Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Week 10, Day 66 - “Works Better On Children”

“Works Better On Children”
Written by Joe Janes
66 out of 365

Max, 40s
Magic Beast

(Lights up on Max getting ready for bed. Next to his bed is an overflowing laundry basket. He strips down to his t-shirt, boxer/briefs and dress socks, throwing his clothes on the basket and climbs into bed. He turns off the light on his nightstand.)


(Max turns on the light and looks around, not sure if he heard anything or not. He opens his nightstand drawer, but does not take anything out. Satisfied he didn’t hear anything, he turns the light back off.)


What! Who’s there? (He fires several shots in the dark.) I-I have a gun.

(He turns on the light and sees the Magic Beast lying on his floor bleeding.)

You shot me.

You broke in to my house – and you’re a thing.

I come from a magical kingdom under your bed. You are our long lost king. I came to bring you to your true home where we will bath you in oils, dress you in the finest cloth, and regale you as our rich, wise, compassionate leader.

MAX (looks under bed)
How do I get there? I don’t see anything under here but dust and, part of a sandwich under the bed. Take me to my kingdom.

Sure. Sure. Give me a second. (Tries to collect himself) Take my paw. I will lead you-

(The Magic Beast collapses dead.)

Fuck. Stupid monster. (Max covers the Magic Beast in old dirty clothes to hide the body.) Breaking into people’s studio apartments, telling them they’re kings. (He goes back to bed and shuts off the light.) Ever hear of knocking? Don’t they have any phones in your “magic” kingdom?

(He hears knocking. He sits up in bed holding his gun in the dark. Blackout.)


idjar said...

This is why I do not actually sleep with my gun.

Chris Othic said...

This is the greatest commentary on gun ownership ever written.

GW said...

Good scene.

As a discussion topic, have you ever talked about picking scene titles on this blog?

Joe Janes said...

Scene titles are an interesting topic. I love coming up with titles. It's fun. But in sketch comedy, you really have to assume the only people reading them are the actors and director. In rare instances will a program include a running order with titles, but even then, it's likely the audience member won't read them until after the show, if at all.

I've had students who have buried one of their best jokes in the title or had a title that needed to be known in order to get the scene. That's a waste.

Sometimes I come up with a title first, which helps me visualize the scene. "Works Better On Children" was originally called "Where the Mild Things Are." My idea was what if Max from "Wild Things" was a lonely grown man? And the magical place he went to and longed to belong in was just a very safe, comfortable, boring place. There are still hints of that, but the title no longer fit. So, I changed it to the conclusion I made while writing the scene.

Anonymous said...

Nice one!


Paul said...

As always, it's the simple lines like "I have a gun" that just kills me. Very nice.