20 years.

                                                            MAX
                                    Sheer coincidence.  And if some comedy 
                                    is bad, it just means you got to be careful
                                    about your supplier.  Make sure you only get 
                                    the good stuff. 

                                                            PHIL
                                    Yeah.  The government just over-reacted. 
                                    Do you realize it is illegal to say “whoa”
                                    unless you’re talking to a horse?

                                                            NANCY
                                    What about earlier comedy,- from a long 
                                    time ago?  That wasn’t toxic, was it?

                                                            PHIL
                                    Even the government admits that early
                                    comedy was okay - but they say that classic
                                    comedy only encourages new comedians to
                                    perform.  And they say all new comedians
                                    suck - or at least such a large percentage sucks -
                                    that it’s not worth the risk to let anyone
                                    perform any comedy.

                                                            NANCY
                                    I sure would like to see some classic comedy.

                                                            MAX
                                    You’re in luck.  Because tonight, at our
                                    Laugh Easy, you’re going to see the
                                    world’s number one Groucho Marx
                                    impersonator.

                                                            NANCY
                                    Wow!

                                                            MAX
                                    The government’s got a price tag on
                                    his head:  One million dollars to anyone
                                    who brings him in, dead or alive.  Hey! 
                                    Here he comes.

Enter the Groucho IMPERSONATOR.

                                                            IMPERSONATOR
                                    Last night I shot an elephant who got into
                                    my pajamas.  How an elephant could fit into
                                    my pajamas is something I won’t ever
                                    understand.  I guess it was desperate to get
                                    into my pants.  Who can blame it?  Hey, I
                                    got a contract to appear here tonight.  Is says
                                   
I’m the party of the first part.  I’ve got a first
                                    part for them!   Let’s have a party with my first
                                    part.  Hey, either you people aren’t breathing, or 
                                    my watch has run down.  I never forget a face,
                                    but - man - are you ugly!!!

NANCY pulls out a gun and shoot the Impersonator dead.

                                                            NANCY
                                    You’re all under arrest.  Hands up!  And no
                                    funny stuff!

Max, Phil and the Patrons all put up their hands.  Enter Nancy’s boss, the CHIEF, with a gun drawn.

                                                            MAX
                                    She was a yak!

                                                            PHIL
                                    I swear I didn’t know!

                                                            CHIEF
                                    Nice work, Agent Fenwick!

                                                            NANCY
                                    Thanks, Chief.

                                                            CHIEF
                                    Was it bad?  Are you hurt?

                                                            NANCY
                                    It was awful, Chief.  Awful stuff. 
                                    But it’s all part of the job.

                                                            CHIEF
                                    I don’t know how you do it, Agent
                                    Fenwick.

                                                            NANCY
                                    I do it for the kids, Chief.  I do it to
                                    protect the kids.

Everyone except for Nancy freezes, as Nancy steps downstage and speaks directly to the audience.

                                                            NANCY
                                    Remember folks, comedy kills.  All of it. 
                                    Your so-called friends may try to tell you
                                    it’s safe to sample a few knock-knock jokes. 
                                    Listen to them, and you’ll wind up puking
                                    your guts out in some alley.  Remember -
                                    it’s up to you to just say “no” to the funny
                                    stuff.

 Blackout!

© 2007 by Richard Nathan.  All rights reserved

The author grants all internet uses to print these scripts for their own, personal, non-commercial use.  No other use may be made without the author's permission.  Without limiting the foregoing, the plays may not be staged without the author's express  permission.

Send e-mail to the author at Richard-Nathan@att.net.

 

 

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