The television show I have written on for the last four years will not be returning for a fifth season. Since it has been my main source of income in that time, and a huge part of my life, I thought I'd say an appropriate goodbye.
Before I get into it, let me explain something. I know that most of you did not like and/or watch the show. And I know that many people in LA hate the show with a passion. Some would even ask me how I could write for it or lose all respect for me when I told them of my job (these would mostly be highly attractive women).
But the thing is, I am a professional writer. This means that I write for money. If paid, I will write for your television show. And with the troubling state of comedy on television, and the economy, I don't really have the luxury to be choosy. Also, most shows don't last 4 episodes, and we went 4 seasons. There is something to be said for that. And when I would travel outside of LA to different parts of the country, people would actually like the show. It was always a weird feeling when people in cities like Phoenix or Denver would not laugh in my face. So I would just say to those who don't like the show, "it's just not for you".
And on a serious note, I'm actually pretty proud that I can write for different people, and that I was able to do it so well that I would evenutally become known as "The Beaner Whisperer".
All right, here we go...
Picture it: Los Angeles, 2005. I was a young lad fresh off of reinventing "The Soup" and penning what would later be hailed as "one of the best movies ever to star Usher", and looking for a job. My agent - Blumberg - got me pretty much the only meeting he ever got me. It was with the Executive Producer of a new Comedy Central sketch show starring a latino comic.
It was an inauspicious start. The meeting included the Executive Producer taking a phone call in the middle of it, and constantly writing emails on his blackberry. But despite the fact that I'm half Jewish, grew up in a town with no latinos (except for our occasional housekeeper Wilma), and whose main source of jokes previously was Paris Hilton's cooter, I got the job.
Here are a few memories from each season:
I was really nervous when I started out, and had no idea what to expect. I remember the first person who introduced herself to me was our dear Pamie. The other writers all seemed great as well, except for our head writer. He was and is, quite literally a comedic genius. Everything he said was hilarious, however most of the time I had no idea what he was saying.
He called me into his office the first week and told me he had 2 ideas for the show that he wanted me to write up. I took this very seriously. He starts going through them and my balls immediately contracted into my stomach - I didn't know what he was talking about. The ideas didn't make sense, I didn't know how I would write them or how they would be funny. I asked several follow up questions and he tried to explain, but it didn't help. This guy lived in his own, very brilliant mind.
I went back to my office and freaked the fuck out. What would I do? I made a couple of attempts, but nothing. A couple days went by and he didn't ask about it. Then a week went by. As we were leaving one night, he says that "we'll read your stuff tomorrow". Meaning we would read that stuff I supposedly had written in front of everyone. Needless to say it was a bad night. I knew for sure that I was fired. My writing career was over.
The next day I went in and his office door was closed and the lights were out. I asked someone, "where's the head writer?" Their response:
"You haven't heard? He got fired"
It was the best day I had that season.
Season 1 was bad for me. The new head writer was a Harvard guy. He brought in his buddy, another Harvard guy. Pamie soon left for a big network sitcom that we still enjoy today, "Hot Properties". The Harvard guys joined up with another guy and commandeered the show. We'd sit in a room with them, they'd go pitch Ned and the Executive Producer, and it looked like the rest of us weren't doing anything.
To make matters worse, my office mate was the Host's "friend", a fellow standup comedian. He was and still is, a lunatic. He had no ability to have a regular job. He would constantly bite his nails, pick his toes and his nose, and then dig his disgusting hand into my brand new box of Wheat Thins. He was illiterate. He would ask me how to spell words like "Vegas" and "Diego"...and he's Mexican!!! He talked incessantly, mostly in his standup routines and of "knocking motherfuckers out". Every weekend he had a new fight story, many times accompanied by fresh stab wounds. He made it impossible for me to break out and do good work.
I can only lay claim to two things that season, and I like them both. One was the "Sean Juan Collection", our fashion line which included "Cholo Pants" - long shorts with socks sewn into them. And the other thing was something that was in my packet that helped get me hired, "Desperate Gardeners". "Desperate Housewives" had just started and Eva Longoria's affair with the handsome gardener was the big story line, so we went out to talk to real gardeners in LA to see if any of them looked like Jesse Metcalfe and had affairs with any hot ladies. Then we took pictures of some of them and made a "Desperate Gardeners" calender, here's one of them...
Anyway, at the end of the season we learned that we were pretty much a hit and that there would be a second season. It was up in the air as to whether I would be asked back. I honestly didn't know. I barely got anything on, the powers that be didn't know about the contributions I was making in the writer's room. The only thing I had going for me was that the host liked me. A few months later, I was barely hired back, my office mate wasn't, but I had to put up or shut up. I knew if I didn't show my stuff, I would be fired just as quickly as the first head writer was.
Coming soon...Season 2, I turn into Weird Al Handleman, and rarely seen footage of me dancing...