My Comedy Sketches

Before I found the outlet of having lyrics turned into songs, I used to regularly write comedy sketches. I had some of my comedy sketches performed in Edinburgh at the Traverse Theatre, through their Monday Lizard shows which featured the work of new writers. And then I staged two comedy shows in Glasgow with writing friend John Mooney. We called those shows Wright Side of the Moone, and they featured some of our sketches performed by talented local actors.

Recently, John mentioned that the Radio Four Extra show, Newsjack, was looking for writers to submit short comedy sketches and one-liners commenting on topical news stories. I’ve submitted a few items for it during September and October 2019. So far I’ve had nothing accepted for the show but I thought I’d post them on here for people to hopefully enjoy.

 

Bamboozled full sketch (from May 2009)

Going even further back, in May 2009 I wrote a sketch that was ‘inspired’ by the Swine Flu pandemic. This sketch is a bit crazy and I like it a lot. I hope you do too!

Bamboozled

Panda with bamboo cartoon

 

Characters:

  • Molly – A tea lady who finds herself mistaken for a scientist and trapped in a meeting.
  • Professor Charles Needham – Head of the UK’s infectious diseases department. Oxbridge type and an older gentleman who is a little eccentric.
  • Professor Toby Bottomly – so intellectual that he has difficulty communicating with fellow humans, and has a tendency to speak in Klingon.
  • Professor Stan Burrows – nerd who likes to use equations to explain his thinking, and just happens to also know Klingon.
  • Professor Felicity Ableman – the only one of the academics with any grip on reality. Is frustrated by the stupidity of her highly intelligent colleagues.

 

INT: OFFICE MEETING ROOM, EVENING

MOLLY:

(Places tray of tea and biscuits upon the table)

Ooh, very fancy. Marks and Spencer extremely chocolaty biscuit selection. No expense spared here then! Mmm, I bet they wouldn’t miss just one of them.

(Stuffs biscuit into her mouth)

<Charles, Stan, and Felicity enter purposefully. Toby follows them looking distracted>

PROFESSOR CHARLES NEEDHAM:

Okay people. Thanks for being here. I’m glad we’ve got the premier brains primed on this one!

MOLLY:

(apologetically, with mouth still full of biscuit)

Oh sorry sir, I’ll just get out of your way.

CHARLES:

No. Nonsense! Nobody gets to back out at this stage – the very future of our species may be in our hands!

MOLLY:

But I’m just …

CHARLES:

No buts. No excuses. Take a seat. Let’s all take a seat!

MOLLY:

No, you don’t understand

CHARLES:
Ah, quite right. I like your thinking. By standing we will be more efficient? Oriental philosophy, if I’m not mistaken? Bottomly, get back to your feet, man!

(Toby Bottomly gets to his feet, still looking confused)

FELICITY:

So the flu has really jumped across to humans, Professor?

CHARLES:

Burrows, you care to outline?

STAN:

Yes, Professor. My latest data suggests that there have been one thousand, two hundred and thirty-three cases in the last two-point-five weeks, with three hundred point five known fatalities thus far

CHARLES:

Point five?!

STAN:

North Korea’s controversial chimp boy is confirmed as a casualty

CHARLES:

Damn, it’s worse than I thought! Do we know the sites of infection?

STAN:

Yes, mainly around zoos. Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou…

CHARLES:

(puffs on pipe)

I see. Well, what are we going to do about it?!

FELICITY:

We could enforce a cull?

CHARLES:

Steady on, girl! If we start culling the Chinese there’ll be hell to pay. Besides, there are a lot of them. By the time you’ve culled a million, there’ll be another two million. No, not practical at all, and then there’s the ethical implications!

FELICITY:

(arms folded)

I didn’t mean cull the humans. I meant the pandas.

MOLLY:

Excuse me? Pandas? Do you mean Giant Pandas?!

CHARLES:

They’re fairly normal sized I believe, for pandas. Black and white furry things.

MOLLY:

Don’t you mean pigs?

CHARLES:

Pigs? Why on earth, girl, would we be talking about pigs when we’re here to discuss the possible Giant Panda flu pandemic

MOLLY:

Oh my, I didn’t know such a thing was possible?!

STAN:

Highly unlikely but not impossible. My calculations revealed that there was a nought point nought nought nought nought nought nought one percent chance of this happening although now that it has happened the probability is one hundred percent …

CHARLES:

That’s enough figures, Burrows. Let’s get back to killing pandas.

MOLLY:

You’re thinking of killing giant pandas?! You can’t!

CHARLES:

Oh, I don’t see why not. There’s only about twenty of them left. A few brave men with clubs ought to do the job.

MOLLY:

No, I mean you can’t, it would be wrong! They’re nearly extinct!

CHARLES:

Listen, young miss, it could be them or us!

MOLLY:

But they’re sooo cute!

STAN:

(leans forward and whispers)

She does have a point. They are kinda cute.

FELICITY:

For Heavens sake, we’re scientists, not three year old little girls!

CHARLES:

Okay, let’s assume for a moment that the cuteness principle precludes us from culling the pandas. Do we have any other suggestions? Bottomly, you’ve been very quiet. Care to opine?

TOBY:

(Stares at Charles, eyes whirring, like he’s running through a million permutations and trying to articulate a response)

CHARLES:

Well, man? Cat got your tongue?

FELICITY:

Don’t waste your time, Professor. Toby’s so intelligent that he has trouble communicating with other humans.

TOBY:

(forcefully)

NuqDaq ‘oh puchpa’ ‘e’!

FELICITY:

That is, other than in Klingon …

STAN:

He wants to know where the bathroom is? Sorry, I’ve learnt a bit. It makes communication easier. It’s not like I go to the conventions …

CHARLES:

Bottomly, first corridor on the right. If you have to go, you have to go

TOBY:

Hislah!

(Toby exits, with legs crossed)

CHARLES:

Okay, now that the freak-brain has gone, has anyone got any suggestions? Please!

MOLLY:

Couldn’t you create a vaccine? Or quarantine the pandas to stop the spread …

CHARLES:

Sensible suggestions, miss. What college did you study at? Oxford?

MOLLY:

You what?

CHARLES:

“You what”, eh? One of those new Chinese ones? Perfectly qualified for this debate then!

FELICITY:

Professor, for Heaven’s sake. She’s the tea lady! It says on her badge – ‘Molly – Tea Lady’

CHARLES:

Interesting. I had heard that they wanted a range of disciplines brought in but this is very innovative. Very innovative indeed!

FELICITY:

(glares)

Hmppff!

CHARLES:

Any other bright ideas, T lady. I suspect that the fate of our species may lie in your hands

MOLLY:

I’m sorry, I just do tea and biscuits

CHARLES:

Biscuits? No-one said there were biscuits! Are there any chocolate digestives?!

(Charles helps himself to a handful of biscuits)

F/X: PHONE RINGS REPEATEDLY

CHARLES:

(Mouth full of biscuits)

Fel-ish-ity?

FELICITY:

(Angrily)

Hello?! Who’s there? …. Oh, hello Prime Minister! Yes, he is here, I’ll just pass you across!

(Hands phone to Charles, with a meaningful look)

CHARLES:

Yes, Charles Needham here? Yes, we are. No, we haven’t Mister Prime Minister but …. They’re calling it what? A Panda-emic? Yes, I agree it’s all very alarming. No, squirrels are not dangerous. No, tell the Queen that Corgis are not a risk, it’s just pandas. You want solutions, I understand, yes. Right now? I see. Just wait a minute, I’ll pass you to one of my esteemed colleagues.

(Looks despairingly at Felicity and Stan, wanting someone to take the phone but they back away)

(Grabs Molly and thrusts the phone into her hands)

CHARLES:

“Mister Prime Minister, I’m just passing you across now. Molly will advise on the solution

MOLLY:

<squawks>

MOLLY:

(Looking around desperately for inspiration)

<Toby re-enters the room>

Star Trek! I mean, yes. We send the pandas into space. Erm, to the space station …. With lots of bamboo.  ……..  You do? Really?! Okay, bye then.

(Molly puts the phone down)

FELICITY:

(Sarcastically)

Star Trek?!

MOLLY:

I panicked

STAN:

What did he say?!

MOLLY:

He’s getting a spaceship prepared. Speaking to the Chinese Premier and the zoo wardens

CHARLES:

Jolly good! Well done T Lady! Okay, we’ve still got a lot of work to do so we’ll need more biscuits.

TOBY:

(Thumps chest proudly with clenched fist and then extends the fist, in the Klingon salute to denote a job well done)

Qapla’ batlh je!

 

Written by Simon Wright

12th May 2009

 

Suicide Sneezers full sketch (from October 2012)

The current Coronavirus (Covid19) flu pandemic is hugely concerning, and we all hope that it can be brought under control as soon as possible with as few deaths as possible. Its emergence reminded me that we have had flu pandemic scares previously that, thankfully, haven’t quite ended up being as devastating as some had predicted, or as is predicted for Covid19. Back in 2012 one of those scares (I think it may have been about Bird Flu?) prompted me to write this comedy sketch called Suicide Sneezers. (Some parts of it have had to be edited because Google Ads don’t like any naughty words to appear on sites that utilise their functionality!)

Suicide Sneezers

Drawing of a person sneezing

Narrator:

The year is 2012 and the world has been plunged into new depths of pandemic flu terror.

Tannoy:

Last call for flight KFC123 to San Francisco. Can all passengers make their way to the departure lounge.

Joe:

Hey, coming through! Sorry Mam, that’s my flight closing. Sorry mister, oops, gotta squeeze past.

(Joe gets to the front of the queue)

Security man Sam:

(Hand held out) Stop – Security!

Joe:

What? Oh? You’ll want my phone and wallet I guess?

Sam:

 In the box. I see you have a belt?

Joe:

Yes. Nice isn’t it. I got it from a market stall in Nicaragua.

Sam:

 Belt, coat and shoes please

Joe:

 Pardon?

Sam:

 In the box.

Joe:

Everything in the box, eh? You guys need to get bigger boxes. There, that’s everything.

Sam:

Proceed through, sir

(Joe edges through the security beeper machine, trying to hold his trousers up)

Joe:

Hey – no beeps! That’s good, right? Cos I got a plane to catch. Sunshine, sea and sangria.

Sam:

You’ll need to speak to my colleague, Clare, here before you can proceed, sir.

Joe:

Huh?

Clare:

(Eying Joe suspiciously)

Take a seat sir. Have you been displaying flu symptoms?

Joe:

What?

Clare:

Just answer the question, sir

Joe:

No

Clare:

No, you won’t answer the question, or no you haven’t been displaying symptoms?

Joe:

No, I haven’t been displaying symptoms!

Clare:

Has anyone in your household had flu recently?

Joe:

I live alone

(Clare stares at him)

Joe:

That’s a no!

Clare:

Have you ever had flu?

Joe:

What? Of course I have. What’s the purpose of all these questions? I have a plane to catch!

Clare:

We have to take precautions sir. Can you empty out your pockets please?

Joe:

But I’ve already been through the beeper! This is ridiculous! I really must protest!

(Starts to move forward which prompts Sam to step in)

Sam:

Are you going to empty out your pockets, sir? Or do I have to get the police?!

Joe:

(Folds arms)

 Get the police?! Flippin’ hell!

Sam:

 (into walkie talkie)

Code Red! Repeat, we have a Code Red!

(A female police officer rushes in)

PC Rachel:

(Shouting like a sergeant major and pointing an assault rifle)

On the ground with your arms and legs spread!

(Joe is forced to the ground with the barrel of the rifle pointed at his back)

Joe:

Flip?!

Clare:

(Conversationally)

I can’t do this procedure, sir, on account of sexual harassment principles. I can assure you that we take personal dignity very seriously. Sam, can you do the honours please? You got your gloves?

Sam:

(pings the rubber gloves like a doctor about to do a prostate examination)

 Yep.

Joe:

(squeaks)

Stop! What are you …

Sam:

(kneeling and inserting his hand into Joe’s trouser pocket)

Gotta check your pockets, sir. That’s it. You just lie good and still. Don’t you mind about PC Rachel’s rifle. This will all be over very soon.

Joe:

 Nooo …. Stop! ….. Ahh…

Clare:

Stand back! I think he’s gonna sneeze!

(Clare, Rachel, and Sam all spring back away from Joe, who slowly gets to his knees. He spots Rachel’s rifle aimed pointedly at him)

Joe:

(fighting back the sneeze)

It’s just a snee …. A sneeeeze! Oh no – for God’s sake, don’t shoot me – I DON’T have the flu!

Clare:

We’ll be the judge of that, sir! If you could step through this door please?

Joe:

The one marked “Biohazard – stay out!”? What are you gonna do?

Clare:

Standard procedure during a pandemic, sir.

(into walkie talkie)

We have a diseased one. Repeat “a diseased one”. Category 1 disposal required please.

Joe:

Disposal? Here, hold on a minute! What’s going on? Who are those men in masks? That’s not an ambulance. I have rights. Don’t put me in there …. (fade)

(f/x: sound of wheels speeding away, etc)

Clare:

Jeez, some passengers, eh!

Sam:

Yeah, a little bit of security and they get all irate. “I don’t want to take my belt off, my trousers will fall down, you patted me down too sensuously, moan, moan, moan”

PC Rachel:

I feel your pain guys. You need to get yourself a job where you can point a big gun!

Sam:

Oh that’s coming in next week.

Clare:

Yup, got my firearms training booked in

PC Rachel:

Bastards! You get to feel people up and shoot them? Not fair!

Written by Simon Wright

(October 2012)

One Liners

Gorilla and Woman laughing
Simon Wright’s One-Liners

October 2019

Scotland has announced that it has outlawed smacking. No word though of any bans on Glasgow Kisses, which presumably benefit from Protected Geographical Indication status, like Arbroath Smokies, and Billy Connolly’s beard! (Related news story)

As the Brexit storylines become ever more elaborate and unbelievable, fans of the series are becoming worried that it’s going to have an ‘It was all a dream’ damp squib ending. 

Nicola Sturgeon has said that US tariffs on Scottish Whisky will cause damage, adding ‘Aye, we’ll do mair damage tae they American bastards. Fannies!’ (Related news story)

Scientists have been lambasted for crossing an ethical line by growing mini human brains the size of a pea, but praised by tabloid editors for providing the open goal of using ‘pea-brained’ in their headlines. (Related news story)

The gender of perfectly preserved 3,000 year old Egyptian mummies can be determined as men were buried with their hands closed while women’s hands were open … in a gesture signifying thanks for the ‘perfectly preserved’ compliment! (Related news story)

As the prospect of further Brexit delay looms, hopes are rising for those who bought ‘March 30th Brexit Day’ celebration banners. (Related news story)

September 2019

‘Right, over to Alison at Lords, where I believe there’s a Wicked in the cricket?’ Yes, that’s right, Peter. I’m joined here by Geoffrey Boycott’. (Related news story)

Time Travel news – The revelation that Snickers is reverting to being called Marathon has greatly excited Jacob Rees-Mogg. The bad news, Jacob, is that’s only proof of going back to the NINEteen Eighties! (Related news story)

It’s been confirmed that the UK has blocked a proposed legal ban on the eating of cats and dogs. Well, we’ll need something to eat in the event of a No Deal exit! (Related news story)

As suggestions are put forward to ban the eating of animals, there is concern at a potential loophole, as creationists are seen buying cannibal cookbooks. (Related news story)

As the Supreme Court prepared to rule prorogation unlawful, Jabob Rees-Mogg has been seen stamping his little feet and screaming ‘This isn’t the kind of sovereignty that I wanted, Mummy! Waaaaaah!’ (Related news story)

Remoaners’ accusations that Brexiters don’t like immigrants have taken a hit through the Acuri story, where it’s been revealed that the lead Brexiter is allegedly ‘good friends’ with a lady who has a pole in her house. (Related news story)

An enquiry has been launched after Wales’ victory against Australia in the Rugby World Cup, as nobody called Jones scored and only two Jones’ played. The Welsh Rugby Association has apologised and said it won’t happen again. (Related news story)

News that opposition parties are considering installing John Bercow as interim Prime Minister has thrown a stark perspective on the state of the NHS. There are fears that, in the resultant meltdown, a lack of defibrillators in hospitals may cause Brexiters will become life’s Exiters. (Related news story)

Short Sketches

Theatre curtains and stage
Simon Wright’s Comedy Sketches

HIT OR MISS?

DARREN (from Yorkshire)             Yes, yes, yes! Get in there!

KEEGAN (Teenage grandson)       What’s up, Grandad? England got a wicket?

DARREN                                       Not likely – useless bunch of tossers!

LAUREN (his wife)                        Ooh, interesting. I haven’t heard you so excited love since …

DARREN                                       Shush pet, not in front of the kid

LAUREN                                        I was gonna say ‘since Geoffrey last put a good knock in’

KEEGAN                                        (SARCASTIC) South of France, 96, allegedly?

DARREN                                       Eh, enough of that, Keegan! That’s Sir Geoffrey you’re talking about!

LAUREN                                        So what’s got you fist pumping in the living room?

DARREN                                       They’ve only gone an’ done it, Boris and Rees-Mogg. Six trade deals in one week – six!

LAUREN                                        Wow, that’s fantastic. America?

DARREN                                       No. There’s Eswatini

KEEGAN                                        Doesn’t he play for Chelsea?

DARREN                                       Shut it, you! There’s Namibia, Botswana. Them Remoaners will be crying in their craft beer!

LAUREN                                        (GOOD NATUREDLY) I’m sure they will dear, I’m sure     they will

END

(Related news story 1, and related news story 2)

 

DEATH GRETAL

GRAMS:                                      SNIPPET OF  ‘HOW DARE YOU’ DEATH METAL SINGLE

GRETA’S PR GUY                          Mr and Mrs Thunberg, what is this I’m hearing? Greta’s only doing death metal now?!

GRETA’S MUM                             Yes, some metaller turned her UN speech into a scary death metal song

GRETA’S DAD                               Scary? I think it’s good!

GRETA’S PR GUY                          But writing speech’s as metal lyrics will be tough. Why couldn’t she have embraced Springsteen or Neil Young?

GRETA’S MUM                             Oh, here she comes. Look smart!

GRETA’S DAD                               Nice piercings, honey. New eye-liner?

GRETA                                          Humpf! ‘I am Despair, come on the waves! I am Death, raised from the grave!’

GRETA’S PR GUY                          (Nervous) Ha ha, very good. Look Greta, we’ve booked you in for World Soil Day. I’m thinking we can do a NICE speech about how much you love trees and                                                                flowers …

GRETA                                          Soil? ‘You have soiled my youth, How dare you! You will feel my rage, I kill you. Reign of fire, burn the churches down, Soon my scream, the only sound!’

GRETA’S PR GUY                          Argggh! We are doomed!

GRETA                                          Yes, that’s what I’ve been saying!

GRETA’s PR GUY                          Dooooomed!

GRAMS:                                      ANOTHER SNIPPET OF DEATH METAL

END

(Related news story. And listen to the song)

I hope you have enjoyed my comedy sketches and one-liners. If you want to leave any feedback then please feel free to Contact me