Busted Pilots

Here are a couple of sitcom pilots from the ’90s.  The first, Pistol Pete, comes from John Swartzwelder.  He wrote more episodes of The Simpsons than anyone else, almost three seasons’ worth, including many of the absolute classics (“Itchy and Scratchy Land,” “The Cartridge Family,” “Rosebud”).  In 1996 he wrote this western pilot.  It’s kind of a misfire, truth be told, but funny in places and full of Swartzwelder comedic hallmarks.  He writes satiric novels nowadays, which you can check out here.

The next pilot is from 1991 and comes from Conan O’Brien and Robert Smigel.  This one’s a lot funnier, Lookwell, played to perfection by Adam West.  I would’ve loved to see this go to series.  The concept — a faded celebrity who thinks he can solve real crimes because he once portrayed a detective on TV — is a brilliant one that can still work today.  Somebody please take this idea and turn it into a movie about a bumbling Columbo.

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