Category Archives: TV Hosts

Cain And Abel 04 final 3rd revised

Cain And Abel
Part Three

by Daniel Weizmann

The Nash Bros either thrive or merely survive their appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! 2,119 words. Part One. Part Two. Illustration by John Donald Carlucci.


Fans and cheerleaders: Do you ever marvel at how they share our world? Incredible to think that while most of us live our humdrum lives, they are out there — the superstars — mythical, rolling, unhinged. And why do they do it? They do it so we don’t have to.

Marky and Sean met on the lot and rode to Kimmel’s in a Lincoln stretch. Marky felt cooler than he had all day. Plus, he acted kinder. He asked Sean, “Hey, man, you gonna do that patriot missile gag with Kimmel, the thing with the somersault?”

Sean was humbler. “I don’t want to hog up all the space.”

“No, bro. It’s a good bit. Do your thing.”

And then it happened so fast. They were whisked through the Green Room and pancaked, and led out on the air. The band played a brass version of the pair’s biggest hit to date, “Girl You’re The 1 (For Me, For Me)”. Kimmel’s audience ran a little older but they still went ape-shit when the Nash Bros crossed the stage. Jimmy did a little mock shock at the amplitude of the girly screams. The familiar tingle of stage energy dueled with Marky’s waning inner heat. Then there was a third Marky, a phantom in the wings: watching, sober, attentive. But every smile was in place, as Kimmel stood up to fist-five them with both hands as the horns blasted big ending punches.

The crowd would not stop screaming.

“Will you calm down?” Kimmel finally admonished, setting off another wave.

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Cain And Abel 003

Cain And Abel
Part Two

by Daniel Weizmann

One of two brothers hosting a hit TV show can’t accept that they no longer have equal roles. 2,679 words. Part One. Part Three. Illustration by John Donald Carlucci.


Fan Club members: It is you that keep the dream alive. And that is why you must know that there was no formal ritual between the brothers. They rehearsed at noon five days a week, talked on the phone four to thirty times a day, met their press agent every other Thursday, and socially were almost inseparable. Even the many girls they took out, they did so in pairs, occasionally shooting each other a deeply knowing look mid-date to signal the switching of seats and intentions. Sean rented his own place in the Los Feliz Hills to be nearer the Burbank studio and liked to sleep late. Marky bought athree-bedroom oceanfront condo in Manhattan Beach, which was a good investment and, besides, what was the point in being a pop star if you weren’t going to live on the beach?

After dinner at Mom’s, Sean headed home to get some beauty rest before the big television interview. Marky, on the other hand, hopped in the Benz and was heading for his beach pad, intending to catch some Zs as well, when he remembered that it was Sunday, and that meant poker night at the shared apartment of Tom and Shanahan, his old high school pals. Marky was already in the old neighborhood, so he skipped the freeway onramp and maneuvered into the parking lot of the Hawthorne Arms, ready for action. He walked the dank stairwell to Tom and Shanahan’s second floor pad, and held his pop-star-ness in check. He lapsed into a joke fantasy, rare but recurring, that he was not and had never been in showbiz. Sean’s bro — the tax accountant. Or Sean’s bro — the sportswriter. If only he had been too fat, early balding like their Old Man.

“Dude!” Shanahan called out. “Total surprise.”

“Yo!” Tom said, his back to them, pulling a twelve-ouncer of Olde English Malt Liquor out of the fridge. “Do I hear Marky?”

“The man arriveth!”

Marky shrugged, then sat in the breakfast nook with the five neighborhood buffoons in Old Navy duds and hand-me-downs, some sporting baseball caps on their $20 haircuts. The homies looked happy but tired. Marky feigned a “long, hard day,” too.

“What’s up, superstar?” Tom said, high-fiving.

“Dude,” Kev said, cracking a beer, “aren’t you on Kimmel tomorrow night?”

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Cain And Abel 01

Cain And Abel
Part One

by Daniel Weizmann

Two brothers have a hit TV comedy-variety show – and a less successful relationship. 2,271 words. Part Two. Illustration by John Donald Carlucci.


Dear Fan Club Members: They say these things don’t happen overnight. But they kinda do. The fun began at three in the afternoon in Hanger One right on the Fox Lot when 21-year-old heartthrob Marky Nash sat on the edge of the newly reconstructed stage thumbing tweets to the base on his iPhone to tell us that Season Two is coming. After a breakneck rehearsal sched, he was psyched to get back to where he belonged: the spotlight. Behind Marky sat his blond baby bro, 19-year-old Sean Nash with his feet up looking all sanguine ‘n’ shit. That’s when the Producer and the Other Producer — whose names we can never remember! — huddled with the Bros. One Producer was older, tall, skinny, full of jagged grey competence in white sneakers. The Other Producer was husky in a Dodger’s cap and Cal State t-shirt, looking like a disgruntled dirtbiker.

It was lecture time as the stage crew slid gels into the footlights and wheeled the giant behemoth TV cams into place.

“This,” the Producer said, “is our moment.”

“And you boys have what it takes to answer the bell,” the Other Producer added.

“You are already stars,” the Producer said. “Don’t believe us? Google yourselves.”

“But Season Two is a major test,” the Other Producer said.

“For everybody,” his partner added. “Not just you guys.”

“And I don’t have to tell you we have competition,” the Other Producer said. At this, the two men paused, arms akimbo, Old Jew and Junior Jew, staring down the Nash Bros for dramatic effect.

“Meno?” Sean asked, sitting up.

The Producer said, “Meno Dalmucci’s variety dogshit debuts day after tomorrow in prime time opposite you guys.”

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Ebenezer Scrump

Ebenezer Scrump
A Christmas Story

by Howard Rosenberg

Ghosts visit a nasty old showman to unmask his not-so-entertaining lies and life. 836 words. Illustration by John Donald Carlucci.


The darkened penthouse of Scrump Tower on Christmas Eve….

Ebenezer Scrump, asleep after hours of heavy tweeting, is jolted awake by loud clanking sounds and a terrifying sight.

Scrump: Who are you?

Ghost: Look upon me, Scrump, for I am the Ghost of Your Past.

Scrump: What do you want of me at this hour, ghost?

Ghost: I’m here to show you the errors of your ways.

Scrump: Errors? Where are you taking me?

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The One That Got Away

The One That Got Away

by Hank Putnam

TV FICTION PACKAGE: An adventure channel crew reconsiders after a scary encounter. 2,347 words. Illustration by John Donald Carlucci.


After the monster bit our boat, we got the hell out of the river.

Our star, Dr. Grady Jackson, laughed as we climbed up the bank and made our way in the dark to the van. Nothing seemed to slow him down. Not even an evil villain sent straight from hell. Less than an hour ago, we were standing knee-deep in a Central American river filled with horrific hungry creatures big enough to eat us. At night. So we could shoot dramatic footage in the dark with Grady as he caught a few of the bigger beasts. In small rubber boats, no less. Me, I almost saw the headline flash before my eyes when he went under the water: “REAL LIFE ACTION HERO KILLED MAKING TV ADVENTURE SERIES.” People do die making our shows.

Top that, Hollywood.

“Pura Vida!” Grady said.

“Or Aloha,” I said. “Whatever.”

Helping Grady was exhilarating, but for me it represented a new low point in my career. I was glad to be outdoors, shooting video in an exotic location. It sure beat smoking crack next to our headquarters in the middle of downtown Washington, D.C. on my lunch breaks every day. But this was getting too weird. Even for me. No, I don’t really smoke crack. It’s a metaphor. My job now was chasing killers more ruthless than any of the other wild creatures I have spent thousands of hours watching from the safety of editing rooms.

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FRN Memo_2

The FRN

by Larry Amoros

TV FICTION PACKAGE: A newly hired channel executive thinks up the best for the worst. 1,195 words. Illustration by Thomas Warming.


To:       FRN Staff
CC:       Skip Delicious, Executive Consultant
From:  Jack Ahze, President, Fake Reality Network

I am proud to welcome Mr. John “Skip” Delicious, Executive Consultant, to our FRN family. Mr. Delicious will be responsible for reimagining Fake Reality Network’s programming and turning it into a premiere niche network in at least 17 of the 48 continental United States and maybe Guam.

Mr. Delicious has had a long and storied career as an Executive Consultant in a variety of industries, from medical technology (The Ouchless Catheter) to fast food (Ox ‘n’ Brew). And his rate of success as an Executive Consultant is unparalleled in the annals of consulting. In fact, he was born to be a consultant. When he was seven years old, he used to walk down the street and stop random passersby and say things like, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” and “Might I suggest you diversify?”

I first became aware of Mr. Delicious in 1994, when he was working as a Executive Consultant in the field of Public Relations, and he advised Al Cowlings to “drive slower and put O.J. on the phone – you’ll get more face time.” I knew, even way back then, he and I would work together some day. And today is that day.

In the coming weeks you’ll all get to know and work with Mr. Delicious, and together we’ll make FRN destination viewing!

To:         Jack Ahse & FRN Staff
From:    Skip Delicious, Executive Consultant

First of all, CALL ME SKIP!!! I am happy to be a part of the FRN team and make us the best fake reality network we can be. Let’s hit the ground running!

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Andy Perry Show 02

Bad Sketch
Part Two

by Ned Dymoke

TV FICTION PACKAGE: The host, producers and writers on a late-night network talk show scramble. Part One. 2,633 words. Illustration by John Donald Carlucci.


"We’ve got ‘Dog President,'" said Mitch as soon as the elevator doors opened and Andy appeared. "And half a monologue. And two out of seven writers in the writers room."

"Amy and Kurt are on Wall Street right now doing ‘Shoe Shine Guy,’" said Andy.

"Eric is working out of Arnold’s Coffee because his internet went out. Just his. I think he’s lying," Mitch said angrily. “This is so–"

"Mitch," interrupted Andy, "have you eaten yet?"

"Just a Kit Kat," said Mitch, sheepishly.

"You’re doing that thing you do when you don’t eat. Get yourself something and come back to me in an hour. And take an actual break. Don’t just stand around the hallway gobbling candy bars. That’s creepy. You’ll make the property value of this place go down."

"OK, Andy," said Mitch. He started off towards The Andy Perry Show writer’s room and knocked on the open door. Everybody inside spun around. "Andy’s here, but Amy isn’t," he warned. "Send Andy what you have. We’re going commando and emailing Andy the jokes ourselves. "

"We’re not wearing underwear?" said Eric, rounding the corner beside Mitch and entering the room. Eric was attractive in a way that writers never were and used it to his full advantage.

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Andy Perry Show 01

Bad Sketch
Part One

by Ned Dymoke

TV FICTION PACKAGE: More from behind-the-scenes of The Andy Perry Show host, producers and writers. Part Two. 2,950 words. Illustration by John Donald Carlucci.


It was about noon when Kurt, his feet propped up on his desk, was to have his world shattered. He hadn’t dressed for the occasion, as people whose worlds are about the be shattered are not often dressed appropriately. He was wearing a cardigan that he thought made him look "masculine, but not too masculine," as he’d told the sales clerk at J. Crew earlier that month. He had also bought several checkered shirts, as many young urban professionals of his age and tax bracket frequently do. They made him look approachable and casual, but not too casual, and not too approachable.

Kurt felt very dapper. He leaned back in his chair, riding the crystal clear wave of sartorial confidence all the way to the shores of true relaxation. His was a life that others envied, he thought. He wrote for The Andy Perry Show and lived down the street from the 11th best bagel place in New York. He had an interesting girlfriend who came from a family that had a prodigious amount of old money. Kurt prided himself on the fact that they had sex sometimes more than once a week. They had just adopted an elderly pug. Until that day, Kurt’s life was an avenue of nothing but green lights softly and coquettishly whispering "Go, Kurt. Go."

Kurt felt something bang on his desk. It was Andy’s fist. Kurt was shocked, and nearly spilled his cold-pressed iced coffee all over his J. Crew work shirt and Red Wing boots.

"Did you write ‘Dog President’?" demanded Andy. He had his arms crossed on his chest and smelled faintly like really good chicken.

"Uh. Yeah," said Kurt as he tepidly pled responsibility for his magnum opus and immediately felt his face flush from embarrassment.

"Get your coat," said Andy, "And come with me."

The entire writer’s room became deathly silent.

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Bill Scheft New Oscar 4

Who Are You Wearing On? —
Tommy Dash Near The Oscars

by Bill Scheft

OSCAR FICTION PACKAGE: Politically incorrect Tommy Dash tried out for Chris Rock’s Academy Awards writing team. 3,175 words.


UPDATE: Tommy Dash reacts post-Oscars…

Am I too late to call the 2016 Oscars "Straight Outta Caucasia"?

Was I the only one who thought Chris Rock wore the white tux so at some point some guy in a bomber jacket would walk up to him on stage, hand a key and say, "It’s the red Lexus…"

By the way, none of my business, but couldn’t they come up with a more empowering word for black people not showing up than "boycott?"

I don’t think they’ll solve Oscars’ diversity problem by next year. But they will come up with the technology so the Teleprompter cannot contain the phrase "Rihanna’s panties."

How about that Red Carpet? I haven’t seen this much side boob since Christie stood next to Trump.

I’m confused. Before he started Apple, Steve Jobs was the "Sprockets" guy?

Abe Vigoda was left out of the "In Memoriam" montage. But, to be fair, he’d been in it for the last 15 years.

Forget his message, let me say this about Joe Biden. Clearly, he learned from listening to Jay Leno rattle off upcoming dates at the end of The Tonight Show… You can never have too many plugs.

Right about now, Pope Francis’ publicist, Howard Rubenstein, is calling him saying, "Hey, you got mentioned in the acceptance speech for Spotlight!"

This is somebody’s fault, but not necessarily mine.

I thought I was supposed to be here, working on the Oscars.

Two weeks ago, I’m at the Comedy Cellar in the Village. I’m trying to get my 20-year-old ban from performing there lifted. Long story, but it involves saying “jizz” on stage. I see Richie Vos, a comic, hanging out by the steps. I’ve known Richie since he would try to barter for crack by doing $10 worth of material for his dealer. He’s clean a long long time, one of those “If life was fair, I’d be dead…” grateful pains in the ass. And he’s a regular at The Cellar. I ask him if he’ll vouch for me to the owner. He smiles and says, “I don’t know, Tommy. What’s the statute of limitations on jizz?” Jesus, does everybody know this story? I ask him if he’s working and Vos says he’s writing for Chris Rock on the Academy Awards. And he says “Academy Awards,” the correct term, in case Ed Snowden is listening in. I say, “Is Chris looking for anything?” And Vos says, “You know Rock. He’s got a dozen guys giving him pages and in the end he comes up with better shit than anything that’s been turned in or anything we’ll ever come up with.” I ask Vos if he has an email for Chris, and he says, mumbling around his cigarette, “Yeah, send him some stuff. He looks at everything. But don’t do anything about his divorce.”

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Jack Perry Show  1

The Andy Perry Show

by Ned Dymoke

A late-night TV talk show host undergoes an existential career crisis caused by an anniversary. 4,767 words. Illustration by John Mann.


"Even a weak man should want to leave a legacy," Andy had said, rather off-handedly, to the man sitting next to him. It had meant nothing at the time, but years later it became difficult for his narrative to escape those ten words that had been so hastily scribbled down moments later.

They weren’t his last words, either. Those had been "Here it is."

And the first word Andy Perry ever spoke was "peas," blurted out at 14 months old from the back seat of his mother’s 1964 Ford Bronco.

Andy had said a lot of things between his first and his last words. It was in many respects his full-time job, and he was very  good at it. Every Monday through Thursday night, from 11 pm to midnight in New York City, he stood in front of a large group of people and a few television cameras and said a lot of things that in turn caused people to laugh. That was his job, and at times its sheer simplicity made him feel uneasy on a base level, as if he fundamentally should be doing something else.

He secretly envied people who work with their hands, yet found it hard to verbalize this to anyone who does lest they think he was mocking them. He could watch people cook for hours. And when he managed to escape the confines of the building’s television studio and his adjacent offices, he’d find an inconspicuous hole-in-the-wall restaurant nearby and watch the chef’s hands for hours.

This helped explain why he was an hour late to rehearsals on this particular day in late October.

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