“Humor in Sheep’s Clothing” for Beacon Media Newspapers

Comedy writer Jeff Corriveau’s comic strip “Deflocked” gets syndicated.

May 2008

After writing for various shows like “Talk Soup” and “Saturday Night Live” over the years, veteran comedy writer Jeff Corriveau is dedicating himself to a new cast of characters including a sheep, a dog and an eight-year-old boy.

Corriveau’s comic strip “Deflocked”, which stars a cynical sheep named Mamet—think Archie Bunker-meets-Ricky Gervais in “The Office”-meets-Larry David—has been in various local papers but will be syndicated for 10-15 years in various U.S. and Canada papers starting May 5th.

“In my comic strip there are a lot of characters that were distilled down from a lot of people I worked with in Hollywood,” said Corriveau. “My inspiration for the strip is Conan O’ Brien and John Stewart but also the great Norman Lear sitcoms. I took that classic kind of relationship-type humor and I just updated it with a lot more depravity and debauchery and gave it sort of a ‘Seinfeld’-ian twist on the human condition.”

Ironically, a newspaper is what first inspired Corriveau to write, after coming out to Los Angeles for acting and doing some featured extra work for television and film.

“One day I opened up the Los Angeles Times and they have this section that basically took the best jokes from the previous night’s late night talk show hosts and put them in the paper as well as jokes from amateur comedians,” said Corriveau. “I looked at that and thought, ‘I think I could do better than that’, so I started writing some current events-type humor and sent it in to the LA Times and to my unbelievable surprise they actually printed it.”

The LA Times jokes eventually lead to writing for “The Tonight Show”, “SNL”, and E! shows like “Talk Soup” but in October 2005 Corriveau decided to write a comic strip.

Corriveau calls “Deflocked” a “modern newspaper sitcom”, but his childhood love of “Peanuts” also maintains influence.

“Charles Schulz got to write a personal note each and every day to millions of his fans where he safely revealed his most intimate passions, moralist victories and human failures and he basically taught us that it was okay to feel good about our own lives because of this Charlie Brown kid,” said Corriveau. “The one thing that makes ‘Deflocked’ different than all the other edgy strips out there—and this comes back to what I learned from Norman Lear—is you had a lot of funny jokes and relationship comedy between characters, but underneath it all there was a lot of pain and drama. I want the strip to have a soul.”

Indeed, between Mamet’s adventures trying on tight jeans that turn out to be maternity pants and eight-year-old boy Tucker dealing with abandonment issues, there is an undertone of reality in “Deflocked” that will continue in hilarious ways when Corriveau introduces future characters like Marshall, the first black sheep on the farm, and Mamet’s llama girlfriend Donna, which presents interspecies dating issues.

In addition, Corriveau created a “Deflocked” spin-off for PETA entitled “10% Wool”, which includes more characters, more risqué humor and promotes Corriveau’s love for animals. Check out “Deflocked” in Core Media’s papers, online at deflocked.com and other newspapers starting May 5th.


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