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My pitch to Hollywood
‘Retail Baby’
Comedy/Format: TV sitcom written by Ray Shasho
A true story based on my book Check the Gs

‘Retail Baby’ GENRE: Comedy/Format: TV sitcom written by Ray Shasho

MULTI-CAM Pilot TV Miniseries

 

LOGLINE:

I tell the story of when life truly began for me growing up in a crazy world of secret lingo and bullying sales tactics at my father's retail store on the corner of Thirteenth and F Street in Washington, DC. a few blocks from the White House. Based on my book Check the Gs, Retail Baby is the true story of how this bizarre family business thrived boldly and politically incorrect in the Nation’s Capital without working for the Government.

COMPS:

Employee humorous bantering like ‘Just Shoot Me!’ American sitcom television series that aired on NBC from March 4, 1997, to November 26, 2003, with a total of 145 half-hour episodes spanning seven seasons.

Ethnic humor like ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’ A sleeper hit, the film became the highest-grossing romantic comedy domestically of all time.

 

Retail ambiance like ‘Are You Being Served?’ The series was broadcast on the BBC for ten series, totaling 69 episodes between 8 September 1972 and 1 April 1985.

 

Zany antics like ‘The Office’ an American mockumentary sitcom television series that depicts the everyday work lives of office employees It aired on NBC from March 24, 2005, to May 16, 2013, spanning a total of nine seasons.

 

Comedic retail environment like ‘Superstore’ a hilarious workplace comedy about a unique family of employees at a super-sized mega store. Aired on NBC from November 30, 2015, to March 25, 2021.

SUMMARY:

‘Retail Baby’ is based on a true story and set in downtown Washington D.C., in 1979. The show follows the misadventures and mishaps of an eclectic sales staff that work at an unconventional family-owned retail store. Raised by a Cuban Catholic mother and Syrian Jewish father, referring myself as a ‘Cubyrian Cathojew’, I made my first sale at the age of six and never looked back. Life in the family business was never boring. From FBI interrogations to angry mobs, each new day at their family business brought with it new adventures. Retail Baby tells a story for everyone who concedes to their family heritage and not afraid to laugh at its many eccentricities, and for anyone who has ever worked in retail and experienced its humorous situations and misadventures. Day-to-day interactions with people from all walks of life while complying with a strict & bizarre business code. During the down time of business, we discover drama in the lives of all the people who work at the store and their families, which makes this show entertaining, curious & humorous. The show is based in 1979, the year of the Sony Walkman. It was a great year for cutting-edge electronics. We will also return to the earlier years of the 1960s when I was first introduced to the business as a child through flashbacks. When a customer walked through the door, we called them a G and Pig-Latin became our spoken dialect while the sale was in play. We had a clever but simple way of tagging the merchandise with a lot number code system that showed the wholesale price on each item. The lot system was used as bargaining leeway for the many African, Mexican, Arab and Israelis G’s who would only buy something after a long bargaining session. We also had a vigorous bargaining session with Russians wanting to trade Caviar and Vodka for electronics. During the workday …My father and his identical twin brother would bark out commands & orders to the staff … While customers were mingling around inside the store, Dad shouted out like a Town Crier … “Buy Now & Save” …” Everything must be sold to the bare walls” … “Don’t push that lady, there’s plenty of room for everyone” … “Who’s next?” Social issues, worldly events, politics, and happenings all around the city were a big part of the day to day. There are many colorful characters working as salesmen & saleswomen inside the retail store and humorous and bizarre characters we see regularly up and down F street. 

Just a few highlight scenes from the Pilot episode:

➢ A thief steals a boom box from an open wall case, and I chase him down the street shooting fake bullets at him from my comb. I follow him into a dark alley only to find out that two other guys in the alley steal the boombox from the thief.

➢ Me and Bernadette visit my eccentric Uncle Ezra’s store on 9th street, and we run into all the familiar and peculiar F Street characters along the way. The old man flasher (who exposes himself to Bernadette), the singing blind man, the man with no legs, and man with no neck.

➢ In a flashback, Uncle Shylock’s pants fall down in front of two Nigerian customers who believe it to be a custom in the United Staes, so in a friendly gesture they drop their pants too.

➢ In a flashback, me and my dad get teargassed walking down to the National Mall on the 4th of July. Billy Graham and Bob Hope were the headliners. Also on the bill was Ann-Margret, the real reason I talked my dad into going.

➢ A Mexican customer buys several new Walkman’s after getting blown away by the demonstration tape. He briefly passes out and nearly suffocates after falling in between Maria’s huge breasts.

EPISODE PROGRESSION:

➢ Future episodes will evolve from my first experiences of working at my dad’s retail store on F Street in Washington D.C.

➢ Working part-time as a top-40 deejay on a radio station while also working at my dad’s store.

➢ Partnering with my mother and father at our posh retail electronics store inside a swanky hotel lobby while catering to diplomats, politicians, celebs and the very rich.

➢ Leaving the family business but keeping the entrepreneur spirit alive by forming an unusual bond with eight gutsy women by owning and operating a full-service Drycleaning plant. (Extremely funny situations, awesome characters).

➢ Then without a formal college degree the story takes an unusual twist when I’m hired as a bank manager and later reach the title of Vice President in the corporate world.

➢ The sitcom ends at the present, enjoying what really makes me happy, music and writing, as an author and music journalist interviewing and promoting rock legends and celebs on my podcast. (But not making any money!) And all this was made possible by getting an education at the school of hard knocks in the family business.

CHARACTERS: (All my family resembled mafia figures but were basically kind-hearted.

MAIN CHARACTERS

Ray Ray (Me) - I narrate the story while flashing back to hilarious and schooled moments over the years while working at my dad’s retail store since my first day at six years old to eventually future episodes and present day.

Mr. S (Dad the main character) -My Uncle Frankie is his business partner and identical twin brother. Mr. S is the head honcho of retail lunatics. Everyone follows his offbeat business strategies. Always says what’s on his mind and never hesitates to embarrass you. His trademark is ringing the bell behind the register to get the sales staff all charged up by shouting out like a town-crier… Buy Now & Save! Don’t push that lady, there’s plenty of room for everyone! Everything must be sold to the bare walls!

Uncle Frankie (Dad’s identical twin brother) - Souvenir buyer and handles the cash. He always looks like a mad dog ready to bite you. He let’s everyone know when it’s time to close the store by yelling out “Gate the Gates!”

Fat Benny (Camera salesman) – Benny always had a baseball bat size cigar in his mouth. His huge stomach grazed you when he walked up to you. It was a very spooky feeling.

Diego the Cuban (Camera salesman) - Not many people understood him because of his heavy accent. He chomped on a huge cigar. His loud high-pitched laugh sounded like a monkey in heat. Uncle Frankie would call him Castro and he hated it!

Uncle Shylock (Star Salesman) -Very heavyset. Uncle Shylock’s pants always fell-down while he made a huge sale. His favorite customers were the Nigerians. Shylock waited for a customer at the very front of the store and pounced when they walked through the front door. He always asked the pretty girls if they wanted to take him home.

Bernadette (African American salesgirl) She worked with us most of her life since she was seventeen years old.  Her famous phrase … “As long as you have your health & strength! She loved to gamble and play the numbers. She loved to watch her stories (soaps) when business was slow. If a customer acted like they couldn’t afford to buy something, she would tell them to take out their wallet so she could see how much they had and then negotiate the price.

Maxwell (Salesman/repairman/window dresser/sign maker/pervert)- Sex crazed and a bit perverted! He loved all women. Maxwell always had a few drinks during his lunch break. He was once dared by Bernadette to take out his penis and he did it inside of a showcase. Maxwell immediately put his glasses on when a good-looking girl came inside the store, ran to wait on her and began salivating.

Maria (Hot Spanish salesgirl) -Sexy looking Spanish girl. Maria always wore lowcut/short/tight dresses. She seems flirtatious to look at her but really isn’t. She’s not a very good salesperson but customers instantly buy from her because of her looks.

Uncle Ezra (Dad, Uncle Frankie, and Uncle Shylock’s brother down the street)- Uncle Ezra owns a larger retail electronics store on 9th and F street. He has the biggest selection of vibrators in D.C.

The pilot script is completed.  I'm just waiting for the opportunity to show it to the world. 

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