53Two Minute Comedy

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

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


Broadcast News

A Two Minute Comedy

CAST: 

Bob -  Newscaster 1
Bill - Newscaster 2
Audience - (offstage) Voice

A television news studio.  Bob and Bill are seated side by side, each with a microphone on their lapel and an earpiece in one ear.  Each has a sheaf of papers which they refer to off prompter.

Bob: And in breaking news the banking bubble has burst another billion dollar boondoggle.

Bill: Right Bob.  While stocks and bonds plunge, the banking world is reeling with new accusations of scandal, excess, corruption and chaos.

Bob: In fact that’s the watchword for the entire financial world isn’t it Bill?  Chaos.  With markets plunging to record low levels and thousands of bankruptcies on the rise, it is nothing but chaos out there.

Bill: I think it’s safe to say it’s catastrophic.

Bob: And desperate.

Bill: And depressing.

Bob: Debilitating…

Bill: Dismembering…

Audience: (offstage) Excuse me…

Bob: (ignoring Audience) Despondent…

Audience: Ah, excuse me…

Bill: Discombobulating…

Bob: Disturbing…

Audience: I’m sorry but could I make a comment?

Bob and Bill look at each other, trying to ignore the voice of Audience.

Bob: Disruptive Bill.  The market is becoming disruptive.

Bill:  Bringing about a growing atmosphere of despair.

Audience: Hey look, I’m gonna keep interrupting so you might as well talk to me.

Bob: (irritated)  Bill, you know the mood is so bad out there you can almost hear the desperation.

Audience: What you’re hearing is me!

Bill:
(improvising) Which is… what is so unusual Bob, because usually you can’t hear desperation like this.

Audience: Look man, I’m not desperate.  I’d just like to have a word with you guys.

Bob and Bill look at each other blankly.

Bill: Well, back to you Bob…

Bob: Thank you Bill, (shuffles papers)… in other news the bond markets have been plunging for the…

Audience: Hey!  Hey!  Wait just a minute fellas.  The bond market isn’t plunging and even if it was there’s nobody out here who cares!

Bob: (forging ahead) The ah, bond market’s been plunging for the sixth straight day…

Audience: Hello?  Time out!  You can’t avoid me guys.  I am your audience.

Bob and Bill stare.  Silence.


Bill: (squinting ) You are??

Audience: Hell yeah.  Who do you think listens to your broadcasts? 

Bob: (hesitant) We have millions of viewers.  You’re interrupting an important broadcast…

Audience: Aw come on guys.  Your broadcast isn’t important.  You’re just a couple of entertainers.  Like Crusty, Homer and Sammy Davis Jr.

Bill: (confused) The night club singer?

Bob: (angry) I’m sorry but who the hell do you think you are?

Audience: I’m trying to tell you.  I’m your audience! 

Bill: But you’re just… one person.

Audience: Right!  I’m one person.  That’s all you got in your audience.

Bob: Well that’s utter nonsense.  We have the second highest rating in the entire market…

Audience: Hey.  You said the market had plunged right?

Bob: We have millions of viewers.

Audience: You HAD millions of viewers.  Things have changed.

Bill: What’s changed?

Audience: Well, for one, I’m the only one left who listens to you.  And I’m about to tune out.

Bob: Why?

Audience: Because the junk you’re pitching is boring.  Old hat.  Totally uninteresting!

Bob: (offended) And who are you to judge?

Audience: I keep telling’ you.  I am your audience!  You need new material.

Bill: But this is the news!  We’re newscasters!  We’re just telling it like it is.

Audience: No.  You’re telling it like it isn’t.  All that stuff you’re reading…  “Falling this?  Plunging that?”  It’s all garbage.  Hogwash.  Bullshit. 

Bob: (defensive) It’s the news taken directly from the world’s biggest wire services.

Audience: Which makes it comedy.  That’s why you guys are entertainers.  Only, you don’t have but one guy to entertain.  Me!

Bill: This is ridiculous.  Where’s our audience?

Audience: Gone.   You lost em.  To the internet probably.

Bob: (angry) That’s not true!

Audience: I can tell you how to get em back.

Bill: (eagerly) How?

Bob: We’re not interested.

Audience: Try some upbeat stories.  Some good news for a change.  People love good news!

Bob: Well, there isn’t any these days.

Audience: Of course there is.  It’s just your sources don’t want to admit it.  They’re too scared.

Bill: (doubtful) Scared of good news?

Audience: Absolutely.  Good news lifts people up.  Bad news scares them so they’re easier to control.  But if you want to get an audience back, and make money on advertising - you gotta change your material. 

Bob: Ridiculous. 

Audience: It’s your only hope.

Bill: (to Bob ) We need an audience… More than one.

Bob: Forget it!  We read the news that’s given to us.  That’s our job.

Audience: That was your job.  You have a chance at a new one.  A better one. 

Bill: You can do that for us?

Audience: Of course I can.

Bob: (dismissive) He can’t do a thing for us.  This is all some kind of technical stunt.

The lights suddenly go OUT.

Audience: You mean like that?

Bill: (frightened) Let’s not screw with the guy, Bob.

Bob: Turn the lights back on!

The light turn ON.

Audience: I can do all kinds of things that will make your life better.

The lights flash brilliant colors.  Bill looks around fearfully.

Bill: Bob, let’s do what the man says.

Bob: Who the hell are you, anyway?

Audience: (sighs) I’m your audience.  And I’m only here to help.

Bob and Bill exchange looks.  They pause.

Bob: How do we get started?

Lights brighten and then FADE OUT.


THE END