There Goes That

manbitesdog.jpgA few years ago, I wrote a pilot on spec and submitted it to some shitty Bravo show. Even though it was the first script I wrote, it came out pretty well and I think most of it still holds up.

I used it as a writing sample and never bothered shopping it around. Then I heard about Dog Bites Man, which starts in two weeks on Comedy Central. It follows a fake local news team as they interview real people, in a half-scripted, half-improv style like Reno 911.

My pilot spec was all scripted and centered around a British news team who travelled across America, interviewing its weirdos and losers. Not exactly the same, but it’s similar enough for me to kick myself for not doing anything with it.

Now I have to come up with an all new premise and write another pilot. Boo. At least Dog Bites Man will be good. And anything with Zach Galifianakis and Matt Walsh will help counteract the mediocrity that is Carlos Mencia.

4 thoughts on “There Goes That”

  1. Being a comedy writer AND cartoonist you must get double the amount of people suggesting their genius ideas to you.

    Man in Bar: “Oh man, I’ve got a really good idea for you to do a sketch/show/comic about…[proceeds with lame idea]”

    Artist: “oh yeah, that’s funny(he lies), I’ll have to keep that in mind.”

    (optional ending) Artist actually uses the lame idea when faced with impending deadline of doom.

  2. That doesn’t happen too often. But when it does, it’s only good manners to tell people their suggestions are hilarious. And I’m fortunate enough to have a “garbage pile” of unused premises whenever a deadline is looming.

    The absolute worst is the political types with no sense of humor. Por ejemplo, Them: “You should do a cartoon about HR 3451. The effects of unregulated beef feet on children are deplorable.” Me: “You’re no fun.”

  3. what methods do you employ to ensure that the scripts and stuff you send out that maybe you don’t hear back about or get a “no” for don’t actually get ripped off and appear somewhere later as “someone else’s really funny show”

  4. The pilot’s registered with the WGA. I have no idea if that would prevent thievery, but I should be able to snag a decent settlement should someone ever be dumb enough to think my shitty ideas are worth stealing.

    I never bothered registering specs I wrote for existing shows, and the reasons for that are pretty boring. Showrunners won’t even look at specs for their own show, because they’re afraid of getting accused of joke theft. Instead they look at writing samples for other shows.

    And for los curiosos among you, I wrote specs for Arrested Development and The Office (which I still haven’t gotten around to adapting for the US version.) No one will see them until I get serious about it and move to LA.

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