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I wanted to see The Apartment but settled for The Vagina Dialogue

August 21, 2010

The John/Marsha interplay twixt Peggy and Joey in “Public Relations” has its root in the radio work of Stan Freberg;  his skit was a parody of the way actual soap operas had to play out the amorous melodrama for just your ears.

The Villain and the Damsel scene was depicted in silent movies by splicing in an intertitle, or title card, after each acted part of the characters’ exchange. Imagine that – reading was an essential part of the movie experience. The Bad Guy had the curled moustache and the innocent Heroine usually had a bow in her hair.

These two vignettes have in common the technique of using just a few simple repetitive lines and I believe, if I can trust the ground on the foggy moors of my memory, both scenes were enacted at some points in time by either Muppets or Morgan Freeman and Rita Moreno and their Electric Company pals.

Submitted for your approval, a “Don’t Think Less of Me” production —  The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World of John & Marsha & Snidely & Alice


Peggy: John.
Joey: Marsha.

Peggy: Jaaahn.
Joey: Maarsha.

Peggy: Uh, John. Don’t do that.
Joey: But . . . Marsha.

Peggy: No John.
Joey: But Marsha! . . . Let me pay the rent.

Peggy: John, you can’t pay the rent.
Joey: Marsha, I must pay the rent.

Peggy: John, you can not pay the rent.
Joey: Marsha, I really must pay the rent.

Peggy: John, you will not pay the rent!
Joey: Marsha, oh, you don’t know, I would so-o-o pay the rent!

Duck: John, I used to pay the rent. She gave me a sweet deal.

Mark: Marsha, hey! You said I was the first tenant, that breaks the lease. I’m moving to Stockholm.

Joyce: Marsha, I like the architecture and the lay out. It’s trés swell-egant. Does the carpet match the drapes?

Peggy: Joyce, I don’t think I want you to pay the rent.
Joyce: Marsha, Why not? my money’s green. Can I at least get a peak at the second floor?

Peggy: Joyce, I can’t show you the second floor.

Joyce: Marsha, meet my friend Abe. If you let me pay the rent, I might be willing to sublet a few rooms to him.

Abe: Marsha.
Peggy: Abe.

Abe: Maaarsha.
Peggy: Aaabe.

Abe: Joyce, you won’t believe all the closet space.

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