41Two Minute Comedy

"Give us Two Minutes... We'll Give You Too"

A Series of Two Minute Comedy Sketches for short attention span theatre

Sorely Pressed
A Two Minute Comedy

Johannes Gutenberg - publisher
Town Crier - circa mid 18th century
Pheidippides - the Greek messenger
Klef Tolbermon -  TV pundit 2008
Walter Cronkite - ex-news anchor
KC - female, 20

A typical Starbucks-type coffee shop.  The men are settling in around a table.  Each is dressed in their period wardrobe.  Town Crier is looking for milk for his coffee.   Frustrated, he faces the service counter and RINGS his brass bell.

Crier: Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!!  Let it be known that this heinous establishment is now and for the time being bereft of Two Percent milk!!  

Pheidippides: (embarrassed) Oh come now Crier, don’t make a fuss.

Crier: (adamant) I am Town Crier.  It is my duty to make a fuss, Pheidippides.

Pheidippides: How about I run over to Seven Eleven and get us a quart? 

Crier: And deny me the need to publicize a disaster?

Gutenberg:  (disgusted) Use the skim milk Crier.  And put away the bloody bell!

Crier: (rings bell) Oyez, Oyez!!  Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of moveable type, contemptuous of the King‘s Messenger!

Gutenberg: You’re not a messenger Crier.  You are doddering on the scrap heap of retirement like the rest of  us.

Cronkite: (grim) And that’s the way it was. Sadly.

Tolberman: Don’t back down Crier.  It’s just another elitist ploy to keep the common man enslaved.

Crier: Exactly liberal pundit Tolbermon! 

Just then an KC delivers a fresh quart of milk. 

Pheidippides: Damn!  I was in the mood for a jog.

Crier: Oyez, Oyez… Disaster narrowly defeated by overland relief!!

KC:  (worried) My boss asked that you not ring the bell… It disturbs the customers.

Crier: (offended) Your boss???  Where is the sniveling capitalist?  I’m delivering the news!

KC: Please, Mr. Crier.  I don’t want to lose my job.

Crier: (going to sit) Yes.  Well, it happens to the best of us young lady.  Trust no one and make sure you’ve got a good IRA.

Cronkite: (to KC) Tell me young lady.  What’s your major source of news these days?

KC: (thinks) The ride board at the Student Union?

The men look at each other blankly.

Tolbermon: Do you ever watch Katie Couric??

KC: (no clue) Who?

Cronkite: The anchor of the CBS Evening News? 

KC stares.

Gutenberg: Who do you get your news from, if I may ask?

KC: (shrug) Friends.  Drudge.  Facebook. 

Cronkite: You reject mainstream media.  Why?

KC: (obviously) Um, nobody believes them?

Tolbermon: (incredulous) Nobody believes the news?  All of it?

KC: Hey, I can change the skin of my iPod, but inside it’s still an iPod.  Excuse me…

She exits.  The gentlemen stir their coffee in uncomfortable silence.  Cronkite tries to change the subject.

Cronkite: Did I ever show you guys the video of my Galapagos trip?

Pheidippides:  (sadly) Know what I miss about Athens the most?

Tolbermon: Anthony Quinn?

Pheidippides:  War…

Gutenberg: (pause) It really did sell, didn’t it?

Crier: (wistful) Better than famine or the plague.

Tolbermon: Right up there with Royalty.

Cronkite: And religion.

Another long pause.

Tolbermon: (hopeful) Hey.  Bingo and beer Thursday night at the Press Club!

Inspired, Crier reaches for his bell.  Gutenberg grabs his arm. 

Gutenberg: Nobody’s interested,  Crier.  Nobody’s interested.