While it might have been a TV program, the influence of “Mr. Show” on the ensuing decade of both movies and television has been a substantial one. Now, David Cross and Bob Odenkirk are putting together a project that will once again team the warped comic masterminds.
“Bob and I are going to shoot something for HBO, a pilot, which was something we wrote,” Cross told us recently in Shreveport, Louisiana during a break from shooting the Jack Black-Michael Cera flick “Year One.” “It’s based on Bob’s idea, but we both co-wrote it and I’ll act in it.”
Although the duo’s return to Home Box Office will be like “Mr. Show” in some ways, Cross insisted that it will also play with the clichés of situation comedies. “It’s a sitcom,” the “Arrested Development” funnyman explained. “It will follow a traditional sitcom feeling, but will also feel like a big sketch, even though the characters will remain the same each week.”
“Hopefully, we’ll shoot it this April,” he continued. “The working title is ‘David’s Situation,’ but that could change.”
Also, since Bob and David will once again be existing in the realm of pay-TV, they hope to employ a “Grindhouse”-like gimmick that will exploit our collective hatred of ad breaks. “Because it’s HBO, we are going to write and shoot our own commercials that will probably have nothing to do with the show, and have two commercial breaks and have an epilogue and all that stuff,” Cross grinned, adding: “And if it comes naturally to swear, or have something a little more than you wouldn’t have on network TV, we’ll definitely do that.”
As for Odenkirk’s off-the-wall plot idea, Cross explained it thusly: “I’m playing me. I’ve left Hollywood, I’ve had it with Hollywood. I now write for in-flight magazines, and I’ve moved to a gated community in an unknown suburb; you don’t know where it is or what part of the country. I have two roommates - one is extreme right wing, a cranky conservative pro-America guy. The other is this left wing, hippie, liberal-activist guy. And I’m right in the middle.”
“They are both ridiculous, and crazy stuff happens, but in the reality of this world it’s not that crazy,” added Cross, saying that he and Odenkirk expect their “David’s Situation” pilot to get picked up and hopefully last a few seasons. “We would only do ten or twelve episodes for a season… personally, I would be happy to do six,” he grinned. “I don’t wanna spend that much time in L.A.”