Have you heard people say, "I'm dying of laughter?" Well, my Senior Citizens group prefers another old adage: "Laughter is the best medicine!" Seniors-like me-have a vested interest in this topic, so we take it seriously when scientists proclaim that people who laugh a lot---live longer. My Seniors group is all over this fact---so much so that our members have come up with a service project that I believe will not only help other retired citizens to laugh, but will get our own members laughing, too.
Our idea is to form an improvisational comedy troupe that travels around to all the local nursing homes and performs skits. We will work for chuckles and, I'm sure, even for a few groans. Some of the names suggested for our group are predictable: Did You Hear the One . . . NO, I Can't Hear; The Lame Jokers; Octogenarians Off Their Rockers; G-String Players (G for Geriatrics, of course); The Nanas and The Papas; and Granny and the Pacemakers. What's your pick?
Clearly, this is going to be a "cool" group of Seniors to be part of, don't you think? So, I have to get in!!! But the people selected for this traveling troupe must come up with an original funny monologue for tryouts. I can understand this. It is an improvisational comedy group, after all. Auditions are tomorrow. Though I have been working on my monologue for weeks, it seems I have come down with a terrible case of writer's block. Funny has completely eluded me. I haven't even had the first whiff of a corny idea.
I'm really sweating it now. It is down to the wire. It is serious. The CLOCK has no mercy on WRITER'S BLOCK! Freezing up is definitely not what you want to happen when you are trying out for a quick thinking improv group! If I don't come up with something funny by tomorrow, I'll be relegated to the Seniors' Crafts group, I just know it!
So, what to say?
Wait! (Pause.)Maybe the answer is right in front of me. Tried and true funny. I can draw inspiration from some of the late comedians and comediennes now enshrined in the Great Comedy Club in the sky. I will write in their spirit.
For example, why don't I give my take on George Burns and Gracie Allen: GEORGE: Gracie, do you know you burnt my toast this morning? GRACIE: Oh, no, George, I burn your toast every morning! GEORGE: Gracie, Gracie, that's not a good thing. GRACIE: Oh, so you don't want toast with your eggs in the morning. Well all right, then.
Or, let's try Lucy Ricardo and Ethel Mertz: ETHEL: Lucy, I can't tell Fred that I need money to pay off another speeding ticket! LUCY: Oh, oh, oh, wait! I just got an idea. You and I will break your TV and tell Fred you need money to get the TV fixed. ETHEL: Uh, Lucy, if we do that, I'll tell you one thing: It better be your TV that we break or Fred will break every bone in our bodies!
Or, even Nora Ephron: NORA: Okay, you want some of my dry wit? At our age we don't drive cars anymore but it's still a race! Dinner at this retired citizens home starts at 4:30, but I have to get down to the cafeteria by 4:00 so I can get my walker parked at the front of the line . . .When I was younger I said if pregnancy were a book, they should cut out the last two chapters. Well, now that I'm older it's if old age were a book, they should write only the first two chapters! . . . I sure do feel bad about my NECK and MY SKIN TAGS, but at least the skin tags are not coming out with the word "expired" written on any of them!
(I said I'd take groans! At least these are original!)
So, I think I now have most of my monologue written, thanks to inspiration from some of the comedy greats. I just hope the audience will be able to hear it!