Sunday, June 03, 2007

New to the Clambake

Okay, god love them all, But the blogosphere has gone on an all-clam diet lately and its time someone did something about it. For the one or two of you who don't know, a clam is a joke or a concept that is so old it has gone stale, been seen a million times in movies and television and is considered an example of "bad writing." Especially when it applies to comedy writing. I don't think that clams apply just to comedy as we all can think of a bunch of them that apply elsewhere ("It's DIE HARD on a ....")

The topic started with Jane Espenson , then nested in the mud over at The Artful Writer with a few detours along the way I'm sure. Craig is, with the help of his readers, trying to name all of the clams that have been raked into the screenwriting burlap sacks over the years.

Well, we're gonna do something a little different here at good old DISContent, not because we're contrary bastards (though that does apply), but because in our neck of the writing woods, we're often given clams with which to make a gourmet meal. We have to do more than just identify the bad, we have to take that clam and make it work. Many a time I've been given a location or a costume or a previous movie and had to craft a new movie, "that is a sequel but not because sequels don't sell..." (???????????)

So here's the deal. We're going to make clam chowder!

Head over to Craig's place. Look at all the comedy clams he has listed...
Then give them some spin in a new direction to make them different and tasty (or at least tastier than raw clams). Steam 'em, fry 'em or throw 'em in the pot and make chowder.

For example:

The Factory: This is a visual one. Someone gets hurt in a factory, and a worker flips the “Days Since An Accident” sign back to 0.

The Chowder version: Someone gets hurt in the factory, and one of the co-workers tells the victim to buck up while the victim fountains blood everywhere. The co-worker pulls a stapler and duct tape out...Later we see him on the production line, pale as a ghost, hand backwards on his arm as he waves to camera...

(Comedy is not my forte, but you get the idea)

or -

If you'd like, find a D2DVD clam and spin that around. Here's one:

"It's DIE HARD in a building...."

1 comment:

Elver said...

Grab the Artful Writer's list as reference.

The inside voice: *farts* "I'm sorry... did I say that out loud?"

The Freudian slip with a foot fetish twist: "Hey, Carol, I see you got new boots... boobs! You got a boob-job! Cool!"

The "Mr." Insult: “Oooh, check you out. Mr. Big Man! Mr. Crazy hat-wearing guy!” (Performed in front of a mirror. The low self-esteem version.)

The Nutty List: "All I wanna do is eat a steak, get laid, play golf, and make a nutty to-do list just so I'd look cool." (Introspective twist.)

Dante's Clam: "This is the date from hell... But which religion's hell?"

Albert Hoffman's Clam: "This is like a bad trip... on acid!"

The Fork-Dropper: "Check please! I'm gonna get laid!"

The Optimist: “Well, I thought that went pretty well..." (Actually, this clam and its variations are the centerpiece of all reality TV. So I'm not gonna bother tinkering with it.)

The Invisible Puke: "I think I just came in my pants."