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agent_PUNT
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any stuff get rejected from that show that you could tell us about in the form of a funny story?
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Originally posted by apotatojudge
How about the (good ones) of us all save up money then all move out into a comedy-gold-house somewhere? And we can all live happily ever after.
12-30-2005, 02:51 PM agent_PUNT is offline   Reply With Quote
Upskii
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Quote:
Originally posted by agent_PUNT
any stuff get rejected from that show that you could tell us about in the form of a funny story?
Here's a sketch that was actually shot. I guess it was changed a lot in Atlanta, and I haven't actually seen the final sketch. I doubt the taped sketch will ever see the light of day.

ďLarry BOT 7000Ē

INT. CENTER STAGE

JEFF AND BILL COME OUT AND SIT ON THE CHAIRS.

JEFF
Hey, whereís Larry?

THE DOOR OPENS, AND A GIANT 50's STYLE ROBOT WALKS IN. ITíS DRESSED IN A SLEEVELESS SHIRT AND BASEBALL CAP.

ROBOT
(MONOTONE)
GitĎer done. GitĎer done. GitĎer done.

BILL
Oh, there he is.

JEFF
Whatís going on? What happened to Larry?

A P.A. (TBD) WEARING HEAD PHONES RUNS UP.

P.A.
Larry couldnít make it. He sent the robot in his place.

JEFF
This is the last straw! Iím gonna go give Larry a piece of my mind.

JEFF EXITS, AND CAMERA FOLLOWS.

INT. LARRYíS DRESSING ROOM

LARRY IS GETTING A PEDICURE, HE HAS SPACERS BETWEEN HIS TOES, AND HEíS GETTING A SCALP MASSAGE BY A KOREAN WOMAN. HE'S READING "HELLA BIG FORTUNE" MAGAZINE.

JEFF ENTERS.

JEFF
Larry, what on earth are you doing? You were supposed to be on stage and a robot showed up.

LARRY
Yeah, thatís the Larry Bot 7000. I didnít think youíd notice.

JEFF
Didnít think Iíd notice?!? Itís a robot!

LARRY
But, it says ďgitíer done.Ē Doesnít it?

JEFF
That's all it says.

LARRY
Good, it's working.

JEFF
Larry youíre supposed to be on the show.

LARRY
I would be but Iím too dang busy, and I canít be in two places at once unless I use the robots. See, Iím gonna have Larry Bots in cities all across the country. And, Iím trying to get one to play a wacky neighbor on the Reba show. Hey, you should get some robots to tell your redneck jokes, Jeff.

JEFF
Larry, weíre paying you to be on the show, not a box of gears and sprockets.

LARRY
Don't the robot say Git-R-done? Dang, is it broke again...

BILL ENTERS. HIS ARM IS RIPPED OFF, AND BLOOD IS SPRAYING OUT.

BILL
(MATTER OF FACT)
Hey, Larry, your Larry Bot just ripped my arm off. I hope youíre happy. Iím going to my dressing room to eat crackers.

JEFF
Larry, Billís down to one arm because of the Larry Bot. Now, youíd better shut him off before he does something really bad.

LARRY
But, the Larry Bot donít have an off switch. I couldnít turn him off if I wanted to.

JEFF GOES TO A GUN CABINET, AND PULLS OUT A SHOT GUN, AND HANDS IT TO LARRY.

JEFF
Hereís your off switch.

MUSIC: DRAMATIC

LARRY
(SHOCKED)
But, Jeff... I canít. I love the Larry Bot.

JEFF
Larry, it has to be done.

LARRY GETS A SOLEMN EXPRESSION.

INT. CENTER STAGE
LARRY, JEFF, AND BILL WALK OUT. THE LARRY BOT IS TIED TO A FAKE TREE, AND ITíS HOLDING BILLíS ARM.

LARRYBOT
GetĎer done. GetĎer done. GetĎer done.

LARRY
(TORN)
I, I canít.

JEFF
Címon, Larry, heís asking you to do it.

BILL
Suck it up, Larry.

LARRY
I need some time alone.

JEFF
Okay, if the audience would please clear out of the building for a few moments...

CUT TO:

INT. AUDITORIUM EXITS

PRETAPE OF THE AUDIENCE LEAVING.

LARRYBOT
Get Ďer done. Get Ďer done.

LARRY
Iím gonna get Ďer done, little buddy. Iím sorry Larry Bot. Iím sorry.

LARRY SHOOTS. WIRES AND SPRINGS FLY ALL OVER HIM.

LARRY HUGS JEFF.

JEFF
Itís okay, Larry. Itís okay.

BILL
I forgive the Larry Bot for taking my arm, Larry.
(THEN)
But, Iím suing your ass off.

JEFF
Weíll be right back...

FADE OUT.
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12-30-2005, 03:40 PM Upskii is offline   Reply With Quote
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I've got a couple of general purpose questions about writing etc.


How do you create a funny character? I'd like to start writing more fiction/sketches as opposed to observational pieces, but I always have trouble getting anything interesting out of my characters. Do they come from observation? Are they based on a funny voice someone can do? Do they just pop into your head randomly?

Is there any difference in how you approach sketches that are driven by characters (i.e.: the Droopy sketches) and those that are driven by a premise, or is that not even a real distinction? How do you know when you're overusing a recurring character (aside from "you're working on Mad TV")?

How did you find other people to work with when you were first starting out and weren't networked at all? Did you just bump into them and hit it off or did you have to go looking?

Do you prefer collaborative writing or solo writing?
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Why do they make fun of how much you eat on the Mr. Show commentaries?

Last edited by agent_PUNT : 01-08-2006 at 10:48 PM.
01-08-2006, 09:06 PM creator of AM is offline   Reply With Quote
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Quote:
Originally posted by CptPlanet
How do you create a funny character? I'd like to start writing more fiction/sketches as opposed to observational pieces, but I always have trouble getting anything interesting out of my characters. Do they come from observation? Are they based on a funny voice someone can do? Do they just pop into your head randomly?
I keep my antenna up all the time for characters in real life. I also have insane friends and family members who can be hilarious in spite of themselves sometimes. I donít think I consciously insert people Iíve met into sketches, but I have a collective memory of all the nutty people Iíve met that I draw from.

I read somewhere that all characters are some aspect of the writer. This is instructive, I think. When youíre writing characters you should inhabit them, instead of keeping them at arms length and manipulating them into things. If your character thinks aliens are stealing his sperm, put yourself into his crazy thought process. Believe it, and really commit and make the best arguments you can, and it will probably end up funny. A good sketch character is an exaggerated version of a real person that hits home in some way.

Either a premise grows out of a character, or a character serves the premise. The starting point is unimportant, both are valid ways to get into a sketch. I pitched a sketch at Mr. Show that never got on about a Senator who holds a press conference to deny wrongdoing. He doesnít deny anything specific, but wants to make an all-purpose general denial just to be safe. Funny premise, and Bob is great at playing frustrated authorities. We worked on ways to portray deceit, embarrassment, guilt, and the attempt to maintain composure. Bob focused on the emotion of the scene and came up with a lot of funny lines. In this case, we started with a premise and ended up working mostly on character and, conversely, when you start with a character, youíll usually spend a lot of time hammering out the premise.

Quote:
Originally posted by CptPlanet
Is there any difference in how you approach sketches that are driven by characters (i.e.: the Droopy sketches) and those that are driven by a premise, or is that not even a real distinction?
Nowadays, most sketch comedy is premise driven even when itís based in character, like with ďUnfrozen Caveman Lawyer,Ē or ďMassive Head Wound Harry,Ē the character itself is the premise. There is a distinction, but truly character-driven sketches are a rarity these days. Examples of a character sketches would be the Greek cafť sketches on early SNL, or the secretary sketches on Kids in the Hall. Those characters were played as real people, and were slightly deeper than youíll find in heavy premise sketches. Mr. Show did a character-based sketch in the second season called ďRecruiters.Ē It was about these two basketball recruiters each vying for the same unborn child. Bob and David committed to those characters, rather than just goofing like Fartiní Gary, or Doctor Retarded. That kind of sketch was rare on Mr. Show. If a character sketch was pitched, it was often shot down as ďTracey Ullman,Ē not in a derogatory way, but just as shorthand for stuff the show didnít do.

What's a Droopy sketch?

Quote:
Originally posted by CptPlanet
How do you know when you're overusing a recurring character (aside from "you're working on Mad TV")?
I donít know, but somebody needs to devise a method to persuade Michael McDonald to stop doing Stuart on Mad TV. Heís done it so many times that heís probably actually crapping in his diapers by now. Being able to piss and shit himself at any time is the only advantage for him to keep doing that sketch.

Quote:
Originally posted by CptPlanet
How did you find other people to work with when you were first starting out and weren't networked at all? Did you just bump into them and hit it off or did you have to go looking? Do you prefer collaborative writing or solo writing?
I was always working on stuff and pitching ideas to whoever would listen. I like both writing alone and working with partners. A good writing partner is an easy laugh, is good at mining a comedic vein, and can roll with almost any premise.
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01-09-2006, 12:51 AM Upskii is offline   Reply With Quote
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Quote:
Originally posted by creator of AM
Why do they make fun of how much you eat on the Mr. Show commentaries?
I ate constantly. It is hard to get a reputation as a big eater on the same staff as Jay Johnston, but I somehow managed. I guess because I'm smaller and scrawnier is why it stuck with me. I blew all my money moving to LA, and I had a low paying job the first year I lived here, so when I got on the show I was like a starved street urchin. I couldn't believe there was a fully stocked fridge and tables of food everywhere, which is standard in the entertainment industry. Ding-dongs, chips, little pieces of chocolate, bagels, sandwiches, crackers, I just crammed my gullet constantly. It didn't matter if the food had sitting on a table for 8 hours and was dried out with green stuff growing on it, I'd wolf it down, and my body had no trouble processing it. I guess I once scarfed week old cream cheese on a moldy bagel, and the phrase "Is this schmeer still good?" became my catch phrase.
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01-09-2006, 01:17 AM Upskii is offline   Reply With Quote
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Quote:
Originally posted by Upskii
I donít know, but somebody needs to devise a method to persuade Michael McDonald to stop doing Stuart on Mad TV.
Sort of a funny personal sidenote on that tip...
I was on the bus a few months ago and I heard a woman start talking about Mad TV. Her friend immediately mentioned Stuart and how much she loved him, then proceeded to explain how she hopes her first boy is just like him and that she's even planning on naming him Stuart.
I think people like her are ensuring McDonald won't be retiring Stuart anytime soon.
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I have a funny story too. Yesterday I was at a local 'convenience mart' purchasing some 'smokes' when I heard the young woman being served before me telling the cashier (also a lady) about a mutual friend's (let's call her Jane) recent wedding.

She started by saying it was a 'romantic story,' then proceeded to explain how Jane met a young man through a drug dealer she used to purchase her 'fix' from. They hit it off straight away, enjoying a light conversation over a crack pipe (paraphrasing here). They eventually moved in together, and about a week into their cohabitation, he violently beat here and she had to go to hospital. She moved out, and went to live with her mother, continuing her long addiction to crack and crack-related drug paraphernalia. Then this man appeared at her motherís house one day, banging on the door and shouting for Jane to come out. Jane did, and the man proceeded to tell her that he had given up crack, and wanted to marry her. A matter of weeks later they had the civil ceremony, and have moved back in with each other. Jane still enjoys the occasional crack.

There's only one way to summarise this story, and the cashier did so better than I ever could. 'That's so sweet.'

On a related note, I enjoyed the new powerloafing episode. I have never seen this 'Larry the Cable Guy' show, but I'll trust David Cross when he says it isn't very good.
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The Droopy Sketches are the ones featuring the character Droopy, as performed by Bob odenkirk. He's the character in the very first sketch of the very first episode. "That stop lights really changed"
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Quote:
Originally posted by Upskii

What's a Droopy sketch?

he is the character that gets chocolate on the NASA pictures that links to the BUTM sketch.
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Quote:
Originally posted by apotatojudge
How about the (good ones) of us all save up money then all move out into a comedy-gold-house somewhere? And we can all live happily ever after.
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Quote:
Originally posted by Upskii
I donít know, but somebody needs to devise a method to persuade Michael McDonald to stop doing Stuart on Mad TV. Heís done it so many times that heís probably actually crapping in his diapers by now. Being able to piss and shit himself at any time is the only advantage for him to keep doing that sketch.
Ms. Swan is still pretty fucking hilarious though! You'd think after all these years her English would have improved but no hahaha! She still just knows how to say those three catchphrases!
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Upskii
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RE: Droopy.
Holy shit, I did not know that. You think I'd pay more attention to the shows I've written on. I swear I remember Bob calling him "That character I do...." then he'd do the voice. Now I know his name.

RE: Pali's romantic story
That story warms my heart like a big deep hit of crack. I'm a little confused by the "smokes" reference. I'm aware of the slang for cigarettes over there, and it's not smokes, so by logical deduction I'm assuming that you were at the convenience store buying a pack of homosexuals. I get the lingo.

BTW, Pali: I downloaded the Brass Eye Paedophelia special. Wow. It was really good. It probably wasn't the best episode to watch first because it was so shock oriented, but there were a lot of great little bits in it. Also to follow up: Little Britian's new season was a huge disappointment. Why did screw it up with a laugh track? A couple other great Brit shows I've been watching "I'm Alan Partridge," and it's brilliant. Steve Coogan kills me, and I hope he becomes better known in America. Also "Green Wing" had some great moments, and some great editing gags, like the fast motion bits, that really interest me as an editor.

RE: Baby Stuart, Ms. Swan
Yeah, Rodd, that doesn't surprise me that someone named their son after Stuart. When I worked at Mad we got a phone book sized print out each week of fan emails that were sent into the Mad website. About half of them were saying "We need more Stuart!" or "Give Ms.Swan her own show!" About 2 percent said things like "If I see another Stuart or Swan sketch I will jam hot pokers in my eyes!" The pro emails were riddled with spelling and punctuation errors, while the anti emails were better written. I think Mr. Show just did a show for those 2 percent. Imagine a universe where Mr. Show is still on and Ronnie Dobbs and Droopy are each doing their 100th sketch. Luckily, that could only happen if some evil TV execs kidnapped Bob and David, gave them frontal lobotomies, and forced them into slave labor. And yet, that show would still be better than Mad TV.
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The fact that you worked on "Blue Collar Comedy" and "MADtv", if my inference was indeed true, I don't think I like you's no more. I got respect for your "Mr. Show"s; no disrespect meant or nothing, but the other stuff....I mean....it's like you learned to wipe your ass before you knew how to shit. Ya know what I mean? C'mon.
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Quote:
Originally posted by 5InchTaint
The fact that you worked on "Blue Collar Comedy" and "MADtv", if my inference was indeed true, I don't think I like you's no more. I got respect for your "Mr. Show"s; no disrespect meant or nothing, but the other stuff....I mean....it's like you learned to wipe your ass before you knew how to shit. Ya know what I mean? C'mon.
Remember how Brian Posehn was on Just shoot me and John Enis was on Malcom in the Middle and the number of embarassing cameos David Cross has made. My point is Nigga gotta eat.
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Quote:
Originally posted by agent_PUNT
he is the character that gets chocolate on the NASA pictures that links to the BUTM sketch.
OH THE IRONY!
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