“Welcome to Enchantment Lane, where all the parts come together and Malibu Stacy is born. Some folks say there’s a little touch of fairy dust in the air.” – Tour Lady
“Aw, crap, there’s a clog in the torso chute! Leroy, get your ass in gear!” – Assembly Line Worker
“Shut your hole.” – Leroy
On Monday this week, Mike Reiss gave a speech at Virginia Tech. This comes from an interview conducted by the student paper in advance of that:
CT: What is your involvement with the show?
I’m currently a consultant. I go in every Wednesday, I fly in there – there’s nothing special about Wednesday, it runs like a factory and its always in production. Every Wednesday I just come in and sort of step onto the assembly line and help out. The show is written by 8-10 people sitting in a room just throwing out ideas and jokes. Every Wedneday I’m just one more guy who goes in to help it.
CT: Are you considered something of an elder statesmen around there because you were since the show’s inception?
Reiss: Sometimes I feel that way. Sometimes I feel like they’ll put in one of my jokes just because I’m an old man and not because its particularly funny. I’ll get embarrassed sometimes, like I’ll throw in a joke where I know its not that good and they’ll put it in. People are very nice to me, it’s just a nice job. I think people – it’s the rare show on tv where the average tenure there is about 10 or 12 years. People like it, we all get along on, we all respect each other.
I don’t have any direct experience with what does or does not make for a truly great television writing room, but that kind of polite comity doesn’t exactly scream “high standards”. The only other piece of interesting not-quite-news was about a possible movie sequel:
CT: If you do make another one do you think you’ll wait until the show has finished its run on TV?
Reiss: I think that’s the general plan, I think the day the show finally goes off the air, like a year later we’ll all going to miss it and I think then we’ll be a little more interested to do the movie.
I’d be fine with that. The first movie wasn’t very good, but FOX is going to do something with these characters after the show goes off the air, and another movie done without the background pressure of the ongoing series would be about the best we can hope for.
There’s more at the link. He talks about how it was easier back in Season 3 and 4 because, “we had all the tricks and all the architecture in place but the show was new, it wasn’t like we’d done 10,000 ideas like we have now where it’s hard to find things to write about”. But it was the part about the assembly line nature of the place letting in embarrassingly weak jokes that caught my attention.