The Joke

by  Sam Marks

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy  /  2m

"A tasty two-hander by Sam Marks...A comedy team working the Catskills in the 1960s and '70s, getting few laughs while undergoing all the stresses of a doomed marriage...And just as in a marriage in which one half of the couple changes while the other stays the same, the relationship deteriorates. Allusions to a woman and to the historical context as the ’60s give way to the ’70s are tantalizing but not overdone; the focus stays on the two men." - The New York Times

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    2m
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Period
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

It's 1965 and two comedians, "Steady Eddie" & "Doug the Mug," knock 'em dead every night in the Catskills. Punchlines and cheap shots fly - on stage and off - as Doug and Ed battle for the spotlight over a decade, pushing each other to the cusp of a new direction of stand-up comedy. With their personal and professional lives uncovered at center stage, Eddie and Doug must find a way to laugh it off while staying at the top of their game. Sam Marks' The Joke takes a look at the friendship and the rivalry between two comic partners during the golden years of the Borscht Belt.
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Reviews

"A tasty two-hander by Sam Marks...A comedy team working the Catskills in the 1960s and '70s, getting few laughs while undergoing all the stresses of a doomed marriage...And just as in a marriage in which one half of the couple changes while the other stays the same, the relationship deteriorates. Allusions to a woman and to the historical context as the ’60s give way to the ’70s are tantalizing but not overdone; the focus stays on the two men." - The New York Times

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1970s, 1960s
  • Setting: The Catskills, 1965

Casting

2m
DOUG
ED
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Authors

Sam Marks

Sam Marks' play, The Delling Shore, had its world premiere at the 2013 Humana Festival, directed by Meredith McDonough. Other productions include: The Old Masters at Steppenwolf's First Look Repertory directed by Daniel Aukin, ...

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