Christopher’s Murder Mystery
SO, you’re having a company banquet, or a corporate sales meeting, or a family reunion, and you thought that a murder mystery might be fun, but your event is not in a city with a murder mystery dinner theater, and you can’t afford or want to avoid an elaborate and expensive road show that incorporates half a dozen cheesy actors?
Christopher’s Murder Mystery will be just as entertaining, and will include just as many interactive murderers, victims, witnesses, and detectives, but they’ll all be just ONE MAN: Christopher. Saves money, saves fuss, and much more entertaining…your group will ponder who Christopher will be next. A one-man murder mystery!
Each Murder Mystery is Custom written to suit YOUR guests, YOUR firm, and YOUR choice of celebrities. But, to give you an idea of the sort of evening you COULD have, here is a synopsis of a Murder Mystery that Christopher could play for YOUR banquet:
During your cocktail hour, Inspector Clouseau walks through the crowd (or shall we say, “…trips through the crowd…”?), saying that he is working on a joint Surete-US Secret Service-LAPD investigation of a possible plot to assassinate the President of the United States. He is seeking an American criminal, Randall Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson’s character from “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”) who has escaped from the mental health ward of The Bastille, where he had been held since being arrested upon his arrival at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport outside of Paris for being in possession of marijuana and a hand gun. Clouseau laments that he must wrap up the case quickly, as Chief Inspector Dreyfuss is breathing down his neck for an arrest before an international incident occurs.
A few minutes after Clouseau stumbles out the door, McMurphy enters from the back door, wearing a hospital gown from a California medical facility, a knit watch cap, handcuffs, and wearing very conspicuous “NO Clinton” and “Dole & Kemp” political buttons on his leather jacket. He pleads with guests to hide him from the sadistically wretched Nurse Ratchet, who erroneously believes that he murdered his wife, Wendy, son, Danny, and Dick Halloran, the chef at the Overlook Hotel in the snowbound mountains of Colorado.
As the guests sit down to begin their salads in the dining room, Senator Bob Dole is introduced as the keynote speaker and Master of Ceremonies for the evening. He makes a short, very partisan, very humorous address in which he details the reasons that the country SHOULD have elected HIM President INSTEAD of Bill Clinton.
As soon as the entree is served, a commotion is heard from the back of the room. US President Bill Clinton bursts into the room and charges through the tables, stopping to shake the hand of every woman in his path, and goes up to the stage. Taking the podium, he begins an impassioned rant about how tacky and unfair it is of Senator Dole to use this opportunity to rehash the Presidential election of 1992. Clinton asserts that since his Presidency is over, and, as such, he should be allowed the same privacy as any other citizen…just as he winks at a woman in the front row, a shot rings out…Clinton grabs his gut and staggers off the stage.
Shortly thereafter, The Church Lady enters the room through the door through which Clinton staggered. She is the head of housekeeping at the venue, and is very upset because somebody has left a trail of blood and broken glass and bric-a-brac through the corridors to the street. She begins questioning individual audience members about their knowledge of the culprit, and, upon learning of the assassination of President Clinton, does a superiority dance in glee with members of the audience, and struts out of the room.
Just as dessert is being served, Lt. Columbo enters the room and shouts “Nobody MOVE! You are all witnesses to this crime, and nobody is leaving this room until this case is solved!” He then begins a humorous, yet tedious investigation, questioning audience members at length about their knowledge of, and possible complicity in, the foul deed that has occurred. Columbo is completely stumped. He reviews the evening’s activities, searching in his mind for the clue that will place one suspect ahead of the others in suspicion. As a last resort, he hands out ballots to the audience, and asks for their assistance, offering a reward for the person who correctly deduces the actual culprit of the crime.
As a finale, Columbo can perform a STARGRAM Singing Telegram incorporating the details of the crime, and whatever details you’ve given me about your group.
You should give me detailed information about your family, friends, firm, or department, their or its recent history and goals, the purpose of the dinner, and the honorees and attendees (including information about their hobbies and interests), and then I will create a humorous murder mystery incorporating as many as 6 of my celebrity impersonations and characterizations over the course of up to four hours, concluded by the guests’ secret voting on the identity of the true killer.
If you would care to provide a prize, I will award it to the person correctly deducing, nearest to correctly deducing, or winning a drawing of those correctly deducing the identity of the true killer (depending upon what occurs, and all at my sole discretion). The performance may then be concluded by a STARGRAM Singing Telegram written all about your group and what has transpired over the course of the evening. Additional charges will apply for the song, for more than six characters, and for a performance of more than four hours.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
<< 1. What is the minimum and maximum amount of time needed to do this act? >>
Actually, my Murder Mystery is not a single act, but a series of interactive impersonations working toward a goal of having (ideally) one person deduce the culprit I am intending. Of course, I can trim the performance(s) to suit your needs, but I would say that you should allow a minimum of three hours (obviously, that is not the length of a single performance, but the period of time over which we’d spread my performances…from the time the first character appears until the time I conclude the performance). The maximum time I’ll stay is four hours…thereafter you run into overtime at $120/hour.
<<2. How many actors will be performing this murder mystery?>>
ME. One actor, up to six different, consecutive celebrity impersonations. Lt. Columbo normally acts as the host and investigating officer (although you can alternately select: Inspector Clouseau, Sheriff Buford T. Justice, Chief Ironside, or Sgt. Joe Friday), but you could choose virtually any of the celebrities from my Walkaround list below as the five to come in throughout the evening… you should let me discuss that with you rather than choosing them entirely by whim. Each character will come in, play out his or her part of the story, get a few laughs, and then exit…the next character would wander in after about 15-20 minutes, after the guests have had time to reflect, perhaps make notes, and perhaps discuss their theories with their friends.
You could conceivably choose Bill Clinton, Bob Dole, Fidel Castro, Rodney Dangerfield, The Church Lady, Captain Kirk, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, WC Fields, Groucho Marx, Jack Nicholson, Forest Gump, Pee Wee Herman, etc., etc. Your options are unlimited. Each character will play a part in the storyline, and each will bear clues for your guests.
<<3. is it going to be a group vote or individual vote at the end? If it is a group vote, is it one team per table?>>
I can do it any way you like. I would pass out ballots for each person OR ballots for each table. They’d put their name on it, and then put the name of who they believe the culprit to be. Doing it by the table would allow more team work and collaboration, especially with 40-60 people, but choosing an individual would make it easier to award a really spectacular prize.
As I said: “I will award it to the person correctly deducing, nearest to correctly deducing, or winning a drawing of those correctly deducing the identity of the true killer.” With 40-60 people there would certainly be more than one person who “gets it”, in which case I’d throw the names in a hat and choose the winner in that fashion.
EDGAR BERGEN & CHARLIE McCARTHY
(Sam Spade from The Maltese Falcon,
Rick Blaine from Casablanca,
Charlie Allnut from The African Queen,
and Captain Queeg from The Caine Mutiny)
OAKLAND MAYOR JERRY BROWN
MICK “CROCODILE” DUNDEE
(as Sheriff Cuthbert J. Twillie from My Little Chickadee,
or The Great McGonagle from Poppy)
THE FRANKENSTEIN MONSTER
(as Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind,
or cowboy “Gaye” from Misfits)
THE HONEYMOONERS (Ralph Kramden / Ed Norton)
KERMIT THE FROG
CAPTAIN JAMES T. KIRK
FLOYD LAWSON (Mayberry’s barber)
AL LEWIS’ Grandpa Munster from The Munsters
(J. Cheever Loophole, Esq., from At the Circus,
Professor Quincy Adams Wagstaff from Horse Feathers,
Captain Geoffrey T. Spaulding from Animal Crackers,
Dr. Hugo Z. Hackenbush from A Day at the Races,
as himself in the 50s from the radio & t.v. game show You Bet Your Life
Deiter of “Sprockets”
Austin Powers, Man of Mystery
(Jack Torrance from The Shining,
Daryl Van Horne from The Witches of Eastwick,
Randall Patrick McMurphy from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,
Colonel Nathan R. Jessup from A Few Good Men,
and Melvin Udall from As Good As It Gets)
DUSTIN HOFFMAN’S Rainman
PRESIDENT TEDDY ROOSEVELT
ARNOLD SCWARZENEGGER (as SNL exercise guru Hans, or the Terminator)
ALAN HALE JR’S “Skipper” of Gilligan’s Island
AL FRANKEN’S “Stuart Smalley” of Saturday Night Live
BILL SOBERANES (a local celebrity in Petaluma)
THE UNKNOWN COMIC
(Marshal Rooster J. Cogburn from True Grit & Rooster Cogburn,
and Captain Wedge Donovan USNR of The Fighting SeaBees)
a PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER
Christopher & Co. Celebrity Impersonations
POB 2927 Petaluma CA 94953-2927
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