Before you go thinking this is really long, I will not have the chance to post anything tomorrow. Read it in two parts if you’re that important. You can stop after you see the Hammer and Sickle then continue tomorrow as if this is something brand new.

Right now, as I type, in this moment, for this very second, my main goal in life is to become a successful television writer. Sure, there are lots of other things that I wouldn’t mind becoming successful at. I’ve decided that my dream job is to be a writer/director/actor in the porn industry. I mean really, talk about a life of Utopia. I get to be creative, I get to be in charge, and I never have to worry about trying to go out and socialize to attract a female. My entire day revolves around the ultimate daily goal of every male, having sex. Yeah, I know it’s not as glamorous as Boogie Nights makes it out to be. There are shady guys in bright purple suits and I’m sure most of the women are really mean and judgmental as women of all professions tend to be.

(Look at her, laughing because I tipped her my quarters in hopes that she’d ask me out on a date. No laundry for me this week)

I have a couple “sitcoms” already written. Original ones too. I think they’re pretty good. I’ve had people who don’t usually give me negative feedback give me negative feedback on them then agree that the changes I made were positive ones. There were two people who said they would look over it for me. I’m not really friends with them which is probably why I haven’t heard from either of them in 6 months. Fucking assholes. I mean, busy boys! It’s not good to burn bridges. Forget I ever called you fucking assholes. I’m sure you never use your assholes to fuck. I suggest you do it, because you are the noun version of a fucking asshole. I took the time to read through your creations (which by the way sucked). The least you could have done is pretend that you liked mine like I pretended that yours wasn’t absolute crap. Fucking assholes.

Today I want to give a quick seminar on how to write a crappy sitcom. We all know there are a lot out there. I won’t list them because they rotate in and out so quickly that most probably have already been cancelled. You’d think if a 60-year-old formula wasn’t working that they would try something new.

The first step in writing a sitcom is find a mainstream comedian who Middle America loves. Or hates. Find any comedian that doesn’t really offend and has a big enough audience where a certain group of people will want to see his show. George Lopez has the Mexicans. Tim Allen has the handymen. Rob Schneider has–people who liked Deuce Bigelow? Okay so 7 people watch that show. If you can’t attract a big star then you put in a couple of smaller ones. Make sure you get one recognizable face. Even if it’s just the bad guy from Disturbia who nobody knows the name of. You know who I’m talking about. He was on a few episodes of House. He was Ed Harris’s right hand man in The Rock.

(This guy, apparently ready to catch a football)

Now what you need is to write the shit. When I say shit, I mean bad jokes and storylines where we learn an invaluable lesson. Like that marijuana is a gateway drug even if you use it once and don’t like it. Or that if you break a rare family heirloom that you shouldn’t try to glue it together. Shit like that. Writing the sitcom is probably the hardest part. You need to be punchy. You need to have everything take places in the living room, for the most part. What families hang around the living room all day long and on Saturday nights? Well, my family did. But that’s because we had no friends. We also would do our own thing and not get caught up in compromising situations. You’ll need to come up with imaginary stuff for the family to do or else it’ll be pretty boring. And be sure the jokes would fit perfectly with a laugh track. Everybody loves being told when to laugh and how to feel.

(Don’t we?)

So you’ve got your cast, your script, now what you need is to develop the characters. I know, I’m doing this all out-of-order. By the looks of most sitcoms, a bunch of people get into a room with a camera and they all do unfunny things for 22 minutes (8 for commercials). There are certain character types that every sitcom needs:

Bumbling Dad – White, black, brown, yellow, red, green, mulatto, striped; whatever the skin color might be, the dad is always a moron. He screws up a lot and always misinterprets what others say. You find me a sitcom where the dad is the smartest guy in the room and I’ll find you a picture of a Klansman high-fiving Martin Luther King Jr., present day.

(Because men who support a family of 5 are lazy)

Hard Working Mom – Moms are never lazy in sitcoms. They’re not always the bread winners, but they’re always the ones that do the grunt work. They don’t always have real jobs which seems silly for them to complain. Plenty of great moms get shit done and still manage to work full-time jobs. Kids can pretty much take care of themselves. Not every chair needs to be completely dust free. Stop being so OCD. Maybe you wouldn’t complain so much how nobody gives you credit. You’re the only one who notices the stupid shit you accomplish.

(Life’s so hard where all you do is make lunch all day and live in a beautiful home and neighborhood)

Slutty Daughter – Every show needs a slutty daughter. If not that, a stud son. The slutty daughter is more fun because I can fall in love with them and their whore ways. Usually the daughters are whores who don’t actually act on it. Kind of a tease really. I think this sends the wrong message. It says “act like a whore but don’t be one.” That leads to men in real life misinterpreting things and when men misinterpret things in real life it doesn’t lead to hijinks, it leads to violence.

(Why did I use the daughter from The War at Home? I’m the only person who watched/jerked off to that show)

Wise Cracking Son – It can also be a wise cracking daughter, of course. Basically this is the “wise beyond their years” kid. The know-it-all. The character who nobody really likes all that much. Have you ever seen a Lisa Simpson shirt? Never! Sometimes they’re cute, like in the episode where they learn something about sex. Other than that, these characters should die in the pilot and the second episode should start off at their funeral.

(You tried to kill yourself a year ago. Where’s Francis to help out when you need him?)

Sassy Something – Mother-in-law, neighbor, sibling, anyone sassy fits into this role. A black maid could work well. It all depends what your show is about. Having someone sassy who can have a back and forth with another character is always fun. Nah, it’s lame. Sassy people in real life spend Valentine’s Day alone. They cry into their dinner-for-ones. Don’t be sassy. It leads to a life of loneliness.

(Wanda Sykes, available to play maids, best friends of wives, and new neighbors. Always sassy)

I’m sure there are more steps to creating a sitcom, but this is starting to get kind of long. I’ve still given you enough advice to easily be able to create something better than half of everything out there. So minions, go out and take over the network channels with your creations. Summon up all of your bad jokes and stories about your life and put it into television format. You’ll lose your soul, but at least you’ll see your name on a DVD cover.

Comments
  1. dan says:

    As far as the first part goes, I don’t think being a director of porn stars would be too easy. I mean, how are you going to explain to them what their motivation is?

    • mooselicker says:

      I heard one of the Cheetah Girls once say that you should never let anyone block you from living your dreams. You Dan are crushing the Cheetah Girl within me.

  2. Addie says:

    I’d be glad to read your work–I’m pretty good at that sort of thing. Can’t write, but, boy, can I find the good and bad in other peoples work, cause, well, I think you are effing funny. Let’s just be honest, you are fuckin’ funny.. big diff.

    PS Best line from Wanda (whom I admire–not in that way)–she was doing stand up regarding health care, and said she didn’t want to come home one night after another huge RX rate hike and find her Aunt on the corner in her slip, saying, “Hand job for a Lipator?”

    • mooselicker says:

      Thanks for the invite into the help! In the coming months I’ll probably need some help on things. Someone told me the last thing I wrote had one bad part in it. It was literally two lines and it took me a month to rearrange everything. I’m neurotic like that and that’s probably why I don’t share much of it with people until now. One bad thing must mean the rest is bad.

      If you did admire Wanda in that way she might return the favor. You wouldn’t even need a Lipator to do it.

  3. Pete Howorth says:

    Tim Allen’s new show is just like his old show except the young boys are replaced with older girls. I love it and I’m a huge Tim Allen mark, Last Man Standing is probably the only sitcom I like at the moment.

    They just don’t make them like they used to anymore, it didn’t seem that long ago that he had Seinfeld, Friends, Cheers/Frasier etc.

    In fact, Seinfeld is probably the greatest sitcom of all time, because it was quite literally a show about nothing. The same goes for England though, I prefer watching sitcoms that were made well before my time, stuff that was made in the 70s over the crap we get now. Shows like The Good Life, Open All Hours, Porridge (you won’t have heard of any of these obviously).

    Or even shows like Red Dwarf and Blackadder (You may have heard of.) What you wanna do is get into Drama shows, that’s where it’s at now!

    And that guys name is David Morse, who was awesome in Green Mile 😛

    • mooselicker says:

      You’re right, I’ve never heard of any of those shows. Did you know there was a sitcom about Hitler made in England in the early 90s? I think it was called “Heil Honey, I’m Home” I learned that from a trivia game.

      I heard the same thing about Last Man Standing. Home Improvement has and always will be a guilty pleasure of mine. It doesn’t have any real classic episodes, but it’s simple.

      And Blackadder was actually something I’d watch in high school history class. I guess we learned something about castles? We also watched Dirty Work if you’re familiar with that film. That one wasn’t very historic however.

      • Pete Howorth says:

        Haha I love how American’s use Blackadder to teach about history! Home Improvement is a pleasure of mine too, no need to be guilty about it. I need to buy the whole lot on DVD me thinks…

        Last Man Standing is better in the fact that his “daughters” are hot.

      • mooselicker says:

        I bet there’s a really good episode where one of them wants to wear a miniskirt. Me hopes!

  4. AgrippingLife says:

    Ditto to what Pete said. They don’t make sit coms the way they use to. Now you have to come up with a reality show or an hour long drama like Mad Men if you want the big bucks. I think you’d be an excellent TV writer. You’ve definitely got the right qualities. Time to pack up and move to Cali!

    • mooselicker says:

      End of November I will be! Haven’t decided if I should fly or do one of those lame “explore the country” road trips. So stressful.

      What dramas is it that you’re into? I feel myself running out of new shows to get into. It’s only a matter of time really.

  5. Cafe23 says:

    Wow, you have it all worked out. I can’t wait until you have your show on air and I can see what a Tim sitcom is all about. I wonder if it will be anything like your blog or something so completely unexpected! The day will come, my friend 😉

    • mooselicker says:

      We’ll see. I’m sure the Network will change them completely. Right now I’d be happy enough knowing that some shit intern read something I wrote and thought it was clever. A Tim Sitcom is usually me thrown into a strange situation. Then that character becomes nothing like me. He usually gets girls easier and isn’t nearly as smart as I am. But he gets the girls so I’d switch places.

  6. Emily He says:

    Why do so many sitcoms revolve around families? What does sitcom stand for anyway? how did it get its name? Is there a history behind sitcoms that I do not know about? Do the sitcoms you wrote revolve around families? Educate me!

    • mooselicker says:

      Most people have families, you sit and it’s a comedy?, some Jewish person, I’m sure there is, no not at all. My sitcoms revolve around isolation mostly. They’re more about “getting the girl” or “achieving the dream” than stupid families.

      • Emily He says:

        Oo yeah who wants to watch shows about family??? I haven’t since Full House (Modern Family and Arrested Development don’t count…so funny!) Girls and dreams on the other hand, I could watch that kinda stuff for HOURS!

  7. Lily says:

    I’ve honestly never heard of War at Home. What was your life? lol I honestly scrolled down to the picture of the scary guy from Disturbia and only knew him from that. So perfect.
    I like your formula for a good sitcom. It’s fool proof really. It’s just so hard to make something new out of the same old characters. But I’m sure you could do it. You’re creative. That’s half the battle. Or is it? Maybe half the battle is getting someone of high writing status to read your work and actually turn it into something. That seems like the whole battle.

    • mooselicker says:

      I know someone who knows someone who has a brother who has a friend who has a cousin who has an uncle who is actually a big name who wrote for a television show that I will not mention. He’s one of the fucking assholes that I mentioned. That’s why I can’t burn my bridge with that no talent fool.

      The fact that “The New Girl” came on the air the same year I got an email saying I wasn’t a finalist in a contest for Fox makes me pissed. Really? I’m almost thinking about changing my name to the guy who won it and changing the title of what I wrote to the same as his then saying I’m a contest winner.

  8. You are cutting edge, and I am bleeding profusely… thanks

  9. Just proves my point that all entertainment — movies, television, and music — are becoming less imaginative, less original, and more watered down.

    P.S. There’s usually three kids to every sitcom family!

    • mooselicker says:

      Yes! I should have made that more clear. I guess if it works, why fix it? Because it doesn’t really work buster! The only new sitcoms I watch are Community and Modern Family. One doesn’t have any children thank goodness. Kids are terrible actors.

  10. kato writes says:

    go for it, you’re nearly done already!

  11. Dude, you’ve got it nailed. The only sitcom I can think of that doesn’t fit this bill is It’s Always Sunny. And they purposefully made their hangout a bar so they could be anywhere, doing anything for no real reason at all. And that anyone could be the dumb one or the smart one in the group, depending on the scheme. Best show ever. And I’m behind on it, too. For shame.

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