By Paul E. Russell
A modern look at the traditional nativity story. This is the story that examines lesser-known people who had a part in the birth of Jesus but that you don't often hear about.
Seymour - News Presenter
Jenny - Old acquaintance of Mary
Shonky Dave - Used Donkey Salesman
Robert - The forgotten Shepherd
Tom - The other inn keeper
(Seymour, in a tweed jacket, bad tie and microphone in hand, walks on addressing the audience as if to camera.)
Seymour: Good evening ladies and gentleman, Seymour Clark here for Yesterday Tonight, on the back of this year's biggest story, the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Yesterday Tonight has a three world exclusive for you. Some of the big networks promise you testimonials from the family of Joseph, the BBC even got the inn keeper, but our special guests this evening are only talking to Yesterday Tonight - so stay tuned for these incredible tales.
(Reporter walks up to a young girl sitting on the stage fixing her hair and adjusting her makeup in a hand-held mirror.)
Seymour: Our first exclusive tonight is with a young woman called Jenny. who is the best friend of Mary. Jenny, can you please tell us when you first met Mary? (Jenny ignores the reporter and continues fixing hair). Jenny, Jenny! (stops and lowers mirror, surprised and a little embarrassed) Your first meeting?
Jenny: Well you see, Seymour - by the way love your show - Martha and I were always close. When we were very young our mothers did their laundry together.
Seymour: You mean Mary.
Jenny: Yes, yes, Mary, you see when we were five we moved away for 9 years but we still stayed very close.
Seymour : Lots of letters and thoughts of your friendship then?
Jenny: Absolutely, Seymour. Well, not letters exactly but my best friend in my new town Susie had a brother called Aaron who's best friend Hector had a cousin named Peter who went to school with Joseph's brother.
Seymour: That is close.
Jenny: Seymour, I could feel the pain when the tragedy occurred.
Seymour : Tragedy?
Jenny: Well, Peter heard from the family and told Hector who told Aaron who told Susie who told me that Mary was pregnant and they were not even married.
Seymour : Yes, the immaculate conception of Mary.
Jenny: Call it what you like, Seymour, but I heard that they didn't even . . . you know . . . do it.
Seymour : Remember Jenny, this program is rated 'G'.
Jenny: I don't know if you can really believe the gossip. You know, shepherd's daughters are all the same. Couple deeply in love waiting for their wedding day, you know, you don't have to be Harrod to join the dots.
Seymour: Are you telling our viewers that is wasn't an immaculate conception?
Jenny: All I'm saying is that Joseph was pretty hot stuff and if I had have been Mary I wouldn't have been waiting for the ring, if you know what I mean.
Seymour : I am afraid that we do, Jenny. Thank you for your time this evening.
Jenny: What? Is that it? My uncle's best friend was the third servant to the fourth wise man.
Seymour : Thanks, Jenny. Next with us this evening we have David. Welcome to the program, David.
Dave: Me friends call me Dave.
Seymour : Dave, welcome.
Dave: Shonky Dave .
Seymour : I'm sorry?
Dave: Shonky Dave, everyone calls me Shonky Dave.
Seymour : Okay, Shonky Dave, welcome to Yesterday Tonight.
Dave: Thank you, Seymour, it is a pleasure to be here.
Seymour : Is it true, Dave… (Dave goes to interrupt) Sorry, Shonky Dave… that it was you that rented the Donkey to Mary and Joseph for their long journey to Bethlehem.
Dave: That's right Seymour, Down and Shonky, Donkey Dave's you can get the best donkeys in all of the land and camels, too. We are having a discount all this month - if you rent seven you get free blankets.
Seymour : That's great, Shonky Dave. Can you tell us about when Joseph came to see you. I am sure that you gave the earthly father of our Christ your best donkey.
Dave: Well not exactly our best.
Seymour : You did give them a donkey didn't you.
Dave: Look Seymour, at Shonky, Donkey Dave's our prices are low, low, low and every sale is just like giving it away and every case has its own special circumstances…
Seymour : What sort of donkey did Joseph get?
Dave: Well, Seymour, you must realise that when they came to me, Mary was very, very pregnant, ready to burst you might say, and our high performance donkeys just aren't built to carry that sort of . . you know . . .weight.
Seymour : So you gave them…?
Dave: Look I had a 71.BC donkey out the back without too many k's on her that was just lying around and it so happened that it was the exact cost of all of the money Joseph had saved. I even threw in my wife's own, old, torn, blanket.
Seymour : Lucky…
Dave: Everyone is Lucky down here at Shonky Dave's.
Seymour : Thank you, Shonky Dave. (looks off stage) We can cut this interview later right ... oh . . live across the country . . international telecast . . .oh okay, on to special guest number three, a shepherd who has just returned from Bethlehem. (Goes to Robert) Hello, and your name is…?
Robert : Oh hello, my name is Robert.
Seymour : Robert, that is an odd name for a shepherd isn't it.
Robert: Yeah, my parents met at the great Woodstock harvest, most people call me Ishmael , but I like Robert.
Seymour : Okay Robert, can you tell us what happened the night of the birth of Jesus.
Robert: Absolutely, I was right here.
Seymour : Right here .
Robert: Yes, just on this very spot.
Seymour : And where was the Angel?
Robert: Just over that hill over there with the other shepherds.
Seymour : Other shepherds?
Robert: Yes, the Angel of the lord came to them and told them that Jesus had been born and they could go and worship him.
Seymour : So what happened then?
Robert: They packed up and left I guess. I am not really sure, I was still asleep. You see I have this nasal condition that means I am a little prone to snoring and it sort of scares the sheep and keeps the other shepherds awake so I have to sleep a fair way away. I didn't know anything happened until the morning.
Seymour : Cut, cut, cut, I quit. This is ridiculous, haven't we got any real guests (off stage). No that's it, I quit, I am not working here anymore. . . really!?. . . He is coming in now. . . ? Ladies and Gentleman another Yesterday Tonight Exclusive - we have for you now the innkeeper. Welcome to Yesterday Tonight…
Tom: Thank you, Seymour, pleasure to be here.
Seymour : And you are the man that gave Mary and Joseph a bed for the night in Bethlehem.
Tom: Well not exactly, I was however the first innkeeper they tried.
Seymour : And did you offer them a room?
Tom: Heck no, do you have any idea how busy we are this time of year, you need to book at least six months ahead to get a room at my inn, it's exclusive you know.
Seymour: Tell me, Tom, almost 2000 years before the invention of the telephone, how do people from foreign cities book a room?
Seymour : Can you tell us how Mary and Joseph looked?
Tom: Pretty tired actually, a little thirsty, and Mary was about to burst…
Seymour : So did you offer them a drink or a place to sit?
Tom: Nah, I had paying customers to worry about, I just sent them down to Robbo's.
Seymour : Did Robbo have vacancies?
Tom: Nah, but he has a barn.
Seymour : Here you have it, Ladies and Gentleman and Yesterday Tonight Exclusive. This is the man that directed Mary and Joseph to their now famous barn.
Tom: Well not exactly…
Seymour : (Drops microphone in disgust)
Tom: Robbo did have a barn but he refused to let them use it. You know how it is, pregnant woman around life stock. Can you imagine the liability risk?
Seymour : So all you really did was send an exhausted and thirsty very pregnant couple to a friend of yours who also did nothing for them.
Tom: Well yes, but I wouldn't say it like that.
Seymour : How would you say it?
Tom: I don't know but that I was the first guy who helped them eventually find an inn to stay in.
Seymour : But they didn't find an inn.
Tom: Well no, eventually they found a barn, but if it wasn't for me it might have taken them two hours instead of only one.
Seymour : You're a fool. Ladies and Gentleman this has been Seymour Clark wasting your time for Yesterday Tonight (drops microphone and walks off stage leaving Tom standing on the stage).
This is a Paul E. Russell script. Please notify him by email if you choose to produce this skit. His address is firstname.lastname@example.org . The writer would also appreciate any feedback and photographs of the production.