The Jerry Davidson Show, Part 2 – Day 17 of the Cupán Fae 2019 Advent Calendar

A play in two parts, by Paul Carroll. Read part 1 here.

[Lights up to Jerry on stage, dressed in his trademark clothing, and the stagehands walking across the stage with APPLAUD signs. Jerry stops them halfway across the stage to allow his applaud to continue a little longer. They rush away the first chance they get.]

Jerry:                         Welcome back! Now, if you remember, last week we Mary and Joseph on the show trying to settle their first ever marital dispute. We left them with three simple questions: is Joseph the father, is Mary a liar, or is she just insane? I think it’s a fair to say this isn’t the most…ordinary case we’ve ever had on the show. Let’s just get it over and done with, shall we? Mary and Joseph are back with us today to find out if Mary’s been faithful, or if she’s cost them their son.

[Mary and Joseph walk on stage. Mary is dressed up, and Joseph dressed down. One stagehand carries the APPLAUD sign, the other the BOO sign. They stop halfway to look at the other’s sign, and hurry off stage when they see the mistake.]

Jerry:                         Mary, Joseph, how have you been?

Mary:                         I still feel violated.

Jerry:                         Isn’t she such a great sport?

Joseph:                      I still don’t see why they kept sticking the swab in my mouth. I thought one sample of DNA was enough.

Jerry:                         Oh, it’s just standard procedure! Trust me, they were not trying to hurt you for dressing like you did last time. [Jerry takes a good luck at Joseph’s clothes.] You haven’t watched the show since, have you? We’ve moved on from dressing like the last items in the wardrobe. It’s all about looking classy from now on.

Joseph:                      What sort of show is this?

Jerry:                         The best show on television. [To the audience] Amiright? [Shouting to the wings] Get those stagehands out here!

Mary:                         Forget the stagehands! What did your tests say?

Joseph:                      You really want to rush this?

Mary:                         Hey, remember, I brought back up.

Joseph:                      Oh right, your cousin…

Jerry:                         We’ll get to that. Can someone bring me the envelope with the results?

[The three specialists come on stage, clutching the envelope between them.]

Jerry:                         Did it really take all three of you to come on stage?

Specialist 1:             We just wanted to get more air time.

Specialist 2:             It seems like we’re always brought on at the end of the show.

Specialist 3:             And since we did the tests, we wanted to bring the envelope.

[They hand the envelope to Jerry, who looks it over suspiciously.]

Jerry:                         You couldn’t have gotten something better than a Tesco envelope?

Specialist 1:             Budget cuts?

Specialist 2:             Trying to appeal to the market?

Specialist 3:             Hallmark were out of the fancy ones when I went to buy my mam a card?

Jerry:                         Oh just… [He picks up a horn from under his chair] Just… *sets off the horn*… off.

[The specialists walk off the stage slowly. Jerry stares at them furiously until they’re out of sight.]

Jerry:                         Okay, let’s see what these have to say. [Jerry opens the envelope, pulling out a foolscap page.] Budget cuts… that would explain the coffee that tasted like dirt this morning.

Mary:                         I don’t care about your coffee! Just tell us the results!

Joseph:                      Just put us out of our misery!

Jerry:                         Now Joseph, there’s no need for that. [Mary glares at him.] Okay, moving on swiftly. Joseph… you are… supposed to lean forward in suspense.

Joseph:                      I’m sorry?

Jerry:                         That’s alright, just don’t let it happen again. Joseph… you are… not the father.

Joseph:                      Well I knew that!

Jerry:                         Yes, well…it seems that even looking at Jesus’ DNA allowed our specialists to speak in tongues. That might explain that item on Ebay for the Spit of Christ I saw last night.

Mary:                         What about me?

Jerry:                         Oh, you’re not the father either. [Jerry looks at the page again.] But you’re definitely the mother. No doubt about it. Please don’t hit me.

Mary:                         Hit you?

Jerry:                         [Ignoring her.] Mary… you are… telling the truth. What, really? You didn’t cheat. [To Joseph] Would you look at that, she wasn’t lying to you.

Joseph:                      But I still don’t know what happened!

Jerry:                         Hey look, she’s not insane either. Maybe they did it wrong.

Mary:                         Excuse you.

Jerry:                         What? Oh right. Please don’t hurt me.

Mary:                         Stop saying that.

Jerry:                         Yeah… sure… you had a guest? This ought to be good. [Looks at his cue cards.] Can we bring on Mary’s cousin? Elizabeth?

[ELIZABETH walks on stage, dressed up like Mary. She forces Joseph to move over a seat so she can sit beside her cousin.]

Elizabeth:                 What, no signs for me, Jerry?

Jerry:                         Don’t ask me! I’m just here to ask questions and not get murdered by your cousin.

Elizabeth:                 I’m not impressed. And all this thinking she’s crazy. Are you stupid or something? She saw an angel. She’s not the first one in the history of the world.

Jerry:                         But… angels?

Elizabeth:                 I saw an angel!

Mary:                         It’s true. That’s why I asked her to come on today.

Joseph:                      YOU saw an angel?

Jerry:                         Joseph, don’t interrupt the women.

Elizabeth:                 When I saw Mary on last week, I said to her, Mary, I know what you’re going through. And I told her about the angel I saw before I was pregnant with me son, John. He said to me, Elizabeth, God wants to take Zack into the next room and “snuggle” him like there’s no tomorrow until you’re sure you’re going to have the most prophetic son in all the land. And I said to him, it would be rude not to.

Mary:                         Just like that.

Joseph:                      The angel told you to snuggle him like there’s no tomorrow? An angel? Really?

Jerry:                         Joseph, don’t make me make Mary hit you!

Elizabeth:                 I might have been paraphrasing. But sure, he got in touch anyway. And I had a son, like he said I would. And Zack says to me, Lizzy, we have to call him John.

Jerry:                         And why is that?

Mary:                         Don’t interrupt Jerry!

Elizabeth:                 Thanks Mary. So, Zack tells me about this time he was at work at the Temple, and he passed out. And when he woke up, he said he was going to have a son, and this just after I’d taken him to new places. You know, sexually speaking.

Jerry:                         He just knew?

Elizabeth:                 Well, he said he saw the angel, too. He said it was the second best experience of his life. You know, after that night we had.

Joseph:                      Zack saw an angel, too?

Jerry:                         Joseph, please. No interrupting.

Elizabeth:                 So, anyway, the angel – a total ROIDE by the way – said to Zack that our son had to be called John, and that he had to tell people that the son of God was coming.

Joseph:                      He saw an angel…

Mary:                         Shush, you. Go on, Lizzy.

Elizabeth:                 Well, that’s it. Except John keeps spelling Jesus with the fridge magnets. Anyway, I knew I had to come on, in case they fixed them tests to make you look insane like they did that man with the boat. And wasn’t he right? He wasn’t mad at all.

Mary:                         Thanks cous’.

Jerry:                         So, there we have it.

Joseph:                      Zack saw an angel… that’s… no…

Mary:                         What’s the matter with you? Bowels acting up again?

Joseph:                      I have a confession to make!

Jerry:                         This should be good. We already know you’re not the father, Joseph.

Joseph:                      Not that… I… I… I saw an angel!

Elizabeth:                 Oh God save us…

Mary:                         You just have to jump on the bandwagon, don’t you?

Joseph:                      I’m not! I swear. Who named him?

Mary:                         Who?

Joseph:                      The baby!

Jerry:                         [Jumping out of his seat.] The baby! Sorry, I got excited. Joseph, are you going somewhere with this?

Joseph:                      I named him. I told Mary we should call him Jesus, because he saved us. And I gave him his middle name. And I legally changed my surname to Christ before he was born so Mary would have to call him Jesus Immanuel Christ, because the angel confused me.

Mary:                         What do you mean the angel confused you?

Elizabeth:                 I always said this one wasn’t right…

Jerry:                         Ladies, please, you’re interrupting Joseph.

Joseph:                      The angel, he said to call him Jesus Christ, and then he said to call him Immanuel, and all this in the space of one weird dream. I thought I was dehydrated, because I’d just landed in Africa. But he said we were going to have a boy, and I didn’t want to believe him, because I thought it was just a weird dream.

Mary:                         You’re telling me you brought me on to the Jerry Davidson Show just to tell me you also saw an angel and that you don’t think I cheated on you?

Joseph:                      Well, I did. But I was afraid I might also be insane.

Mary:                         And it wasn’t enough that I said I’d seen an angel?

Joseph:                      Well, Zack saw one too, so I figured it would be alright.

Elizabeth:                 Makes sense to me. Zack’s always been reliable.

Jerry:                         Just to clarify… you came on my show just to tell stories to each other about why you didn’t want to think you saw an angel and how your son is the son of God?

[Mary and Joseph look off to space in thought.]

Mary:                         That actually sounds about right.

Joseph:                      You might even say this was an elaborate ruse on my part to stop Mary hurting me.

Jerry:                         I knew I wasn’t the only one who felt like that!

Elizabeth:                 I’ll hurt you if you’re not careful.

Jerry:                         I think we need to end here. But, clearly, CLEARLY, you two have some problems to sort out. Clearly. Before you ever decide to come back on my show again. In fact, don’t. I am sick and tired of people using me as a platform for their visions about God.

Mary:                         That’s every single person who comes onto this show. Everyone else goes onto the better ones that actually have money and professionals.

Joseph:                      Low blow, honey.

Mary:                         He deserved it.

Jerry:                         Just bring on Gabriel so we can finish up…

[GABRIEL walks on stage, sitting down next to Joseph. He wears all white, and all eyes fall on him.]

Mary:                         You look eerily familiar.

Gabriel:                     I get that a lot.

Jerry:                         Gabriel here is our relationship specialist. He’s new. Very new. Only started today, in fact. I wasn’t sure we could afford him, but he told us we could. Weird, actually, considering they took all the furniture out of my dressing room.

Gabriel:                     I’m just here to make a difference for you two, Mary. Joseph, you were right to bring Mary on air. The world needed to hear your story.

Jerry:                         But this is my show!

Gabriel:                     Jerry, please, we’re conversing.

Mary:                         He’s always so rude, don’t mind him.

Gabriel:                     In the end, it will not matter. I heard he’s being fired.

Jerry:                         What?!

Gabriel:                     What matters is you two. This has been an arduous ordeal, I am sure, but you will, you must, get through this. For Jesus. For everyone.

Elizabeth:                 He speaks the truth. I should know, what with Zack and all. I have a radar for honest, good hearted men.

Joseph:                      You can help us learn to trust each other again?

Gabriel:                     I can promise no less than that. The Lord wills it.

Mary:                         Oh thank you! [To Jerry] Thank you Jerry!

Jerry:                         I’m ruined… just… just get off the stage.

Joseph:                      We’ll fix all of this, Mary. We’ll raise Jesus right. We will. I love him anyway, just for you, even if he isn’t technically my son.

Mary:                         Oh Joseph!

[They stand and embrace.]

Gabriel:                     I knew things would work out.

Jerry:                         Right… [Looking at his cue cards] Assuming I’m still here after the break, we’ll be joined by a man who claims his wife is made from his rib… where do we find these people?

[Lights down]

END

The Jerry Davidson Show, Part 1 – Day 16 of the Cupán Fae 2019 Advent Calendar

A play in two parts, by Paul Carroll.

[Lights up to JERRY walking on-stage. Two stagehands cross the stage from opposite sides holding APPLAUD signs towards the audience. Jerry takes his seat beside two guest seats. He is dressed semi-formally, holding cue cards and a microphone. He lets the audience applaud for a while before the stagehands walk off in the directions they came from. Jerry is an excited character, barely capable of staying still in his seat.]

Jerry:                         Welcome, welcome, welcome, and hello. Welcome to the Jerry Davidson Show, my name’s Jerry. Today we’ve got a couple of newlyweds in trouble. Joseph believes his wife, Mary, has been cheating on him. He claims the baby she gave birth to a few months ago isn’t his, and that he just wants her to confess to the truth. Ladies and Gentlemen, if you’ll welcome onto the show: Joseph!

[JOSEPH walks on-stage. He dresses well, to a surprised look from Jerry, and sits back into the seat. At the same time, the stagehands cross once more with the APPLAUD signs, retreating quickly.]

Jerry:                         Joseph, newly married. Congratulations by the way. But tell us, why do you think Mary has been cheating on you?

Joseph:                      It’s simple: we didn’t “do” anything before we got married.

Jerry:                         Do? You mean sex.

Joseph:                      Er… yes. I just didn’t think… this is television, isn’t it?

Jerry:                         Joseph, are you familiar with this show at all?

Joseph:                      Not especially.

Jerry:                         Well… this will be interesting. So, sex Joseph. You didn’t have any before marriage?

Joseph:                      We didn’t believe in it. Which is kind of why I was so surprised when she turned out to be pregnant while we were in Africa.

Jerry:                         Africa?

Joseph:                      Teaching. We arranged it a while ago, but Mary decided not to go in the end. We had a fight, I left, and she showed up later apologising. I thought: great, she’s finally come to her senses!

Jerry:                         She went to Africa and you thought that meant she’d come to her senses? Joseph, what exactly did you expect her to do while she was pregnant? You can’t just leave a pregnant woman alone in Ireland like that.

Joseph:                      She wasn’t pregnant when I left, that’s what I’m telling you. She was a virgin!

Jerry:                         And she won’t mind you telling us that?

Joseph:                      I don’t see how I have any choice. She was a virgin, then she was pregnant, and I didn’t have anything to do with it!

Jerry:                         So, what do you expect her to say?

Joseph:                      I just want the truth. I love the baby, I do. I just don’t want to have to live some lie pretending I’m the boy’s father and that there were no problems before he was born.

Jerry:                         Would you leave her again?

Joseph:                      Leave her again? I went to Africa! We planned it!

Jerry:                         Just answer the question, Joseph. Don’t try to change the topic.

Joseph:                      Oh… right… no, I wouldn’t leave her. I still love her. I just want the truth.

Jerry:                         Well, you clearly think things will be okay. And I think you deserve that truth. Can we bring on Mary, to tell her side of the story?

[MARY walks on-stage in casual clothing. The stagehands cross the stage with BOO signs. They look increasingly bored, but give the audience a little longer to respond to Mary’s entrance. Mary adjusts herself uncomfortably in her chair.]

Jerry:                         Mary, clearly a viewer of the show going by your clothing. That, Joseph, is the dress code.

Joseph:                      I just wanted to look respectable.

Jerry:                         Right… Mary, you seem to be considered something of a slag right now. Joseph wants the truth, but you won’t give it to him.

Mary:                         I have been honest, Jerry! He’s just not listening because he’s a… a…

Jerry:                         Use the horn, Mary.

Mary:                         Horn? Oh, right. [Mary takes an air horn from under her seat.] He’s a *sets off horn* Jerry.

Joseph:                      I’m a what?!

Jerry:                         Joseph, please, you had your turn.

Joseph:                      But what was that?

Jerry:                         Joseph, I’m warning you. Now, Mary, the truth. You know the drill. Speak into the microphone.

Mary:                         I didn’t cheat on him. We had that fight, and he left me. But I still didn’t do anything. I just stayed in the flat when I wasn’t working, and a couple of weeks went by. Then I had this weird dream.

Joseph:                      Oh, not the dream again!

Jerry:                         Joseph, let her talk. Go on Mary, tell us about the dream.

Mary:                         I was lying in bed, and suddenly I started getting these hot flashes. But, it was like the room was getting warm, not me. And then there was this bright light, and a man was standing in my room.

Jerry:                         A man? And did you have sex? Is that how you became pregnant?

Joseph:                      Do you honestly think a man in her dream got her pregnant? That’s even more ridiculous than the woman who claimed she became pregnant watching porn.

Mary:                         I didn’t have sex with him! He said to me, Mary, you’re going to have a baby. You and Joseph, he said. And you’re going to have to raise him good, because he’s the son of God.

Jerry:                         Sorry, the what?

Mary:                         The son of God. You know, the Lord, the Almighty, Yahweh. Please tell me you’ve heard of God, Jerry.

Jerry:                         Of course I’ve heard of God! Go on then, Mary, what did this…man say? Did he make you pregnant?

Mary:                         Make me… no! Jerry, no! He just told me I was going to have the son of God. He asked if it was alright, and I said yes. I thought it would be a bit of craic, sure.

Jerry:                         And when did God…

Mary:                         *sets off horn*…me? He didn’t Jerry. But, part of him entered me, and that made me pregnant.

Joseph:                      I don’t believe this… I man enters your room, ravages you, and tells you he’s God. And it’s not just a part, it’s a penis.

Mary:                         He didn’t touch me! He was an angel!

Joseph:                      Now you’re dropping him compliments?

Jerry:                         I hate to say it Mary, but Joseph seems to be on to something.

Mary:                         Well, then you’re both wrong. He didn’t touch me. He was an angel. An actual, literal, angel from Heaven. It was God that made me pregnant, and it wasn’t with a… a… *Mary sets of the horn again*. I swear.

Joseph:                      Do you have to keep doing that?

Jerry:                         This is the show you chose, Joseph. If you wanted swearing, you needed the other Jerry. Or Jeremy. Or Steve. But you came to me, and we’ll do things our own way. Now, Mary… this man…

Mary:                         The angel.

Jerry:                         The angel, yes. Did he have a name?

Mary:                         You know… I can’t remember. He said something, but it just isn’t coming to mind at the moment. I can’t even remember his face.

Joseph:                      You see why I think she’s been lying?

Mary:                         Well, I haven’t been. The angel said we had to have a baby, so as soon as I gave in the notice to the landlord-

Joseph:                      You were evicted!

Mary:                         Technicality! Anyway, I went straight to you. I had to see you. I had to get back with you. And we did. We did get back together Joseph. And it worked. We worked. We were so good.

Joseph:                      And then you were pregnant, and you couldn’t give me a straight explanation about why.

Jerry:                         You don’t think she might be telling the truth?

Joseph:                      You really think angels are real?

Mary:                         Weirder things have happened to us, Joseph! Remember that blind man who could see when he touched me bump?

Jerry:                         Sorry, what? I think we’re going a little bit off topic. [Mary and Joseph stare back at him uncertainly.] I know! [Jerry jumps from his seat in excitement.] We’ll bring on the three specialists to help figure out exactly what’s going on, to help you two solve your problems!

Mary:                         Specialists?

Jerry:                         Bring on the specialists!

[Three people in semi-formal clothing walk on-stage, again to APPLAUD signs from the stagehands. They stand near the seating area as chairs are carried in by the now-sign-less stagehands.]

Jerry:                         Brilliant. [Quietly to Joseph] I love this part of the show.

Joseph:                      Um…

Jerry:                         So, our three specialists. Tell us, how are you going to help this… eh… lovely couple and their marriage?

Specialist 1:             It’s simple, Jerry: we’ve got some tests to do! I’ll be arranging the DNA test to confirm whether or not Joseph is the father, so we can rule that part out.

Joseph:                      But I’m NOT the father!

Specialist 2:             Meanwhile, I’ll be taking Mary in for a lie-detector test, to make sure she’s telling the truth about this whole affair of hers with the angel.

Mary:                         It wasn’t an affair!

Specialist 2:             Tell that to child services if you lose this.

Joseph:                      Child services? What are you talking about?

Jerry:                         Joseph, hush. We’ve warned you before. People are talking.

Specialist 3:             And, just to make sure Mary’s suitable to raise your baby-

Mary:                         Jesus. His name his Jesus. Jesus Immanuel Christ. [To Joseph] I’ll kill you calling him “the baby” all this time. You have other people doing it too!

Jerry:                         Mary, do you mind?

Specialist 3:             As I was saying. We want to make sure Mary’s not… insane. So, we’ll be performing some rigorous psychiatric testing. You fail, you lose the baby!

Mary and Joseph:    What?!

Jerry:                         Well, we’ll have to tell social services. You know, with this referendum passed, they’ll be able to put your child up for adoption.

Mary:                         [To Joseph] You did this. You selfish… *she sets of the horn repeatedly*

Joseph:                      Yes dear… whatever you toot, dear…

Mary:                         I swear, if we lose Jesus because of you…

Joseph:                      But you’re the one who saw an angel behind my back!

Mary:                         You were in Africa, and we didn’t do anything. You’re lucky that child doesn’t cry, or he’d been weeping for a week with your behaviour.

Joseph:                      You didn’t cry when you gave birth to him, either!

Mary:                         That’s because he’s the son of God. I was hardly going to need an epidural now, was I? He’s a good baby, and he loves his mammy.

Joseph:                      But clearly not me!

Mary:                         He fixed your bad back, didn’t he?

Joseph:                      Only after you made me carry you up the stairs in that run down B&B on the way to my parents! [To Jerry] Nine months pregnant and she makes me carry her up the stairs.

Mary:                         My water broke and we were in the middle of nowhere with no phones or money. We were lucky they let us take the room.

Jerry:                         Okay, okay, okay! Calm down you two or I’ll have you taken off the stage by force. Now, these tests are painless. And I promise, it won’t hurt too badly to lose a child that wasn’t yours in the first place.

Joseph:                      Did anyone ever tell you that you’re great with people?

Mary:                         Joseph, be nice. And don’t wear a shirt next time.

Joseph:                      Well, you could have dressed up better. I swear, you dressed better when you were pregnant.

Jerry:                         Okay, can we stop them talking? I’m getting sick of hearing other people.

[Mary and Joseph stop and stare at him in confusion. He arranges the three specialists to stand in front of the couple.]

Specialist 1:             This is much better, actually.

Specialist 2:             They sure do bicker a lot for a weenie and a mad woman.

Specialist 3:             Well, we don’t know if she’s crazy yet.

Specialist 1:             But he is a weenie.

Joseph:                      We’re right here!

Jerry:                         Okay, moving on quickly! Next week, we’ll have Mary and Joseph back on the show with the results of our tests. In the meantime, we’ve got a man who claims God is a talking plant. More on that after these commercials.

[The stagehands cross the stage again with the APPLAUD signs as the lights go down.] END PART ONE