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IT'S THAT MAN AGAIN
starring
Tommy Handley

ANNOUNCER: This is the BBC Home Service.
'It's That Man Again!'

TRIO & BAND:
It's that man again,
Yes, that man again,
Yes sir, Tommy Handley is here.
You know the guy
He plays 'I spy'
With Furtive Funf -
Here's mud in his eye.

Mother's pride and joy
Mrs Handley's boy,
Oh, it's useless to complain -
When trouble's brewing, it's his doing,
That man, that man again.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Hello folks. 'It's That Man Again' and what a man. My name today is on the tip of everyone's tongue and the toe of everyone's boot. Why, I can't go out in the open these days without people shouting 'Heil Itma'! Some say 'Good old Itma' and others, 'There goes the old blast-furnace' or words to that effect. I have been evacuated now for three weeks - three weeks of high jinks and low pranks. We've been very busy in the Office of Twerps though - making out official forms and scribbling all over them, issuing orders one day and cancelling them the next. And the things we've written on the walls! Talk about one rood, pole or perch! My female staff have been extremely busy knitting me a pair of the most gorgeous galoshes you ever saw and now they're working on a surprise they're going to give me at Christmas - a shockproof waterproof and under-proof Funf-protector. There's been no sign or sound of Funf during the week and I must admit that I'm seriously concerned when I fail to hear from him - especially at night. That's when I suffer badly from Funf-starvation. My band has also improved since they've been put out to grass so I'll just let them sow a few wild notes just to prove it. What are you going to play, boys?

BAND: 'Apple for the Teacher'.

TOMMY HANDLEY: 'Apple for the Teacher'. Who's singing it?

BAND: June Malo.

TOMMY HANDLEY: June Malo - right, take a bite, June, and save me the chorus.

TUNE MALO & BAND 'APPLE FOR THE TEACHER'

TOMMY HANDLEY: Now let me see - what's been laid on my desk this morning. A duck egg, two dicarbicated cotton cow-cakes and a blue paper tied with red tape. I wonder what it can be? Ah - the plans of my secret broadcasting station. I must sit down to consider them.

Maurice Denham: (dog yelping)

TOMMY HANDLEY: Well muzzle mastaff that dog of mine in my chair again. Here, Isosceles. I'm the only one that's allowed to sleep in that chair.

Maurice Denham: (as dog) Funf to you.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Go and take your tail for a ta-ta. Now, I must examine these plans ....

F/X HAMMERING THROUGH WALL

TOMMY HANDLEY: Nice quiet place this.

F/X DOOR OPENS

TOMMY HANDLEY: Hello - what do you want? Oh - you're the man who's come to lay the telephone on.

MAN: (Jack Train) Oomph.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Well get on with it. How long is it going to take you?

MAN: Oomph.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Can't you do it any quicker?

MAN: Oomph - oomph.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Nice chatty little fellow, isn't he?

F/X HAMMERING CONTINUES

TOMMY HANDLEY: Make less noise there. I must have peace to consider this blueprint.

F/X DOOR OPENS

TOMMY HANDLEY: Ah, good morning, Fusspot. Any letters this morning?

FUSSPOT: (Jack Train) Only one from my wife, sir.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Your wife? Isn't she speaking to you?

FUSSPOT: Oh sir, it's most enjoyable, most enjoyable ...

TOMMY HANDLEY: What is? Living with Mrs Fusspot? I'd rather eat iron filings.

FUSSPOT: No, it's not that, sir. (laughs) She's left me!

TOMMY HANDLEY: Well I'll sleep in my singlet! Left you?

FUSSPOT: (laughing) Yes,sir, isn't it awful? She's gone back to London in a huff, sir.

TOMMY HANDLEY: In a huff? Couldn't she get a cab?

FUSSPOT: She says in her letter that you're a - you're a - (laughs) -

TOMMY HANDLEY: I'm a what?

FUSSPOT: You're a snake in the grass, sir.

TOMMY HANDLEY: As long as she doesn't say I'm a toad in the hole, I'm all right.

F/X TRAMP OF FEET

TOMMY HANDLEY: Here, get off my desk - you telephone tapper. And take your feet out of my inkwell.

FUSSPOT: She says you're a Jack-in-office, sir, and a ....

TOMMY HANDLEY: Puss-in-boots and a pig-in-a-poke.

FUSSPOT: She's a wonderful woman, sir. She's far too good for me.

TOMMY HANDLEY: She frightened the life out of me.

F/X CRASH

TOMMY HANDLEY: Now look what that automatic assassin's done. He's knocked over my aquarium and trod on my tiddlers. Can't you look where you're going?

MAN: Oomph.

TOMMY HANDLEY: I think he's hollow. Well Fusspot, you've got your freedom at last but don't get fresh with the fillies.

FUSSPOT: I'll miss my Tou-Tou, sir - she's far too good for me.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Well don't bring her back here - we've got all the wild animals we want on this farm. Send in Vodkin, will you? I must consider these plans. Now let me see - yes - the cow shed makes a grand studio and what a canteen! Ten times as big as any other room in the building.

F/X KNOCK AT DOOR

TOMMY HANDLEY: Come in!

F/X LOUD MOOING OF COWS

FARMER JOLLOP: (Jack Train): Git on there, Strawberry. Git on Gladys. Eech-oop there, git on ....

F/X MOOING STILL LOUDER

TOMMY HANDLEY: Here, take those cows out of my office. Who sent them in here?

JOLLOP: This be only way to pasture now, zur, since they're using cow shed for that danged wireless.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Do you mean to say that every time they're milked they'll come through my office?

JOLLOP: This be only way, zur.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Well I'll be bunkered in the bulrushes! Here am I - the Minister of Aggravation with an office full of cows.

JOLLOP: I'll soon clear 'em out, zur. Ech up Daphne - eel up there.

F/X LOUD MOOING UNTIL DOOR CLOSES

TOMMY HANDLEY: Nice quiet place this. (girls whoop in)

CAVENDISH THREE:
We're so lonely, Mr Itma - (singing)
We ain't nobody's darlings
We are sad as can be
For we ain't got nobody
To make a fuss over we.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Er - well - I'm not doing anything after closing time. Any questions?

CAVENDISH THREE: (the trio sings an adapted version of 'How D ya Like to Love Me?' with an occasional response from Tommy until the sequence ends with -)

... We've asked old Tickle and Jollop to see what they would say,
Then when Funf answered We fainted away.
How d'ya like to love us and no others -

TOMMY HANDLEY: Where do ye get - these trousers, They your brothers'?

CAVENDISH THREE: How d'ya like your toothbrush a-hanging right alongside ours - How d'ya like it?

TOMMY HANDLEY: I'd rather have a bottle of Persico.

CAVENDISH THREE: Well, all right.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Ah well - a big Government job like this has its compensations. I'm not talking about you, Oomph. Is that phone fixed yet?

MAN: Oomph.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Well go home and phone me up to see if it works, Oomph. I must look over these plans.

F/X DOOR OPENS

VODKIN (Maurice Denham): Oh, Mr Handemedown. It works, it works!

TOMMY HANDLEY: What does? Our broadcasting station?

VODKIN: No, the egg factory. It has exceeded all my cackle-ations.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Tell me all about it, old cock.

VODKIN: Every hen she lay two times, once in the morning and once at night.

TOMMY HANDLEY: What, no matinees?

VODKIN: At night the hen she sleeps, yes?

TOMMY HANDLEY: Hen-variably.

VODKIN: I switch the light and up she wakes. The cock he crow - the hen she lay. Then again she sleep. Again I switch the light and again she lay. Now a million eggs I have.

TOMMY HANDLEY: I wish I had as many shillings.

VODKIN: What are you going to do?

TOMMY HANDLEY: I know - we'll sell 'em. Call 'em Itma eggs. The yolk of the century. Is our radio station ready?

VODKIN: Oh yes, Mr Hamandegg.

TOMMY HANDLEY: We'll get busy - we'll broadcast the Itma Egg programme right away. Well, folks, the next part of the programme comes to you by courtesy of the Itma Egg Factory - the eggs with chick appeal.

ANNOUNCER (Maurice Denham): Allo. Ici Radio Twerpenburg. Defense de cracher.

BAND FANFARE

ANNOUNCER: The Itma All-In Egg Programme.

CAVENDISH THREE:
It's those eggs again
To put you on your legs again
Order 'em now.
And do not delay
Straight from the cow
They are fresh laid today.
It's those eggs again
The eggs that every grocer hates to sell -
So if you feel yeller and want a best smeller
Eat Itma and come right out of your shell.

ANNOUNCER: Good evening, everyone. Tonight the makers of Itma eggs - they're oh so strong and ever so shapely - bring you an omelette of 'armony with The Three Cacklers, Scrambled Sam the Double-yoked Yodeller, and Tommy Henlaid - the high cockalorum of comedy - accompanied by Billy BuffOrpington and his Fowl-Fiddlers.

BAND FANFARE

TOMMY HANDLEY: Hello, yolks - have you ever tried Itma eggs? They're all singing, all humming, and all-bumen. The only eggs that are all they're cracked up to be. You'll find the maker's name stamped on the blunt end and countersigned by the rooster on the sharp end. With every dozen we give away a gas mask. Itma eggs can be whipped but they can't be beaten. And now, Scrambled Sam will spread himself on a slice of toast.

Sam Costa:
When you've someone you hate in your household
And you don't know the best thing to do -
Itma eggs will solve the problem for you.
Just give him a large one for breakfast
Or better still, offer him two
Itma is the egg he'll never pooh-pooh.
When the egg he starts to crack
Retire outside the door
At once the fumes will knock him back
Unconscious on the floor.
Drag him out into the open
And he'll disappear from your view
Itma eggs have solved your problem for you.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Now, folks, here's a charming letter from that well-known provision firm, Grosser Insults Ltd., Coupon Corner. 'Friday. Dear Egg Ma - Itma, Re eggs for regatta. We took the eggs to the party and nobody asked us to stay. So we took them to the local theatre. A baritone was singing "Drake is going west", so we threw some at him but he succeeded in dodging them - are these duck eggs? Yours truly, T. Blender.
P.S. When my sugar walks down the street you can have a pound.' Now, folks, I want you to meet my champion egg layer, Evelyn. Say good Evelyn, Evelyn.

Maurice Denham (clucks)

TOMMY HANDLEY: How many eggs have you laid today, Evelyn?

Maurice Denham (more clucks)

TOMMY HANDLEY: Good work. Where were you born, Evelyn?

Maurice Denham (clucks)

TOMMY HANDLEY: Oh, in an incubator? A self-laid hen, I see? I suppose you haven't always been an egg layer?

Maurice Denham (clucks)

TOMMY HANDLEY: What were you before you became a hen?

Maurice Denham (clucks)

TOMMY HANDLEY: Well, fry me on both sides, you've been leading a double life. Tell me, Evelyn, are you married?

Maurice Denham (indignant noises)

TOMMY HANDLEY: Oh, I'm so sorry - I see your wedding ring round your left leg. Well, I think you've done extremely well. So, Evelyn, lay off for a week. Well, yolks - eat more Itma Eggs. Itma, Itma, raw, raw, raw.

ANNOUNCER: Mesdames, messieurs, vous pouvez crack 'em. Cock grow.

(applause)

MAURICE DENHAM : And now Billy Ternent and his Syncubators are going to play 'Down the Trail of Dreams' and Denny Dennis sings it.

BAND 'DOWN THE TRAIL OF DREAMS'

TOMMY HANDLEY: Now I wonder if that phone's working yet. Hello? Well, I'll flirt in a phone box - no answer. Here, Dotty, I'll finish that jig-saw puzzle. You go down to the village and phone me up.

DOTTY: (Vera Lennox): Okay, Mr Handmaid. Can Mr Fusspot go with me?

TOMMY HANDLEY: What's that? I thought Fusspot was your bate noir, whatever that means.

DOTTY: Oh, he's been ever so nice since his wife went away. He says I'm his dream girl and his little lump of liquorice.

TOMMY HANDLEY: The perishing old pontefract cake.

DOTTY: And he says I wake the gypsy in his soul.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Well cross my palm with butter.

DOTTY: Yes, and he says he never knew what love meant till he met me.

TOMMY HANDLEY: And him with fourteen little Fusspots. I'll have to stop this. I'll hide his teeth, that's what I'll do. Send him in.

DOTTY: Don't be hard on him, Mr Hambone.

TOMMY HANDLEY: I'll deal with him. I know how to cure these men when they're between the norty forties and the nifty fifties. Now I must go and see how the Itma radio station's getting on. Well - I'll plant a pansy in the pig sty. Will you look at Mrs Tickle! Riding breeches and a bowler hat. Here, Tickle, what's all this?

MRS TICKLE: (Maurice Denham): Oh, Mr Itma - I've been taking riding lessons.

TOMMY HANDLEY: I can't have my charwoman strutting round here in jodhpurs.

F/X DOOR OPENS

TOMMY HANDLEY: What's that - the 'Unt? Nice goings on in a Government Office, I must say. Lola, I'll lock you in the larder if I have any more of this. And as for you, Jollop, back to the barnyard. Did you ever see such a Disorderly Room.

F/X DOOR SLAMS

TOMMY HANDLEY: I wonder if there have been any phone calls. (picks up phone) Hello, is anybody there? No? (replaces receiver) Not a nibble.

F/X DOOR OPENS

TOMMY HANDLEY: Ah, Fusspot - you're just the man I want. We've got to get more publicity for Itma - start a big campaign.

FUSSPOT: Not a moment too soon, sir. There have been more questions in Parliament about you, sir.

TOMMY HANDLEY: There'll be questions in the Police Gazette about you soon.

FUSSPOT: Me, sir?

TOMMY HANDLEY: Yes, for making passes at my secretary. I've heard of your amorous advances.

FUSSPOT: It's the tiger in me, sir. I always break out in the spring.

TOMMY HANDLEY: You'd better try Persico. I know that in the spring a young man's fancy - I mean a young fiancee - it isn't spring anyhow - it's winter.

FUSSPOT: Ah, sir, when winter comes ....

TOMMY HANDLEY: You wilt in your woollies. Now keep your mind on your memos. The first shot in my publicity campaign will be on the air - tonight. So get busy.

F/X DOOR OPENS

TOMMY HANDLEY: What is it, Vodkin?

VODKIN: All is ready, sir. Your radio station - she will wipe the noise of the BBC right off the air. I put this loud spikker on your desk, so. Then you will hear sitting at your desk.

TOMMY HANDLEY: I can't stand sitting at my desk. I'd rather bend down and listen at my leisure. Right, Vodkin. We'll be on the air in three minutes. Itma will tell the world.

F/X TELEPHONE RINGS

TOMMY HANDLEY: Well, dab my dial with distemper. It's working at last. Is that you Dotty?

FUNF: No, I am not Dotty. This is Funf speaking. (Jack Train)

TOMMY HANDLEY: Funf? How did you know I was on the phone?

FUNF: Because it was I - Funf - who fixed the phone in your office.

TOMMY HANDLEY: You were in my office?

FUNF: Yes, and I have the plans of your radio station.

TOMMY HANDLEY: So you were Oomph.

FUNF: Yes, Funf was Oomph.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Well, I'll cough up all the coppers in the cash box.

FUNF: Now at last you will experience my Merry Designs.

TOMMY HANDLEY: I'm not frightened of you, Funf. I'll see you next Tuesday.

FUNF: No, not Tuesday - Friday.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Friday?

FUNF: Yes, Friday.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Friday.

FUNF: Friday.

BOTH: FRIDAY.

(applause)

ANNOUNCER: Once more Funf has foiled The Minister of Aggravation and Mysteries. Itma is temporarily incapacitated by the shock, so I'll get the band to revive him with 'Somewhere in France', with Sam Costa.

SAM COSTA & BAND 'SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE'. SEGUE INTO SIGNATURE TUNE

F/X BUZZER

TOMMY HANDLEY: Now for the opening of the Itma Publicity Campaign. I never felt so nervous in my life. I'll be on the air in a minute - I'll just try a few words into the mike, as I believe they call it. Then Vodkin can carry on. I have to start as soon as the purple light shows. There it is - no, it's Vodkin's nose. (sings) When the deep purple light makes me split my sleeves with fright Good gasworks - I'm on the air. Good evening, Great Britain. As Minister of Aggravation it is my duty tonight on the umpteenth day of the war against Depression to explain to you that I have seven hundred further restrictions to impose upon you. Here in the heart of the country I have been able to think out some of the most irritating regulations you've ever heard of, but first of all I have tried them out on the home front - on my staff and on the other animals on my farm - so now you'll hear what they think of them. Tell me, Mr Fusspot, what do you think of my wife-restriction rule?

FUSSPOT: Oh, sir, it's most intriguing - most rejuvenating.

TOMMY HANDLEY: I thought you'd say that, you flannel-footed old philanderer. And what's your opinion, Mrs Tickle, of my rule regarding shorter shirts for scarecrows?

MRS TICKLE: Well, sir, I always does my best for all my gentlemen.

TOMMY HANDLEY: You shirty old sud-splasher. Now, Dotty, are you in favour of my latest idea - coupon for kisses?

DOTTY: Oh yes, Mr Handsqueeze - I've used up four books already.

TOMMY HANDLEY: The lips that touch kippers can never touch mine. And you, Jollop - are you in favour of the prohibition of bath water?

JOLLOP: That I am, sir - though how it 'elps me I don't rightly know. I haven't had a bath since Jubilee.

TOMMY HANDLEY: We'll have you de-contaminated. Finally, folks, I'll ask my animals what they think of the great Itma. Mrs Cow, forward - what is your opinion of the great Itma?

COW: (Maurice Denham):Itma, Itma, moo moo moo.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Thanks, I'll shake you by the crumpled for that. Now, Mrs Porker.

PIG: (Maurice Denham): Good old Itma. I wish I had as many chitterlings.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Splendid. Let me grip your trotter and my dear Mrs Duck - you ought to know your proper gander.

DUCK: (Maurice Denham): Quack, Itma, etc.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Excellent. The compliments of the seasoning to you. And last but not least - one of my hybrid animals which I obtained by crossing a pig with a sheep

VOICE: I think it's positively Persico. (Jack Train)

TOMMY HANDLEY: What's that? Whose voice is that?

FUNF: This is Funf speaking. I, too, have a secret radio.

TOMMY HANDLEY: Well, I'll be tickled with a turnip.

(applause)

BAND SIGNATURE TUNE TO FINISH

 
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