Writing Comedy is no Laughing Matter… or Is It? Part 2

Greetings, Salutations and Welcome

In this new year, I have decided to make a deliberate attempt to post on my blog more frequently. Of course, it seems a daunting task given my exhausting writing and living (Yes, I have a life!) schedule, but I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge.

What I’ve decided to do is write a series of short posts with my random observations and thoughts about genre-specific writing. You’ve probably “heard” some of what I will say, but that’s never stopped me before.

All I ask is that if you like what you read, share a link to my blog with those who may enjoy it.

If you find my posts boring, obtuse or pain-inducing, I still ask you to pass the link along…

To your most hated enemies.

Woowoowoo!

Newsflash: Not Everyone Has a Good Sense of Humor

Let’s face it, some folks wouldn’t know comedy if it pooped in their bathroom and overflowed the toilet. And then there are others who’d laugh out loud at a baby’s funeral.

laughing idiot

It is impossible to write comedy successfully without a good grasp of what comedy is. Sure, we all find things that make us laugh, but that doesn’t mean we understand what makes them humorous.

Take a moment to think about a real-life event that made you laugh until you lost control of your bladder or bowels–or laughed so hard your windpipe constricted and left you a convulsing, heehawing wreck on the living room floor.

Remember? Good.

Now it’s time for your homework.

Comedy Homework Assignment

Okay… here’s what I want you to do. First, write the humorous event down like so:

Event: My 11-year-old walked up to me and said “Dad, I think I have the constipation.”

The Ol' Sour Face

Now, write down the factors that made the event humorous, like so:

1. Bodily functions are humorous to guys. Sue me.
2. Timing: His statement caught me totally off-guard.
3. My son’s “I just ate a lemon” facial expression.
4. My son was holding his backside in his hands.
5. After saying this, he ran into the bathroom (still clutching his bum) and added “Maybe not.”

As you can see, there is more to effective comedy than a funny word or statement. There are many factors that will make the event comedic. Writing down humorous events is one of the best ways to understand what makes certain things funny, and understanding is one of the first steps to writing effective comedy.

Post ‘Em if You Dare

I encourage you to post your comedy homework in the comments section. After all, a good laugh is something we’re always looking for. It’s part of what keeps us tickin’.

Monsterplex Is Funny

Writer Brock Heasley (of SuperFogeys fame), artist David Schlotterback and colorist Michael DeVito have teamed up to create a funny, entertaining and wonderfully-illustrated Zuda Comics entry titled Monsterplex.

Here’s the logline:

At Corman Cinemas, you don’t just watch a movie about monsters, you run away from them. Now under new management.

See? Isn’t that a great set-up?

So, if you have not voted in this month’s competition (or already did), I strongly recommend that you check out this fantastic entry and vote for it (or change your vote. Yes, you can do that).

And please be sure to favorite and rate the strip, too. I’m not sure how the Alchemical Zuda Win Formula© works, but, hey–why take any chances? And I’m sure the team would appreciate you doing that as well.

You can also check out the Monsterplex blog and submit a sketch request to series artist David Schlotterback or simply check out the behind-the-scenes blog posts, podcast links, character sketches–and a bunch of other cool stuff. The blog is extremely well done, so drop by and give it a good look.

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you soon with another post about writing comedy. And maybe next time I’ll say something that’s actually–you know–funny.

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6 thoughts on “Writing Comedy is no Laughing Matter… or Is It? Part 2

  1. Pingback: Joy of Webcomics is not serious business « The Webcomic Overlook

  2. For anyone who wishes to write comedy, I strongly suggest that you study (read) stand-up comedy. There is a lot you can learn about delivering jokes, creating “funny” and timing. And if you have stand-up classes near you then you should take advantage of that resource. You might not want to do stand-up but you’ll find that you learn more than you could ever imagine. And like my good friend Baba Ali, you may wind up being very popular and flown around the world to entertain kings.

    Some may laugh with you, some may laugh at you, but who cares? The point is that they’re laughing.

  3. Excellent advice. I know I learned a lot from my few attempts at stand-up, and watching other comedians.

    Thanks for reading and commenting, my friend!

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