22 Must-Try Comedic Monologues

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Photo Source: BBC/Universal Pictures/CBC Telvision/HBO

Anyone who’s seen Kristin Scott Thomas’ sardonic take on women’s pain on “Fleabag” knows how compelling a funny monologue can be when delivered with strong comedic timing. But how do you find one that’s a good fit for you and for the project you’re auditioning for? Don’t worry—our experts know a thing or two about finding great speeches! Here are some of the best comedic monologues that can help you land your next gig.

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Comedic monologues for women

According to actor Mallory Fuccella, “Comedy is all about truth, pain, and the misunderstanding in relationships.” Finding a monologue that fits these categories might be difficult, but Fuccella has some excellent suggestions for women.

“Last of the Red Hot Lovers” (theater) by Neil Simon: Elaine

This fiery monologue from Neil Simon’s 1969 comedy will make a strong impression,” says Fuccella. “Not only is Elaine’s speech sharp and funny, but there are also endless ways to play with Simon’s twisty dialogue.”

You hypocrite! You soul-searching, finger-smelling, hypocritical son of a bitch! Who are you to tell anybody how to go through life? What would you have done if I came in here all fluttery and blushing and “Ooh, Mr. Cashman, don’t put your hand there, I’m a married woman”? Were you going to tell me how much you respect me, admire me and, at the moment of truth, even love me? You know damn well tomorrow you’d be back behind that counter opening clams and praying to Christ I’d never come back in your restaurant. And you know something? That’s the way it should be. Forgive me for the terrible, sinful thing I’m about to say but I happen to like the pure physical act of making love. It warms me, it stimulates me and it makes me feel like a woman—but that’s another ugly story. That’s what I came up here for and that’s what you were expecting. But don’t give me, “When I was nine years old my mother ran off with the butcher and I’ve been looking for someone to love me ever since.” I don’t know your problems and I don’t care. Keep your savory swordfish succotash stories to yourself. No one really cares about anything or anyone in this world except himself, and there’s only one way to get through with your sanity. If you can’t taste it, touch it or smell it, forget it!

“Fleabag” (television) by Phoebe Waller-Bridge: Belinda

This monologue about women’s pain, delivered by Kristin Scott Thomas, allows you to show off your ability to juggle tones. The words are both bitingly true and darkly funny, offering the opportunity to make strong choices throughout,” says Fuccella.

Listen, I was in an airplane the other day, and I realized—well, I mean, I’ve been longing to say this out loud—women are born with pain built in. It’s our physical destiny. Period pain, sore boobs, childbirth, you know. We carry it within ourselves, throughout our lives. Men don’t. They have to seek it out. They invent all these gods and demons and things just so they can feel guilty about things—which is something we do very well on our own. And then they create wars so they can feel things and touch each other. And when there aren’t any wars, they can play rugby. And we have it all going on in here, inside. We have pain on a cycle for years and years and years. And then, just when you feel you are making peace with it all, what happens? The menopause comes. The fucking menopause comes! And it is the most wonderful fucking thing in the world. And yes, your entire pelvic floor crumbles, and you get fucking hot, and no one cares—but then, you’re free. No longer a slave. No longer a machine with parts. You’re just a person. In business.

“Barry” (television) by Alec Berg and Bill Hader: Sally

Fuccella says, “HBO’s ‘Barry’ has some of the most nuanced comedy on television. If you’re an actor that tends to lean toward drama, try Sally’s [Sarah Goldberg] monologue from the end of Season 2, in which she unloads her insecurities over a piece she’s written for acting class.”

I’m terrified, OK? Because my piece is real. It’s not a character. It’s me. Raw, unapologetic truth with a capital T. All caps, actually. I’m thinking like a writer now. I mean, this was stuff that I couldn’t even talk about without lying. And here I am, about to strip naked in front of a bunch of strangers and share something that I am massively ashamed of—not literally, I don’t believe in nudity unless it drives the story forward. I’m afraid that they’re gonna judge me, and I’m afraid that Sam’s gonna find out and do something crazy. But I have to do this. It’s my story to tell. But then, I mean, so many other women have the same story. What, am I a spokesperson for them now? Could I be the face of a movement? I mean, what if I get it wrong? I mean, I resent the fact that Nick can get up there and talk about his stomach condition, and it’s not like he has to be the poster boy for bulimia. But I get up there, and whatever I say, it’s like, What are we saying about women? I mean, this is just my story! But what if you get it wrong, Sally? I don’t know. You can’t get it wrong, Sally. But you can’t not tell it either, Sally, because it’s who you are. Which makes this thing that my agent sent me on today so fucking insulting. “Payback Ladies”? It’s just another shit male idea of what strong women are. Oh, oh, oh, grab a gun and some stilettos and get a goddamn blowout. And look how strong you are now, Sally! It’s bullshit! Which, by the way, so is this. It’s quite possibly the worst thing I’ve ever read. But you want to know the worst part? You want to know what’s really driving me fucking crazy? I am so jealous that you’re reading for this. I have never had a director session for a feature—which is the same thing as a movie, P.S. And I have been doing this for way longer, and I think you’d agree that I am way better. I made you! And I’m actually represented by Gersh. Well, at least I was. I don’t even know if they rep me anymore after what I said in there today, but still, at least I held my ground, because I am an artist, OK? An artist, and this is not fucking art! But then, I mean, to be honest, of course I’m so happy for you. I mean, of course I want you to get this part, and I want to be the one to help you learn your lines and fix your inflections. But I need you to know that if you do get it, it’s gonna make me, like…like, a hundred times more insane, OK?

“Nope” (film) by Jordan Peele: Emerald

Jordan Peele wrote this monologue as a way for Keke Palmer, playing the character Emerald, to quickly establish herself as a ‘tour de force’ and inject some energy into the room,” Fuccella explains. “Isn’t that exactly what you want from an audition?”

Hello! How y’all doing? Sorry for the tardiness. My name is Emerald, that’s OJ, and we are your animal wranglers today with Haywood Hollywood Horses. Now, did you know that the very first assembly of photographs in sequential order to create a motion picture was a two-second clip of a Black man on a horse? Yes it was, yes it was. Look it up. Now, I know you guys know Eadweard Muybridge, the grandfather of motion pictures, who took the pictures that created that clip. But does anybody know the name of the Black jockey that rode the horse? Nope. The very first stuntman, animal wrangler, and movie star all rolled into one, and there is literally no record of him. That man was a Bahamian jockey that went by the name of Alistair E. Haywood, and he is my great-great-grandfather…there’s another “great”…grandfather. That’s why back at the Haywood ranch, as the only Black-owned horse trainers in Hollywood, we like to say: Since the moment pictures could move, we had skin in the game. 

Alright, let’s get into some safety precautions while we’re on set, shall we? Number one, please refrain from making any loud noises, sudden movements, and keep your cell phones off. We’d really appreciate that. Two, if you see anything that looks or feels unsafe, contact me, OJ, or your second in chain of command. And three, let’s have a great shoot! And I am Emerald Haywood. I direct, write, produce, act. I do a little singing on the side. Motorcycles, baby. Look, I make a mean grilled cheese if you’re looking for crafty. Just holla at me.

“Colorado” (theater) by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb: Tracey

Fuccella says, “This opening speech…is a comedic gold mine, with nearly every line offering an opportunity to hit a funny beat. It’s also bursting with character; you get to play sincere, self-serving, and sardonic all at once.”

Thank you! Thank you all! Thank you so so so so much! Oh I love you so so, so so so much. Thank you! (Tracy signals the crowd to calm down. The cheering dies down.) This… This is the happiest day of my life! (Cheers.) I… I am so enchanted to receive this beautiful, glorious, magical, glistening crown, am so proud to be your Miss Late Teen Colorado, and am so thrilled to represent our great state in Virginia Beach this summer! (Cheers.) I couldn’t have done this without some very wonderful people who have helped me with my polished beauty and brilliance: My beauty trainer, my mentor, my spirit guide Stan: You never gave up on me, because you didn’t have to. My friends: Tammy, Tanya, Lorraine, Melinda, Cassie, Jen, Jennifer, Jen, Jennifer, Jenny, Jenna, Sandra, Sasha, Emilys K, V, B, and W, and Maxine, or “Maxi Pads” as we call her, sorry Maxine, or should I say Maxi Pads, ha ha ha, Toni, Bobbi, the entire horse species, and finally, my ex-boyfriend Chet, who showed me what it means to truly love in a physical way. 

And, like most importantly, there is no way in the entire planetary globe I would be here if it weren’t for the bottomless river of undying support from my loving family. 

Mom, (Grace appears in a pool of light, watching Tracey adoringly.) Dad, (Ron appears in a pool of light, also watching Tracey with pride.) I love you so so so so so much! Travis, my brother. (Travis appears in a pool, watches Tracey, a little bewildered.) Not really. 

I… I would like to dedicate this Late Teen crown to all the contestants who couldn’t be here tonight: Miss Lakewood, Miss Federal Heights, and Miss Castle Rock, who couldn’t compete because of the horrible, tragic events that have taken place at their schools. We wish you all a speedy recovery, this crown is for you. (Cheers.) I WANT TO USE THIS CROWN TO CHANGE THE WORLD! If I can just change one life, one little insignificant life, I think it will justify the beauty that God has given me. 

Thank you all! Thank you for loving me so much!

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Comedic Monologues for Men

Actor Robert Peterpaul says, “Comedic material is out there just waiting for actors to chew up.” However, that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to find! Luckily, Peterpaul is helping to fix that problem by sharing some of the best comedic monologue options for men.

“City Slickers” (film) by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel: Mitch

“If you’re looking for a midlife crisis ramble, ‘City Slickers’ has got you covered,” says Peterpaul. “Things plummet down a darkly funny path as [Mitch, played by Billy Crystal] details the horrors of growing old.”

Value this time in your life, kids, because this is the time in your life when you still have your choices, and it goes by so fast. When you’re a teenager, you think you can do anything, and you do. Your 20s are a blur. Thirties, you raise your family, you make a little money, and you think to yourself, What happened to my 20s? Forties, you grow a little potbelly; you grow another chin. The music starts to get too loud, and one of your old girlfriends from high school becomes a grandmother. Fifties, you have a minor surgery—you’ll call it a procedure, but it’s a surgery. Sixties, you’ll have a major surgery; the music is still loud, but it doesn’t matter because you can’t hear it anyway. The 70s, you and the wife retire to Fort Lauderdale. You start eating dinner at two o’clock in the afternoon, you have lunch around 10, breakfast the night before. You spend most of your time wandering around malls looking for the ultimate soft yogurt and muttering, “How come the kids don’t call? How come the kids don’t call?” The 80s, you’ll have a major stroke; you end up babbling to some Jamaican nurse who your wife can’t stand but who you call “Mama.” Any questions?

“New Girl” (television) by Elizabeth Meriwether: Winston

“Lamorne Morris’ Winston delivers an epic Saturday morning rant after his roommates and their friends wake him up too early,” says Peterpaul. “The result is a fun monologue that has the possibility to fully showcase an actor’s comedic prowess.”

Everybody, stop! Wherever you are right now, just sit down! OK, now, Saturday is a day for sleeping. And damn it, you will not take that away from me. You… Give her her scarf back. Finders keepers is not a thing. You… Get out of my house!

Who am I? Who am I? Well, I am Theodore K. Mullins. And Nick is my lover on the down low. Tell her, Nick. Tell her how it really goes down in apartment 4D. Oh, great Negro spiritual, please come down and loose these chains on this woman! Flesh on flesh. When the lights are off, we are all the same.

Dear lord, help me, Father! Get out of my house. Get out of my house! Get out. 

“Palm Springs” (film) by Andy Siara and Max Barbakow: Nyles 

Peterpaul says, “The acclaimed 2020 flick charmed audiences and could help you charm people on the other side of the table. Nyles (Andy Samberg) bookends the film with a duo of memorable monologues. The first is a quirky, alcohol-fueled wedding reception toast that no one asked for.”

We are born lost. Then, we’re found. But we’re all just lost, am I right? However, in the darkness comes light. Tala Anne Wilder and Abraham Eugene Trent Schlieffen—who do not look like siblings. You see, their optimism, their selflessness, it’s in their blood. And Tala, there’s something that a lot of people here don’t know about you, but they should. I hope you don’t mind. It’s not just time and money that Tala has given to so many charitable causes. She has also donated of herself. Bone marrow. That’s right. She gave hers to her baby brother Nico, saving his life. But now it’s time for us to give to you. Here you are standing on the precipice of something so much bigger than anyone here. And it may be frightening and filled with doubt. But always remember: You are not alone. Everyone here is your family. We are your world. And we will cheer you on with delight in our eyes as you achieve your wildest dreams. So raise a glass. We may be born lost, but now you are found. Cheers.

“Schitt’s Creek” (television) by Dan Levy and Eugene Levy: David  

“One standout is when David [Dan Levy] leaves a hilarious heap of voicemails for Patrick [Noah Reid] about his plans for the general store,” says Peterpaul. “There are several other instances within the episode [Season 3, Episode 8] that could be cobbled together for a comedic piece.”

(leaving a voicemail)  

Hi, David, it’s Patrick. I, um... was just calling to run my business plan, uh, by you in a little more detail. So, feel free to give me a call back, and I will be happy to walk you through it. OK, ciao!
(hangs up)
“Ciao.” I said “ciao” to that person.
(calls again to leave another voicemail)
Hi, Patrick. Yeah, I think I... I think I called you David. Which that’s not... that’s not your name. You can just delete that text... the mess... uh, the voicemail that I left you. Um, just thought it might be a good idea to give you some background information about... the... the store. It’s basically a general store, um, that will support local artists under the brand of the store, which... which would also be my brand.
(phone dings)
Sorry, I just got a text. 

(call ends)

Oh, God.
(calls voicemail again)
Yeah, the text cut us off…

“Unbearable Hotness” (theater) by Gabriel Davis: Brandon 

“This one-act comedic play is chock-full of juicy and explicit monologues. One of the funniest is when Brandon details how he may have accidentally just pushed Chuck off the roof of the house party,” says Peterpaul.

I just fuckin’ killed Chuck. I think. I mean, he’s just laying out there. He’s not moving. I don’t think he’s breathing.

I mean, there I was just up on the roof with Marisa—talking, laughing, having a great time. I tell her she reminds me of Sandra Bullock. I tell her I loved “Hope Floats.” Who knew those would be the magic words? Next thing I know her clothes are off and we’re loosening roof shingles like there’s no tomorrow. And then there’s biting and kissing and touching and suddenly someone starts beating on me, I mean, just pounding on me and growling. Yeah, growling. And I look up and there’s Chuck. And I’m like, “What’s the problem?” and he says “The problem is, dude, you’re fucking my girlfriend.” 

So I look at Marisa and I’m like “You’re someone’s girlfriend?” And she says “No.” Then it comes out Chuck just wishes she’s his girlfriend but actually she’s his cousin or something, so he’s got these feelings of guilt about wanting her...and then he starts crying. 

So that ruined the mood. Marisa puts her clothes on, and she goes back down through the window, back into the party. And I’m left with Chuck. Blubbering, whining, crying Chuck. 

And he starts in on how he’s just this total fuck up and maybe he should just throw himself off the roof. And for a split second I’m thinking “YES! Throw yourself off the roof! Do it!” But I don’t say that. I say “You’re gonna get a girl, buddy, just maybe not your cousin, huh?” And then I give him a friendly pat on the back. A nice manly slap on the back. And he looked heavy, I mean, who knew he’d go flying.

Who knew he’d go flying right off the roof?

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Comedic monologues for teens

Acting coach Denise Simon knows that the first step to nailing comedy is finding the ideal monologue. Simon notes, “It’s important to remember that comedic monologues should be active instead of passive and be age-appropriate and relatable.” To help you find the perfect piece, she’s rounded up some great picks for teens.

“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (theater) by William Shakespeare: Helena 

Helena’s soliloquy here oozes with insecurity and angst, which makes it perfect for a teen girl to play to maximum effect,” says Simon. “We can see her insecurities peeping through as she tries to convince Demetrius to return her affection.”

How happy some o’er other some can be!
Through Athens I am thought as fair as she,
But what of that? Demetrius thinks not so;
He will not know what all but he do know.
And, as he errs, doting on Hermia’s eyes,
So I, admiring of his qualities.
Things base and vile, holding no quantity,
Love can transpose to form and dignity.
Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.
Nor hath Love’s mind of any judgement taste;
Wings and no eyes figure unheedy haste.
And therefore is Love said to be a child
Because in choice he is so oft beguiled.
As waggish boys in game themselves forswear,
So the boy Love is perjured everywhere.
For ere Demetrius looked on Hermia’s eyne
He hailed down oaths that he was only mine,
And when this hail some heat from Hermia felt,
So he dissolved, and showers of oaths did melt.
I will go tell him of fair Hermia’s flight.
Then to the wood will he tomorrow night
Pursue her. And for this intelligence
If I have thanks it is a dear expense.
But herein mean I to enrich my pain,
To have his sight thither and back again.

“All This Intimacy” (theater) by Rajiv Joseph: Jen 

“The character Jen’s hilarious attempts to wring some emotion out of her boyfriend are foiled by her own ineptitude in her monologue here,” says Simon.

Ty... I wasn’t going to bring this up today, but seeing as you have laryngitis, I figured this might be the best time to have this conversation. Because any inclination you might have to interrupt me, well, that just won’t be possible because you can’t speak. Ha. Oh well. OK, OK... Just sit still for a second and let me speak before you start scribbling away like a madman, jeez! I knew you’d do this or something, just sit and let me say my peace! (Jen reads what he wrote.) 

Look, I know it is, but I kind of have to seize the moment here. Whenever we talk you always talk me out, you put words in my mouth. (Ty writes again and shows the page. Jen reads.) No! That’s NOT what I mean! Listen. OK. Ty: (Beat.) So. As you know. As we both well know... There has never been a time in my life, really ever, when I haven’t been, you know... in school. And I know I’m always saying this, OK? Let me finish! (Jen reads the notebook. Ty scrawls something brief. She reads.) You know I don’t like that word, and it’s rude. (He scrawls another word, seemingly profane.) Nice. Thank you. Shut up. OK! God! I can’t believe you have laryngitis and you’re still interrupting me! Constantly! 

Look, I’m going to talk and you can listen or you can not listen, but here it is. When it comes to figuring out what to do with my life, I’ve been seriously claustrophobic. Because choosing things narrows down your life, it limits you and it freaks me out. I’m not kidding. Every time you make a decision, you narrow your life more and more... I mean that’s what you’re supposed to do! It’s about carving out an identity before you get old and die! (Ty scrawls.) No. NO! I don’t want sushi! I’m not staying for dinner! (Ty scrawls.) BREAK UP, OK? BREAK. UP. Me. Break Up. With You. How about that! Oh, but this has never happened to Ty Greene before because he’s too smooth a talker and no one can ever get two words in—(Ty scrawls.) I’m not going to read your shit! (Ty writes. Shows her earnestly. She reads it in spite of herself. She looks at him and then away.) 

We’ve talked about this! And don’t look at me like that! You know. You have your book and your job and you’re hot shit and all that, so you don’t know what I’m talking about. (Ty scrawls “So?!” and shows her.) So that’s it. And by the way, a year ago you broke up with me. Out of the blue! So don’t act all heartbroken. (Ty looks at her, heartbroken.) Yeah yeah yeah. (Ty scrawls something and shows her.) Very funny. No! I don’t want that. That’s what we’ve been doing. No more fooling around. No more hooking up. No more having your cake and eating it too. (Ty scrawls.) That’s what I meant by cake. (Ty scrawls one word.) It’s not you. I just never feel that we’re on the same page. This is what I’m talking about, Ty. I’m trying to pull things together. I love you, but when I’m around you, things come apart. They come apart.

“Dags” by Debra Oswald (theater): Gillian 

This piece really does call out the oxymoron of adolescence,” says Simon. “Teen girls will relate with not fitting in, attempts to be popular, and waking up with pimples, which will ruin your day.”

All right. I’m going to admit something I never thought I’d admit to anyone ever. I’ve got a crush on Adam. Head over heels. Uncontrollable passion, etcetera. Unrequited passion, of course. Now I know this sounds like I’m throwing away everything I’ve said so far. And I guess I am. I know every girl at school except Monica is in love with him. I know he’d never go for a dag like me. I know it’s hopeless. I know all that. But I can’t help it. Just thinking he might look at me, my heart starts pounding like mad. And then I worry about whether he can tell my heart’s going crazy, and I have to act really cool. This crush—it’s like a disease. Do you know—oh, I’m almost too embarrassed to admit this—Adam misses the bus sometimes. ‘Cos he’s chatting up some girl or something. And do you know what I do? I get off the bus after one stop and walk back to school, so I can hang round the bus stop hoping he’ll turn up. Just so I can ride on the same bus with him. Isn’t that the most pathetic thing you’ve ever heard? I’m crazy. I can lie here for hours thinking about him. Writing these movies in my head where Adam and me are the stars. I try to imagine how he’d notice me and fall hopelessly in love with me and all that. Like, one of my favorites is that the bus breaks down one day in this remote place and there we are stranded together. He discovers that I was this really fascinating woman all along. Far more interesting than all those silly girls at school. But—I say that I can’t bear to be just another notch on his belt. So Adam has to beg me to go out with him. Grovel almost. That’s a pretty over-the-top version.

“I Ought to Be in Pictures” by Neil Simon (theater): Libby 

This cutting is more of a dramatic comedy as Libby transitions from her initial nervous ramblings about her crush into the pain she feels over her strained relationship with her mother; and the lyricism is impressive throughout,” Simon explains.

I was wondering if I could discuss something with you. It’s about sex. Don’t get nervous. If you get nervous, I’ll get nervous. I’m in trouble...I mean...I don’t know how to do anything sexual. Most of the people left the party. And Gordon and I were sitting at the bottom of the hill in a car. And he wanted to fool around. He’s not gorgeous but he’s kinda cute. And I felt very grateful to him, and I didn’t want to hurt his feelings. And I wanted to fool around too. Only I didn’t know what was right. I didn’t want to be one of those girls they call “easy,” but I didn’t want to be impossible either. So I just kissed him and got out of the car and decided not to deal with it. 

But this Saturday night I think I’m going to have to deal with it. I never talked about these things with my mother because she doesn’t trust men too much. You can guess why. And Grandma… well, sex isn’t her best subject. I brought it up a couple of times but she pretended she was dead. I know how sex works. I don’t have any mechanical problems. I’ve seen five X-rated movies. I could pass a test on it. I just don’t know what to expect—emotionally. And I need to discuss it and you’re my father. And what you think means a lot to me. If it’s a major trauma for you, I understand. 

I mean, I could always take a couple of glasses of wine and just plunge in. I’ve got to have my first time sometime. If it’s not Gordon, I could always use the information. Should I ask you some questions? Well... Emotionally, is it different for the man than it is for the girl? It is? How old were you the first time? FIFTEEN? Who was the girl? Okay, nevermind. So, what was it like with Mom? That’s a very personal question, isn’t it? Did you do it with her before or after you were married? She said after. I knew she lied. She just couldn’t talk to me about those things. That’s why I’m talking to you. 

I wanted to know how she felt. If she was scared or excited. Was it fun? Was it painful? I didn’t think it was an unreasonable question. I mean, if she could teach me how to walk, why couldn’t she teach me how to love? So what was she like? Making love. Because she was so angry when you left. So bitter. I don’t think she ever slept with another man after you were gone. It’s like when you left, you took her with you. That’s why I was so angry with you. It was bad enough you were gone, but you could have left my mother there for me. She used to hug me so hard sometimes. Like she was trying to squeeze all the love out of me that she wasn’t getting anywhere else. 

So instead of growing up to be me, I grew up to be a substitute—I know Grandma’s dead. I know she probably can’t hear me. But I speak to her everyday anyway because I’m not so sure anyone else is listening. If I have to go for an interview, my heart pounds so much you can see it coming through my blouse. If you want the God’s honest truth, I don’t even want to be an actress. I don’t know the first thing about acting. I don’t know what I want to be... 

(Beginning to break down.) I just wanted to come out here and see you. I just wanted to know what you were like. I wanted to know why I was so frightened every time a boy wanted to reach out and touch me... I just wanted somebody in the family to hold me because it was me, Libby, and not somebody who wasn’t there. (Crying.) I love Mom so much. I didn’t mean to say anything against her. It’s just that she won’t let me inside. When she holds me, all I can feel is her arms... but I never feel what’s inside. (Crying openly now; turns away.) Boy oh boy… Really opened up the old waterworks. I never expected to do that. I hope you have flood insurance.

“Serendipity and Serenity” (theater) by Jonathan Marc Sherman: Lionel

Lionel’s monologue from this play, which takes place in a bathroom, can be performed by both boys and girls and is always a winner,” says Simon.

Bathrooms are my favorite places. I mean, they’re so organic. Just the real essentials of life. Hell, if you just put in a refrigerator, bring a pillow and a few good books, you’d never have to leave, pretty much. They’re also really depressing. I mean, how many ways can you kill yourself in a bathroom. Let’s see—there’s the incredibly obvious and overdone slicing of the wrists with a razor blade, and the less common but more colorful slicing of the jugular vein. I suppose people stick to their wrists most of the time because it’s easier to cover up if you mess up and live. I mean, all you need to do is wear a watch, or long sleeved shirts, or a sweatband on your wrist. With the jugular you have to wear turtlenecks even on the hottest day of the summer. Then, you can always get some rope, make a noose and hang yourself on the shower rod. And, if you don’t know how to make a noose, don’t despair—it’s in the Cub Scout manual. I think it’s listed under “suicide,” but I can’t be sure of that. Those Cub Scouts can be very tricky sometimes. You can drown yourself in the tub, or, if you have a flair for symbolism, in the toilet. Or, I imagine, you could probably figure out a way to do it in the sink. You could always just lock the door and starve to death, but that probably takes patience. Then, of course, there’s always pills—any kind will probably do the trick. I heard that Tylenol’s one of the deadliest—of course, you have to take, like, a whole bottle, but what the hell, why would you want to save any, right?

“Everything Will Be Different” (theater) by Mark Schultz: Freddie

“After he stumbles through history’s most awkward pickup monologue, the audience will be rolling at his final, darkly random apology over the death of Charlotte’s mother,” Simon says.

Um. Hi. Charlotte. Um. Okay I know this is awkward and everything. Me just coming here and all. Like this. I mean I know I just really met you and everything. But I’ve seen you. Really. And I just gotta. I had to come and tell you. You know. And. This is embarrassing, I know. And I don’t mean it to be. It’s not supposed to be. I mean. But. Jesus, it’s cold out, right? Anyway there’s like a million things I wanna tell you right now, Charlotte. And I just. I don’t know. Like. You have such a cool room. I really like your bedspread. Um. This is usually the other way around. Okay I’ve seen you. And. You are so. Pretty. I think. I mean. I think you’re pretty. Right. Um. So I’ll just come out and say it. Okay. I think I love you. Charlotte. I really do. And. It’s not like this happens every day. You know. For me. I don’t just like fall in love with people. It’s hard. And I’ve really fallen for you. And I know it’s stupid and like. Stupid and everything. But. I wanna know if maybe we can go out and be like boyfriend girlfriend or something I don’t know. ‘Cause I’m really. I’m. In love. With you. And it’s hard. Keeping it inside. All the time. And I came here to say that. And ask you. You know. If we can maybe. Go out sometime. And. Eat something. Or. Watch a movie. Or I don’t know. I got a great entertainment system at home. I could show you. DVD. Surround sound and everything. It’s really cool. But. You know. We could go out and. Maybe I could touch you. And. Maybe you’d let me kiss you. I mean if that’s okay. Is that okay? ‘Cause I really love you. I really wanna be with you. It’s so important to me right now. I really. Just had to come and tell you. I couldn’t wait. Um. Shit I gotta get back to practice. Um. Okay. I love you. Please love me. Oh. And. I’m really sorry. About your mom. Being dead and all. That sucks. I gotta go.

“From Up Here” (theater) by Liz Flahive: Charlie

“This piece is a more mature version of ‘Everything Will Be Different,’ ” explains Simon. “It has all of the awkward, stumbling romance that Schultz writes, but the character Charlie is slightly older and more in control of what he says. It’s a dynamic monologue, with beats of contemplation juxtaposed with Charlie’s anxious ramblings. It is an easy monologue for lovesick teenage boys to understand.”

I wrote you that song. I wrote it because when I see you, normally, it’s just, it’s just a mess. When I think about you I can’t breathe and I look at you and I’m not sure you’re real. You just look like… 

Like if someone were to say, Hey can you draw a girl and I drew you they’d be like, hey, that’s a perfect drawing of a girl, you’re a real good artist. 

And my hands get all shaky when I want to touch you and you know that great hollow feeling you get in your stomach when you see someone you’ve been thinking about for days and then you turn the corner and there they are. 

And it’s like… (he exhales all the air in his lungs until the breath just stops) And the bottom drops out and I feel like I have no actual mass or dimension and it’s like maybe I’m seeing you at that moment after having thought about you because you were, at the same time, thinking about me. And that’s how we ended up at the exact same place in the exact same moment. By thinking about it that much. Do you need a ride?

You can learn more about these monologues here!

Comedic monologues for kids

Comedy can be especially hard for kids. “Understanding comedic timing and the drama beneath a character’s jokes takes a lot of work,” says Simon. Here are her suggestions for comedic monologues for children.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: A Children’s Play” (theater) by Richard R. George, adapted from the novel by Roald Dahl: Veruca

Simon says, “[This is] an excellent character piece for girls who have enough energy to nail Veruca’s over-the-top brattiness. From the engaging story to the unexpected shift in tone at the end, this monologue is a slam dunk to entertain even the most reserved audience.”

Where’s my Golden Ticket? I want my Golden Ticket! Oh yes… here it is! As soon as I told my father that I simply had to have one of those Golden Tickets, he went out into the town and started buying up all the Wonka candy bars he could lay his hands on. Thousands of them, he must have bought. Hundreds of thousands! Then he had them loaded onto trucks and sent directly to his own factory. He’s in the peanut business, you see, and he’s got about a hundred women working for him over at his joint, shelling peanuts for roasting and salting. That’s what they do all day long, those women… They just sit there shelling peanuts. So he says to them, “Okay, girls,” he says, “from now on, you can stop shelling peanuts and start shelling the wrappers off these crazy candy bars instead!” And they did. He had every worker in the place yanking the paper off those bars of chocolate, full speed ahead, from morning till night. But three days went by and we had no luck. Oh… it was terrible! I got more and more upset each day, and every time he came home I would scream at him, “Where’s my Golden Ticket? I want my Golden Ticket!” And I would lie for hours on the floor, kicking and yelling in the most disturbing way. Then suddenly, on the evening of the fourth day, one of his women workers yelled, “I’ve got it! A Golden Ticket!” And my father said, “Give it to me, quick!” And she did. And he rushed it home and gave it to me, and now… I’m all smiles… and we have a happy home… once again.

“The Incredibles” by Brad Bird (film): Syndrome 

This speech is delightfully self-aware, poking fun at the very trope of the villain monologue,” says Simon. “Here, [Buddy] explains how he rose to prominence and transformed into the Incredible family’s nemesis, Syndrome.”

See? Now you respect me, because I’m a threat. That’s the way it works. Turns out, there are a lot of people, whole countries, who want respect, and they will pay through the nose to get it. How do you think I got rich? I invented weapons, and now I have a weapon that only I can defeat, and when I unleash it, I’ll get… You sly dog! You got me monologuing! I can’t believe it. It’s cool, huh? Zero-point energy. I save the best inventions for myself. Am I good enough now? Who’s super now? I’m Syndrome, your nemesis and… Oh, brilliant.

“The Fifth of July” by Lanford Wilson (theater): Shirley

This is a high-energy piece that works best for outgoing kids,” says Simon. “The excitement that Shirley has while looking toward the future is endearing and hilarious, making the piece great for kids to impress with their willingness to make bold choices.”

I’m going to be the greatest artist Missouri has ever produced. No—the entire Midwest. There have been very famous people—world-famous people—Tennessee Williams grew up in Missouri. He grew up not three blocks from where I live now! All his formative years. And Mark Twain. And Dreiser! And Vincent Price and Harry Truman! And Betty Grable! But me! Oh God! Me! Me! Me! Me! I am going to be so great! Unqualified! The greatest single artist the Midwest has ever known! A painter. Or a sculptor. Or a dancer! A writer! A conductor! A composer! An actress! One of the arts! People will die. Certain people will literally have cardiac arrests at the magnitude of my achievements. Doing something astonishing! Just astonishing. I will have you know that I intend to study for 10 years, and then burst forth on the world. And people will be abashed! Amazed! Astonished! At the magnitude. Oh God! Look! Is that she? Is that she? Is it? IT IS! IT IS SHE! IT IS SHE! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! She died of cardiac arrest and astonishment at the magnificence of my achievement in my chosen field. Only Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Beethoven, and Frank Lloyd Wright have raised to my heights before me!

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” by Clark Gesner (theater), based on the comic strip by Charles M. Schulz: Charlie

“Charlie Brown may be the ultimate underdog of children’s literature. In this monologue, he once again manages to self-sabotage his attempts to woo the cute little redheaded girl, even putting a lunch bag over his head when he realizes she may actually be looking at him,” says Simon.

I think lunchtime is about the worst time of day for me. Always having to sit here alone. Of course, sometimes, mornings aren’t so pleasant either. Waking up and wondering if anyone would really miss me if I never got out of bed. Then there’s the night, too. Lying there and thinking about all the stupid things I’ve done during the day. And all those hours in between when I do all those stupid things. Well, lunchtime is among the worst times of the day for me. Well, I guess I’d better see what I’ve got. Peanut butter. Some psychiatrists say that people who eat peanut butter sandwiches are lonely… I guess they’re right. And when you’re really lonely, the peanut butter sticks to the roof of your mouth. There’s that cute little redheaded girl eating her lunch over there. I wonder what she would do if I went over and asked her if I could sit and have lunch with her?… She’d probably laugh right in my face… It’s hard on a face when it gets laughed in. There’s an empty place next to her on the bench. There’s no reason why I couldn’t just go over and sit there. I could do that right now. All I have to do is stand up… I’m standing up!... I’m sitting down. I’m a coward. I’m so much of a coward, she wouldn’t even think of looking at me. She hardly ever does look at me. In fact, I can’t remember her ever looking at me. Why shouldn’t she look at me? Is there any reason in the world why she shouldn’t look at me? Is she so great, and I’m so small, that she can’t spare one little moment?... SHE’S LOOKING AT ME!! SHE’S LOOKING AT ME!! (he puts his lunch bag over his head) Lunchtime is among the worst times of the day for me. If that little redheaded girl is looking at me with this stupid bag over my head, she must think I’m the biggest fool alive. But, if she isn’t looking at me, then maybe I could take it off quickly and she’d never notice it. On the other hand…I can’t tell if she’s looking, until I take it off! Then again, if I never take it off, I’ll never have to know if she was looking or not. On the other hand…it’s very hard to breathe in here. (he removes his sack) Whew! She’s not looking at me! I wonder why she never looks at me? Oh well, another lunch hour over with...only 2,863 to go.

“The Young Girl and the Monsoon” by James Ryan (film): Constance

Simon says, “In this piece, a young girl laments the hypothetical weight gain she’ll experience if she eats her father’s oily broccoli. It’s a conflict kids can understand that is presented by a hilariously talkative little girl, creating a comedic environment rooted in a real, albeit overblown fear.”

I don’t want all this broccoli. It’s all covered with oil. I’m gonna gain 400 pounds… Half of it?! Then I’ll gain 200 pounds! Do you see how much that is?! I can’t stand Chinese food. You always bring me to these Chinese places… When I was at Grammy’s, I got these really bad headaches? I thought it was from a brain tumor. I thought I had a brain tumor because of the thing that comes out of the back of my head. See over here?… But I realized everyone had those things sticking out of the back of their head. Even you. They were haying the fields at Grammy’s. It was my sinuses. I hate that farm. It is so boring. Vermont is so boring. And you should see the clothes they wear. Oh, God, I can’t stand this broccoli.

You can learn more about these monologues here!

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