What is Black Vet Better to tell you where it came from In the 1970s comedian

What is black vet better to tell you where it came

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step back from the concept.What is Black Vet?Better to tell you where it came from. In the 1970s. comedian and nowactor/writer/director, Albert Brooks, made several film parodies forSaturdayNight Live.In one of his best, a piece that tweaked the nose ofNBC and the silliness of network programming, Brooks did a hilarious fakepromo for several upcoming shows that would be seen that fall on NBC.One of these was calledBlack Vet.In unctuous "NBC — Be There! "style, it showed a black actor who played a veterinarian cavorting withanimals at his clinic. But this guyalsohas a past in the military. Thepunchline came when the narrator announced the name of the show and itsfake promo line:"Black Vet: He's a veterananda veterinarian!"Hilarious!But it is also so close to a real show on real TV, so much about thedesperation of Hollywood types trying to squeeze 10 pounds of shit into afive-pound bag, that I found it to be brilliant. And I personally never forgotit. "Black Vet" is a joke, and yet you'd be surprised how often we creativefolks get caught piling on our great concepts. Like eating too muchmarzipan, a little goes a long way where ideas are concerned. And moredoes not always mean better.In my career, my favorite example of this came when I was workingwith my first writing partner, the quick-witted and entrepreneurial HowardBurkons. We were young and energetic writers with a lot of great ideas —and a lot of bad ones. But Howard and I achieved early success and evenearned our WGA cards while
working together, a huge step forward for us both. Because we wereworking in TV, we had a TV series idea, and a good one I thought. Set inthe 1950s, it followed the adventures of a blacklisted private eye. We calledthe showLefty.Get it? Lefty referred to his political affiliation, butsounded tough and very '5°s- Okay. But Howard and I killed the idea whenHoward insisted we also make our hero left-handed. And maybe, Howardsuggested, he could also be an ex-boxer, a left-handed ex-boxer! So he's aCommunistandan ex-boxerandhe's left-handed? I kept asking. AndHoward thought that was great. Well... to my mind it was "pick one." ToHoward it was a matter of milking the idea for all it was worth. And while Iusually trusted Howard's instinct on this stuff— Howard is brilliant when itcomes to conceptualizing and a much smarter marketer than I — I justdidn't get it.It was Too Much Marzipan.It was Black Vet.What we had succumbed to was getting stuck on a good idea. And it'seasy to do. You like that? Well, hell you'll like it even more if I just add acouple of more scoops of the same thing on top, right? Well, no. To thisday, whenever I talk with my pal Howard, he insists he was right aboutLefty.Me? It's a whistle I don't hear. Still! But it makes a great rule ofscreenwriting and creativity: Simple is better. One concept at a time,please. You cannot digest too much information or pile on more to make itbetter. If you do, you get confused. If you do... stop.

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