David Faustino, known the world over as ‘Bud Bundy’ from the ‘90s TV Show “Married… With Childen,” or, as his alter ego, ‘Grand Master B,’ recently began starring in a Web serial he and three friends created, via Sony’s new digital media arm, Crackle.
“Star-ving,” which stars Faustino along with co-creator Corin Nemec, best known for his work on early ‘90s sitcom “Parker Lewis Can’t Lose,” chronicles the life of the two down-and-out actors trying to eek by in a Hollywood that has forgotten about them.
Faustino and his three production partners came up with the idea after growing tired of the development process in Hollywood. “We had been pushing several projects around town for a couple of years — you know, hitting some dead ends and getting some things done and everything takes forever,” Faustino said. “And so we were just at kind of a low point and really frustrated. My partner Tom Bringewatt went home and kind of wrote a treatment for ‘Star-ving,’ which was taking my life and Corin’s life and just really exaggerating it.”
After watching the series credits, in which David bemoans his lack of height, the fact his wife left him for his neighbor (Coolio!) and the fact that his mother is a midget, one can’t help but wonder how exaggerated it actually is. As far as residuals go, the opening seems dead on.
“We got really screwed over,” Faustino explained. “I mean, the show ‘Married With… Children’ was on for 11 years, and we all made really good money while we were doing it. We made great weekly pay checks, but residuals — we all got screwed over because Fox at the time was not a network, it was a cable network, and so it was under a cable contract. So the show ‘Married With… Children’ has made over a billion dollars, and we didn’t really get a piece of that. So that’s sort of the backbone of this story. That part is true.”
As far as what is not true, the claims that music star Coolio ran away with Faustino’s fictional ex-wife (who, in fact, is played by his real ex-wife) are all hyperbole.
“Coolio is not screwing my ex-wife, but I’m sure she’s screwing somebody. Coolio is sneaky though; he could’ve and I don’t know about it.”
In the current economic climate, it seems like more and more people are turning to the Internet as a means of distributing content to a niche audience, which they would not find with more traditional broadcast methods. Crackle, which Sony started as a way to break into the burgeoning online media space, has made quite a splash over the past year with hits like ‘My Long Distance Relationship,’ ‘Roadents,’ and ‘Anytime with Bob Kushell.’
“People really, really love it. And then there’s, of course, the people who are offended, but that’s to be expected. I mean, that’s the kind of show we’re doing,” Faustino said. “I think the people who don’t like it, hate it, and the people who love it just absolutely love it.”
The risqué show, which opens nearly every week with David attempting to off himself in some hilarious way, was originally pitched as a TV series. Instead, Crackle posted the serial online, allowing David and Corin more freedom than they would have ever found with a traditional network.
“We can do a lot. I mean we still have to approve everything through Sony and Crackle of course, but they’re very open.”
“Star-ving” has included a variety of guest appearances from all sorts of people, including Gilbert Gottfried, Ron Jeremy, and the original cast of “Married With… Children,” a group of friends David jokes he “begged” to get involved.
“It’s a testament to the material because they laughed at what they read. I sent them the scripts. And obviously they want to help me out — we’ve remained pretty close throughout the years — but you know they’re not going to do something that’s not funny, that’s just stupid, but they all really laughed. They thought, ‘Oh my god, this is really funny’. But it was still a challenge to get them all together in one place on one day for not a lot of money, so that was the hard part: scheduling. But it all worked out, and it was great.”
In fact, it’s rumored that one diva’s make-up regimen ransacked the show’s budget – the fur dye for “Married… With Childen” dog, Buck!
“That’s where it all went, into the dye for Buck,” David said, in reference to the replacement Buck (the original has since died).
“Star-ving” is available now on www.crackle.com.
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