6 OíClock News
By Dori Knight
This skit is excellent for a youth group or a puppet team.
Nelson Anchorman: serious and professional; a bit frustrated with his co-worker.
Bunny Weathervain: clueless about life in general; vain; has really bad hairstyle.
Steve, The Roving Reporter: speaks with Australian accent; character modeled after the Crocodile Hunter; exaggerated mannerisms.
The Pastor can adapt the introduction to the skit to fit his message. He should stress that the children need to remain quiet during the ďbroadcast,Ē no matter what happens. It is also a good idea for him to let the children know that the show is going to talk about strangers, and that it is a good safety rule to never talk to strangers, but that we should love everyone, even those people that we do not know.
Pastor: Hi kids! Boy is this ever a special day! Today we are going to have chance to watch a filming of the 6:00 news (points to puppet stage behind him). How many of you have ever watched the news? It was probably pretty boring, wasnít it? Well, I think youíre going to like this news program! Todayís news is about two things: neighbors and strangers. How many of you know that we should never, never talk to strangers, raise your hands. Good! Thatís a good rule Now how many of you know that we should love everyone, even the people that we donít know? Great! Well, thatís what the news is about today, and weíre going to get started in just a minute, but before we do, there is just one very important rule. We have to be quiet no matter what happens. The Director gets cranky when people talk during filming. How many of you can be quiet during the show? Great! I think weíre about ready to get started, so letís al sit down and be really quiet, okay? (Pastor sits in front with the children).
Director: Quiet on the set! Okay people, youíre on in ten seconds! (Make up lady puffs make up on puppetís faces, then exits). And five, four, three, two Ö youíre on! (SFX: clock ticking, as in sixty minutes; Bunny looks around for the noise.)
Bunny: Nelson, do you hear something ticking?
Nelson: (aside) Weíre on!
Bunny: Weíre on? Weíre on what?
Nelson: (aside) Weíre on television!
Bunny: (looking at audience) Oh. Nevermind. (flips hair).
Nelson: (Clearing throat) Good evening. Iím Nelson Anchorman.
Bunny: Looking around for the noise, distracted.
Nelson: (Turning to Bunny, a bit louder) Iím Nelson Anchorman.
Bunny: (Looks at Nelson) Are you talking to me? I know who you are, you silly! I see you everyday.
Nelson: (Gestures toward audience and clears his throat)
Bunny: (Looks at audience). Oh, thatís right, weíre on!
Nelson: (Shakes head vigorously to the affirmative)
Bunny: Well why didnít somebody say so?
Nelson: (Appearing to deflate, then straightening up. Looking at audience again, clears throat) Iím Nelson Anchorman.
Bunny: And Iím Bunny Weathervain.
Together: Welcome to the six oíclock news.
Nelson: Our top story tonight is about a mysterious stranger seen in our neighborhood recently.
Bunny: Stranger than what?
Nelson: (Looks sharply at Bunny) Pardon me?
Bunny: You said that something stranger was seen in our neighborhood. What is he stranger than?
Nelson: No, I said that there was A stranger in our neighborhood.
Bunny: Oh. (Pauses, flips hair). Nevermind.
Nelson: (Sighs heavily) This suspicious character has been spotted right here in (name of town) today. It was reported that he was wearing feathers in his hair and ...
Bunny: (Interrupting) Is he a chicken farmer?
Nelson: No. He is not a chicken farmer.
Bunny: How do you know heís not a chicken farmer?
Nelson: They were eagle feathers.
Bunny: Well then, maybe he is an eagle farmer.
Nelson: I do not think so.
Bunny: Why not?
Nelson: Because there is no such thing as an eagle farmer.
Bunny: Oh. (Pauses, flips hair) Never mind.
Nelson: Where was I? Oh yes, it is reported that he was wearing eagle (looks pointedly at Bunny) feathers in his hair and carrying a tomahawk. Further Ö
Bunny: Whatís that?
Nelson: (Stops and pauses befor answer with some frustration) Whatís what?
Bunny: A tomathingie.
Nelson: A tomahawk is a type of axe.
Bunny: Oh! Well maybe he is a lumber jack.
Nelson: No. He is not a lumber jack.
Bunny: How do you know heís not a lumber jack?
Nelson: Because tomahaws are too small to cut down trees.
Bunny: Well maybe he just cuts down little-bitty tiny trees.
Nelson: I donít think so.
Bunny: Why not?
Nelson: Because lumber jacks do not cut down little-bitty-tiny trees.
Bunny: Oh (pauses, flips hair) Never mind.
Nelson: (stares at Bunny in amazement, then turns to audience). This stranger, (looks at Bunny) who is neither in the poultry nor the lumber business (looks back at audience) has been seen around the neighborhood, but as of yet, nobody has been able to find out anything about him. Our Roving Reporter, Steve, is out canvassing the neighborhood now. Weíll go live to him later in the broadcast.
Bunny: Well of course weíll go live to him, silly! How else could we go to him? Sheesh!
Nelson: (Clears throat in frustration. Indian comes and sits with children. If they try to tell reporters that he stranger is there, the Indian asks them to be quiet. If necessary, the Director can say ďQuiet on the setĒ) In other news, the neighborhood school has reported that a teacher helped a small child learn to read today.
Bunny: Oh, isnít that nice.
Nelson: Yes, it was nice. It was reported that the teacher and the child live next door to each other.
Bunny: Oh, theyíre neighbors.
Nelson: Well, yes, that would be why I said they lived next door to each other.
Bunny: Oh (pauses, flips hair) Never mind.
Nelson: In church news tonight, weíve learned that a local preacher helped a young man learn how to pray. When questioned, the young man said that he hadnít realized the power of prayer.
Bunny: So, I could, like, pray for a good hair day, and ďpoofĒ my hair would look good?
Nelson: That WOULD take an act of God. On the sports front, it seems a football player who was injured last week and unable to play in this weekís game spent his time helping an elderly neighbor weed her garden.
Bunny: Thatís awful! Why would anyone plant weeds in someoneís garden?
Nelson: He didnít plant them. He pulled them out.
Bunny: Oh (pauses, flips hair). Nevermind.
Nelson: And now to the local weather forecast with Bunny Weathervain. (Turns to Bunny expectantly; Bunny ius looking around absently). Bunny?
Nelson: The weather?
Bunny: What about it?
Nelson: We were hoping that you could share the weather forecast with us.
Bunny: Oh! Right! Thatís right. Ahem. Letís see now. (Clears throat, as if preparing to make a big announcement). Today, the sun will rise in the east and set in the west.
Nelson: (Stares at Bunny for a moment) Is that it?
Bunny: Well, yes.
Nelson: Arenít you going to tell us if itís going to rain?
Bunny: Uhmmmm ÖÖ No.
Nelson: Well arenít you going to tell us what the temperature will be?
Bunny: Uhmmmm ÖÖ No.
Nelson: (Frustrated, losing it) Well why on earth not?
Bunny: Well how should I know, you silly? I canít see into the future. Duh!
Nelson: But Ö You Ö (Shaking in frustration; drops his head to the desk; deflates; takes a deep breath and lets it out, then looks back to the audience). Letís go to our Roving Reporter, Steve. Hello Steve, can you hear me?
Steve: (Steve is standing right next to the puppet stage, with Preacher, Teacher and Football Player behind him. He is adjusting the camera so that it is pointed directly at him. When Nelson speaks, Steve jumps, surprised, then puts a hand to his hear, as field reporters do) Crikey, youíre loud a clear, Mate! In fact, it sounds as if youíre standing right beside me! (All stop for a second and look at audience, then go back to what they were doing).
Nelson: What can you tell us about the Stranger situation? (Cowboy Bob crosses the stage behind Steve and in front of the witnesses. Three robbers jump out and beat Cowboy Bob to the ground, then run off. The cowboy remains on the ground, behind Steve. Nobody notices.
Steve: Well, Nelson, the drama here is intense. Iíve never seen anything like it! We have three eyewitnesses who claim to have seen the stranger recently.
Nelson: Steve, do you think you can ask them to speak with us for a moment?
Steve: I think so, Nelson, but it wont be easy. Theyíre pretty shaken up right now. (Turning to the Preacher) Pardon me, sir, can you tell us what you saw?
Preacher: (Very calmly steps over Cowboy Bob) I saw a man that Iíve never seen in church. It seems unlikely that he was from our neighborhood.
Steve: There you have it! An absolute wild-man is running around our community, threatening peopleís lives. (Indian sits up straight, looking shocked). I tell you Nelson, you can feel the tension crackling! Itís outrageous!
Preacher: (Looking confused) Wait a minute, I didnít say he was making threats.
Steve: (Taking hold of the cmera and turning back toward himself). Thank you sir, you can just step over there now(the Preacher shrugs and walks off set. Steve turns toward Teacher). Madam, can you spare a minute for our audience?
Teacher: (Also steps over Cowboy Bob). I saw a man at the library that I have never seen before, and he looked different than us. I donít believe he was from our neighborhood.
Steve: What did I tell you? This stranger has teeth like razors and jaws that can snap a man in half! (Indian checks his teeth and has a child sitting next to him help him. They both shake their heads negatively and make gestures to indicate that they donít know what Steve is talking about.) The danger here is phenomenal! I tell you, Nelson, this is exciting stuff.
Teacher: (Looking confused) But I didnít say anything about his teeth Ö
Steve: (Taking hold of the camera and turning back toward himself) Of course, thank you, madame, you can just step over there, away from my camera, uhm, I mean, the camera. (Teacher shrugs and walks off set). Crikey! I tell you Nelson, this is simply outrageous! But thereís more drama to unfold Ė hereís another eyewitness now! (Steve turns toward the football player) Sir, can you tell us what you saw? (The Football Player trips over Cowboy Bob). Oops, watch your step there, mate, donít want anyone getting hurt now, do we?
Ball Player: I saw a man that Iíve never seen at the football stadium. He definitely didnít live in our neighborhood.
Steve: Nelson, did you hear that? This stranger is twelve feet tall with biceps the size of watermelons, and he is lurking about somewhere in our midst. (Indian checks his muscles, has children around him check his muscles. They all shake their heads negatively and look as if they donít know what Steve I talking about) Iím telling you the danger here is outrageous!
Ball Player: (Looking confused) I didnít say the guy was twelve feet tall Ö
Steve: (Taking the camera and turning it back on himself) Yes, yes, thank you sir for your time, now if you donít mind, just move away from my spotlight, uhm camera, that is, step back over there, thank you. Iím telling you Nelson, you can actually feel the fear dripping from the crowd. Itís like Ö (Indian stands and walks toward the fallen man, stops and shakes his head at Steve and the others, then bends down to help Bob by bandaging his head). Wait a minute, whatís this? It seems the stranger has just appeared on the secene! Notice the gleam in his eyes, this is one dangerous fellow! I donít mind saying Iím in real danger here!
Nelson: Steve, can you tell us what heís doing? Who is that person laying on the ground?
Steve: It appears to be our neighbor, Cowboy Bob, and the stranger appears to be trying to smother him in some sort of cotton material. Are you filming this? Crikey! I canít believe my eyes! Itís outrageous!
Indian: (Walks to Steve). Will you take care of this man? I will pay you to feed and shelter him (puts silver coins in Steveís hand).
Steve: (Taking coins) Well yes, of course. But can you tell me, why would you help this person? You donít even know him.
Indian: Because he is my neighbor.
Steve: Crikey! Did you hear that Nelson? The stranger claims to be the cowboyís neighbor! I donít know what to make of this!
Nelson: Neither do I Steve. Just a minute, Iíve just been told that Pastor Tom is in the audience today, and that he might be able to explain it. Pastor, can you come up here and explain any of this to us? (Steve and the ret help Cowboy Bob off the set)
Pastor: Hi Nelson.
Nelson: Hello Pastor. Can you shed some light on this?
Pastor: I think I can. We all just learned a big lesson, didnít we?
Bunny: Never judge a lumberjack by his feathers?
Pastor: Well, thatís certainly true, Bunny. We shouldnít judge people by what they look like, or what school they go to, or where they live, or how they dress. We should look for the good in everyone and not concentrate on what is on the outside. But there is another lesson to be had here today.
Nelson: A neighbor doesnít necessarily have to live right next door.
Pastor: Exactly! (Pastor should adapt this section to his message) The Bible tells us that we should love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves. It also tells us that someone who helps another is a neighbor. Poor Cowboy Bob over there was in need of some help, and the people who lived around him didnít help him. But someone who nobody knew, who was different from all of them, showed Cowbosy Bob kindness. The Bible tells us that makes the Indian the better neighbor! Thatís right. In Godís world, we are all neighbors, and we should all do our best to look after one another.
Nelson: Well thank you, Pastor Tom, for your insight. I donít think any of us will ever forget to be good neighbors.
Bunny: I wonder where he got those fantastic feathers. Do you think I would look good with feathers?
Nelson: (Stares blankly at Bunny for a minute, then turns to audience) Thatís it for the news at 6. Thank you for watching and good night. (Sfx: clock ticking).
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Dori, This is a wonderful children's script taking common situations and bringing a Bible story to life. Bunny is wondrous comic relief - Steve is the quintesential media reporter fitting the notion of one not necessarily telling the truth and the cowboys and indian theme will grab boys (which many scripts have a hard time doing.) Two thumbs way up! Glenn
Dori, this was wonderful. I could see it as I read it through (out loud, with all the voices and actions) Excellent play on the Good Samaritan theme - fresh and totally out of the box. Bunny was a hoot! I would love to use this in church one day (when we have enough people to be able to do it). Keep them coming Dori. Your sense of humour is a real treat. With love, Deb