For his upcoming book, author Joseph Donovan has transcribed the final performance by the United States’ premiere improvisational troupe, The Foundlings. The performance, presented on August 5, 2012, starred Alexander Klasen and Delores Jeroue, the beloved “King and Queen of Improv.” This transcription will be published in Donovan’s history, Off the Cuff Genius: How The Foundlings Reinvented Comedy (Zenith Publishing, 2013).
All props referenced in the script are imaginary. As was the tradition of the troupe, this improvisation began with three words that had to be used in the performance. The words for this final performance were COLOGNE, GRASS, and DOUGHNUT.
(Curtain opens. A MAN and a WOMAN enter the stage.)
MAN: Do you like my cologne?
WOMAN: (sniffs) Yes, and I think it’s wonderful. It makes me think of flowers on this very sunny day.
MAN: Yes, and flowers are what I have for you right here. (He places his hand behind his back and pulls out a spray of flowers.)
WOMAN: Why, thank you. I love them. Yes, and I plan to put them in this… horse. (She puts flowers in horse.)
MAN: Yes, that is a fine horse. What is his name?
WOMAN: It’s not a he, it’s a she.
MAN: (sotto voce) You can’t contradict me, Delores, you know that. (He smiles awkwardly at the audience.)
WOMAN: Yes, I can and her name is Frank.
MAN: That’s not a female name.
WOMAN: A-ha! Now who’s doing the contradicting, Alex? I suppose now you’ll ask me to go sit on that grass over there. You are so predictable. (MAN and WOMAN walk stage left.)
MAN: No… I mean yes, and you should bring your stupid, ugly male horse.
WOMAN: Yes, and now he’s taking a dump on your shoe.
MAN: No, he… I mean, yes, I see that. (He shakes foot and sits down). Well, that is OK because now you want to clean off the manure with your bare hands.
WOMAN: No, I… I mean, yes I do, but I suddenly have a kicking fit and kick you in the ribs. (She kicks him in the ribs.)
MAN: Jesus! What are you doing?
WOMAN: I’m trying to crack your ribs for making out with my sister behind my back, you stupid drunk.
MAN: Look, we can deal with that later, just, let’s finish this first. Yes, and look! A lightning bolt is hitting you in the head.
WOMAN: I don’t feel anything. (She stands with hands on hips.)
MAN: What do you mean? You have to because you have to say “yes, and” to keep the story going. We’ve been doing this, for like, 30 years.
WOMAN: Really? I don’t think I have to say anything, you arrogant piece of garbage. Besides, I already said it was a “very sunny day.” What’s up with the lightning, you twisted freak?
MAN: (standing) Yes, and since I’m such a twisted freak, I’ll push your shoulders violently. (He pushes her shoulders violently.)
WOMAN: (after nearly falling) Oh, does that make you feel like a man, Alex? I don’t know what Laurie sees in you, you washed up ham.
MAN: I’m sorry… I didn’t mean to do that. Will you forgive me?
MAN: Don’t you mean, “Yes, and…”
WOMAN: Fine. Yes, and it’s too bad about your condition.
MAN: What condition?
WOMAN: That you are dying rapidly of a rare and painful disease that starts in the groin and also ends in the groin. (She kicks him in the groin.)
MAN: (doubling over in pain) Ahh! Why’d you do that? (coughing) I can’t breathe…
WOMAN: Yes, and it will keep hurting for eternity.
MAN: No, it won’t.
WOMAN: What’d you say? (She kicks him toe-first in the shin.)
MAN: (falling to his knees) Doughnut…