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Sketch Time Machine: Teenage Mutant Ninja Artists

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: 2003

This is another of those sketches I actually like. Partially inspired by the “Matisse vs. Picasso” sketch that I posted yesterday, and mostly inspired by Chris and I talking about Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and hitting the most logical conclusion, I think this sketch actually fixes a lot of my problems with yesterday’s sketch.

In fact, with a polish, and some shortening in the second half in particular, where it slows down, I think this would be presentable, if I wasn’t also sure that since 2003, someone has definitely done this idea. If you’ve seen it somewhere, shoot me a link, I’m curious.

NOTES:

  • One other thing holding me back is that TMNT ideas – and most pop culture ideas of its time – are overdone at this point. Like Star Wars: enough with the funny Star Wars stuff already, everyone, we get it.
  • I like the first ending best… I’m pretty sure that was Chris doing it when we rehearsed (but never performed) it, and it always made me laugh.
  • I also love calling him “The Shred-Man.” I think that was all Chris, too.
  • Basically, Chris is a great guy. FYI.

Here’s the sketch:

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA ARTISTS 

A splinter faction by Chris Principe and Alexander Zalben

CHARACTERS: Splinter, Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Shredder

                         THEME

Teenage mutant ninja turtles

Teenage mutant ninja turtles

Teenage mutant ninja turtles

Heroes in a half shell

Turtle power!

(Lights up.)

                         SPLINTER

So I think I made a terrible mistake.

(Splinter is on stage with      three guys,

sitting in four chairs. They are awkwardly

holding weapons. They all have very exaggerated

foreign accents.)

                         LEONARDO

You sure did, you crazy giant rat!

                         RAPHAEL

Leonardo, calm down.

                         LEONARDO

What we’re you thinking?

                         SPLINTER

I just thought that bringing four of the most brilliant minds in the history of the world together could help us defeat Krang, Shredder, and the evil armies of Dimension X.

                         LEONARDO

But we are Michelangelo Buonarotti, Raphael Santi, and Leonardo DaVinci. We are not fighters.

                         MICHELANGELO

Where’s a Donatello?

                         LEONARDO

Face down in the sewers because of him!

                         SPLINTER

He was not ready.

                         RAPHAEL

Listen, giant rat. We appreciate you kidnapping us, and bringing us to these glorious sewers to fight an army of androgynous foot soldiers, the Shred-Man, and a giant talking brain. Really, we do. But we would appreciate it, if-a you could return us to our proper time periods.

                         LEONARDO

Plus, also, we are painters!

                         MICHELANGELO

I consider myself, foremost a sculptor.

                         LEONARDO

It doesn’t matter! What matters is that we need to go home and create many beautiful things.

                         SPLINTER

In every hero’s life, he must make a choice. You must choose between saving the world, and—

                         LEONARDO

And going home. Yes, I choose to go home.

                         RAPHAEL

Yes, I should really get back to painting the walls of the Sistine Chapel.

                         MICHELANGELO

You painted the walls? I painted the ceiling.

                         RAPHAEL

Bellisimo!

                         MICHELANGELO

Bellisimo!

     (SHREDDER enters.)

                         SHREDDER

Bellisimo!

                         RAPHAEL

It’s the Shred Man!

                         MICHELANGELO

Run! It’s the guy that killed my good friend Donatello.

                         SPLINTER

No. You must face him. It is your destiny.

                         LEONARDO

No, it is not our destiny. My destiny is to continue my study of mathematics and the natural sciences.

                         SHREDDER

Then you will all die, starting with Splinter!

                         LEONARDO

The big rat is right there.

                         SHREDDER

I’m going to enjoy this, Splinter. I’m going to slice you like I did your no talent hack student.

                         MICHELANGELO

Donatello! He achieved effects of spatial depth never seen before in all of art! AHHHH!!!!

          (MICHELANGELO attacks SHREDDER, who

knocks him down. RAPHAEL attacks him too,

also gets knocked down.)

                         SPLINTER

Raphael! No!

    

                         SHREDDER

Hahaha! Everybody knows that the high renaissance was nothing but crude paintings of naked women and an overabundance of Madonna portraits.

                         LEONARDO

Hey! We were contemporaries!

                        

          (LEONARDO attacks SHREDDER. SHREDDER laughs,

but gets knocked over.)

                         SHREDDER

Ow! My—ow! I’ll get you Splinter! And your renaissance artists!

          (SHREDDER runs off.)

                         SPLINTER

Wow. You have a strong left arm.

                         LEONARDO

I’m left handed.

                         SPLINTER

You see? You had the power in you, and you used it. So… who wants pizza!

                         LEONARDO

I like pizza, that’s very nice. Thank you, big rat… sensei. Michelangelo, Raphael, you want a slice?

                         SPLINTER

I sink they are dead.

                         LEONARDO

All right! More pizza for us! This is great! Hey, I’m a gonna paint your portrait!

          (LEONARDO starts painting.)

                         SPLINTER

Go Leo, Go Leo Go!

Go Leo, Go Leo Go!

 

Or:

                         LEONARDO

Wow! This ooze is excellent for painting, what’s its secret?

Or:

Teenage mutant ninja artists

Teenage mutant ninja artists

Teenage mutant ninja artists

Heroes with a paintbrush

Artist power!

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