So You Want to Be a Gladiator

Synopsis: Joe thinks he's back in the gladiator days, and finds himself sentenced to be thrown to the Coliseum lions after breaking a string while playing the lyre for King Nero. His friend Homer says he will disguise himself as a lion, but Homer gets sidetracked and Joe goes out to meet a real lion with his lyre as his only weapon. But he wins out and is awarded a slave girl as his prize, until his wife steps in.
Genre: Comedy, Short
Director(s): Richard L. Bare
10 min

Says here taxes are goin' higher. Higher?

I'm already in the three pig bracket.

Joe, if you had any gumption,

you'd ask ol' skinflint for a raise.

What for? You wanta get me

in the four pig bracket?

Well, look at this robe.

These are even last year's tassels.

And this stonework is falling apart.

Not to mention that thing you call a

chariot, it's always at the blacksmith's.

Well, she's transportation, dear.

- Transportation?

I took it to the market last week,

and both wheels fell off.

Honestly, Joe, if you don't

start making more money, m'm,

well, well, I'm gonna go an'

see ol' skinflint myself.

Alice! Ol' skinflint happens

to be the emporer.

And he hasn't got time to listen to

the complaints of disgruntled wives.

What's more, Nero told me just

the other day, I'm on the way up.

Oh, really, Joe? Gee, I hope so.

- Don't you worry, dear.

In three years I've worked my up

to second position away from Nero.

Pretty soon I'll be right under 'im.

Goodbye, dear.

Homer, the emporer seems to be

in a somber mood today.

He should be. His wife said,

no more court maidens.

What're those two doin' up there?

He's tapering off.

Who did that?

I, I did, sir.

- Come here, boy.

Well, go ahead, kiddo, the boss

wants to see yuh. Get up there.

Aren't you the one who played E flat

last week in my favorite sonata?

Yes, sir.

- And now you break a string. How amusing.

Faulty gut, sir.

- Please.

Tell me, Joseph, how would

you like to play a solo?

A solo?

- Say before thirty or forty thousand?

A solo? Thirty or forty thousand?

Oh, your excellency!

Stop the slobbering!

Leave that for the lions.

The lions?

That's right. You appear in the Coliseum

next Saturday. You're on the program.

I'm on the program!

Now what's the matter?

Aw, you're right, honey, we're

gonna have to trade 'er in.

Joe. Joe, you mean you got the raise?

Well, yeah, I'm doing a solo at

the Coliseum. I'm on the program.

Oh, Joe, I'm so proud of you. This

ol' cat gut'll get us some place yet.

You're sure you're not lyin'?

- Lion?

Hey, bud. We're organizin' the

gladiators into Local Forty-two,

the Butchers, Bakers an' Undertakers.

You stick with us...

we'll get yuh track shoes, a longer spear,

an' a company funeral at no cost to you.

All right, McDoakes, you're on. Go get

your equipment. An' hurry up about it.

It's me, Homer.

The boys in the orchestra took up a

collection and bought this lion suit.

Lion suit? What d'I need a lion suit for?

Joe. Joe, wait a minute. You missed

the point. I will be in the suit.

Youll be in --Youll --(laughing)


You're gonna be in the suit. You-

- Exactly.

Excellent program today. For a moment I

thought the last gladiator was goin' to win.

Look at me. Look at me,

Joe, I'm a real fighter.

Ho! What's ol' Bess doin' here?

Why, she's about to have her cubs.

Take her downstairs to the lions' club.

Come on, Bess. Come on, Bessie girl.

Nero wants the best lion we can throw

into the arena for the next act.

Hurry up there. Easy, easy.

Out you go, Bess.

Down to the lions' club.

Easy now. Easy...

McDoakes! You're not gonna use these.

This is your weapon. - A lyre?

- Don't you call me a liar!

Who's next? Oh, the musician, eh?

There you are, my discord. Perhaps you

shall make better music with the lion.

And if, by any stretch

of the imagination,

you should conquer your opponent, then

you shall have the beautiful slave girl,

that waits you behind yonder curtain.

Commence the concert.

Very good, Homer.

You sound like a real lion.

Even smell like a lion.

Action! I want to see action!

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Richard L. Bare

Richard Leland Bare (August 12, 1913 – March 28, 2015) was an American director, producer, and screenwriter of television shows and short films. Born in Turlock, California, he attended USC School of Cinematic Arts where he directed his most notable student film, The Oval Portrait, an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's story. He became notable post-graduation for writing and directing the Joe McDoakes series of short films for Warner Brothers between 1942 and 1956, featuring George O'Hanlon in the title role. On television, he directed seven classic The Twilight Zone episodes: "To Serve Man", "What's in the Box?", "The Fugitive", "Third from the Sun", "The Purple Testament", "Nick of Time" and "The Prime Mover". He directed virtually every episode of the 1960s-1970s CBS television series Green Acres. He also directed feature films, including Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend and Wicked, Wicked. On May 2, 2014, he acquired the rights with producer Phillip Goldfine to produce a movie and Broadway play based on Green Acres.His memoir, Confessions of a Hollywood Director discusses his directorial work, as well as behind-the-scenes information, and his service as a captain in the Army Air Forces' First Motion Picture Unit. Bare also wrote The Film Director: A Practical Guide to Motion Picture and Television Techniques (1971; ISBN 0-02-012130-X), a text to teach the craft of directing to aspiring filmmakers. On November 19, 2007, Bare announced that he was working on a revival of Green Acres.He died on March 28, 2015, at the age of 101 at his home in Newport Beach, California. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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