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Elevator Pitch For Slow Elevator: You might remember that a while ago the CollabNet engineers went on a retreat. As inevitably happens at corporate retreats, we engaged in team-building activities. One of the activities was this one; we were divided into teams and our group had to come up with a pitch for a television show destined to become a cult classic. I've been holding on to my page of notes, meaning to mention my idea in a NYCB entry, and since I'm cleaning my room now's as good a time as any.

We audition for people with skills associated with how-to shows: cooking, home improvement, gardening, etc. Our ideal candidate is someone who thinks he or she is very good, but who by any objective measure is awful. We film a "pilot" with each candidate, which is broadcast as an episode of the actual show. For instance, we'd have a cooking show set where people would do their cooking show pilots. We'd have everything they might need, but they'd be done in by their lack of skills and/or imagination.

The show is awful, both in a cruel way and in a campy way. The audience watches both to vicariously enjoy the victim's incompetence and to secretly hope that they'll actually do well and put one over on us. However, we use deceptive editing to eliminate any aspect of that.

The other idea from our group I liked was Jason Brittain's "The Great Weiner Dog In The Sky Show", in which a troupe of trained dachshunds perform death-defying high-wire and trampoline acts.

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