Comic Writing

: Revital Orenbach 05  April 2015
So, how do you like my writing so far?
There are a few rules about how to write comedy; however a shock or surprise always works, like, for example, the sentence above.
This series of posts is targeted to comedy writers or amateur comedy writers or those who spend 300-and-something shekels a month on cable TV and are still not happy.
And I would like to begin this series by talking about pain.
If it hurts, so why am I laughing?
It is said that comedy always contains an element of pain. Mel Brooks stated it best when he said, “Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when I fall into an open sewer and die.”
Think about it. What is funnier? A kid who drags his feet across the floor while waiting in line for the bathroom, or the same kid making funny faces with each step and finally kicking in the bathroom door?
Perhaps some of you think this is not nice – cruel, even.
But it’s a fact – we laugh about the things that we would prefer we didn’t experience ourselves.
Now, you try:
Take two minutes to tell someone about your most embarrassing moment and then ask them to tell it back to you. If the other person drops a particular detail during the retelling, of if they didn’t really get it right, stop them, correct them and then let them continue.
First, it’s an exercise that teaches how to listen well, and it is extremely important for any kind of writer.
Second, it helps to decode what is really important in writing about a Comic situation, and what is not necessary.
Third, it’s a great way to break the ice and get to know someone.