26 August 2007

Sepinwall on the Sitcom Room

Image stolen with little to no regard from Sepinwall

Well, I've joined good company. Like that other bald, heavy, huggable sociopath above, I've shown up in the Jersey mob's paper of record, the Star-Ledger. Dismember a few weeks back (oops, sorry, that should be "remember"...I've got to get Tony outta my head), I spent a glorious weekend at the fabulous LAX Hilton at Ken Levine's Sitcom Room? My favorite TV critic's written about it here.1

After the all-nighter we pulled in our writers' room and my quick nap/workout/shower/shoveled breakfast, I headed up to the main conference room for the "Sitcon Room" and the performance of all our re-written scenes. I heard my team leader Liz say hi to Alan Sepinwall and figured I'd walk on over and say howdy. I've been reading him just about as long as he's been blogging and about six months ago realized he'd edged ahead of the SacBee's Rick Kushman as my go-to TV critic. Perhaps it was the lack of sleep, or maybe the mega-dose of MSG from the Chinese "food" Dan O'Day brought us on Saturday night, but I was as pleased to meet Alan as I was to meet Ken and all the amazing writers on Sunday afternoon's panel. (Just kidding, Alan. It wasn't the exhaustion or the flavor enhancement.)

Alan had taken a side trip over from the TCA summer press tour because he's a big fan of Ken's (and I suspect he wanted a break from some of this year's more contentious sessions). He probably thought this would be a fun lark for a few hours. I can only guess how excited Alan was when he witnessed the obvious quality of our output. I mean, here's a guy whose vocation and avocation is writing about television, witnessing the emergence of the next generation of great comedy writers from the womb of the airport Hilton. Being the smart guy he is, he grabbed a few of us and practically begged us to be interviewed. We tossed the guy a bone and a few of us gave him our email addresses. I mean hell, it's not the last time he'll need to interview us.2

In case you're wondering, the A-Team joke really is funny, but Jesse's right...it's a "sitcom joke". Trust me though, it's not the joke I feel bad about. Be careful what you say in a writers' room late at night. It might end up in the script against even your own better judgment. Especially if everyone belly-laughs for a half-hour.

1 Be careful with this one. I'm blogging about an article in which I am interviewed, written by someone who will also blog about writing the article, and possibly refer to the blogs of those of us he interviewed. When you unwind this recursion, be sure you end up where you started, Achilles.
2 Unless Sam Simon's right. Then we're all fucked. Or if we're untalented hacks. I shouldn't discount that possibility, as remote as it may be.