Feeble Attempts at Comedy 1: Revenge of the Not-Quite-Dead Parrot and Other Silly Bits

Don't mind this, really. This is a hedge against losing this post when I change my station. Of course, if you missed it, feel free to read on.

By request, I present my "Revenge of the Not-Quite-Dead Parrot." It's the first time I've really tried writing comedy, so I wrote it in the vein of a Flying Circus episode. I might fiddle with it again and transform it into something more original and hopefully even funnier.

And of course, Monty Python retains the rights to their own created characters, sketches, etc. The rest belongs to me. Be nice and don't steal, unless you want Spiny Norman to come get you.

Right. Enough with the silly lawyer talk!

by Romanes eunt domus (not my real name),
Inspired by Monty Python (not their real name) and their Pet Shop (Dead Parrot) sketch

After ranting over the dead parrot in the Pet Shop, Eric Praline leaves in disgust, muttering something about “giving the parrot a proper burial.”

PRALINE stands over a small hole in the ground by a tree in his backyard. Next to him is a trowel and a coffin-shaped shoe box with parrot legs sticking out, labeled 'REVENANT SHOES: For the Corpse that's Going Places' PRALINE is saying the Prayer for the Dead over the parrot.

PRALINE: Rest in peace.

He finishes with a sign of the cross over the box. As he kneels to place the lid on the box and put the parrot to rest...


Praline jumps. Staring agape at the parrot, he crawls back into a kneel.

SHOPKEEPER [off-camera]: See, I told you he was stunned!

PRALINE hurls his hand trowel at the CLERK, who ducks...


But a little too late.

PRALINE: Enough, you. [addresses the PARROT] Why didn't you speak up earlier?

PARROT: Well, I hardly could, what with you banging me on the counter like I was a nut that did you wrong. The PARROT stands up. I've half a mind to report you to the SPCA!

PRALINE: I didn't know you were alive, er... [Praline searches for a name to call the parrot] Eric?

PARROT: That's not my name!

PRALINE: But I call all my other pets Eric. It's a good name for a Norwegian Blue.

PARROT: My mother named me Even, thank you very much.

PRALINE: Well that's odd.

PARROT: No, my father was Odd, I'm Even.

PRALINE: That's even odder.

PARROT: [flaps his wings] Stop that!

PRALINE: Er, is there something I could do to make it up?

PARROT: How could you possibly do that?

PRALINE: I've got a bit of calamari in the refrigerator...

PARROT: Mmm, sounds tempting, but NO! [hops out of the box] I've had enough of you, you git, you unforgivable sod, you....ERIC!!!! Brothers and sisters, come stand with me against the oppressor!

From all around parrots flock into the scene, macaws, African Grays, Greens, a riot of psittacine color and squawking. They settle in the tree and on Praline's shoulders.

PARROT: We have one demand.

PRALINE [alarmed]: W-What would that be?


Cut to a title: CORN

EMCEE [voiceover]: With that, it's time for funny vegetables!

Establishing shot of a massive corn field in Iowa. “Shaker Melody” or something else evocative of wide open spaces is playing. From high in the air, we zoom in on SOMEONE in a business suit standing in front of the field, until the camera is level with SOMEONE'S face.

SOMEONE [glances about]: There's quite a lot of it, you know.

Scene changes. Zoom out from TV where SOMEONE is standing next to a corn field. Watching on a couch are a pair of PEPPERPOTS. They are munching on popcorn from a promotional bowl labeled 'POLLY POPCORN: THE FIRST CHOICE OF PARROTS.' The logo is a blue parrot in flight.

PEPPERPOT 1: Well that's not a funny vegetable at all!

PEPPERPOT 2 [Shakes her head and grabs a handful of popcorn]: No.

PEPPERPOT 1: I mean, quantity is no indicator of humorous content. Look at the dodo, there's none of them left and they're still hilarious!

PEPPERPOT 2 nods as she munches.

PEPPERPOT 1: If you want to know a funny vegetable, we have to look at [counts off on her fingers] shape, color, and texture, and uses.

PEPPERPOT 2 grabs another handful and returns to staring at the television. PEPPERPOT 1 carries on as if her audience were totally engrossed.

Bananas, for instance, are very funny because of their curved shape, bright yellow color, and slippery inside. All of these contribute to their traditional role in slapstick, dearie.

PEPPERPOT 1: And then there's gross offensivity!

PEPPERPOT 2 [swallows]: Offensivity?

PEPPERPOT 1: Say you have a carrot. It's offensivity is measured by it's bulging at either end and overall hairiness.

PEPPERPOT 2: So it's about resemblance to naughty bits?

PEPPERPOT 1: That's right! And you can extend that to all foods: sausages, for instance.

PEPPERPOT 2: And what if foods are the naughty bits?


PEPPERPOT 2: They are in some cultures.

PEPPERPOT 1: That would be offensivity per se, wouldn't it?

PEPPERPOT 2: Look! It's my favorite show.
Zoom in on television and scene change. The camera is initially on a garish sign reading FUNNY FOODS. Cheesy TV music plays as we pan down to the brightly dressed, smiling EMCEE, with a plate of round white things in soy sauce.

EMCEE: For this week in funny foods, we take a look at sheep testicles! [Cut to a photograph of a sheep from the back, shorn so that everything is noticeable. Located just behind a ram's penis...

Cut back to the EMCEE. Suddenly the music becomes dark and tense, and the EMCEE loses his smile. A horrible, growling, amorphous black creature rises behind him. A zoom-out reveals the great size of the monster (helpfully labeled in terrifying letters, “The Black Beast of Censorship”).

EMCEE [nervously]: I-I mean water chestnuts!

The beast recedes, and we hear a faint shuffling.

EMCEE [shifty-eyed and grinning mischievously]: Chest-Nuts.

Suspicious, the BBC... (damn, if only I were British...hmm..Pink Beast of Standards? Fuchsia Censorship Creature? Well, whatever it's called) it pokes its head out from bottom of the screen, looks left, looks right, and gives a warning grumble.... The EMCEE looks as innocent as a newborn babe, however, and the beast disappears from whence it came.

EMCEE: I'll now hand you over to my good friend Bobbing Indawater with an appeal to popular culture. Bob?
We cut to a different set. A curtain is drawn across the stage. BOB is standing center stage. Suddenly an annoying pop song plays, and BOB is jerked backwards by an unseen force, disappearing behind the curtain. A struggle ensues with much scuffling; the curtain is ruffled by thrashing limbs. During all this business, we hear...

BOB: Ahhh! Stop it! Please, please, I'll give you anything! Gold! [crash] oil! [crash] sonic...toothbrushes!!!!

A final crash and a bang, then complete silence for several seconds. First we see a left arm, jacket sleeve torn to tatters, thrust between the curtains. BOB, hair completely disheveled, crawls back on stage with supreme effort. His right trouser leg is also shredded; beneath the remains, we can see multi-colored teddy bears on his boxers. Slowly, he pulls himself to his feet, straightening his tie, and brushing the hair out of his eyes. Then he looks into the camera, perfectly composed.

BOB: Excuse me. Now for...


And so it ends...for now.

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Lvndr HppE: I like the part about the black beast of censorship creeping up to the emcee, but the not so dead parrot part was the best part.