Why it’s a big deal
You’re probably wondering why this is important at all. More importantly, there’s a good chance that you’re wondering what this even is. Let me explain. The Show is a show that follows the lives of a group of students living in the dorms at Michigan State University and all of the wacky hijinks they get up to. It is shot in the style of a TV sitcom (minus the laugh track) and is 100% student produced all the way from the writing up to the editing and release of the final product.
I think that alone makes it a pretty big deal, but it gets better. The Show is about to produce their 100th episode ever made and that’s no small feat. The Show produces two episodes a semester and has been doing so since 1988! This makes The Show the longest running college sitcom ever!
Watch this video from a few years ago for a quick look at how The Show has progressed throughout the years.
How it all began
The Show, as I said before, began in 1988 when it was created by Scott Grayson and Greg Harrison. It was originally planned to be a comedy talk show but instead it evolved into an in-studio sitcom. The Show used to air on local TV stations, but now exists solely on YouTube. Luckily the very first episode has been preserved and can be watched on YouTube. Here it is below if you are curious about what it looked like 28 years ago.
After The Show Harrsion went on to work in Hollywood and even directed a movie starring Courtney Cox. Some of the other early members of The Show have also gone on to do work as writers and actors. Steve Van Wormer played one of the original characters and since graduating has done many video game and movie trailer voice overs as well as appearing in some films including Jingle All the Way and the Disney Channel original Johnny Tsunami. Jeff Witzke starred in and helped write a number of the first episodes of The Show has acted in a wide range of different tv shows and movies such as Juno, Up in the Air, Scrubs, and The Big Bang Theory. If you are familiar with family guy you might remember him from this clip as the “das poop” guy.
Recap of recent events (episodes 98 and 99)
You can watch the all of the more recent episodes up until episode 97 on The Show’s YouTube channel. Episodes 98 and 99 however are still being edited and won’t be up until have the live taping of the 100th episode in late April. In case you are wondering about the story line leading up to episode 100, I will say first say that it’s not that crucial to know if you want to attend the live taping, but if you want to know anyway keep reading for brief summaries. If you’d rather not read any so-called “spoilers” for these two episodes skip ahead to the next section.
Episode 98 involved a missing person, their new friend Clare, who the blind RA, Simon, was determined to find. Simon enlists the help of Ellen who is an intern at the FBI to help him solve this case. From there the episode takes an interesting turn as it becomes very film noir-esque with loads of saxophone. Meanwhile, Brad and Brooke find themselves ditched by the others when they went to attend a floor event at the Union. They end up hanging out all night. Brooke may be starting to fall for Brad, but Brad, as usual, is quite oblivious. In the end everyone arrives on the scene of Claire’s empty room where discover a DVD that reveals she was on an embarrassingly bad reality cooking show called “Cooking with a Tablespoon of Drama”. Clare walks in as they are watching this and explains that she had simply moved to a different dorm.
Episode 99, due to time constraints and other production issues, turned from being a weird episode into being a really weird episode. Luckily I was the one who wrote the episode and I’m quite happy with really weird so I’m excited to see how it turns out. The basic premise of the episode is that Simon, Brad, and Ellen go to visit Clare in her new dorm, however a police alert issues a lock down trapping them all in her dorm room except for Simon who was out in the hallway at the time. The reason for the lock down is that a potentially dangerous animal is loose in the building. While they are trapped in the room Clare pressures Ellen and Brad to reveal their deepest secrets to her since they found out about her reality tv show secret. While this goes on Simon runs amok hunting down whatever animal is in the dorm.
The reason I said this episode was really weird has to do with the fact that many of the actors weren’t available due to the tight deadline and other acting commitments they had, so to come up with a creative solution we made the majority of the episode take place in Simon’s dream. We re-cast everyone else in the episode because, after all, Simon is blind so he doesn’t actually know what any of his friends really looks like. His dream will be the reveal to the audience of how he actually pictures them in his head. In addition to this madness, there is one final reveal of a secret Simon has been keeping for a while, which is that he may have feelings for Brad.
What to look forward to
The 100th episode will certainly feature some nods to the past years of The Show to pay homage to the long line of people who have been a part of it. There may even being some cameos from some of the past members and alumni mentioned in this post, so keep your eyes open for that! In addition to these things the 100th episode will also be filmed in front of a live studio audience as is tradition for the last episode of each year.
Edit on 4/25/16:
Steve Van Wormer just posted this in The Show Facebook group.
How to get involved
Come to the live taping! That’s right, you can be a part of the studio audience and add to the excitement of the episode with your laughter, clapping, hooting, and hollering (don’t worry there will be cue cards). Just think, you may never get another chance in your life to be in the studio audience for a sitcom. The live taping will take place on Saturday, April 30th in studio E of the Comm Arts building and will have two showings, one at 2pm and one at 4pm.
Here is the Facebook event for the live taping.
Also, I have several The Show stickers shown below that are pretty cool, so if you’d like to have one let me know and I can hook you up (while supplies last).