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Under Explained Facts

*A news spoof sketch, quarantine edition.*

BLACK SCREEN

INT. BEDROOM – HOMEMADE NEWS SET – MORNING (1)

A ‘live’ signifier flashes in red on the upper left screen, broadcasting a simple home desk and a colorful gaming chair. On it are staged office supplies, a short stack of paperwork, an envelope, a laptop, and a coffee mug that says ‘Best Dad’. A badly printed poster of the Microsoft 2001 desktop image hangs on the wall in the background of this home-brewed “news” set.

Shuffling can be heard behind the camera and from a phone speaker a generic ringtone plays as RILEY (23), petite with a light-hearted approach to life, walks faux casual into the shot. She’s dressed in pajamas with a messy bun atop her head. She hops up into the chair which is set up too high for her. As she struggles with the height of her gaming chair, it shoots up to max height because she is too small to weigh it down. The generic ringtone stops playing, and she wiggles her legs to spin the chair, so she is facing the camera for which she is out of frame.

RILEY:

“Good morning, Intergalactic Web. I’m GrnGoblinISmyBagl reporting to you live from my room.”

The gaming chair suddenly adjusts and falls enough that RILEY is now in frame. She shouts briefly as it falls.

RILEY:

“The facts are paper thin and getting paper thinner. Please plow down with me on this journey through the following segments.”

As RILEY says ‘plow down’, she adjusts her sleeves through her hands in a motion that is reminiscent of fisting.

INT. BEDROOM – HOMEMADE NEWS SET – CRIME MOOD LIGHTING (2)

RILEY taps a key on her laptop, and her LED light strips change to the color red. She looks to camera with intensity.

RILEY:

“Our first topic: Crime with our segment: ‘Deciphering Cryptic Texts of Crimes We Find Interesting’.”

RILEY holds a piece of paper at a distance from her but at head level to read, looking at it with faux interest and clears her throat.

RILEY:

“Recent truths have come out from the mouths of pigs. The FLPD have gone on record as having found some new evidence in the Epstein Murder case.”

RILEY holds a finger to her ear, and with the hand holding the paper, she clicks a key on her laptop having to awkwardly cross her arms to do so, and looks out into the middle distance as a video feed of OFFICER PLEPLE (27), local cop that is famous for falling for pranks, aligns next to the live feed of RILEY.

Before RILEY can greet OFFICER PLEPLE, he can be heard talking to the camera-man on scene with him. RILEY is distracted by the paper in her hand as she finds it is sticking to her, and she can’t shake it off.

OFFICER PLEPLE:

“Is this a real news show? This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been pranked with a fake news show. Back in elementary school-“

RILEY is finally able to shake off the sticky paper from her hand.

RILEY:

“Hello? You’re on the air.”

OFFICER PLEPLE stops talking abruptly and gets visibly embarrassed and shy knowing the camera is on.

RILEY:

“Officer Pleple, welcome to this…”

RILEY gestures in a way that suggests she is distracted but comes off to OFFICER PLEPLE as suspicious.

RILEY:

“…show. How are you doing today?”

OFFICER PLEPLE has a knowing expression on his face as if he has figured out something.

OFFICER PLEPLE:

“I’m in tip top shape in body AND mind.”

OFFICER PLEPLE points to his belly and head, respectively. He crosses his arms as he rocks on his heels.

RILEY:

“Excellent or whatever. Let’s get to the meat of this chicken tender story. Your precinct has claimed to have found new evidence in relation to Epstein’s suspected murder. Officer Pleple, please tell us what this new evidence is.”

OFFICER PLEPLE:

“It’s a word jumble.”

RILEY:

“A word jumble?”

OFFICER PLEPLE:

“Yes ma’am.”

RILEY:

“From his cell?”

OFFICER PLEPLE:

“Yes ma’am. You know, it’s like those word jumbles that youths would play during recess. I bet you know ALL about recess. And the recess games.”

RILEY looks briefly confused but bounces back quickly.

RILEY:

“Yes, recess is great. And you think this word jumble has relevance to this case?”

OFFICER PLEPLE:

“I believe we have to look at all the facts.”

RILEY:

“Of course. Is there a clue in the jumble?”

OFFICER PLEPLE:

“Yes ma’am.”

RILEY:

“Give us what you got.”

OFFICER PLEPLE glances around quickly as he pulls out a sheet of paper. He breathes in as if he is going to start reading but grunts instead. Then he wiggles his head and his free hand a bit to loosen up and reads from the sheet.

OFFICER PLEPLE:

“Big man grope man jail cell door. American Mansion SEX Sherriff.”

RILEY looks puzzled and tries to hide her confusion but struggles to her next sentence.

RILEY:

“Um… Is that from… Are those words from a game Epstein had been playing?”

OFFICER PLEPLE folds the paper up quickly and stuffs it into his pocket as he responds and avoids looking into the camera.

OFFICER PLEPLE:

“I can’t divulge anymore information.”

RILEY:

“Oh?”

RILEY taps her desk a few times.

RILEY:

“Well, is it a message from the killer?”

OFFICER PLEPLE grows flustered and upset and begins to babble as he bashfully adjusts his police uniform.

OFFICER PLEPLE:

“You’re getting too close to me ma’am, and if you push your luck, I will consider this assaulting a police officer.”

RILEY gets a baffled look on her face and gestures vaguely around her but attempts to stay on track for the interview.

RILEY:

“Uhhh.. Understood. So, is there a number for the public to call if they have any info-“

OFFICER PLEPLE:

“I won’t fall for the same shim shammery from elementary, Adam! I know you’re behind this! I’ve got the keen eye of the law on my side, and justice peepers are not the peepers you want peeping on you. Amen!”

OFFICER PLEPLE storms out of frame, and RILEY quickly presses a key on her laptop to cut the feed. She smooths her hair back and smiles forcefully at the camera.

INT. BEDROOM – HOMEMADE NEWS SET – CELEBRITY MOOD LIGHTING (3)

RILEY:

“Now onto our next topic: Celebrity.”

RILEY taps a key on her laptop with a flair of her hand, and her LED light strips change to the color pink.

RILEY:

“For this topic, we’re running a little experiment. In an attempt to spice up the show, this following segment, title and content, is written by a complete stranger and was chosen at random by a friend of mine. So, I will be reacting truthfully and in tandem with you the audience.”

RILEY grabs a sealed envelope from her desk. She grins excitedly.

RILEY:

“Without further ado. This segment is called: ‘Lightly Suggesting Homo-Erotica, IRL.'”

RILEY’s expression falls as she stares at the envelope. She grips the envelope as she considers the consequences of opening the envelope or not opening the envelope. She looks to camera, flashes a smile, and swiftly rips open the flap without breaking eye contact with the camera.

RILEY:

“How charming. I’m very intrigued.”

She pulls the paper from out of the envelope and shakes it once to unfold it. She looks intently at the contents. She reads the paper in the same tone as children when popcorn reading in class.

RILEY:

“From down under, Chris Hemsworth. From up above, Henry Cavill. From where do lovers meet?”

There is a silent pause as the camera zooms in on RILEY. She flips the page over.

RILEY:

“That’s a riddle. Figure that one out, Australia. Ha.”

The camera adjusts to the prior zoom setting as she looks up from the note. She continues in a dejected tone.

RILEY:

“Well, wasn’t that fun? Please, post in the comments what you think the answer to the celebrity riddle is. But who knows? Because, there’s no answer given.”

RILEY flips the paper to show both sides and shrugs.

INT. BEDROOM – HOMEMADE NEWS SET – POLITICS MOOD LIGHTING (4)

RILEY:

“Now onto our next topic: Politics.”

RILEY taps a key on her laptop, and her LED light strips change to the color white.

RILEY:

“But this time, we’re adding a little peppermint to today’s political discussion.”

RILEY taps a key on her laptop, and her LED light strips change to the color red and green.

RILEY:

“We’re getting festive with our segment: ‘When a One-Horse, Open Sleigh Meets Democracy’. We took a local poll on people’s opinions of politics during the holiday season and assembled the responses into a word bubble with the biggest words representing the most common responses and the smallest words representing the least common responses. Can I get a drum roll from twelve drummers drumming? Eh? Okay, here it is!”

RILEY taps a key on her laptop and this begins broadcasting her screen which has a pdf of the word bubble open. The word bubble has a Christmas aesthetic in the shape of an ornament with the colors green, red, and gold. In the word bubble, the words shutdown, tax fraud, revolution, big brother, and late-stage capitalism are in the largest font and are centerfold. Surrounding these words in a smaller font are *groan* and jingle-fuck me to sleep.

RILEY’s eyes are wide, and she slams a fist on her keyboard and looks to camera and shifts more easily into her performance persona.

RILEY:

“I guess it’s true what they say: separate the church and state.”

INT. BEDROOM – HOMEMADE NEWS SET – BUSINESS MOOD LIGHTING (5)

RILEY:

“Now onto Business.”

RILEY taps a key on her laptop and her LED light strips change to the color blue.

RILEY:

“For this topic we bring back a viewer favorite segment: ‘What’s Hot Online? A Segment of All Things Wide Web’.”

RILEY taps a key on her keyboard to broadcast her screen and clicks on a tab with the URL givemethefax.com/hobbies-the-fun-version-of-jobs.

RILEY:

“On givemethefax.com, life critics are rubbing the ink into the issues that matter. Username ‘Toner’ writes: ‘Hobbies: the fun version of jobs, but what does sponsorship have to say about it?'”

RILEY pivots her head to camera with a sly expression.

RILEY:

“I think we all tone…er where they’re going with this.”

RILEY scrolls down to view the rest of the article, but it has been redacted due to viewer reports. She talks out loud in between scrolling and clicking as she investigates the page.

RILEY:

“It looks like the content was too explicit or inappropriate for the site… According to the reports… Reported for uploading a virus? If you have clicked on any links in the post then your computer is infected with a virus…”

RILEY grunts and clicks off the site and turns off the screen broadcast.

RILEY:

“Okay, so that was my fluff piece. I was just going to read bits of the post and add some witty banter here and there but uh maybe next time. Anyway.”

INT. BEDROOM – HOMEMADE NEWS SET – ARTS MOOD LIGHTING (6)

RILEY taps a key on her laptop, and her LED light strips change to the color orange.

RILEY:

“Now onto Arts with our segment: ‘Problematic Is What Problematic Does. A Segment of Groundbreaking, Retroactive Tattle-Telling’. What does that mean? Well, every one of us has a guilty pleasure, and for those who wish to unburden themselves of this guilt are welcomed to submit their personal guilty pleasure anonymously to us, and we will pick the best one and share it with you all for this segment. So, here we go. The best guilty pleasure submitted to us this week is:”

RILEY picks up a piece of paper from the stack on her desk and reads from it.

RILEY:

“We are the Broken. We are the damned. We are…Erotica. Well, there you go. Please comment your thoughts below. Is this a pleasure deserving of guilt or is it a normal pastime.”

INT. BEDROOM – HOMEMADE NEWS SET – EDUCATION MOOD LIGHTING (7)

RILEY:

“Now onto Education with our segment:”

RILEY taps a key on her laptop, and her LED light strips change to the color green.

RILEY:

“‘Science! A Segment for the Niche Viewer’.”

RILEY taps a key on her laptop, and a loud siren plays, and her LED light strips flash red briefly before going back to green.

RILEY:

“Just now in! Zombies. AH! Are they real? That is a great question, and studies can give you the answer of which I did not write down or research because bleh. You nerds will do it. Bah.”

INT. BEDROOM – HOMEMADE NEWS SET – SPORTS MOOD LIGHTING (8)

RILEY taps a key on her laptop, and her LED light strips change to the color red. She hops out of her gaming chair and grabs printed out logos of the football teams that played the night before, and she slaps them onto her background. She walks out of frame and returns with an oversized suit jacket and hops back into her seat.

RILEY:

“Now onto Sports with our segment:”

RILEY holds a finger up in the air as she says the name of the segment.

RILEY:

“‘Shame is the Name of This Game’. Now give me a moment as I adjust to my Sports Caster persona. Whoo, okay.”

RILEY shakes her arms in her too long suit coat sleeves and pumps fists into the air and sprits imaginary cologne onto her neck and pats her neck down. She rests her elbows on the table and interlaces her fingers as she looks back to the camera.

RILEY:

“The score for the ———– game last night was closer than the colors canary and dandelion. Truly a moment for the history books, and if you don’t know the score, then you’re a LOSER.”

RILEY slaps the table as she says loser.

RILEY:

“Go back to your day job, loser. You didn’t have time to watch the game last night? LOSER? You think you mean anything to anyone, numnuts? Go watch the damn game and see the score yourself! Don’t sneak onto my show to see the score so you can pretend your values are the same as your brothers and sisters. Remember, God sees you sin.”

INT. BEDROOM – HOMEMADE NEWS SET – SIGNING OFF (9)

RILEY:

“That’s all of the Under Explained Facts for today. Have a good day, and get out of my room. GrnGoblinISmyBagl, signing off!”

RILEY salutes the camera.

BLACK SCREEN

Published inSketch

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