Friday, August 15, 2008

Comedy Writing

I once heard a stand-up comedian (perhaps every comedian who's ever made it big) say that NOBODY can be truly funny without tragedy, personal foibles, and a non-existent self-esteem. When people laugh at us (the sad clowns that we are) what a power surge it is to our grim little psyche! The ability to make people laugh is far more physically and emotionally gratifying than a high colonic, winning POWERBALL, and waking up to a naked ape.

All people are not funny. Some are just ironic. Others sarcastic. And there are people who insist they can make you laugh by telling "jokes" that barely deserve a polite simper. Of course we can extend this observation to stand-up comics who can only resort to using "EXPLETIVE/DELETE" WORDS at the end of every sentence. That isn't funny. That's 4th grade. So thank you for allowing me to stand-up on my soap box, future comedy writers. I must be on my way. 5th grade is calling, and if I don't register for classes soon, 4th grade will be put on my permanent record. Again.

11 comments:

Joie Mayfield said...

I agree you have to be able to use personal experience to make an audience laugh. I think it makes handling the situation easier, too. Just a thought. :)

Great blog. I'm looking it over!

RT said...

Thanks, Joie. I'm going to check out your blog. America is ready to laugh again. So I''m on a mission to make that happen. Thanks so much for stopping by. Your suggestions are always welcome.

rebecca

Joie Mayfield said...

Right now...my stories aren't he funniest... I've just experienced a break-up. However, look at the archive...and find the "Big Red" stories. Those are personal experiences. ;)

happyian said...

You are comic?
Me too
er

I try.

SavvyD said...

People started telling me I was funny when I just started telling them what happened. Then I started telling my dating stories on my blog and people were tell me that those were really funny if they were judging me. The thing is, I'm in actual pain when I'm on the dates. Why is this funny? I don't know, but it makes the pain a wee bit smaller.

RT said...

SavvyD, if you get what I'm talking about, I'll bet you're screamin' funny. Thanks for stopping by. Your comments and insight are welcome anytime.

RodericWilliams said...

I always joke that I could have been a stand-up comedian, but I have stage fright and I'd only be good for 3 days before I run out of material. I love to write about comical things that happen in my life. I love to laugh all the time. Only thing that'd get me about being a comedian is the pressure to constantly be funnier than you were, I'm a perfectionist so I'd be dreading life if I wasn't one laugh funnier than the last time.

But I write comical blogs, mostly about my life and what I think about life.

RT said...

RodericWilliams, Years ago, I was asked to write material for a famous gentleman who starred in a popular sit-com. After considering his offer, I decided my material was not good enough for him The fact of the matter, that like you...I was afraid of running out of stuff for him to use in his act. And quite frankly, I wanted to do more than stand-up comedy. No regrets....but I sometimes wonder where I'd be if I had faced my fears and did it anyway...

shari said...

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Dano MacNamarrah said...

Tragedy, personal foibles and the issues of self-esteem have been part of our written and visual arts since the antiquities.

The question of how we handle and portray them, are equally ancient. A recent great, Billy Sheakespere, spent a life time attacking these qualities from a theatre in the round.

The up-shot is that we have two choices: to pander to our perceived public, or to speak our own truth.

The former can be seen readily on T.V., whilst the latter can be viewed in other spaces.

One's own truth may not seem like much, but no one will see nor hear it, unless one speaks it. The choices are a quandry, it would seem.

One could "fake" it, providing words or visuals that should be, I dunno, marketable? Populour people abound, with no apparent agenda, and the same is true of the arts.

Conversely, one could produce gold out of the elements, by painting the stones of words into couched messages: by speaking tongues with laps and splashes of colour.

If personal expression is a hobby, then these are but moot concepts. But, if the need to speak, in whatever form, runs deeper, you may want to consider a couple of things.

Am I a crucible for my ideas, or a fashion for gold?

DANO.

RT said...

Dano,my need to compete with fashion and myself is what keeps me in the game.

Egomania.