Introducing … the intern. Readers probably won’t be aware of this, but one of Crikey’s best-kept secrets is subeditor Dan Wood. He writes ripper headlines, like this, this and this, but his role, like that of most subeditors, is hidden behind the scenes.
But Wood is stepping into the spotlight, acting as chief subeditor in a five-part comedic web series he and Lewis Attey co-created, the first of which has been released today. Every day, Damian (Wood) and Ryan (played by comedian Jay Morrissey), subeditors at The Moribund Times, brainstorm the next day’s front-page headline. They’re no good at it, and are every day thoroughly shown up by Liz (Kathleen Mary Lee), a journalism student interning at the paper who can pun simply and cleanly on the day’s news story. They don’t take her suggestions — the punchline of each episode is the awful headline Damian and Ryan end up going with instead.
“I’m sure you’ll be able to tell once you start watching it — considering how ludicrous the front-page stories are — but we actually came up with the puns first and then reverse-engineered each episode to make the stories and other jokes fit the ultimate punchline at the end of every episode,” Wood said.
“Even cheating by reverse-engineering it like that was tricky sometimes,” Attey added. “There were plenty of puns we got excited about and later realised were completely stupid and unworkable. Barackade O’Llama and Lamb Shank Exemption were probably the worst.”
Wood describes the series as a “meta-joke” on the “hermetic boys’-club culture you get in a lot of old print media”. Mind you, he and Attey are working on series two, set in an online political news outlet. They swear it’s not based on Crikey. But we are a little nervous … — Myriam Robin