Welcome to part 2 of comedy writing opportunities. In my last blog
I mentioned that you should network at comedy clubs. Yes, Comedy clubs are great networking avenues, but I also suggest networking to others who are in need of comedy material every, single, day. Namely radio stations. So call local radio station and offer to submit topical jokes for the morning show. DJs and radio personalities don’t have time to come up with material at 4 a.m. when they roll in for their show. And if they do have time to do a quick internet search for news stories. . .great! But chances are they don’t have time to write jokes.
This is a great opportunity for
you if you can write solid topical material about news stories – you’ll be in demand and you’ll get a lot of practice because you’ll be doing it every day. I cut my teeth writing this kind of comedy – it’s hard to build a comedy act on it because stories and news items get old. . .you can’t still be making jokes about Lorena Bobbitt (look her up!). It’s great fun to have fun with news stories. . .they’re practically giving you the set-up lines in the news. USA Today was written with ready-made comedy set up lines. And the beauty of topical jokes is. . if you’re organized, you can re-use them again and again – just switch out names. Because there’s always gonna be a messy celebrity affair, an idiot congressman, etc. . .these stories repeat themselves with only the names changing.
So call a few radio stations, and maybe even local
TV and cable shows. . .don’t call everyone, because you do eventually want to get paid so you don’t want the reputation of being free — once you get a couple “clients,” stop calling. You only need to get a couple of people saying you’re good to build on it
And of course, aside from giving out free material to people you network with, you can also
get joke writing experience by showing people that you’re funny. Yes, get on stage. Go to open mics around town and try you’re hand at comedy. If you’re funny on stage, you’ll be asked to write for other people – guaranteed! That’s where I’ve gotten a lot of my work! Other comedians saw that I was funny, and they had connections to writing gigs.
Another source of building your comedy writing resume is writing for
friends and family. Who needs jokes?? Ask around, you might be surprised. One of my first gigs was writing jokes for my dad’s retirement party – I had to nicely roast him so everyone, including him, would laugh – it worked! I didn’t get paid, but I did establish my comedy writing chops to a huge group, and to myself, that I could do it.
Next week we’ll start looking at
who you can write comedy for, once you have some joke writing samples and some comedy references.
Have a great week!