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The CK Solution

INT: A COMEDY CLUB LOBBY.  A WOMAN SITS BEHIND A GLASS CASE.  IT IS FRIDAY AT 6PM. A MAN ENTERS, VISIBLY ANXIOUS. HE’S WEARING A BLACK T-SHIRT AND JEANS, LIKE A COOL GUY, ALTHOUGH HE IS CLEARLY FIFTY.

TOMMY:

Hi, I’m, uh.  Can you call..

SHE KNOWS WHO HE IS AND PRESSES A BUTTON, THEN NODS AT HIM WITH A TIGHT LIPPED SMILE. AFTER A MOMENT, ANOTHER DOOR OPENS AND A MIDDLE-AGED MAN AND A TWENTYSOMETHING MALE WALK IN.

BERT:

Tommyyyyy!  My man!

(He offers Tommy a bear hug, which is accepted)

TOMMY:

Thank you so much, man.  I really appreciate you sticking by me.

BERT:

Well, we go back, man!  Of course I want you back!  Listen, I hope you got to look at the stuff I sent- it’s just for insurance purposes

TOMMY:

Believe me, I get it.  Happy to sign off on whatever you need.  I don’t want any problems.

BERT:

That’s great to hear.  This here is Adam, he’s gonna be your, we can call him a chaperone, and he’s gonna take care of everything you need.

TOMMY:

Nice to meet you, man.

(Offers his hand.  Adam takes it and shakes it once, then releases)

ADAM:

Nice to meet you.

BERT:

You guys are gonna get along great!  And we’re gonna have a great weekend.  Listen, tickets are a little slow tonight, but they’ll pick up tomorrow when word gets out you’re in town.

TOMMY:

Sounds great, man, thanks again!

BERT:

Now, Adam, don’t let this guy outta your sight!  He’s our special guy! (BERT BACKS OUT OF THE ROOM, WAVING.  A MOMENT PASSES.)

ADAM:

OK.  Let’s get started.

(ADAM produces a pair of plastic bags and slips them over TOMMY’S hands and ties his wrists together, then he takes a burlap bag and puts it over Tommy’s head.)

(ADAM con’t.)

Let’s get you to the green room.

INT: COMEDY CLUB GREEN ROOM

Adam leads Tommy to sit on a couch.  Adam sits next to him.

ADAM:

So, I don’t know how much of that thing you read, but basically I’m not supposed to let you leave my side until you’re onstage.  I will get you any food and drink you need. No alcohol, of course.

TOMMY:

No problem.  I just want to make it easy on everyone.  I wanna have great shows and prove to everyone that I can still do this.

ADAM:

Sure thing.  Let me know what I can order for you.  They’ll bring it here.

TOMMY:

I’m good for now.  So, when you take me onstage, the bag and stuff comes off?

ADAM:

(quizzically)

That stuff…doesn’t come off.

CUT TO: TOMMY ONSTAGE TO A HALF-FULL ROOM IN HIS BAGGED HEAD AND HANDS, HOLDING THE MIC STAND THROUGH QUART PLASTIC BAGS AND TRYING TO TELL JOKES