American Bandstand

(Lights up on the soundstage of American Bandstand. Teenagers dance across the stage, in pairs and individually. One man, DENNIS, dances especially enthusiastically. ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ plays over the speakers. DICK CLARK enters from stage right.)

DICK CLARK

Well hello there everybody, and welcome to American Bandstand, your favorite dance show featuring a bunch of swell teens just grooving the night away to the hits of today. I’m Dick Clark. Playing right now, of course, is Elvis Presley, whose swiveling hips have been setting dance floors on fire all across this great nation. I tell ya, it’s a good thing that women can’t have orgasms, because if they could we’d have a real lady-mess on our hands. So whaddya say, America? Do you want to get to know some of these kids?

(DICK CLARK walks downstage through the dancing teens and hands them the microphone. Everyone continues dancing as they talk.)

DICK CLARK

Why don’t you guys tell everybody who you are and where you’re from?

LOU

My name is Lou and I’m from Point Pleasant!

DIAMOND

My name is Diamond and I’m from Scarsdale!

PHILLIPS

My name is Phillips and I’m from Thousand Oaks!

DENNIS

My name is Dennis and I don’t know where I’m from because I was shuffled through the foster care system as a boy!

(Everyone but DENNIS pauses then resumes dancing. DICK CLARK approaches DENNIS.)

DICK CLARK

Well, would you look at this enthusiastic young man! That’s a heck of a moustache for a teenager, son.

DENNIS

Oh, I’m 42 years old, Dick. But I was just diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, and my urologist tells me that I have a “baby wiener.” So I feel right at home dancing along with these kids.

(Everyone but DENNIS pauses then resumes dancing.)

DICK CLARK

Umm…okay. So, what brings you here today, Dennis?

DENNIS

Well, it’s been a rough couple of months, Dick. My hernia came back, I fell down another sinkhole, and my pool privileges were revoked when my toupee clogged up the filter during my adult swim class at the Y. But it’s all going to be blue skies and apple pies for old Dennis once I dance my way into that American Bandstand prize money!

DICK CLARK

I hate to tell you DENNIS but there’s no prize money on this show. It’s just dancing.

DENNIS

You mean this isn’t the show where the last dancers standing get to compete in a series of trivia questions and physical challenges to win prizes while Mark Summers narrates?

DICK CLARK

That sounds like Nickelodeon Double Dare, and that show hasn’t been invented yet.

DENNIS

Oh man…I wish I hadn’t spent the last three months practicing digging through dumpsters and kiddie-pool sized hot-fudge sundaes. Oh well. I’m just happy to be here getting to dance to some great tunes! This is just the boost I need to get me back on my feet.

DICK CLARK

And maybe into some blue suede shoes of your own, huh?

DENNIS

Only if they have a boatload of arch support, Dick. You see, I have a rare medical condition known as “shit-bone,” and if I don’t wear the right shoes my spine will collapse. The shoes are only sold in one store, and the old man who works there makes me pay him in kisses, but that doesn’t stop me from dancing. Bandstand!

(Everyone but DENNIS pauses, then resumes dancing.)

DICK CLARK

Alright there son. That’s the spirit.

(DICK CLARK approaches a dancing couple)

Hello there you two. Is there anything you crazy kids want to say to America?

BEN

There sure is Dick. As soon as my best gal Marion here gets her typing certificate from girl-college, we’re getting married!

DICK CLARK

Married, huh? Well that’s just swell. Say, what are you looking forward to most about married life?

MARION

Oh, I just can’t wait to move in with him!

DENNIS

Co-habitation, huh? I’ve got myself a roommate too, Dick.

DICK CLARK

Is that so, Dennis? A pretty young thing like Marion here?

DENNIS

Not quite. He’s a burly fella named Patches who screams in his sleep and has been convicted of a sex-offense. I met him when he was going door to door introducing himself as required by federal law, and I was just so darn happy to have someone knock on my door that I asked him to move in.

DICK CLARK

How’s it working out?

DENNIS

Well, he won’t pay utilities and he makes me sleep in the bathtub, but I get to use his hotplate on weekends, so hey, hot corn!

DICK CLARK

That’s great Dennis. Just great.

(DICK CLARK crosses over to BETH who’s dancing alone)

Say young, lady, what do you think of this new sound that’s sweeping the nation?

BETH

Oh, I just love rock and roll. It’s the cat’s pajamas!

DICK CLARK

So who’s your favorite rock and roll singing star?

BETH

Oh, they’re all keen. Carl Perkins makes me swoon, Johnny Cash is a dreamboat, but if I had to pick just one I’d say my heart belongs to Jerry Lee Lewis.

DICK CLARK

The crazy red-head sure can tickle the ivories, huh?

DENNIS

You know, I’m a lot like Jerry Lee Lewis myself Dick.

DICK CLARK

Jesus Christ. And why is that, Dennis?

DENNIS

Well, Jerry Lee Lewis sings Great Balls of Fire, and I’ve never passed a police horse that hasn’t kicked me in the scrotum. Also I accidentally proposed to my cousin after drastically misreading some body language at an O’Leary family BBQ. But that’s another story for another time. Hey everybody — let’s do the Dennis! This move is called “The Dennis Shake,” and I do it every morning to shake off the bed bugs since my hot and cold water got turned off!

(DENNIS starts to lead the group in a dance, but almost immediately doubles over)

DENNIS

Whoops — there’s the old shit bone!

LOU

Mr. Clark, we’re outta here. Dennis is making us way too sad.

PHILLIPS

Yeah, this makes me feel terrible. C’mon gang; let’s go get a malted.

DENNIS

Wait, you mean you guys aren’t allergic to all liquids? Here, I’ve got some Bactaid for you. It’s like Lactaid but it won’t activate your shit bone!

(All the teenagers exit while DENNIS stays bent over in pain.)

DICK CLARK

And that wraps it up for another episode of American Bandstand. Join us next week when our musical guests will be The Big Bopper, Little Richard, and Medium Dan. Goodnight everybody!

Lights

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.