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The Lottery







Ah, the Lottery. We had a weekly hour show. We did 50 shows a year for over three years. So, like, we needed to fill time. We weren't being paid for this. You try writing an hour of comedy material each week while you go to school and work two jobs. Terry and I basically used this piece each week to fill time and poke fun at idiots who pin all their hopes and dreams on winning the lottery (ah who were we to talk...we pinned our hopes on getting jobs at the CBC). To take up extra time, we created opening and closing themes. We went into the production studio one night and pulled out some old LPs with some canned production music, stuff normally used to back commercials. We found some interesting bits of music and then sort of improvised lyrics around them. The opening theme used this huckster/carnival type music with Terry and I singing the immortal lyrics:


T: It's that time

K: To win win win

T: Even though the chances they're slim

K: Slim at best 

T: We're gambling!

K: We're playing the lottery!

T: NO! We're gambling!

K: The lottery!

T: At least we're not sinning.

K: We're not sinning!

T: Don't spend your hard earned welfare checks on the lottery. We're laying out the cash this time. We're taking care of you. All you have to do is be the first caller when we win the jackpot and we'll give you some.

K: Some.

T: Some.


I think the gambling/sinning argument was a bit of a nod to our friend and quasi-cast member David Cantin (aka the Big, Mean, and Evil Mr. Dave). Terry and I were Catholic, at least in terms of our upbringing, and Dave was a Mormon. To a Catholic, the Mormon's prohibitions on everything that gave Catholics joy and meaning in their temporal life (i.e., smoking, drinking, and wagering at bingo) seemed curiously severe.


Each week we bought a 6/49 ticket. On air, we would read off the winning numbers and check them against our ticket. If we actually won the jackpot, the first caller could then call in for some of the jackpot (split roughly Karl: 49% Terry 49% Listener: 2%).


After those yucks, we would play the lottery closing theme. This time it featured some German marshal music. Terry sung and then this woman who was in love with Terry, Jennifer Johnson, came in as the upset wife. I chimed in at the end in a Muppet like voice.


T: We played the lottery and we lost. We'll win some day no matter what the cost.

J: You lost again you bum? That money was supposed to go to my mother's cancer operation!

T: Pipe down woman. Know thy place! The lottery, it's the lottery, oh we'll win some day

K: Some way!

T: God I hope we win!


In this instance of the lottery, the media we used to store the themes (an ancient 8-track cart) was degrading noticeably with each playing. It reached the breaking point, literally, during this installment.


* * *


(Lottery theme begins playing but the cart is old and the sound quality is terrible.)


KARL: We've got to re-record that, don't we?




KARL: I say that every week, don't I? For the past six months, I've been saying that. But do we ever re-record it? No. I can never remember.


TERRY: It's because we've outstripped the technology.


KARL: Yeah. That's it. Okay give me the winning tickets… I mean the winning numbers.


(Sound of a newspaper being opened and ruffled.)


KARL: Ah crap. No one won the jackpot!


TERRY: Not even us?




TERRY: It's because I didn't send out that chain letter.


KARL: Yes. You can explain that one later.


TERRY: Or next week. There's no time left in the show because the Elviscope went long.


KARL: Sure. Next week. Okay there were 9 winners of the second prize. It's a measly 76,000 bucks. So lets say if we win, the first caller here wins five hundred dollars.


TERRY: How about a thousand?


KARL: Okay. A thousand. The winning numbers are 1, 4, 11, 16, 23, and 33. The bonus number is 41.


TERRY: Say them slower because I didn't hear any of our numbers.


KARL: (slowly) One.


(Sound of Terry tearing up losing lottery ticket)


TERRY: This one is going on file.


KARL: Maybe the closing theme is better.


(3 seconds of warbled music plays)


KARL: No. I think I was wrong.




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