Monday, October 12, 2009

"What's On Your Mind?"

I have an idea for a post chronicling how Friends, an enormous hit in its day, followed arguably the most important writing rule I believe in – “Write as truthfully as you can” – and wound up making one of the worst episodes of their entire series.

I also have an idea for a post concerning (now Senator) Al Franken’s comedy, Lateline, where I personally witnessed (now Senator) Al “going to the mat” with the NBC censors over one joke, not because it was funny (although it was), but because it represented the show’s boundaries-breaking audacity, which a new series desperately needs to promote its uniqueness.

I’ll probably write both those posts in the near future. They’re good stories, especially for people interested in half-hour comedy. The thing is, sometimes, you go to the computer to write something, and a part of you – the part where your talent lives – says,

“Ahhh, maybe later.”

I wanted to write those two stories. Did I mention they were good stories? I think I did. And they are. I’m not kidding. Really. They’re fascinating. As you’ll see when I write them. It’s just that sometimes, despite your best efforts to focus your mind on delivering the wisdom and experience of a longtime television scribbler, that mind – and the talent that dwells therein – is insistently, perhaps, obsessively monitoring other concerns.

This, then, is a story about when you have the intention of writing one thing, but that gifted thing inside you is determined to write something else.

Which, today, is this.


Written last night at 3:29 AM


When I go down to the hospital

They’re gonna go in my side.

They say it’s less painful than cracking your chest

But what do I do if they lied?

They’ll still my lungs and quiet my heart

And when they’re done, they hope they restart

Today’s the day the robots go in my bo…dy.

Okay, it’s out. Tomorrow, I’ll return with Thoughtful Observations on the Sitcom Genre.

Unless something else comes up.


Anonymous said...

Earl...please stop with the being "coy" stuff.

I bet you know better than anyone, you don't TELL the audience "this is really funny" (especially not if you are going to follow it with..."no...maybe later") you just do it.

Just do it...or don't, but cmon...I like your writing too much to sift through the buildup, you don't need it.

Anonymous said...

Boy, anonymous, if you don't "get" something, better not to post about it, don't you think?
I guess irony is not your strong suit.

Rebecca said...

Praying for your successful procedure and quick recovery. Get well soon!

Rachel said...

To Anonymous 1: Lighten-up dude. It's his blog. He can do what he wants. I'm now very much looking forward to hearing those 2 stories.