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.
SURGERY DAY DOGGEREL
Written last night at 3:29 AM
(TO THE TUNE OF: “TEDDY BEAR’S PICNIC”)
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.