I'm actually proud of the skit, too, because I managed to bring the sketch full circle, get to the phrase needed and get the shopkeep to take credit for it. Plus I worked in an Abbott & Costello reference. It was certainly a weird variation on my Pet Store and Plant Store sketches, and of my shopkeep guy, who I later on named Martin Storeman and applied it retroactively to all these Dead Parrot-style routines.
I can't even remember how the idea came up, but I certainly held to the premise and worked it well. I guess it was only a matter of time before I pitched it to PHC. I had to add a wrap-around set-up, to make it seem like an on-going serial, which worked fine. I thought they would like the word play. I thought GK could be Paul Revere, but maybe that was too big a stretch from his usually droll/low-key demeanor. It was a pass for them.
When I did do the sketch at college, I attempted to audio tape the show. That tape is kicking around somewhere, I suppose. Maybe I'll get around to digitizing it and upload it someday.
Ye Olde Catch-Phrase Shoppe
AN: Time once again to visit colonial times as we look in on Ye Olde Catch-Phrase Shoppe.
(door opens, little bell rings)
SK: Good day, sire and welcome to Ye Olde Catch-Phrase Shoppe. "We put the words in your mouth." How may I help you?
PR: My name is Revere and I am looking for a catch-phrase.
SK: You have come to the right place. We have an unlimited selection of catch-phrases, mottos, and quips. What exactly are you looking for?
PR: Something that will bring attention to me.
SK: Well, we have several sure-fire ones. There's this one here, "You looking at me?", or perhaps, "Beer here!" or maybe "Who's on First?"
SK: Not What, Who. Heh-heh. Works every time.
PR: That is not really what I am looking for.
SK: What is it you want?
PR: Sort of a war cry.
SK: We have a very wide selection. Here's a few good ones, "Remember the Alamo." "Remember the Maine." And the ever popular "Buy a vowel."
PR: I think not.
SK: What is it for?
PR: The situation is thus: I have to ride through the countryside warning the farmers of an invasion.
SK: By whom?
PR: The British.
SK: How about, "Cheez it, the troops."
SK: Did you have something in mind?
PR: I was thinking of riding through town waving my hands yelling, "to arms! To arms!"
SK: Two arms. Do you not think people can see for themselves that you have two arms? Most people have, you know.
PR: Nay, nay. It means that the people should gather with their arms.
SK: As if someone is going to leave them home?
PR: Not at all. Bear arms.
SK: What do I care if you wear a short sleeve shirt?
PR: I do not wear a short sleeve shirt.
SK: You said your arms were bare.
PR: I said the citizens had to bear arms.
SK: Why are the citizens wearing short sleeve shirts?
PR: The citizens are not wearing short sleeve shirts.
SK: I should hope not, it's mighty chilly out.
PR: You do not have to wear short sleeve shirts to have to bear arms.
SK: No? Then what do you have to do?
PR: Have the enemy attack.
SK: Oh, and they tear off your sleeves.
PR: The sleeves have nothing to with having to bear arms.
SK: But they have two bear arms?
SK: What are they, part grizzly?
PR: Arms means weapons, guns!
SK: This is what happens when you let amateurs make catch-phrases.
PR: It is very important.
SK: So what you need is a war cry, to rally the citizenry to prepare for battle.
SK: Sorry, I sold the last one yesterday to Mr. Patrick Henry. It was a doozy, too. He says it all the time now. He's all "Give me this or give me death", "Give me that or give me death."
PR: I am in great need.
SK: Okay, what's the set-up for this ride?
PR: I am to watch the North Church for the signal that the British are invading, lanterns in the tower. One if by land, two if by sea.
SK: Hey, that was the phrase I sold the guy at the church. Is he with you?
PR: He is.
SK: Then I can give you a group discount.
PR: Upon the signal, I am to saddle up and ride to Concord and Lexington, warning the people.
SK: Ah! There's a horse. I have it then. As you mount your steed you cry, "Hi-ho-Silver!" You're a silversmith. It's perfect!
PR: And you came so highly recommended. Listen, all I want is a phrase to arouse the countrymen.
SK: How about, "Hey, good lookin'"
PR: It has to be a cry that will empty out the houses.
SK: Yell "Shark!"
PR: That will empty the houses?
SK: Works at the beach.
PR: This is not working out.
SK: Hold on, hold on, pewter-boy, we'll lick this yet. Now, you want a war cry. Who is it for?
PR: The minutemen.
SK: Who are the minutemen?
SK: Why are they called minutemen?
PR: Because they will be ready in a minute.
SK: Ready for what?
PR: (getting mad) To fight!
SK: Fight who?
PR: The British!
PR: Because the British are coming, the British are coming!
SK: There you go, your catch-phrase.
PR: The British are coming. I like it.
SK: Fine. That will be five pounds six, sir.
PR: Five pounds six? For what? I thought of it.
SK: Coaching, sir.
PR: Coaching?? I won't pay it!
SK: Is that your final answer?
PR: I'm leaving, and you won't have me to kick around anymore!
SK: Can I quote you?
(bell tingles, door slams)
AN: Tune in next time for "Ye Old Catch-Phrase Shoppe" when we hear the shopkeep say,
SK: Sure, Mr. Washington, you can say "I cannot tell a lie," but how will you be able to be President then?
AN: That's next time on "Ye Old Catch-Phrase Shoppe."