Thursday, November 20, 2008

Writing Comedy

With about three weeks left in my college career, I have been trying to figure out how to partition my time correctly. I need to split the week equally: make enough money to support myself working three, four days a week (as many hours, as many jobs necessary), and spend the other three, four days a week working 9-5 editing the documentary, and writing our movies. I can't alternate days, either. I need to write and edit three, four days in a row. It'll be much easier to get some momentum going, and partition my "real" work time.

So, two things.

1. I think I'll start cataloging the types of jokes that I like, and how they function. This is interesting to me, and might be fun to talk about.

2. I'm going to start sending Dick Cavett letters requesting an interview until he responds. Inevitable, right?

Here's the first bit of writing on comedy. Not in my own words, but the seed that got me thinking, maybe I could start writing about the craft of jokes.

The crux of the mystery is, when exactly does the ad-lib artist become aware of the spontaneous joke he has just spouted. In the case of a comic genius like Groucho, I’m convinced that the process in the speaker’s head that results in funny words spoken is somehow preconscious. Sitting next to him, I saw him be both delighted and . . . this is important . . . surprised by what he had just heard himself say. He was as much the audience to the joke as the rest of us who heard it.

Via Mr. Cavett's blog on NY TIMES.

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