Thursday, April 10, 2008

if escher was a comedian

multiple tiers of reality stacked like a house of cards come crashing down on harried talk show host ken doral:

doral: [disheveled, tense and chainsmoking] ... rock lyrics: do they influence our kids? our topic in two weeks. but, tonight: the elderly.

good evening and welcome to the pre-taped call in show, where we tape all our shows a week in advance. i'm your host ken doral, and uh ... let's try it again! it's really not that hard, 'kay? our topic once again: [gestures to his guest, a kindly eldery man] the elderly. we're — we're taping it now, and it airs next week, 'kay?

so, if you're watching me talk about the eldery, don't call to talk about it, it's too late. instead call to talk about cooking, which is next week's topic, 'kay? if you wanted to talk about the elderly, you should've called last week, when our pet care show was airing, but we were taping the elderly show ... yeah.

okay, so, here we go [taps switchboard] ... hello?

caller #1: hi ken, great show.
doral: thank you, what can i do for you?
caller #1: uh, my dog has a disobedience problem, and uh —
doral: okay, okay, heh ... there you go ... ha! hahaha! okay, that's uh, boo-boo number one! hopefully that'll be our last, 'kay.

ah, look, if you wanted to talk about pet care, you should've called two weeks ago when our show on racism was airing. 'kay, i'm doing a show about the elderly right now, which of course, to people watching means: call in about cooking.

'kay, we'll see if we can ... [taps switchboard] hello?

caller #2: yeah, hi, uh — what's going on? i mean, you're doing a show about pet care, but everyone's talking about racism ...
doral: no ...
caller #2: ... and i don't —
doral: no, 'kay, no no no ...

no, we're not doing a show about pet care, i'm doing a show about the elderly! see, the people calling about racism are watching the show that aired when we were taping the pet show, which is airing now. okay? if they wanted to talk about racism, they should've called three weeks ago, when our "crime in the streets" show aired. 'kay?

it's just ... let's ... think ... before we ...

alright ... alright ... okay [steels self for next caller] here we go ... [taps switchboard] hello?

caller #3: yes, i'd like to talk about my grandma.
doral: [with relief] oh .. oh, alright! yeah, yeah, heh ... 'kay, good ...
caller #3: yeah, well she has this cat that's keeping her up at night and i, uh —
doral: well, sir, sir — can i just say that that that the ... difficulty with sleeping is a common problem [gestures to elderly guest] with the elderly of today.
caller #3: yeah, but i really think the cat is more of the problem. i mean, the cat's rambunctious and —
doral: no, no, no, sir — OBVIOUSLY your elderly grandmother is the problem, BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT THIS WEEK'S SHOW IS ABOUT!!!
caller #3: yeah, but i'm watching the show right now and —
doral: [explodes] IDIOT! IT'S SIMPLE! LOOK AT THIS! — [leaps from chair, pulls tv monitor into view] IT'S WHAT'S AIRING RIGHT NOW! PET CARE SHOW! LISTEN!
doral: [on the tv monitor, exploding] PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! STOP CALLING ABOUT RACISM! we did that a week ago! look! here! [leaps from chair, pulls tv monitor into view, displaying ... ]
doral: [ ... on the tv monitor, exploding] listen to me, for the last time, "crime in the streets" happened last week! EVERYTHING I'M SAYING HAPPENED LAST WEEK! LOOK! LOOK! HERE! [leaps from chair, pulls tv monitor into view, displaying ... ]
doral: [ ... on the tv monitor, calm, pleasant and undisheveled] ... and that's it for our first show, "crime in the streets". i can't help but think that it would have gone a little better had somebody actually called in, but i guess that's because you won't see me until next week. oh well, as soon as we get the kinks worked out here, i'm sure it'll be a great, great show.

"the pre-taped call in show" was #43 on's list of the 50 greatest comedy sketches of all time.

escher relativity
detail, "relativity", m.c. escher, 1953

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