'They loved it': Dating game pitch lands Edmonton comedian Hollywood gig
'I'm really excited. I feel like my foot is in the door and I'm about to bust it wide open'
A matchmaking spectacle born in the Swinging Sixties and brought back to life in an Edmonton bar has landed comedian Sterling Scott his own Hollywood hosting gig.
The dating game show — which features men and women in search of the perfect person to date — will be featured on the Laugh Out Loud network.
The video-on-demand service, curated by American comedian and actor Kevin Hart, launches early next year.
For Scott, it's the perfect match.
"It's a rags-to-riches thing," Scott said during a Monday morning interview on CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.
"The idea started in the backroom of a bar, and it's now going to be a show on what will be the Netflix for comedy."
Hot and bothered
Scott already hosts a live version of the dating game every Sunday at On the Rocks on Jasper Avenue, but never planned on pitching it to Hart and his executives.
He was driving through the desert when he found out his winning idea for the pitch of a lifetime had been snapped up by someone else. A similar concept had just been picked up by rival network MTV.
It was no laughing matter for the Edmonton comedian, but he wasted no time coming up with a fresh proposal.
"So on the deadline day, I'm driving from Los Angeles to Sacramento and I stop midway in the desert, pulled over and start writing the idea of the show, and that is the Dating Game," Scott said.
"We've been doing the show for the last year. It's been highly successful. And I said, well, America loves game shows, so let's go for it."
"Four sentences, that's all my pitch was, and we made it through 500 pitches to make it to the top 10."
'They loved it'
And after that frantic moment in the sweltering desert, Scott was still sweating it out when the time came to make his big presentation.
"When you walk into the room, it's a giant conference, 500 people are watching.
"Kevin Hart is sitting there. There is a 100-foot screen above his head. I'm 9th of the 10 people there and I watched eight movie trailer pitches.
"And all I had was an iPad I borrowed from someone upstairs. So I'm sitting there, thinking, what am I going to do? The only thing I have is comedy.
"So I went up there, and said, 'You guys spent all that money on those movie trailers, and all I did was spend money on this expensive suit.'
"And they all started laughing and I continued to make them laugh. They loved it."
A new dating game
Scott said the show is much like the 1960s hit The Dating Game, but with some big updates for the social media age.
Auditions will be held online, where the audience can vote on their favourite contestants.
Once the matches are made, contestants will have to post photos, videos and live updates of their dates through social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Scott hopes to take the show on the road across North America. And though most of the details still need to be ironed out, he wants Edmontonians to feature heavily in the show's cast and crew.
"Just because we're from Edmonton, and not from these big name cities, doesn't mean we can't create big name things.
"I'm really excited. I feel like my foot is in the door and I'm about to bust it wide open."