Comedy Impact Report 2011: Foreign Funnymen
With a record-breaking $75 million at the U.K. box office, “The Inbetweeners Movie” has rocketed its co-creators Iain Morris and Damon Beesley into the comedy stratosphere. The original British TV series was a cult hit on Channel 4’s digital service E4 and a DVD bestseller, but no one dreamed this high school sitcom about the humiliations of four teenage boys would translate so spectacularly to the bigscreen. Morris (who recently moved to L.A. after marrying American singer-songwriter Marchelle Bradanini) and Beesley are now shepherding a 12-episode U.S. remake of the TV series for MTV. Both have signed with CAA.
“The Inbetweeners” was their first major commission as writers, having previously worked extensively as producers with the cream of Brit comedy talent, such as Ricky Gervais. Gervais paid them back by naming a pair of pretentious BBC executives after them in “Extras.” The duo say they knew “Inbetweeners” was a hit when a Google search of their names started ranking their real selves above their fictional avatars. “Inbetweeners” producer Chris Young says the quality of the movie owes their humility, when it would have been easy for them to be arrogant about the success of the TV series: “They hadn’t any experience of writing a film script, and they were always prepared to listen to advice,” Young says. “I don’t think I know two more self-critical writers. They will rewrite and rewrite forever. They sweat blood, and they demand the same of others.”