© Heather Haven 2011 all rights reserved
In my far-off youth and for as long as I can remember, lurked inside me the heart of a comedy writer. I wanted nothing more than to be writing funny quips for people, like Woody Allen did for Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows, back in the fifties. Just to make it clear, I wasn’t nearly as impressed by Allen’s fore into his own comedy shows, record albums, films, and even less impressed with his romantic encounters. What got me where I live was him writing words for performers that made an audience laugh. I couldn’t imagine a greater existence.
The art of comedy is serious business and you’d better know your business. You’d better know timing, delivery, and what the funny words are. By funny words – and most people don’t think about this – these are words that automatically cause people to smile or chortle. For instance:
Orange? Not so funny. Kumquat. Funny.
Move? Not so funny. Jiggle. Funnier.
Glasses? Not so funny. Spectacles. Funny. Or maybe more funny. Wait a minute. Maybe not so funny.
Testicles? Whoa. Never mind. But in comedy, expect the unexpected. It often gets a laugh.
But back to words, if you don’t have the words in the right order, with the right rhythm and cadence, it’s probably not going to work. I’ve known comics to work on a one-line joke for weeks until they get it right.
Speaking of comics, have you noticed they often talk in violent or military terms? “I slaughtered ‘em last night,” “Man, that audience was murder,” “Go out and kill ‘em, pal,” phrases like that.
There’s a reason for it. If you don’t get that laugh, you might as well be dead. Comics are very serious about their laughs. Same with authors who write a funny mystery series. That corpse better be laughing while he’s falling to the ground. Otherwise, I don’t sleep so good at night.
About the author:Heather Haven’s novel, MURDER IS A FAMILY BUSINESS, the first in the Alvarez Murder Mystery series, was epublished by MuseItUp Publishing in January, 2011 and is now out in print. The second in the series, A WEDDING TO DIE FOR, debuted April 22nd, 2011. She is currently editing the 3rd of the series, and says they are a joy to write. Heather gets to be all the characters, including the cat!
Follow Heather's blog at: http://tinyurl.com/4nensnp
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