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"The Lost Scene"
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08-12-04, 08:39 AM (EST)
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"The Lost Scene"
This was on the Spike TV / Joe Schmo website and was written by one of the producers, so it's definitely legit. Some of you may have seen it, but for those who haven't, it's a great read...




The Lost Scene

The funniest thing on 'Joe Schmo 2' that did not make air was Derek playing pocket pool.

The second funniest thing was a cheated version of the scene in which Ingrid was told about the death of her grandfather.

Here's how the cheated version played once we cut it together.

Derek read what was written on the falcon's parchment and announced, 'This is less of a twist and more of just. really terrible news. It seems that one of your grandfathers has passed away.'

Then he took a deep pause, stared down the contestants, and said, 'Tim, it's not you.' And then, 'Amanda, it's not you.' Derek proceeded to go from cast member to cast member, announcing 'it's not you,' until only Ingrid and Gerald remained.

Then Derek said, 'That leaves Ingrid. and Gerald. There are two of you. and only one dead grandfather.' He paused, turned to camera, and announced, with all the gravity of a minister at a funeral, 'When we return.' And we tossed to a commercial.

After the commercial, Derek welcomed the audience back and finally announced that it was in fact Ingrid's grandfather who had passed. Upon hearing this, Gerald brightened up and said 'Yes!', only to realize his bad manners, frown consolingly, and pat Ingrid on the shoulder: 'I'm sorry for your loss.' At last, a distraught Ingrid marched inside.

The scene was ridiculously sick and just as ridiculously funny, a jab at how exploitative and trashy many reality shows have become. Only one problem. we faked the whole thing! Originally, we wanted the scene to be shot just as I just described it above. Suddenly, we snapped out of it and decided that it would have been too cruel to Tim and Amanda. So we junked the concept.

Then John Moore (our writer/producer who came up with the idea) decided that we could probably manufacture a fake version of the entire scene. We decided to do just that. First, we shot the scene that you watched in the episode. Then, we sneaked Gerald, Ingrid, and Derek alone onto the patio to shoot the more outrageous version. Finally, we pieced the faux footage together with the actual moment.

Voila! It suddenly appeared as if Tim and Amanda had anxiously awaited word as to whose grandfather had died. I've never seen a piece of television much funnier.

Our biggest misgiving about airing the fake version was that it would undermine our credibility as producers. It's ironic, considering that 'Joe Schmo 2' is a fake show, but we take pride in the fact that we don't fake stuff. What I mean by that is, we don't show the audience scenes that Joe and Jane were not privy to and pretend that they were. The whole point of the show is to put on a ridiculous stage-play in front of two real people, not off-stage somewhere. We felt queasy trying to trick our audience into thinking we'd tricked our marks. Am I explaining that alright?

We ultimately solved the problem by putting together an episode in which the false version played out first, followed immediately by an explanation by Derek Newcastle that we'd actually faked the entire thing. Derek finished this explanation by saying, 'Let's go back and watch what really happened.'

And we skipped back and showed the true scene.

Only one problem. The network decided that the entire business was too confusing and convoluted. We simply didn't have the time or luxury to walk the audience through the process (the way I just did). And so, at long last, we went back to the true scene. We sacrificed comedy for clarity.

Someone on the internet pointed out that on the pre-commercial tease before the grandfather scene, we actually showed the moment where Derek says, 'This is less of a twist and more of just really terrible news.' That line was a remnant from the faux scene. We forgot to remove the tease!

If there is ever a DVD for 'Joe Schmo 2,' I will make sure the faked version ends up in the bonus materials. Trust me, it will be worth the wait!

Once again, how ironic is it that the most deceitful producers in television ended up telling the truth?! ;)


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