Monday, June 8, 2009

Week 21, Day 141 - “The International Comedy Writing Institute of America”

“The International Comedy Writing Institute of America”
Written by Joe Janes
6/8/09
141 of 365


CAST:
Tom, 20s
Shecky, 40s
Customer, 30s
Waiter, 30s
Stand-up, 30s
Hooga Booga Guy, VO
Boss, VO

(Lights up on Tom sitting on his couch watching a comedy show on TV. He looks bummed.)

BOSS (VO)
When I left, this storage room was clean and organized. Now, it’s a mess. What do you have to say for yourself, Hooga?

HOOGA BOOGA GUY (VO)
Hooga booga!

(The is a huge laugh track burst of laughter. Tom clicks off the TV.)

TOM
Man, I could write that!

SHECKY (rising from behind the couch)
That’s right, Tom. You could!

TOM
Who are you?

SHECKY
I’m Shecky “Shecky” Greenberg. President of The International Comedy Writing Institute of America.”

TOM
The International Comedy Writing Institute of America?

SHECKY
That’s right. Where you can learn how to create stock comedy characters with overused catchphrases for cash, just like the professionals.

TOM
I could have a career as a comedy writer!

SHECKY
Let’s see, Tom. Take the International Comedy Writing Institute’s patented comedy writing aptitude test.

(Stage right we cut to a customer and his bowl of soup flanked by a waiter.)

CUSTOMER
Waiter, what is this fly doing in my soup?

SHECKY
See if you can pick the right punchline, Tom. Is it A-?

WAITER
Humping a crouton.

SHECKY
B-

WAITER
He’s probably a member of a certain ethnic group (winks).

SHECKY
C-

(The waiter winces and we hear a fart.)

SHECKY
Or D.

WAITER
Oh, my. I am so sorry, sir. Let me take that and get you a new one. The management will pick up your bill.

(The waiter takes the soup and exits.)

SHECKY
If you picked any answer other than “D” – you might have what it takes to be a comedy writer.

TOM
Ooh, I have the right punchline…. The backstroke!

SHECKY
That would be stealing, Tom.

TOM
Oh!

SHECKY
I’m just kidding. At the International Comedy Writing Institute of America we don’t call it stealing, we call it heightening.

TOM
Will I learn how to write stand-up comedy?

SHECKY
Of course you will. And you’ll learn how to write for all kinds of comedians, like Yakov Smirnoff.

(Cut to stage right with Stand-Up at a microphone.)

STAND-UP
In Russia, the walls in my apartment were so thin, whenever I went to the bathroom, my neighbor would ask me to wash his back. What a country!

SHECKY
Or Dane Cook.

STAND-UP
The walls in my apartment are so thin, whenever I go to the bathroom, my neighbor asks me to jerk him off. What the fuck?

(Stand-up victoriously drops microphone and exits.)

TOM
Can I get a job with Saturday Night Live, like the professionals?

SHECKY
You bet you can, Shecky. At the ICWIA, we’ll teach you how to create one-note characters, beat a comic premise to death, and how to end scenes by simply cutting to a commercial. Don’t just watch comedy on TV; learn to deeply despise it while simultaneously craving its love.

TOM
I’m sold! The International Comedy Writing Institute of America is for me, Shecky. Where do I sign up?

SHECKY
Just call the number on the screen.

TOM
What screen?

SHECKY
Operators are standing by.

(Blackout)

4 comments:

Nat Topping said...

I love it. It may only be an excuse to post old Yakov Smirnoff jokes, but I love it.

Chris Othic said...

Love it! I want to play Dane Cook's part!

And by play Dane Cook's part I mean--hey, I'm a comedy writer! What the fuck?

Rhianna & Aly said...

I like this

Joe Janes said...

Thanks, Alisa!