Hi. I’m Jon Hotchkiss and I make TV for a living. In fact, I created, wrote, produced and edited the three series available on this site, as well as all the various pilots, presentations and trailers you can also see.
But, first. I began my career as a writer onPolitically Incorrect with Bill Maher, where I spent four years. As a result, I get one question over and over about Bill: “Is he as handsome in person as he is on TV?” Although I tell them “Yes,” the real answer is: “Even more so.”
Since then, I’ve had jobs I loved: running Bullshit with Penn & Teller, creating/running the TLC series, Invasion of the Christmas Lights, creating/running the NBC series, My Dad is Better Than Your Dad and creating/running the series The Truth About Sex for Playboy TV. I’ve made family shows… and naked ones. The naked ones don’t pay as well. On the upside they’re more fun to make. Perhaps less so for my wife.
I’ve also had TV jobs I hated, like writing for Craig Kilborn. I left The Late Late Showafter two years when Craig discovered I referred to the show as a “soul sucking shit-box.” Also, I probably shouldn’t have set up the website: www.KilbornSoulsuckingshitbox.com/lazyhack.
Cut to: 2013
Why do you think so much TV feels so homogenized? So watered down? So “non-threatening?” So much like just plain, ordinary chocolate ice-cream?
Here, I’ll tell you.
When TV shows are dreamed up by their creator, they’re like Rocky Road Ice-cream. They have chocolate chunks in them, bite sized marshmallows and bits of nuts. However, before the show gets to your living room or smart device or beamed right into your head (that’s possible now, right?), the people at the TV network go through and meticulously pick out all the chocolate chunks, the marshmallows and the nuts because they don’t want to offend, upset or alienate viewers. They especially don’t want viewers to break a tooth. Or get diabetes. Or go into anaphylactic shock. Because toothless diabetics with swollen throats can’t go out and buy soap. Or breathe.
Think about a few of your favorite shows: Community, The Walking Dead. Their creators, Dan Harmon and Glen Mazarra wanted Rocky Road. So, the networks fired them. And this happens a lot.
Anyway, after working on, creating and running series for Showtime, NBC, Discovery, Playboy TV, Comedy Central… I wanted to make Rocky Road. So, I decided to make a TV series without the involvement of a TV network or advertisers. And I’d keep in the marshmallows, the chocolate chunks and the peanuts. And I’d add other stuff I like too, like caramel and Baby Back Ribs… This metaphor is going on too long, right? You get it.
The first series I created was This vs That. I paid for it, too. I produced it. I directed it. And I wrote it. Not entirely myself, of course. I had the generous help of many talented friends and colleagues — not the least of which are the show’s terrific hosts: Mark DeCarlo, Chris Tallman and Brad Sherwood. Without going into more detail, I love working with two of them.
I immediately went on to create two more series, Get Sexxx Tonight, hosted by the fantastic Kayden Kross, and Pizza With Writers, which I host.
I also distribute the show’s 100% independently. They only place you can find them is right here on this website.
Anywho. If there has been one theme in much of my TV work, it would have to be my zeal for needlepoint. Well, that and the search for honest answers, truth and facts. I’m interested in how we all navigate through the world, why we make the decisions we do and how things work. This vs That is about how the things and systems within arms reach work, like the fastest way to board an airplane or the best way to navigate through highway traffic. Get Sexxx Tonight is about well, sex, sexuality, gender differences, dating and relationships. And Pizza With Writers is about well, pizza and how creative people write. How they write comedy. How they write drama. How they tells stories. And why?
Only here’s the thing: because these shows are 100% independent they have NOT been homogenized. They have NOT been dumbed down. They have NOT been censored. No concessions were made to advertisers. No concessions were made to government regulations. And there are NO broadcast standards. Because these shows appear exclusively on this website, we’re able to show you things you can’t see anywhere else.
Here let me give you a few specific examples:
- In episode two of This vs That, we did an experiment about the safety of airline flotation devices. It’s something you’ve never seen before. We tested the life saving capabilities of the seat cushion and the life vest with the help of a United Airlines pilot, the head of thoracic surgery at Cedars Sinai and the nation’s leading expert on airline emergency procedures. Turns out, one of the flotation devices will really help save your life. The other will help you die faster. And why haven’t you seen this on TV? Because the airlines would never allow the networks to air such information — That’s what all their advertising money buys them.
- We also tested the efficiency and gas mileage of BOTH high mileage combustion engine cars and hybrids. Again, an experiment you won’t see anywhere else. Again, Toyota’s advertising money buys them protection from this type of investigation.
- Get Sexxx Tonight has been called “The Daily Show meets Masters of Sex.” It’s an entire show you can’t see anywhere else, period thanks to FCC and government regulation of traditional TV. The language on Get Sexxx Tonight is frank and clinical. The images are for adults. The discussions are uncensored. We’re on the correct side of issues like abstinence education, revenge porn, and harassment of women. They’re conversations and comedy you can’t hear or see anywhere else.
- Pizza With Writers is a deep dive into the creation of popular culture with the people who literally sweat and bleed to make it. I’m talking about the writers and creators of TV’s best and funniest shows, including: The Muppet Show, The Daily Show, Family Guy, The Simpsons, SNL, Howard Stern, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Tosh.0, Arrow, Penn & Teller: Bullshit, Politically Incorrect and Real Time, Conan, Anger Management, Malcolm In the Middle, and the Comedy Central Roasts. As host, I bring an insider’s knowledge to the writing process. Plus, the entire series is filmed in my back yard, around my wood fired brick pizza oven.
I hope you’ll support this unique adventure because if this proves successful, more writers and creators will follow suit. TV can and will be better. Bolder. It will come from creative people with singular visions who don’t have a network or advertiser lording over their work with chopsticks and a melon baller. Yup. A melon baller and chopsticks. That’s what TV networks use to destroy the work of creative people.
Jon Hotchkiss is the executive producer and creator of This vs That, Get Sexxx Tonight and Pizza With Writers. He invites you to like Adorable Puppies on Twitter. Which is the 3rd time he’s asked. And a little much.