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Topic: Too Close to Strassman for Me to Use?
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Nov 1, 2009 07:02PM)
Hey, Guys (and Gals),

I'd like your input on something. I've been thinking about using a new opening for my act which was inspired by David Strassman. At the beginning of "Strassman Live!" he appears on stage alone and tells Chuck to come out.
Strassman: Chuck, you come out here right now.
Chuck :You'll have to come get me.
Strassman: Oh, yeah? Why's that?
Chuck: I'm a puppet, you idiot.

I want to start with Oscar in his case on stage. After my opening remarks:

Bob: Oscar, are you ready to come out?
Oscar: [from inside the suitcase]: If you want me out there, you're just gonna have to come get me.
Bob: And why is that?
Oscar: Because I'm locked in a suitcase, you idiot!

As I've written on this board before, if I want to use someone's line, I seek the person's permission. This bit uses a similar idea to Strassman's , but not the same line. So my question is, is my use far enough away to be considered to be "inspired by" , or should I write David and request his permission?

Thoughts welcome...


Bob
Message: Posted by: Servante (Nov 1, 2009 08:02PM)
Gosh, Bob, like most vents, I've always done some sort of voice from the suitcase thing...muffled, then clear as the case is opened, etc.

It's lovely of you to worry about it, but seems to me you're miles in the clear.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: Doug Arden (Nov 1, 2009 08:21PM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-01 21:02, Servante wrote:
Gosh, Bob, like most vents, I've always done some sort of voice from the suitcase thing...muffled, then clear as the case is opened, etc.

It's lovely of you to worry about it, but seems to me you're miles in the clear.

-Philip
[/quote]


Ditto.
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Nov 2, 2009 05:32AM)
Agree...
Message: Posted by: Marco Koch (Nov 2, 2009 08:36AM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-01 21:02, Servante wrote:
Gosh, Bob, like most vents, I've always done some sort of voice from the suitcase thing...
[/quote]
But the question here is not about the muffled voice from the suitcase or a far distance voice, it's about the joke, that a puppet can't walk alone on stage (or out of the suitcase).
Imho the "main joke" is the same, but modified enough to say "inspired by..."

Marco.
Message: Posted by: harris (Nov 2, 2009 12:18PM)
Many of the words are still the same.

Looks to me as if you need to modify some more to make it yours.

Back when I did the comedy clubs, I was (not so kindly) told about a bit that was too close to someone elses material.



Harris
still learning after all these years.
Message: Posted by: TonyB2009 (Nov 2, 2009 01:22PM)
Strassman's line was hardly an earth-shatteringly original gag. It was just a clever but almost obvious opener. As I see it you have nothing to worry about.
I am giving that opinion both as a performer and as a professional writer.
Message: Posted by: Daveandrews (Nov 2, 2009 05:19PM)
I have used this gag, and variations of it, on and off for some years, long before I heard of David Strassman.
As TonyB says, it is not an original gag of David Strassman's - in my opinion, Bob, you are in the clear and should go ahead.

Regards,

Dave
Message: Posted by: Servante (Nov 2, 2009 08:25PM)
Yeah. Like I said. :-D
Message: Posted by: harris (Nov 3, 2009 07:09AM)
I also make a reference to Nigel's inability to walk.

I ask him if he is going to dance..(So you think you can dance???)

He says NOT with these legs..

Now _____. SHE's got legs.

The best ___ was when I used my wife's name.(Annie) It was at our church's talent night. It brought the house down..(and my wife who literally sunk down into the pew.
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Nov 3, 2009 09:39AM)
[quote]
On 2009-11-02 13:18, Harris wrote:
Many of the words are still the same.
[/quote]

[quote]
On 2009-11-01 20:02, Bob Baker wrote:
Strassman: Chuck, you come out here right now.
Chuck :You'll have to come get me.
Strassman: Oh, yeah? Why's that?
Chuck: I'm a puppet, you idiot.

Bob: Oscar, are you ready to come out?
Oscar: [from inside the suitcase]: If you want me out there, you're just gonna have to come get me.
Bob: And why is that?
Oscar: Because I'm locked in a suitcase, you idiot!

Thoughts welcome...
[/quote]

Bob,
I've seen your videos and I love your work. I see no problem with this - but if Harris thinks too many words are the same, just tighten the lines and change the beats:

Bob: Oscar, get out here...
Oscar: (From Trunk) I'm not coming...
Bob: Oh yes you are...
Oscar: Oh no I'm not...
Bob: Why?
Oscar: Because I'm locked in the suitcase moron.
Bob (looks surprised)
Oscar: Can I get a little help here?

Inspired by Strassman, yes. But no one would look at that as a copy IMO.
Message: Posted by: harris (Nov 3, 2009 10:24AM)
Though we can ask for help...(that is how we get better) usually we are the ones who must make the tough decisions on what we write. (and rewrite..and rewrite ..and rewrite) Ad libs of course also become part of the script. Some of the adlibs are true, other ones sneak out of my brain and I realize are from an old movie or other source.

(love the "can I get a little help here" line..)

Thanks to all that inspire me to be a better writer, listener and performer..


Harris
laughologist and nearly normal "righter" (with a nod to Mason Williams)
Message: Posted by: Servante (Nov 3, 2009 02:33PM)
Y'know...I write plays for a living. I might just take some of this stuff above and jigger it around and post it here, just for grins.
See what y'all think 'n' stuff.

-Philip
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Nov 3, 2009 04:25PM)
Just saw a continuation...

After Oscar's : Can I get a little help here?

Bob: You called me a moron...
Oscar: So?
Bob: I'm NOT the one locked in the suitcase.
Oscar: (pause) You better start sleeping with one eye open old man...
Message: Posted by: Bob Baker (Nov 3, 2009 08:36PM)
You guys are all great! Thanks so much to all of you for your input and suggestions. Unlike what I see in some of the magic sections with sniping and flaming, the vents on this board are always supportive and helpful.

Again, thanks so much!

Bob
Message: Posted by: tacrowl (Nov 4, 2009 05:56AM)
I still see this evolving into...
Oscar: (pause) You better start sleeping with one eye open old man...

Bob: Oh yeah? What are you gonna do? YOU'RE locked in a suitcase.

Oscar: Don't make me go TSA on your luggage.

Sorry Bob, couldn't resist.
Message: Posted by: harris (Nov 4, 2009 07:46AM)
Vents seem more akin to jugglers in giving and passing it on! (pun intended)

One might also argue whether the 25 or 50 dollars to ship Oscar.(extra bag) is worth it....don't know the lines yet...anyone?

Phillip, writing plays is a great. Used to "right" radio plays myself. Even had one of my characters (Georgio) a puppet involved in many episodes. (He wanted to take over the world. In one episode he held us hostage in the radio studio)




Harris
laughologist, reader and "rewriter"
Message: Posted by: Servante (Nov 4, 2009 10:00AM)
Harris...

It's almost like stealing. I write a thing, and then, for years and years afterward I get paid for it when it's performed. Every six months I get a check from the publisher...and all the work's at the front end!

But you gotta keep loading the hopper with new stuff...just in case!

I'm looking at some of the disparate bits from above. I'm trying to stay away from anything that is specific...like your "legs" riff, which is awfully good, but very much new and yours.
I figure I might string some of this other stuff together, add some things, offer it up here, see what people think...and then just give it away to everyone here...who can add to it for their own purposes or ignore it altogether.

Be kinda fun to do.
Might take awhile as I've got some meetings and stuff over on this end. But I'll do it.
-Philip
Message: Posted by: Servante (Nov 4, 2009 10:02AM)
Oh...I've written and broadcast (and published) radio plays, too, Harris! Lately we've been broadcasting them live...on television...so people can see how it's done. Our sound effects crew does everything live. No pre-recorded stuff allowed. THEY'RE the real visual show!
-Philip
Message: Posted by: harris (Nov 4, 2009 10:23AM)
Phillip,

I look forward to hearing more about your writing.

Recently I was approached by the folks who I did Greenwich Mean Time 10:00 for some reunion shows. My idea is to make it for radio and animated for broadcast.

The Legs bit was done the first time(for a church show) truely ad lib. One never knows what will come out of "Nigel's Mouth"

Lines created from writing and rewrites sometimes are topped in spur of the moment bits.

Live Radio is a blast. Never done that, but have done several years of Improv with Comedy Sports (back in the 80's) with a piano player and voice guy doing bits. I loved when I got to be the sound/voice guy. Today I still use bits/voices/noises from that experience.

Bob, any more ideas that you can share?
Message: Posted by: Tod Todson (Nov 4, 2009 12:29PM)
Interested in what your future post, Servante.