British Comedy Guide

Newsjack Series 21 rejects Page 19

Newsjack. Copyright: BBC.

Newsjack

Topical satirical sketch show on Radio 4 Extra. The programme has an 'open door' policy allowing anyone to submit material

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BTF

  • Monday 21st October 2019, 11:05am
  • United Kingdom
  • 519 posts
Quote: skram @ 20th October 2019, 6:50 PM

Been late listening to the show this week... some funny one-liners in there, can't say I enjoyed much on the sketches front though (that's being polite really!). My first sketch reject below, tried to go for a more obvious non-political story - feedback welcome:

INTRO: Britain's Obesity Crisis shows no signs of shrinking... fat chance of that happening... so the nanny state has decided that we can no longer partake of our favourite nibbles on public transport, not even on the night bus home with that fit guy you met in the club apparently. But whilst many of us would like to stick two chocolate-covered fingers up to the idea, would these draconian measures simply push the problem underground?

FX - TRAIN NOISES

MAN: Come on love, I can see some seats in the next carriage...

FX - INTERNAL TRAIN DOOR OPENS

DEALER: Alright mate, wanna buy some snack?
MAN: What the hell, are you trying to sell me smack? Drugs?!
DEALER: Naaa mate, not smack, snacks! I've got lots of little baggies with all your favourites in... jelly babies, fudge, jazzy drops....
MAN: Cool.
WOMAN: David?!
MAN: Come on, everyone does it, it's Friday night, live a little!
WOMAN: I'd rather live a lot - these are sugary snacks, David. Unrefined sugary snacks. (DISTRAUGHT) And on public transport, could you imagine if our friends and family found out?!
DEALER: Listen mate, if it's not your thing...
MAN: No it is my thing actually, who doesn't like a sugar rush - in fact, have you got anything a bit harder?
WOMAN: (GASPS)
DEALER: Yeah, got some aniseed balls here. Or liquorice?
MAN: What type?
DEALER: All sorts!
WOMAN: David, those are gateway snacks! Before you know it you'll be on flapjacks, crumbs all down your shirt and bits stuck in your teeth.
MAN: I know what I'm doing, OK? Give me one bag of each, mate.
DEALER: That's right my man! How about a grab bag size?
MAN: No, it's just for personal use, small bags are fine.
DEALER: Alright... what about your missus?
WOMAN: I really don't think...
MAN: Sarah, we've had a hard week, it'll take the edge off, just try a little bit....
DEALER: All the ladies do a bit of chocolate these days innit love...
WOMAN: Like what?
DEALER: Wispa?
WOMAN: (WHISPERS) Like what?
DEALER: How about a Kit Kat Chunky?
WOMAN: Who the hell are you calling "chunky"?!
DEALER: Whoa, OK, I've got low-calorie gear too - wine gums?
WOMAN: Errr, Wine Gums?! This is the train to Wimbledon, not Lewisham.
DEALER: Alright, I've got the good stuff too - Prosecco Gums. They're pink and sparkly.
WOMAN: That's more like it. And do you, errrr (SNIFFS) have any of the powdered stuff? (SNIFFS)
DEALER: You mean, strawberry bonbons?
WOMAN: Perfect..

FX - INTERNAL TRAIN DOOR OPENS

TICKET INSPECTOR: Tickets please!
MAN: Oh my God, quick, how much?
DEALER: Four little bags - that's forty quid mate.
MAN: Forty quid?! OK, here you go, quick Sarah let's go!
DEALER: Alright, nice doing business with you! Anybody else for drinks and snacks from the buffet trolley?

Like the punchline. It is certainly a good sketch. I would just say hone it and cut a lot out. Cut it down as much as possible if you don't mind me commenting.

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Wishus

  • Monday 21st October 2019, 11:29am
  • Northampton, England
  • 133 posts

Skram, I love your sketch - nice pay off at the end!

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skram

  • Monday 21st October 2019, 6:21pm [Edited]
  • Dartmoor, England
  • 68 posts

Thanks for the feedbacks! All much appreciated:

Quote: BTF @ 21st October 2019, 11:05 AM

I would just say hone it and cut a lot out. Cut it down as much as possible if you don't mind me commenting.

Doh, funnily enough if anything I padded this one out a bit as I was worried it was too short - I think I got into the mindset of it being easier and quicker for them to strip bits out rather than think it's too short and not have time to write additional material. I've always preferred setting up a joke rather than just lumping one-liners together but maybe that's not right on radio?

Quote: Rood Eye @ 21st October 2019, 11:50 AM

Taken as a topical sketch, however, some of the jokes (although decent enough in and of themselves) do not contribute to its topicality. The NewsJack people will, in my view, almost certainly have held that against you.

I'd be interested to hear what others think of this... from what I've heard on NJ, and this week was a great example, it seems that their main priority is the topicality of the sketch premise and little within is, or needs to be, that topical? (But yes, if I can do both then so much the better of course!).

Also, I see no reason why the man and woman should address each other by name: as long as the dealer and the man have different voices, listeners will have no difficulty knowing who's speaking.

I added those near the end as I think it reads better as them being a couple - it wasn't to distinguish who was who, more to set up the shame / just try it scenario of a couple... seemed to flow more naturally with the names than without them.

it needs to be slicker and punchier.

MAN: Forty quid?! OK, here you go, quick Sarah let's go!
DEALER: Alright, nice doing business with you! Anybody else for drinks and snacks from the buffet trolley?

I'd prefer something like:

MAN: Forty quid?! You ought to be arrested for your prices, never mind your illegal goods!
DEALER: Don't tell me. I only work here: and this is the buffet trolley!

Hmmmm, can't agree with this bit I'm afraid... I think it detracts from the final punchline like that... the man isn't worried about the dealer being arrested, he's the one who's scared and thinks he's doing something dodgy eating snacks... and by talking about "I only work here" you're no longer continuing to assume it's a drug/snack dealer before the punchline. You lose the punchline impact of both the extortionate prices and the fact it's just the buffet trolley. But then WTF do I know as it didn't get on...! Rolling eyes

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BTF

  • Monday 21st October 2019, 6:40pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 519 posts

Skram when I read it again a couple of times it is quite 'meaty' so does not need much trimming off so I was wrong. Maybe first bit about the man saying he can see seats etc...as the intro and train noises set it up as on a train?
I think I meant stuff like..'What the hell...drugs' when he could maybe just say, 'Smack?'. Where says friends and family could say just friends. There's a bit in the centre that could maybe be honed. At the end could remove 'Oh my God'. 'Sarah...bit' could maybe just be, 'We've had a hard week...'. 'How about a kit kat chunky' could be 'Kit kat chunky?' 'Forty.......off' maybe could be 'Forty? Ok here you go. Quick!'. 'these are sugary..... unrefined sugary snacks' could be just 'these are refined sugary snacks!' (distraught). Could say: 'you'll be jacking up on the flapjack'.
. Just tweaks. Just honing off superfluous words..I am probably wrong too - often am.

This made me think fleetingly of the child snatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang who was a terrifying figure!

You did a good introduction to the sketch.

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skram

  • Tuesday 22nd October 2019, 10:50am
  • Dartmoor, England
  • 68 posts
Quote: BTF @ 21st October 2019, 6:40 PM

Maybe first bit about the man saying he can see seats etc...as the intro and train noises set it up as on a train?
I think I meant stuff like..'What the hell...drugs' when he could maybe just say, 'Smack?'. Where says friends and family could say just friends. There's a bit in the centre that could maybe be honed. At the end could remove 'Oh my God'. 'Sarah...bit' could maybe just be, 'We've had a hard week...'. 'How about a kit kat chunky' could be 'Kit kat chunky?' 'Forty.......off' maybe could be 'Forty? Ok here you go. Quick!'. 'these are sugary..... unrefined sugary snacks' could be just 'these are refined sugary snacks!' (distraught). Could say: 'you'll be jacking up on the flapjack'.
. Just tweaks. Just honing off superfluous words..I am probably wrong too - often am.

Ah I see what you're saying on those, yes you're right and they are all good improvements actually, thanks - I am definitely far too verbose sometimes so something to work on for sure. Got to remember it's not an English essay Geek

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skram

  • Tuesday 22nd October 2019, 12:48pm
  • Dartmoor, England
  • 68 posts

This was my other sketch - this time I went for "combine 2 of the biggest most obvious stories and use characters they like doing impressions of" theory for getting a sketch onto NJ (#63 in a series of 451 failed techniques)... analysis/feedback/embarassed silence welcome:

The Irishman

INTRO: Martin Scorcese's "The Irishman" hit the big screens this week - obviously it was a real shock for fans to discover it was about violent gangsters, who'd have guessed... but they didn't know the movie shared its working title with another film due for release soon...

FX/GRAMS - MOVIE SOUNDTRACK AND BACKGROUND NOISE

V/O: Coming to EU cinemas from the 1st of November, the story of a man who needed taking down...
BORIS: Well, I , I , I....
DONALD TUSK: This BoJo is getting too big for the EU, he wants to break up the family.... nobody leaves the EU family...
V/O: They thought the EU was untouchable, but they hadn't banked on one man's reckless plan for independence....
BORIS: I, I, I have a plan.... to remove the backstop!

FX - SCREAMS

V/O: Introducing Jennifer Arcuri as Theresa May...
THERESA MAY: We're just friends Boris, the thigh's the limit!
V/O: But when desperate times call for desperate measures, there's only one man to call - Liam Neeson stars as Leo Varadkar in... "The Irishman".

FX - RINGING PHONE IS ANSWERED

BORIS: Y-y-y-yes, hello, top of the morning to you, Leo.
LEO: I don't know who you are...
BORIS: It's me, Boris. BoJo.
LEO: I don't know what you want...
BORIS: Well, actually, I'm very keen indeed to remove a certain backstop if you will, park it up and put it on the back burner so to speak...
LEO: I don't have any money...
BORIS: Well you've got those dreadful Euro thingies now don't you...
LEO: What I do have are a very particular set of skills...
BORIS: Do you dance with your arms by your side?
LEO: No, that's not what I....
BORIS: If you're wanting to lay a new driveway, I'm afraid you're bang out of luck there...
LEO: No, that's actually slightly offensive...
BORIS: Wait, is it saying the word "feck"? I loved Father Ted? Feck, feck, feck!
LEO: Look...
BORIS: I bloody love Ireland actually, I had a pint of Guinness when I was younger... although I should add I didn't swallow any...
LEO: (FRUSTRATED) Just wait a minute...(COMPOSED AGAIN) Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you...
BORIS: Oh bugger, you can't access my London Mayor accounts can you?
LEO: If you let Brexit go, that will be the end of it...
BORIS: Humbug!
LEO: But if you don't, I will look for you...
BORIS: I'm right here at Number 10 actually...
LEO: ...I will find you...
BORIS: You really can't miss me, it's literally where the Prime Minister lives, right next door to Number 11...
LEO: ..and I will...

FX - PHONE HANGS UP, DIAL TONE

BORIS: Nope, couldn't understand a bloody word he was saying. Now, Theresa, where were we?

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BTF

  • Friday 25th October 2019, 7:47pm [Edited]
  • United Kingdom
  • 519 posts
Quote: skram @ 22nd October 2019, 12:48 PM

This was my other sketch - this time I went for "combine 2 of the biggest most obvious stories and use characters they like doing impressions of" theory for getting a sketch onto NJ (#63 in a series of 451 failed techniques)... analysis/feedback/embarassed silence welcome:

The Irishman

INTRO: Martin Scorcese's "The Irishman" hit the big screens this week - obviously it was a real shock for fans to discover it was about violent gangsters, who'd have guessed... but they didn't know the movie shared its working title with another film due for release soon...

FX/GRAMS - MOVIE SOUNDTRACK AND BACKGROUND NOISE

V/O: Coming to EU cinemas from the 1st of November, the story of a man who needed taking down...
BORIS: Well, I , I , I....
DONALD TUSK: This BoJo is getting too big for the EU, he wants to break up the family.... nobody leaves the EU family...
V/O: They thought the EU was untouchable, but they hadn't banked on one man's reckless plan for independence....
BORIS: I, I, I have a plan.... to remove the backstop!

FX - SCREAMS

V/O: Introducing Jennifer Arcuri as Theresa May...
THERESA MAY: We're just friends Boris, the thigh's the limit!
V/O: But when desperate times call for desperate measures, there's only one man to call - Liam Neeson stars as Leo Varadkar in... "The Irishman".

FX - RINGING PHONE IS ANSWERED

BORIS: Y-y-y-yes, hello, top of the morning to you, Leo.
LEO: I don't know who you are...
BORIS: It's me, Boris. BoJo.
LEO: I don't know what you want...
BORIS: Well, actually, I'm very keen indeed to remove a certain backstop if you will, park it up and put it on the back burner so to speak...
LEO: I don't have any money...
BORIS: Well you've got those dreadful Euro thingies now don't you...
LEO: What I do have are a very particular set of skills...
BORIS: Do you dance with your arms by your side?
LEO: No, that's not what I....
BORIS: If you're wanting to lay a new driveway, I'm afraid you're bang out of luck there...
LEO: No, that's actually slightly offensive...
BORIS: Wait, is it saying the word "feck"? I loved Father Ted? Feck, feck, feck!
LEO: Look...
BORIS: I bloody love Ireland actually, I had a pint of Guinness when I was younger... although I should add I didn't swallow any...
LEO: (FRUSTRATED) Just wait a minute...(COMPOSED AGAIN) Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you...
BORIS: Oh bugger, you can't access my London Mayor accounts can you?
LEO: If you let Brexit go, that will be the end of it...
BORIS: Humbug!
LEO: But if you don't, I will look for you...
BORIS: I'm right here at Number 10 actually...
LEO: ...I will find you...
BORIS: You really can't miss me, it's literally where the Prime Minister lives, right next door to Number 11...
LEO: ..and I will...

FX - PHONE HANGS UP, DIAL TONE

BORIS: Nope, couldn't understand a bloody word he was saying. Now, Theresa, where were we?

Really like it. Great idea. At start 'taking down' could be 'needs to be TAKEN down'.
You could maybe say Marlon Brando starring as Donald Tusk.
Could maybe take out 'to remove backstop.' Maybe you could have Arcuri's voice and accent saying words associated with May like: I have a plan (with emphasis on I)... Brexit means Brexit means Brexit and no deal is better than a bad deal (or something better than my suggestions here which are a bit obvs maybe!!).

You could even say 'there is only one man to call on, starring as Leo Varadkar in The Irishman' but leave out Neeson's name to make it more funny when he builds up his speech and maybe then build up the actual lines which are in the film more so the audience definitely get it's Neeson before BJ interrupts and disrupts it and just hope the impersonation of Neeson is good enough to recognise!
BJ could say 'now ...Theresa' bit at end in seductive voice to emphasise punchline bit maybe. Anyway just personal tweaks and suggestions. I do really like it. Hope you don't mind. I can't help interfering. I try to avoid saying 'Boris' in feedback. Makes him sound too cuddly and familiar.