A Tale of Two TV Pilots
Funny People Descend on Kansas City
Kansas City was the location for two comedy television pilots – Comedy Central’s Travel Fun Show with Al Madrigal and Jak Knight (working title) and School of Humans/Tru TV’s Eugene Meets the Mayor starring Eugene Mirman and Wyatt Cenac. Eugene Mirman played the recurring character ‘Eugene’ on the acclaimed HBO show Flight of the Concords and is the voice of Gene in the award-winning animated series Bob’s Burgers. Wyatt Cenac was a regular correspondent and writer on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Al Madrigal was also a regular correspondent on The Daily Show, is the co-founder of All Things Comedy podcast network and was a co-star on NBC’s series About A Boy. Jack Knight is a young stand-up comic and actor.
Why is Kansas City the spot for these two pilots who are hoping to be given life as serial TV shows?
Being a friendly, fun, cool city in the middle of America had something to do with it, not to mention our super hip Mayor Sly James.
Eugene Meets the Mayor filmed from about August 13-17. They “helped” at Kansas City’s water treatment plant, took a tour of an open house in Hyde Park and finally a 5am morning jog with Mayor Sly James along the river in Berkeley Riverfront Park. They invited an audience to participate in a live taping of a stand-up comedy scene at The Record Bar in
Westport which had us all genuinely laughing at the same jokes over and over! The production stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel on the Plaza and they hired some of our awesome Kansas City professional crew as grips, gaffers and PAs.
Travel Fun Show filmed the week of August 17. Al and Jak took a Kansas City Fountains tour with KC’s version of Leslie Knope, Parks and Rec Marketing and Media contact, Heidi Downer. They crashed the Charlie Parker City-wide Jazz Festival. The Phoenix Jazz Club and Lonnie McFadden gave the stage to Jak Knight for a little impromptu stand up routine. The band gave Jak’s jokes a proper sound bed. The production stayed at Hotel Philips and we learned their female director of photography is a Kansas-city homegrown.