by Linda Campanella

Prof. Ima Crackpott
Note: Though this skit was written for 4 female characters, they can be changed to men with just a few tweaks

Viking hat with horns, fur vest, cape, or wrap; cowboy hat

time machine made from a large box

Scientist: At last, it's finished. My greatest invention! My life's work! My chef d'ouvre! The name of Professor Ima Crackpott will go down in history! I have finally perfected a working time machine! My colleagues all laughed at me, but that's about to change.

(brings out time machine)

Scientist: Yes, sir, they'll never laugh at this baby! But, first things first. It's time to take it for a test run. Now let me see...where should I go first? I mean, when should I go? I know! I've always been interested in the culture of Spain. How about the running of the bulls? The very first running of the bulls, that's it! Set the date indicator to the 14th century, align the franistan inversely proportional to the power couplings, and off I go!

(walks around in a circle with time machine. Viking enters)

Scientist: Uh-oh, looks like I'm late. The bulls have already started running.

(Viking babbles like the Muppet Swedish Chef)

Scientist: Wait, I forgot to turn on my Universal Translator.

Viking: What's that weird-looking thing?

Scientist: Ah, that's better. Hello there. Can you tell me the date?

Viking: March first.

Scientist: Okay. (exits time machine & marches around the stage) Now will you tell me?

Viking: I said it's the first of March.

Scientist: But what year?

Viking: This is the year 997, and you're in Norway.

Scientist: No way!

Viking: That's right.

Scientist: Land of the Vikings! Looks like I overshot Spain by a few miles. And years.

Viking: Just who are you?

Scientist: Ima Crackpot.

Viking: And what's your name?

Scientist: Just call me Ima. And you are...?

Viking: My name is Erika the Red.

Scientist: But your hair's not red.

Viking: I was named after my eyes.

Scientist: Oh, yeah, so they are. Are you a mighty warrior?

Viking: Are you kidding? If we arm-wrestled, who do you think would win?

Scientist: I give up.

Viking: Then I guess it would be me! I'm so tough, I once fought off a whole pack of wolves with only a club.

Scientist: Amazing!

Viking: Of course, there were forty people in the club.

Scientist: Listen, I'm a stranger in these parts...

Viking: I'll say. You're stranger than anyone I've ever met. Where are you from?

Scientist: I'm from America. You know, the New World discovered by Christopher Columbus?

Viking: Excuse me? It was the Vikings who discovered America. We explored all the way to the mid-west. Haven't you ever heard of the Minnesota Vikings?

Scientist: Then how come the history books say Columbus discovered America?

Viking: He had a better press agent. The only thing Columbus discovered was Ohio. So what brings you to Norway?

Scientist: This time machine. It's like a ship that sails to the past and the future. I invented it myself.

Viking: I'm an inventor, too, you know.

Scientist: Really? What did you invent?

Viking: A way to signal my warriors from a great distance. I use a system of short and long chops with my axe, which translate into letters. Like this. (chops the air)

Scientist: Long, short, long, long, short. That's quite a system. What do you call it?

Viking: Norse Code. If that fails, I just use my battle cry. Want to hear it?

Scientist: Sure.

(gives a long Swedish Chef yell)

Scientist: What does that mean?

Viking: It means "Charge!"

Scientist: All that for charge?

Viking: Well, sometimes I stutter.

Scientist: It was nice meeting you, Erika. But I've got to be going. I've got a lot more of history to see

Viking: Where are you off to?

Scientist: I think I'll visit 1912. I've always wanted to see the great ship Titanic.

Viking: A boat from 1912? The future?

Scientist: That depends on your point of view.

Viking: I'd love to see a ship of the future! Mind if I tag along?

Scientist: I guess it would be okay. We'll see the Titanic, and then I'll bring you back to Norway.

Viking: Vunderbar! Let's go.

Scientist: Re-modulate the flux valve, reverse the reostat, and, I'm off!

Viking: Just a little.

(They enter time machine and walk around in a circle with it. They stop and exit time machine)

Viking: Okay, genius, where's the boat?

Scientist: I think I may have missed it by a year or two.

Cowgirl: Howdy, pard.

Scientist: Or three. I might've known a trip to the Titanic would be a disaster.

Cowgirl: Wail, thunderation, if'n that don't beat all t'pieces!

Viking: What did she say?

Scientist: Let me turn on the universal translator. Now then, would you repeat that, please?

Cowgirl: Wow.

Viking: That translator is one handy gadget.

Cowgirl: Welcome, stranger. That there is one fine-lookin' longhorn you got there.

Viking: Are you making fun of my hat?

Cowgirl: Great jumpin' hoptoads! It talks!

Scientist: That's no steer, it's my friend Erika the Red, a Viking from Norway. And me, Ima Crackpot.

Cowgirl: I figgered that.

Viking: Can you tell us the time?

Cowgirl: Lessee, it's a quarter 'til.

Scientist: A quarter 'til what?

Cowgirl: I don't know, I lost the other hand off my watch. But that's okay, it was already broken. I dropped it in the sheep dip, and it killed the ticks.

Viking: I meant, what year is it?

Cowgirl: Oh. This here is 1895.

Scientist: I know we're out west, but where exactly?

Cowgirl: We call our town Red Rock on account of that tall formation of red rock over yonder.

Scientist: I think it's a 'butte.'

Cowgirl: Thanks, we like it, too. I'm the marshall in these parts, name o' Colorado Katie Montana.

Viking: Where are you from?

Cowgirl: Wyoming. What is that thing, anyway?

Scientist: It's a time machine. Like a stagecoach that travels to the past and future. I invented it myself.

Cowgirl: I'm an inventor, too. Invented disposable paper chaps fer cowboys to wear. But they never got past the test phase.

Viking: Why not?

Cowgirl: Every time I wore 'em, I was arrested for rustling.

Scientist: Well, I'd love to stay and chat, but I've got a lot more miles to put on this time machine.

Cowgirl: Your machine travels through time? Reckon I'd like to see that. Mind if I come along? I'll even ride shotgun. Move over, bossie.

(All enter time machine)

Viking: She's not coming with us, is she? She looks too puny to travel with a true Viking warrior.

Cowgirl: Y'know, Erika, you have a mighty fine voice. You should really be on the stage.

Viking: Do you think so?

Cowgirl: Yep. There's one leaving at noon. So, Crackpott, where are we off to?

Scientist: World War II. I want a chance to drive a tank.

Cowgirl: Well, I sure won't stand in your way.

Viking: I'd rather get a look at Helen of Troy. They say she was the most beautiful woman who ever lived, and I'd like to ask her what brand of cold cream she used.

Cowgirl: But beautiful women are always so vain!

Scientist: That's not true, I'm not.

Cowgirl: I'd like to visit William Shakespeare. I seen the beginning of one of his plays one time, and I'd like to catch the rest of it.

Viking: Why didn't you see the whole thing?

Cowgirl: Well, I watched Act 1, but then the program said: Act 2 -- 2 years later, and I couldn't wait around that long.

Scientist: This is my time machine, and I say World War II!

Viking: Helen of Troy!

Cowgirl: Shakespeare!

Scientist: Get your hands off the controls, you two! Stop pushing the buttons!

(Lights flash several times)

Cowgirl: What happened?

Scientist: Thanks to you two, the phase modulator is offline. I think I may have created a teeny-weeny little time paradox.

(robot comes out in mish-mash of costumes)

Viking: Maybe just a scosh.

Scientist: What is that?

Cowgirl: Who cares? Make it get out of the way. Erika, honk one of your horns at it.

Viking: This is just great! You've messed up time for all of us, Crackpott!

Scientist: Don't worry, I can fix it. I'll just head into the future. They'll have the technology and the know-how to help me with this.

(all three walk around with time machine; robot exits & changes to robot costume; all three put down time machine and step out)

Cowgirl: Now where are we?

Scientist: The far future, a world of technological marvels.

(robot comes out)

Robot: That is a very nice machine.

Scientist: Finally, someone who appreciates my state-of-the-art invention.

Robot: I sure do. Retro is so in these days.

Scientist: Are you in electronics?

Robot: No, electronics are in me. I am a handy all-purpose robot.

Viking: What's a robot?

Robot: A machine in the form of a human being. I may look like flesh and blood, but I am made up of wires and gears.

Cowgirl: You're kidding!

Scientist: She can't kid, she's a machine.

Robot: Actually, I am programmed for humor. What did the first undertaker say to the second undertaker? Is that you coffin? Insert laugh-track here.

Scientist: This is wicked! I mean, so swag! It's totally da bomb!

Robot: I'd better turn on my universal translator. Now, would you repeat that, please?

Scientist: What a great robot.

Viking: Do you have a name?

Robot: My designation is Zunar J-5 Beep Beep. But my friends call me Beep. What brings you here, primitives?

Scientist: We've got a problem, Beep. I've been testing out my new time machine, but I think I've created a rip in the fabric of time.

Robot: How typical of you humans. You do not consider all the consequences of your actions. That is why we machines are so far...so far...so far...(hits herself in the head) ...so far superior. We are perfect.

Scientist: I think everybody who owns a computer will have to disagree.

Robot: That is just jealousy, also typical of primitive humanity.

Cowgirl: I'm not primitive, I'm very sophisticated. I even ride a horse with my legs crossed.

Robot: You call yourself sophisticated, and yet you bring your cow along on a trip through time.

Viking: For the last time, I am not a cow!

Robot: Analysis: horns...fur. Conclusion: bovus stupiditus: cow.

Cowgirl: You're pretty snooty considering you were created by a human.

Robot: How dare you! I was created by my parents.

Viking: You have parents?

Robot: Of course. My father is a PC, and my mother is an iPad. It's a mixed marriage. They made me from a kit. Fourteen hours of labor.

Scientist: Enough! How can we repair this rip in time?

Robot: By resetting the chrono variance capacitator in sync with the phase differential.

Cowgirl: Better get out that translator doo-hickie.

Scientist: What's that in plain English?

Viking: Or Norwegian?

Robot: Have you tried unplugging it and plugging it back in?

(unplugs cord, then re-plugs it)

Scientist: Is that it?

Robot: Yes, time is rebooted. Now take these primitives back to their own eras and stop messing with time.

Cowgirl: Yeah, take me back to my home on the range before I utter a discouraging word.

Viking: And I've got to get back to my fjord.

Cowgirl: What's a fjord?

Viking: It's where the river meets the shyore.

Scientist: With pleasure. I'm through with this time travel business.

Robot: Are you going to give up inventing?

Scientist: Nope. In fact, I've got a great idea for my next invention.

Robot: Fat-free motor oil for robots who are dieting?

Viking: Drip-dry fur to save on ironing?

Cowgirl: An eleven gallon hat for people with big heads?

Scientist: None of those things. I'm going to invent a solar-powered windmill!

(All exit with time machine)

copyright 2015-2022 by Linda Campanella and Whatsits Galore

Return to Skits & Bits