Monday, September 07, 2009

Info on the next SITCOM ROOM seminar & writing tweets

Because of my baseball schedule I can only do it once a year and this year it'll be on the weekend of November 14th in Los Angeles. Like before, registration is limited to just twenty.
Link
Registration opens Noon EDT / 9AM Pacific, Monday, September 14 and closes as soon as twenty have signed up. If the past is any indication, that should be just a could of days.

I'm also planning to kick off the pre-SITCOM ROOM festivities with a live webcast on Wednesday (or tomorrow, which ever comes first). Everyone is welcome to join in for some fun behind-the-scenes stuff, even taking live questions from you guys. It's FREE.

Anyway, to get all the details, go here to the SITCOM ROOM website. And to get on the Alert List (where you get updates even before we know them), just go to the Sitcom Room Alert List. That's also where you'll get the scoop on how to access the free webcast.

Hope to see you. Now for actual content. I have a Twitter account for the SITCOM ROOM (I am SO social) and offer daily writing tweets. Here are a few of them.

When jokes don't work you can often blame the set up.

When pitching a joke in the room, never stand up. It better be damn good if you do.

Women writers are just as funny as men.

Always play characters to the top of their intelligence. Even the dumb ones.

Two pages can come out of every script. Page 11 and another one.

I'd put the first year of CHEERS up against the best year of any series.

Laugh at runthroughs, even at the stuff that sucks and you'll change.

Do not give athlete guest stars big jokes to do.

Average time to beat out a story: three days. And then two to change it.

Best punch up guy in television history: Bob Ellison.

When writing dialog, the hell with grammar. Write the way people talk.

When an actor is delivering a big joke, invariably an extra will walk right in front of him.

“One percenters”: jokes that only six people in America will get. But boy will those six laugh.

TV tapings are free. If you’re in LA go see one.

10 comments:

Nat G said...

GAK!

When I visit your blog, I don't expect to see a picture of myself!

--the guy in the center (who left the Sitcom Room having really enjoyed the experience... and regretting that I never chased that career.)

David said...

Hi Ken,

Not sure the proper protocol for this-- but I love your writing, am a fellow screenwriter in LA and added you to my blogroll. Hope you're okay with that.

If it upsets you that you inspired another writer to start a blog, well then stop being so gosh darn funny.

Cheers,

DG

Telecomedian said...

Ken, I became a fan of yours when you did radio work for my beloved Baltimore Orioles when I was a teenager. My fandom for the beloved Baltimore Orioles is the only reason I watched Brady Anderson do a PAINFUL guest spot on "Sabrina the Teenage Witch." Brady Anderson - hell of a leadoff hitter, prolific dater, but not exactly Hugh Laurie on camera. He'd be a fine example for your list...YET...Cheers had Kevin McHale on a couple of times, each time playing a pretty big role in the comedy and jokes. Keith Hernandez was a natural on "Seinfeld." Bob Uecker was hilarious in "Major League" and the dramatically-unappreciated "Mr. Belvedere." Sparky Anderson was good on WKRP, too. Are those guys more the exception, that there are more Brady Andersons than Kevin McHales?

Anonymous said...

Shaq was pretty funny on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" cajoling Larry into helping him cheat at Scattergories.

Season One of "Cheers" certainly belongs in the room when deciding best season ever. I'd also throw in season five of "The Simpsons" and season four of "Taxi."

benson said...

I'd add to that list any of the first five seasons of Frasier.

Joe said...

I LOVE being a one percenter.

WVW - "Trancy" someone who answers "all of the above" to questions about being LGBT.

Brian Doan said...

"I'd put the first year of CHEERS up against the best year of any series."

Wow, that's a really strong statement, especially from someone who worked on M*A*S*H. Don't get me wrong-- I adore CHEERS, and love the work you did on the show. But-- and maybe this is one for your Friday questions--would it be OK to ask you to say more about this? CHEERS is certainly one of the top sitcoms of all time, but I'm curious what, specifically, you think makes the first year so strong (I think it's great, too, I'm just curious what the persective from a pro like yourself would be).

Joe said...

P.S. And more Bob Ellison, please.

LouOCNY said...

Either Season Three or Season Four of Barney Miller...maybe Four, as I really like the way Arthur Dietrich/Steve Landesburg was perfect for that show....

Jen said...

RE: the 1st season of Cheers...

In addition to all the shows mentioned, you have to throw in Seinfeld, probably Season 4. Just like Cheers' innovations to the sitcom (a bar scene, a bunch of random singles vs. a family or workplace), Seinfeld also added to the genre. Its pacing was much faster, its characters were more modernly neurotic, and Season 4 was especially hilarious and had the season-long arc of creating the in-show sitcom. "The Contest" was also in that season and for its time was hilariously risque.

Mr. Levine, I'd also love to hear you discuss more about your feelings on Cheers' 1st season.

Thanks, Jen