On this, the 50th anniversary of the Beatles appearing on the Ed Sullivan show, I thought I’d share a comedy sketch that I wrote for The Madhouse Theater Company, and which they performed last month at Montgomery County Community College. (Frank Gorshin, in case you’re wondering, was an impressionist who appeared on the Ed Sullivan show ahead of the Beatles. He’s probably best known for playing the Riddler on Bat Man.)


Sheila, Ellen, and Marcy are standing in line for the first appearance of the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show.

SHEILA: Can you believe it? The Beatles!

Sheila and Ellen scream. Marcy, is taken off guard and cringes.

ELLEN: I think Paul is darling!

Sheila and Ellen scream again. Marcy still cringes, but less dramatically.

SHEILA: I want to have John’s baby!

Sheila and Ellen scream a third time. This time, Marcy is expecting it. She just turns slightly away in anticipation of the blast.

Ellen turns to Marcy.

ELLEN: What about you? Who’s your favorite Beatle?

MARCY: I don’t know… Stan?

 Sheila and Ellen start to scream, then catch themselves.

SHEILA: Wait a second…

ELLEN: There’s no Beatle called Stan!

MARCY: Gary?

ELLEN: There’s no Gary, either.

SHEILA: It’s John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

ELLEN: And they’re playing tonight!

 Sheila and Ellen scream, but by now, Marcy is bored with the routine.

MARCY: To tell you the truth, I’m here to see Frank Gorshin.


MARCY: You know, the comedian. He’s on the show with some band tonight.

Sheila and Ellen look at each other quizzically as Marcy gets a dreamy look in her eyes.

MARCY: Frank Gorshin!

Enter Karen and Josie.

KAREN: Did you say Frank Gorshin?

Karen and Josie scream. Sheila and Ellen react with confusion. Marcy looks excited.

JOSIE: He’s the dreamiest!

KAREN: I want to have his baby!

MARCY: I DID have his baby!

Everyone looks at Marcy with horror. Marcy realizes she’s taken her enthusiasm a step too far.

MARCY: I mean… Wow, Frank Gorshin!

Lyle and Ted appear on the scene.

TED: Frank Gorshin? I love Frank Gorshin!

 LYLE: Hey! I think that’s him over there!

Lyle points to something in the distance.

TED: Hey, everybody! It’s Frank Gorshin!

A mob of teens pours onto the stage.

LYLE: Frank! Frank!

TED: We want to have your baby!

JOSIE: Oh my God!

MARCY: He’s waving at us!

KAREN: And he’s coming this way!

 Everyone screams. Even Sheila and Ellen are excited now. Mayhem ensues. Lyle faints. In a moment of quiet, Sheila turns to Ellen.

 SHEILA: Can you believe it?

SHEILA and ELLEN: Frank Gorshin!

Sheila and Ellen scream.


We’re Not Selling…

For anyone who, like me, can’t make it out to the Madhouse Theater show tonight, here’s the script for one my skits they’ll be performing. It’s called “We’re Not Selling,” and, well, you can probably figure out what I’m satirizing…

We’re Not Selling…

Don is a seasoned Madison Avenue advertising executive. Peter is his protégé. They’re both wearing suits and have slick hair.

Don: We’re not selling hotel rooms. We’re selling sex. Do you follow me?

Peter makes a note on a notepad.

Peter: Okay. Yeah. Kind of.

Don: Good. Let’s try another one. We’re not selling cars. We’re selling…

Peter: Freedom! The open road…

Don: No. We’re selling sex. We’re not selling breakfast cereal. We’re selling…

Peter makes another note.

Peter: Family values?

Don: No. We’re selling sex. Do you see a pattern emerging?

Peter looks at his notes and screws up his face in concentration.

Peter: Ummm…

Don: Sex. The answer is always sex.

Peter: Right! Right! Oh, that’s good…

Peter begins to write in his notepad, but Don grabs it from him and tosses it away.

Don: Forget that. Let’s try another one. We’re not selling candy. We’re selling…

Peter: Sssssex?

Don: We’re not selling floor cleaner. We’re selling…

Peter: Sex.

Don: We’re not selling vitamins. We’re selling…

Peter: Sex.

Don: We’re not selling diapers. We’re selling…

Peter: Sex.

Don: Cough medicine?

Peter: Sex.

Don: And motor oil?

Peter: Sex!

Don: How about ketchup?

Peter: Sex.

Don: Raincoats! Luggage! Baked beans!

Peter: Sex. Sex. Sex.

Peter is getting hot and excited.

Don: Popsicles!

Peter: Sex!

Don: Baby powder!

Peter: Sex!

Don: Dog food!

Peter: Sex!

Don raises a hand and appears to be disgusted.

Don: No! God no! No. Dog food is always dog food.

Peter looks disappointed.

Peter: Oh.

Don punches Peter on the shoulder.

Don: Just kidding! It’s sex! Now let’s go bang some hookers.