Now, my journal for February 2001 doesn't record much about this time. It says I was skipping a week (the grind must have been getting to me) and prepping a movie review sketch for the next show and a couple of bits for their shows that were going to be done in Europe. And I have those sketches in the queue. No mention of me pulling a sketch out of the draw and re-working it for PHC. But, that's what I did. I took one of my Shakespeare bits and adapted it into a radio sketch and send it. The sketch was "The Road to Hamlet." I have to say, I love this sketch, I always have. I got to do snappy dialogue and song parodies all in a genre I created. It's an epic sketch and has yet to be put on its feet. I thought it was perfect for the stage, but converting it to radio worked; I changed some sight gags into audio gags (what was originally a stage manager handing out props as needed now becomes the sound effects guy), and where I couldn't convert the gag, I put a hat on it to acknowledge it. I have to say, despite the strong nostalgia factor and its relationship to Abbott & Othello, I really couldn't imagine GK using it, even adding mouth trumpets to mimic what they did in their version of A&O. And, by gum, he didn't. So, I present the radio version of it here:
The Road to Hamlet
The Road to Hamlet
(GK, BR:BERNADO, FR: Francisco, GH: Ghost, CY: CRUSTY [Bing Crosby], JR: JUNIOR [Bob Hope], QN: QUEEN, KG: King, OP: OPHELIA [Lamour], HT: Hamlet)
GK: Tonight on most of these radio stations, it's yet another installment of Shakespeare; the Lost Episodes, the show that presents everything Shakespeare wrote, then disowned, works like "Abbott & Othello," "Three Stooges of Verona," and "A Midsummer's Night at the Opera." Tonight we present "The Road to Hamlet." Act 1, scene 1 opens on a dark and lonely road, as a pair of palace guards stand watch:
BR: Hark, Francisco, doesth thou not see it? The apparition again comes along the coast---
FR: Speakest thou again of the king's ghost?
BR: Aye. The Ghost doth approach!
FR: Mine eyes seeth but my mind disbelieves, Bernardo!
BR: Pray, let us pursue it!
(Clanging footsteps exit.)
BR: Who goeth there? Show thyself!
CY: (Bing Crosby) Whoa, watchth the hardware, buddy, you'll tearth the threads.
JR: (Bob Hope) Hey, good sire, they spear is sharp and pointy. Much like thy head.
BR: That is not an apparition.
FR: More like an aberration. Who be thee and why approachth this fort?
CY: We are but a pair of wandering minstrels. Montebanks. Jesters of sorts.
JR: And out of sorts, as well.
BR: How should we torture they?
FR: Trespassers on the king's realm, it should be a rather painful way.
BR: Aye, pity they are not Guildernstern and Rosencratz. Men hired to accompany good prince Hamlet.
CY: Why, indeed we are montebanks named Rosencratz and Guildernstern, isn't that right, Junior, er, Guildernstern?
JR: Do I look like a Guildernstern?
BR: If you don't, you shall perish.
JR: A little around the eyes.
CY: He favors his mother's side.
JR: So did father.
BR: Thou art truly Rosencratz and Guildernstern? The king anxiously awaits your arrival to these parts.
FR: For he worries much of his nephew Hamlet and his heavy heart.
BR: You are to report to the king's palace anon.
JR: At last, we play the palace!
CY: Well, just point the way and we'll be off.
BR: Thou merely follows yonder lane and it will take you to the king's domain.
FR: Aye. Knowst how to travel the road?
JR: Are you kidding? We're a couple of road scholars.
FR: Fare thee well, Montebanks.
(clanking footsteps exit)
JR: Looks like quite a hike. You wouldn't have a pair of clydesdales on you?
CY: No trouble. (calling offstage) Props!
(horse whinies, horse trots out)
JR: How'd you do that?
CY: The sound effects guy. He's a friend. Need anything else?
JR: I usually like a cup of coffee with my danish.
CY: Let's be off.
JR: You know, I had a friend who traveled to Denmark once.
CY: Oh, he went abroad?
JR: No, but he came back as one.
to the tune "Road to Morocco.")
We're off on the road to Denmark
To meet with a prince of a guy.
Some would shun and turn away or call us both insane.
But we don't care, we're going there.
He's really a great Dane.
We certainly do get around.
Like a school of smelted herring
We're Denmark bound.
We're off on the road to Denmark.
With a Godspeed and fine fare-thee-well.
They say Hamlet is quite depressed and sings songs of
It's okay 'cause I got a
He'll probably bring us both down.
But that's what always happens
When you're Denmark bound.
We're off on the Road to Denmark.
We hear it's a zany kind of place.
With ghosts of dads and plots of death and treachery and
And all the people go around
speaking in couplets.
It sounds like we'll both hang around,
We're certainly not Finnish,
We're Denmark Bound.
GK: Act II, the King's throne room.
QN: My liege and husband, hast thou devised a plan to rid us of the vengeful orphan?
KG: Indeed I have. I hath summoned courtiers to spy on that son of thine. They shall report onto us the sinister follies of his unhinged mind. I expect them soon to come.
QN: Hark, I now hear the approach of someone.
CY: Salutations, monarch.
JR: Hiya, king. Love your burgers.
CY: We hear you want us to perform some prince sitting duties, your royal uncle-ness.
KG: You are to shadow the young prince Hamlet up and down and report to me any designs he has on the crown.
QN: He is a moody one and capable of rash actions.
KG: So, dally not and thou shall remain employed 'til my satisfaction.
JR: Odds Bodkins, zounds and gadzooks, why does everyone here talk like Dr. Suess?
QN: Now quiet be, his betroth, Ophelia, approachth thee.
KG: She is not to know of this plot.
CY: Have no fear, from us she will hear it not.
JR: Just give it the old tick-a-lock.
AN: Her ladyship, Ophelia!
KG: We shall take our leave.
OP: Good day to you gentlemen.
JR: And then some.
OP: Are you the new courtiers to the prince?
CY: Indeed, indeed. The name's Rosencratz but thou may call me Crusty.
JR: And I art Guildernstern but the ladies call me tiger. (growls)
CY: Why don't you go somewhere and cough up a nice fur ball?
JR: Speaking of which, when do you sing your solo?
OP: Boys, I greatly fear Hamlet's royal kin. I know you are here to plan his fate. But the king means to slay the princely young man. Hamlet is true king; heir to the throne; head of state.
JR: Oh, you mean he's an heir-head.
CY: Methinks something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
JR: Don't look at me, I didn't write any of this.
OP: Silence! Cease this buddy-buddy male bonding. We now must locate the prince. Come and you will see the place where he does his soliloquy.
JR: Here we are in the court yard. How was that for exposition?
CY: Neatly stated.
OP: Hamlet approaches. See, he broods!
JR: Fine. But how are we supposed to know what he's thinking?
CY: Sound effects! Inner monologue!
HT: (slight echo effect) To be or not to be; that is the question.
CY: How's that?
JR: Better. You may need to adjust the bass.
HT: (echo) Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or take arms against a sea of troubles---
CY: Arms against the sea?
JR: We must be going to the beach.
HT: (echo) And by opposing end them. To die; to sleep no more. And by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. 'Tis a consummation devoutly to be wish'd.
JR: What's he talkin' about?
OP: He's thinking of killing himself.
JR: Why doesn't he say it in English?
CY: It is English. Old English.
JR: He should trade it in for the newer model.
HT: (echo) To die, to sleep, perchance to dream---
JR: What do you suppose he's dreaming of?
CY: He's dreaming...(singing) of a white Christmas---
JR: That wasn't a song cue.
CY: A what?
JR: Song cue, song cue!
CY & OP: You're welcome.
HT: Hark, who listens in on my inner dialogue? Step out or face my blade!
OP: Hamlet, 'tis I! And I bring thee glee, I have foiled a plot against thee. These two were to serve his majesty. Now they will give aid to you and me.
CY: So, lighten up, my boy, cease your yelp.
JR: Yeah, don't worry, we're here to help.
CY: Hey, what's that ghostly figure bopping along this way?
JR: Somebody left their laundry running.
HT: 'Tis my father's ghost! I shall avenge thee, father, I vow! The king shall perish by my blade!
JR: Oh, wow.
AN: The King and Queen!
KG: Ah, thou dost plot against the throne in tone so shrill. Guards, seize them! Thou shall dwell in the dungeon 'til you die, consuming only swill!
CY: What's this swill, Jackson?
KG: Swill. Mush. Porridge.
CY: Oh, porridge.
JR: We like porridge.
CY: Pea-porridge hot.
JR: Pea-porridge cold.
CY & JR: Pea porridge in the pot, nine days old.
(Punches are heard. Fighting noises, crashing)
OP: What happened?
JR: What happened? Why we just did a sight gag on radio and captured all the villains.
OP: Thanks, sound effects!
HT: Good fellows, thou hast saved the day by revealing the treachery occurring behind my back.
CY: Oh, we could've told you that in the first act.
KG: You may have won this battle, prince, but the war shall be mine, as you and your consorters face a growing list of foes. Me, the queen, the guards, add to your woes.
JR: Well, all we can say is---
(to the tune "Thanks for the Memories")
Thanks for the enemies.
Of smiting people down
While grasping for the crown
Getting our revenge on all
And Ophelia on rebound
Thank you, so much.
So now ends our time 'pon the floorboards
We've played our parts and chased some more broads.
We could have come back and done encores
Like Yorrick, instead,
he lost his head.
So thanks for the enemies
That Guildernstern's a swine
And Rosencratz's a whine,
Basically it's a shame
We've all run out of time
So, thank you, so much.
GK: Shakespeare's "Road to Hamlet." Thank you for joining us. Next time we'll present "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad Ado about Nothing." Until then, good night.