When I returned last year from nine months in South America with my family, one thing was clear: I needed a job. Cue “Alternatino,” a Comedy Central project that had already piloted and been greenlit for ten episodes. In some ways, it was a dream situation: I stepped into a show that was already defined, already (by virtue of the amazing pilot) successful. I worked with the star/creator Arturo Castro and the director Nick Jasenovec to hire some of my favorite (available) writers and we were off and running.
I’ve worked with Michael Moore on many projects — why single out this small, unassuming piece? I guess because having the inspiration to turn a bunch of interview footage nobody knew what to do with into a nature mockumentary was one of those exciting moments that makes being a writer worthwhile. And I enjoyed channeling my inner “Masterpiece Theater” host for the voice-over. Also, the piece is even more relevant now than it was two decades ago.
For years I was trying to write a comedy that explored the true motivations behind political power (see the play “Death in a Landslide” in Writing for Pages for another example). This is the VH1 version of that: The story of how the PMRC tried to censor music in the mid-80’s. Starring Griffin Dunne as Frank Zappa, Dee Snider as himself, and Jason Priestly as a lobbyist (for more on Jason, see the cover story I wrote on Beverly Hills 90210 in Writing for Pages).