Monday, February 07, 2005

Finding the funny

"State legislators are merely politicians whose darkest secret prevents them from running for a higher office."--Dennis Miller

"You know the world is going crazy when the best rapper is a white guy, the best golfer is a black guy, the tallest guy in the NBA is Chinese, the Swiss hold the America's Cup, France accuses the US of arrogance, Germany doesn't want to go to war and the three most powerful men in America are named, Bush, Dick and Colon. Need I say more?" ---Chris Rock

"I don't make jokes. I watch the government and report the facts." Will Rogers

The only way I can teach you how to be funny is to instruct you to read funny writers. My favorites include, Sedaris, Dave Barry, Rita Rudner, Mark Twain, Will Rogers and some of the funny websites like the Onion or Televisionwithoutpity.com.
Okay. So you did that and you still don't know how to write something funny. This is a trick I learned from a comedy writer.

  • Make three lists
  • The first one: Things that worry you
  • The second one: Things that anger you
  • The third one: Things you fear

Pick something from one of the lists. My worry list has provided me with endless topics. For instance, right now, I'm worried that my psycho cat is secretly sleeping on Doug the Dog's favorite pillow. I keep finding long blond hairs on his pillow, he's lost weight, he is in a bad mood and he's just not acting like himself. She's been strutting around like she's got a secret. They appear to despise each other, but what if it's gone too far? What if while we are gone all day, she's sleeping in his bed? What next? Will she hide his chew bone? Will she curl up with his blanket?

If you still can't milk something funny from these lists, then make fun of something absurd. That's the easiest out. Make fun of guys who love their Ipods more than their girlfriends. Make fun of Judge Roy Moore. Or your teacher. Or your mother's worries, fears, anger. Put down humor is so third grade. But it usually gets a laugh.

Humor isn't easy but it's the only way to make it through life, sanity intact.


2 Comments:

At 7:50 AM, Blogger C G said...

Classmates: if you find yourself without a topic on Wednesday night, then make the lists! It really helps. I had been clueless all weekend, but I sat down last night, made the lists and had a topic in minutes.

 
At 4:18 PM, Blogger Becky said...

Wish I'd had a chance to read this before tearing all my hair out, trying to come up with a topic! I'll keep the advice in my files for the next time ...

 

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