Comedy Whirled

Ok, Let's write a tv sitcom pilot?

Agreed?

OK.

 

First we need to come up with a setup, the premise.

 

UPDATE!!

Voting time is neigh.

 

You may have a yes (Y) or no (N) or “I don’t care” (?) vote on each option

Example:

#75 N

#76 Y

#78 ? (meaning I don’t care)

etc …

 

At times I played devil’s advocate, just to see if people were really motivated to defend their premises.  If I ruffled your feathers, sorry, but it happened. Deal with it.

 

OPTIONSIMOUS PRIME:

here are the options which have been somewhat seriously discussed and or defended in the forum, in order of appearance.  Where titles have not been proposed, I just made them up, cause that’s how I roll, baby.

 

 

1.      “Funeral Crashers”

It's an improv group that crashes funerals and promptly does comedic improv based on the life of the deceased.

"Funeral Crashers": we roast the dead, even if they didn't want cremation.
At the end of each show, the entire funeral procession will be glad they're dead, so really the funeral crashers help with the grieving process.

Knock Knock
-Who's there
Unfaithfull husband
-unfaithfull husband who?
Dammit bitch, you married him, I'd expect that you'd know his name, fool.

 

This sounds like a demented service industry that exists within a larger fictitious world

 

 

2.      “Jimmy Trucker”

A long haul trucker, Jimmy Tucker (Billy Bob Thornton), smuggles pot into Minnesota from Canada. Soon the authorities start to suspect foul play, and send in their top ATF agent to investigate. Agent Goodlowe (Rosanne Barr) doesn't exactly play by the rules, and she hires two common thugs (Mel Gibson & Charlie Sheen) to pose as pot dealers. Things get really strange when Jimmy Tucker hires a few other truckers to act as decoys.

 

Could the truckers have really funny cb handles like pixiefart and angelboner?

We'll have to stay away from monkeys and southern accents, or we risk getting sued by those "Smokey and The Bandit" assholes. Jesus those guys. Worse than the Batman people. Only one character can have a cape and pointy ears and fight crime, really

 

Of course they would all have great CB handles! (Angleboner is a classic!) As far as Southern accents, No! They would be more of a French Canadian accent. Man, I can't believe the "no monkey clause", we may get a couple of midgets instead.

 

 

3.      “HILO 420”

Priscilla Barnes stars as Terri Alden, owner of a Pot Dispensary/Spiritual Care Clinic in Hawaii that's under constant pressure from the Feds. In the pilot, she has to help a suicidal painter (John Corbett) overcome his painter's block. Her twenty-something retro-bohemian musician daughter (Taylor Swift)
wants to leave for the mainland but also wants to see her mother settled down first, so she's always
trying to fix her up with her own clients.
(working title: "HILO 420") © 2010 RENGACORP

 

(after much heated back and forth, it seems the best way to handle this premise is to do so in a manner which normalizes the characters without making them too wacky.)

 

 

4.      "YOU'VE BEEN BOINGED"
C minus celebreties, eager to restart their careers are so despirate, they'll do anything to get on the gong show, anything. There are so many who want a spot, that Don Bardo who has, through underworld maneuvering gained control of the Boing show, has his pick of the litter so to speak. He selects four people, who must commit horrible crimes for his syndicate (what did you think "syndicated television" was all about?) with terrible devices which Don Bardo's inventors have thought up, to qualify to be on the show. Only three will make it, number 4 will be told "YOU'VE BEEN BOINGED" and will be ceremonially killed by Buck Charris with a hammer. Don Bardo will give all the details to, and make Buck Charris relentlessly refer to the crimes of the judges during the show, and the shortcomings of the contestant who failed, in a sadistic attempt to scare them into not testifying, and communicate strength to all the enemies of the Don Bardo Syndicate.

(I really should watch that “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” movie)

 

 

5.      “The Legion of Doobage "
We could do a spoof of the Super Friends and the Legion of Doom
Battling on the american political landscape over the issue of legalizing weed.

The "The Legion of Doobage " would of course be led by bigfoot. On that issue I will not bend. it should be a comic villianization of pro legalization supporters. The would battle against irrational stereotypes, and also smoke weed.
The opposing team "The Super Majority Friends" should be lead by a character I like to call "big oil company face", On this issue I will bend. They will be a bunch of condescending jerks. Think 80's movie villians.
The specific premise of what might occur between these two? You decide.
(Oh, the funny drug related supervillan/superhero names we could come up with)
We could not only write a script for this idea, we could draw stills, provide voices, and make a stop motion animation project out of it.

(Lead fed who has a tom selleck moustache circa magnum pi)
Dammit! I know something's going on in there! Why won't that limp wristed judge give me a warrant! Really, bigfoot just went in there? BIGFOOT! Jesus!
(robotic non descript fed)>Sir, that was most likely a costume.
Dammit! Read me that thing about probable cause again.
Also, how come we never see anyone come out of there.
Did a jet just come out of that hillside?
(robotic non descript fed)> Sir, I suggest you increase your bran supplements.
Yeah, you're right. I just wish there was some really convienient way to burn off all the stress from this job. Anyway, clear up my schedule, taking down this weed lab is now my top priority.

This would be fun to animate & voice

(This was basically meant to achieve the same goal as the premise of  HILO 420 through different means.)

 

 

6.     "The Captain’s Log" (title in progress)
A narcoleptic ferry captain who runs a grab-assy boat struggles with changing social mores & metropolitan snobiness. His crew loves him, but are constantly covering for him.

 

The Captain is openly lewd & touchy-feely with females he comes in contact with, & he encourages this behavior with his crew

 

I've heard about something close to this, it's like in boston or chicago, where you can get a speed boat tour of the city, and the speed boat has some kinda odd monster face painted on it. You have to wonder who operates this thing. Possible title: "Captain Meth"?

 

 

7.     “Lawman Order SUV” (title in progress)

The last Crime Drama Parodies I can remember splitting my sides were POLICE SQUAD & SLEDGEHAMMER. I don't believe that particular genre has a 30 minute slot on the air right now.
I'll bet money there's a few projects stuck in development.

 

It does seem like low hanging fruit, doesn't it? A while ago, NBC was airing their television programs on the radio, and I had the rare privilege to hear a CSI episode about a psychotic clown who murderd people and left semen everywhere. I laughed so hard I was nearly inable to drive. Really, sometime just listen to that show without watching it. Stripped of it's visuals, that show is a laugh riot.

Yes, A CSI/ cop show parody could work really well. Basically because those shows are so absurd and prolific. The only thing I'm aware of since "police squad" is a show called assy mcgee, where an extraordinarly violent harry bum (just an ass with legs) is a supercop.

We do have that HBO show that's quite funny, Bored To Death, but it's got too many plots and isn't strictly a crime procedural at all. It shows there's always an appetite for simple whodonits...

 

 

8.    "Sleeping In Sheboygan" (title in progress)

 I had a similar idea about using different actors like this a few years back. It would center around a hotel room that would have different characters stay there each week. Then you could write a comedic episode about that character or characters and something that happens to them while they're staying in this hotel. Everything doesn't have to happen in the hotel room...it could just be a starting and ending point for the episode. Just a thought...

 

A sit-com with an ensemble cast that changes each week. The characters will develop and the storyline will progress like any other sit-com, but the actors will constantly change. We could also let the viewing public vote on who they'd like to see play certain roles on particular episodes.

 

was thinking more along the lines of a static cast of characters, w/o the Love Boat type cameos and new characters. Imagine any great ensemble sit-com (Cheers, Taxi, etc.) with a new Sam and Dianne, et al. each week. I loved it when JLD played Liz Lemon for a few segments in the live 30 Rock. Something like that, but for all the roles.

 

That could work. It would be unconventional for certain. Tricky to not let the novelty overtake the comedy. The story would have to be iron clad to survive in both hemispheres simultaneously. A good challenge. Instead of '24', you could call it '15' (yes, the Warhol reference again). If the star happened to call for a 15 year old actress I'd say the project would at least make it through a season. As long as nobody sings at any time it's got a shot. But now that it's public it's time to play BEAT THE CLOCK.

 

If it were successful, Facebook campaigns with people stumping for their favorite actors (ala the ____ for SNL host) would happen organically.

 

Man, I write ass backwards don't I? This is something that could be really cool or the next "Cop Rock"... no in between. But the characters would have to be clearly defined and fairly stereotypical to make it work.

As far as the title, I think it's better if it doesn't point out the obvious gimmickry. Just a regular title for a seemingly regular sit-com.

 

Better yet, it could be that only one or two roles are played by someone new each episode instead of the whole cast. "One and done" wouldn't work. Keep em guessing as to which roles will be played by fresh meat.

 

Better. How about "As the Whirled Turns" Ha!

 

Changing one or two roles each episode would work better. Changing the whole cast each week could lead to too much confusion. Curiosity about fresh meat will make the audience come back every week.

 

Some possibly not titles...

"Living Ain't Easy"
"It's Only Monday?"
"Not On My Carpet"
"Insert Title Here"
"Sleeping In Sheboygan"

- I'll get the shredder ready.

 

(I’m not sure about this thread, if it was meant to lead to a premise, or if it was an actual premise itself. The next two options are reflective of the former)

 

 

9. "Turnover"
A bunch of displaced business professionals working in a fast food restaurant(or RTO store wss) to make their mortgages. We could introduce the show with a montage of the person getting fired (tdm). It's a workplace with a high turnover rate, aka somewhat rotating cast, It's a workplace many people can relate to earlier in their life, and it's a creeping fear. Having to take a crappy job to make ends meet. It wouldn't have to be a different crappy job that people have to take, basically a new character is introduced to all the wacky people in the restaurant or RTO store.

As far as TURNOVER is concerned, we can glance at the template most recently observed in WAITING (2005). Turnover's gimmick is very much an homage to the old variety programs from the forties. As SNL is today. Start with 24 minutes. If you can't tell a convincing comedy in 24 minutes, the story isn't good enough. Tragic and scary situations lead to great comedy. The gimmick is also fertile ground for narration switching

 

 

10. "Get This"
Basically it wouldn't be a sitcom per se ... just a bunch of vignettes, all tied together by the fact that they happened in real workplaces. Sort of like dilbert now that I think of it, but not necessarily office oriented.

Picture crudely drawn slideshow cartoons depicting the wierd stuff we've all seen happen at work, while the person it happened to narrates. Now, don't confuse this with reality tv, because this will be one person's version of something that happened several years ago. Also, it's a process of story telling, not audio blogging (which, I imagine, would make me want to shoot myself in the head).

The more I think about this, the more I like it. We all have stories, so we wouldn't inadvertently rehash stuff and run into "the simpsons already did it" syndrome. And everybody absolutely loves shared misery. It won't be like a show, it'll be like hearing a friend tell you a story.
Also, the format could be such that we just create individual segments, which we could later combine into a half hour "pilot", so we could work on this gradually, and come out with a finished product in a few months. As far as actually animating this goes, it's just a slideshow with an audio track, possibly minimal music = super easy.

 

“ I’m(tDM) just not totally sold on the idea of people’s being able to latch onto characters, alone, without also becoming attached to the actors. ”

 

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9 Y - Considering all the wacky shit is already written since I saw it firsthand. From store managers videotaping sex with single moms who couldn't make rent in the back room, to getting a knife pulled on me for repossessing a fridge in the hood... not to mention the tweaker who rolled to work everyday with a loaded .38 in his backpack, who I was certain was going to come back and kill me after I fired him.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
“ I’m just not totally sold on the idea of people’s being able to latch onto characters, alone,
without also becoming attached to the actors. ”

I said that, not Ian.

xo♥.
Agree w/ ya Bruce. It sounds like a good premise but you're right.


theDIRTYmidget.© said:
“ I’m just not totally sold on the idea of people’s being able to latch onto characters, alone,
without also becoming attached to the actors. ”

I said that, not Ian.

xo♥.

I tend to agree with Bruce, too.  But the bottom line in comedy is that it has to be funny.  If the idea seems "out there" but is hysterical, maybe viewers will latch on to the premise.  Who knows!

 

Comedy in many forms has been done to death.  You need to look "outside the box" for something new or different.  This "changing actors" idea may not work...but what if it did?

 

Just throwing in my two cents worth playing "Devil's Advocate."  Anybody have change for a quarter?

 

I now return you to your regularly scheduled enema.

 


Slant said:

Agree w/ ya Bruce. It sounds like a good premise but you're right.


theDIRTYmidget.© said:
“ I’m just not totally sold on the idea of people’s being able to latch onto characters, alone,
without also becoming attached to the actors. ”

I said that, not Ian.

xo♥.

#1 N

 

Can't think of casting that would keep this premise from seeming just plain mean. 

 

#2 Y

(the CB handles sold it)

 

#3 Y

(sounds like good TV, period.  Well, not period, Taylor Swift is effing gorgeous.)

 

#4 Y

(sounds great, like skipping the b.s. to just have "celebrities" act on the notion that nothing matters more than being famous)

 

#5 ?

 

#6 was mine, so pass.

 

#7 Y

(the return of the ultra-absurd cop show is overdue.)

 

 

Ultra Absurd Cop Show is my pick now too.

antistar said:

#1 N

 

Can't think of casting that would keep this premise from seeming just plain mean. 

 

#2 Y

(the CB handles sold it)

 

#3 Y

(sounds like good TV, period.  Well, not period, Taylor Swift is effing gorgeous.)

 

#4 Y

(sounds great, like skipping the b.s. to just have "celebrities" act on the notion that nothing matters more than being famous)

 

#5 ?

 

#6 was mine, so pass.

 

#7 Y

(the return of the ultra-absurd cop show is overdue.)

 

 

LAW AND ORDER SUV would make for a fun gag, however limited...  "It's a 4X4 with a vendetta"  Think Christine meets Legal procedural.  Does anyone remember Sledgehammer???

Ian Renga said:

Ultra Absurd Cop Show is my pick now too.

antistar said:

#1 N

 

Can't think of casting that would keep this premise from seeming just plain mean. 

 

#2 Y

(the CB handles sold it)

 

#3 Y

(sounds like good TV, period.  Well, not period, Taylor Swift is effing gorgeous.)

 

#4 Y

(sounds great, like skipping the b.s. to just have "celebrities" act on the notion that nothing matters more than being famous)

 

#5 ?

 

#6 was mine, so pass.

 

#7 Y

(the return of the ultra-absurd cop show is overdue.)

 

 

I would vote for "Turnover."

01.)  N  “Funeral Crashers.”
(premise seems too limiting.)

02.)  N  “Jimmy Trucker.”
(again, premise seems too limiting. I do like the casting of Roseanne Barr, however.)   
[Billy Bob has already done a pot-growing / hiding / smuggling-intrigue movie called Homegrown (1998).]


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0119305/plotsummary



03.)  Y  “HILO 420.”
(seems more fertile an idea than #2.)
[I still like the idea of including Roseanne Barr, perhaps as a Fed.]

04.)  Y  “YOU'VE BEEN BOINGED.”
(a fertile idea, regardless of the existence of “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.”; sort of a SatanicGet Smart”.)

05.)  ?  “The Legion of Doobage.”
(superhero parodies --even extremely witty, complex ones about pot-- seem really hard to keep going. Might make a better movie. Are you aware of Minoriteam  on [adult swim]?) 


http://www.adultswim.com/shows/minoriteam/index.html

 
06.)  Y  “The Captains Log.”
(sounds fun and could be real dirty.)

07.)  ?  “Lawman Order SUV.”
(could also be fun, though.)

08.)  Y  “Sleeping In Sheboygan.”
(The Grand Experiment. Could be a killer. I’m willing to try it.)

09.  Y  “Turnover.”
(me LIKEY. Sitcoms are down to 22 minutes, by the way, and certain half-hour shows are also only 20.)
[I’m not sure that “... montage of the person getting fired.” was my idea, but I blather so much, I’d have to check, and I’m too lazy to bother.] 


10.)  Y  “Get This.”
(me REALLY  likey.)
[ “ Im (tDm.©) just not totally sold on the idea of peoples being able to latch onto characters, alone, without also becoming attached to the actors. ”
... was in reference to #8. “Sleeping In Sheboygan”, and the idea of having multiple actors playing recurring characters. There were also some other sentences there which fleshed out my meaning a bit more. Out of context, this quote is kind of a ‘downer’ and seems a bit ‘sour-grapes’, if I’m using that idiom correctly.

-- B. xo♥. ]

my vote:

1. (Y, N, or ?)> ?
2. (Y, N, or ?)> ?
3. (Y, N, or ?)> y
4. (Y, N, or ?)> y
5. (Y, N, or ?)> ?
6. (Y, N, or ?)> ?
7. (Y, N, or ?)> y
8. (Y, N, or ?)> ?
9. (Y, N, or ?)> y
10. (Y, N, or ?)> y

 

which brings the grand total to:

1

2  x
3  x x x
4  x x x
5
6  x x
7  x x x
8  x x
9  x x x x x x
10 x x

Dammit, I really liked #10!

 

#9 is a go though. So get your: settings, character names, character backgrounds, and story arch's ready. 

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