This week's Answer:
Now that’s a funny question. Or a very serious one. Actually,
comedies are a challenging breed. According to my experience with the genre, humor is tricky
and whimsical, and must be written and executed with just
the right touch to get it across and pull it off.
As they say, comedy is much more difficult than
drama (and I say that dramatically).
Humor is much more individualistic than drama.
It is easier to create a dramatic storyline than a
comedic one. “Why?”
you may ask. Well,
one way of looking at it is that we as the audience know
the drama concourse, and are very familiar with its
milestones that tell us how to be sympathetic and react
towards the protagonist as he/she confronts the escalating
a sense, we’re already programmed to “build our
tears” and let them roll on cue.
(Laughs we don’t build as much; they just seem to
pop out.) Comedic
milestones are not as easy to track, being that comedy is
a wide field that includes many dissimilar tastes and
funny to one individual may not even produce a chuckle in
like broad humor and slapstick, while others prefer the
subtle version. “So
where does this leave me?” says the confused
fact, it leaves you in quite a nice spot:
a place where you can explore your own, unique
sense of humor. How
does an adjusted version of that saying go?
You can make some people laugh some of the time.
But you can’t make all of them laugh all
of the time.
Now that I’ve convinced you that
you’ll never be able to get everybody to laugh at your
script (I sure can build confidence, can’t I?), you can
relax and ask what do you think and feel is funny?
If you don’t know (which is highly unlikely), you
can simply use your memory to bring back moments that you
thought were hysterical, or at least mildly amusing (in
movies, books, peoples’ stories and jokes—and, of
course, real life—which is really quite funny when you
look at it a certain way. A perspective that you will often need if you’re going to
be writing comedic scripts.)
If you take a close look at those funny moments,
they’ll give you an excellent insight into your
inimitable, irreplaceable, distinctive... sense of humor.
Now you can use your own Sense of Humor Template
and start writing! I
know this may seem inordinately simplistic, but, keeping
in mind that simplicity can be powerful:
Write what makes you laugh.
I do have one warning, though:
Be careful to not enjoy yourself too much in the
process and laugh so hard that you fall off your chair and
hit your funny bone (which we all know, for some reason,
never feels funny).