Opening to a Late Night Show Aired in the Middle Ages

A Large Castle Soundstage

(Massive Applause as King Artie and the Knights of the Round Orchestra Play an up-tempo Big Band rendition of "Greensleeves")

(HOST enters from the set's drawbridge in a dapper suit of leather jerkin. He takes his monologue position.)

HOST: Thank you. Thank you. Welcome to the program. Big news in the alchemy world today. In a stunning breakthrough, Apothecaries have linked our four bodily humors to the signs of the zodiac. Yes, now you'll finally know when on the solar calendar God will smite you with the Black Death.

(Rim-shot. Big laugh.)

MAN FROM THE AUDIENCE: Bring out ya dead!

(HOST finger-gun points at the MAN from the audience, and winks.)

HOST: Spies from France have reported that Louis VI has refused a marriage arrangement with Eleanor of Aquitaine. Apparently, Louis canceled the nuptials, stating that he already had swine on his manor.


HOST: Women are inferior creatures!

(Big laugh, applause)

HOST: Speaking of France. You guys following the 100 Years War? The new English longbow is impressing our generals on the battlefield. Tacticians describe the bow as thick, wooden, a curved spine, and very high strung... oh I'm sorry, I was describing the Duke of Burgundy.


HOST: It's hot out here.

(HOST cups his ear to the audience)


HOST: It's so hot that Joan of Arc thinks she's just tied to a stick!


HOST: So hot, that Henry II's iron grip over Ireland is starting to melt!

(Rim shot)

HOST: So hot, I'm using my religious tapestry as a beach towel! HAY-YO.

(Rim-shot. Big laugh)

HOST: Have you guys heard about these fellas we're fighting in that Crusade out east. You know, the Ottoman Empire. Apparently, they're worshipping a God who can't be depicted in human form. Their messiah's name is Mohammad and the faith rests on five... get this, five pillars. The religion is called ISLAM!

(Huge laugh)

ARTIE: A backward culture condemned by God alright.

HOST: You said it Artie.

ARTIE: But gotta love their spices.

HOST: Gotta love their spices.

(HOST returns to AUDIENCE)

HOST: In a controversial maneuver, Pope Gregory VII issued the Dictatus Papae, proclaiming the supremacy of the papacy over any king or emperor. Henry VIII fired back, saying it's easy for Gregory VII to say -- since there isn't a Mrs. Pope to nag him with her womanly frailties.


HOST: Women are inferior creatures!

(Big laugh)

HOST: Henry VIII, I mean this guy killed five wives. Look out!

(Sound effect of a Guillotine, A Scream, and then a long Slidewhistle. Enormous laugh)

HOST: It's Inquisition season! Spain expelled its entire Jewish population yesterday. Regarding the mass exodus... I... I can't see what it says on the cue-card... oh that's right, I'm illiterate. Why do I even hire scribes for this show?

(Cut to STAGE MANAGER wearing an executioner's hood and a headset radio. He shrugs his shoulders).

HOST: And now ladies and lords... a dwarf!

(A DWARF in a jester's costume runs back and forth on the set as AUDIENCE laughs and throws cabbage. Orchestra plays extremely uptempo "Greensleeves")

HOST: (laughing) You are a person cursed by God and created purely for our amusement.

(Applause as DWARF runs off set)

HOST: We have a great show for you tonight. Saladin is here.


HOST: Cardinal Richelieu is here.

(Huge applause, followed by AUDIENCE chants of "Richelieu, Richelieu")

HOST: So stick around. We'll be right back.

(Applause and throw to commercial as ARTIE and the Orchestra once again play "Greensleeves")