I’ve been away from my blog for a while. . my apologies.
Turns out writing a book in 3 months causes you to never want to write anything AGAIN. I had a super brain drain that I’m coming out of (check out “Convention Comedian: Stories and Wisdom From Two Decades of Chicken Dinners and Comedy Clubs”). But with the recent list of funny people passing away, I thought this subject would be appropriate to remind ourselves of what’s important in comedy.
I’ve written about many of the “rules” of comedy, such as . . .
things are funnier in 3’s, the “CH” sound is funny, and don’t use cuss words, etc. . .but really, when it comes down to it, there is only one hard and fast rule. Be funny. It doesn’t matter if your humor is dirty or clean or stupid or immature or whatever, it must be funny. I was reminded of this with the recent deaths of Joan Rivers and Robin Williams.
Regardless of if you think Joan Rivers
was too “over the line,” you cannot help but laugh at her jokes because they are funny. And I think that’s what we should all strive for when writing jokes.. . be so funny that even if people dislike your humor or your personality, they still laugh.
I never met Joan Rivers, but I did follow her style
of set-up punch jokes. . .and I thought she was hilarious even if some of her stuff was stuff I’d never admit to laughing about. Robin Williams also had a different take on comedy because he was so high energy. I wasn’t so much a fan just because it exhausted me to watch him, but when I did watch him, he was, again, always funny.
In the creative process,
while we work hard to find a good subject, craft a great punchline, make sure it fits with the event, etc. . .we must never lose sight of the fact that it has to be funny. Does the joke you’re writing make you laugh out loud? If it does, then it just might work for others.
One of the lines I came up with
that cracks me up, even though I can’t use it for all my shows, is in my bit about buying my timeshare. I talk about what a stupid move it was. And I say “the guy next to me thought it was a scam, and he’s a Scientologist!” That line makes me laugh out loud, and I can’t use it at my corporate events, you will hear me saying it in our Baby Boomer theatre shows.
So keep searching for the stuff that is really funny. . . make it so funny that people will laugh even if they don’t like you!