Saturday, September 22, 2007

YOU fill in the punch line

It’s time for the second annual “YOU fill in the punch line” exercise.

The NEW YORKER has a contest where readers are invited to submit captions to cartoons. I’ve entered this several times, have never been chosen as a finalist and usually think the captions they do select are as lame as Bazooka Bubblegum comics.

But it gave me an idea.

As a grand experiment, about a year ago I instituted a comedy writers’ punch line contest. Except I have nothing to give away and therefore don’t want to pick a winner. But I will offer some feedback to the entries.

Based on how much fun this proved to be and the quality of the entries I decided to go forth on my other hair-brained idea, the Sitcom Room seminar.

So here’s how it works: I’ll give you essentially the same set-up for four different style shows. It’s not just writing jokes, it’s about tailoring to the characters and style of the show. Do as many or few of the shows as you want. Submit your entries in the comments section.



Earl wakes up and realizes he’s not in his own bed. He says?????


Larry wakes up and realizes he’s not in his own bed. He says?????


Liz wakes up and realizes she’s not in her own bed. She says????


Peter wakes up and realizes he’s not in his own bed. He says????

Have fun. Be funny.


Anonymous said...

Just a quick question about the setups: do the guys wake up alone, or can the submission make up its own context beyond what is provided?


Anonymous said...

Earl: Randy...what's the last thing you remember before falling asleep?

Randy: I kept waking you up, and you kept telling me to go to sleep already, and I said that I couldn't sleep because I keep thinking that all the nightmares of all the people who slept in this bed before us were seeping up into my head. You know?

Earl: Like what happened to that French guy at the end of "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

Randy: Right. And you kept telling me to shut up about the French guy already.

Earl: ...But you kept on talking about how you didn't want your head to get so full of ghosts that it exploded.

Randy: And then *you* said that I was being gross, and *I* said it would probably be even grosser for the guy sleeping next to the French guy when it happened. And then you said that you were exhausted and if it was the only way we could finally get a good night's sleep, we'd go out and buy a new bed right then.

Earl: Did we?

Randy: No, Earl. We drove to the store and everything, the one that's open real late. But we didn't buy one.

Earl: Randy, can you get up out of this bed real peaceful, like nothing's wrong?

Randy: Why, Earl?

Earl: Because I'm going to take a guess that right now, there are two -- no, three -- mattress-store salesmen and a police officer staring at us and wondering how we managed to get locked in here all night.

Richard Cooper said...

Earl: I've gotten used to waking up most mornings on the wrong side of Karma or on the wrong side of the bed with a half-eaten slice of pepperoni pizza in my hair after a late night Donkey Kong tournament with my brother -- but I'm not used to waking up in my ex-wife's bed with the kids jumping on the mattress and Lucky Charms in my hair. Yummy.

Larry David: This is bullshit. You'd think I'd learn to NOT drink pinot with shrimp hors d’œuvres at Ben Stiller's parties -- I get gassy and go to one of the back bedrooms for some private farting and always end up falling asleep with the Lakers Report on the plasma tv. Plasma is a kind of gas. Fuck. Would it kill Ben to put out some Reuben Puffs or salmon knish for a fucking change?

Liz Lemon: Not my ceiling. Not my bed. Oh my god -- oh, ok, yes, MY underwear. Now the question is "Where am I and who knows I'm here?" That's two questions. Three: "Who is that drooling on the bear rug?" Ugghh.

Peter: By the way Lois, this is not our bed, this is not our hotel room. I'm not going to tell you where we are but I will give you a hint -- it's not even our cruise ship… By the way Lois, do you have our passports in your purse?

SPM said...

Peter: This is not my beautiful house!

VISUAL: Exterior of the Simpson's house done in Family Guy style

Peter: This is not my beautiful wife!

VISUAL: Marge Simpson done in Family Guy style

Peter: Same as it ever was...same as it ever was...same as it ever was...

VISUAL: Peter in oversized suit, doing David Byrne moves.


Bill said...

Liz: This must be what Tracy feels like all the time.

estiv said...


Oh no. This hasn't happened to me in years. Is that a snake against my leg? God, I hope so.


[Some of the funniest reaction shots in this show are just of Larry David's look of shock. That's what I'd put here instead of a line.]

Sorry, that's all I got.

estiv said...

I forgot: on my MY NAME IS EARL entry, it's a voice-over, not dialogue. Details, details.

Greg Morrow said...

Earl: Makin' up for the bad things I done in my life can lead strange places. Like item #81 on my list: Stole a camp stove from a Boy Scout troop. You wouldn't think that'd lead to lying in a strange bed in a log cabin staring into the glassy eyes of a stuffed moose head, but that's karma for you.

30 Rock: Oh god, this is Jack's suite. Tell me this isn't Jack's suite. [Gets out of bed, grabs pair of men's pants, extracts wallet, reads ID] Oh, thank god, it's not Jack's. [beat] Kenneth? [Kenneth sweeps in] Kenneth: Oh, there you are, Ms. Lemon. You know, you really shouldn't have tried Mr. Jordan's oatmeal scotchies. [conspiratorally] I don't believe he uses real butterscotch pieces.

Family Guy: This reminds me of the time I was on that series finale. [cut to Peter and Suzanne Pleshette in replay of Newhart finale] Emily, honey, you won't believe the dream I just had. I was working as a geologist in this freaky little town in Colorado. Nothing made sense and everything was so crudely animated. [Cut to Family Guy version of South Park, with Peter standing in for Randy Marsh, with his three kids and dog standing in for the South Park kids, Stewie as Cartman.] Stewie: That's it. Three levels of digression? Screw you guys, I'm going home. [Cut back to Griffin living room.]

Anonymous said...

Earl wakes up in a field, and realizes he's a cow. He says, "When I decided to start building up good karma, I guess I didn't really think through the consequences."

Larry wakes up in a tiny room in a dingy Motel 6. He turns on the light, looks around and says, "Damn, I knew that divorce was gonna cost me."
He finds the phone and dials a number quickly. When someone picks up, he says, "Jerry, I have two words for you: Reunion special!"

Liz wakes up in a large, comfy bed, then realizes her wrists are handcuffed to the bedposts. James Spader leans over her and says, "Man, our kids are going to win all kinds of Emmys!" She stares at the ceiling with a pained look on her face and says, "Blurgh!"

Peter wakes up and realizes he's naked in someone else's bed. He looks over and there next to him is American Dad, also naked. Peter says, "Holy hell -- when I said I'd do a crossover show, I never agreed to this."

joshm said...

Larry wakes up next to Jeff.

Larry: Finally.

Jeff: I know, right...

Liz: Oh, thank God.

Rac, your Liz was spot on. Nicely done, sir.

By Ken Levine said...

Your characters can either turn and speak to however you decide is in the bed with them, or they can comment to themselves.

A couple of quick reactions -- this is a punch line exercise, not a scene exercise. I'm looking for that first big laugh in what will be the scene.

Yes, characters can get big laughs just off of reactions but a writer can't rely on that. Better to write an actual line. And yes, I know it's tougher.

Good stuff so far. Funny up.

Anonymous said...

Peter: Holy Shit! This is weirder than the time I dreamt a retarded chimp and Darth Vader got elected to run the country and got us into a disastrous war in Iraq.

(Haven't seen any of the other shows. I guess only cartoons can hold my attention.)

David Laszlo Birinyi said...

Huh. Better than a jail cot.

(to Jeff's daughter)
Huh? Hey kid, what's going on? What's with the moisture? Is that... is that...

LIZ: Gotta lay off the pinot-griege.

Holy Crap! TV's Kate Walsh! Call a doctor, I think I'm fainting!
No, really. Your lazy eye is powerfully ugly. Look away.
Oh great, now I see your roots!

R.A. Porter said...

My Name is Earl
Close on EARL in bed as he wakes up...
Time was, me and my brother Randy used to drink a lot. We also used to rob a lot. Those two don't go together as good as you might think.
Wide angle to reveal EARL and a still sleeping RANDY in a bed in a store window display. Many people are watching.

Curb Your Enthusiasm
Larry opens his eyes suddenly and lets out a small scream. He turns to TED DANSON who lies in bed next to him.
Jesus, those are cold! Maybe you should try sleep socks.

30 Rock
Oh boy! (BEAT) What are these, 600 count?

Family Guy
What the!? Dick Sargent? What are you doing here? And what have you done with my Dick? (BEAT) I mean it! Where is he? Dick? Dick York?

And two bonus offerings!
30 Rock
I love this bed so much I wanna take it out behind a middle school and get it pregnant!

Still Married
Pasta Fazul!!!

Anonymous said...

30 ROCK.
LIZ: (runs finger over sheets) 600 thread count? (concerned) God, I hope it's not a man.

Larry wakes, bleary. Looks on floor and sees silky garment. Appears pleased as he sniffs it -- then becomes alarmed at its size and cut.

LARRY: This is Mormon underwear. (looks at label) Fredericks of Salt Lake?

EARL: This don't look right. (He retrieves cell phone from pants pocket, takes his own picture in bed. Looks at picture.) This is my cousin Donnie's bed.

PETER awakes in a bed at the bottom of huge tank filled with manatees.

PETER: These are not my writers. These are the writers South Park SAYS are my writers.

(MANATEE delivers a ball to Peter's hand)

PETER: They were right, you ARE my writers.

Printed on the ball are the words, "They were right, you ARE my writers.

D. said...


LIZ wakes up in bed, rolled towards one side. Only she is visible, facing towards the camera.

Liz: (smiling thoughtfully with eyes closed) Mmm, last night was amazing. Fried food, a Monty Python rerun, and plenty of wine... (rolls over, eyes still closed. Camera switches to show her face again) How are you doing?

Camera shows Lutz, with a "Truck you!"" hat on. He burps and scratches his face.

Liz: Oh god! (scrambles to get out of bed) What the hell happened? We didn't ...

Tracy: (from the bathroom) Yo Lemmon! You finally awake? I need you to hold my pet snake while I give him what he needs. (emerges from bathroom, holding snake). Jimmy gets dirty if I don't give him a bath every week.

D. said...


Peter: *groans*

(Pan out to see beer cans all over the room)

Where the hell am I? I don't remember checking into a hotel. Boy, this reminds me of that time I got that random chick I met at the bar pregnant.

*Cut to a hotel room, where Peter is laying in bed with someone who looks like Katherine Heigl*

WOMAN: Hey...
PETER: I'm naked.
WOMAN: Yeah.
PETER: [whispers] Did we have sex?
PETER: Nice.

Unknown said...

Earl: The thing about living by karma is that when you wake up in bed with the love of your brothers life, "We were drunk" just ain't going to cut it as an excuse.

Larry: I've only just got over to sleep. I've been awake all night. Just lying here, staring at the ceiling. You know who I am. You know I'm married. And I just couldn't stop thinking about what happened last night. Why *did* you shout Costanza when you came?

Peter: Lois! Lois, wake up! This is going to be the best anniversary ever! Oh...

blogward said...


LARRY (NERVOUS): Uh, what's for breakfast, anyway?

LIZ (DREAMILY): Hey how about those overnights? (SHOCK: SHE BITES THE SHEET AS SHE REALISES)

Unknown said...

30 Rock:

Liz Lemon turns around, looking into the face of sleeping Frank Rossitano in an obviously too-small black tuxedo, sporting a green trucker-hat with "Shag-tastic" written on it. He's drunk, unshaven, dirty and drooling.

*Cut-away* to Jack Donaghy's bedroom, a white wedding dress on one chair and Jack turning around facing his glass-boned newlywed wife.

I have to admit that this is a cop-out since didn't give any dialogue I guess when we get back to Liz and Frank she'll go something like this

"My god those definitely WERE martinis with a twist"

Unknown said...

Family Guy:

Peter wakes up, turns around and faces a woman some viewers might recognize but it's not obvious who.

Peter: "ohmygodohmygod how did this happen - I just came over to apologize"

The door opens to reveal the guy in the yellow chicken suit, immediately picking up the lamp on the nightstand, crashing it into the wall to break the bulp and pushing it directly into Peter's face, cutting his right cheek slightly. The both crash through the first floor bedroom window down to the front lawn with Peter breaking of the mailbox, starting to hit the chicken square in the face, with the well known one to two minute fight sequence following .

Anonymous said...

PARIS (AP) - Famed french mime Marcel Marceau has died. He was 84. His last words were

JP said...

Three with a sheet motif:


Glad I'm not the one having to clean *these* sheets!


Oh my god! I've slept in non-kosher sheets!

I don't know who he is but I want to have his sheets!

Bienvenida said...

My name is Earl:

"Oh boy, Did I pay for this?"

Curb your enthusiasm:

"These sheets are making me itch. Hello? Anybody there? I can't stand these crispy sheets! Am I being punished or what?

He just waves the sheets to dissipate the smell.

As I don't watch "30 rock" I propose a trade for Frasier's Niles.

NILES reaches for his phone and dials 911.

"I'm afraid a strange house has entered my life. Please hurry!"

estiv said...

All right, Ken, no reaction shot, it must be a line. Then:


Sweet jumping Jesus on a pogo stick.

Not killer, I know, but coming up with one great line in the style of a show in which all dialogue is improvised and therefore individual lines rarely kill is a real challenge.

I see there are some serious Family Guy fans here--the level of detail on those entries is very good and utterly characteristic of the show.

Anonymous said...

emily litella said...
PARIS (AP) - Famed french mime Marcel Marceau has died. He was 84. His last words were

Albert Brooks said:

Keep it goin' folks...

"The Book of Don" said...

Family Guy-:

Peter: This reminds me of the time I went over to the Clinton's for dinner.

Transition: Peter at drunken Whitehouse dinner party full of familiar political faces dressed as trannies

Peter -: "Geez Bill...who's the broad"

cut/away - Al Greenspan in bra and panties

scene unfolds as expected.

etc etc

Anonymous said...

Family Guy

PETER: (Reaching his arm over the shape next to him in bed.) Good Morning buttercup. How was last night for you?

QUAGMIRE: Oh it was wonderful, giggitty giggitty.

PETER: Giggitty? Lois never says that? Where the hell am I?

QUAGMIRE: Boy this bird is bigger than I normally bag.

Both men turn and face each other. They each let out a blood curdling SCREAM.


BRIAN: Yeah Peter, that's what you get for giving me nuticles and telling me they were my real balls.

TheDennisMorganShow said...


After taking Enzyte before going to bed, Larry’ awakes in a Tempurpedic mattress infomercial starring Smiling Bob who is performing a ‘wine glass test’ on the mattress (Bob can’t speak he can only smile). Larry: What the you have any idea of alcohol-related bed incidents. And this stupid mattress can get rid of my, 'morning stiffness'...oh wait, (his erection clearly bulging from under the sheet) you mean BACK stiffness?

David J. Loehr said...

For 30 Rock, which I dearly love, given their habit of creating catch phrases, the easy answer would be either:

A. Blurgh.
B. (peeking appreciatively under the sheets at her partner) By the hammer of Thor!
C. Thanks for looking up poor old Liz Lemon...
D. This doesn't taste at all like Diet Snapple.

As for an original line, maybe...

So wait a minute, does this mean the whole bear costume thing wasn't a dream?

As for the other shows, I don't watch Curb and can't stand Earl. And I like those better than Family Guy. But having seen enough of that, I'd guess it would go something like this:

Peter: You know, it's funny, this reminds me of that time I made a random tasteless reference to some piece of pop culture that my writers are really too young to know or understand but think it would be funny to cutaway to right now.

"The Book of Don" said...


c/up - Peters face. Eyes slowly open. Camera pulls back to m/s to reveal Peter in "wife-beater" tee shirt with a shotgun clutched to his chest.

Peter sync: - "Hey bring those left-over fries home last night ?"

scene unfolds in predictable beats.

Warren Fleece said...


Peter wakes, looks around, begins to gag. Coughs up BOB NEWHART.

Newhart: "Oh my god, what a horrible dream!"

Noah said...

Okay, so I started writing these and realized Ken had laid a similar trap to last year’s … your gut reaction is to write something sex related, but nothing in the setup actually requires that.

Well, who am I to pass up a chance for a good sex joke? So I have sex and non-sex punchline options.



Earl wakes up. After a moment he whispers to the woman lying next to him.

I don’t know if you’re awake yet, but when you do get up, I could use some help figuring out if I can cross one thing off my list, or if I need to add a whole lot more to it.


Larry wakes up and realizes where he is. He panics for a moment and fumbles for his cell phone. He dials and speaks in hushed tones.

Jeff! Jeff! It happened. What do you mean? … Yes, of course that. You were there last night, you know what was going on. Look, look, is there a protocol for this? Handshake? Hug? What … Is there a breakfast? Breakfast is involved, right? … Could it be just Starbucks, or is it like a full brunch thing? ‘Cause I’d feel weird in a restaurant wearing the same underwear I had on yesterday … Inside out? But then I have the inside part of my underwear touching the pants and I’d have to get them dry cleaned … Because I just got them dry cleaned for last night and I don’t want to take them back … No, you can get at least three wearings for one dry cleaning for pants … shirts are totally different, I’m not talking about shirts. Oh, oh, she’s waking up! I’ll call you later.


LIZ wakes up and glances at the shape in bed next to her.

Okay, I don’t recall exactly who you are, what we did last night, or how I got here. I think it’s safe to assume that we did something we wanted, or thought we wanted, or maybe did on a dare. And I don’t want you to worry that I’m going to get weird or clingy or start talking about my dad. You don’t need to make me an omelet with Cheez Wiz and cut up hot dogs, but I would like to use your shower because there’s something in my hair that I don’t want to think about and I definitely don’t want it to still be in there on the subway ride home. Thank you and goodbye.
(Starts to go, then returns)
And I don’t want you to think I’ve done this a lot, because I haven’t since sophomore year.


Peter sits bolt upright in bed.

Holy crap! I’m in a strange bed with a dead hooker! Oh, wait, no dead hooker.
Sometimes I really miss being in Leonardo DiCaprio’s posse.



Earl wakes up and realizes he and Randy are on the street outside their apartment building.

Hey, Randy. Either your sleep walking is contagious, or the landlord didn’t really forgive us for number 89 like he said he did.


It’s about 3AM in the hotel room. Larry wakes up suddenly, startled. Cheryl stirs next to him.

Oh … okay … okay. Sorry, Cheryl. Just had one of those moments. You ever get those, in hotels, when you wake up and you don’t know where you are? I tell you, it’s the worst thing about hotels … that and this thing where they don’t wash your sheets. You know, where you have to ask them special to change your sheets now? And look, I’m a environmentalist. I drive a Prius. I give money to all those groups. But now, just because I want some clean sheets in my five hundred dollar hotel room, I’m a bag guy?

Larry continues while Cheryl tries desperately to go back to sleep.


Liz wakes up. Camera pulls back to show that she is fully dressed, she and the rest of the fully dressed cast and crew of TGS, in various stages of sleep and waking up, are on the mid-river Staten Island Ferry. It’s about seven in the morning and a llama with “TG tha shiz” spray painted onto its fur is prowling around, sticking its nose into coats and purses. Liz catches the eye of an equally baffled-looking Pete.

Okay, Tracy doesn’t get to plan the after parties anymore.


Tight on Peter as he wakes up. Pull back to show that he is in the home of the Three Bears and the owners have just discovered him in Baby Bear’s bed.

Oh, thank god you guys are here, I coulda slept all winter. What do you put in that porridge? Tryptophan? I’m kidding you. Seriously four star bed and breakfast all the way … oh … and I have no idea what happened to that chair.

Andy Ihnatko said...

Something more punchline-ey than scene-ey? Okay, second try:

EARL: I knew I wasn't in my usual bedroom right away. The place smelled like a spring meadow breeze, except it wasn't the kind that you get by plugging something into an electrical outlet next to my brother Randy's slot-car set.


LIZ: Oh, thank God. If I've been kidnapped, it probably means I can sleep in.

Andy Ihnatko said...

LARRY: What the hell is this? My sleep number is 35, not 73!

Andy Ihnatko said...

PETER: I did it! I'm finally Alternative Reality Peter again! Time for Spider-Peter to swing through Cloud City and rescue Princess Jasmine!

"The Book of Don" said...

This is the Devil's fucking contest as I cannot do ANY work today because I keep coming back to read what's been written ... there's a lot of very funny stuff here.

more please...

Anonymous said...

EARL: Okay Beer, I gotta hand it to you, I have not seen a sequel so improve on its original since Godfath--No! Rambo, First Blood Part 2.

LARRY: (Looks down at his own penis, sighs) Some things never change.

LIZ: Oh, please, let him be the beer goggler.

PETER: Ooh! Maybe I've switched bodies with Gérard Depardieu! Aw crap, my English is comprehensible.

Anonymous said...

(third try - sorry Ken, problems posting!)

Larry wakes up in a strange bed, turns over...and sees Wanda Sykes.

WANDA: Hey Larry, you know what they say, once you go Black, you never go back.
But don't try to get me now to become one of those Jewish Falashas or Sammy Davis Juniors or whatever, it aint gonna happen.

blogward said...

flciAt the Annual Mime Convention next month, Marcel Marceau's memory will be acknowledged with a four hours' silence. As for the will reading...

SPM said...

WF's Family Guy one is my fav so far.

Brent McKee said...

I can really only work with the ones I've had some exposure to - that leaves "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Family Guy" out.

Earl: (vo) Over the years it has not been unusual for me to wake up in a strange bed with someone I hade met the night before in an alcoholic stupor. Entire pages of my list are in fact devoted to this. Being in prison does tend to add a whole new dimension to this however.

30 Rock: Liz's eyes open slowly. She realizes she's in a room that's not her own and that she's wearing a man's pyjama top and nothing else. Turning her head to her right - apprehensively - she sees a form, obviously male. She turns her head to the left. She sees her glasses and an official looking document. She puts her glasses on and sees that the document is a marriage license. The groom's name - Jack Donaghy. Liz (groggily): "Oh God; my life has turned into a Rock Hudson-Doris Day movie."

Anonymous said...

No offense to anybody, but this is a shining example of how hard it is to write comedy.

Anonymous said...

Family Guy

Peter wakes up in a strange bed, turns over...and sees Larry Craig.

PETER: Damn, I was going for George Michaels!

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Angela though. She not only got the assignment but was true to the characters and genuinely funny.

Anonymous said...

Peter wakes up in a strange bed and looks next to him...and sees Larry David and Earl.

dotter said...

Liz wakes up, looks around from the safety of under the strange covers. Looks at herself under the strange covers.
Liz: Must be Tuesday.


Liz: Either I've been kidnapped, or I redecorated in my sleep...(notices sheets)...and my subconscious has better taste than I do.

Larry wakes up, sees the new surroundings. Finds his cell phone. Puzzled, he dials a number.
Jeff: What's up?
Larry: What's the etiquette for waking up in a strange room?
Jeff: Etiquette?
Larry: Yeah, should I tell someone that I'm here, or that I'm leaving? Or can I just get up and leave?

Cap'n Bob said...

I don't watch any of those shows, so I guess I lose. Unless you accept:

"Emily, I just had the strangest dreams."

Anonymous said...

Larry wakes up in a strange bed.

LARRY: I TOLD Lewis Manischewitz shooters were a bad idea!

Rob Spalding said...

Earl: Randy, you know that trucker we met last night? I don't think he was the nice guy you thought he was. [Earl holds up his hands, bound together with thick and filthy rope]

Jim Azzara said...

(Larry wakes up in an empty bed and notices a camcorder mounted on a tripod facing him -- with the camera’s door ejected and tapeless)

Larry: Great. Obviously, I had to hold out for the advent of YouTube before I could decide on breaking my monogamy streak. I hope at some point last night I mentioned that fact that I have an exclusive “first look” with Columbia.

Anonymous said...

(Peter wakes up in a rustic looking cabin, on top of seven small beds pushed together. At the end of the bed are the seven dwarfs, hats in hand and making bedroom eyes at him.)

PETER: Oh crap! I knew switching to lite beer was a bad idea...

Willy B. Good said...

Family Guy

Peter- Hey Lois, I told you water beds make me wet the bed.

Lois- ( V.O.) It's not a water bed Peter,, it's a sea bed.

Peter- Oh well in that case.


Unknown said...

Peter wakes up not in his own bed and says "Oh crap, Meth is a hell of a drug."

Richard Cooper said...

Hey Joshm, glad you liked one of mine. Batting .250 ain't bad on challenge like this! Did anyone else watch the Star Wars Family Guy tonight? Thought the first half was funnier than the second. Early 90's printer…

Anonymous said...

In honor of Marcel Marceau, please observe this moment of noise.

Anonymous said...

Whenever I wake up and
something about the sleeping
accommodations just don’t seem
right, I think I must have had
just a little too much of the
grape the night before. Make
that a lot too much. Then, if
it turns out to be some kind of
lodging establishment, I think
of my cousin Vern’s third wife
Epiphany -- the statuesque
topless dancer who died in a
terrible Murphy Bed accident on
their wedding night. Having
just been joined together in
the closest thing to holy
matrimony Bullhead City, Nevada
has to offer, the newlyweds
were spending their honeymoon
night in a Laughlin, bed, and
bed, and, bed, and bed, and

FLASHBACK to the couple in a seedy barracks-style room full of hookers and Johns making do with whatever sleeping accommodations for eight could be squeezed into a single room.

Vern was about to consummate
their marriage for the third
time that evening, when the
Murphy bed they were
consummating in folded up
against the wall and
decapitated his unfortunate

Vern, holding down the bottom position, is suddenly alarmed that the bouncing bed does not seem to be rebounding groundward as it had been for the previous two consumations.

People couldn’t help noticing
that, when Vern remarried a
year later, it was to a much
shorter woman.

Camera pulls back to reveal four posts and the heavily sagging mattress of the bunk bed above. Randy comes crashing through with the mattress between them.

Earl, next time you make
reservations at a place like
Nutsy Leon’s Knotty Pine Motel
Court, will you kinda keep it
in the back of your mind to
request a standard-issue king
or queen?

Larry bolts up and finds himself sharing the psychiatrist’s couch with Richard Lewis.

Look, I’m feeling kind of
weak for obvious reasons. So
instead of waiting, I thought
I’d come in on your time and
find out what kind of schmuck
starts a punchline contest in
Beverly Hills on Yom Kippur?

Liz awakens in Jack’s office, torso and knees elevated in the familiar “z” position of the Craftmatic Adjustable Bed that Jack had brought in for those recharging catnaps.

I was out like a light,
Jack. Maybe your problem is
before sinking 45-hundred-
dollars into a glorified
Barcalounger, you might have
remembered you sleep on your

Peter awakens disoriented in a hospital bed, hooked up to an I-V and oxygen tube.

Where am I doc? What happened?

Well, Mr. Griffin, I’m sorry to
have to tell you that you drew
the lucky straw as first
patient in our Happy-Go-Lucky
Terminal Disease Institute.
Seems you've been spending a
little too much time fondling
the fantastic four the toy
factory has been bringing in
from China, without washing
your hands. That Silver
Surfer's almost 100% silver

Aw, crap, doc!

But why just tell you about
your life threatening illness,
when we can sing it.

A new barbershop quartet enters-THE OAK RIDGE BOYS,singing about the Pawtucket, RI Hasbro Toy line(roughly to the tune of AMERICAN MADE).

Seems that every toy we sell
these days
Has got some Chinese lead.
From our GI Joe
To Mr. Zucchini Head.
It’s in your Tinker Toys
On your Tonka Trucks.
But there’s one you know that
just don’t suck.
It’s made in the states, so
you pay big bucks.
My Little Pony is American Made.
Hasn’t been touched by those
Asian slaves.
From his sexy long schlong to
his saddle bags,
My pony’s an American nag.

Segue roughly into the tune of ELVIRA.
You’ve got brain damage and
some A.D.D.
Losing your liver and your
left kidney.
You got some funny little
seizures messin’ with your head,
It's gotta be that Shanghai
So we’re singin’
Screw China, screw China.
You’ve been toy poisoned,
Screw China
Giggity giggity, om poppa mow
Giggity giggity, om poppa mow
Throw Buzz Lightyear away.

Because it's the holiest day of the Jewish year, for their final number, the long-bearded Oak Ridge Boy throws on a Hassidic fedora and Holstein patterned prayer shawl. The rest, skull caps. They sing their version of THE DREIDEL SONG.

We’re selling Chinese dreidles,
They make ‘em out of wood,
Your baby sister ate one,
Now she don’t feel so good.

They low-ball price their
By painting it with lead,
And this is how free trade’ll
Leave all our toddlers dead.

So we’ll take their little
And shatter them like glass,
Then ship them back and
shove ‘em,
Right up THAT Asian ass.

Oh, dreidle, dreidle, dreidle
We gotta make it stop,
They’re poisoning my Pincus
It's just a friggin’ top.


Anonymous said...

While I’ve got you, Ken, I thought you might see some series potential in today’s Dallas Morning News story about the religious transformation of former Packers/Cowboys offensive lineman Alan (now Shlomo) Veingrad. I am not making this up. Maybe a Weiss Shadow kind of sports drama? This is an actual story. I haven’t been aware of any conversion of this import and magnitude since Rams/Patriots running back Moshe Tatupu. (Tefillin in torah lifting photo courtesy of Balco?)

Mapeel said...

Liz Lemon

"No, no, my deal was for three hit years--I'm too young to take Suzanne Pleshette's place yet [screeeeaaammm]"

[Rod Serling enters: "Liz Lemon. She made a pact with the devil for comedy gold. But you can't trust the timetable of a demon. She'll have eternity to understand that, in the Twilight Zone" up music]

Anonymous said...

Earl: Get Me a beer.

Larry: Get me an asprin.

Tina: Get me a man.

Peter: Get me the 5th season of The Simpsons on DVD because I got nuthin.

Shawn Bowers said...

(Liz wakes up. A man's arm is wrapped around her, grasping her breast.)

LIZ: And this is why I prefer big spoon.

Anonymous said...

EARL looks thoroughly impressed.

EARL: Nice. Only a matter of time before these fold-out couches put regular couches out of business.

Anonymous said...

"Michael Zand said...
No offense to anybody, but this is a shining example of how hard it is to write comedy."

If writing comedy is so hard, how do you explain "Pacific Blue"?

Shawn Bowers said...

(Peter wakes up, notices his surroundings and sits up straight)

PETER: Oh my god, Lois. Someone stole our bed and replaced it in our sleep! (He looks down) And our carpet! (He looks at the dresser) And our family photos! (He looks next to him) And you with a black lady!

Anonymous said...


Have I got indigestion, or has one of my kidney's been removed?


You snooze, you lose, and sometimes neither.


He, we, they were awesome.


Next time, the troops get embedded with me!

Anonymous said...

My Name is Earl:
Earl (v.o.): I could tell it wasn't my bed right away when Randy was missing and the sheets smelled like wildflowers. Truth is, when you wake up in a bed of real wildflowers, they smell a lot like beer and fertilizer.

30 Rock:
(Liz wakes up in a strange bed and contemplates the many possibilities from the office party the night before. )

Liz: Dear God, let it be someone after my kidney.

Anonymous said...

I swear I didn't read any of the other posts before entering mine. Apparently Andy Ihnatko and I are on similar wavelengths.

To quote SCTV "Scary... boys, and girls".

Anonymous said...

uhqnmqrq30 Rock
Thats the last time I research an adult diaper fetish

Curb yourenthusism
I wish I had that kids cock last night. No... see ... the kid had a great cock! I mean I wish I had it on me!

Family guy
Whoa. Now I know what they mean by 'Bring in the Clowns'

Anonymous said...

I only know Curb your Enthusiasm which I love.
I haven't seen any of the others.

Curb Your Enthusiam.

Larry wakes up in a strange bed next to a strange chick.
He takes a close look at her and notices her wig is askew. He takes a closer look and notices a hairy chest. He jumps out of bed and trips up on her (unattached) prosthetic leg complete with high heel shoe.
As he examines the leg his cell phone rings. It is Cheryl.
Looks out of window.

Larry: Cheryl? I think i'm in New York.

Hennell said...

Sorry Ken, didn't look at the comments, so I did more of a scene then a line...


Earl VO: The worst thing about crossing things off my list, is the things I have to add to it, when I wake up from the celebration. (Earl wakes up and sees randy pointing at the bed cover in horror)

Randy: Earl, earl, our bed's covered in flowers Earl.

Earl: (Looks at the cover) I don't think this is our bed Randy.

Randy: Oh. That's good. (He flops back on the bed to go to sleep.)

Earl: In fact this doesn't even seem to be our bedroom randy.

Randy: Perhaps this isn't even us, Earl. Maybe we're someone else?

(He turns around and sees and old Lady in the bed between them.

Randy: (to the woman) Earl? Where's your moustache?

The lady wakes to randy touching her upper lip. She screams. Randy screams.

Earl: Lets go Randy!


Randy: (Whilst running) I think we're still us Earl. That's the scream we usually get.


Liz: Right, I'm hungover and have no idea where I am, this is terrible. I think I'm turning into Tracy...

Jack storms in.

Jack: Lemon! There you are, we need to discuss figures for last Tuesdays...

Liz: Jack! What are you doing here... (quieter) and where is here?

Jack: I came to find you, Kenneth said you'd be here.

Liz: Kenneth? What's he saying?

Jack: Don't worry, he was just trying to clarify what Tracy Jordan said. Apparently Tracy made have made some of it up.

Liz: What! What did Tracy say?

Jack: I'm not really sure, he was miming most of it. Something to do with a squirrel I think... They're about to watch the CCTV downstairs if you're interested...

Unknown said...


Earl (with a pious look): "Dear lord, please let this bed belong to a woman. Preferably hot if you've got the time. Thanks pal."


Liz: Ooh, another dream where I've met an exotic man who calms me by his touch. I wonder if he's Italian? come I'm aware of the dream in my dream. And why does this exotic Italian guy have a twin bed?


Peter: Ah, crap. I'm teleporting in my sleep again.

Bradford Oman said...

Liz: Lorne! Where's the Emmy?

Ricky said...

(Earl talks loudly so his voice carries)
Good morning, you lucky lady, whoever you are.

Larry: (to stranger beside him in bed)
I have several questions: First, can you tell me when the last time these sheets were washed?

Awe, whenever I wake up in a strange place it reminds me of that week I spent at actress Kathy Bates' house. (Flashback to scene of Peter in Kathy Bates' house. Just as in the movie Misery, Kathy Bates keeps Peter prisoner forcing him to write a book. The book becomes mostly "See Spot run.")

Greg Morrow said...

Upon reflection, my 30 Rock shot doesn't need Liz's lines at all, and in fact benefits from her standard handoff to co-stars.


30 Rock: [Liz has a confused reaction shot; Kenneth sweeps in] Kenneth: Oh, there you are, Ms. Lemon. You know, you really shouldn't have tried Mr. Jordan's oatmeal scotchies. [conspiratorally] I don't believe he uses real butterscotch pieces.

Bienvenida said...

Thanks a lot, Michael. That's very kind of you to say.

Unknown said...


EARL(v.o): My ‘old self’ used to wake up in a strange bed all the time…and I don’t miss that feeling or those questions you ask yourself. How many different flavors of Kool-Aid stained these Hello Kitty bed sheets? Where did all these pickled eggs come from? How come it smells like someone’s been trying to start a boat? And, of course: Why can’t the Carnies just leave me on the side of the road instead of taking me back to their camp…


LARRY DAVID: (Frantic) What the..? Where the…?

(looking down at self under sheets/CALMLY…smiling and nodding)

LARRY: That is one IMMMMpressive erection!

Anonymous said...

Earl: Hmm. Times like this remind me of something my dad once told me. [Flashback, Earl’s father, at a bar, talking to the camera: “Son, tequila is like the transporters on Star Trek, minus all the accuracy.”]

Larry: [sounds coming from bathroom] Okay self, if a man exits that room, bolt. If it’s a woman, and she knows Cheryl, bolt. If she doesn’t, see if she’ll spring for room service.

Liz: Greetings, whoever you are. My name is Liz, and I will be your self-confidence challenged, thoroughly mortified yet wantonly whorish wake-up call this morning. I should be going now. Aloha and aloha, fine sir.

Peter: Strange. Lois, did you redecorate our bedroom while I was sleeping? And our bed? And your face, body, and sexual boundaries?

Anonymous said...


Earl wakes up and realizes he’s not in his own bed. He says?????

EARL: (VO) Note to self. Never take samples of Cracker Barrel Cheddar Cheese from a guy with a twitchy eye who smells like onions.


Larry wakes up and realizes he’s not in his own bed. He says?????

LARRY: (with a big smile on his face) YESSS!!!!!


Liz wakes up and realizes she’s not in her own bed. She says????

LIZ: Oh God. Three Berry Berry Cosmos and I turn into Jenna.


Peter wakes up and realizes he’s not in his own bed. He says????

PETER: Ah great. I've transported again. Just like that time me and that Japanese guy tried to save New York.

CUT TO: Hiro and Peter appear in New York city.

HIRO(in Japanese): Now we can be heroes and kill Sylar. (draws sword)

PETER: Uh, excuse me, Kato, but it seems my ass is stuck in the Chrysler Building.

Angle on: Peter's butt has indeed transported into the Chrysler Building.

HIRO (in Japanese): You are fat like retarded sow.

PETER (in Japanese): I am not fat!

HIRO: (in Japanese): You speak Japanese?

PETER: (in French) Oui.

Anonymous said...

Larry: Larry, looking confused, sees someone covered up next to him. He starts to pull back sheets but notices a hairy arm sticking out. He becomes frantic, gets dressed in hotel robe and leaves with various hotel employees saying "Good morning Mr. David!"

Next scene, two of his friends are laughing about the practical joke they played on Larry when he walks in, noticeably upset about the morning events. They ask Larry what's wrong. He doesn't say - covers up with a lie. They finally tell him about their practical joke. He tries to put on a front but decides to get back at them - which takes up the rest of the episode.

Peter: Wait a minute! Strange bed. Unidentified person lying next to me. A sense of dread that I've done something awful that I'll regret for the rest of my life! This reminds me of my wedding night.

Barry Wallace said...


Liz wakes up and realizes she’s not in her own bed. She says????

Liz: Al, tell Ziggy I think I leaped into another woman this time... (looks under covers) A naked one...

Todd Mueller said...

LIZ: Oh, crap! Crap, crap, crap! (beat) Alright, Lemon, think. Who do you know besides Grammy with rubber sheets?

EARL V.O.: Now, I know waking up in a strange bed dressed as Robin Hood is nothin' to be proud of, ...but you gotta admit, I look pretty good in that mirror up there.

LARRY: (waking in a hammock on a Hawaiin beach)My God. Worst nap I ever had. I feel like a ham. (he attempts to get out) How the hell do you... oh, for God's... (he thrashes back and forth) Hey! You! Cabana boy. Yeah, you. I think I'm stuck. Would you do me a favor and just... wait, wait! Could you wash your hands first? No offense, it's just, I can't stand the smell of Poi. Hey! Where are you going? Don't leave me here! I'll be strained to death!

Little Miss Nomad said...

Liz (VO):
Hmmm. Like sleeping on waves of Jello. The red kind. Cherry. Strawberry's gross. God, I'm hungry. Need breakfast. Actually, maybe not. Feel kind of nauseous. (BEAT)
Wait, when did I buy a water bed?

Liz opens eyes to find she's on a boat.

Anonymous said...

Earl: You know whut, Clean sheets are really highly under-rated.

Larry: I really wish when Cheryl moved she would tell me at least two days in advance so me my underwear and toothbrush were all in the same place.

Liz: Oh shit, not again.

Peter: Somehow, I'm waking up in a completely different cartoon, I only hope it's Jessica Rabbit I hear in the shower!

sbehnke said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sbehnke said...

Earl VO: This wasn’t the first time I’d woken up tied to a bed wearing nothing but my moustache… but it was the first time the person next to me was a man who wasn’t Randy.

Liz: Where was I? Wait--
CUT TO: Last Night's After Party
Tracy: How you feel, Liz Lemon? Here, try my Jesus Juice.
CUT BACK TO: Liz in bed.
Liz: Balls.

Peter: Ah crap! That is the last time I go drinking with the Golden Girls. I mean seriously, how do you wake up Betty White and tell her take off your underwear?

PALGOLAK said...

1. I think I done something unusual.
2. A Republican? A REPUBLICAN?
3. Thank the clockmaker I didn't choke on that chicken bone.
4. Lois, hand me the crackers.

Thaddeus Edwards II said...

EARL: I'm not hung over and I've still got my pants on. It's going to be a good day.

LIZ: Just like college. Except I'm not alone in my bed every night four years in a row.