Moving Pictures
Jun 13, 2023, 05:57AM

Live Life Like a Sitcom

Tired of being so gosh-darn sad all the time? Spice things up with a catchphrase and a laugh track!

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Do you know what’s funny? Sitcoms! Few things can get a room of people going quite like the sound of ham-handed witticisms punctuated by the roaring thunder of a well-mixed laugh track.

Do you know what’s not nearly as funny? You, most of the time! Chances are, if you step back and examine your life, you’ll discover that it’s not nearly as interesting or Big Bang Theory-filled as a sitcom. People don’t hoot and holler when you enter a room or flush the commode, none of your supporting characters are Emmy-worthy, and babies and dogs don’t express their disapproval via voiceovers recorded by the likes of Awkwafina or some C-lister from Vanderpump Rules, whatever that is.

I believe that needs to change. You’ve spent way too many years hunched over a PlayStation controller in your rathole of an apartment, and it’s high time you put yourself out there. If you follow my simple rules for sitcom living, the chuckles will roll in like waves breaking on the seashore.

First, you’ll need a catchphrase. I know that “Hey daddy!” is still available, so why don’t you start with that one? It’s easy to use, has broad applicability to most memes and viral posts, and extremely online teenagers (i.e., people in their 30s and 40s who still think of themselves as cool teens looking to pop their cherries before the big school dance) will love repeating it to one another. Here’s a situation where it could really come in handy:

Your friend: Dude, what’s the score of the Timberwolves-Raptors game?

You: Hey daddy!

[Cue laugh track. The sides of various people in the background of this scene begin to split.]

Your friend: What? What the hell does that mean? I want to know the score of this very important game between two of the NBA’s most beloved teams!

You (perhaps popping a cold brew or lighting a spliff/blunt/vaping/inhaling some poppers/grinding up an Adderall tablet): Hey daddy!

[The laugh track continues to build in intensity. Several windows in the room explode.]

Your friend: Man, whatever. Karl-Anthony Towns could be going for his 59th consecutive stat sheet-padding double-double and …

You (triumphantly): HEY DADDY!

[The laugh track, now as loud as a herd of jet engines, brings down the entire building.]

With a catchphrase like that, you’re sure to take the world by perfect storm, much like George Clooney in that movie The Perfect Storm (it’s about a storm so big it’s absolutely perfect). However, as the Olsen twins and Jersey Shore leftovers learned to their chagrin, you can’t spend the rest of your life coasting on a sweet line—you’ll need an exciting, ever-changing series of love interests, too. I’ve written a number of past columns about the intricacies of tracking such people down, so if you require more detailed instructions, you can start by looking there. If you’re in a hurry, though, just cruise on over to Craigslist’s “Casual Encounters” section and post a “Looking for sitcom-style love interest; must be relatable person-next-door type who is GGG and wanting to chill with a smooth jock (6” cut), poppers a +++” advertisement.

Once your love interest is in place, you can begin focusing on witty banter and good romantic storylines. These two aspects of the sitcom go together like a horse and carriage and, if you handle them correctly, you’ll have hundreds of fresh opportunities to shoehorn “Hey daddy!” into your scripts. Check out this fine example of how to develop a story through hilarious dialogue:

Your significant other: It’s been two weeks. When are you going to put a ring on it, bro?

You:  Heeeeeeeeeeeey daddy!

[The laugh track rips through the ceiling, crushing your mini-fridge.]

Your significant other: Can’t you be serious for even a minute? I’m trying to …

You:  Heeeeeeeeeeeeeey …

Your significant other: No! Stop it! I can’t take this. All you do is sit in front of that PlayStation playing Persona 5 and saying, “Hey daddy!” And where is that laughter coming from?

You:  Hey daddy, hey daddy, hey daddy!

[At this point, although your significant other wants desperately to weep, the percussive force of the laugh track has driven their tears back into the ducts whence they came.]

Isn’t that relatable? Isn’t that something that’s been more or less ripped from the few headlines that haven’t been devoted to the death of the Iron Sheik or the fact that Shake Shack beat In-N-Out Burger in a nationwide taste test? No matter how you slice it, it’s something that viewers will understand and connect with, much like when a grandfatherly time-traveling robot from 3000 years in the future takes a young incel under its silicon wing and teaches them the Kenpō style of empty-handed striking so that kid can get their cherry popped in time for the big school dance.

As soon as you’ve internalized these simple rules for sitcom living, you’ll find yourself leading an existence that isn’t nearly as horrible as it once was. A steady diet of “Hey daddy!” will numb the pain that used to accompany caring about things, and the canned chuckles—sound engineer Charles “Charley” Douglass’ most lasting contribution to the well-being of humanity—will spread like a pall over the innumerable coffins in which we’re going to put the people who drop dead from laughter.


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