MAKE YOUR OWN LIST SHOW

(from GAGBlog 5/6/05)

 

This is a do it yourself ratings winner. Now, from your very own home, you can create and produce a hit TV show! Here's all you need.

 

1) A TOPIC: This can literally be almost anything. The best topics are nostalgic, pop culture topics. Stuff that even the dumbest person watching will remember or have some flashes of an opinion about. Some topics just don't lend themselves to glib remarks. "Top Ten Acts of the Apostles" or "I Love the 1740's" might not make good television. HEY! We're not trying to teach anybody anything here.

 

2) C & D - LIST CELEBRITIES: There is a short list of celebrities who exist in the "List Show Database" if you subscribe to it. You know them from many List Shows - Michael Ian Black, Susan Powter, Hal Sparks etc. These can be your base support system. After them, it's open season. Here are some suggestions: a porn star (Ron Jeremy is always insightful), a renegade politician, a "downed" icon, members of an 80's band that most people though had broken up, somebody who became famous in commercials, a muppet, a REALLY HIGH celebrity, some up and coming stand up comics, someone famous for being infamous ( , generally a monkey of some type is good (and you can "translate" with subtitles - that's hilarious), a loose cannon that you will have to bleep - just some possibilities.

 

3) TWO ACTUAL EXPERTS: That's it, 2. These windbags will go on and on and on. Just remember, you can edit. These experts add a dash of legitimacy. Remember 1 expert comment to every 14 Michael Ian Black comment.

 

4) GREEN SCREEN - These celebrities can't actually be seen to sit in a room. They need to float above it all like astral travelers visiting the past... okay... it's just more stylish to put them over a picture of what they are talking about. Plus that means MORE CELEBRITY less ACTUAL FOOTAGE. You might save a bundle in royalties.

 

5) PICK A SIDE: Pick a side of the screen the celebrities will sit on. You can't have them flipping sides during the show.

 

6) CAMERA: The celebrities should only ever look at the camera for comic purposes. Any other time they should look off camera at the "interviewer".

 

7) EBAY: It's always nice to mix things up and actually have some authentic, tangible props from the time period. EBAY will be your new home. And mention the project when looking for items. People selling 20 year old JOLT cola cans, will probably watch your show.

 

8) THE INTERVIEWS: Just let them talk. Throw out a few things and let them go. These people think they are funny and love to hear themselves talk. Edit later. Out of the hours of interviews you will probably be able to pan about 3 minutes per person of comic gold from the gooey "gee-I'm-clever" dreck.

 

9) KEEP IT LIGHT: If anybody says anything deep, meaningful, insightful, educational etc LOSE IT! The public wants quick, glib remarks that they can vomit up over the cubicle wall the next day at work. This isn't a fucking documentary for godsake... it's the television equivalent of being drunk or high with the last people at the party spewing out topics and trying to make each other laugh.

 

10) EDIT: Remember, this is more about viewers finding a C or D celebrity who shares their opinion than it is about the actual topic. Treat the edit as such. More Hal Sparks - less Columbia Disaster.

 

And there you have it. A ten step plan for creating your own hit TV show. Remember, this format seemed to come out of nowhere from the minds of TV Executives... if they can think of it, anybody can do it.