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Evening News - skit

by Ron Kurtus (1971)

ANNOUNCER: ... And now, tonight's news with Walter Bronchitis.

(Ashtray full of cigarette butts; just finishing a drag on his cigarette, Bronchitis breaks into a hacking cough; blows away the smoke with his hand and miserably tries to read the news from the papers on his desk.)

BRONCHITIS: News from the Western Front: all is quiet. The Kaiser's troops have not left their trenches in three days...

(Throws paper away.)

What's this doing here? This is old news.

(Picks up another sheet of paper and reads.)

Ah, here's some news. (happily) Typhoon Mary has finally subsided after ravishing across India for the past week. It is estimated that 2/3 of the population has been left homeless by this storm.

(Turning to off-stage)

How many people would that be, David? About 400 million?

(Back to audience)

That's about 400 million people left homeless, folks. Boy, that was quite a dilly. (Takes drag from fag and hacks again.)

The President has cabled-that he will open the state of Mississippi for the refugees of this disaster. Thus far, none of-the people have taken up his offer. Now the latest from Hawaii:

WOMAN: (Enters with sheet of paper) The oil Slick that was reported spreading from the Bay of Tokyo is estimated by scientist to wash onto the Hawaiian shores on about December 7th. Navy officials consider this report nonsense and plan to hold their Pearl Harbor Day festivities as scheduled, even though the Japanese diplomats have left the area.

BRONCHITIS: Here’s a news release from Africa. Rhodesia has declared war on their neighboring nations of Zambezi and Guinea. Rhodesia’s Prime Minister announced that this was mainly a religious war. He was invading Zambezi because their people were heathens and atheists and would not convert. On the other hand, he was also invading Guinea because they were religious fanatics, who kept sending their missionaries into his country.

(His comment)

Well, that makes sense.

(Reading again)

Because we believe in moderation, the United States has vowed to assist the Rhodesians  with weapons and military advisors numbering about 300,000. From Moscow, we have a report that the Russians will be sending planes and missiles to Zambezi in order to protect their right to practice atheism. They warn if any nation attempts an invasion, it could set off World War III. Meanwhile, Peking has pledged to send 14 million Red Books of Chairman Mao’s thoughts to the country of Guinea to give them moral support to their religious cause. Along with each book will be a Chinese soldier. Red China has made a statement that if there is any fighting, it will be the start of World War IV. And this note from Great Britain: if World War III and World War IV are declared, England will go one-up on the whole bloody works and declare World War V!


Leave it to those British and their dry sense of humor.

(Enter woman; Bronchitis coughs, and she waits until he is through; he nods for her to start.)

WOMAN: On the lighter side of the news4ithere was a serious riot in New York when youths from two different high schools clashed over the outcome of a football game. The score: Green Bay Packers 27, Detroit Lions 16.


BRONCHITIS: (Dozing; suddenly wakens by the quiet.) Yes. Of course. (Coughs) And now for our editorial comment of the evening: The ubiquitous television audience and general viewing public has been plagued recently by inane, obsequious, and vermicular programs. This effete buffoonery and iniquitous rectitude is spoiling the rhetorical standards of our youth and senatorial rostrums. To be sure. We at the network have firmly pledged to be zealous in our attempt to reanimate the good programs, the gentle zephyrs of intelligentsia, the cognizant visitations to the cerebellum, and the ultimate in fine viewing. Thus, we have decided to show re-runs of "Laugh-In" every week!

(Pause, a drag from the cig and the coughing.)

ANNOUNCER: The evening news has been brought to you by Kool-Air Cigarettes. When the air starts to get cool, have a Kool-Air.


4 + minuets