Clarissa Carson – 2019 Half-Hour Pilot Finalist
Bottom of the Top
A small-town black girl and college freshman tries to have the “best four years of her life” while struggling with being in the bottom tier (academically, socially, and economically) of her top tier institution.
My name is Clarissa and I am a senior at Princeton University, an assistant librarian, a huge Harry Potter fan, and an amateur juggler. Growing up, we did not actually have a TV in our house. Well, we had a TV, but it only got four channels – the news, static, PBS, and static. We did have a DVD player, so occasionally my mom would show my sister and me box sets of Frasier and Fawlty Towers. I consider those shows to be some of the biggest influences on my comedy writing.
I based Bottom of the Top off my experiences at Princeton to comment on the absurdity of American elitism. The philosophy of Princeton – as with many top schools— seems to echo The Hunger Games: you put a bunch of valedictorians who are used to being the best of the best on a small campus in suburban New Jersey of all places and tell them there is only one #1 spot. In Bottom of the Top, I focus on those kids who will never make it to the top but have not realized this. It’s madness, it’s anarchy, and it’s rife with comedic potential.
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