Gag by Barry Staff | Script Revolution


Wanting to exploit fronting a telethon for career re-launch, a comedian needs to thwart two revolutionaries taking him hostage there, having their own agenda for the evening.



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Screwed by serial divorces, light comedian WALLY DITSON will bounce back this very evening, by singlehandedly hosting a charity telethon. He trundles only companion now, stuffed former double-act partner WARREN (a goat) into The Screwball Comedy Club. Plumbers fixing a blockage there are actually radical cell SCREW. Leader, MANN SHRAKE, and oppo, OLD RED, hold Wally at gunpoint in a dressing room till curtain up. He must read on air a manifesto exposing comedy as another form of exploitation (jokes being just another way of interpreting the world, rather than changing it). As Z-list celebs arrive, Wally pleads that he'd die out there if he read all 101 pages of the Manifesto verbatim! Mann threatens terrible things done to Warren if he doesn't.

Outside, builders are a SWAT team acting on a tip-off. Flashbacks show Wally co-opted by MAJOR SUGAR GRIEF as a mole to help foil the plot. Seeing yet more glory, Wally helps Sugar train-up recidivists for the mission (such recruitment necessitated by budgetary cuts). Meanwhile, Mann indoctrinates Old Red into max scorn for comedy.

A gun planted for Wally is thought a prop and disposed of. Info he flushes through the drains facilitates Sugar's scheme B: pumping a non-detectable laughing gas into the club's ventilation system. With all inside laughing helplessly, SWATs round up SCREW, without bloodshed - there being only the two of them. Sugar, using Wally merely for career progress, leaves him with the buggered and combusted Warren. The damaged sign, illuminating only the 'Screw' bit now, falls, knocking Wally out. Water accumulated inside Warren (from firemen's dousing) has him 'peeing' on the prostrate Wally.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

"I see an audience for your intelligence infused, anarchic black humour."
Ronald Sayadian, script analyst
"A very original idea with equally original takes on conventional jokes."
Bluecat Screenplay Competition

Filmmatic Comedy Screenplay Awards

Windsor Fringe Festival


Submitted: April 13, 2022
Last Updated: September 15, 2022

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Barry Staff's picture

The Writer: Barry Staff

Born and raised in the UK, Barry has had an oddball career - periods of education (to a postgraduate Diploma in Film Studies) intercut with ‘McJobs’ (roof-rack assembler, computer helpdesk, beer bottler, reject furniture salesman, draughtsman, goods inward operative, a bouncer. . .), all the while writing on the side. Now he has a portfolio of feature scripts (mostly indie-feel horrors, thrillers and comedies) and associated shorts - four of the latter filmed. He's - SO FAR - had a purchase offer on one feature screenplay, an option on another and a shopping agreement on a third. Latest news: 'Breather' winner in horror category, Chicago Script Awards Go to bio

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