Busy Bee – a classic clown skit
Busy Bee is a very well-known, enormously funny clown skit, created by Coco, and is included in several collections of skits, including World’s Funniest Clown Skits. It can be performed for 2, 3 or more clowns, but is most commonly performed with 3 clowns. It is not a ministry skit, by any stretch, although it could certainly be used as a lead-in to talk about deception, what the world promises vs. what it delivers, etc.
I first saw it performed live at the UW-Clown Camp 1998 by Jim Howle, Mr. Magish, and Lee Mullally. There are innumerable variations of the skit, with much room for inserting your own clown character in the skit—please do so. It goes a little something like this…
(begins with clown 1 seated at center stage, a vacant look in his eyes—clearly not the brightest bulb on the tree, here… Clown 2 walks on stage, either with a water bottle, or a table with water pitcher & glasses behind clown 1)
Clown 2: Hey, 1!
Clown 1: Yes?
Clown 2: Do you like honey?
Clown 1: (mugging for the audience) mmmm, oh YES, I LOVE honey! Gimme gimme gimme!
Busy Bee skit, with jim Howle, David Mitchell at UW Clown Camp 1998
Clown 2: Not so fast! Do you know where honey comes from? Bees gather it from beautiful flowers; so, I’ll pretend to be a bee, and gather the honey from the flowers, and then I’ll give it to you!
Clown 1: (confused look) I don’t see any flowers…
Clown 2: You have to use your imagination! Look out there (pointing to audience), at that beautiful field of flowers…
Clown 1: (looking at the audience) Beautiful? (mugging for the audience)
Clown 2: (disgusted look, perhaps a slapstick blow to Clown 1) Yes! Now sit there while I gather the honey. (Time for audience participation. Clown 2 goes into the audience, interacting with various individuals, doing whatever 1-on-1 interaction works for his clown character, eventually coming back on stage. Remember the rule of 3, here).
Clown 1: Now I get the honey?
Clown 2: Almost! Now all you have to do is say, “Busy Bee, Busy Bee, what do you have in the hive for me?”
Clown 1: OK! (looks directly at the audience, while Clown 2 walks behind him and, in plain view of the audience, takes a deep sip of water, holding it in his mouth) Busy Bee, Busy Bee, what do you have in the hive for me?
Clown 2: (imitating a bee, buzzes to the side of Clown 1, & lets him have it with a spray of cold water)
Clown 1: (reacting, likely doing a ‘slow burn’) Hey! That’s a dirty trick!
Clown 2: (acting shocked) Dirty? With all that water? Besides, just look for someone stupider than yourself to pull it on!
Clown 1: (with evil grin spreading on his face, mugging for the audience) Yeah!
Clown 2 walks off-stage. If there are only 2 clowns, Clown 2 re-enters with a wig, large sunglasses, or some other transparent disguise as Clown 3—otherwise, Clown 3 enters, and sits down in the chair. During this, Clown 1 has been scanning the area for the next victim—he finally settles upon Clown 3.
Clown 1: Hey there! Do you like honey?
Clown 3: Absolutely!
Clown 1: OK! Then here’s what we have to do: I have to gather the flour from the bees… no, that’s not it… I have to gather the bees from the flowers… no… I have to… GATHER THE HONEY FROM THE FLOWERS! (this is said with the exuberance of the cave man who has just discovered fire) You sit here! When I’m done, you say “Busy Bee, Busy Bee, what do you have in the hive for me?”—Got it?
Clown 3: Absolutely!
As Clown 1 goes out to the audience to gather his honey, Clown 3 goes and drinks a large mouthful of water, and sits back down, cheeks bulging. Clown 1 eventually returns, and the fun begins as he waits for Clown 3 to say the phrase. After much clowning back and forth, Clown 1 swallows and says…
Clown 1: No, no, no! You’re supposed to say, “Busy Bee, Busy Bee, what do you have in the hive for me?”
Clown 3, of course, sprays the water onto the hapless clown one, who does a take for the audience. This can then end with a chase off-stage.