Decoding Comedy: Tips and Tricks for Aspiring Comedy Creators

📆 Your joke writing challenge topic for today is Cooking Catastrophes.

Decoding Comedy: Tips and Tricks for Aspiring Comedy Creators

Humor stems from the commonplace, from the nuances of everyday life that often go unnoticed. To infuse humor into your stories, speeches, or scripts, follow these key points:

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  1. The Fundamental Questions: Every great story, including comedies, answers the basic questions: who, what, when, where, why, and how. These questions, traced back to the 1st century BC, cannot be answered by a simple yes or no, and require detailed answers. The more precise the details, the funnier the story.
  2. Comic Characters: Think about the characters that make you laugh in books, TV series, and movies. Classic characters or archetypes, like Mr. Know-It-All, the friendly loser, the evil boss, the neurotic, the fool, have their roots in commedia dell’arte or Italian comedies of the late Renaissance. Comedy is about finding the flaw and exaggerating it, or playing with extremes to challenge expectations.
  3. The Element of Surprise: Aristotle, the ancient Greek humorist, said: “The secret of humor is surprise.” The incongruity theory of humor suggests we laugh at things that are misplaced or unexpected. To create humor, link unusual or unexpected elements together, like a frog dating a pig, a lizard selling insurance, or a dancing baby.
  4. Finding Incongruities: One way to find incongruities is to draw mind maps. Choose a word, for example, ‘pickle’, note it down, and quickly establish connections. Who eats pickles? Any childhood memories related to pickles? This exercise will stimulate your creative thinking.
  5. Imagination: Transition from observation to imagination. Focus on unimaginable possibilities. Take memorable moments from history, literature, or cinema, and introduce incongruities.
  6. Stupid Ideas are Welcome: Even if an idea seems excessive, too obvious, or simply silly, it might turn out to be an excellent one. Comedy often revolves around things that irritate, frustrate, or humiliate us. As Will Rogers said, “Everything is funny, as long as it’s happening to somebody else.”
  7. Writing Tips: Once you’ve created your characters and story, follow some quick comedy writing tips:
    • The Rule of Three (Zig-Zig-Zag): Create a normal situation (zig-zig) and then reverse it (zag). For instance, a rabbi, a priest, and a coconut walk into a bar.
    • The Rule of K: Words with a hard ‘k’ sound catch our attention and are often considered funny. Coconut, disco, pickle, cricket – while humor is subjective, these words often provoke laughter.
  8. Test, Tweak, Repeat: Comedy is about testing and tweaking. Keep writing and rewriting, and most importantly, enjoy the process. As Charles Dickens said, “There is nothing so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” And disco.

Emphasize these key points to be more humorous, create funny characters, utilize incongruities, add the ‘k’ sound, and most importantly, have fun while you’re at it. The realm of comedy awaits your unique take. Happy creating!

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