As the final credits on the fictional reality show Lonny roll, the doe-eyed, mild-mannered protagonist waxes poetic about his hopes for his bowling-alley date with Bethany. Then comes the teaser for the next episode: Lonny and Bethany's date is interrupted by a spaceship that bombs New York City! Lonny is enslaved by a desperate race of blue aliens and must work in the salt mines until the aliens are defeated by their nemesis, the Bardox.
Who wouldn't want to tune in for that? Well, you can't. But each quick episode of Next Time on Lonny dishes up an equally hilarious, riveting, genre-bending take on where Lonny's life will go next.
Ingenious concept, you say? So did Ben Stiller, whose company Red Hour produced the upcoming second season of the series as well as a TV pilot from Next Time on Lonny creators Alex Anfanger and Dan Schimpf.
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Newcomers Anfanger, who plays Lonny, and Schimpf, who directs, began writing together at NYU. They conceived of the show as a way to showcase their talents when their scripts alone weren't opening doors.
Next Time on Lonny never went viral, but the duo's skills quickly gained them representation. "As soon as we finished our season-two treatment, they [their managers at Brillstein Entertainment Partners] sent it along with our videos to Ben who, much to our dumbfounded shock, immediately said he wanted to produce with us," Anfanger and Schimpf said via email. "And thus cemented that as the craziest moment in our lives." Almost as crazy as that time Lonny became a gold-toothed, murdering, rap-star fugitive...
The Tangled Web We Watch is our column on what's worth watching online. You can find Next Time on Lonny at
NextTimeOnLonny.com. Season two premieres May 6 on Maker.tv. Read Stephanie Carrie's full interview with
Anfanger and Schimpf on her blog, tangledwebwewatch.com.