Sheep's Clothing Store"
by Fred Passmore copyight 2003
Synopsis: "The Sheep's Clothing Store" is where items like clothing and accessories are sold to make people look like believers so they can infiltrate churches, date a believer or simply look respectable. Mr. Wolfe (the devil) is the store manager and salesman. A non-committed churchgoer is a customer that discovers that not all is as it seems in the store.
Characters: Mr. Wolfe, the owner and proprietor of the store. Customer #1, who is the church-goer, Customer #2, a girl that wants to date a Christian and needs to be able to pass for one. Mr. Shepherd, who comes to the rescue.
Costumes: Mr. Wolfe should be dressed in a suit and tie. The other customers are casual.
Props: A clothing rack with various outfits hung on it, a table with clothing on it, a large leather-bound Bible, a large gold cross on a chain, a small booklet, a bag for the purchases, a credit card, a pocket calculator, a telephone.
Setting: The inside of a clothing store.
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"The Sheep's Clothing Store"
(If you are using the Supplemental Skit Trax CD, begin Track #14, the skit open music, which concludes with the Customer Entry bell ringing.)
(A smartly dressed man, Mr. Wolfe, who is the manager, enters carring some clothes on hangers, and places them on a rack with others. On a table nearby are various clothing items and accessories, as listed in the Props description.
As he straightens his merchandise, a customer enters the store, coinciding with the entry bell ring.)
Mr. Wolfe: (Walking over to meet the customer.) Good afternoon, welcome to the Sheep's Clothing Store. How may I be of service?
Customer #1: Thanks, but I'm just looking.
Mr. Wolfe: Wonderful, feel free to browse, and let me know if I can help you with anything.
Customer #1: (As he looks over the items on the counter.) I've never seen this store before, is it new?
Mr. Wolfe: In this area, yes. But I operate a large number of stores in various areas that have been in business for many, many years.
Customer #1: Are you the owner?
Mr. Wolfe: Indeed I am, My name is Mr. Wolfe. I oversee the opening of each new store and operate it until it gets established.
Customer #1: Much business here yet?
Mr. Wolfe: Oh, yes. I can hardly keep the stock on the shelves fast enough. People love our clothes, they are the finest quality garments and accessories found anywhere. We design, manufacture and sell our own line of clothing and accessories for men and women. In fact, we sell only our own line of garments.
Customer #1: Really? I've never heard of it. Sheep's Clothing. Don't you advertise?
Mr. Wolfe: Quite frankly, no. You see, people that wear our clothes are looking to project a certain image, and if others knew that it was our clothes they were wearing, that image would suffer. We sell by word of mouth, mostly.
Customer #1: I don't get it. Don't you sell a clothing line for Christians?
Mr. Wolfe: Well, not quite. It's a bit difficult to explain...
(At this point another customer comes in, a lady or girl.)
Mr. Wolfe: Excuse me, I'll be back in a moment. (To the new customer.) Welcome to Sheep's Clothing, may I help you?
Customer #2: Yes, I'm supposed to meet someone tonight, and I wanted to wear something special. A friend of mine recommended your store and said you could help me with what I need.
Mr. Wolfe: Of course, you've come to the right place! Now, what type of situation did you need to dress for, and what did you have in mind?
(Customer #1 is browsing, but casually watching all of the interplay to see what happens.)
Customer #2: Well, the guy I'm meeting is a real church-goer, and I'm not. I think I'd like him, but I've heard it said that he only dates girls that go to church also. I'd like for him to think I'm a Christian, so he'll want to go out with me.
Mr. Wolfe: Ah, I see! Just the occasion that calls for our particular fashions. Please follow me, I have an outfit that will look smashing on you!
(Customer #1 frowns slightly as he overhears the discussion and keeps watching discreetly.)
Mr. Wolfe: (Leading the second customer to the clothes rack, he selects a dress.) Here's a lovely little number that is not only simple, but says "I'm modest in a charming way and just a bit old-fashioned." Any church in the country would welcome a lady dressed like this.
Customer #2: (Holding it up to herself.) It's not very flattering or figure-revealing.
Mr. Wolfe: No, indeed. But that's the point. Once you have snared the unsuspecting young fellow, you can give it to Goodwill and go back to whatever you want to wear.
Customer #2: (Folding it over her arm.) It's nice, but I think it might take a bit more than a dress to convince him.
Mr. Wolfe: (Holding up a finger.) Very perceptive! Indeed it will. That's why we also sell the perfect accessories to any outfit you will find in the Sheep's Clothing Store. Look over here. (He leads her to the table where the other customer is looking and standing behind.) For example, here is a lovely gold-plated cross to put around your neck. (He holds it up, and she takes it to look at.)
Customer #2: It's lovely! I do notice a lot of people wearing them lately, even rock stars and rap artists.
Mr. Wolfe: Oh, yes, we supply most of them that you see on television. After all, Jesus said, "Take up your cross and follow me," and this is exactly what he meant by it! That, along with this large leather-bound Bible, (picks one up and hands it to her) will convincingly project the image that you, too are a Christian!
Customer #2: Oooh, now this looks religious. (Opening the Bible.) Hey, this Bible is blank. There's nothing in it but empty pages!
Mr. Wolfe: Well, of course, it's only for appearances sake. No need to make it heavier with all that ink!
Customer #2: That makes sense. It's not like I'd actually want to read it or anything.
Mr. Wolfe: Of course not. Who would?
Customer #2: I'll take them all. I really want this guy to like me, and I think this will do it.
Mr. Wolfe: Oh, I can practically guarantee it, my dear! Our line of Sheep's Clothing works most effectively, for men or women. I can't tell you how many happy customers have gotten a Christian to fall for them, and they never knew they weren't until they married them. And by then, it's too late.
Customer #2: Sounds wonderful, no wonder my friend recommended me to you. She shops here also, and she's been married 5 times, so it must work!
Mr. Wolfe: Will that be cash or credit?
Customer #2: I'd like to charge it. (Hands him her card as he puts the items in a bag.) What's the total on that?
Mr. Wolfe: (Working on a calculator.) Let's see, that comes to...three hundred and seventy-two dollars and fifty-three cents.
Customer #2: (Shocked.) What? Wow. These items are really expensive.
Mr. Wolfe: Perhaps, but remember, the only other way to look like a Christian is to actually become one, and that's a bit extreme, don't you think? Look at it this way; the brand name and image... $372.53. The look on his face... priceless! And after all, consider the catch you'll get!
Customer #2: That's true. And if I play my cards right, he'll be paying for it soon anyway! (She laughs.)
Mr. Wolfe: (Laughs also, somewhat wickedly.) Oh, yes he will! (He takes her card, swipes it, and hands it back to her with the bag.) Here you are. (Hands her a small booklet.) Also, please take this free gift, compliments of the management!
Customer #2: (Taking it, she reads the title.) "How To Speak Christianese." Will I need this?
Mr. Wolfe: Oh, my dear, this little booklet is indespensible when trying to fit in with the Christian crowd! They have their own language, you know, and this is a handbook of catch-phrases and frequently used words. Just sprinkle some of these gems, like "hallelujah!" and "Praise the Lord!" into a conversation, and you'll shine! Christians are very easily fooled by impersonators that look and sound like them.
Customer #2: Thanks, this will really help!
Mr. Wolfe: Just our way of saying, "Thank you for shopping at the Sheep's Clothing Store."
Customer #2: (Taking the bag and leaving.) Good day!
Mr. Wolfe: (Turning back to Customer #1) Have you found anything that interests you yet, sir?
Customer #1: (Incredulously.) I don't believe what I just saw. You sold her clothes for the express purpose of deceiving someone into thinking she's a Christian!
Mr. Wolfe: Of course, that's the purpose of the entire line. I was trying to explain it to you before, but we were interrupted. You see, there are many, many people who are not Christians, but for one reason or another, want to profit in some manner by appearing to be one for short periods of time. This is a costume store, really, only we're open year-round, and not just for Halloween.
Customer #1: (Still unbelieving.) This is incredible. I had no idea such a place existed.
Mr. Wolfe: Now you can see the reason we don't advertise. Those that shop here don't want others to know that they shop here, because then the illusion would be ruined. It's a well-kept secret among our clientel, but it grows steadily by word of mouth.
Customer #1: (Crossing his arms.) So you make money by helping people appear to be something they're not.
Mr. Wolfe: Oh, please sir, don't sound so accusatory. Many businesses make their millions doing just that. It's how our society works! It's the way of the world. And I am, if nothing else, a man of the world.
(Play Track #15, the phone rings twice.)
Mr. Wolfe: Pardon me. (Answering the phone.) Sheep's Clothing, Wolfe speaking, may I help you? (Listening.) Yes, I remember you, you were here last week. If I recall correctly, you purchased a four-foot Pentecostal Hairdo wig and a black long-sleeve floor length dress. Were they effective? (Listens.) In the hospital? I see. Oh, my, that's unfortunate. (Listens.) No, I'm afraid we don't insure against snakebite. If you took up a serpent knowing you didn't believe, you should have expected to be bitten! (Listens.) No, ma'am, I can't issue a refund, the tag on the back of the items clearly states that we are not responsible for injury or mishap due to improper use of the item. (Listens.) Such language for a lady! I suggest next time, madam, that if you are going to impersonate a believer, don't choose a denomination that tests your faith with a life-threatening situation! Good day. (Hanging up and turning back to Customer #1.) Now, where were we?
Customer #1: (Curiously.) What other types of people shop here, besides those wanting to marry a good Christian without being one?
Mr. Wolfe: Oh, people from all walks of life. Some shop here with the express purpose of infiltrating a local church with the intent of corrupting it. But most just want to fit in with the "right crowd," for the wrong reasons. For example, the business man who wants to have the respect of the community and church, but isn't willing to give up the little extra "bonuses" he treats himself to on business trips! Then there are those that make a living in the Christian world, but don't want to live the life that true Christianity demands of them. Why, I even have Pastors, Deacons and Sunday School teachers as some of my best clients!
Customer #1: You don't say!
Mr. Wolfe: In fact, many of the famous televangelists are my customers. They spend thousands with me, using the money they have fleeced from their TV flocks.
Customer #1: I don't believe it.
Mr. Wolfe: (Cheerily.) Believe it, my friend, it is true. (Indicating the rack of clothes, he turns to it to make a sale.) Now, can I interest you in a new suit, perhaps, with a silver Holy Spirit dove pin? You'll look just the part of a faithful church person.
Customer #1: (With his hand on his forehead.) I'm flabbergasted. I never dreamed there might be so many pretenders right there in the church I attend!
Mr. Wolfe: (Turning his head quickly, he is suddenly suspicious.) You... attend church?
Customer #1: (Turning to look some more at the items on the table, he walks away a little with his back turned to Mr. Wolfe.) Yes, every Sunday, and even sometimes on Wednesday. And sometimes there are special services...
(Begin Track #16, threatening music which underscores Mr. Wolfe stalking him...)
(Mr. Wolfe has suddenly become predatory, and with a wolfish expression and narrowed eyes, is slowly moving closer to the unsuspecting customer, as if stalking him.)
Customer#1: (continuing.) ...and sometimes there are revivals, if the speaker is good I'll go to them.
Mr. Wolfe: (Carefully, still slowly moving toward the unsuspecting man threateningly.) I see... and... have you made a committment to Christ? Or do you simply... attend church?
Customer #1: (Oblivious to the danger, he is still rummaging through the clothes on the table.) Well, I've been to church most of my life, ever since I was a little kid. (Looks up.) But, now that I think about it, I can't remember ever having made a real committment to the Lord. But being here today has opened my eyes. Maybe I've been pretending to be a Christian too, without really being one.
Mr. Wolfe: (Moving to block his path to the exit, and turning to face him.) You place me in a delicate situation, friend. Consider this... someone in your position, having had their eyes opened to the workings of my business, might... reveal sensitive information to the wrong persons. I need to know where you stand on what you've seen, before I can let you... leave.
Customer #1: I never realised what was at stake before. But now that I've seen what goes on, I can't play at being a Christian. What I need is to get to church and make my salvation sure.
Mr. Wolfe: Well, that makes my decision easier. (Locks door.)
Customer #1: (Becoming suspicious and fearful.) What are you doing that for?
Mr. Wolfe: Just closing up for... lunch. (Moves toward him.) Would you like to join me in the back room... for a bite?
(TRACK #16 continues: The door is opened to the sound of splintering wood. This must be timed right to work!)
Mr. Wolfe: (Angrily at first, then changes to contritely as he spins around.) Who the hel...lo! Mr. Shepherd!
(TRACK #16 continues: Mr. Shepherd's music under the dialog.)
Mr. Shepherd: Mr. Wolfe. Busy as always, I see.
Mr. Wolfe: (Lightly, to cover his nervousness.) You know what they say... no rest for the wicked.
Mr. Shepherd: Looks like I got here just in time.
Mr. Wolfe: You have an annoying habit of doing that.
Customer #1: (Relieved.) Mister, I don't know who you are, but I'm glad to see you.
Mr. Shepherd: This is no place for you, Alan. I believe you were headed somewhere?
Customer #1: (Wonderingly.) Yes... yes I was. I mean I am.
Mr. Shepherd: What you are going to do, do quickly.
Customer #1: (As he is leaving.) Thanks.
Mr. Wolfe: (To himself.) There goes another one. (To Mr. Shepherd.) I don't suppose you've come to shut down my business for good this time?
Mr. Shepherd: Not today. But the time is coming when your sheep's clothing line will be discontinued... permanently.
Mr. Wolfe: (Speaking up as Shepherd leaves.) And when will that be?
Mr. Shepherd: Soon. When that last lost sheep is brought into the flock. Oh, and sorry about the door. Again. (Closes door with a slam.)
(Begin Track #17, close music under his final lines.)
Mr. Wolfe: (Sighing with relief. After he leaves, he speaks to himself.) If his return is that close, I must redouble my efforts. (Shaking his head as if to clear away the negative thoughts.) Oh, well... in the meantime, there are still many wanting to look like something they're not, and I'm here to help. Little do they realise how they help my agenda! And little do they dream what exactly that is.... (Laughs wickedly as leaves the room with an armful of clothing.) Mwa-haaaaaa-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaaaa!
(The Close Music plays as he leaves, and comes up, ending the skit.)
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