Substitute Judge

Substitute Judge

Bailiff…..Garrett Morris
Judge Crochet…..Brian Doyle-Murray
Prosecutor…..Bill Murray
Defense…..Laraine Newman
Defendent’s Wife…..Gilda Radner
Defendent…..Rodney Dangerfield
Court Reporter…..Jane Curtin
Neighboring Judge…..Harry Shearer

[ open on courtroom, the assemblage all sitting around murmuring to one another ]

Bailiff: Oh yeahhhhh, oh yeah! Court is now in session! Substitute Judge Wilson Crotch presiding! All riiiiiise for.. Crotch!

[ the crowd giggles as Judge Crochet approaches his bench ]

Judge Crotchet: I know you all were expecting your regular, but Judge Hoffmeyer is sick today, and I am your substitute judge. My name is Judge Crotchet – not Crotch.

[ the crowd continues to make fun of the substitute judge’s name ]

Crowd: Crotch! Crotch! Crotch!

Judge Crotchet: [ banging gavel ] Alright! I know it’s Friday, it’s the end of the week.. but just because Judge Hoffmeyer is not here, that doesn’t mean this is gonna be fun! You understand? [ sorting through the day’s dockets ] Now, while I try to find my place here, you may speak quietly to your neighbor..

[ naturally, the rowdy crowd bursts with unnecessary energy ]

Judge Crotchet: I said quietly! Qui-et-ly!

Prosecutor: [ approaching the bench ] Your Honor.. uh.. I’m the prosecuting attorney in this case, and.. yesterday, Judge Hoffmeyer said if we were good, we could have court outside today. [ the crowd gets excited ] Honestly! You can ask the defense attorney!

Defense: [ approaches the bench ] Uh.. yeah.. it’s-it’s true, your Honor, we were, uh.. gonna go to the scene of the crime and tell ghost stories.

Prosecutor: Yeah! Yeah!

Judge Crotchet: [ falling for it ] Would this be relevant to the case?

Prosecutor: Aw, sure!

Defense: Yeah, it is!

Judge Crotchet: Well, I understood that you were already in your final summations.

Prosecutor: Ohhhh.. no! No!

Defense: No!

Prosecutor: No! We were just supposed to talk about the final summations today.

Defense: Yeah! We were supposed to have, uh.. [ thinking ] ..court outside, ’cause it was my birthday!

Prosecutor: Yeahhh!

[ the crowd breaks into a chorus of “Happy Birthday To You” ]

Judge Crotchet: [ banging his gavel ] Order! Order! Or I’ll have the bailiff clear the room! [ looking around the room ] Where is the bailiff?

Defendent’s Wife: Uh.. he cleared out of the room!

[ the crowd breaks into raucous laughter ]

Defendent: That’s a good one!

Judge Crotchet: Would someone please go find him?!

Prosecutor: I’ll find him! [ exits courtroom ]

Defense: I’ll find him! [ exits courtroom ] [ others in the courtroom attempt to exit as well ]

Judge Crotchet: [ flabbergasted ] Not everyone! Just one will do, the rest of you can sit.. my goodness.. [ looking at the case file ] Now.. where is this defendent, uh.. Mr. Richard Hertz.

Defense: Uhh.. his name is “Dick”, your Honor.

Judge Crotchet: Alright. Who’s Dick Hertz?

[ the crowd breaks into raucous laughter ]

Judge Crotchet: [ banging gavel ]

Defendent: Uh.. right here, Judge! [ laughs ]

Judge Crotchet: You just go! We don’t need you here!

Defendent: Okay! [ starts to leave ]

Bailiff: [ interceding ] Wait! Wait! Your Honor, he’s.. the de-fend-ent!

Judge Crotchet: Ohh.. well, then, we do need you, you’d better sit down. [ to the bailiff ] Where were you, anyway, Bailiff?

Bailiff: Your Honor, I was emptying the waste-bas-ket!

Judge Crotchet: [ looking at the bailiff carefully ] Do you have an older brother who’s a bailiff?

Bailiff: Yeeeeesss, your Honor.

Judge Crotchet: Yeah, I remember him-

Bailiff: In Night Court.

Judge Crotchet: Yeah, a fine bailiff in Night Court. I hope you’re as good. Now.. Mr. Hertz, is this the first time you’ve been up before me?

Defendent: I don’t know! What time do you usually get up!

[ the crowd breaks into raucous laughter ]

Judge Crotchet: [ banging gavel ] Sit down! Sit down! Now.. perhaps the Court Reporter will please refresh our memory, uh.. and tell us what were the last words of yesterday’s proceedings?

Court Reporter: [ reading the transcript ] Uh.. “Court dismissed until Ten A.M. tomorrow.”

[ the crowd breaks into raucous laughter ]

Judge Crotchet: I meant before it!

Court Reporter: Yes, your Honor.. um.. [ reading ] The Defense stated that Prosecution hasn’t produced a murder weapon or motive. And the Prosecution said, “So what? I bet he did it, anyway.”

[ the crowd chants “Li-ar! Li-ar! Li-ar! Li-ar!” ]

Court Reporter: I am no-ot!

Judge Crotchet: QUIET!! [ bangs gavel ] [ Neighboring Jdge enters the courtroom ]

Neighboring Judge: What.. is going on in here? You’re disrupting my courtroom next door. Where is Judge Hoffmeyer?

Judge Crotchet: Uh.. Judge Hoffmeyer is sick, and I’m substituting.

Neighboring Judge: Well, I want the names of each and every one of these people, I’m going to make sure the regular judge is informed of this! And.. if I hear one more peep out of this courtroom, I am going to come back here and I’ll administer some justice! [ exits courtroom ] [ everyone in court makes “O-o-o-ohhh” noises ]

Judge Crotchet: Well, I hope you’re all happy. Now, shall we get on with this trial?

Defendent: No, let’s forget it!

Judge Crotchet: [ banging gavel ] Silence!! Silence!! Now, Prosecutor.. why haven’t you produced a weapon?

Prosecutor: [ stalling playfully ] Oh, but we talked about that! [ ] Oh, that’s right, you weren’t here! I keep forgetting that! Yeah! I was gonna bring the murder weapon next week! I mean, they have to tag it, and say that it’s evidence and stuff like that.. they wouldn’t even let me touvh it, I guess! But, uh.. uh.. we were just gonna talk about the murder weapon, uh.. this week, uh.. we-we weren’t gonna bring it in until next week! Th-that’s what Judge Hoffmeyer said!

Defense: Your Honor.. are jurors supposed to be asleep?

Judge Crotchet: [ notices one of the jurors is asleep, while others are casually reading newspapers ] Will someone wake up that person?! Please! Wake up! And what are you jurors doing, anyway?! Does Judge Hoffmeyer allow you to read newspapers in court?!Sure! Besides.. mine’s a comic!

Judge Crotchet: You give me that! [ seizes the comic book from the juror ]Hey! That’s mine! I bought it! That’s stealing!

Judge Crotchet: You’ll get it back when court is dismissed! [ ] Excuse me! Excuse me! Perhaps you’d like to show that to everyone? Why don’t you? Come on![ happily ] O-kay! [ ]

Judge Crotchet: Order! I want order! I’ll slap you all with contempt citations so fast, it’ll make your head spin! [ returns to his bench to find his gavel missing ] Now, where is my gavel?

Crowd: I don’t know..

Judge Crotchet: Alright, who took my gavel?! [ the courtroom murmurs in amusement ] Alright, we’re not gonna continue until my gavel is returned.. [ the courtroom giggles ] Alright, I’m gonna put my hands over my eyes.. [ covers his eyes withhi hands ] ..and I want whoever took the gavel.. to return it! Now! [ no one moves ] We can wait all day.. all night, if necessary.. I’m waiting.

[ Defendent’s Wife stealthily returns the judge’s gavel to his bench ]

Judge Crotchet: Is my gavel back, Bailiff?

Bailiff: Yes, it is, your Honor.

Judge Crotchet: Who did it?

Bailiff: She did, your Honor.

[ the crowd is insulted by the Bailiff’s act of snitching ]

Defendent’s Wife: Well, I thought you said nothing would happen if I gave it back!

Judge Crotchet: That’s not what I said. Let’s ask the court reporter what I said.

Court Reporter: You said.. [ reading ] “I want whoever took it to return it now!

Bailiff: [ clears his throat ] Uh, Judge.. I think the defendent’s wife is right. I think the court reporter’s ly-i-i-ing.

Court Reporter: [ outraged ] I am not!

Judge Crotchet: Bailiff! Bailiff, your brother would be ashamed of you! He was such a fine bailiff, I never had any trouble with him! [ Bailiff looks at the clock ] W-will you stop looking at that clock?

Bailiff: We’re supposed to have a fire drill in one minute.

Judge Crotchet: Oh, really?

Bailiff: Yes.

Judge Crotchet: Let me tell you something: before we go anywhere.. I want you all to know that I’ve been in much lower courts that brhaved better than you do.

Defendent: Let’s all get higher in the court!

[ the crowd breaks into raucous laughter ]

Judge Crotchet: [ banging gavel ] Order! Now, listen up! I want those final summations ready for Monday!

Defense: Does it have to be typed?

Judge Crotchet: Yes, it does! And double-spaced! Judge Hoffmeyer will be back on Monday.

Crowd: Awwwwwwww..!!

Defendent’s Wife: Oh wait, we like you! Will you come back soon?

Crowd: Yeaahhhhhh..!!

Judge Crotchet: I don’t think so. [ the court begins to hum collectively ] I think you all have a lot to learn, about something.. uh.. I call, a fellow named.. Mr.. Maturity. Mr. Self-Respect’s friend. Not to forget.. Mr. Good Manners.. Mr. Politeness.. who’s humming? Stop that humming!! WHO’S HUMMING?!!

Defendent: What humming?

Judge Crotchet: What is this?! Can we STOP the humming?!! [ banging gavel repeatedly to no avail ] [ fade ]

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