Category Archives: Comedy

Comedy Writer

seinfeld_puffy_shirt

I’ve been slowly (oh so slowly) chipping away at the world of TV and Radio comedy for several years now. I’ve had little glimmers of success here and there, including being involved in the (later abandoned) 5th season of The IT Crowd, writing sketches for Mitchell & Webb, and developing show after show with a plethora of production companies and BBC in-house producers. Show after show that all, at some point, stumbled and were then shot in the face at point-blank range. SO FAR.

I started out writing solo, but these days I scribble comedy stuff as part of a duo, with actor/writer/nonsense-goose Isabel Fay. We write good funny. We’re represented by the high and mighty Independent Talent agency and have a bunch of stuff in development all over the place.

One of these days we’ll get there and then will TAKE OUR REVENGE ON ALL OF YOU.

Or not. Tough business. You need to get A LOT of people to say yes to something, and it still might not get made. This is actually the main reason why, with my (non-comedy) prose fiction, I’m going the Indie route. Only person who can say ‘no’ to me publishing my work is me, and I probably won’t. Probably.

Anyway.

I bloody LOVE sitcoms. Here’s some of duh best:

‘Seinfeld’. The Greatest Sitcom of All Time. It’s a God damn work of genius. The stories, the characters, the writing, the everything.

‘Red Dwarf’: Grew up on this show. Me and my brother used to record audio versions of episodes onto tape, usually ‘Marooned’ because that was my favourite. Ain’t we adorable?

‘Father Ted’: Graham Linehan was a HUGE influence in building my early comic voice, and ‘Father Ted’ is the show that introduced me to his bonkers.

‘Spaced’: I want to hug this show and kiss it on the mouth. Simon Pegg, Jessica Hynes, Edgar Wright… you guys are alright.

‘Arrested Development’: HOLY SHIT. HOW? I MEAN… HOLY SHIT..!

‘Friends’: Don’t be a snob, you snob, IT’S ACE x 100.

I could go on and on and on. I could mention ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, or ‘Black Books’, or ‘I’m Alan Partridge’, or ’30 Rock’, or ‘Parks & Rec’, or ‘The American Office’, or ‘Party Down’, or ‘The IT Crowd’, or ‘Malcolm in The Middle’, or ‘Community’, or ‘Blackadder’, or ‘Moone Boy’, or… well… you get the idea.

YAY FOR SITCOMS!

@MattStottWrites

What I’ve Been…

Watching:

‘Whiplash’

Whiplash

More drumming than all James Bond films put together. Fact. You could add in all past and future Star Wars films and you still wouldn’t even be almost or nearly or just about close. They basically should have called this film ‘Drumming Whilst Bleeding, Sweating, and Being SHOUTED AT BY A MUSCULAR BALD MAN.’  I suppose ‘Whiplash’ fits better on the poster, though.

If you want a film that features very little to no drumming, then you’re fresh out of luck. Try ‘Birdman’ or ‘Big  Trouble in Little China’. Or some other film not exclusively about drumming.

It was fully ace. Go watch, see and also listen and jig in your seat during the big final scene.

Reading:

‘Cabal’ by Clive Barker

Clive-Barker-Cabal

There’s no Pinhead in this, or really any pins at all (some heads did feature) but it was still alright. The lead female character was pretty terrible and daft and then she stabs herself. So. But still, mostly fun. Cool stuff. Monsters. I’m a real good book reviewer. 

Websiteing

Kindle Cover Disasters

hammer

Bad design is just funny, yo. Some wiley chap or chap-ess has been trawling Amazon for some of the best worst book covers and collecting them together. Go look-see:

http://kindlecoverdisasters.tumblr.com/

Right, that’s enough of that, go get gone.

@MattStottWrites

(Almost) Writing for The IT Crowd

IT CROWD
So a little while back I was one of several writers tapped up by Graham Linehan to help him tackle series five of his hit, nifty-ass sitcom ‘The IT Crowd’. Work was done, some of it even good work, but in the end Graham decided he wasn’t going to go ahead with a new run, he wanted to move on to fresh challenges. This, whilst on the one hand being a total son-of-a-bitch for a new, nobody writer like me excited to be involved in such a massive project, was also completely understandable. I suppose. I’m not ashamed to admit I sulked for almost ten minutes upon receiving the news. Anyway, it was great to work with such talented people on a show I love, and to get that nod of approval from a comedy writing hero.

And I got paid a big chunk of change, some of which I spent on the laptop I’m using right now, the rest went on prostitutes. So I win. I WIN. Plus, it really helped me get to the next stage in my career. Which, oddly, looked exactly like the previous stage in my career. DAMN.

Anyway, I thought I might share the initial very quick pitch ideas that my agent punted over to team-I.T. that got them interested in maybe using me in the first place. I look at some of them now and wonder what on Earth I was thinking, but what the hell, they obviously did the job:

10 ‘IT CROWD’ IDEAS

• Roy is mugged by Nicholas Lyndhurst.

• JEN finds herself dating an optical illusion. Sat down, he’s apparently normal sized and Clooney handsome; stood up, he barely scrapes her midriff. When Jen’s friends are bowled over by the seated man, she determines to hang on to him, if only she can make sure he’s sat down at all times.

• Moss, mocked for his head bush, becomes hopelessly addicted to ceramic hair straighteners.

• To win a gentleman’s bet Douglas must have breast implants fitted for a month; this leads to very confused feelings for Roy.

• Becky is the hot new temp in the building that Roy is immediately in lust with. Unfortunately, Becky is also the name of the new born baby one of the Reynholm employees has brought in to show off. When asked about Becky, people are understandably taken aback by Roy’s graphic response.

• Jen has gone for a brave new, on trend look, with more masculine clothes and a shorter, boyish haircut. When she is papped on her way to work, she’s flattered, assuming it’s some fashion mag; that is until the picture appears in Heat Magazines ‘Spotted’ section identifying her as Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley). She’s understandably furious, until she starts tasting the glamorous, no limits lifestyle of The Weasley.

• Moss has a secret sideline, as the author of gently erotic, Mills &
Boon-esque fiction for frustrated middle-aged housewives.

• Jen discovers she has a natural propensity for playing classic arcade game ‘Flapple’, and, with little else to fill her office hours, decides to attempt to beat the world record high score; a record held since 1993, it turns out, by one Maurice Moss. Moss may have gone soft and lost his ‘Flapple’ edge, getting by in the cut throat world of classic arcade gaming on reputation alone, but he’s not about to let his record fall without a Machiavellian plan of evil proportions.

• Roy is proudly dating a published chef; not that he’s read or even bothered to find out the title of her horrifying book, ‘Roadkill With Ramona’.

• Moss is trying to learn a foreign language, so far only mastering one phrase. This phrase unfortunately happens to be the correct reply to a code question posed to Moss when he is confronted by a shady South American gent with a gun filled briefcase.

@MattStottWrites