To Be Frank

To Be Frank is not only a parody on our present day “around the clock” cable news like CNN and FOX but shows like Meet the Press or State of Nation that have begun to insidiously permeate our lives with the political scene they cover while also touching on our celebrity culture.

It takes place in a newsroom setting much in the format of C-Span or Anderson Cooper 360 as well as on any location our story takes us. However, unlike other political satires like The Daily Show, John Oliver, and Samantha Bee which comments on show clips of the subjects they are satirizing, To Be Frank does that as well but takes it one step further by actually interviewing the political, sports, and celebrity figures they are lampooning.

And how do we do that – with life size animatronic caricature type puppets depicting those politicians and celebrities in the public spotlight.

Each week, our intrepid co-anchors (we have two – think Fred Willard – he’s Frank) and someone like a Jason Ritter or a John Michael Higgins or a comedian from the WME family that will cover the Story of the Week; in other words, some event that is dominating the news and our lives, as they interview any or all those principal characters involved in the story; whether Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Sports figure or Celebrity of the moment, etc.

Naturally the humor in the show is in the writing but also in the absurd comedy of a life size puppet that can say and do things that the real person probably wouldn’t dare to say or do. The other thing we can do that no other show can is interview inanimate objects like the Obama dogs Beau and Sunny (both puppets) who could tell us about the impending day they have to move out of the White House.

A word about Frank – he is a combination of Fred Willard’s character on Best in Show and Stan Chambers, who was a treasured reporter on KTLA who as he got older began to lose it and who often lost track of what he was saying or who he was interviewing but was so loved by the public that no one dared fire him. Here are some caricature puppet samples that might be in segments of To Be Frank. From politics to sports, from stardom to celebrity.

Greg V. Fera
E Jeffrey Smith