From 1999 to 2004-ish, I was one of the contributing writers for Garrison Keillor's renowned radio show "A Prairie Home Companion." I learned a lot of things there, mostly how to spell 'prairie." It was a solid gig and I'm proud of my work there. But, like any other job, there were...things...
This is a comedy trope now, the guy that can't say I love you to his woman. Not sure how much of one it was back in 2004, but I decided to take a crack at it as the show came up to Valentine's Day. I'm not a romantic guy, yet I have written quite a number of Valentine bits, to submit to PHC and an annual monologue festive that was held in NYC for a couple of years, that was themed around love. Anyway, this is a cute sketch, incredibly short, though. They passed on this piece.
As it turns out, I didn't write much in the way of Valentine skits for Prairie Home Companion during my time. Looking at the timetables, they were on hiatus a lot during February and I don't recall any requests for Valentine's Day material. But in February of 2004, right after what would turn out to be the last skit of mine to be used by them, I wrote this bit. It's not a remarkable skit, but I think it's cute and it sounds like a PHC bit. It was rejected anyway. I don't recall pulling it out for any other venue either. I just seemed to have forgotten about it. To rectify that situation, I'm posting it here. Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!
This edition of Barely Home Companion is brought to you by "Love and Other Distractions" the anthology for charity! Fifteen Hollywood writers spin tales of romance and more! And it includes the Nick Flebber short story, "Cupid is as Cupid Does." Get your copy today at Amazon!
Valentine's Day 2018 was the fourth production of "The Many Faces of Love" and my fourth appearance! I was ready for them this time! I actually started working on this toward the end of 2017, knowing the Hudson Warehouse would be doing the festival that year. This has a weird history. It started as a prose piece in 2011. It was a lot darker, about a disgruntled tour guide's last tour. It got posted on the now defunct Higgs-Wheldon site.
It was always tricky for me to come up with a comedic way to have a person do a monologue before an audience. But everyday, commuting to work, I would see the tour buses driving around the city with their stand-up comic tour guides. I even took a couple of these tours. And it's always fun to have someone over share. Now as the submission time approached, I decided to return to the tour bus bit, substitute love for kidnapping and rework it to under 3 minutes. It came out pretty well. Now I realize a better title would have been "The Tender Tourist Trap" but what can you do? Here's the video I took of it with my mini-iPad, which doesn't handle stage lighting well, featuring Jamie Flanagan and directed by Nicholas Martin-Smith...
This edition of Sketchy Tales is brought to you by "Love and Other Distractions" the anthology for charity! Fifteen Hollywood writers spin tales of romance and more! Including me! Cupid flies the coup and Nick Flebber has to find him in "Cupid is as Cupid Does." Get your copy today at Amazon!
Tourist Trap of Love
Looking back, it turns out I didn't do a whole bunch of Valentine's Day sketches. The groups I got involved in would do Christmas, or Oscars or even Halloween, but Valentine's Day? Not so much. Even SNL makes a bigger deal about Mother's Day than it does about Valentine's Day. But I've done a couple. For instance:
Coming off a barrage of Hallmark movies, I was getting punchy and it came out as a Hallmark Christmas parody. I did a Hallmark St. Patrick's Day parody and then I did this. I've posted it elsewhere on the blog, along with a hope that it would be resurrected in a future format, but, alas, that theater group isn't doing it's annual Valentine Day show this year. So, let's toss the original sketch back into the mix in this year's celebration of St. Valentine!
This edition of Skit Happens is brought to you by "Love and Other Distractions" the anthology for charity! Fifteen Hollywood writers spin tales of romance and more! Get your copy today at Amazon!
Freelance writer, still hacking away.