A couple months after we raved about the web series Good Morning World, it disappeared. Go to http://www.goodmorningworld.com and all you get is a “coming soon” landing page. But no, it’s not because the improvised morning show spoof died, or ran out of money, or went through a co-host divorce. It’s because it got a TV deal. But the TV deal was in Canada, and mandated geographic restrictions on the show. So really, while it seemed dead to those of us outside the Great White North, it was going strong, with some 26 half-hour television episodes and another 135 short-form webisodes released over the last year.
It turns out we covered Good Morning World on May 8, 2007, so to mark the anniversary we checked in with co-creator and co-host Peter Oldring, a.k.a. Andy Peppers. Oldring, who was in Los Angeles completing a callback for MADtv, told us he and his partner Pat Kelly sold the Canadian rights to the show to the Canadian Comedy Network last year, and that the last episode of the first season will soon air. Oldring and Kelly are now actively trying to find someone else to buy the international rights to the same content, as well as to future episodes.
Here’s how we described the show last year:
Each show starts with a warm-up bit in which the two flamboyant, awkwardly enthusiastic and overly tanned hosts ask “What’s in those mugs?!” Then Andy Peppers (played by Oldring) and Alasdair Coulter (played by Pat Kelly) peer inside the ever-present morning show props and tell us they’re looking forward to drinking anything from muscle relaxers to egg beaters or a banana daiquiri.
Oldring also hosts a weekly “Peppers Pumpers” exercise tip, clad in a ski suit and cowboy boots, which GigaOM writer and GMW devotee Katie F jokingly claims are highly effective; “My bodice feels stronger already,” she told NewTeeVee, to use a Peppers turn of phrase.
While Oldring said repeatedly that he appreciated the artistic freedom and the opportunity to interact with your audience that come with creating a show online, he’s clearly not very web-savvy. The geographic restrictions on GMW’s webisodes — you can’t even access the archives any more, below is a bootleg version from YouTube — seem especially ill-advised. “Part of it that kind of stunk was because it was such a mom-and-pop organization, we didn’t do the transition very well, we should have had our site link over, or had some information,” he said.
Oldring joked that there are too few people in Canada to measure the show’s TV viewership, but he said, “I wouldn’t say it’s the most accessible to a broader audience, but those that get on board in the joke of it have responded in a great way.”
GMW cost $10,000 out-of-pocket for the original set, and eventually got some monetary and production assistance from a shop called Brown Entertainment. The Canadian television deal didn’t exactly bring in the big bucks; those 150-plus episodes had a budget of $230,000, according to Oldring.
The show has a lot going for it — it’s niche, it’s good, it’s cheap, it already exists — so it’d be a shame if someone doesn’t step in and expose it to a larger audience.