where the writers are

I've written several jillion book proposal for several jillion non-fiction projects, but T.J. & Dave's Road To Pottawattamie: An Improvised Novel is probably the one I'm most proud of. It's a collaboration with Chicago improvisational comics T.J. Jagodowski and David Pasquesi, and it's cutting edge, hyper-original, and, above all, fucking hilarious.

David is the co-star of the Spike-TV sitcom "Factory," and will have a major role in "Angels & Demons," the prequel to "The DaVinci Code," which, like "DaVinci," will star Tom Hanks. And you might recognize T.J. from his appearances in the Will Ferrell flick "Stranger than Fiction," and as the clueless dude in the Sonic commercials.

So if you're a part of the magical publishing industry, the "Road To Pottawattamie" proposal is available for your viewing (and bidding-on) pleasure. If you're interested, please write TJandDaveBook@cs.com. Below is the overview. Enjoy...

Curb Your Enthusiasm is arguably the most groundbreaking television comedy of the 21st Century, and while there’s no doubt that the content is brilliant, what makes Curb resonate is its deceptively simple three-step process: Creator/star Larry David and his crew map out characterizations, then they nail down the plot points, then they turn on the cameras. That’s it. There’s no script, no written dialogue. Nobody knows what anybody else is going to say until they get on the set. This lends to a spontaneity that makes the show feel more honest and intimate than any other sitcom in TV history. The fact that the Larry and his co-stars are hyper-intelligent and hilarious sure doesn’t hurt.

So what if somebody applied this process to a novel? What if you tracked down one of improv comedy’s most popular, critically revered teams, gave them an intriguing arc to work with, and let them wail? Well, you’d end up with T.J. & Dave’s Road to Pottawattamie: An Improvised Novel, one of the funniest, most arresting pieces of humorous fiction to hit the market since A Confederacy of Dunces. Acknowledged to be two of the finest improvisational comic actors working today, T.J. Jagododwki and David Pasquesi – who, separately have been seen on stage and/or screen with the aforementioned Larry David, as well as Will Ferrell, Stephen Colbert, and Chris Farley among others – are going to deliver a road story worth of Crosby and Hope…or, more aptly, Belushi and Akyroyd.

The tale is a simple one: Fed up with their home base of Chicago, the boys’ alter egos T.J. Jäeger and Dave Piacentini take to the road in search of not success, but rather improvisational fulfillment – in other words, they’re shooting for the middle. Along the way, they blow off gigs that would turn them into superstars, they perform a series of shows on a slave ship, they get seduced by the evil all-girl improvisation group called Skit for Tat, they appear in a commercial with Tony a Tiger (not Tony the Tiger, but Tony a Tiger), they rack up monster debts in Vegas, and they help a flamethrower-wielding relative escape from the law.

But their ultimate goal is to track down Dave’s muse, the legendary improv guru Paul Brown. They learn that Brown, who literally wrote the book on improv comedy (Making Shit Up: Improvisational Comedy in 12 Easy Lessons), is settled in Pottawattamie County, Iowa, and has created an improv Nirvana. But once they get to the Hawkeye State, they realize that happiness isn’t found in Nirvana, but rather in a coffee shop that doesn’t allow cell phones or laptops, and serves only espresso, Jamieson, and Twizzlers Cherry Twists.

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Very fun!

I'm an improv junkie myself -- took classes with the Groundlings for years (eventually flunked out). Wish I'd have thought to apply it to writing!

 Anyway, you've inspired me to post an excerpt from my first proposal/query that sold. It's pretty funny, too. Here comes the post ...