A T R O H
I N O U U G
I G F O Y
A comedy in one reel
Setting: Nola bordello
Enter L&H in ragged suits & bowler
Shambling in under their theme music
Laurel: Boy, that was close!
Hardy: (huffing) You can say that again!
L: Ollie…what do you suppose made them so angry?
H: You have a lot of nerve asking a stupid question like that.
L: Well I was only trying to help.
H: Help….HELP! You almost got us killed.
L: (tearing up) well…you….yes, but I didn’t. (long pause) So there!
H: That’s hardly the point is it.
L: Oh. Says you…..well, what is?
H: what is what?
L: the point.
H: (incredulous) offering to hold the bag while those crooks robbed the bank. Indeed. I have half a mind to leave you to your own devises. Then you’ll get yours brother!
L: (taking this in) Well Ollie… you don’t have to be nasty about it. She was an old woman. What was I supposed to do, she was tipping over. How was I supposed to know it was a stick up?
H:t (shouts) She was holding a rifle.
L: I thought it was a cane. (starts to cry)
H: (exasperated) OHHHHH, just forget it.
L: Anyway, I made a profit because of it. And boy do we need it.
H: (looking around the room, distracted) You what?
L: The old lady slipped me a dollar (holds up the bill). And she said that if I played my cards right there’s more where that came from.
H: (deadly look) Give me that! It’s just lucky for you I know how to keep my head. I still don’t know why you were standing in that line anyway. You haven’t got any money in the bank.
L: Do Too!
H: (withering) You most certainly do not. I know everything that you’ve got down to the holes in your pockets and the newspaper headlines in your shoes.
L: Do too Ollie. I’ve got exactly 22 dollars and 78 cents left from the interest left over in my father’s chicken feed stock.
H: (steaming) Stanley, you very well that I take care of all of our finances. Well where is it then? We haven’t eaten in two days for God sake.
L: ( not wanting to tell him) Well, Ollie I don’t have it.
H: Why not?
L: They didn’t give it to me.
H: Why’s that?
L: They don’t have it either.
H: (losing patience) Well—- who—-(shouts) DOES?
L: (plays with his hair) Nobuddy.
H: Just as I thought. Well, what happened?
L: (starts to cry) They told me I lost all of my interest was swallowed up in the crash of 19 hundred and 29.
L: Up. Hep. Whole. Gulped was the financial term they used.
H: You mean to tell me you didn’t realize this before now? You imbecile. You half-wit. You, you…
L: Well, that not a very nice thing to say Ollie. It’s not my fault I haven’t had time to keep up on all of the economic news
(Laurel smiles & nods a ‘So There’)
H:(deadly, after pause) All the economics news eh! Indeed.
L: Nothing to be done.
H: (fussy) What?
L: There’s nothing to be done about it now.
H: You can say that again.
L: There’s nothing to be done about……
H: (cuts him off, exacting) I heard you muttonhead. You don’t have to repeat it.
L: Well I always like to do what you say Ollie.
H: I know what I said. It was merely a figure of speech. Forget it.
(10 seconds with L&H in private moments, each actor can choose silent characterization)
H: Anyway, we’ve got more important things to worry about now. (Ollie looks around furtively). I wonder where they could be? (to himself) I wish I were alone.
L: What did you say Ollie?
H: I said, I wish I had a loan. I wish someone would lend me some money.
L: So Do I
H: (bugged again) Now what in the world would you do with it?
L: Well, I would start a business.
H: (mocking) Well, what kind of business?
L: A chicken-feed business
H: (just stares at him)
L: My father always said there was a fortune to be made in chicken feed. Feed.
H: Oh he did, did he? Well you don’t, so there isn’t!
L: (hurt but resolute to audience) Well, I can dream can’t I?
H: Not now. We’ve got things to attend to here. I think we must be too early. Perhaps we should have come last night.
L: What for? You still haven’t told me what we’re doing here. Are we waiting for someone?
H: (after a long stare) Do you mind not talking for a while.
L: (casually) Not in the least.
The actors move around the stage. this silent scene an be filled with light physical comedy
Ollie with sneaky curiosity. Stan trying not to be interested.
Stan opens a closet door & finds a robe, he puts it on takes off his bowler and sits in a chair; picks up a book and finds a pipe in the robe pocket, puts it in his mouth and settles in. Ollie has been watching him by now- lurches over him, takes the pipe out of his mouth and swats him with his hat. Stan sits passive, but ends up in tears; but quickly recovers as he smooths out his hair, only to finger it back to a question mark. They stare at each other, then Ollie turns in a huff and rushes off.
L: (addressing him in the wings) Ollie, do you now where we are?
H: (offstage) Well of course I do.
L: Well aren’t you going to tell me? (whispers) bet we’re lost.
H: Are you insinuating that we’ve come to the wrong place?
L: (brave) Well I thought you said this was a cat house?
H: (Icy) It ’tis!
L: Well….where are they?
H: Where are what?
L: The cats!
H: Will you keep your voice down. (whispers) They’re here.
L: Well I haven’t seen them.
H: Well you’ are not suppose to yet.
L: When then?
H: When then what?
L: Am I supposed to see them.
H: (sweaty) after we’ve been introduced. Naturally. They happen to be a very speacial breed. Seen by appointment only. They are always extremely busy.
(uses the Ollie bit with his hands~ the me/you gestures on these lines) And since this your first time, you only get to watch! I’ve me them. YOU have not So….so there!
L: (lost) Watch what Ollie?
H: Us talking. Us waling. Just us. Observe and learn. (gives up). Just remain perfectly still and maybe I’ll introduce you.
L: Oh goody. I’ve never et talking cats before. How big are they? Will I have to bend down or will they jump up?
H: Oh, I’d say they…. How big are what?
L: The cats, what were we just talking about. Seems like they’d be pretty big cats to have a place like this.
H: Well what difference would that make?
L: Because, when we’re introduced should I be standing or should I get on the ground? First impressions are very important, they come in handy later on, especially if the police arrive. Maybe I should just bow.
H: (done in by this) Just stand there like a statue. Don’t move. Not one word. Got it! I will do all of the talking for both of us. Understand? And that is the end of that. (they simultaneous nod their heads- a classic bit)
L: (fidgeting, indicates a thought)
H: What NOW?
L: Would it be allright if I purr? Then at least they would know that I was friendly.
H: (furious) WILL YOU KEEP QUIET! (quietly) Now, how much money have we got?
L: (digs into his pockets and turns all six inside out. Looks puzzled and takes his hat to scratch his head and a billfold drops out. They both bend over to get it and smash heads. They tussle over the money with Ollie taking charge but so distracted that he keeps counting the money but can’t figure out the amount. Finally they say together
L&H: six dollars and 47 cents.
H: That’s impossible.
L: Not it’s not. Count it again.
H: All right. How you managed. Well, I’ll be.
Now, listen, when you see a lady come out from behind that curtain, I want you to pretend that you are my valet and that you have stupidly forgotten to bring my purse with you.
L: Ollie…what’s a val-LET?
H: A servant. A manservant. You’ll be my man after all.
L: Gee Ollie, I didn’t know you felt this way about me.
H: What way?
L: The Piccadilly way.
H: oh, OH,….not a Piccadilly man you fool. A man, not my man. The idea! You’ll be A MAN.
L: (proudly) But I already am.
H: Not that kind of man.
L: Well what kind of man then?
H: The kind of man who keeps his mouth shut! A man that is paid to do his duty, without complaint.
L: Oh, so I get paid then. I didn’t know that I’d be getting paid. Ollie, can I have my money back first?
As Stan says Lucky, in a silk flora wrap strolls onstage. Stan looks blank. Ollie plays with his tie.
LUCKY: (to Laurel) Zoh, you zee von, no? Vell, come vis me.
LUCKY: (barks to Hardy) NO YOU, yes? Get back!
Stan (whispers to Ollie) Is she the cat lover?.
H: (ignoring him) Good evening Madam, we were just about to…KY: Silenceo! I am not madame isch Sera. You, I say come vis me, no. Over here first. Let me look. turn around- valk- look back- turn, shoulder, twillr, deadstare. Think. Gutt. now come vis me., no.
L: (goes past Ollie with a flourish) So there, no!
H: (dodges around stage, finally settles on the chair, impatiently, starts fooling with a book of matches until he burns his fingers) Now where is that numskull. You can’t trust hi to do anyting right. One simple thing I ask him to o and it turns into another disaster.
Laurel enters dressed in 20s flapper drag. No make-up, but a heart shaped beauty mark. He looks confused, but not embarrassed, sashaying a bit. .
H: (incredulous) What are you doing now? Why have you got that absurd outfit on.
L: JWell, Lucky said I wouldn’t look good in the other pink one.
H: You’re going to get us both arrested. Who told you to that on. (Ollie shoves him) What are you trying to do to me.
L: (befuddled) Well, I was only trying to do what I was told. I don’t know. They told me to put this on and to wait outside with the other girls and to not speak till I’m spoken to and to get rid of the fat one in the parlor, but get your money back first, if I know what good for me if I want to keep my job here.
H:(offended) Well, I never!
L: Well, neither have I.
H: The nerve of some people. You might think I wasn’t a paying customer.
L: That’s what I said.
L: That you weren’t a paying customer.
H: Now why would you say a thing like that?
L: It’s the first thing they asked me.
H: Well Stanley, this is another fine mess you’ve gotten me into.
(then distracted by a noise) Stan, what are they doing with those weapons?
LUCKY appears: Oh, did I forget to mention- now you can’t leave after all. Sera won’t let you out. You’re stuck here. No escape darllink. The scene continues to continue. Viola. No intermission, no pause baby. Because, you know that…no matter who you are…or what you do..you know…that …they are always.. Vaiting for your dough.
LAUREL & HARDY JUMP UP AND RUN OFF STAGE MUCH LIKE THEMSELVES.