In 2008 I performed as part of a sketch comedy group for Upright Citizen's Brigade Theatre's "SPANK" series. Below is a skit I wrote and performed in for the show.


BLAKE, college-aged, rises to receive his verdict from an old stodgy JUDGE. Blake looks very nervous.

JUDGE: Mr. Blake Harrison, for your crime of illegally downloading over 100 gigabytes of music, this court sentences you to- (dramatic pause) four hours community service.
BLAKE: Whoa, four hours? That’s it?
JUDGE: Yep, that's all. We looked through your downloads folder and found some pretty cool stuff. David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, some hard- to-find Doors rarities--you've got good taste, son. Just try to cut back on the downloads, okay?
BLAKE: Gee, thanks Your Honor. And I swear, I’ll never download a single file ever ag-

The Judge squints at some papers in front of him.

JUDGE: (suddenly stern) Wait a minute. Wait just a goddamn minute. It says here on March 13, 2005, you downloaded a 4.83 megabyte file of Chumbawumba's "Tubthumping."

Gasps are heard from the courtroom.

BLAKE: (embarrassed) Oh, I can explain that. You see, my little sister was in town and-
JUDGE: Then, just three days later, with your appetite for tacky 90s pop not quite satiated, you went ahead and downloaded a "Tubthumping" Fatboy Slim “pub remix” at 3:30 AM, presumably alone in your dorm room.

A baby in the courtroom begins crying. The court is in an uproar.

BLAKE: Uh, please, your honor, could we
maybe go over these at another time and place? My family, girlfriend and pastor are all here and this is kinda embarrassing-

The Judge bangs his gavel.

JUDGE: Order! Order! I’m not finished reading these records. Apparently when Fatboy Slim's pub remix wasn't enough for your gluttonous tastes, Mr. Harrison, you had to scour the internet for a mash-up of "Tubthumping" and Eagle Eye Cherry’s “Save Tonight.”

BLAKE’S MOM stands up and runs out of the room.

BLAKE’S MOM: (crying) Where did my little boy go wrong?
JUDGE: At this time, the state has requested we examine Exhibit A, an audio sample from the defendant’s mp3 file. Ladies and gentlemen, if you have any small children in attendance, you may want to remove them from the court room.

A 15 second sample of “Tubthumping” plays. As it does, everyone in the court room winces, covers their ears, shakes their heads, etc. Blake gradually begins bobbing his head along to the song. By the end of the sample, he’s lip- synching along with it. When the song stops he sits back down and composes himself. Everyone glares at him in disgust.

BLAKE: Oh come on, I was just enjoying the song ironically! Is that such a crime?
JUDGE: Would the court stenographer please read back the contents of Exhibit A?

A STENOGRAPHER looks over his manuscript.

STENOGRAPHER: (dry) He drinks a whiskey drink, he drinks a vodka drink. He drinks a lager drink, he drinks a cider drink. He sings the songs that remind him-
JUDGE: (disgusted) Ugh, that’s enough, thank you. (sighs) Mr. Harrison, after all this evidence presented against you, how can you even defend yourself for possessing this complete and utter filth?
BLAKE: Alright. Alright, you know what? I admit it. I did download “Tubthumping,” and I’m proud of it. Ya know why? Because I love Chumbawumba.

He takes off his shirt to proudly reveal a tatoo reading “Chumbawumba 4eva!” on his stomach. He turns to show it to the entire court room.

BLAKE: Come on, you have to admit it’s a good song! (singing) “I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down!” It’s catchy! It’s fun!

A POLICEMAN standing in front of the judge freaks out.

POLICEMAN: (increasingly enraged) No, no, no! Argghh, I can’t take it anymore!

The policeman pulls out a gun and aims it at Blake.

POLICEMAN (CONT'D) Dude, the song is total crap! Admit it! It’s not “fun” or “catchy,” it’s annoying and retarded! And on the radio they just kept playing it and playing it...

The Judge holds out his hand to stop the policeman.

JUDGE: No, let him live! He deserves a fate far worse than death.

The policeman drops the gun and falls to his knees weeping.

POLICEMAN: How could God allow this?! How...?!
JUDGE: I believe this courtroom has made its decision loud and clear. Mr. Harrison, for your heinous acts of inhumanity, you shall serve a life sentence in a maximum security prison, devoid of any contact with the outside world. Case dismissed.

He bangs the gavel. The courtroom applauds as Blake is taken away.

JUDGE: Now for the case of Fred “Crazy Face” Zimmerman, accused of skinning over two dozen live victims and carving swastikas into their tongues.

Two officers roll FRED in Hannibal Lector-style. As he passes Blake, who’s being led out, he gives him a disgusted look.

FRED: (to Blake) You make me sick.

Exhibit A. "Tubthumping"

Exhibit A. "Tubthumping"

"...I was just enjoying the song ironically. Is that such a crime?"

"...I was just enjoying the song ironically. Is that such a crime?"

Another damning piece of evidence

Another damning piece of evidence