We wrote this for a show called "Big B's Travelling Sideshow" which was on the Manhattan Public Access channel. Initially, the product advertised was a stapler. Ouch, right? John and I were trying to write more female-centric skits, both to accommodate the two female cast members of Big B's (Big B being one of them) and just to push against the "boy's comedy club" mentality of the time. We honestly thought these bits could make a difference. Or help us stand out. Big B didn't use it and then went belly up.
Fast-forward to 2000: PHC was in NYC during April and I was trying to pull out all the stops, trying to impress them and show my range as the hometown boy. So I pulled this material out. It's an interesting attempt to combine an old sketch with one of PHC's running commercial gags, the Duct Tape Council. Swap out duct tape for stapler and we were good to go. But they didn't use it either. On on hand, the merged rather well, on the other hand I can see where it might be a bit off the standard PHC fare. So, here's my PHC radio adaption of the Rawlins & Fiorella sketch "Fast-o-Matic:"
DUCT TAPE DIET
by Dan Fiorella & John Rawlins
(Bertha, Gladys, Waiter, GK)
(RESTAURANT: DINNER SERVED)
BT:---So I thought it was a compliment until I looked up the word "Rubensesque." It means fat. This artist Rubens painted a lot of fat women in these poses. Women with rolls of fat. Rolls and rolls.
GL: Stop with the rolling, you're making me sea-sick.
BT: Apparently, chubby was in then.
GL: Times change.
WT: Ready to order, ladies?
GL: Not yet, we're still deciding.
WT: I'll be back.
BT: I'm only allowed a total of one thousand calories a day on my new high-zinc diet.
GL: Is all this dieting worth it? God, I remember when I went on the all liquid diet just as I started to retain water. I damn near burst.
BT: I was thinking liposuction.
GL: Yeah, let some crazed surgeon come at you with a Hoover. Be real. What happened to your all-banana diet?
BT: My skin started to peel.
GL: You know, I was thinking of just going out into the sun and burn, then peel, go out and get sunburned again and peel again, and keep doing that until I got thinner.
BT: I saw this ad for a clinic where they hypnotize you into being anorexic until you lose the weight you want, then they snap you out of it.
GL: A friend of my was a dyslexic anorexic. She would throw up before she ate.
BT: Well, I know I'll be down to a size five by Thursday, no problem.
WR: Ready to order?
GL: Sure am. Got my little calorie counter all set.
BT: I'll have the chef salad, the meatloaf platter with fries and mashed potatoes, heavy on the gravy, a head of cauliflower, coconut custard pie ala mod and a diet coke.
GL: Bertha! My calorie counter just threw up.
BT: I'm sorry. All this talk about diets made me hungry. Sometimes I think I don't have any will power at all. Isn't there anything that can help me lose weight?
GK: Yes, duct tape. If you find dieting a gaining battle, if you want to lose weight but can't stop eating long enough to count your calories, then duct tape is for you! Pounds and inches melt away after only one application. You just apply a piece of duct tape over your lips and say good-bye to those unwanted pounds!
BT: How can you say good-bye if your lips are taped shut?
GK: And once applied, it doesn't matter if you have no will power. It doesn't matter if you're hungry. It doesn't matter if you're starving! It doesn't even matter if you're dying of malnutrition. Nine out of ten doctors who have used the duct tape diet have this to say about it:
(MUMBLING, MUFFLED VOICES)
GK: So by a roll and lose those rolls. Duct tape... it's almost just about the only thing you need sometimes, duct tape. (DUCKS) A message from the American Duct Tape Council.