Well, it seems Weebly adjusted their algorithms and it turns out that where I thought I was getting hundreds of views a day and week, I'm getting 14. So, I guess, officially, my blog is actually my secret diary. Oh, well. Enjoy.
Who would possibly write TWO North Korean song parodies? Me! Back in March 2013, things were ever dicey with the Axis of Evil, so North Korea was in the news a lot. Man, pundits were going nuts that we weren't just going in and invading them. I had a joke somewhere about doing it so we could make a sequel to M*A*S*H. Now we go around trying to woo them. How times have changed.
Anyway, here's a ditty I wrote up for the radio producers. It didn't make the cut.
Well, here's an old bit I thought would never be topical again. Back in March 2012, North Korea was in the news for firing missiles, with an attempt to increase range. People couldn't decide whether to ignore him or battle him. I sent this song parody to the radio people I was dealing with. One pass. the second gave me a soft pass. He kinda liked it but didn't think the story had legs. He was afraid by the time it got produced, the story would fade away. I resubmitted it the next time North Korea started sending up missiles again. Nothing then either. Now it's 2019, and here we are again! So, I'm cutting out the middle man and posting this bit to the blog.
Launch a Missile, Korea
TMI: Hollwood 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.
Sometimes my material isn't so much topical as locational. A couple ideas occurred to me while walking the dog; they were both Hollywood-related ideas. I think I had just seen a promo on TCM for a Jackie Cooper movie and it made me think of that old story of how they got Cooper to cry in movies; by saying his dog was dead. I just extrapolated from there to come up with this little ditty. TMI: Hollywood took a pass, but if TCM ever does a sketch show, I'm submitted this!
By December of 2004, I had started freelancing for American Comedy Network, which produced comedy pieces which were then syndicated to radio stations all over the country that subscribed to their service.
Much of the more generic, less topical material that I created for PHC got routed over to ACN (in addition to new stuff). I had a pretty good success rate with them. Coming up on Christmas, Buy-agra was a perfect shopping season sketch that could play off-season as well. Malls were still a thing back then, you have to realize and Black Fridays were the Hunger Games of retail. So, here's the PHC version followed by the ACN production, with a shout out to my old pharmaceutical company, Ulti-med.
From 1999 to 2004-ish, I was one of the contributing writers for Garrison Keillor's renowned radio show "A Prairie Home Companion." I learned a lot of things there, mostly how to spell 'prairie." It was a solid gig and I'm proud of my work there. But, like any other job, there were...things...
Again, I was always trying to find a way to get the gang at PHC to notice my stuff. I would try to submit to their running jokes but with a twist of my own to make it stand out. It rarely worked.
I don't know if it goes on today, but there was a time ketchup was also sold under the name catsup. Today, my spell check won't acknowledge the word. Anyway, it seemed like a goofy take to insert into PHC's Ketchup commercials. So, naturally, I wrote a song parody. The thing is, PHC didn't do a lot of song parodies. Sometimes I'm my worse enemy. But with having to come up with something each week to show them I was still alive, I couldn't afford to be too precious about what I was creating. If it was a solid idea and I could type it out, I would.
But it didn't get picked.
Catsup Advisory Board
TMI: Hollywood started as a parody of all things Hollywood. Then they started dealing with the wider pop-culture. Now, politics has merged into pop-culture, so they are doing more political stuff. They try to limit it, or run issues through the Hollywood looking glass, which, face it, is very easy to do with Trump in the White House. We can all write "Trump is Stupid" gags until the cows come home (but we know, under this administration that a lot of cows won't be coming home) but how do handle news that hasn't been hammered to death by late-night shows, other comics and Twitter? It's tricky. And to put all that effort into a sketch that has a slim chance to make it (especially coming from an outsider on the wrong coast) is daunting. So here's what happens...
Naturally, Press Secretary and Official Fibber was in the news during April, coming up with wacky explanations for her boss' wackier behavior. Also, ABC started running its ads for their summer game shows. There's "To Tell The Truth" right smack in the middle of things; how could I not? I learned from noted writer and late, lamented online friend John Boni that you can't just plop out a sketch or article or anything with just one note, so, sure, Sarah's a liar, so let's do variations on that. But I can go further by picking the right "celebrities" to question her and play around with the 2 other contestants. I think I had a nice mix of gags and zingers in this sketch. But, it didn't make the cut. So, we present...
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After the Dukakis episode, I would keep bumping into people who "could do things for me." Around 1995, there was one guy, Ralph Cooper, very slick producer-ish guy who fell in love with my Nick Flebber Christmas script. He was convinced it could be a TV show and had me re-write it up to pitch as such. He was really an advocate of my material. He was also trying to build up his stature in my eyes. I don't know why, but he really was trying to convince him he had the juice, that we were always just thisclose to making things happen. At the time he was hustling a script for a movie called "Hugo Pool."
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?
Movie End Game
Freelance writer, still hacking away.