King Canute Quickie

Scene: A beach with the tide coming in. King Canute and his entourage (anything from four to about a dozen extras) walk down to the sea. A servant is carrying his wooden thrown. The King is wearing a metal crown. Period dress.

Canute: (Stopping a few feet short of the waves, turns to his entourage and speaks) YOU SEE BEFORE YOU THE MIGHTIEST KING WHO EVER LIVED. THE GREATEST ENGLAND AND INDEED THE WORLD HAS EVER SEEN! WHEN I COMMAND, EVEN THE WAVES MOST OBEY. (To the man carrying his throne) WOLF, PLACE MY THRONE ON THE SHORE.

Servant: ER, YES, YOUR MAJESTY. (He does so, then retreats).

(The camera focuses on two of the entourage; they are whispering conspiratorially).

1st Man: HEíS GONE TOO FAR THIS TIME. WHEN NEWS OF THIS LEAKS OUT HEíLL BE DETHRONED AS A LAUGHING STOCK.

2nd Man: YES (Striking at his own chest) AND I, GORD THE SLAYER, WILL TAKE HIS PLACE AS THE RIGHTFUL RULER OF THIS GREAT NATION.

Canute: (Turning back to the sea) WATCH, YOU FAITHLESS WRETCHES AND SEE HOW GREAT AND MIGHTY IS YOUR KING. (He walks to the throne and seats himself upon it gracefully).

1st Man: HE REALLY BELIEVES HE CAN DO IT.

2nd Man: IíVE SUSPECTED IT FOR YEARS, NOW HERE IS THE PROOF. QUITE MAD. (Shakes his head).

Canute: TURN BACK, BACK, I COMMAND YOU. HEED THE WORDS OF YOUR MASTER. BACK! (He laughs maniacally. The camera closes in on his learing face).

(The waves buffer the throne. The camera switches back to the entourage).

2nd Man: (Drawing a dagger) COME, ENOUGH OF THIS MADNESS; LET US ACT NOW.

(The scene switches to the sky which is clouded over and stormy. A lightning flash is seen, then a roll of thunder is heard. The scene changes again; Canute is still sitting on his throne. He laughs maniacally).

Canute: OBEY YOUR MASTER, OBEY YOUR MASTER!

(The camera focuses in on the two men. They stand with looks of wonder on their faces).

2nd Man: MY GOD, MY GOD.

(A third man comes into view. We see only the back of his head. He is wearing a towel-like garment over it).

3rd Man: (In a strange accent) EXCUSE ME GENTLEMEN, CAN YOU TELL ME WHICH IS THE ROAD TO WINCHESTER, PLEASE?

1st Man: (Pointing over his shoulder) FIRST TURNING ON THE LEFT.

3rd Man: THANK YOU. (He walks off pulling something after him).

(The camera draws back to show the third man is an Arab in full garb; he is leading a camel. The camera draws back further, and shows Canute still sitting on his throne, but he is not in the sea. They are all in the desert. There is sand for miles round, and maybe a palm tree or two).

Back To Comedy Sketches Index