[Originally published August 31, 2010.]

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Now is the Winter of our Discontent,
Made glorious Summer by that last guy who was just up here:
Yeesh. I haven’t seen somebody spend that long dying upon the stage
Since my I had my brother Clarence murder’d.
Talk about flop sweat! Someone get a mop forthwith!

Loyal subjects, I just flew in from London,
Where I was having my young nephews put to death
To eliminate competing claims against my throne;
And, boy, are my arms tired.

A laugh, a laugh! My kingdom for a laugh!
I have not seen a room this tough
Since I asked for the hand of Lady Anne Neville;
She was a widow because I had murder’d her husband.
I see thee nodding over there; thou know’st how that is.
Awk-ward! Also—art thou ready for this?
I kill’d her father, too.

And speaking of my wife, I decree that women love to shop.
The Queen’s increasing demands for couture gowns and fine shoes
Have so dented the royal treasury that I imposed a special tax,
Just to fund her extravagances.
Perhaps lavish consumption is Her Majesty’s response
To my flagrant and notorious philandering.
Or maybe she remains bitter about that one time
I butchered everyone she loved.

Did’st thou ever wonder—What’s that thou say’st?
Yes, thou, the gentleman in the third row;
No, the other guy, the one with all the oozing sores.
What about the hump? Well, what about the hump?
There is nothing funny about my hump.
How foolish and rude of thee to mention it in my presence!
Thy death will not be quick or merciful.

O my God, why wouldst thou heckle somebody in a comedy club?
Who does that? It’s like, do I come down to where thou work’st
And slap the alms-cup from thy palsied, trembling hands?
Anyway, what were we talking about?
Oh, yeah.

Did’st thou ever wonder why they call them ladies in waiting?
For what do these ladies wait? Probably for me, Devil that I am,
To summon them to my bedchambers.
Yeah, they await the King and his scepter.
The King’s name is a tower of strength,
If thou get’st my drift.

This guy over here knows what I’m talking about.
Thou look’st to be having a good time there, buddy.
Is that thy wife next to thee?
Oh, she’s thy fiancée. Well, I have some happy news;
I won’t be exercising my right of primae noctis with that one.
Thou can’st have her all to thyself. Ick.

Thank you, everybody. You have been a great audience.
Except for thee, thee, thee, and thee;
Who shall be executed for your insolence.
My name is Richard III and I’ll be here all fortnight!