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Topic: The Night Before Christmas
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Nov 23, 2009 10:48AM)
Myself and my dummy will be reciting this for the Christmas gigs. I want to make it a proper performance piece, not just a recitation. Any ideas for bits of business that might work? Tony.
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Nov 23, 2009 01:11PM)
Edgar Bergen had a great routine on it which I used as a basis for mine.

PM your email and I will send it to you.
Message: Posted by: BIlly James (Nov 23, 2009 01:52PM)
Here's some great ideas that were submitted to a script repository by talented vent and figure maker Al Stevens.

V: Well, before we go, Andy, remember I wanted to learn that special
poem, Twas the night before Christmas.
D: Oh sure. I memorized it.
V: You did?
D: Well part of it anyway.
V: What part?
D: The title.
V: The Title! Good heavens, maybe I better get us started. It's a good
thing I brought a copy.(get out book) Let me start. "Twas the night
before Christmas.."
D: (looks at you)
V: Go ahead.
D: With what?
V: The poem.
D: Oh there's more?
V: Good grief. Let's try again. "Twas the night before Christmas, and
all through the house"
D: Not a creature was stirring, not even a louse.
V: That's mouse, not louse.
D: Sorry.
V: The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
D: And believe me, the room could use some fresh air.
V: The children were nestled all snug in their beds..
D: Oh shoot if you must this old wooden head.
V: (exasperated) Andy, please think of me!!
D: Oh..fuzzy head.
V: Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap, had just settled down for
a long winters nap.
V: (sigh) When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, that I sprang
from my bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a
D: I tore open the shutters and threw up.
V: (nudge)
D: oh..the sash.
V: The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow, gave a luster of
midday to objects below, and what to my wondering eyes should appear
D: It was (local person) with a big case of beer.
V: Andy, stop that.
D: (laughs)
V: A miniature sleigh with eight tiny reindeer, and a little old driver
so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick. More rapid
than eagles his coursers they came and he whistled and shouted and
called them by name.
"Now Dasher, Now Dancer"
D: (interrupting) Now Dasher Now Dancer and what do you know, Prancer
came in and paid 2-20 to show.
V: Prancer came in and paid 2-20 to show? Where did you learn that?
D: Exhibition Park (local race course or local person)
V: Oh boy..where was I?
D: Sitting right here by me.
V: Back to the poem As dry leaves before the wild hurricane fly..
D: (making wind sounds)
V: What are you doing?
D: Sound effects.
V: So up to the housetop the coursers they flew
D: So when you walk in our yard, take care of your shoes.
V: And then in a twinkling I heard on the roof, the prancing and pawing
of each tiny hoof. As I drew in my head and was turning around, down the
chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
D: A what?
V: A bound.
D: Oh , I thought you said with a hound.
V: He was dressed all in fur from his head to his foot..
D: (to audience) It was fake fur..honest.
V: And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
D: Ewww! I'll bet Mrs. Claus wasn't happy.
V: A bundle of toys he had flung on his back, and he looked like a
peddler just opening his pack.
D: Hey did you hear about the Scottish Santa?
V: No
D: Comes down the chimney, wakes the kid up and says "Want to buy some
V: His eyes how they twinkled, his dimples how merry.
D: I think Santa stopped at a few office parties.
V: His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry.
D: Yep that's an office party.
V: Oney! His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow, and the beard
on his chin was as white as the snow. The stump of a pipe he held tight
in his teeth, and the smoke encircled his head like a wreath. He had a
broad little face and a round little belly that shook when he laughed
like a bowlful of jelly.
D: (looking at vents tummy) A bowl full of jelly huh?
V: Never mind! (going on) He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old
elf, and I laughed when I saw him
D: cause he looked like yourself (indicating vent)
V: A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, soon gave me to know I had
nothing to dread.
D: I can do that!
V: What?
D: A twist of the head. Watch. (Turns head all way around) Can you do
V: No I can't
D: Funny, I thought all dummies could do that.
V: He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, and he filled all
the stockings, and turned with a jerk..
D: Were you there?
V: Why don't you try helping?
D: OK.. ahem .. Laying a finger inside his nose
V: Aside his nose not inside.
D: oops. Laying a finger aside his nose, and giving a nod, up the
chimney he rose.
V: He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle
D: After all that work, all they got was a whistle?
V: Do you mind.
D: And away they all flew like the down on a thistle.
V: But I heard him exclaim 'ere he drove out of sight
D: Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night. Goodnight folks!
V: Good night, Merry Christmas, and Thank you.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Nov 23, 2009 05:29PM)
Thanks to you both. I have something to work with now. All the best, Tony.
Message: Posted by: Neale Bacon (Nov 23, 2009 07:24PM)
Actually Al posted it but it is my routine (based on Bergen's)

Check the race track line. Exhibition Park is here in Vancouver.
Message: Posted by: Dickens & Dave (Dec 4, 2010 09:56AM)
I used to a reading of "The Night Before Christmas" with my figures. I made up my own bit which, if I can find it, I'll post it, but I'm sure it will be too late for this year by the time I get to it.
But one of the things I liked about doing that routine is that I didn't have to memorize it.
I got an oversize copy of the book, one big enough to hold full sheets of paper, printed out the routine - in slightly large print so it would be easy to read in any lighting, etc. - and fastened the pages of the routine to the pages of the book. So, there it was, like we were reading the book with our lines stuck in there for me to read as we went.