For awhile now I’ve been fascinated by – and covetous of – the writer’s room, as seen on TV. When I say “as seen on TV” I guess I’m referring to 30 Rock, on which they had a writer’s room in the show, where the writer’s came up with jokes for the onscreen show.
But they also had an offscreen writer’s room, where they came up with and wrote the actual stories and jokes. And many many shows have this writer’s room; a fantastical place where half-formed ideas and characters become fully-formed televisual entertainment. Sitcoms like The Simpsons and Parks & Rec, Modern Family, et. al. plus all the late night shows (Conan, Seth, Jimmies Kimmel and Fallon) plus sketch shows like Key & Peele, Mr. Show and Saturday Night Live.
But it’s actually not just comedy shows that use hyper-efficient process of making good ideas stronger and hammering the best ideas into their final form: Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, Mad Men and Game of Thrones… the list goes on. I listen to a lot of podcasts that talk to writer’s about this process, and the more I hear, the more curious I become.
A DIY Writer’s Room
So when I was recently given the opportunity to create a live show, I knew what I wanted to do: create a comedy talk show, and use the writer’s room formula (as I understand it), so that this talk show has the best jokes, stories and segments. And in the process also create a writer’s room for me to be a part of.
Those of you who know me may be aware that I’ve always had a secret (or semi-secret) desire to host a talk show. And with the exception of a glorious couple of months hosting The Yak with Dave Waller in London, some years ago, I haven’t had the opportunity to do so.
Until now. I’ve managed to bring both of these desires in line and create, with the help of a whole host of talented and committed people, a talk show called The Big Ideas Show. We have no TV deal yet, but it’s only a matter of time.
Large Concepts and Enormous Notions
The Big Ideas Show is a live comedy talk show featuring monologues, expert (and non-expert) guests, a topical quiz, and sketches. Each episode focuses on a ‘big idea’. For our first edition that central concept is SPACE. The next big idea will probably be ANIMALS, (or maybe physics, or trains, or electricity, or oceans, or…)
So far we’ve had two sessions in the writer’s room: a pitch meeting and a table read (- just to be able to write that is exciting for me). Plus the written results of this process are really outstanding. And now, this Thursday, we’ll be unveiling this beast of edutainment innovation on Amsterdam.
The show is at MixTree Cafe in the OT 301, starts at 8pm, and is just 3 euros entrance. We’ve got some hot sketches, great guests and super segments planned. You should come.
It will be funny, it will be educational, and it will be an actual dream come true.
Q: How cool is that?