by Teresa Jennings
In case you missed this little nuance in the opening skit, the question that Phlegis asks Asparagus is in reference to a knock knock joke. Should you decide to use the skit, it will lead you naturally into a song about - what else? - knock knock jokes!
As with a couple of the songs from the first issue, this song is a set-up for some young comedians to do their thing. Knock knock jokes are pretty tame and perhaps will entice some of your more shy students to participate. The "Who's there?," etc., parts are particularly non-threatening.
As we have indicated on the music, we suggest you alternate performers for each verse. They speak the lines naturally, not attempting to be rhythmic.Encourage students to use a variety of personalities and delivery styles. Our kids had a great time with this, as you will hear on the CD.
Here's a very helpful hint: Cue each line yourself. Since each piece of the joke is to be told approximately during every measure, they will absolutely want to rush it. Make them wait for you to point at them or they will be done long before they mean to be.
The first through seventh endings are little interludes, complete with lighthearted percussion and sound effects, which give you the chance to have the previous jokesters leave while new ones enter. Work out the flow ahead of time.
The only singing in the whole piece comes after the eighth ending. While it looks strange on paper, once you hear how it goes, it'll be a piece of cake. None of our kids had any trouble with it.
Consider letting your characters dress in costumes for this one. Either dress them for the individual joke (an alligator costume??), or maybe have old-fashioned straw hats and canes for everyone.
Offer to let your performers substitute their own knock knock jokes in the song. But do be sure to audition them first.
Text is taken from Music K-8 magazine.