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Santa thumbing a lift.

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Carlos Manwelly

  • Wednesday 14th November 2018, 9:19pm
  • Wales
  • 1,223 posts

I haven't posted in Critique for a long time. But I got a sketch I like and am having issues with the ending and other bits are not fitting with me, I like the idea of the sketch overall but not enough to go out and do it yet because it doesn't feel rounded.

So any ideas are welcome:

EXTERNAL DAY - CHRISTMAS DAY IN FACT - A MAN IS DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD - MUSIC IN CAR IS CHRISTMASY MUSIC.

HE NOTICES A FIGURE AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.

AS HE GETS CLOSER HE NOTICES IT IS SANTA THUMBING A LIFT.

MAN STOPS FOR SANTA.

Man: Where you going mate?

Santa: North Pole. Ho Ho Ho.

MAN LAUGHS.

Man: I'm going as far as Swansea mate.

Santa: I suppose that will have to do. Ho Ho Ho.

SANTA JUMPS IN THE CAR.

THEY DRIVE A LITTLE - NOT MUCH.

Man: Out all night partying was you mate?

Santa: No, I was delivering presents. And just as I got back up on the roof some idiot let a firework off and it frightened the reindeers and they all scarpered. I been looking for them all morning. Ho Ho Ho.

Man: Oh Right.

Santa: I been stuck on the roof for hours shouting for Rudolph. A few people passed me and I asked them for help. but they just thought I was some sort of Christmas decoration. Ho Ho Ho

Man: Oh right.

SANTA LOOKS UP TO THE SKY QUICKLY AND GESTURES FOR MAN TO SLOW DOWN.

MAN SLOWS THE CAR A LITTLE.

Santa: Aw bugger, I thought I spotted Rudolph then, but it was just a balloon with his face on it. Ho,Ho Ho.

THEY DRIVE ON SILENTLY FOR A SHORT WHILE.

Santa: I'm not looking forward to breaking the news to the Elves, and the wife is going to go nuts. I've only got third party fire and theft. Ho Ho Ho

Man: They might be waiting for you when you get home. My dog ran away once and we drove around for miles looking for him and then when we got home, he was there sleeping in his basket.

Santa: How did he get back into the house? Ho Ho Ho.

Man: My wife left the back door open just in case.

Santa: Good idea. Do you mind if I take a little nap? It's been a long night. Ho Ho Ho.

Man: No, you carry on.

SANTA SETTLES HIMSELF INTO THE SEAT AND CLOSES HIS EYES - SECONDS LATER HE IS SNORING.

AS HE SNORES AFTER EACH SNORE HE SAYS HO HO HO ( SNORE, HO HO HO. SNORE, HO HO HO)

FADE

END.

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Rood Eye

  • Friday 16th November 2018, 4:01pm [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts

How about this?

EXTERNAL DAY - CHRISTMAS DAY IN FACT - A MAN IS DRIVING ALONE DOWN THE ROAD IN AN EMPTY CAR - MUSIC IN CAR IS CHRISTMASY MUSIC.

HE NOTICES A FIGURE AT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD.

AS HE GETS CLOSER HE NOTICES IT IS SANTA THUMBING A LIFT.

MAN STOPS FOR SANTA.

Man: Where you going, mate?

Santa: North Pole. Ho Ho Ho.

MAN LAUGHS.

Man: I'm going as far as Swansea mate. Been working away but now I'm driving home for Christmas, as the saying goes.

Santa: Every little helps. Ho Ho Ho.

SANTA JUMPS IN THE CAR.

THEY DRIVE A LITTLE - NOT MUCH.

Man: Out all night partying was you mate?

Santa: No, I was delivering presents. I'd just made my last delivery of the night and I was climbing back out of the chimney when some idiot on the ground let a firework off. Startled the reindeer and they all scarpered. Ho Ho Ho.

Man: Oh Right.

Santa: Only one person saw me all night. Young woman with a bottle of vodka in one hand and a can of Special Brew in the other. I thought she was coming to help but then she suddenly stopped and shouted "I know you're not really there. You or your pink elephant!" Gave me a very abusive gesture and walked off. Ho Ho Ho

Man: How did you get down then?

Santa: Fell off. (BEAT) Landed on a snowman. (BEAT) No harm done, not to me anyway, although he won't be walking in the air for a while.

SANTA LOOKS UP TO THE SKY AND GESTURES FOR MAN TO SLOW DOWN.

MAN SLOWS THE CAR A LITTLE.

Santa (cont): Aw bugger, I thought I spotted Rudolph then, but it was just a balloon with his face on it. Ho Ho Ho.

THEY DRIVE ON SILENTLY FOR A SHORT WHILE.

Santa: The wife is going to go nuts. I'm only insured third party. Ho Ho Ho

Man: They might be waiting for you when you get home, you know. My dog ran away once and we drove around for miles - me, the wife, all the kids - looking for him and then when we got home, he was there - fast asleep on the front doormat.

Santa: All's well that ends well. Ho Ho Ho

Man: You're right, mate. Everybody stopped crying and the wife even forgave me for telling her to look on the bright side; if the dog never came back, we could put his food money towards the electricity bill. It was only a joke!

SANTA LOOKS UP TO THE SKY AND GESTURES FOR MAN TO SLOW DOWN.

Santa: It's Rudolph! It's Rudolph!

THE CAR STOPS AND SANTA GETS OUT. HE WAVES AT THE SKY AND HIS EYES FOLLOW RUDOLPH (O.O.V) AS HE LANDS.

Santa (cont): I'll be all right now. Rudolph will take me back home. Ho Ho Ho

Man: That's great, mate. And I bet all the others will be there waiting for you.

HOLD ON THE MAN'S FACE AS HE WATCHES SANTA RIDE OFF INTO THE SKY

AS HE RELAXES, SOMETHING CATCHES HIS EYE AND HE SUDDENLY SPINS AROUND TO LOOK AT THE BACK SEAT WHICH WE SEE IS JAM-PACKED WITH CHRISTMAS PRESENTS.

Man: Wow! Thanks mate!

F/X SANTA'S ECHOEY VOICE: HO HO HO.

FADE

END.

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Teddy Paddalack

  • Saturday 17th November 2018, 8:41am [Edited]
  • Everton, England
  • 3,190 posts

Very drunk Santa hitching

Man pulls over
The conversation takes place through car window

MAN
I can take you as far as Swansea mate?

SANTA
No thanks its a dump

MAN
That's not very nice now it Santa

SANTA
Neither's Swansea

MAN
I can drop you just outside it and you can walk round it if you want

SANTA
Go on then

Santa gets in the car

MAN
If you don't mind me asking wheres you sleigh and reindeer ?

SANTA
I stayed in Manchester last night and it got robbed

As Santa in talking he takes off one glove and gets a bag of coke out his pocket and bangs a line out on the back of his hand as he talks. The man is shocked

MAN
Robbed?

SANTA
Yeah the police said that they found the sleigh burnt out in Wythenshaw and they reckon that the reindeer will be in freezers up and down the Curry Mile by now

MAN
Thats terrible Santa, so are you off back to the North Pole on foot ?

SANTA
No I'm on my way to the Amazon depot

MAN
What for? I thought your elves made all your stuff?

SANTA
My Elves are ok with the wooden trains etc . But they haven't got a clue how to make ipods and you can't get you hands on a Korean or Chinese Elf these days for love nor money. I went to look at some last week but it turned out to be van full of Japanese midgets !

MAN
So what do you do just buy them off Amazon?

SANTA
I'm handing in a special order for 87,00000000000 Iopds to see if I can get a discount? If I can I'll pay on the spot by card and have them delivered to an address I've got in Pwhelli

MAN
Thats very decent of you to pay for all those Ipods

SANTA
I'm not paying anything , all I do is pretend I'm not in when they knock so they leave them in the back garden and I'll say I never got them and then cancel the payment

MAN
Thats totally illegal

SANTA
Why do you think I'm doing it Pwhelli ? It's only got one copper and he's a dickhead

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Carlos Manwelly

  • Saturday 17th November 2018, 6:49pm
  • Wales
  • 1,223 posts

Thank you Rood Eye, I liked this line "Santa: Fell off. (BEAT) Landed on a snowman. (BEAT) No harm done, not to me anyway, although he won't be walking in the air for a while."

I was working out how he could have gotten off the roof but I couldn't think of one, and that would do it.

And the ending you got is better than mine, it has a Christmassy feeling to it, I will have a look on the net to see if I can find some free videos with Santa flying off.

And thank you Teddy, Like this bit :

"Very drunk Santa hitching with a sign saying South Pole
Man pulls over
The converstaion takes place through car window
MAN
I can take you as far as Swansea mate

SANTA
F**k off its a shithole

MAN
That's not very nice now it Santa

SANTA
Neither's f**king Swansea

And there is an Amazon warehouse just down the road from me and I been wanting to use it somehow in a video. It's all too sweary for me to make but I can take out them bits.

"Pwhelli they'll never find you there." That's good

Thank you both for your input, I will play around with the sketch a bit more with your feedback.

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Rood Eye

  • Sunday 18th November 2018, 12:32am
  • England
  • 4,103 posts
Quote: Teddy Paddalack @ 17th November 2018, 8:41 AM

MAN
I can take you as far as Swansea mate

SANTA
F**k off its a shithole

MAN
That's not very nice now it Santa

SANTA
Neither's f**king Swansea

That's a sketch in itself!

I can't read it without laughing out loud.

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Rood Eye

  • Sunday 18th November 2018, 12:49am [Edited]
  • England
  • 4,103 posts
Quote: Carlos Manwelly @ 17th November 2018, 6:49 PM

Thank you Rood Eye, I liked this line "Santa: Fell off. (BEAT) Landed on a snowman. (BEAT) No harm done, not to me anyway, although he won't be walking in the air for a while."

I was working out how he could have gotten off the roof but I couldn't think of one, and that would do it.

With short simple sketches, there's really only one rule and that's "Be funny".

All the other rules of scriptwriting pale into insignificance beside that one.

Having said that, however, it's always a good idea to tie up loose ends if you can do so without sacrificing any of the funniness and it's especially good to do so if you can do it in such a way that the funniness actually increases.

Another important thing (in my view) is never accidentally to leave the audience worried about something or someone in the story. In your original script, Santa loses his reindeer and his sleigh while he's (presumably) partway through his night's work delivering presents on Christmas Eve. If that actually happened, he would, of course, lose his entire cargo of presents yet to be delivered as they would be piled up on the sleigh. The result would be that a great many children would wake up on Christmas morning to find that Santa hadn't been!

Accordingly, I suggested the reference to his having just finished his night's work when the reindeer were scared off.

Some people might feel that I'm overthinking things a little but I can absolutely guarantee you that if a sizeable audience saw that sketch performed in its original form, lots of them would picture all those disappointed kids and, as a result, might not be in much of a mood to laugh.

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Teddy Paddalack

  • Sunday 18th November 2018, 3:58pm
  • Everton, England
  • 3,190 posts

Carlos I amended it to take the swearing out, but I put drugs in sorry

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Carlos Manwelly

  • Sunday 18th November 2018, 7:55pm
  • Wales
  • 1,223 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 18th November 2018, 12:32 AM

That's a sketch in itself!

I can't read it without laughing out loud.

I agree. I have added it to my list of ramblings. I will be using that in something. Thanks Teddy.

Quote: Rood Eye @ 18th November 2018, 12:49 AM

With short simple sketches, there's really only one rule and that's "Be funny".

All the other rules of scriptwriting pale into insignificance beside that one.

Having said that, however, it's always a good idea to tie up loose ends if you can do so without sacrificing any of the funniness and it's especially good to do so if you can do it in such a way that the funniness actually increases.

Another important thing (in my view) is never accidentally to leave the audience worried about something or someone in the story. In your original script, Santa loses his reindeer and his sleigh while he's (presumably) partway through his night's work delivering presents on Christmas Eve. If that actually happened, he would, of course, lose his entire cargo of presents yet to be delivered as they would be piled up on the sleigh. The result would be that a great many children would wake up on Christmas morning to find that Santa hadn't been!

Accordingly, I suggested the reference to his having just finished his night's work when the reindeer were scared off.

Some people might feel that I'm overthinking things a little but I can absolutely guarantee you that if a sizeable audience saw that sketch performed in its original form, lots of them would picture all those disappointed kids and, as a result, might not be in much of a mood to laugh.

Really good advice, I read a lot about writing and what you say reinforces what I been reading.

I'm with you on the overthinking bit, I do it and I look for the gaps as well, my thinking (overthinking) was that if I said when he got back up on the roof people might realise that his shift was over, and then I got to thinking how long does Santa take to deliver all his presents. And I came up with he delivers every present to everyone at the stroke of midnight.

I aknowledge and respect your overthinking, I am in that zone as well..

Quote: Teddy Paddalack @ 18th November 2018, 3:58 PM

Carlos I amended it to take the swearing out, but I put drugs in sorry

That made me laugh. Perfect.