Screenwriting : Some Input Please by Jessie Bernard

Jessie Bernard

Some Input Please

What are some great careers for a character to have in a TV Sitcom?

Christopher Binder


Craig D Griffiths

Uncaring = funeral director Jaded = councillor Or unemployed mathematician that settle for anything else than $200k a year and can tell you statistically why.

Maroun Rached

Stand up comedian, like Seinfeld and Louie

Shawn Speake

My man :) .... here's some input to ponder: who's the most interesting person you know?

Trace Martlew Taylor


Bill Costantini

Rob Petrie probably had the coolest job on a TV sitcom - he was the head writer of a comedy-variety show, and he got to work with Buddy, Sally, Mel and Alan Brady. As an added bonus, he was married to Laura. That was some great life.

Christopher Joseph

Failing business...anything Former success story - trying to come back - Any job

Jorge J Prieto

Junk man? I love , Sanford and Son. Now days, Manny.

Jody Ellis

Professional cat walker.

Bill Costantini

Jorge - Sanford and Son was adapted from Steptoe and Son, which was an English sitcom. I don't know if you ever listened to any of Redd Foxx's old comedy albums, but man...he made guys like Eddie Murphy and Andrew Dice Clay sound like choir boys. He popped into a Chicago comedy club one night back in the 80's and did an impromptu 15 minutes or so....and absolutely killed everyone. He was and always will be The King of Blue. RIP, Redd Foxx.

Joe Esposito

You might as well jump on the software engineer/developer train while it's still somewhat fresh. But you gotta learn the craft, the jargon (if you don't already know).

Jeff Lyons

Failed TV Comedy Writer ... that's never been done before ... :)

William Martell

Their career with be connected to who they are as a character and what you are exploring. When you meet someone for the first time, one of the very first questions is: "What do you do for a living?" - our jobs are one of the important elements that define us. So only you know the answer to this because only you know your character and what this sitcom will be about.

Anne Pariseau

librarian, artist of some kind, realtor, property manager, professor of something obscure, homeschooler, etsy crafter, (brainstorming randomly here from Shawn's comment...). I also find people are most interesting by their hobbies. I might meet someone who seems practical and straight-laced at first and then learn that they do stunt kite-flying, or build tiny boats or doll houses, play live dnd, welding or carpentry, part of a motorcycle gang, big band singer, musical theater work, frisbee golfer, juicing and health, refurbish furniture, indian pole gymnastics, etc.

Jorge J Prieto

Bill: Thanks for that little info / back-story on Red Fox. William: You gave the poster, the best answer, in my humble opinion.

Matt Hurd

William gave a great answer! In terms of building your story in a sitcom, it seems to me that one question to ask is: will this job be driving the franchise of the series, or not? If it's driving the franchise, it needs to be something that allows for stories to be told in it's context - think Will's job at the law firm in Will and Grace, or the guys' gigs as researchers in The Big Bang Theory. If not, then I suppose it matters more as a punchline than anything else (think Chandler's job as a numbers-cruncher in the early seasons of Friends, for example).

Jorge J Prieto

Or how about the show about nothing? Seinfeld? Two Broke Girls is another example.

Danny Manus

what Matt said.

Anne Pariseau

Sorry, I thought you were looking to bat around fun brainstorming ideas. I have so many, I don't worry about throwing them out there and helping a fellow writer. Would love to have those kinds of collaborative convos. I didn't realize you might be looking for conceptualized writing tips. Either way, hope it's helping you develop fun ideas!

Aray Brown

Veterinarian or Mail Room Clerk

Aray Brown


Steven Harris Anzelowitz

Telemarketer at a major performing arts institution. Works at night phoning to raise money but is supporting himself till his big break as a screenwriter. Then one night while phoning a wealthy Park Avenue Donor to Carnegie Hall, who also happens to be a Hollywood producer, he gets his big break. Also the show could be built around other employees that do the telemarketing gig to support their art. You could have an ensemble cast. For Example: An Actor, Singer, Musician, Dancer, Ballerina, Comedian. The show could be called "Carnegie Call" Get it! Play on the words Carnegie Hall. Now that I think about it It could also work as a comedy feature. Each of the ensemble cast getting their big breaks. This is typical of the life of a New York Performing artist. In the old days the 'Day Gig' was driving a cab or waiting tables. But this could be a very different spin. I like it. After all I am a screenwriter or trying to be one because I only have (2) copyrighted scripts so far. And even though I am the 3rd generation of a New York Show Business family of Actors, Musicians, Composers and Comedians. I have still not made any $$ at this yet. But I have only been at it since August,2014. But I do write everyday. Getting back to your original query, I think "Carnegie Call" could be a sit com if you get someone to write the funny. Someone who has worked there since 1998 and has an intimate knowledge of the day to day operations of the Carnegie Hall telefundraising call center. Wait a minute that's me. Maybe I should write this and cast you. Oh well, Good luck

Mike "dub-L" Delaney

A ex gang banger turned Criminal defense lawyer, funny new defendent cameos every episode.

Erik Grossman

I never like in some sitcoms/comedy half hours that they show people who have jobs where they don't actually have to do anything. I mean, I get work is boring so why show it on-screen, but it just...irks me. Give them a mundane job, show it as mundane. Perfect example would be Chandler from FRIENDS. Super boring job in a boring environment, but the character makes the job fun to watch because he's the one doing it.

Jessie Bernard

@Anne Pariseau I was just looking to bat around some ideas ,but you know there always has to be someone who can't resist veering from the question and giving some sort of "faux pro tip". You answered my question perfectly and a number of other people, too. Thank you all!

Benjamin Pearce

Defense Lawyer.

Trace Martlew Taylor

The eight characters of comedy by Scott Sedita is a must read for comedy, used by many in the industry as a basic guide! AN ABSOLUTE MUST. On Amazon

Pamela Bolinder

Erik: LOL

Kevin Carothers

The obvious: Scriptwriter

Trace Martlew Taylor

Read Scott Sedita’s 8 Characters of Comedy: a staple for comedy writers & actors for people in the industry! Truly

Michael Wearing

I’m not sure I really understand the question. Characters in sitcoms can of course have any careers you want. I can think of great sitcoms with characters working in admin advertising, as market traders, vicars, soldiers, comedians, lorry driver, policeman, car salesman, indeed just about any career that’s out there.

B.V Jottsonne

Brooklyn hipster with trust fund

Phillip "Le Raconteur" Hardy

A homeless lawyer.

Wal Friman

Double life living priest of multiple religions.

Christiane Lange

B.V Jottsonne Like it! I particularly like those trust fund babies, who have just enough from the trust that they don't have to work, but not enough to be rich.

Barry John Terblanche

Depends on the sitcom? Sex in the City wouldn't have a cattle ranger.

Marty Howe

Someone who cleans toilets.

Barry John Terblanche

You not talking shit are you? (Lol)

Marty Howe

lol no, just trying to be original :P Its quite unorthodox, for a movie characters profession.

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