Cinco Paul had the idea to create a series that is both a parody of, and an homage to, the Golden Age musicals of the 1940s and ’50s. With his writing partner Ken Daurio, the two created Schmigadoon! as a musical comedy with inside jokes about theater and a talented ensemble of singers. Paul also wrote the original music for the series, with inspirations from musicals like Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music and The Music Man. The series premiered in July 2021 and has been renewed for a second season on Apple TV+.
The pilot episode, “Puddin’”, is the latest installment of It Starts on the Page, The Hamden Journal’s annual series that highlights the scripts that serve as the creative backbones of the buzzy shows that will define the TV awards season. The scripts in our series are all being submitted for Emmy Awards consideration this year and have been selected by The Hamden Journal using criteria that includes critical acclaim, selecting from a wide range of networks and platforms and a mix of established and lesser-known shows.
The series follows Melissa and Josh, played by Cecily Strong and Keegan-Michael Key, two doctors who go on a backpacking trip to save their relationship. When they get lost, they find themselves in the magical town of Schmigadoon, where they become trapped in a musical until they can find true love.
“Puddin’”, written by Paul and Daurio and directed by Barry Sonnenfield, begins with Melissa and Josh meeting at a vending machine in the hospital where they both work. Sparks fly and the two begin a relationship, but scenes from the following years show that spark slowly dying. In an effort to repair the relationship, the two decide to go on a romantic hike.
Paul’s original song “Corn Puddin’” is also featured in the episode as Melissa and Josh eventually encounter the townsfolk, who become “Quasi New Main Street Singers”
“Corn pudding, what is that?” Melissa asks. “What? You mean to tell me you’ve never heard of corn puddin’?” one of the townsfolk, Betsy, responds.
“Oh no, it’s a song,” Josh says to Melissa. “You just started another song!”
Click below to read the pilot script and the “Corn Puddin’” score: