Eric D. Snider

My So-Called Life

Californian #14

"My So-Called Life"

by Eric D. Snider

Published in The Californian on October 5, 1993

Two weeks ago, CBS premiered a new sit-com called "Dave's World," based on the life and times of syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry. While I make no claims at being as talented as Dave Barry (though I certainly will not argue if YOU want to say that), I still think that CBS should produce a sit-com about my life, too. On second thought, maybe ABC should do it, since they apparently have no standards there, evidenced by the premiere two weeks ago of the controversial "NYPD Blue," a cop show in which every single character, in every scene, was completely naked.

At any rate, here is an outline of my proposed sit-com, called "Eric's World":

PREMISE: Eric D. Snider (played by Tom Cruise, in his television debut) is a 19-year-old college student who is currently living with his zany family in serene Lake Elsinore, California. His wacky misadventures with his family and friends, as well as his exploits with his weekly humor column, provide giggles and chuckles for the viewers. He also has a beautiful, intelligent girlfriend, Kandee, played by Valerie Bertinelli. This character has no basis in reality, but we would like to make the show a bit more enjoyable.

CHARACTERS: In addition to Eric and Kandee, there's Eric's mom and dad (Mary Hart and Jason Alexander), his three brothers (three little boy actors destined for obscurity, drug addictions, and felony charges), and two sisters (those adorable Olsen twins from "Full House"). Plus, he has his nutty friends Nick (Robert Urich, since by state law he must appear in every sit-com produced), Craig (Luke Perry's younger brother Sparky), Jess (Ricky Schroeder), and Joe (whoever plays that dumb football player on "Coach"). Plus, there's his editor at the newspaper he writes for, Shannon (Teri Garr), and all the nice folks at Millers Outpost, where he also works. (All the actors there will be people who left "Saturday Night Live" for bigger and better things, only they couldn't find anything. For instance, Joe Piscopo.)

SAMPLE PLOT: Eric writes a column in which he claims that, get this, Denny's is slightly less than a four-star restaurant. Then, a few days later, he and his friends eat there, only to find that Eric's comments have made him no longer welcome there. (The waiter will be played by Jon Lovitz; the hostess, by Bea Arthur; and the police officer, by Chevy Chase, whose talk show will have been cancelled by then, giving him plenty of free time. In fact, he'll probably do it for free.)

SAMPLE DIALOGUE, SHOWING THAT ERIC IS WITTY IN REAL LIFE, TOO, AND NOT JUST IN HIS COLUMN:
NICK: Hey, Eric, can I borrow five bucks?
ERIC: What for?
NICK: I want to get a tattoo.
ERIC: You're stupid.

OPENING THEME MUSIC: "Hey, Hey, It's Eric," as recorded by the Village People. Lyrics are as follows:

"Hey, hey it's Eric.
Look, it's Eric.
He's a 19-year-old college student
Living in Lake Elsino-o-o-ore.
He's writes a column
However he sees 'em, he calls 'em.
He's about five-foot-ten.
Yeah, it's Eric."

This would be a very innovative sit-com, because it would not have a studio audience. Instead, we would have a tape recording of a big swarm of bullfrogs sitting in a pond, and every time one of the characters says a funny line, we would play the tape of the bullfrogs croaking. This would be cheaper than paying human beings to laugh, which is what they have to do for shows like "Family Matters" and "Saved by the Bell."

Also, the first episode would be a Very Special Episode, in which Eric goes nuts and kills a guy. Parental Discretion would of course be Advised. I think it'll be a big hit. Ribbit.

(Eric D. Snider, as was previously mentioned, is a college student living at home in Lake Elsinore. He wants to be Pat Sajak when he grows up.)

Stumble It!

Notes:

My last column for The Californian. I left on my mission for the LDS Church the next week, which seriously curtailed my column-writing activities.

In honor of this being my last column, they seriously adulterated the ending, shortening it to "...Very Special Episode, in which Eric goes nuts." I guess the part about killing a guy was too much for them. Too bad. I really wanted to go out on that.

This column kind of sucks, by the way. I make a lot of lame celebrity jokes, and just a lot of lame jokes in general. (The frog thing? Is it obvious how much I was stretching for a joke?) The column is so surreal, almost in a good way, but then again not quite.


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