8/11/2009

The Art of Funeral Planning.

A bad father dies, a daughter cries and a son-in-law connives with an overly imaginative free lance funeral planner.

(This is copyrighted material, however, if you would like to use it in any way- just ask and you shall receive. Note this blog format for scripts is funky but nonetheless readable. Enjoy.)

by Scott Beddome

scottbeddome@yahoo.com

UPDATE 4/22/10:

This piece has been performed by dozens of groups from around the globe (mostly the UK for some reason). Here is a recently recorded version of it performed by broadcasting students at the Mount Royal University in Calgary, CA for a live radio final assignment. Thanks Nate!

Radio Drama - The Art of Funeral Planning at MySpaceFileHosting.comRadio_Drama_-_The_Art_of_Funeral_Planning.mp3




THE ART OF FUNERAL PLANNING.

FADE IN:

INT. CITY HOUSE - DAY

The Funeral Planner sits with a typical suburban husband and
wife at the dining room table of their home. A 10" x 12" photo of the fat, lazy, greasy dead dad sits on the table next to them.The husband is angry, the wife sad and the overly theatrical Funeral Planner is "sellin' it!"

PLANNER
A Funeral Planner is very much
like a wedding planner! Funerals
don't have to be depressingly sad
events...

HUSBAND
(sarcastically)
Yeah. Just because somebody
died... What's to be sad about..

WIFE
Honey...

PLANNER
It should be a celebration of
their life!

HUSBAND
HA! He molested her as a child.
Went to prison for it!

WIFE
He apologized. I accepted. All was
forgiven.

PLANNER
A tribute to the life he lived and
the impact he had on the people he
came in contact with!

HUSBAND
Fifteen years of psychotherapy!

WIFE
We BOTH learned to hug!

PLANNER
(gently)
He learned to hug. THAT'S the kind
of thing I want to know about him.

HUSBAND
Look. Get to the point. What are
we looking at here?

PLANNER
Well it all depends on how much
you loved him. Ahhhh...

HUSBAND
You mean how much money we are
willing to spend...

PLANNER
We like to say "They don't die for
nothin""

HUSBAND
How much?

PLANNER
Well the bargain basement has us
just adding little theatrical
touches to the service at the
funeral home.

WIFE
That sounds nice.

HUSBAND
Like?

PLANNER
Well. A lot of people like our
resurrection features. For $800.
we can have the hand wave goodbye
at the end of the service.

HUSBAND
You mean you...

PLANNER
Oh yes it's very simple. We rig up
some minor hydraulics to the body hidden
in the underside of the
casket of course- and the end of
the service, just before the
coffin is closed it waves.

THE PLANNER DOES A DISNEY PUPPET-LIKE ROBOTIC WAVE.

PLANNER
One time it got stuck and kept
going like this...

PLANNER MAKES JERKY "QUEEN’S WAVE" MOTION.

PLANNER
Another time the arm came loose and was thrown
across the room landing on the buffet. People
didn’t eat too much after that...

HUSBAND
What else you got?

PLANNER
Well it can go all the way up to a
full resurrection! For about
$13,000. the entire body will
raise from the casket amidst fog
and rumbling thunder- a beam of
light projects from the ceiling
and he is lifted up through a
hidden hole in the roof as 500
white balloons drop to the floor-
It's breathtaking! Everybody
cries!

WIFE
I like that!

HUSBAND
Anything ever go wrong with that one?


PLANNER
Well we once experimented with pyrotechnics
where the flame came right up from underneath...


HUSBAND
Wait! No! It’s OK. We’ll use our imagination..


PLANNER
Most of his relatives said they actually thought it was appropriate because he was probably going to hell anyway..

HUSBAND GIVES A DIRTY LOOK. THEN...

HUSBAND
Why can't we just have it here?

PLANNER
Exactly. That's what everybody's
doing. There's so much more
flexibility!

WIFE
How would that work?

PLANNER
Here we can create a no holds
barred presentation of who he was,
how he lived his life and how he
will leave this world.

HUSBAND
Sounds expensive.

WIFE
He's MY father dammit! And he's
only gonna die once!

TO THE PLANNER.

WIFE
What do you suggest?

PLANNER
Well, tell me about him. What work
did he do?

HUSBAND LAUGHS OUT LOUD.

WIFE
Oh. I don't think that would work
out...

PLANNER
You'd be surprised- tell me.

WIFE
(exhales)
He was a sanitation engineer.

HUSBAND
A garbage man!

WIFE
Twenty seven years. Never missed a day.

HUSBAND
Never took a shower! Hated the
rain!

THERE'S A LONG PAUSE AS THE PLANNER CONTEMPLATES...

PLANNER
A garbage man who hugs... OH. OH!
YES! There is soo much I can do
with that!

HUSBAND
(smiles)
This outta be good.

PLANNER
OK. The setting. Not in the house.
In the garage- the ALLEY! Ratty
old couches with garbage strewn
everywhere. Two old pick-up trucks
with the tail gates folded down.
One holds his body in a...HEFTY
bag! Twist tied! And the other
tailgate holds a buffet of Hormel
Chili and Hash still in the cans.
NO UTENSILS! And a gallon jug of
whiskey. NO CUPS! How'em I doing
so far?

HUSBAND
I'm with ya.

WIFE JUST BEGINS TO WEEP AT THE BEAUTY OF IT.

PLANNER
A few short words by...well just
you.

NODS TO THE WIFE AS SHE BLOWS HER NOSE.

PLANNER
(building to a
cresendo)

Then, for the finale, timing is
very important. As the service
ends, his work buddies will, all
together, lift YOUR FATHER WHO
HUGGED in his BIG GLOSSY BLACK BAG
high in the air and drop him into
the dumpster just as the
sanitation truck comes to grab it
and with a FINAL VIOLENT THRUST,
tosses him INTO the vehicle he has
spent his LIFE riding on the back
of and carries him away to his
final resting place- THE CITY
LANDFILL!!!

WIFE
Oh its sounds so wonderful...

PLANNER
I'm a genius. Saves money! NO BURIAL FEES!

HUSBAND
How much?

PLANNER
One hour. Materials. 600 bucks.

HUSBAND
(begins to cry)
That's just beautiful! I'm sorry I
doubted you...

WIFE
You're a gifted artist!

SCENE BEGINS TO FADE.

PLANNER
Now if you'll sign here...

HUSBAND
How much more for a balloon drop?

FADE OUT.

6/23/2009

Where's Muhammad.

The boss at the FBI has a hot lead. He got it from the new high tech phone surveillance system recently installed. Under pressure to produce something positive for a plummetting regime, he dispatches Agent Apple to check it out.

(This is copyrighted material, however, if you would like a pdf script for your use or wish to use it in any way- just ask and you shall receive. Note this blog format for scripts is funky but nonetheless readable. Enjoy.)

by
Scott Beddome
scottbeddome@yahoo.com

Where's Muhammad

FADE IN:

INT. FBI OFFICE - DAY

Typical government office. Fluorescent lights, outdated everything. Agent Apple enters and approaches his boss who is seated behind a desk that is heaping with stacks of paperwork.

BOSS
(Frazzled)
Oh good- you're here!

AGENT APPLE
(he's so cool)
Yep. I'm here. Now what's so
important?

BOSS
I found something on the computer.
Now where'd it go?

The boss pushes away the stacks of files. They fall to the floor. Beneath it all is a laptop. He blows on it and the dust flies.

BOSS
This could be big!

AGENT APPLE
Big?

BOSS
Real Big!

Now he's got Apple's attention.

BOSS
Got a hot one for you.

AGENT APPLE
Hot?

BOSS
Real hot!

Apple leans in as his boss types wildly on the laptop.

BOSS
This new telephone surveillance
program is a real dozy. Took me a
while to figure it out but this
morning it kicked out a lead.

AGENT APPLE
A lead?

BOSS
Yeah. A good lead. Could be
somethin Apple. I want you to
check it out.

The boss looks around and lowers his profile.

BOSS
I've been listening for about a
week now to an old lady named
Millie.

AGENT APPLE
An old lady named...

BOSS
Stop repeating everything I say
and listen.

AGENT APPLE
Listen?

The boss backhands Apple in the face.

BOSS
Darn it Apple! There's somebody
named Muhammad there- he's a
Persian- comes and goes- spends a
lot of time in the basement. I
think the old chick is in love
with him. Talks about him all the
time.

AGENT APPLE
Yep. That's the M-O. What do you
want me to do?

BOSS
(impatient now)
Get over there check it out!

Boss's phone rings. Both fumble with and scramble to answer several cell phones that they possess. Finally the boss answers the one "regular" phone on his desk.

BOSS
Talk to me!

He's talking to the person on the phone.

BOSS
Oh...Ahhh...Yes sir! (beat)

BOSS
Well, ah, no we haven't got
anything yet...

The voice on the other end is so loud that he pulls the phone away from his face. Returns.

BOSS
Yeah I know the poll numbers are
down.. but there's just not much
out there.

More screaming from the other end of the line.

BOSS
OK! OK! Tomorrow. I'll have
something by tommorrow.

Hangs up. He's freakin out.

BOSS
(to Apple)
That one came straight from the
top.

AGENT APPLE
The president?

BOSS
No you idiot! Karl Rove. You don't
want to screw with him! You heard
what he did to...

AGENT APPLE
(nodding )
Yeah, Yeeeeeah. That wasn't
pretty.

AGENT APPLE
I need you buddy, or we could both
be done for...

Both of them slowly lean back in their seats and put on cool hats. The lights dim leaving only their faces visible. Then they simultaneously take out cigarettes. They light the cigs. Take a deep inhale and a deep exhale. Fades to black.
You hear both begin a loud hacking flemmy cough.

EXT. A HOUSE IN MIAMI - DAY

Apple is standing just outside the front door. He pauses to listen. And hears...

MILLIE
Muhammad! Thank God you're back. I
missed you so much.

AGENT APPLE
(whispers to
himself)
He's here!

MILLIE
Oh yes! You like that don't you?
Don't you?

Apple thinks "ish." He rings the bell. Millie answers.

MILLIE
(suspicious)
Yes.

AGENT APPLE
Ah. Hi how are you today?

MILLIE
Fine.

Apple sees a group of women sitting in the living room of the house.

AGENT APPLE
Having a little get together
today?

MILLIE
Why yes. Do you knit? Did you come
for the group?

AGENT APPLE
Uh, yeah, but I...

MILLIE
It's OK. You don't have to be an
old lady to join. Come on in.
Ladies we have a new member. His
name is...

AGENT APPLE
Ah Apple, Johnny...Johnny Apple.

He sits amongst the eight old ladies as they start to gaggle.

AGENT APPLE
I, ah, forgot my knitting needles
and yarn.

KNITTING LADY #1
Who could knit on the first day? I
know I couldn't. I was so nervous.

They all concur.

KNITTING LADY #2
Well somebody get him some tea for
god's sake!

AGENT APPLE
Oh no. Thanks. I can't stay that
long. Just wanted to meet
everybody. Say Hi. Is this
everyone?

MILLIE
Yes, this is it. A nice cozy
little group. Too many can get
difficult.

They all concur once again.

AGENT APPLE
Well it's just that as I was
coming in I thought I heard you
talking to ...was it Muhammad?

MILLIE
Oh yes. He took off when he saw
you.

KNITTING LADY #1
Persians! They're that way.

KNITTING LADY #2
High strung.

KNITTING LADY #1
Come and go as they please.

MILLIE
Well he's home now. Oh I missed
him.

KNITTING LADY #2
Stinks!

KNITTING LADY #1
He really needs a bath Millie.

AGENT APPLE
Where is he?

MILLIE
Probably in the basement...

KNITTING LADY #2
Doing whatever he does down there.

Apple's cell phone rings. It's his boss. The ladies chat as
he takes the call
.

AGENT APPLE
(to the cellphone)
Yeah, he's here now. Well I don't
know, need more time...Now?!(beat)
Now?! But...But...

Apple stands up and whips out his ID.

AGENT APPLE
(taking control)
Alright! Agent Apple! F-B-I!
Everybody down on the floor!

The Knitting Club hits the floor as the place is stormed by FBI, ATF and local swat teams coming through every available opening.

BOSS
Where's Muhammad!

AGENT APPLE
The basement! Check the basement!

There is a hail of machine gun fire all around by at least four guys. The air clears and, of course, nobody is hit.

AGENT APPLE
(disgusted)
Did you have to?

BOSS
Orders. Rove again. There's 47
cameras outside.

FBI SWAT GUY
Sir! He got away! No sign of
Muhammad in the basement, just
this cat.

MILLIE
(from out the door)
Muhammad! Muhammad!

FBI Swat Guy hands the Persian cat to the Boss who quickly
dumps it on Apple.

BOSS
She really loves that guy. What is
it with good women and bad men? Oh
well. Press conference. Good work
Apple. (Exits)

AGENT APPLE
(sneezes)
I hate cats.

Cuts to real (actual) footage of CNN coverage of press conference. Attorney General Roberto Gonzales speaks: "We want to congratulate everybody on this team effort..."

FADE OUT.

6/22/2009

The Oil Man, Man.

You may have seen the oil company exec's on Meet The Press this past Sunday. While they profess to be completely independent, something tells me they may be closer than they say...

(This is copyrighted material, however, if you would like a pdf script for your use or wish to use it in any way- just ask and you shall receive. Note this blog format for scripts is funky but nonetheless readable. Enjoy.)

THE OIL MAN, MAN.

by V. Scott Beddome
scottbeddome@yahoo.com

FADE IN:

INT. SET OF "MEET THE PRESS" - DAY

Russert sits directly across from the heads of the three biggest oil companies in the country. They are all about the same age, speak with the same cadence and tonality and are all dressed identically with exception to their ties.

RUSSERT
(uptempo-hyped)

Welcome back - if it's Sunday it's
Meet the Press! With me this
morning- the CEO's of the top
three oil companies in America.
Gentlemen- welcome!

One after the other, each says "Tim" and does a "shoot the gun" hand gesture with a wink.

RUSSERT
Gas prices are way up- why?

OIL MAN #1
Demand outstrips supply...

OIL MAN #2
Crude oil prices are up...

OIL MAN #3
The American consumer is using too much...

All the oil men sit with the same complacent smiles and hands folded in frontof them as they anticipate the next question. (Beat)

RUSSERT
You're saying that the oil
companies have nothing to
do with it?

OIL MAN #1
It's an open market Tim.

OIL MAN #2
It's a global business. We're
interdependent.

OIL MAN #3
We have no control.

RUSSERT
But oil company profits are up 66%
in just the past year...

OIL MAN #1
It's a ...

OIL MAN #2
misconception.

OIL MAN #3
It only looks that way.

OIL MAN #1
Over the long term- our profits
aren't that high.

OIL MAN #2
Taken over the past 100 years and
over the next 100 years...

OIL MAN #3
...doesn't add up to much.

OIL MAN #1
The industry's struggling Tim...

OIL MAN #2
Tough times Tim...

OIL MAN #3
We're barely makin it.(Beat) Tim.

RUSSERT
What do we need to do?

In a very mechanical manner, Oil Man #1 picks up a pitcher of water, pours a glass and drinks from it then sets the pitcher next to Oil Man #2's glass.

OIL MAN #1
We need more supply.

Oil Man #2 picks up the pitcher of water and, in a similar style to that of Oil Man #1 pours himself a glass, sets the pitcher next to Oil Man #3 and says...

OIL MAN #2
Increased development!

Oil Man #3 mimics the water drinking motions - exactly.

OIL MAN #3
Drill more wells!

OIL MAN #1
Alaska!

OIL MAN #2
The Gulf!

OIL MAN #3
National Parks!

OIL MAN #1
Kill the elk!

OIL MAN #2
Kill the fish!

OIL MAN #3
Kill the people!

All three say "To oil! Cheers!" and tap their glasses together.

RUSSERT
You all seem to be very much
alike. You speak the same, say the
same words, I mean you're
finishing each others sentences!
Why shouldn't the public believe
that you are in cahoots- caluding?

OIL MAN #1
Well Tim, first of all, you may
not have noticed but...our ties
are different. Mine is blue...

OIL MAN #2
Mine's brown Tim.

OIL MAN #3
(in an "aw schucks" way)
I got here late so I got pink
today.

RUSSERT
Gentleman...

OIL MAN #1
(interrupts)
Tim

OIL MAN #2
I

OIL MAN #3
can

OIL MAN #1
gaurentee

OIL MAN #2
you

OIL MAN #3
we

OIL MAN #1
are

OIL MAN #2
not

OIL MAN #1
coluding

RUSSERT
(getting tired)
But...

OIL MAN #1
Aside

OIL MAN #2
from

OIL MAN #3
these

OIL MAN #1
shows

OIL MAN #2
we

OIL MAN #3
never

OIL MAN #1
see

OIL MAN #2
each

OIL MAN #3
other.

RUSSERT
(dumbfounded)
And what about the president, do
you talk with him?

Quick shot of all three Oil Men in See No evil, Hear No Evil and Say No Evil poses.

RUSSERT
(pushes)
You do or don't you talk to the
president?!

Oil Man #2 starts to say "Well, Tim..." When he is bopped on the head with a hammer by #3 and gouged in the eyes by #1 which leads to a quick series of 3 Stooges antics with the "Whoop, Whoop, Whoop" vocalizations.

RUSSERT
(disappointed)
Gentlemen...thank you.

The Oil Men gather themselves, fix each others ties and straighten each other up.

OIL MAN #1
Tim before we go...

OIL MAN #2
We've prepared a little something
for you.

OIL MAN #3
And it goes like this!

As they stand up they all put on top hats and canes are tossed to them simultaneously from offstage. A curtain closes behind them as they spin and begin to dance just like the Spinners. Music starts. Sung to the tune of "Rubberband Man" they sing:

Hand me down my walkin' cane
Hand me down my hat
Hurry now and don't be late
'Cause we ain't got time to chat

You and me were goin' out
To catch the latest sound
Guaranteed to blow your mind
So high you won't come down
Hey y'all prepare yourself for the OIL MAN, MAN!
You've never heard a sound
Like the OIL MAN, MAN!
You're bound to lose control
When the OIL MAN starts to jam

They bough and give each other congratulatory kisses on the lips.

FADE OUT.