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Comedy: the "why" of funny
Transcript of Comedy: the "why" of funny
the "why" of funny
Rule of Three
Simple to Complex
What we Recognize
Violation of Expectation
2 of 6 Rule
Comedy lives in 3s:
1. Set up
2. Reinforce set up
3. Punchline (breaks the pattern)
Here's one from Jon Stewart:
I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land.
The more specific and detailed something is,
the funnier it tends to be.
______ are funnier than ______
Single Syllable words
Hard sounds (like K)
Soft sounds (like S)
remember or create
a joke that uses the rule of three.
Write two sentences: one that uses lots of details, and one that is parallel, but plain.
This rule is more about acting
than writing, but is worth noting.
When creating comedy, start with
simpler jokes, and build to something
Come up with an example
create your own, or remember
Normal people/weird situation
Weird people/normal situation
Weird people/weird situation
Normal people/normal situation
* He suggests picking at least two of these dimensions, start with one of them and then layer in a second dimension.
Scott Adams of Dilbert suggests a "Two of Six" rule:
You can have...
We laugh at things
we can relate to--either
situations, people, or
As strange as it is, in addition
to thinking things we recognize
and relate to are funny, we really
like it when things are rolling along
as expected, and then suddenly
our expectations are violated by
Think of TV shows you
think are funny. What
funny aspects of them are
things you recognize in your
Either create an example or think
of an example of violation of expectation.
Think of or create an
example of Weird People/Normal Situation
and Normal People/Weird Situation.
Let's analyze Chuck Testa:
Joey in Friends: Air quotes
Liz Lemon Sparrows
Tom Haverford Twitter Trial
Fish Slapping Dance
Old Spice Man I'm on a Horse
Dumb Ways to Die
Snickers: Betty White
Darth Vader VW Passat
Princess Bride Marriage
30 Rock: Do you wanna try meth?
Tom Haverford bowling
Ministry of Silly Walks
Parks and Rec Get On Your Feet
McDonalds report card bears
Provocative (adj): causing a strong reaction
Comedy has to BE provocative, but not TOO provocative.
a week after 9/11
(Everyone's range of acceptable provocation is different.)