Young Writers Society

Contemporary Monolouge- comedy

by Eve

Please excuse the square brackets, it's stage directions for myself.

I'd really appreciate ideas/ crtism to make it funnier/ more comedic

Contemporary monologue

I've competed, well… [angry/bothered] participated, in a lot of sports. And over the years, trophies pile up. And they're all plastic! I've never won anything good. So now I have these plasticy doo-dads that shame me. It is [exasperated] painful. I'm serious. [Straighten invisible tie] It's an epidemic.

At the end of the season, my coach, at whatever time…whatever sport... would haul in this [spread arms] big box of [hand above head] huge trophies. Then he'd pull them out [pull out trophies] one by one. [Deepen and roughen voice] “I’d like to recognize everyone here today… Natalie gets the two foot tall [ spread arms two feet vertically] MVP award. Holly gets the three foot tall [spread arms a little wider] Loudest cheerer award, Shelly gets the tweeeeee[ run to one side of the stage to the other] eeeeeeeeeenty feet best sport award…” [pause, look at an invisible list] then he'd get to me. “[confused deep voice] And you… what's your name again? You played on the team, right? Well then. You- you get...[Reach in pocket and pull out trophy] the three inch participation award! Woo-hoo!”

*Yaaaaaaaaaaaay [jazz hands]… no. [Hands down in sulky teen posture]

And even worse than the participation award... the [over enunciate] ‘100% award.’ I can't tell you how many are in my closet… it's embarrassing. It's like telling you [jump back and forth in a runner position] “hey, even though you got last place, you gave it your all. Even though you made us lose, you gave it your all. Even though you are a crappy player and we never want you on the team ever again...… [Pause and be super peppy] you gave it your all. And we all appreciate that. [Pause… look suddenly stern] Now get out.” Then I'd receive the plastic award with a little cup at the top that would break the moment you touched it. [Snap the top of the trophy off, throw it behind]

The worst experience I can recall is when I competed in a five-person competition. I had injured myself earlier and hardly did anything. I didn't expect to get an award, at all

And I wish I hadn't. When The judge began handing out the awards. They had a first place, second place and third place trophies and a fourth place medal. Now, because I didn't really do anything in the competition, they didn't really want to award me. So they resorted to insult.

They had a small, plastic, [rant] again. Why PLASTIC[look up to heaven as if WHY?], medal for me. It was previously a fifth place medal. Which is insulting enough. But it had been covered with tape… and written on that tape, in fading pink sharpie pink sharpie were the words ; participation award!

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45 Reviews

Points: 1335
Reviews: 45

Wed Jun 06, 2018 9:42 pm
Lives4Christ24 wrote a review...

Salutations Eve, Lives4Christ24 is here for yet another review. I hope I don't offend anyone, my intent is only to edify other writers by encouraging them and offering constructive criticism. To start my review, I want to say that this would be a great Drama solo. It is funny, but also sends a message, which is, participation rewards are insulting to the recipient. I really like this monologue and think that it could be a stand-up comedy of you worked on it some more.

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463 Reviews

Points: 16080
Reviews: 463

Sat May 19, 2018 12:44 am
Ventomology wrote a review...


So, I'm not sure if by 'monologue' you intended to write short stand-up (like what SNL hosts do every week) or the kind of monologue that you would find in a comedic play. But I happen to know a little bit about both, so hopefully I can give you something useful.


1. So one of the big things I've heard is that in stand-up, you don't want to open with a comment about yourself. So the first line might be more along the lines of "everyone does sports as a kid," and then you jump into what your experience was. Part of this is because people don't want to hear about you--they just want to hear something funny. So as an attention-grabber, it's generally best to appeal to the audience broadly instead of implying that the connection between yourself and them is there.

2. I feel like I've seen monologues about participation trophies before? And the paragraph after the jazz hands specifically strikes me as that-has-been-done. It might be worth your time to elaborate more on the covered-up 5th place medal, because that is definitely some prime real estate for a different take on the issue of participation trophies.


1. Where are you storing these trophies before you pull them out? It might be funny if you're already weighed down by them from the very beginning.

2. Overall, I think your physical humor will be the strongest part of this. The one problem is that you seem to lose the physical comedy towards the end, and in comedy, you generally build up to a point and don't cool down the way you would in narrative. Everything should get to the major punchline, and the laughter will generally fulfill cool-down time for you. However, the way you've staged this so far, I think the highest point is when you break the trophy. You can slow down a little bit after that, but then you need to bring the energy back up for the final punchline, and that will help with the overall flow of the monologue.

3. Obviously I don't know all the nuance of your delivery at this point, but this really strikes me as a John Mulaney-esque bit. Idk if you watch his work, but if you haven't, and this is meant to be on the stand-up side of things, you should definitely check him out and pick out what aspects of his style you like.

4. On the other hand, if this is meant to be theatrical rather than stand-up, I would suggest, instead of staging yourself like Mulaney, try for a bit of over-the-top tragedy. I think this would work rather well as a kind of silly aside where the character is lamenting their faults and in doing so inviting the audience to enjoy the mockery.

Hopefully this helped a little? I know you asked more about content, but I generally find that comedy is often funny because of how it's presented, not because of the content itself.

Good luck if/when you perform this!

Poetry is like a bird, it ignores all frontiers.
— Yevgeny Yevtushenko