I started watching Cheers when I was a kid, and marveled at the idea of a place where everybody knows your name. As I got older (the show ran from 1982 until 1993 so I had already graduated from University when it ended), I continued to long to have a place like that in my life.
I didn’t find my own personal “Cheers” one until I was in my mid-forties and became a regular at The Winking Judge in Hamilton.
Of course, since the global pandemic, we’ve mostly been stuck in our home.
Not a bad place to be stuck, as Liz and I discovered (and even wrote a parody song about) . . .
That kicked off us doing another music video parody as well as me doing a series of silly dad joke short films, including one where I was sitting at the bar with two other versions of myself drinking and talking about the things we miss most.
Which led to me thinking about our home bar and that we hadn’t had anyone except Liz and I at it in months.
I started to play with image and video manipulation and wanted to experiment with creating two or more versions of me in an image or a video, sitting at the bar together.
And in one concept for a dad joke short, I thought it’d be cute if I had the video start with me walking by a house, seeing a sign that says Mark’s Tavern: Serving Marks Since 2020, and then walking in and using that as a setting for a place to tell myself stupid dad jokes.
Then my favorite television program came to mind.
And that’s how Mark’s Tavern was born.
Playing with a bit of video manipulation, using a technique that I learned from Canadian musician Ashley Joanisse, who used this in her music video, Hey Bartender, I set about creating a script.
I only ended up shooting was was supposed to be the cold opener for the show. That was enough work. So I figured I’d put it out there and see what people thought.
The joke is that it’s just me in my house pretending to be able to go out into the world and hang around in a bar where everyone knows my name.
Of course, since there’s only Marks at this bar, everyone knows your name, because everyone has the same name.
At least I’m spending the time amusing myself. Perhaps I’m also succeeding at amusing a few others as well.