Jon Etter

Writer, Teacher, Resident of the October Country


This script was written for a remix show we did. Instead of the usual random hat drawings of characters and situations, we randomly drew prompts that had been used to create previous sketches and then had to write new sketches based on them. In the original sketch that came from “Motivational Speaker” and “a Time Machine,” the premise was that the motivational speaker had a fake time machine and that the whole skit was just an excuse to get one of the buffer members of the cast to be shirtless onstage. As you can see, I decided to go in a different direction and let Jimmy keep all his clothes on.




Dwight Dalrimple–bad motivational speaker

3 Audience Members

2 Hindus

3 Residents of Judea

3 Huns

1 Buddha

1 Attila the Hun

Combine with ice in martini shaker, shake, and serve in chilled glass with lemon wedge and sugared rim.


(“Audience Members” are sitting out in actual audience.  DWIGHT bounds out on stage, notecards in hand.)

DWIGHT:  All right, everybody!  How you doing tonight?


DWIGHT:  All right!  That’s what I like to hear!  I’m Dwight Dalrimple and I’m here to help you unlock the…keys…to positive…uh…um…oh!–POSITIVITY!  Yeah!


DWIGHT:  Yeah!  So…  um… (looks at notecards)  Oh, yeah!  (Reading)  “Courage is an opportunity presented to us to…” (squints at card) uh…”shape a vision into a reality.”  Man, does my handwriting stink… (squints)  So…”Will you stand in the shadows or step forward and become a leader?”  Yeah!

AUDIENCE MEMBER 1:  Um, excuse me.

DWIGHT:  (looks startled) Oh!  Yes?

AUDIENCE MEMBER 1:  Yeah, that thing you just said–that’s on one of Tony Robbins’ motivational tapes.

DWIGHT:  Uh, no it’s not.

AM 1:  Yes, it is.  I was listening to it on my way to this seminar.

DWIGHT:  (glances around nervously)  Huh!  Well…great minds must think alike.  Heh!  Anyway…(shuffles through cards, starts reading again) “Every life is a book of secrets, ready to be opened.  We are still mysteries to ourselves, despite the…” (slowly reads next word, sounding it out) “prox…im…it…y–proximity!–of these answers, and what we most long to know remains lodged deep inside. ”

AM 2:  Hey!  That’s from Deepak Chopra’s book!  What the hell are you trying to pull here?!?

DWIGHT:  Um…heh…Trying?  (shuffles through cards a second and then looks up from them suddenly)  Oh!  Trying!  Yes, trying!  Well… you see…uh…that’s the problem.  Yes!  Everyone is “trying” but not enough people are doing!  Do or do not do–there is no try!

AM 3:  Okay, now you’re just quoting The Empire Strikes Back!

AM 2:  I’m out of here!

AM 1:  Me, too.

AM 3:  I better get my damn money back!

(All three Audience members storm out.)

DWIGHT:  Wait!  I’ve got some great stuff about your inner child and…and…oh, what’s the use?  I stink at this.  I may as well go back to being a paid member of an infomercial audience.  They even give you a free one of whatever they’re selling.  Hey, maybe I can sell some of that stuff to pay my rent.  (Goes over to box on stage and starts rummaging through it.)  Let’s see…juicer…heatless grill…Precious Moments collection…Wait, what’s this?  (Pulls belt out of box.)  Oh, yeah!  It’s that time-travel belt.  Man, nobody bought that.  What a piece of junk!  Like putting on this belt…(puts it on) Pushing these buttons… (Pushes buttons) And jumping up is going to transport me through time!  (Shrugs, jumps up, and then runs around in circles while two Hindus in robes come out on the side of the stage.  Dwight stops.)  Whoa!  Wait, where am I?  (Looks around.)  A desert!  (Hindus rush over to him.)

HINDU 1:  You!  You have appeared from nothingness!

HINDU 2:  You must be a messenger from the gods!

DWIGHT:  Nothingness?  Gods?  Oh, my god!  The belt worked!  I must be in the past somewhere.  Wait a minute–if I’m in the distant past, that means…OH, MY GOD!  I’M THE ONLY MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER IN THE WORLD!!!  This is my big chance!

HINDU 1:  Oh, mighty avatar of Brahma!  Have you come to help us understand the mysterious path of dharma?

HINDU 2:  Have you come to show us the way to pure karma and oneness with the oversoul?

DWIGHT:  Um, no idea what you are talking about guys.  Ha, ha!  But what I have come to do is to show you how to be better, uh, carpet salesmen or whatever.  Haven’t you always wanted nice clothes, a beautiful wife, and a great sports car…I mean, horse or mule or something?

HINDU 1:  But I thought that worldly cares brought bad karma and greater time on the great wheel of reincarnation.

DWIGHT:  Well, whoever told you about that was a sucker.

HINDU 2:  Great one, I fear that my sinful life will cause me to be reborn into the next life as a dung beetle!

DWIGHT:  Well, then… I guess you’ll just have to be the best beetle you can be through self-actualizamentation…

HINDU 2:  Self-whatawhatawhation?

(Enter Buddha)

BUDDHA:  Listen to me, friends:  I, the Buddha, have achieved enlightenment and broken the chain of reincarnation.  If you wish to become one with the universe in this life, join me along the sevenfold path.

HINDU 1:  Now that’s what I’m talking about!

HINDU 2:  Yeah, screw this noise!

(Hindus and Buddha exit)

DWIGHT:  But I didn’t even get to my twelve steps to highly effective effectiveness…  Okay, let’s try this again.  I know I can corner the market on motivation somewhere.

(DWIGHT goes through time travel schtick again, JUDEANS in robes enter.)

JUDEAN 1:  Look!  A man appears!

DWIGHT:  Yes!  I come from heaven with a message from God!

JUDEAN 2:  Oh, speak, most divine prophet!

DWIGHT:  I come to show the path of…  um…. karmic reincyclamentation!

JUDEAN 1:  What?

DWIGHT:  I mean, the…seven…dharbic…path of…entitlement…

JUDEAN 2:  Entitlement?

DWIGHT:  Yes, entitlement!  Yes, you, my people, are entitled to that corner office you always wanted…  and a caring relationship… And through the POWER of SELF POWER…

(A third JUDEAN rushes in)

JUDEAN 3:  Hey, everybody!  There’s this awesome guy giving out fish and bread for free and he’s healing the sick and the blind and stuff!

JUDEAN 2:  Really?  What’s he charging?

JUDEAN 3:  Nothing!  All he says is that we should be nice to people, but he’s not being a dick about it or anything.  Kind of just, “Hey, be nice, okay.  If you don’t, you can still have some fish, but it’d be really cool if you did.”

JUDEAN 1:  Sweet!  Let’s go!

DWIGHT:  Wait!  What about me?  I’m a messenger from the lord!

JUDEAN 2:  Can you heal us and give us fish?

DWIGHT:  Well…  I can…help heal your inner child and… give you the fish of…. self-dignification….

JUDEAN 2:  Fish and healing it is!

(Judeans all run off.)

DWIGHT:  Son of a bitch!  Okay, let’s try this again.  (Taps on belt.)  If this stupid belts puts me next to one more religious leader, I’m putting it in the garbage disposal…

(Time-travel schtick.  3 HUNS with weapons come on stage.)

HUN 1:  What’s this?

(HUNS surround Dwight, weapons drawn.)

DWIGHT:  Oh, sweet Jesus!  (muttering)  That lousy showboat ruining my last gig…

HUN 2:  Who are you?

DWIGHT:  Ulp.   I…I come from the future!  To be… great leader of you people!

HUN 3:  Leader?

DWIGHT:  (Getting more confident) Yes, leader!  I come to make life better!

HUN 2:  Better how?

DWIGHT:  Well…  Haven’t you ever asked yourself if there’s more to life than this?

HUN 3:  What, more meat than what we’ve got cooking on the fire there?

HUN 1:  That’s a lot of meat, but you’re right!  There could be more meat!

HUN 2:  Yes!  And more furs!

HUN 3:  Yes!  And more women!

DWIGHT:  Uh, yes.  And there could also be spiritual embetterment!

HUN 2:  What’s that?  Is that some type of meat?

DWIGHT:  No, it’s…  well, it’s kind of hard to explain.  It’s like this warm feeling inside…

HUN 2:  Like when you’ve just eaten cooked meat?

HUN 1:  Oh, that’s a good feeling—having just eaten meat!

HUN 3:  Yeah!

DWIGHT:  Look, could we just stop talking about meat for a second.  I’m talking about something beyond human comprehension.

HUN 2:  No idea what you’re talking about.

(Enter ATTILA.)

ATTILA:  Come to me, my Huns!  Join me and we will conquer every land!  Slaughter many!  Take women!  Eat meat and eat MORE MEAT!

HUNS:  Yeah!  Now that’s a leader!!!

DWIGHT:  Oh, come on!  You idiots are going to choose Mr. Meat and Slaughter as your leader over me?

HUNS:  Yeah!

DWIGHT:  But I’m offering you the goddamn POWER OF POSITIVITY!  You morons are going to choose this jackass over the guy offering you a chance at SELF-ENTITLEMENTATION?

HUN 1:  Yes.  And we don’t like way you’re talking to our new leader.

(Huns draw weapons and advance on Dwight, who screams and cowers.)

ATTILA:  Wait!  Stop.  (Walks over to Dwight and looks him in the eyes.)  You do not know what you talk about.  You see, you offer these Huns big words that mean nothing that they don’t need and that you can’t really give.  I offer these Huns what they need and what I have to give.  If you do the same, then you could be a great leader.

DWIGHT:  Actually, that makes a lot of sense.  That’s really good advice.  I think I’ll try that really soon.

ATTILA:  No, you won’t.  (Attila stabs him, the other huns swarm and beat him, and Dwight falls dead.)  Yah!!!  Now my Huns, we conquer!

HUNS:  Yeah!

(Huns and Attila walk off stage.)

ATTILA:  Now, remember:  the key to victory is to be the Hun you WANT to be, not the Hun you ARE!  Don’t just DREAM of meat, TAKE meat!  These are the first two habits of highly effective Huns…

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