How to Be a Comedy Writer

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You'll find at least one and often two writing teams on every show. Same with screenplays. It's fair to assume that most of these teams got together because they each brought their strength to the table. Finding your writing soul mate isn't easy. It's like finding someone to marry.


You have to look around, see how you get on and hope that it works. If it does work you'll both be in a much better place than going it alone. When we go to a Farrely Brothers movie we expect a certain kind of product. Lots of gross out humor in largely unrealistic, high concept plots with a handful of genuinely inspired lines and moments. Woody Allen films, especially his early and mid-career efforts offered a witty, neurotic take on the human condition, especially romance.

His fans know that we were going to see a unique, intellectual kind of creativity and wit. If Judd Apatow's name is on a film be it writer, producer or director we know it'll be something high concept with an abundance of sex jokes, but with an undertone of sweetness. The thing is, depending upon the kind of comedy you're writing, you may not need to be as funny as these guys. Romantic comedies need laughs, but not tons of them.

Take two Reese Witherspoon films. Sweet Home Alabama wasn't a laugh a minute. Neither was Legally Blonde, but it was funnier and had a higher concept. Both had compelling stories.

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Guy comedies or buddy comedies need more laughs than a romantic comedy. Let's look at television. I used to hear people refer to Sex and The City as a sitcom. It wasn't. It was a drama with occasional laughs. No one watched Sex and The City for the humor and nobody went to the film version expecting to laugh out loud for two hours , as opposed to Seinfeld, Family Guy or 30 Rock.

Comedy Writer jobs

Same with Entourage. Is it a sitcom? Not really. Parts of every episode are hilarious. But it's really a drama with laughs that come from character. Sitcom writers have an expression for the parts of a script where there are intentionally no laugh lines: laying pipe. Information crucial to the plot is given. Comedy screenplays are allowed to have some laying pipe sections, but not many. And there shouldn't be one in the first 15 pages. You have to keep the laughs coming.

I'd let people convince me that becoming a comedy writer was a far-fetched dream — but now I am one

So if you want to write a big, broad comedy Tropic Thunder, Dodgeball, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Dumb and Dumber your script better be funny as hell from first page to last. Once again, here is where having a solid story will supersede lots of laughs. In conclusion, can someone be taught to write comedy?

Just like someone can be taught how to cook. If you take cooking classes, read a bunch of cookbooks, watch Food TV and spend enough time in the kitchen trying out recipes, you'll be able to prepare a meal that you won't be ashamed of. Learning to write comedy is pretty much the same. You can find a class or program on sitcom writing, improv and stand up. You can study comedies you'll learn more from the bad ones, than the good. Lastly, if you don't want to collaborate and if your heart is set on writing comedies, just keep staring at that scene that needs punching up until a funny line pops into your head.

Then do it again and again and again.

The ‘Golden Rules’ of Writing Comedy by Caimh McDonnell |

Just don't try to analyze what's funny or figure out where it comes from. White said it best: "Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it. I have tried every software application imaginable in quest of the perfect way to write a movie and when I put Movie Outline on my Mac I came to the end of the rainbow. I use Movie Outline all the time. It has many powerful features, is easy to use and makes writing and formatting a screenplay a breeze.

Getting a Laugh: How to Make Something Funny

No script writer should be without it. Kevin Williamson Screenwriter — Scream. If you're looking for a tool to help you nurture your idea for a movie into an actual shooting script I recommend this program without hesitation. Your satisfaction is our top priority. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, please return the item s for an exchange or refund within 30 days from the purchase date, unless otherwise noted on the product page. Ship the item s to The Writers Store via a traceable and insured method.

You will be responsible for return shipping fees. Please include a completed Return Form with your shipment. Refunds take up to one week to process once we have received the item s. Software returns must be deactivated and uninstalled from your computer before a refund may be issued. Please contact the software manufacturer if you need assistance uninstalling or deactivating your software.

Some are funnier than others both in daily life and on the page. Some are downright boring while others are depressed and a drag to be around.

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  7. They shut the door on writing comedy and found their niche elsewhere. Think back to your childhood. Remember the kid who was the class clown? He it was pretty much always a he. Funny girls were considered to be weird. And guys, how intimidated are you by a witty, funny woman? I went to middle school with the same group of kids.

    There were the smart kids not me , the athletes not me , the cool kids definitely not me , the outcasts fortunately not me: that was to come during high school , the gen-pop kids who were just there, usually well-behaved and religious and the two kids competing to be class clown one of which was me. Competing is a generous word. There was no competition. The other kid, Joey, was hands down, the funniest kid in class.

    I was a distant second. Really distant. Looking back, kids laughed at me more than because of something funny I did or said. Joey was cute and had a killer smile. I was kind of geeky-looking and when I smiled my face wrinkled up in a way that made me look like I had Progeria a rare abnormality marked by premature aging, grey hair, wrinkled skin and stooped posture in a child. Joey was charming. All the girls had crushes on him and all the boys wanted to either hang with him or be him.

    What I wanted was to make my classmates laugh attention, duh! The problem was that Joey was a natural. He would open his mouth and most of the time something clever came out. And when what he said missed the mark, he had learned to ignore it and move on to the next ad lib.

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    At some point, I started to realize that unlike Joey, I would have to work at getting laughs. Work very hard! Which brings us back to comedy writing. At some point you decided that you wanted to be a comedy writer. For me, it was in my early 20s. I started out writing plays, specifically, comedies. What would your answer be? That you write: Comedies? Dramatic comedies?

    How to Be a Comedy Writer How to Be a Comedy Writer
    How to Be a Comedy Writer How to Be a Comedy Writer
    How to Be a Comedy Writer How to Be a Comedy Writer
    How to Be a Comedy Writer How to Be a Comedy Writer
    How to Be a Comedy Writer How to Be a Comedy Writer
    How to Be a Comedy Writer How to Be a Comedy Writer

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