Monday, 2 November 2015

Emergency phone conversation sketch

I recently read John Cleese's autobiography "So anyway". As a massive Monty Python fan I found this to be an amazing read. It was fascinating to hear about the history of the comedy team, where they originated, and also their involvement with other acclaimed comedians such as Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry, and Tim Brooke-Taylor to mention a few.

It became evident what a monumental influence these comedic pioneers had on society. The book was quite inspiring, it made me realise how powerful comedy can be in both a literal and social sense, but also professionally. 

If you haven't seen or heard of Monty Python then I truly envy you, because you get to watch it for the first time and fall in love. Read the book also, it's hilarious. It might be best not to read it in public however... I found myself erupting with explosive laughter on the train and copping strange looks.

I was inspired to have a go at screenwriting a small comedy sketch, here it is! :

Emergency phone call

Scene description: A person calls an emergency number with an unusual dilemma and is treated accordingly.

*phone ringing, answer*
Emergency operator: Hello?
Caller: Hi!
E: How's it going?
C: Yeah not bad this the err '000' emergency hotline?
E: Yes! what can I do for you today?
C: I'm being stabbed! Please send hel-(p)
*Operator interrupts mid sentence*
E: Would you like an ambulance, fire brigade or the police sir?
C: Who would you recommend?
E: Well the fire brigade are my personal favourite, commander Watson always seems to know how to liven up the atmosphere.
E: Okay sir, okay, please remain calm. Are you alone?
C: Alone?!  Yes, i'm stabbing myself *sarcasm*. Please send help... Of course i'm not alone! It's me
and my assailant!
E: No no. Your assailant and "I"...Watch your grammar! Now can you please describe the assailant?
C: Describe my assailant?! I'M BEING STABBED! I DON'T HAVE TIME TO...

*interrupted by shrieking/begging and cutting noise, Eventually stops and goes quiet after the callers
leg is removed.*

C: Ahh, that's better... Short brown hair, right handed, very powerful grip.

*Reveals the operator drawing a crappy stick-man style sketch of the criminal (using crayons or finger paint)*

E: Yes, yes perfect! And what is he wearing sir? Eye colour? Are his fingernails well maintained?
C: hmm, let me check. Suspenders, flannelette shirt, rubber gloves.

*more graphic noises, shrieking, chainsawing, very loud. Phones begins to make ringing noise and operator has to pull away due to loud volume.*

E: Excuse me, can you please be quiet, I'm trying to take this down.
C: OI! He says to keep down. (Yelling at assailant)
Assailant: Oh, sorry!

*noise simmers*

E: Okay okay, that should be plenty. Now can you please tell me your name and address?
C: Do you want MY address? or where I am being murdered?
E: Yours will be fine, thankyou. And lose the attitude or I'll hang up.
C: 34 ...*scream*... Flannigan street...

*voice trails off. More graphic noises.*

C: "That was my thumb!" (external dialogue)
E: I'm sorry. This isn't working, can you please put me on to somebody else, or try turning loudspeaker on?
C: (to the assailant) "Here, you take it!"
A: Hello?
E: Who's this?
A: I'm not telling.
E: Why not?!
A: No reason.
E: Now don't you get smart with me young man...
A: one moment please.

*Phone gets placed down, chainsaw noise starts up again, screaming noises*
*eventually stops*

C: Hello?
E: What model is he using? Husqvarna?
C: No, no... don't be stupid... (looking to side of chainsaw) it's a Stihl.
E: What's the warranty like on those things?
(murderer interrupts)
A: Not bad actually, maintenance is a hassle though.
C & E (together): Mmm true.

*more chainsawing*
*sounds as if Caller has finally died*

E: (upward inflection) Well thank god that's over...
*caller sits upright*
C: Yeah, he's out of petrol.
*door slams*
*awkward chit-chat between C and E*
e.g. :Weather's been nice recently wouldn't you say? OR: Know any good cleaners? (looking around room at guts and blood everywhere)

C: So are you going to send over some help?
E: yeah... alright...

*Shows room full of police officers, firemen and doctors intently listening to the ordeal

C: (covers microphone) Alright you lot, shows over. Quick! ...34 Flannigan street, and make it snappy, I think this guy MIGHT be a psycho!


I'm open to suggestions or advice! Please comment!