Thursday, November 02, 2006

What the Heck is a "Climmel?"




About 18 months ago, during a bout of insomnia brought about by late night construction work (and a very loud jackhammer) under my bedroom window, I happened to catch the Clay insult du jour on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Suddenly, the impulse to write a “revenge” skit came upon me.

Now, I had never written a skit before, but had long admired the wonderful writers in the Clay thread at Television Without Pity and later at the Clack House, where I post most of the time. Thus inspired (and sleepy, I suppose), my first two-parter flowed surprisingly easily. Then I recalled the hilarious “Reunited” promo Clay filmed with Jimmy Kimmel for the American Music Awards. . .



. . .and inspiration struck again -- my friend huskerfalcon and I thought the two of them might make a great modern “Odd Couple.” That one became a multi-part series.

Since then, I’ve heard Clay’s and Kimmel’s voices in my head often -- sometimes at very inconvenient moments -- to which what I laughingly call “my body of work” (or, the “Climmels”) can attest. Do I think they’re really friends? Well, Jimmy, who initially made fun of Clay (this stopped once he actually MET him), has had him on as a guest several times, and they always have great chemistry. He has called Clay “my best friend” on his show at least once. I’d love to believe he means it. It would make me very happy to think that Clay has a friend like Jimmy in the industry.

Anyway, I’ve had a lot of fun with these, and hopefully, they’ve been a nice diversion during some difficult times in the fandom.

Here’s the first Odd Couple skit. If you’d like to read more (WARNING: there are a LOT more!), you can find them here.

(Oh, and a quick disclaimer about the use of Clay's dialect: I've always thought his Southern accent contributed greatly to his charm. I've written it down exactly as it sounds to my Midwestern ears. Not casting any aspersions on Southerners, I promise!)

CLAY AND KIMMEL, OR THE ODD COUPLE REINVENTED

Sonorous male voiceover:

“On April 12, pop superstar Clay Aiken was forced to remove himself from his place of residence. An earthquake had struck, requiring extensive renovations. But Clay knew that someday he would return. With nowhere else to go, he appeared at the home of his newfound friend, late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. Sometime earlier, Kimmel had moved into a swanky bachelor pad. Can two single men share an apartment without driving each other crazy?"

(Cue theme from “The Odd Couple”)

Place: Kimmel’s bachelor pad. The living room looks like a bomb hit it. An agitated Kimmel stands in the middle of it, arms folded, holding a scorched roasting pan with a flowered, quilted oven mitt. He’s wearing an apron and looks bewildered.


Kimmel (looking around): Where the hell is that voice coming from? (he shrugs)

(Clay saunters in through the front door, humming to himself.)

Kimmel (glowering): You’re late.

Clay: Well, Ah was recordin’ and we jest kept havin’ ta—

Kimmel (coldly): I made dinner. The London Broil is ruined. Ruined!

Clay: Hey, Ah’m sorry. (pause) What the heck’s London Broil?

Kimmel (gesturing to the scorched pan): Well, this particular London Broil is burned to a crisp. And for your information, it’s beef. Or it was, a couple of hours ago.

(Cue laugh track. Clay and Kimmel look around warily.)

Clay (whispering): There’s that weird laughin’ again. (they both shrug) Well, Jimmy, it was awful nice o’ you ta make me dinner, but you shouldn’t have – Ah’ll jest have a Hot Pocket.

Kimmel (shuddering): I can’t believe you actually eat those things. (picks up crumpled empty bag from floor) And news flash: the last time I checked, Cheetos are not a vegetable. Any more than tomatoes are a fruit.

Clay: But tomatoes are a fruit.

Kimmel: Sure, Clay – and I’ll have some of what you’ve been smoking.

Clay: But they--oh…never mind. Anyway, Cheetos have protein. Don’t they? Ah mean, thay’re cheese--

Kimmel: “Processed cheez product” is not exactly cheese. Or nutritious. You need to ingest something green once in a while, man. And Green River doesn’t count.

Clay: Hey, that’s not rilly fair. You know Ah had some lime Jello last week.

Kimmel (big eyeroll): Well, whatever. Clay. Dude. We need to talk.

Clay (cheerfully tossing duffle bag, laptop, paper bag and large bottle of Sprite onto the carpet): Shore, Jimmy. What’s up?

Kimmel (pointing indignantly): Tell me, what color is that couch?

(Clay studies it, covered with dirty clothes and dishes, fanmail -- some of it with women’s panties spilling out and one with a Depends partially visible -- old newspapers and magazines, Cheeto crumbs and a mostly empty pizza box of several days vintage.)

Clay: Um, lemme guess…green?

Kimmel: Fabric or leather?

Clay: Um…fabric?

Kimmel: It’s leather. Brown leather. I bet you couldn’t identify that couch in a police lineup. Now either we’ve been ransacked – a possibility I wouldn’t rule out – or you need to start picking up after yourself. I mean, in two weeks I don’t even recognize the place. (leans over and picks up the Depends) What’s this? A diaper? Man, that’s pervy – even for you, ya big slob. (picks up a wad of papers) And this? Somebody’s sending you a religious tract? A really looong religious tract?

Clay (grabbing the Depends from him and starting to straighten up): No! Talk about pervy – that’s from one o’ mah more mature fans. An’ that’s an epic poem. Although Ah cain’t seemta make it through the first page. (shudders) An’ yeah, okay, Ah’m rilly sorry. Ah guess Ah got useta havin’ mah roommates or mah mom clean up after me.

Kimmel: Well, nobody’s going to. The housekeeper quit. After she scarfed a bunch of my sedatives. And least I think she quit – I was having a little trouble understanding her. And while you’re cleaning up, would you mind looking in the fridge and telling me which of those milk bottles I can throw out?

Clay (protectively): Don’t choo tetch mah milk bottles!

Kimmel: For crying out loud, Clay, some of them are getting ready to stage a revolt. Do you just rearrange them, or do you actually smell them once in a while? I guess not, or you’d be passed out on the kitchen floor. Oh, and speaking of horrible smells and green stuff, some of those science experiments in the back of the fridge need to go, now.

Clay: Ah don’t know, Jimmy – that Cherry Yum Yum mah mom brought might still be good. An’ Ah might need some o' that other stuff.

Kimmel: For what – to start a salmonella epidemic? And your mom brought that Cherry Whatever when you came over for Christmas dinner – it’s April now, in case you hadn’t noticed.

Clay (testily): Well, if you do git salmonella poisoning, Ah’m shore you’ve got plenty of drugs to treat it with. Who alphabetizes their medicine cabinet? Only a hypochondriac, that’s who. An’ Ah think you need ta talk to somebody about yore “relationship” with that vacuum cleaner. Yore practically pickin’ out a china pattern. You wouldn’t let the cleanin’ lady tetch her—Ah mean, it. Ah bet that pore lady quit ‘coss she was sick o’ cleanin’ the carpet with a pair o’ tweezers an’ a toothbrush. An’ Ah gotta say those typed labels on the kitchen cabinets are rilly…weird.

Kimmel (defensively, surreptitiously popping Tums from a small bottle in his pants pocket): Don’t you say anything against Doris—I mean, (sotto voce) my vacuum cleaner. I just like to know where everything is. And considering that everything is covered in dirty clothes, unopened fan mail and half-empty Sprite cans, there’s not much hope of that.

Clay (ingratiatingly): Aww, Jimmy – yore jest up-set ‘coss Ah messed up yore perfect piles o’ magazines on the coffee table.

Kimmel: At this point, I’d settle for being able to find the coffee table.

Clay: C’mon, Jimmy, lighten up. Ah’ll be neater, Ah promise – startin’ right now.

Kimmel: Well, I hope so – I sure don’t see how it could get any worse…

(The doorbell rings. Clay walks over to open the door. Kimberley Locke is standing there, holding Raleigh and a huge bag of her toys.)

Clay (delighted): Kim! An’ mah Raleigh girl! (Raleigh wags her little tail in excitement, making cute little yipping noises and licking Clay’s face frantically as he takes her from Kim.)

Kim: I’m so sorry, Clay – I know I said I’d keep her for a while, but Don started having an allergic reaction and I just can’t anymore. I’m really sorry.

Clay (wrestling with Raleigh): Aww, Kim, that’s all right. Ah ‘preciate ya givin’ it a try. Ah’m sure it’ll be jest fine if she bunks here with me…right, Jimmy?

(Kim, Clay and Raleigh all turn to Kimmel inquiringly. Kimmel looks straight out at the audience in horror, hands on face, ala Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” Or Macauley Culkin in “Home Alone.” Take your pick.)

Kimmel: Oh, nooooooooo…

(The lights dim as we hear Raleigh start to growl ominously at Kimmel)

(Cue audience laugh track and applause)


TO BE CONTINUED

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6 comments:

The ConCLAYve-Nan said...

What a treat it was to revisit the original Climmel. It's so funny but I really believe these skits when I read them. Great job Pink! Thanks for the trip back.

lakecat said...

That was cute! It's nice to remember these early days.

Funny thing, now that Clay is living in NC, we had an earthquake in October, along with a few aftershocks. I guess he just can't avoid them.

Anonymous said...

Yay! The original Climmel! What fun to read it again! Pink Armchair, your wit and way with these skits is truly amazing. They make me laugh every time. I wish that one day Clay and Jimmy could read them all..if they haven't already. Thank you!
anntherese54

CB said...

The first Climmel! I still say you send them to Jimmy and maybe he'll use them or something like them. Of course that might mean Kathy Griffen on the show. On second thought.

touchstone2 said...

That was hilarious! And strangely enough, I can hear them both saying those exact things...

You're good!

That video; I've never seen it! Jimmy is such a ham!

Hey...ham and cheese. LOL!

Mmmmmmm. Mucho Good-o!

huskerfalcon said...

Hey Pink Armchair!! I love the Climmel! Like Nan said, when reading your skits, I can HEAR them!!

You rule!!