A banana peel sits, ready on the pavement. It’s position and posture is that of the archetypal comedy setup. It is waiting.
DAVID (or anyone, really) appears on the sidewalk heading towards the studio. He glances at his watch and begins to run. His feet are in a direct line for the banana peel. He does not look down at the pavement nor does he notice what is ahead of him. He is late.
Only steps away from the peel, DAVID does not slow his pace, nor does he alter his course. His shoe hovers over the peel and lands directly beside it. DAVID reaches the door, opens it and enters.
INT. LOUDVILLE LOBBY - MOMENTS LATER
DAVID enters, checking his watch again with a relieved sigh. Just as he exhales, his foot catches on the entryway rug and he tumbles violently and noisily to the ground, hitting his knee hard on the tile as he falls.
Suddenly a CAMERA MAN and SOUND MAN rush onto the scene to help as DAVID rolls back and forth on the rug, sucking his teeth, wincing in pain, and holding his knee tightly.
Are you ok? What happened?
DAVID rolls onto his stomach and looks into the camera (offscreen).
Ugh, sorry. Can I do that again?
Uh, David…we’re live.
CUE THEME SONG and INTRO SEQUENCE.
INT. LOUDVILLE STUDIO - LATER
MARK stands in the middle of the set. His dress suggests nothing so much as a vaudeville MC, straw boater, suspenders, arm bands, and neatly pressed trousers that meet a pair of two-toned wing tips, gleaming in the spotlight from a fresh shine. With a mic in one hand, and a sweeping gesture of his arm, he begins.
Ladies and gentleman of the Internet and beyond, good evening and welcome to the world premiere of California Live Mic, presented in real time from the fabulous Big Room at Loudville Studios in scenic Sausaltio, California. I am your host, Mark Keller. Tonight we have something special in store for you, a selection of talent unlike any you have seen in one place together online or out of doors. It’s local, it’s lovely, it’s ‘luminating, it’s long on ludricously lively lyrical libations guaranteed for lengthy laudings living room-wide, from Lomabard street to the location of Lincoln’s loafers. Let’s lose this loquacious litany and let loose. Ladies and gentleman, enjoy.
MARK bows deeply and steps to the side as the first MUSICIAN enters the stage. Across his/her chest is a sticker that reads: BIG BILL’s BARGAIN BASEMENT – NO ONE’S LOWER.
DAVID and JOSH sit behind the switcher and camera controls, watching the stage on multiple screens. NISSA sits behind her laptop further down the counter. BETH sits behind all three on the couch. On the screen, the musician has finished and is saying his thank yous as MARK asks for another round of applause.
What’s that on his (her) shirt?
Give me a wide shot on camera 3. Javier, can you get ready for a close up of MARK? Watch the headroom…that hat.
Maybe his dad is BIG BILL or something. I don’t know. It looks pretty damn tacky whatever it is. Beth, don’t we have any say in what these people wear? Can’t Barbara make suggestions?
BETH looks up at the screen and sighs.
Just worry about making it look good, not what it is.
Josh, get me a nice two shot on 4. Javier, I’m going to you. Javier you are on the air.
It's well framed whatever it is.
Want me to do a move on 1 for the spot?
Wait till Mark gets in position, then start it. Nice. Roll the music.
JINGLE MUSIC begins
(This would be a good place for a real commercial)
INT. CONTROL ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
MARK stands behind a microphone and a music stand. There is a small table of auxiliary percussion instruments beside him. He picks up a triangle and does a traditional “dinner call”.
It’s supper time and the kids are hungry. At the end of a long day, the last place you want to be is over a hot stove cooking up the same old same old. When your dinner times are troubled, come to Mama Mary’s Family Barbecue in Pleasanton, or our new convenient location in Larkspur. There’s something for everyone and plenty of everything. Belly up to our never-ending meat bar…that’s five kinds of juicy, home-cooked goodness, slathered in our secret sauce, covered in real California cheese and served with garlic bread, potato crusties, cheese cakes and gravy, plus your choice of golden fried onion wedges, or crisp and crunchy, fried garlic hash. Fun and filling for the whole crew, that’s Mama Mary’s Family Barbecue on Exit 109. Delicious.
A pipe organ sounds to end the spot. Mark rings the triangle once more, then looks directly into the camera.
And now, I’d like to introduce you to ______. And her/his amazing _____, brought to you by Mama Mary’s Family Barbecue and their all new home-style gravy bowl.
INT. UPSTAIRS SET - MOMENTS LATER
The next act begins. Next to the performer is a steaming bowl of gravy, surrounded by biscuits, cheese, and onions (for dipping).
The performance ends and MARK enters the stage, applauding and calling for more.
Thank you ______. How ‘bout that folks? We’ve got plenty more where that came from and Mama Mary’s got plenty more like this.
Mark grabs a biscuit from the plate, dips it in the gravy and takes a big bite, smiling. He holds, waiting for the signal that he is off camera. BETH comes up along side of him after the camera has cut with a small wastebasket. MARK spits the biscuit out.
Ugh. Mother Mary, that’s godawful.
Let it be, Mark. He called by the way. He wants to talk after the show. He said to watch the wordplay.
He probably needs me to tattoo our performers with his address… Who’s next?
I don’t like it either.
I know. Hand me my hat.
MARK takes his hat and prepares for his next introduction. BETH also hands him a paper shopping bag.
INT. CONTROL ROOM - MOMENTS LATER
Mark can be seen standing center stage, holding a mic and the shopping bag.
Do we know why Mark is holding that bag? Can Javier take that from him?
Leave it. Get ready with a tight shot on the bag.
…Ok…Josh get ready with camera 2 for the introduction. Javier, get me a close up of the bag.
Alright, ladies and gentlemen, we are very excited about this next performer, and I will let you meet him/her in just a moment, but first a riddle: What does this aromatic candle, this conveniently packaged set of traditional Italian spices, and this gorgeous summer sun dress have in common?
Mark pulls each item out of the bag as he mentions them. The next artist is noticeably waiting in the wings.
No, it’s not the ingredients to a perfect romantic evening…all three of these items can be found at unbelievably low prices right now at Big Bill’s Bargain Basement. And that’s not nearly all, you’ll find everything you need for the whole family, from pencils to Parcheesi, from oven mitts to opalescent ornamental lawn fixtures. That’s right, Big Bill’s Bargain Basement, devoted to low prices and (pauses)…the arts.
(there is an obvious change in tone here, as though Mark has been reading off a card, and is now no longer doing so)
Now, without further farcical financial ado, our fine, fine arts family welcomes warmly a warbler of Wagnerian proportion, please put your paws to applause for ____ (opera singer, if possible)
Musical Performance. The candle, spice set, and sundress lay at the feet of the performer.
INT. CONTROL ROOM - CONTINUOUS
BETH, seated on the couch, reaches in her pocket and pulls out her cell phone; the screen is lit up. It reads, “BILL”. BETH sighs.
Nissa is checking Talkback on her laptop.
Jessica from Portland (Can be a real name if one is available) says she loves the show. Mark from Walnut Creek “digs the vaudeville shtick”. And Jeff from Austin agrees.
David in Sausalito would like a close up of her hands from Javier.
Josh in control room would like to do a move on 4 for the end of the number.
Beth in Sausalito is enjoying show from Loudville. (under her breath) Bill in Basement is less so…
INT. STAGE - CONTINUOUS
The performance ends. Mark rushes out to the stage, applauding loudly.
Let’s hear it for ____, ladies and gentlemen. Oust from your ottomans and offer ovations!! Bargain Bill boasts bountiful bills and Loudville lavishes the land with a legion of leviathan talent, tantamount to Troy in triumph tallied, and Helen in heavenly handsomeness. Stay tuned sweet subscribers; several silver-tongued standouts sit stoked on the sidelines. Stay tuned!
MARK is back behind the music stand and percussion table. He holds a vibra slap in his hand. MATT stands nearby.
It’s hot. It’s dry. It’s hell. (hits vibra slap)When thirst hits hard, hit back even harder with Uncle Joe’s EXTREME Country Lemonade. Tastes just like it did when you were a kid, then kicks that kid in the ass. No throat goes dry when Uncle Joe’s hand squeezed lemons and three kinds of refreshing sweetener are around. Uncle Joe’s Extreme Country Lemonade. GET QUENCHED!
(Every time Mark says “EXTREME” MATT leans in and does the same.)
Mark hits the vibra slap again, then looks at the camera.
And now, to round out the evening, Uncle Joe would like to offer up an EXTREME-ly evocative entertainer,(pause) electrifying even…give it up for _______.
INT. STAGE - CONTINUOUS
The performer stands with a small table at his/her side containing a bottle with a clearly visible label reading “Uncle Joe’s Exreme Country Lemonade and a cup already poured.
As the performance ends, Mark runs onstage, grabs the cup of lemonade and take a long sip. Visibly trying not to, he makes a sour face, then smiles.
Aaah, refreshing. And what's more refreshing than a live performance like that ladies and gentleman? Give it up one more time for _____. Sadly though, that's our last act of the evening. We hope you've enjoyed the show every bit as much as we have. Thanks again to ____, _____,____, and ______. And, of course, and extra helping of handclaps for Mama Mary's Family BBQ, Uncle Joes' Extreme Country Lemonade, and Big Bill's Bargain Basement. Come back next week for more marvelous, miraculous, mellifluous musicality and monkeyshines, and, who knows, maybe a mime! Good night, we'll see you next time.
CREDITS ROLL as the camera pans through the studio. CREDITS continue to roll over:
INT. MARK'S OFFICE - MOMENTS LATER
Mark sits at his chair, phone in hand, he is still a bit out of breath. His tie is loosened and the top button of his shirt is undone.
So, what did you think?...No, I think we got some good numbers…well, we'll know more tomorrow…wordplay?..well, libations…sort of a type of refreshment…it's alliteration…it's fun, it's helps things flow, it's sort of the shtick…quite a few people liked…litany?...well it's a…no, I know no one wants to have one eye on a dictionary, but…well, I understand, but…no…listen we did the ads, we set up the props, we even stapled your name to an artists shirt, that's not what…no, I know that…I understand that, but…less shtick?...lose the thesaurus…well, I…no, of course not…we appreciate it very much, you know you're the lifeline for this thing…right…right…ok…I'll call you tomorrow with the numbers.
Mark hangs up the phone and sighs. He takes off his hat and sets it on the desk.
CREDTIS ROLL OUT, FADE TO BLACK.
INT. SOUND BOARD - MOMENTS LATER
MATT and PAUL are sitting behind the soundboard.
We didn't get to say much tonight.
PAUL opens his mouth to speak.
FADE TO BLACK.