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Bell Ringer

This is a skit that can be done as a single performance OR as three skits on following nights. The dialogue changes a little bit every time.

This skit requires a Hunchback, an Applicant, a Gendarme (policeman), and a crowd. The third skit requires a couple of firemen.

skit notes

"it has its ups and downs" can get a laugh if you play it right.

Bell Ringer #1

Announcer: The Hunchback of Notre Dame has decided to retire, and has placed an ad in the Paris Times for someone to come and learn how to ring the bells.


[Knock, knock, knock]

Hunchback: Oh, somebody must be here about my job. I'll go down and see. [Goes 'round and 'round the campfire, as if going down the bell tower, bent over due to hunch.]

[Knock, knock, knock]

Hunchback: I'm coming, I'm coming. There's a lot of stairs here. [Arrives at and opens the door.] Yeah! What do you want?

Applicant: I'm here about the bell ringer's job.

Hunchback: All right! Come on up and I'll see if you can do the job. [Begins to go up (the other way around) followed by the applicant.]

Applicant: Boy, the ceiling is not very high here, is it?

Hunchback: Listen, you go up and down these stairs 20 times a day for 45 years and you just learn to stay bent over. Hey, did you close that door, didn't you?

Applicant: I don't know. I don't remember.

Hunchback: Well, we gotta go down and keep it locked, can't run up the church's fuel bill. [Both turn around and go back.] That's the first thing you gotta learn. Keep the door closed. Up and down these stairs, that's the hard part. O.K., so now you're here, close the door.

Applicant: [Closes door] How are the benefits in this job?

Hunchback: [Both going back up] Well, it has its ups and downs. The Church board will buy you ear plugs every six months and a new bottle of bell polish once a year. [Finally arriving at the bell] All right, now you stand over there, and I'll show you how it's done. First you grab the bell here and push it out very hard [steps back and follows path of bell out and back] then the bell comes back on its own. That's all there is to it. Do you think you can do that?

Applicant: Sure! [does the action with the bell, but does not step back, is hit by bell and falls back, to the ground]

Hunchback: Oh my gosh! He's fallen 15 stories to the sidewalk. I'd better get down there. [Goes 'round and 'round until he reaches the ground]

[Crowd enters mumbling, stops astonished at body]

Gendarme : [Entering, calls to Hunchback] Hey you! Do you know this guy? [Rolls body over with foot]

Hunchback: No, but his face sure rings a bell!


Bell Ringer #2 [The trick with this skit is to do it the night after doing Bell Ringer #1, and to do everything exactly the same.]


[Dialogue is the same until the applicant arrives]

Hunchback: You look just like the guy who was here yesterday.

Applicant: Oh, that was my twin brother.

[Revert to the original dialog again until you reach "Hey you! Do you know this guy?"]

Hunchback: No, but he's a dead ringer for the guy who was here yesterday!


Bell Ringer #3 [To be used ONLY when Bell Ringer #1 and #2 have been used.]


[Two players enter in rain slickers holding blanket between them like a jumping net. The jig and jog around the performing area.]


Gendarme : Hey, what are you guys doing ?

Fireman #1: Well, the last two nights some guy has jumped out of that bell tower, and we came to catch him!

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