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DAN FRENCH has an M.A. in Rhetoric, and a Ph.D. in Media Studies, but don't let that fool you. And he still hasn't mailed us an 8 X 10.

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Dan French

The original "What Works"
"Tom Kenney"

"Inside the Box, Pt. II"
TV Development

"Whose Line is it Anyway?"
French's gag in a Quote-A-Crostic!

"Inside the Box, Pt. I"
TV Programming

"Your Showcase Set"
How to craft an L.A.-ready set

"The Clogged Drain of Comedy"
Who belongs on the stage? Comedy in L.A.

Why move to L.A.?

"Good Side/Bad Side"
What does comedy mean to a culture, post-911?

What should a manager do?

"Standup on TV"
What does TV want?

"Cash for Words"
Writing for dollars

"Stoking the Joke Machine"
Writing for a living

"Screenwriting for Standup Comics"
Just what it says

"Random Realizations"
Wisdom born of experience

Casting Season in L.A.

"Ladies & Gentlemen: A Job"
Working at Best Damn Sports Show Period

"LA Freefall for All"
It happens to everyone: Freefall!

"Hollywood or Bust"
How to change to succeed in L.A.

"How Edgy"
Column #2

"How Hip"
Column #3

"Who Writes Your Stuff?"
Why don't comics ask for help?

"The Art of Standup"
What would we gain by "turning up the art"

"Christmas Wish List"
Holiday column

"Getting Exercised"
A writing exercise

"High Octane"
Road vs. L.A., Monologist vs. Performer

"Inside the Box, Pt. I"
Television Programmers

"Inside the Box, Pt. II"
Television Production and Development

"Castle Breached"
Working at Late Late Show, Network television gig!

"I Like LA"
The third of five columns on writing comedy for money

"Hollywod Carousel"
Between BDSSP and Late Late Show, what I learned


Christmas Wish List

Itís December, time to celebrate the joyous birth of Jesus in an orgy of purchase, purchase, purchase that will temporarily take the tiniest edge off of our want, want, want. And since I write about standup in this column, I thought it holidayically appropriate that this monthís column would be my Christmas Wish List for Standup Comedy.

Here we go.

1. That some Middle Eastern country invade some other Middle Eastern country so we can go back to war and get gas prices back to where a middle act can sink leisurely into debt instead of plummeting there like an anvil in a vacuum.

2. That a golden angel appear in the world and tell all the people that it is Godís will that they go to a comedy club at least once a month, and gladly pay at least $10 for admittance.

3. That everyone stop telling me that theyíre going to survive the skeleton pay of the clubs by getting more corporate work, "because thatís where the money is" (an exception given here to Tom Ryan, who has actually put in the years of self-marketing and honing his show so that he really can make a living telling jokes to the well-dressed soul drainers who control all the real money out there).

4. That all bookers suddenly hear about this invention called the "internet," and free the serfs from the telephone "call me back" in a week slavery.

5. That The Laugh Factory stop charging comics to get in. I mean, come on. Do you think weíre going to watch the show?

6. That whatever child received the reincarnated spirit of Bill Hicks has already found a local open mike where the owner tells him "do whatever you want, kid. I think youíre funny."

7. That all standups everywhere start developing a set of media skills to go along with their cool standup skills.

8. That Andy Kindler replaces Tom Brokaw on the evening news.

9. That someone show a video of Dane Cook to Jim Carrey so "The Grinch" can see what off-the-wall energy looks like when itís mixed with intelligence.

10. That Kid Dave Miller is recognized as the human personification of Southern Comfort.

11. That in some miraculous, rose-growing-through- a-crack-in-the-sidewalk-way, standup comedy blooms once again in 2001.

12. That everyone gets a sitcom and doesnít grow to hate it, that everyone writes a film the sells for big money and actually gets better when they shoot it, that Leno stops worrying that someone will be funnier than him if he has real standups on every night, that someone shoot all those who laugh at Whose Line Is It, Anyway?, and that SHECKY! goes public and against all the punditsí predictions makes two cool editors rich enough to move back to LA so that I have someone to talk to. HOME Back to the Top