The Cheap-Laughs

(Mix through to a modern sitting room. Mrs Robinson is eating alone at the table looking at the clock.)

Mr Robinson: Sorry about that, darling... (he sits)

(She serves him some vegetables. He unfolds his napkin.)

Mrs Robinson: Gravy?

Mr Robinson: Yes please, dear.

(They sit and eat in silence. Suddenly the doorbell rings.)

Mrs Robinson: Oh dear, that'll be the Cheap-Laughs from next door.

(Various different doorbell sounds and chimes. Mr Robinson goes to the front door, and opens it. Standing outside are Mr and Mrs Cheap-Laugh. He is wearing a big floppy comedian's suit and a big bow tie and fright wig. She is a Mrs Equator sort of lady, with an enormous hairstyle, and dressed in very bad taste.)

Mr Robinson: Come in.

Mr Cheap-Laugh: No! Just breathing heavily!

(He and his wife roar with laughter. As he comes in he slips and falls on the mat. His wife puts a custard pie in his face. More roars of laughter.)

Mrs Cheap-Laugh: Oh we just dropped in.

Mr Robinson: Would you like to come through...

(We mix through to the exterior of a house at night. Shrieks of laughter, crushes of crockery. The two men with the donkey run past in road, the third man behind pointing to the sign.)


(The light comes on in hall. Cut to them in the hall at the front door.)

Mr Cheap-Laugh: Well goodnight and give us a kiss. (kisses Mrs Robinson)

Mrs Cheap-Laugh: Oh thank you very much for a very nice evening.

Mr Cheap-Laugh: After you, dear.

(He trips her up and she falls out into the darkness. We hear her shriek with laughter. Mr Cheap-Laugh drops his trousers, makes lavatory chain pulling sign and noise and hurls himself out after wife and disappears into the darkness. More laughter. The host shuts the door. They heave a sigh of relief and go back into the sitting room. The crockery on the table is all smashed in a heap on the floor with the table cloth. The standard lamp is broken in half. There are large splodges of food and wine splashes on the walls. Some glasses and a moustache are drawn on the Tretchikoff picture of the Chinese girl. Mrs Robinson flops down on the sofa. There is a farting cushion. She removes it, irritated.)

Mrs Robinson: Oh honestly dear, why do we always have to buy everything just because the Cheap-Laughs have one?

(He goes over to the wall cupboard for drinks. A bucket of whitewash is balanced on the half-open door. He opens the cupboard and the bucket of whitewash Jails on him. Cut briefly to a Mr Badger.)

Badger: This is not an interruption at all.

(Cut back to Mr Robinson. He pours himself a drink, without reacting to the whitewash.)

Mr Robinson: It's just neighbourliness dear, that's all...

Mrs Robinson: I think we should try and lead our own lives from now on.

(She opens a sewing box and a boxing glove on a spring comes out and hits her on the chin.)

Mr Robinson: Can't you be serious for one moment?

(He sits on the pouffe. The sixteen-ton weight falls on him. Cut to the exterior of the house. The lights go off downstairs and upstairs. The two men run past carrying a pantomime goose.)


(Cut to a darkened bedroom. Mr and Mrs Robinson are in a double bed, talking.)

Mr Robinson: I'm sorry I was cross earlier.

Mrs Robinson: Oh that's all right, dear. It's just that I get so sick of always having to be like the Cheap-Laughs.

Mr Robinson: Well yes, from now on we'll be like ourselves.

Mrs Robinson: Oh Roger...

Mr Robinson: Oh Beatrice.

(The bed springs up and folds into the back wall of the bedroom. On the underneath of the bed is a presenter on a chair.)

Continue to the next sketch... Bull-Fighting / The British 'Well Basically' Club