Wednesday, July 21

Jumping The Shark

I was watching Last Comic Standing last night, and the challenge they faced was to pitch a sitcom idea with only 2 hours to prepare. The only rule was that each comic had to star in the sitcom they pitch. My wife supposed that I would have no trouble with that challenge as I likely have a couple of sitcom ideas floating around in my head.

I do, in fact. I have two.

Right away, I thought of Bolo. I think it's time for a sitcom starring a monkey, and Bolo The Monkey is that monkey. At first , I was going to call the sitcom "The President's Monkey", but after some thought, I think "The Monkey's President" is better. In "The Monkey's President", I star as a high-ranking presidential aide. Through a complicated series of events that nobody can quite figure out (perhaps involving a gift from a foreign diplomat), I am given a monkey - Bolo, The Monkey - as my assistant. Naturally, high-jinx abound as Bolo causes, and (at the end of each episode) solves untold numbers of hilarious problems. "We can't let the press find out that a monkey is running the country!" would be a common utterance. "Bolo!!!!" would be another. This idea is Gold, I tell ya. Gold!!!

So, that's "The Monkey's President".

My other idea for a sitcom is called "Jumping The Shark", and I think this one might actually be worthwhile. The phrase "jumping the shark" refers to the episode in Happy Days when Fonzie jumped the tank full of sharks on his motorcycle. Now, "jumping the shark" is a phrase that's used to represent the episode in any episodic television program in which, through a desperate and absurd stunt, the series loses its credibility or believability.

The premise of Jumping The Shark would be that every episode would be the jumping the shark episode of the series. Every episode would revolve around that implausible event or stunt that causes fans to say 'oh come on' in disbelief.

I'm not sure, yet, exactly what the episodes would entail. Whether it would center around the same group of individuals, or whether each week would showcase a different sitcom.

I kinda like the idea that each episode would be about a different sitcom. That way we could spoof the various genres. There'd always be a core group of actors who would star in these jumping the shark sitcom one-off episodes. The challenge, since each week would showcase a different one-off sitcom, would be to ensure that each sitcom feels lived-in, inhabited. As if they were running for a couple of years, have run out of ideas, and have resorted to pulling this week's stunt in order to keep the viewers.

There. What a great idea! Sign me up, producers.

1 comment:

coda said...

Actually, Fonzie did jump the shark as he was water skiing. :-)