Playing Mad Libs with Looper and The Terminator reminded me about another astonishingly similar pair of projects. Years later, here are the Mad Libs for the television series Frasier and Joey.
A hugely popular NBC Thursday night Must See TV sitcom whose title is a single word that is a plural noun (Cheers; Friends) is about a group of people in major East Coast city (Boston; New York) who enjoy each other’s social company and especially like to spend time together at a popular neighborhood spot known for its beverages (Cheers; Central Perk).
One particular character (Frasier; Joey) is known especially for how his level of intelligence can be humorous for other characters and the show’s audience (hyper-intellectual; not so bright). He’s also known for a particular level of taste in food (gourmet; casual gluttony for common unhealthy foods), and what he does for a living requires him to have an understanding of people’s inner motivations (psychologist and professor of psychology; actor who must understand people’s objectives and personal psychology).
At times he had different levels of romantic involvement with at least one other main character (Diane, Lilith; Rachel, Monica in a flash forward, Phoebe in a brief kiss), but by the end of the series he doesn’t end up happily ever after with any of them or anyone else.
When the series comes to an end, this character gets a spinoff, named for his character’s first name and given its own prime Thursday Must See TV time slot. In the spinoff, he relocates to a major West Coast city (Seattle; Los Angeles) to pursue a career in which he hopes to increase his celebrity as a media performer in a way that has a strong connection to his work on the East Coast (host of a radio talk show in which he counsels callers; continuing to pursue acting with access to bigger projects).
One significant other character is the title character’s sibling who would be considered a roughly similar character type to the title character himself in many ways (Niles; Gina). The two are not only siblings but also good friends. That sibling will end up having an important relationship with someone who works for the main character (Niles falls for Daphne who Frasier pays to take care of his father; Gina gets a job working for Joey’s agent Bobbie).
Another main character is another family member (Martin; Michael), this one being one generation removed from the title character and his sibling (Martin is their father; Michael is Gina’s son), and whose personality and tastes stand in many ways, especially intellectually, in strong contrast to that of the title character and his sibling (Martin is an average guy in contrast to Frasier and Niles being upscale dandies; Michael is a genius nerd in contrast to Joey and Gina being fun-loving, promiscuous and having more average tastes).
The show became widely known as an extreme example of the level of popularity and critical acclaim a spinoff can achieve (Frasier one of the most popular and acclaimed spinoffs of all time; Joey one of the most notorious spinoff flops).
And now: Mad Libs with 30 Rock and Gandhi.