Still moping about my rejection notice from NBC's Late Night Writers Workshop. I pulled out the one essay question earlier, since it dovetailed so nicely with the SNL video they posted on-line. So, what the heck, while I'm at it, I'm just going to post all my various essay answers over the years. Maybe this'll force me to write brand new ones to the 4 or 5 questions they seem to rotate through each cycle. Maybe read them and avoid my pitfalls, whatever they may be...
Galaxy Rangers Reviewed: Series 6 Podcast,
At the end of October, I heard from Kevin, "my producer" again. He had spoken to Joel the producer concerning “The Kringle Project.” Joel thinks I should re-write the Pee-Wee version and keep it as the mailroom boy turned detective. Kevin told Joel he’d mention it to me. While mentioning it to me, Kevin recommended that I NOT do such a thing, as it would involve a “page one rewrite” for no dollars. Meanwhile, Kevin is back in contact with former Warner executive Kimberly Brent (huh?) who had moved to Paramount and was working for producer Howard Koch, Jr. Kevin wanted to get her “input” (huh??).
Later, word was coming out of Hollywood that Paul Ruebens was already at work re-building his career, and leaving Pee-Wee at the wayside for the time being. So, hurray for him. ABC announced it was getting out of the late night business. Not my fault!
or Skit Happens
At this time, 1988, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” had a mini-tradition of asking Oscar nominees for best supporting actor to host the show. And they asked Ms. Dukakis. Good for her. But then the weirdest thing happened. Tom Gilpin called me aside after one of our rehearsals and asked me if I wanted to meet with Olympia Dukakis. Sure?
Bill, from “Party” calls to assign me some bits to write. I note in my log that this is a good sign because the writer meetings have generally been without form. I write that some “kid” on the staff seems to have made an impression on people and might wind up as an on-screen character (“Oh, well.”)
or Skit Happens
I am a comedy nerd. Granted, I haven't kept up with some of the latest stuff as I am also a prude. There's so much more effort put into to being "outrageous" or "gross" or "scatological" instead of just, you know, funny. I'm old fashion that way. However, my failings include leaning too far into clever over funny. Anyway, I loved comedy enough that I decided I wanted to do it. It was a matter of getting up the nerve.
What finally gave me the nerve to try it "out loud," so to speak, was an assignment in my High School English class. My teacher, Mr. Dowling, included the book "Catch-22" as part of the class curriculum. Holy mackerel! That was some amazing book. Deep, meaningful and funny as all get out. Absurdist and anti-establishment. And it seem to channel the comedy stylings of the Marx Brothers or Abbott & Costello like I'd never seen before and certainly not in school. This was a real eye-opener.
So I've been in and out of the "comedy biz" (as no one calls it) for years. I've written articles, screenplays, stage plays, TV pilots and specs. And sketches, so many sketches.
I was submitting material to two different radio outlets for a time, if one rejected it, I still had a chance the other might accept.
I wrote a game show sketch (unique, right?). The first place passed on it. The second company, however, gave me a maybe. He liked it well enough, but wasn't sure. He essentially said, "We'll see." This is one of those sketches I fell in love with as soon as I wrote it; a silly idea followed through to a logical conclusion, staying true to the game show premise but having fun with it. It wasn't a string of joke-jokes, but a mix of jokes, concepts and a rhythm of language and pace that carried it along. The game show was called "Homonyms!". Needless to say, not long after I submitted the skit to the radio people, "30 Rock" introduced its new game show "Homonyms." It was a 30 second black out/cut away bit from the main plot, but still. It was meaner than my version and the logic was reversed from my bit; where their contestant could never be able to win, my contestants seem to struggle to correctly respond to what was an obviously easy set up.
I wrote to the radio producer and said "See, this could have been yours!" But I held the skit in my back pocket. After all, "30 Rock" used it as a 30 second black out sketch, what's the harm, right? Who's gonna remember that?
So, remember, it's not even a matter of who thinks of it first these days. It's about who has the bigger audience for the bit. But, yeah, if All Star Radio had done "Homonyms" when I first submitted it, I would still be an unknown, but I'd be an unknown with bragging rights!
Freelance writer, still hacking away.
Adventures In Hardly Wood
Adventures In Hardly-wood
A Word From Our Author...
Barely Home Companion
Ben & Jerry
Big B's Travelling Sideshow
Bring Your Daughter To Work Day
Brushes With Celebrity
Cinco De Mayo
Claus Lost & Found
Cracked Look Backed
Deli Faux Paus
Dialogue I Need To Work In Somewhere
Fail Kickstarter Projects
From The Slushpile
Halloweenies: Behind The Scencies
Ice Bucket Challenge
Late Night Talk Shows
Leave It To The Prose
Love & Other Distractions
My Morning Kvetch
Not For Nothing
On The Radio
On The Web
Patents Still Pending
Pee Wee Herman
Prairie Home Companion
Style Without Substance
That Big Quiz Thing
The Big Jewel
The Rest Of The 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover
Things I'm Watching
Things That Happened To Me
This Just In
Three Day Weekends
Too Long For Twitter
Tweets Through History
Where's The Party?