I believe that if you think an idea is funny, but it's not getting laughs, then most likely it's funny, but it's just missing an element that is needed to trigger the laugh.
In my classes, part of what we study is WHY people laugh. What triggers that?
When you understand that at its most intrinsic level you can begin to make changes to a joke to take it from a semi-chuckle (because it's a funny idea) to a triggered laugh because it a funny joke.
Here's an example:
So you're writing and you get a premise down on the page and then... it just doesn’t seem to go anywhere. Does this happen to you?
I was Skype-coaching with one of my students today and he said, I've been trying to write, but I keep feeling like I'm getting stuck."
It can be super frustrating, especially when you’re just writing to put something, ANYTHING, on the page.
So how do you take that idea and make it into something?
Here's a sure-fire way to develop that idea further to get to the jokes.
There are a ton of ways an emcee can ruin the introduction for a comedian. They can bomb a joke then immediately bring you up. They can create an incident with someone in the audience and bring you up on a sour note. They can screw up your name or screw up your intro.
They can do a backwards intro. A backwards intro is where they mention your name first and the audience doesn't feel the impulse to applaud...
Joe Dungan, one of my hardest working students and one of my master teachers just won The Clean Comedy Challenge 2017 at the Ice House in Pasadena, CA!
Joe competed against a litany of other comedians. And he must've done great because at the end of the performances one of the other comedians said to him, "Get ready to collect your prize money," implying that it was clear who won the Clean Comedy Challenge.
So how did Joe do it?
It's amazing to watch someone who's developing their skill at writing. They could crack a great joke right in front of you. And the moment you ask them to write it down, they fall back on their learning of writing in school, trying to use correct punctuation, grammar, etc., and they over write the joke.
That can kill the joke.
This is what you can do to fix it...
I see it time and time again, people who have amazing possibilities and opportunities, but don't seem to capitalize on them and succeed.
Are you one of those people? Do you feel like you're not moving forward or succeeding the way you want or with the speed with which you want?
There may be a way to help you start to change that trajectory with one adjustment in the way you approach life and your own decision making. In other words, by changing the
I'm here to tell you there are NO RULES in this business for getting work. In fact, I think I know more people in the business who have gotten a job working as actors, writers, and comedians who basically wrote their own rules.
So I have put together 10 tips for getting a hired writing for Late Night TV by NOT following the rules.
Being able to write and produce content changes your game from working club to club and pay check to pay check to having the opportunity to create and build financial stability and remain relevant in entertainment.
Whether you investigate the opportunities in writing for Late Night TV (which has exploded), writing television shows or writing screenplays, adding that skill-set to your repertoire is almost essential for you to develop security and a long-lasting career in comedy.
Comedians are a vulnerable bunch. If pleasing the audience isn't hard enough, many times we comedians also have to cope with criticism even after we get off the stage.
Sometimes we hear it from club owners or managers. Sometimes we hear it from other comedians and sometimes from an audience member who just watched you and decided that their experience in telemarketing gives them the credentials to bestow on you their expert tips on how you can kill it at your next gig.
"You were crushing it up until that last joke. Just didn't seem to fit." "You'd be funnier if you had fewer F-bombs." "You shouldn't do political material, it makes people uncomfortable." "Jokes about rape are inappropriate."
The list of critique can go on and on.
But before I go off on that