Thursday, June 22, 2006

$200 and a couple of camcorders: that’s all it took for three struggling actors to create the original pilot of the irreverent and utterly hilarious F/X Network comedy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. As part of the network’s campaign to hype the much anticipated second season of Sunny, F/X is running a contest calling on Hollywood wannabes from all across America to submit 5 minute tapes showcasing their ideas for the next great low budget sitcom. From thousands of entries, F/X narrowed the field to the Top 20 pitches, each posted online at for the viewing public to cast votes for the best ones. The winner will receive $50,000 and a production deal.

With absolutely nothing but garbage on the tube to occupy our time last night, the wife and I checked out the F/X contest entries online instead. I’m sorry to report that if the Top 20 contestants represent the best of diamond-in-the-rough comedic talent in America, then I fear for the future of television. Most of the entries were devoid of anything that would be considered even remotely "funny". They were loaded hackneyed sight gags, lame and/or indecipherable inside jokes, limp attempts at satire, and blatant rip-offs from successful sitcoms, both past and present.

When I first heard of the contest, I half-considered submitting my story about the twisted characters and strange machinations of a grassroots political organization based my experiences with the Arizona Young Republicans. Thinking a sitcom about the life of political nerds might be too esoteric to be considered funny, I let the idea go. Now that I’ve seen the pathetic standard set by the so-called Top 20, I’m kicking myself for not taking the time to scribble down a 5 minute screenplay.

I will, however, give credit where credit is due. There are three contest entries that are worthy of your votes. Go to and vote for Party Animals, Side Show and John Wang’s Nebraska. These garage pilots may not be “laugh til ‘you spew milk out your nostrils” funny, but the creators showed just enough off-beat originality to be light-years ahead their competition.


At 6/23/2006 11:57 AM, Blogger BACdanielle said...

Please, please please let me help you write the AYR sitcom!!!

At 6/27/2006 12:49 PM, Blogger azgopbabeval said...

Cant Wait for Always Sunny...
are we gettin together to watch?


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