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RonCalhoun
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In this thread I would ask anyone who has any information or questions on Comedy Writing or Comedy Workshops to post here. Does anyone have a Comedy workshop or Comedy writing book to recommend?

Please NO JOKES, one lines, or cute stories.

I’m looking for information on developing writing skills.

So, how you write a joke is ok, but not some joke you heard.

Thank You
Ron Calhoun

Judy Carter’s Comedy Bible

http://www.comedybible.com/

Comedy Writing Secrets by Melvin Helitzer


Gene Perret Books
Comedy Writing Workbook by Gene Perret
Comedy Writing Step By Step: How to Write and Sell Your Sense of Humor - Gene Perret

Talk About Hope: Two Bob Hope Writers Trade Stories by Gene Perret


Writing Course
Gene Perret's The Professional Comedy Writing Course is a comedy writing correspondence course to enhance your writing skills and to market your product and yourself as a professional writer.
http://members.aol.com/geneperret/

http://www.comedyconvention.com/

http://www.enet.org.au/stridermag4/new_page_17.htm
sniper1
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Well all the good books were posted already. So what can I say to get another post, hehe.

The easiest way to write comedy is with the word association method. That is, let’s say you are doing a comedy bit on AOL. OK, you brainstorm about AOL and write everything that comes in mind.

Hmmmmmmmmm AOL = crappy service, technical help line, long waiting for someone to answer, ambient music on the phone, computer problems, etc., etc.

Now take one of those single words and do the same process again. Example: ambient music = music CD’s. Music shops, etc., etc.

Now connect them together in a funny way (this is the hard part until you get used to it).

Example: “you know yesterday I went to the local music club to buy this new CD called Mystic Moods and it was priced at $29.95. No way I was gonna buy it, in fact I found a much simpler solution. Nowadays I just call AOL’s toll-free number, put the phone on speaker, and I’ll be able to listen to the whole CD before someone answers.”


Another easy method is to look into your everyday life and situations and, trust me, they will contain a lot of funny stuff

In fact this is part of the thinking process that went into part of my stand up routine (yeah, I'm giving part of my act away, but as they say, to prevent people from copying you, share your stuff).

I was writing a script based on prostitution around the world, and I was thinking about my country Malta. Now Malta, for those who don't know where it is, is a very small island south of Italy and Sicily, population around 300k.

So here is the part of my script:

"Now prostitution thrives in the whole world, even in Malta, the country where I come from. Now Malta, for those who don't know where it is, is a very small island south of Sicily- population around 300k. Yes ladies and gents, what you thought was a misprint on your atlas is in fact a country, my home country. Now as I said Malta is a very small country, so we have very few prostitutes. In fact it is so small that to sleep with a prostitute in Malta, you have to make a reservation 2 weeks in advance. And that's not all. Most of the prostitutes that we have have been in the business since World War II. In fact not even the question changed: it’s still “HOW MUCH?” And they still reply for you, "it's $15 instead of $20 'cause you're cute.” “NO I MEANT HOW MUCH TILL YOU START GETTING THE STATE PENSION?”


That should give you a basic idea in how to form your thoughts and answers. If you need more advice just ask, and I will help whenever possible.

*******

Thanks for the PM. It shows that at least my work is apreaciated. Now the only problem is to make the audience appreciate me!
THE MOST CRAZY MAGICIAN ON THE MALTESE ISLANDS
magicgeorge
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Does anyone ever worry that if you read too many books analysing humour and seeing how it works that you'll eventually see everything in terms of technique and never find anything genuinely funny again?
RonCalhoun
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Great book:

Zen and the Art of Stand-Up Comedy by Jay Sankey.
magicgeorge
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Mr Sankey has apparently just signed on as a member here.
ScottSullivan
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Steve Roye sells a system called Killer Stand-Up (www.killerstandup.com) which is much better than any book I've come across. I've worked the clubs as a straight stand-up and was a contributing writer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and I found his stuff to be very, very good. It's well worth the price.
Doug Higley
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Watch Carrot Top. Use homemade props combined with a little enthusiasm. Can be very funny. Look around the house and add a quick trick or two between prop pulls.

Doug
Higley's Giant Flea Pocket Zibit
The Village Idiots
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I think the "Comedy Bible" was a little too clinical. I do like Gene Peret's book. Have not read Mr. Sankey's book but with a name like that it sounds up my alley.

Every large city has a comedy club. Every large comedy club has an open mic night. You can write all day long but the audience is the only one that will tell you what is really funny. I hate to try new material on a paid gig but open mic is free. Those poor audience members.

You can read books all day but a writer must write. I do sometimes wonder if I wrote more absurd before I learned the "rules" to comedy. Most of my best stuff is by instinct. Just makes sense to me but I have always looked at the world a little funny. I don't think you can learn that from a book.

So, keep on writing. Get a group of performers together for coffee and brainstorm. Make sure there are no hacks present and that everyone is there to better one another, not just tagging along for good lines.

I don't think watching other performers helps with writing, only delivery and timing. Just don't be to influenced by others' styles. Keep your own character and it will be funnier. The more I define who I am on stage the more laughs I get.

Will
Some are born idiots.

Some are made idiots.

Some have idiocy thrust upon them.
RonCalhoun
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Thank You Scott,

Killer standup comedy system by Steve Roye:

http://www.killerstandup.com/killerstandupcomedysystem.htm

Less than $200.
The Village Idiots
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Sounds like dribble. 20 min. and you can make money. Sign me up.

Please???? It takes years to perfect comedy and routines. Blood, sweat and tears. If you can but that then up yours.

Will
Some are born idiots.

Some are made idiots.

Some have idiocy thrust upon them.
RonCalhoun
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Dear MR. Village Idiot,

Will, you misread the ad.

It says "for a 20-30 minute comedy act" not IN 20 minutes.


To talk more about this go to this link

http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewt......24&0
Scott Wells
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"How to Be Funny, Discovering the Comic You" by Steve Allen...yes, that Steve Allen. A VERY good book that completely dissects humor and allows you to write more creatively. You'll never view comedy the same after you have read this one.

yours,
Scott
"A magician who isn't working is only fooling himself." - Scott Wells, M.I.M.C. with Gold Star

The Magic Word podcast: http://themagicwordpodcast.com Listen to convention coverage, interviews with magicians, pictures, videos and more.

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RonCalhoun
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Thank You Scott. I loved to watch Steve Allen.
Bill Palmer
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I have to second what Scott said. The Steve Allen book is one of the best. He shows several different ways of making comedy happen. It will turn on some "funny buttons" that you had not realized you have.

Avoid comedy workshops at your local comedy club. If you must attend them, at least take what they say with a grain of salt. The ones I am familiar with teach how to do "slice of life" comedy. The idea was that "slice of life" comedy produces more original material than "joke" comedy. This is true up to a point, but there are only a handful of basic "slice of life" plots. And the people that use them generally end up writing the same material.

I once heard two comics arguing over which one had written the "wobbly wheel on the grocery cart" line. They were both amazed when I told them that Kip Adotta had used it at the Laff Stop a couple of years before either one of them had decided to try writing comedy. And he probably wasn't the first guy to use it.

Steve's book is broader than that.

It really tells you, as the title states, how to be funny.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
Jeff McLeod
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I have to agree with Sankey's Zen book for sure as well as his "Zen and the Art of the Monolouge". I'd also suggest "The Comedy Toolbox" by John Vorhaus as well as "How to Do It Standing Up: The Friars Club Guide to Being a Comic, a Cut-Up, a Card, a Character or a Clown" both great books.
BenSchwartz
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I would "A Wrinkle In Time" that crap is friggin hilarious. The best part about it, is that you could actually imagine yourself reading it with a small clan of midgets who have taken a break from installing new water piping into your frontyard. Hmmmm, theres a thought there.
"The experience of astonishment is the experience of a clear, primal state of mind that they associate with a child's state of mind." ---- Paul Harris
RonCalhoun
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Hi Ben and thanks for the post.

BTW, what are you smoking.

:smoke:
bobser
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I've never yet met someone who read a 'how to be funny book' and become funny. I just don't think it happens, and get seriously worried about anyone who asks any form of questions in relation to it.
However... anybody wanna' enlighten me? Am I wrong?
Bob Burns is the creator of The Swan.
Kenardo1
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Just purchased a relatively new book on comedy by John Mack; it looks like it has good practical advice.
The book by Richard Belzer is worth the price for the detailed revision of his own script.
RonCalhoun
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Quote:
On 2004-12-12 19:09, bobser wrote:
I've never yet met someone who read a 'how to be funny book' and become funny. I just don't think it happens, and get seriously worried about anyone who asks any form of questions in relation to it.
However... anybody wanna' enlighten me? Am I wrong?


First, Thank you for “seriously” worrying about me.

Are you wrong? Who cares? Really it's just a forum of people who may or may not want to learn something.

You've never “met someone who read a 'how to be funny book' and become funny.”

Enlighten us, How did they become funny?

Personally, I don't thing anyone can “learn” to be funny. But maybe they can learn to be FUNNIER.
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