Netflix humor that makes me smile

Everybody’s different, but these shows work for me:

Dave Chappelle’s specials – I’ve watched many of the standup specials on Netflix. These days, for me, Chappelle is king.

Toast of London – Silly and addictive.

The Detectorists – The driest Brit humor. Could you find anything like this produced in the U.S.?

Big Mouth – The facts of life for tweens. Does it cross a line? Definitely out there on an industry frontier.

The Good Place – A good place.

Schitt$ Creek – Levy family legacy.

Dropping the Soap – Just to include an Amazon Prime entry…

Children’s Hospital – …and one to find on Adult Swim or at your local library. 5-minute episodes, 7 seasons.

Shows that I revisit regularly: Lady Dynamite, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Futurama (ageless), Archer, Bojack Horseman, Lovesick (formerly, yes, Scrotal Recall).

Coming This September: The Antichrist

Mark your calendar. This September 15th, the Worldwide Christian Family Missions Network presents “Antichrist: The Reality Show.”

Six contestants will compete over six weeks and complete six projects. They’ll use every underhanded, dastardly, sneaky trick in the book (not the Good Book, of course) to succeed.

We all know that the world is going to hell, that the Apocalypse is due with Armageddon right behind it. The Rapture might be complete by this fall and some of us are going to be left behind. We’ll need our TV programs more than ever then.  Good news. The Antichrist will be in the house!

We’ve lined up six Antichrist candidates. It wasn’t hard. They’re all over the place. Google “Antichrist.” Recognize any of the images?

Our contestants aren’t crazy, except like a fox. They’re smooth. Slick. They’ve fallen but they can get up; they just don’t want to.

The winner’s prize: a superchurch built to his or her specs. (Yes, the Antichrist might look like a woman. Except for those cloven hooves!). When we announced this prize, it brought many true devotees of The Horned One out of their holes to audition.

First week: The Flock.  All six candidate Antichrists are sent out to gather their flocks of believers. There should be plenty of babes and hunks in each flock. There should be some rich folks in each flock. Actually, it would be best if everybody in the flocks were rich. Let’s avoid the 99%. They’re you.

Flock members must be demonstrably in their master’s thrall. Yet they shouldn’t be nuts. It’s a fine line.

Every week,  one Antichrist will be voted off the show by a jury of Catholic and Protestant clergy, Evangelical ministers, and members of churches you’ve never heard of. Everyone on the jury will have been accused, at least once, of crimes the Antichrist would be proud of.

Second Week: Money. The six flocks head out to spend the week gathering money. The personal wealth of flock members does not count. We assume that the Antichrist will have already taken control of all such assets on his own, during the enthrallment process. The flocks can steal money, grift it, embezzle it, print it, employ blackmail, pocket-picking, heists, strong-arm extortion, loan sharking and other forms of usury, protection rackets, bookmaking, you name it, just rake in the lucre. Pile up the scratch. Of course, each Antichrist is apt to fall back on his or her special talents and experience here.

Low flock is voted off. The producers will take charge of that pile of loot.

Third Week: Sex. Each Antichrist will spend Week 3 involving his or her flock in a series of bizarre, acrobatic, and crowd-pleasing sexual shenanigans beyond anything you’re likely to dream up in anticipation. Points for activities that Jesus wouldn’t do, crimes against nature, and behavior that causes you to say “Now that’s just going too far!”

Group sensitivity sessions should be interjected, so that flock members can relive what they’ve done, over and over again, to their delight or everlasting shame, depending upon that cup half empty/cup half full thing. Points deducted for police raids, disease, and defections from the flock of those who unaccountably come to their senses.

A third would-be Antichrist and his or her flock are dismissed this week. The producers will snag those among his or her followers who made them the most horny as they previewed the show. Deleted scenes will be sold to a porno company secretly connected to the network.

Fourth Week: Good Works. Hey, Antichrists. What can you do for the show’s producers? Last week’s good ratings, earned by your hour of wall-to-wall sex, aren’t going to count for anything this week. In fact, forget ratings. The time has come to step up and make us happy on a personal level.

What will it take? A cut of the money pie? Yard work and house cleaning for our wives? Or should you Antichrists turn your skills and the skills of your flock to the seduction of us producers ourselves? Whatever it is, it better be good.

Fourth contestant and flock are voted off. If the producers are insufficiently satisfied with this Antichrist’s offering this week – if the producers are plain pissed off by it – he or she will be consigned to the pit where the wolves are kept. To be filmed, of course.

Fifth Week: Politics. With all the fun out of the way, the show takes a serious turn in Week 5. The Antichrists must achieve dominion over the peoples of the world. The two remaining contestants have one week to do that.  How far can they go? How successful can they be? Control over Staten Island? Enslavement of the Teamsters? Dictatorship of the Mexican cartels?  Now is the time for our Evil Ones to really show us what they’ve got.

Sixth Week: The Final Battle. In Week Six, the surviving Antichrist takes on Jesus Christ Himself. Christ is not going to just show up and flash his SAG card. Instead, we’ll put out a casting call and a bunch of nondescript guys will audition. He’ll come like a thief in the night. We’ll pick Him because that’s how religion works.

The final battle will take place in our special iron-cage Pentagon. Both parties will be armed. Only one will walk away, but don’t worry about injuries. These are supernatural entities, or ought to be.

You might figure that Christ is bound to win. It’s in the Bible. However, the Lord moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform. Jesus might have to wait for the sequel.

A Story on Mad Swirl

Coming This September

Reality Show: Sports Wives

Screenwriters: Write up your reality-show sports ideas and they will make you some money, irregardless of their stupidity and questionable value to the human race on our warming planet. Write them up, buy new cars, and spew carbon while you still can, before the government takes away our cars and makes us ride bicycles. In fact, you could… Aw, forget it.

Sample idea: Sports Wives

You find five wives whose husbands are sports nuts. The guys watch anything and everything. They tailgate. They buy merchandise. So forth. The wives have had it up to here. If they have to pick up one more empty beer can in the living room, they’re going to scream.

Pick a sport for the five women to take up, say, boxing.

Don’t pick women who can’t take a punch.

Don’t pick women who are all hat and no saddle. Or is it, all saddle and no spurs? Or all assless chaps and no garters? Whatever.

They can have a mouth on them.

If they have a lot of brothers, that’s a plus.

Not too butch, though. Sure, butch might help our contestants in the ring but we’re not selling this show to the gay demo.

If they smoke, it helps. They’re in their corner during a sparring session, taking a last drag on a butt and then flipping it into the mouthwash bucket, while on a split screen we see the husband howling for his f-ing dinner while the children cower behind a KFC Family Box of chicken legs.

Pick  five different colors for the trunks, with matching halters. Each contestant should need a lot of halter, if you know what I mean.

Each week, these women beat the hell out of each other. Wait! Make that six  women, not five. Six different racial ethnicities, although all the husbands should be white. Six different heights, from awesomely tall and leggy to ultra petite but perfectly formed. No fatties, needless to say. Three passive, three aggressive would probably work the best.

After each week’s bouts, we see the women partying with their trainers. The women are all banged up with bandaids and shiners, but in a sexy way, while on the split screen, the husbands are calling the kids’ grandmas to come over and give them baths and put them to bed, because there’s a game on, but we’ve bought off the grandmas so they won’t go.

In the final episode, the women come home and when their husbands try to bust their balls, the women smack the hell out of them.

Reality Show: An Election

Election time is coming, screenwriters. Time to throw your script into the ring. You can include a scene in it where men throw their hats into the ring. I haven’t seen that in a while. I don’t even know what it means.

Anyway. Here’s an idea that I’ve been selling on my professional scriptwriting site. I’m making it available to you for free, for only $9.99.

You go to Mississippi, if you don’t already live there, and find an uncontested state congressional district out in the sticks somewhere. The voters in the district are  white and only white. The district will be Republican. The incumbent should be a very old man. You will encourage him not to run again. I am not using the words “bribe” or “threaten.” If he doesn’t go along with you, I’m not using the words “get rid of him.”

With the incumbent out of the way, it’s time for you to line up your reality list of candidates. Any “real” candidates from the area should be dealt with in the same manner as the incumbent. Dollars are best but if your budget is limited, go watch the original Walking Tall a couple of times.

Since this is an all-white district in the Deep South, none of your candidates will be white. Remember the key to any good reality show: conflict, conflict, conflict.

Your contestents:

Confidence man – This guy will be almost identical to an actual politician.

Housewife – Large family. Never had a job. Never been out of the house. Husband doesn’t believe in it. You’ll be dressing her sexy for those outings where she presses the flesh. There will be viewer chuckles every time her husband goes apoplectic.

Mexican – Dresses like a migrant worker. Very limited English. The other candidates keep challenging him to produce proof that he’s a citizen but he just smiles, not caving in like Obama did. But then, Obama managed to come up with that “long-form” birth certificate somewhere.

Preacher man – Find a guy who can’t control his religious rants.

Sixties civil-rights activist – Even today, fifty years later, these fellows can raise hackles.

Ensure all the contestants, in case of an unplanned Klan lynching.

Plan for lots of campaigning in the WalMart parking lot. The look on those crackers’ faces when the candidates ask for their votes will make the show.

Each episode will end with a straw vote. The candidate who garners the most votes wins for the week. Most likely, no votes will be cast for any of them, but the confidence man may manage to buy one or two and the activist might sneak in a voter who can “pass.”

Finally, election night. Throw a party at which all the candidates become immoderately drunk. The townsfolk will have planned a party of their own. Film it. They still use hot tar and feathers down there.

Five Favorite TV Shows 2011

I don’t have a television set that is hooked up to anything and don’t use streaming much, so anything that I know about TV shows comes from seasons boxed on DVD.

Ruling out all the canceled and concluded shows and miniseries that I’ve liked, my current favorites:

Top 5

5. Sons of Anarchy

4. Breaking Bad

3. Curb Your Enthusiasm

2. Big Love – I haven’t seen the final season. I’ll be sad to see it go.

1. In Treatment

Five more, some of which could be in my top five

5. Entourage

4. Fringe – Always entertaining but frustrating because the through story is so slow to emerge.

3. Spartacus: Blood and Sand – Poor Spartacus got sick. Hope the show comes back.

2. Community- So far I’ve only seen Season 1.

1. I’m probably forgetting one.

Honorable mention

True Blood – Liked Season 1. Started Season 2 but bailed.

Haven’t seen



Boardwalk Empire


Modern Family, Parks and Recreation, The Killing, The Walking Dead, Nurse Jackie, etc., etc.,…

Haven’t engaged me


30 Rock

The Office

All animation

Bored to Death – Almost. If it had more through story.



Reality Show: Funerals

You may have been to one or more funerals (though I hope not). You’ve seen a million of them on TV and in the movies, and they’re all the same. Whereas weddings are all over the place, themewise.

This reality show, which I wrote, is now in pre-production. It’s called “Design a Funeral.”

There are five contestants:

– An interior designer

– A birthday clown/magician

– A wedding planner’s assistant

– An embalmer

– A lounge singer

Each week the contestants are provided with a funeral theme, venue, and budget and must each stage their own version of a funeral. An actor’s corpse is provided in the interest of verisimilitude There are five themes and the shows air every other week.

The themes/venues:

1. Public Pool – The pool is rented as for a big birthday party. The guests assemble at the bottom of the deep end, breathing via scuba equipment. The coffin is secured to the bottom of the pool. All oration is performed with the mouth uncovered to the water, so that it just sounds like burbling talk sounds, thus eliminating the most annoying aspect of funerals. When that’s finished, the coffin is loosed and floats up to the surface, symbolizing ascension to heaven, as all look up through their goggles. Later in the year, the mourners return and throw flower bouquets into the lanes during lap swimming.

2. The 101 – The hearse, and limos abreast, and more limos ranked in three rows behind, cruise down the 101 at the height of rush hour, at the four miles per hour typical at that time. The fleet brakes to a stop, creating instant gridlock behind and a maddeningly clear freeway ahead. The mourners jump out and the pallbearers extract the coffin from the hearse. A few quick words are spoken, hard to hear over the blare of hours and the shouts and curses of hundreds of frustrated drivers, crazy in the L.A. heat. The coffin is bourne over to the concrete divider to the left, and quickly shoved/tossed into the HOV lane heading in the opposite direction. The coffin is easily manipulated because it is made of paper and contains only the ashes of the deceased. Vechicles in the HOV lane quickly reduce the coffin to paper fragments and the ashes of the deceased are ground into the asphalt for a mile down the road. Later in the year, the mourners return and, car-pooling so that they qualify, cruise down the HOV lane scattering flowers through their open windows as they go.

3. Rock Concert – The deceased is brought to the concert, with a mourner on each side supporting him or her under the armpits. He/she isn’t too heavy, as his/her internal organs and so forth have been removed. He/she is going goth. He/she, at the proper time, will be projected into the mosh pit to surf. The mourners will return later, after the drugs have worn off, and try to find the body.

4. La Brea Tar Pits – The mourners will assemble behind the back wall of the tar-pit attraction at 2 A.M. on a weekday, with ladders and grappling equipment. They will scale the wall with the body of the deceased and gather inside at the edge of the hottest, deepest tar pit. After a few words have been spoken, about the  origin of the tar pits and the animals that have been trapped and perished in them, a metaphor for modern life, if I may presume, delivered by a bribed young employee who does the tours there, the deceased will be weighed down, if necessary, and consigned to the tar, there to be entombed until excavated and put on display at some future time. The mourners will return on the weekend to enjoy the pits as paying customers.

5. Wedding – The corpse in its coffin will be conveyed to the largest, most traditional wedding being held during prime time in the L.A. area. When questioned at the door by the wedding planner and the father of the bride, the mourners will claim that they have in fact reserved the church and that the Catholics have double-booked the chapel just to make an extra buck. Or the Jews, if this is a temple or synagogue. An argument will ensue. The bride will emerge. There will be tears. She will ask why the groom isn’t out there sticking up for their marriage. She will go in search of the groom, who will be discovered with the maid of honor. Meanwhile, the coffin will have been bourne in to the apse, if that’s the word I want. Bourne in to wherever the priest or rabbi is waiting, and put down. The cleric will be told to deliver a eulogy, at gunpoint if necessary. All the bridal floral wreaths and other flowers will be confiscated and bourne away with the coffin, which will be fit somehow into the trunk of the Just Married car, half of it sticking out in back. A red handkerchief will be tacked onto it for safety. The car will drive away (rice, no; tin cans on strings, yes) and once it’s out in some neighborhood, the coffin and its contents will be ditched on a front lawn and the mourners will all go to the beach to party. They will return to the church at some later date to sit listening to the sermon and then will put buttons in the collection basket.