Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair! Or possibly not.

Sketches. Free to Perform

The Claim

CLAIMANT: Just tell me something please. Is there any circumstances, at all, ever, in which I can claim and get some money from this policy?
INSURER: Oh yes. It’s all stated quite clearly in your policy document. Is there anything else I can help you with
CLAIMANT: You haven’t got a gun have you?
INSURER: Thank you for calling National Direct Insurance.

Not a Lot We Can Do About That

INTERVIEWER: What about Brexit?
PRATT: Now I’m glad you asked me about that. We’ve looked at this in some depth both from the remainers’ and the leavers’ perspective.
INTERVIEWER: And your conclusion?
PRATT: There’s not a lot we can do about Brexit.
INTERVIEWER: Syria and the Middle East?
PRATT: Not a lot we can do about that.
INTERVIEWER: Israel and the Palestinians.
PRATT: Definitely not a lot we can do about them.

The Artist

SPONSOR(Looking around) Yes but I notice every single picture in your studio is of, how can I put this – big fat women surrounded by cherubs. PAINTER Well those ones are, obviously. But I’ve got loads of others in the store.
SPONSOR Which are of?
PAINTER Well they’re mainly cherubs and fat women.

Noah

NOAH: What about fish?
GOD: What about them?
NOAH: Have I got to take two of every kind of fish? It’s a bit pointless if they already live in the water.
GOD: Yeah. Good point. Thinking about it, I tell you what. Forget the fish.

Meercats

COMMENTATOR I hate snakes. The way they leave a trail of slime wherever they go.
CAMERAMAN That’s slugs.
COMMENTATOR What?
CAMERAMAN Slugs leave a trail of slime, not snakes.
COMMENTATOR Really. I wouldn’t put it past them though – sneaky sods.

Health and Safety

DERDANT: And what about this long sharp thing at the end?
SOLDIER: That’s a bayonet.
DERDANT: Mmmm. Don’t like the look of that. You could give someone a nasty nick with one of those.
I’m afraid we will have to insist on some sort of protective device on the end. A large cork, or similar.
SOLDIER: You can’t stab someone with a cork on the end.
DERDANT: Exactly.

God Knows

PETER: Anyway, you weren’t thinking, you were playing with something on the desk. I saw you.
GOD: I wasn’t.
PETER: You do know you’re not allowed to lie, don’t you?
GOD: Why not?
PETER: Because you’re God.

Ferapy

MAGISTRATE: You see, my dilemma is, how do I distinguish an unfortunate man suffering a borderline personality disorder from a man who is a perpetual thief who turns up in my court on a regular basis and has (Consults his notes) 193 previous convictions. Not including the ones we are considering today.
GIMBLE: 214, mlud.
MAGISTRATE: I beg your pardon, I didn’t turn over the page.

Red Red Wine

MEL:Only joking. You’re not Jewish, are you?
MIKE: No. But some of my friends are…
MEL: Oh I see.
Mike: People make jokes, I know. But I wouldn’t have anything to do with someone who was anti-Semitic.
MEL: Nor would I, Mike, Nor would I. I’m totally in favour of Semitics. I’ve got loads of Semitic friends.

Porkie Pies

DAVE: Yeah, this gang came in the shop with shotguns. Tied me up. Stole everything includin’ the wife. They want a million pounds for her.
FRANK: Nuffin’s safe these days. People’ll steal anything if it ain’t nailed down.
DAVE: Then I got knighted.
FRANK: What by the Queen?
DAVE: Who else’d do it? Yeah, had to kneel before Her Maj. ‘Arise Sir Dave,’ she said. Then we had a right knees up.

The Girlfriend Experience

LEXA: All the other things are your basic sex stuff. You pay me. We have sex. I leave. But these days a lot of men, rich men, find all that too, kind of, clinical. There’s no emotion, no empathy. So we had a chat about it at the agency, and we decided we should offer something different. Hence – the Girlfriend Experience. So it’s more like, I’m not your escort, I’m your actual girlfriend. I come round, we have a drink, chat about our days, our plans, we kiss a little, and then ,when we’re ready, we take it into the bedroom…

The Hypocondriac

MR WILLIAMS: I mean, it’s not unusual to have a series of illnesses, one after another, is it? DOCTOR WRIGHT: With a compromised immune system, it’s true, a series of different illnesses and symptoms can occur. MR WILLIAMS: There you are then. DOCTOR WRIGHT: But they don’t usually, if ever, occur in alphabetical order.

The End

PM: No, we will try and cover that in Any Other Business if there’s sufficient time. Right. So. I thought we’d take an open-ended approach initially at this early stage and toss around a few ideas and maybe run a few things up the flagpole, as they say, and see who salutes. You know the drill. Anybody want to kick off? HEALTH SECRETARY: What we mustn’t do is let any details leak out. We don’t want to cause mass panic. PM: I entirely agree Health Secretary, but I do feel that a massive blazing red rock filling the entire sky may well have a similar effect.

The Doctor's Receptionist

MILLER: Is there any particular reason why you don’t want me to see the doctor?
RECEPTIONIST: Yes.
MILLER: And that is?
RECEPTIONIST: He’s not here.
MILLER: I think, that man, in the consulting room is, in fact, the doctor, and the man sitting in front of him is a patient, and the note the doctor just passed over is a prescription and all this business about chair inspectors is a complete cobblers.

The Crime Sympathy Unit

OFFICER: Well, when somebody suffers a crime of any sort, we come round and sympathise.
MICHAEL: Sympathise?
OFFICER: Yes.
MICHAEL: What, just sort of stand there and make sympathetic noises?
OFFICER: Yes. People do find it helpful, quite therapeutic. Lots of people have said that.
MICHAEL: People might also find it helpful if someone looked for some clues, and maybe went out and arrested the perpetrator and got our property back

The Wedding Video

MICHAEL: Thing is, you’re not actually making a film, just a wedding video.
MARCUS: Oh I’m sorry my mistake, my mistake. I thought we were all professionals here.
MICHAEL: It’s just a wedding. We just want a wedding video.
MARCUS: I suppose you’d be happier having some amateur poking his poxey camera in your face. Lighting all wrong, blurry sound, edited with a pair of garden shears.
MICHAEL: Yes. That’s kind of what we’re expecting.

999

MICHAEL: Thing is, you’re not actually making a film, just a wedding video.
LADY999: Hello. Emergency Services. Do you require police, ambulance or fire brigade?
MOTORIST: An ambulance. I think.
LADY999: You think?
MOTORIST: There’s been an accident. I might need an ambulance for the injured, the fire brigade to to put the fire out and the police to deal with the traffic.
LADY999: You don’t think you’re being a bit greedy, do you?

Angry

DAMON: (Sneering, mimics) I’ve chosen some things. I’d like to pay for them. Do I look like a sales assistant to you?
SHOPPER: Er, yes. And you are standing at the counter Also you’ve got the shop name printed on your polo shirt. And a badge that says SALES ASSISTANT.

Any Moment Now

Quite a few French people in the crowd today. The French of course are ardent admirers of our Royals. They have no such equivalent as these magnificent ceremonies in their, it must be said, rather smelly country. You can’t have much of a stately event, of course, if all the Royal heads are rolling about in a basket… surrounded by flies.

Doctor What?

HUGHES: Casualty is not real life.
DOCTOR: Isn’t it? Really? I wondered why it was so boring being a doctor. They should tell you things before you spend six years at Doctor School. That’s the only reason I wanted to be a Doctor. I thought it’d be exciting, like on the telly. Plus you get all the drugs you want.

The Vet

VET: Right, Mrs Heath. I think we can cut to the quick on this one…
MRS HEATH: Aren’t you even going to examine him?
THE VET: No. An examination will be not be necessary in this case because I think I can spot the problem from here.
MRS HEATH: Is it that bad?
THE VET: Well, yes and no. On the plus side there’s no sign of canine disease or injury here, but on the downside, these symptoms are easily explained by the fact that this is not a dog. It’s a potato.

The Park Reboot

COUNCILLOR: Um, wouldn’t a large flat area of concrete be a bit, you know, rather uninviting, and ugly?
MR HURST: Who decides what’s ugly? Ugliness is a peremptorily enforced cultural norm.
COUNCILLOR: A what?
MR HURST: A peremptorily enforced cultural norm. Entirely subjective. What’s the problem with rusty iron spikes instead of boring old trees, for God’s sake.

Arnie

WOMAN Oh no, I don’t believe it. You’ve shot Pinnochio into little pieces. But why? Everybody loves Pinnochio.
ARNIE I do not.
WOMAN Why not?
ARNIE He is too vooden.

Boots on the Ground

PM: And just how useful are minesweepers in a desert-style war?
DS: As I see it, there are two main issues here – firstly, they’re only good for clearing mines.
PM: But that’s a good thing, isn’t it? We got a bloody nose with those IEDs in Iraq and Afghanistan. But if we’ve got minesweepers…
DS And that’s the second issue. We can’t deploy them in the desert. Or indeed anywhere that is not… the sea.

The Ticket Inspector

PASSENGER: So you can invalidate my ticket by a completely arbitary decision based on nothing more than your contrariness.
INSPECTOR: Correct:
PASSENGER: You know that is only one step from the gas chambers, don’t you? So. What happens now? Are you going to throw me off the train?
INSPECTOR: I’m afraid I must ask you to leave the train at the first available station
PASSENGER:Which is?
INSPECTOR: Bristol
PASSENGER: Bristol. That would be the Bristol where I’m going anyway

Dead Parrot Sketch

SALESMAN: I see. I wonder if sir is familiar with the concept of the department store.
CUSTOMER: What do you mean?
SALESMAN: It’s a store made up of a series of departments each with its own particular focus. My department, for example, is known as Soft Furnishings. It is not, and I can’t emphasize this enough, the Pet Department.

Diet

SALESMAN: I see. I wonder if sir is familiar with the concept of the department store.
CUSTOMER: What do you mean?
SALESMAN: It’s a store made up of a series of departments each with its own particular focus. My department, for example, is known as Soft Furnishings. It is not, and I can’t emphasize this enough, the Pet Department.

Call Me Frank

MOC2: Graveyards? Doctor Stein, are you seriously intending to obtain these organs by robbing graves?
DR STEIN: Oh no, no, no, that would be entirely unethical. No, no, I have some men who do all that for me.

The Waitress

WAITRESS: Someone was a bit of a greedy bumpkin, a porky piggy.
MAN: Possibly. Anyway, could you just clear the plates and bring me the menu
WAITRESS: Doesn’t she know there are people in the world living on rubbish dumps eating cardboard?

© Pete Barrett 2021