From Journalist to Sitcom Writer

In my more idle moments (i.e. all the time) I often wonder if my talents might be better directed towards writing situation comedies. I know, I’m full of my damned self. It’s just that this freelance journalism business can be disconcertingly gruelling, full of rejection and hope and uncertainty, whereas writing for television is a breeze.

So, this afternoon I was playing around with a few ideas for sitcoms. I’ll pop them down below. I better warn you though, if you’re writing a sitcom yourself and it isn’t terribly brilliant you may want to look away now as this is gonna hurt.

What Am I – A Fucking Town Planner? 35-year-old Danny Rampton is in the pub with a few friends one evening in (probably) October when one of them (Mark, possibly) asks the best way to get to a certain street on the other side of town. “What am I – a fucking town planner?” Danny responds, to much hilarity from his friends. It is the first time ever that Danny has properly made them laugh. From that moment on, Danny decides to answer every question posed to him – from his wife asking him if he’d like a cup of tea, to his boss wondering how far he has got on that report – with the same response: “What am I – a fucking town planner?” (Note to Commissioning Editors: might struggle to stretch this beyond Series One.)

Where’s My Sandwich? Set in Huddersfield. A man keeps being unable to locate his sandwich. The end of each episode sees him wondering aloud where his sandwich is, hence Where’s My Sandwich? (Note to Commissioning Editors: Potential Series Two – Have You Seen My Other Shoe?)

Acid Gran An OAP takes loads of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide everyday, much to the amusement of her friends. (Note to Commissioning Editors: If we manage to dig up some of those 1960s/70s illustrators, this could work equally well as a children’s cartoon.)

ShitCome Initially ShitCome was going to be simply titled Sitcom and was going to bleak, post-industrial and entirely joke-free. Much like anything on ITV. Then, I thought, perhaps call it ShitCom and it be about a web developer with incontinence. Finally, splendidly, I thought of ShitCome, set in Cheltenham and about a builder who suffers from premature ejaculation/no ejaculation/generally poor loads. He also has problems giving women orgasms. (Note to Commissioning Editors: Danny Wallace has expressed an interest in playing the lead role.)

Further note to Commissioning Editors: The raw ideas above are available at between $15,000-$20,000; fleshed-out forms at $30,000-$40,000; and six-part series’ with rewrites from $200,000. Please email pitchingtheworld-at-hotmail.com for further information.

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17 responses to “From Journalist to Sitcom Writer

  1. Oh, and you will note that I haven´t asked you to vote on your favourite idea which I will then write up properly. We all – ALL of us – remember the debacle that was College Dog.

  2. If I pay $30,000 – $40,000 would you write College Dog?

  3. Is Sh*tCome about me? I used to work on a building site in Cheltenham and …

    STOP STEALING MY LIFE!!!!

  4. Run – Yeah, of course. I might even write it for that 50 pounds I owe you.
    L – Yeah, of course. Of course it is about you. I won´t, of course, stop stealing your life: it´s far too salty.

  5. Well it’s gotta be worth a try… I particularly sniggered at ShitCome and was upset to see that Danny Wallace has already shown an interest … he seems to get tons of work since he found fame piggy backing off Dave Gorman’s ideas….

  6. Awful. Bad pitchy! College dog.

  7. What am i…a fucking town planner??

  8. Lisa – What was awful? My ideas? Frankly I’m shocked that a commissioning ed or two hasn’t swooped for them. Shocked.
    Thanks smiigtt – yes, he does seem to have tons of work, doesn’t he?

  9. Pitchboy, you won’t get rich writing a sitcom based on what’s bad in our society – Fuckin’ Town Planners, Acid Junkies, Dysfunctional Ejaculators.

    Write about the ‘norm’ . . . . . an old bloke swaps a mediocre career in the army for a mediocre career as a carpenter and sees the black cloud of elderly citizenship as a huge font of stuff to moan about.

  10. Like your style Oldbloke, although I’m sure your career in the army was far from mediocre. I do rather like the idea of a sitcom called The Dysfunctional Ejaculators, however.
    In other news, my favourite search engine term from today was this:

    kick mada fucking the house fack out

    Any ideas anyone?

  11. See what I mean?

    An award winning sitcom based on my award winning misery after award winning mediocrity has been dumped in favour of disfunctional ejaculators. . . . typical.

    An old, but pertinent, joke – Bloke arrives at fancy dress party in his underwear, “I’m a premature ejaculation” he tells the doorman, who splutters “I can’t announce that”.
    “Well . . . . tell them I’ve come in my pants”

  12. Ha! I like that. A little too close to home though.

  13. Pitchy I am taking National Express tomorrow to Bournemouth. Hooray!

  14. Make sure you wear a fetching skirt and a pair of lacy silk knickers Lisa, you never know your luck – remember to smile kindly at any tramps.

    • I love it marge. I am on coach wearing fetching dtess. No sightings of pitchy, tramps everyone looks nice and seats nice and comfy. Seedy rating: 2.

  15. Splendid news Lisa. Today’s search engine terms are the best ever:

    pitching the world
    write short stories for people’s friend
    matthew hamilton agent
    has an englishman ever joined the camorra
    lewis eckett editor
    crackhouse
    going commando pictures
    can i transfer my ticket my national express ticket to sumone else?
    caitlin moran obnoxious
    alexis petridis pitching the world
    conversations with my agent
    matthew hamilton aitken alexander
    pitching the world wallace
    posted holiday fucking

    Paints quite a picture of what I’ve been up to over the last couple of years. This isn’t a search engine term by the way, this is me.

  16. Hey pitchy, anyone who’s anyone in writing knows the bbc is painfully short on sitcoms, if there is a market for the attack right now this is it! You’re a funny guy and your life via this blog has enough material for at least a three series run! Maybe even five, if you flesh out a little. Good luck and keep up the good work. 🙂

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