Hamlet and Costello

Ladies and gentlemen, it is my singular pleasure to welcome back to Yorick’s House of Gibes & Gambols this wacky duo of melancholy prince and his chubby friend... Hamlet and Costello!

COSTELLO: Heeeeeyyy, Hamlet!

HAMLET: A little more than kin, and less than kind.

COSTELLO: What do you mean?

HAMLET: Exactly that.

COSTELLO: Exactly what?



HAMLET: My uncle. He is mean. He is not at all kind.

COSTELLO: Oh, I’ll say.

HAMLET: You don’t have to. I already said it.

COSTELLO: But I kin say it again, kin’t I?

HAMLET: I suppose you kin.

COSTELLO: Anyway, what’s got you down? Is it the weather?

HAMLET: I am too much i’ the sun.

COSTELLO: I know what you mean. I had a son—Lou, Jr., but we called him “Butch”—who drowned in our family pool two days before his first birthday.

HAMLET: That... that’s the worst thing I’ve ever heard. And my uncle murdered my father and married my mother.

COSTELLO: And you’re still moping about it! Me, I did a radio show that very night.

HAMLET: Would that your too too solid flesh would melt, thaw, and resolve itself into a dew?

COSTELLO: Nah. But I wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds around the middle!

In this next bit, Hamlet and Costello return from a night out to their lodgings at the Elsinore Arms. Let’s listen in...

HAMLET: 2B, or not 2B: that is the question.

COSTELLO: Did you forget what room we’re in?

HAMLET: Yes. And I’m very tired. To die... no, just to sleep. Yes, I just want to sleep, perchance to dream. Ay, there’s the rub.

COSTELLO: That was me. I was rubbing you.


COSTELLO: I was trying to jog your memory. I’m tired, too. I wanna go to bed.

HAMLET: Perhaps we could inquire at the front desk. Would you mind going?

COSTELLO: I dunno, Hamlet. Shuffling off on this motel call gives me paws.

HAMLET: Paws? Animal feet?

COSTELLO: No, the other one.

HAMLET: Ah, “pause”!



COSTELLO: Okay, I’m going. But if I don’t make it back, remember my sins!

HAMLET: Lou, in my orisons be all your sons remember’d.

COSTELLO: No, I said sins, not sons. I only had the one son, and he drowned. Remember?

HAMLET: Alas, Costello! I knew him; a little fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy; I had borne him on my back a thousand times...

COSTELLO: No, that’s my wife you’re thinking of, and we should probably talk about that in the morning.

Finally, we observe our friends as they take in a play...

HAMLET: Marry, this is miching mallecho; it means mischief.

COSTELLO: What? Who’s getting married?

HAMLET: Not married. Marry.

COSTELLO: So Mary is getting hitched?

HAMLET: No. Miching. Not hitching.

COSTELLO: Then who is Mallecho miching?

HAMLET: I don’t follow.

COSTELLO: You don’t follow! Look here, you said that Mary is miching Mallecho, and that means mischief. What do you mean?

HAMLET: Just as I said! Mischief!

COSTELLO: Mischief most foul?

HAMLET: You are thinking of murder.

COSTELLO: I usually am! In fact, I’ve never been convinced that my son’s death was an accident.


Well, that’s our show, folks! How about a warm round of applause for Hamlet and Costello? Don’t forget that tipping your waitress isn’t just a custom more honour’d in the breach than the observance. Good night, and watch your arras!

Matthew David Brozik wrote this and many other short humor pieces, which have been published in print and online by The New Yorker, Adult Swim, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Grin & Tonic, The Big Jewel, and no one.

Read more humor here. Or read some fiction here.