One thing we learned while doing bits for the syndicates. You need to create a format, or you’re dead meat.
It’s hard to come up with a great format, but once you do, it’s much easier to explore in that format than the alternative, which is a new concept and bit every time.
I’d say our hit to miss sales ratio for ‘singles’ was 1 out of 10. But once we found a format that worked, it was good for at least a dozen or so skits as we evolved the concept.
We realized that although we strived to do ‘highbrow’ humor, it never sold. So we tried to disguise it with the ‘Phrazology’ series. We’d take a well known phrase, and take it to it’s illogical conclusion. The hook was we cut them with 2 versions. One with just the guest, and the other with both the guest and host parts. That way, the DJ’s could use them as wacky interactive bits tailored for their own show, or as the ‘finished’ version.
One of our first was ‘Blind as a Bat’. I forget who decided to make it Star Trek based, but I did come up with the Dave Kingman reference.
And since we were working on BENT! at the same time, here’s an extended 3 part video on us wandering around Haverhill and trying to sneak a video camera into a Ames in Haverhill, MA so we could buy the right barrel for the ‘Barrel of Monkeys’ bit.