Comedy writing secrets

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  1. #1

    Comedy writing secrets

    Have any of you guys read Comedy Writing Secrets? I was interested in buying it but was making sure its worth the money.


       

  2. #2

    It's an ok book. It is a comedy writing book and unless you are going be a writer I wouldn't bother. It deals with basic comedy ideas (3 rule, etc...). There's better books out there but if you're really interested in becoming funny there used to be a good comedy workshop in Dublin that I went to when I was starting off. I'll see if I can find the details.
       

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by disco2disco
    There's better books out there but if you're really interested in becoming funny there used to be a good comedy workshop in Dublin that I went to when I was starting off. I'll see if I can find the details.
    Sounds interesting man, never knew there was such a thing in Dublin.
    I think Comedy Writing Secrets is a great learning tool for improving your sense of humour, but you'll need to work with it to get good. If you do decide to buy it, make sure it's the second edition, as that version contains humour exercises where you can apply yourself.
       

  4. #4

    I've got a copy, and it REALLY helped me.
    I've got an analytical, scientific brain, and reading how and why humour works, why comedy writers write as they do, really helped me develop my sense of humour. David D's "Cocky Comedy" series was a revelation, too.
    I think Pied_Piper (MMForum member) has a non copyright comedy ebook - pester him/search forums for a copy (though I may be wrong? It may not be him who has it)
    Anyway, back to the book - it has LOADS of examples, some not as funny as others. However, they at least get a chuckle, and show you how you can find humour in almost EVERYTHING - and that's an invaluable skill. Also the exercises are great stuff.
    Not sure if mine's the 2nd edition (yellow paperback), but it's worth reading. I think I used www.kelkoo.co.uk or amazon to get a copy for less than £10.
    (Rep-rep-rep if you like it)
       

  5. #5

    Besides this book I could not find anything else on humor improvement, anyone has some new material to recommend?
       

  6. #6

    When you're saying you're looking for "humor improvement" what are you referring to? Doing standup, conversation or public speaking? It also depends on the type of humor you have, one liners, observational, etc.
    There was one I forgot that I'm going to mention in future forums, and as far as I know they're everywhere, Toastmasters.
    Comedy writers, the most well known are Steve Martin and Rob Reiner started out as comedy writers before they were well known. Jon Stewart's staff are all quality writers. Everyone on Simpsons went to an Ivy League school, SNL is prob. the most competitive. Ben Stein wrote a lot of speeches for presidents. Bruce Vilanch (the chubby gay guy with the beard and glasses that used to be on "Hollywood Squares" all the time) has a documentary called "Get Bruce" that talks about his career as a comedy writer, and is prob. the most in demand writer out there (does everything from Roasts to Oscars) as far as I know.
    There's also comedy and improv workshops.
       

  7. #7

    I'm referring only to conversation humor. In general there are sometimes situations where you know a humorous remark would be perfect but your mind just can't think of anything funny. I'm also referring the kind of humor that can get you out of some uncomfortable questions and situations.
    If you think about it its very difficult. not only do you have to find something funny to say, you also have to do it in about 3 seconds (sometimes the perfect remark comes to me after the interaction is over.)
    anyway I'm sure its a skill we can improve.
    another advice I received besides "comedy writing secrets" was to watch more comedies with some of the actors you mentioned and carey grant for "humor" on the romantic side.
    Unfortunately there aren't seminars on this subject in my area.
    I dont think listening to a lot jokes and funny people is enough, Im looking for a pattern. and patterns are usually found in books.
    Last edited by nhw; 10-28-2006 at 02:31 AM.
       

  8. #8
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    I've bought and read the book. It wasn't funny at all, but it teaches you to become a funny person in general (standup/writing/whatever). It doesn't teach you to become C&F though.
    After reading that book I think less things are funny, because I know the underlying principles behind the "humour".
    \_O_/
       

  9. #9

    nhw - what area are you in?
    One thing I've heard people who do public speaking for a living, some are comedians, and they've all said they have to change for the type of crowd they're in front of.
    And as far as comedians go, keep in mind it's a one way conversation, and some of them are VERY shy and don't like to talk to people at all. They can be very uncomfortable, or they are a very toned down version of their stage persona.
    Morning and talk radio is prob. one of the best places to study conversation humor because they have to do this for 20 hours a week. Call in to a radio show and see if you can make them laugh. Some people have had careers doing just that. There is so much going on out there to laugh about, it's finding the things that are ridiculous that we can all identify with that you need to aim for.
    DeSolero - are you talking about how humor is based in real life pain and usually at someone's expense? Some of the best comedians are AFCs that got the courage to go on stage and just went for it, held nothing back and vented. But most of them, as successful as some of them are, still live in that pain. Freddie Prinze (not Jr) is a big example of that. Richard Pryor's another one.
    There are things women find humorous more than men do. And vice versa.
    I also think that some people have been able to be funny and witty on their feet their entire lives, some have had to work on it a lot more.
       

  10. #10
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    Could you name the other books that you liked more?
       

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