The Psychiatrist and the Stand-Up Comedian
A two-person sketch.
The following is a stage adaptation of a sketch I wrote for a radio program I created and produced in my college years. I'm posting it here for the sake of anyone who wants it. I, the author of this work, hereby give you full permission to perform this in whatever capacity you desire, provided you give me due credit as its author.
Brad Higgins: 29; stand-up comedian
Dr. Alicia Moore: 38; psychiatrist
Dr. Moore's office
New York, NY
SETTING: A psychiatrist's office. There are two chairs. The door is upstage left.
AT RISE: DR. MOORE is seated in the stage right chair, pad and pencil in hand. BRAD enters through the door.
BRAD : Good morning, Doctor.
DR. MOORE: Come in, Brad. Sit down.
(BRAD closes the door behind him and sits down.)
BRAD : You know, Doc, I think I’ve finally made a breakthrough.
DR. MOORE: But you just got here.
BRAD : I know, but I’ve spending a lot of time thinking since our last session...
DR. MOORE : (sighs) Oh, boy.
BRAD : ...and I think I’ve figured out the root of all my psychoses.
DR. MOORE : Brad, you only started coming to these sessions last week. I think we need a little more time before we can determine—
BRAD : But Doc, I think I’ve really got it all figured out.
DR. MOORE: And I would be careful before tossing the word “psychosis” around if I were you.
BRAD: Please, Doc, just hear me out.
DR. MOORE: Alright, Brad. What do you think is the root of all your issues?
BRAD : Okay, dig this: I’m ashamed of my family.
DR. MOORE: That’s it?
BRAD : Yeah. I mean, think about it. Why else would I close myself off like I do? Obviously, it’s because I grew up surrounded by horrible people, so I started thinking maybe everybody was that horrible! Take my sister, for instance. Hell, you can take her for a long walk on a short path for all I care. She once stole a sheep from a petting zoo! Just jumped right on its back and rode it right out the front gate. Last I heard of her, she was still on the lam. And then there’s my Uncle Tommy. Now, he was a hitman for the Mafia, but he had all these creative methods for killing people. He was heartless and cruel, but I’ll give him this: he was creative. He once beat a guy to death in the middle of a rice field with just two small porcelain figures. It was one of his favorite assignments. He called it the “knick-knack-paddy-whack”. And then there’s my Aunt Gertrude. Now, she once went into a zoo and snuck into all the aviaries and got all the birds there high on LSD. She left no tern unstoned. Now you see why I’m messed-up, Doc?
DR. MOORE: This was all just an excuse to practice your stand-up routine, wasn’t it?
BRAD : What?
DR. MOORE: You set up these sessions just so you’d have somebody practice your jokes on, didn’t you, Brad?
BRAD : No, Doc! How could you possibly—yes, I did.
DR. MOORE : Get out.
BRAD : But wait, did I do good? Did you like the material?
DR. MOORE: Out!
BRAD : Come on! I need the feedback! My parents won’t talk to me anymore! My wife has left me!
DR. MOORE : You’re lying.
BRAD : Would you believe my dog left me?
DR. MOORE: Get out, get out, get out!!!
BRAD : Geez!
(BRAD gets up and rushes out the door. A beat.)
VOICE (offstage): He was using you.
DR. MOORE : I know!
VOICE : They’re all using you. You’ve got to stop it.
DR. MOORE : Shut up!
VOICE : You must kill them all.
DR. MOORE : I said, shut up!
VOICE : They’re all using you. They are all against you. They all must die!
DR. MOORE : (drops to her knees; at the top of her lungs) For the love of God, would you just shut up and leave me alone?!!!
(BRAD re-enters, poking his head through the door.)
BRAD: Sorry to keep bugging you, but could you validate my parking?
DR. MOORE: Get out!!! (throws her pad at BRAD's head)
(BRAD leaves quickly.)
(END OF SKETCH)