Wednesday, March 21, 2007

MTV and Sesame…

My first job as a TV writer was on a show that didn’t happen*. We shared an open space with three other new MTV series in an old bank at 1515 Broadway (the place was a mess, but the views were so cool that eventually the space became MTV’s broadcast studio). They were “The Jon Stewart Show”, “The State” (which was comprised of renegade comics from my college days), and a new cartoon called “Beavis and Butthead”.

As a young animator, I’d been promised work on “Beavis and Butthead” when the show I was working on ended (or died), but the lady who did the hiring kept holding off.

Finally, a year or so later I got the call. I was auditioning at Sesame Street at the time, but as I was broke, I merrily trained it back up to 1515 Broadway everyday to scratch out Beavis and his pals.

The studio was great, chaotic fun and the crew was quite talented (many Beavis graduates have gone on to creating shows, directing TV and Features, and whatnot). But, production flow could be uneven, which meant time to fiddle around with the characters in my own style.

Six weeks after I started at the end of 1992, I got the call from Sesame that I had passed the 8 month audition period and was now an official (probationary) writer.

The folks at MTV were happy for me (perhaps they were just happy to get rid of me).

*Actually the series, entitled "Snuppa", was resurrected a few years later at “Sniz and Fondu”, a series of shorts that aired on Nickelodeon’s “Kablam!” along with “The Off-Beats”…