Monday, April 16, 2012

A CAN'T-MISS idea for a family sitcom!

Comedy writers are always looking for new twists on family shows. It’s almost an impossible task. Sixty-plus years of television sitcoms have given us seemingly every relationship combination possible. Multiple wives, occasional wives, trophy wives, surrogate fathers, widowed fathers, teenaged fathers, fathers from outer space, arranged marriages, mixed-marriages, May-December marriages, April-June marriages, kids by a previous marriage, kids by a previous divorce, widowed kids, orphaned kids, latch-key kids, test tube babies, talking babies, kids with two dads, two moms, two gays, and whatever the hell that arrangement is on SHAMELESS. Dad moves back in, grandpa moves back in, adult kids move back in, Alf moves in. You get the idea. There's nothing new under the sun. 

Well comedy writers, take heart!  May I introduce you to Jerry Lee Lewis?

Jerry Lee Lewis was a rock star in the early days of rock n’ roll. Some of his big hits were “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Goin’ On”, “Breathless”, and “Great Balls of Fire” (which was also the title of a 1989 movie about him, starring Dennis Quaid). Here’s an example of Jerry Lee in his prime.

He also played the piano with his feet, which of course is the prerequisite of all great musicians.

Anyway, his career hit a little snag when he married his 13-year-old cousin. Why I don't know.  But that was just the first Mrs. Lewis. And here’s where we get into family-pilot-gold –

Recently he married his seventh wife. Her ex-husband is Jerry’s cousin whose sister was Jerry’s first wife.  Now seriously, tell me you've seen that before on ABC.

As always, you're welcome.   

But alas, what happens if you’re not the first four in the door? Once every network buys this sure-fire premise then what? Fear not. Again, dipping into the relationship-rich world of music, I give you Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.

At the time of his death in 2000 it was revealed he had fathered at least 55 children by God knows how many women. I say “at least” because they’re still counting and the number could eventually reach as high as 75.


Neither of these stories are made up.  They're both absolutely true.  That's what makes them so great.  And so REAL.  

Get on the phone to your agent. And Paula Marshall.


Richard Y said...

If the story is true - no one will believe it.

Anonymous said...

Actually... I believe Myra (13 yr old cousin) was Jerry's third wife. And the kicker is... he wasn't officially divorced from his second wife when he first married her!

LouOCNY said...

Of then there is Bill Wyman of the Stones, who, while initially married the Stones started, probably had close to a 1000 groupies over a period of ten years. This is while married...then divorced and living with a Swedish girl named Astrid. Then, when 47, fell in love with a British pop singer named Mandy Smith - who was 13. He 'dated' her - with consent of her mother, and they got married when she was an ancient 19. Meanwhile, Bill's 30 year son began dating -- the mother, and almost married HER - which would hav emade him both Bill's son AND father-in-law.

Paul Duca said...

I'm my own grandpa!

Chris said...

Any thoughts on Lena Dunham's show, Girls?

Do you think a 25 year-old having their own show on HBO (as creator, executive producer and head writer) is a good thing or just a very unlikely accident?

RCP said...

You can judge Jerry Lee all you want to for marrying his 13-year-old cousin - but the fact is, he kept her in Easy Bake ovens and Trailer Trash Barbies right up until that sad morning when she took off for good on her Big Wheel.

Winston said...

He's also Jimmy Swaggart's cousin and they grew up together, playing piano. This inspired the play "Two Pianos, Four Hands" which is excellent (though in the play the rocker and the preacher are brothers).

Mike said...

How I Met Your Mother: The True Story.
(Hey, I was once given a phone number at a Motörhead gig.)

Frank said...

Sounds like a natural role for Chevy Chase.

YEKIMI said...

75 kids & counting? How'd he have time to record any records? Wow, makes me think that "Screamin'" Jay Hawkins should have been singing "I Put A Dick In You."

John said...

FQ: Who has the power over guest stars from other shows appearing on a (possibly) competing show? Does the network have more power, or the studio, or the show runner? I know that sometimes it is stunted by the network (St. Elsewhere on Cheers, Tom Bergeron on Castle, etc.), but in the case of the ex-Lorre characters Dharma & Greg in the season opener of 2-1/2 Men, would it have been difficult if Criminal Minds was not on CBS? (And whatever JE was or wasn't doing at the time.)
A related question would be how much the network has to do with stars appearing / not appearing on other network's late night shows? JK seemed to honestly be into Lost when it was on, but would he have had a choice if he wasn't? I imagine it would be a disaster trying to force Dave or Craig to take someone they didn't want, but I can't imagine any of the NBC guys not falling into line.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

Re Lena Dunham: Roger Ebert showed her film (wrote, directed, starred, probably produced) Tiny Furniture at his hand-picked festival last year, and I'm not remotely surprised she now has an HBO series (which I will now look out for).

The movie, for the most of you who haven't heard of it, is kind of a latter-day THE GRADUATE - girl graduates, comes home, doesn't really know what to do next, and in the meantime her mother (who makes and designs dollhouse furniture) and sister have bonded into a more or less exclusive unit.

It may not sound like much but it was really good. Have a look for it.


jbryant said...

Coming from ABC, an updated series starring "Screaming" Dick Van Patten: "55 is Enough."

Cap'n Bob said...

And then there's Frankie Lymon, of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. He left three widows behind when he died. Seems he forgot to divorce his first two wives when he married the third. One of them, by the way, was the female member of The Platters.