The Trials of a Script Writer pt.1

The Trials of a Script Writer pt.1


Welcome one and all to the first part in an occasional series detailing one man's failure to get Britain's top comedians to tell any of his jokes.

Jimmy Carr would not tell these gags.  Trust me – it’s a cast-iron 100% solid fact he wouldn’t; in fact, he had the option to do so, and he most definitely didn’t tell a single one of them. 

You see, in amongst my various daytime job-based activities, I am on occasion required to facelessly ‘punch up’ scripts for assorted TV shows.  Said ‘punching up’ generally means bunging a few cock jokes in to an otherwise cock-joke-free monologue, or just being a bit bitchy about somebody famous in five lines or less.   I’m not claiming its rocket science – to me at least, it feels like an alarming money-for-old-rope doddle – and I’m not claiming I’m better at it than anyone else; just fortunate enough to get paid for it.  Which is very nice. 

Hey – I’ve cleaned toilets in a factory – it’s not like I don’t wake up every day and feel immensely grateful that I get to do this.  But of course, when you do it and then it doesn’t get used, pay-cheque or not, it all feels a little bit deflating – especially when the gags are so specific you can’t just roll ‘em back in to your bubbling pot of bollocks and wheel ‘em out again when necessary.

Case in point – I punched up the ‘100 Greatest Cartoons’ show for Channel 4.  At this point not all of the votes were in and the list hadn’t been finalised, but there was a pretty good idea of what was going to be in the rundown; Carr and his boys turned in their version of his linking scripts, and then I was set to work on cock-joking it up.  Neither the director nor Carr wanted to use any of my stuff – which is fair enough.  Hey, I’m getting paid anyhow, and if my ego required me to tantrum my crap through the mental firewalls of TV’s Great And Good, I ought to be in a different job. 

So now, I’ve got a bunch of cartoon-related gags on file that I know for a fact I’m never, ever going to be able to use again.  I think some of them are kind of okay, but I’m not getting buried with ‘em – stuff written ‘to order’ can sometimes be a bit ‘Burger King’; I mean, there are Abi Titmuss and Michael Jackson jokes in there – its hardly Peter Cook, is it.  But nevertheless, it is a shame to just let them wither and die in a shoebox in the attic so, just for the shit of it, I’m plonking them down here, now, for you to look at as you see fit.  You might be amused.  You might not.  Fuck it,  I’m not holding a gun to your head am I.

Anyway, here are:


Now, imagine, if you will, TV’s Jimmy Carr saying this , and we have lift off…


· Let’s kick off with number 100 – ‘I Am Not An Animal’ – named after that famous line from ‘The Elephant Man’.  Of course the poor fellow wasn’t an animal – as everyone is always at pains to point out, despite his deformities he had a perfectly formed set of human genitals.  Unfortunately – they appeared to be on his head..


· Prince Adam struts around Eternia all day in a blonde bob and a pink t-shirt.  Then when the bad boys turn up, he holds aloft his mighty weapon, screams ‘By The Power Of Greyskull’, and reappears wearing leather bondage straps and furry hot pants, calling himself ‘He-Man’.  If you want any more proof of his sexual orientation – he also keeps cats…

· Masters Of The Universe was created entirely to flog toys – but if you look at the cartoons, all of the characters are buff and manly, whereas the toys are all squat and deformed, like they’re trying to squeeze out a really hard pooh.  Less ‘I Have The Power’, more ‘I Have Constipation’…

· Of course, the epic struggle between a square-jawed hero and an evil skeletal demon was reflected in real life years later – when Sophie Ellis Bextor and Posh Spice battled it out for Number One single.


· I once dated the Little Mermaid’s cousin – legs of a woman, head of a fish.  It didn’t work out though – she was too busy recording the theme song to Titanic…


· ‘Animal Farm’ – where Marxism and talking cows collide.  ‘Four legs good, two legs bad’ – forget explaining that to the chickens – try explaining it to the wife…


· Casey Kasem, voice of Shaggy in 'Scooby Doo' and 'America's Top Ten' during the 80s, dubs the voice of hero Mark in ‘Battle Of The Planets’.  This is rather distracting, as you sit there waiting for him to warble "zoinks! It's Yellowbeard's ghost!" or introduce 'I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight' by The Cutting Crew at an inopportune moment.


· Disney movies might be for kids, but you'd have to be one hard-hearted bastard not to be transported to A Magical Place by them. If you're a bloke, however, just make sure you don't go to see them on your own - the only Magical Place a single man hanging around in a darkened room full of small children can expect to find himself if he's not careful is The Nonce Wing of the local jail…


· Pinocchio there, in which Geppetto makes a young boy out of wood and gives him life – which is quite similar to Michael Jackson’s story, except he takes real-life boys and tries to give them wood…

· If you watch the film, Pinocchio is actually just a whinging little liar.  If he was around today, he’d be wearing a Burberry cap and trying to nick your car.


· A real-life Will O’ The Wisp is actually a ball of burning marsh gas.  Which is quite ironic, as the animated Will O’ The Wisp stinks.

· Mavis Cruet the fairy is fat, she’s desperate to get married, she’s always hanging out with a big worm – basically she’s Bridget Jones.


· Isn’t ‘Pepe Le Pew’ just a cartoon about a smelly date rapist?  When a woman says no, she means no.  Even if that woman is just a cat with some paint on her back…


· The most amazing thing about the Simpsons is that it’s an American show – but it’s brilliantly funny.  It’s the programme that showed the world that Americans can be ironic.  Who knew that the nation that produced George W. Bush had it in ‘em.

· Being invited to do a voice-over on The Simpsons is the pinnacle of any star’s career.  Over the years, The Simpsons has had more famous guest spots than Abi Titmuss’s duvet cover.

· Of course, we all know that Michael Jackson secretly ‘Did The Bartman’.  But if that’s proved in a court of law, he’ll get an extra 20 years.

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