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I Want to Believe

I want to believe that the X-files spoof is funny.  The only problem is it isn't.  According to the Official TTT Webpage, The X-files spoof is defined as a one joke show.  That's not entirely correct.  There are, in fact, many jokes in that show.  And in keeping with true TTT form, they all failed.  The overall cause of these failed jokes is the situation in which this was produced.  At the time, Sean's camera was the only one we had access to.  In order to film, he had to be available and he almost never was. 

Well, one year, Dave got a camera of his own for Christmas.  Suddenly we had access to almost unlimited filming.  Or, rather, whenever Dave was available.  We needed to film with it as soon as possible.  Unfortunately, we had nothing in the works.  No plans, no scripts, and no time.  A desperate need to perform plus no ideas whatsoever equals the X-files Spoof.  The script (like many of our productions) was scribbled on a half piece of notebook paper.  The "jokes" were mostly developed on set, and the whole thing was done in a few weekends.  We blindly forged ahead into the bottomless pit of comedy production, only to emerge from the other side to find that we had plummeted into the abyss of not-funny (to mix a metaphor).

In this article I'll focus on one joke in particular.  The setup: Moldy and Sculler decide they can cover more of the forest if they split up.   However, we thought that just having them part ways and walk off the set was simply too low-brow.  For our demanding fans, we had to come up with something novel and funny.  (In retrospect, it was novel.)  Our idea was to have Moldy and Sculler standing on a steep hill.  At the end of the scene, Moldy was supposed to climb up the hill, and Sculler was supposed to carefully shuffle down the hill.  Of course, we couldn't find a steep hill that would work, so we solved the problem by tilting the camera about 60 degrees and filming on flat ground.  Furthermore, we thought the fact that Moldy and Sculler would be standing perpendicular to the extremely-tilted ground would add even more humor to the shot. 

It would have worked.  It should have worked.  But Murphy's Law prevailed.  We tilted the camera the wrong way.  The final shot shows Moldy climbing down the hill, and Sculler carefully shuffling up the hill.  It turns out that people, upon seeing the shot either 1) get confused or 2) laugh hysterically.  You might thing "now wait a minute.  If people laugh hysterically, that means the joke was successful, right?"  Wrong.  It means that people are laughing at our royal screw-up, not because the joke was anything spectacular.  Therefore, it falls under the heading of a failed joke.  But we're smart enought to recognize that beggars can't be choosers, so we'll take all the laughs we can get.