The TMI season was coming to an end and I wanted to get one solid pop-culture bit out there. I was really struggling for an idea. Then we went to see Avengers: End Game. I was suddenly obsessed with the idea of a 3-hour movie with no intermission. A joke of amusing thoughts came to me to describe the situation, then I idea of a skit slowly started to form. Once the idea of a staff-Sargent-type life coach popped up, I started to assemble a bit about training people to make it through the movie. I got in some spoiler jokes, some end credit movie scene jokes and a lot of pee-pee jokes. It all came together nicely, although not nicely enough to get picked for the show. Oh, well, that's what blogs are for, right?
So, there was this show, Game of Thrones--maybe you heard of it--and the series finale was the same night as the last show of the season for TMI. I don't have HBO so I never watched the show (I've just started reading the books, so no spoilers!). Not one to look a golden goose in the mouth, HBO announced future spin-offs and sequels. And then mentioned they would be showing a documentary about the final season. I instantly thought about a documentary of the show's events, which quickly assembled itself into an Office parody. It's written as a stage sketch, so there's a lot of right stage/left stage action as people step forward to address the "camera." I thought it came out pretty good.
Alas, the show is gone, and so is this sketch's chance of getting selected again.
Office of Thrones
I've been reading the updated version of "Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests." I read the first edition years ago, around the time of the 25th anniversary of the show. I've come to the conclusion that I really need to stop reading about the show, about how it works, about how the writers are picked, about the whole thing. I need to stop reading the stories of the zaniness of being backstage or the thrill of seeing your work broadcast live to the nation. I just need to stop. I used to read everything about SNL when I was younger. Because that was the dream I thought I could attain. Now I read it and know that the dream has withered away. But I tried...
(I've written about my brushes with SNL before, but since no one really reads blogs, I'm doing it again.)
TMI: Hollywood produces a live TOPICAL show each week, every Sunday. And by "every" we mean "many." Not everything submitted gets in. And not everything that gets rejected has a shelf life. As has been my long-stated premise, topical sketches don't age well. If it doesn't get picked it falls to the wayside. For the last year or so I've been giving my orphan sketches a home on the blog. For instance...
The big news in March 2019 was the college admissions scandal, where the FBI uncovered a huge scam where a guy was getting money to bribe officials, alter SAT scores and fake high school achievements for kids to get into college while pretending to donate to charity. Actress Lori Loughlin got caught in the net and it went badly for her; arrested. Lost her job on "Fuller House" and "When Calls the Heart," and was basically banned from all things Hallmark. She was in the process of becoming the face of the company's cable offerings and that abruptly ended. So I wrote up a quick bit for TMI to play with. I was thinking of it as a video commercial parody, but it would have worked as a cold open as well. Didn't make the cut for either. While the story plays out, the initial shock and TV images have faded, so the bit really can't be salvaged, so let's just post it here, shall we?
Well, it was a light month, the Hollywood Minute is only 30 seconds. I just got a couple of jokes in, and they only produced a couple of videos for the month. I'm pretty certain some of the set-ups are mine, but they redid the punchlines, so they don't count. Enjoy!
TMI: Hollywood produces a live TOPICAL show each week, every Sunday. And by "every" we mean "most." Not everything submitted gets in. And not everything that gets rejected has a shelf life. As has been my long-stated premise, topical sketches don't age well. If it doesn't get picked it falls to the wayside. For the last year or so I've been giving my orphan sketches a home on the blog. For instance...
-Back in March 2019, Starbucks announced it was partnering up with singer and celeb Ariana Grande to create a special beverage. The jokes wrote themselves...from the TMI Minute where I wrote she was licking each coffee cup personally, to a more elaborate "cold opening" I wrote for the stage show. I was in an "old-timey" mood that week and created a short Abbott & Costello-like routine. I even made it more topical by referencing presidential candidate, John Hickenlooper. And if that doesn't date a skit, nothing will. While my one liner was used on the TMI Minute, the sketch didn't make the cut for the stage show. So, here it is. Perhaps out of touch, it's still polling better than John Hickenlooper...
TMI: Hollwood has been a going concern for several years, and I've been submitting to them for the last couple. The premise is they are a live TOPICAL show, so material is submitted by Wednesday and then read and selected for the show they prepare each Sunday. It's a grueling schedule for them and rough on the writers. As has been my long-stated premise, topical sketches don't age well. If it doesn't get picked it falls to the wayside. For the last year or so I've been giving my orphan sketches a home on the blog. For instance...
Back in February of 2019, TMI:Hollywood let the writers know that actress Laura Niemi would be the guest performer on the show. She plays Jack's mom in the flashbacks of the NBC series "This is Us."
I had made some one-liners about the show on Twitter and some comments about the show as it aired to my wife, so I thought I had a handle on it. I hadn't written a parody of a TV show in a long while and it seemed like time to give that a whirl. Also, I cheated.
I pulled out an old sketch of mine, a Christmas Carol parody, where Scrooge is visited by all manner of time travelers to relive his past. As I've noted elsewhere, TMI: Hollywood has a large cast and likes well-populated sketches to feature as much as the talent as possible. Again, this seemed to work in my favor, as the original had a bunch of people. As does "This is Us." I hung a lantern on the fact that there seems to be a Christmas theme going on in February. Weirdly, it all kinda worked. To a degree, I guess. They didn't use it. I'll probably post the original as we get toward Christmas (watch this space!!!). In the mean time:
(I'm trying something different here, since most of my TMI sketches are saved as pdf files, I'm going to upload them as Scribd files, one of the options here at Weebly. It's a bit easier than pasting the word file into a text box and they having to reformat the whole thing. I hope this is acceptable.)
This is All of Us
Back in May of 2016, I came upon a Craig’s List ad entitled “Seeking Comedy Writer for major studio venture.” It wasn't...
The "Up the Creek" producer passed on the 30 page sample spec script Christian had sent him. I couldn't say I was surprised. As I had told Christian, you don't get a second chance to make a first impression. Granted, I don't do raunchy, but I thought I had a decent wacky PG comedy script going. But the guy had seen the bad version first, so there was little chance of wowing him with a warmed-over version of a warmed over concept. Sure, Christian dismissed the rejection as "ego" on the producer's part but these things hardly ever work out. I think we tainted the well. Anyway, Chris was pretty quick to abandon the whole idea just like that. He was already focus on the next shiny object.
I told Christian the only good thing about the rejection was I only wasted my time writing 30 pages instead of 90, then closed my email reply to him with "As for Trading Places, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it."
Minutes later he replied. He was convinced we were at that bridge.
Back in May of 2016, I came upon a Craig’s List want ad entitled “Seeking Comedy Writer for major studio venture.” Nothing in that sentence would work out.
To review, during the months of June and July, Christian came to me to write a "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" remake, a "Firelight" remake, a "Close Encounters" sequel, get him some connections on other "projects" he was working on and write an "Up the Creek" remake.
While I was prepping for "Mr. 'Up the Creek' Producer," Christian began inundating me with his latest brainstorm:
Freelance writer, still hacking away.