Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Who Wants to Go to Seminary?

In honor of the 10th anniversary of the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, I've been presenting a couple of sketches that I've written spinning off of the show. You can find the first here. I created this one to be performed at the annual (most of the time) "Fuller Follies" program, where students and staff at the seminary gather to poke good-natured fun at our school, often using parodies and sketches. Having already done the PowerPoint work for "Is That Your Final Answer?", it seemed the most natural thing in the world to do a Fuller version. As before, alongside the script, you'll find images that were part of the PowerPoint presentation I put together designed to go with the sketch, in which I also incorporated sound effects from the show (just click on the thumbnail for a larger version). I wanted to create as much of the sense of the show as I could. Feel free to use these sketches if you like, just please give me credit as the writer. I'm even happy to send the PowerPoint files if you want them.

"Who Wants to Go to Seminary?"
by Mark Baker-Wright

(NOTE: The first scene, where the "fastest finger" question is played to select a contestant, is virtually unchanged from the original version. Only the logo and name of the "show" are different. There's no point in recopying all that here.)

Host: Well, Andrew, welcome to the show. I understand that you've been a student at Fuller for a few years now.

Andrew: That's correct, and I've enjoyed my time here.

Host: Well, we're glad to have you here. Now, as you know, I'm going to ask you a series of questions. If you think you need help, you have three lifelines you can use. You can phone anyone in the country for 30 seconds. You can eliminate 2 wrong answers, leaving one wrong answer and the correct one, and you can ask the audience for help. Are you ready?

Andrew: Yes, sir.

Host: All right, then, let's play.

(Question music plays)

Host: Here's your first question. (Question with answers appears on overhead, matching host's question)

Host: What is the biggest problem at Fuller? Is it A. No Social Life. B. No Parking. C. Too Much Homework. Or D. Cost of Tuition.

Andrew: (confused look) I don't know. I like a few of those answers. (Looks at host) I think I'd like to use a lifeline.

Host: OK, Andrew, which one?

Andrew: I'd like to ask the audience.

Host: (turns to audience) OK. Audience, Andrew needs a little help here. Make your selection. Use your keypads to select A,B,C, or D.

(pause a couple of seconds while playing "audience music" for audience to "choose." Then post next slide, with these numbers next to answers: A. 25% B. 25% C. 25% D. 25%)

Host: Well, apparently the audience isn't much help at all. They're evenly split between all four!

Andrew: (looks at board thoughtfully) No, I'm afraid that won't help at all. I'd better use another lifeline.

Host: OK. You know you've only got two left. Which one do you want to use?

Andrew: I'd like to phone my mother.

Host: OK, then. Our friends at the phone company will get your mom on the phone for us, and we'll see what she has to say.

(Phone rings, then Mom's voice over speakers)

Mom: (voice only) Hello?

Host: Hello, is this Andrew's mom?

Mom: (voice only) Yes.

Host: Hi, I'm calling from "Who Wants to Go to Seminary?" I'm here with Andrew, and he needs your help.

Mom: (voice only) OK.

Host: Now, Andrew is going to read you a question with four answers. You try to give him the right answer. Now, the next voice you hear will be Andrew's. Andrew, your time starts now.

(time sound starts playing while Andrew talks to his mother)

Andrew: Hi, Mom. “What is the biggest problem at Fuller?" Is it A. No Social Life. B. No Parking. C. Too Much Homework. Or D. Cost of Tuition?

Mom: (thinks for a second - voice only) Well, you know, Andrew, I don't know how many times I've told you that you need to find some nice girl and settle down. I think you've been wasting too much time driving in circles in that parking lot to look for someone! Or maybe it's because you can't seem to get your nose out of those books or stop writing papers. Have you considered asking someone out for a bite of pizza? You know, dinner is an excellent way to get to know someone. Maybe if Fuller didn't charge so much that you couldn't afford to go out once in a while, you wouldn't be....

(That should take more than 30 seconds. Both Mom and the technician should pay attention to the time's up sound (buzzer three times in a row), which should cut off the response whenever it hits. Andrew looks as though he's sorry he chose Mom to ask this question to, and as he hears the time's up sound, he realizes he's gotten no help at all.)

Host: (watching Andrew's continued confusion) Well, Andrew, I'm not sure where your Mom was going with that.

Andrew: She wants grandchildren. (Pause for a brief chuckle.) I know it's still my first question, but if I miss this, then I can't move any further either. I think I'll have to take the 50-50.

Host: All right, Andrew. Computer, could you please eliminate two of the answers, leaving Andrew with one wrong answer, and the correct answer?

(Overhead changes to eliminate C and D while "50-50" sound plays, leaving only A and B.)

Host: Well, the correct answer is either "No Social Life" or "No Parking." What do you think?

Andrew: (clearly perplexed) I'm not sure. I really need to think about this.

Host: Take all the time you need.

(While Andrew is thinking, one of the seminary security guards walks down toward the stage from the audience. NOTE: Yes, we got one of the real security guards to do this!)

Guard: (addresses contestant) Excuse me, but do you drive a car with the license plate Alpha-Charlie-Sigma-Oh-Oh-Four-Five?

Andrew: (looks up, confused) Uhhh, yes....

Guard: I'm afraid that you're illegally parked. You'll have to come with me.

Host: (stands up to stop guard) You can't do that! We're in the middle of a game show!

Guard: (turns to host) Is your license plate Delta-Franklin-Franklin-Three-Seven-Two-Six?

Host: (oops!) Oh. Yeah, I guess it is.

Guard: Your car has been parked for five hours in a two-hour tow away zone. I'm afraid you'll have to come with me, as well.

(Guard escorts both Andrew and the host--still protesting--off the stage as the End Theme music plays)


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