With nothing to watch the other evening I opened the 4oD app on my iPad and clicked on the Comedy category to see if there was anything I hadn't watched yet.
In amongst established programmes such as Black Books, The IT Crowd, Pete vs Life, The Inbetweeners and Facejacker was something called Comedy Lab.
Comedy Lab is a project by Channel 4 of which I was previously unaware. What it offers is a platform for new Comedy talent and has helped to launch the careers of Ricky Gervais, Peter Kay, Russell Brand and Jimmy Carr as well as programmes like Fonejacker, Modern Toss.
It was The Warm Up Guy that I decided to watch and was very impressed with the half hour commission that awaited me. The sitcom pilot follows the story of a television warm up guy called Ian Bodkin who is on the lowest step of the entertainment industry but is determined that he is destined for stardom. In this episode he tries his hand at working in a supermarket with hilarious comedic consequences.
The programme was made by Comedy Producer James De Frond and writing partner Tom Davis (who also stars as the shows lead). The pair had previously worked on The Morgana Show which was a TV Sketch Show that began airing on Channel 4 late last year (November 2010). It was whilst writing The Warm Up Guy that The Morgana Show was commissioned.
As a beginner in sitcom writing it was interesting to read that it was a warm up guy on the pilot for Celebrity Juice who was inspiration for The Warm Up Guy. A testament to how inspiration for a sitcom can arise at any given moment. After enjoying the pilot for The Warm Up Guy I have been left hungry for more and really hope that one day Channel 4 pick it up and turn it into a series.
To conclude, I feel that Comedy Lab offers a great platform and opportunity for budding Sitcom writers and producers such as myself and I hope to see many more channels pick up this comedy showcase type of programme as it offers up opportunities that are otherwise very difficult to come by.