What a busy weekend. I'm conducting my second Sitcom Room seminar at the glorious Embassy Suites at LAX and preparing to strike. The object of the Sitcom Room is to give young writers the chance to really experience what's it like being in a writing room under actual rewrite night conditions. I plan on preparing them with vital survival secrets. Here's what you'd be learning if you were in the class:
To be a TV comedy writer you have to have thick skin. Generally you’re in a room with other comedy writers, all neurotics, competing against each other to get your ideas or jokes in the script. Eight puppies and one sock. Many times you’ll pitch a joke that doesn’t get a laugh or doesn’t get in. You’re out there with egg on your face. I find it’s best to develop a series of savers. As a public service, here are a few I use. (Note: if you find yourself using all of these in a five minute span consider other employment).
Hey guys, don’t all hoist me on your shoulders at once!
Okay, but you’re denying America pleasure.
Oh God, it’s my prom night all over again.
If Jon Stewart pitched that you’d put it right in.
I hear laughter but I don’t see the pencil moving.
Okay, don’t see your kids tonight. Stay all night. I’m doing this for you. Some thanks I get.
Sure, it’s not funny when I say it. But when (actor) says it…
You’re only mad because you didn’t think of it first.
Nurse! They’re being mean to me again!
The laugh machine will LOVE it.
I bet at COLD CASE they’d be hysterical.
Fine. I wasn’t meant to be appreciated in my time.
I don’t feel the love, you assholes.
You try being funny when you’re having a stroke.
See it typed. You’ll think differently.
Okay, what if they said it in a funny accent?
I’m sorry. Are there no more seats at the Algonquin Round Table?
So you’re saying perfection isn’t good enough?
Hey, you hired me!
(In Forghorn Leghorn voice) I say, I say, I keep pitchin’ ‘em, boy, and you keep missin’ ‘em.
Jesus, people, doesn’t ANYTHING make you laugh?
You all remember. I used to be funny, right?
And of course, the ultimate saver and perennial crowd pleaser – Go fuck yourself.