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MaxfieldsMagic
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A few months ago I began a journal of all sorts of things. One of the recurring headings is "things that struck me as really, really funny." I only enter something if it induces an honest, no-kidding belly laugh. There's no criteria concerning where the entries come from - it could be a Letterman monologue, a YouTube video, a comment from someone at work or on the subway, a TMC post - whatever.

Don't know how useful this will be in the long run, but I suspect very. The comedy how-to books are useful for setting forth general deconstructions of what makes humor work. A logical next step, then, seems to be applying their hypsotheses to the analysis of whatever truly makes us laugh, which will be different for every person, and will afford an insight into our true personality and a possible performance style that fits.

There are some things that seem hilarious for reasons I still don't understand. But writing them down helps, as patterns and causes have already become clearer with time and distance, which would not have been possible without documenting and reviewing the original material.

If that sounds like an approach that Spock might take to humor analysis, to a certain degree it is. As the oft quoted John Lennon said, "talking about music is like dancing about architecture." But if we are going to talk about music (or humor), then why not start with the proven best (for us), and analyze backwards? If nothing else, it offers inspiration and a useful yardstick by which to measure our own creativity.
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Comedy Writer
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Great idea - write down stuff that you hear ( it also cues you to keep an ear open for new funny.)
Add to your book " stuff I'd like to be funny about"
J Hanes
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All good advice here.
MaxfieldsMagic
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Quote:
On 2009-05-19 10:03, Comedy Writer wrote:
Add to your book " stuff I'd like to be funny about"


That's a good idea. I guess we do that already in the context of specific routines (ie, how can I be funny about the egg bag routine), but it's probably also good to come up with lots of material for non-magic topics, such as sports, business, different cities, dating, the weather, money, dining out, kid's cartoons, or whatever else you think might come up depending on your performance situation (stand-up vs table-hopping, etc).
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Father Photius
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Some excellent ideas above, tried and true, and most very ethical. Unfortunately, most of the "lines" I've heard coming from magicians comes from a method very popular in Vaudeville and dating back for centuries, "steal, steal, steal." Hopefully, you and others will choose some other method.
"Now here's the man with the 25 cent hands, that two bit magician..."
JamesTong
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Quote:
On 2009-05-23 13:18, Father Photius wrote:
Some excellent ideas above, tried and true, and most very ethical. Unfortunately, most of the "lines" I've heard coming from magicians comes from a method very popular in Vaudeville and dating back for centuries, "steal, steal, steal." Hopefully, you and others will choose some other method.


Fr. Photius, we don't steal .. we just borrow other people's lines. LOL. Can't resist this one here.
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All of the great acts are original - great characters, great lines, great everything. Lance Burton is nothing like Mac King - Yet they grew up together. Be unique. ( including your comedy lines.)

Comedy Writer

Posted: Jun 9, 2009 11:57pm
PS let me know if you'd like some book suggestions to work from for your comedy writing.
Ronald72
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Comedy Writer would you please suggest some books to work from for comedy writting? Thanxs!
Sam Sandler
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I love physical comedy the most and have lots of it in my show but that’s my personality and that is what makes it work as it’s ME.

Do the stuff that’s you!

Unexpected Reality = comedy let me elaborate. Think about it Americas funniest home videos is in its 15th year and still bringing in millions of views – why because real life really happens and when the unexpected happens its funny.

When you hand a kid a magic wand and it breaks that was unexpected and funny. To make it more funny is the magi does not see it and when he does he over reacts thus making it funnier.

I know this was about lines for magicians however the same principle applies.

Think about your own life and things th at happened to you or friends and try to see if you can fit them into your routine.

Think about real life and make it personal and it will be much more effective and hopefully funny.

As for stealing lines I agree it’s a no no. However in some cased I have asked the originator of a line if I may borrow it or tweak it to fit something I do.
Getting permission is a good way to go however you still want to make it personal so you are not just coping some one else’s hard work.

Have fun
sam sandler- America's only full-time DEAF Illusionist
http://www.samsandler.com
http://www.deafinitelymagic.com
Comedy Writer
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I"m a big fan of physical comedy too! Let me get a few comedy writing books to suggest.

Posted: Jul 8, 2009 12:59pm
Book #1 The Comedy Bible: from stand-up to sitcom - Judy Carter

Posted: Jul 13, 2009 10:32pm
...its a very useful look at writing comedy step by step...
Ronald72
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I had this tip from an magic friend. I have purchase this one and it is literature for my coming holiday Smile

I am really looking foreword to get into the book, I have already nose in it and there are really good suggestions! One I've read was about make fun of your wife. It is a no go. Reallly funny is how she wright or sounds divorce funny to you?

Great fascinated book! Thnx Comedy Writer!!
Comedy Writer
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Comedy writing step by step Gene Perret
Chris H
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Quote:
Where do magicians get their lines?


IKEA. Problem is that they come flat packed, and you have to put them together yourself.
Comedy Writer
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I had a dog like that once...
Floyd Collins
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I had a comedy writer like that once...
No one said it would be easy, or did they?

Check out my all new book "Chicken Scratches" visit my lulu store for more information.

http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/thecenterstage

http://www.collinscomedymagic.com
Dynamike
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I like the one-liners in Harry Allen's book, "Sleight of Mouth."
Comedy Writer
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..except that they're not all original.... Do you want to be unique and famous or just another magician?
55john55
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I'd start by taking notes on all the suggestions made in these posts and organizing them. Keep what you think is good and toss what you think is bad. My guess is that you will find what works for you over time. It probably will be a combination of material that you invent and what you get from other sources.
1. The most important thing is the secret to good humor.
Person 1: Ask me what's the secret to good humor.
Person 2: What's the sec..."
Person 1: TIMING !

2. Practice ! Have friends pick any word -or do it alone without friends- ( ask them to choose an auto part, mode of transportation, food, anything). Then start making puns about that. It will be difficult at first, but will gradually get easier and you will get better at ad-libing over time. As someone once said on their deathbed. "Dying is easy, comedy is hard".

3. Make sure you have the right age material for your audience.

4. Consider collecting specialty jokes: how many ---- does it take to change a light bulb? Waiter,waiter, there's a fly... There are a number of these series. But if they aren't you don't use them.

I can send you some if you want. PM me if you would like. I taught high school for over 30 years and humor was a big part of my classroom.
Comedy Writer
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Great ideas - Get together with buddies and write for each other's routines... or just watch thier acts and suggest lines.
TonyMc
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Mark Mason published my book "200 Gags, Intros and One-Liners for Magicians, Book 1" in 2002 and it was also sold by Stevens Magic Emporium. After the write-up that Mark Stevens gave it, I bought a copy!!! After several requests I've finally written Book 2, which I'm selling on eBay. If any of you guys are interested, PM me and I'll give you a discount.
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