Turning ‘H Street’ into a sitcom

Neal Augenstein, wtop.com

WASHINGTON — What’s so funny about life in the District?

A local producer/director is hoping the lives of five young people in an up-and- coming Northeast D.C. neighborhood will spawn enough laughs to turn ‘H Street’ from a pilot into a polar situation comedy.

When Joel N. Clark and his wife moved to the District four years ago, they thought of buying a home on H St. NE, “but we weren’t sure how safe it would be.”

Now, Clark regrets not moving to the neighborhood, located blocks from Gallaudet University, which is where the sitcom pilot is set.

“It’s really a great area. It’s vibrant, it’s very diverse. It’s becoming more and more hip, which is in some ways a shame, but it’s also pretty exciting,” says Clark.

Clark and two fellow filmmakers have produced a 22-minute pilot episode, which he is shopping to festivals, with hopes of attracting network attention.

While the show “isn’t about D.C.,” Clark says the show contains local references, including mentions of the trolley tracks embedded in H Street, even though trolleys don’t run there yet.

“At some point there’s going to be a trolley that will ship in the younger crowd, who right now have to trek quite a way to get there,” says Clark.

The pilot episode was shot “in five nights, all night long,” at the neighborhood Argonaut restaurant.

“Right now we’ve got one pilot episode, we’ll see where it goes from here,” says Clark.

Those interested in getting a sneak peek can do so at the Argonaut on Friday, Aug. 31, when the pilot will be screened at 9 p.m.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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