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Sketch Time Machine: Dwarf Way

Because hey, why not, I thought I’d start posting some of my old/never performed/never to be performed again sketches online, with commentary about them. And I will call it, “Sketch Time Machine!” And it will be good. Hopefully.

Year Written: June, 2003

Goddammit I hate this sketch. I’ve previously stated that I don’t mind – and in fact, like, puns – but sometimes it’s just too much. I wrote this sketch, which is the most tortured puns about the subway system possible, based entirely on a phrase I always think of when I hear, “Stand clear of the closing doors.” And I honestly can’t remember at this point, but I believe I just read this because I wanted to have something to read at a meeting that night.

And then everybody voted it into a show.

Actually, that’s not totally accurate. They saw how uncomfortable it made me to do, and thought it would be funny to do this terrible sketch in a show, with the humor coming from us clearly hating on the sketch on stage. And I’ll tell you what: the sketch went over very poorly.

Now, normally, at that point we would pull the sketch from a show, or at the outset, do it one more time. We did this fucking sketch six goddamn times. Because every time I would suggest, “Hey, why don’t we pull this awful sketch from the show, instead of making everybody feel awkward, and hating themselves, mainly me,” someone – usually Stefan – would say, “No, no, let’s leave it in, it’s fine.” They’d say that in a tone where they knew it wasn’t fine, but everybody would laugh, and we’d move on. And the more I protested, the funnier it became to leave it in the show.

I still think of performing this sketch in my darkest moments. Shudder.

NOTES:

  • We performed this sketch on our knees, with shoes in front of us, so we “looked” like dwarves.
  • Also, every line was delivered as slow and purposefully as possible, directly to the audience. Because it was “funnier” that way.
  • The last line is delivered as loud, and as angry as possible.
  • Remember, I like puns, and I don’t like this sketch. And I wrote it. Guh.

Here’s the sketch:

DWARF WAY! 

A short story by Alexander Zalben

CHARACTERS: Dwarf 1, Dwarf 2, Man

                         Two dwarves are onstage.

                         DWARF 1

So just to make sure, it’s a one-bedroom condo, $1000 a month maintenance?

                         DWARF 2

That’s correct.

                         DWARF 1

Okay, I’ll sign the contract then. This is very exciting.

          (MAN walks in, stands right next to them.)

                         DWARF 2

Hey! Stand clear of the closing dwarves.

                         MAN

Sorry.

          (MAN leans on one of them.)

                         DWARF 1

So just sign there and—Hey! Don’t lean on the dwarves while his brain is in motion.

                         MAN

Sorry.

          (He picks up one of DWARF 1.)

                         DWARF 2

PLEASE, do not hold the dwarves, sir.

                         MAN

Okay.

          (He puts him down. Man 2 enters.)

                         MAN 2

I am from Croatia!

                         DWARF 2

Aw jeez, let’s get out of here.

          (MAN 1 picks up DWARF 1)

                         DWARF 2

Sir, if you keep holding the brain dwarf, we won’t be able to leave the Croatian.

                         MAN 1

But—

          (Dwarf 1 falls unconscious.)

                         DWARF 2

I’m sorry, this brain is no longer in service.

                         MAN 1

Aw.

                         DWARF 2

You’ll have to walk to another Croatian.

                         MAN 1

Okay.

          (Man exits.)

                         MAN 2

In Croatia, we have no subways.

                         DWARF 2

What are you talking about?

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