58Two Minute Comedy

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

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

Out of Toon
A Two Minute Comedy

Harry - a guy in a suit
Phil - another guy in a suit

Harry: Okay, thank you for participating in our focus group.  I’m going to hold up a drawing and tell me if you can identify it.

Harry holds up a piece of paper with a drawing on it.

Phil: That’s um, that’s the Road Runner…

Harry: And this….

Phil: Wiley Coyote…

Harry: This…

Phil: Charlie Brown.

Harry: How about this?

Phil: Popeye, the Sailor.

Harry: Okay, try this…

Phil: Betty Boop.

Harry: One more…

Phil: Homer Simpson… Okay, so they’re all cartoons.

Harry: How would you describe a cartoon?

Phil: (shrug) A drawing of some sort. 

Harry: And what is characteristic about these type drawings?

Phil: They’re funny.  Supposed to be funny.  Exaggerated. 

Harry: Are they real?

Phil: Of course not.

Harry: Are they intended to be real?

Phil: No.  Like I said they’re exaggerated on purpose.

Harry: And what would that purpose be?

Phil: To entertain.  To make us laugh.  Except for political cartoons.

Harry: Can you give me an example?

Phil: I don’t know.  Comics in newspapers are supposed to make you think.

Harry: Like what?  Can you think of one?

Phil: (pause) I grew up with Al Capp, uh, “Lil Abner.”   Supposed to be political.  I preferred “The Wizard of Id.”

Harry: Would you call that satire?

Phil: I don’t know.  That one guy, Jules Feiffer… I think he was a satirist. 

Harry: Yes.  In fact Jules Feiffer wrote, “Outside of basic intelligence, there is nothing more important to a good political cartoonist than ill will.”

Phil: Yeah.  That’s funny.  Look if you’re trying to justify these violent cartoons and video games, I don’t buy it.  Violence is violence whether it’s realistic or expressive.

Harry: But you said that they’re exaggerated on purpose.

Phil: So?  You think these video games with people’s heads getting blown off and buckets of blood is justifiable?

Harry: I never imagine them to be realistic.  I don’t see them as an accurate portrait of real life.

Phil: It’s gruesome anti-social behavior.  Damned close to pornography!

Harry: Something like ground combat warfare?

Phil: Look, don’t give me that bullshit about fighting wars is worse than porn or fake violence. 

Harry: Do real people get hurt in cartoons?

Phil: (pause) Real people’s psyche gets hurt, yes.

Harry: So, when the Coyote gets blown up by a stick of dynamite, we the viewers are… psychically damaged? 

Phil: I’m not talking about animated cartoons.

Harry: Then, in R. Crumb’s Fritz the Cat Zap Comix series, with lots of violence and obscenity, the readers are psychically damaged?

Phil: Yes.  I’d say they are.  If you indulge in that kind of twisted fantasy you probably have a twisted mind.

Harry: And if you see your Army buddy get his face blown off and you empty your sidearm into the ear of an enemy - you’re not twisted psychically?

Phil: Look, I don’t want to continue this any further.  I know the difference between a cartoon and real life.  People who indulge in cartoons and videos that fulfill their fantasies are disturbed.  That’s just the way I feel.

Harry: And those who go into the woods with the express purpose of hunting and killing an animal so they can cut off its head and hang it on a wall in their home - are not disturbed?

Phil: (stares) This is not funny.