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.
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.