Writing Television Comedy
Veteran television writer/producer Jerry Rannow gives aspiring and experienced comedy writers a humorous and eye-opening guide to conceiving, writing, and marketing a winning TV sitcom. Drawing on more than twenty-five years’ experience, he tells how to construct a story outline, structure and format scripts, develop character and dialogue, pitch to producers, collaborate with other writers, and work with network and studio executives, producers, directors, agents, writers, and stars. Full of laughs and profitable tips for making a living in the business. This book is an invaluable tool for any writer who wants to break into TV comedy.
Filled with dozens of personal anecdotes, musings, and warnings from writers, producers, actors, and directors who have been there, Surviving Hollywood: Your Ticket to Success provides all the real-life tools you need for protecting your personal well-being in an unstable and sometimes unscrupulous industry. Readers will discover sage advice for keeping their spirits up despite constant rejection, weathering long periods of unemployment, maintaining a stable marriage and family life in an unstable business, keeping the faith in the midst of lies and deceit, and much more. Special sections address such topics as the dangers child actors face and how to deal with egomaniacs without becoming one.
This One’ll Killya
Springer McKay is a formerly successful Hollywood comedy writer whose failing career is rescued when studio mogul Buddy Brightman greenlights his pilot idea. When Springer learns that Brightman intends to steal the project out from under him, he confronts the man only to find that Brightman has been brutally murdered! Springer has no choice but to become the world’s first comedy-writer detective and investigate Brightman’s murder to clear himself—an investigation that will lead him on a journey of sex, drugs and violence as his raw nerve and unorthodox methods of gumshoeing make him the target of his own murder.
Hollywood comedy writer Springer McKay has been summoned to serve as joke-writer for the President of the United States—he’s President King Morgan’s “Secretary of Schtick.”
When someone slips strychnine in the Vice President Dakin Hinch’s Zippity Cola, everyone in the White House is suspect—all had motive and opportunity, but who was unhinged enough to commit murder?
Springer investigates, approaching the task the way any writer would build a story. He weaves his way through a group of likely suspects while fingers of guilt point at President Morgan whose erratic behavior has him cock-a-doodling like a rooster across the White House lawn, boldly claiming Hinch was plotting against him—he’s glad the bastard’s dead!
At the annual Gridiron Dinner, the president goes totally haywire and, doing a dead-on impression of Groucho Marx, hurls insults at the politicians in attendance. “You people are all we’ve got?” he says. “Where are the nation’s brightest and best? Are they hiding? Or do they shun politics because it’s nothing more than a feudal system handing down power from one whistle-ass to another.”
President Morgan is committed to a psychiatric institute. The FBI investigation concludes that the President went mad and is responsible for the murder—case closed… Springer’s not so sure. Jokes and intrigue follow in this hilarious tale of Murder, Washington-Style.
The Broadway Comedy Murders
Hollywood comedy writer Springer McKay’s latest adventure finds him on Broadway, where his satirical play, Boob Tube, is in rehearsal with a bunch of wildly eccentric actors—British stage legend Lady Kate Ashley, egotistical sitcom star Wally Wheeler, highly neurotic Tony Award–winner Nedda Norman, and action film star Kirby Gates, who has saved the world a million times. Retired junk dealer Sid Rosko is the producer. Five quirky young performers round out the cast.
Who Killed Nutty Nuckleball?
Hollywood comedy writer Springer McKay’s latest adventure takes us deep into the Northwoods of Wisconsin where he is being pursued by an angry mob out to kill him. Why is this happening you may ask? What has Springer done to enrage the weird and wild citizens of Clowntown? How did our hero become surrogate father to ragtag baseball team—the Clowntown Clowns? Why did he fall in love with the bartender at a strip joint? Why was the Clown’s mascot, Nutty Nuckleball murdered, stuffed and erected in the town square? Comedy, sex and romance are artfully woven together in an offbeat and hugely entertaining whodunit.
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