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Mental_Mike
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Go for Gabes teaching if you're serious about writing/performing comedy! He has lots of experience and has inspired me to write comedy. He's one of the few people that I talk to on this board and has helped me out time and time again. I plan on mixing magic and stand-up comedy and putting together a great show really soon. Look forward to talkin' more shop sometime, Gabe!

Mike
Comedy Writer
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How does character help your comedy? I ask because I just saw a magic show that was 90% character and 10% magic - and very funny.
DominotheGreat
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There were some great comedy tips in here. Hopefully everyone was taking notes! That book was awesome!
Comedy Writer
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Glad to help -- Now offering classes in MN. Both for beginners and for performers!
kihei kid
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Quote:
On 2011-02-02 20:52, Andrew Zuber wrote:
Obviously it's all relative and what's funny to one person may not be funny to the next,

Beat me to the punch (no pun intended).

I don't find Robin Williams particular funny but I think Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy are a riot. I don't find Bill Malone funny but love Tom Mullica.

Additionally, In my mind, I find some things "humorous" and other things "funny". To me, there is a BIG difference in the two.
In loving memory of Hughie Thomasson 1952-2007.

You brought something beautiful to this world, you touched my heart, my soul and my life. You will be greatly missed.

Until we meet again “my old friend”.
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2011-03-21 18:38, Comedy Writer wrote:
How does character help your comedy? I ask because I just saw a magic show that was 90% character and 10% magic - and very funny.


It makes more sense to me to say that character drives the comedy. For example, Both Jeff Hobson and Max Maven get laughs, but they are different kinds of laughs and occur for different reasons. Max Maven imitating Hobson's act (and vice versa) would be very unlikely to work (though it would be ironic).

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
Comedy Writer
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Good point. I would argue that every successful performer has a distinct, memorable character.

Comedy Writer
Comedy Writer
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Anyone keeping a notebook of comedy ideas...?
Thomas Wayne
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Quote:
On 2011-07-14 12:18, Comedy Writer wrote:
Anyone keeping a notebook of comedy ideas...?


Yes. Someone must be; I'm certain of it.

TW
MOST magicians: "Here's a quarter, it's gone, you're an idiot, it's back, you're a jerk, show's over." Jerry Seinfeld
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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I have books, notebooks, digital audio recordings and post its with ideas that will eventually go in books,notebooks or recordings...or into the trash.

When an audience gets to know your character,(either during a show or a repeat gig) it can get them to expect things. That can lead to laughter or when you switch it up on them (can you say rule of 3) you can surprise them.(if it fits your character.

Some characters can break the 4th wall. Others create characters to bounce things off..In my case..sometimes (well often) it is a puppet.

A mix of the serious and the funny can work..When Max M used to (or may still) open the show with a great pause..and then say into the mic "Boo".

Just finished the 1st of 4 workshops for 7th graders on comedy and puppetry. Writing and ad libs make a great combination. An example of the later...Nigel was asked to do a imitation of a chicken...He went AAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH. I said what was that. Nigel replied the chicken just got hired at KFC. The written joke would have him saying "AAAAAAAAFLACK" It was a rare true adlib..that popped into "his"/my brain.

Harris
still a work in progress
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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mumford
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Besides always striving to try a least one new small bit or prepared line at every show, I make it a point to improvise as much as possible. This isn't always easy because on a paid show you want to be your best and too many adlibs can be risky. Nevertheless, at times, when the response is good to an adlib I will push more comments in that direction and it has lead to routines that have become permanent fixtures in my show. I guess you would call it writing on stage.
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Some of my best bits were created as true adlibs. Now the "trick" is to have them seen as adlibs each time. Can you say acting?


Harris
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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Comedy Writer
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I know one pro who uses a flip cam to record every show -- and many, many stand-ups who use their phones to record their sets -- to capture ad libs. ( Use the " voice notes" feature)

Comedy Writer
cairo
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Although I don't always record every show, when I don't I'm bound to miss something. Listening to my recording on the way home is a ritual with me. Every now and then some of the funniest adlibs come from something said by the audience. I'm not proud, if it's good it becomes part of my script and I use it forever.
Comedy Writer
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Is there interest in an on-line comedy writing class for magicians?
Comedy Writer
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Or a list of resources? books, sites, classes etc?
Comedy Writer
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Here's a question -- how often do you refresh your script? Do you add new material or topical references?

CW
Comedy Writer
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And is there interest in on-line classes or individual coaching for performers/ magicians?

Assuming such a class, what would you like to see covered?
Comedy Writer
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New classes in Jan
scalito
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Study the masters in comedy like you would in magic. For me it's (was) Carson, Rickles, Sales, Costello, Allen, etc. That said, the internet has so much funny material on it that I've found many jokes/bits to incorporate in my show.
Comedy Writer
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I'd add that you should then add your own material, and use the masters to inspire you..
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I'm now looking into creating a weekly, interactive comedy writing class. PM me if you want to be on the announcement mailing list.

CW
Jim Sparx
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I could have sworn I made a comment in this thread, maybe it got deleted.
The book, "Why Is That So Funny" by John Wright, who teaches people how to be funny is an excellent theory book with a lot of good ideas. The previously mentioned Topper Martyn book is a plus 10 recommended book. Patrick Page's book, Visual Comedy, has a lot of sight gags that are older than vaudeville and are You Tube demonstrated by George Carl, one of the greatest. And I've seen You Tube magicians, jugglers, and sight comics rip his material and present it as their own. So much for being original.
Then there is the Orben books with tens of thousands gags and bits that can be rewritten and updated. He even wrote a how to book about writing your own stuff and not relying on other peoples material, suggesting that you can only be funny by being yourself.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_qu......0l0ll0l0
Et tu, Spartacus?
Brent McLeod
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Ive worked comedy clubs and also studied many fine comedians-

One thing Ive added to Pro magic functions I perform is pretty much each prop & pause in your show must have
to some degree a comical element or comment prior to showing an effect that will wow them also..

It took a couple of years & trial & error comments for a few good opening lines & comments to get a good laugh
that I use in every corporate show I do now-having comedy in your act is a real bonus , as well as good entertaining magic,
but to learn the timing of a joke or gag is key and only experience over time will get it right......
harris
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Harris Deutsch
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Knowing when to stop or change a bit...priceless....

I was talking theory with my wonderful wife last night. I had completed a role that was more dramatic than comedy. During the play there were laugh lines which we expected to get laughs and other times we were surprised after many weeks of rehearsal. During one cast greet after a performance, I was surprised that an audience member told me I was hilarious. Not the reaction I was expecting. Another said, I had no idea that Thomas was such a whining _ _ _. I told my wife it was not the response I was expecting or even "wanted". I did the role to expand my acting. I am more comfortable in comedy character roles. She pointed out even in say Carol Burnett's serious roles there are comedic moments. Tragedy plus time or distance(emotionally from you) = comedy

Harris
laughologist and nearly normal reader and righter
Harris Deutsch aka dr laugh
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