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Sketch Time Machine: Homework Monsters

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: 2002

Now, this one never got performed, and for good reason… It’s reeeeeally slow to get going. I do think there’s some totally fine jokes throughout here, but in total, it should have gotten to the game faster, and hit it harder when it did.

Also, for some reason, I thought I wrote this with Jeff Solomon, but I guess not? Sorry to bring you into this, Jeff.

Notes:

  • This actually got to stage for several shows in a row, before I stopped bringing it in to voting. For those of you who don’t know, that’s the part of the process where we stage a sketch, and then vote on the ones we actually want to perform in front of people. This was not one of those.
  • Spoiler: The closest this gets to hitting something interesting is the “Pit of Eternal Awesomeness.” Though I don’t know that’s enough to revisit the sketch.
  • It’s kind of jaw-dropping, in retrospect, how close Dorno and Bjorno are to Dobby. I had read the Harry Potter book he appeared in by then, and maybe saw the movie (they came out the same year), but I don’t think I put two-and-two together. The sketch is playing with fantasy archetypes, sure, but still. I am dumb. Though, to be fair/sell them out, no-one in Elephant Larry mentioned that, either. Even though they will say they did. Geoff.

Here’s the sketch:

HOMEWORK MONSTERS 

A cotton candy nightmare by Alexander Zalben

CHARACTERS: Dad, Randy, Dorno, Bjorno, Mom

RANDY’S bedroom. RANDY is at his desk, DAD is talking to him.

                         DAD

Now, son, after you finish your homework, you can go out and have fun with your friends, but not until you’ve finished.

                         RANDY

But homework takes so long, I don’t have friends anymore.

                         DAD

Son, that’s not true. You’re a very popular guy.

                         RANDY

No, I’m not. I’m a very unpopular guy.

                         DAD

You’re popular, and this discussion is over. Just finish your homework, or else–

                         RANDY/DAD

The homework monsters will get me/you.

                         RANDY

Yeah, I know. BYE.

          (DAD leaves.)

                         RANDY (CONT’D)

Homework monsters… He must think I’m like, five, or something… Let’s see, English. The cat is brown and–

          (We hear a banging sound offstage.)

                         RANDY (CONT’D)

Eep! What the heck was that?

          (The banging continues, until suddenly,

           a small dwarfish man falls out from one

           side of the stage.)

                         DORNO

Hello there, Randy!

                         RANDY

Who are you? And how do you know my name? Additionally, where did you just come from?

                         DORNO

So many questions! You’ll confuse poor Dorno! Which answers one of your questions! I am Dorno, pleased be I to meet you! To answer your other questions, I know your name because I live in your closet. Actually, that answers your third question, too!

                         RANDY

Wait a second… If you live in my closet, how come I’ve never seen you before?

                         DORNO

Why, I live in the magical kingdom of Flurno… It’s just three knocks and a whistle past the back of your closet wall!

                         RANDY

Flurno?

                         DORNO

Yes, Flurno, the magical kingdom where fun and candy live!

                         RANDY

Wait a second… you’re not a homework monster, are you?

                         DORNO

Ho, ho, no. The homework monsters used to live in the magical kingdom of Flurno, but we banished them many fun-cycles ago!

                         RANDY

Really?

                         DORNO

Would a magical creature who lives in the back of your closet lie to you?

                         RANDY

I don’t know how to answer that. But why are you here, Dorno? Why show yourself to me now?

                         DORNO

Why Randy, in our kingdom, you are a… how do you say, god!

                         RANDY

Really?

                         DORNO

Oh, yes, Randy. We know all about your exploits against the demon homework, and your nemesis, Dad. We wanted to take you away from all of that, and invite you to join us in Flurno!

                         RANDY

This sounds a little too good to be true… Maybe you should get back to me later.

          (A fairy like creature falls out of the closet.)

                         BJORNO

Dorno!

                         DORNO

Bjorno!

          (They dance a happy little dance.)

                         RANDY

Bjorno? I assume you come from the kingdom of Flurno as well?

                         BJORNO

Yes, and you are the great and powerful Randy! Come with us to the magical kingdom of Flurno… the cotton-candy festival is about to begin in the Valley of Eternal Bliss!

                         RANDY

I don’t know… I should probably ask my Dad permission before I go anywhere.

                         DORNO

Wouldn’t want to see the Carnival of Lost Souls Who are Having a Great Time?

                         BJORNO

Or the Pit of Eternal Awesomeness?

                         RANDY

Well, it does sound nice. You sure you guys aren’t Homework Monsters?

                         BJORNO

Ho, ho, no. Do we look like Homework Monsters?

                         RANDY

I don’t know what Homework Monsters look like.

                         BJORNO

(Snapping) Well, they don’t look like us.

                         DORNO

He probably won’t come, Bjorno. Come, let us go frolic in the Fields of Honey Butter Lollipops.

                         BJORNO

I’d rather pluck Neverberries in Pineapple Pizza Party Park.

                         DORNO

Why not do both?

                         BJORNO

True! Let’s go!

                         RANDY

Wait! You guys… take me with you. Homework can wait.

                         DORNO AND BJORNO

Hurrah!

          (THEY dance around RANDY.)

                         DORNO

No remember, to get to the magical land of Flurno, you just have to knock three times…

                         BJORNO

And whistle!

          (Randy does. A light shines from off-stage.)

                         RANDY

Wow! Let’s go!

          (THEY run offstage.)

                         RANDY (O.S.)

Hey, we’re here… Wait, this place is all rocky and horrible. Where’s the fields of lollipops? And the pit of Eternal Awesomeness?

                         DORNO

They aren’t here Randy…

                         BJORNO

You really should have listened to your father, Randy…

                         RANDY

No! I swear, I’ll do my homework!

          (Horrible crunching noises are heard.

An arm flies onstage. They stop. DAD enters.)

                         DAD

Randy? Rando? You doing your homework? (Dad picks up arm) Randy? You should have listened to me about the homework monsters. (pause) Well, better get started on making a smarter son. Honey, Randy’s dead, let’s get ready to make love!

                         MOM (O.S.)

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

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