BACK

FALSE    5'2m0f Herod encounters the messiah... or does he?

HEROD -- (Enters L regally, sits on thrown DC, shouts) Send in 
the prisoner.

FRED --- (enters R, running, stumbling, as if thrown into the 
room, shouts toward R) Watch it, buddy. I'm the messiah, you 
know. I could call down fire and brimstone on you.

HEROD -- Down on your knees before me, you knave.

FRED --- Who do you think you are, buddy?

HEROD -- I am Herod, King of Judea.

FRED --- (kneels) Hey, listen, I'm sorry, I ah...

HEROD -- Do you know why you were arrested?

FRED --- Oh. Say, listen, I can explain. The accusations against 
me are completely false. Those people GAVE me the money. Can I 
help it if they wanted to give me money?

HEROD -- I'm not talking about that. Are you, or are you not 
claiming to be the messiah?

FRED --- Ah, do you know the messiah?

HEROD -- No.

FRED --- Oh, then, I'm the messiah, for sure.

HEROD -- Uh huh.

FRED --- Yeah, I'm the messiah, alright. I tell ya, when people 
find out that you're the messiah, they just throw money at you.

HEROD -- Uh huh.

FRED --- So, can I go now? (stands)

HEROD -- How do I know that you're the messiah?

FRED --- Are you sure you don't know the messiah?

HEROD -- I've never met him. So, how do I know that you are who 
you claim to be?

FRED --- You know John? The baptist guy? 

HEROD -- Yes, I know John the baptist. He's supposed to be 
related to messiah.

FRED --- He is? Oh, yeah, he's my uncle.

HEROD -- Cousin.

FRED --- Cousin. I meant cousin. My cousin told everybody I was 
coming.

HEROD -- But how do I know that you are the one he was talking 
about?

FRED --- Well, look at my sandals. (points)

HEROD -- Your sandals.

FRED --- Yeah. John, the baptist guy, my cousin, said that he 
was not worthy to untie my sandals. Do my sandals look untied?

HEROD -- You can do better than that.

FRED --- Listen, why don't I just give the money back.

HEROD -- Or I could have your head removed like I did to John.

FRED --- You did that?

HEROD -- The messiah has the gift of prophecy. He would know 
that I had John beheaded.

FRED --- I knew that. I was just testing you. As soon as you had 
his head cut off, I knew it. Can I go now?

HEROD -- No. You still haven't proven to me that you are the 
messiah.

FRED --- I did miracles.

HEROD -- Uh huh.

FRED --- No, really, I did lots of miracles. I walked on water.

HEROD -- Where?

FRED --- Where? It was on the Dead Sea.

HEROD -- The Sea of Galilee.

FRED --- Did I say the Dead Sea? I meant the Sea of Galilee. 
Piece of cake, walking on water. I also healed people.

HEROD -- Name one.

FRED --- Oh, I don't know. There were do many. Did you hear 
that I made a blind man see?

HEROD -- Yes. What was his name?

FRED --- I also made a deaf man hear.

HEROD -- The one in Galilee?

FRED --- Oh. You heard about that one?

HEROD -- Yes. 

FRED --- Then let me tell you about another one...

HEROD -- No, I want to hear about how you made the deaf man 
hear.

FRED --- I shouted in his ear.

HEROD -- My sources tell me that the messiah put his fingers in 
the deaf man's ears.

FRED --- You're kidding. With all that ear wax? (clears throat) 
Ah, yeah, I did that one too. But there was another one. This 
one I had to shout at. He was deaf you know. 

HEROD -- There was no other one in Galilee.

FRED --- You're right. Turns this one wasn't deaf at all. Turns 
out he just wasn't listening. As soon as I yelled at him, he 
started listening.

HEROD -- You also turned water into wine.

FRED --- Oh, yeah, I'll never forget that. That was over in.... 
over in... help me out here...

HEROD -- No.

FRED --- Bethsaida.

HEROD -- Wrong.

FRED --- Jericho.

HEROD -- Cana.

FRED --- Cana. At a bar and grill in Cana.

HEROD -- It was at a wedding.

FRED --- The wedding was at a bar and grill.

HEROD -- You're not the messiah.

FRED --- Oh, yes, I am!

HEROD -- Did you ever raise a dead person to life?

FRED --- Are you kidding? Nobody can do that!... Except the 
messiah and that would be me. Resurrection is my forte.

HEROD -- Where?

FRED --- Where?

HEROD -- Where? 

FRED --- Let's see it was a long way away from here.

HEROD -- It's only two miles away.

FRED --- Like I said, it was real close. Let's see. What does it 
begin with? Stop me when I get close. A... B... C... D...

HEROD -- It was in Bethany.

FRED --- Oh, yeah, Bethany. It was so long ago.

HEROD -- It was last week.

FRED --- Time flies when you're having fun. Yeah, I'll never 
forget when what's-her-name...

HEROD -- HIS name was Lazarus.

FRED --- Oh, well, who can remember them all?

HEROD -- He was one of your best friends.

FRED --- Oh, THAT Lazarus! Yeah, I'll never forget him. You 
should have seen me. I stood next to his grave and....

HEROD -- It was a tomb.

FRED --- Like I said, I stood outside his tomb and shouted, 
"Lazarus, come out."

HEROD -- That's exactly what he said!

FRED --- It was?! I mean, what did you expect? I told you I'm 
the messiah.

HEROD -- Then you can prophecy what happens in the future.

FRED --- Oh, sure. (pause) 

HEROD -- Well? What happens this week?

FRED --- Ah, I know what happens, but you just tell me what you 
think happens.

HEROD -- The messiah has to pay for the sins of his people...

FRED --- Oh, that! Sure, how much? I happen to have a lot of 
cash on me at the moment.

HEROD -- ...with his life.

FRED --- Excuse me?

HEROD -- The messiah has to die for his people. 

FRED --- He does? I mean, I do? How did you know that?

HEROD -- It was in your Bible.

FRED --- My Bible.

HEROD -- The book of Daniel. 

FRED --- Well, what did Daniel know?

HEROD -- Also the books of Ezekiel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and the 
Psalms of David.

FRED --- No kidding. I mean.... Well, see, we changed all that. 
I have the revised prophecy (taps pockets) right here somewhere. 
No, by George, left the revised prophecy in my other pants. I 
hate when that happens.

HEROD -- The messiah will be flogged until his back looks like a 
piece of raw meat. (pantomime, Fred reacts to each lash) Then a 
crown of thorns is pressed into his scalp. (demonstrates, Fred 
cringes) Then he is nailed (pantamimes, Fred sinks to the floor 
slowly with each blow) to a cross by his hands and feet so 
that he might die a slow agonizing death. 

FRED --- (pauses, jumps to his feet) April fool! I'm not the 
messiah. (laughs nervously)

HEROD -- (exits R) Guards, take him away.

FRED --- See, this was all just a big eloborate joke. I'm sure 
you've heard of MESSIAHgrams. Ha ha ha ha. (Discovers that Herod 
is gone, follows, shouting) MESSIAHgrams are all the rage now, 
King Herod? King Herod?


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