By Anthony Privitera
Ralph's new get rich scheme is to become a pastor. Somehow, he seems to lack the qualifications.
Three characters based on The Honeymooners:
Ralph Kramden, a bit pudgy dressed in a bus driver's uniform
Alice Kramden, in a house dress and apron
Ed Norton, in a hat- tee shirt- and suit vest.
A kitchen table and three chairs
(Ralph comes through the door, puts his lunch pail on the kitchen table, removes his hat, sits at the table takes out a pamphlet.) Alice, I'm home. (Sits at the table and folds out a leaflet.) Alice, my dear, I'm home with some very exciting news that I would like to share with you. (Sits and folds his hands waiting patiently trying to remain calm. Pause. With a little edge to his voice) Alice, my dear, I'm home. (pause - shouts) Alice, get out here!!
Alice- I'll be out in a minute Ralph. I'm right in the middle of changing the sheets.
R-That can wait. Now, get out here. I've got some exciting news
(Alice appears at the doorway to the bedroom.)
A- So, what's this exciting news Ralph, you lost a half a pound?
R-Oh-oh-oh, you're a riot, Alice, a real riot. ( Stands- Pauses paces around) Normally, after a remark such as that I would want to send you to the moon, Alice. But that's all in the past, my dear. This is a new me. The old me is history. You can make light of me all you want Alice, but it has no effect on the new Ralph Kramden.
A-Well, Ralph, there's not one part of you that I can make light of and as far as the new Ralph Kramden goes, it looks like he's still wearing the same old size 50 pants.
R- Keep it up, Alice. You can make all the fun you want, but the only one that you're really hurting is yourself and the Lord.
A- Myself and the Lord - and what Lord are you talking about, Ralph?
R- I'm talking about the one and only Lord , Alice, the one and only Lord that I am going to serve. (Ralph points to heaven)
A- Well, that's a switch. Usually when you walk through that door, the only serving that you usually care about is what's being served for dinner.
R-Well, my dear, I am about to serve you, my fellow man, and the Lord.
A- That's great, Ralph. And as long as you're in the serving mood, how about serving up a few more dollars around here for some curtains for the windows, a refrigerator where the food doesn't spoil because Nanook of the North didn't get here with a new block of ice.
R- Such mundane thoughts, my dear. They're mere trivia in the eyes of God.
A- Ralph what's this God business, huh? Did you and Norton stop at Kelly's for a few after work.
R- Well, Alice, The old Ralph Kramden would've done so, but the new Ralph Kramden walks right on by.
A- Now there's some bad news for the brewery.
R- Keep it up Alice, bang-zoom.
A- I'll get your dinner in a minute. Now let me finish changing the bed. (she turns to go into the bedroom)
R- Alice, sit down here, I'm serious. I've got to show you this great deal (unfolds a pamphlet). Look at this it's Handy Andy's Instant School of Ministry. It says right here that I can become a pastor in 30 days.
A- Ralph, what are you talking about becoming a pastor. You can't become a pastor. With what you bring home from that bus company, they ought to be taking up a collection for us.
R- Oh you're a real wizenheimer, Alice. A real smarty pants. But you aren't going to discourage me like you always do. I'm going to become a pastor, Alice. I'll show you. If that Pastor Andy down the street can be a pastor, anybody can.
A- Well, you do have a point there, Ralph. (pause)
R- You're darn right. I do. This right here is the answer to all of our hopes and dreams. Work a couple of hours on a Sunday morning and take the rest of the week off. Drive around in a hot blue Taurus. We'll hit the Taco Bell for lunch everyday. You can get yourself all dolled up with some mascara and big hair. Man, we'll be on easy street.
A- Ralph, you're crazy. It'll never work. (stands up)
R- (Ralph stands up) What do you mean it'll never work?
A- You just can't become a pastor in 30 days. You've got to know about the Bible. You've got to be a compassionate person and care about the feelings of people and that's not you, Ralph. You don't care about other people's feelings.
R- (shouts) I'm as compassionate as the next guy. I care about everyone's feelings. Now sit down and look at this pamphlet!!
(she glares at him)
A- Yeah, you're a real softy, Ralph. A real pussycat.
R- Please, just look at this for a second will ya? This could be a great new future for us.
(He sits back down at the table) (Alice sits down)
R- Look here. There's a little simple quick test of faith that I can take. It says here it will tell me whether or not I have the makings to be a pastor. You ask me the questions and I'll give you the answers. I haven't looked at the questions. Scouts honor.
You haven't looked at the answers?
R- May God strike me dead with a lightning bolt if I did.
(she kind of looks him over) I think he might need more than one to take you out , Ralph.
R- (he stands up in a rage) Bang-Zoom. One of these days, Alice you're going to get yours. (pointing at her, rubbing his fist) Now ask me the questions!!
A- Alright, Ralph, I go along with your silly little scheme just to show you what nonsense this is. You haven't stepped foot in church in years and now you're going to become a pastor.
R- Well, I just haven't found the right church
A- What's that, Ralph, Our Lady of Perpetual Fools?
R- (Ralph whimpers a bit, holding his head, rubbing his face) Lord, give me strength.
A- Alright, Ralph, here's your first question. It's a simple one. Who made you?
R- What do you mean who made me?
A- That's what it says here, who made you?
R- (he thinks) Well, my mother and father made me, but I'm not talking about my parents having sex, Alice. There's going to be no talking about sex in my church.
A- Well, loddie da. Sounds just like home.
R- Alice, don't you start with that. You know I'm under a lot of stress. Now get back to the question.
A- Ok, Ralph. I'll try not to stress you out but it says right here from Psalm 139 - It was God who knit you together in you mother's womb. No wonder he needed a day of rest.
R- You never stop do you, Alice? You never stop. Always jabbing away. Next question
A- Alright, what's the first book of the Bible.
R- Hah. A mere bagatelle, my dear. The first book of the Bible is called Generous.
R- That's right, it's called Generous because the Lord is generous.
A- Oh, he's generous Ralph, but that's not the first book of the Bible. The first book of the Bible is called Genesis
R- Let me see that( he grabs the booklet) That must be a misprint. Let's check that out. Where's our Bible, Alice?
A- Oh, I'll get it for you, Ralph. It's in the east wing library next to the servant's quarters.
R- Oh, you're a smart aleck, Alice. Where's the Bible?
A- We don't have one, Ralph. Perhaps we better get one before you become a pastor. I don't think it would work too well trying to write a sermon from the Sears catalog.
R- Well, since you just sit around here all day long living the life of Riley perhaps you can get me one.
A- Yeah, I'll do that tomorrow when I'm on my way to the spa for my massage.
R- If you don't mind, perhaps we can go on to the next question?
OK, Ralph, complete the following statement. The first four books of the New
Testament are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and ____
(Ralph thinks a bit paces around)
R- Would you mind repeating the question, please?
A- Complete the following statement. The first four books of the New Testament are, Matthew, Mark, Luke and ____
R- That's right, Ringo.
A- He was one of the Beatles, not a writer in the Bible.
R- Well, then who was it?
A- The fourth book was written by John, not Ringo.
R- Well, I just had the wrong Beatle.
A- The Beatles didn't write The Bible, Ralph.
R-Well, they sang Hey Judas, right? So hardy har har to you, Miss Know It All. (proud of his comeback.)
A- Well, so far Ralph, I don't think Billy Graham has anything to worry about.
R- Give me the next question.
A- OK. God warned someone that there was going to be a huge flood. Who did God tell to build an ark?
R- That's mere child's play, my dear. He told none other than Joan.
R- That's right, Joan of the Ark
A- It was Noah who built the Ark, not Joan.
R- And is that a surprise that a man ended up building the ark even though God told Joan to do it?
A- You're impossible, Ralph. Let's finish this up. This is a waste of time. Here's your last question, Ralph, and it would be nice to get at least one right before you're ordained. Name one saint besides St Peter and St Patrick.
R- Well, my dear, there are lots of saints. There's a (pause) (Thinks). And then there's (pauses) And then there's ---
( Norton comes on stage)
Norton- Hey there Ralphie boy. What's for dinner?
R- Don't bother me, Norton, I'm busy taking a test.
N- What test is that, Ralphie boy?
Alice- It's his quickie religion test, Ed. Ralph is demonstrating his vast knowledge of the Bible.
N- Oh, is it that dumb pastor school business you were talking about?
R- Yeah, it's the pastor school, Norton. And it's not dumb.
N - Tee hee. Just think someday, my old buddy - Pope Ralph Kramden.
R - I'm not going to be the Pope. That's a different church.
A- Well - finally you got something right, Ralph.
R- Look, Norton, if you're going to hang around here and interfere with my new career make yourself useful. Give him the question, Alice. See if wisenheimer knows the answer.
( Norton sits down at the table. Wets a pencil in his mouth and is prepared for the question)
A- Ok Ed, here's the question that Pastor Ralph is stuck on. Besides St Patrick and St. Peter, name another saint.
(Norton goes through his usual routine of fluffing his arms over the paper as if he's preparing to write something but never gets around to writing anything down. This goes on for 10 seconds and finally Ralph explodes)
R- Come on!!Give me the name of a saint!!!
(Norton stands up, looks right in Ralph's face)
N- The answer to your question, Pastor Ralph, is Alice Kramden!!
R- Get out! Get out! (gesturing to the door as Norton scrambles out the door)
R-. That's all I need is a bunch of wisenheimers around here.
A- Well, Ralph, now that we're finally done with this nonsense, Saint Alice is going back to making her bed. And by the way Pastor Ralph, I just received a message from the Lord. He said to tell you - don't quit your day job.
R- (As Alice walks away) One of these days, Alice, you're going to get yours. Bang-Zoom!
Copyright Anthony Privitera, all rights reserved.
This script may be used without royalty payment, provided no charge is made for entrance. In return, the author would like to be told of any performance. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: I live in Fredonia, New York, 328 East Main St, (716 672 4595) USA. If anybody close to this address uses this sketch, please notify me before the production. I would like to see the presentation.