Second City alumni spoof the spooky with new show pilot

Courtesy of Andy Kushnir
The mockumentry pilot for "Ghost Squad" available now!

By Jermaine Nolen

A new pilot mockumentary is bringing together a group of friends from the The Second City to rid a suburban Chicago home of a spooky haunting.

The show, released Oct. 1, is described as a mixture of “The Office” and “Ghost Hunters” by co-writer Andy Kushnir.The pilot, written and directed by Kushnir and Carley Moseley, was viewed at the New York Television Festival in July and has been pitched to major television networks and agencies.

The show begins by introducing lead investigator Desperado Miller, played by Chicago improviser Abby McEnany, and the story of how her mother was killed by a spirit.

 Kushnir, who is also a writer for Cards Against Humanity, said he and  Moseley were pitching ideas to each other when he was working for a copywriting company reviewing television shows for brand involvement.

“My job was watching TV. I kept getting assigned these reality shows. A lot of them were these ghost hunting shows,” Kushnir said. While I was watching I [would think], ‘This is comedy in and of itself.’ It’s a bunch of adults running around, taking themselves very seriously.

There is a lot of commonality between horror and comedy, said Jack Porter, a senior cinema art and science  major and president of the Cult Cinema Club.

“There is a thin line between a jump scare and something you would laugh at,” he said.A lot of horror movies do have audiences that laugh [because] they are startled. Comedy has that as well.”

Moseley plays a paranormal investigator whois also a motivational speaker named Wind Larmer. When asked about her experience writing and acting in “Ghost Squad,” Moseley said there were characters they wrote with certain people in mind. Larmer was the last character who was solidified.

“We thought  it would be fun to have someone who outwardly presents as in control [as] a powerful public figure but is also struggling with this crazy backstory,” Moseley said.

Moseley said she moved to Chicago to pursue comedy and took classes at The Second City. She and Kushnir were in a sketch group they started together and planned to make a larger project. After brainstorming plots, they settled on a rag-tag ghost team that became “Ghost Squad.”

“Chicago is such an amazing place. At the end of the day, we were friends writing together and writing for our friends. Working with your friends is the best. [It] is certainly my goal in comedy,” Moseley said.

Showing the final product to audiences is exciting for Moseley and something that she and Kushnir are proud of, she said.

“[Like] every project, you want it to get picked up. We are going to put it out to the world and see where things go from there.”