An Absolute Bargain.

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Wednesday 19th December 2018, 7:49pm
  • England
  • 970 posts

SCENE: interior. A somewhat down-at-heel living room

A WOMAN is sitting comfortably as a MAN enters, looking very pleased with himself.

MAN: Have I just done the deal of a lifetime, or what? Go on, ask me.

WOMAN: Have you just done the deal of a lifetime?

MAN: I have indeed, my angel. I have indeed.

WOMAN (WORRIED): Tell me it doesn't involve Dodgy Dave.

MAN: Dodgy Dave? I'm not that daft. It's Honest Harry.

(WOMAN doesn't look any less worried)

MAN (continued): How much are tampons?

WOMAN: Two quid for twenty, something like that.

MAN: I have just bought 1000 boxes of twenty for 300 quid.

WOMAN: There's got to be a catch.

MAN: This is Honest Harry and "Honest Harry never tells a lie". You know his motto. He never lies.

WOMAN: He swears there's no catch?

MAN: I gave him the money, he shook my hand, looked me straight in the eye and told me there are no strings attached.

WOMAN: He said what?

MAN: Look, he never tells a lie so I don't want to hear another word about it.

WOMAN: Okay, if you say so but I think he might soon be getting a new nickname - Ambiguous 'Arry.

MAN: I don't think so. I know for a fact he's only got the one missus.

ENDS.

Avatar

Kenneth

  • Thursday 20th December 2018, 12:29am
  • Australia
  • 5,140 posts

Film it.

AvatarBCG Supporter

Will Cam

  • Friday 21st December 2018, 10:21pm
  • England
  • 7,810 posts

End it after 'no strings attached, that's the punchline.

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Saturday 22nd December 2018, 12:07am [Edited]
  • England
  • 970 posts
Quote: Kenneth @ 20th December 2018, 12:29 AM

Film it.

Good idea, Kenneth. I'm talking to Spielberg on Skype as I write these words.

Quote: Will Cam @ 21st December 2018, 10:21 PM

End it after 'no strings attached, that's the punchline.

You might be right, Will. I'm a devout believer in economy and efficiency in comedy and that extends to getting out of a sketch or a joke at the optimum moment which is, usually, as soon as the punchline has been delivered. Accordingly, I see your point very clearly.

I think it depends how the line is read or, if being performed, how it's delivered. If it's read or delivered with emphasis, it pretty much has to be the last line. A joke really has to end once the audience has been informed, either by the speaker's tone or by the drummer doing a "ba-doom-tish" that a joke has just been told.

In my mind, however, the line is delivered without any emphasis so the audience will, at that point, not to be sure that they have heard a joke. The sharp-minded audience members will suspect what has happened and will probably be feeling proud of themselves while waiting and hoping for confirmation.

The last few lines give them the confirmation they need and also throw in a final joke which is a play on the words that confirm their original suspicions, i.e. that Harry's words were open to more than one interpretation.

If that sketch were to be performed along the lines I've just outlined on prime-time TV, I'm sure some people would not get it and would be seeking an explanation from whomever they happen to be watching it with.

For me, the extra lines after "no strings attached" add significantly to the quality of the sketch as long as those words are spoken or read without emphasis.

If they're spoken or read with emphasis, you're absolutely right: that's the joke delivered and the sketch should end.

I'm absolutely certain that your way would work: I'm hoping my way would work better for some people but I might be wrong about that.

Avatar

Kenneth

  • Sunday 23rd December 2018, 9:06am
  • Australia
  • 5,140 posts
Quote: Rood Eye @ 22nd December 2018, 12:07 AM

Good idea, Kenneth. I'm talking to Spielberg on Skype as I write these words.

Why?

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Sunday 23rd December 2018, 10:44am
  • England
  • 970 posts
Quote: Kenneth @ 23rd December 2018, 9:06 AM

Why?

It would have been rude not to answer his call.

AvatarBCG Supporter

Lazzard

  • Sunday 23rd December 2018, 11:33am
  • Ludlow, England
  • 4,334 posts

I think you could probably get in a bit quicker and out after the no strings line.
Currently the sketch divides between jokes about the con-man's name (average) and the strings joke(good).
Personally I would reiterate the deal as part of the endline, thusly...

WOMAN: And he swears there's no catch?
MAN: Absolutely. He looked me in the eye, handed them over and said, there you are " 100 boxes, 300 quid, no strings attached...

As it dawns on the guy what he's just said, his wife rolls her eyes and leaves the room.

WOAMAN: Pillock.

The man tentatively looks into one of the packets.

Either way, nice sketch.

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Sunday 23rd December 2018, 11:42am
  • England
  • 970 posts

It would certainly work like that. Laz

Many thanks for your input.

I suppose, at the end of the day, there are a number of ways to skin a cat (as we used to be able to say). :D

Avatar

gappy

  • Sunday 23rd December 2018, 12:24pm
  • Oxford, England
  • 1,982 posts
Quote: Lazzard @ 23rd December 2018, 11:33 AM

I think you could probably get in a bit quicker and out after the no strings line.
Currently the sketch divides between jokes about the con-man's name (average) and the strings joke(good).
Personally I would reiterate the deal as part of the endline, thusly...

WOMAN: And he swears there's no catch?
MAN: Absolutely. He looked me in the eye, handed them over and said, there you are " 100 boxes, 300 quid, no strings attached...

As it dawns on the guy what he's just said, his wife rolls her eyes and leaves the room.

WOAMAN: Pillock.

The man tentatively looks into one of the packets.

Either way, nice sketch.

Lazzard's version is almost exactly what came into my head. It's a really nice joke, but I'd like to see it shorter.

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Sunday 23rd December 2018, 1:24pm
  • England
  • 970 posts
Quote: gappy @ 23rd December 2018, 12:24 PM

Lazzard's version is almost exactly what came into my head. It's a really nice joke, but I'd like to see it shorter.

Thanks, Gappy.

In comedy, when all other things are equal, shorter is nearly always better.

AvatarBCG Supporter

Ben

  • Tuesday 25th December 2018, 3:37pm
  • England
  • 18,344 posts

The no strings attached line is good, but there's a lot of 'to-ing and fro-ing' with needless dialogue before that. Would be better as a quickie and finish like Laz says.

The only other problem is that there's no sketch comedy on prime time TV now. It would work for radio though.

Avatar

Rood Eye

  • Thursday 10th January 2019, 11:57am
  • England
  • 970 posts

Thank you, it came to me as I was walking along a country lane. :)

Avatar

Teddy Paddalack

  • Friday 11th January 2019, 6:35am
  • Everton, England
  • 2,563 posts

Well that's a lot classier than having it come to you 'On the bog'