copyright © 2005 Dwayne Yancey


By Dwayne Yancey

Copyright 2004; all rights reserved.

(The dressing room of a show biz entertainer whose career has seen its better days. It’s a seedy, second-rate room in a second-rate town. Eddie, the entertainer, sits on a chair, tired and disillusioned. Now he’s been roped into doing an animal act with a monkey. His manager, Sid, opens the door and sticks his head in.)

SID: Five minutes before you go back on, Eddie.

EDDIE: I’m not going back out there, Sid.

SID: What do you mean you’re not going back out there? They loved you in the first act.

EDDIE: You heard me. I’m not going back out there.

SID: Whoa, whoa, whoa, talk to me, Eddie, talk to me. What’s gotten into you, pal?

EDDIE: You know what’s gotten into me.

SID: It’s your partner, isn’t it?

EDDIE: Oh, so now he’s my partner, is he?

SID: Well, uh, yeah. In a two-man act, they’re usually called partners, right? Sometimes you’ve got a straight man and a funny man, a straight man and a sidekick, but either way they’re partners.

EDDIE: But he’s not a man, Sid.

SID: Oh, that, well, that – that’s nothing.

EDDIE: It’s not nothing! He’s not a man, Sid! He’s a monkey! He’s a monkey and you’re elevating him to the rank of my partner!

SID: The audience loves it, Eddie. They’re eating it up. They can’t get enough.

EDDIE: You mean they can’t get enough of him!

SID: Does it matter, Eddie? They’re laughing. They’re paying their admission!

EDDIE: Of course, it matters!

SID: Not quite sure how, but have it your way.

EDDIE: I want them to be laughing at me! Not him! Not some ape!

SID: He’s a chimpanzee –

EDDIE: Ape, monkey, baboon, orangutan, whatever. They’re all the same. It’s an animal act, Sid! You’ve got me in an animal act!

SID: Animal acts are very popular these days!

EDDIE: But I used to be able to make the room laugh on my own, Sid. I didn’t need some – some damned monkey!

SID: Yeah, well, what can I say, Eddie? Those were different days.

EDDIE: Yeah, you’re right. Those were different days. I was a headliner in those days. Well, almost. I headlined that one night in Cleveland when the top of the bill came down sick.

SID: Let’s face it, Eddie. The old jokes just weren’t moving ‘em anymore. You needed some new material.

EDDIE: Then let me work on some new material! I can come up with new material! Just give me time.

SID: I’ve given you new material, Eddie. His name’s Bo-Bo.

EDDIE: Aarggh! You’re not listening to me, Sid. I’m tired of playing second fiddle to some animal! It’s – it’s demeaning! That’s what it is. It’s demeaning.

SID: He doesn’t complain much about you. So why are you so worked up over him?

EDDIE: That’s it. That does it. I’m firing him, Sid. I’m firing him. I’m not doing the animal act anymore. From here on out, it’s just me. Just like it was in the old days.

SID: Uh, well, we’ve got a little problem there then.

EDDIE: What problem is that?

SID: You’ve signed a contract, son.

EDDIE: So? I’ve always had contracts.

SID: Yeah, but this contract is with the agency, Eddie.


SID: So the agency owns Bo-Bo.

EDDIE: I still don’t get it. You can find somebody else to stand there and be a straight man for the damned monkey. I’m going to do my own thing.

SID: Well, you may have to do it on your own in Poughkeepsie then. You can’t do it on the tour.

EDDIE: What are you talking about?

SID: The contract, Eddie. See, I didn’t really want to break it to you, but the only way the agency agreed to book you on this tour was if you did the act with Bo-Bo.

EDDIE: You mean –?

SID: That’s right, Eddie. No animal, no act.

EDDIE: You mean I’m working for the damned monkey then?

SID: Well, if you want to look at it that way.

EDDIE: Geez! What have you done to me, Sid?

SID: Look, man, I was trying to help you, pal. I knew a lot of the old jokes were falling flat and you weren’t getting many jobs, so I thought I’d help. You know, thought it’d give your career a second wind.

EDDIE: I think the second wind was the monkey

G. (He makes a gesture to indicate the monkey smells bad, or perhaps has flatulence.)

SID: You know he likes you, Eddie.

EDDIE: Who does?

SID: Bo-Bo. He didn’t much like his last handler–, er, partner, but he likes you.

EDDIE (sadly): Yeah? What about the agency?

SID: They like the bottom line, Eddie. As long as you and Bo-Bo keep putting people in the seats, they’ll like you.

EDDIE: And if we don’t?

SID: Well, considering the investment they’ve got in that monkey, they’d probably replace you first.

EDDIE: With who?

SID: Oh, I don’t know. Probably somebody like Johnny Weatherington.

EDDIE: Johnny Weatherington? Geez, he was washed up ten years ago.

SID: He’s said to be good with animals, Eddie. He’s not so good with his ex-wives, but he’s said to be good with animals. You don’t want to be Johnny Weatherington, Eddie.

More to the point, you don’t want Johnny Weatherington to be you.

EDDIE: Geez. You sure have a way of putting things, don’t you Sid?

SID: Sorry, pal. It’s my job.

EDDIE: But I get to keep first billing, right? Don’t put my name after the monkey’s.

SID: I won’t make any promises I can’t keep. Let’s just see how it goes. Now come on, it’s one minute to show time.

EDDIE: All right. Just give me a minute to get back in character, OK?

(Sid exits. Eddie sits, and stares at the mirror for a moment. Then lights fade out.)

-------- THE END -------

Cast of characters -- two males

Eddie, a washed-up entertainer now roped into an animal act with a monkey

Sid, his manager

Dwayne Yancey

1791 Mount Pleasant Church Road

Fincastle, VA 24090

Days: 540 981 3113

Nights: 540 473 3313



[Dwayne Yancey's website]

[Back to Library] Home