Cable Network Pans for Comedy Gold

Salt Lake City Weekly | August 19, 2004
Comedy Gold

Bravo’s looking for a few good sitcoms—can you bring the funny?


Sure, I paid little mind before when Bravo tried to teach me how to dress, decorate, play poker or run a hair salon—like I don’t already have those sussed, puh-leez. But, suddenly, there it was, right in front of my face:

“Friends has taken its final bow. We’ve seen the last of Sex and the City. Frasier has left the building. Where will television find its next great comedy hit? From you. With beloved sitcoms departing from network schedules and few surefire hits waiting in the wings, we find ourselves on the brink of a potential comedy crisis. But we at Bravo are no longer content to sit on the sidelines while the art of the sitcom is left to languish. Instead, we are putting the power in your hands, as writers and viewers, with a bold new program we’re calling Situation: Comedy.”

With a single press release from Bravo, I finally had my ticket out of this dead-end career of journalism (or whatever it is I do around here): Fill out an application from, write a sitcom script, send it in, win $25 grand and a year of representation by Creative Artists Agency, kick back poolside and enjoy my sweet new Hollywood life, surrounded by half-nekkid bimbozons and show-biz suck-ups, far and away from all of you Salt Lake City nobodies.

I mean … I’ll never forget my roots.

The executive producers of Situation: Comedy, Sean Hayes (Will & Grace’s Jack) and Todd Milliner (the fortunate pal of Sean Hayes, Will & Grace’s Jack), “look forward to reading” my sitcom script, because they’re “excited by this project. By looking beyond the Hollywood community for comedy ideas, we believe we can discover talented people who will bring a fresh, exciting perspective to the world of situational comedy.”

Of course, it would have been more reassuring if they’d concluded with “And we promise to never, ever sell your sitcom to Fox, who would cancel it after five weeks in eight different timeslots, only to bring it back after insanely popular late-night cable reruns and record-breaking DVD sales exonerate you as the true effin’ genius you are.” Sound nit-picky? Tell it to Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane, whom I’ll be inviting to many a pool party at my new palatial pad (“C’mon, do the Stewie voice! Blast!”).

But, I’m putting the chicken before the cart here—what’s the premise of my destined-to-be mega-hit sitcom? Dig: My script will be titled [Insert Your City] Weekly, chronicling the day-to-day office antics within a freebie alternative weekly newspaper—like Suddenly Susan, only not set at a magazine … and funny … with no damned Susans (they’re nothing but trouble). There’s never been a sitcom set in the comedy goldmine of an alt-weekly, but only because the heretofore-untapped scripting genius behind The Only TV That Matters™ hasn’t tackled it. Observe:

Scene 1: Building exterior, fade into Newsroom interior. Editor enters room, sweating profusely and clutching his chest: “Oh man, the mayor’s on the phone again and he is pissed! Is this what a heart attack feels like? I think I’m having one—or maybe it’s West Nile Virus. Or carbs!”

Publisher enters room, pulling a small flask from the pocket of his Hawaiian shirt: “What, is the mayor still whining about my opinion piece calling him scumbag weasel? Guy needs to grow a set. If that clown calls again, I’ll be in my office playing with my new iPod—did you know you could download the entire David Hasselhoff catalogue? For free? Sweet.”

Editor, turning attention to TV Columnist, who’s just arriving for work at the crack of noon: “And you! The column you turned in has 27 F-bombs in it! And it’s about Blue’s Clues!” TV Columnist, squinting through sunglasses and an obvious hangover: “Yeah, that’s waaay down from last week’s 64—I think I’m really growing as a writer. Hug?”

Building exterior. Mayor fuming in limousine with cell phone to ear: “I know you’re in there—how dare you put me on hold! This is a travesty! And what’s this horrific background music? David Hasselhoff?” Fade to commercial.

I think I’m off to a good start here—so long, suckers! I mean … hug?

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