Well, the new season kicks off tonight, just I post the last of the old season. I tried to avoid doubling up on singers getting attacked in the ads, but poor Taylor Hicks got hit twice, but the two topics were too rich not to go after, especially when you've kinda milked the premise and ran out of terrible things to say about people who looked pretty nice (except Pickler. We all knew). Anyway, this was the final in the AI Negative Ad campaign series...
Wow, this many posts in a week you'd think I'd have something to say! As we approach the start of AI '19, I wanted to show off and bring out my old ACN sketches written back in 2008. ACN had great production values and they were churning out this material constantly. They were always open to new ideas and playing around within the format. I was thrilled that I had come upon a new way to satirize a show without too much overhead; a few bars of the theme, an announcer talks and, boom, you're done. Wish I had some kind of trademark on the thing...
Sure, in March 2008, negative political ads were around long enough to be a comedy troupe, but then, the negativity was pretty much confined to the ad. People didn't feel the need to take it on the road. YET. Of course, applying that level of vitriol to a singing competition is so off-kilter that it made perfect comedy sense. I was very happy the way these things out. There was a good amount of re-writing on a couple of them, but once the template was set, I didn't feel as bad about the changes.
Holy Dunkleman! Sometimes it's hard to come up with a decent sketch idea. People mock SNL or Mad-TV for relying on repeating characters and routines, but sometimes that's all you got. I was lucky American Comedy Network (RIP) let me run with these things. So, from the 2008 season of Idol, we proudly post:
When they cancelled American Idol, who'da thought I'd ever get to pull out these old bits again. Sure, sure, they are very much of the cast of the March 2008 season, but I think they are silly enough to avoid aging, now that the show is back on the air. The biggest problem to these bits was deciding which singer was going to go negative on which other singer. I wasn't following the show that closely, so many of my first drafts were vague, but the guys at ACN, who produced and distributed the sketches filled in a lot of blanks...
Like 10 years ago, there was this big hit TV show that was all the rage. It was called "American Idol." It was a singing competition. I wonder what happened to it. Oh, right, it got rebooted last year and is on ABC now. Well, as the newest season approaches, I wanted to pull out some radio bits I wrote 10 years ago.
One of the great running gags I came up with for American Comedy Network was taking the negative political ads and applying it to other venues. I think it was the Iraqi elections that were held after our invasion that I did first, applying typical GOP dirty trick-style ads for an election that had nothing like that going on. Then it was the election for the Pope in 2005. Then Miss America and so on.
The radio producers at American Comedy Network saw the logic and repeat-ability of the premise and did a couple without my involvement. That hurt. Again, the life of a freelancer, nobody ever comes back to your and says, "Hey how about doing one of these for the Oscar campaigns or "Dancing with the Stars" voting? They would just do it. But, it was some acknowledgement that I had created a viable radio comedy format that just wasn't a straight up parody of the show itself.
Anyway, one of the biggest batches of material I did was these American Idol parodies. I wrote a slew of them. Some of them were re-worked by people who had been following the show more closely than I, but all in all, it was a nice healthy run for myself.
Here we attempt to swiftboat Ace back in 2/2008
Back in March 2008, I was hitching my comedy wagon to the American Idol juggernaut. I was able to marry my idea of bad political ads with the AI voting. The idea was pretty good, what if the contestants could run ads to get votes instead of just doing Ford commercials? I thought it would go something like this:
Freelance writer, still hacking away.