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Thon! (or Attack of the Clones!)

Commercial Break

by Scotto
(Lights come up on a man in a tuxedo - our host, MAXWELL BEEP – standing center being fretted over by a makeup technician, poor hapless BEATRICE, who frantically touches up his face, to his ever-growing annoyance. Our stage manager, SKIP, stands stage left, discussing something with a technician off stage.)

MAXWELL: (to BEATRICE) I’m fine.

BEATRICE: No, you’ve still, you’ve still got, there’s still—

MAXWELL: I’m fine, Beatrice, get lost.

BEATRICE: It’s still, there’s still, it’s still a little hollow—

MAXWELL: Get lost, Beatrice. Skip, how much—

SKIP: Thirty seconds, Max.

BEATRICE: This’ll just take—

MAXWELL: Beatrice, if you touch my face again, I will personally chew your goddamn arm off.

BEATRICE: Sorry, Max. (she beats a hasty retreat off stage)

MAXWELL: Skip, how much—

SKIP: Twenty seconds, Max.

MAXWELL: Is it hot in here? Is that just me?

SKIP: It’s the lights, Max.

MAXWELL: Thousands of years of civilization and we can’t figure out a way to make me comfortable on stage, Skip?

SKIP: It’s the lights, Max.

MAXWELL: How much—

SKIP: Ten seconds, Max.

MAXWELL: In the name of all that’s holy in this wretched, scum-sucking universe, could you please figure out a way to make me comfortable up here, Skip?

SKIP: More hookers?

MAXWELL: That would help.

SKIP: Five seconds. Four. Three.

(SKIP mouths “two, one,” then ducks off stage, as the lights on stage dim, and we hear our announcer, BIFF, from somewhere off stage, bringing us out of a commercial break.)

BIFF: Welcome back once again to the lovely Tony Danza Memorial Palisade Theatre in gorgeous downtown Santa Helvetica, California, for more of this year’s annual Maxwell Beep Intellectual Dystrophy Association Telethon!

(A canned round of applause rings out.)

BIFF: I’m your announcer, Biff Jerky, and we’re entering our four thousand eight hundred and fifty-second hour of consecutive broadcasting and fund-raising, and it’s all thanks to you… well, you and those giant vats of speed backstage. In fact, I’m standing in one right now! And here to take us into hour four thousand eight hundred and fifty-three… a man who has made countless children laugh all around the world simply by touching them inappropriately… Maxwell Beep!

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