So This Guy Walks Into a Bar

By Angela Gant

Character List

GUY ONE- male

GUY TWO- male or female

STRAIGHT MAN- male

BARTENDER- male or female

PIANO MAN-male

GUY IN BEAR SUIT- male

GUY WITH PIG UNDER HIS ARM- male (could double as GUY IN BEAR SUIT)

STRING- high pitched offstage voice

Cast Size

6-8

Setting

A bar.

Time

Present.

Playwright’s Note: Race and age of characters are unimportant. Costumes could be traditional, or they could be t-shirts with the characters names on the back.

(On stage is a simple bar with a couple of down lights. The BARTENDER is cleaning glasses beside him is a said looking Christmas tree. The PIANO MAN is at the far end of the bar sobbing; there is a small box beside him. Laughter is heard throughout the scene in the background. All the characters mentioned in the bar, except for PIANO MAN, STRAIGHT MAN, BARTENDER, GUY IN BEAR SUIT and GUY WITH PIG UNDER HIS ARM are invisible. GUY ONE and GUY TWO enter and walk across the stage laughing.)

GUY ONE
So then Santa said, “So then it rained deer.”

GUY TWO
That’s a good one. “So then it rained deer.”

GUY ONE
(LAUGHING) No… no… no. I got another one, right.

GUY TWO
(LAUGHING) You’re killing me man.

GUY ONE
Okay, okay. Now check this out. So this guy walks into a bar right? And he says…

(GUY ONE and GUY TWO exit, as STRAIGHT MAN walks into the bar.)

GUY ONE and STRAIGHT MAN
Hey bartender give me a drink.

(BARTENDER serves him a drink.)

BARTENDER
Here.

STRAIGHT MAN
Don’t you want to know what kind of drink I want?

BARTNEDER
It never really matters does it?
(STRAIGHT MAN eyes the drink and takes a sip.)
So?

STRAIGHT MAN
So what?

BARTENDER
I gave you the drink… so… what now?

STRAIGHT MAN
I guess it’s not a Christmas present. You want me to pay you.

BARTENDER
If that’s part of it.

STRAIGHT MAN
Part of what?

BARTENDER
(STILTED) Please pay me, sir.

STRAIGHT MAN
How much is it?

BARTENDER
(TO HIMSELF) This doesn’t sound like it’s going anywhere to me.

(PIANO MAN gives a particularly loud sob.)

STRAIGHT MAN
What’s wrong with him?

BARTENDER
You have to ask him.

STRAIGHT MAN
You don’t know.

BARTENDER
Of course I know, I’m the bartender, but you have to ask him.

STRAIGHT MAN
Why?

BARTENDER
Because.

STRAIGHT MAN
Because why?

BARTENDER
(FRUSTRATED) Because that’s the rules. You have to ask him because that’s the way the joke works.

STRAIGHT MAN
What joke?

BARTENDER
The joke, the joke, you know the joke.

STRAIGHT MAN
I don’t get it.

BARTENDER
(CONFUSED BY STRAIGHT MAN) I don’t get it either. Why are you here?

STRAIGHT MAN
For a beer. Say, is that a bear in your bar?

PIANO MAN
Think of him as your typical Christmas bear.

BARTENDER
Yeah, he’ll be up here in a minute. Now why are you here, exactly?

STRAIGHT MAN
I told you for a beer.

BARTENDER
A beer and what?

STRAIGHT MAN
Just a beer, man. I mean, what kind of bar is this?

BARTENDER
Okay, let’s try this.

STRAIGHT MAN
I’m listening.

BARTENDER
Why are you having a beer?

STRAIGHT MAN
Because I want one.

BARTENDER
Wife leave you?

STRAIGHT MAN
No.

BARTENDER
Going to leave you.

STRAIGHT MAN
No.

BARTENDER
Screwing around on you with your doctor?

STRAIGHT MAN
No.

BARTENDER
Dentist.

STRAIGHT MAN
No.

BARTENDER
Pool guy?

STRAIGHT MAN
No, I’m not married.

BARTENDER
Not married. You’re making this really hard on yourself, you know that? Okay. Do you see any chicks in her you want to ask me about? Somebody you want me to set you up with?

STARIGHT MAN
Not really.

BARTENDER
You really are thick aren’t you? You’re never going to get out of her at this rate.

STRAIGHT MAN
I just got here.

BARTENDER
I’m just trying to help you out man.

STRAIGHT MAN
You want to help me out, what don’t you let me drink my beer in peace.

(GUY IN BEAR SUIT enters and walks up to the bar.)

GUY IN BEAR SUIT
This bear wants a beer.

BARTENDER
I don’t serve bears here.

GUY IN BEAR SUIT
This bear wants a beer.

BARTENDER
I don’t you we don’t serve bears here.

GUY IN BEAR SUIT
If bear no gets beer, then I eat someone. (EXITS)

STRAIGHT MAN
Oh my god a talking bear.

PIANO MAN
All Christmas bear’s talk.

BARTENDER
It’s oh my god a talking dog, and you can’t go to the punchline just like that.

STRAIGHT MAN
But it wasn’t a dog, it was a bear.

(Donkey laughter from off stage.)

BARTNDER
Knock if off, everyone gets it.

STRAIGHT MAN
What’s back there?

BARTNEDER
A donkey, my donkey to be exact. See I asked if anyone could make my donkey laugh.

(Roar off stage and a man screams.)

STRAIGHT MAN
I think that bear just mauled some guy.

BARTENDER
It’s okay, that’s the way the joke works.

STRAIGHT MAN
Shouldn’t you call the police or something?

BARTENDER
Not part of the joke.

STRAIGHT MAN
I think you should at least call an ambulance. I mean he could be dead for all we know.

BARTENDER
Could be.

STRAIGHT MAN
I don’t see how you can be so cavalier about this. Shouldn’t someone do something? Doesn’t anybody care that a man could be dying over there?

BARTENDER
Not really. What, you want to take on the bear? Is that what you want? Then go for it, but you’re on your own. That’s what I thought.

(Loud sob from PIANO MAN.)

STRAIGHT MAN
What’s wrong with that guy?

BARTENDER
He wants you to ask him, so he can get out of here.

STRAIGHT MAN
That doesn’t make sense.

BARTENDER
Ask him.

STRAIGHT MAN
No.

BARTENDER
Ask him.

STRAIGHT MAN
No.

BARTENDER
Ask him.

STRAIGHT MAN
I’m never going to ask him, so why don’t you just tell me? Why is he crying?

BARTENDER
All right, all right. (LOWERING HIS VOICE) See that box beside him on the bar?

STRAIGHT MAN
What box?

BARTENDER
That box.

STRAIGHT MAN
That box. What about it?

BARTENDER
It contains a twelve-inch pianist.

STRAIGHT MAN
(PAUSE) I don’t get it.

PIANO MAN
(EXPLODING) You said you wouldn’t tell. You promised. You lied to me. How the hell am I supposed to get out of her if you tell everyone my punchline? I have to do it. You know that, and you don’t even care.

GUY IN BEAR SUIT
(ENTERING) This bear wants a beer.

BARTENDER
I told you we don’t serve bears here.

GUY IN BEAR SUIT
This bear wants a beer.

BARTENDER
I said we don’t sever bears here.

GUY IN BEAR SUIT
If bear no gets beer, then I eat someone.

(The GUY IN BEAR SUIT exits and a man’s scream in heard off stage.)

BARTENDER
It’s the three times rule.

STRAIGHT MAN
What?

BARTENDER
You know the three times rule. That’s what makes it funny. Only odd numbers are funny—that’s the rule. Three is the easiest, some push it and go to five, but really three is the safest bet. Twos and fours are never funny—falls flat every time. Gotta stick with three.

STRAIGHT MAN
There’s something really wrong with you, you know that? And I’m talking on a lot of levels here.

GUY IN BEAR SUIT
(ENTERS) This bear wants a beer.

BARTENDER
For the third time (INDICATES TO STRAIGHT MAN) we don’t serve bears here.

GUY IN BEAR SUIT
If bear gets no beer, then I eat someone. (EXITS)

STRING
(HIGH PITCHED VOICE OFF STAGE) Hey bartender, give me a beer.

BARTENDER
We don’t serve strings either.

PIANO MAN
You just wait ‘til your joke comes up, then we’ll see what happens.

BARTENDER
Are you threatening me? Are you threatening me? Because I will bring that donkey out here. Is that what you want? Laughing, always laughing. Oh it gets real irritating real fast.

(Woman screams off stage.)

STRAIGHT MAN
He ate a girl this time.

PIANO MAN
Want to call an ambulance?

BARTENDER
Look, you know your joke is going to get done, and you’re going to get out of here. There was no way he was ever going to ask you why you were crying. He’s not that type of guy.

STRAIGHT MAN
It’s true man. I woulda let you cry forever before I asked.

BARTENDER
See.

PIANO MAN
Whatever.

GUY IN BEAR SUIT
(ENTERS) This bear wants a beer.

BARTENDER
We don’t serve drug addicts here.

GUY IN BEAR SUIT
I’m not a drug addict, I’m a bear.

BARTENDER
That’s a bar bitch you ate. (PRONOUNCED BARBITURATE)

(Lights brighten. Angelic music is heard with loud canned laughter. The GUY IN BEAR SUIT exits into the bright light. Lights return to normal.)

BARTENDER
Lucky bastard.

PIANO MAN
I don’t think you need to be the bartender anymore.

BARTENDER
That’s not really for you to decide not is it?

PIANO MAN
I’m just saying.

BARTNEDER
You’re just saying what? Huh? What? Did you see the bear guy walk out of here? How do you think that happened, huh? Me. I’m the great joke facilitator. I get everybody else out of here, while I sit here and rot.

PIANO MAN
Yeah, you’re doing a great job, thanks.

BARTENDER
You think you can do better? Doesn’t matter, because I’m not moving. My joke started with me as the bartender, and I’m going to see it through, come hell or high water.

STRING
(HIGH PITCHED VOICE OFF STAGE) Hey bartender, give me a beer.

BARTENDER
I told you we don’t serve strings here.

STRING
I’m not a string; I’m a frayed knot.

(Lights brighten as before, but immediately fade. Groans are heard.)

BARTENDER
Sorry, you know the rules. Go to the back and wait.

PIANO MAN
So?

BARTENDER
(To PIANO MAN) Don’t even pretend that was my fault. He went with an even number a two, a two, you can’t do that. I don’t care how much of a hurry you’re in, you can’t go with two.

STRAIGHT MAN
Is that a rope?

BARTENDER
Sort of, I guess.

STRAIGHT MAN
What are all those things back there?

BARTENDER
The jokes that didn’t work, or the jokes that didn’t get finished. See that guy with a duck. You know, “A duck for a fuck. A fuck for a duck, and twenty-five bucks for a fucked up duck.” Somebody fucked up the punchline so he’ll be here for a while. No one really tells that one anymore. Tough break. That’s Superman over there in the back corner, he’s been checking out that nun with the golf club for a while.

STRAIGHT MAN
I’ve had enough of this. I’m getting out of here.

BARTENDER
You can’t.

STRAIGHT MAN
Yeah, try and stop me. (WALKS ALL OVER STAGE LOOKING FOR EXIT, AND EXCUSING HIMSELF PAST IMAGINARY PEOPLE.)

PIANO MAN
Believe me it’s not gonna work, not gonna work, not gonna work, work, work.

BARTENDER
It’s not up to me man.

STRAIGHT MAN
What gives, I want out of here.

BARTENDER
I don’t even know what your joke is.

STRAIGHT MAN
What joke?

BARTENDER
Well you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t have a joke. (LOUD CRASH) Dammit Superman, I hate it when you’re drunk.

STRAIGHT MAN
What’s the joke? What joke?

BARTENDER
You ever told a joke before?

STRAIGHT MAN
Sure a million.

BARTENDER
Tell me one right now.

STRAIGHT MAN
All right, so this priest and nun were playing golf…ummm, okay, okay, no, no, all right… so this farmer has this daughter right, and an automatic milking machine, and… uhhhh….ummm…okay, so this guy walks into a bar and he says,

STRAIGHT MAN, PIANO MAN, and BARTENDER
“Hey bartender give me a drink.”

STRAIGHT MAN
Right…I just…I can’t…I can’t remember any right now.

BARTENDER
That’s cause you’re in one.

STRAIGHT MAN
That doesn’t make any sense.

BARTENDER
Sorry, that’s just the way it works. You said you knew a million jokes, and nothing… so there you are.

STRAIGHT MAN
You just put too much pressure on me. I can’t respond under pressure like that.

PIANO MAN
I bet you say that to all the girls.

BARTENDER
Nice try, but stick to your own joke. That’s cheap and you know it never works.

STRAIGHT MAN
What doesn’t work?

BARTENDER
You can’t leave ‘til you get a laugh. That’s the rules.

STRAIGHT MAN
Any laugh?

BARTENDER
Any laugh, that’s the rules.

STRAIGHT MAN
Whose rules? Why are you here?

BARTENDER
I never really considered the time factor on jokes. You know when you’re telling a joke and… take my joke for example. I offer anyone in my bar a thousand dollars if they can make my donkey laugh. Guy goes up to the donkey and tells him something. Donkey won’t quit laughing. (LOUD LAUGHTER) Hear that? Fucking donkey’s been laughing for three months straight, drives me nuts. Now I’ve got to wait for the same guy to come back in the bar, so I can say, I’ll give anybody a thousand dollars to make my donkey stop laughing.” Trouble is the time frame. So is it six months later, two years later, it’s however long the guy telling the joke says it is ‘til the guy comes back. It sucks. The joke bar needs a bartender, so I’m him until the jokes over.

STRAIGHT MAN
So how does your joke end?

BARTENDER
The guy comes back into the bar and takes the donkey off to the side, and then it starts crying. I ask him what he did. He says, “The first time I told him I had a bigger dick—the second time I showed him.”

STRAIGHT MAN
I don’t think its all that funny.

PIANO MAN
Because its not funny.

BARTENDER
Well you don’t have to think its funny. I don’t even think its funny, but I get one good laugh and I’m out of here. Bon voyage to every lesbian dinosaur, talking dog, and genie joke. I swear to god I’ll never tell another joke again.

STRAIGHT MAN
So all I have to do to get out of here is to get a laugh somehow?

BARTENDER
Yep.

GUY WITH PIG UNDER HIS ARM
(WALKS INTO THE BAR.) Hey bartender give me a beer.

STRAIGHT MAN
Man that’s one ugly swine.

GUY WITH PIG UNDER HIS ARM
Don’t talk about my pig that way.

STRAIGHT MAN
What are you talking about? I was talking to the pig.

(Lights brighten. Angelic music is heard with loud canned laughter. The STRAIGHT MAN starts to exit into the bright light.)

BARTENDER
What the hell? Nobody gets out on the pig joke. The pig joke isn’t even funny.

GUY TWO
(ENTERING WITH GUY ONE HALF LAUGHING) I don’t really think that’s all that funny.

(Lights begin to dim on STRAIGHT MAN before he can exit. Dejected he returns to the bar.)

GUY ONE
But he says, “I was talking to the pig.”

GUY TWO
I get it, it’s just not that funny.

GUY ONE
I always kinda liked that one. Let’s just go in here for a quick drink. I got one. I got one, right. (ENTERING THE BAR AREA.) So these two guys walk into a bar and the bartender says…

PIANO MAN, STRAIGHT MAN, BARTENDER
What are you two drinking?

GUY TWO
Give us a couple of beers. Weird. (TO GUY ONE) What’s wrong?

GUY ONE
What was I just saying? I have the weirdest feeling.

GUY TWO
You’ve been on a roll all night.

BARTENDER
(Giving them two beers.)
Here.

GUY TWO
(TO BARTENDER) Aren’t you going to ask us what kind of beer we want?

BARTENDER
It never really matters, does it?

(Lights fade.)