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Thursday, November 13, 2008


Placing a smile on someone's face is worth a lot, both in monetary and artisitic reward, to turn that smile into a laugh is priceless. Oh and before I forget its also healthy for you. Ok where do we begin? Well guess what there are no set rules, suprise. The market is insatiable for skits, dialogue and scripts, because there aren't enough good writers to go around.

There are easy ways, known as fall down slapstick, dressing in a clown costume, big red nose and all, wet someone with a seltzer bottle, or watering flower, but wait, don't you think its just too much work to achive the simpliest thing, a smile a laugh. So then what else can we do, guess again wild minds of the dum dum world....lets write our own stuff, what stuff you might ask oh wisdom genious' of the wonder world. Lets write our own Comedy.

Comedy is dificult but rewarding, comedy is personal. What makes you laugh might not make me laugh, but then again I laugh at just about anything, at this point I am laughing about this material.... Anyone can be funny occasionally, but to always be on target, can be a handfull, wow!! a hand full? Of What? Putting your mind to the task can be most rewarding. Fresh material is always being searched for, wonder if they go out in the dark with flash lights? Imagine 20 or 30 guys out at night with flash lights searching for the joke that could have gotten away.

Jokes fall into various catagories, here they are: Exaggeration, Underplaying, Pun, Twisted clich
Reverse gag, Word association, Truthfulness, The picture /Visual gag, The self-insult, Illogical logic, Insult and Combinations.

Next time you watch a comedy show, write down what makes you laugh, I did and it requires a tomb to collect it all, I will do some of them, well maybe in another writing... look at the catagories and see which ones they fit into. A joke can fit into more than one catagory. A joke must have the audience's undivided attention. It should be easy for them to understand, the audience must be able to devour your material easily, if they have to struggle with the stuff they lose concentration and the comedy disappears.

Where do jokes come from, its a combination of 2 ideas that relate to a point. Think about a few of your favourite one-liners you'll see there are two though. Your mind begins with one idea, which makes you think of another idea and when you find the right combination, WHAMO!! joke meister you done did it again.
The first part is a cliche, the second the punch line is an unexpected interpretation that's realistically literal. When your audience is expecting one thing and you give them something else, the twist, this usually makes them laugh.

Jokes don't always come that easily, but there are many thousands of older ones to choose from, try altering a few that already exist. Take the idea of a joke then reassign it to another issue or venue so that it won't be familiar as the same joke. It's a perfectly acceptable way of coming up with new material. It also provides different views and tangents of where you could spring other ideas.

Now you have an adequate amount of jokes lets put them into a routine, Put them in some sort of order so that the continuity flows, therefore getting you easily from one gag to another. Without going smoothly from one joke or idea to another is like climbing up a ladder and missing the rung, OOOPSIE!! Get the picture? Smile your on KOOKOO camera. Writing gag routines is very difficult, try to make your minds eye see things in a funny way, then write what you see. It becomes easier if you have a recognizable style, if your character is recognizable, which means don't mix up the character with different styles of jokes, unless its meant to be that way. Make your material suit the character, not the character suit the material. If you are a comedian that doesn't have a distinctive style then create one. Anything that makes your comic different from others will help to create his/her own character and style.
Instructions Things You’ll Need: Notebook for ideas Draw Inspiration from Others
Step 1:Watch and read as many comedy sketches as you can . You'll learn what's funny and see what's been done before.
Step 2:Dissect what you found funny about a certain sketch and why it worked for you. Talk to others about what worked for them.
Step 3:Bounce ideas off people around you, or brainstorm with a group.

Step 1:Write down anything that makes you laugh or smile for a week, then pick the best three ideas from your list.
Step 2:Start one page for each idea and write the title at the top.
Step 3:Jot down words, connections or anything you can think of for each subject until your three pages are full. Begin your draft by writing on the subject that had the most ideas.

Start the Writing Process
Step 1:Select an original setting for your sketch, not the obvious. Choose only one location.
Step 2:Work backwards. Start with the punch line at the ending and work out how to get there.
Step 3:Limit the characters to a maximum of three.
Step 4:Write enough so that you have about two minutes' worth of material. There should be a big laugh approximately every 15 seconds of the sketch.
Step 5:Describe the action in detail, and give your characters real names to help with the creative process.

Try Well-Loved Formats
Step 1:Escalate an idea by starting off small and ending in chaos.
Step 2:Juxtapose new with old, big with small, rich with poor.
Step 3:Place your characters in dangerous or improbable situations.
Step 4:Play with language, lists or funny-sounding words.
Q: How many xxxxx does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: The answer revolves around taking stereotypical traits of the group you are referring to, and applying them to the task in hand.
Thus we end up with something like:
Q: How many Israelis does it take to change a lightbulb?
A; Six. Four to storm the room and take control of it, one to forcibly eject the old bulb, and another one to screw in the new one.
Focussing on the Israeli tendency to direct action we use that to change the bulb. A couple of things to note here. Is it lightbulb or should it be light bulb. You say tomato ... I just prefer the former.
The second thing is the 'screw' variation.
Q: How many xxxxx does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
This variation brings in extra sexual connotations, although they still seem to be fairly limited. So this isn't the stuff of the Comedy Store or your regular Open Mike nights. These type of jokes are the sort you tell your friends, or pass by email. However, it is extremely difficult to unearth new ones, hence my blog quest. One angle I am using is turning the joke into more than just a one or two line answer and actually making it into a mini sketch. As there are no hard and fast rules, I consider that's fair. However, I am seeking the perfect one line answer to a new lightbulb joke, and that's my ultimate goal.This one already existed but I like the play on words.
Q: How many mystery writers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
A: Two. One to screw it almost all the way in, and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end. If I can come close to that sort of smart answer I'll be doing OK.
Are you beginning to see the picture..............................

What do I talk about on stage?
How do I get started developing a comedy act?
How can I easily remember my comedy material?
How can I get rid of nervousness before I get on stage?
How can I improve my delivery?
If you have already been involved in stand-up comedy for awhile, you may also have important questions like:
How can I make my comedy material funnier?
How can I add more punchlines to my comedy material?
How do I come up with better jokes?
How can I improve my timing?
How do I handle hecklers?

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