CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #306
Zen and the Art of Sitcom
I have been writing sitcoms for twenty-five years. During this time, I have learned a few things. Practical things. Do's and don't's if you will. For instance, do hire actors based on talent not looks. Somewhere between take eight and take fifteen, you will be hating both yourself and the gorgeous, but clueless ingenue who got the job because she looks exactly like what you imagined the character looks like... or worse, like the kind of woman you could live happily ever after with. Don't waste time with a marginal joke that forces the actor to twist him or herself into a pretzel in order to make funny. It's much better to work a little harder and write a great joke that the actor can do in their sleep. This also allows the actor to be well-rested when it comes time to renegotiate his or her contract. Do try to be kind to the power players. The movers and shakers. The people who tell you how to do your job. After they fail in network TV, they will remember you fondly while they're busy tanking fledgling internet companies. But perhaps more important than do's and don't's is learning to trust in the mysterious power of intuition. The soft inner voice that guides you to a better outcome than experience and logic could ever provide. This is what I call the Zen of Sitcom. The willingness to allow transcendence to play a part in the making of a TV show. Try it sometime in your own job. It can be the source of great inspiration. A word of warning though: it's not foolproof. If your business collapses or you wind up getting fired, you're probably hearing the same voice I listened to when I created Grace Under Fire, Cybill and four or five TV pilots that now function as landfill. If it's possible, try not to listen to that one. As inner voices go, it's kind of a douche.
1st Aired: 28 October 2010
Anyhoo, as we have been cleaning the place up we have stirred up the spirits as well. I've had a number of personal experiences, from hearing a woman singing, to having someone say "Hi" right in my ear when I walked past the Zoltar machine. We've hosted a number of paranormal teams and have joined back up with our friends Team-Phenomenon! They came on Oct. 23 and spent the night. Unfortunately there was a bog party at the banquet hall across the street which made evidence gathering difficult but several team members had personal experiences. We have also hosted SWFLPR, PRGT, SWFLPI and some other amateur groups with no formal affiliation. It's all soooooooo exciting. Come by to see us! Soon we will be hosting tag along ghost hunts so keep your eyes peeled!
CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #303
"Sometimes my life seems to be a never-ending succession of unhappy women."
"Restaurant bathroom doors should be identified with the words, "men" and "women." Silhouettes and cartoon drawings of sombreros, bowler hats, puffy skirts and pretty mouths do not provide enough information for drunks."
"Jesus" Last Supper was clearly not organized to encourage conversation."
"My memory of you is better than you."
"Erectile dysfunction commercials cause erectile dysfunction."
Words of a prophet,
written on a subway wall
and tenement hall
1st Aired: 21 October 2010
A. The show just looks fascinating.
B. Dean Kamen lives in NH so I have fantasies about being invited to his alternative energy, geek neverland someday. For what reason I would get invited even my active imagination is at a loss.
CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #300
300. An auspicious card. To me. At the very least it represents my having had a hand in writing and producing three hundred episodes of television. Some of which were pretty good. Some of which were... in color. Additionally, it means that on three hundred separate occasions I tried to turn my one second of network time into a form of entertainment. Or, if you prefer, a form of inflammation. Some of the vanity cards were, like the TV shows preceding them, pretty good. Others were... grammatically correct. But still. 300. That has to count for something, right? That's gotta be worth some kind of attaboy. I'm certainly not being paid to write these things. In fact, there are several people at CBS and Warners who'd probably pay me to not write them. (Mental note: Look into setting up a blind auction predicated on the idea that, for the right price, I would permanently change my written vanity card to a cute picture. Maybe a photo from my most recent colonoscopy. Let's see what the market fetches.) Anyway, this is my three hundredth vanity card. I really wanted to write something that was as important as the number seemed to imply. I'm pretty sure I've failed. Attaboy!
1st Aired: 14 October 2010
CHUCK LORRE PRODUCTIONS, #297
Everywhere I look I see Ned Beatty. Not literally Ned Beatty. What I keep seeing appears to be his doppelgänger, or his evil twin, or a Ned Beatty wannabe, or simply some paunchy, red-faced, middle-aged sonuvabitch who has either the great misfortune or great good luck to look just like Ned Beatty. I would also venture to say that if you were to casually glance over your shoulder, you too would see -- not now, wait until it's cool... okay, now. See it? There are a suspicious number of Ned Beattys wandering around this country. If one were conspiratorially- inclined, one might even think that someone is growing a secret army of the rotund little bastards. Why? To what end? Retribution on an apocalyptic scale for the lifelong mocking the real Ned Beatty endured after appearing in the sodomy scene in Deliverance? Whatever the purpose, there's ample reason to be afraid. The only reassurance we can have is the knowledge that it's not nearly as scary as a whole bunch of Warren Beattys running around.
1st Aired: 07 October 2010