Tuesdays With Gilby: A Play In Three Jokes on How to be Remarkable

May 6, 2008          Comments (2)

(The curtain rises. We’re inside the Home for Retired Funnymen, an assisted-living facility for comics in their sunset years. Sitting in a La-Z-Boy chair, staring out the window at the Catskill Mountains, is Uncle Gilby. He’s wearing a tattered robe and chewing on a cigar. Rushing into Uncle Gilby’s room is nephew, Ben.)

Ben: (out of breath) Uncle Gilby what’s wrong? I got your call and came over immediately.

Uncle Gilby: Ben, my boy, I don’t have much time left. So I’ve decided to let you in on some wisdom-to convey to you the lessons of my life and teach you the three secrets of being remarkable. Listen carefully.

Ben: (surprised and slightly overwhelmed) I’m all ears.

Uncle Gilby: Yes, I’ve noticed that since you were a child, Ben. You know, your cousin Jerry is a very well known plastic surgeon. He does excellent work. He could help. But I digress. Ben, there are three secrets to being remarkable.

Ben: What are they?

Uncle Gilby: A guy walks into a doctor’s office. He says, “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.” And the doctor says . . . Ben what does the doctor say?

Ben: “Don’t do that.”

Uncle Gilby: Exactly! Now to the next secret. A guy is walking to work one day and right outside his office he sees a penguin. He’s startled, doesn’t know what to do. So he takes the penguin into his boss’s office and asks his boss, “What should I do with this penguin?” The boss looks at him and says, “Take him to the zoo, you idiot!” A few days later, out on the street, the boss runs into the guy and he still has the penguin. The boss is shocked. He looks at the guy and says, “I thought I told you to take the penguin to the zoo!” And the guy looks at his boss and says . . . (a pause as Uncle Gilby waits)

Ben: “I did. But we had such a great time, today I’m taking him to a ball game.”

Uncle Gilby: Precisely! Oh, Ben, I’m so proud.

Ben: Thank you, Uncle Gilby.

Uncle Gilby: Now the last secret. A woman from Ohio is walking in midtown Manhattan. She’s a bit lost. She sees a man carrying a violin case, walks up to him, and asks him, “Excuse me, sir, how do you get to Carnegie Hall?” The violinist looks at her and says . . .

(not waiting for the prompt) “Practice, practice, practice.”

Uncle Gilby: Right! And those are the secrets to being remarkable.

Ben: Uh, I don’t get it.

Uncle Gilby: Stop doing things that hurt; do what you love. Ignore what authority figures tell you. And most of all . . .

Ben: Practice, practice, practice.

Uncle Gilby: That’s right, Ben. (Uncle Gilby clutches his chest.)

Uncle Gilby: (in a weak voice) You’ve been a great audience . . .

Ben: Uncle Gilby?

Uncle Gilby: (his voice weaker still) Thank you . . . Good night . . .Drive safely.
(The curtain falls.)

(hat tip: Big Moo for inspiring this post)

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  1. Hahahahaha this is awesome!

    Comment by Bernie Lomax — May 6, 2008 @ 11:30 am

  2. Thanks, Bern!

    Comment by Adam Gilbert — May 6, 2008 @ 7:44 pm

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