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September 15, 2011 / iainnd

How To Write A Britcom

I may have mentioned once or twice that I wrote a delicious satire play (which is still being performed this weekend and next – call 4225 9407 for bookings). It turns out that it caught the attention of a certain Broadcasting Corporation from Britain – whom I can’t mention by name – and they are quite indeed interested in having me write a sitcom for them, old chap. I can’t say too much here because it’s not finalised and I actually just made this up, but I’m sure you’ll agree that my show would feel quite at home among modern British sitcoms. Hell, this show will have the Moon turning off and on again until computer says no!

The show is about a group of hopeless, twenty-something misfits living together in Shuntinghamshire, England. They work unrewarding and terrible-paying jobs and do not get along. Sometimes you think that something consequential actually happens to them, but it never does and you always want your half-hour back.

Chunk Bortstock has a silly voice. He says normal things but his voice is silly, so it’s really funny. When he greets people he says “Hello, how are you today?”. Sometimes he also drinks, which is funny, and when he does he tells people “I have been drinking.” In one episode Chunk goes to drink a glass of vodka, and Rent tells him it’s water, so Chunk immediately spits it out right in Rent’s face. That’s a knee-slapper because it’s funny when things get poured on people since there’s no difference between real comedy and Nickelodeon game shows.
Whenever Chunk gets angry, he yells at people. He’s the most random part of the show. In another episode, Chunk’s parents show up unexpectedly. He then has to quickly cover for the fact that he told them he has a better job than he really does, and he has Spongey reluctantly play his fake girlfriend. They don’t want to kiss each other, but Chunk’s parents are there, so they have to! Haha! It’s so random. It’s a random show.

Rent Spuzzwucker speaks with a lisp and moves his hands a lot and that means he’s gay. He often talks about how he wants to sleep with men, and then Chunk points out that Rent likes to sleep with men. That’s comedy. In one episode, Rent announces, unprompted, “Golly I could go for a right dicking about now!”, to which Chunk replies “That’s because you like to flippin’ roger blokes!”.
See, the joke there is that Rent, who likes men, expressed that he likes men, and then Chunk mentioned that Rent likes men. That’s really funny because it’s actually a joke, and not just two characters stating already established information. He probably knits or something, because the gays like to knit. His character is the most developed one on the show.

Spongey Mooseknuckle is a girl. She drinks wine and talks about menstruating and dating guys. I can’t tell you much more about her because part of my research for this project involves forgetting that girls are people and not wacky alien sidekicks that get into mischief and misunderstandings, and thus her personality is limited to these traits. Spongey is also female (that means she talks about menstruation). She and Rent call each other darling, because Rent is gay.
She’s also really awkward. She does awkward random things and it’s so awkward. In one episode she awkwardly goes on an awkward date with this random awkward guy, and her boobs fall out of her dress. This happens because there is no other way to make female characters funny.

Dirk Claggins and the Cucksplungers are a band who never interact with the main characters in any way, but we arbitrarily cut to them and they sing at least three times per episode. This is definitely because it’s really funny when people sing songs, and not just because I am a lazy and hacky writer who can’t fill an entire episode with painful non-jokes. The songs rarely contain any more than 5 different lines, but those lines are repeated for four minutes.
One member of the band is female, but the character is played by a man in a wig and a dress. The humour in that comes from the fact that dresses are clothes for women, but the actor is a man and therefore it is uncommon for him to be wearing a dress. He speaks either in an irritatingly and embarrassingly high falsetto, or with his regular man voice. Both of these are really funny because they fall into the above-mentioned Silly Voices category of Actual Humour. Any time before they sing a song, Dirk announces “Hey band, let’s sing this song now.” That’s a catch phrase.

Gles Figelski is from a different country. This is funny because other cultures deserve to be laughed at.

Stay tuned and get ready for laughs, or more likely get ready for everybody else to laugh while you sit confused because what the fuck that wasn’t even a joke, the guy just said what happened, and fuck, they’re just using made up words, you’re not going to laugh at that because you’re not 6 years old for fuck’s sake, no, shut up, what are these people doing, you’ve tried really hard to care about these characters in any way but it’s just not happening, there’s no depth at all and people keep telling you that springtime is coming but you don’t even remember how it feels to be warm, and you can look directly into the sun without it hurting because you really just don’t care anymore, this is fucking bullshit, why do people watch this, please help me.

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