Dan vs. the Rock
Then Python-mania hit and I was struck and my style re-directed. I was inspired anew.
I’m really dragging this out for dramatic effect. It was a great sketch, but one day the premise was killed by reality.
Okay, so, “The Pet Store” sketch was a man entering a pet store to purchase a pet (already we were deep, deep into Python territory). After several ridiculous suggestions were made, the shopkeeper offered the man the perfect pet. It was the most ridiculous suggestion of them all, but the shopkeeper had perfectly sound reasons why it would be the perfect pet. The back and forth was wonderful; the skepticism of the shopper, the seemingly logical retorts of the salesman, all the give and take worked. I wrote myself into several corners, yet managed to write my way out again, all staying true to the spirit, premise and logic of the sketch. I was a giddy with the outcome. Sorry, I’m still dragging this out. Anyway, the pet offered was…a rock. I wrote it pre-1975. I showed it to so many people. I performed it at my first year of college. There were other sketches I had in my portfolio, but this one was my strongest bit by far.
I tried to rework the material to build to a pet Paramecium, but despite a fairly pithy take (look at him tap dance!) the entire idea of an absurd pet just didn’t work anymore. Damn you, reality!
I’m still a student of classic comedy. I’ve had sketches performed and produced. I’m still churning out material. But that one sketch still haunts me, a fledgling bit struck down too soon by circumstances beyond its control. Anyway, I show everyone my “Abbott & Othello” sketch as a sample now…