Wednesday, May 20, 2015

My TV pilot LIFE OF THE PARTY is on the Black List website

Special post today! I once again am taking the plunge and putting a script of mine up on the Black List website. If you happen to be a member, I encourage you to download it and give it a read.

It's a half-hour pilot I wrote with a friend of mine. Since I posted it using a pseudonym, he felt it was only fair he got to use one too, so you can consider this comedy the work of "The Bitter Script Reader & The Sweet Script Writer."

It's called LIFE OF THE PARTY and it's about a former conservative Vice President, a maverick within his own party, who served the last few months of a deceased President's term. After the election that resulted in him being voted out of office, he finds himself a scapegoat of both political parties. Freed from the necessity of playing politics, he decides to enjoy his retirement by moving to L.A. and raising hell.

Here's what our paid reviewer from The Black List had to say in his or her comments about the script's strengths:

This is a very funny script that combines elements of family and political comedy with witty dialogue to create a show unlike many on television. CHUCK is a likable character who remains relatable in spite of (or perhaps because of) his occasional misbehavior. His childlike glee at the life of a former president, and his ability to remain positive and upbeat in the face of criticism from the media are winning qualities that endear him to the audience. 

It’s interesting that, despite his presidency repeatedly being referred to as one of the shortest and least successful in history, he never seems to begrudge his time in the White House, and this excitement is infectious. WAYNE is very funny as Chuck’s aimless and uncouth younger brother, and the two have a charming relationship that makes for some of the episode’s comedic highlights, particularly the scene at the shooting range. The show does recurring gags very well, one of the best being Chuck’s rivalry with neighbor PAT SAJAK.

We got an overall rating of 7, which is pretty good.

This is an idea that grew out of a logline exercise. I was hanging out with a few writer friends one afternoon and somehow we started tossing out the most ridiculous-sounding pitches. "Sweet" and I ended up riffing on ideas that ended with "Entourage meets West Wing."

Something about the idea stuck and even though it was a goof, we later emailed back and forth about how we should try to write it as a pilot. It was an occasional side project for us for over a year and we never could crack it. Eventually the realization hit us - we kept trying to make it work as a story about a sitting President and his buddies. When we finally realized it should be about a former President, that was when the lightning bolt hit. Almost instantly we were able to start figuring out who our President was and the kinds of people we were gonna surround him with.

This is essentially a story about a guy who got fired and has realized he doesn't have to put up with all the shit he's been getting from his own party (who blames him for the election) and the other party (who saddles him with the responsibility for the mess he left them with.) This isn't Jimmy Carter or Bill Clinton leading a post-presidential life of dignity and acclaim. This is a guy who tried his hardest to serve the country, to not be afraid to buck the party line - a true moderate. And he got screwed for it.

It's always a good source of comedy to have your lead character pissed off. We've also given him a lot of toys and trappings of the office. It calls to mind a line from an SNL sketch about Bill Clinton: "Imagine what I could do with less responsibility and more free time!"

Imagine indeed.

If you're a Black List member, download LIFE OF THE PARTY here.


  1. Sounds good, even if The Simpsons got there first: "Two Bad Neighbors" with George H.W. Bush vs. Homer and Bart. But there are definitely some rich possibilities to mine with the concept.

    1. I feel pretty safe in saying there's really not any resemblance at all to the Simpsons episode you mention.