by Jason Merrell and True Michael Memmott
Here is the Christmas Puppet play my nephew, True, and I wrote and performed together, along with my sister, Deni, and nephew, Merrell.
"I want to write a play where all the animals have some sort of miscommunication but at the end they all come together and have a party and dance." This was True's concept.
"Okay," I said. "So let's follow that through. What puppets do we have and who is playing them?"
"I'm going to be the elephant. Merrell wants to be the Gorilla. The other puppets still open are the frog and the penguin."
"Okay, I'll be frog and penguin." I picked up the frog and put him on my left hand and picked up the penguin and put him on my right. I noticed immediately that frog had a long, dangly tongue and a fly permanently attached to the end of it. "Frog must have trouble speaking clearly with a fly on his tongue."
"Hello." I started spitting with my tongue permanently out. "Thith is fwag. I'm twying to tew you sohthig but thews a fwy on my wip."
"How about this. Penguin is throwing a Christmas party and he's very stressed about it."
"Hello everyone, I'm penguin and I'm throwing a Christmas party and I'm stressed." Penguin has a deep, raspy voice but he likes to giggle too.
"Hewwo. I'm fwag and I'm penguin's good friend and I wiww hewp him thwow the pawty."
Thus began Penguin's Christmas Party or As You Lick it...
INT. PENGUIN'S HOUSE - DAY PENGUIN and FROG stand together in Penguin's living room. PENGUIN Hello everyone. I'm Penguin. I'm throwing a Christmas party and inviting all my friends and I'm so stressed! I need to get everything just right and there's so much to do. FROG Hewwo Penguin. PENGUIN Hello Frog. I'm throwing a Christmas party this year and I'm so very stressed. Will you help me get everything done? FROG Yeth of courth. I'd luthe to helt you lith yow pawty. PENGUIN Good, well, some friends will be coming over to get their party assignments. Elephant will be arriving first. Will you please tell elephant that I'd like it very much if he would trim the tree. Got that? He needs to trip the tree. FROG Yeth. He needs to twim the twee. PENGUIN Um... yes. Please do tell him to trim the tree and bring it to the party. I need to rush and there's so much to do. FROG Okay, I on it. EXIT Penguin. FROG (CONT'D) (to himself) Twim da twee, twimm da twee. Muthst wemembaw twim da twee Enter Elephant ELEPHANT Hello Frog. Where's Penguin? FROG He'th pwepawing da pawty and he'th thow thwethed. He wud wike you thoo twim da twee. ELEPHANT What? FROG He would wike you to twim da twee twim da twee. Now huwwy. Go on now and twim da twee! ELEPHANT Oh, okay then. I'm off. See you soon. (aside as he leaves) He wants me to...hmmm. Oh yes he wants me to flip the flees! Yes. Flip the flees. I do love flipping flees. INT. ELEPHANTS HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER Elephant grabs a large spatula whose flat is painted in circular candy cane stripes. He beings flipping his flees. ELEPHANT Weee! Flip those flees! I do love flipping you, you flees. Are you good and flipped? (puts them into his favorite black, flipped flees box) INT. PENGUIN'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER Penguin is standing in the living room entertaining himself. Penguin enters. PENGUIN Okay, okay. (huffing a bit) Did you tell elephant to trim the tree? FROG Oh yeth. He'th gonna twim da twee and con to da pawty. PENGUIN Oh good. Thank you. That is such a relief. Now, Gorilla is coming by and I'd like you to ask him to ice the cake. Will you do that? Ask him to ice the cake. FROG Okay. I'w teww hin to ithe da kek. PENGUIN Oh good because I need to prepare for this party and I'm so so stressed! Penguin exits and Frog continues humming to himself. Enter Gorilla. GORILLA Hello Frog. FROG Hewwo Gowiwwa. How awe you tothay? GORILLA I'm... swell. Where is Penguin? FROG Oh, he'th pwepawing foh da pawty and he'th tho tho swethed. He would wike you to ithe da kek. GORILLA What? He would wike what? FROG Da kek. Da kek. He would wike you to ithe da kek. Now he'th therry thwethed and he needs you to ithe da kek. Pleeth go ithe da kek. GORILLA Okay, okay. I'm off. See you at the party FROG Duh dye. GORILLA (as he is walking) So he wants me to... what? Ah, price the plank! I do have a fantastic plank. It's painted with zebra stripes and everything and it's even slappy! You can slap it around anything and it will bend. I'll get me that plank and take it to monkey at the bank. He'll know how to price that plank. INT. BANK - MOMENTS LATER Gorilla enters where Monkey waits at the bank. GORILLA Hello Monkey. MONKEY Hello Groilla. How may I help you today? GORILLA Well, Penguin is having a Christmas party and he wants me to price the plank. Will you price this plank for me? MONKEY But of course, Gorilla. Nothing I like better than pricing a good plank and my that is a good plank. (stamps it with a sticky price tag) Happy Christmas, Gorilla. Your plank is now priced. GORILLA Why thank you, Monkey. That'll do fine. INT. PENGUIN'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER Frog is still in the living room humming. Penguin enters again. PENGUIN Oh, this party is going to be grand but I'm so so stressed. Okay, frog, now lion is coming over and I would like you to ask him to mix the punch. Will you please ask Lion to mix the punch? FROG But uth cuthe, Penguin. I would luth to athk hin to lix da dunce. PENGUIN Mmm. Good. That will be wonderful. I'm so so stressed. Penguin exists and Frog continues humming. Enter Lion. LION Hello Frog. FROG Hwwo Lion. How awh you tothay? LION I'm fantastic. Where is penguin? FROG He'th pwepawing foh da pawty and he'th tho thwethed. He would wike you to lix da dunce. LION He would? He would wike me to...? FROG Lix da dunce. Lix da dunce. He'th tho thwethed and he wanth you to lix da dunce. Now go lix da dunce. LION Alrighty then. INT. LION'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER LION Penguin wants me to.... Hmmm. He wants to lick the lunch! Oh, that is a fine idea. I usaully have such a lovely bit of Gazelle but for Christmas this year I have this delicious pink sprinkles doughnut. I would be more than happy to lick that lunch. (pulls out his giant pink doughnut and begins licking it with vigor) INT. PENGUIN'S HOUSE - MOMENTS LATER Frog is still singing in the living room and Penguin enters again. PENGUIN So so so. Oh oh oh. How stressed i have been but now have have everything in hand and all will be just perfect for this, my Christmas party. Frog, thank you so very much for helping me. The guests should be arriving at any moment. Will you help me push this planter into the center for the tree? FROG But uth cowth, Penguin. Enter Elephant. ELEPHANT Hello, Penguin. Hello Frog. I'm so happy to be at your party. PENGUIN Welcome, Elephant. Did you trim the tree? We can put it in this planter. ELEPHANT I brought my favorite black box full of flipped flees. I flipped the flees just like you asked. Oh yes, those flees are good good and flipped. PENGUIN Flip the flees?! What? ELEPHANT Oh yes. And I also brought my favorite spatula just in case you thought those flees might need just one more flip. PENGUIN What? ELEPHANT Oh yes. I flipped those flees good. PENGUIN (panicking and panting) Okay, okay. So let's see what you've got. Oh, Elephant. These aren't flees. These are Christmas lightening bugs. But they do look good and flipped, yes. Bring them here with me and let's see what we can do. Both exit together with the box and flees and Elephant's spatula. Frog continues humming. Enter Monkey and Gorilla. FROG Hewwo Gowiwwa. Hewwo Montee. GORILLA Hello Frog MONKEY Hello Frog. Happy Christmas. Enter Elephant and Penguin. The have decorated the spatula with the sparkly, jewel-like Christmas tree bugs and both plant it in the planter together. PENGUIN Hello Monkey. Hello Gorilla. Welcome to the party. We've been making some adjustments. Look at this lovely flipped flee tree we've constructed. Lots of oohs and aahs. PENGUIN (CONT'D) So, did you ice the cake? GORILLA I price my favorite plank. See, I've priced the plank just as you asked; with monkey's help, of course. MONKEY Oh, yes. That plank is good and priced. It is a lovely plank. PENGUIN Priced the plank?! What? How? What? GORILLA Isn't it lovely. It has zebra sripes and everything. PENGUIN Oh my goodness. Oh.... Well, let's take a look at it. Oh yes it is a lovely plank. Bring it here and let's see what we can do. GORILLA If you slap it, it will bend and fit around everything. It is a very flexible plank. PENGUIN Hmmm. (Penguin takes the plank and slaps it around the bottom of the Flipped Flee planter) Well, would you look at that. What a lovely Christmas Flee skirt that makes, Gorilla. GORILLA Oh yes, it really is a great plank. PENGUIN Indeed. Enter Lion LION Oh, hello Penguin! I'm so happy to be here at this your Christmas party... Hello Elephant. Hello Frog. Hello Monkey and Gorilla. I've brought my lunch and it's good and licked. PENGUIN Welcome Lion. Did you mix the punch? LION I licked the lunch just as you asked. It's a good good lunch and it's good good and licked. PENGUIN Licked the.... What? LION Oh yes, and here it is. It's my favorite pink sprinkles Christmas doughnut lunch and believe you me, it's good and licked. PENGUIN I can see that. Oh oh oh... Okay. Bring here that licked lunch. Well, everyone. How stressed I was about preparing Christmas. And frog. Oh frog. How glad I am that all of you could come to my party. Look how much we've done with what we've got. We have Elephant's Christmas Flee Tree and a zebra striped plank skirt. Everyone oohs and aahs. PENGUIN (CONT'D) And now, with your permission, LIon, I think we should all lick the lunch. And then dance! LION Oh yes, certainly. Let's all lick that lunch. All gather around and lick lick lick that lunch. Then they dance around. The End.
It may sound a little silly but it's loads of fun to perform.
There's room for lots of improv and everyone has fun in the end, too.
Happy New Year, everyone!