ComedyCollective Writers Project
Ivan Shakespeare

THE DEAD PARODY SKETCH (1)
(Performed by the Smiling Assassins at the Canal Cafe, Summer 1999)

A CUSTOMER WALKS INTO A SHOP WITH A PARROT.

CUSTOMER: I wish to register a complaint. It's about this sketch we began performing not half a minute ago on this very stage.

OWNER: The Dead Parody? Why, what's wrong with it?

CUSTOMER: I'll tell you what's wrong with it my man. It's been done to death.

OWNER: No, no, no. Affectionate homage....

CUSTOMER: Affectionate homage my foot. It's complete and utter plagiarism.

OWNER: No, no, that's not plagiarism. Intertextuality that is. Postmodern irony.

CUSTOMER: Postmodern irony? Postmodern irony? Listen tosh, I took the liberty of examining the script, and I found it's an almost exact lift of Monty Python's thirty-year-old sketch about a dead parrot.

OWNER: Yeah, beautiful gag-lines.

CUSTOMER: The gag-lines don't enter into it. This parody is completely brain-dead.

OWNER: No, it's just pining to be recited at a drunken student party.

CUSTOMER: Pining to be recited? Pining to be recited? If it was recited any more often it'd be up there with the Lord's Prayer. The only reason the audience aren't joining in now is because someone's missed their cue.

SOMEONE COMES ON SMILING BASHFULLY WITH A POSTER, ON WHICH ARE THE FOLLOWING PROMPT LINES....

CUSTOMER: (CONDUCTING THE AUDIENCE) This parody is no more. It has ceased to be. It has gone to meet its maker. It has shuffled off its mortal coil. Bereft of life it rests in peace. All statements to the effect that this parody is a going concern are from now on inoperative. This is an ex-parody. Etc, etc, etc.

THE CUSTOMER USHERS THE POSTER-PERSON OUT.

OWNER: We'd better start performing a new sketch then.

THE OWNER DISAPPEARS BRIEFLY WHILE THE CUSTOMER ADDRESSES THE AUDIENCE.

CUSTOMER: Typical. You want anything doing in this sketch-show, you have to make a fuss.

THE OWNER REAPPEARS.

CUSTOMER: Well?

OWNER: I've checked and we're right out of parodies.

CUSTOMER: I see. I see. I get the picture.

OWNER: I can get us doing a ..... (WHATEVER THE NEXT ITEM IS.)

CUSTOMER: Has it got a punchline?

OWNER: Yeah.

CUSTOMER: We'll do it.

(ENDS)


All rights reserved by The Ivan Shakespeare Estate . For inquiries about Ivan's  work, please contact his widow Elspeth MacLean through the Writers Guild.

ComedyCollective Writers Project
Ivan Shakespeare