Ben Seccombe’s “Family Bum” wins 2013 Comedy Central Short Pilot Competition

Comedy Central and the New York Television Festival announced today that Ben Seccombe‘s Family Bum had won the cable network’s second annual “Short Pilot Competition.”

Billed as “An alcoholic homeless man wreaks havoc on the world of a ’90s TGIF-style sitcom,” Family Bum stars Clint Carmichael, Aaron Glaser, Desiree Cooper as the happy-go-lucky family whose world is upended by Seccombe, the Los Angeles comedian/actor/creator/writer/director of the series, who plays the aforementioned alcoholic homeless man named Moonrock.

Seccombe told The Comic’s Comic today, explaining the origins and production of what you can see so far of Family Bum:

“My goal from the outset was to explore what it would feel like to punch Joey Gladstone in the face.  At the same time I wanted to pay homage to these shows I grew up with and not trash them.  It’s definitely not parody.  I guess you could call it a tribute with an aggressive twist.  I remember how exciting Friday night was when I was in grade school.  In Minnesota, TGIF was all we had to look forward to.  And I’ve found that a surprisingly large amount of people who grew up in the ’90s have a certain nostalgia for those shows — but can also look back and realize how ridiculous they were.  I had pitched it as a TV show at a couple of places when it was done and then starting looking for an internet home for it.  My friend Shawn Wines had a video called UPSTAIRS that went viral on Dailymotion, so he put me in touch with Romain Thomassin, the director of creative content there.  I really like what he’s doing over there right now — prioritizing quality over kittens in the videos he puts up and being open to things that take chances and are longer than 2 minutes.  He was nice enough to Spotlight the episodes.

A bunch of overqualified friends helped me shoot the three episodes over three days at a sound stage in the Valley on sets we built, and I was able to get some actors who I really thought were great for the roles.  It was important to me that everything look spot on and that we have the right cast before going forward.  We had a blast making them, it would be fun to have the chance to make more.”

Three eight-to-nine-minute episodes have uploaded online via Dailymotion this spring.

We open with Moonrock already somehow assimilated into the family’s home and life during the opening credits, but still, he needs a job.

Family Bum – Episode 1 “Moonrock’s Very First… by benseccombe

Family Bum – Episode 2 “Reading Is Fun” by benseccombe

Family Bum – Episode 3 “Misadventures in… by benseccombe

Family Bum was chosen from the 25 finalists that advanced to the network in April, which asked for a pilot presentation of four to 11 minutes and a shooting script. For winning, Seccombe receives $7,500 and a development deal with Comedy Central. All of the finalists, however, receive invites to this fall’s Ninth Annual New York Television Festival and the chance to enter in deals of their own with the network.

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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