Barry, The Dead by David Lambertson | Script Revolution

Barry, The Dead

When a famous atheist comedian literally dies on stage, he makes a bargain with God to avoid damnation - make the bible funny.

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109pp

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BARRY SMART (40) a popular, crusty, atheist comedian often reveals his contempt for religion in his stand-up routines. This disdain is partially fueled by the fact that his now ex-wife, SHARON, left him for REVEREND JACKSON, the evangelical preacher that lived next door.

On night on stage while railing against God, Barry collapses from a heart and wakens to find himself at the Pearly Gates. There, he’s informed by a very judgmental and acerbic Saint Peter that, due to the fact he was an avowed atheist, Barry has to pass a religious acumen test in order to be considered for heaven. Barry, of course, fails miserably.

Just before he’s sent off to Hades, Barry’s granted an audience with God, none to please that Barry has spent his life undermining his word. Barry pleads guilty – with an explanation. The Bible was too dry, too thick and devoid of humor. Barry offers God a bargain. Let him use his comedic skills to bring followers to the flock rather than wasting him in Hell.

God agrees but on one condition. Barry must be sent back to biblical times to learn the teachings of Jesus and to ultimately be tested on whether or not there is humor there. If Barry succeeds, he will be returned to his life to spread the word of God through laughter not. If not - eternal damnation it is. To make it more relatable for Barry, God includes facsimiles of characters from Barry’s real life in his Biblical journey. Sharon as Mary Magdalene, the Reverend Jackson as Judas, Barry’s Agent and other friends as the disciples.

Barry meets Jesus in Galilee and journeys with him all the way through to the Last Supper. Despite numerous attempts, he can’t come up with anything funny. Everything lands with a thud and eternal damnation seems like a certainty. However, during this journey, Barry ultimately realizes that his fate in life was of his own making. That his sins, adultery, drinking, and gambling were what drove Sharon from him. That his wounds were self-inflicted. Most importantly, Barry realizes that Jesus does love him - it’s just that he doesn’t have a funny way of showing it.

At the end of the Last Supper, a distraught Barry, no longer concerned for his own plight, pleads with God to spare the man he has grown to love, Jesus, from the cross. God of course cannot honor this wish but is taken by the fact that Barry has learned to put the needs of others before his own. He has learned empathy and compassion.

Just as he believes he is sent off to Hell, Barry awakens in a hospital emergency room surrounded by Sharon and his other friends. He tells them of his journey and how they were there with him. Of course, they believe it was just a dream. More importantly, they believe that Barry is a changed man.

Submitted: January 15, 2019
Last Updated: April 17, 2023

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This Script Is Loved By 3 Readers

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The Writer: David Lambertson

Hmmm - how does one craft a writing biography for one that has not spent a life writing? I'll give it a shot. I knew I wanted to be a writer when I was eighteen. I started writing when I was 56. In the years between I got married, had children, got divorced, got married again, had grandchildren and spent more than thirty years as a Government bureaucrat. Exciting - I know. There is good news and bad news in that. The bad news of course is that I spent my life working at a career other than the one I wanted to have. The good news is that I garnered enough life experiences to make my writing more meaningful than it would have been as an eighteen year old. Despite starting late, I have enjoyed... Go to bio

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