Saturday, November 13, 2010

A sitcom story I bet you haven't seen before

Here's another episode of the MARY show my partner, David Isaacs, and I created for Mary Tyler Moore.  We always like to do stories you can't see on other sitcoms.  I'm particularly proud of this one.  I think it's one of the more ingenious stories we've ever come up with.  The teleplay is by Tom Straw and directed by Will MacKenzie.   


And for you John Astin fans, he is heavily featured in this episode.   Thanks again to friend-of-the-blog, Dave Benson, for posting it.  



11 comments:

Parker said...

Awesome. Thanks, Ken.

Lauren Tuerk said...

" On a scale of one to ten,"

"I was hoping for a long run!"

laughed out loud!
thanks so much!

Mac said...

Thoroughly enjoyed that. John Astin's a pleasure to watch. I'm always amazed by truly original sitcom storylines. I remember an ep of Frasier where a bird clamped its claws on Nile's head and he couldn't get it off. He had to cover it with a towel as he had guests arriving. I just thought that must have happened to someone on the writing team. No way would they come up with such a random idea? Or did they?

Kevin B said...

That 25 year old episode of a failed CBS sitcom was by far funnier than any episode of the new sitcoms CBS put on this year.

Leigh said...

Enjoyed it!

"Stock up on canned goods..." Heehee.

James said...

I wish that show would come out on DVD.

Pat Reeder said...

To Mac,

We take in homeless and handicapped parrots and currently have 16, including three cockatoos. No lesser sulfur cresteds at the moment, like Niles', but we used to have one. I can tell you that cockatoos have incredibly strong feet and can clamp onto your fingers so tightly they'll cut off the circulation if they're nervous, but I've never heard of one clamping onto someone's head and not letting go. The wild shaking and screaming that would accompany that would probably convince him to turn loose pretty quickly. There are some parrots that will bite you and latch on like pit bulls, though, and I have the scars to prove it.

BTW, one of my sitcom pet peeves is when the writers treat the abuse or death of pet birds as if it's some kind of joke. I've seen several shows recently in which the hijinks hinged on some doofus feeding someone's bird the wrong thing and killing it, or "forgetting" to feed a bird and starving it. Ha-ha. Really funny. I've had just about every kind of pet you can imagine, and I can assure you that parrots are the most intelligent, complex, loving and challenging animals on Earth. They're like having a four-year-old child that never grows up. And I've heard far too many heartbreaking horror stories about neglected and abused birds from the rescuers and rehabbers I know (here's an all-too-typical one, if you have the stomach for it: http://www.the-oasis.org/skippy.php ). Believe it or not, that's far from the worst I've seen.

Anybody who knew anything about pet birds would never write jokes based on mistreating or killing them. If you think it would be a comedy killer to do jokes about beating the family dog to death, then don't do them about poisoning or starving a pet bird.

Kevin Ashworth said...

Fun stuff. Thanks, Ken!

Greig said...

"I’m not proud of what I’ve done…despite the fact that I find myself smiling most of the time."

Another line that got a laugh out loud from me. That really was a nice role for John Astin in this show.

Roger Owen Green said...

I liked this one a lot more than the pilot, and John Astin's definitely the reason.

Steve said...

Again, I must say I thought it was rather smart and original, but I didn't come close to laughing at any single point during the episode.