A newly appellated Tony Piman returns to his empty shop, still reeling but pretty convinced that he was only passed over for his dream job because of his old suppressive name. Like Jonathan Leibowitz and Cherilyn Sarkisian before him, he has spurned his parents and heritage in favour of his aspired cultural membership of celebrity.
But when his imaginary friend Christy alludes to how telling jokes – even ones as unique and astute as his, and even directly to the executive producer – may not have been the preferred approach to getting hired on a sketch show, he acquiesces. So he gets to work on what he learns is a packet, and in one whiskey-fuelled morning, his best sketches and shorts are ready for submission. Sure, most are only bare bones, but some are fleshed out, and he’s certain that either way they have enough muscle to propel him to stardom.
[Editor’s note: Title, followed by elevator pitch, followed by actual piece or a summary of.]
Dead Bunny – A group of covert masochists argue over who will assume the responsibility of putting a dying rabbit out of her misery, all of them acting like they don’t actually want to do it.
Kevin: Well, friends. The vet said he needs to be euthanized. I wanted him to pass on to the next world next to his favourite tree, so I brought him here, with the people I love, so we can all say our goodbyes.
Colby: Kev, buddy, I’m really sorry about this. I know how much she meant to you. I can only imagine what you’re going through right now. Listen, I’ll take care of it for you, okay?
Petra: I don’t know, Colb. I worked at an animal hospital when I was younger. I’ll be able to make her final moments as painless as possible.
Jillian: Pet, I could never let you do that. I’ll go grab a shovel and smash her over the head real quick like, her neck snapping in one swoop.
Petra: No no, we’re at my house. I’ll do it. I don’t want any of you to have to live with seeing the life drain from her eyes as her head is crushed between these tongs I found under the deck.
Colby: Seriously, guys. I lived with her for years. It should be on me to grab her legs and pull them apart so they break so that she can’t run away while I slice open her insides and spill her guts onto this picnic table.
Kevin: That’s very sweet of all of you, but it just wouldn’t be fair. It’s my rabbit, and I should be the one to slit its throat and feel her blood bathe my hands in a cascading red liquid until there’s nothing left.
Jillian: Oh, no, that wouldn’t be right. I have my 9mm right here, and to make sure she doesn’t feel a thing, I’ll make sure to get her right between those pale eyes, her brains splattering all over the yard, left there to be devoured by maggots and rats until all her carbon returns to the biosphere is more forms than you can —
At this moment, the rabbit makes one last gasp for air and dies peacefully. The four friends look at each other, and the scene ends with all of them scrambling to recover up the animal’s corpse so they can necromutilate her in their own way.
Car Free – A montage of the rise and eventual deterioration of a woman’s life as told through the decals placed on the back windshield of her car.
- A ‘Sold’ sign is still on the car as a young woman places a single sticker of a cartoon young woman on the window.
- + A decal man
- + A dog
- + A baby
- + Toddler boy; – Baby
- + A baby
- – Baby
- – Man; – Dog
- + Lawyer
- – Toddler boy
- – Young woman; + Older woman
- + Cat
- + Cat; + Cat; + Cat; + Cat
- – Woman
- – All cats
- Car bursts into flames
A Sneaky Retrieval – Dialogueless, with old timey music coming from a player piano, getting increasingly intense with every climb attempt.
It opens with a view of a pair of sneakers tied together by the laces over hanging over a telephone line. Peter sees them, and he wants them, real bad. He starts off doing stretches and jumping real high to grab at them, but he knows right away there’s no way he’ll get them this way. So he goes and gets a pair of stilts, but falls off them clumsily and is too embarrassed to try again. Then he gets warned that the sneakers used to belong to a kid who got killed on this street, and this is a reminder of that. He gives up and goes to get a drink in a bar, but while recounting his day to the bartender, he is informed that those sneakers are actually a signal to drug users that a drug dealer lives nearby. He feels duped, and he now looks at the acquisition of these sneakers as a public service, to keep the kids off drugs and whatnot. So he climbs the telephone pole and reaches for the sneakers, but they’re just out of his grasp. He’s determined though, so he dives off and snatches them, one in each hand. He’s ecstatic and does a mid-air floaty dance, until he notices the laces breaking under his weight. He’s slipping, then slipping some more, and still a bit more. Right before he’s about to fall, the camera cuts to a later time, with the same view as the opening shot, except now there’s two pairs of sneakers hanging over the telephone line – one with the first pair re-tied together with mangly laces, and the other belonging to Peter.
Menu Assistance – Two diners refuse to let the the server explain what turns out to be a very complicated menu.
An awkward couple on their first date takes their seats in a fancy restaurant. The server walks over to their table.
Server: Good evening! Have you eaten here before?
Harriet: No, but I think —
Server: Then let me tell you how our menu works.
Greg (annoyed with the insinuation): Uh, I think we’ll be fine, thank you very much.
Server: Alright, suit yourself.
Server walks away.
Greg looks down at the menu, which is utter chaos, replete with riddles, rebus graphics, interactivity, mazes and the like. He glances over to Harriet, who is as perplexed as he is, but neither of them is willing to acknowledge they should ask the server for assistance. They work together to solve the first problem they see, for which the solution involves setting up the cutlery and tableware in a very specific placement. As the final spoon is turned just so, the table opens up and a demon sucks them down into another dimension. They’re immediately tasked with fighting a swamp monster, using the menu for clues to determine his weaknesses. Once the monster oozes into the abyss in defeat, a cryptic crossword clue appears alongside a timer. Fireballs are getting thrown at them as they try to focus on the puzzle. They solve this one and then overcome a few more obstacles, and at the very end they each find themselves with a different card in their hand as they’re transported back to their original seats in the restaurant. Exhausted and sweaty and covered in blood and grime, they’re trying to regain their composure as the server comes back to the table.
Server (swiping the man’s card from his hand): Ah, the chicken pomodoro – an excellent choice!
The Tentative Commandments – The original discussion about the Ten Commandments, where Moses is the straight man.
Moses: How about, “Thou shalt not kill”?
God: Well killing is sometimes just, and I kind of designed them so that they have to kill to get food, so I’m not so sure about that one. Ooh, what about “I am the LORD thy God”?
Moses: Jesus, God, that one doesn’t even make any sense. We’re trying to get them to be good people who treat each other with respect. Let’s focus on telling them what they can and can’t do.
God: Okay, okay, I get it. Like, “Thou shalt have no other gods”?
Moses: I guess that one’s a bit better. It’s a directive at least, but I think you’re getting too focused on yourself. This is a diverse group of people, over every timeline throughout the rest of their history. We need to push for morality, things like, “Thou shalt not steal.”
God: Yeah, yeah, I get it, that’s a good one. No stealing. Wait, I have one! “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house.” You know, no coveting other people’s things.
Moses: I guess so, but I think the stealing takes care of that one. Coveting is mostly inside someone’s head and they can’t always choose what goes on in there. It needs to be an actionable item, something that’s clear as to whether or not they’re doing it.
God: Right… like, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain!”
Moses (under his breath): Holy crow, the ego on this one…
God: Hey, I heard that!
Moses: I barely said —
God: I hear everything!
Moses: Kind of like Santa?
God: You know I invented Santa!! I! Me! I did everything!
Moses: Oh, vey. You’re on your own, buddy. I’m converting to Pastafarianism.
Airport Insecurity – A TSA agent repeatedly announces directives to passengers at a security checkpoint.
TSA Agent: Okay, everyone, nothing in your pockets. No phones, no keys, no wallets. Nothing. Remove all items from your pockets.
Traveller takes wallet and phone and of his pocket and places them in the basket.
Agent: No keys. No pickles, no caramelized onions.
Traveller (emptying pocket, finds full onion): Uh, what about raw onions?
Agent (checks with supervisor): No, no raw onions either. Nothing. No explosives, no mathemphetamines, no 18th century Peruvian stamps.
Traveller (reaching into back pocket): I have a 19th century —
Agent: Before or after the Battle of Chacabuco?
Traveller (scrutinizes stamp): It says 1844.
Agent (annoyed at traveller’s historical ignorance): That’s after. No, not that neither. Nothing, not one thing in your pockets.
Traveller: Okay, fine. Pockets are now completely empty.
Agent: You sure? No guns? No nail files?
Traveller: I have a pistol in my leg holster?
Agent: Sir, is that – I say, sir, is a holster a pocket?
Traveller: Well, no, but do you –
Agent: Go ahead then! Pockets, I’m only concerned with your pockets.
Newsception – Twilight Zonish, or Philip K. Dicky, and Jenny Slate can come back to play the newscaster.
News anchor: Today, a man – wait, this can’t be right – (dumbfounded) he was arrested after swearing on live television. Jim Breams has more on that. Jim?”Jim: Yes, that’s right, Oren. Someone at our very own station said what I will say is the f-word. You all know what word I’m referring to when I saw that, right? In case you don’t, our language expert can explain the intricacies better than I ever could. Mary, please tell the folks at home what it is.
Mary: Well the f-word is a special word that begins with f and ends in u-c-k. Got it now, Jim?
Jim: Heh heh, you mean ‘fireduck’, Mary?
Mary: No, I do not. It’s a different word, and you know it. In fact, we can hear it being broadcast right about now, as the offending party is about to say it, because destiny’s a tough road. Isn’t that right, Oren?
Oren: Oh, no. No, it’s true. It’s —
Two police officers approach Oren at his desk.
Tall cop: You’re under arrest for profane speech on a public communications channel.
Oren: But I haven’t said anything!
Other cop: Haven’t you? Are you mad?
Oren: You’re fucking right I’m mad!
Oren stares into camera as the handcuffs are cuffed to his hands.
Oren: No! NO! AHHHHHHH!
Go On! – A devolving conversation that might only work in Newfoundland, unless other people use the phrase in the same way.
Deb: I’m after having some go of it lately.
Anita: Go on!
Deb: Well, got hit by a car there, gettin’ over to Duckworth, at a crosswalk too.
Anita: Go on!
Deb: Ended up bashing me leg off the bumper, had to go to the hospital to make sure everything was still on right.
Anita: Go on!
Deb: The hospital was cold, the nurse woke me up to give me painkillers, and the other missus in the room with me was coughing up a fit.
Anita: Go on!
Deb: The walls were white and someone’d marked it up with crayon. Did I mention how cold it was? I did, right? Well it was!
Anita: Go on!
Deb: I started thinking I didn’t even mind the leg getting mangled.
Anita: Go on!
Deb: Well, I suppose it’s something half exciting anyway. Everything else in my life has been pretty much the same for years.
Anita: Go on!
Deb: Same job, same bar, same people. I used to be right fun. I guess my life didn’t turn out the way I thought it would.
Anita: Go on!
Deb: Maybe I’ve never actually been happy and I could hide it before ’cause no one ever listened to me like you’re doing.
Anita: Go on!
Waiting for a Ride – There’s no bus-iness like no-show bus-iness.
Eddie is waiting for at a bus stop in the rain. He’s cold and wants and probably just got fired and doesn’t know how to tell his wife. A series of busses drive by, with different phrases in place of the route numbers on the front screen.
First bus: “Not in service”
Second: “Not in service”
Third: “You didn’t think this one would be in service did you?”
Fourth: “You sure there’s even a bus that stops here?”
Five: “Everybody hates you. Including your wife.”
Eddie starts his blubbering. He walks out in middle of street, with the intention of getting hit by the next bus. He closes his eyes.
The bus approaches quickly but stop right next to him. The door opens, and Eddit opens his eyes.
Oddly wise bus driver (smiling): Hop in. I’ll take you where you need to do.
Eddie is reluctantly relieved and steps onto the bus.
The bus driver morphs into Eddie’s deceased grandmother’s ghost. She kicks him straight out the door and he falls to the ground and gets mud in his eye.
Proctologism – Two doctors punnily consider how to remove an object stuck up a patient.
The camera, placed just above patient’s butt as he’s on all fours on the clinic table, is facing two doctors assessing the situation. We can see the end of a strange object stuck up his butt.
Doctor: Don’t worry, sir, we can rectumfy this situation.
Dr.: I can get behind that.
Doctor: Anus like the one we had last week?
Dr.: Kind of. Butthole’d on, I have a haunch it won’t be so easy.
Doctor: Ass valid as your point is, I find this whole thing pretty fanny.
Dr.: I have one question for you, sir. Was it worth it?
The camera is now changed to the doctors’ point-of-view and is pointed at the patient as he turns his head around.
Patient: I’taint all it’s cracked up to be!
Yellow Toilet Bowl – Sometimes the only difference between Heaven and Hell is a toilet full of pee.
Betty, a sophisticated woman in her forties, newly divorced from her rich husband, is pale white, has white hair, wandering through her ALL-WHITE house (white roses, marble counters, etc), checking over details to make sure everything’s perfect for her party tonight.
She discovers there’s a bunch of pee in the toilet. She doesn’t know where it came from, and can’t figure out what to do or how to handle it. The cinematography is really important here because the yellow pee needs to be a stark contrast from the white everything else.
She puts toilet bowl cleaner in the toilet and flushes, but when it comes back up there’s even more pee, and it’s yellower.
The doorbell rings and she starts freaking out as the first guests are letting themselves in. She greets them in a tizzy that only gets exacerbated when someone wants to use the bathroom.
I forget what happens next but I think everyone at the party ends up drowning in pee.