Emceeing: a full script for a two-hour show


This is the final version of a full two-hour show called “Barbershopping from Coast to Coast” and performed at the Civic Center in San Rafael on 11/4/12. I was the author of the script (with lots of help from the Golden Gate Marin County Barbershoppers) and I did the emceeing (as master of ceremonies).


Let me quickly suggest three related blogs about emceeing and four speaking products here, before the script begins. What do I know? See Gordon Burgett for more information about the 2000+ paid speaking/emceeing performances I’ve given.

* “Emceeing: how to write a script that works!” (posted 7/3/12)
* “Emceeing or show planning: What to remember when prepping a one-hour presentation” (posted 8/7/12)
* “Emceeing: the thinking behind writing the 11/4 two-hour show script” (posted 12/27/12)

* A new $4.95 ebook including the above blogs plus more how-to information is at “Emceeing, Show Planning, and Script Writing,” plus an excellent booklet, “How to Be a Great Emcee” from SpeakerNetNews ($4.85) is buyable, full of current, applicable “emceeing” information.

* Four Special Tools That Get Speakers Booked First!(ebook, available through order form or from Kindle, Nook, and Smashwords)
* “How to Set Up and Market Your Own Seminar” (audio seminar with workbook, available through order form)


The Script

Act and song order


Joe Bondanza: one song

I Want a Girl
Coney Island
World on a String

Serendipity: two songs

Lazy River

Upscale Sound: two songs

Home on the Range
Rte 66

Opus IV: two songs

San Francisco
Love at Home
God Bless America


Joe Bondanza/Spike Jones: two songs

Headliners: PRIME TIME

I Don’t Know Why

(Thank you closing)

Keep the Whole World Singing


“Barbershopping from Coast to Coast”

Civic Center Theater
San Rafael, CA
2-4 p.m.

(November 4, 2012)

[ Spike Jones enters with no introduction and does a song. Bows and exits. Idea is to get the show started immediately with a big, funny bang. ]

[ The moment he leaves the stage, the chorus enters, climbs up the risers. Phil enters, then the announcer enters. ]

[ The announcer will wear a showy black rhyming hat. If he can’t find a good rhyme, he’ll look inside it, shake it, put it back on, and proudly state the newly found rhyming word! ]


Welcome and thanks for coming to our annual November blast.
It’s noisy, melodic, wacky, and, we hope, very fast.

Alas, as you hear, by wearing this fancy poet’s hat I can speak only in verse.
It has one billion words in it: some short, some endless, all terse.
I bought it unused from a practicing mime,
to astonish you with dazzling onomatopoeic rhyme.

What do you think of Joe Bondanza catching mules on cue?
and since you clapped so much, he’ll be back as Spike Jones to start Act 2.

[ Chorus enters, climbs risers. Curtain rises. ]

Aye, there’re the boys (Announcer points to chorus)
Carriers of tune, makers of noise. Yet, still,
as you can see, they’re men of travel, voyagers of song,
so to lead them we needed a wandwagger of extraordinary skill.
We nabbed a genius after looking near and far.
With singular delight, Maestro Phil De Barr…

The sound they create is almost a sin.
They’re the Golden Gate Barbershoppers from County Marin!

They sing better than they dress, all puffs and boast,
Today they wear travel togs, to sing from coast to coast.
They’re going to croon from the Atlantic to Cal-i-for-ni-a?
So sit back, hum if you wish. Our spiffy bus is on its way!.

[ Announcer puts up his hand, pauses, like he hears something from the chorus… ]
Just a minute. Am I missing something? What’s that about curls?
What do you guys want? (The chorus shouts…) “We want girls!”

[ They sing “I Want a Girl…” ]

[Harry and Ms. Bond walk across the stage… ]

Where shall we go first? Is Sandy, the hurricane, around any more?
Then why not a famous Brooklyn beach and highland?
… with a Ferris Wheel, a Diving Devil, and con men galore
How ‘bout that hot dog haven, how ’bout Coney Island?

[ They sing “Coney Island Baby” ]

Philly is next, the City of Brotherly Love
Where Benjie Franklin sent his kite above
But we can do even better, we can sing—
and launch our “World on a String!”

[ They sing “World on a String” ]

[ The quartet Serendipidity gets in formation, front stage ]

“What have we got here? Four guys who are just plain lippidy…
Norm, Fred, John, and Dale…
Hmm, Lippidy. Lippidy… (Announcer shakes his hat to get the word): Folks: Serendipity…

[ they sing 2 songs ]

“You guys tired of this giant jalopy?” (chorus rub their rumps and nod yes)
Then let’s go picnic in the southern pines.
Soft breezes blowing, rivers flowing, watermelon rinds,
Abner pluckin’ his banjo, Mr. Interlocutor, and Brother Flivver…
Let’s take a nap by the Shenandoah, then let’s float down a Lazy River…

[ chorus sings “Shenandoah“ and “Lazy River” ]

[ Quartet Upscale Sound gets in formation, upper stage. ].

Another of our favorite quartets sings about
smiling and “You Were Only Fooling”
Ron, Paul, Bill, and David are called UPSCALE SOUND,
They’re one of the best around!

[ quartet sings a medley and song ]

Kick back, guys and gals, we’re going West: coyotes and tires to fix;
Chicago to Joplin to Barstow on good old Route 66!”
What’ll we see along the way? A stuffed buffalo, cowboys, the Grange,
a million miles, turquoise bracelets, and “Home on the Range”

[ chorus sings “Home on the Range” and “Route 66” ]

[ Quartet Opus IV gets in formation, upper stage ]

Here’s four modern cowpokes, with ear buds, pocket phones and more…
Glen, Phil, Paul, and Paul–Opus Number Four

[ they sing two songs ]

Heading West on country roads, California-bound!
Bishop, Bakersfield, Bodie, Golden Mound.
But where precisely should we go?
Why, to everyone’s favorite, San Francisco…

[ chorus sings “San Francisco” ]

We made it! We’re back home, across the entire nation.
Home to surf and sail, to hike and rest
3,000 miles, “Love at Home,” that’s pure elation!
We sang all over America, God blessed.

[ chorus sings “Love at Home” and “God Bless America” ]



[ Curtain is closed. Spike Jones starts right in, in front of the curtain. He does two songs, then the announcer introduces him, and has him come out for a bow. ]

[ Short introduction for headliners: PRIME TIME ]

[ Curtain opens half way, riser lights are turned off ]

PRIME TIME performs.

[ Prime Time finishes, exits. Curtain is fully closed. Announcer speaks:

It’s great to have all of you back. This is act 2!
I threw away that poetry hat.
With all those words in it, it weighed at least 60 pounds.

The chorus is going to sing three pet songs that defy geographic placement—because they’re all about love, and that is everywhere.

[ Chorus on the risers. The curtain opens. ]

First, let’s give a big hand once more to the Marin Golden Gate Barbershoppers and their director, Phil DeBar. These guys aren’t much for bragging (well, for the most part) but it’s 100% true that they qualified for the Western U.S. Championship in March—and Phil hit the daily double with two qualifiers on the same night. Phil also directs the Santa Rosa Redwood Chordsmen and they qualified too!

There are three things I thought I’d never see in my lifetime. I’m a Cubs fan so I never thought I’d see the Giants win a pennant—twice! Or a tie for the Presidency of the United States. Or my fellow barbershoppers dancing while they sang.

But we’re taking choreography lessons, as you’ve witnessed three times today, and we will dance again in a moment. Don’t cheer yet! Folks, they said it will take us seven years to flow like that Shenendoah—but you saw it here for the first time today! (Imagine next year! Or year seven!)

Maestro DeBar, why not lead the group in a song that everybody knows but with a title that nobody can remember. It’s called “Nevertheless.”

Incidentally, I’ve seen some of you dudes singing along with us. Why don’t you come and barbershop? Age is unimportant and you don’t need operatic talent, thank God. See us in the front hall after the show and or check your program for details. (We practice Monday nights in San Anselmo at the First Presbyterian Church from 7:30-10. Just drop by and we’ll get you music, a chair, and a buddy.)

Here’s a song that’s appropriate at any time anywhere because it’s called “Today.”

The next song was the favorite of many of our chorus members’ grandmothers in the late 1800s. It still best expresses how we feel about our wives and our faithful show attendees, like you. You’ll recognize it as: “I Don’t Know Why…”

We traditionally end our shows with a favorite song, but first will all of those involved in the show come out and join us, so we all have a last chance to thank you?

QUARTETS: Serendipity / Upscale Sound / Opus IV
and today’s highlighters: PRIME TIME

All barbershoppers, anywhere any time, that are in the audience, why not stand up and sing along, as we implore all of you to “KEEP THE WHOLE WORLD SINGING”

[ We all bow and the curtain closes. If any, one curtain lift only so stay in place in case it opens up for another bow. Let it close, then flee. ]

Best wishes,

Gordon Burgett

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