by  Jerry Mayer

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  3m, 3f

"Quite lighthearted with clever twists...Jerry Mayer has been having hit after hit, focusing on the humor and drama of marriage." - Variety
"Killjoy slays with laughs in this tight tale of deception and torment." - Santa Monica Outlook

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 3f
  • Duration


    90 minutes
  • SubGenre


    Romantic Comedy
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Adult
    • Senior

Additional Info

Here is an unpredictable, hilarious romantic comedy/thriller with witty dialogue and fascinating characters. Carol is being driven crazy by her charming monster of an ex husband, Victor, and his new wife, who employ every trick in the book to end Carol's thousand dollar a week alimony. Carol's quirky kids work at Victor's pasta restaurant chain, and Carol is sure Victor is bullying her son into an early grave. When Carol has a passionate affair with Victor's lawyer, they decide Victor has to die and the audience cheers its agreement.
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"Quite lighthearted with clever twists...Jerry Mayer has been having hit after hit, focusing on the humor and drama of marriage." - Variety

"Killjoy slays with laughs in this tight tale of deception and torment." - Santa Monica Outlook

"Irrepressibly witty. Mayer's dialogue is crisp, clever and crunchy, sparkles with one line zingers." - Drama Logue

"It's nearly impossible to dislike Killjoy...Mayer has so skillfully given equal weight to the comedy and plot twists that neither seems forced, heavy or contrived."  - Back Stage/West

"Jerry Mayer has been quietly having hit after hit, focusing on the humor and drama of marriage." - The Argonaut

"Jerry Mayer's comedies and their Santa Monica Playhouse stagings are marriages made in heaven...Irrepressibly witty. Mayer's dialogue is crisp, clever and crunchy...As a writer of great roles for lovable women, Mayer can't be beat." - Drama-Logue


Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Senior Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre


  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $90 per performance



  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Setting: The action takes place in the present, in the living room of a small townhouse in a nice neighborhood in Chicago.
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes


3m, 3f

CAROL - Early to mid 40s; attractive; decent; romantic and a devoted mother.  She's eager to get on with her life after a tortured twenty-four-year marriage to Victor, that ended in divorce a year ago.
VICTOR - Early to mid 50s; Carol's ex-husband; successful; egocentric; competitive; opinionated and a bully. Even so, it's important that we find him amusing.  Victor is the "Killjoy" of this piece and obviously the one responsible for the  breakup of the marriage.
VICKI - 20s; Carol and Victor's daughter; painfully honest; blunt; practical. She is determined to have a more successful marriage than her parents had, when she gets married.
SONNY - 20s; Carol and Victor's son; negative and unsure of himself, but he keeps trying, even though he's intimidated by life in general and Victor in particular.  He's a potentially tragic figure, but things turn out great for Sonny,  so feel free to laugh at his problems.
RICK - 30s-40s; Victor's lawyer; handsome; sexy; confident.  It's important that Rick seem like a nice guy and not your average obnoxious lawyer.
CLAUDIA - 30s; Victor's new young wife; lovely; intelligent; wholesome.  Definitely not a dumb blonde.
FATHER MULCAHY - Carol's dream-inspired father-confessor and advisor (with an attitude), who she alone sees in her mind.

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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting

Casting Notes

FROM THE PLAYWRIGHT: Just a few words, not offered as dogma, but as shared info. I have found that this play is most effective when played realistically, not farcically. A very good director once told me that all good comedy is reality played with a "funny bone." Additionally, it's important that the audience finds things in each character to identify with, even the rotten ones. If played with urgency and conviction, none of these people will come off as "mean spirited," which is a catch phrase our friends the critics like to use when they're cranky. One final note and then I'm out of here. Pace is important, keep things moving. That same very good director once told me, "Pace is not talking faster or rushing things, pace is the elimination of the unnecessary." Good luck and have fun with it. That's me talking, not the very good director. - Jerry Mayer



Jerry Mayer

Jerry Mayer, born and educated in St. Louis, Mo., has had an impressive career in television, writing and producing such prized shows as M*A*S*H, The Bob Newhart Show, All in the Family, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, The Facts of Life and five Mitzi Gaynor's TV Specials, plus her famous Las Vegas Act.  Mr. Mayer thoroughl ...

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KILLJOY opened July 23, 1993 at Santa Monica Playhouse, Santa Monica, CA. Producers, Santa Monica Playhouse.

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