I am a comedian. Wow, it feels good to say that. Because it wasn’t always the case for me. In order to become a comic, I had to overcome insurmountable odds as a white guy living in the suburbs an hour outside New York City. I had to be very brave to tell jokes about all the people in my life who just didn’t get me: my parents, my only friend Eric, a girl I kissed once, my dentist. If it weren’t for shows like Louie, Crashing, and the beginning part of Seinfeld, I might never have known how to be a comedian, or even what one looks like. So despite all the haters, I think we need way more shows about comedians being comedians. Here are eight new ideas for shows which will surely inspire generations of very good comics to come.
1. Sweatin’ It Out
Scott is just a regular guy in his 30s wearing three sweaters. That’s the problem—he’s too regular, and is also drenched in sweat and covered in rashes. He wants to shake things up, but his girlfriend is ruining his life by trying to put more sweaters on him. After she cheats on him with a Larry the Cable Guy cutout in a Walmart dumpster, he knows it’s time for a big change, so he takes off one sweater and starts doing comedy.
Alan wants to be a comedian but his girlfriend (Margot Robbie) has bullied him into being the CFO of a major tech company. After running into a veteran comic on the street (Bobcat Goldthwait) who tells him absolutely not to quit that job, he quits his job to do comedy. There’s only one catch: The mic won’t come out of the mic stand. This show is literally just a man struggling to get a mic out of a stand, in real time, like in Love, right? But way better, because this one’s about the boy.
3. You Maid It Weird
Mitch is totally emasculated because he’s a maid, which is a girl’s job. His girlfriend is ruining his life by drinking all his cleaning supplies, rubbing her belly and saying, “Yum, yum, I’ll never die.” Then one day, after running into a veteran podcast studio on the street, he decides to be a hero and start a podcast. The show immediately careens to #1 on the charts for podcasts about a guy mumbling about how much he hates himself, his job, his life, women, men, air, hair and water. For Mitch and podcasts, it’s a match maid in heaven. That could be the title if we get sued over the other one.
4. Funny Grandpa
In the latest installment in the we-still-got-it genre of movies about old men recovering their youth before instinctually crawling into a pit somewhere to die, Robert DeNiro plays Patrick, a 110-year-old guy whose retirement isn’t quite the vacation he’d hoped for. It doesn’t help that his hot 22-year-old girlfriend doesn’t get him. So one night his friend, a 145-year-old man named Doc (Warren Beatty), gets him drunk and dares him to do standup. Well, he kills, literally. His friend Doc actually laughs so hard the Grim Reaper shows up and says, “I’ve been looking all over for you!” and drags him to Hell. Hilarious! Then he gets offered The Tonight Show, fulfilling a dream he had for about a couple hours. His girlfriend is jealous and agrees to be polyamorous with her hot friends. Finally!
If a tree falls in the forest, and there’s only one wannabe comic to hear it, does it make a sound? Yes, because it fell on him, and the sound it makes… is laughter. After getting completely crushed by a tree in the woods behind his giant suburban house, Brian realizes the accident may be a metaphor for his terrible life as a beloved husband of five. He takes advantage of the crowd of pack animals and birds of prey that gathered to eat his remains and starts riffing. They love it, he thinks, as they slowly devour him in an unblinking 6-hour still shot, the equivalent of one amazing six-episode season!
6. Saturday Night They Live
Amazingly talented character actor Alex Jones has just lost everything in a series of court battles with his wife, but his performance in court just caught the eye of Lorne Michaels, the legendary producer of Saturday Night Live! After taking the job, Alex finds a pair of sunglasses that, he believes, reveals who is a lizard person disguised as a person. The most fun thing about this show will be watching the cast and crew guess if Alex Jones knows he’s on TV. Probably not!
7. Open Mike
Michael “Mike” Michaels has always wanted to be a comedian, but unfortunately he’s stuck in a life that solely consists of him getting open heart surgery. Due to complications including a pair of scissors getting lost behind his organs, a terrible but charming surgeon who keeps messing up the procedure (Demetri Martin), and worst of all, a girlfriend who just doesn’t get him, the surgery has lasted for years. But what happens when he wakes up and decides he wants to be a comedian? Will he go on a fun romp to fame and fortune, or will he die on the way to his first open mic? The second one!
8. A White Cube Slathered in Mayo
Based on the true story of an object that is exactly that, this series will last for nine seasons and primarily be about a super hot girl with a drinking problem who keeps denying a white cube slathered in mayo the sex he deserves. After he crushes it at an improv class show, she has sex with him. The last shot of the series finale is her looking into the camera and saying, “I am pregnant with a white cube and my body’s sole purpose has been fulfilled.” She dies during childbirth and the cube gets five minutes on Conan. Happy ending!
Steven Markow is a writer and comedian based in New York.