The Kid-pitching sketch

Schools have fund-raising dinners.  If the school has some talented parents, one of the parents might get up and entertain.

My son Sam goes to a school in Los Angeles, so all of the parents are talented.  And for their fund-raising dinners, instead of parents getting up and singing or doing a magic act, the parents all get together and make a short self-satirizing movie produced by, edited by, directed by and starring well-known industry professionals.

I’m still getting used to all this, but for the fund-raising dinner the other night the school asked me to write a short sketch to incorporate into their movie.  I suggested a scene where some parents “pitch” their kid to the school as if he were a movie idea (since “pitch sketches” are the only sketches I’m capable of writing).  It turned out pretty good, so I thought I’d share it with a wider audience.


(The Library.  MIKE, (the CHILD) sits on the floor building with blocks.  MOM and DAD talk to THE LIBRARIAN and THE DOCENT while a younger ASSISTANT takes notes on a pad.  The attitudes are that of a pair of enthusiastic young writers pitching a movie idea.)

LIBRARIAN.  So.  What have you got for us?

DAD.  Kid.  Great kid.

MOM.  The best.

LIBRARIAN.  Sounds good.

DOCENT.  We like great kids.

LIBRARIAN.  What kind of kid we talking about?

DAD.  What we’ve got here — (to MOM)  May I?

MOM.  Please.

DAD.  We’re talking about big.  Blockbuster.  Harvard, Yale.  President.

(Hands over the child’s 8 x 10.  The others peruse it.)


ASSISTANT.  Our school is not big on Presidents.

MOM (quick recovery).  Not, not President of the United States, obviously —

DAD.  Oh God, no —

MOM.  We’re thinking President, President of —

DAD.  — of, of MOCA, of —

MOM.  — of a network, y’know, something powerful but still —

DAD.  — but still artistic

LIBRARIAN.  Mmm.  Mmm.

DOCENT.  Powerful but artistic.

DAD.  Like, remember Gordon?  Gordon was a great kid.

MOM.  Great kid.

DAD.  Think of Mike as, like, Gordon meets Kyle.  In the future.



LIBRARIAN.  (to ASSISTANT). What were the numbers on Gordon?

ASSISTANT.  Not good.


DAD.  Well maybe not Gordon.

MOM.  But you can see what we —

LIBRARIAN.  Yes yes yes.  But what we really need to know is –

DAD. — of course, “How does he get along — “

MOM.  ” — with others,” of course.

DAD.  Not a problem.  Mike is, totally, and I’m, this isn’t even an exaggeration, a total four-quadrant kid.  He gets along with males and females, under 25 and over.  Across the board.


DOCENT.  I just had a thought.

DAD.  What’s that.

DOCENT.  I just — and this is just me talking, so just, go ahead and tell me if this is a bad idea, but — what if Mike was a girl?

DAD. (pause)  I don’t hate that.  Dear?

MOM.  No.  I don’t, no, that’s a good twist.  Honey?

DAD.  Yeah, I think that’s good.  In fact I think that’s great.  Do you mind if I ask —

DOCENT.  I dunno, I just, I feel like I’ve seen a boy named Mike, you know?

DAD.  Sure, sure.  No, I think that’s the right choice.

MOM.  Yeah, absolutely.
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14 Responses to “The Kid-pitching sketch”
  1. gazblow says:

    And I thought getting into schools in New York was bad.

  2. ghostgecko says:

    DOCENT. I just — and this is just me talking, so just, go ahead and tell me if this is a bad idea, but — what if Mike was a girl?
    DAD. (pause) I don’t hate that. Dear?
    MOM. No. I don’t, no, that’s a good twist. Honey?
    DAD. Yeah, I think that’s good. In fact I think that’s great. Do you mind if I ask —
    DOCENT. I dunno, I just, I feel like I’ve seen a boy named Mike, you know?

    That’s made of win. I feel bad for Mike, tho.

  3. r_sikoryak says:

    I assume there are a series of these meetings over the course of several years before Mike gets picked up.

    Will the finished film be posted somewhere?

  4. urbaniak says:

    Very funny. More to the point, congratulations on your first successful Livejournal cut!!!

    • Todd says:

      No thanks to you and your confusing html instructions. Ghostgecko is the only one who could explain to me how to do it.

    • Forgive my electroignorance, but what is a Livejournal cut? And why haven’t you told me how to make one?

      • Todd says:

        Urbaniak hates you. He talks about it all the time. Sorry this is the way you had to find out.

        • They always bite the hand that feeds. What, does he think all these auditions are because of Henry Fool?! Not a single casting director was even so much as sneezing the name “Urbaniak” before I turned that dimestore David Hyde Pierce into a cartoon superstar, but now that he’s got “paying gigs” he thinks he can turn his back on me? All I can say, if you’re reading this James, is when we all go on location to shoot the big Hawaii episode? One of us is staying in New York and playing his scenes against a green screen. And it’s not the Monarch. Or Dean. Or Dr. Girlfriend. Or Brock.

          • Todd says:

            Urbaniak has a habit of using people up and throwing them away when he no longer needs them. You know where Hal Hartley saw him first? In my plays, that’s where. It’s a fact. But, like his idol Ronald Reagan, James thinks of facts as “stupid things.” He owes everything he has in the world to me and I don’t even get a Christmas Card from him.

  5. edo_fanatic says:

    Children of the Future cast a vote for confusingly feminine Mike.

  6. robolizard says:

    Hey, as a superhero on film fan I’m wondering how you feel about Disney’s answer to Batman Begins–>

    • Todd says:

      I always loved the show when I was a child and while this movie seems very different, it looks to me like it could be very funny. Plus, the tag line, “One Nation Under Dog” is a real stunner. I wish I’d worked on it.