Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Great Stuff!!

Christopher Titus, the edgy comedian who had a series on Fox for three years called "Titus", contacted me a few months back about a script he was shopping around called "Special Unit". It's a cutting edge comedy about a detective who screws up and gets put in charge of a group of disabled detectives who have sued on behalf of the "fairness and disabilities Act" to become active members of the police department.

There is a paraplegic veteran just back from the Middle East, a guy with cerebral palsy, a guy with autism, and a woman who is a little person. Christopher Titus plays an Archie Bunker type who uses every politically incorrect term and constantly bemoans the fact that he's in this position. The detectives talk like we disabled people talk when in a group together. We call each other crip and gimp, and every other derogatory euphemism you can imagine. That all comes out in "Special Unit". The comedy is very cutting edge. It is right of my alley, I have always used comedy as a way of dealing with the situation that I've been dealt. I also commonly use comedy to make people feel more comfortable around me. Once I get people laughing their tension about making sure they don't "do the wrong thing " disappears. God, I hate this politically correct wave that has been sweeping over the country over the last twenty or so years!

He asked me to look over the script to insure that the humor is edgy, maybe a little over the edge, but will not offend the majority of disabled people. He also wanted me to make sure it is laugh out loud funny. It is both.

Comedy Central has agreed to produce the pilot episode which will begin production in early January. Christopher asked me to be technical advisor on this first episode. Hooyah! If the heavens open up and Comedy Central agrees to make it a series, I will be a writer on the show. Double hooyah! There are many opportunities for performers with disabilities down the road. Whether or not I work on the show as an actor depends upon whether or not a role comes up for me.

I can't express to you how positive the feedback is from the overwhelming majority of performers with disabilities I know who have read the script. It is not only extremely timely, it is accurate and shows people with disabilities in a very positive light. It shows the stereotypes that exists in a lot of people's minds including people with disabilities. It shows us as we are. When I read the script I couldn't believe the detail that Christopher went to in creating these characters. They are a lot like people I know. To tell the truth, I couldn't believe it wasn't written by a physically disabled person.

It is one of the most exciting projects I've ever been involved in. And, as you know, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck. This is the real deal. And Christopher Titus is determined to use the show to do for disabled people what Archie Bunker, and " All In The Family " did for black people and other minorities. Namely, to shine a light on us and show us as we really are.

And, above all "Special Unit" is hysterical!

On the other front, I just turned in the second draft of "The Outsiders" in to ABC and I am waiting to hear back.

I would appreciate hearing feedback on what you think of this concept. I know it's hard to give feedback on a show you haven't seen, but I would love to hear how comedy plays a part in your life especially if you are a disabled person or have a disabled person who is close to you.

Folks, this is one of the most exciting, creative times of my life. Thanks for sharing it with me.

2 comments:

  1. hey - just stumbled across your blog and had to say kudos to you... your attitude is pretty inspiring and even though i don't know you, it's great to share the excitement with you simply by reading about it.

    this show you're describing sounds hilarious and titus is great, too... i'll be looking for this in the future.
    take care!

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  2. This tv show is exciting. I'm an actor with autism and I'm trying out for the part of the autistic detective.

    I hope to get the part, but if it doesn't work out, I'm sure there will be other opportunities down the road, as you said.

    If it does work out, however, I'll probably end up meeting you.

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